5 Tips to Winning a Bid War – Hood Canal Real Estate – www.hoodcanalliving.com

Hood Canal Real Estate - www.hoodcanalliving.com


5 Tips to Win a Bidding War for Your New Home

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Housing inventory hit a nearly two-year high last month, with 2.28 million unsold homes on the market nationwide. That’s an encouraging sign during a historic dry spell.
But macro trends are cold comfort for potential homebuyers on the ground. There are still plenty of communities where low inventory and rising prices mean bidding wars are common.
Multiple offers can be incredibly stressful. Buyers are forced to pare their expectations and fight for an edge in what’s essentially a zero-sum game. No one wants to see their dream home swarmed by cash buyers or inflated offers.
The good news is it’s not always about the bottom line. Sellers may take less if it means a faster closing, fewer headaches or helping someone they connect with.
Here’s a look at five tips that can help prospective buyers in a bidding war.

Come Prepared

You might only get one shot at this. Needless to say, it isn’t the time to let your uncle take his new real estate license out for a test run. Lean on an experienced buyer’s agent who’s handled multiple-offer situations.
Sellers and listing agents want to see you’ve got a mortgage preapproval and can close on the loan quickly. Buyers can include documents that showcase their ability to cover closing costs and a sizable down payment. Others might make a larger-than-normal earnest money deposit to underscore their seriousness.
The goal is conveying legitimacy and ease.
“The seller’s biggest fear is the deal falls apart at the last second,” says Neil Brooks, a real estate agent with HomeSmart Real Estate in Scottsdale, Ariz. “If you can share with that seller’s agent that you’re going to make the transaction go smoothly and worry-free, that’s going to help.”
This is also not the time to find out that problems with your credit could be an obstacle to buying the home you want. Checking your credit about six months before you expect to buy can give you time to correct any errors or improve on any issues that could put a damper on your plans. (You can check your credit reports for free from AnnualCreditReport.com once a year, and you can use free tools to check your credit scores from sites like Credit.com.)


Pay in Cash

If you can manage, nothing says “easy” quite like an all-cash offer; such offers account for about 40% of recent home sales.
There’s no mortgage process, no underwriting approval and no worrying about financing falling through.
That’s certainly not an arrow in every buyer’s quiver, but cash offers will often put a swift end to any bidding war.

Be Careful with Contingencies

Purchase offers often contain clauses that make the sale contingent on an appraisal or on the buyer’s ability to sell their current home. Sellers can see them as potential roadblocks.
Buyers with the cash to cover a low appraisal or two mortgage payments may want to consider waiving those contingencies.
Real estate agents may also suggest including an “escalation clause” in the contract. These basically say the buyer agrees to exceed the highest competing offer by a specific dollar amount. For example, you’ll pay an extra $5,000 on top of the most lucrative offer, or up to an additional $10,000 in increments of $2,000.
Good agents will also try to discern the seller’s preferred closing date and work that timeframe into the contract.
You may be able to press your lender for a quicker turnaround on your loan file. That’s not always possible, and it’s likely to depend in part on how quickly you can provide financial documentation at the outset.

Sell Yourself

Sometimes it’s about more than just the numbers. Many agents urge their clients to write a personal note to the seller. Be specific in conveying what you love about the home and your plans for it.
“Even though you have a process that’s mostly anonymous, you’re trying to create a bond that puts yourself in the best light,” says Duan Rockette, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in St. Charles, Mo.
Rockette says that personal touch has helped clients win bidding wars time and again, even when their offer was the least competitive.

No Regrets

Homebuying is invariably an emotional experience. The time constraints and competitiveness of a multiple-offer situation only heighten the tension.
It’s important to step back and be honest with yourself. What’s more devastating – missing out on your “dream home” or overpaying by $20,000 to get it?
The goal – at least, ideally – is to avoid regret either way, says Christian Harris, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in the ultra-competitive Seattle market.
“You want to make sure that, at the end of the day, you’re not going to regret your decision,” Harris says. “You want to make sure you can sleep at night.”

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Hood Canal Real Estate and Hood Cnal Living – Tasty Crab

