Sweet Home Sioux Falls

Providing knowledge about real estate and all things Sioux Falls.

Category: Sioux Falls Real Estate (page 1 of 2)

Home Warranties What Are They Good For?!

I love collaborating with other businesses in Sioux Falls and sharing them on my Facebook. Keep reading for a guest blog post by Sarah Callahan and why a home warranty could help you with your next home purchase!

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Buying a home is a lot like becoming a parent. None of us actually know what we are doing! We just keep faking it until we get it. I have bought 4 homes, and only in my last purchase did I even learn about home warranties. How is this even a service?! We all know about life insurance, but it’s really only good for those you love and after you die. It doesn’t help you in the day-to- day ins and out of life. However this crazy “insurance” can help you when things don’t work anymore. Since I just found out about this, I know other people won’t know about it either. I have a self-made mission to inform people about home warranty coverage. It’s great for the sellers and even better for the buyers!

 

A home warranty is an insurance policy on things in your home like your refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer, air conditioner and furnace. You can even add on other items like your pool, spa, or irrigation system. Many of us today have some basic ‘know how’, like we can change light bulbs. We tend to Google how to do something if we have never done it before.

 

But what if you are a crazy busy momprenuer (like myself), running a business, doing consulting, chasing a toddler, do you have time to sit and watch a 20 minute video on YouTube on how to clean out your air vents on your ac unit?! NOPE! If you do have 3 minutes to yourself you might spend it sneaking a candy bar in the closet to avoiding sharing it with your tiny tyrant.

 

Having a home warranty is kind of like having a handyman in your back pocket. When something stops working in your home, you don’t have to scour the world wide webs for who is the best plumber or electrician. Your home warranty service provider already has the connections. You don’t have to worry about what the service call will cost, because you already know the service will be covered by your home warranty. It can help ease your mind about how in the world you are going to get this fixed, to just finding the time to meet the service person.

 

It was worth it within the first year of owning our home. The cost is about $35 a month, giver or take. I woke up one morning, pre-toddler, and was going to jump in the shower before work, but EEK! There was no hot water! I found my handy home warranty refrigerator magnet on the fridge with the number and called right away. They sadly couldn’t get anyone in that day, but the very next day a service person was out and saw that our water heater had broken. He knew we had a home warranty and put the call into our provider. It was all covered! We got our new water heater installed and going right away. Best part is, we only had to pay for the initial service call of $75. TOTALLY WORTH IT!

 

 

Having owned 4 different homes, I have had my share of mishaps in and around my home. It will take forever to get them all out in the blog. Check out my blog following me in my life of having and not having the home warranty coverage when it was needed. Hopefully it’s an interesting way to learn about something boring… insurance.

http://blog.reviewhomewarranties.com

 

Sarah Callahan
AMatterofCents.com

 

Best Realtor Blog Awards 2017

 

Sioux Falls 2040

It sounds strange to even say 2040, let alone think about what life will be like in Sioux Falls 23 years from now, but that is Urban Planner Albert Schmidt’s job on a daily basis. He makes sure that land is being used in the right way, and the correct infrastructures are being put in place that make sense for the future and flow of growing Sioux Falls.

My real estate team, 605 Advantage Real Estate Group with Keller Williams Realty Sioux Falls, took a field trip this week to city hall to learn more about urban planning with Albert. I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed with all the information, but I know that Albert is an expert at what he does and is a wealth of knowledge for when I have questions.

 

[Listening to Albert’s presentation]

 

If you are interested in information about planning and building in Sioux Falls, click here. If you want to listen in on city council meetings to learn more about the progress of projects, click here.  A hot topic right now that Albert also knows the in’s and out’s of, is the floodplain issue. If you have questions if your home or potential home is in a floodplain, please reach out and I will get the correct information for you!

