Quiz Time! 10 Questions to See If You Will Make the Right Choices When Selling Your House


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You certainly don’t have to take classes or pass an exam if you want to sell your house. All you have to do is hire a great real estate agent who had to do both of those things in order to help you sell your house quickly and for the most money possible.

Even if you took the same classes and tests your agent took to become an agent, it’d be difficult for you to know everything you need to know. Much of the insight and knowledge that makes your agent so effective at getting you the best results comes from experience actually sellinghouses, not from real estate school. 

However, the more you know and understand about the best decisions ahead of time, the better off you’ll be. So here’s a quick quiz to help you see what decisions you’d get right, and learn from the ones you get wrong so you will be prepared to listen to the advice of your agent when the time comes.

(The answers are at the bottom…but no peeking!) 

  1. Before listing your house, you should:
    a) Renovate the kitchen and bathrooms.
    b) Paint every room in the house.
    c) Leave it as-is and let the buyer renovate and fix everything.
    d) Speak with your real estate agent about what is worth fixing up and what is not, and doing those things.
  2. How should you determine your listing price?
    a) Use what the Zestimate says your house is worth.
    b) Add 10% to what the Zestimate says.
    c) Use an amount close to what your agent recommends, based upon a thorough market analysis.
    d) Add up how much you owe on the mortgage, how much you spent on renovations and upgrades over the years, and how much more money you want to walk away with, and use the total of those as your listing price.
  3. Which agent should you hire from the list below?
    a) The one who had the highest suggested listing price.
    b) The one who is honest with you about the value of your home, even if you threaten to list with another agent who said your house was worth more.
    c) The one who has the nicest car.
    d) The one who is with the biggest company in the area.
  4. When filling out the sellers disclosure form about things you know are wrong with the house, you should:
    a) Only list the things you think are obvious and that the buyer or their inspector will actually notice or figure out.
    b) Don’t list any issues you may know about; it’s the inspectors job to find these things, and if they don’t find them, you’re not responsible.
    c) Be honest about everything you know is or has been an issue with the house and disclose them all.
    d) Have your agent fill it out for you.
  5. When should you let buyers come see your house?
    a) On Saturdays and Sundays only.
    b) Only when the agent has an open house.
    c) Establish a rigid set of hours on only certain days of the week that work for you, and refuse to let buyers come at a time that works best for them.
    d) Whenever a buyer wants to come see your house…within reason.
  6. If your house isn’t getting many showings or offers after being on the market for a while, you should:
    a) Reduce the price.
    b) Get angry with your agent and ask for more marketing.
    c) Give it a fresh coat of paint.
    d) Blame the market.
  7. When buyers are coming to see the house, you should:
    a) Be there to show them around the house room by room, and point out all of the upgrades and details they might miss.
    b) Get the heck out of there and let the buyer and their agent have the freedom to look without you breathing down their neck.
    c) Be there, just in case they have any questions, but give them space so they feel like you aren’t there. Try to stay about a room away, so you’ll be able to listen to every word they say.
    d) Not be home, but make sure you have spy cams set up to see and hear them.
  8. If you receive a low-ball offer you should:
    a) Get really angry and not respond.
    b) Get really angry and tell the buyer to get lost.
    c) Get really angry and give the buyer a firm counter-offer and tell them they can take it or leave it, but you won’t budge any more than that.
    d) Stay calm and respond with a thoughtful counter-offer and see if you can eventually get them to come up to a reasonable and acceptable amount you’re willing to accept.
  9. If a buyer submits home inspection requests for repairs or credits, you should:
    a) Tell them that those things have been like that for years, and you’ve been fine living with them like that, so you’re not willing to fix them.
    b) Hire the appropriate professionals to fix every single thing the inspector noted on the report.
    c) Review the buyers requests and be willing to negotiate which items will be done and which items will not be addressed.
    d) Fix everything yourself, even if they should be done by a licensed contractor.
  10. When moving out, make sure to:
    a) Leave it as clean as possible and don’t leave anything behind without the buyer saying (in writing) that it’s ok for you to leave behind.
    b) Leave every single paint can with leftover paint from any time the house was painted since it was originally built, just in case the buyer wants to “touch up” some areas.
    c) Leave piles of trash at the curb because the garbage collectors will definitely pick it all up, no problem.
    d) Wait until the last minute to pack, and expect the buyers to be okay with you coming back to get stuff once they own the house and move in.

