While there are a number of areas of our world where do-it-yourself (DIY) efforts are often effective and efficient, there are also others where this kind of approach should be avoided. One area that's typically within this latter category in almost every case: Selling your home, a process in which you should be utilizing the services of a professional realtor.
At The Albright Team, we're here to assist with all your Las Vegas real estate needs, including helping clients list properties for sale and sell their homes for great value. What are some of the main reasons why working with quality realtors like ours is so important if you're entering this process? Here's a basic primer in this two-part blog series.
Staying Abreast of Market Changes
The home market is constantly in a state of flux, with values going up and down seemingly all the time. It's tough to keep track of these changes as a layperson, and this can cost you dearly if you're not current on the most recent trends. A realtor, on the other hand, is laser-focused on such things; it's their job to know what's happening in the market.
For this reason, realtors are often able to help their clients sell for a much higher value than if the client attempted to go it alone. By being up-to-date on all the most recent market trends, realtors can give you an accurate estimate of your home's value and ensure that you're not leaving any money on the table.
Help With Finding Buyers
Another major area where a realtor will assist you is within maximizing your pool of potential buyers. Selling a home is all about finding the right buyer who's willing to pay your asking price (or as close to it as possible). While you might have some luck finding such a buyer on your own, the reality is that most people don't have the necessary networks and connections to make this happen.
A realtor, on the other hand, does have these things. Through their networks of potential buyers, they can help you sell your home much more quickly than if you were to go it alone and try to find a buyer on your own. For instance, at The Albright Team, we have a number of programs and strategies in place to help our clients find the right buyers for their homes.
These are just a few of the many reasons why working with professional realtors is so important if you're looking to sell your home. In our next blog post, we'll delve into a few more reasons why this is so important.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our realtor services to assist you in buying or selling a Las Vegas home, speak to the staff at The Albright Team today.
There are a few numbers that will be vital during your home search and mortgage acquisition, and one of the single most important is your mortgage rate. Referring to the rate of interest you'll pay across the life of your loan, mortgage rate can have a large impact on the total amount you pay over the years -- and shopping around to get the best rate possible is generally advisable.
At The Albright Team, we're happy to assist clients looking for homes for sale in Las Vegas in numerous ways, including recommending top loan officers and loan originators who offer our clients quality rates. What are some of the tips we regularly offer clients on how to shop around for the ideal mortgage rate? Here are a few to keep in mind, which we'll discuss in this two-part blog series.
Don't Choose a Lender Based on Advertised Rates
Chances are, you've seen a number of advertisements from various mortgage lenders about their rates. Simply put, these kinds of advertisements should not be a deciding factor when choosing a lender.
Here's why: first, the rates advertised are usually the lowest possible rates that people with perfect credit scores can qualify for. In other words, if your credit score is not in excellent shape, you're likely to be offered a higher rate than what's advertised.
In addition, the rate you're quoted may come with a number of strings attached, such as the requirement that you purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), use a specific type of property insurance, or agree to pay certain closing costs. When all is said and done, the rate you're actually offered may end up being much higher than what was advertised.
Get Rate Quotes from Multiple Lenders
When shopping for mortgage rates, it's vital not to just accept the first rate you're offered. Instead, get rate quotes from multiple lenders so that you can compare and contrast.
It's important to keep in mind, however, that simply getting a rate quote is not enough. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples by getting rate quotes for the same loan amount, loan type, and term length. This will give you a true apples-to-apples comparison that will be much more helpful than comparing rates from different lenders for different types of loans.
In addition, make sure to ask each lender about any and all fees associated with the loan. These fees can add up quickly, so you'll want to make sure they're factored into your comparison. For instance, some lenders may charge a higher origination fee than others, while some may require you to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) even if you have a 20 percent down payment.
In part two of our series, we'll go over some additional tips here. For more on this, or for help finding the best real estate listings in your area, speak to the staff at The Albright Team today.
In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at some of the simplest cost areas you should be budgeting for if you're looking to obtain a mortgage and enter the homebuying world. There are a few vital such areas as you begin this process, and ensuring you're prepared for all of them as you move forward is important.
