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Maureen Ingelsby's Blog

By Maureen Ingelsby | Agent in 19026
  • Buying A Condo? 4 Questions to Ask

    Posted Under: Home Buying  |  July 12, 2013 9:51 AM  |  762 views  |  1 comment

    Condominium homes have always been, and will likely always be, an efficient and economical route to becoming a first-time homeowner. They can offer the comfort, prestige, and even luxury appointments that apartment living may lack, often at a cost that is not much different than rent.

    Purchasing a condo is a smart and, most times, more affordable way to enter the housing market. However, not all condos are equal so it's vital that potential buyers be knowledgeable and know to ask the right questions.

    Consider asking the following four questions before you buy:

    What will you own? Read the bylaws and be sure you understand what you will be responsible for and what belongs to the condo association. Will you own the boat dock at the back of your unit? Can you elect to build a spa on your patio? Generally, unit owners own and are responsible for the interior of their condos, while costs for outside maintenance, including common areas and sewer lines, are the association's responsibility.

    Who lives there? Are the majority of residents owners or renters? Owners generally take more interest in proper maintenance and are more willing than renters to serve on the association board and enforce complex rules and regulations—including the regular collection of homeowner dues.

    How effective is the homeowner's association? Do they have legal counsel, reasonable funds and a capable, caring volunteer board? One way to judge is to check with residents about restrictions, oversight and timeliness of repairs and upgrades. Another is to take a hard look at the grounds and be wary of signs of neglect.

    What about special assessments? The association should have the power to special assess for needed, one-time large expenditures. Otherwise, things that need to be done may never get done at all, leaving the complex vulnerable to disrepair and lowered property values.

    Buying a home is a complex and complicated undertaking, whether it's your first home or your fifth. Once you have a good, working knowledge about purchasing a condo, making the right decision will come much easier. 

    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

    Sincerely,

    Maureen Ingelsby 
    Maureen@MaureenIngelsby.com 
    Keller Williams Main Line Realty 
    Office: 610-520-0100 x6505 
    Mobile: 610-574-6203 
    www.delcohomesnow.com

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  • 4 Ways to Impress Your Lender

    Posted Under: Home Buying  |  April 26, 2013 8:29 AM  |  1,034 views  |  No comments

    4 Ways to Impress Your Lender

    Lending is tight, and with the way the market is moving, it may be getting even tighter. But that doesn’t mean your dreams of owning that three-bedroom colonial should be dashed to pieces. It just means you need to impress your lender. Below are a few top tips:

    Maintain job security. If possible, you should stay at your current job while building up your credit and zeroing in on that mortgage. Your lender will want to analyze your work history, and make sure you are reliable and have a steady stream of income. If you know you need to switch jobs soon, put off your home purchase until you are securely in your new position.

    Fluff your credit. Your credit is key for securing a mortgage. If yours isn’t up to snuff, spend a year or so working on it before talking to a lender. How can you work on your credit? Pay down any credit card balances and stay on top of your bills. You should also check your ratio of credit available to credit used.

    Trim your spending habits. You're trying to prove to your lender that you can manage your finances and debt. Putting a huge chunk of your salary toward a new car or that stunning living room set will raise a few eyebrows. Avoid excessive credit card purchases while gearing up for a mortgage application.

    Save. This goes hand in hand with trimming your spending habits. Saving for your down payment will be very helpful when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Aim for 20 percent of the amount of home you can afford. A large down payment will prove to lenders that you’re serious as well as a good saver. It will also give you immediate equity and reduce your monthly payments from the get-go.

    While securing a mortgage is a tricky process, it’s not impossible—and impressing your lender is only going to help.

    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

    Sincerely,

    Maureen Ingelsby
    Maureen@MaureenIngelsby.com
    Keller Williams Main Line Realty
    Office: 610-520-0100 x6505
    Mobile: 610-574-6203
    www.delcohomesnow.com
  • Consumer Confidence in Rising Housing Economy

    Posted Under: Home Buying  |  December 20, 2012 8:19 AM  |  1,046 views  |  No comments
    Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff, Americans are showing increased confidence in the housing market and the direction of the economy. According to results from Fannie Mae's November 2012 National Housing Survey, such improvement bodes especially well for continued strengthening in the housing sector, which in turn should lead to overall economic growth.

    According to the survey, the share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell a home jumped 5 percentage points in November to 23 percent – the highest level since the survey began in June 2010. The percentage of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up increased by 4 percentage points to 41 percent. Those expecting home prices to go down within the next year also rose by 4 percentage points to 14 percent over last month, a rebound from the survey's record low in the prior month, while the share who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months edged up to 37 percent, tying the survey high. Of note, 51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage, marking the highest rate since the survey's inception.

