Buying HUD Homes
HUD (Housing and Urban Development) is the federal agency that takes responsibility for FHA backed loans that go wrong… A HUD home is a 1-4 unit residential property acquired by HUD when a loan backed by FHA, goes into foreclosure.
Here are some specifics about the process of buying a HUD home:
- HUD becomes the property owner and offers the home for sale to recover the loss on the foreclosure claim.
- HUD homes are appraised and then priced at fair market value for their area. The homes are sold “as is”, but the price has generally been adjusted down to reflect repairs that the homeowner will have to make.
- HUD homes are sold using a bidding process. There is an offer period, during which, sealed bids are accepted from your agent. Once the offer period closes, all bids are opened, and HUD will generally accept the highest bid, or the bid that brings them the highest net.
- If your bid is accepted, your agent will be notified within a couple of days. You will be given a settlement date – usually 30-60 days from the date of the accepted contract.
- If no one makes an offer for a HUD home within a certain amount of time, HUD will lower the price. The price will continue to drop until an offer is made and accepted.
So, what is the best way to safely purchase a HUD home?
- Find the right real estate agent. Only agents who are registered with HUD may represent home buyers and investors in the purchase of a HUD home. The best way to track down the right agent is to go through the website that lists HUD homes in your area, and determine which agent has the most winning bids.
- Be sure to inspect the property before making an offer. The listing agent has access to the property and can show it to you.
- Make an offer based on the process above
- Get your financing in order so you can close in a timely fashion. It could be as soon as 30 days from acceptance date. It would really be in your best interest to secure financing before you make an offer.
Filed Under Buck County Pa + Bucks County + Bucks County Real Estate + bucks county realtor + buying real estate + first time home buyers + Foreclosures + Home Values + Martin Millner Real Estate + marty millner + PA + Real Estate
What Is The Best Time to List Your Home?
So you’ve decided to sell your home. You may be asking yourself – is this a good time to list my house? What is the best time to list a home?
Most homeowners want to list their home as soon as possible. They’ve been thinking about it for some time, and now that the decision has been made, they want to put it on the MLS as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, that is not very realistic. The REALTOR® has work to do to gather information and enter it into the MLS. The home must be cleaned and repairs made. Pictures and virtual tours must be taken, signs put up, and a lockbox installed. The home should not go onto the MLS until it is entirely ready to be sold.
So, once all of that is complete, what is the best day of the week to list the home? The best answer is as soon as possible after midnight on Thursday morning. This is because your house is now available for all the Realtors planning their weekend showings, and the house will show 0 days on the market on Thursday, 1 day on the market on Friday, and 2 days on the market on Saturday (and Saturday is the most important day of the real estate week).
The fewer the days on the market, the greater you have of selling your home quickly and attract a full price offer.
Now let’s look at the best season to sell. Opinions vary widely on this. A lot of people think that selling to coincide with the school year is best – so late spring and summer. There are surely more buyers out in warm weather, but there are also usually, double the active listings. In the off months, there are fewer listings and the buyers who are out there are more serious about buying – not just out looking. This means there is less competition and homes that sell in winter sell 1.4% closer to their original listing price.
Research shows that the tail end of winter is an excellent time to list, with March being the best month. Listing your home in March results in it being on the market for the shortest amount of time, with homes listed in October taking the longest time to sell.
In Bucks County, confidence is high and inventory is low right now. Combine that with historically low interest rates, and the result is high buyer activity. Buyers who have been sitting on the fence waiting are now jumping into the market, making this a perfect time to list your home.
A recent listing of mine in Yardley Hunt, sold within days of going on the market for virtually the asking price, and another in Yardley Estates, sold well over the asking price with multiple offers.
As March is rapidly approaching, and you have been considering selling your home, it’s time to make a move. Your window of opportunity to sell your home quickly and for top dollar is almost upon us.
Feel free to contact me if you are looking for a new home in 2013.
There are a lot of great homes in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Filed Under Buck County Pa + Bucks County + bucks county pa + Bucks County Real Estate + bucks county realtor + Existing Home Sales + Home Values + Martin Millner Real Estate + marty millner + selling real estate + Yardley + Yardley PA
The Housing Market is rebounding, both Nationally and in Bucks County!
