Real Estate Blogs (2019 Best Real Estate Blogs)

The Best Real Estate Blogs For 2019

1. Anita Clark | Coldwell Banker SSK Realtors - Warner Robbins GA

Being self-employed has many advantages and perks but it can put your at a disadvantage if you are trying to become a homeowner. In fact, to qualify for a loan you will be required to apply using your net income as opposed to salaried consumers who use their gross income. While not a show-stopper, it is something to consider when beginning the home purchase process.

If you have limited documentation your best choice may be a bank statement loan that provides several benefits suited to business owners. For instance, you do not need to provide tax returns to qualify and you may still qualify even if your business is showing a loss. While this is a great option, you need to talk with a mortgage professional to ensure they offer this type of loan. Other choices worth investigating include no income verification loans and non-owner occupied investment mortgages.

If you have maintained your records, including tax returns, and otherwise qualify, you may have the full spectrum of loan options such as FHA, VA, conventional, and possibly USDA available for use.  This is the optimum position to be in as you begin your home search. Your loan officer can walk you through each of the choices to help find the right option for your specific needs.

 While the process of getting a home mortgage is not always as simple or as easy as conventional methods, there are still plenty of excellent mortgage choices for self-employed buyers. The key is to understand the process, know what your options are, and ensure you work with a lender who helps put you in the best position to qualify and get a mortgage for that dream home that just hit the market.

2. Joe Boylan | Springs Homes Real Estate - Colorado Springs CO

The idea of a home appraisal starts a panic attack for a lot of people, this doesn't have to be the case. In this article, Joe Boylan of Springs Homes Real Estate in Colorado Springs explains how preparation and understanding are the keys to a successful home appraisal. Knowing what the appraiser is looking for as well being able to help them support your value are just a couple of proactive steps home sellers can take.

Preparation for the appraisal starts at the very beginning of the home selling process. When you price your home it should be with the appraisal in mind. At the end of the day, the appraisal is what really determines the value of your home.

Be smart, be ready and AceYour Appraisal takes a deep dive into the appraisal process. This article shows you what to expect and steps you can take to ensure a successful appraisal. Dropping the ball on the appraisal can cost thousands of dollars some scenarios even kill the sale. This doesn't need to be the case it only takes a little preparation and knowledge to Breeze through the appraisal process.

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3. Bill Gassett | RE/MAX Executive Realty - Metrowest Massachusetts

One of the most critical facets of purchasing a home, especially when you are doing it for the first time is picking a lender. Obviously, there are many choices when it comes to choosing a lender. Do you go local with a small bank? Does going with a national lender such as Bank of America or Chase make more sense?

These are some of the questions buyers should be thinking about before they ever start looking for their dream home. One of the things that should dictate the choice of a lender is the home buyer mortgage programs that they offer.

Some lenders specialize in one type of loan product or the other. For example, some lenders are really good at working with FHA loans while others may have the best rate and terms for conventional financing.

As a borrower, it is always advisable to see which mortgage program is going to best suite your needs. In the article at Maximum Real Estate Exposure, you'll see an in=depth rundown of all the different types of mortgage programs a buyer could consider.

Each program is explained in detail with the pros and cons. Taking out a mortgage is serious business. Make sure you do your due diligence before making a final choice.

4. Luke Skar | MadisonMortgageGuys

As part of the many benefits offered to Veterans, there is a list of minimum property requirements for VA loans that must be met in order for the loan to be approved. This feature aims to verify that the home is safe and livable before the Veteran takes possession of the property.

The minimum standards cover a wide range of topics. Items such as basic access to the home and yard and the presence of basic utilities are covered in detail. The requirements also dictate how certain parts of the home need to be ventilated as well as the necessary space for a person to live in safety. All of these items are intended to give the Veteran the very basics of a decent property without getting a bad deal from a seller.

