South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

High Offer? Best Offer? Are they always the Same?

It’s exactly what you were hoping for when you listed your Boca Raton house: multiple offers! They’ve just been submitted, and now you get to choose which offer is the best one. The highest dollar amount may look like the instant winner, but that first blush reaction should be put aside while all the included provisions are given thoughtful consideration.

If the top line amount offered is the only major difference, the decision can be an easy one—but that’s seldom the case. Your house sale’s net yield can be greatly affected by the offer details—considerations like these:

Timing–if the proposed closing date will arrive too soon OR too far in the future, accepting it may prove more costly than you’d think. It depends on the move-in date for your next home—especially if that’s up in the air. Gaps can be costly—especially if it winds up forcing you into a too-hasty (or too expensive) choice for your next home.

Cash or ??—“All-cash” offers sound appealing, but some cash offers aren’t as open-and-closed as the term implies—such as those funded by a loan that’s not contingent on the sale. If that offer is based on a line of credit, there might be less certainty than another based on cash in the bank. There is also something to be said for the hoops buyers have to jump through when a lender is enlisted—some of those protect the seller as well as the bank.

All those Contingencies—The standard contingencies (like inspection, financing, appraisal, or sale of the buyer’s property) most obviously...

What’s the Real Delray Beach “Housing Affordability” Factor?

 

 

There are many ways to look at housing affordability in Delray Beach—but if you’re a typical prospective homebuyer, the one that makes a real difference isn’t found in the real estate statistics.  The truly decisive “affordability” factor is the dollar amount of the mortgage payment that goes with the price of the home. It’s either affordable or it isn’t.

It's a well-publicized fact that U.S. home prices have risen dramatically since the end of the Great Recession. That would seem to mean that average housing affordability over that period has been in decline—especially early in the recovery when incomes were rising slowly (if at all). Since then, many commentaries have pointed out a “housing affordability gap” that (along with a shortage of homes for sale) has been used to explain lackluster market activity.

For most of Delray Beach’s prospective homebuyers, all that is background noise. It might keep some from even starting to look for a new house, but when circumstances dictate that it’s time to find a new home, true “housing affordability” comes down to those monthly cost figures. And the actual numbers are headed in the right direction.

The final 2019 statistics won’t be in until long after the Waterford crystal ball has dropped in Times Square, but as of this summer, the “typical mortgage payment” has actually shrunk year over year. That was Corelogic’s finding, published this summer. By September, TheMortgageReports contributor Aly Yale could write, “home prices...

Favorable News for those Selling their Delray Beach House

For those pondering the timetable for selling their Delray Beach house, last week’s developments may add a couple of plusses into the “sooner” column. There are always pros and cons about listing in the fall versus waiting for the spring and summer market—but last week’s information could tilt toward acting now.

First (and most well-publicized) was the outlook for home loan interest rates…again! The news wasn’t unexpected, but the accompanying commentary added a compelling note. The Fed again lowered their benchmark rate by .25%, which is very likely to keep mortgage rates in the historically low range for homebuyers—but the Fed Governors also made it clear that this is very probably their last action for a good while. As Bankrate.com observed, “policymakers signaled they’re ready to hit the ‘pause’ button on additional cuts.”

In other words, for buyers who’ve been patiently waiting for the best possible home loan rates, they will likely decide they’ve waited long enough—the coming mortgage rates are unlikely to dip much lower. For those thinking of selling their Delray Beach house, low rates mean that buyers find higher asking prices acceptable since lower rates equate to more affordable monthly payments. Today’s buyers have demonstrated pronounced sensitivity to that bottom line.

The second news arrived as a less-publicized cluster of informed opinions. Most persuasive was the official voice of quasi-government bigshot Freddie Mac’s flat assertion that “…the housing market remains on solid ground.” They reported that housing...