The Housing Market is rebounding, both Nationally and in Bucks County!
For the first time in almost 6 years, most Real Estate markets experienced increases in home prices in 2012. It is still a long road back to where we were in 2005 and 2006, but the market has stabilized and is now improving.
In the 3rd quarter of 2012, home prices had the biggest home price gains in more than two years – an increase of 3.6% on a National level.
If you look back a year ago to the 3rd quarter in 2011, there was a 3.6% decrease. We’re moving in the right direction.
There are a number of factors helping the market recover – historically low mortgage rates, low inventory in most markets (a lot of this is caused by and investors taking advantage of Short Sale and Foreclosure opportunities), an improving jobs market (slow, but moving in the right direction), and lower than usual construction on new units.
With the kinds of numbers we have seen over the past 6 months, it is safe to say that we are in the midst of a housing recovery, and that things will continue to improve.
Here are what the numbers look like for Buck County:
Metrics obtained from trendmls
If you are looking to purchase Real Estate in Yardley, Newtown or Doylestown, please visit our Featured Homes section for wonderful properties or search the Multiple Listing Service for all available listings. We’ll help you find your perfect home.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Filed Under bucks county pa + Bucks County Real Estate + bucks county realtor + buying real estate + Home Values + Martin Millner Real Estate + real estate news + real estate statistics + selling real estate
Inventory Reduction this Past Year – Sign of Market Improvement
REALTOR.com has released September real estate statistics that show a continued strengthening of the national market, with notable inventory reduction and a respectable increase in median sales price since this time last year. These numbers show that overall the market is doing better this year than it was a year before.
You can view the report to see that it has specific statistics for each of 146 U.S. metro areas to get a general idea of our market here in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County. Not all of the regions have shown a substantial change from last year, but on the whole it depicts a positive trend in the national housing market that will soon hopefully be reflected in every neighborhood across the county.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Spacious 4 Bedroom Home in Lower Makefield Twp – 632 Kings Road
Introducing 632 Kings Road
If you are looking to purchase real estate in Lower Makefield Township or anywhere in Bucks County, this one is definitely worth the visit! Contact me to see this beautiful home that is convenient to I-95 and within walking distance of community amenities.
Here is a video tour:
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Stunning 4-5 Bedroom Home – Lower Makefield Township, PA
Introducing 1750 Partridge Road
This is an absolutely stunning, upgraded, elegant, light, bright and neutral home in Kimbles Field, situated on a wonderful, cul-de-sac lot. Representing the absolute best value in Kimble’s Field, this home features gleaming hardwood floors, a spectacular 2 story foyer with turned staircase. Gather in the spacious family room, around the custom, full stone fireplace.
The chef of the house will appreciate meal preparation in the wonderfully appointed, center island, gourmet kitchen with granite counters and an abundance of 42″ cabinetry & recessed lighting. The master’s suite is inviting, with sitting room, huge closets, & sumptuous bath with jacuzzi tub.
The lower level is finished, and includes full bath, entertainment space & possible bedroom. French doors from the sun drenched breakfast room, lead to the huge deck, perfect for summer cookouts. Beautiful trim & molding detail, high ceilings and an infusion of natural light, soft and neutral colors make this home uniquely inviting. This home is a tremendous value, and is relocation ready!
1750 Partridge Road
Yardley, PA 19067
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Find more Lower Makefield Township Homes.
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Tax appeal time in Yardley, Newtown & throughout Bucks County
I have written a number of posts about the process of filing tax appeals in Yardley, Newtown and all over Bucks County. From the comments that I get whenever I post about tax appeals, there is a great deal of confusion about the process.
There was an article in the Bucks County Courier Times on June 3rd that mentioned how the pace of assessment appeals has slowed in Bucks County. In fact, according to the article, only about 400 property owners have applied to the Bucks County Board of Assessment thus far, seeking to reduce their tax bills by appealing their properties assessed value. The article further states that appeals filed have slowed throughout Bucks County since 2009.
The actual process for filing an appeal is really quite simple. The biggest challenge that most home owners face, is trying to understand whether they have a case or not.
In Bucks County, every property has an assessment for tax purposes that can be found on your real estate tax bill. The question for the purpose of filing a tax appeal, is whether a particular property is assessed a value that is consistent with its fair market value.
