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Get Pre-qualified: Your Best First Step When Searching For Your New Home

Get Pre-qualified Wichita real estate

 

WICHITA, KS:  (WichitaKSRealty.News)  Counting all of the steps we have when we begin our search for a new home, one option stands out as as our best choice.  Get Pre-qualified!  There is nothing more disheartening than finding the perfect home and not be able to buy it!

This entails getting with your local bank, credit union, or mortgage broker and begin the process of qualifying for a loan.  Think, Capitol Federal and/or Credit Union of America, two local lenders that have years of experience in our local market.

The benefits to getting pre-qualified are tremendous.

  • You will know precisely the limits of your price range.  While getting online and looking at million dollar plus homes in the Flint Hills area is fun, it isn’t very realistic for most of the residents of the Wichita area.  Though it’s still nice to look at these types of “dream homes”, the likelihood of actually buying one is slim to none.  Once you have pre-qualified, you will better be equipped to hone in on areas and homes within your price range.
  • Provides Greater Impact to sellers during negotiation.  There is nothing more frustrating for a seller, and their agent, to negotiate, re-negotiate, sign contracts, set up inspections, title searches, and other closing needs only to have all these efforts go to waste when a potential buyer can’t arrange financing.  It happens, and it is very frustrating!  Once you are pre-qualified, unless something changes in your financial position, you are almost guaranteed to get the loan.  I said almost, well, because things can still happen in a closing.  Nothing is done until it is done.
  • Positions yourself above other offers.  Still on negotiation here, but in today’s low inventory environment, seller are receiving multiple offers.  Put yourself in their shoes; You receive two separate offers, same net price, one from a pre-qualified buyer, one not pre-qualified.  Which one would you be more apt to take?  Yep, the pre-qualified one, of course.  And in some instances, you may even be able to be slightly lower on your offer since the seller is more assured of your ability to close the sale.
  • You have tho opportunity to fix potential problems.  When you get pre-approved for a loan, you are able to see how your current debt structure is impacting your borrowing ability.  Sometimes, subtle change can make a huge impact on how much of a mortgage you can get.  This is a great time to truly evaluate your debts and fine tune them to help benefit your financial position.
  • You typically have a chance to lock-in rates.  Rates are moving up, not by much but they still are.  The trend is for a couple more federal reserve rate hikes this year.  These typically increase mortgage rates.  You have the opportunity to lock in rates when you get pre approved.  Discuss this with your lender for the details.

All in all, getting pre-qualified is the best first step when you are searching for a new home in earnest.

Maintaining Your Carpet After A Deep Cleaning

Maintaining your carpets by Ricks Professional Carpet Cleaning and Wichita KS Realty News

WICHITA, KS: (Wichita KS Realty News)  Maintaining your carpet after a deep cleaning will help your carpets not only look new but will also prolong their life and save you money on replacement costs.

You want your home to look the best that it can before an open house or just having company over.  You had a professional carpet cleaning company come out and deep clean your carpets and rugs.  A few simple guides will allow your carpet to look fresh and clean long after you have had them cleaned.

Here are a few tips;

  • Vacuum at least weekly-  Common sense, yes, but to vacuum properly slow and steady wins the race.  Like most household chores, we tend to be more interested in completing the task rather than taking time on it.  A slower, more methodical approach will produce much better results.
  • Invest in a quality vacuum-  While we are on the topic of vacuums and vacuuming, using a high quality vacuum will not only make the job easier, it will help with interior air quality by reducing dust, dust mites, and other pollutants.  Remember, your carpet has been collecting all that household dirt, you will want a good vacuum to remove it.
  • Socks, please- We all know that it’s best not to wear shoes on the carpet.  But what about bare feet?  With spring and warmer weather right around the corner the likelihood of your family walking on your carpet with just their bare feet is almost guaranteed.  But remember this, maintaining your carpet means that it is best to keep dirt and oils off of the carpet fibers and most definitely not pushed or ground in by applying pressure.  Bare skin contain natural oils that can attach to carpet fibers that will attract dirt and make it more difficult to clean.  And if lotions are used, well, let’s just say you really don’t want them on your carpet and rugs.  Wearing socks will provide the best practice to keeping your carpet and rugs new looking and clean.
  • Entry Mats-  Two of them, actually.  One on the porch or main entry, and another as you enter the home.  This will help to remind people to wipe their feet and keep their shoes off of the carpet.
  • Pets, if possible, keep them off-  Pets have one of the greatest impacts on how clean your floors look and actually are, let alone dramatically increasing the effort needed in maintaining your carpet.  pet dander, hair, saliva, and other bodily fluids can heavily soil your carpet and rugs.  If at all possible, keep them from getting on your carpet, especially if you have listed your house for sale and want your homes first impression for potential home buyers to be one of a clean and well kept home.

