Over the last couple of years, we've seen record low inventory, significant demand, and low-interest rates, which have created an unprecedented seller's market. While rising rates are expected to cool things off a bit, sellers are still very much in the driver's seat.
However, our real estate agents say buying a home in this market isn't impossible. Buyers just have to adjust their approach. It's also never been more important to have an experienced real estate agent in your corner. An agent is critical for navigating the complexities of today's market and avoiding costly pitfalls. Here's why:
Buying a home is challenging in today's market, but a good agent can help you find success. Contact us today to start exploring local listings.
People often say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. But the pantry is a close contender! As the place where you store your snacks and cooking ingredients, your pantry deserves to be an organized, efficient space. You'll love being able to open the door and find what you need in an instant without having to search multiple shelves. So, how do you go about organizing a pantry? Our real estate agents have broken this task down into seven steps, which are presented below.
If you spend the weekend organizing your pantry, you'll save so much time when you cook and snack later on. Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect home — and pantry — to call your own.
Having a pool gives you a quick, enjoyable way to cool off in the summer. We've seen so many lovely Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale with pools. If you buy a home with a pool, you should know there are plenty of ways to customize your pool and pool area, making it feel more like your own. Here are a few features to think about adding.
With the right features, your pool will become one of your favorite parts of your home. If you're still looking for the perfect Florida home with a pool, our real estate agents can help. Contact us to learn more about our services.
When you're first settling into a new place, you may not want a lot of projects on your plate, but a few carefully chosen DIY projects can help your new house feel like home. Here are a few quick and relatively easy projects our real estate agents recommend for helping you feel at home.
Little DIY projects like these are a fun way to help you settle in and improve your new home, but it's important to find the right house to start with. Contact us today and let us help you find your dream home.
With its amazing weather and beautiful beaches, it's not hard to see why purchasing a vacation home in Florida is the ultimate dream for thousands of people all over the world. Not only is a Florida vacation home a great escape, but it's also a fantastic investment. Florida is a hot real estate market, and it's easy to generate rental income from a second home when you're not using it
If buying a Florida vacation home is one of your New Year's resolutions this year, here are some tips from our real estate agents on how to find the right dream home for you:
A Florida vacation home doesn't have to be a dream. If you're planning to make a purchase in 2022, now is a great time to start your research. For more info on the Florida real estate market, contact us today.
Saving up for a down payment can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a home, especially for first-time buyers. Here are seven tips our real estate agents recommend to help you save for a down payment on your dream home!
Saving for a down payment may seem daunting, but having a solid plan in place can put your dream house within easier reach than you might think. Ready to start your search? Contact us today.
It's a hot market, and you're looking to buy or sell a home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. While an agent can help you in any type of real estate market, their help is especially critical during a hot market. Here's why.
Why Hire an Agent?
Yes, your home might just fly off the market with a Craigslist ad or the like, but what if it doesn't? With an agent, your home will get considerably more exposure in MLS (multiple listing service) databases created and maintained by real estate professionals to help homeowners like you sell their property. It just makes sense that the more potential buyers see your property, the greater the chance that the selling price could go much higher than your expectations. You could have buyers competing with one another, and that could only benefit you.
Your agent will be there throughout the whole process and able to offer advice for any aspect of the sale, from determining a price to staging your home to determining the scope of repairs you want to do before you put the home on the market.
But an even better reason to hire a real estate agent is that many potential buyers are not comfortable talking to the owner of a property and prefer to deal with an agent. Not only can you -- and should you -- make yourself scarce while the agent shows your home, but you'll boost the comfort level of potential buyers, who may feel they are visiting you, as the owner of the home, rather than seriously looking at a home they want to live in.
What to Look for in an Agent
As you begin to look for a real estate agent, you will likely focus on an individual's experience in selling houses like yours in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors for recommendations. Get at least three referrals. And remember, while experience is important, so is personality. Can you relate to this person? Does he or she seem real to you? Look for an agent you can build a rapport with, in addition to their sales and successes.
Pay attention to the agent's marketing tools, including website, business card, brochures, signage, social media efforts, and more. Does the agent's personal appearance give you confidence in them, or is something lacking?
When you discuss the sale of your home with a real estate agent, you want someone who can guide you through what can be a precarious journey. Can your agent answer questions reliably and with real data about investment analysis, neighborhood-level market performance, and possibly even the impact of your decision to sell? You don't want an agent who honey coats their answers; you need real information about possible pitfalls, so listen carefully to how your agent replies to your questions and make sure the agent is really hearing you.
