Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Gifts Without Shopping

What do they want? What do they need? Will it fit? Do they already have one? These are the common thoughts running through our minds when trying to find the perfect gift.

The gift of really listening with no interrupting, no daydreaming and no planning your response is exactly what people want when they have something important to say.

The gift of affection with appropriate hugs, kisses and pats on the back can demonstrate your love for family and friends better than words.

The gift of laughter by sharing cartoons and funny stories will say "I love to laugh with you."

The gift of a simple written note shows sincerity and real heartfelt sentiment that may be remembered for a lifetime and could even change a life.

The gift of a sincere compliment supports a person's need to be accepted and appreciated. "You look great in that color", "That was outstanding" or "I really enjoyed that" can make someone's day.

The gift of random kindness or good deeds like holding a door or allowing someone to move ahead of you in a checkout lane shows respect for others.

Your smile, however, may be your most rewarding gift. Invariably, the person receiving the smile will in turn, smile back. The gift you gave will now be given back to you. It will be the right size and you can always use one more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


With record levels of snowfall this month of February, it's sometimes difficult to motivate sellers to get their homes listed! Many sellers are of the impression that if they wait until their grass is green and flowers are blooming, their house will show better and they'll get better offers. Here are some reasons why sellers should list now, and not wait until late spring.

1. Interest rates are at historic lows - but they are inching up. This has motivated some buyers to get more serious about their house search.

2. FHA rules are rumoured to be tightening - possible changes may mean that FHA buyers will have to pay more in the way of down payment and mortgage insurance. This will push buyers forward who want to beat these new possible changes.

3. We have already started our "spring market". Witness the "Open House Extravagansas" and the "Home and Garden Shows" prominent in our area.

4. The inventory will only get larger - creating more choices for your buyers if you wait.

5. There is a great selection of inventory for Move-Up buyers in this market. If you are a move-up buyer you will have lots to choose from.

6. June is historically our largest closing month - meaning that most buyers are under contract by mid April.

7. We are still in a down market. The experts are telling us that we should not be expecting to see house prices increase in value in the near future.

8. There are still First Time Home Buyer Programs out there. These programs are limited to areas, and funding availability - so there is a sense of urgency with those wishing to take advantage of those programs.

9. Because the Metro area is home to many large corporations, we are seeing transferees who want to get into a home before the school year ends.

10. You are more likely to attract serious buyers during the colder weather. Typically it is the more serious buyers who will go out into the snow and ice to look at homes - while the casual lookers will wait for nicer weather.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Real Estate Buyers Starting To Get Off The Fence!

Having been a trusted agent in the real estate business for 25 years, I have seen many different markets. This current one has been one of the more difficult ones - especially for sellers. However, as with every dark cloud - there is a silver lining. There has never been a better time for buyers to make a move - either into the real estate market for the first time, or become a move-up buyer.

There are many factors that affect affordability for a buyer: Inventory, Home Values, Interest Rates and Tax Incentives. Right now in our current market, the affordability index is the highest we have ever seen it. Typically, an index over 100 indicates a good market for buyers. The affordability index is now at 184.5! This is because we have historic low interest rates, a tremendous selection and very motivated seller pool.

We are seeing more showings on our listings recently- indicating that buyers are getting this message, especially since interest rates have inched up a bit! A 1/2% increase in rates can transfer into a 5% decrease in price for buyers, so with the recent slight increase in interest rates, buyers are starting to get off the fence. Move-Up buyers are also seeing that by taking advantage of this current market and low interest rates, they are able to leverage themselves into a more expensive home.

Now is an incredible time to buy! Together with all their resources, the Vanneste Group is to assisting homebuyers achieve the social and financial benefits of owning a home.