July 11, 2024

Why Moving to a Smaller Home After Retirement Makes Life Easier

Why moving to a smaller home after retirement makes life easier

Retirement is a time for relaxation, adventure, and enjoying the things you love. As you imagine this exciting new chapter in your life, it’s important to think about whether your current home still fits your needs.

If it’s too big, too costly, or just not convenient anymore, downsizing might help you make the most of your retirement years. To find out if a smaller, more manageable home might be the perfect fit for your new lifestyle, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
  • Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
  • What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?

If you answered yes to any of these, consider the benefits that come with downsizing.

The Benefits of Moving into a Smaller Home

There are many reasons why you should downsize. Here are just a few from Bankrate:No Caption Received

Your Equity Can Help Make Downsizing Possible

If those perks sound like something you’d want, you may already have what you need to make it happen. A recent article from Seniors Guide shares:

“And at a time when homeowners age 62 and older have more than $12 trillion in home equity, downsizing makes sense . . .”

If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’re one of those homeowners who’s built up a considerable amount of equity. And that equity is something you can use to help you buy a home that better fits your needs today. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:

“Downsizing can mean taking that equity when the home is sold and using it to pay cash or make a large down payment on a lower-priced home, reducing your monthly living expenses.”

When you’re ready to use all that equity to fuel your next move, your real estate agent will be your guide through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your current house when you sell, finding the home that best fits your evolving needs, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.

Bottom Line

Starting your retirement journey? Think about downsizing – it could really help. When you're ready, talk to a local real estate agent about your housing goals this year.

Posted in Buying a home
Feb. 15, 2024

4 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent When Building a Home

 

4 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent When Building a Home

Finding the right home is one of the biggest challenges for potential buyers today. Right now, the supply of homes for sale is still low. But there is a bright spot. Newly built homes make up a larger percent of the total homes available for sale than normal. That’s why, if you’re craving more options, it makes sense to see if a newly built home is right for you.

But it’s important to remember the process of working with a builder is different than buying from a homeowner. And, while builders typically have sales agents on-site, having your own agent helps make sure you have proper representation throughout your homebuying journey. As Realtor.com says:

“Keep in mind that the on-site agent you meet at a new-construction office works for the builder. So, as the homebuyer, it’s a smart idea to bring in your own agent, as well, to help you negotiate and stay protected in the transaction.”

Here’s how having your own agent is key when you build or buy a new construction home.

Agents Know the Local Area and Market

It’s important to consider how the neighborhood and surrounding area may evolve before making your home purchase. Your agent is well-versed in the upcoming communities and developments that could influence your decision. One way a real estate agent can help is by reviewing the builder’s site plan. For example, you’ll want to know if there are any plans to construct a highway or add a drainage ditch behind your prospective backyard.

Knowledge of Construction Quality and Builder Reputation

An agent also has expertise in the construction quality and reputation of different builders. They can give you insights into each one’s track record, customer satisfaction, and construction practices. Armed with this information, you can choose a builder known for consistently delivering top-notch homes.

Assistance with Customization and Upgrades

The most obvious benefit of opting for new home construction is the opportunity to customize your home. Your agent will guide you through that process and share advice on the upgrades that are most likely to add long-term value to your home. Their expertise helps make sure you focus your budget on areas that will give you the greatest return on your investment later.

Understanding Builder Negotiations and Contracts

When it comes to working with builders, having a skilled negotiator on your side can make all the difference. Builder contracts can be complex. Your agent can help you navigate these contracts to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. Plus, agents are skilled negotiators who can advocate for you, potentially securing better deals, upgrades, or incentives throughout the process.

Bottom Line

If you are interested in buying or building a new construction home, having a trusted agent by your side can make a big difference. If you'd like to start that conversation, connect with us today!

July 20, 2023

The Ins and Outs of Earnest Money: A Buyer's Guide

When someone wants to buy a house or property, they often have to show the seller that they're serious about buying it. One way to do that is by giving the seller some money upfront. This money is called "earnest money."

A high-quality image of a person's hand putting money into a piggy bank, symbolizing earnest money. This image represents the concept of earnest money as a tangible commitment from the buyer to the seller in a real estate transaction.

