My Real Estate Story – Shannon Orrand

Shannon explains her journey to becoming a top realtor in Murfreesboro, TN. We learn about her past experiences and the changes in her life as well as the people who helped her start her new career. Shannon also tells us how she discovered not only a new job but a new passion in her life that she truly enjoys.

Team George Weeks is proud to call Shannon a member of our team and a good friend as well. Give her a call if you have any real estate needs or questions. She’ll be happy to help!

Direct (615) 753-3251
Office (629) 202-7333
Shannon Orrand is a real estate agent with Team George Weeks at RE/MAX Elite in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Each office is independently own and operated.

Three ways to ease your fears about making a move.

With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.

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Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don’t see anything on Zillow, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find the right home.

Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.

Protect yourself legally Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.

 

NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter

NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter | Keeping Current Matters

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 3.9% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 14 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, expects demand to remain stable through the final two months of the year, and “forecasts existing-home sales to finish 2015 at a pace of 5.30 million – the highest since 2006.” 

Takeaway: Demand for housing will continue throughout the end of 2015 and into 2016. The seasonal slowdown often felt in the winter months hasn’t started and shows little signs of being near.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory decreased 2.3% to 2.14 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 4.5% lower than a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

1. “New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing).

2. “Unless sizeable supply gains occur for new and existing homes, prices and rents will continue to exceed wages into next year and hamstring a large pool of potential buyers trying to buy a home.” As rents and prices increase, potential buyers will not able to save as much for a down payment and many may become priced out of the market.

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6 months needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a ‘sizeable’ supply does not enter the market. Take advantage of the ready willing and able buyers that are still out looking for your house.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time.

Why You Should Use a Realtor (Real Estate Advisor – September 2015)

Real Estate Advisor: August 2015
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Why It’s a Smart Move to Use a Real Estate AgentBuying or selling a home seems to be a way of life for a lot of people in today’s world. When you buy, you definitely want to get the most for your money. Many people think they can go it alone when it comes to buying or selling a house, and it’s definitely true that some people are able to handle all the details of buying and selling a home or property, but in reality the real estate process is intricate and requires a lot of knowledge about the local real estate market, contracts, escrow, appraisals and referrals. While some home owners and buyers are in a position to go it alone, for those intimidated by the market or those who don’t have the time or energy to sell or buy a home on their own, here are some reasons why it’s a smart move to use a real estate agent during your next real estate transaction.

Local Expertise

signing - Why You Should Use a Realtor (Real Estate Advisor - September 2015)You’ve lived in an area for some time – but while you may know about local amenities and activities, do you have a lot of knowledge on the local real estate market? Real estate agents know their markets: they know how much homes are selling for, they know what areas are highly desirable and they know which ones are up-and-coming. You can trust an agent to know the local inventory and know how to get the best price for a home or property.

Access

Real estate agents have a number of access points that a regular buyer or seller doesn’t. They have access to listings before they are put in the MLS, and they have access to the homes! Many sellers are only willing to grant access to agents, which means that most buyers going it alone can only access homes during open houses. An agent working for the seller is only going to provide information with the seller’s best interest at heart, so when you go it alone you might be only getting partial information from any questions you may have. Working with an agent will help provide private access to homes, and an agent will be able to get more information from the seller’s agent.

Experience

search - Why You Should Use a Realtor (Real Estate Advisor - September 2015)Buying a home is an intimidating experience – you’re making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. As a buyer, you want to make sure stress and emotions don’t get the better of you, especially when it comes to making important decisions. Real estate agents know what buyers and sellers go through – they’ve been there, as it’s more than likely they too have made a real estate purchase of their own. While they have personal experience, they also have an experienced rational eye when it comes to the business portion of a real estate transaction. They possess clear judgement, and agents are a seller and buyer’s biggest advocate for a successful negotiation. Real estate agents have the experience, knowledge and acumen to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Connections

The real estate transaction process requires a number of professionals and services. From a lender, home inspector, contractors and handymen for repairs, lawyers, and a number of other professionals and tradesmen, knowing the right people is beyond important when you want to have a smooth and successful transaction. Real estate agents are in the business, and their past experience has provided them with a number of respectable and dependable contacts and referrals than you’ll find asking friends and family. A ready agent will come prepared with connections and people they are willing to refer because they’ve worked with them in the past and they know their track record. When you choose to work without an agent, you sacrifice the networking that naturally comes with being a real estate agent.

No Cost When Buying

talking - Why You Should Use a Realtor (Real Estate Advisor - September 2015)If you’re searching for a home or property to buy, having an agent is free. An agent’s commission is paid by the seller, but most buyers don’t realize this and entertain the idea of going without a Realtor during their home search. If a seller pays the commission, there is no loss to a buyer to take full advantage of all the services a real estate agent offers. It’s also important to understand that even if you choose to go it alone when buying a home, you do not receive the commission a buyer’s agent would. Commission rates are negotiated before the final sale and are included in the contract, meaning if you don’t use a buyer’s agent, the entire commission is paid to the listing agent.

Documents and Paperwork

Unless you’re working with a brand new agent, most agents know the ins and outs of all the documents and paperwork required for a home sale or purchase because they’ve been through a number of transactions. From finding the comps of your market and drafting a purchase agreement, to contacting any other agents and the title company, a real estate agent will be able to provide help in the forms of knowledge, time and resources during the real estate transaction process. Agents also know the important parts of an offer or contract, especially when it comes to line items that could cost a lot in the end or things that are negotiable. Having an agent that knows the process, the paperwork and the documentation is a valuable asset when it comes to making one of the biggest decisions of your life.

