The pros and cons of selling your home in the fall
- Fall can be a difficult time of year to move if you’re a buyer or seller with school-aged children
- Fall buyers are typically highly motivated, meaning that sellers could get a fast path to the closing table
- The Midwest’s gorgeous fall season makes it easy to show off the natural beauty of a neighborhood and the homes within it
Thinking of selling this fall? We analyze the pros and cons to give you insights you can use as you make the call.
Pros of selling a home in the fall
The spring and summer tend to deliver the highest inventory in our local market, and the number of homes for sale usually dips in the early fall. If you decide to list your home this autumn, it may stand out amidst the condensed inventory available.
Buyers are eager
Most families try to move before the school year begins, so buyers who are still looking in the fall tend to be highly motivated. Whether they’re moving due a corporate relocation or simply couldn’t find “the one” in the busy summer market, you could benefit from buyers who are ready to move quickly.
Autumn staging is a breeze
While you’ll have to stay on top of raking and bagging your leaves, staging your home in the fall is relatively easy. The natural beauty of the changing leaves will do half the work for you, and these fall staging tips will get you the rest of the way there.
Cons of selling a home in the fall
Time is precious
For many, fall is the busiest time of year. Whether you’re sending the kids back to school or restarting a time-consuming volunteer gig, remember that upkeep of your home’s interior and exterior will be critical to selling your home this season. Be careful not to take on more than you can handle.
Uprooting is hard this time of year
If you’re a parent of a school-aged child, you will likely be hesitant to move across districts in the middle of the school year. Take stock of what’s important to you, and what will be best for each of your children, before you decide to list. If you plan to stay in-district, we can make sure that we only book showings that are in-bounds.
Low inventory of buyers
While the buyers who are out there will be highly motivated to purchase, there may not be as many of them this time of year. Together, we can research market trends to help determine if your home’s style, condition and location will be a hit with local buyers.
Ready to sell?
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How long does it take to build a new construction home?
- Depending on customizations, a new construction home can take anywhere from three months to one year
- By purchasing a less customized home, you may be able to expedite your timeline
- New construction buyers can attend the Parade of Homes to get a better feel for developments and home styles
As you might expect, the development timeline of a new construction home is dependent on the customization done to the property. Let’s look into the three types of builders and how their customization and timelines vary.
1. Production builders
Production builders tend to operate on a shorter timeline, as they offer pre-set packages with minimal customization.
“Production builders offer less flexibility, and the homes can be ready in as little as three to four months,” explains Randy Bacchus, director of Edina Realty’s New Homes division. Bacchus says production builders are also the most cost-effective because they typically don’t offer out-of-the-box customizations.
“In a production home, the layout and features are pretty locked down. Buyers can’t, for example, walk through the model and ask to add a bank of windows in a room they plan to use as a painting studio,” explains Bacchus. “For this reason, some buyers may find it easier to stay on their original budget and a shorter timeline if they work with a production builder.”
Production build timeline: Three-four months on average
2. Semi-custom builders
According to Bacchus, many of the homes showcased in the Parade of Homes are built by “semi-custom” builders and developers who offer buyers a bit more flexibility.
“In a semi-custom home, buyers may choose from five different appliance options, and they could have a different façade than their neighbors,” says Bacchus. “And if the buyer wanted that window in their painting studio, they could get it — they just might have to choose from pre-set options the builder has negotiated with their exclusive window manufacturer.”
Semi-custom homes are a common option for busy professionals who don’t mind paying a little extra — and waiting a little longer — to get a home that feels relatively tailored to their needs.
Semi-custom build timeline: Four-six months on average
3. Custom builders
As you might expect, truly custom homes have the longest building timeline. Unlike production and semi-custom homes, which are typically available in a new development, custom homes are more often constructed in an established neighborhood where a buyer has purchased an open lot or a tear-down property.
“Custom homes are one-of-a-kind and the buyer tends to be very particular,” says Bacchus. “In the example of that painter, they may work with an architect to incorporate a painting studio on the side of the lot with the best natural light. Everything in a custom home is tailored to your needs, but you should expect to be highly involved in every aspect from start to finish — and for the process to be more time-consuming and costly.”
Custom build timeline: Six-plus months, some may take longer than a year
Ready to explore your options?
The best way to get a feel for the developments, layouts and home styles on the market is to attend the 2016 fall Parade of Homes, which runs through Oct. 2.
Working with a REALTOR® who’s an expert on new construction is critical, so reach out today reach out today to discuss your needs. Plus, be sure to follow #BuyerInsights on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for more tips on buying or building in this market.
Can you get a mortgage if you’re leasing your car?
