Fresno and Clovis Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 18, 2019

Check Your Credit Report

Credit card companies and lenders rely on credit scores, which determine someone's ability to pay debt completely and in the required time. Scores range from 200 to above 800. Scores below 620 are considered risky; 720 and over are excellent.

There are five categories of scoring: payment history (35%); amount owed (30%); length of credit history (15%); new credit (10%); and types of credit (10%). Lenders receive your score and "reason codes" which are the keys to improving your score.

Check your own score yearly by ordering reports from the three major credit scoring companies: Equifax (www.equifax.com), Experian (www.experian.com), and TransUnion (www.tuc.com).

Notify the credit bureau of inaccuracies, along with copies of documents that dispute incorrect entries. Close accounts not in use. Request that late payments older than seven years be removed. Verify and update accounts and account numbers. Verify your address and Social Security number.

To improve your score:

• Pay your bills on time.

• Reduce outstanding debt.

• Build up your savings.

• Don't fall for illegal schemes that help create a new credit identity.

 

Good credit is important to help secure a loan to buy a home and to obtain the best interest rate possible.

Posted in News
Nov. 11, 2019

The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a Contractor

Americans spend billions of dollars on construction and home remodeling each year. Many homeowners have discovered that improving their present residence with an updated kitchen, an additional bathroom, new windows, or a new roof can be a more prudent investment than purchasing a new residence. However, adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take some time and care in planning a costly home improvement project. 

Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car. 

Here is a checklist of important things to consider before starting any major construction project:

Do's

Plan your project carefully. 

Shop around before hiring a contractor

Get at least three written bids on your project.

Provide all contractors with accurate plans or drawings that will enable them to determine the scope and cost of work when requesting bids.

Check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure the contractor is properly licensed, and to check the status and disciplinary history of the license.

Check out contractors with your local building department, trade associations or unions, consumer protection agency, and the Better Business Bureau. 

Look at work the contractor has completed. 

Ask your contractor to furnish a completion or contract bond.

Consult with more than one lending institution regarding the type of loan to obtain.

Make sure your contract provides for "retention," a percentage of each payment or of the total job (ordinarily 10%), which you retain until the job is completed. Never pay your contractor all of their fees upfront!

Make sure everything you and your contractor have agreed to is included in your contract, and don't sign anything until you understand and agree with all terms. 

Ask your contractor about inconveniences that may occur, and plan accordingly. 

Keep a job file. 

Make sure you receive unconditional lien releases from subcontractors and material suppliers. 

Make frequent inspections of the work, including a final walk-through. 

Consult an attorney if a mechanics' lien is filed against your property. 

Negotiate with the contractor first if problems or disagreements occur.

The Don'ts 

Don't hire an unlicensed contractor. 

Don't hire a contractor without first shopping around. Read reviews and ask them for references.

Don't be fooled or pressured by a smooth-talking salesperson. Take the time and effort to make sure that the contractor doing your home improvement is going to perform in a professional manner. 

Don't act as an owner/builder, unless you are very experienced in construction. 

Don't sign anything until you completely understand it and agree to the terms. 

Don't make agreements with subcontractors or workers without consulting the prime contractor. 

Don't pay cash without a proper receipt. 

Don't make a down payment that exceeds the legal limit (usually 10%). 

Don't let your payments get ahead of the contractor's completed work. 

Don't hesitate to ask questions of the contractor. 

Don't make final payment until you are satisfied with the job.

 

Source: Keller-Williams

Posted in News
Nov. 4, 2019

Creating Curb Appeal

There's nothing better than a great first impression

 

What's the first thing a potential homebuyer will notice about your house? The 

great view from the master bedroom? Your beautiful kitchen? If your house's 

front exterior is lacking appropriate "curb appeal" it's unlikely that buyers will 

even make it through the front door. Your home's exterior appearance is the first 

thing people notice.

 

So whether you're getting ready to sell your home or are just looking for an easy way to improve your property value, taking small steps to improve your curb appeal can be a simple, worthwhile investment.

Looking at your home from someone else’s perspective

There are lots of ways to add curb appeal to your home and sometimes the list can be overwhelming. First, you might want to try and take a good long look at your house. Stand at the end of the driveway or even across the street. Ask yourself: What would my neighbors notice about my house? What kind of initial impression would a guest have?

You might even want to take a few pictures of your home's exterior and send them to a friend or relative. They might be able to see things that you wouldn't.

The improvements with the most impact will be the ones made on the most obvious problem areas. It doesn't make a lot of sense to add ornamental flowers if your lawn is dead. A new door knocker won't do much if your home needs new paint. Taking a nice long look at your house will make it clear what project you should tackle first.