OK, let’s see how you did on the quiz! Here are the correct answers:

  1. d) Speak with your real estate agent about what is worth fixing up and what is not, and doing those things. (Sometimes it makes sense to renovate or fix things in your house before listing it. But sometimes you’re better off not spending the time or money on something that won’t produce a good return on your investment, or help get your house sold. Your agent can advise you on what to do, and what not to do, in order to maximize your sale price and net profit.)
  2. c) Use an amount close to what your agent recommends, based upon a thorough market analysis. (Zestimates—or any other online valuation—are often inaccurate, so don’t put too much stock in any of them when pricing your house. And while the amount you owe on your house, any money you’ve invested into it, and how much you want to clear are relevant for you to consider, they do not impact how much your house is actually worth on the market. Your agent will do what is called a comparative market analysis—also known as a CMA—which compares your house to several others that are similar in size, condition, and location to determine the approximate value your house is worth.)
  3. b) The one who is honest with you about the value of your home, even if you threaten to list with another agent who said they’d agree to list your house for more than it’s worth. (It’s not easy for an agent to stay firm about their honest recommendation on a list price when an owner wants to hear that their house is worth more money. But it’s even harder to do so when other agents are willing to let you list it for higher than you should. Sometimes agents will agree to let a seller list it for whatever they want, in order to just get the listing, and then encourage you to lower your price after being on the market a while. Unfortunately, listing for higher than the data indicates will probably lead to you having to reduce your price…andcould easily cause you to sell your house for less than the initial recommendation.)
  4. c) Be honest about everything you know is or has been an issue with the house and disclose them all. (Your agent can’t even coach you on what to disclose or not disclose, let alone fill the disclosure out for you. And you shouldn’t try to hide anything you know is wrong with the house, unless you enjoy the thought of being sued for failing to disclose a problem. You should be honest and disclose everything and anything you know is wrong with the house, or has been an issue that you have resolved.)
  5. d) Whenever a buyer wants to come see your house…within reason. (Buyers don’t only look at houses on weekends or when there’s an open house. In fact, the most motivated buyers will most likely come see your house as quickly as possible, which may be during the week. The easier you make it for buyers to come and see your house at a time that works for them and their agent, the more quickly your house will get sold, and the less time you’ll have to deal with buyers coming in and out of your house.)
  6. a) Reduce the price. (You will most likely see all of the current buyers in your price range come through your house within the first couple of weeks of listing. If you don’t receive an offer, or the showings have tapered off after a few weeks of being on the market, you should consider reducing the price.)
  7. b) Get the heck out of there and let the buyer and their agent have the freedom to look without you breathing down their neck. (Buyers and their agents need to feel free to look around and talk about what they’re thinking and feeling with each other, without the owner present…in plain sight or otherwise. They don’t need you to show them around or point things out. So make sure you’re not home, and don’t eavesdrop on your potential buyers with any sneaky tech devices.)
  8. d) Stay calm and respond with a thoughtful counter-offer and see if you can eventually get them to come up to a reasonable and acceptable amount you’re willing to accept. (Some buyers come in with a low-ball offer just to see if they can get a ridiculous deal. But others do it because they just think they should, or don’t know any better. If a buyer comes in with an unreasonably low offer that has no data to back it up, stay calm and negotiate with them until you get them as high as they’ll go, and you can ultimately decide to take their offer, or tell them thanks, but no thanks…)
  9. c) Review the buyers requests and be willing to negotiate which items will be done and which items will not be addressed. (Just because a home inspector found something and put it in the report does not mean you will have to take care of it. Inspection issues are negotiable and your agent can help you decide which things to agree to address, and which things to decline. But whatever you do agree to address should be done by a qualified or licensed professional, such as an electrician, plumber, etc.)
  10. a) Leave it as clean as possible and don’t leave anything behind without the buyer saying (in writing) that it’s ok for you to leave behind. (Make sure to give yourself plenty of time by packing and arranging movers well ahead of time. When it’s time to give the buyer possession, the house should be in “broom clean” condition, which is a bit subjective, but basically boils down to being clean and nothing is damaged or broken. Don’t expect the buyers to want any of your stuff you don’t feel like moving, and make sure to get their permission before leaving anything behind in the house.)