 

[Looking at the Sioux Falls 2040 map]

 

While a ton of man power goes in to planning the growth of a city,  most of it is tentative plans. Things can change quickly, so be sure you are getting the most up to date information if you have questions about zoning, flood plains or long term plans. I am always available for questions and to research all kinds of information, so please contact me by call or text at 605.261.8396.

By 2040 the Sioux Falls population is expected to be between 250,000 and 280,000 people.  How exciting to live in such a thriving city!

What Do The Numbers Say?

Unless you don’t check Facebook often, or read the occasional news story, you know that Sioux Falls is experiencing low inventory. It is a seller’s market with high demand and low supply (see previous post). But exactly how low are we talking? Here are the main points when looking at the Sioux Falls Market Statistics for the first quarter of 2017, or better known as Sadie’s 5 minute math lesson.

 

[I will make it as painless as possible for all of you that struggle with math]

 

In the last three months, there were 37 houses under $100,000 sold in Sioux Falls, which means there was on average 12.3 closings per month. This 12.3 is also known as the absorption rate.  There are currently 17 houses under $100,000 on the market today, which tells us we have 1.38 months of inventory (Active homes (17) divided by absorption rate (12.3) = 1.38). If not one more house came on the market, it would take 1.38 months to sell all 17. To put it in perspective, a balanced market has 5-8 months of inventory. Sioux Falls isn’t seeing those numbers until we reach the $300k-$400k range!

For the $100k-$200k price point, there were 238 homes sold in the last three months.

238(homes sold)/3 months = 79.33 homes sold per month = ABSORPTION RATE.

There are currently 51 homes on the market in Sioux Falls between $100k-$200k. If we take the absorption rate (79.33) divided by current homes on market (51), we get .64. That means we have less than one month of inventory for this price range. UNHEARD OF!

 

If you are thinking about being a move-up buyer, now is the time to get the most return from your first home and the best deal on a more expensive home. If you are looking at the under $200k range and thinking waiting will be better, I tell you that finding affordable homes in growing Sioux Falls will be a difficult task for the forseeable future. I will work diligently and fast so you are one of the first people to view those desirable homes. It’s going to be a rough one out there this year, but I’m up for the challenge.

 

[For more information about market stats in Sioux Falls or to view homes that are currently on the market, contact me through Facebook or at 605.261.8396!]

Real Time Results

If you are using the Zillow App to look at properties, stop what you are doing. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Zillow is not updated like the Keller Williams App so you may be looking at wrong prices or houses that are not even on the market anymore!  And the next best thing? This app is FREE!

 

Click here to download the app!

 

REASONS TO DOWNLOAD THE APP

  1. OPEN HOUSES – With one click you will get a list of open houses for that weekend. Starting with the ones closest to your current location.
  2. MORE INFORMATION – This app provides more information than the Zillow app. Find out listing details such HOA fees, and the correct status of the home.
  3. NEARBY HOMES – My favorite part of the app is seeing what homes closest to me at any given time are on the market. Whether I am in Sioux Falls, Mexico, or Florida, it will show me all homes on the market, not just Keller Williams homes.

 

[What the App looks like]

 

[Looking at homes while in Florida]

 

[I think i’ll take any of these]

 

It is seriously so fun to see what homes are on the market while on vacation. And then drive by them with all the information about the listing in the palm of my hand. If you’re not in the market for a home in the near future, download this app for that reason! And if you are starting to look for a new home, you will thank yourself later for using this app rather than outdated Zillow. If you have any questions please call or text me at 605.261.8396. Happy house hunting!

Click here to download the app!

What is Your Home Worth?

Supply and demand. It’s what drives society. At the grocery store buying fruit? You may want to know what’s in season and in biggest supply for the best deal. That hot electronic item of the year? It is most likely sold out by October because of high demand and then only found at a higher price tag.

Supply and demand ebb and flow until it finds an equilibrium. But right now, I can tell you the DEMAND for houses, especially under $200,000 far out weighs the SUPPLY here in Sioux Falls. It makes the hunt that much more timely and the chance of multiple offers more of a sure thing than a possibility. If you think your home falls in this price range, let’s talk. While demand is extremely high, let’s get you the best price for your home and in to a new one with a bigger down payment.

