Home-Buying Secrets - Realtor OKC

Four Hidden Home-Buying Secrets Only the Insiders Know

Learn What the Pros Know About Buying a House

There are a great deal of considerations to make when contemplating home buying – after all, it may just be the biggest purchase you make in your life. So, mistakes can be costly. A good OKC realtor can help you through the process, and provide some insider tips along the way. What do realtors wish you knew about the home buying process?

1. You can save money on your down payment.

Traditionally, homebuyers are expected to have at least 20% of a home’s value as a down payment. However, your realtor may be able to fill you in on one of several programs. Some types of loans offer reduced down payments, down payment matching by employers, or loans and grants to help cover the down payment. Speak with your realtor to determine if you qualify.

You may be missing hidden costs.

Although your down payment may not have to be 20%, you could be failing to calculate a number of hidden costs, such as HOA, inspection fees, increased mortgage insurance due to a decreased down payment, and property taxes. Ask your realtor, or others in the neighborhood about other potential hidden costs you may be missing.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio in mind.

This one’s fairly simple. Never spend more than 25% of your monthly income on your mortgage. Over time, other home related expenses, such as repairs and maintenance, can eat away at your savings, and by the time you can no longer make your mortgage payments, it’s too late. Don’t become house-poor.

Get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved for your home loan makes things much easier on you as a buyer. You won’t be looking at homes you can’t afford, and having a pre-approved number can give you a lot of buying power if you find yourself in a deadlock with another set of buyers.

Are you looking for a house in OKC? Metro First Realty at Lake Hefner is your premiere realtor in OKC and can get you the right start in your home buying process. Contact us for a consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/04/11/six-insider-secrets-to-buying-a-home/#585d00bf4208

https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/10-best-kept-secrets-for-buying-a-home

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fourteen-secrets-to-home_b_10263094

 


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Best Time to Sell Your Home - Realtor OKC

Don’t Miss Out on the Best Time to Sell Your Home

Let Your Calendar Help You Sell Your Home

The very thought of selling a home in OKC can be stressful; however, selling doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Relocation services in OKC can help you determine the right time of year to sell your home, resulting in less stress for you during the process as well as during your move. Consider these tips:

Begin in the spring.

Spring time – early May in particular – is the nationally accepted best time to sell a home and can result in a $2500 gain in profits. Spring weather is warm enough to get buyers looking for a house in OKC. People are often itching to spend tax returns, as well, so consider beginning to prep your home in the winter for a spring sale.

Sell when the local market is hot.

Ask your realtor when the local market is best; he or she will likely be able to pinpoint a few times of the year unique to real estate in OKC that can help your home sell quicker. Ask to see local sales trends and average time homes spend on the market when listed in a few different times of the year.

Sell when local supply is low.

Do you want to create a demand for your home? If so, list it when the inventory of available, comparable homes in the area is low. Keep a watch on local real estate sites or ask your realtor to let you know when there may be an increased demand for your home. Simple supply and demand could mean your home snags an offer that much more quickly.

Sell when mortgage interest rates are low.

Keep an eye on interest rates and consider selling when rates are low – low rates means an abundance of qualified, motivated buyers. In addition, if you’re looking to purchase another home in the area, the same low rates could benefit you, as well.

Are you looking to sell your home in OKC or looking for an OKC realtor? Metro First Realty has been serving the area since 2005. Contact us for your home buying or home selling needs.

Sources:

https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/best-time-to-sell/

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/05/31/whats-the-best-time-to-sell-a-house.aspx

 

Questions for Your Realtor - Realtor OKC

3 Big Questions to Ask a Realtor During a Walkthrough

Questions for Your Realtor During a Home Viewing

When looking for a house in OKC, many hopeful homebuyers walk through a home focusing on the good things and aesthetic aspects without recognizing common pitfalls that can cause serious and expensive issues later. Three important categories cover the most important things to ask your agent about a home, including:

  1. Price. What is it based on? What have other homes sold for nearby? This helps you to gauge how much you should offer. Additionally, ask how much the seller paid and how much they owe. If it is a short-sale property where the owner owes more than he or she is asking, they likely won’t cover any closing costs or make any repairs. It is better to know this going in.
  2. Condition. Obviously, when you look at a house you are making your own assessments of the condition. However, there is more to this than meets the eye. Ask when the home was last inspected, how old the roof is, how old the HVAC is, and if the structure has ever been evaluated. Additionally, it helps to know if the home has ever flooded and if there is risk of it happening again.
  3. Neighborhood. There are a few important things to know about the neighborhood. How are the schools? What is the crime rate? Additionally, you will likely want to know if there are any inconveniences, such as noisy streets, terrible neighbors, or traffic bottlenecks. Your agent may not be able to find out every detail you would like to know, but they can help you find out as much as possible.

