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Playing the Real Estate Game in a Down Market

By: Huntsville Real Estate Expert Mike Manosky On December 6, 2007

Although the real estate market is slow in many areas, you may still want or need to sell your home or purchase a new one due to circumstances such as a job relocation.

 

This article from CNNMoney.com offers some tips on how you can still make a smart move in this unpredictable real estate market.  Here is a summary of the tips:

 

  • Sell smart – if you are trying to sell your home, make sure you set a realistic price based on the current market.  You will also want to discuss with your Realtor the current average “days on market” that most properties are taking to sell.  This will help you better plan for your move.  If you are not willing to list for the current market value, and you do not want your house to be on the market for long, consider waiting out this down market as it is likely to turn around soon.
  • Spend wisely – try to follow the rule of thumb of spending no more than 20% of your home’s value on renovations.  At a time when your home may be worth less than it was this time last year, this is not the time to be sinking money into it.
  • Foreclosures are still your problem – remember that, even though you are not facing foreclosure, the other properties in your neighborhood that are foreclosed upon will decrease your home’s value.  As a general rule, for every home that goes into foreclosure in your neighborhood, your property value drops about 1%.  That value will stay depressed for about two years.  To find out where the foreclosures are in your area, go to realtytrac.com or foreclosurenet.net and type in your zip code.
  • Recheck your mortgage – many homeowners do not know what kind of mortgage they have.  If you are one of them, pull out your old closing documents and find out how often you’re rate will increase and what caps there are to how much that increase can be.  This information should be on the Adjustable Rate Rider, among the first few pages in your documents.

Remember, the Huntsville AL real estate market is always changing from month to month and neighborhood to neighborhood.  To find out what your home is worth, click here for a complimentary market analysis.  You may also visit MoveToHuntsville.com to learn more about Huntsville AL real estate, or call me at 256-508-0211.

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