Each year the, “State Tax Equalization Board” establishes a value that, in theory, equates the assessed value of any property in Yardley, Newtown or anywhere in Bucks County, to the fair market value. A couple of years ago, that value was .109.
So, for example, if you had a house whose assessment was 40,000, you would divide the assessment of 40,000 by .109 and the value (in this case, 366,972) would represent the value at which the house was being taxed. If the actual fair market value was lower than that, then that particular home owner would have a case to argue that their assessment was too high.
In general, real estate taxes in Bucks County are unfavorably skewed against newer properties, relative to fair market value.
In order to file an appeal, you have to go to the Bucks County Board of Assessment website at www.BucksCounty.org. For residential properties in Bucks County, the cost to file an appeal is $25.00. The deadline to file an appeal is August 1st.
After filing the appeal, the County will notify you when your hearing is being held. You actually don’t have to go to the appeal; you can send information supporting your case and the hearing will take place without you. However, I normally recommend attending the hearing.
I have found that the best evidence to support your position is an actual appraisal, unless you have recently purchased the house. If you are a recent buyer, you can use your settlement statement as evidence of fair market value, to support your case.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Spring real estate market tips for sellers, in Yardley, Bucks County, Pa.
Here is a video that I created in spring of 2011. The tips are still very relevant today to home sellers in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County, PA. Click to watch the video, or here is a quick synopsis:
Three Important Tips to Get your House Sold Quickly
Buyers are looking for homes that are ready to move into, with little or no updating or repairs needed. Make some easy and relatively inexpensive updates like paint and carpets to “neutralize” the color scheme of your home. Focus on the kitchen, family room and master bedroom. Also take some time to add a little curb appeal to your exterior to create a great first impression.
Because so many buyers are starting their home searches online, it is very important to have great pictures that will show off the best aspects of your home.
With the competition on the market today, be sure to price your house correctly. It can make the difference between a house selling in a few weeks, or lagging on the market for months and months.
I have a useful booklet titled “450 Ideas to Get Your Home Sold Quickly”. Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like to receive this great step-by-step guide.
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3 Quick Home Staging Tips
In selling a home, creating the proper atmosphere is just as important as pricing your home properly. Elegant furniture can enhance a room, or stifle buyers’ ability to envision themselves there if the placement is incorrect. Depending on presentation, beautiful flowers can appeal to a potential buyer or detract from the mood of the showing. Simple yet aesthetic additions can sometimes make all the difference.
When consulting with sellers, I help them determine what their home is worth in Yardley, Newtown or anywhere in Bucks County. I can assure that a more inviting home will result in a quicker sale and a better price. Here are three easy do-it-yourself ideas to quickly add some eye-catching appeal and dollar value to your home:
Proper furniture placement
There should be just enough furniture in each room to give the room a purpose. Remove all redundant furniture and move the large pieces away from the walls when possible. Make sure the furniture is the proper scale for the room (e.g remove a king size bed and replace it with a queen if it is too big for the bedroom.) Create appealing vignette groupings with furniture, plants, and artwork to create a mood and attract the buyer’s eye.
Use appropriate plants and beautiful pots
Add vibrantly colored flowers to a neutral-colored room to add some flair, and flowers with more subdued colors to a room that already has a bold color scheme. Use flowers and plants that match the décor of your home. Place plants or flowers in high quality containers near the outside entrance and in the foyer to welcome your buyers. Strategically placed greenery can guide the buyer’s eye as they navigate through your home. Plants can bring life to your home, but be sure to choose quality placement over quantity.
Add small tastes of home
Small details added to your simplified décor can stand out and give buyers the warm fuzzy feeling of home. Eye-catching bowls of shiny fruit on the dining room table, colorful cookbooks on the counter, a creative basket of bath salts and spa treatments in the bathroom all entice the buyer to make themselves at home. Try to focus on items that will universally affect the largest potential group of buyers. Sometimes the things that we think of as “homey” may not be for someone else.