If you are looking for a realtor in OKC, look no further than Metro First Realty. We can show you the best real estate OKC has to offer, as well as offer our relocation services in OKC if you are moving here. We look forward to helping you find the perfect property.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/what-kind-of-questions-should-i-ask-before-buying-a-home-1798247

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/buying-a-house-questions-to-ask/

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/questions-to-ask-when-buying-a-house/

Real Estate Listing - houses for sale in okc

4 Things to Watch for in a Real Estate Listing

4 Red Flags to Look for in a Real Estate Listing

When you begin looking for a house in OKC, there are a number of things to consider as you try finding the right home for you. In all the real estate OKC has to offer, only one property can be “the one.” There are a few red flags to watch for in any home, including:

  1. Structural issues. Though a home might appear perfect from the outside, the bones of it may be a different story. Structural issues can tank an appraisal, cause mysterious price drops, and ultimately make the house less safe. If you notice sloping or bowing in the floor of an old home, or perhaps a home that was once flooded, request a specific structural evaluation.
  2. Crime and neighborhood. If you see a perfect property that has everything on your list but is listed for an unbelievably low price, it’s often too good to be true. A common culprit is crime statistics, and/or undesirable school districts. Depending on your priorities and place in life, this may or may not matter to you. Buying in developing urban areas can mean more house for the money, but it also means exercising caution.
  3. Psychological stigmas. It is true that terrible things do happen in homes across the country. A home might be listed low due to a negative event, such as a death, shooting, robbery, or tragedy. Finding out whether any of these types of events took place, even if the house is not priced low, is important. It could greatly impact the resale value later on.
  4. Being sold “As-Is.” Listings that note “as-is” point toward a seller who is unwilling to make any repairs, and also that the property is significantly damaged or in need of updates. These listings sometimes make good “fixer-uppers” but are rarely (if ever) move-in ready.

If you are looking for the best realtor OKC can offer, we can help. At Metro First Realty, we offer relocations services in OKC and the surrounding areas. Learn more today!

Sources:

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-red-flags-to-look-for-in-a-real-estate-listing-50552

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/03/26/11-red-flags-to-avoid-when-buying-your-home/#6571484b4de2

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/real-estate-listing-red-flags/

How to sell a house in the fall

The “Why” and “How” to Sell Your House in the Fall – Part 2

2 Main Points: Why you should sell your house in the fall, and How to sell your house in the fall.

This is part 2! In our last article we shared with you the reasons why you should put your house on the market this fall. Now that we’ve convinced you, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare your house to sell this fall!

Fall House Selling Tip #1 – Turn On The Lights Everywhere

Above all, bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture, and for goodness sakes, turn off the TV.

Fall House Selling Tip #2 – Set The Mood For Fall Real Estate Musically

When thinking of autumn music, beyond “See You in September” and “California Dreamin’,” polka music and accordions come to mind. German beer fests are always held in October. But that doesn’t seem appropriate for autumn home selling unless you’re entertaining a frat house. A home seller is better off with Enya’s “The First of Autumn” or George Winston’s new age piano album “Autumn.”

Fall House Selling Tip #3 – Clean Up The Yard

Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers. Make the most of the autumn weather in the fall real estate market.

Fall House Selling Tip #4 – Create Autumn Curb Appeal

The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. I am also partial to marigolds for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow, which is my number one home selling color. Plant them in pots. Place pots on the steps and along the sidewalk. Accent with pumpkins or other types of squash.

Fall House Selling Tip #5 – Dress The Windows

Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn. You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level. To sell a home, your windows need to sparkle. Even though I am not selling my home, my cats routinely rub their little noses on the inside glass while walking along window ledges, so I need to wash my windows inside and out every autumn. Remove screens and spray them down.

Fall House Selling Tip #6 – Check The HVAC

You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? You can buy 90-day furnace filters. Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your home goes on the market.

