Lewes Real Estate Pro Lends a Hand via Relocation Expertise
Remember the good old days, when most people could depend on staying in the same job in the same community for an entire career? Okay; the truth is, I don’t actually remember any time like that—but I do remember watching TV shows about it... The truth is, as with so many other facets of 21st Century life, sudden career upheavals that cause a Lewes citizen to undertake an abrupt relocation are fairly common today. And accelerated timing requirements can make the situation more intense.
Even without that added obstacle, familiarity with the ins and outs of practical relocation is one of the most valuable assets you gain access to when selecting an experienced Lewes Realtor®. Especially when a relocation is in your immediate future (even if it’s a future that became apparent without a lot of warning), the reality of having to deal with the mass of details accompanying both moving out and moving in can seem like a huge gray, angry-looking cloud hanging overhead.
Just getting a handle on the details can go far to remove the mystery and dispel anxiety. A short list of the elements that need to be determined and coordinated are:
a. Professional and school requirements
b. Transaction imperatives in both communities
c. Moving and storage details
d. Utility requirements
Once a timeline is determined and a To Do checklist assembled, it will be possible to stay on top of the process. Most importantly, it will help highlight those details that seem to be falling behind— allowing them to get extra attention. Staying abreast of relocation details is the single most important keys that will lead to a smooth outcome. It’s one of Murphy’s Laws that, come moving day, any detail that has been put off until the last minute is likely to cause foul-ups of one kind or another. For instance, if the electric service wasn’t notified far enough in advance, count on the move taking place on the hottest day of the year. Unpacking cartons and moving furniture around without working air conditioners is a memory best avoided!
Any relocation is a challenge that requires a welter of decisions in areas that fall outside what people encounter in everyday living. Fortunately, it’s a challenge that your Lewes real estate professional encounters regularly. Help with practical relocation to (or from) Lewes is just one of the areas of practical expertise that is yours to tap into when you put an experienced Realtor on your team.
- Written by Russell Stucki
Long-Range Strategy for Selling a Home in Lewes
This is actually a situation that’s very common, but not much remarked upon: you know you are going to be selling your Lewes home—only not for a while…and perhaps not for a very long while! Is there anything you should be doing now, long before actual preparations are called for?
There sure is! Let’s call these low-intensity preparations. They may be low-intensity in the immediacy department, but when the distant day arrives when you are selling your home, they can be very fortuitous. Here are some of the elements you can benefit from putting into action long before you expect to need them—
Number One (the most obvious and perhaps most important) is landscaping. Trees and bushes are part of the backdrop of our everyday living, and something many people—even gardeners—may tend to accept without envisioning large-scale changes. That’s because they grow so slowly it doesn’t seem realistic to worry about what might be possible. But when you think long-range, landscaping should be at the forefront. When the time comes for selling your home, a vision first initiated five or 10 years earlier can become a colorful and shady reality, worth a very great deal in terms of the overall impression your Lewes property makes.
It’s human nature to just put up with heating, plumbing, air conditioning and other systems that could operate much more conveniently and economically, but which are expensive to overhaul. But think realistically: if you know that later on you will be selling your Lewes home—and realistically will certainly have to upgrade those vexing mechanicals when that happens—give serious thought to taking action earlier…even NOW! Not only will you be able to enjoy the improvement, it’s entirely possible that savings realized from the gains in efficiency will materially offset your initial outlay. Why let the future owners get all the benefit?
When you are selling a home, photography is one of the most impactful marketing tools you’ll have at your disposal. A couple of years before you plan to join the Lewes listings, keep a camera ready to snap those fleeting moments when the season and light combine to make some detail of garden or home magically illuminated. Even a professional photographer can’t ‘make’ such moments happen. As Ansel Adams’ outdoor masterpieces confirmed: the perfect light at the perfect season is worth more than money can buy.
- Written by Russell Stucki
Lewes Listings Might Echo U.S. Trend toward Less Luxury
Just as with movie credits, the features you find in Lewes listings have a “billing order.” The “stars” may not be printed in gigantic superstar type—but the order in which they appear do reflect changes in current buyer priorities. For a homeowner soon to add their property to this summer’s Lewes listings, it’s important to learn which features currently tend to attract the most favorable attention from prospective buyers. It’s of more than marketing interest, as well: knowing what’s in and what out can also help determine where improvement dollars should go.
