Tag Archive | Real Estate

Right Size Your Home

If you are house hunting and looking to down-size or right-size and don’t want to spend as much time with yard work, a zero-lot line home could be for you. Typically a zero-lot line home can be a home with a shared common wall with the home constructed on a lot line. A home built along the property line allows maximum use of indoor space and outdoor living of a smaller lot. A focal point of the layout can feature a large private outdoor courtyard with minimal lawn or garden yet have space for a decorative water feature and plantings with hardscape. Baby Boomers and Young Professionals alike find attractive such a casual relaxing lifestyle. Sometimes called Garden or Patio Home these homes could offer just your type of home ownership.

Find Your Home atwww.TulseyTownHomes.com


Prevent Foundation Damage by Watering Your Foundation

With temperatures in Tulsa well over 100 degrees for several weeks now (just look at the local KJRH Channel 2 forecast), I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone about the importance of watering your foundation to prevent future foundation damage and costly repairs.

kjrh weather forecast

Why should you water your foundation?

Because the soil underneath your home expands and contracts constantly every year. Most of the time it isn’t enought to cause any severe damage to your home, but in drought like temperatures the lack of water can be hazardous to your foundation. As the soil gets extremely dry, it will contract and leave less support for you foundation and the weight of your home.

The best way to keep your soil moist is to use a soaker house and place it about 6 inches away from your home’s foundation. Let it run long enough to not just soak the surface, but to penetrate enough to soak the soil well beneath the surface, keeping in mind that your foundation is about 2 feet deep.
water your foundation

While you may see a big increase in your monthly water bill, the cost to keep your foundation in tact is well worth the cost. Keep in mind that recently, a client of mine made an offer on a home and backed out after inspections revealed that the home needed $9,000 worth of foundation repair.

Is it a Gift or Inheritance?

Transferring the title of a home from one person to another may seem simple but it could have a significant tax implication.

When a person inherits property, the basis is “stepped-up” to fair market value at the time of the decedent’s death. On the other hand, a gift has a carry-over basis which means that the recipient receives the unrealized gain also.

As an example, let’s say an elderly parent, in an attempt to get their affairs in order, gives their home to their adult child. The rationale might be that they are the sole beneficiary and will get the property eventually. In an effort to settle things early, unnecessary income tax may be incurred.

If the home was purchased for $20,000 and worth $100,000 at the time of transfer, there is a possible gain of $80,000. However, if the adult child inherited the property at the time of the parent’s death, their new basis would be $100,000 or the fair market value at the time of death and the possible gain would be zero.

This is meant to be an example and many other variables could be involved. If you’re concerned about a situation, you should seek specific advice from a tax professional and your attorney.

As always, I’m here to help you as your real estate professional. If you find you are in a situation where you wish to sell the property, I can guide you through the process of getting the home ready to sell.  I have a team of reliable, reputable and reasonable resources from cleaning, staging, hauling, repairs and estate sales that can help you through what is sometimes an overwhelming process.

I am always available to answer your real estate questions.

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Buying Short Sale Houses

First, what is a short sale? A short sale is opposite of what it sounds like…. a short sale does not take a short amount of time, it often take 3-6 months (or longer) from offer to close. A short sale is when the sellers mortgage holder is accepting less than full payoff of their mortgage in exchange for releasing the lien. But if you are long on patience, have an open time frame in which to purchase and are hoping to get a good deal, the short sale market may be a good choice for you.

There are several importants things to consider before entering the short sale market:
Know your market: Not every short sale property is a good deal. Sometimes the banks set the list price of the property and when doing so set a price higher than the true market value. It is important to know the values in the area and the condition of the property.
Work with an experienced agent: There are a lot of potential issues in trying to purchase a short sale and an experienced agent can help you navigate them. It is important to know how far along in the foreclosure process the property is and whether or not there are additional liens or encumbrances on the property that might prevent the sale.
Be prepared to be patient: The banks have been working to streamline their short sale processes, but it may take 3-6 months (or longer) to successfully purchase a short sale, and some of them may go to sheriff’s sale before approval can be reached.
For additional information on short sales, foreclosures, homes for sale in Tulsa, visit my website at www.Tulsasrealestate.com.
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Susie Genet
Realtor Associate
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Tulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling?

