Location! Location! Location!

Location! Location! Location!

You hear it all the time but what does it actually mean?  Location! Location! Location!  Let me explain from a  real estate agent’s perspective.

Location is by far the most important quality when buying a home.  Location determines many things from what school district it is zoned to and how far it is from work. 

The reality is homes can be changed both in the inside and out.  Sometimes those changes can be easy and cheap while others are a bit more expensive but none the less those options exist.  Location however is something that can not be changed, that land isn’t moving anytime soon so it is very important.

Buyers want to be in a certain school district which is another important factor, however remember this is determined by location.  Also how far or close they will be from work, shopping, church and family come in to play as well.  Location cannot be changed and see it tends to be the most important factor.

Let’s look at two extreme examples, both involve your dream home.  In your mind think of what your dream home looks like but don’t put it anywhere just yet.  Let’s start by putting it right next to a landfill, busy intersection, gas station and even busy shopping center.  Still like it?  Now lets move that home to back up to the beach in a quiet neighborhood.  Now how do you like it?

While that example is extreme the home was the same yet we had to responses, no I don’t like it and yes I love it.  Same house but different location.  Location is very important and you should keep that in mind, not just for when you buy but also when you sell as it will be important to the next buyers as well.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Interest Rates In Perspective

Interest Rates In Perspective

Mortgage interest rates continue to go up and for many buyers this worries them but I wanted to take a moment to put mortgage interest rates in perspective.  Rates are important and yes an increase in a rate can make it more expensive to borrow money.  However we are still seeing low rates despite the increases when compared to the last couple of decades.

Currently as of June 2018 a mortgage interest rates are hovering around the high 4.75% range and up.  Remember rates change several times even in one day and the terms affect your rate.  Someone putting more money down and financing for 10 years could have a lower rate than someone putting 3% down over 30 years.  Terms matter but for the sake of keeping all things equal we will focus on minimum down payments and a 30 year mortgage.

If we look back just five to eight years we will see rates have been in a fantasy land.  The rates hit all time lows in the three percent range which is behind ridiculous when you take a step back.  With that kind of rate you are not far from borrowing money for free.

September 11, 2001 changed our nation and it had a negative affect on our economy.  As  a result rates were lowered to get our economy up and going again which lasted for twelve plus years.  The second major issue was the recession in the 2008 time period and several years afterward which also kept the rates low.  Since then the economy has gained strength and as a result you are starting to see those rates increase.

But let’s look at the early 2000’s, you were seeing rates in the six and seven percent range which was normal if not very good.  After September 11 is when you first start this plunge in interest rates.  The nineties were strong economic times for our country and our rates reflected that.  It wasn’t uncommon to see seven percent and up be a standard rate.  

How about the eighties?  This decade had its fair share of financial hits which are reflected by the fluctuation of rates at that time.  It is in the eighties that you saw double digit interest rates as high as eighteen percent!  How would that fly in today’s market, trying to buy a home with that type of interest rate.

I like to look back at history and remind ourselves of how lucky we really are to have such low rates.  Remember we didn’t even discuss the down payment requirements, those too are really low.  In the past a minimum of 20% or more of a down payment was not out of the ordinary.  So as you see the rates increase be sure to keep it all in perspective, it has been much worse and we are not even close to those times.  We are still living in a mortgage interest rate fantasyland in my opinion.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Win In A Multiple Offer Situation

How To Win In A Multiple Offer Situation

You finally found the home you want to make an offer only to find out it has multiples offers… has this happened to you?  Tired of running in to this situation over and over?  Are you done with your offer not getting accepted for the tenth time?  Let me show you some tips of how to win in a multiple offer situation.

First and foremost let me just say that you can’t win them all, there is always someone who may be in a stronger financial position and more willing to give more for a property.  It could be a cash offer above asking price that wins the bid, but can you blame the seller?  A cash offer has no strings attached, is guaranteed and no appraisal issues to deal with either.  So just know those are out there and they can be tough to beat, but the tips I give you will get you very close if not better than their offers.

