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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Buying or Selling During a Market Upheaval

Only you can ultimately decide when to buy or sell a home. But no doubt about it, there are certain times, like when the economy is less stable and the market is uncertain, that, undoubtedly, you should analyze your plans and long-term goals more carefully.

Here Are A Few Key Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Looking to Buy in an Uneven Market:

  1. Are you employed and is work steady? If changes in the economy or a potential recession could affect your position and/or your company’s ability to pay you, moving right now might not be… well… your best move.
  2. How many months of living expenses do you have on hand? As long as a real estate down-payment doesn’t impact your ability to fall back on your savings accounts in a poor economy, you’re still a good candidate for house hunting.
  3. How long do you plan to be in your next location? If this is a long-term move for you, this is potentially a very good time to find not only a good value on a purchase price but on a lending rate as well.

Sellers should think of these possible issues:

  1. Where are you headed when you sell? If you’re looking to buy after selling your home, ask yourself the above questions. You’ll want to have money in reserve. Especially if you end up selling your current home for less than you expected.
  2. Are you willing and able to reduce the price of your home? You never know what the market is really like until you try. And you don’t know if it might not get worse. But if you’re someone who jumps at the first offer—and the offer isn’t great—are you prepared to say no? Or to negotiate a lower price?
  3. Are you willing to take your house off the market? Six months from now if your house hasn’t sold, would you rather take your house off the market than letting it get stale or give the appearance of being less valuable? (You might consider negotiating a shorter up-front contract with your real estate agent for this reason.)

Are you in the Right Space?

One other question for anyone dipping their foot into the real estate transaction waters: are you in a space emotionally and mentally to handle the added pressures and workload of buying or selling a home? Maybe a “household project” of this magnitude is exactly what you need right now!

With all the economic uncertainty we’re facing during COVID-19, a long-term economic downturn is possible and some experts say, probable. Only time will tell how long it could last. Since you need to make this very big, very important life decision now, just be sure to do your research and ask yourself the big questions first. And as always, make sure you’re basing your real estate decisions on finances and not emotions.

 

When it comes time to close on your sale, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future!

Don’t miss our popular Title FAQs for tips that will give you the peace of mind only a clean title can. Come see us on our Facebook page and check out details of our services on our website. Or call 985-277-5095 to speak to one of our title professionals today!

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What exactly IS a clean title (and how can I get one)?

Meet Happy Homeowner Harold. Harold’s home has a clean title. He did his research, hired a title company, bought title insurance, and now he owns his home without a hassle. Harold is the single, undisputed king of his castle. There is no one else and no other party that can make any kind of legal claim of his ownership.

Then there’s Sadsack Sam. Saddest Sam the South has ever seen. Because he opted out of title insurance and closed on his home without any legal advice. Now a lawyer sent a summons saying Slippery Sue inherited the house when her distant relative died 14 years ago. It’s Sam’s word against the last remaining relative’s. And Sam stands to lose.

What is a clean title?

A clean title is a homeowner’s title without any type of lien or levy from a possible owner, creditor, or interested party. Because a clean title proves there is no question on legal ownership. Therefore, there is no error in the public records. And you are the sole homeowner.

How do I get a clean title?

The best way to get a clean title is to hire a professional title company to research and ensure your title is clean. A title company searches public records (deeds, mortgages, liens, wills, and more) and any documents that affect the property’s title. The company verifies the legal owner of the home and determines all debts owed against the property.

Since the title company does all the legwork leading up to the closing, you and your agent will want to schedule your closing with a title company you trust.

What about insurance?

Nearly 100% of the time, your lender will require you to have title insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender if a title or ownership problem comes up after the property is purchased.

A lender’s policy is issued for the amount of the mortgage. The coverage decreases as you pay down your loan. Once the mortgage is paid off, the lender’s policy ends.

An owner’s policy (for buyers paying cash) protects you from the full price of your home, plus legal costs if any issues come up after you close. The policy is based on the cost of your home, and it will cover you as long as you own vested interest in the property.

