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It’s a great time time to buy a home, but there’s a catch—only for those who buy smart.  Tara-Nicholle Nelson, a broker in San Francisco, gives some tips that are relevant to the Las Vegas short sales market.

  • First, stay on track by getting the order right: Know what you want before looking rather than looking to find what you want.  By having a concrete vision of your home–including your price range, your vision of the home itself, and your vision of the location–you’ll avoid homes that are a bad fit.  An agent’s job is partly to translate your sometime abstract vision into a concrete dwelling, but the more you work to focus your vision, the happier you’ll be in the end.  Towards this end, write down what you want before consulting an agent.
  • Second, know what you want, but also know when to settle. To find the best deal, you need to strike a hard bargin but also be realistic about what kind of home you’re going to get for the money you’re willing to put up. If you’ve been searching for months on end and no home has met your complete wish list, then it might be time to compromise.  A real-life home that meets most of your needs is better than a dream house that remains merely a dream.
  • Third, caste a wide net, but then focus on one good fish.  That is, in the beginning, look widely around to find a broker you trust, but once you find your broker and your strategy, focus like a laser beam.  Housing markets vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood within a city. Having someone–a broker–with intimate knowledge of the local market can make a world of difference.  The focusing aspect of this strategy is necessary to avoid wild goose chases and to succeed in the sometimes tiring process of finding a home.
  • Fourth, the small print matters, especially for the Las Vegas short sales market. Contracts for short sales vary widely and the facts about the condition of the home become especially relevant. Make sure to read inspection reports for short sales.
  • Fifth, beat your own bad psychological habits by doing your accounting on paper and in the cool hour.  By this I mean that making financial decisions and calculations on the fly and in your head can sometimes break your bank.  We humans tend to weigh the price tag more heavily than extra fees and costs, even though money is money. We also tend to let our desires get in the way when we’re in the process of actual buying.  To avoid this, write up your all of the costs on paper or on a spreadsheet and make your decisions when you’re at your most realistic.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and sometimes stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a Las Vegas short sale, she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.



So, you’ve decided to sell your home. You have the internet and that sign in your front lawn. What could possibly go wrong? Lots. Whether you are one among many in the Las Vegas short sales market or just ready for a change of scenery, here are four tips to help you when selling your home:

1. Don’t attend your own open house.

This one is probably more difficult for some than others, but if you are selling your house, you really shouldn’t be around at the open house. All the reasons you might think your home would be great for a potential buyer might not translate. Instead allow the buyers to give unbiased, objective feedback to the agent. This will only help you in the end.

2. Do hire an agent.

What can an agent do that a for-sale-by-owner can’t? To start,  you won’t get on the multiple-listing service (MLS). That means that other agents are not going to know that your property is for sale. An agent can also show your home for you, which saves you the time of having to be home whenever a potential buyer wants to come by and take a look. Last, having an agent during the closing will help you understand all of the legal complexities.

3. Don’t pick the wrong agent.

If anything is worse than having no agent, it has to be having the wrong agent. A meeting with an agent should be like a job interview because this person is going to be working for you. It can also be helpful to meet with an agent in her office. Not only will you find out how organized the agent is, but you’ll have a better feel for the environment she works in and whether her level of professionalism is conducive to being able to do a good job for you.

4. Do explore all of your marketing options.

When you meet with your real estate agent, discuss the different marketing tools that he or she has available. This should be done in the beginning when you are setting up a contract.

Considering selling your home?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search. Or call Kathryn Bovard direct at 702-348-7191 so she can assist and navigate you through the entire process.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported that cash buyers made up 51% of all Las Vegas homes purchased in January, a first ever for Las Vegas. And this number will only be increasing due to Las Vegas’ emergence as one of the most affordable housing markets in the nation. But what is so exciting is who these cash buyers are that purchased more than half of existing home sales.  Most of them are, in fact, investors who will keep buying homes in cash as long as lending standards remain tight, prices remain at bargain levels and the availability of lower-priced, bank-owned homes is plentiful.

