Buying a Home? 4 Things You Should Know About Home Appraisals

home mortgageAs you might already know, summertime is a very busy time for real estate agents. That’s why so many home buyers decide to enter the market during this time of year.

If you too are a prospective home buyer planning to enter the market soon, then you’ve visited the right real estate blog!

Today, we’re going to share four things that every home buyer should know about appraisals.

What Are Appraisals and Why Are They Important?

An appraisal is the valuation of a property by the estimate of an authorized person.

These are particularly important for those who will be taking out a loan on their next home.

And unless you’re independently wealthy (or have been successful in building a sizeable savings account), you will more than likely end up requesting a loan.

When you ask for that loan, banks reference your home’s appraisal as a way of deciding how much to give you. That’s why appraisals are so important.

Consider this example: Let’s say you make a purchase offer on a home for $120,000. You need a loan for exactly that amount.

However, when the appraisal comes back, it says the home is worth only $100,000 – and the bank isn’t willing to give you a penny more.

This means that you’re faced with a $20,000 budget gap. And that’s enough to kill many a real estate deal.

But Don’t Worry – We Can Help!

Here is some valuable information on appraisals that may help you avoid unfortunate situations like the one above:

Appraisers must meet certain criteria first. According to the Appraisal Institute, a qualified appraiser should be licensed or certified and also should be familiar with the local area. What’s more, federal regulations stipulate that the appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. Fannie Mae even requires that appraisers certify that they have experience appraising similar properties in the same area.

Appraisal values are influenced by a number of factors. For instance, appraisers will consider recent sales of similar properties as well as current market trends. They’ll also factor in such things as the home’s amenities, number of bedrooms, floor plan functionality and more.

Appraisers are required to do a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. During this time, they’re also required to note any conditions that may adversely impact the property’s value. This may include needed repairs.

Generally speaking, appraisers use Fannie Mae’s Uniform Residential Appraisal Report for single-family homes. This report asks the appraiser a number of questions, including what the home’s interior and exterior look like, what neighborhood it’s located in and what nearby comparable sales there are. Other parts of the report include: a street map showing the appraised property, an exterior building sketch, an explanation of how the square footage was calculated, and photos of the home. After providing all of this information, the appraiser offers an analysis and conclusions about the property’s value based on this information.

We’ll Help You At Every Stage of the Home Buying Process

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home buyer.

Hopefully, if all goes well, the appraisal on your next home will go smoothly and you’ll be that much closer to owning your own home.

For EVERY stage of the home buying process, we want you to know that we’ll be there to assist you in order to make the experience as seamless as possible. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide and the valuable advice and insight we can offer.

Report: US Housing Market Experienced Fantastic Gains This Spring

construction 4We just love having the opportunity to share with you good news about the US housing market and this is one of those weeks!

Evidently, according to a recent article we were reading, sales of newly built homes as well as home prices in general saw some great increases during the month of April, further demonstrating that the housing market continues to improve.

If you’re considering buying or selling real estate anytime soon, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this exciting development.

What You Should Know About the National Housing Market

Here is some of the most pertinent information you’ll need about the current state of the housing market:

  • New home sales increased 6.8 percent from March to April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000.
  • The median price of a new home sold in April was $297,300, up 8.3 percent from the year before.
  • Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index increased 4.1 percent in the 12 months that ended in March.
  • Supplies of existing homes remain tight and home builders are still slow to start construction on new project.
  • So far in 2015, builders have constructed just more than 1 million housing units, which is not too much different from 2014.
  • The construction pace increased some in April and actually hit the best level it’s seen since November 2007.
  • Also so far in 2015, monthly sales of new homes have average 515,000.
  • Meanwhile, new home purchases have been up 26.1 percent over the last year.
  • The housing market in April had 4.8 months of supply of new homes, although this is still short of the six months inventory that experts consider a balanced market.
  • New home sales represent about a tenth of all home purchases.
  • Historically, new home sales peaked in July 2005, when they hit an annual pace of almost 1.4 million.
  • Sales bottomed out in February 2011 at 270,0000 units.

Experts attribute steady job growth, historically low interest rates and rising rental costs and key catalysts for the recent improvements on the national housing market.

They have also noted that they believe that the US needs construction of at least 1.5 million new homes a year in order to keep up with the growing population as well as the average loss of existing stock each year because of age.

