Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The house my buyers did not buy....

When I first met my home buyers, they had already visited this lovely townhouse in a very desirable neighborhood in Garnet Valley.  They had connected with the listing agent and were getting ready to make an offer.

They were advised to get a buyers agent and their first question to me was - "How can you really help us at this stage?  We have already found the home we want to buy."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mortgage calculator does the math....

The mortgage forecast from most reliable sources is that mortgage rates will be increasing over the next year.  By next Spring, 5.5% is a very likely projection.  

What does this mean to home buyers who are waiting to buy their dream home?  Let’s look at some math…

For a mortgage amount of $350,000…which is about an average home value in Chester county 

-At the current average rate of 4.5% the note payment is $1773.40
-At the projected rate of 5.5% the note payment is $1987.26

So…what does a $213.86 difference in payment mean to mortgage amount/buying power?

By simply waiting to buy for a year - the house value you will be able to afford is reduced by 42k!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sellers Assist in a real estate transaction

What is a Sellers Assist?

When a buyer is short on cash to purchase a home, the seller may step in to assist them in the purchase by paying some of their closing costs.  For buyers, it essentially means they are rolling some of their closing costs into their mortgage.  

For example, if the purchase price is 350k with a 7k sellers assist, the effective purchase price is 343k. The buyer appreciates that flexibility and will need to bring 7k less to settlement.  The seller is happy to get the house sold.  

There are some caveats as to how much sellers assist is allowed by the lender though. Below is a guideline, courtesy of Michael Lamborn with CBHL - Coldwell Banker Home Loans.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Lowland - Jhumpa Lahiri

A beautiful story narrated very eloquently!  I have read all of Jhumpa Lahiri's books because I like her writing, but possibly more because I identify with the subjects she writes about.  She bridges the two countries and cultures very smoothly, and creates realistic characters with their strengths and shortcomings.

This jacket of this book advertises her literary praise
"Writer of uncommon elegance and poise"
"Splendid - Lahiri handles her characters without leaving any fingerprints"
"Such direct, translucent prose you almost forget you are reading"
I could not express any better.

The book shares some history of the Naxalite movement in India and paints a vivid picture of the middle class life in Kolkatta after Independence.  There is even a sense of suspense, you keep turning the pages wanting to know what happens to the characters.  Is Gauri selfish, ridden by her own demons, true to her love...what about the brothers? So close yet so different?  Did Subhash gain ultimately or lose?  Was Bela (yes one of the characters shares my name) at peace eventually?,

This would make a great book club book and generate a lot of discussion about people, their motivations and actions ....and ofcourse how they impact those around them.  Changes the trajectories of some lives, enriches others...or simply fades away.

I highly recommend reading this book.  Of all of Jhumpa's books, I feel this one is more universally appealing - though the readers straddling the Indian and American cultures will enjoy it even more.

Who was your favorite character?  Did you like the ending? Did the history fascinate you?  Are you likely to read her next book?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

My other Book Reviews...

Bela Vora, REALTOR®,
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
Website  |  Facebook  |  Blog  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More School Reports to guide house search in PA

More research and comparison of standardized tests ...released by the state's new School Performance Profiles.  Philly.com article "Downingtown school ranks first in state performance" tells you more about how some of the local schools in Chester county fared.  

The article goes on to talk more about the new magnet school in Downingtown school district (DASD) called STEM which ranked first among 620 schools in PA!

This link on the school's website gives more details on how they rank as well.

As Realtors, we are not allowed to steer any home buyers towards or away from any school district.  As a parent of a child going to STEM. I am happy to share some of my personal experiences.

More information about schools in Downingtown, PA and surrounding areas of Chester county.

Feel free to reach out if I can be of assistance with your real estate needs in this area.

Bela VoraREALTOR®, 
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Exton Real Estate.
Office: 610 363 6006; Cell: (484) 947 3127
ebsite  |  Facebook  |  Blog  

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Ridings At Uwchlan - Downingtown, PA

  • Sought after neighborhood in Downingtown East schools, located in Lionville - with a Downingtown zip code 19335.
  • Approximately 11 year old community, as I write this in Jan 2014, built by Southdown homes.
  • There are several communities in Chester county that are called Ridings - Ridings at Bell Tavern, Ridings of Malvern, Ridings at Brandywine etc. ...this one is Ridings at Uwchlan.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How to maintain or improve your credit score - Do's and DOn'ts

Renters who would like to become home buyers often find improving their credit scores a big challenge.  No need to pay credit agencies big money ...here are some common Do's and Don'ts in Credit

1. Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative
impact on your score.
2. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on
time, the better your score.
3. If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit
counselor. This will not improve your score immediately, but if you can begin to manage your
credit and pay on time, your score will get better over time.
4. Keep balances low (1-9%) on credit cards and other revolving credit. High outstanding
debt can affect a score.
5. Pay off debt rather than move it around.
6. Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems.
7. Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your score in the
long term.
8. Note that it is OK to request and check your own credit file. This will not affect your score, as long as you order your credit file directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit files to consumers (such as myFICO). 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Credit scores explained for first time home buyers.

Thinking of buying real estate?  First time home buyers have concerns about their credit score...WHat will the lender find when they run the credit report?  What really determines your credit score?

Hope this helps....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Understanding residential real estate appraisals

Any home purchase that requires a mortgage, needs an appraisal.  The lender orders it and buyer pays for the appraisal, an opinion of value from an independent third party - the appraiser.  The idea is for the lenders to reassure themselves, that the property is worth the purchase price.

A while back I had written a blog about how to determine the market value of your home - based on recent, local, comparable sales.  The appraiser does exactly that, and puts forth his opinion of value.  It is only an opinion of value - because 2 appraisers could value the same property at the same time, and come up with two widely differing values/opinions.  While the criteria is pretty objective, there is  huge subjective component, in that the sale comps picked, and adjustments done for important home features like finished basement, backyard patio, pool etc.  Final values could vary widely within a neighborhood based on how appraisers value upgrades.