In regards to the safety aspects, the guidelines are cautious about allowing any Veteran to live in a property that may present a physical danger to the homeowner. Obvious things like proper water drainage and sufficient electrical outlets are mentioned, along with other items such as the presence of lead paint or poor maintenance on the exterior of the home that could lead to fungus, mold or a falling hazard.

As mentioned before, these items and other property requirements are in place primarily for the good of the veteran. However, as a side benefit, these items are also advantages to the lender. The VA uses a comprehensive appraisal of the property to determine that the home meets the VA minimum property requirements. That helps the lender feel relatively safe that the home is indeed in good working order and presents an acceptable form of collateral for the VA mortgage.

5. Paul Sian | United Real Estate Home Connections - Cincinnati Ohio

The talk of smart homes is already being seen in many home-related magazines and local home expos.  Smart home assistants like Apple HomePod, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and more all can control many aspects of a home with simple voice commands.  Want the front porch light to be turned on?  Ask your intelligent home assistant.  Want to hear the latest weather report?  Again your intelligent home assistant can provide you with that information.

As the artificial intelligence of these devices improve expect to see more functionality or in other words a much more smarter home.  Using your smartphone’s location settings your smartphone can communicate to your home that you will soon be home and as a result certain actions should be taken.  The heater or air conditioner can set to adjust the temperature in the home to your preferences so by time you get home you don’t have to worry about sweating or shivering.  Certain lights can be turned on so you are not fumbling for a light switch.

Smart home devices with artificial intelligence can automatically unlock the doors for you since it recognizes you as one of the residents of the home.  Want to allow temporary access to your home to out of town guests?  Let the artificial home intelligence know and those guests can come and go as they need without having to worry about forgetting to lock the door or getting locked out.  The artificial intelligence in the home can even let your pets out to stretch their legs or use the outdoor “facilities” all the while keeping your home secure from unauthorized access.

Artificial intelligence promises to change how we live in and interact with our homes and is improving every day.

6. Sharon Paxson | Compass - Newport Beach

Are you considering selling your home? There are many factors to take into consideration when selling. It is imperative to address any deferred maintenance, ensure that the home has inviting curb appeal and that the home makes an excellent first impression. Ensure that repairs have been made and do not stand out to someone who may be walking through your home. Photography is extremely important in today’s times as a buyer will view how the home presents online, and if it does not give a buyer the “wow” factor then they might just move on to the next home! Don’t fall into this trap! Take the time to ensure your home invites the buyers to come and view the home in person! A property has one chance to make a good first impression.

Ensuring that the home has inviting curb appeal is another factor when taking photos. Making sure that the landscaping has been addressed and adding season flowers will help to make the home to be more inviting.

Utilizing a professional photography will certainly make a difference in the quality of the photos. Professional photographers tend to be able to see the shot, and generally will stage each shot to reduce clutter in each shot. Photographers may also offer other services such as aerial photography which is very beneficial when showing the location of the property and proximity of the lot to other features in the area. Twilight photography is another option and can showcase how the home looks during dusk in additional to photography during daylight.

Overall photos will make a difference in the time frame of selling a home. Being prepared is paramount and will ultimately result in inviting images which present well online.

7. Karen and Chris Highland | EXP Realty - Frederick Maryland

In a day and age of brave new investments and strategies, many Americans are asking if home ownership is really necessary to build family wealth. While buying a primary residence has historically been part of a common-sense investment portfolio, in the recent decade, that hasn’t turned out so well for some people. The mortgage/real estate collapse of 2008 causes one to ask.

The last decade has brought unfortunate outcomes for some people who lost equity as the market collapsed. But if you look over a longer period of time, you find many people who have retired with a home that they own outright. The trick is, long-term investing in real estate pays off. Your mortgage should be a long-term, steady investment over time...not an ATM.

Fortunately, we’ve had over 100 years of statistics to use to make an evaluation.For most Americans, buying a home is the way to build wealth over time. For generations Americans have faithfully paid their mortgage over a lifetime, to end up with a nest egg that equals financial gain they could have not achieved any other way. And, you have to live somewhere, right?

