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Lynn Caison Johnson's Blog

By Lynn Caison Johnson | Agent in Rockport, TX
  • Basic TIPS for First-Time Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Portland  |  October 19, 2012 2:03 PM  |  484 views  |  No comments

    It's a scary step going from renter to first-time homeowner. Where does one start on the search for the perfect home? How much home can you really afford? Are you ready to sign on that dotted line.


    Homeownership is a good long-term investment. The keyword, though, is long-term. There are many extra costs associated with owning a home, including such things as repairs, maintenance, insurance, and cosmetic upgrades. Additionally, homes across the nation are still experiencing declines in value. This means you'll need to stay in a home longer before you'll build equity, likely in excess of five years.

    The most logical place to start then is with how much you can really afford.

    1. What can you afford? This is a tricky question. Of course, there is the number your lender gives you. "You qualify for X amount." It's up to you, however, to decide if that amount is reasonable for your lifestyle. Just because you qualify for X amount doesn't mean you should buy a home priced at that. You may find a cheaper home services all of your needs, while leaving you plenty of extra monthly cash for traveling, entertainment, and other of life's pleasures.
    2. Long-term use: Think long-term in terms of the size of the home and its location. You may be a single person or a young couple now, but kids can be a game changer. A once perfectly sized home can seem cramped. With homeowners needing to stay put longer in order not to sell at a loss it's even more important for first-time buyers to think long-term.
    3. Fixer or move-in ready? Some buyers love to buy a fixer-upper home in a prestigious neighborhood. It's a foot in the door, literally. With a few upgrades and cosmetic fixes you can bring an outdated home into the new decade. Other buyers abhor projects. They want a home that needs nothing. They love the kitchen, baths, and even paint colors. Which type of buyer are you?
    4. Attached or Detached living? A condo can be maintenance free, but it will also come with HOA fees. A townhouse may give you more outdoor space, but you'll still be sharing walls with a neighbor. Are you wanting lots of privacy? Are you looking forward to the autonomy that a detached home affords you? Be sure to discuss all of your options with your real estate agent.
    5. Hiring an agent: If you are like most first-time buyers you'll start your search online. That's a great place to start, but to traverse the roads of real estate competently and safety you should enlist the help of a real estate agent. They will not only show you the newest listings and the best fitting homes, but will also guide you through all the carefully worded contracts coming your way.
    6. Be ready to pull the trigger: While it is currently a buyers market in most areas of the nation, you still need to be ready to buy when a good deal presents itself. Some first-time buyers can become trigger shy when the time finally comes to make an offer. It's no wonder. Seeing your name next to all those zeros can be quite a pill to swallow. So, mentally prepare ahead of time for the act of signing on the dotted line.
    7. Lender Pre-qualification: Sellers want pre-qualified buyers viewing their homes. This shows that you are serious about buying. It will also show you how much you can spend and even if you can qualify for a mortgage. Lending is tight and if you have blighted credit you may have a hard time procuring a loan.
    8. Downpayment: How much of a downpayment do you have saved? Are there family members who might be willing to help out? Most lenders are now requiring 20 percent down on any home purchase. This means for a $100,000 home you'll need $20,000 in cash to put down.
    9. Resale: If you are planning on staying put for the long haul then resale might not be a real concern, but if this is going to be a starter house you should be sure to consider how easy a home will be to resell later down the road.
    10. Finally, be sure to consider the "what ifs" of life. What if you or your spouse lose your job? Will you still be able to afford your mortgage payments? What if you become ill? Will you still want to climb those three flights of stairs? What if you have children? Will you quickly outgrow your home? All of these scenarios should be given careful consideration.

    Homeownership can be a genuine joy. It can bring stability and a sense of pride to any household. Take the time to think over these ten tips and you'll be sure to make a great decision for your first purchase. Contact Lynn's TEAM ADVANTAGE, Lynn Johnson Realty Inc., Broker~3210 Hwy 35 N~Fulton, TX to begin your home search in Rockport, Fulton, Aransas Pass, Ingleside or Portland, TEXAS. Office 361.729.8263, Cell 361.463.9518, Free 1.866.232.1876 OR shop the Rockport mls directly from www.LynnJohnsonRealty.com. Go ahead & 'bug me 'bout real estate'.