Remember sales price isn’t everything, this is a big myth that needs to go away thinking the sales price is the most important item.  In reality the sales price is just part of it but none the less it is important.  The most important item tends to be the seller’s bottom line, which is different the the sales price. 

Do your home work, as an agent I start by doing research to see where the property stands compared to the market.  This will help you determine a good price to offer whether it is at the asking sales price, lower or higher. 

Next work on all the details of the contract and make each one as strong as possible.  So how much down payment will you make, earnest money, are you fully credit approved, how much time to close and what about a lease back?  Will you be asking for the seller to pay any of your closing costs?  How about an option period, how much time do you need and what amount will you pay for this option?  Would you consider doing no option?  Which could mean no inspection?  Remember when I said the sales price is not everything?  This is what I mean, get these details as strong as possible and it will make your offer really stand out.

Consider writing a personal letter to the seller on why you want the home.  Be specific to the property, maybe it is the layout or the neighborhood or because you grew up on the same street.  Maybe you like the back yard or the remodeled kitchen the seller had done.  Find a way to make it personal about you but also about the seller’s home, this will help make your offer stand out.  Remember to many sellers this is their home and they want to see it go to a good owner who will take care of it like they did.

Remember to do some research and find out if the property is properly priced.  It is not all about the sales price, the details matter so make those as strong as possible.  Get personal by writing a personal letter to the seller on why they should pick your offer.  These tips should help make your offer stand out for sure.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How Do Multiple Offers Work?

How Do Multiple Offers Work?

Multiple offers are becoming the norm in todays market but how do they work if you happen to find yourself in this situation?  Is there a protocol a seller or listing agent must follow?  Do you get to know how many and what terms the others offers are?  

Multiple offers are very common in this market and believe it or not there is no formal process a seller or agent must follow.  I will say there are popular trends I am seeing and I will cover those with you.  

What is a multiple offer situation?  The answer is simple, this happens when a seller receives more than one offer on their property.  It can be a total of two offers or twenty two offers.  It is common in todays market for an agent to predict when a property will have multiple offers and will actually make plans on how to handle that ahead of time.  For example it is common to see a home hit the market on a Thursday or Friday with deadline for offers by Sunday afternoon.

Listing agents will often first let all the agents know there are multiple offers and then set a deadline.  Setting a deadline does two things, first it sets a time so everyone knows when they need to have their offer in but also when they will know a response.  Remember buyers don’t want to be tied up in a bidding war when they could move on to another property.  Second it also creates a sense of urgency for new buyers looking at the home so they can move quick and create a stronger offer right from the start.  This market has made buyers put their best offer up front instead of just testing the seller with a weak offer.

Once the deadline passes the listing agent will gather them all, process them and put them in an easy to understand format to present to the seller.  The seller will review them, see which one works best for their situation and pick one.  This usually occurs the next day after the deadline and is rather quick, remember you don’t want buyers getting inpatient and removing their offers.

Those are just some of the basics of how multiple offers work in case you find yourself in this situation.  Be sure to check out my video about how to make your offer stand out in a multiple offer situation.  I give you tips on making a strong offer so you can increase your chance of getting that home you really want.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Home Warranties Explained

Home Warranties Explained

I often find home warranties to be confusing to consumers as to what they actually are and what they cover.  As a result I often feel home warranties get a bad reputation because of this confusion.  Let me know explain what a home warranty is, is not and some tips to help you when working with a home warranty company.

So what exactly is a home warranty?  The home warranty I am referring to is a third party company who charges a premium in which in return they agree to cover the specific home on certain common items.  So it is not the same as home insurance or a builders warranty.  Instead a home warranty will cover common household items such as your HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, pool pump, spa, garbage disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator and even your washer & dryer.  Now let me be clear there is a fine print to all those items and some companies include some of those items while others charge an extra fee to cover some items.

So the general idea is that for 12 months you will be covered on these items, the biggest being the HVAC system.  In our example the air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, what do you do?  First call the home warranty company, tell them the issue & they will send out a contractor of theirs to take a look at the issue.  You will have a trade call or service call fee you will pay up front, usually $60 or $70.  Lets say the item is covered and the total repair bill is $450, then you are only out of pocket the service fee.