Hood Canal Real Estate, Mortgage and the Economy - www.hoodcanalliving.com


Tips from Chef Tom Douglas on plating up tasty Dungeness crab

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The Dungeness crab season begins on Thursday, July 3 in many parts of Puget Sound and Hood Canal, and Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas provides his take on how to wow your guests at the dining table.
This season we’ll have weekly recipes and advice from now through October on how to cook up and dish out a wide variety of local seafood by experts like Anthony’s Restaurant; Tiffany Haugen, Outdoor Cooking expert/author; tackle shop owners; local seafood-market owners; and fishing guides and charter services.
Douglas is owner of Lola; Palace Kitchen; Dahlia Lounge; Dahlia Bakery; Etta’s; Serious Pie Downtown; Seatown; Brave Horse Tavern; Cuoco; Serious Pie & Biscuit-Westlake; Serious Pie-Virginia; Tanaka San; and Rub With Love Schack. Some of his other works include Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee and Home Remedy, and this summer he plans on opening a cooking school called Hot Stove Society at the Hotel Andra.
Here is Douglas’ advice on how to prepare them, and wow your guests at the next meal:
I grew up in Delaware on blue crabs steamed in loads of Old Bay, but after moving to Seattle I quickly acclimated myself to this region’s sweet Dungeness crab. You’ll find Dungies on the menus of several of my restaurants, whether steamed, cracked, and served (either warm or chilled) with drawn butter, spicy mayo, and garlic bread, or picked from the shell and fashioned into crisp-crusted crab cakes.
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We most often think of Dungeness crab for dinner, but you can’t beat it for adding excitement to a special breakfast. One of my favorite ideas that I came up with for my I Love Crab Cakes cookbook was to take a twist on that Chinese-American classic egg foo yung with the addition of fresh crabmeat. Whisk up some eggs with soy, mirin, sliced shiitakes, mung bean sprouts, sliced scallions, minced celery, and Dungeness crab meat, then drop the mixture by the four-ounce ladleful into a hot skillet generously filmed with oil to form patties. Brown the patties on both sides and serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon and a shake of Tabasco or a dollop of Chinese hot chili paste. You’ll be amazed at how well the delicate sweetness of the crab works with traditional egg foo yung flavors.
You can also add crabmeat to a frittata. Try making one with beaten eggs, sliced and sautéed mushrooms, red onion, and fennel bulb, the crabmeat, and shredded Italian Fontina. Or, if you’re making Eggs Benedict for a festive breakfast or brunch, do as we do at Etta’s and replace the traditional slice of ham with a mound of Dungeness crab meat. Sauté the crabmeat very gently in a little butter to warm it, adding some spinach leaves if you like, then top the buttered English muffin halves with the crabmeat and the poached eggs, ladling hollandaise over the top.
Here are a few tips for working with Dungeness crabmeat. Before using it in a recipe, drain your crabmeat in a sieve and, if it’s wet, gently squeeze the crabmeat with your hands to remove excess liquid (though don’t get too energetic squeezing out all the flavor.) If you’re mixing the crabmeat with other ingredients, mix gently so you don’t smash up the precious lump meat. Also Dungeness tends to be salty, so don’t add additional salt until after you taste.

Hood Canal Real Estate, Mortgage and the Economy - www.hoodcanalliving.com

Hood Canal Real Estate – Hawk Program – www.hoodcanalliving.com

Hood Canal Real Estate - www.hoodcanalliving.com


Hawk Program Aims to Expand First Time Buyer’s Access to Mortgages

 
As they say, knowledge is power, and in the case of the Federal Housing Authority’s new HAWK pilot program, it could also mean a big savings on your mortgage. HAWK, which stands for “Homeowners Armed With Knowledge”, would grant discounts on mortgage insurance for FHA loans if home buyers sign up for housing counseling.laurenhurst
Under the program, buyers who sign up for counseling both before signing a contract to buy a home and before closing will earn a 50-basis-point reduction in their upfront mortgage insurance premium, and 10 points off of their yearly premium. When every percentage point matters, this could be the difference in someone buying a home or not, especially if their credit is less than stellar. The FHA is hoping that the more buyers know about the mortgage process the less likely they will be to default on their loan, and the potential savings gives home buyers a big incentive to sign up – they estimate owners could save as much as $9,800 on a loan of $180,000.
The four-year HAWK pilot program is projected to begin this fall after the public comment period ends in August, and buyers may be able to sign up for the program by the end of the year. HAWK is just one element in the FHA’s “Blueprint For Access” plan, which aims to find ways to give more people, especially those with credit scores lower than 680, access to mortgages and home ownership. To learn more about real estate in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

Hood Canal Real Estate - www.hoodcanalliving.com

Hood Canal Real Estate – Hawk Program – www.hoodcanalliving.com

Hood Canal Real Estate - www.hoodcanalliving.com


Hawk Program Aims to Expand First Time Buyer’s Access to Mortgages

 
As they say, knowledge is power, and in the case of the Federal Housing Authority’s new HAWK pilot program, it could also mean a big savings on your mortgage. HAWK, which stands for “Homeowners Armed With Knowledge”, would grant discounts on mortgage insurance for FHA loans if home buyers sign up for housing counseling.laurenhurst
Under the program, buyers who sign up for counseling both before signing a contract to buy a home and before closing will earn a 50-basis-point reduction in their upfront mortgage insurance premium, and 10 points off of their yearly premium. When every percentage point matters, this could be the difference in someone buying a home or not, especially if their credit is less than stellar. The FHA is hoping that the more buyers know about the mortgage process the less likely they will be to default on their loan, and the potential savings gives home buyers a big incentive to sign up – they estimate owners could save as much as $9,800 on a loan of $180,000.
The four-year HAWK pilot program is projected to begin this fall after the public comment period ends in August, and buyers may be able to sign up for the program by the end of the year. HAWK is just one element in the FHA’s “Blueprint For Access” plan, which aims to find ways to give more people, especially those with credit scores lower than 680, access to mortgages and home ownership. To learn more about real estate in Seattle, contact your local real estate agent today.

Hood Canal Real Estate - www.hoodcanalliving.com