The question is, which features are most desirable, and which formerly popular features have become passé: “so Twentieth Century!”
New answers to these questions usually appear a couple of times a year—and 2015 is no exception. The latest one I found was on the Realtor.com website. It went into recent history, describing in detail how listings’ features for newly-built homes have been undergoing rapid change over the past few years. In general (and probably as a reaction to the difficult economic times that only lately have seen improvement), over-the-top luxury details are fading, being replaced in favor of features centered on efficiency, organization, and pragmatism.
Examples of the kinds of details less likely to be found in today’s listings are two-story foyers, master bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, and luxurious details like outdoor kitchens. (“NOPE” in capital letters is shown stenciled over a picture of one of those outdoor kitchens…which, I have to admit, really does look like it belongs in a hotel). Whereas ten years ago, those outdoor kitchens with fancy wine racks might have been found near the top of a listing, today it might be replaced by ‘walk-in closets’ or even, simply, a ‘laundry room.’
“It’s not sexy,” says one industry executive, “but that’s what people want.”
The most extensive survey of home builder trends is conducted by their national association, the NAHB. By quizzing nearly 400 builders, they concluded that other features on the decline include outdoor fireplaces, sunrooms, and media rooms. Taking their places (and likely candidates for what we’ll soon see creeping toward the tops of some of our Lewes listings) are the walk-in closets (since people want to get out the door efficiently first thing in the morning) and well-organized and well-lit laundry rooms (to improve the efficiency of the household).
As part of a “post-recession cultural shift toward pragmatism,” this makes perfect sense. But that word “post-recession” may offer a clue to what could be the temporary nature of the NAHB’s 2015 findings. For example, granite countertops—once a ‘luxury’ item in Lewes listings—are now more popular than the laminate alternatives. And those supposedly unpopular media rooms are not vanishing totally. They’re simply being replaced by spaces that are “more flexible.”
- Written by Russell Stucki
Lewes Multi-Family Housing: Investment and Residence Choice
Lewes multi-family housing is the umbrella term covering all the various kinds of residences that shelter more than one family. Everything from duplexes and homes with guest cottages to apartment complexes fall into the category, which is most often thought of in terms of the solid investment potential it represents.
While Lewes multi-family housing offers all of the same investment potential and more (the economies of scale can give an apartment building listing, for instance, many times the profit potential of a single family rental), a multi-family residence can also be the pathway to homeownership for a first-time home buyer. You might not think so, but when a prospective buyer will also be resident, standard financing guidelines—even for FHA loans—may apply. The lending particulars vary by a given Lewes property’s specifics—among other factors, whether or not cash flow-producing tenants are already in place. But the assumption that the higher mortgage amounts associated with multi-family housing opportunities automatically puts them out of reach ain’t (as the song says) necessarily so!
The NAR® finds that some 38% of residences are purchased by first-time buyers—yet it’s a safe bet that most of them would never consider that purchasing multi-family homes could be a great way to own their first home (and even generate some extra income at the same time). To begin to examine this as a possibility, some basic research into some of the key elements of multi-family financing is a logical preliminary step.
· Down Payment Options
Today’s loan requirements may be seeing some degree of easing, but most Lewes multi-family homes listings carry bigger down payments than single residences. Even so, some FHA loans for a one- to four-unit home require just a 3.5% down payment. A variety of other loan programs emphasizing affordable down payment options may also apply.
· Cash Reserves Requirements
Some traditional lenders have no specific cash reserve requirements, while the FHA has defined guidelines. For one- or two-unit properties, buyers must have one month’s worth of reserves (cash left after closing). For three- to four-unit homes, the requirement is for three months of reserves.
· Debt-to-Income Ratio
Lenders evaluate debt-to-income ratios to include other monthly debt payments as well as the anticipated mortgage payment. They weigh that against gross monthly income…and, needless to say, lenders who include a high percentage of projected rental income will be more likely to find a loan viable.
- Written by Russell Stucki