Welcome To The Alba Group's Blog

On a weekly basis we bring up to date current information about the real estate market in Medford, Eagle Point, Pheonix and the surrounding areas of Jackson County and Josephine County Oregon.!

Tag Archives: first-time buyer

Oct 31 2013

Mistakes Home Owners Often Make With Their House

When it comes to remodeling or taking care of a house, some homeowners make some unrealistic choices. Do not go overboard on the remodeling of your house.  It is so easy to get caught up in the emotional attachment or the designing that you can throw the budget out the window. Be realistic about pet odor.  Animals can be wonderful and bring us great joy.  But along with that they bring odors and hair.  Big or small they all smell and they likely shed as well.  You should have your carpets and furniture cleaned at least every six months and open the windows frequently to help get rid of any pet odors. Do not remove walls unless you verify they are not load bearing.  It can be disastrous if you do not get the help of a professional contractor. Curb appeal separates one neighborhood from another.  Unkempt yards can reduce property values.  Do not be “that” neighbor who does not mow their lawn or trim the shrubs.   Related articles Remove Those Pet Odors With These Quick Tips

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Mar 10 2011

621 Sheffield Drive, Eagle Point

New construction in Barton Hills Estates by Ryan Blackwell. Spacious 3-bedroom/2-bath home on a nicely sized lot with great upgrades and features: granite counters in kitchen and both baths, wood laminate flooring, upgraded trim and applicance package, gas fireplace, and more! Front and back yards are landscaped and sprinklered, the back yard is fully fenced, and there is RV parking plus a front porch. Compare overall value to other new and pre-owned homes.

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Oct 02 2010

Buying your first home – 8 steps

You’ve heard it over and over:  Now is a great time to buy a home!  But you’re thinking, “I’ve never done that before…I don’t even know where to start!”  The process can be overwhelming, but if you learn a little bit about the process, you’re sure to feel more confident once you find that first dream home. First, read this eBook, Only 8 Steps to Home.  Then, call an experienced real estate broker who specializes in representing Buyers like you.  Hey, how about someone from the alba group @ Keller Williams Realty? [pdf thealbagroup.com/marketing/8Steps.pdf 640 770]

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Sep 16 2010

10 reasons it STILL makes sense to buy a house

Despite a recent cover story in Time Magazine, it still makes great sense to buy a house, for most of the traditional reasons, like tax advantages and growth over time. But in today’s market, there are even more compelling reasons, like the relatively low cost of housing (especially compared to say, 2006) and the historically low interest rates that are making homes affordable for those who, in 2006, thought they wold never be able to afford a home. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal for the top 10 reason it still makes sense to buy a house.

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Sep 04 2010

Why the First-Time Buyer Tax Credit shouldn’t matter anymore

Realtors all over the country scrambled in the early months of 2010 to find homes for buyers and sign purchase agreements by April 30, 2010, the deadline for the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit. Once the deadline for the first-time home buyer tax credit passed, real estate activity dropped, as evidenced by July’s statistics for pending real estate sales.  Many regions, including southern Oregon, have seen a corresponding drop in prices:  sellers whose homes didn’t sell in the wave of first-time buyer purchases have found it necessary to lower prices in order to entice buyers to look at and write offers on their homes. Thinking about this logically, there is a far better long-term advantage to waiting and purchasing a home at the lower prices we are seeing in the market now than paying a slightly inflated price and receiving a one-time $8,000 tax credit.  Combine the lower prices with the historically low interest rates currently being offered by banks and mortgage companies, and those lower monthly payments could add up to far more than $8,000 over the life of a 30-year loan. In an attempt to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, many first-time buyers may have purchased a home as a hasty, emotional decision.  Without the pressure of a deadline, first-time buyers, working with qualified Realtors who have their clients’ best interests in mind, can now make rational, informed home purchasing decisions, and realize the long-term advantages of buying a home at a lower price. Now there’s talk about bringing back the tax credit.  But as this article indicates, the tax credit in the most recent buying frenzy went to people who would have likely purchased homes anyway.  Thinking long-term, not re-instating the tax credit makes sense not only for first-time buyers, but also for the overall stability of the national real estate market, and the United States economy as a whole.