A little elbow grease

Often, the most effective and cost-effective way to improve your home's curb appeal is simply taking time to clean and touch up the house's exterior and front landscape.

Here are a few clean up ideas to help you get your home looking its best:

1. Power wash the exterior siding. Make note of areas with peeling or cracking paint. 

2. Clean out your gutters and remove any debris from the roof. If any of your gutters are rusting or bent, have them replaced.

3. Wash all your windows on both the outside and inside. Remove any cobwebs.

4. Rake and remove any dead vegetation. Make sure your walkways are swept.

Make your home the very best so it makes a great first impression.

 

Source: Keller-Williams

 

Posted in News
Oct. 28, 2019

Down Payment Blues

For many Americans, coming up with a down payment for their first home can be a major roadblock–and quite often the reason for renting, rather than owning a home. A down payment is the difference between the home's purchase price and its mortgage amount. This percentage of the sale price must be paid up-front and can vary by lender, location, and loan program. A higher down payment generally translates into lower loan interest rate requirements. Typically, a down payment comes from personal cash savings, but it can also be a gift that is not to be repaid, or a borrowed amount secured by assets. 

 

While conventional loan down payments may be close to 20% of the sale price, government loans typically have lower down payment requirements. This allows potential homebuyers who normally cannot meet down-payment requirements an opportunity to qualify for a mortgage. Keep in mind that down payments that are less than 20% of the sale price typically require mortgage insurance payments.



10 things to know before buying a home

Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan. Banks, credit unions, and mortgage bankers make home loans; mortgage brokers process loans through a variety of lenders. The lenders will take an application, process the loan documents, and see the loan through to the funding stage.

If you have marginal or bad credit, consult your lender. You may be able to qualify for a loan depending on how long ago and what reason(s) caused the bad credit. 

You will need a down payment. Down-payment requirements vary depending on the type of loan. You may also qualify for federal or local down payment assistance. 

You will need funds for closing costs. Closing costs are charges for services related to the closing of your real estate transaction. They include, but are not limited to: Escrow fees, title policy issuance fees, mortgage insurance fees, fire, flood, and homeowners insurance, county recorder fees, and loan origination fees. Consult your lender for an actual estimate of these costs.

 

Source: Keller-Williams

 

Posted in News
Oct. 21, 2019

What is a Real Estate Appraiser?

A real estate appraiser is an impartial, independent third party who provides an objective report on the estimate of value of real estate. The appraisal is supported by the collection and analysis of data. 

When should I use an appraiser? 

You will likely need the services of a real estate appraiser whenever an estimate of the value of your real estate is required. Most commonly, this occurs when you apply for a real estate loan, either to purchase or refinance your home. You may also need a real estate appraiser to assist in the appeal of your property tax assessment, for insurance purposes, for probate and estate settlements or other reasons. 



What's My Property Worth? 

It is common to ask the appraiser this question as soon as the appraiser has inspected the property. The truth is at that time the appraiser doesn't yet know. The inspection is the first step of many that the appraiser must complete before a value is determined. 

The appraiser measures the house from the outside to determine square footage and takes notes concerning the features of your house such as room layout, number of bedrooms, baths, etc. The appraiser also determines the general condition, appeal and functional layout of your house. All of these items are taken into consideration in the appraisal report. 

How Long Does an Appraisal Take? 

The physical inspection of a typical property usually takes about twenty to forty-five minutes. Sometimes an inspection can take longer if the house is difficult to measure or has some unique features that require additional investigation by the appraiser. 

After the initial inspection of the property the appraiser spends time examining or analyzing the neighborhood or area. The purpose of this is to search for other properties that are similar to the property being appraised that have sold recently and examine neighborhood influences. When the fieldwork is finished, the appraiser completes the report at his office. 

 

Source: Keller-Williams

 

Posted in News
Oct. 14, 2019

Yes–You Must Disclose

When the time comes to sell your home, you will be asked to fill out a disclosure statement that will list "material facts" about problems you are aware of regarding the condition and history of your home. Both federal and state laws govern what must be disclosed during a property sale and as the homeowner you must be the person to complete these disclosure forms. By law your real estate agent cannot complete these forms for you.

Sometimes, homeowners are told varying policies regarding disclosures. The general rule of thumb is that you must disclose anything that would:

•lower the perceived value of the property

•affect the buyer's decision to purchase

•change the price and/or terms the buyer offers

Common disclosures include information about any natural hazards, fire hazards, pollution problems or zoning changes that affect your property. If you feel like you don't understand the disclosure requirements, you should consult a real estate attorney who knows the local disclosure laws.

