Why Is Auburn So Special?

There are very few places quite like Auburn. It's a lifestyle and a feeling. It's all things good in life, all in one place.

Let us show you the wonderful benefits Auburn has to offer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dont forget to grab your copy of our Bi-Weekly Real Estate Newspaper!

If you haven't yet grabbed your own copy of our wonderful bi-weekly real estate newspaper, Auburn's Real Estate Star, don't wait!  This easy and interesting reading paper is out in local breakfast spots, coffee shops, and several car dealerships and repair shops about every two weeks.

In it, you will find info and advice about real estate questions, loans, and property ownership, as well as a list of recent sales in and around Auburn.  If you would prefer having a copy personally mailed to you by us, just drop us an email at our editor's address, and let us know!

Here is the address to send to:

FSBO sellers leave a lot on the table

As you may already know, FSBO is common lingo for home-owners who decide to sell without the  help of a real estate agent. It comes from the abbreviation For Sale By Owner.  Since a lot of our clients have been disillusioned FSBOs, we’ve gathered a little insight as to why any seller would want to go it alone, without the help of a tested professional. 

Primarily they hope to save an agent’s commission, usually about 6% of the closing price.  They may also think that the process will be simpler by handling it themselves.  But what they’re missing out on is a chance to appear in the Multiple Listing Service, some solid advice on pricing, a chance to reach niche markets and out-of-the area buyers, great negotiating skills, and informed recommendations for specialists in every phase of the sale.  This includes licensed repair gurus, and advice or professional help in staging great open houses.  FSBO’s rarely generate as much buyer interest as homes marketed by professional agents. And those that do sell bring in a lot less money at closing time. 

The National Association of Realtors found that FSBO’s net out at an average of $40,100 less than homes marketed by realtors.  Whenever FSBOs show up at our offices, these are the services we enthusiastically put to work for them, but we never mention how wasted time has cost in mortgage payments, maintenance and utilitie, or how rising interest rates may have affected their pool of potential buyers.

by Annie Holmes

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Why isn’t everyone going solar?

Everybody’s heard about solar power for homes, everyone knows it’s probably a good thing—but relatively few are enjoying the benefits. Why is that?

To start with, there’s an urban myth floating around that you’ve got to have full sun to collect solar energy. If you live in the shade, the saying goes, you’re not a candidate. In addition, many homeowners think a solar installation is radically expensive. Others regard the sight of those rooftop collector panels as a jarring contrast to the carefully planned architecture of the house they adore.
You could have said the same things about us once—until runaway energy bills drove us to look for alternatives.

The problem arose with our vacation rental. It’s a house on the river, so it’s most in demand during the hot beach and rafting months. And while it’s nice to have a tenant waiting list, the cost of air conditioning threatened to put us in the hole.

For us, solar was the perfect solution. Our monthly $400-to-$600 electric bill dropped by about 60%, and we were able to have the job done with a no-interest loan. In addition, we garnered other benefits, including rebates, government grants, and tax incentives. The federal solar Investment Tax Credit is a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties that convert to solar energy by the end of 2016.

In researching the options for going solar—and there are many—our biggest decision was whether to buy or lease. The enticement to lease is that this choice requires less out-of pocket expense. It usually comes with the same zero- or low-interest loan, and the rental company handles all necessary maintenance and repairs. But because they’re still the owners, they’re the ones who get all the financial incentives except for lower utility bills.

And leasing does present one more negative. Solar converts who opt for renting versus buying usually base their decision on attractive, no-money-down loan terms. They’re going to save so much money on utility bills, they figure, that paying off the loan later will be no problem.
But a loan is still a loan, and real estate analysts have begun to issue warnings about home sales that fall through because some buyers can’t qualify to assume that one additional loan to the solar company.

Homes with their own solar set-up, however, have jumped in value, and are sure to keep on rising.