The new year looks like it’s shaping up to provide first-time buyers with the opportunity to enter into the housing market. Interest rates are still hovering around record lows, so there’s some time left to snag a great deal. If you’re planning on taking the plunge into homeownership in 2016, here are some key points to keep in the back of your mind before you begin the process.
1. Home Prices Are Expected to Even Out
Home prices have been on a steady upward climb over the past few years. But they’re on track to level off in 2016. That’s both good news and bad news for buyers, depending on what your financial situation looks like.
Home values are projected to increase by just 2.6% over the next year, according to Zillow. While that represents a slowdown from last year, values are still rising at a faster pace than wages. That means some lower income buyers may be shut out of the market if they can’t afford to take on a mortgage.
2. Mortgage Rates May Go Up
A rise in the federal funds rate was seen as inevitable and the Federal Reserve finally moved forward with a rate hike at the end of 2015. For buyers, that move may signal the end of historically low mortgage rates, but it’s not a reason to panic. It’s likely that interest rates will climb up slightly but for the majority of buyers, it’s not likely to be an obstacle to home affordability. Again, the buyers who stand to be affected the most are the ones who are on the lower end of the income scale.
3. FHA Loans Will Be Cheaper
FHA loans are a popular choice among first-time homebuyers because they make it possible to get a mortgage with as little as 3.5% down and a minimum credit score of 580. The only catch is that buyers who go this route are stuck paying an annual mortgage insurance premium (and an upfront mortgage insurance premium) on top of their regular loan payment.
The good news for 2016 is that the cost of the premiums are coming down. Last year, the Federal Housing Administration made a move to reduce the annual premium rate from 1.35% to 0.85%. For buyers who have their eye on an FHA loan, that represents a pretty substantial amount of savings when calculating their mortgage costs.
Check out our mortgage calculator.
4. But Getting an FHA Loan May Be More Difficult
The FHA Handbook for 2015-16 introduced some new guidelines for lenders that may affect which buyers qualify for a loan. Some of the things covered in the updated rules include new documentation rules for gifted down payments and changes to the treatment of student loans when calculating debt-to-income ratios. Borrowers who have a high debt-to-income ratio and authorized users who are carrying credit card debt may find getting approved for a loan more challenging.
5. Buying Will Be Better Than Renting in Some Cities
The rental market has exploded in the last few years and rental rates have reached astronomical highs. That upward trend is expected to continue into 2016, and according to RealtyTrac, owning a home will be more affordable than renting in 58% of all U.S. housing markets. A spike in rental rates may push more buyers into the market, leading to increased competition over available homes.
Try out our rent vs buy calculator.
Even if you’re planning to postpone buying a home until later in the year, it’s not too early to start preparing for it. It’s a good idea to start improving your credit, paying down debt and beefing up your down payment to make yourself as attractive as possible to lenders once you’re ready to get a loan.
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/jamirae, ©iStock.com/Waldemarus, ©iStock.com/andresr
How has the typical American home evolved over the last fifty years? Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders recently spoke with Real Estate Today Radio about home design trends that have come and gone, and those that will be here to stay.
While buyers both then and now prefer single-family homes in the suburbs, buyers in 2016 expect new homes to be adaptable, open, and efficient.
When it comes to future design preferences, Dietz predicts that buyers will place a high-importance on choosing a new home that has efficient design and energy efficient features. “Energy efficiency is the key item with new construction over existing-homes is the home itself uses energy more efficiently, costs less to maintain and operate.”
Dietz also believes that location will play a larger part in where buyers choose to build, and single-family home sales will soon take over multi-family. “We may see a rise in townhomes and locations near urban villages with walkability features, but overall the same preferences that have been in the market for generations will remain. Most people want to own their own home and want their own place out in the suburbs, and I think that will continue.”
Let’s take a look at the main design differences between homes then and now.
New-home design characteristics in 1966:
New-home design characteristics in 2016:
Credits to: http://tracyt.yourkwagent.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAction.do?pageId=528935
Are You Looking For New Construction Homes in Edmond OK?
If you’re like a lot of people these days who are looking for real estate in OKC, chances are you’ve looked through some of the new construction that is out there for sale and have yet to be impressed.
Here at The Roberts Group, we often speak to a variety of folks who are very demanding with the type of home they want to live in. Our clients often tell us that they have a tough time finding a house that has all the amenities they want. And often times, the more additions that they want to add to their custom home, takes them way over budget.
Discover The Best Custom Home Builders in OKC
The builders of high tech homes today need to have a lot of expertise – Saving energy is a big one.