It’s not a test – just give us a call today and let’s get your home SOLD tomorrow! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs, Luxury The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com


This Spring’s Hottest Paint Trends


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Spring is right around the corner, and for many homeowners, spring is the perfect time to refresh and update their interior design. And one of the easiest and most impactful ways to refresh a space without breaking the bank is a fresh coat of paint.

Paint can completely transform the look and feel of a room—and if you’re planning on painting, you may want to change that look and feel to be in line with this year’s biggest paint trends.

But what, exactly, are those paint trends?

recent article from realtor.com outlined a few on-trend paint colors that are set to be everywhere this spring, including:

  • Teal. Teal is a versatile color that works well in a variety of design styles, both traditional and modern; try painting your cabinets a bright teal for a fun, bold kitchen design—or, if you want your room to feel especially timely and on-trend, try pairing teal with dark gray or red. (Just make sure to swatch your paint before you tackle the whole project, as teal can look more green or blue depending on the lighting.)
  • Muted blues. Is teal too bright for you? Not to worry. Muted blues are also having a serious moment this spring. Because blues have a calming effect, this type of blue will work particularly well in the bedroom. And if you really want to make this color pop, paint the walls in a muted blue, and then incorporate a deeper shade of mid-tone blue into your decor—like a comforter set, throw pillows, or rug.
  • Unexpected color pairings. If you have a paint color you’re already in love with—but want to give your room an on-trend makeover—consider pairing it with an unexpected hue, like tan and purple. Not only will an unexpected palette add visual interest to your space, it also helps you to create a look that feels uniquely you.

Let’s find your latest home trend! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs, Luxury The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com

5 Things Home Buyers Shouldn’t Open, Look In, or Look at When Looking at a House to Buy


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When you’re looking at houses it’s important to take a really good look at every inch of the house you’re going to buy. But there are some things you have no business looking at when you’re looking around a seller’s home.

You could probably use common sense to figure out what you shouldn’t be snooping around in by thinking about whether you’d be embarrassed if the owner caught you snooping. But just to make sure—and for a laugh for those of you who’d never dare snoop—let’s take a look at 5 things you shouldn’t open, look in, or look at when looking at a house to buy:

1) The medicine cabinet

While a medicine cabinet is typically affixed to the house, and therefore something that is part of the sale, there’s not much need to carefully inspect it. If you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Some owners might “depersonalize” it and leave nothing but the toothpaste, face cream, and body lotion, but many often don’t. There could easily be medications or personal items in there that a seller wouldn’t want you seeing. So, no peeking. 

2) Dressers and wardrobes

Taking a look inside the bedroom closets is totally acceptable, and owners expect people will be taking a peek inside of them, so they most likely hide anything they don’t want you seeing. That said, “peek” is the key word; don’t go browsing through their clothes or trying on a pair of shoes. Just get a sense of how much of your stuff it’ll hold if you buy the place. But don’t open their dresser drawers or open up a free-standing wardrobe. Those are furniture, and typically aren’t included in the sale. It’s probably where they hid all the stuff they took out of the closet that they don’t want you seeing! 

3) The toy box

If the homeowner has children, there’s a good chance there are toys in the house. Ideally the owner is able to put them away neatly in a toy box or closet when the house is being shown. Unless you’re a kid at heart, or a huge toy collector, those probably won’t be something you’ll have any interest in. But if you have kids and they’ve come along to see the house, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in them! A kid’s toys are their prized possessions, and they probably don’t want a stranger coming into their home and touching them. So make sure you keep an eye on your children and don’t let them treat the house like a visit to Toys ‘R’ Us.