Of course, there are always exceptions to this path to wealth. There are people who are masters of the stock market. People build wealth by building businesses, or by creating products or technology that changes people’s lives.

No, homeownership is not always necessary to build a net worth, but for the vast majority, home ownership is a key to building wealth.  

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8. Lynn Pineda | EXP Realty - Coral Springs, FL 

It’s all about getting it right with what applies to you personally, as a home Seller. Different conditions for different Sellers, yet you’d be surprised at how common the home selling concerns actually are for so many.

Are you selling a home and have a concern hanging over your head wondering how it just might affect your home sale? It’s always best to address any concerns up front, before your home even goes on the market for sale. Some concerns are easy to address while others may require a frank discussion. But I’ll repeat, don’t ignore any concern as it won’t go away. It’s best to understand what likely will be, so you aren’t blindsided halfway into the time of selling your home. Find out up front.

Common “fill in the blanks” may be something like the fact that you spent a fortune on upgrades - how do you account for that come home sell time? Making your home everything you’ve dreamed of has brought such joy when the place you call home is filled with all the features and accessories that you adore. It can really make a difference come home sale time, as long as you didn’t over upgrade for your area and neighborhood. Hopefully, you thought of that beforehand...you did right?

Or what about the fact that you have pets: that’s your “fill in the blank”.  Getting the answers to these concerns and others, whatever your “fill in the blank” is will be critically important.

9. Michelle Gibson | Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, Florida

Not every home listed for sale will actually sell. When this happens some sellers think firing their agent is the answer. However, firing their current agent and hiring a new one won't necessarily get their home sold. In fact, often times when a home doesn't sell it has nothing to do with the listing agent.

Now, if the agent didn't educate the seller, provided horrible advice or does below par marketing then a new agent could be key. However, before jumping ship and firing their current agent they need to determine why their home hasn't sold. Is it overpriced? How does it show? Is it a seller's market or a buyer's market?

If they hired a top Realtor odds are they've already been told why their home hasn't sold. However, if they don't know or don't believe their agent they need to ask themselves a few questions. Michelle Gibson, a Wellington Florida Realtor, has provided 6 questions to help sellers determine if they should fire their agent.

Once the "why" is established then they can make an informed decision on how to proceed. But it's imperative they answer all of the questions truthfully. If their agent has told them their home smells or is overpriced they can't ignore this information. Overpricing is the biggest mistake sellers make and if they relist at the same price the results will most likely be the same, an unsold home. The same goes for a home that smells or has deferred maintenance. Don't relist a smelly home that needs work and expect to obtain top dollar.

Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." The same applies to selling real estate, a seller can't keep relisting their home with the same issues expecting to sell it. The key to selling a home for top dollar is hiring an excellent agent and a seller listening to them.

Don’t let your home sit on the market for months and become a stale listing buy inflating the price of your home. Buyers are educated and represented by REALTORS® who will guide them through the home buying process. Testing the market is never a good idea. In this article you will find out about buyer representation, how to find and work with qualified buyers and other common selling mistakes that homeowners make when selling their home.

10. Eileen Anderson | Berkshire Hathaway - Simsbury, CT

Selling your own home without the aid of a realtor can be tricky. Find out pros and cons of “For Sale by Owner” and you can see how this can cause you to lose money.

Being home at the time of showing makes life uncomfortable for the buyers. Resist the urge to give a home tour and show off all the special features you think increase the value of your home. Let the realtor do their job and let the buyers talk openly about any objections they may have. If they can work through the objections, they are closer to making an offer. Buyers need to visualize themselves living there. Don’t stake claim to the property by being home.

Don’t make showings difficult to buyers. It is very important that you accommodate showings and make it as easy as possible to preview. Insisting on a 24 hour notice or that the listing agent be present only hurts the sale. You are missing out on an opportunity. Most buyers see more than one home when they are out on tour with their realtor. If you don’t allow a showing they are not likely to reschedule another time to see your home, especially if they are out of town buyers.