This service helps buyers of a home have a little bit more confidence and put their mind at ease knowing the risk is being shared with the home warranty company.  The main complaint I hear about home warranties happens when an item is not covered and that is where I can’t stress enough that you read the fine print on the coverages.  Too often consumers make an assumption an item is covered when in the fine print it would have disclosed it was not, this is very common.

So before you purchase a home warranty whether you are buying a home or just want the coverage for your home be sure to read the fine print.  Know what is covered, what is not, what their service fee is and what their response times are as well.  I find that being well informed about a product or service before hand can lead to a better experience with your home warranty company.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

My Thoughts: High Demand & Low Inventory Market

The current real estate market here in the North Texas area is hot just like many parts of the country and the result is a high buyer demand and a low home inventory.  What does that actually mean?  Is it in all markets?  What should a buyer or seller know going in to this market?

Let’s start with the basics and take a look at what the market is actually like.  While the news may say the real estate market is hot that is not the case everywhere.  Remember that there are many different markets within cities and like many those different markets based on price point vary.  So here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area you are seeing a strong demand for homes under $250,000.  Move in to some of the suburbs like Lewisville and the trend continues as well.  However keep in mind that once you start going up in the price you begin to see more inventory on the market as well as lower buyer demand.

So the important topic to understand is where you will be looking, what does that market look like?  What is your price point, size of home, number of bedrooms, school district, etc… that is your market.  Let’s look at that specific market and then determine how the market looks, is it hot or not?  Remember not all markets are the same so be sure to focus on your specific market and adjust accordingly to make sure you are as realistic and competitive as possible.

Remember this market won’t last forever but in the mean time if you are looking to buy or sale be sure to get as educated as possible so you can make better decisions.  I make it a point when I meet with clients that we assess where the market is that they are looking in so that we have a clear picture.  A little bit of research goes a long way to help you get in to a home faster or if you are selling to get the best price possible in the least amount of time. 

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Buyer Personal Letter Tips

Buyer Personal Letter Tips

If you haven’t already heard demand for homes is through the roof in some markets and price points that many buyers are trying to find new ways to set themselves apart.  One way to do that is by writing a personal letter from the buyer to the seller to help put a face behind the offer.  I want to give you some tips to take in to consideration if you decide to prepare a letter yourself.

So what exactly is this personal letter?  The letter is basically a brief letter introducing the buyer & expressing to the seller why they really like the home and would really appreciate it if their offer was chosen.  The intention is to put a face behind an offer which otherwise would just be another offer in a stack of offers.

First realize these letters can be effective so please be sure to take your time drafting this letter.  If you were the seller what would you want to hear?  Maybe you will be living at the home as opposed to turning around and using it as a rental property, that would make the seller feel better about the future of the home and even neighborhood.

Second be sure to make it personal, not only about you but also the home.  Maybe start by describing your family and why this home really fits your needs.  Is it the neighborhood or the layout, maybe you have a personal connection.  Don’t be afraid to open up and make it personal as this is very effective.

Also be specific to a particular property, don’t draft one letter and use it on all offers.  You should mention the layout, colors, upgrades in the kitchen, the big tree in the back yard, or anything that is specific to that home.  The reason is to point out a positive feature and how you plan to enjoy it and appreciate it but also to not sound so generic either.  If you sound too generic it can really take away from it being personal and remember after all this is a personal letter.

Keep in mind these letters don’t always work but I find the majority of the time it does make a difference.  There are still those sellers which at the end of the day is all about the bottom line regardless of who buys it and what they love about it.  That should distract you from not trying it, you will be more successful trying this method than if you didn’t.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

One Story Vs Two Story: Pros and Cons

One Story Vs Two Story: Pros and Cons

Which is right for you a one story or a two story home?  Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of each to see which may be for you.  I will also give you some insight on what I see with both types as far as demand and other things to consider.

One story homes appeal to many people for the lack of stairs, let’s face it we are not getting any younger.  The lack of stairs can make it more appealing with older buyers who see stairs as an issue as they age.  With no stairs one story homes can be more flexible with their square footage.  For this reason you will see smaller one story homes.