4) The fridge (if it’s not included…)

This one is a bit of a gray area. If the fridge is included in the sale of the home, you do have the right to check it out. But if it’s not included (and they aren’t always included) you shouldn’t be sizing up their leftovers, or whether they drink Budweiser or IPA’s, no matter how appealing a slice of cold pizza and a beer sounds at the moment.

5) Their mail

Sellers shouldn’t be leaving a pile of mail out in the open when their house is on the market, but sometimes it’s just a habit and people don’t think to stash it somewhere out of sight. That doesn’t mean you should take a glance at it, let alone shuffle through it, to get a feel for who they are or what’s going on in their life. There could easily be evidence of legal, medical, or personal issues the owner wouldn’t care for you to know about.

But you should look at houses with us! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty 904-515-2700 HanleyHomeTeam.com

Are Mortgage Rates Back to “Normal”?


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If you think mortgage rates are at an all-time high, you wouldn’t be alone. According to this NerdWallet article, 61% of Americans think they’re “unprecedented.” And you’re also not alone if you’re still planning on buying a home this year, despite that sentiment, considering 28 million people plan to do so according to their survey!

The thing is, mortgage rates aren’t actually the highest they’ve ever been; not by a long shot. Those low rates buyers were getting over the past few years were historically unusual, and now they’re not just back to “normal”—even below normal—considering data from Freddie Mac shows that 30-year mortgage rates have averaged 7.75% over the last 50 years.

When rates were unusually low, it almost didn’t matter if you weren’t careful about the type of loan or terms you agreed to with a lender. But now that rates have crept up, you want to make sure you not only get the lowest rate you can, but also the best type of loan and terms possible.

So let’s take a look at 5 things you should do to make sure you get the best loan possible in this market, or any other market for that matter:

1. Get Pre-approved Ahead of Time

You should always get pre-approved before you actually start looking at homes you want to buy, but many people don’t. On the most basic level, doing so helps you know that you can actually get a loan, and how much you can afford to spend. That helps you to avoid the wasted time and heartache of finding a house you love, only to find out you can’t actually afford to buy it.

But beyond that, getting pre-approved ahead of time is a good chance to speak to a few mortgage professionals and get a feel for them, which leads to…

2. Find a Mortgage Professional You Trust

As with any profession, not all mortgage professionals are going to provide you with the best advice and service. Some will woo you with what sounds like the best rate, while glossing over other costly terms, or switching the rate on you at the last minute.

Look for one you not only trust is being transparent and honest about the rates and terms they can offer you, but who also takes the time to explain all of your options—even if their rate doesn’t sound as low as others. 

3. Choose the Type of Loan That Is Best for You

The historical rates mentioned above are based upon 30-year, fixed rate loans. Those are probably the “safest” and most predictable loans. But there are other options, like 7 or 15-year adjustable rate loans, which will usually have a lower rate, but may actually cost you more per month due to the shorter term of the loan, and the rate can go up after a number of years at a fixed rate. It could be a great way to save on interest and make more payments toward principal, if you know you’re going to sell or refinance before the rate changes. And who knows, the rates could be lower by then anyway.

Adjustable rate mortgages are just one example of the many different options you may have. If you choose a great mortgage professional to work with, he or she can help you analyze all of the different types of loans available to you, and help you figure out which one makes the most sense for your situation.

4. Don’t Stretch Yourself Financially

Just because you’re pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to (or should) spend every penny you can.

It’s not uncommon to be pre-approved for more than you may actually be comfortable spending per month on a mortgage. While a lender’s calculations should indicate that you can handle the payments on an ongoing basis, only you truly know your lifestyle and spending habits. 

Ask your mortgage professional to give you an accurate estimate of how much per month it will cost you, if you were to spend as much as you’re approved for. (And remember to factor in property taxes and insurance, which will vary from one house to another.) Then think about paying that amount every month. Is it something you’ll be able to comfortably swing? Will it impact the things you like to spend money on weekly, monthly, and yearly? 

