Words of Wisdom from Judy Niemeyer

As you know, I definitely have a history in the art of surviving in real estate. Today, what we are experiencing causes me to go back in time to reflect what our country has gone through. Yes, my real estate career as you know started in 1979. Each time we experience hard times, our country comes back stronger, so our confidence needs to strengthen.

We at Ashurst and Niemeyer are encouraging agents to pre-qualify their clients and make sure that they are true buyers not just lookers. The number one thing is to use common sense during this crisis and hopefully all of us with be safe. Virtual tours are available for all agents to visit your homes so please do not think that real estate is at a standstill. In fact, we are still making sales and over all the market is very impressive when comparing this year to last year.

Positives right now, listings remain to be down the number of listings remains low, and so many people turn to real estate to invest when the stock market decreases. It is time that we need to enjoy our beautiful weather, say our prayers and know we will get through it with incredible strength.

Any questions on the market, let me know. I am definitely available.

Regards to all,

Judy Niemeyer, CRS

251-583-5923 or Judy@AshurstandNiemeyer.com

Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Tips For Buyers and Sellers

Today I attended a wonderful seminar on flood insurance guidelines and fortified homes.  In our area of Fairhope/Point Clear, our home owner’s insurance rates can be higher than in other parts of our state of Alabama due to our location being hurricane proof.  Tips for you, if you live on the bay or in areas that might have an issue on flooding–please get an elevation certificate.  If you have a elevation certificate, do not loose it.  Your insurance agent will want a copy of it.

In insuring homes, the age of the roof, as well as the electrical and plumbing upgrades are big questions of an insurance agent.  If you replace your roof, make sure you take the steps to get it certified.  Certification normally costs about $400-$500 but needs to be done while the roof is being replaced.  Photos need to be taken to show how the roof is being installed.  In our city, a permit is required and roofers have to comply with the city of Fairhope guidelines.

If your home was gold certified when it was built, you must have a certification from the builder.  This certification is good for 5 years.  All certifications will give an expiration date.  Home owners need to contact a local company that can re-certify your home which costs can vary between $150 to $300.  Beware of the recertification.

FEMA flood insurance will expire on November 21st, 2019 unless Congress extends it.  The House has approved the bill titled HR3167 which is now in the Senate’s hands.  Hopefully this will be approved and no extension will be necessary.  Limitations on FEMA is $250,000 for structure and $100,000 for contents.  If you need more coverage,  insurance agents encourage looking at private companies and compare costs for flood.  This was excellent information.  So many homes are underinsured today.

I hope these tips help you.

Any questions, feel free to e-mail me at Judy@AshurstandNiemeyer.com

 

Fees Reduced on Mobile & Eastern Shore Home Loans

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both announced they will not impose the loan fee increase scheduled to go into effect next month. Fees were to have increased from .5% to .25%, making it even more difficult for Mobile home buyers. The biggest obstacle many ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mobile home buyers face is the necessary cash needed for a down payment and closing costs.

Both companies, now controlled by the federal government, had decided to increase fees to boost their finances during difficult times.

Freddie Mac, however, will raise fees next year for riskier loan products, including mortgages that allow interest-only payments for the first few years. Freddie also will require higher credit scores for “piggyback” loans that allow borrowers to make smaller down payments by taking out two mortgages.

Taken together, Freddie Mac said the changes would provide “some relief from the challenges in the current market environment,” but added that it is following lending practices “that are prudent and largely applicable in all market conditions.”

Learn more about Mobile home loans at JudySells.com.

Search all Mobile and Eastern Shore homes for sale.

Mobile Eastern Shore Real Estate Podcast

This month’s edition of the Mobile Eastern Shore Real Estate Podcast covers market activity and then we will examine the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 recently passed by Congress.

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.

Program length: approximately 7 minutes

download podcast mp3 file | subscribe to podcast feed  

Excerpt from this month’s show:

“The government is offering $7,500 in what amounts to be a tax-free loan, helping first-time home buyers get into a home. 