Among other techniques, custom home builders also use the structural insulated panels for the purpose of creating a resilient construction plate. The walls and aluminum in the roofs are substantiated by the combination of foamed core in between the two cement panels. Roofs, ceilings and walls are constructed by home builders by using the specially manufactured panels.
Thus, the client need not spend a fortune on wood for constructing homes, and even gain from a number of other environmental benefits, such as saving energy.
Custom Home Builders will be extremely versatile by offering unique options within innovative homes.
The Roberts Group custom home builders in Oklahoma City choose only top notch materials and experienced developers. While your barbecue grill as well as your kitchen with island currently have traditionally reigned supreme, purchasers are actually opting for things outside the kitchen like, swimming pools, putting vegetables, and even a couple of back yard skate parks.
Designers state living rooms really are a essential focal point inside your home, featuring convenience and sweetness.
How to Choose a Home Builder
In most cases, custom home builders construct homes on land the home buyer already owns. Some developers sell fully serviced lots specifically for the construction of custom homes. This makes it easy to build a custom home since the lot is construction ready and builders can focus purely on the design of the home.
The key to choosing the right home builder for you is talking to a custom developer that can work with you.
When deciding on choosing to build your home, it’s important that you select a reliable home builder that has a track record. Here are some useful tips:
Get referrals from your close friends, colleagues, or relatives, who have hired a builder in the past and who were very pleased with their work. Your close-knit group of people will be more than happy to tell you both the good and the bad.
Next, go ahead and contact your local home builders association. The association will provide you a list of custom home builders, ones who specialize in building custom homes in your area.
Check out reviews from past and present clients of builders so you can know what to expect from them. After going through the feedback of past and present clients, you can discover the quality of their work and their level of professionalism.
After you have the list of luxury home builders in Oklahoma City, perform a detailed research on each so that you can narrow down your selection. The main elements that you should look for – their reputation, track record, and pricing.
Now after you’ve found a builder on the basis of your research, time to schedule a meeting with them. Home building can be a long process, so you want to make sure you have no surprises along the way. When you get a chance to interview potential home builders, watch how well they answer your questions, and also ask for pictures of their previous work.
Home builders The Roberts Group, are professionals engaged in manufacturing, erecting and commissioning only high end luxury homes.
The designing and fabrication of custom homes is done with the aid of a computer at first, then the human touch is added. By using current designing software, finished modules can be viewed in three dimensional layouts.
Moreover, with the use of computer aided designing, modular structures can be custom designed as per the specifications detailed by the clients.
To learn more about building your own custom home in Oklahoma City, call (405) 359-0275
Best of Houzz 2015
The Roberts Group receives The Best of Houzz 2015 Award for Customer Satisfaction
Habit No. 1: Automate your down payment savings
If you’re trying to squirrel away the recommended 20% down payment, that works out to about $40,000 for a $200,000 home. That’s a huge chunk of cash, so unless you’ve been the recipient of an inheritance or have recently won the lottery, you can never save too early or too much.
“The down payment takes more money than 99% of people plan for,” warns Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners in Duluth, GA.
Yet one practically painless way to get started is to automate your checking account to regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dubbed your “house fund.”
“Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic savings can make it easier,” points out Realtor® Marcia Goodman with Re/Max Gateway in Gainesville, VA. “If you never see the cash, you won’t spend it.”
And you don’t have to put down the full 20%, either—there are other options. But it’s best to save as much as you can.
Habit No. 2: Build your credit history and keep it clean
To get a mortgage, lenders will want to see evidence that you’ve paid off past debts. As such, keeping on top of your credit cards and car and college loans is a crucial mortgage must-do.
But don’t steer clear of credit altogether. If you’ve never had a credit card or a bank loan, you won’t have a credit history. Once you have credit established, keep it pristine. Pay all your bills on time—this cannot be overemphasized.
“I had a client who made $250,000 a year and was denied a mortgage because his credit card payments were always late,” says Alexandra Axsen, managing broker of Lake Okanagan Realty Ltd. in Kelowna, BC.
Dean Sioukas, founder of Magilla Loans in Sacramento, CA, also advises not using more than 30% of your available credit, as recommended by the credit bureaus.
Habit No. 3: Practice living on a budget
Think owning a home is pricier than renting? Not necessarily—it depends on your area, so make sure to compare the costs of renting vs. buying near you. But if you expect your mortgage to take a bigger bite than your rent, create a budget that factors in your new reality so you can get used to living on a less disposable income, suggests Kevin Lawton of Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Yardville, NJ.