Here's how it works:

 

The buyer submits a certain amount of money in U.S. Dollars as earnest money to the seller. This amount is typically 1% of the purchase price or more. This money shows the seller that the buyer is committed to buying the property.

 

The buyer should give the earnest money along with the purchase agreement, which is a document that outlines the terms of the sale. But if the buyer doesn't give the money with the purchase agreement, they have to give it to a third party called the "Escrow Agent" within a specific number of hours or days after the seller accepts the buyer's offer.

 

The Escrow Agent is a person or company who is trusted to hold the earnest money until the sale is finalized or the agreement is canceled. In this case, the Escrow Agent could be the real estate broker representing the seller, the real estate broker representing the buyer, or some other trusted party.

 

Once the Escrow Agent receives the earnest money, they have to deposit it into a special bank account called an "escrow account." They keep the money in this account until the sale is completed or if the agreement is canceled.

 

If the buyer's offer is not accepted by the seller, the Escrow Agent will return the earnest money to the buyer promptly.

 

However, if the buyer doesn't give the earnest money to the Escrow Agent on time, the seller has the right to cancel the agreement. The seller can do this by sending a notice of termination to the buyer before the Escrow Agent receives the earnest money.

 

So, in simple terms, the buyer needs to give some money upfront to show they're serious about buying the property. They have to give it to a trusted person or company, like a real estate broker, who will hold the money until the sale is complete or canceled. If the buyer doesn't give the money on time, the seller can cancel the agreement.

Posted in Buying a home
July 7, 2023

Client Review - Jan R.

5-star client review for Tim Murray from Jan R

 

"From the start we found Tim very professional yet warm and comfortable. We met some of his staff and found them to be equally skilled and easy going. They all were spot on with knowledge of the area, keeping in touch and guiding us through the process. The photos taken of our home were so stunning that when we saw them on line, we said 'I want to buy that house!'" - Jan R., June 2023b
Posted in Reviews
May 2, 2023

Client Review- Bart M.

When you meet with our team to talk about selling or buying a home, you will feel confident with the information given to you in order to make the best decision. Thank you for the kind words, Bart!

 

"Tim and his entire team did an excellent job marketing and selling our house. We chose Tim Murray because of all the realtors we had met the previous year, he was the only realtor that took the extra step and contacted us. And when he did, it was an enjoyable experience where we didn't feel any pressure, yet it was evident Tim would provide the service and professionalism we desired. Tim and his team did not disappoint. We would definitely use him again to buy and sell our home. We highly recommend Tim Murray and his entire team."

 

Five Star Client review for Tim Murray Team

Posted in Reviews
April 20, 2023

What's the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?

If you’re planning to buy a home, an inspection is an important step in the process. It assesses the condition of the home before you finalize the transaction. It’s also a different step in the process from an appraisal, which is a professional evaluation of the market value of the home you’d like to buy. In most cases, an appraisal is ordered by the lender to confirm or verify the value of the home prior to lending a buyer money for the purchase. Here’s the breakdown of each one and why they’re both important when buying a home.

Home Inspection

Here’s the key difference between an inspection and an appraisal. Bankrate says:

“In short, while an appraisal helps you understand a home’s value, inspections help you understand a home’s condition.”

The home inspection is a way to determine the current state, safety, and condition of the home before you finalize the sale. If anything is questionable in the inspection process – like the age of the roof, the state of the HVAC system, or just about anything else – you as a buyer have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues or repairs with the seller before the transaction is final. Your real estate agent is a key expert to help you through this part of the process.

Home Appraisal

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

A home purchase is typically the largest investment someone will make. Protect yourself by getting your investment appraised! An appraiser will observe the property, analyze the data, and report their findings to their client. For the typical home purchase transaction, the lender usually orders the appraisal to assist in the lender’s decision to provide funds for a mortgage.”

When you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal (which is required by the lender) is the best way to confirm the value of the home based on the sale price. Regardless of what you’re willing to pay for a house, if you’ll be using a mortgage to fund your purchase, the appraisal will help make sure the bank doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.

