Thursday, 27 June 2013
The Truth About Rising Mortgage Rates

Rates are going up, but how does that affect your house-buying timeline?

Today I called in another kind of real-estate expert to answer this question: loan officer Todd Wiggins. Here is his explanation and advice for the current Brentwood, Tenn., real-estate market:

Many of you have heard that interest rates have taken a quick, big jump up. Ask those who have purchased a home or refinanced in the last year and they most likely have a 30-year fixed rate in the 3% range or a 15-year fixed in the high 2’s. Those rates have jumped up into the 4’s and 3’s respectively during the past two months. I’ll spare you the technical details as to how this happened, but I will tell you that a stronger economy and the Federal Reserve’s talk of tapering their bond buying program have caused the markets to move dramatically. (I’ve even heard this movement described as “violent.”) 

I’ve had several of my own clients who have been shopping for their next home ask if the rates will come back down, and while I don’t have that magical crystal ball, the best advice I can give a potential buyer is not to hold out for rates to go back into the 3’s again. I’ve always felt that the best time to buy is when “you are ready.” We can’t even be certain that rates will stay where they are now. “Volatility” is a word I hear daily.

While rates may be uncertain, the appeal of owning a home has not changed. Rents certainly aren’t getting any cheaper and anyone who owns a home and is in the market for a new home is likely not at a rate lower than what is available even now. Newly constructed homes are loaded with features and are energy efficient. Homes in good school zones will always have their appeal. There are plenty of reasons to buy a home. If you are thinking about buying, my recommendation is that you consult a loan officer and find out what is possible and what your specific options are. Create a roadmap to your next home. Find your best price point, how much you need to “get in” and what it takes to “stay in” and go see what is out there.

While rates are up from their all-time lows, consider the all-time highs. The chart below shows where rates have been for the past forty-two years. As you can see, things aren’t so bad after all. The housing market is rebounding, the economy is picking up, and your next home is out there waiting for you.

Todd Wiggins
Loan Officer, NMLS 211744
First Community Mortgage

Posted on 06/27/2013 3:44 PM by Jarod
Sunday, 23 June 2013
Spend Money Where It Counts

Before listing your home in Brentwood, Tenn., ask your agent where your dollars should be allocated.

To continue my series on preparing your home for showings, this post will focus on the old business adage “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” Not every upgrade or repair you make will receive the same return on your investment, so that is where I can step in as your real-estate expert and help you focus on the right things to help your home sell quickly.

Many people balk when this concept is suggested. They don’t want to sink money into a home that they are about to leave, so they skip over these details. The result is a home that sits on the market for months. Preparing to sell your home does not necessarily mean spending a LOT of money, but spending dollars where they count will help you get as close to your asking price as possible.


The first place you need to allocate funds is in repairs. You’ll need to think like a house inspector. He or she will come in and do everything from flipping on light switches to searching for plumbing leaks. Because you will be asked to make these repairs before contracts are completed, go ahead and make them before your house is listed. Doing this will show that you have taken great care of your home and it will prevent buyers from having reservations about buying from you. Invite your realtor to walk around your house with you to create your to-do list. 


Look around your house closely. Does the carpet look dirty? Do your hardwood floors look dull and dingy? Does the bright green kitchen that you loved five years ago now seem like a distraction with all the tiny handprints? Decide which jobs you can handle and then spend a few dollars on the ones you can’t. For instance, hire a professional carpet cleaner to get that deep-down clean, and then ask a friend to help you paint your kitchen a neutral color and search the Internet for tips on how to make your hardwood floors sparkle.


This will be the most difficult one for you to determine on your own, so that’s where I come in. I will use my years of working in the Brentwood, Tenn., real-estate business to coach you in what people are expecting when they are looking for the perfect home. I will show you other listings in your area, and together we can decide what you’re willing to do. Do all the other listings in your area and price range have granite countertops? Are you the only one in the neighborhood that is still hanging on to brass hardware? You’ll want to make the changes that count and that work for your budget.

Let me help you determine what is necessary and where you can save your cash. Call me and we’ll have your house sold in no time!

Posted on 06/23/2013 3:26 PM by Jarod
Monday, 17 June 2013
Enlist Expert Advice for Optimal Showings

Want to avoid common pitfalls when showing your home in Brentwood, Tenn.? Ask an expert!

The last post touched briefly on the importance of de-cluttering your home before you open it for showings. You do not want your personal stuff to distract an interested buyer from seeing the full functionality of your home. Although most of us understand what clutter is, sometimes having an unbiased view of what should be labeled and boxed away as "personal stuff" is a little more difficult.

That’s where you need an expert. With more than 12 years of experience in the Brentwood, Tenn., real-estate business, I have seen what attracts and distracts people as they are looking for their dream home. Allow me to walk through your home with you so I can point out the extra things that need to be put away until you’re ready to move on to your new home. You see your home every day, so the things that you see just make it feel like home. As your hired expert, I can tell you what others see when they visit your home.

Still not ready to let go of Aunt Marge’s vast collection of baskets that take up half of your breakfast room? I’ll show you pictures of other listings that ARE selling so you will have a visual of what other people are looking for as they search for their perfect place. The people who are looking at your property have also seen several other properties, so yours needs to be up to par with what is selling.

Think of it this way: When someone comes to look at buying a home in Brentwood, Tennessee, they’re not buying it with all of your stuff in it. They’re buying it and picturing how their stuff will look in it. Anything that keeps them from seeing it that way could make them walk away and make an offer on a house that looks more like a blank canvas for them to fill in with dreams of how their home will look.

Allow me to get your home set up for successful showings! That’s one of the many things I can do for you!

Posted on 06/17/2013 4:43 PM by Jarod