Downsizing your budget early also means you’ll be able to save more for your down payment, pay down debt, or save for furniture for your new home.
Habit No. 4: Get your handy on
One of the big perks of renting is that any problems around the home—leaky faucets, broken boiler—are your landlord’s responsibility to repair. But once you own, you should probably know how to roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself if you don’t want to shell out for a handyman every time something goes wrong.
“Consumers thinking about buying a home should learn the basics of property maintenance and general ‘handy habits,’ since maintenance is an ongoing effort for homeowners,” says Evan Harris, co-founder of SD Equity Partners in San Diego.
“Knowing how to fix basic home issues such as electrical shorts, repair drywall, and tackle basic plumbing problems will save thousands of dollars in the future,” he says, noting that it’s smart to learn how to fix these issues before you’re scrambling around a dark kitchen after you’ve blew a fuse.
Habit No. 5: Prepare to pounce
The more pieces you can put in place, the better, says Lawton, who advises buyers to spend time getting to know the real estate market before they’re ready to buy.
“It’s a good habit to start browsing homes online to get a sense of what is available in your price range and the neighborhoods and amenities you’ll realistically be able to afford,” he says. “This can help avoid disappointment when it comes time to really look.”
It’s not too early for home winterizing in Oklahoma!
Winter is the time to go around the interior of your home and check for any little things you may have overlooked, or perhaps noticed and said, “I’ll get to that later.” Winter is your later. If you have any interior honey-do projects, whether it be painting, building shelves, etc., now is a great time to tackle those as well.
Buying a home is more than just a major purchase, it is a life event. While it certainly is exciting, the process is full of minute details that can have big legal impacts. Knowing how the home buying process works in your state can help ease your stress, so you can enjoy this milestone. Buyers in Oklahoma should bear in mind these guidelines.
A Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents can work on either side of a sale, representing the buyer, the seller, or in some cases both, though it’s usually best for buyers to partner with their own agents. Remember, your real estate agent is more than just a salesperson. Your agent sees the sale through to closing, staying on top of process steps and negotiating solely on your behalf. To find an agent, try connecting through a professional organization such as the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.
Understanding Property Disclosure
Sellers must let prospective buyers know if the property has certain known defects. In Oklahoma, there is an official Residential Property Condition Disclosure form for this very purpose. It includes sections for:
Appliances, systems, and services
Zoning, flood, and water
Additions, alterations, and repair
Property shared in common, easements, homeowner’s association, and other legal issues
Your Purchase Agreement
Once an offer is made and accepted, the terms of the sale are outlined in a legally binding contract known as the purchase agreement. The Oklahoma Real Estate Commission offers a Residential Contract of Sale of Real Estate form. It includes a provision allowing the buyer to obtain a home inspection before the sale is final.
Getting a Home Inspection
A licensed home inspector is trained to appraise a property for defects or issues that may not yet be serious but could soon become problems. Even though the seller is required to disclose known defects, in many cases there are also unknown ones, so this is an important step.
The Purpose of a Title Search
Sometimes there are issues attached to the title or property deed that may prevent it from legally transferring a clear title from one party to another. Your lawyer or a title company will research public records to ensure the sale can go through. Title insurance covers any future losses incurred due to issues this search may overlook.
Buying Foreclosure Property
Before a foreclosure property can be sold in Oklahoma, notice must be published weekly in a local newspaper, beginning at least 30 days prior to the sale. The property is sold at public auction. While there is no official redemption period, it takes about 15 days for a foreclosure sale to be confirmed. The prior owner has until that confirmation to make good on the debt and reclaim the property.
Seek Legal Advice
As state-specific residential real estate laws can be complicated, and each transaction is unique, you should contact a local real estate lawyer for advice.
From – Home buying tips article on Lawyers.com
Home Builders are the professionals who are important to get great advice on the type of home you need.
They keep each and every need and aspect in mind while planning a sweet home for you.
The only objective of these builders is to educate you in terms of the different aspects of building a home, like home renovation. You will not just get great suggestions on choosing the right home but also the right way of carrying out home remodeling.
These professionals help you decide different aspects of home improvement at its best, like comfort, maintenance, repair, additional space, safety measures and saving energy procedures. In most cases, custom home builders construct on land the home buyer already owns.
Some developers sell fully serviced lots specifically for the construction of custom homes. This makes it easy to build a custom home since the lot is construction ready and builders can focus purely on the design of the home.