Find out how NOT to sabotage the sale of your home here!

11. Xavier De Buck | Keller Williams - Johannesburg (South Africa)

Doesn't the expression say that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover? And that's ever so true when it comes to buying real estate. Things can get very emotional at times, whether it's at the time of viewing the property, negotiating the terms of the contract, or exact closing date! 

Why open yourself up for more potential uncertainties (and issues!) by skipping the home inspection when buying real estate? Ask any experienced real estate agent and they'll happily share with you how home inspections avoid messy real estate deals 99% of the time. So what's going through a home buyer's mind when s/he decided to forego the home inspection? 

A home buyer might believe that a couple of simple walk-throughs with their favorite DIY Uncle will limit any future issues. However, going into detail as a home inspector does, is a completely different matter. Perhaps the home buyer hasn't properly been informed as to why these home inspection reports are so important. Or how much money they might save by getting one done!

In this article, Xavier will cover the most popular six reasons why it’s in a home buyer's best interest to have a home inspection!

12. Conor MacEvilly | RE/MAX On Market - Seattle WA

Setting the correct listing price for your home when listing it for sale is critical. All your good work preparing your home to look perfect when it hits the market will be undone if you don’t price the home properly. Price it too high and you will sit on the market. Price it too low and you risk leaving a bunch of equity on the table.

The real answer as to what your home is worth is basically what someone is willing to pay for your home on the open market…not what Zillow or other online automated evaluation websites spout out, not what your neighbor’s home sold for and not what your gut feeling tells you.

While the prevailing market conditions will dictate how much your home sells for, a more accurate method of setting the list price is required to ensure that your home sells quickly and for the highest possible return on your investment.

A comparative market analysis of your home’s current market value performed by a knowledgeable local Realtor is the best estimate of what your home will sell for once listed for sale. The agent will look at recent sales of similar homes in your immediate area and make adjustments for any differences between your home and those recent sales.

Pricing based on reality and real numbers is the way to go, otherwise, reality could bite if you rely on dubious alternative pricing methods. 

Buying a house, for most people, is an exciting time and the largest investment they will make. However, once they have found a house, it’s extremely important to remain detached emotionally. Getting an accepted contract is just the first step in a lengthy process. This process starts with the inspection period.

 13. Petra Norris | Lakeland Real Estate Group Inc. - Lakeland FL 

This article, “Do I really need a home inspection?”  explains in detail the importance of home inspections. 

There are typically seven different inspections up for consideration when jumping into this transaction. Those inspections include: home, termite, lead based paint, septic system, well water, mold, and radon gas. These inspections will range in price from $50 to $700 each depending on home size and location. Yes, these can get pricey but it is the best protection the buyer has when it comes to this large investment because not all areas require a sellers disclosure to potential buyers. Even then a seller’s disclosure only alerts buyers to problems the seller knows about not problems the might be just starting.

Inspections completed by licensed inspectors will give the buyer an unbiased evaluation of the home and can help to point out current or potential problems the home may have. Inspectors will be able to tell if there are any safety or health concerns which may arise once the home is occupied. Inspectors can alert buyers to any prospective and costly plumbing problems especially if the home has a well or septic tank. Equipped with this information buyers can then either walk away from a potential nightmare or ask for sellers to repair or decrease price giving you the buyer a credit to make the repairs yourself. 

14. Glenn Shelhamer | REALPRO EASTSIDE - Eastside Los Angeles

If you're considering selling your home for the top market value it's critical you follow these simple steps. Preparing for the market isn't necessarily easy but it's very simple. First, you'll want to partner with a Realtor who is a neighborhood expert who is also a listing agent. It's important the agent has an eye for positioning the house in the market to get the widest range of prospective buyers through the door. 