Paul Bell, president of the Realtors association, was recently quoted in Hubble Smith’s article in The Las Vegas Review Journal as saying, “I’d say we’re fortunate to have these buyers in our community. These smart-money buyers are voting with their pocketbooks on the future of our local housing market. It shows domestic and worldwide interest in real estate here because we’re seeing many international investors buying property here at an amazing rate.” Basically what this increasing percentage of investors as buyers tells us is that they obviously think our market is undervalued and see potential for growth. And this could translate into a wonderful opportunity to seize the market by buying a home now before the growth spurt that investors are predicting. Although many investors are buying deteriorating homes to renovate and then rent or sell them at a profit, a buyer in this market has other options too.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search. Whether buying a Las Vegas Home or renting, don’t try to go at it alone. There’s lot of resources online, and an email to a local real estate or mortgage pro can set you in the right direction.

How common are housing bubbles? In a recent article from The New York Times, Robert J. Shiller, professor of economics and finance at Yale, explores the question of how common housing bubbles are, and what’s more, if we should expect another one soon.

Schiller argues that the most recent housing bubble and burst is unlike any other housing cycle in history, nationally or internationally. Prior to our current market, housing bubbles had been smaller and more regional. But by examining past booms and busts in the market, Shiller hopes to give us insight into our present situation as well as guidance for the next decade.

The 1970′s sets itself apart as the only decade in the early 20th century to have a bubble of national significance. The cause? An increasingly growing belief that the earth would not be able to sustain the growing population and in turn land would be in greater demand, thus raising its value. Then the Federal Reserve came down hard on credit in the U.S., bursting the bubble and leading to the recessions of the early 1980′s. Although there were scattered housing bubbles prior to this, they were infrequent, usually decades apart.  The larger bubbles, such as the farmland bubble that Schiller mentions, were also either infrequent or unprecedented, and many of these occurred in times of less regulation aimed at stopping bubbles.  This all  suggests that the current housing bubble will also be rare.

Ultimately Shiller maintains that given the history of land bubbles combined with the new policy restraints, a new housing bubble looks unlikely to happen again anytime soon.  Though it will take some time for the housing market to recover, the ultimate source of bubbles is the way the public thinks about a market.  With bubbles, the culprit is unfounded enthusiasm.  And since most people, Schiller says, view housing as an investment, we won’t likely hear any “pops” in the future.

If you are a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options – including a Las Vegas short sale, contact us today for a no obligation short sale consultation.

Did you know that according to the National Association of Realtors single women account for 21% of all home purchases? Did you also know that single men only account for 10%? Because female homebuyers share certain concerns when buying a home, Marilyn Kennedy Melia at Bankrate.com points out the following four tips for them to keep in mind:

1. Plan For Your Retirement.

Mariko Chang, a consultant who recently completed a report on the wealth gap for women for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, Calif. says that several factors, like a greater likelihood of working at jobs that offer paltry retirement and other benefits, keep single women from achieving their financial goals. He also claims that although the nation has witnessed a housing bust, homes should still climb in value over the long haul, leaving longtime owners with a valuable asset. This means that owning a home can help women enter a more secure retirement if they pay down their loan balance over time. Chicago-based certified financial planner Leisa Aiken says it is a mistake to expect a quick run-up in property values, especially since there’s still an abundant supply. “You shouldn’t think of a home as an investment that will make you rich,” Aiken says. “But if you buy a home that you can afford to pay off, maintain and live in over a long period of time, you’ll have a low-cost place to live in retirement.”

2. Don’t Borrow Too Much.

Experts caution against borrowing as big a home loan as a lender will approve. Mortgage lenders may approve borrowers with good credit and other favorable factors for a home mortgage that, combined with their other regularly occurring debts, takes up one-third or more of the borrower’s gross pay. Instead, decide what percentage of your gross pay works with your budget and will not be a financial strain.

3.  Aggressively Research Financing.

Don’t select a lender based solely on a friend’s recommendation. Rather, check rates with several mortgage lenders. Zhenguo Lin, assistant professor of real estate at Mississippi State University, co-authored a recent study that found women head of households pay 40 basis points — nearly 0.5 percent — more on home mortgages than other borrowers. When controlled for income, credit score and other factors, that difference dropped to 8 basis points. “But that’s still significant,” says Lin, who believes the cost variance is due to the fact that 41% of women say they relied on a recommendation, while only 25% of men did.

4. Try to Get Seller Concessions.

How much money is actually needed to maintain a home is one of the most misunderstood aspects of ownership. But buyers who know better are able to get concessions from sellers upfront to fix any imminent problem an inspection may turn up.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search. Whether buying a Las Vegas Home or renting, don’t try to go at it alone. There’s lot of resources online, and an email to a local real estate or mortgage pro can set you in the right direction.

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