Moving can be stressful, but does it have to be? It's never too early to think about how you'll make moving easier, even as you're just starting to look at Sarasota homes for sale. By following these guidelines from our real estate agents, you can stay organized and hopefully avoid any big surprises on your moving day.
Moving is a big event, but it's also an exciting one! By being fully prepared for your move, you can turn your attention to the thrill of moving into your dream home. Contact us today to start the process of finding the perfect home for your family.
Everyone wants safety and security for their homes, but before you assume a particular gated community is right for you, it's important that you understand all the rules and restrictions that accompany that security. Our real estate agents can help you make the right decision based on your lifestyle. There are several basic types of gated communities. Each has its own pros and cons.
In addition to the perks and restrictions specific to each of these, there are some policies that apply to all. Some benefits include lower crime rates, less traffic, no solicitors, and higher property values. Most exterior maintenance will be covered by the HOA fees. Some properties even include cable and house painting. Less work on the part of the homeowner means more spare time to enjoy the amenities offered. The downsides can be restrictions on the type of pets allowed, excessive HOA fees, restricted visitor access, and strict rules governing home exteriors. Deliveries may be problematic. Many communities require the owner to reside in the home for a defined time frame before renting to avoid turnover.
Once you understand the parameters of living in the various gated community types, it's easier to know what to look for in a new home. Contact us when you're ready to look at Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale in gated communities.
Would you like to wake up every day and feel like you're on vacation? Then a move to Sarasota may be just what you need. Our real estate agents love welcoming new residents to Sarasota. Even those who have lived in Florida their entire lives are wowed at the beautiful beaches, spectacular shopping, and laid-back lifestyle of this Gulf Coast city. There are dozens of reasons you should move to Sarasota in 2021; here are five of our favorites.
Would you like to call this Southwest Florida gem home? As one of the top-rated places to retire in the United States, now is the perfect time to put down roots in the Sunshine State for the long-term. Contact us today to see our latest listings for Sarasota homes for sale.
If you're looking to buy a home and have found one that you love, that's great news, but we are in a competitive market, so you'll need to make your offer stand out from any others that come in.
Our real estate agents love helping people find a new place to call home in the Sunshine State. With the real estate market being as hot as the Florida summer weather, we suggest the following five ways to make sure your offer stands out.
Contact us at Wagner Realty today to see Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale and let us help you with your search. We'll help you make an offer that stands out in a competitive market and gives you the best possible chance of buying the home you want.
Everyone's "dream home" looks a little different, but what happens when you try to merge two different pictures? House hunting as a married couple is easier than going solo because you have emotional and financial support throughout the process. If you and your spouse have different ideas about your future digs, it's important to find out now and figure it out. Keep in mind, compromise isn't always easy when you're making the most significant purchase of your life.
At Wagner Realty, our real estate agents are committed to simplifying your search for a home. We know how important it is to find a house that works for both you and your spouse. As you prepare to embark on a house-hunting journey, here are some home-buying tips to help you avoid common conflicts:
Ready to start looking for a house with your spouse? Contact Wagner Realty to find an agent who can help you find a home that makes both of you happy.
Buying a new house can be a long, costly process, and preparing as much as possible will make it easier. You can avoid unexpected expenses and find a place to live that's affordable and comfortable for your family. Here are some tips from our real estate agents to help you budget your way into your first home.
You should make your down payment as large as possible to save on mortgage interest. If you put at least 20 percent down, you can avoid paying for mortgage insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender and guarantees payment for people who choose lower down payments. According to Investopedia, it usually costs about 1 percent of the mortgage balance per year. That would be $1,500 for a $150,000 loan, more than $100 per month. Recent tax cuts eliminated a deduction for mortgage insurance and increased costs further.
Even if saving 20 percent isn't possible for your family, you can reduce costs by making your down payment as large as possible. Also, a larger down payment will give your home immediate equity and help you increase your credit score. That way, you can easily qualify for an additional loan for a new car or fresh decor for your home.
Closing costs usually include fees for:
Our agents can help you negotiate with the seller to reduce these costs as much as possible. We can also assist you with persuading sellers to replace old appliances and take care of repairs before you move in. That way, you can save time and money.
The cost of the mortgage isn't the only thing you need to consider. Other recurring expenses include homeowners insurance, maintenance, and landscaping. The rent for many apartments includes water, sewer, and trash pickup. In most cases, you'll need to pay these fees if you own your own home. Some homeowners' associations (HOAs) include some of these services in their fees, but you may end up paying more than you would in a house without an HOA. You'll also need to pay for property taxes and larger utility bills.