Buying beats renting, but not by much in these places

Real estate prices are rising, but buying a home still makes more financial sense than renting.

rent vs buy - Buying beats renting, but not by much in these placesRight now, homeownership is 35% cheaper than renting on a national level, according to a report from Trulia. Last year, it was 33% cheaper to be a homeowner than a tenant.

Home prices have risen slightly faster than rents over the last year, the report found. But at the same time, mortgage rates remain low, providing a nice financial advantage to buyers.

In Honolulu, it’s a much closer call.

It’s 16% cheaper to buy than rent in Hawaii’s capital, but once monthly homeowner’s association fees (HOAs) are taken into account, the favor swings to tenants as it becomes 1% cheaper to rent, according to Trulia. The median monthly HOA fee in the city is $438, the second highest in the country behind $575 in New York City.

San Jose, Calif.; Lancaster, Penn.; Sacramento, Calif. and San Francisco rounded out the top five markets where buying offers the smallest edge over renting in the country.

Californians tend to have a smaller financial gain when it comes to buying a home: six out of the 10 housing markets where buying has the smallest benefit over renting are located in The Golden State, the report showed.

Rising home prices bring higher down payment requirements and closing costs, which means buyers in California need to have more cash on hand, said Ralph McLaughlin, housing economist at Trulia. “It would take a lot longer for a homebuyer to break even from the costs.”

On the other side, buying tends to provide more financial favor to those in the South. Sarasota, Fla., offers the biggest edge to buyers where it’s 55% cheaper to buy than rent this year, according to the report.

But just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean people are flocking to become homeowners. The homeownership rate fell to 63.7% in the first quarter of 2015, according to Census.

Saving for a 20% down payment is a big obstacle, McLaughlin, said. “Even though we are a few years out of the recession, it can still take quite a while to save up for a down payment, especially when rents are high.”

Low mortgage rates are a key factor in the calculations, and if rates start to rise, some markets could see a shift toward renting, according to McLaughlin, particularly San Jose, Lancaster and Honolulu.

“If interest rates make a significant increase, then it will make those market even more attractive to renters because it adds costs to home buying process,” he said.

The report analyzed the estimated median home value and rent in the 100 biggest housing markets in March and assumed a 3.87% 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment, itemizing tax deductions at the 25% bracket, and the buyer remaining in the home for seven years.

Here’s where the gap between buying and renting is narrow:

150512144025 buy home harder list custom 1 - Buying beats renting, but not by much in these places

Shared from CNN Money

5 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Buying a Home

Think you’re ready to start your homeownership journey? Be sure to get all your ducks in a row first.

shutterstock 222123841 734942 900x350 - 5 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Buying a HomePurchasing real estate can be a complex process, and it’s essential for people who want to make a smart wealth-building decision to buy the right property that suits their long-term needs. To prepare yourself for this life-changing event, be sure you take the following steps before starting the process.

Make sure you plan to stay a long time

Real estate purchases and sales have some of the highest transaction fees of any type of assets, so target a hold date of at least seven years — if not 10 or more. Otherwise you’ll be losing equity on each transaction.

If you don’t think you’ll stay in the property for a long time, keep looking until you find a property that you can call home, or keep renting until you decide you’re ready for a commitment.

Get your financing in order

Meet with a lender and have them pull your credit report about six to 12 months before you start the purchasing process. This way if there are any derogatory marks on your credit, you can work toward clearing those issues.

Also, have the lender qualify you based on your income and credit so you know the price range you can afford. Check anaffordability calculator first so you can go in with a general idea how much you can spend.

The lender can offer valuable advice, such as risky behaviors to avoid until you close escrow on your home. You’ll want to be sure you don’t make any large credit purchases, or transfer savings around between accounts. In addition, it’s essential to keep a consistent full-time work schedule, and make on-time payments for any loans, bills, or rent.

Find an agent

Ask friends and family, and do some online research to find a few real estate agents who know your area well and have good references. Interview at least three and discuss your plans with them.

The agent you choose should have at least five years experience in your local jurisdiction and be a full-time sales professional. It helps if they can show you that they’ve closed five to seven deals each year for several years. Verify that their license is in good standing with the state agency that regulates real estate sales professionals.

Take your time

You should study the local areas and take your time purchasing property. Buying real estate will most likely be the largest purchase of your life. Once you close escrow, there is no changing your mind. It’s all yours, and if you end up not liking the house and you sell within a few years, it could cost you significantly.

Be realistic

There are no “incredible deals” in real estate. There are only deals a buyer thinks is the deal of the century until they figure out (usually a few months after the purchase) why it isn’t the “incredible deal” they thought they bought.

Buying a home can be a great long-term wealth accumulation strategy, but it also can turn out to be a bad decision that will bring many regrets. It is a much more complicated process than most people know, and also significantly more involved than it was just 10 to 20 years ago.

Educate yourself as much as possible and plan the process well so you end up with a home you love and will keep for a long time. Doing the proper research and homework, plus making smart, deliberate decisions, is key to your real estate ownership success.

Shared from Zillow Blog