Tired Seller of Tulsa home for saleTulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling after it’s been on the market for any period of time. Some sellers begin to panic sooner than others and look to their Realtor for answers.
One of my listings recently went under contract after only 30 days on market, but we had 20 showings before we got an offer. Feedback from the showings was very positive, but no offer after 20 showings? You can imagine how frustrated that Seller was. Then, as luck would have it, we received multiple offers on a Saturday evening, and are now under contract with a good solid Buyer. So, sometimes it is just a waiting game and patience is required.
Another listing I have has been on the market almost three months, and this morning I pulled comps (comparable properties) to present to my Seller. What we need to evaluate now is what properties are selling and why other properties were chosen over ours.
Although this home is in a popular midtown Tulsa neighborhood, the layout of the home has challenges. There are steep stairs leading to a 2nd level master bedroom that would be okay for a 25 year-old buyer, but not a consideration for a 45 year-old buyer. There is only a half-bath in the master bedroom, so whomever occupies that space will have to go downstairs to shower. Neither of these obstacles are easy or inexpensive to fix, so an adjustment must be made in list price.
When I reviewed the comps, I discovered that eight properties had closed in the past two months and that TWELVE properties are currently pending.That’s a total of 18 homes that were chosen over our listing. So, the inventory is moving and the Buyers are out there. The harsh realism is that we were not picked.
It is better to react to your current market conditions instead of burying your head in the sand and expecting for the best. The Seller has control over whether their home sells when they are provided current and consistent information from their Realtor.
And, as Buyers are more internet savvy these days, the first question they ask is “how many days has this home been on market?” The longer the days on market, the lower the property value is perceived. Buyers wonder, “why has nobody else snapped this property up?”
When Tulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling – be prepared to hear a harsh response. If the condition of your home can not be improved upon, you must lower your price. Consider feedback you’ve received and definitely pull comps to evaluate what has been chosen over your home for sale. 
If you are interested in selling your home in the greater Tulsa area, do please read more about our listing services and give me a call! 918-852-5036
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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a Home

1. What can you reasonably afford?

Before you decide whether you want a 3 or 4 bedroom home, you need to figure out what you can afford. That means taking inventory of your income, expenses, assets, savings and debts. Once you know where you stand it’s time to sit down with a financial adviser and review your monthly cash flow vs. the price of home you can afford.

2. Have you considered all the hidden costs?

Many people reason that if their potential mortgage payment would be less than their current rent payments, they should buy a home. The problem is, they’re forgetting all the hidden costs of home ownership. Consider property taxes, home owner’s insurance, Realtor fees, closing fees, utilities and maintenance. They add up!

3.  What will your life look like in five years?

While you might be financially ready to buy a home, it might not make sense with your current career path or relationship. Is it possible you could be transferred to another office? If you’re looking with someone else, are they considering grad school in the future? Just because interest rates are low right now, and you’ve crunched numbers enough to know you can afford the move, is it something you want to commit to? One of the most expensive assets you’re ever going to invest in is your home, you want to be ready to take on that responsibility.

4. What kind of neighborhood do you want?

If you’re a younger buyer, being in a metropolitan area might be important to your decision. If you’re thinking about starting a family in the near future, you may want to consider the quality of local schools, access to public parks and neighborhood safety. Decide on a few areas you’re interested in and start checking out the price range for homes. It’s good to start looking a full year in advance do you have time to review as many options as possible.

5. Are you working with the right Realtor?

Just like any other financial relationship, your Realtor must mesh with what you want for yourself. Don’t be afraid to conduct mini interviews with a few Realtors to compare the differences in personality and availability. One mistake many people make is using a Realtor just because they’re a friend or relative, not because they’re familiar with the right area. You owe it to yourself to work with someone who has the knowledge and expertise for the region you want to live.

SOURCE: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/9-questions-ask-buying-first-151451984.html

When to write a contingent offer in real estate

image for domino real estate transationsMy client relocating from Houston to Tulsa told me that he did not need to write an offer on his Tulsa purchase contingent upon his home selling in Houston. His closing date on his Houston home was scheduled a few weeks prior to a possible close in Tulsa.

I asked him if he could proceed with a Tulsa purchase IF his home in Houston did not sellfor some reason. Did he have accessible funds to purchase a 2nd home regardless if his Houston home sold?

Well, at first he looked at me like I was crazy, but admitted that he would NOT be able to proceed with a home purchase in Tulsa if his Houston sale fell through. What kind of predicament would he be in if the first domino did not fall?


“Then, you need to write an offer contingent upon the sale of your Houston home,” I replied.

A contingent offer is NOT a detriment if your home is already under contract. Yes, it slightly increases the unpredictability of the transaction, but it’s not the same as writing a contingent offer when your home is only listed for sale, but NOT under contract.

When you submit an offer contingent upon the successful sale of your home under contract, the Seller and Listing Realtor will want to see: (1) your executable contract; (2) that Buyer’s pre-qualification letter; and if available, (3) inspection reports and appraisal.