Two story homes offer more space and can accommodate large families.  Sometimes they can have an additional half bath as well due to the layout of the down stairs.  Since they have a smaller footprint on the lot this allows them to have a large backyard.  

Demand for a one story is stronger due to it having a larger appeal than a two story, this means a one story will be more expensive.  The positive is that you get more bang for you buck on a two story generally.  Keep in mind utilities like an electric bill on a two story may be higher due to more space to heat and cool.  Remember hot air rises so it will usually be warmer up stairs as compared to down stairs.

All these are items to take in to consideration but it all depends on your particular situation.  Remember demand is a big driver for home sales so don’t forget to think ahead for when you sell your home.  A one story will have a better resale generally so that may be better financially.  Also keep in mind we are in a hot market and everything is selling, however what happens when it cools, that hot two story may not be as hot as a one story.  

These are all things to take in to consideration and remember they vary by area and neighborhood.  If I can help answer any questions you may have please do not hesitate to contact me.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Sales Price Isn't Everything

Sales Price Isn't Everything

One mistake I often see from buyers making an offer is they only think about the sales price.  What sales price should they offer to get the home.  This is a big mistake as sales price you offer isn’t everything, instead there are many more variable to take in to consideration to make your offer more competitive.

The reality in a high demand low inventory market is the willingness for buyers to offer full price or over asking price.  The major issue with this that many buyers do not consider is the lender will want the property to appraise for the offered sales price.  The problem is many times it won’t so the seller has to consider other factors besides the sale price.

What factors am I referring too?  Well sales price isn’t everything and there are many other items to take in to consideration when putting an offer together.  For example will you be making a small down payment or large?  The smaller the down payment the higher the risk the appraisal will be an issue, so sellers like to see a higher down payment to avoid appraisal issues.  What about earnest money will you put the standard 1% or will you go higher to show you are serious?  Are you pre qualified, pre approved or fully approved for the mortgage already which is music to a seller’s ears.

How about closing costs, are you asking the seller to help pay your closing costs?  Or will you pay your own?  Will you even offer to pay the seller’s closing costs or some?

All these and many more are ways to really make your offer be strong and as you notice they have nothing to do with the sales price.  Imagine this, you offer to pay full price but offer to pay $2,000 of the seller’s closing cost, don’t ask for a home warranty and even offer to give the seller a free 10 day lease back?  Now your offer is worth more than just full price, you can add another $2,000 savings in closing costs to the sellers bottom line plus another $450 since they won’t have to pay for a home warranty.  On top off all that they can stay for 10 days free and have time to move out without being in a rush, now you see what I many about sales price not being everything?

When making an offer don’t get too caught up in the sale price instead strongly consider every other section of the contract and find ways to make every section as strong a possible.  The key however is to know your limit up front and always make your strongest offer from the start because in this market there will be no second chance.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Make An Offer

How To Make An Offer

You finally find the home you want but how do you go about making a formal offer?  Making an offer on a home for sale like anything takes proper research to make an informed decision or in this case an offer to purchase the home.

First and foremost I would recommend you work with a Realtor® as they will guide you through this process the correct way.  Start by looking up comparable homes that have sold in the same area to gauge where the market stands for this property.  You will want to make adjustments and figure out what the market activity is doing for similar homes… this will give you a good idea of where you should make an offer as far as sales price.

As you may know the sales price is just one of many pieces that go in to making a formal offer.  Most buyers just think of the sales price however there is so much more to it.

What type of financing will you be doing?  How much time will you need for credit approval?  Or are you already fully credit approved?  Will you be asking the seller to help pay for your closing costs?  How about a home warranty or do you feel confident without asking for the seller to pay for one?

Have you had a chance to review the seller’s disclosure or will you put that off until you are already under contract?  How about a survey, is there an existing survey or will a new one need to be purchased?  Who will pay for it?

How about an option period, how much will you be paying for that option?  Will it be for 10 days, 7 days, 5 days… or will you not have an option period?  Will you be doing an inspection or will you pass on that too?