[Call or text 605.261.8396!]

 

The first question is “What do you think my house is worth?” I will gladly answer that by doing a comparative market analysis on your home. After looking at your home, similar homes that have sold in your area, and those coming on the market today, my excel spreadsheet of equations and I will share our suggested number. Hear me when I say this is a NO OBLIGATION appointment. You won’t hurt my feelings if now isn’t the time to sell, or if the number presented isn’t what you expected. I truly want what’s best for you and your family and would be honored to start the journey with you, regardless of the timeline.  With a better idea of what you would return on your home you can better make your future plans instead of doing it blindly.

 

[Small snippet of the market analysis]

If you would like to know what your home is worth, please reach out, I would love meet and catch up or meet for the first time! Spring is already here for the real estate world, don’t miss your opportunity.

The Groundhog Day House

Why in the world do we celebrate with this furry little weatherman named Phil every February 2nd? I wasn’t sure so I popped over to my friend Wikipedia and found the answer. “The celebration began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has its origins in ancient European weather lore, in which a badger or a sacred bear is the prognosticator, as opposed to a groundhog. The first documented American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, dated February 4, 1841, by Morgantown, Pennsylvania, storekeeper James Morris.”

Since then, the holiday has become even more popular after the debut of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993. A couple years ago the bed & breakfast featured in the movie came up for sale, so I thought you would like to see inside. In 2015 this 7 bedroom, 8 bathroom home being used as a bed and breakfast came up for sale at $785,000. This unique property is 5,815 square feet, has three fire places and a library. Located in Woodstock, Illinois, the home is at the high end for its area, which makes it a little more difficult to sell, but I have hope this successful bed and breakfast will continue for years to come in this beautiful and now famous home.

 

[Entrance to 344 Freemont Street]

 

[One of seven bedrooms]

 

[Renovations over $500,000 were made after new ownership in 2008]

 

[The home still serves as a bed and breakfast]

 

[Built in 1894 for McHenry County judge C.P. Barnes, his wife and two children]

 

This home reminds me of some in the Cathedral district of Sioux Falls. I am excited to see that area improve and the historic homes located there come back to life. Are you interested in owning a historic home? I would love to help you find it! Let’s chat soon about your options.

And if you haven’t seen Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, it’s a classic! And today seems like the perfect day to watch it. It will help us forget Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning 6 more weeks of winter! Stay warm friends!

Dreams of a Second Home

Last week Jaime and I headed northeast with a full car of food, card games, and even the kitties for a few days away after a busy retail season. Battle Lake, Minnesota may not have a lot to offer from the outside, but it is the location of Jaime’s parents beautiful lake cabin. There have been many family gatherings there, but we enjoyed the experience of a winter wonderland weekend-get-away just the two of us this time. Chris Vinson, Executive Vice President of the Plains Commerce Bank mortgage department, helped finance this cabin and then answered a few questions for me about owning a second home. His paraphrased answers are below:

 

 

[Chris on the far left with his family at our 605 Advantage Group Holiday Party]

 

How is financing a second home different than financing a first?

Generally speaking, it is very similar to financing a first home. The advantage is you can use the current interest rate, which is low, instead of what you have on your first home. Other positives are that you can finance up to 90% of the home, having only 10% down. And you can use the equity from your first home, making owning a second a seamless and easier process than most people think.

 

[Beautiful view from the lakeside of the cabin]

What is the biggest misconception about owning a second home?

The biggest misconception of owning a vacation home is people thinking you can’t rent it out. You must occupy the home 25% of the time, but other than that, you can rent it out for a week or on the weekends when you don’t plan to be there. This can help offset the expenses of an additional home.

 

[Snow shoeing for the first time around Lake Clitherall]

What are the benefits of owning a second home?