We’re Your Dedicated Real Estate Experts!

We hope you found the above data as encouraging as we did. The market definitely continues to improve month after month and the memory of the housing market crash continues to fade overtime. This is great news for everyone!

Check back here next time for more valuable information on the current state of the housing market and how it may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller.

Great News New Albany Buyers: Stunning Home for Sale in Lambton Park!

Biddick New Albany 1There are certain New Albany neighborhoods that are always popular among home buyers and Lambton Park is definitely one of them!

After all, this community is located within the coveted New Albany Country Club and boasts and excellent location within the exemplary New Albany Plain Local Schools District.

What’s more, this community has a reputation for offering residents an excellent sense of community.

Thus, buyers reading our blog today are sure to be thrilled to discover that there’s now a new listing available in Lambton Park. Continue reading to learn more!

This Lambton Park Home Listing Has It All!

Biddick New Albany 2Located at 7217 Biddick Court, this impressive home features 7,596 square feet of living space, including 6 bedrooms and 6.2 bathrooms.

This gorgeous brick home boasts a long list of luxury amenities, including a gourmet island kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, hall pantry and a light-filled breakfast room.

Other impressive features you’ll discover when you step inside this home include:

  • A cozy wood-paneled den with wet bar
  • Living room with marble fireplace
  • 4 bedroom suites, each with a private bath and walk-in closet
  • A spacious mother-in-law suite over the 3 car attached garage.

Meanwhile, the nearly half acre lot is beautifully landscaped for shade and privacy and even features a brick patio overlooking the backyard.

And here’s an added perk to living here: It boasts an ideal location that’s just 2 miles to Market Street as well as New Albany High School.

This home is currently listed at $1.18 million, which is truly a bargain when you consider all of the features it comes with.

We’re Your Dedicated New Albany REALTORS

Biddick New Albany 3If this sounds like exactly the kind of community you’ve been dreaming of as a home buyer, then please take a moment now to connect with us, Thomas &  Company, your dedicated New Albany real estate experts.

We would love to assist you by answering any questions you might have, providing valuable insight on this home for sale and even scheduling a showing for you!

Until next time,

Thomas & Company

Middleton House – A Granville Property w/ Plenty to Offer Buyers!

Columbus New Albany 1We have exciting news to share with you form the Granville real estate market! We recently listed The Middleton House, located at 2256 Columbus Road.

This remarkably unique, historic estate sits on an impressive 43-plus acres, which overlooks the surrounding hills and valleys of Granville.

This home is truly remarkable. And it can be yours for just $1.85 million.

If you’re in the market for a new Granville home, we invite you to continue reading to learn more about what this home has to offer.

Live the Good Life in This Granville Home

Columbus New Albany 2Originally built in 1915, this English Country-style residence served as the original site of the Granville Literary and Theology Institution. It also serves as a guest house and conference center for Denison University.

Today, this stunning white home on Columbus Road features 6 bedrooms and 5.2 bathrooms.

Step inside this 7,150-square-foot home, and you’ll discover an endless procession of incredible amenities.

These include:

  • A grand foyer with 2-story ceilings, elegant carpeted stair and custom arched window.
  • A light-filled living room with wood-burning marble fireplace and built-in cabinetry.
  • A family room and adjacent office/den, each with a fireplace.
  • An elegant formal dining room with original oak wood paneling, built-in leaded glass cabinetry, tiled fireplace and bay window.
  • A completely renovated gourmet chef’s kitchen, which includes a custom island w/built-in breakfast table and prep area, white Carrarra marble countertops, Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer & Wolf gas stove with double oven and so much more.

And that’s just the main level. On the first upper level, buyers will discover four bedrooms with private bathrooms, an impressively spacious master suite with seating area and more.

Columbus New Albany 3And on the second upper level, they’ll be impressed with the large recreation room with adjacent media room and the fifth bedroom and hall bath.

Meanwhile, the lower level of this breathtaking estate features an exercise room, walk-in wine cellar and more.

The marvel that is this Granville home doesn’t stop when you tour the exterior of the property either.

With 43-plus acres, buyers will discover a tranquil oasis that’s perfect for relaxing, playing and entertaining guests.