All these and many more are all things to take in to consideration when putting together a formal offer on a home for sale.  As you can see the sales price is just one small piece in many factors that go in to making an offer.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Make Your Offer Stand Out

How To Make Your Offer Stand Out

You finally found the home you want but only to find out it has multiple offers.  Or maybe you have been making offer after offer with no luck.  How can you make your offer stand out?  I will show you how you can make your offer stand out in a sea of multiple offers.

First you will need to be sure to have a Realtor® by your side to guide you through a strong offer.  Start by checking comparable properties to see if the price is appropriate.  Once you have a good idea of what the market is doing for similar properties set a price you want to offer.  Here is the key, this is only one factor in many other factors you should consider, remember it is not all about the sales price.

Next let’s break down every section of the contract and make it as strong as possible.  Now remember you won’t be able to go all out on everything as we all have our limits but definitely draw a line for each on what you are willing to do.  I say draw a line because you need to know ahead of time where you can afford or risk to go and where you can’t, you need to know this up front going in.

Will your offer be contingent?  How much earnest money will you be putting down?  What type of financing are you doing and are you qualified, pre-approved or fully approved?  How long of an option period will you be requesting?  10 days?  7 days?  5 days?  Or how about no option period?  Inspection or no inspection?

Will you be asking the seller to pay for a home warranty, or will you skip it all together?  Do you need help paying for your closing costs or not?  How about offering to pay some of the seller’s closing costs?

All these are items you should taken in to consideration and many more.  Either way be sure to make every single item as strong as possible, with every point you make stronger it only makes your offer stand out even more.  Just remember that in a strong demand market that we are in now you may not have a second chance to make your first offer your strongest.

With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate.  I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Are Home Warranties Worth It?

As multiple offers become more and more common many buyers are trying to make their offers stand out.  One way of doing this is not asking the seller to pay for a home warranty for the buyer.  This may lead the buyer to pay for a home warranty themselves or question not getting one all together, which begs the question… Are Home Warranties Worth It?

Home warranties like any other warranty are designed to take on some of the risk, in this case common home items being covered.  For many years they have been almost standard that a seller pay for one for a year for the buyer at closing.  Now sellers are not having to do this because of the very high competitive atmosphere we are in.

It depends if the warranty would benefit a buyer or give them the piece of mind they would like.  First time home buyers who plan on living at the property may view it as a safety net and would opt to buy one, even if they had to pay for it.

An investor purchasing a rental property may opt to not purchase one, instead self insuring.  Let’s keep in mind an investor would be more likely to have the funds to self insure and take that risk.  The investor would also be more likely to have experience fixing some of the common items covered by a home warranty.

Or you are a past home owner with experience and don’t mind taking the risk.  You might be handy or have contacts who could help you if something needed attention at your new home.  For me personally I don’t have one and that is because I fall in the second category of someone who is willing to take the risk, familiar with fixing some of the covered items and I am an experienced home owner.

Just keep in mind what your comfort level is, as it is not the same for everyone.  Would you sleep better at night knowing you have a policy in place or do you prefer to save the money and take care of any issues yourself.  The answer is different for all of us and evaluating where you stand is my best advise.

With the heart of a teacher my goal is to educate my clients so they can make informed decisions.  Education is empowering, also an informed consumer is less likely to be taken advantage of in the future.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Would You Pay Over Appraised Value?

With increasing demand and lower inventory I continue to see multiple offer situations which inevitably leads to the concern of paying over appraised value.  Would you do it?  Should you do it?

Prices are on the way up on a record pace and driving those prices are buyers willing to pay top dollar for real estate.  Some buyers will go as far as giving the seller asking price, above asking price and even above appraised value.  This is becoming all to common, but would you do this?

I come across this issue all the time and this is the way I like to present it to my clients.  Every client is different so there is not a single solution answer.  The biggest factor to determine if you would do this is your the buyer.  Can you do this?  Do you have the funds to pay the difference between the appraised value and proposed sales price if the lender won’t pay it?

These answers are different for each buyer, especially if they are an investor or going to be using the home as their primary residence.  For investors they are more about the figures, getting a good deal and maybe getting a property below market.  Also what is their ROI?  (Return on investment)  Usually paying over appraised value may not always make sense to them, keep in mind they tend to be less emotionally tied to the property.

