Advice for Livermore Valley Home Sellers & Home Buyers!

home purchase offerHave you wanted to sell your Livermore Valley home but have been waiting for home prices to rise and equity to return? Have you wanted to buy a Livermore Valley home but have been busy saving up a down payment and paying down debt? No matter what has made you wait to accomplish your real estate goals in the Livermore Valley real estate market, now is the time to act!

As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I want to update you on the latest market news for Livermore Valley home sellers and Livermore Valley homebuyers. Whether you’re one, or both, here are some tips from MSN Real Estate that I’ve summarized for you.

Livermore Valley Home Sellers:

  • Jump-start the process now! The sooner you sell, the better, before competition from other sellers and new homes starts increasing. Sellers usually don’t realize how long the process takes, so begin to clean, declutter, organize and stage your home now. Also, consider getting an inspection done before listing your home, so you know what needs upgrading or repairing. You could also visit a couple open houses to get ideas for staging your own home.
  • Work the market in your favor. With prices up and inventory low, the Livermore Valley real estate market is in your favor right now! You still have to work it intelligently, though. Work with a Livermore Valley real estate agent that is familiar with the market and what homes are selling for. Don’t just go with the agent that promises you the best price. He might be bluffing. If you’re getting the price you wanted, and then some, offer the buyer something in good faith, such as a fast move-in date.

Livermore Valley Home Buyers:

  • Be credit-ready! As soon as you’re ready to buy, you want to get preapproved for a mortgage. Many sellers will turn you away if you’re not, seeing you as an unserious or complicated buyer. Also, this will help pinpoint what you can afford, so you’re not wasting time going after homes out of your price range. Check your credit report, and if your credit score is below 620, work on paying off debt and raising that score.
  • Adjust your negotiating expectations. With inventory low and home prices high, lowball offers just aren’t going to cut it in this competitive market. There are a lot of eager buyers out there, trying to beat rising mortgage rates and prices, so if you really love a house, start with a great offer and respond to counteroffers quickly. You want to avoid a bidding war. Try to have a few houses in mind, in case you lose one to another buyer.

For more tips, either as a Livermore Valley home seller or a Livermore Valley homebuyer, check out the full list from MSN Real Estate.

When you’re ready to buy or sell, or you have questions, contact me! As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I’m here when you need me!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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How to Prepare Now For the Livermore Valley Home-Buying Process In 2014

laptop_work_browsingThe year is quickly coming to a close, with the holidays arriving next week and the New Year beginning the week after! Chances are you are going to cozy up with friends and family and celebrate this festive season. But come 2014, it’ll be a great time to buy a Livermore Valley home!

As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I want to share how you can prepare for the home-buying process next year. There are plenty of steps you could take right now to ensure a smooth home purchase next year. Here’s a few:

  • Save up for a down payment. Rather than spend every last penny on holiday gifts, cut back this year. Do a grab bag or a secret Santa, where each person only buys for one other person. Or, decide that your gift this year will be buying a Livermore Valley home! That’ll be a great incentive to eat at home more often, brew your own coffee, watch old movies, take walks and find free events around Livermore Valley. The more money you save to put down on a house, the better mortgage rate you’ll receive!
  • Improve your credit score. Your credit score is the other half of the puzzle in receiving a mortgage loan. The higher your score, the better your chances are at getting accepted for a mortgage. Order a credit report now and check it for errors. If there are any, work toward fixing them. Pay down your credit card debt. Use the cards minimally and try to pay them off each month. Don’t open new cards or close existing cards. Don’t make any large purchases before buying your Livermore Valley home, and stay put in your current job.
  • Research the Livermore Valley real estate market. Now is a great time to see what homes are listing for and selling for in Livermore Valley, and how fast. This will give a good indication of how many Livermore Valley homebuyers are out shopping and what type of deals they’re getting. Because inventory is lower than usual, you have fewer options. However, this time of year, most Livermore Valley home sellers are looking for a quick sale, so you might have some negotiating power! It’s good to have an idea of what type of offers you’ll need to make ahead of time, so you’ll be prepared.
  • Find real estate professionals to work with. You’ll need a mortgage lender and you’ll need a real estate agent. I’ve got you covered on the agent end! As a Livermore Valley real estate agent, I have years of experience working here in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin. I can fill you in on the current state of the market and housing changes for the new year, and I can help you find homes in your price range and with the features you desire. I can point you in the right direction for other professionals that you’ll need to work with, too.

Contact me if you have any questions or when you’r ready to buy a Livermore Valley home. Have a wonderful holiday!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
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How to Save For a Down Payment as a Livermore Valley Homebuyer

money in handWith mortgage rates rising, it’s safe to say that if you want to buy a Livermore Valley home, your best bet is to act soon and have a down payment saved up. The most affordable mortgage rates available require at least 20 percent down.

If you don’t have that much saved, but you still want to buy soon, I’ve got some suggestions to share! As your Livermore Valley real estate agent, I want to help lead you down the path to homeownership in Livermore Valley, and to help make homeownership as affordable as possible for you.

Daily Finance recently shared tips on how to save $20,000 in just two years. You should aim for saving $833 a month for the next 24 months. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Make big changes first. If saving $833 per month is out of the question for you, decide what big change you could make to help this happen. Move in with family and save your rent money. Move to a smaller apartment. Get a roommate. Consider getting a second job for nights or weekends, or consider selling your car.
  • Take small but steady steps. Create a household budget to see exactly where your money is going. If you shop a lot, reduce your new clothes, shoes and the like. If you eat out a lot, start brewing your own coffee and cooking at home. Cancel cable or the internet for the time being. Ride your bike to work or to run errands. Start paying in cash. Ask yourself, “Do I need this or do I want this?”
  • Scale down your 401(k). The article suggests doing this only if you’re contributing more than what your company will match. You can scale back for a couple years, then return to putting that much in after you’ve saved your down payment. You could also boost your IRA contributions, because you can use up to $10,000 toward a down payment on a house.
  • Save your cash in a separate account. This way you can easily view your progress. Financial experts in the article recommend a high-yield savings account or a CD. Credit unions or online banks usually offer better interest rates than traditional banks. They suggest steering clear of investing this money, because there is always the risk of losing it.

When you’ve got 20 percent saved for a down payment and are ready to buy a Livermore Valley home, contact me, your Livermore Valley real estate agent! If you don’t have 20 percent saved but want to buy now, there are alternative loan options for you. If you’ve got questions about all this, contact a local mortgage lender. Feel free to also contact me! I’m happy to answer questions and help steer you in the right direction.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
View Livermore Listings
Visit My Website