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House Hunting in One Day: 6 Tips for Maximizing Your Time

by Mary Gilbert

In the ideal home-buying scenario, attending open houses and pinpointing the perfect place is a breeze. But in a seller's market, finding a home is no small feat, which is why it's important to make the most of the time you spend touring houses. Since most open houses happen on the weekend, you'll need to do some prep work to manage your time wisely, so you don't waste the better parts of your Saturdays and Sundays. We’ve got you covered with these tips to help you make your home search as productive as it can be.

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Do not start touring houses before you are pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only will this crystallize exactly the price range you should be considering, but it will solidify your status as a serious buyer when the time eventually comes to make an offer, says Spencer Chambers, real estate expert and owner of the Chambers Organization in Newport Beach, CA.

2. Clarify which amenities matter most

You won't be able to zero in on the right property if your wish list is a mile long or too vague. “Make a list of your absolute necessities and another of your wants; together, these will become your guide on which houses you'll look at, based on the boxes they check,” Chambers says.

Beyond the physical house, brainstorm other variables that will help you narrow down the neighborhood: school district, walkability, proximity to downtown, etc. “Think about what you like to do on the weekend and what you need access to,” says Wendy Hooper with Coast Realty Services in Newport Beach, CA. Do you love dining out? Is a thriving music scene important? Do you need to live in a top-notch school district? “All of these factors help narrow communities quickly," Hooper says.

Finally, if you’ll be commuting, check out typical drive times during the hours you'll be on the road, using Google Maps or Waze. “Just because a property is near a highway doesn’t mean you’ll have smooth sailing if the highway is clogged with daily bumper-to-bumper traffic,” Taylor notes.

3. Find a savvy real estate agent

Once you are clear on your parameters, it’s time to start touring these homes. You'll really want a real estate agent who knows the area. One way to find one is to start perusing listings in your preferred location and see what names keep popping up; they are likely to be the local experts. In many instances, they will be familiar with the homes for sale, and they may even catch wind of homes that are about to hit the market, so you can have a first look.

The goal is for your real estate agent to help you whittle down the list of homes you like online to a handful you'll tour in person during the weekend.

4. Plan your route wisely

Once you’ve settled on the houses you'll tour that day, have your agent create an itinerary of the most efficient route to see them. Grouping properties by neighborhood helps clients get their bearings on relative distances and a feel for what each neighborhood offers, says real estate agent Jake Tasharski with Center Coast Realty in Chicago.

However, if you’re short on time, Taylor recommends prioritizing by preference to make sure you’re able to see your top prospects. Or front-load your schedule with the newest listings, since those are the hottest homes that other buyers are eager to tour.

5. Take notes (and photos) as you go

When you are touring many houses in one day, they are naturally going to blend together. To keep them all straight, take plenty of photos—at least one of each room—and take notes of anything you notice, both positive and negative. Spencer also recommends giving each house a nickname, something that stands out to you, so that you can easily remember it.

Remember, this is the time to be judgy. Tasharski encourages clients to eliminate homes as they go by comparing each current home to the previous showing, and to their favorite home so far. “Seeing so many properties in a short amount of time can get overwhelming, so if my client knows a home they just saw isn't ‘the one,’ we throw that listing sheet away, so it's out of sight and out of mind.”

6. Block out the last half of the afternoon to revisit your top choices

If at all possible, leave the final hour to revisit your favorite properties. Still have extra time? Get to know the neighborhood. enjoy a snack or cocktail in a local bistro, and soak up your new neighborhood vibe, Taylor suggests. You’ve earned it.

Let's get together and find your dream home! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: Realtor.com, Cathie Ericson

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
1726 NE Reagan Drive, Roseburg, OR  97470

Gorgeous curb appeal greets you at this beautiful contemporary two-story home in Rose Village.  Designed by the seller, it features soaring high ceilings, glowing wood floors, and oversized windows for bright, airy rooms. Cozy up to the fireplace in the spacious great room while admiring the picturesque views through the large windows. Recently remodeled and bathed in natural light, the stylish and functional kitchen will thrill the cook in the family with its gleaming granite counter tops and backsplash, abundant cabinetry for storage, and huge island. Sliding doors off the kitchen lead to a private patio and backyard with views that will take your breath away!  Adjoining the kitchen is a dining room that is ideal for casual dining or formal dinner parties. The seamlessly flowing open floorplan makes entertaining a breeze!  Wind down at the end of the day in the first-floor master bedroom and luxuriate in the en suite master bath with double sinks, garden tub and separate shower.  A convenient den/office completes the main floor, making working from home a pleasure.  Upstairs you will find two additional, generously sized bedrooms and a full bath…plenty of room for a growing family or visiting guests.  1726 NE Reagan Dr is Oregon living at its best!  Don’t wait! Make an appointment to see it today!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

 

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Glide Wildflower Show

by Mary Gilbert

The Premier Wildflower Show of the Pacific Northwest!