There’s even an equestrian barn with 9 stalls, a tack room, open hay mow, fenced pasture and a fully-renovated Caretaker’s Quarters with a kitchenette, fireplace, bedroom and bath.

There’s also a four-car detached garage with extra storage as well as a 25-car paved parking lot and motor court on the property. Wow!

Feel Like Royalty When You Purchase This Granville Home

Truly, this home is a modern day palace! And you could be its next king or queen.

Contact us, Thomas & Company, today if you’re interested in receiving more valuable information about this property or if you’d like to schedule a showing. We would love the opportunity to assist you!

Until next time,

Thomas & Company

3 Reasons You’ll Love With This Lambton Park Home Listing in New Albany, OH

Stannage New Albany 1Are you looking for a gorgeous and stately home that commands respect the second you pull up to the driveway? Do you want to live in a residential neighborhood that boasts a strong sense of community – not to mention a great location near public schools?

If so, then we encourage you to check out our new home listing at 3994 Stannage Pass in New Albany.

Located in the Lambton Park neighborhood, which is located close to the New Albany Country Club, this home truly has it all!

Continue reading to discover the top three reasons why you’re sure to fall in love with this property.

Why New Albany Home Buyers Will Love This Property

Stannage New Albany 2This gorgeous, all-brick 10,825-square-foot estate home is sure to go under contract soon. After all, consider all that it has to offer!

Here are the top three features buyers will love about this home:

  • This home sits on 0.96 acres, giving residents plenty of privacy and tranquility.
  • It’s living room is perfect for entertaining, complete with built-in shelves and a gas fireplace.
  • The finished lower level offers media room, full kitchen, 1200 bottle wine room, gym, 5th bedroom suite and huge storage area.

More than that, however, this home also boasts deluxe bathrooms, a four-car garage and gorgeous backyard views.
Other amenities that will impress residents include:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Expansive bedrooms
  • Subzero/Wolf appliances
  • Fully-stocked butler’s pantry
  • Coffered ceilings
  • Private deck off master suite
  • Spacious walk-in closets

What’s more, this home is served by the New Albany Plain Local Schools District, which is award-winning and nationally ranked.

Is This The New Albany Home You Want to Own?

Stannage New Albany 3This home truly one of New Albany Country Club’s most remarkable homes!

If you’re ready to take that next step toward making it your own, please make sure to connect with us, Thomas & Company.

We’re your dedicated New Albany, Ohio, real estate experts and we would be happy to help you at every stage of the home buying process.

Until next time,

Thomas & Company

US Housing Market Well Positioned for Busy Summer Home Buying Season

home buying 20The summer months should be quite busy for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike!

As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market.

Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.

One thing’s for sure: The next few months should be very interesting from a national housing market perspective!

What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know About Market Activity

According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.

In fact, purchases increased 6.1 percent to a 5.19 million annualized rate, which is the highest level it’s been since September 2013.

On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July.

Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:

  • The share of first-time buyers increased slightly while distressed properties made up a smaller part of the market
  • The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month.
  • In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010.
  • Figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the group’s index of purchase applications increased in recent weeks to the highest level since June 2013.
  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.5 percent to 2,107.96 recently, which is within 12 points of a record high.
  • More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
  • In fact, the number of existing properties for sale increased 5.3 percent to 2 million in March from a month earlier.
  • And sellers’ instincts about buyer interests appear to be spot on. For instance, 40 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
  • The median price of an existing home jumped 7.8 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, to $212,100. That’s the most since February 2014.
  • Meanwhile, the cost of a purchased house was 5.4 percent higher in February from the same time last year, which is tied with May 2014 for the biggest gain.
  • Purchases increased in all four U.S. regions, led by a 10.1 percent increase in the Midwest. They were up 6.9 percent in the Northeast, 6.3 percent in the West and 3.8 percent in the South.
  • Sales of single-family homes rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million, which is the most it’s been since August 2013.
  • Meanwhile, closings on multifamily properties (including condominiums) increased 11.1 percent.
  • Purchases of distressed properties represented 10 percent of the total, which is down from 11 percent in February.
  • Also, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.67 percent recently. The rate was 3.59 percent in February, which was the lowest in almost two years.

One Small Concern is On the Minds of Experts

Experts did express concerns about how fast home prices were rising, which they credited in part to low housing inventory. Thus, economists said the best way to fix that is to increase the supply of homes for sale on the market.
It will be interesting to see if enough sellers enter the market in the next couple of months to temper those price increases.