Budgeting for your first home can help you and your family make buying a house and moving less stressful. It can also prevent unexpected expenses. Contact us at Wagner Realty for help with creating a budget for your first home. We can also assist you in finding a place in your price range that meets your needs and help navigate the closing process.
Transferring the ownership of a home at closing can be confusing. Even though real estate closings take place daily, the paperwork and costs that ensure that your property transfers legally can often be met with surprises if you're not prepared.
Our real estate agents are here with an explanation of what costs to expect at closing so you are not caught by surprise.
In any real estate transaction, buyers and sellers should understand each closing cost component before coming to the signing. Some items can be negotiated before the closing to determine who pays.
Typical costs that may appear on your real estate closing statement are:
When you're ready to begin touring Sarasota homes for sale, there is nothing like the help of a local real estate professional by your side. Our real estate agents know the current market in Southwest Florida and are ready to help.
Contact us at Wagner Realty to get started.
Buying a home is often a time filled with both excitement and anxiety, and if you are a family with children, those feelings can be even more intense. With kids, your house hunting strategy will be different than that of a single person or a retired couple. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota understand the ins and outs of the housing market, and we've put together a checklist of things to consider as you prepare to find your family's dream home.
Wagner Realty wants nothing more than to see your family's dream of owning your own home come true. We provide personal, results-oriented service to you from our first meeting to closing day for your perfect home. For more information about Sarasota homes for sale, contact Wagner Realty today.
Buying a home is a huge deal especially for first-time home buyers. Apart from being the single biggest purchase you will ever make, the process itself can be complicated. When you work with one of our real estate agents from Wagner Realty, we will always be on hand to help guide you through the entire process. Below are the key lessons to learn today to help make your home-purchase journey a little less stressful.
Put Aside Your Down Payment Money
It's common for lenders to require you to put down 20 percent as down payment for your new home. Although many lenders allow as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers, committing anything less than 20 percent will mean higher loan costs and additional private mortgage insurance fees. Save enough money for your home's down payment using several savings schemes such as setting aside work bonuses and tax refunds or having an automatics savings plan.
Explore All Your Down Payment Options
As a first-time home buyer, you have several down payment options available to you if you cannot raise the deposit money. These are:
Check Your Credit
Your credit is a key factor in determining whether or not your home loan is approved. Moreover, it will determine your loan terms and interest rate. Therefore, work to improve your credit score in advance and offset outstanding debts early.
Pick the Right Home
Always consider everything you are looking for in your dream home when shopping around for one. Here:
Budget for Closing Costs
After making an offer and starting the process of closing the deal, you need to account for closing costs that can run from two to five percent of your loan amount. Here, our real estate agents can help you shop around for affordable options to minimize some of your closing expenses such as title searches, home inspections, and homeowners insurance.
Take Your Time
Perhaps one of the hardest lessons on this list, but taking enough time to look for your dream home and shop around for all the services you will require throughout the buying process is essential. Try to minimize your frustrations and manage your emotions because making rush decisions can easily lead to buyer's remorse.
Be Prepared to Compromise
Making a strong offer is not a guarantee that you will close the deal. As issues arise from the home inspection and appraisal processes, be prepared to make compromises with the seller on certain things. However, too many compromises may result in high renovation costs.
Find a Great REALTOR®
When looking for homes for sale in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, it is important to hire the services of a professional buyer's agent to help you through the buying process from your home search through moving day.
Contact Wagner Realty today to get started buying your Flordia dream home.
So you've fallen in love with the perfect house. Your dream home is waiting, and now the ball is in your court. Knowing how to make the right impression with the seller is an important element in negotiating an agreeable selling price and ensuring that your prospective new home doesn't slip away and into someone else's hands. Our real estate agents have the experience and know how to help you make an offer that's hard to refuse, and we've put together a few suggestions that could give you the advantage in sealing the deal.
Many home sellers have an emotional attachment to their home and may be a bit reluctant of letting it go to a virtual stranger. If you are ready to make an offer, consider taking the time to write a cover letter to send with it. Of course you'll want to introduce yourself and perhaps give the seller a little bit of personal background, but more importantly, you'll want to let them know why their home is so appealing to you. Giving the seller insight as to why you love their home may just give you the upper hand, especially if there are multiple offers on the table.
An offer is one thing, but documentation that backs up your offer in black and white is almost certain to get the seller's attention. Proof of financing terms from your bank as well as an underwriting approval indicates that you are ready and have the financial resources available to purchase the home.