Fall House Selling Tip #7 – Clean Out the Fireplace for the Fall Real Estate Market

Ah, nothing smells like autumn than smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. However, in some parts of the country, burning wood indoors or outdoors is outlawed. In Sacramento, we have certain days when we are not allowed to burn wood in the fireplace. If you have a gas fireplace, light it when buyers come through. If the fireplace is filled with cobwebs because it hasn’t been used for months, vacuum it out and wash it down. Some ​home stagers arrange knickknacks in the fireplace in place of wood logs.

Fall House Selling Tip #8 – Prepare Autumn Edibles

Speaking of autumn scents, you might set out freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or simmer hot apple cider on the stove. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. Prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew. Fill a bowl with crisp red apples.

Fall House Selling Tip #9 – Utilize Autumn Accent Colors

You don’t need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorize its dullness with bright red, orange and/or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you’ve cleared away the clutter and depersonalized each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3’s and 5’s. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.

Fall House Selling Tip #10 – Offer Parting Treats to Potential Buyers

I like to leave a guest book by the door for people to leave comments about the home. Gathering buyer feedback can be crucial. And buyers will feel more compelled to leave you a note if you give them something in return, like tiny packets of candy corn or those snack-sized candy bars. Or you can go all-out and leave a tray of individually wrapped caramelized apples, tied with a curling ribbon.

Now that you know “why” and “how” to get things ready for your house to sell this fall, give us a call to get your house listed on the market!

Do you know how much your house is worth? Click Here to find out!

How to sell a house in the fall

The “Why” and “How” to Sell Your House in the Fall – Part 1

2 Main Points: Why you should sell your house in the fall, and How to sell your house in the fall.

In part one let’s discuss why the fall is an important opportunity to get your house on the market. We will follow this article up with part 2, and share some of the best tips to capitalize on the fall home selling market.

Reason #1 To Sell Your House In The Fall – More Flexibility For Improvements

Depending on where you live, spring and summer can be a much-needed break from a harsh winter, and your house could probably use a little TLC. So give yourself those warmer months for some home improvements.

Reason #2 To Sell Your House In The Fall – A More Serious Buyer Pool

Yes, the spring housing market is sure to bring out buyers, but plenty of folks may hold off on making an offer. With more homes to choose from, they can afford to be picky, and that could extend their search by months. Come September, though, serious buyers will be feeling the pressure to make their move before the holiday season or bad weather hits. That’s where you come in.

Reason #3 To Sell Your House In The Fall – Less Competition

Post-summer home buyers not only have the stress of the holiday season looming overhead, but their options are shrinking. Many sellers rush to close by September, so fortunately you’ll be competing in a much smaller market. That can be a powerful bargaining chip to help you close before the end of the year.

Reason #4 To Sell Your House In The Fall – Different Buyer Demographics

While families are more likely to make their move in the spring, millennials and empty-nesters usually swoop in a bit later in the year. They’re not the only ones, either: to avoid higher “on season” real estate rates, employers who need to relocate their workers often wait for the fall, when the market tends to cool down. These out-of-towners will probably need to get through the process quickly, too, which could mean a relatively speedy closing.

So now you understand the “why” behind selling in the fall, come back and read part 2 of this article and learn the “how”!

Need to save money with home improvements? Click Here and learn how!

Save money with the simple

One of the most frustrating things is having to call a service company. Then, their repair takes 5 minutes, but you pay $130? They tell you, ” Oh, it was a simple fix.” In this article we will look at some simple money-saving repairs you can make at home.

Save money with the simple

  • Running toilet – Most plumbing companies will charge a service fee between $80 and up to $130 just to come to your house! Nine times out of ten, a toilet that will randomly turn on and then turn off, has a faulty flapper. The flapper is the rubber seal that lifts when you flush, emptying the tank into the bowl. When the flapper isn’t sealing properly, water will leak from the tank into the bowl. As it falls below the fill level, it will trip the fill valve float, turning on the water to fill back up again. A standard flapper is around $5 and takes about 2 minuets to install, saving you lots of money!
  • Garbage Disposal – Most disposals come with a disposal wrench that fits into the bottom to manually turn it when it jambs. If your disposal is humming, this is likely your problem. If it does nothing or the chamber spins freely, check the red reset button underneath before calling a plumber.
  • Lock Trouble – Is the deadbolt hard to move with the key? Try to spray the lock and key with some WD40. Work the key back and forth in the lock and it should loosen right up!