Sometimes just a few small staging changes in your home can mean the difference between a quick sale and a long wait on the real estate market in Yardley, Newtown or Bucks County. Talk to your realtor or a staging expert to decide what changes might benefit your home. Depending on your budget, you can opt for some free or low-cost adjustments like the ideas above, or invest in the professional advice of a staging professional. Contact me for more information if you are interested in an evaluation of your property.
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Buying a Home in Yardley or Newtown, Bucks County? 10 Important Questions for Your Home Inspector
Maybe because the weather has been so warm and snow-free, it seems as though the so-called “spring” real estate market in Yardley, Newtown and all over Bucks County has started early. I have written a few recent posts on changes in the Yardley, Newtown area real estate market.
When working with buyers, I always stress how important it is to have a thorough and complete home inspection. For any buyer of real estate in Bucks County, it is critically important to know that any offer you make on a house, can be made contingent on the results of a home inspection. Over the years, I have worked with many area home inspectors. I thought it would be interesting to review what I think are 10 great questions to ask your home inspector.
There are a number of highly qualified, experienced home inspectors in the Yardley, Newtown area, and there is nothing wrong with interviewing more than one. Here are the questions:
1. What does your inspection cover?
At the time of the inspection, most home inspectors will give you a document to sign, that explains, among other things, the limits to what they will be inspecting. The inspector should ensure that their inspection and report meets all applicable requirements for Pennsylvania. They should also ensure that the report will comply with the local standards of practice and code of ethics. If you have specific concerns about something in the house, or an area in the house that you are concerned about, make the inspector aware and be sure that those things are covered in the inspection.
2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection professions and how many inspections have you done?
This should not be a problem for the inspector to answer. You should be able to review their history in the profession, and perhaps get referrals.
3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?
If the inspection is for a commercial property, you should ask the same question. The inspector may have a construction or engineering back round. but there is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of doing home inspections.
4. Do you offer repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
In some states, this is specifically outlawed. Years ago, in Bucks County, inspectors often did work on repairs, and I never liked that idea since there was an obvious conflict of interest. For the most part, this is no longer an issue with home inspectors in the Yardley and Newtown area.
5. How long with the inspection take?
I have found that the average inspection in our area takes between tw0 and three hours. For the purposes of budgeting your time, you should have a general understanding of how long the inspection should take.
6. How much will it cost?
Costs can vary from inspector to inspector, and it is one of the questions that you should ask, so that you are not surprised the day of the inspection. There are also some variables in terms of what inspections are needed, that will impact the cost. If you need a septic and/or water and well inspections, the cost will be somewhat higher than if those inspections are not needed. When I meet with buyers, I include an approximate cost for the home inspection in my closing cost estimate.
7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
I think it is a good idea to ask for samples of the inspectors report, so that you are comfortable with the format, and that you can understand the report language and style. You also need to be sure that the time parameters meet your needs. In our Pennsylvania agreement of sale, there is a time limit to the inspection contingency. It is critically important that the report be available to you in enough time that you can evaluate it and respond to the seller appropriately.
8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
I always encourage buyers to attend the home inspection, and I would be highly suspicious of any inspector who did not encourage that. I have never actually encountered a problem with an inspector suggesting that a buyer not attend the inspection, but you should ask the question, just to be sure. The inspector will share maintenance information, as well as explaining any defects, and attending the inspection gives you a great chance to learn about the house.
9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?
There are actually tw0 national home inspection associations, and in Pennsylvania, the inspector needs to be a member of one of them in order for their report to be used as a basis to negotiate with the seller as a result of an inspection report. There should be no problem asking the inspector whether they are a member of one of the organizations.
10. Do you participate in continuing education?
I think this is a good measure of the inspectors professionalism and service. The more knowledge an inspector has, the better they should be in evaluating any unusual or unique condition in a house.
I hope that these suggestions are helpful if you are considering a home inspector for a house in Yardley, Newtown or anywhere in Bucks County. I would love to hear your thoughts. I can be reached at 215-519-1399, or Marty@MartinMillner.com. If you are considering buying a Yardley or Newtown home, please let me know if I can help you.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Filed Under Bucks County + bucks county pa + bucks county realtor + buying real estate + home inspection + Home Values + Lower Makefield Township + Martin Millner Real Estate + New Hope PA + Real Estate + Washington Crossing Real Estate + Yardley + Yardley PA
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