When to write a contingent offer in real estate

In this case, the inspections and appraisal had been completed, so no surprises there. Knowing that those two issues are out of the way will make them much more comfortable about accepting your contingent offer.

Everyone involved in a transaction deserves to know where everybody else is and what they’re dealing with. The quickest and surest route to a smooth transaction is 100% honesty and transparency when possible.

If you are relocating to Tulsa – whether selling a home elsewhere or not – I would love to welcome you to Tulsa and help you find the perfect home. Please call me to assist you! 918-852-5036

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What IS midtown Tulsa?

Midtown Tulsa – the best little corner in Tulsa

Midtown Tulsa is not just a geographic area – it’s a culture, a mind-set, if you will.

Yes, we love our historical neighborhoods and the architecture of our older homes, but midtown is more than that.

We have the highest walkability score in our city, and we have multiple public parks. Within two blocks of my midtown home are four parks: RiverParks, Veterans Park, the Creek Stickball park and the Creek Council Oak Tree site, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
We want to walk to our jobs and cycle to our activities. The expansion of the Riverparks has been a huge aid in these endeavors. In fact, our city officials are currently discussing plans to make our roads more bike-friendly.

We have the highest concentration of locally-owned businesses, and we support those businesses. Whether in Utica Square, downtown, Cherry Street or Brookside, we have many restaurants, groceries, pet supply stores and a variety of retail stores owned and operated by fellow Tulsans. We take pride in keeping our money local.

We love our farmer’s markets and local diners. Our farmer’s market on Cherry Street on Saturday morning has become quite the gathering place with opportunities to purchase locally-grown, organic produce¸ dairy products, meats, breads, soaps and more.

Ask Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS about midtown and enjoy our video – We GET it!

Most of the city’s 5K runs begin at Veteran’s Park and our ethnic festivals are found on the RiverParks, the Greek church at 13th & Guthrie or the German American Society which is on the border of the historic Gillette neighborhood.

But midtown is STILL about our historic neighborhoods and older homes with beautiful architecture – often still containing knob and tube electrical wiring. We regularly clean out tree roots from our sewer lines, because we refuse to eliminate our beautiful old oak and maple trees. We restore our homes steadily and patiently – always a project on the horizon.

And you’ll get different answers from different people as to the boundaries of midtown. I consider midtown boundaries to be Riverside to the west; Yale to the east (with the exception of White City and Lortondale); Tulsa University area to the north; and 41st Street (maybe 51st Street) to the south.

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Home Buyers: It’s the Monthly Payment that matters!

Home buyers are distracted by interest rates and mortgage insurance when they should only be focused on the monthly payment and whether or not that’s affordable. If you can buy a house today and keep your monthly payment under $800, that’s absolutely going to be less than you would pay in rent – and the most solid investment you can make.
 monthly payment for home
Yesterday my first-time home buyers Matt and Sarah closed on a lovely home in midtown Tulsa, and their monthly payment, including property taxes and hazard insurance, is less than $650 per month 
It’s a beautiful and spacious 3-bedroom home built in 1935 – with beautiful hardwood floors, large lot, partial basement and detached garage with a work area. Not only is the neighborhood established and attractive, this particular home had everything on their wish list except a second bathroom.
With FHA financing, the Seller contributing to their closing costs – and good ol’ Mom helping out with the 3.5% down-payment, these young adults made their first home purchase and a lasting investment. Their daughter Annabelle will grow up in the bedroom that has the window seat with the cushion on top and storage below – well, because that’s perfect for a little girl. Family meals will be prepared in the large kitchen and served in the formal dining room, as they have for the past 75 years.

And it will be their home where they will build lasting memories. All for less than a $650 monthly payment.

What was the sales price, you ask? Does it matter? We did indeed get a good deal on the house – a gem that we jumped on quickly. It appraised for $10,000 more than the list price, which probably made ME feel better than anyone else involved.  

Interest rates are rising and there’s no reason to believe that they shouldn’t or that they will drop at some point. NOW is a good time to buy.

If you are considering home ownership, call a local Lender and ask how much you can spend to keep your monthly payments at $800 per month or $2,000 per month – whatever fits your budget. Stay within your comfort zone and don’t over-spend.  

Don’t wait until you get your credit score up ten points in order to get a better interest rate. It will be a wash at best and may actually hurt you to wait. Don’t linger until you have more money saved up for closing costs. Don’t put off calling a Lender. Don’t be embarrassed to ask family for help.  

If you are qualified to purchase a home, contact a Realtor and start shopping now. And, if you’re shopping in the greater Tulsa area, give me a call – I pick out great homes! 918-852-5036

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