At The Albright Team, we'll walk you through the entire process of buying a home in Las Vegas, plus show you all the areas where we'll assist you along the way. We've helped numerous clients with their basic budgeting and related themes as they look to purchase home of their dreams; here are a few additional areas you should be thinking about once you enter this realm.
Current and Future Expenses
Buying a home comes with more than just a mortgage -- it also comes with a variety of necessary, ongoing expenses you'll need to budget for over time. Many Las Vegas area homes have homeowners' association (HOA) fees, which can add thousands of dollars to your total annual costs as a homeowner. Depending on the size and value of your home, there may also be property taxes that you'll need to pay each year. These taxes are based on the appraised value of your home, which may be different than what you paid for it depending on when you purchase.
You'll also need to have money set aside for things like painting and repairs, both inside and outside the home. No matter how well-kept a home is before you buy it, there are always going to be maintenance costs in the future, and it's best not to be caught off guard with these expenses.
Finally, you'll also need to consider important expenses like moving, relocation and other costs that come with buying a home. These may include help purchasing your new furniture, decorations and anything else you need to set up your new pad -- not to mention packing supplies and moving services when it's time to make the big move itself.
Maintaining Some Savings
Though the various elements we've gone over here represent some significant financial needs when purchasing a home, it's also important to keep in mind that there will always be other, unexpected expenses that may come up. That's why it's crucial to have some savings set aside even after you've bought a home; this can help you weather any financial storms that pop up, whether they're related to your home or not.
Ideally, you should keep at least three to six months' worth of savings set aside in your account. This may help if you have to take time off work due to illness, or even if you need to make a quick job change that comes with a significant loss of income. Having such funds readily available can be a huge stress reliever as a homeowner.
For more on how to budget for your homebuying needs, or to learn about any of our homes, condos or townhomes for sale in Las Vegas, speak to the pros at The Albright Team today.
Budgeting is an important task in many areas, and one of the single most vital is among those who are looking to buy a home. As one of the most significant purchases you'll likely make in your life, buying a home takes some serious preparation in terms of budgeting and finances -- but you have professionals on your side during this process, too.
At The Albright Team, we're here to assist you with numerous parts of the process of buying a home, condo or townhome in Las Vegas. From locating ideal homes in the area you desire to assistance with budgeting and many related themes, we're here with you every step of the way. In this two-part blog series, we'll run through all the important areas you should be budgeting for -- from your mortgage to several others.
The first and most significant expense you should be budgeting for is your mortgage. But there are a few different types of mortgages, and each come with their own set of pros and cons.
If you're looking to stay in your home for a long period of time, you'll likely want to go with a fixed-rate mortgage. With this type of mortgage, your interest rate will be locked in for the entirety of the loan, giving you peace of mind and stability regarding your budget.
Alternatively, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) could be a good option if you anticipate needing to move or sell your home before the end of the loan term. With an ARM, your interest rate will be lower at the start of the loan but could increase over time -- which means your monthly mortgage payments could also rise.
The other most notable expense you'll need to save for is your down payment. The average down payment on a home in the U.S. is around 10 percent, but this number will differ depending on the type of mortgage you choose.
For example, if you go with a conventional loan, you'll likely need to put down 20 percent of the home's purchase price. But if you opt for an FHA loan, you may be able to put down as little as 3.5 percent.
Of course, the more money you can put down upfront, the lower your mortgage payments will be each month -- so it's important to save as much as possible for your down payment.
Another mortgage-related expense to budget for are closing costs, which are the fees associated with finalizing and issuing your loan. These costs can add up quickly, so it's important to be prepared.
On average, closing costs total around 2 to 5 percent of the home's purchase price -- so on a $200,000 home, you could be looking at $4,000 to $10,000 in closing costs.
In part two of our series, we'll look at some ongoing costs that may also be a piece of this puzzle. For more on this, or to learn about any of our real estate listings or other realtor services for Las Vegas clients, speak to The Albright Team today.
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic benefits of owning a home rather than regularly renting. There are several ways you'll benefit from this approach, especially given how low interest rates are on today's home market and the great deals available to you.