Keeping your floors clean will not only show that you care for your home, it will also keep it more healthy for you, your family, and visitors.  For more tips and information on maintaining your floors, you can visit our website at wichitacarpet.cleaning.

Wichita Area Home Inventory Low

Wichita Home Inventory Low Wichita KS Realty News

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)Towards the end of 2016, the available home inventory in Wichita ended with a historically low number. More people wanted houses and searched high and low in 2016, yet there were actually fewer houses on the market today than there were three years ago, both right in Wichita and in the country as a whole. The result has been one we’ve seen coming: houses don’t sit on the market very long, and, with a trend resurging that we used to see back in 2007, some sellers are fielding multiple offers at once in desirably affordable cities like Wichita.

The result, of course, is that the prices for the homes on the market keep rising, even in slow-growing Wichita, Kansas. The average home price is up 4.5 percent from the year before, according to the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service. This is phenomenal news if you’re a seller: it means you are more in control and free to charge an increase for your home than when you bought it ten or twenty years ago. But, experts are predicting that this is exacerbating some of the gridlock that is preventing more people from putting houses on the market. Although the sales are up overall because people are ready to buy what’s available, it has meant a lot of frustrated buyers who want more affordable choices – and they’re willing to look elsewhere to find them.

Last year, houses on the Wichita market sold in just 24 days. As a comparison, houses on the market in an evenly balanced market between both buyers and sellers take an average of six months before selling. A representative from Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate said, “I’ve been in the business for 43 years, and I’ve never seen it this low.”

Time will tell what this means for the health of the Wichita real estate market and keep an eye on Wichita’s home inventory this coming spring.

IRA Real Estate Investment Series; Overview

IRA Investing In Real Estate Series Announcement Wichita KS realty news

IRA REAL ESTATE INVESTING

WICHITA, KS: (Wichita KS Realty News)  As real estate is becoming more and more mainstream as a specific asset class, many individuals are looking for ways to increase their investment exposure into real estate.  Funding choices have grown with the advent of crowd funding.  Here is a top 10 article ranking these types of funding sources.  Typically, Investing and specifically funding real estate investments is a daunting task, with most mainstream lenders typically requiring 30 percent down payments and a couple of years of property management to use the income from these investments to qualify as income for borrowing against the property.  This is why REIT’s and ETF’s (exchange traded funds) focusing on real estate have become increasingly popular. They decrease the burden to participate and focus on a specific asset class. But for those that are more hands on and want to focus on individual properties, typically within their own community, there are fewer choices.

Most portfolios are invested in equity assets (stocks and equity mutual funds) and bonds (treasuries and bond funds) and the lion share of most individuals investable assets are in tax qualified account, IRA’s and company sponsored 401(k)s.  For those looking to increase their exposure to real estate, the next step is to buy real estate “inside” their IRAs.  But, how can you do that?  It’s simple, and complex at the same time.  IRS regulations allow for real estate, in many forms, to be purchased inside of individual IRA’s.  That’s the simple part.  The complex part is properly structuring the IRA to avoid disqualifying events that can penalize you for not following the rules.  If you follow the rules and avoid the pitfalls and disqualifying events, investing in properties in your IRA has the potential of being quite a lucrative endeavor.

This series will focus on the how and why.  We will address each aspect of tax qualified real estate investing, from custodianship of the assets to the disqualifying events to avoid.  This is a very detailed topic and there is a lot of information available to research to ascertain if this is a good fit for your retirement assets.  We will do our best to provide you with the options and identify additional resources to assist you.  And always, it is recommended to solicit advice from licensed and qualified individuals when investing and our information is not intended to replace such advice.

Three things impacting commercial properties financing in 2017

commercial properties and investing wichita ks

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  According to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association, over $500 billion in commercial real estate loans were originated this past year, indicating a strong financial landscape for lending in the year ahead. The financing market has demonstrated sustainable, dependable growth we can expect to shape commercial properties financing starting today. Low interested rates, steady rental growth, and rising property values are increasing investor activity in commercial real estate, which is presently driving up loans to finance these investments.

