Posted by: The Fry Team | November 25, 2016

Is a Low Price or Low Interest Rate Better?

Right now, buyers have the best of both worlds – home prices are beginning to slow down for the season and mortgage interest rates are near record lows. So should you wait for prices to go lower or take advantage of low interest rates right now?

The price of a home is fixed, so home prices have to drop significantly to beat a minor fluctuation in mortgage interest rates. Here are some numbers to consider:

  • If you buy a home at $400,000 with 10 Percent down ($360,000) and a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 3.5%, your monthly payment will be $1,617. If you keep the mortgage for the entire term, you’ll pay $221,962 in interest.

  • The same home at 4% interest costs $1,719, a difference of $102 more per month and $258,730 in interest over the life of the loan. The difference in interest payments alone is $36,768.

  • If you’re able to buy the home you want for five percent less ($380,000 less 10 percent down) and 3.5% interest, your payment would be $1,536, $81 less per month than in example one.

  • You’re able to buy the home for $380,000, but in the meanwhile, mortgage rates go to 5%. Your monthly payment is $1,633, $97 more per month than if you’d purchased at 3.5 percent.

Clearly, higher interest rates cost you more monthly, but getting a better deal on a home is nearly just as good. Take advantage of slowing prices and low interest rates while they’re both available. Happy home hunting!

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Posted by: The Fry Team | November 17, 2016

How CMAs and Appraisals Differ

Establishing a home’s market sales price is equally important to buyers, sellers, lenders and real estate professionals. To help transactions proceed quickly and efficiently, sales professionals and appraisers both utilize information from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The MLS is a professional member-based cooperative that contains a wealth of information including active listings, homes that have recently sold, tax roll data, historical data, and market trends such as how quickly homes are selling and how close they sell to the original listing prices.

Using this data, licensed real estate professionals prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) reports to help sellers choose a listing price for their homes and to help buyers make offers. The CMA is a consumer-facing report that includes recently sold homes and homes for sale that are most similar to the seller’s home in location, appearance, features, and general price range.

If the buyer is receiving financing through a bank, the bank will order an appraisal, using the same MLS data, but with some differences. A bank appraisal is performed by a licensed appraiser to determine market value. Comparable homes similar to those in a CMA are used to compare physical features, property tax records and recent solds to determine whether values are trending up or down.

In short, the CMA introduces consumers to the ever-changing marketplace of homes for sale and those properties that have recently sold. The appraisal determines market value for the bank so that the bank doesn’t lend too much money on a single property. Together, CMAs and appraisals help consumers buy and sell homes.

Posted by: The Fry Team | November 8, 2016

BHHS Luxury Listings Contest

An incredible “move in ready” custom estate, 19230 Palm Vista, Yorba Linda, was featured on the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Instagram yesterday via our Luxury Homes contest.

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You can also find us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/MaryFry714/, and we always follow back!

Posted by: The Fry Team | November 7, 2016

Get Out There and Vote!

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Need to check your polling place in Orange County? Check Here! – https://electionmapping.ocgov.com/pollfind/index-new.asp?electionabbr=gen2016

Posted by: The Fry Team | November 4, 2016

The Craftsman Style

Inspired by the British arts and crafts movement of the late 1800s, Craftsman homes celebrated wood, stone, iron, ceramic and glass artistry and craftsmanship. They had their heyday between the early 1900s and 1930s and were glamorized by leading architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Demand for down-to-earth housing arose after the fussy, formal Victorian age. Instead of separate rooms for every purpose, Craftsman homes featured open floor plans with few hallways. Dining rooms with built-in cabinetry replaced butler’s pantries. Storage and furniture solutions evolved, with more built-in bookcases, closets, benches and banquettes, reducing the need for extra furniture.

Practical bungalows became the rage and expanded into mansions. The original Craftsman homes were unpainted and the natural materials left untreated, including stucco. Emphasis was on the design elements of wood, glass, and metal. The Craftsman movement also called for reduced dependency on artificial light, so homes were designed with numerous windows.

How do you spot a Craftsman home? It will often feature inviting bay windows and a front porch with a low-pitched, gabled porch roof held up by tapered stone, wood or brick square columns. The wide overhanging eaves show exposed rafters.

Inside, all-wood trim, beamed ceilings and built-ins are in natural wood tones or stains and embellished with Art Nouveau wallpaper and tiles. Think Tiffany stained glass, Rookwood tiles and William Morris wallpapers with lush post-impressionistic designs in earth tones of woods, mountains and seascapes.

Craftsman houses feel earthy and homey, and are always built to last.

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