Featuring more than 600 species of Native Oregon Wildflowers, plus special displays of natural dyes, roving botanists, edible and medicinal plants, noxious weeds, trees, mosses and ferns.  There will also be spinning demonstrations, bee-keeper’s booth, flora books, posters and guides for sale, along with homemade pies, food and beverages.

April 28- April 29, 2018
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For more information visit: Event Website

Courtesy of The Mary Gilbert Group

Photo Credit: visitroseburg.com

Roseburg OR Home For Sale
8496 State Highway 42, Tenmile, OR  97481

You won’t have to do a thing beyond moving in your belongings and making this enchanting contemporary your own! The ultimate layout, inside and out, for entertaining and family function awaits at 8496 State Highway 42! Natural light floods this sprawling floor plan featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, high ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, modern fixtures, recessed lighting, elegant moldings, durable tile floors, plush carpeting and an outdoor living space sure to impress! Soaring high vaulted ceilings give this sunken living room the perfect combination of openness and coziness…wonderful for fun-filled gatherings or quiet relaxation.  A lovely dining area that opens to the peaceful outdoor spaces makes indoor/outdoor enjoyment a breeze. The large galley kitchen is stylish and functional with its glistening granite countertops, tile backsplash, abundance of beautiful cabinetry, plus a breakfast bar and dining area open to the living space. Enjoy working from home in the main floor den/office. Two generously sized main floor bedrooms shared a nicely updated full bath. A large laundry room with a sink, tons of storage and a ¾ bath complete the first level. An open staircase leads you to the private second level master suite! Sliding doors to a private deck, a walk-in closet, double sinks, tile floors and a walk in shower wait to relax and pamper you. A second set of stairs leads you to an open bonus room with so many options - a playroom, media room, office or teen hangout. A huge deck, patio with concrete pavers, fenced area with fruit trees, and an insulated 2-story shop are all surrounded by mature trees on 6.65 acres providing complete privacy! Not your typical cookie cutter home –this special find won’t last long!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

If you're thinking about buying your first home, that pesky down payment has probably kept you awake more than a few nights. We get it—while a pre-approval is crucial for determining your buying power, it's the down payment that shows you mean business.

But saving up is hard. In a study conducted by NerdWallet, 44% of respondents said a lack of a down payment was the roadblock keeping them from buying a home.

Making things even worse? Your well-meaning friends and family have probably given you at least one piece of well-meaning, but ill-informed advice, leaving you in more of a blind panic than you need to be.

We're not saying that saving for a down payment will be a cake walk, but separating fact from fiction can go a long way. Here's the truth you need to know.

Myth No. 1: You need 20% down

In the NerdWallet study, 44% of respondents also believed you need 20% (or more) down to buy a home. For decades, this was standard, but it isn’t always the case anymore.

“It really depends on the type of buyer you are,” says Robert Garay, a broker associate and team leader of the Garay Group at Lifestyle International Realty in Miami.

For instance, a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan only requires 3.5% down. If either you or your spouse served in the military, you're likely to be eligible for a Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, which can be approved for 0% down. The same goes for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.

And if you're a qualified buyer, you can get approved for a conventional loan with less than 20% down, but there’s a catch: You’ll be on the hook for private mortgage insurance, or PMI. PMI is paid directly to your lender, not toward your principal. Think of it essentially as insurance you pay to prove to the lender you won’t default on your loan.

Myth No. 2: Paying mortgage insurance is smarter than paying a bigger down payment

Perhaps that mortgage insurance seems like a small price to pay in order not to deplete your bank account and win the house. So what if you make some additional payments for a while?

It might not be a big deal, but you’ll want to calculate what you'll pay in the long run. Take, for example, conventional loans. If you put less than 20% down, you'll get stuck with PMI, but only until the principal balance reaches 78% or less of the original purchase price.

FHA loans, on the other hand, require mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. That means you'll be paying an extra monthly fee for as long as you live in the home (or until you pay off the mortgage).

Before you brush off mortgage insurance, compare your options—and know that paying less upfront could mean paying much more over the life of your loan.

Myth No. 3: Cash is king

If you're shopping in a competitive market, you've likely heard horror stories about first-time buyers getting snubbed over investors or all-cash buyers. If you're working with a loan and a small amount down, it might seem like your chances of getting picked over the other guys are slim to none.

There is some truth to this belief. Cash offers offer one big benefit to a seller: They're guaranteed to close on time with no loan approval hiccups.

But on the flip side,“That myth assumes that sellers care most about a fast and certain close, and that’s not always true,” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of "The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage."

Often, if you make the bigger offer, or you write a killer personal letter that resonates with the seller, you stand a better chance of getting approved over an all-cash offer.

Fleming’s seen it happen: “I’ve actually beat out all cash offers with 10% down because our offer price was a little higher,” he says. “I’ve also had deals where we were competing against a higher cash offer and the seller took ours because the buyers were a young family wanting to raise their kids in the home—and that meant something to the seller.”

Myth No. 4: Down payment assistance is easy!