These are just a few simple tips that you can help you to save big bucks on your home, weather you are selling, a new homeowner, or you’ve been there a while.

How to avoid a money pit

Unless you’re in the business of flipping houses, you don’t want to buy a money pit! In this article, we will look at some of the major issues of  a house to consider before your purchase.

How to avoid a money pit

The worst thing in the world is to buy something, only to find that it will cost you much more money than you’ve already spent. In this article we are going to look at a few of the major cost issues of a house to be aware of before your purchase.

  • Age – Was it built before JFK was president? The older the home, the more the upkeep and maintenance costs. Remember, when you’re excited about those “antique” fixtures and charm, that just means they are old! The older it is, the closer to replacement.
  • Plumbing – Be mindful of the plumbing condition. Are the drain pipes cast iron, do you see signs of leaking, how old is the water heater? Did you know the life expectancy of a solder joint in a copper water line is at least 50 years with good water condition?
  • Heating and Cooling – Replacing a furnace or A/C unit will cost thousands of dollars! If you are old enough to buy a home and they are older than you, it’s time to replace them.
  • Electrical – Electrical code has changed a lot since the 1970s! If  you notice an old breaker box, or the house is full of two prong, ungrounded outlets, an update is needed.
  • Foundational – Cracks in the foundation can lead to structural issues and even water damage. This is a major cost, and one to consider when purchasing a home.

Buying a house is a huge decision! Make sure you are armed with enough information so you don’t get caught in a money pit!

OKC Realtors: Tips for first time home buyers

OKC Realtors: Handy tips for the first time home buyer

Buying a home can be a lengthy process. Some even find it scary. It takes a large amount of money and resources to buy a home and getting a bad deal can leave you stuck in bad way for years, even decades. OKC Realtors has some tips for the first time home buyer to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Save for a down payment early: The common rule for a down payment on a house is 20%. But most lenders will let you buy a house with a down payment with a little as 3% down. But these smaller down payments often mean larger higher costs overall and having to buy private mortgage insurance. Start saving early so you can keep your options on the down payment open.

Check your Credit (But not too much): When your getting approved for a loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in determining if your approved or not. It also helps determine interest rates on these loans. So be sure to check it before applying for a loan. Dispute any errors in your credit report and see if you can raise your score by paying off outstanding debts. It’s important to not obsessively check your credit score though, as multiple checks can lower your credit score. Once or twice shouldn’t hurt though.

Pause any new Credit activity: Any time you open a new account, whether it be for a new car loan or a credit card, the lender will check your credit score. This can actually temporarily lower your credit score. So be sure to stop any new credit activity before you start looking for a house.

If your looking for a new home, let the experienced realtors at Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.

Realtor OKC

OKC Realtors: Does your lawn affect your home value?

OKC Realtors: How does your lawn affect your property value?

If you’re looking to sell your home, you might know to update the appliances, fix the fence, and touch up the paint job among other things. But have you ever considered your lawn? Have a look at your lawn now, how is it? Is it clean cut or wild? Are there weeds you haven’t gotten around to exterminating yet? Are there any flowers in your garden? If your lawn is a mess it can actually affect the value of the home it’s in front of. OKC Realtors explains how.

Keeping your lawn in top shape will help you with one of the most important aspects of a home, the first impression. If someone is looking at homes a nice, well-kept lawn will help differentiate you from the other homes the buyer is looking at. If two homes have equal value, the one with the nicer lawn will leave a nicer first impression. In many cases, a well-kept lawn can actually raise the dollar value of your home!

Similarly, leaving a good first impression also does wonders to set expectations for the buyer. This plays of what psychologists call The Halo Effect, where characteristic influences a person’s opinion of all other characteristics related to it. If you’ve got a well-kept lawn, a potential buyer will think more highly of your home because of the halo effect. If your lawn is on the wild side though, the opposite will be true regardless if your house is spotless and up to date.

The lawn is an important part of the home even though it exists outside it. Taking the time to care for and groom your lawn can pay massive dividends when you decide to sell. If you are looking to sell, let Metro First Realty, OKC Realtors, help you find the perfect home.