Make Your Home Offer the Most Appealing
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Sales in February 2023 were up 14.5% month over month and still down 22.6% year over year according to the NAR Housing Snapshot.  The median sales price dipped 0.2% to $363,000 and there are 2.6 months supply of homes on the market compared to 1.7 months a year ago. "Inventory levels are still at historic lows, and consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties." According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS´┐Ż. It is still important to have a strategy for potentially competing with other buyers on the house you want to bu ..read more
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Tell Me More About Closing Costs
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
There are fees and expenses associated with mortgages that must be paid by the closing date for closing costs, and pre-paid items, in addition to the down payment.  These amounts can vary according to the type of loan, mortgage company, customary practices of the area, and the terms of the contact. According to Freddie Mac, the amounts could vary between 2-5% which is considerable.  Most buyers want a more specific number and that can depend on the conditions mentioned previously. For buyers, the largest amounts are loan origination fees which is usually one percent of the amount ..read more
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Negotiating Your Position
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
The seller wants the most for their home and the buyer wants to pay the least possible.  From the very beginning of the homebuying process, there are adversarial positions between the principals.  If you happen to be in a multi-offer situation, it just complicates things further. Then, there are the emotions that tend to cloud the decision making on both sides of the transaction.  Sellers have lived in the home for years, possibly, with cherished family experiences and maybe, having put considerable effort and money into capital improvements. On the buyer side, they may have ..read more
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Concessions Make Your Home More Marketable
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Sellers offer concessions as an incentive to encourage buyers to purchase their home.  The concessions, paid for by the seller, benefit the buyer in ways that may be more appealing than possibly, being able to purchase the home for a lower price. In some situations, buyers have good income, credit, and even the down payment to purchase a home but not necessarily enough cash reserves to pay their closing costs.  Another possibility is that there could be a feature in the home that the buyer wants replaced but can't afford to do it themselves.  If the seller agrees to make that i ..read more
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Securing Your Retirement
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Social Security was established, on August 14, 1935, to take care of the country's elderly in their retirement years.  Today, about 65 million or 1/6 of Americans collect benefits and the average monthly retirement amount received in January 2022 was $1,614 per month or about $19,370 per year. This annual Social Security benefits exceed the 2022 Federal poverty level of $13,590 for individuals and $18, 310 for a family of two but from a practical level, it is nowhere near enough to be comfortable in your "Golden Years." Every adult in the work force, can go to SSA.gov to find out what to ..read more
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Homeowners Need Resources
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Managing an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is a responsibility that requires attention to details such as timely payment of the mortgage, home repairs and maintenance, upkeep, and oversight on financial issues including taxes, insurance, and other things. Depending on how long you've been a homeowner, you may have faced some of the decisions common to homeownership.  Occasionally, there could be something new that you haven't had to deal with in the past.  This is where having resource you can rely on becomes valuable. During the buying or selling process, it is natura ..read more
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When will the market turn?
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Housing affordability has declined dramatically in 2022 due to continued rising home prices and a three-percentage point jump in mortgage rates.  Based on the popularity of Google searches for "housing bust" or "housing bubble", it could be surmised that buyers are anticipating relief, but they are probably not going to see it anytime soon. Home price appreciation is moderating and is down from the 20% level experienced in 2021.  Some of the major industry prognosticators are estimating anywhere from 9% to 14% for 2022.  Interest rates are expected to continue to rise through t ..read more
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Kim Harwood elected to the Alabama Association of Realtors
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
Congratulations to Kim Harwood for being elected to the 2023 Alabama Association of Realtors Board of Directors ..read more
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Another Tool To Improve Affordability
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
The rapid rise in mortgage rates during 2022 coupled with continued appreciation of home prices have limited the number of buyers in the market which is reflected by the lower number of home sales currently.  "It's a fact that many households are impacted by higher mortgage rates as they no longer earn the qualifying income for the median-priced home." Nadia Evangelou, NAR Economist One of the things that agents are doing to help buyers lower their house payments is to suggest an adjustable-rate mortgage.  The rates on these types of loans are tied to indexes that reflect the curre ..read more
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GIFT AMOUNT INCREASED IN 2022
Harwood Real Estate Blog
by Kim Harwood
6M ago
The limit for tax free gifts for 2022 is $16,000 and no tax is due to the donor or the donee. There are provisions that would allow gifts higher than this amount providing the total lifetime gifts above the annual exclusion of $12.06 million for 2022 has not be met. The donor and donee can be separate persons so that the aggregate tax-free gift for one-year amounts to more money. For instance, a father and mother can gift $16,000 each to their married son in 2022 and an additional $16,000 each to the daughter-in-law for a total $64,000. If the son and daughter-in-law used the money as a down ..read more
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