    Published: October 19, 2012, Realty Times, Carla Hill

  • Rockport/Fulton TX Sales Report 2011 vs 2010 Comparisons

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Portland, Home Buying in Portland, Home Selling in Portland  |  January 13, 2012 10:56 AM  |  1,349 views  |  No comments

    real estate NEWS to USE
    Rockport/Fulton TX Sales Report January - December 2011
    SOLD Comparisons of Residential & Land
    2011 vs 2010



    Follow Lynn Johnson Realty, Inc., Broker on FACEBOOK for the latest real estate updates of Aransas County, TEXAS
    https://www.facebook.com/LynnJohnsonRealtyInc

  • De-CLUTTER Staging Ideas

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Portland, Design & Decor in Portland  |  January 12, 2012 8:58 AM  |  3,003 views  |  No comments
    A freestanding bookshelf is a great way to clean up clutter and stay organized. Bookshelves are, of course, versatile and practical, but they’re also stylish. Pile them high with blankets and towels in a bath, or show off your favorite coastal finds in the living room. Try adding woven baskets and decorative coral for a seaside look.
    Erica George Dines, photo
    Coastal Living
  • Lookin' for a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange in 2012 ?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Portland, In My Neighborhood in Portland, Rental Basics in Portland  |  January 3, 2012 1:36 PM  |  906 views  |  No comments

    REDUCED $49,700 <=> Live in 1 side make $$$ from other OR perfect for Caretaker Quarters. Flexible floorplans create ENDLESS Investment Income Producing opportunities. 2/1/2 side currently rented $550/mtm boasts separate driveway+(per ACAD) 460 sq.ft. oversized garage (opening end-to-end)& shares fenced backyard. Vacant 3/2/1 features refurbished HARDWOOD FLOORS & a VINTAGE 1940's feelin'. Brick fireplace,island kitchen,combo living/dining+nook,den/sunroom & utility/mud room+separate driveway & oversized (per ACAD) 180 sq.ft. garage. Updates: ceiling fans,paint,tile,carpet & more! Master suite features Cedar Closet & Vintage tiled Vanity & Shower. Mature trees offer shade year 'round. GREAT 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange~ask CPA or Intermediary for scoop.

    Call Lynn's TEAM ADVANTAGE, Lynn Johnson Realty, Inc., Broker of Rockport/Fulton TX toll free 1.866.232.1876 or cell 361.463.9518 to VIEW ***  204 N. Third *** Now $199,517
  • Lookin' for a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange in 2012 ?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Portland, In My Neighborhood in Portland, Rental Basics in Portland  |  January 3, 2012 1:36 PM  |  878 views  |  No comments

    REDUCED $49,700 <=> Live in 1 side make $$$ from other OR perfect for Caretaker Quarters. Flexible floorplans create ENDLESS Investment Income Producing opportunities. 2/1/2 side currently rented $550/mtm boasts separate driveway+(per ACAD) 460 sq.ft. oversized garage (opening end-to-end)& shares fenced backyard. Vacant 3/2/1 features refurbished HARDWOOD FLOORS & a VINTAGE 1940's feelin'. Brick fireplace,island kitchen,combo living/dining+nook,den/sunroom & utility/mud room+separate driveway & oversized (per ACAD) 180 sq.ft. garage. Updates: ceiling fans,paint,tile,carpet & more! Master suite features Cedar Closet & Vintage tiled Vanity & Shower. Mature trees offer shade year 'round. GREAT 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange~ask CPA or Intermediary for scoop.