We’re Your Real Estate Market Experts!

We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight!

Please check back here soon for more updates on the state of the housing market. We’re confident that having this knowledge will help you make savvier decisions as a buyer or seller.

US Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Month in a Row

home buying 18We have some excellent news to report from the national housing market: Evidently US pending home sales index increased for the third straight month in April.

This is a great testament that the national housing market is getting back on track and becoming increasingly stable.

If you’re considering entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this new trend.

The Latest Outlook from the Housing Market is Positive

Let’s take a closer look at the recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to recent data, the pending home sales index (which is based on contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes) increased 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 108.6 in March.

This is also higher than in February, when the level was 107.4.

And evidently, the increase in the home sales index is higher than many economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal thought it would be. They had expected the increase to be 1 percent.

Here are some additional highlights from the recent report:

  • When comparing March 2014 to March 2015, the index increased 11.1 percent.
  • Completed existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March. This increase followed two months in which the gains were lackluster.
  • And although sales of newly built single-family homes decreased from February to March, they increased almost 20 percent from the sales pace of a year ago.
  • The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.77 percent in March, which is slightly above the previous month but also down from a year earlier.
  • And pending sales of existing homes increased in the South and the West during the month of March, but decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • Meanwhile, markets across the country are seeing home prices increase.

Experts believe that low housing inventory have driven prices up on existing homes. And while that has helped to close the gap in cost between newer homes (which are typically more expensive) and previously-owned homes, existing home sales still account for roughly 90 percent of the overall market.

Will These Positive Housing Market Trends Continue?

Check back with us soon to see if national real estate activity continues on this upward trend or takes a dip.

Having the most up-to-date market data is critical to ensuring a successful outcome as a buyer or seller. That’s why we hope you’ll check back here again soon for the most up-to-date information on the market possible.

Look For Thomas & Company in the Upcoming New Albany Founder’s Day Parade!

CalendarWhat an honor! We recently found out that we have been given the opportunity to walk in the New Albany Founder’s Day Parade on May 16!

This local parade is a time-honored tradition here in New Albany and so we are humbled that we get a chance to be a part of it.

Continue reading to learn more about this upcoming parade and what you can expect to see if you attend!

The 411 on the Upcoming New Albany Parade

Held every year, the New Albany Founder’s Day celebrates the inception of our incredible community.

Founded in 1837, the Village of New Albany has seen immense growth in the last two decades in particular as local leaders have focused on making this a great place to not only live but also to work and play as well. The Village became a City in 2011!

This year’s event (which, by the way, marks the 40th anniversary) will actually kick off with a mini-concert by the New Albany Chorus at Main Street and High Street.

Then, the parade starts at 11 a.m. Parade floats enter at Dublin-Granville Road and Morgan Road, although probably the best place to stand as a spectator will be Main Street and High Street because a parade emcee booth will be located there.

Check out this online map for a look at the complete parade map and to plan your excursion on Founder’s Day.

Ultimately, the parade will end at the New Albany 2-5 Elementary School at 87 North High Street.

This year is sure to be a stand-out one, especially given all of the sponsors that have contributed to bring the parade to life. These companies include The City of New Albany, New Albany Chamber of Commerce, Plain Township, New Albany-Plain Local Schools, Chi Thai Restaurant and Mint Family Dental.

Meanwhile, Robert & Debbie Dean will serve as the 2015 Parade Grand Marshals.

Here a quick recap of the most important details you should know:

  • When: 10:45 a.m. for the mini-concert, 11 a.m. for the parade
  • Where: Main Street and High Street
  • More Information: Visit The Founders Day Site.  And once again, you can also view the Parade Route map.

We Hope To See You at the Parade on May 16!

We hope you have a chance to check out the Founder’s Day festivities (including the parade!) on May 16. We think it’s sure to be a fun and memorable day for the whole family!

If you do end up attending and you see us, please be sure to wave Hello. We would be thrilled to see you.

And remember: As your dedicated New Albany real estate experts, we always enjoy the opportunity to help people realize their dreams on the real estate market. So contact us today if you’re considering buying or selling a New Albany area home anytime soon, make sure to contact us for assistance.