You’re not required to purchase an owner’s policy but you run the risk of being forced to fight for your rights without it.

What other benefits will title insurance give me?

Title insurance is affordable, especially when you think of all you could lose if something turns up on your home.  Title insurance will:

 How do I choose a title company?

Since a title company is your last line of defense when you buy a home, you’ll need one with a solid reputation and proven track record.

You want only the best.

Clean Title, LLC, is researching the past to protect your future!

We’re proud of our track record and the recommendations our clients have shared. (Check out some of our reviews on our Facebook page).

With a blend of exemplary service and professionalism, we ensure our clients know exactly what’s happening every step of the way. We want you to feel confident that when you sign on the dotted line, you’ll be turning a house into a home.

Check out our home buyers’ Clean Title FAQs and reach out at 985-277-5095 anytime with questions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Millennials are Shaping the Real Estate Market

The 2008 housing crisis struck around the same time that many millennials were graduating high school, college, or first dipping their toes into the workforce. This calamity in the real estate market, and the economic downturn that ensued, discouraged millennials from investing in real estate. In many cases, the economy stifled their ability to save, making home ownership more of a pipe dream for many young Americans. However, as the economy recovered and some of the lost confidence of young buyers returned, millennials came back to the market to shake things up.

Generally speaking, millennials have different interests and values than Gen X and Baby Boomers. These differences have forced the market to adapt and usher in a new era in home buying and real estate marketing. Here are just a few ways that the millennial generation has helped shape the real estate market going forward.

High-Tech Housing

If there is one stereotype of millennials that is almost universally true, it is that they love technology. If there is a new development in mobile tech or software, you can be sure that millennials will want a piece of the pie. The market has picked up on this, and many agencies and sellers are equipping their houses with the newest “smart home” software to allow for more advanced security, leisure, and even automated housework.

No More Starter Homes

While it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that millennials are impatient, it is generally true that they are wary of an economy that has fluctuated throughout most of their lives. As a result, many millennials choose to forego starter homes entirely. After all, if you aren’t sure that the economy will improve, why invest in a temporary option? Instead, these young buyers go straight for finished homes at the higher end of the price scale. According to Realtor Magazine, about 1/3rd of millennial homebuyers spent more than $300,000 on their first house.

Trust in Professionals

While putting trust in a realtor is nothing new, millennials rely heavily on professional expertise when navigating the real estate market. This newfound dependence on industry professionals is the result of the complexity of purchasing new homes, as well as a general consensus that millennials are unprepared for “adulting.” Though courses in civics, personal economics, and general life skills used to be commonplace in schools, they have largely disappeared, leaving millennials feeling unsure in the face of important life decisions. To ease these anxieties, millennials choose to trust in real estate professionals.

Must-Have Features

Realtors have their work cut out for them with millennials. In the past, most prospective home buyers had a general idea of what they wanted, and then made a choice of what best fit their needs among the available options in their price range. Millennials, on the other hand, are not so accommodating. Can’t find a house with a second story terrace for under $200,000? Then no sale. Millennials know what they want, and they are more than willing to wait it out until they find the perfect home.

Despite the changes that millennials have brought to the real estate market, it must be said that they are not all cut from the same cloth. There is a lot of diversity in this generation, but their shared experiences have shaped the way they look at purchasing a home. Technology has made millennials crave new gadgets and be a little bit picky for certain features; in addition, cuts in education and economic uncertainty have made them more cautious when shopping for a place to call home. But no matter the reasons, it is clear that millennials have forever changed the future of the real estate market.

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Tips for Buying Real Estate in a Bear Market

Investing in real estate is a daunting task, no matter what the economy looks like. However, when the free-market takes a dive, your choices can have even greater consequences down the road, for better or worse. Typically, a bear market indicates that the value of the market is in decline, and therefore prices are low. In principle, most experts recommend investing during a bear market, as it means you can get high value stocks and property at a low cost. These low prices will inevitably rise when the market recovers, allowing you to sell your investment for a profit.