At Vision Reality Group, The Albright Team is here to help you find the best homes for sale throughout Las Vegas, plus to show you some of the numerous benefits of going this route if you've been renting for many years. Here are some other major reasons why you should consider a home purchase moving forward.
Gaining Equity in Your Investment
The term "equity" is one you'll hear often when you're buying a home, as it's one of the most important benefits to remember. Equity is simply the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and how much your home is currently worth.
So, for example, if you have a $200,000 home with a $150,000 mortgage, you'd have $50,000 in equity. And as your home appreciates in value over time (assuming you don't sell it), that equity will continue to grow.
This is important because, unlike with a rental property, you actually own your home outright and can't be kicked out by the landlord. Plus, if you ever need to borrow money against your home equity, you'll have a lot more to work with than if you had no equity at all.
A Tax Deduction for Mortgage Interest
One of the biggest tax breaks available to homeowners is the deduction for mortgage interest. This allows you to deduct the amount of mortgage interest you pay in a given year from your taxable income, which can be a huge help if you're in a higher tax bracket.
Of course, there are some limitations to this deduction depending on your income and the size of your mortgage, but it's still a great perk to keep in mind. And of course, if you're still renting, you get none of these benefits.
Finally, while this isn't the most notable benefit for anyone, many people simply enjoy the achievement and status of owning their own home. There's something about being able to say "I own my own home" that feels good, and it can be a great source of pride for you and your family. There's nothing wrong with this being part of the reason you pursue homeownership either!
There are many other reasons to buy a home rather than rent one, but these are some of the most important ones. If you're interested in learning more about any of these concepts, or about viewing our homes for sale, speak to the pros at The Albright Team today.
The process of moving into homeownership from prior rental situations is an important one, and not just because you'll get to stop paying rent every month. There are several different financial and other benefits associated with owning a home rather than renting, and given how low interest rates are on the market right now, there's no better time to consider making this move.
When you work with The Albright Team, we'll position you for a quality purchase on any home, condo or townhome for sale in Las Vegas -- and our realtors have helped numerous clients realize the immense potential benefits of owning a home rather than continuing a cycle of paying rent. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over several reasons you might be considering moving from renting into homeownership.
The simplest reason for owning a home over renting is very basic: Instead of paying monthly living costs to someone else and enriching their bank account, you're putting that money into your own long-term investment. A home you own will continue to appreciate in value over time, and that value – combined with the savings you accumulate on monthly costs – will increase your financial stability as soon as you move in.
Renters can't hold onto their savings until later; landlords expect full payment at the first of every month, no matter what. With a home you own, however, this is not the case.
Rent is Going Up Fast
Moreover, as longtime renters are well aware, the costs of rent in many markets are skyrocketing. There are numerous rent-related horror stories these days, especially in high-demand markets like New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Owning a home is an effective way to protect yourself against this trend; as long as you're not overspending on your monthly payment relative to your income (and if you hire us to work with you, we'll make sure this doesn't happen), the value of your home will continue to rise -- and if you have a fixed-rate mortgage like many first-time buyers do, your monthly payment will stay the same.
Interest Rates Are Very Low
One current circumstance that makes owning a home even more attractive and potentially attainable is the fact that interest rates are still really low; in fact, they're at their lowest point since the 1950s. What this means for prospective homebuyers is that you'll be able to snag a great deal on your mortgage (we can help you do this) and therefore spend less money on payments each month.
Down Payment Assistance
For some, the primary barrier in moving from renting to homeownership is the down payment, and their assumption that they must have 20% of the home's value saved to put down. But especially for many first-time buyers, this isn't a strict requirement -- there are many loan programs or forms of down payment assistance that can be used, from grants from various government agencies to loans from private organizations.
In certain cases, these down payment options can even mean a home is completely free -- your mortgage payments will cover the full purchase price of the house each month. This is an incredible way to move into homeownership with no upfront costs and low monthly payments, making it easier for those who don't have large sums in savings to make this move.
For more on why owning a home is far preferable to renting in several financial ways, or to learn about any of our homes or condos for sale, speak to The Albright Team today.