    These survey statistics support the trends that real estate brokers around the country are beginning to witness: an increasing lack of inventory, rising home values, and homebuyers - who have been waiting five years or more - finally ready to purchase their first home or move-up home.

    Positive housing indicators are connected to a generally improving outlook regarding the nation’s overall economic picture. When asked about the economy, those who say it is on the wrong track dipped 6 percentage points since October and a total of 25 percentage points in the past year.

    Other noteworthy results from the Fannie Mae survey include:
    • 48 percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, a slight decrease from last month.
    • 51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage.
    • 21 percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.
    • Household expenses remained stable over the past month, with 56 percent responding that their household expenses stayed the same compared to 12 months ago.
  • Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Delaware County, Home Buying in Delaware County, Rent vs Buy in Delaware County  |  June 8, 2012 6:48 AM  |  444 views  |  No comments

    With a gradual increase in consumer confidence and positive economic indicators in general, those who have been putting off a home purchase due to market conditions should seriously consider moving into action. According to the recently released May 2012 National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae, consumer attitudes are slowly—but significantly—pointing toward an overall housing market recovery.

    The following statistics from the National Housing Survey indicate an increasing need for homebuyers to get serious about their home search:
    On average, Americans expect home prices to increase by 1.4 percent over the next 12 months, up 0.5 percentage points since March 2012 and the highest value yet recorded.
    34 percent of respondents say that home prices will go up in the next 12 months, the highest level recorded since March 2011.
    41 percent of respondents expect home mortgage rates to go up in the next 12 months, a slight increase from last month.
    The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy increased by 1 percentage point to 72 percent, while the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell remained at 15 percent.
    On average, respondents expect home rental prices to increase by 4.1 percent over the next 12 months, a 0.5 percentage point increase versus last month and a return to the level seen in March.
    49 percent of respondents think that home rental prices will go up, consistent with last month's value and remaining the highest number recorded to date.
    At 32 percent, the percentage of respondents who would rent if they were going to move is unchanged, while 63 percent would buy.
    Additionally, while 46 percent of respondents expect their financial situation to remain the same over the next 12 months, 38 percent believe the economy is on the right track—this marks an all-time high.

    This research bodes well for a continued housing-market recovery; however, it means the unparalleled opportunities for buyers will soon start to level off as we move toward a more balanced buying and selling environment.

    If you’ve delayed moving up to a larger or more desirable home because you’ve been hesitant to put your home on the market, conditions have improved for home sellers in many locations. If you’ve been renting in an effort to “wait things out,” bear in mind that rents are expected to continue their upward climb as landlords cash in on residential real estate’s decline. In fact, in many cases, it is now more affordable to buy a home than to rent one.

    Talk to a professional real estate expert to identify specific conditions in the neighborhoods in which you might like to buy a home This information will allow you to establish a home-buying timeline that will ensure you don’t miss out on the current market advantages for homebuyers.
    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.


    Source: Top 5 in Real Estate

  • Signs of Recovery: Home Sales, Prices Increase in April

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Delaware County, Home Buying in Delaware County, Home Selling in Delaware County  |  May 25, 2012 6:06 AM  |  371 views  |  No comments
    Important signs of improvement in the 2012 real estate market continue to emerge as the year progresses. While the numbers vary from location to location, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), existing-home sales rose 3.4 percent in April and remain above a year ago. At the same time, home prices continued to rise. These improvements in sales and prices were broad based across all regions.

    Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in April; this is 10 percent higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011.

    According to the chief economist at NAR, Lawrence Yun, the latest numbers are a clear sign that a real estate-market recovery is underway. What’s more, this recovery is not just being sparked by investors who plan to rent for profit, but by individual buyers who intend to call the house they buy home.

    Yun also reports that, “The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”

    This decreasing inventory of foreclosed property is helping home values stabilize and increase in some areas. We are even beginning to see multiple offers and escalating price conditions in highly desirable areas.  According to NAR, the national median existing-home price for all housing types jumped 10.1 percent in April from a year ago, following a 3.1 percent increase in March. This marks the first back-to-back price increase since June and July of 2010—and even then, the gains were less than one percent.

    To take full advantage of this turning point in the real estate market, prospective homebuyers should take the following steps:
    Look into financing early on in the search process. Lending conditions are still tight, so talk to a professional real estate agent who can provide advice on increasing your credit score before making an offer on a home.
    Narrow down the areas/neighborhoods in which you’re most interested. Work with an agent who’s experienced in these communities and can provide in-depth details on schools, culture, commutes, activities, etc.
    Search online to focus in on the homes you’re most interested in. This will shorten the time spent with your agent visiting properties and open houses.
    Rely on a credible agent to guide you in making the best offer. Your bid on the home will be greatly influenced by hyper-local conditions. An experienced agent will know important details such as whether or not there is competition for the home you’re interested in, or if the sellers are in a hurry to sell. These details can make or break your offer.

