2014: A Great Time to Buy a Home!

Kiplinger published “Housing Outlook, 2014” in their January issue. Here is a wrap up of the most interesting stats from across the nation that give a picture of what is to come in 2014.

  • It’s time to sell. In 2013, prices rose by 10.9%, and the median price rose by $30,000 to $215,000. Home values are looking good—which means it is a great time to sell!
  • It’s also a great time to buy—prices are 31.5% below their peak in 2006. Although values are on the rise, houses are still affordable.
  • Prices will rise throughout 2014. Kiplinger anticipates prices to increase 4%.
  • More buyers will join the market. It is likely that people who have been living with parents and those who have been underwater with their current homes will find themselves in a place where they can shop for a new home. 3.5 million homeowners were out of negative equity in 2013.
  • Inventories will remain low. There won’t be as many homes to choose from, as inventories are expected to remain low through 2015.

So signs all seem to be pointing to buying a new home in 2014, and also buying sooner rather than later. Find the perfect home at WaterGrass. We have several that are complete and ready to purchase now.

Make an appointment to visit today!

WaterGrass: Ideal Location Near Tampa in Wesley Chapel

Wesley Chapel is a great place to live, with a new hospital, new community college, growing economy, and plenty of access to shops and restaurants. And if you work in the city
or love the entertainment value a city life provides, the location of WaterGrass is ideal. At WaterGrass, you are only a 7 minute drive (5.5 miles) from I-75. This means easy access to Tampa for work, entertainment at the city’s great restaurants, museums, and sporting events, and easy airport access.

And if you live in sunny Florida for the beaches and weather for getaways, at  WaterGrass, you are within an hour or an hour and a half of some of the country’s most beautiful beaches in Sarasota and Clearwater. This makes for easy, beautiful getaways for day trips or long weekends. You also have access to the Port of Tampa for cruises.

WatergrassMapYou hear people say “location, location, location”, and at WaterGrass this is true. Here you’ll find a growing economy, an easy commute to a large city, and a location in beautiful, sunny Florida.

Make an appointment to visit today.


2013: A Great Time for Buying a Home

2012 was a great year for real estate—homebuyers were optimistic and bought homes with confidence. And we believe that was just the beginning. Below are several reasons why we believe 2013 is a great year to buy a home.

Things are looking up—way up. According to Metrostudy, a housing and market research firm, new home sales hit a four year high in September. Also, new home construction is 1/3 the trend rate of household formation—this signals a strong housing market.

Rising prices and low interest rates make people want to buy now.
Per Metrostudy, the median new home sale price in October was 7 percent higher than in 2010. And mortgage rates dipped to record lows in November. Rising prices combined with low interest rates are a great reason to buy now to take advantage of savings.

A growing number of Americans believe it’s a great time to sell. The National Association of Realtors reports that the number of Americans who agree its a great time to sell rose 5 percent in November to 23 percent, the highest level since the start of the survey in 2010. And if it’s time to sell, it is a great time to upgrade and move into your dream home.

We aren’t the only ones who are optimistic about the year. The National Association of Realtors also has their own list: “13 Reasons to Look Forward to 2013“.

Interested in checking out what’s available here? Make an appointment to visit us today.


6 Reasons to Avoid Buying Short Sale Homes

If you are in the process of buying a home, we are sure you are familiar with the term “short sale.” A short sale means the current homeowners have a mortgage that is underwater, so they are selling the home for less than what they owe on the property. The lenders on the home’s mortgage will be forgiving the debt difference.

Many people in the market to buy a home may consider finding a good value by looking at short sale listings. While you may be able to find a great deal with a short sale, you should also consider a few downsides of considering a short sale home.

1. Red tape.
If you find the perfect home, negotiating and closing on a deal is not as simple as on a regular new home, since the contract must be agreed upon by the seller and the lender. If more than one lender is involved, they must agree as well. The process requires much more paperwork, approvals, and the involvement of more parties, so it can take considerably longer than a typical sale.

2. You have little control of the transaction. The lender is not concerned with where you are living now, or if you hope to close by a certain date. You are relying on the listing agent to know what they are doing, the bank to take the proper steps, and the seller (who has a huge amount of paperwork to complete that will ultimately damage credit) to all move the many, many pieces along. The process is likely going to be long and frustrating, and there is nothing you can do to keep it moving forward.

3. Unknown end date can mean a long, inconvenient wait. Because of all of the approvals and paperwork mentioned above, this means you will likely be waiting much longer for the home to be yours. This means you are going to have to wait and watch other listings for homes pop up, but you will be committed to the contract you are waiting on so you cannot pursue other desirable homes. You also may have to find temporary housing if you have sold or are renting out a different property you may already own.

4. It may not actually be a good deal. Short sales simply mean the owner owes more than what the home is worth. The seller may have purchased the home at the top of the market, and now the value of the home has dropped significantly. This difference doesn’t always equal a savings for the buyer—it simply means there is a difference between the purchase price and the current value.

5. Higher closing costs. Lenders will not be likely to pay for inspections, warranties, or other closing costs like a typical seller would. This also detracts from the value you are getting on the home.

6. Home is sold “as is.” The lender will not fix anything that an inspection may find, and the homeowner likely has not maintained the home well, since there would be no benefit to them. So you are likely going to have to put work into the house, which usually means money. Depending on what these repairs and improvements may be, the “deal” you are getting might not actually be a deal.

Transform Your Home into a Green Home

Green-Home-Logo2As the green movement continues to grow more and more popular, confusion within the real estate marketplace has continued to grow due to unclear definitions of what makes a home “green.”

The National Association of Home Builders lists guidelines for homeowners, which explain that “a green home pays attention to energy efficiency, water resource conservation, the use of sustainable or recycled products, and measures to protect indoor air quality.”

For homeowners in Crown Community Developments looking to join the green movement, being environmentally conscious is the first step. Then by integrating these products, homeowners can give their homes an affordable, eco-friendly twist.

1. Low-flush toilets

2. Energy Star approved windows and appliances such as light bulbs, dishwashers, and washing machines

3. FSC/NFC sustainable woods in floors, countertops, and cabinets. Bamboo is an excellent choice as it is the fastest growing, most renewable wood.

4. Tankless water heater. The water is heated just before it is used which requires less energy than storing hot water for a long period of time.

5. Low or zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, wallpapers, and primers.  These increase indoor air quality.

6. Low-flow faucets and shower heads

7. Radiant heat

8. Use of recycled or reclaimed materials. Use locally when possible.

9. Motor sensor lights. These are especially useful so you don’t always have to remember to turn the lights off when leaving a room.

Just remember that giving your home a green makeover doesn’t have to be expensive. It is about making sustainable choices and adding eco-friendly alternatives into the workings of your home.

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