Until next time,

Thomas & Company

5 Baby Boomer Housing Market Trends to Watch

boomersRegardless of where you live, experts are expecting that Baby Boomers will have a major impact on the local housing market.

That’s because this sizeable portion of the population is comprised of 76.4 million individuals. And many of them are expected to make major moves over the next several years as they continue to retire.

To that effect, we wanted to share with you the top 5 Baby Boomer real estate trends to watch for in the coming months and years.

The Top 5 Real Estate Trends for Baby Boomers

Although many Baby Boomers plan to move to the Sunbelt when they retire, others may be motivated by different factors.

For instance, some may be motivated by staying closer to families. Others may be looking for the least expensive place to live. Still others may be more interested in moving to a place with a high quality of life for seniors.

Thus, regardless of where you live, it’s important to consider the following Baby Boomer trends:

Boomers want to pay off their mortgage. Many Baby Boomers own their own home. They’ve been paying a mortgage for decades. Thus, one of their primary goals is going to be to finally pay off the mortgage and own their home outright. In fact, for many, paying off the mortgage is a crucial consideration before they’re willing to retire.

They want more convenience. This may look like a smaller home with less maintenance and less work, but it may not. Baby Boomers also care about living in homes that have modern appliances, energy-efficient doors and other features that will make their life easy. As such, many are also opting for one-story homes because of their bad knees, bad hips, etc.

Baby Boomers want a walkable neighborhood. They’ve already spent a lot of time in their car, what with commuting to work, taking their kids to and from hobbies, etc. So now they’re trying to get back to simpler times, where they lived just a couple of blocks from the grocery store or the local restaurant. They want to be able to access the amenities they want and need without having to always get in the car.

They want to remain on their own. In fact, according to a Merrill Lynch survey, only 10 percent of Baby Boomers say they want to move into any kind of retirement or age-restricted community. Instead, they want to stay in their own homes, in their own neighborhood nad have their own friends.

Baby Boomers want to stay close to their loved ones. This is also a high priority for residents. They not only want to be close to their children, but also their grandchildren as well. Proximity to loved ones is certainly key with this segment of the population.

We’re Your #1 Source for National Real Estate Trends

We hope you’ve learned something new after reading today’s real estate blog. The Baby Boomers will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the real estate market as they prepare for where they want to live their Golden Years.

Please check back here soon to learn about more trends that may impact your local housing market.

Signed Contracts for US Homes Increase, Report Shows.

Home contractIn the latest sign that the U.S. real estate market is improving, more Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in February than in nearly a year.

The National Association of Realtors released the data, which showed that the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February.

That’s the highest it’s been since June 2013!

If you’re preparing to list your home anytime soon on the local housing market, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this trend!

US Home Sales Are On the Rise!

Here are some additional highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:

  • Buying activity increased in the Midwest and West during the month of February, although it actually decreased slightly in the Northeast and South.
  • Existing homes sold at an annual pace of 4.88 million in February, which is slightly below last year’s levels.
  • The supply of homes was just 4.6 months, compared to five months a year ago. It should be noted that a six month inventory is considered a balanced market.
  • Average 30-year fixed rates were 3.69 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That was down from a 52-week high of 4.41 percent recently.
  • Home prices have increased 17 percent since the middle of 2012, which is when the market bottomed out.
  • Analysts are particularly encouraged by the recent gains because it means that the housing market was able to overcome such unforeseen and uncontrollable hurdles like freezing weather and a particularly harsh winter.

Experts say that the upturn suggests that the spring home buying season will be robust.

They added that home sales are likely to be further supported since the unemployment rate is down to 5.5 percent.

In fact, the unemployment rate is down to its lowest level in nearly seven years!  And employers have added 3.3 million jobs during the last year, including 295,000 jobs in February.

All of this is giving would-be home buyers more buying power as well as consumer confidence. This, in turn, is leading more to enter the national housing market in search of their dream home.

We’re Your #1 Real Estate Resource!

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home seller.

As you can see, it really is a great time to list your property on the market.  After all, there’s plenty of pent-up home buyer demand and home sales activity appears to be picking up.

Please check back here soon for more valuable insight on that national housing market and how it may impact you.  We’d be happy to offer our expert insight in order to help you enjoy a successful outcome as a home seller!