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the possible reasons why you might consider an existing home for your purchasing needs. While these homes may not have certain features you'd find in a brand new home that's never been lived in before, there are a number of other reasons, including costs and personal preference, why many buyers go the existing home route -- and vice versa.
At The Albright Team, we're happy to offer the very best realtor services to clients throughout Las Vegas, showcasing their home options in both the existing and new home realms. While part one of our series went over why many buyers prefer existing homes, today's part two will flip the script and dig into some of the specific reasons you might prioritize a new construction home for your needs.
More Customization Capabilities
For those who want to personally design numerous elements of their home's structure, floor plan and general design features, new homes offer the best options -- and there are a lot of them. We don't mean to imply that an existing home has zero customization capabilities, but if you're looking for the ultimate in creative control over your home's layout and designs, we think it's hard to beat a new construction experience.
From the exact square footage of certain rooms to how a given area is laid out, make the most out of your new construction home with the ability to personalize its features. At The Albright Team, we can connect you with a new construction marketplace where your life-long dreams and incentives will come to fruition in no time.
Energy efficiency is a major theme for many new homeowners, and one way to ensure you're getting highly efficient home products is through new home construction. While it's not always the case with every single product, you can often find a higher degree of energy-efficiency in many new homes -- and this is good news for your wallet.
Not only this, but you're also lowering your carbon footprint in the process. This is a major way people can support the environment with their daily actions and purchases, and with your new construction purchase, you're making one of those important contributions that ultimately helps keep our planet in good shape for future generations to enjoy.
Limiting Repair Needs
Because every appliance and fixture in the new home will be brand new, there's a good chance you'll see your repair needs decrease over time. This is especially true if you're buying one of the latest home models at any given time -- they tend to be more durable and reliable than older homes that were built years ago with less efficient appliances and features.
For more on the benefits of purchasing a brand new home for your needs, or to learn about any of our realtor services or real estate available in the Las Vegas area, speak to the staff at The Albright Team today.
You have a number of choices to make as a buyer entering the home market, and one is regarding whether to purchase an existing home or a new construction home. Both these options may have their own set of potential benefits depending on your situation and your budget, and which you choose will depend on several different factors.
When you work with The Albright Team, you get the very best assistance in finding condos, townhomes and numerous homes for sale throughout Las Vegas. We've helped clients with a variety of existing homes and new construction homes alike, and we'll be happy to guide you in the right direction based on your needs. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over the benefits of both these options -- today's part one will dig into the reasons many people go with existing homes, while part two will cover why a newly-built home might be attractive to you.
Wider Variety of Layouts and Options
If you want to have a lot of versatility in the floor plans, layouts and various home amenities you're viewing on your home tours, going with existing homes offers the much larger swath of options. This is because the existing home market will feature homes from decades ago that have been remodeled as well as brand-new builds, whereas the new construction home market will be mostly comprised of homes that were just built within the last few years. So if you want to see a lot of different floor plans and layouts quickly, checking out existing homes for sale is your best bet.
Another major benefit of purchasing an existing home in many situations: You'll get to buy into a neighborhood that is already established with a community feel and infrastructure in place. This includes amenities like parks, schools, grocery stores and other necessary conveniences.
If you're not interested in waiting for new construction homes to be built and want to move into a neighborhood that already has a sense of community, existing homes are definitely the way to go.
Mature Yard, Trees and Landscaping
Many of us don't want to spend the time planting and caring for trees and a garden in our front yard, or dealing with the upkeep of a large backyard. And if this sounds like you, purchasing an existing home is definitely your best bet, as most of these homes will come with mature landscaping that doesn't need much TLC. This can be a huge time-saver for you down the line!
Character and History
Finally, some people simply prefer the character and history of existing homes over newly-built ones. If you're drawn to older homes with unique features and details, it's likely you'll prefer purchasing an existing home instead of a new construction one.
There are plenty of reasons to consider both purchasing an existing home or a new construction home when buying a house. In part two of this series, we'll go over why new construction is so attractive to some buyers. For more on this, or to learn about any of our quality realtor services, speak to the pros at The Albright Team today.