As you fill out these forms remember that you should strive to answer all of the questions to the best of your ability. Don't sweat the small stuff, but make sure you disclose everything that you'd want disclosed to you if you were the buyer. If you don't know the answer to a question (such as exact age of the roof if you're not the original owner, etc.) answer "do not know." However, not having precise facts about defects you know exist does not permit you to answer "do not know" to every question. This will always raise a red flag.

 

Source: Keller-Williams

Posted in News
Aug. 26, 2019

If You’re Serious about Buying–It’s Time to Get Pre-Approved

Pre-approval by a lender helps you determine your price range for a home in advance so that you look at homes you can afford. When you get pre-approved for a home loan, you’ll be in a stronger position to buy when you find the right home. 

You become pre-approved when you apply for a loan. The lender checks credit, verifies employment, and verifies that you will have adequate funds to close the transaction and support the home.

I have information from a variety of local lenders that will help you with the loan process when you are ready to a buy a home.

When you're ready to buy, sell or invest in Fresno or Clovis real estate, you need a trusted local REALTOR®.

Contact me today for a personalized consultation: (559) 779-5550 or Mike@MikeAngelos.com

 

          Courtesy: KW

Posted in News
Aug. 19, 2019

Finding the Right Neighborhood

When you think about your dream home in the Fresno or Clovis area, are you seeing the house, or the neighborhood it's in?

It's easy to get caught up in bedroom and bathroom counts when you're shopping for a new home Fresno or Clovis, but the biggest choice you're going to make in the process is of course the ‘where’ question. So how do you find the home that's going to be the perfect fit for your whole lifestyle?

Here are three of my favorite tips to see if an area or neighborhood is right for you:

Check out the basic stats.
What is the median sale price of homes in a given neighborhood in Fresno or Clovis? How do the local and nearby schools (Fresno Unified, Central Unified, or Clovis Unified) perform? What amenities are nearby? How popular is the neighborhood in today's market? 

See what the neighbors are doing.
Get a sense of local activities and see if it looks like a place with frequent block parties or if people may keep more to themselves. 

Learn the traffic patterns.
Knowing that you're close to the highway or a public transportation center is one thing. You should find out if there are frequent jams at key commuting times, or if a nearby farmers' market limits road access during weekends. You may also want to consider how much parking is available both for yourself and for when you want to entertain in your Fresno or Clovis home. 

Give me a call or text me if you'd like to discuss which neighborhoods in Fresno or Clovis you're considering. I would enjoy sharing local real estate news and market conditions with you.

When you're ready to buy, sell or invest in Fresno or Clovis real estate, you need a trusted local REALTOR®.

Contact me today for a personalized consultation: (559) 779-5550 or Mike@MikeAngelos.com

 

          Courtesy: KW

Posted in News
Aug. 12, 2019

Is it time to make a move?

Whether you're looking to take advantage of low interest rates or your housing needs have changed–it may be time to buy or sell. Here are four signs it's time to make a move in Fresno or Clovis:

1. You're running out of space.
If every closet is cramped and adding on is either not possible or not worth the investment, it may be time to move.

2. Life changes.
Whether you’re welcoming in new additions to your family or your nest in Fresno or Clovis suddenly feels too big and empty, it may be time to move.

3. You've got wanderlust.
Whether it's a new neighborhood or a new city that's caught your eye, it may be time to move.

4. You see signs everywhere.
When other houses in your neighborhood in Fresno or Clovis are popping up for sale and disappearing off the market quickly, it may be time to move. 

When you're ready to buy, sell or invest in Fresno or Clovis real estate, you need a trusted local REALTOR®.

Contact me today for a personalized consultation: (559) 779-5550 or Mike@MikeAngelos.com

 

          Courtesy: KW

Posted in News
Aug. 5, 2019

Is This the Right Time to Sell?

Are you wondering if this is a good time to sell? In Fresno and Clovis, we're seeing a market where home values have rebounded and are steadily climbing. If you market and price your home correctly, you may have multiple offers submitted within days of a property going on the market. 

I recently had 36 offers in two days for a home I listed, and I sold it for $40,000 over asking price!

And, if you're looking to upgrade, it's more affordable than ever with low mortgage rates. 

Better yet–get your questions answered in person. When you're ready to buy, sell or invest in Fresno or Clovis real estate, you need a trusted local REALTOR®.

Contact me today for a personalized consultation: (559) 779-5550 or Mike@MikeAngelos.com

 

          Courtesy: KW

Posted in News