Of course, with the beginning of every New Year, many are wondering what the future holds for commercial properties and the financing thereof. Some wonder if the market will continue this upward trajectory of increased lending activity, or will new legislation by our new president have an even bigger impact? Here are 3 major things to consider when pondering these questions:

1. Interest rates: These rates will remain low, at least in 2017, creating incentives to borrowers to refinance their maturing loans in order to lock in lower rates. Though the Fed is going to raise rates this year, the effects won’t be felt for a few years.
2. Availability of capital: There will be a wide availability of diverse sources of capital that will increase lender competition in the year ahead. Strong market fundamentals, like low unemployment rates and increased property values, are fueling a boom in loan originations for commercial real estate assets. Based on these strong fundamentals, it can be assumed capital will remain strong in 2017.
3. CMBS Regulations: A new bill is requiring CMBS lenders to hold onto five percent of the loans they issue as opposed to being able to pass them off as bonds. In anticipation of this new law, many CMBS lenders are adopting more conservative underwriting standards as we speak.

Looking for a local commercial real estate lender?  Here are 3 local lenders you can start with;

Reading for financing in 2017? Take notice of these three upcoming factors.

4 Reasons to Still Consider Commercial Real Estate Investing

Wichita Kansas Commercial Real Estate Investing

WICHITA, KS (WichitaKSRealty.News)  With all of the changes that blew up towards the end of 2016, many investors and real estate industry players are asking themselves: is it still smart to invest in commercial real estate? Can I expect a return from my investment anytime soon?

The change in administrations, a rise in interest rates since Election Day, and post-recession highs for property prices beg the obvious question: is it still a good time to invest in commercial real estate? Experts and investors are arguing that yes, it is still worth investing in commercial real estate, and here’s why:

  1. Outlook is good: Gross domestic product picked up in the third quarter, with a healthy improvement over 1.4 percent gain in the second quarter. All signs are pointing to yes.
  2. Job growth: Steady job growth over the last few years has led to low vacancy rates and rising rents, which has created demand within the commercial real estate market. This demand pushes for more office space, as well as creates a need for more apartments and other multifamily complexes for employees.
  3. Office rents on the rise: The low vacancy phenomenon and new office development in the pipeline have had a positive impact on leasing rates across the U.S. Office rents have risen by 1.0 percent over the quarter, reaching a cycle high for now.
  4. Rewards for risks: Real estate isn’t the only asset class priced at historic highs. Since the election, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has set six new record high closings. Clearly these rising prices are not keeping investors out of the stock market. The case for real estate is even stronger than for stocks. Buying commercial real estate today is much more rewarding compared with the low yields on other long-term investments.

 

Wichita is seeing plenty of investment and building re-purposing, such as 520 Commerce and a handful of other projects.  This trend should make for great momentum regarding commercial real investing.

Don’t Drink The “Trump Chopping Mortgage Interest Deduction” Kool-Aid

Mortgage interest deduction changes

WICHITA, KS (WichitaKSRealty.News)  As reported in the Wall Street Journal and CNBC, the Trump Administration is looking at a possible limit to the much coveted mortgage interest deduction, but not directly.  The limitation would be due to a cap of the overall amount that people can itemize on their taxes.  Although the actual impact would be minimal and would only affect a small percentage of borrowers, the buzz is inflammatory.  CNBC’s headline of “Heads up homeowners:  Mortgage interest deduction on Trump’s Chopping Block” being a prime example of how “coveted” the mortgage interest deduction actually is.  Getting past the title, the article does a great job going into the details to explain the true limited amount of filers that the proposed cap would actually impact.

Like many financial calculations there are always variables.  With that being said, here are some numbers to help you understand what’s being proposed.

The proposal would limit joint filers personal exemptions to $100,000.  So, if you are like most people in the US, your income isn’t sufficient to even reach the limit on the deductions.  And, it is highly unlikely to have all of one’s income go to deductible expenses.  Let’s say, as an example,  one third of your income went to these expenses.  If so, you would have to have adjusted gross taxable income in excess of $300,000 to even begin to approach the proposed cap.  One of the largest variables is state income taxes.  The higher that state tax rate, the higher the likelihood of reaching the cap.  These vary dramatically by state.  They are zero in Texas, Florida, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, and South Dakota and upwards of over 13 percent as the top rate in California and almost 10 percent in Oregon.

For Kansas residents, making  a few assumptions as outlined in this example, here is about where you would have to be before you would even be in the running for the proposed cap.

  • $400,000 in adjusted gross income
  • 5% of your earnings to qualifying charities
  • State, local and personal property taxes estimated at around $17,000.
  • A 30 year fixed rate mortgage of 4.125 percent, Published rate of Capitol Federal Savings Bank for loans up to $1 Million Dollars 12/6/2016 and an actual loan amount of … more than 1 Million Dollars*.  

*Mortgage rate deductions are already capped at loans above 1 million dollars.

Starting to get the picture?  In essence, you need to be a high wage earner with a large mortgage, live in a high tax state, and/or have large charitable deductions to be affected by the proposed cap.