- Paying down debt could help you obtain a home mortgage loan
- Car lessees are unable to pay down their lease, which can make them riskier mortgage loan candidates
- Borrowers who have a car lease can lessen their risk of being denied a mortgage by maintaining a spotless credit history
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will look into your full financial history, including past bill payments and your credit score. They will also assess your debt-to-income ratio, which is how much you owe on monthly debts in relation to your gross monthly income.
Debt is, of course, a deterrent to many lenders. Financial experts recommend lowering your debt-to-income ratio as much as possible before applying for a home loan. To better appeal to lenders, homebuyers commonly try to pay off car loans, student loans or credit card debt.
The car lease factor
Whether you’re leasing a car or have a traditional car loan, the total debt obligation will be on your record. However, traditional borrowers can expedite payments in order to pay off their car faster. When you’re leasing a car, you cannot expedite payments, which could put you at risk for not being approved for a mortgage.
The lender’s goal is to ensure that you are financially qualified to pay back your mortgage over the long-term. If all other factors were equal, a homebuyer paying $400 monthly for a traditional car loan will be considered less risky than a homebuyer who is leasing a car for the same amount. Why? At the end of the loan, the traditional borrower will have ownership of the asset (car), while the car lessee will have to obtain a new lease when theirs runs out.
Will my car lease really prevent me from getting a loan?
Every lender has different criteria when it comes to approving a loan. It’s unlikely that an otherwise highly qualified borrower would be denied a loan based on a car lease; for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit or a spotty employment record, a car lease could be the final factor that leads to a denied mortgage application.
What other factors put me at risk?
Every buyer should take control of their spending in the months leading up to applying for a loan. Here are common factors that could put you at risk for being denied by a lender:
- Paying bills late: Payment history makes up 30 percent of your credit score
- Getting multiple credit checks: If you run a credit check multiple times in a short period of time, your credit score could decrease slightly
- Grand expenses: Avoid large purchases — including new cars, boats and vacations — in the months before you buy
Where do you stand?
There are countless factors that go into applying (and being approved) for a mortgage. Edina Realty Mortgage has dozens of local experts who help buyers like you get responsible financing. Reach out today Reach out today and we’ll work together to find the right lending specialist for you.
Get more #BuyerInsights by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Nine tips for closing up your cabin for the off-season
- Dock and boat maintenance are critical if you want to enjoy life on the water next spring
- Focus on shutting down all appliances and systems safely before you board up your home
- Hire a local caretaker to watch over your home this winter
Closing up your lakeshore cabin is never as exciting as opening it up, but it’s important to protect your waterfront property during the off-season. Here are nine insights you can use as you close up your cabin for the winter.
1. Bring in the dock
Unless you have a dock that can withstand ice, you’ll need to bring yours in this winter. Roll-in-and-out docks and floating piers should take 2-3 people, but you’ll have to call in reinforcements if you have a standing dock.
2. Winterize the boat
To winterize your boat, follow the manual, this 10-step general process or hire your local marina to do it for you. Remember to cover the boat securely or to get it professionally shrink-wrapped to protect it from the elements.
3. Store cushions, rafts, life vests
At the start of your last weekend Up North, begin drying out anything made of fabric — including outdoor furniture cushions, life vests and pontoon canopies. To prevent mildew, make sure these items are 100 percent dry and store them in a well-ventilated area.
4. Check for window leaks
Shake windows to see if they rattle. If the frames aren’t secure, add caulk to the perimeter to seal them off. Chip off any paint or debris that prevents the windows from closing and locking tightly.
5. Check corners, roof and eaves for entry points
Check corners, floorboards, eaves and other nooks and crannies for holes that may be big enough to let in unwanted winter critters. Seal up the gaps using steel wool, which mice and squirrels cannot chew through.
6. Turn off the water and plumbing
If you plan to shut down the cabin for the entire winter, you’ll want to bleed the pipes and shut down plumbing completely. Begin by shutting off your main water valve, then follow these tips from This Old House to make sure you cover all your bases.
7. Check the furnace
If you won’t need heat for the entire winter, turn the furnace off. Vacuum the inside and check its filter to ensure it’ll be up and running in the early spring months. Your early-spring-cabin-fever self will thank you
8. Unplug all appliances
Start with the kitchen and move through every room to be sure that nothing is plugged in. Don’t forget to check behind couches for power strips.
9. Hire a “check-in” caretaker
If you have a friend or neighbor who stays in town year-round, ask them to check in on your place from time to time. You’ll rest easier if you know that someone is alerting you of suspicious activity and checking the interior for water damage or critter invasions.
Prep for spring. Buy now!
If you buy a lakeshore home or cabin now, you won’t miss even one day on the water next spring. Browse lake homes and cabins for sale in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, or reach out nowreach out now to discuss buying a lakeshore home.