You can also ask the mortgage rep to figure out about how much of a loan you should take on based upon a monthly payment you’re comfortable with, and use that as the top amount of your budget, even if it’s lower than what you’re actually approved to spend. And you can even try and spend less than that amount, if you want to really play it safe!

5. Shop and Negotiate for the Best Rate

While the rate isn’t the only or most important thing to consider, you should still shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible. As mentioned above, when speaking with lenders, size up whether they’re being entirely honest and transparent about the rate and terms they’re offering.

If you get a better rate from one lender, see if the lender you trust the most can match it, or even beat it. But even if they can’t, keep in mind that it may be worth taking a slightly higher rate if you trust one lender above others who offer you a better rate.

The Takeaway:

Many people feel like mortgage rates are higher than they’ve ever been, but they’re actually not. In fact, they’re currently lower than the average rate over the past 50 years.

While being careful about the lender and loan you chose to go with didn’t matter as much when rates were unusually low over the past few years, now it pays to go back to basics and make sure you:

  • Get pre-approved ahead of time
  • Work with a mortgage professional you trust
  • Choose the best type of loan for your needs, situation, and qualifications
  • Avoid stretching yourself financially
  • Shop and negotiate for the best rate you can get

Let’s get started today! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479

Avoid These Common Home Buying Regrets


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Buying a home is a big decision. And for some recent homeowners, that decision has led to some real regrets—aka “buyer’s remorse.”

But what, exactly, is driving that remorse?

recent article from realtor.com outlined some of the most common regrets recent buyers have experienced after purchasing their homes, including:

  • Unexpected repairs. Many recent homeowners completely underestimated the amount of work their home would need, and found themselves dealing with unexpected repairs that proved both stressful and expensive.
  • Not considering their life circumstances. While navigating such a competitive market, many buyers felt the pressure to buy as quickly as possible, and didn’t fully consider how the purchase would fit into their present life, or in the future. For example, this left many with regrets about the layout of the home not working for their family, or the cost of renovations eating into their budget. 
  • Not listening to their agent. Agents have great insights into how to successfully purchase a home. But many buyers did things their own way, and went on to regret it in the future. For example, one buyer’s agent suggested immediately renovating a kitchen on the home they purchased to increase the home’s value. But the buyer opted not to, and now that the costs of labor and materials have increased, they regret not getting it done when it was in their budget.

Want to avoid these common regrets? Make sure that you work with a qualified real estate agent, and that you heed their advice! Your agent can help you find the right property, and weigh the pros and cons before you make a purchase—which can help you avoid future buyer’s remorse.

Let’s avoid regrets! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479

7 Embarrassing Things Real Estate Agents Hate for You to See


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Plenty of people work around others all day long, but real estate agents are pretty much on stage all day, with clients watching and witnessing their every move. 

Inevitably, things happen that agents wish a client weren’t around to see! But if and when they do, it really helps when a client laughs with them, instead of at them! 

For some reason, it seems like there’s a handful of embarrassing things that happen to almost every agent at one point or another. Let’s take a look at 7 of them, to give you some practice laughing with them if it happens on your watch:

1) Getting lost

It was way worse for agents back in the day before GPS was around and had to use actual maps, but getting lost can still be an issue every once in a while. Whether it’s an incorrect address, a lack of satellite service, or simply getting distracted and missing a turn, it’s so embarrassing when clients see you get lost!

There probably isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t gotten lost, so it shouldn’t be thatembarrassing, but agents (and probably a lot of clients) often feel like they need to at least look like they know the location of every house, on every street, in every town they show houses in.

Instead of getting frustrated or quietly judging your agent if he or she gets lost, share a funny story about a time you got lost! You know you have one…

2) Falling

It’s so embarrassing when you trip and fall in front of someone, but it’s even more humiliating when you’re in the middle of showing a house to a client! It’s bound to happen to an agent sooner or later due to a slippery floor, stairs, or a pair of high heels.

