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Ronn Huth's Blog

By Ronn Huth | Broker in Boston, MA
  • Housing Recovery Drives Economic Growth

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  February 4, 2013 11:10 AM  |  91 views  |  1 comment

    Many economists identify our housing recovery as the primary driver of economic growth this year.  The bursting of the housing bubble plunged the economy into a recession from which we are finally beginning to recover. 

    Economists say this could finally be the year that housing lifts us out of the doldrums.  Home sales saw the strongest rebound in the past five years and will most likely remain the strongest component for growth in 2013. according to Keith Hembre, chief economist of Nuveen Asset management.

    There is a lot of pent up demand for housing and low inventory.  This will stimulate new construction and existing home sales.  As demand continues to improve, home builders’ inventory decreases and they have to keep building.  This could also increase manufacturing jobs in the arena of products needed in new homes.

    Economists suggest say that the tight supply and renewed demand for housing should lead to higher home values.  Estimates are up to nearly a 4% increase.

    Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist of Deutsche Bank, says "Even small moves in home prices can have large effects on consumption, because housing comprises such a significant share of household assets". 

    Better home values can affect both consumer psychology on spending as well as their actual finances.  But even with the bullish outlook on housing, economists are still forecasting only a modest rise in the overall economy this year. 

    The consensus estimate is for economic growth of about 2.4% in 2013, only a modest improvement from the 2012 growth rate of about 2% they're forecasting when the final numbers are in.

    Let’s hope that Captiol Hill can consider make the necessary decisons that encourage economic health.

    Homebuyers should be looking with eperienced buyer’s agents who can protect them in a economy where inventory is low, prices are rising, and competition is getting a bit ferocious. 

    Ronn Huth (8900) 25 BUYER 

  • Home Repairs and Remolding are on the Increase

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  February 1, 2013 3:57 AM  |  92 views  |  No comments

    As the overall housing market begins to show signs of life, more and more homeowners are repairing and remodeling their homes.

    In recent years falling prices discouraged homeowners from repairing or expanding a house, but rising prices have given them confidence to undertake delayed projects and homeowners are taking action.

    The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently commented that “foreclosed properties are being rehabilitated, sustainable home improvements are gaining in popularity and homeowners are retrofitting their home to accommodate their evolving needs.”

    Who are these remodeling homeowners?

    Some are homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Government programs award these owners with tax benefits so they are not as new to the mix.

    Older homeowners fixing up their home for retirement are also a major source of new business for remodeling.  Aging baby boomers will retrofit their homes to better accommodate their retirement years. 

    Younger households who previously were cautious are now likely to move ahead on long-delayed projects to accommodate growing families.  

    As long as the overall economy continues to improve, it is expected that remodeling demand will continue to pick up. 

    And, of course, with the housing market showing some rebound more potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork to find homes they can afford and that means fixer uppers will be more in demand.  

    Most buyer agents can help consumers find reputable contractors but this should be a time for home buyers to engage a buyer agent committed to helping find the best house for the best price and terms.

    Ronn Huth (800) 25 BUYER 

  • Establish Good Credit Habits

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  January 28, 2013 2:48 AM  |  104 views  |  No comments

    2013 will be an important year for those in the home buying market to improve their credit to get lower rates in home purchase mortgages. 

    Here are some things you can do to establish and maintain good credit.

    Pull your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to make sure there are no errors.  Keeping tabs on your credit is imperative! 

    Pay down your credit card debt. A good goal is to keep your debt at 20% or less of your specific card credit limit.  Make 2013 the year you are finally free of burdensome credit card debt.  Don’t take every credit card offered to you.  Make sure you understand their rate and terms. 

    Set aside time to regularly educate yourself about credit and debt.  There are life long benefits to understanding and applying what you learn.  Certainly you would evaluate any financial investments you are considering.  It is equally important to understand credit and debt issues from a financial perspective. 

    Also, educate yourself about identity theft.  Use your credit reports to help ensure that your identity is safe and thus help prevent identity theft from happening to you.

    When you start shopping for a home purchase loan, don’t apply to too many lenders in a short time period.  Too many inquiries will negatively impact your credit rating. 

    A good buyer’s agent will help put you in touch with a good lender who you can trust to educate you and walk you through the process.  

    Ronn Huth (800) 25 BUYER


  • Who's Buying Now that the Market Has Turned?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  January 25, 2013 7:08 AM  |  98 views  |  1 comment

    It seem pretty obvious that this past year we finally saw the housing market bottom out.  Assuming rates continue to be low and the job market stabilizes our economy will grow and this new year should see a lot of home buying activity.

    Foreclosed homeowners who are currently renting homes will come back into the market because owning is as cheap or cheaper than renting.  Their interest rates may be a bit higher, but relatively low in comparison to years past.

    Many first time homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence waiting for a signal the bottom has been reached will realize values are going to increase and possibly price them out of the market will push many of them off the fence into the home buying market.  FHA and VA loans still allow minimum down payment.

    Investors buying properties for rental and those flipping houses will increase in numbers as they see the housing market as the best return on their money with comparatively minimal risk given the rate of return.

    Home owners who had crushed hopes of moving up will feel good about the appreciation that carries them above water and enables the purchase of a larger and more suitable home.

    Parents with the desire but not the space for multi-generational living will be able to purchase more adequate space in a home that can accommodate kids and grandkids. 

    Empty nesters and people who have retired will regain lost equity in their homes and be able to sell and often downsize with a cash purchase.

    We welcome them all to the home buying market and wish them well.  Although we can help home owners find a good listing agent and company, as an Exclusive Buyer Agency we are particularly focused on helping with advocacy and integrity on the buying side.