Asking for seller concessions such as closing costs may put your offer in line behind other buyers who aren't requesting such credits. Furnishings and fixtures are not always included with the home, and no matter how much you fancy them, it might be wiser to wait and purchase comparable items on your own instead of giving the seller a reason to hesitate in considering your offer.
If you are in a position to do so financially, you might give some thought to making an offer over the seller's list price. There's no doubt that an offer that exceeds the seller's expectations will be taken seriously.
Want to let the seller know that you mean business? Here are a few other ideas that might sway the seller to accept your offer:
You know what you're looking for, and now you know some of the best secrets to making a successful offer. Your dream home is out there, and we want to help you find it Contact Wagner Realty today, and let our team of experts show you a world of possibilities!
Preparing to purchase your first home starts long before you choose a REALTOR® or fill out a loan application form. You've probably started the process without even knowing it by graduating from school, accepting your first job, and financing a car.
There's something you should know before we get started: lenders typically base their loan approval on two things:
Before you begin the loan application process, it's important to get your finances in order to buy your first home.
Saving for a down payment is hard, but it is worth the effort. A more substantial down payment will give you better interest rates and more options. The amount of your down payment increases or decreases the risk the lender takes when providing the financing for your house. The larger the down payment, the less chance of losing part of their investment.A good rule of thumb is to save at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home. By doing this, you'll receive better mortgage and interest rate options--and avoid the extra cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Following a monthly budget will allow you to save enough money for your down payment. Designate a savings account fund earmarked for your down payment. Once you buy your home that same money-saving discipline will help you save enough money to make your monthly mortgage payments.
Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely you are to pay your bills in a timely manner. Typically, the higher your credit score, the better interest rate you may be able to obtain. A person's credit score is based on information about your credit history taking into consideration factors like the amount and type of debt and late payments.
You can order your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They will all be slightly different, so look at each report. You can order free copies once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com. Look for any inaccuracies and report them to the credit reporting agency. Fixing mistakes takes time, so start this process as early as you can.
Getting your finances in order prepares you to impress mortgage loan reviewers and qualify for the financing you need to buy your first home. Contact Wagner Realty to get your home search started.
2017 has been a busy year for home buyers and 2018 seems like it will be booming too.
While some people will shy away from getting involved in such a busy housing market, first-time buyers should be excited! First-time buyers have some major home-buying advantages. There are many state, county and municipal assistance programs available for first-time home buyers. In addition, time is also on the side of the first-time buyer. Since you don't have to worry about selling an existing home before you move, you can gather information and take action on your terms.
Let's focus on the top ten things you can do to get off to the right start.
Contact Wagner Realty for expert help to get the search for your first home started.
Buying your first home is an important life milestone. The process requires your patience, dedication, and financial commitment. You must think differently and consider factors that may not have been important before now.
The good news is that our REALTORS® know what it takes to find a home that's right for your family. When it's time to search for your new home, we'll help you through the process. Our Real Estate Guide for Buying Your First Home provides a to-do list to help you prepare for your home buying experience.
You should stop spending and start saving long before you begin touring homes for sale. You'll need the money when you close on your home and cash to cover a wave of home-related expenses.
If you have no idea about the kind of home you want, look at home listings, attend open houses, and drive by homes for sale. Even if you're not quite ready to buy, you can get an idea of communities, home prices, amenities, and how much you're willing to pay for what's available.
If you have children or plan to someday, you must make sure you're in a thriving school district. Visit a non-profit school rating website like Greatschools.org to see community school ratings.
The FHA Mortgage Calculator and similar online apps and websites make it easy to calculate monthly mortgage costs. You input the mortgage amount, down payment, terms, rates, and other factors and the calculator shows you the monthly payment and income you need to afford it.
You can pay the three major credit bureaus for a copy of your credit reports, but you can access them for free at Annualcreditreport.com. Viewing your reports allows you to uncover problems that may make it difficult to get your home financed. You can eliminate inaccurate information and contact debtors to correct, resolve, or dispute problematic credit entries.
When you find the home of your dreams, your pre-approval letter will save some delays. Your mortgage company will review your debt, credit rating, and financial standing to determine if you're mortgage-worthy. When they issue an approval letter, it tells potential home sellers that you're ready to buy.
If you're ready to buy your first Gulf Coast of Florida home, you need a realtor to provide professional guidance. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling a home, or simply want information about the communities we serve.
Finding the right home may be your top priority as a shopper, but identifying the right neighborhood is just as important for landing a home you'll love long-term. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to become a neighborhood expert, and we've compiled the top 10 traits of a great neighborhood.
Whether you're still searching for the perfect neighborhood or you already have an ideal match in mind, our local real estate team is here to help you cross the finish line. Contact Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.