If you see your agent take a nosedive, first make sure they’re not truly hurt, and if they’re not, feel free to joke with them by scoring their fall like it was an Olympic dive!

3) Having a stain on their clothes

Considering how often agents have to quickly scoff down a drink or some food in their car between appointments, it’s a miracle they don’t always have a stain on their shirt or pants! While it’d be smart for agents to travel with a spare wardrobe in the trunk, most don’t, and there’s rarely time to head home and change before their next client. So there’s a decent chance your agent will show up to an appointment one day feeling a little self-conscious about their appearance.

You can either try with all your might to never glance at it by maintaining eye contact at all times, or you can make light of it by taking a guess at what type of food or drink caused the stain. (Bonus points if you give them a bib or stain remover as a thank you gift on closing day!)

4) Can’t get into a house 

Unlocking and opening a door doesn’t sound like a tough job description, but you’d be surprised at how often an agent runs into an issue getting into a house they’re trying to show their buyers.
Sometimes the lockbox that holds the key gets jammed, or the key is missing. Other times there’s an issue with an electronic code. Or perhaps the owner locked the deadbolt and there’s only a key for the actual knob. 

Trust that it’s as frustrating for them as it is to you! Also trust that it’s nothing they could have prevented, and not a sign that they don’t know what they’re doing. If it happens, crack a joke about giving them a boost to hop in through a window to break the tension and let them know you understand and aren’t mad.

5) Losing house keys


Once an agent gets you into a house, they need to make sure they keep track of the keys. Might not sound like a big deal, but most agents have a routine and put the house key in a certain spot every time they show a house in order to not forget it or lose it because it’s certainly happened to them at least once in their career! But no matter how organized they are, every once in a while, they get done showing a house and can’t remember where they left the key to the house. 

If it happens when you’re out with them and you want to make ‘em laugh, hit them with this classic as they frantically look: “Where was the last place you saw them?” 

6) Letting a pet escape

Many houses an agent shows have pets, and your agent is usually given instructions on the listing to make sure not to let the dog or cat get out of the house. Agents take this seriously and do their best to make sure the door is closed once you get in the house, but sometimes a pet is faster or sneakier than an agent can react to. 

It won’t be a laughing matter until and unless the pet is wrangled and back in the house, so look for the pet’s favorite treat to try and help your agent catch it and bring it back inside. Once the escapee is back inside you can laugh all you want and resume the tour of the house! 

7) Walking in on someone

You’ll probably notice that your agent rings the doorbell at least once, maybe twice before entering a house they’re showing. They may even throw in a loud knock, and then holler “Hello…real estate agent!” as you walk in. This is on top of the fact that they’re already set an appointment with the owner, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re there.

But sometimes owners forget, or not everyone in the house was notified that an agent would be coming, and they’re still sleeping, or taking a shower (or something else) in the bathroom, and don’t hear the agent announcing him or herself. Next thing you know, your agent opens a door, you hear a shriek, an apology, and a door quickly slam. 

It may seem like your agent was being a little careless, but rest assured they most likely did as much as they could to avoid walking in on somebody unannounced. 

Give us a call and we will tell you our great stories! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479

Is Your Seller’s Mortgage Assumable?


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NOVEMBER 30, 2022

By Robert Groves

FHA, VA and USDA loans may be assumable, along with a few conventional loans. If so, buyers who can pay off equity might qualify for a lower interest rate.

HILLSBORO, Ore. – With today’s current interest rates, homebuyers may want to seek out homes for sale that have assumable mortgages. When rates were below 3% earlier this year, some people were delaying buying, waiting to see if house prices would lower. They didn’t fall much, yet interest rates went up substantially, potentially pricing people out of the market.

Finding a home for sale that has an assumable mortgage may be the solution.

Assumable mortgages were popular when rates were higher, some didn’t even require buyers to qualify. Not the same today: Buyers must now qualify through the seller’s lender that has the mortgage on the house.