On the other hand a person who will actually live at the property may have a different mindset.  They are willing to pay more since they will enjoy it for many years to come.  Maybe they are in a time crunch and have to move.  Or there are other factors like schools, location, etc… that make it worth it to that individual to pay the additional funds.

Every scenario is different but you have to evaluate where you stand, can you do it and also be sure to draw a line in the sand as well.  Set a limit because the last thing you want to do is have regrets after the sale.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

What Is Mortgage Insurance? | Luis Cuevas Realtor® | RE/MAX Cross Country

Often confused is the term mortgage insurance.  Many people think it is an insurance that pays off your mortgage if you die?  Others think it is an insurance that makes your mortgage payment if you are out of work?  The reality is neither of these are the case.  So what is mortgage insurance?

Mortgage insurance is that monthly payment that is sneaked in to your mortgage every month.  It isn’t home insurance, taxes or going to pay the loan… so then what is it?  

Mortgage insurance is an insurance that you pay for that protects the lender in case you get foreclosed on, which helps them recuperate their money.  Let’s break that down.  The insurance pays the lender if after they have to sell the home they are still short what they were owed.  So this product protects the lender and not you.

Mortgage insurance is required when you are financing more than 80% of the value of the property your are purchasing.  20% is the cushion the lender feels comfortable issuing a loan with out this insurance.  However if you finance more than 80% that is how you end up with the mortgage insurance.

How do you avoid paying it, well put 20% down or get two loans one for 80% & the other for 20%.  Sure there are pros and cons to this but this would help you avoid it all together.

Again just know this is a normal insurance I see all the time, it is just a byproduct of not putting a big down payment.  If you go to purchase a home putting a large down payment is an incentive to the lender and you so this isn’t having to be paid because otherwise it is a waste of money to you.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Agents Cannot Tell You This

As a real estate agent and Realtor® my job is to give you as much information as possible for you the client to make a good decision on.  However often I am asked for my opinion on some things that I just can’t really give.  Why?  Steering

Let me explain.  I often get asked “Is This A Safe Neighborhood?”  “Is this a good school?”  Those would be easy questions to most however in my shoes I can’t really answer those questions.  Steering is when you steer someone in a certain direction… which there are many ways to do that.  Giving my opinion whether positive or negative on such a question can be considered steering.

Instead what can I do?  I can point you in the right direction to get information on the question you have.  Maybe point you to a website where you can get all the crime stats for the city or neighborhood.  Get you in contact with the school district or even the set up a tour of the schools you want more information on.  This will provide you with more information so that you can make that judgement call.

Asking a real estate agent these questions is like a woman asking you if she looks good in a certain outfit… I am not sure there is a correct answer.  LOL.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How Rising Interest Rates Affect You | Luis Cuevas Realtor® | RE/MAX Cross Country

Rising interest rates are becoming a reality but how do the rise in interest rates affect you if you are buying a home?  The reality is the economy is strong, unemployment is low and consumer confidence in their jobs is high, which equals a strong buyer demand for housing and mortgages.  Add the fact interest rates have been at historical lows for several years now and you can only expect to see rates begin to rise.

So what does that actually mean to you when you are thinking about purchasing a home?  Lets start with the basics, what are interest rates?  Interest rates are essentially the cost to borrow money.  The higher the rate the more expensive it is to borrow money.  When things are more expensive, in this case money to buy a home, then you can afford less.

Higher interest rates equal higher cost to borrow funds which ends up affecting the amount you can borrow.  For those consumers who may be maxed out at borrowing a certain amount, in this example lets say $300,000.  If the rates go up the amount the person could borrow would go down, lets say $290,000.

The higher interest rates caused the expense of borrowing to be lower which means a higher payment, however in order to stay under a certain payment the amount borrowed had to be adjusted downward.  This lower amount borrowed equals a lower sales price a consumer can qualify for.

Expect interest rates to continue to rise as the economy continues to be strong.  I just don’t see rates going down at all.  So if you have been thinking about buying a home just realize now may be the time to buy while rates continue to be low.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

How To Get Started Buying A Home

Many people are interested in purchasing a home but don’t know how to get started.  Who do you call?  Where do you go?  Online?  In person?  