So, What’s the takeaway?  It’s that very few home buyers could possibly be impacted by the cap and that, even if it is implemented, it would have little to no impact on affordability of housing here in the mid-west.

 

National Home Prices Fully Recovered

National Home Prices Recovered

WICHITA,KS (WichitaKSRealty.News)  According to one highly watched private measure of the health of the housing markets, U.S. home prices have recovered from the steep declines of the 2008 housing crisis.  This, according to Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.  The report, released yesterday, puts home prices slightly above their peak in 2006.

As with all averages, this doesn’t mean that all housing areas have recovered.  Certain areas remain weak, others anemic, while specifically the west coast has seen increases that have lifted the overall national averages.  The largest annual gains have come from Denver, Portland, and Seattle.

This peak has at least one current headwind; increased interest rates in light of Trump’s election victory.  With some areas seeing 30 year mortgages crest above 4 percent, this historically low rate is seen by many as a psychological barrier.  It remains to be seen if this will have much impact on mortgage applications.

One area of concern has been that housing prices have far outpaced national earnings gains in the last 4 years.  All things being equal, this has the possibility of holding back further gains.  But, alas, all things never seem to be equal.  With potential increases in inflation and interest rates comes pressure for wage increases, as well.

So the tug of war continues.  Watch the Federal Reserve for hints of monetary policy, supply of homes for sale, inflation and the transition of President-Elect Trump to President Trump.

Home Instead Senior Care Set To Expand

Home Instead Senior Care Wichita LOGO

Wichita’s Home Instead Senior Care to expand

 

WICHITA,KS: (WichitaKSRealty.News) Home Instead Senior Care, a full-service senior care facility equipped to provide all elements for a safe and healthy retirement, this week announced they have plans to expand their operation once again. The franchise, located at 1919 N. Amidon, will remain at the same address but will now be in 3,100 square feet on its first floor of the building. As CEO Michael Steinberg put it, “Our family keeps growing.”

 

The expansion will add approximately 1,000 square feet to their current operation. The franchise, which is based out of Omaha, Nebraska, opened their Wichita location in 2011. The reason for the expansion, cites Steinberg, is to provide more space and comprehensive training to onboarding staff. Since their clientele keeps expanding, more staff hirings are becoming mandatory for the facility. As the building stands now, they have one tiny conference room for training and orientation space. “We just have a conference room. If we were really lucky, we could fit a max of eight people in it at a time,” said Steinberg.

 

The new classroom inside the expansion will be able to accommodate 20 people at a time. Steinberg predicts the expansion will suffice for the next five years before the franchise will be looking to expand again, perhaps to a second floor inside the building.

 

But, Steinberg is busy in the mean time growing the franchise, and is looking for someone else to open another Home Instead in the Wichita region. There is currently one in Hutchinson, but there aren’t any others within a reasonable distance from the singular Wichita location. As Steinberg put it, “It would be nice to have a neighbor.”

 

Home Instead has been proudly serving families and the elderly for five years now in Wichita. They hope to include even more clients and families in upcoming months.

More Apartments Keeping Wichita Rental Rates Down

Pinnacle Lofts and Apartments Wichita

More apartments in Wichita – rent not rising?

WICHITA,KS:  (WichitaKSRealty.News)  All current and prospective Wichita residents should rejoice. The area is undoubtedly going through an apartment construction boom, which will mean more choices and, increasingly, a break on rent increases. Renters, too, are happy at the news and confident that their current tenants will not be scurrying anywhere anytime soon.

Developers in Wichita built over 800 units this year and more than 2,300 units since 2013, according to a recent report from NAI Martens Commercial. Better yet – there seems to be no sign of slowing the construction, either. 2017 is expected to match 2016, with two apartment projects on the west side and two downtown under construction. After 2017, a number of potential projects on drawing boards are floating around, and the list goes on.

It had taken over 2 decades of stagnated population growth and rent demand to get the Wichita construction industry back on its feet. Local developers have successfully reignited an apartment-building flurry, follow two deep recessions, a housing bubble and a credit crisis. It is worth noting that aiding these developers are low interest rates and billions of dollars in investment money searching for high-return projects.

It no doubt took a long time for that money to find its way to Wichita, but it is undoubtedly here now. The city is in the middle of its busiest apartment cycle in the last 20 years.

Wichita renters will no longer be forced to raise their rents for another consecutive year. In past years, living options were tight, and they were able to steep their prices unfairly. Now, if you’re a buyer or renter, your options just got a whole lot cheaper and more abundant. Take advantage of the incoming buyer’s market while there’s a ton of selection on the market, and be sure to bargain with a rental price if you think there is any wiggle room.