When you own a home in an area that could be affected by hurricanes, it's important to plan ahead to prepare both your home and all of the people in your household.
Hurricane damage can cut homeowners off from important services like electricity, internet, phone, and water. These risks are present no matter the strength of the hurricane affecting homes both inland and directly on the coast. While there is no way to eliminate the risk of hurricane damage, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that your home is prepared.
Being informed is one of the most important steps you can take during hurricane season. You can install a weather app on your phone, watch the local news, or visit the National Hurricane Center's website for the most up to date information on potential storms. Knowing when a storm is coming will give you as much time as possible to prepare.
If you're a single mother, the idea of buying a house can seem like an unreachable dream. The Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016 show that women still earn less than men. As the custodial parent, you must stretch fewer dollars to meet increasing financial obligations. Homeownership can seem unrealistic under such tight financial circumstances.
Our REALTORS® understand your concerns and we want to help. We believe that buying a house should be an attainable dream, so we've compiled a list of resources to help you reach your goal.
When your dream of owning a home seems out of reach, we can help. Contact Wagner Realty to help make your homeownership dream come true.
Sarasota, Florida has it all--beautiful weather, amazing amenities, and a community with something for everyone. It's no surprise that, when buying a house, you might find yourself in a situation where the home you want has multiple bids.
It may seem like the only thing you can do is raise your offer and hope for the best. Sometimes doing just that is the simplest way to get a seller's attention. Still, it's not your only option.
In an ideal situation, you'd make your offer, find out you're the only buyer, and move toward closing within a few weeks. Still, there are some homes that are worth the extra effort. Let's look at some steps you can take to fend off multiple offers and emerge victorious.
Multiple Offers Don't Mean the End – Here's What You Can Do
When the night sky lights up this Fourth of July, where will you be? For families with homes in Sarasota, it's hard to get this answer wrong. Siesta Key's explosive Independence Day celebration has drawn thousands for the past 26 years, but the country's best beach isn't the only place to be on Tuesday, July 4. Our gardens, parks, and restaurants also offer world-class waterfront views and patriotic celebrations this Fourth, so you can choose your view every year.
If you live or plan to buy a house in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, just pick which body of water you want to see sparkle, and settle in for a full day or evening of Fourth of July fun. Here are some of our favorite spots to celebrate:
It's no surprise that Sarasota's most popular fireworks show happens right on its famous white sand beach. The 27th annual Siesta Key Fourth of July Fireworks start at 9:15 PM this year, and the explosives last at least a full half hour, with colors and shapes that rival even the most picturesque Siesta Key sunsets. The Chamber of Commerce's official celebration is always on Siesta Key Public Beach, but if you want to beat the crowds and enjoy unbeatable views, go a little south of the public area, toward Crescent Beach.
A lush, tropical retreat in the middle of downtown Sarasota, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are nearly surrounded by Sarasota Bay and the Hudson Bayou. They take advantage of their stellar views of multiple fireworks displays over Sarasota Bay, with an evening party that features live music, a cookout, and cool drinks. The All-American Cookout starts at 6, but free trolleys bound for Selby start leaving the Sarasota Friendship Center at 5 PM.
Would you rather skip the beach and city crowds, and take in some waterfront fireworks at a slower pace? Head north to Bradenton's PIER 22, a literal pier that juts right out onto Manatee River for unbeatable waterfront views. This Fourth of July, the restaurant is hosting a buffet-style barbecue and waterside fireworks display. Come to PIER 22 at 6 PM for the Independence Day buffet, a single seating event that coincides with the explosions over the river.
The fireworks over Sarasota Bay are visible from both sides of the causeway, but the best views are from the edge of the marina, where family-friendly Bayfront Park pokes out into the water. Grab dinner and drinks at Marina Jack or O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill, then walk the Marina Jack Trail along the perimeter of this small but beautiful bayfront park. The fireworks over Sarasota Bay will begin at around 9 PM this Fourth of July, so grab a bench or spread a blanket and enjoy the spectacular show.
Looking for a family-friendly distraction before the fireworks begin? Sarasota Jungle Gardens is right on the Bay near Ringling Museum and New College of Florida, and it's an interactive wonderland with flamingos, alligators, and lush landscapes where kids can frolic and adults can relax and take in waterfront views. Kids' admission is half off from Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, making it the perfect pre-fireworks destination for Sarasota families.
Are you interested in buying a house in Sarasota? Contact Wagner Realty for more information about our beautiful beach town and its fun, lively neighborhoods. One of our REALTORS® in Sarasota will help you get started on your real estate journey.