All posts by Steve Cook
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October 20, 2017

When Should Sellers Consider Reducing Price?

A slow-selling home is a sign that you have a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. There can be many reasons that you are not receiving an offer. You need to find out what it is and take steps to solve the problem.

Nationally, the average time on market for homes today is about a month—much faster than normal due to the inventory shortage. Time on market is the number of days between the time a home is listed on the multiple listing services (MLS), and the time that owner signs a contract from a buyer. This number varies greatly from market to market. For example, this summer, homes in Seattle were selling in less than ten days while in Chicago there were selling in 46 [...]

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October 4, 2017

5 Ways to Benefit From New Mortgage Technology

No longer the “stuff of science fiction,” artificial intelligence (AI) is at the heart of a new wave of technology – transforming mortgage lending. Today, lenders are applying powerful new tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning to make the process of underwriting and approving mortgages faster and more accurate. Access to massive sources of consumer behavior and transactional data on properties, plus the ability to process that, is helping lenders validate employment income, assets, and home values.

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the ability to learn for themselves without being [...]

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September 28, 2017

Is This the Season to Buy a Premium Home?

America is in the throes of a record three-year-long drought of homes for sale. Through July, the national inventory of homes for sale had fallen 18 percent since 2014. As summer ends, homes sell in 30 days or less, 37 percent faster than they did three years ago. Shortages have contributed to inflationary price increases, bidding wars among buyers and declining home sales are falling as buyers withdraw from real estate markets until conditions improve.

However, these averages tell just part of the story. Shortages are much worse for lower-priced, more affordable homes. In many markets, supplies of higher priced, or “premium priced” homes are adequate or even [...]

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September 19, 2017

Welcome to the Fall Sales Season!

Bargains for Buyers and Decisions for Sellers

One word summarizes post-Labor Day real estate markets: motivation. Sellers are motivated to get their deals done by the holidays or risk waiting until the spring season. Buyers are motivated by a temporary reduction in competition and the prospect of bargains. First frost and turning leaves remind both sellers and buyers that time is short to close sales before the year ends.

Traditionally, the fall season begins with a significant decline of buyers. According to National Association of Realtors home buying statistics, about one-third of home buyers are families with children under 18, and most of these try to close on their new [...]

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September 13, 2017

Tips on Buying a Beach Condo and the Best Locations to Buy

Does it make sense to continue to rent a place at your favorite beach resort each summer? With rising rent prices, wouldn’t it make more sense to put that money towards purchasing a vacation house that will build equity, provide a deduction on your mortgage interest and even make you little money if you rent it out for a couple of weeks each year?

A beach condo might be the perfect answer. They cost less than single family homes, the upkeep is cheaper and the buying options can be better in markets where new construction is creating new inventory. The demand is strong for vacation properties, especially in the nation’s hottest beach destinations.

Five [...]
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September 1, 2017

Why It’s Smart to Invest in College Town Real Estate

The annual end-of-summer ritual of returning sons and daughters to their colleges or universities for the coming academic year brings parents to campus communities. As they drive past rows of rental houses and high-rise apartments, some might think about participating in one of the fastest growing trends in real estate.

Why not buy a single-family rental or a condo close to campus to cover their child’s housing expenses and make a profitable real estate investment that will appreciate and generate rental income for years to come?

College town real estate is a hot market because the tenant base of students and faculty in college communities assures a consistent [...]

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August 18, 2017

How Do You List a For-Sale-By-Owner, and More! – Cook’s Corner

Is it possible to purchase a home with no down payment?

Two government programs, the Veterans’ Affairs home loan program and the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing program, provide mortgages to eligible borrowers that require no down payment.

To qualify for a VA loan, you must be a veteran with at least 90 days active duty or a surviving spouse of an eligible veteran. You can find more information on qualifying for a VA loan on the VA website. To qualify for a USDA guaranteed home loan, you must live in a rural or semi-rural county and have an income that is lower than the local median income level. To see if you qualify, go to the [...]

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August 11, 2017

Where are the Nation’s Top Magnet Schools?

Proximity to good schools is one of the most important factors influencing home buying. The quality of local schools influences the neighborhood choice of “one out of four buyers” and “half of all buyers who have children younger than 18 years old,” according to a 2016 profile of home buyers and sellers.

Good schools not only make a lasting difference in a child’s quality of life; they also have a direct impact on home values. A recent RealtyTrac study found that in zip codes with at least one good school, the average estimated home value was “77 percent higher” than in other zip codes. Homes bought in zip codes with good schools [...]

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