This is especially critical in a sellers’ market where low inventory drives an increase in bidding wars, which can push home prices upward. When sellers are in a strong position like this, they tend to believe they can set whatever price they want for their house under the assumption that competing buyers will be willing to pay more.

However, the lender will only allow the buyer to borrow based on the value of the home. This is what helps keep home prices in check. If there’s ever any confusion or discrepancy between the appraisal and the sale price, your trusted real estate professional will help you navigate any additional negotiations in the buying process.

Bottom Line

The inspection and the appraisal are critical steps when buying a home, and you don’t need to manage them by yourself. Work with a real estate professional today so you have the expert guidance you need to navigate the entire homebuying process.

Posted in Buying a home
April 11, 2023

Client Reivew - Judy P.

Judy bought a new construction home with us in 2023. We are so happy we made it an easy process.

Tim Murray Team Realtor review 2023

 

 

I am so thrilled with everything.  It was such a good experience from start to finish. You have a great team. Thank you for all of your help. Judy Pitt

Posted in Reviews
Dec. 26, 2022

Tim Murray Team Client Review-Haider

My best decision this year besides buying this house was contacting Tim Murray at Coldwell Bankers to help me buy our first home. Tim is absolutely wonderful to work with. It’s like having a friend on the “inside” that is working for you. He really cares about his clients as well as the community. And the good news doesn’t end here, Tim has a great team working with him especially his assistant, Kim Boisvert. She is the best! She is thorough and professional and a great person to work with. She kept us apprised about our next appointments and always let us know as soon as there is something that needs to be addressed or done. She is honest and forthright-no games.

Tim and Kim are a fabulous team with selling and buying. They responded fast all the time and got the best price for our first home!

Haider review for Tim Murray Team

Posted in Reviews
Dec. 6, 2022

Tim Murray Team Client Review-Mary M.

Tim Murray Team Review - Mary 2022

Posted in Reviews
Nov. 28, 2022

JUST LISTED 50213 Linnwood Dr, Elkhart, IN 46514

50213 Linnwood Dr, Elkhart, IN

3 bedrooms, 2 baths

 

 

 

 

NEARLY NEW! This two-year new home is tucked away in North Shore Landings community- across the street from Simonton Lake and minutes from Michigan and the toll road! Neighborhood features sidewalks, streetlights, city sewer and well, low Osolo township taxes, protective restrictions. This ranch has an open concept floor plan with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with 9-foot ceilings and vaulted ceiling in the living room. Split bedroom concept allows for more privacy for the Master Suite. Kitchen has granite counter tops, upgraded kitchen cabinetry, black stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry with automatic lighting, and island with seating. Dining area opens to the covered back patio and living room with fireplace. Master Suite features dual closets, double sink vanity, and stand-up shower. Main floor laundry, additional full bath w/ tub/shower combo. Full basement has great space for future finished living space. Association provides two options either (amounts for 2022) (1) $250 per year or (2) $425 per quarter which includes lawn mowing and snow plowing. Call now to see this home. Sewer provided by Simonton Lake Sewer District.

NEARLY NEW! This two-year new home is tucked away in North Shore Landings community- across the street from Simonton Lake and minutes from Michigan and the toll road! Neighborhood features sidewalks, streetlights, city sewer and well, low Osolo township taxes, protective restrictions. This ranch has an open concept floor plan with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with 9-foot ceilings and vaulted ceiling in the living room. Split bedroom concept allows for more privacy for the Master Suite. Kitchen has granite counter tops, upgraded kitchen cabinetry, black stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry with automatic lighting, and island with seating. Dining area opens to the covered back patio and living room with fireplace. Master Suite features dual closets, double sink vanity, and stand-up shower. Main floor laundry, additional full bath w/ tub/shower combo. Full basement has great space for future finished living space. Association provides two options either (amounts for 2022) (1) $250 per year or (2) $425 per quarter which includes lawn mowing and snow plowing. Call now to see this home. Sewer provided by Simonton Lake Sewer District.

 

Listed by: Tim Murray, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group

Posted in Listing Updates