    Call Lynn's TEAM ADVANTAGE, Lynn Johnson Realty, Inc., Broker of Rockport/Fulton TX toll free 1.866.232.1876 or cell 361.463.9518 to VIEW ***  204 N. Third *** Now $199,517
  • Lookin' for a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange in 2012 ?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Portland, In My Neighborhood in Portland, Rental Basics in Portland  |  January 3, 2012 1:33 PM  |  838 views  |  No comments

    REDUCED $49,700 <=> Live in 1 side make $$$ from other OR perfect for Caretaker Quarters. Flexible floorplans create ENDLESS Investment Income Producing opportunities. 2/1/2 side currently rented $550/mtm boasts separate driveway+(per ACAD) 460 sq.ft. oversized garage (opening end-to-end)& shares fenced backyard. Vacant 3/2/1 features refurbished HARDWOOD FLOORS & a VINTAGE 1940's feelin'. Brick fireplace,island kitchen,combo living/dining+nook,den/sunroom & utility/mud room+separate driveway & oversized (per ACAD) 180 sq.ft. garage. Updates: ceiling fans,paint,tile,carpet & more! Master suite features Cedar Closet & Vintage tiled Vanity & Shower. Mature trees offer shade year 'round. GREAT 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange~ask CPA or Intermediary for scoop.

    Call Lynn's TEAM ADVANTAGE, Lynn Johnson Realty, Inc., Broker of Rockport/Fulton TX toll free 1.866.232.1876 or cell 361.463.9518 to VIEW ***  204 N. Third *** Now $199,517
  • Builder Confidence Rises in December

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Portland, Home Buying in Portland, Home Selling in Portland  |  December 28, 2011 1:52 PM  |  789 views  |  No comments

    Builder Confidence Rises in December
    by Carla Hill

    Builder confidence rose in December according to the National Association of Home Builders. This is the third straight month of improved confidence.

    The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) indicates this is the highest level the market has seen since May 2010.

    "This is the first time that builder confidence has improved for three consecutive months since mid-2009, which signifies a legitimate though slowly emerging upward trend," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "While large inventories of foreclosed properties continue to plague the most distressed markets and consumer worries about job security and the challenges of selling an existing home remain significant factors, builders are reporting more inquiries and more interest among potential buyers than they have seen in previous months."

    This rise was calculated by looking at builder perceptions of what single-family home sales look like now and where builders think they'll be in the next six months.

    On the topic of current sales, builder confidence rose two points on the HMI scale. Expectations for sales over the next six months rose one point. The largest rise was seen in builders' reports on traffic of prospective buyers, which was up three points to the highest levels since May 2008.

    Real estate is a largely local commodity. Regionally, the largest rise in builder confidence for December was seen in the South, which posted a 4-point gain. The West saw a one point gain. The Midwest was unchanged and the Northeast slid down the scale by one point.

    How does a rise in builder confidence affect today's buyers and sellers? For starters, builders have indicated that buyers are placing more inquiries. Home permits have "spiked" according to CNN. Consumer confidence may be returning on the heels of a drop in the unemployment rate. This renewed confidence fosters growth in buyer and seller communities, hopefully raising the value or homes and offering new jobs.

    The question is mostly, however, about how the confidence and actions of today's buyers and sellers affects today's builders. Builders have had a tough time since the housing bust several years ago. Many smaller builders found their market of eager homebuyers shrink as the recession hit and would-be buyers decided to wait out the market or fell on hard times. Other builders have had difficult times procuring credit for projects. Discount pricing on distressed properties have caused many builders to sell new homes at cost. Construction workers lost over a million jobs during the recession, a number that has yet to rebound.

    Confidence is still fighting an uphill battle against tightened lending, high unemployment, and a continued debt crisis in the U.S. and in Europe.

    "While builder confidence remains low, the consistent gains registered over the past several months are an indication that pockets of recovery are slowly starting to emerge in scattered housing markets," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "However, the difficulties that both builders and buyers continue to experience in accessing credit for new homes are holding back potential sales even in areas where economic conditions are improving."

    Markets are improving all across the country. Many have seen consistent improvements in home sales, home prices, and employment over the last six months. If this trend continues, builder confidence should return with even more gusto.

    Source:  Carla Hill, RealtyTimes, published 12/21/11
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