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some common, unfortunate myths that have sprung up in the real estate world in recent years. Some of these are somewhat harmless misconceptions, but others are major myths that, if taken seriously, might negatively impact several areas of a buyer's process.
At The Albright Team, we're proud to not only offer a wide range of homes, townhomes and condos for sale in Las Vegas and numerous other areas, but also to assist our clients with all the proper areas of information they need while pursuing their real estate goals -- and that includes steering them clear of misinformation in any part of our world. Here are a few more of the worst myths we've heard, plus the correct information on each of them.
Myth #4: "I've Bought a Home Before, So I'm Already a Pro"
A common issue we see from those who have already been in the real estate market in the past: Assuming that one pass through this world instantly makes you an expert. While it's true that you'll learn a lot during your first time in the real estate world, the fact remains that there's always more to learn, especially in these changing times.
Just as importantly, it's still vital to work with a quality realtor even if you've already done this before. A quality agent has several qualities that you won't find in the average real estate agent, from a knowledge of the local market to several tactics or techniques you likely haven't been exposed to.
Myth #5: All Agents Want is to Make a Sale
Perhaps the largest misconception about real estate agents in general is the idea that their only goal is to sell a home no matter what. And while it's true that we work hard for our clients who are selling their homes, our services go well beyond that.
The truth of the matter is that we love what we do, and a quality agent gets a lot more out of their work than making money. When you're working with a realtor, you're developing a relationship with another person in your community who can help you not only find homes for purchase, but also sell yours when the time comes.
Myth #6: You Can Rely Completely on Zillow's Estimates
While Zillow is a perfectly robust resource for you to peruse on a casual basis when considering the real estate market, we don't recommend utilizing it for your actual home search if you're seriously considering buying or selling. Zillow is notoriously known for wildly inaccurate information, and this holds true in both the home buying process as well as at the time of your home's sale.
Make sure that if you're looking into getting serious about any purchase or sale, you contact us to get entirely accurate information on what your property might be worth.
For more on avoiding common real estate myths, or to learn about any of our home listings or other services, speak to the pros at The Albright Team today.
While the rise of the internet and other forms of integrated media present numerous benefits to the world, they have some downsides as well. One of these that's applicable across numerous popular industries, including the real estate world: Myths are easier to create and spread.
When you work with The Albright Team, led by Las Vegas native Kelly Albright, you get personalized, caring services that include several basic areas of expertise -- including correcting any of the silly myths you may have heard about this world before you contacted us. Sadly, there are a number of these out there; this two-part blog series will hit on all the most common real estate and realtor misconceptions, ensuring you have the proper information to move forward with your housing needs.
Myth #1: All Realtors are the Same
This first myth simply couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, every single real estate agent has different specialties, talents and training.
An agent who has been in the industry for two decades is going to have a different set of expertise than a new agent who has just finished their formal training, for example. Agents will also differ in areas like their number of clients, whether they work with buyers or sellers (or both), and several other areas.
Myth #2: You Get a Better Deal Without an Agent
This is another myth that often comes up, and one that reveals a simple lack of understanding for how real estate agents are compensated. Agent commissions, both for buyer and seller agents, are paid by the seller and can often be as high as six percent of the sales price.
As a buyer, this means you pay nothing for the numerous benefits you'll be receiving, which include experience in the local area, access to tools that help you get the best possible price on your new home and someone who knows how to answer all of your questions.
Myth #3: Any Home You See Online is Available
Many people browse sites like Zillow and others to check on available homes in their area, but it's important to note that these sites aren't always 100 percent accurate. Often, the owners of these homes want to be present when interested buyers come calling, or they might have already accepted another offer.
Either way, it's always best to call our office directly and speak with an agent about whatever property you're considering; this is one of the key areas of value realtors help provide, in fact. We'll help you understand the various terms involved here and why some homes might be listed as "active," "new" or "contingent," among other possible listings.
For more debunked myths in the real estate world, or to learn about any of our realtor services in Las Vegas, speak to the staff with The Albright Team today.
Kelly Albright is Broker/Owner of Vision Realty Group and has been in Real Estate for 17 years. She has closed over 700 homes in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.