Up to $7,500 will be given to first-time purchasers as they file their income tax returns. The amount will be phased out above a certain income level and is to be no more than 10 percent of the home purchase price — though first-time buyers will qualify for the full amount.”

Listen to our Podcast to learn more about how the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is helping Mobile and Eastern Shore home buyers.

 

Mobile Eastern Shore Real Estate Podcast-August 2008

Changing home values and higher inventories have presented difficult challenges for distressed home sellers. Fortunately, many lenders are working with sellers by accepting Short Sales and avoiding foreclosure.  Listen to our Mobile Eastern Shore Real Estate Podcast as we discuss today’s Short Sale programs, and break down our own local market trends. Featured special guest is Terri Murphy of US Learning.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Sell Your Eastern Shore & Mobile AL Real Estate – In a Hurry!

If you have been trying to sell your Eastern Shore and Mobile AL real estate recently, you probably have realized that this is not the ideal time to try to sell a house.  With a struggling economy and negative media surrounding the housing market, homes are staying on the market for longer and longer as fewer buyers are making offers on them.  So – what do you do if you find yourself in a situation that requires you to sell your home in a hurry?  The Wall Street Journal offers the following tips that I hope you’ll find helpful:

1. DON’T WAIT AROUND.
Even in the better housing areas, it’s taking a long time to sell houses; so, don’t try to sit out the market. That’s what hundreds of other timid sellers are doing, each of them hoping — somehow, some way — that hanging on the sidelines will improve prices and, ultimately improve the chances of a successful sale. It won’t. If you want your place sold, the best way to make sure that happens is to put it up for sale.

2. FIX IT UP AND CLEAN IT UP.
Buyers are taking your house out on a date. It has to make a good impression. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) spend a lot of money, but ensure everything is in good working order.  As you get closer to the date that the house is actually on the market, start moving out by decluttering – buyers don’t want to see a house filled to the rafters with other people’s things.

3. PRICE IT CHEAPLY.
Don’t fight the market by trying to price your house at bubble-era levels or by factoring in all those improvements you made.  In today’s market, your best bet is to set a realistic, salable price on day one. Don’t let the house hang around on the market as you gradually lower the price. Forget what you think the house should be worth or what it was worth three years ago. That’s not what it’s worth today.

4. HIRE A TOP REAL-ESTATE AGENT.
Get the best listing agent you can find.  When everything was selling before it even hit the market, of course, you didn’t need the best.  Sellers of higher-end properties may be able to negotiate a lower commission percentage, but this is no time to quibble over a couple of percentage points. Also, offer the agent a big bonus if he or she sells the house in 30 days or at your asking price. Offer other agents bonuses if they bring in the ultimate buyer.

5. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE.
The agent should pay the usual marketing costs, but you should be prepared to pony up for extras, especially if you insist on more expensive or untraditional promotions. Make sure your house is on the leading real-estate Web sites; Trulia, Zillow, Cyberhomes, Eppraisal and Realtor.com are some of the top ones. Beyond that, get really creative. Advertise in corporate newsletters and intranet listings. Check in with local relocation firms that help transferring corporate executives find new homes. List the house on eBay. Put it on Craigslist. Put it in your church bulletin.

6. PLAY THE BANKER.
As bad as things are, there’s one big factor in your favor: the tight credit market. If you have no mortgage you have to pay off, your strongest selling point might be your ability to finance all or a substantial part of a buyer’s purchase. You’re a lot more flexible than a bank that has the Federal Reserve looking over its shoulders, so you might even be able to charge a higher interest rate than a commercial lender as well as command a higher sale price.

7. TAKE THE OFFER.
If any qualified buyer comes in with a reasonable offer, be prepared to accept it. Negotiate, of course, but recognize that the buyer has a lot more clout than you do. Your house, as wonderful as you think it is, is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. 

If you are considering selling your Eastern Shore or Mobile AL real estate, let my experience work for you!  Please call me at 251-990-0569, visit JudySells.com.

Get the current market value of your Moible AL home.