Experienced home builders have a wide range of staff to offer good and practical advice. They would also always be there for their client and prepared to work around the clock. This is especially important as a trusting relationship between the client and the firm could speed up the construction progress and the completed work would not only be of utmost quality but also meets the client’s requirement.
Going on, reputable home builders usually boast a huge variety of plans for clients to choose from. These floor plans are more than often flexible and can be modified to suit the clients’ needs and preferences.
These home constructors would also be able to go along with what clients demand and produce designs suitable for the clients’ lifestyle and thus maximize the space in the home and increasing the quality of life of their customers.
In most cases, custom home builders construct on land the home buyer already owns. Some developers sell fully serviced lots specifically for the construction of custom homes.
This makes it easy to build a custom home since the lot is construction ready and builders can focus purely on the design of the home.
Furthermore, responsible home builders work in a transparent way, whereby all the cost applicable to the home being constructed will be stated clearly in black and white.
This is to give customers a peace of mind with a fixed price contract before starting anything. No hidden charges would be allowed or applicable for these home constructors since they would never jeopardize their reputation.
The National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, offers educational seminars at the International Builder’s Show as well as courses and professional designations.
In 2008 NAHB had more than 10,000 active designation holders. In the same year, it had 16,000 course participants worldwide, 150 local home building associations offering 900 courses during the year and 6,000 conference participants.
There are numerous builders that provide a website to provide prospective clients with an establishment for discovering their company and the services they can make available. Take good tips and advice from home builders as far as home improvement is concerned. It is a good idea to upgrade ventilation, heating plus air conditioning systems.
If the capacity of electrical systems and plumbing is increased, it will be a major improvement. You should waterproof the basements while building the house and while remodeling the house.
You should not miss on sound proofing the rooms, especially the bedrooms and bathrooms. If you are interested in saving energy and bills, opt for the energy efficient thermal insulation, and replacement windows while making out a plan for the home renovation. Well, fire alarms and burglar alarms are quite a necessity these days.
If you would like to learn more about building your custom home call (405) 359-0275.
Custom Homes Built Exclusively by Bill Roberts/The Roberts Group
Homeowners are going crazy for the new homes that are being built in Muirfield Village in Edmond Oklahoma. Residents love the “Old World” charm of this luxury gated community and share their excitement for the amenities that are included. “We just can’t build ’em fast enough” says Bill Roberts of The Roberts Group. We have a waiting list of people that want to build their custom dream home here in Muirfield Village because it is so unique.
With Muirfield Village, residents get the opportunity to create a home that is dedicated to their lifestyle and imagination. The Roberts Group is known for their luxury communities and attention to detail, and Muirfield Village certainly lives up to that reputation. This is the perfect place to live, where your peace of mind is top priority. In addition, all the amenities like pool, spa, fitness facilities, clubhouse, conservatory and more, are all included.
As you can see, the classic and timeless design from Architect Brent Gibson makes Muirfield Village really stand out. These homes have that feeling like you’ve just stepped into an old European village with cottage style homes and French Villas. Each one of these homes is a masterpiece and can be yours.
Come check out these amazing homes in Muirfiled Village in Oklahoma City and see how living the luxury lifestyle in a gated community can be yours. Call The Roberts Group today at 405-359-0275.
Quick List of OKC Area Community Easter Egg Hunts
Edmond’s – Free Hound Hunt
Time and Location: Saturday, April 11 at 2 p.m at Edmond Dog Park located at E. 33rd & Rankin
Details: Dog owners can bring their dogs to the dog park to hunt for treats. Call (405) 359-4630 for more information.
Choctaw’s 16th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Time and Location: Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 4 at Choctaw Creek Park
Details: Nearly 10,000 candy-filled eggs will be hidden in this event sponsored by the Choctaw Public Recreation Board. The hunt is divided into 5 age groups, and prizes are given for best Easter bonnet. Call (405) 390-8276 for more information.
Rockwell/NW Expressway Chick-fil-A Easter Egg Hunt
Time and Location: Saturday, April 4 from 3 p.m to 5 p.m.
Details: 2015 marks the 4th annual event for this franchise location in northwest Oklahoma City. Call (405) 728-9494 for more information.
Moore’s 33rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Time and Location: Saturday, March 28 from 10-11 a.m. at Buck Thomas Park Football Fields on 12th Street
Details: The Easter Bunny will be on hand at this annual favorite in Moore sponsored by Moore Firefighters and the American Legion. There also will be special prize eggs. Call (405) 793-5090 for more information.