We hate to burst your bubble—or discourage you from trying to get down payment assistance if you qualify—but finding, applying, and getting approved for help isn’t always easy.

First, there are no national, or even many state-run, assistance programs.

“Pretty much every program is locally run, sometimes by county or even by city,” Fleming says. You can check the Department of Housing and Urban Development's website for a smattering of state-run "homeowner assistance" options, but you'll have to do some digging.

And then there’s the other rub. “You have to be under a certain income to qualify, usually the median income in the county,” Fleming says.

Some programs may make special exceptions—say, for single parents—but in general, income is going to be a big factor.

For example, to be eligible for down payment assistance in Grand County, CO, applicants must work a minimum of 32 hours per week in the area and meet income limits. Nevada's "Home Is Possible Down Payment Assistance Program" has a cap on income, credit score requirements, and the cost of the home bought. In Tamarac, FL, applicants must meet income requirements, wait until an open enrollment period and then get picked from a lottery system.

Still, if you think you might qualify, call your local housing authority office—it can usually point you in the right direction.

Myth No. 5: You shouldn't put more than 20% down

Let's say you're lucky enough to have saved more than 20% down. Odds are good some well-meaning friend is going to tell you to put only 20% down—no more, no less. After all, now that you've successfully avoided PMI, why fork over more cash than you have to?

A couple of reasons, Fleming says: First, a higher down payment could signal to your lender that you're a trustworthy borrower and get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Plus, the more you pay upfront, the less you're borrowing—which means lower mortgage payments.

But you'll have to put down at least 5% more to see that difference, according to Fleming.

"Your interest rate drops a little more with 25% down, and even more with 35% down," he says.

Compare your options to see if it makes more sense to pay the extra down or to keep that money in investments that can work for you.

Myth No. 6: You can take out a loan for a down payment

Truth: There's nothing wrong with getting help with your down payment, but it has to be a gift. If a lender suspects the money might be a loan, repaying said loan will be factored into your mortgage approval amount and you’ll qualify for less than you might have wanted.

In order to prove it's a gift, you’ll have to get a letter from the gifters, swearing that they don’t plan on asking for the money back. And don't try to game the system—lying on a mortgage application is a felony.

Let's get together and start the process of finding your dream home! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: Realtor.com, Angela Colley

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale
     

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together and discuss all we can do to make the process easier for you. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State?

by Mary Gilbert

It’s no mystery that cost of living varies drastically depending on where you live, so a new study by GOBankingRates set out to find out what minimum salary you would need to make in order to buy a median-priced home in each of the 50 states, and Washington, D.C.

States in the Midwest came out on top as most affordable, requiring the smallest salaries in order to buy a median-priced home. States with large metropolitan areas saw a bump in the average salary needed to buy with California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii edging out all others with the highest salaries required.

Below is a map with the full results of the study:

GoBankingRates gave this advice to anyone considering a home purchase,

“Before you buy a home, it’s important to find out if you can afford the monthly mortgage payment. To do this, some financial experts recommend your housing costs — primarily your mortgage payments — shouldn’t consume more than 30 percent of your monthly income.”

As we recently reported, research from Zillow shows that historically, Americans had spent 21% of their income on owning a median-priced home. The latest data from the fourth quarter of 2017 shows that the percentage of income needed today is only 15.7%!

Bottom Line
If you are considering buying a home, whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to do so in today’s market! 541.371.5500 or [email protected].com. 

By: KCM Crew

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
0 Maple Avenue, Sutherlin, OR  97479

Residential development opportunity in the City of Sutherlin – Investors, this ones for you! RH zoning allows for development of 12,000 sqft residential lots! City water and sewer nearby. Gently sloping south facing acreage with scenic views over the city of Sutherlin and across the valley. Located in a developing area in the beautiful Umpqua Valley with proximity to I-5, the Oregon Coast, the Cascades, wineries and recreation! Hartley Park nearby. Come take a look today!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
1395 N Old Pacific Highway, Myrtle Creek, OR 97457

Welcome home to 1395 N Old Pacific Highway, a one level ranch with mountain and valley views! Three bedrooms, 2 full baths, new vinyl windows, and a wood burning fireplace. RV parking, two large sheds for all your storage needs, fencing and a large back deck for BBQ’s and enjoying the views and a seasonal pond. Come take a look at this Myrtle Creek OR home before its gone!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

April 19, 2018

Join us from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Roseburg Country Club for a reception to celebrate the beginning of what is on course to be one of our finest competition seasons…so far.  We will showcase six award-winning wines from this year’s wine competition. Each wine will be paired with a unique food pairing.  Space is limited to 50 couples.

Cost: $45 per person

RSVP at the winery.

Event Website

Courtesy of The Mary Gilbert Group

Photo Credit: theoregonwineexperience.com

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Contact Information

Photo of Mary Gilbert Real Estate
Mary Gilbert
Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley
2365 NW Kline Street, Suite 201
Roseburg OR 97471
541-371-5500
Fax: 541-371-5501

© Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.