Despite the apparent simplicity of bear market investing, it is not always easy to decide exactly when or how to start. As a result, many first-time real estate investors agonize over the decision. More often than not, when investors make decisions under stress, the results are disastrous. So, it is extremely important to approach real estate investment with a clear head and an understanding of the market. Here are just a few tips to make the most out of your bear market investment:

1. Do your research – according to historical data, the housing market has seen positive returns in every bear market since 1960, with the exception of the housing crisis of 2008. Statistically, real estate is one of the safest investments you can make during a time when stocks and bonds are less reliable. Nonetheless, large investments should never be made without first practicing due diligence. Look for areas with rising demographic trends or undervalued properties, but don’t rush into any large investment, no matter how tantalizing it may seem.

2. Expect slow growth – just because real estate can be a good investment during a bear market does not mean you should overestimate the growth potential. At the end of the day, a bear market still means declining value across most, if not all sectors. As a result, you should anticipate modest or even no gain in the short term. It’s not all bad news though. Even during certain periods of high inflation, house prices have historically shown modest growth in defiance of the broader market.

3. Don’t over-invest – the tendency during economic downturns is to sell off risky investments and either wait for the storm clouds to pass, or invest heavily in low-risk funds and real estate. However, generally speaking, those who are less reactionary during short term declines see larger returns in the long term. Real estate investment is no exception. Do not simply dump all of your existing assets in pursuit of real estate. Evaluate your options and maintain diversity in your portfolio. If an opportunity arises, you should certainly invest, but don’t put all of your eggs in the real estate basket.

4. Don’t agonize over timing – one of the hardest decisions to make during a bear market is not necessarily WHAT to buy but WHEN to buy. While it is frustrating to buy something only to see the value sink lower, it is important not to panic. When you panic, you make poor decisions. Deciding when to invest in real estate during a bear market is complicated, but it is always best to evaluate long term trends in the market, rather than react to short term changes.

These are just a few tips to help you navigate the world of real estate during a bear market. Historical data is always the best indicator of future returns, however, investing is not an exact science. Nonetheless, as long as you tread carefully and invest with a cool head, you should see healthy returns in the years to come.

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Clean Title’s Top 3 recipes for the holidays

We know what you’re thinking. Clean Title is your local go-to guide for real estate title searches. And we are! But we love celebrating the holidays just as much as you and your loved ones. More importantly, we love building bonds- whether it’s with our friends, clients, colleagues or neighbors. It doesn’t take long to learn that, in the South, most bonds are developed and remain because of delicious food.

In the spirit of the holidays, allow us to introduce our top 3 recipes that we can’t get through the season without.

Recipe 1: The Coca-Cola Cake
What do you get when you mix sweet-tasting staples: buttermilk, pecans, marshmallows and sugars, with a pretty famous contrasting soda? A Coca-Cola cake of course! This dessert wins as Walt’s favorite because his mom often makes it for him to enjoy.  In only an estimated time of an hour and 15 minutes, your taste buds are treated to a delightful dessert that has a kick! Find the recipe here: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/recipes-cola-cake

Recipe 2: Cajun Crab Cakes
Can you even celebrate a holiday in the South without cooking seafood? You must try these savory crab cakes! This dish requires a variety of veggies, meats, and spices like crab meat (of course), oregano, bell peppers, and onions, to mimic unique Cajun cuisine. Try it out here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/219988/cajun-crab-cakes-no-breadcrumbs/

Recipe 3: Old Charleston Town Shrimp and Grits
I’m sure that after trying this recipe, you’ll agree that this is the best hour you’ve ever spent in the kitchen! In addition to having a short prep time, Old Charleston Town Shrimp and Grits pair  Southern staples: andouille sausage, Hickory bacon, and shrimp, with cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and other unique flavors. This recipe is perfect for celebrating the holidays with comfort and class! Don’t believe us? See for yourself: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/220895/old-charleston-style-shrimp-and-grits/

We hope that these recipes have brightened your day and season. We’ll go back to our day jobs…for now! Just kidding, we’re always here to help propel you in your real estate journeys.

Try out these recipes, feast with those you love, and create your own unique bonds through culinary delights!

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