    Ronn Huth (800) 25 BUYER


  • Buying a Home is Cheaper than Renting

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  January 24, 2013 4:50 AM  |  113 views  |  2 comments
    Buying a home continues to be less expensive than renting in the Boston area.  Recent studies and surveys have almost belabored the point based on home values and historically low interest rates.  But new data suggests renters have clearly noticed the trend and many plan to jump into the home buying market sooner rather than later.

    60% of renters who hope to one day own a home now plan to buy one in the next two years, according to a survery by national homebuilder Pulte Group. The top three reasons cited were to live the American Dream of home ownership, viewing home ownership as a good financial investment, and the need for more space and freedom provided in most rental situations.

    Deborah Meyer, senior vice president of Pulte Group, says, "Homeownership is more attainable than ever with historically low mortgage rates and competitive pricing, as well as affordable new homes designed for first-time home buyers coming into the market."

    But there are also some reasons why some renters are still holding out.  Of course, some renters still not convinced that buying is cheaper than renting.  Other reasons include not having enough down payment for a home and fear of job loss. 

    Another survey turned up some interesting expectations regarding multi-generational housing.

    31% of homeowners with children aged 16 to 30 and those with living parents anticipate having at least one child returning to the nest down the road.

    That should help usher in a boom period for both homebuilders and home sellers.

    Nearly half of homeowners who are expecting their children to return will either renovate their existing home or purchase a new one.

    If you find yourself in this situation, and decide to buy rather than renovate, look for an agent who will look out for your best interest.

    Ronn Huth (800) 25 BUYER
  • How is an Exclusive Buyer's Agent Different from Others?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  January 7, 2013 9:38 AM  |  126 views  |  No comments

    When we EBA’s look at houses together with our buyer-clients, we look at them with a critical eye. We point out reasons for NOT buying a house, and we also point out maintenance issues, as well as possible safety concerns.

    This is only preliminary, because if you are really interested in buying a property, we want to recommend a thorough Home Inspection with a proven and thorough Home Inspector. Mass State law only allows Buyer Agents to recommend home inspectors. 

    We can comfortably do this because it isn't our listing or our company’s listing.  Thus we have nothing to lose.  We have no listings and no allegiance to any sellers. 

    Our only allegiance is with our client, the buyer. And while most traditional agents only use the standard boilerplate contracts, we'll use other attorney approved clauses to further protect you during your purchase.

    As an Exclusive Buyer’s Agency we give 100% loyalty to home buyers 100% of the time. You will never have to ask who we're working for!

    Ronn Huth (800) 25 BUYER

  • Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Buyer's Agent

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston  |  January 5, 2013 3:49 AM  |  168 views  |  3 comments

    1.     What specific training have you had in representing homebuyers?

    Many agents have had no training at all.  See if they talk about specific buyer agency and negotiation classes.

    2.     What certifications in Buyer Agency have you earned?

    Certifications include the ABR, ABRM, CBA, CBB, CBR, CEBA, MCBA

    3.     If your office also represents sellers, how do you handle conflicts?

    Conflicts would not occur in offices that represent buyers only.  You need to know exactly what will happen.

    4.     What happens if I want to buy a property you have personally listed?

    It’s bad enough if the seller is being represented in the same office, but by  the same person is a huge conflict.

    5.     How does your approach differ from other real estate salespeople?

    A true buyer's agent will not think of themselves as a sales person.  What will they do differently from others?

    6.     Will you show me "entry only" and other discount listings?

    Some agents will not show these listings becasue of inconvenience and they are afraid of the liability.

    7.     How aggressively will you pursue For Sale By Owner homes for me?

    Many will just not go after FSBOs.  Maybe, if you found it.  But EBAs will be aggressive in finding FSBOs for you.

    8.     What other properties will you show me which are not in the MLS?

    Most agents avoid shoiwng Foreclosures, Expired Listings,  and Properties not currently on the market.

    9.     Name fiduciary services and tell me how you’d provide them to me?

    Obedience to your instructions, Undivided Loyalty, Full Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accountability, Due Diligence.   

    10.     What help will you provide me in the lending process?

    There is conflict with an in-house lender.  Will  they help you shop rates? 

    11. Give examples of how you will save me time, money and problems?

    Save money on price, inspection issues, loan, attorney, insurance.  How are time and money savings  provided.

    12. How can you really be working for me if the Seller is paying you?

    Getting paid a percentage of  the purchase  price is a conflict.  How are they  paid?  Can they explain their answer?

    13. What state and national buyer agency associations do you belong to?

    Mass Association of Buyer Agents, REBAC, National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents.

    14. Tell me how you protected and negotiated for your recent buyers?

    A good  agent will have immediate illustrations from recent purchases. 

    15. Explain your role in the Home Inspection process?

    Will they recommend someone?  How about different types of inspections?  Negotiate inspection issues? 

    16.  How will you help me know if, when, and how much to offer.

    Will they help you walk away from a bad purchase.  What will and won’t they tell you about your offer?

    17.  What if another buyer in your office wants the same property I want?

    Will they make you compete to see who will pay the most?

    18.  What if you as my agent have another buyer who wants it too? 

    How are they going to give undivided loyalty to both of you?

    19. What unique skills and experience do you bring me?

    How experienced as a Buyer’s Agent?  Appraisal or lending skills?  Contractor experience?  Legal background?
    20. Why should I hire you?
    Do they understand that your are hiring them to work for you?  That makes you the boss!

    Ronn Huth (800) 25-BUYER
    Exclusive Buyer's Agent (EBA)

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