A second home adds a whole new level to family vacations. You can invite extended family since you most likely have more than one bedroom like a hotel room, and you are creating a meeting place for guests from all over the country. Whether that be on a lake, in the mountains or near the beach. You are creating a home away from home since you get the benefit of leaving town and your routine, but while on this vacation you are still ‘home’. It is the best of both worlds.

 

[Fresh snow at the entrance to the cabin]

What advice would you give to someone on the fence about exploring a second home?

I would suggest renting in the area you are thinking about buying.  Then you can get a feel if that is the right location for you. Also, talk to your current lender. Whether you are looking to buy in South Dakota, Minnesota or Arizona, they can help you with financing regardless of the state you are purchasing in.

 

As Chris described, owning a second home does not have to be an unattainable dream. It may be closer to reality than you think! Chris and everyone at Plains Commerce Bank are extremely knowledgable, professional and fun to work with. If you are thinking about purchasing a second home, I would highly suggest giving them a call! And when you are ready to start exploring homes, give me a call at 605.261.8396 or shoot me a message on Facebook, I would be honored to help you discover the right style and location for your family’s second home.

Chris Vinson: 
E: cvinson@plainscommerce.com

P: 605.330.0133

F: facebook.com/plainscommerce 

Getting The Stamp Of Approval

Yesterday I celebrated my four year anniversary of closing on my first home. I didn’t expect to own a home at 23 years old, but I am beyond grateful the seed was planted in my head and I explored my options and ultimately  found out it WAS possible for me. Many people continue to rent or live with their parents not knowing the process of getting approved and in a home is easier than they think. I sat down with Fairway mortgage banker Michael Benton to ask some questions about getting in to your first home:

 

What is the biggest misconception about financing your first house?

There are many misconceptions regarding financing a home but the most common would be with the down payment. A majority of borrowers believe you have to have a 20% down payment in order to purchase a home. There are several loan options that require a substantially less down payment, and for first time home buyers most states offer mortgage programs that assist with down payment and/or closing costs.

What is the first step when purchasing a home?

The first step is to speak with your mortgage lender and determine how much you can afford. Nothing is worse then falling in love with a home that is out of your price range. Getting pre-approved prior to home searching will save you and your realtor a lot of time and effort. I might put in that you should do a family budget to determine what payment fits the best within the budget.

 

[Getting lots of valuable information from Michael Benton]

 

What kind of loan do most people receive?

The three common mortgage loans widely used are: Conventional, FHA, USDA. No one borrower is the same, and so these programs should be selected based on how well the loan products meets their overall financial goals. During the loan application process the loan officer will help determine what the best program would be based on each specific clients overall financial picture.

How much money do you need as a down payment?

Each mortgage program requires a certain percentage of the loan to come from the borrowers own pocket or a gift. Conventional loan requires as little as a 3% down payment for first time home buyers, but generally requires 5% for all other loan purposes. FHA requires a 3.5% down payment, and USDA requires “NO” down payment. Please consult your mortgage lender as your down payment could change depending on your mortgage loan purpose and qualifications.

What advice would you give to someone on the fence about continuing to rent versus buying?

I would say have a great understanding for your current financial situation and what your wanting to accomplish. The number of years you plan on staying in the area will help determine whether you should buy or continue paying rent versus paying a mortgage could be considerably less than you think. Also, consider the pros and cons of owning versus renting i.e upkeep, privacy, building equity etc.
Your lender should be able to provide you with a Buy vs. Rent analysis and a Cost of Waiting analysis to better help you make your decision.

 

[My first home in 2013]

Getting approved and moving in to my first house was one of the most fun and rewarding times of my life. I have now spent four years building equity rather than paying a landlord and getting nothing in return. Getting pre-approved doesn’t cost a penny and has no obligations, so why not call Michael and see where you stand today. Your dream home might not be as far away as you think!

 

Click here for Michael’s Facebook page!

Click here for Sadie’s Facebook page!