When you are ready to move forward with buying a home your first step should be to either contact a loan officer or real estate agent.  Let’s start with a loan officer, the reason you would want to meet them is to get qualified.  When meeting with a loan officer they will either get you approved or denied for a home loan.

If you are approved they will outline the details such as the loan amount you qualify for, closing cost, down payment requirements, terms and other important details.  You will also receive a pre-approval letter stating you are approved, it is this letter that you will need to start looking at homes.

What if you are denied, what should you do or expect?  The reality is many people get denied and that is perfectly okay.  The loan officer will give you an evaluation as well as a plan on what to do to be able to qualify in the future.  Figure out that plan and execute it, this will insure you are headed in the right direction to be able to qualify in the future.

Next it is a good idea to meet with a Realtor®, I suggest this for several reasons.  Regardless if you are mortgage approved or not it is a good idea to know the process of actually searching for a home, making an offer but more importantly learning the market.  I like to show buyers what the market is doing in the price point and area they are interested in.  This gives buyers a realistic idea and expectation of the market so they are clear on what to expect.

The key to starting your process is to be prepared.  Be ready to apply for a mortgage, learn what the market is like and what it will take to be a successful buyer.  Being prepared is key in my opinion and leads to a better buying experience.

With the heart of a teacher I strive to educate my clients so they can be better informed.  I strongly believe an informed consumer makes better decisions and are less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Just Say No!!! | Luis Cuevas Realtor® RE/MAX Cross Country

Just say no!  What do I mean by this?  When you are in the home buying process whether you are just starting or already under contract I often have to tell buyers their new favorite word should be “NO.”  

When you first get approved for a mortgage the lender takes a snap shot of your credit.  That snapshot is what they use to determine if you will be approved for a mortgage.  You have to keep in mind that it is a snap shot in time and we all know things can change over time, which is why I recommend buyers not change their credit from when they got approved.

What that means is no more new debt, credit cards, payment obligations, lines of credit or store cards, and especially no new cards.  You have to remember the lender will be checking your credit through out your transaction and can do it up until the day of closing, not only credit but employment.  If any of those things change then it can jeopardize your ability to qualify for a home loan.

Which brings me back to just saying “NO” to new lines of credit, car loans or anything that would change your credit.  

So remember just say no!

As you can tell I love to educate my clients about the process and any topics around real estate.  With the heart of a teacher I strongly believe it is important to educate my clients because it will empower them to make educated decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.

Don’t forget to give this video a “LIKE” and be sure to “SUBSCRIBE” to my channel!

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Thing I Came Across This Week - Plumbing Issues Edition

This week I came across this very common plumbing issue which is the washer connection.  Most people don’t think twice about this item but indeed it is very important.  Usually it will be connected when a buyer first moves in but then never looked at again.

The problem lies in that in many of the connections are not properly installed to begin with.  Often I see improper setups all together which is a great setup for failure.

The correct item to use is a plastic box specifically made for this situation.  It is plastic because it will be contacted with water and not cause issues.  Also the drain is the lowest point, which is super important.  The connections need to be clean, leak free and tightly sealed to the box so there are no gaps where leaks can run down and behind the wall.

Is see this way too often, which it is an inexpensive fix many people fail to address it before it becomes an issue.  Instead the way they usually find out is when it has leaked for weeks, the water has made its way behind the wall, in the drywall, on to the flooring of the room behind the laundry and so on.  At that point it will be a big issue that could have been prevented.

As you can see I am passionate about educating my clients about anything and everything real estate.  With the heart of a teacher I strongly feel that educating a consumer makes them a stronger, smarter consumer who can make better decisions & less likely to be taken advantage of.

Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” this video and be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel as well.

Luis Cuevas, Realtor®

RE/MAX Cross Country

1990 Justin Road

Highland Village, Texas 75077

(214) 783-0535

Luis@MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Check out my website for more helpful tips:

http://MakeNorthTexasHome.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://Youtube.com/MakeNorthTexasHome

Follow me on Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/MakeNorthTexasHome