An assumption allows a buyer to take on the original loan balance, payment and term, taking advantage of the seller’s lower interest rate, which they may have gotten years ago. Assumptions are allowed on FHA, VA, and USDA loans and, in some exceptions, conventional if the mortgage contract has no “due on sale” clause or if the lienholder permits it.

The down payment could be higher as the seller’s equity must be made up, which is the difference between the price of the home minus the loan balance. If the buyer can take over a smaller loan balance at a much lower interest rate, it may be worth it.

Sellers should make sure the assumption is Novation only, where the lender transfers full liability from the seller directly to the buyer, releasing the seller from future responsibility for the mortgage payments.

Copyright © 2022 Forest Grove News Times, all rights reserved. Robert Groves is senior mortgage broker for Minuteman Mortgage.

Planning a Move? Here Are Some Tips to Know


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Moving into a new home is exciting. But it can also be stressful and expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So what, exactly, do you need to know to make your move as fast, easy, and affordable as possible? 

recent article from realtor.com unpacked (pun intended!) some tips for a successful move, including:

  • Avoid moving on a Friday. Friday is a popular day to move; when people move on a Friday, it gives them the weekend to unpack. But because Friday is such a popular day to move, it’s also an expensive day to move—according to the article, moving costs can be 20 to 30 percent higher on Fridays. If you want to save money on your move, consider moving on a less popular day.
  • Use colored markers to label your boxes. Can you label all your moving boxes with a standard black marker? Of course. But if you want to make the moving and unpacking process easier and less stressful, consider color coding your boxes (for example, boxes with red writing go in the kitchen, boxes with blue writing go in the bathroom, etc.) This can make it easier for movers to immediately identify where to put each box—which will make finding and unpacking your belongings a lot easier.
  • Have everything packed up before moving day. Many people wait until moving day to pack up certain items, like bedding and personal items. But that can lead to unnecessary stress on moving day, and can make it easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. It can also make the process take longer, which can drive up costs. Instead, pack up the items you’ll need for the last night in your home (like pajamas, medication, or toiletries) in a suitcase; that way, they’re packed and ready to go when the movers arrive.

Are you ready to move? Let’s get you started packing! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com

Downpayment Assistance


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Did you know 78% of the homes listed right now in Northeast Florida are eligible for some sort of downpayment and/or closing costs assistance? There are currently 44 programs and 28 agencies with available funds with purchase prices up to $415,000! Downpayment help is usually from $5000 to $45,000 – the average being $14,000!  

Are you eligible? Get in touch with us now or use this link to check online! Downpayment Money

Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 or HanleyHomeTeam.com

Considering Buying a Rental Property? Here’s What You Need to Know About Property Managers


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If you’re considering purchasing a rental property, here’s the good news: they can be a great investment. But they can also be a lot of work, and some homeowners don’t have the skills or desire to put in the work necessary to both take care of their property and ensure it brings in steady income.

That’s where property managers come in.

A good property manager can bring a ton of value to rental property owners, so if you’re considering buying a rental property, you may also want to consider hiring an experienced, trustworthy property manager.

But what, exactly, do property managers do—and how does that help the property owner?

recent article from realtor.com outlines some of their main responsibilities, and the value they can deliver to property owners, including:

  • Market your property. Finding new renters can be a hassle. Property managers leverage a variety of channels (including social media, paid ads, and the MLS) to get your property in front of qualified potential tenants.
  • Vet potential tenants. Once they’ve marketed your property and generated interest, property managers will vet all potential tenants (including running a credit check, checking for past criminal history, verifying employment and income, and calling former landlords for references) to ensure you rent your property to qualified, responsible tenants.
  • Perform property checks. If you live in a different area than your rental property, it can be hard to stay on top of the home’s maintenance and condition. Most property managers do regular home checks (typically, once per quarter or twice per year) to ensure the tenants are taking good care of the property—and will report back if any major repairs or maintenance tasks are necessary to keep the property in good condition.

Need a great property manager? Get in touch today! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 HanleyHomeTeam.com