    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.
  • As Prices Stabilize and Inventory Shrinks, This Could be the Time to Sell

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Delaware County, Home Buying in Delaware County, Home Selling in Delaware County  |  May 11, 2012 11:46 AM  |  252 views  |  No comments
    According to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), median existing single-family home prices are firming in many metropolitan areas, while improving sales and declining inventory are creating more balanced conditions.

    The median existing single-family home price rose in 74 out of 146 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on closings in the first quarter from the same quarter in 2011. Additionally, a new breakout of income requirements on a metro basis shows most buyers have the necessary income to buy a home in their area, assuming a favorable credit rating.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects home prices to continue to improve. “Given the steadily dwindling supply of inventory and notably higher listing prices that are being negotiated today, prices are expected to show further improvements in the near future,” he explains.

    This slowly dwindling housing inventory is good news for homeowners who had wanted to sell their home over the past few years, but who held off until prices began improving. According to the NAR report, at the end of the first quarter of this year, there were 2.37 million existing homes available for sale, which is 21.8 percent below the close of the first quarter of 2011 when there were 3.03 million homes on the market.  There has been a sustained downtrend since inventories set a record of 4.04 million in the summer of 2007.

    What’s more, total existing-home sales, including single-family homes and condos, increased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in the first quarter - 5.3 percent above the 4.34 million level during the first quarter of 2011 when sales spiked.

    “This is the highest first quarter sales pace since 2007,” says Yun.  “With strong market fundamentals, total home sales this year should rise 7 to 10 percent.”

    Among the groups currently driving home sales and prices are first-time buyers, many of whom have been renting until the market – and their financial situations – showed signs of improvement. First-time buyers purchased 33 percent of homes in the first quarter.

    More good news for prospective home sellers - the share of all-cash home purchases in the first quarter was 32 percent, up from 29 percent in the fourth quarter.  Investors, drawn by bargain prices and who make up the bulk of cash purchasers, accounted for 22 percent of all transactions in the first quarter, up from 19 percent in the fourth quarter; they were 21 percent a year ago.

    If you’re considering putting your home on the market as favorable conditions continue to tick upward, contact a real estate professional who is knowledgeable on the nuances of your particular neighborhood. Remember, no matter what the national data shows, real estate is ultimately a local business.
    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

    Source: Top 5 In Real Estate
  • Homebuyers Move off the Fence as Mortgage Rates Drop Yet Again

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Delaware County, Home Buying in Delaware County, Rent vs Buy in Delaware County  |  February 17, 2012 10:55 AM  |  275 views  |  No comments
    If you’ve been considering buying your first home or moving up to a larger home, conditions have once again turned in your favor. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey, mortgage rates hit yet another record low, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 4.12 percent. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.29 discount and origination points.

    Meanwhile, the average 15-year fixed mortgage retreated to 3.34 percent, while the jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage slid to 4.55 percent. The average 5-year and 7-year adjustable mortgage rates dropped to 3.02 percent and 3.24 percent, respectively. All of these are record lows. 

    This most recent drop in rates was just announced by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, along with a pledge to keep short-term interest rates on hold until late 2014. However, given the continued volatility in the market, along with the unpredictable nature of a presidential election year, if you’re considering a home purchase or a refinance, act quickly to take full advantage of low rates.

    Bankrate points out just how significant these historic rates really are. Think about this: The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was November 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now at 4.12 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $968.72, a difference of $273 per month for anyone refinancing now.

    Here are other important specifics from Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey:
    30-year fixed: 4.12 percent - down from 4.25 percent last week (avg. points: 0.29)
    15-year fixed: 3.34 percent - down from 3.45 percent last week (avg. points: 0.30)
    5/1 ARM: 3.02 percent - down from 3.09 percent last week (avg. points: 0.31)
    If you’d like to take advantage of these incredible market conditions, remember to do the following before embarking on your home search:
    Make sure your finances are in order and your credit is in good shape.
    Research homes in neighborhoods you’re interested in online first to help narrow your selection. This will save time when viewing homes in person, allowing you to place a bid faster.
    If you need to sell your current home first, contact a real estate professional right away to find out what repairs/improvements you might need to make before putting your home on the market.

    As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

    Source: Top 5 In Real Estate
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