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Sep 03 2010

Mistakes to avoid when buying a home

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal provides some great tips to keep in mind when buying a home.  This advice is especially important for first-time buyers, who easily fall into the trap of making an emotional decision when buying that first home. Snubbing the real estate agent – Realtors are paid by the Seller (in most cases), so why not use an expert when buying your home? Guesstimating how much you can afford – Get pre-approved before looking at houses.  You may learn that you can afford more than you think.  Or less than you think.  And in today’s market, most sellers (especially bank-owned properties) require that you submit a pre-approval letter with your offer. Letting charm cloud your judgment – An older home can be charming, but can come with many hidden problems.  Pay for a home inspection, and realize that you’re going to need more money for maintenance than you would if you purchased a newer home. Focusing on the house, not the ‘hood – Make sure you spend plenty of time in the neighborhood.  You can paint a room or change the carpet, but you can’t change your neighbors (well, at least not very easily!).  You’re probably going to be there a while, so make sure you LOVE it! Make arbitrary offers – It may be a “Buyer’s Market,” but most sellers, even banks, won’t accept a low-ball offer far below market value.  Find the house you love, in a neighborhood you love, and make a fair offer.  There’s never a right price for the wrong house.

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Apr 13 2010

Buy a HUD Home for $100 down – SERIOUSLY!

Do you have good credit, low debt-to-income ratio, but no money to put down on a house?  You can buy one of these homes with just $100, plus get money back to make repairs/improvements! AND there’s still time to qualify for the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit (deadline April 30, 2010). If you’d like more information on this program, give us a call – we’d love to help you buy your first home!

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Apr 07 2010

Oregon Realtors, Banks give $2,000 to low-mid income home buyers

The Oregon Association of Realtors and the Oregon Bankers Association announced today a new program for low- to mid-income home buyers. Through the “Home Sweet Home” Program, a qualified borrower can get a grant in the amount of $2,000 to assist in the purchase of his/her first home. You can find more information at this link, or feel free to give us a call!

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Mar 03 2010

Why now is the time to list your home for sale

Everyone wants to buy a home at the bottom of the market (when prices are at their lowest), and sell at the top (when prices are at their highest).  The problem is, no one can predict when the market will be at the bottom or the top.  So the question to ask yourself is, “Am I ready to sell?” or “Am I ready to buy?” If you’re still not sure, then you might want to look at outside indicators to help you determine, at least for yourself, when is a good time to buy/sell.  Here are a couple to consider: Housing Predictor expects home prices in Medford to fall 11.8% in 2010, due to the continued unemployment in southern Oregon’s lumber/logging industry and the increasing inventory of foreclosed and distressed property. First-time home buyers are flooding the market in search of homes which, five years ago, they could not afford.  In fact, Medford was recently listed third in the list of top ten U.S. cities for real estate deals. If you’re thinking of sellling, wouldn’t it be better to have your home on the market now, rather than what is typically considered the prime market (May-June)?

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Jan 18 2010

FHA Relaxes 90-day “flipping” rule

Last week the Federal Housing Administration announced new rules that will make it easier for FHA-qualified buyers to purchase distressed properties that have been rehabilitated by investors. Current FHA rules require that a person selling a home must own the home for a minimum of 90 days before entering into an agreement to re-sell the home.  In today’s market, many bank-owned properties are sold in “as-is” condition; properties bought at the foreclosure auction are often in need of major repairs or remodeling to make them desirable to less-than handy or cash-strapped first-time buyers. These properties then sit on the market for an extended period of time:  investors aren’t willing to wait-out the 90-day rule, and many FHA buyers aren’t interested in properties in poor or “as-is” condition.  this leads to further neighborhood blight, vacant properties that get vandalized, and a further decline in market value. The new FHA rules allow “HUD-owned properties, bank-owned properties, or properties resold through private sales” to be re-sold to qualified FHA borrowers within 90 days provided the following criteria are met: All transactions must be arms-length (the buyer and seller-and other parties participating in the transaction-cannot have a common interest in the transaction) If the sales price of the property is more than 20% of the seller’s acquisition cost, the FHA-lender must be able to justify the high sales price (prove that extensive remodeling/rehabilitation/repairs has/have occurred, for example). Does not apply to “reverse” mortgages and the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program. All in all, this is good news for both home buyers as well as real estate investors, and should help speed neighborhood stabilization.  Investors now have an incentive to purchase foreclosed and bank-owned property, rehabilitate it quickly, and place it on the market for resale quickly.  This minimizes the time distressed properties are vacant, minimizes the time (= risk) an investor has to hold a property, and helps home buyers get into their new homes more quickly.

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