That Kind Of Morning

With the frigid temps sweeping over the midwest this week, I thought it was a perfect morning to set up shop on the couch and do some research on other real estate blogs. How lucky am I that that is even an option? While working for yourself has its challenges, it certainly has its perks.

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[My view while writing this morning]

 

My goal was to find a couple other blogs to see what others were doing and to discover how I could improve both my blog and real estate skills. Below are a couple links to blogs that I found interesting and helpful for all businesses. Whether you are in sales, marketing, real estate or an entrepreneur, many of the skills are crossovers.

 

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Nothing will devalue a traditional phone call, but we all know texting is increasingly the preferred way of contact. Instead of ignore it, businesses should embrace it an learn to do it well. BoomTown, a real estate marketing company had a great blog post about lead generation that is worth a read.

 

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Keller Williams mission is “To build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, and lives worth living.” I love that this company encompasses our whole life in to it’s work. To piggy back on this idea, a blog from Afford Anything did an amazing job of breaking down 12 essential lessons you must learn about money and life. Most people don’t have time to read entire books on this subject, so finding shorter reads via blog are very helpful.

 

Other honorable mentions of blogs I found:

Bigger Pockets – “Leading source for the best articles on real estate investing, personal finance, marketing and being successful.”

85 Best Real Estate Blogs to Read in 2016 – A lot of content on this website, but you can find anything you wanted to know about marketing, investing and more.

 

Even though blogging is increasing in popularity, the midwest seems to be slower to catch on. If you know of a local blogger, no matter the subject, please send me a link! I would love to support other local bloggers and see what others are doing!

 

Save The Dates

I always say to my self, “Oh after this life will slow down,” or “after this I will have some free time.” But somehow life continues to be busy and fly by as fast as the leaves falling from the trees. Mostly good things of course, so I wanted to share what I’ve been busy planning for in the coming weeks and invite you to some fun social gatherings that also double as charity events. Tis the season!

 

This Sunday I will be modeling my friend Katie’s boutique’s winter line, Glamour Defined, at the Paint It Pink Event at the Hilton Garden Inn. It is a style show and brunch that benefits the Wig Program at Avera McKennan to help women who have lost their hair through cancer. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. It’s going to be a fun and rewarding event! I have donated my hair twice before and plan to again in the next year. Even what you consider a small thing can be a great blessing to someone else. I hope you join us this Sunday at 11!

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[2013 when I donated 11 inches of my hair]

 

Next Thursday, October 27th is the Keller Williams BOO event from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Bring your kids to 5915 S Remington Place by 57th and Western for a Halloween party! Every mom, dad, super hero, elsa and scary creature is welcome! There will be indoor games, prizes and trick-or-treating. But the most fun is the group costume the 605 Advantage Group is planning. There are nine of us participating, it’s real estate related and I’m sure you have all played in this world before. Those are my clues, stop by Thursday to see what we are! Happy Halloween!

 

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[Kids at last years BOO! event]

 

Our most anticipated event this year is the first annual 605 Holiday Extravaganza! And it’s going to be as epic as it sounds. Mark your calendar for December 10th from 3 – 6 p.m. for a holiday open house where you can take free pictures with santa, visit Santa’s reindeer, snack on delicious appetizers and keep the kids occupied with fun Christmas activities. Along with a generous donation from Plain’s Commerce Bank, we will be collecting items to be donated to the Children’s Home Society. Click here to view their wish list and donation ideas. If I don’t have your address and you would like to come, please message me! More info to come as we get closer to the event.

 

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[Tip Top Camel & Reindeer will bring Santa’s reindeer to our event]

 

 

Along with these events I hope you join me in, my next couple months will include a trip to the east coast, family visiting Sioux Falls from Washington and Maryland, Thanksgiving, two work Christmas parties, a wedding, my husbands birthday, and Christmas.

I was quite mistaken to think life would slow down soon! What are you looking forward to most this holiday season? Do you have an event you would like me to share? Best of luck fitting everything in your schedule and happy holidays!

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