Mustang Easter Eggstravaganza and Egg Hunt
Time and Location: Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 at Town Center in Wild Horse Park
Details: Take photos with the Easter Bunny and enjoy the pancake breakfast, large inflatables, games and other activities. The hunt itself features over 15,000 eggs and plenty of prizes. Call (405) 376-3411 for more information.
Norman’s “Best” Easter Egg Hunt
Time and Location: Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27 at Andrews Park in Norman
Details: In addition to the big Easter Egg Hunt at night, there are typically moon bounces, t-shirts, Easter Bunny photos and much more for kids 8 and under. Call (405) 366-5472 for more information.
Yukon’s “Easter on the Prairie”
Time and Location: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 at the Kirkpatrick Family Farm
Details: Head out to the Kirkpatrick Family Farm in Yukon for two large Easter Egg Hunts. Admission is free. Call (405) 354-3567 for more information.
Existing home sales: Existing-home sales were up 7 percent in 2015, buoyed by strong household formation (at about 1.4 million households formed in the past four quarters ending in September) and strong job growth. Distressed sales fell in 2015, as did sales to investors, international buyers, and second-home buyers, Smoke notes.
Home prices: Home prices edged up 5 percent to 7 percent nationwide in 2015. “Such appreciation helped owners see substantial gains in equity,” Smoke writes. “Home values are close to being fully recovered nationally.”
But the level of price appreciation is above a normal rate, mostly due to an imbalance in the number of homes for-sale and high demand.
New-home construction: New-home sales were up 13 percent in 2015. Most of the growth in new-home construction in 2015, however, was centered in apartment building rather than single-family homes.
“Even with more than 20% growth in total new construction, we will have created only a net new 900,000 housing units, which is less than 65 percent of the new households we created,” Smoke notes.
Rental market: Many of the new households forming are renters. Apartment vacancies are at multi-year lows, and rents are rising sharply. That is worrisome, Smoke says, because “when renting households are so burdened by making rent payments, they’re less able to save up to own.”
Nevertheless, affordability, overall, remained strong by the end of 2015, despite the higher home prices.
“Looking across the national housing landscape, the housing market has stronger fundamentals now than one year ago,” Smoke says. “However, we need new construction to keep up with the household formations driven by demographics and healthy job creation. We need more affordable housing to decrease the impact of burdensome rents. And we need expanded, risk-appropriate access to credit to help households that can afford to buy.”
The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial. Interesting, right?
It seems building a solid future for our family is more important than building wealth, even though they tend to go hand in hand.
The Top Five reasons we Oklahomans buy a Home may surprise you!
1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education
From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe
It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.
3. It allows you to have more space for your family
Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates
Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:
5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family
Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?
Many New Homeowners Want To Build their Own House, But What Does That Entail?
If you’re like many house hunting couples out there who are looking for the perfect home but have yet to find it, then another option for you is to build your own home.
Sometimes, building a home from scratch might be the only option for you, so naturally the next step is finding the right home builder and making sure you get exactly what you want.
Now while choosing the size of the house and determining how big your lot is going to be are all important decisions, there are some basic guidelines you must be aware of when you decide to start construction on your new home.
The first thing you need to decide is what your budget is. In other words, what type of mortgage loan are you qualified for and how much house are you going to build.
For example, if you live in Oklahoma and you have been approved for $90,000 mortgage, then this will greatly narrow down your options.
However, if you have been approved for a mortgage loan in excess of $400,000 and also have good credit and some cash reserves, then you have many more options available to you when considering building your own home.
SO if we assume that you’ve been approved for a pretty decent size mortgage for building your dream home, the next step is to find a home builder that you can trust and is qualified to create that amazing home for you.
Building Process with The Roberts Group
In a nutshell, the steps to building your home are as follows:
Get approved for a loan, or have the cash reserves
Find a home builder
Locate your perfect lot to build on
Coordinate with the builder and the architect to design the blueprint for your home
We have simplified these steps of course, but that is really all there is to building your own home from scratch. Of course the other details that will come about include: picking out your own lighting, selecting your style of paint colors, choosing your preference of appliances, and more.
These finishing touches usually happen after the initial construction phase has taken place.
Now the time frame to build a home can vary from builder to builder, a general rule is that it will take about 4 months. There can be some other factors that can change that time, however, if you have the right builder and know exactly what house plan you want to build, then the building process will move smoothly.
If you would like to learn more about building your perfect dream home, Call The Roberts Group at (405) 359-0275