Your agent should have a punch list including removing personal items, rearranging furniture, or decluttering. A short list of inexpensive modifications or improvements could go a long way for your bottom line "walk away" money after paying off your mortgage and selling fees. 

Perhaps light staging is necessary. Or bringing in a few plants? You want to create the energy and environment of a lifestyle your prospective buyer gets excited about. When they walk through the door, the guests need to say to themselves, "I could see myself living here". 

Your agent should also have a trusted home inspection team on their toolbelt. It's smart to understand the current condition of the property systems. This will narrow the wiggle room for the buyer coming back later looking for credits or a price reduction. 

15. David Martin | Fairfax Realty - Falls Church, VA

Don't let a home buyer slip away because your house was put on the market before it was ready to be seen. Before the pictures are taken; before the For Sale sign goes in the yard; before the first buyer walks through the front door, make sure your house is Home Buyer Ready.

Putting your house on the market before it's ready to be seen can lead to any or all of the following: unnecessary stress and frustration, longer time on the market, fewer — or worse, yet — no offers, a lower sales price, and additional costs.

It's to your advantage to think like a buyer and remember that they won't just be looking at or considering your house; they will be looking at others. If your home isn't Home Buyer Ready and others are it will make your competition look even better by comparison and you could inadvertently end up helping to sell someone else's house; OUCH!

16. Danny Margagliano | 30A Local Properties - Destin Florida

When buying a home for the first time it can be nerve-racking to say the least.  Most people that are first-time homebuyers do not understand the process of a home sale.  Thankfully, in the days of the Internet which we live in there is plenty of info.  In this article, you'll find a easy to follow timeline from the very beginning stages of looking right up to your closing.  This ultimate homebuyers timeline can be as true for the seasoned homebuyer right up to complete novice.

The homebuying process starts at researching.  The research stage of homebuying technically begins before you ever look at home.  It starts with making a list of what you want and where you want it.  Next, comes reading an article like the homebuyer's timeline.  You will likely have many questions and articles like this can help to answer them.

After brushing up what to expect, comes browsing for homes online at your favorite local realtors website.  Followed by getting preapproved or prequalified for a mortgage.  Now that you have your financing in order it's time to start looking at homes in person.     

Things start to get exciting as the reality of a new home is within reach.  You are ready to make an offer once you find the perfect home.  Once you make an offer and is accepted a real estate attorney or title company will take over and walk everyone through the final steps.  Finally, you will close on your property collect the keys to your new house.

17. Joy Bender | Compass - San Diego

Tiny houses are the hottest trend in the housing market, trending on Pinterest, and super cute too!  Whether you're in the market for a vacation home or somewhere to live full time, here's 11 reasons why investing in a tiny beach house is a great idea.

18. Eric Jeanette - Dream Home Financing

The real estate industry has changed quite a bit over the past few decades. We have seen huge swings in home values during the various dips and spikes in the market. Something else that has evolved over time is the number of potential home buyers who have poor credit.

There once was a time when poor credit was not that common. People paid cash for most things and were not leveraged financially the way they are today. There are more bankruptcies, foreclosures, medical collections, late paid credit cards, and student debt than ever before. These are just a few examples as to how and why so many home buyers today have poor credit.

If you have poor credit, you likely will not have the ability to qualify for a conventional loan. There are poor credit mortgage lenders who can help you to finance your dream home with niche or subprime mortgage products even if you do have poor credit.

What you can expect when qualifying for a mortgage with poor credit:

  • Larger down payment
  • Higher interest rates
  • Additional reserves required

In the past the government loans such as FHA, VA and USDA were not available to those with poor credit. However, there are some lenders now who will allow for credit scores as low as 500 when applying for an FHA loan. This option is available even for self-employed borrowers or those applying for an FHA loan with 1099 income.

In summary, if you have poor credit, there are still quite a few mortgage options for you. If you do not have time to improve your credit scores, then meet with your local lender to discuss some of the poor credit mortgage options.

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