Best Month to Sell Your Home

Best Month to Sell Your Home

Best Month to Sell Your Home
Best Month to List Your Home for Sale

The spring housing market is off to the races! The inventory of homes for sale is increasing, buyers are out in force, and interest rates have remained low, peaking the interest of buyers and sellers previously on the fence about making a move.

New research from shows that the first week of April is actually the best time to list your house for sale! The report used “trends in median listing prices, views per property on, home price drops, median days on market, and number of listings on the market over the last three years,” to determine a ranking for every week of the year.

Listing your home in the first week of April contributes 14x more property views, 5% less competition from other home sellers, and results in the home being sold 6 days faster!

So when is the Best Month to Sell Your Home?

Below is a graph indicating the average score for each month of the year.

April is the Best Month to List Your Home for Sale
Data Demonstrates that April is the Best Time to List Your Home for Sale

It should come as no surprise that April and May dominate as the top months to sell. The second quarter of the year (April, May, June) is referred to as the Spring Buyers Season, when competition is fierce to find a dream home, often leading to bidding wars.

However, there is one caveat worth mentioning. When broken down by metro, noticed that while warmer climates share an overall trend, they have different top sales months. The best month to get the most exposure in Miami, FL, for instance, is August, while in Phoenix, AZ, June leads the charge.

If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area to get you the most exposure to the buyers ready and willing to make a move!

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Use Your Tax Refund to Buy a House

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Home Ownership!  How much of your tax refund to buy a house can you use?

Tax Refund to Buy a Home
Tax Refund could Cover Closing Costs

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $3,143 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $3,436 last year.

Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals. For anyone looking to buy a home in 2019, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment!

The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state.  The average tax refund by state can demonstrate how much of your tax refund to buy a house can be used.

average tax refund by state
average tax refund by state

Many first-time buyers believe that a 20% down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. Programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all allow for down payments as low as 3%. Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

If you started your down payment savings with your tax refund check this year, how close would you be to a 3% down payment?

The map below shows what percentage of a 3% down payment is covered by the average tax refund by taking into account the median price of homes sold by state.

how much home can your tax refund buy you
How much of your down payment can be covered by your tax refund

The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to home ownership! For those in Oklahoma looking to purchase their first homes, their tax refund could potentially get them 85% closer to that dream!

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task. But the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you can be to make the best decision for you and your family! This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership!

Finally, contact the McLain Realty Team of RE/MAX 365 today!  Use your Tax Refund to Buy a Home!  We will get your the home you want at the price and terms you want!  Cell: 908-878-9356

Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of your Home

Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home
20 Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of your Home


Finally Some Highlights: Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of your Home

  • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

What Credit Score do I Need to Buy a House

What Credit Score do I need to Buy a House

What Credit Score do I need to buy a house
What credit score do I need to buy a house

Have you ever wondered what credit score you I need to buy a house?

There are many misconceptions about the credit score needed to buy a house. Recently, it was reported that 24% of renters believe they need a 780-800 credit score to be considered for a mortgage. The reality is they are misinformed!
Only 25% of the Americans have a FICO® Score between 740 and 800. Here is the breakdown according to Experian:

  • 16% Very Poor (300-579)
  • 18% Fair (580-669)
  • 21% Good (670-739)
  • 25% Very Good (740-799)
  • 20% Exceptional (800-850)

Randy Hopper, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending for Navy Federal Credit Union said,

Just because you have a low credit score doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a home. There are a lot of options out there for consumers with low FICO® scores,”

There are many programs available with low or no credit score requirement. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now requires a minimum FICO® score of 580 if you want to qualify for the low down payment advantage. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not set a minimum credit score requirement, but most lenders require a score of at least 640Veterans Affairs (VA) loans have no credit score requirement.

As you can see, none of them are above 700!

So What Credit Score is needed?

It is true that the average FICO® score for all closed loans in January was 726, but there are plenty of people taking advantage of the low credit score requirements. Here is the average FICO® Score of closed FHA Loans since April 2012 according to Ellie Mae:What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House? | MyKCMAs you can see, that number has been dropping for the last seven years. As a matter of fact, the average FHA Purchase FICO® Score reported in January 2019 was 675!
One of the challenges is that Americans are unsure about their credit score. They just assume that it is too low to qualify and do not double check. confirmed that only 57% of individuals sought out their credit score at least once last year.
FICO® reported,

Since October 2009, the average year-over-year FICO® Score has steadily and consistently increased, from a low of 686 in 2009 to the latest high of 704 as of 2018.”

Here is the increase in the average US FICO® Score over the same period of time as the graph earlier.

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

At least 84% of Americans have a score that will allow them to buy a house. If you are unsure what your score is or would like to improve your score in order to become a homeowner, let’s get together to help you set a path to reach your dream!


Sell My House Fast

Sell My House Fast

Sell my House
Sell my House Fast

One of the first questions that clients ask is how can we sell my house fast?  It is Simple. Proven Award Winning Marketing Systems.  Our Cerified Pre-Owned Home Program will Sell Your Home Fast.  Firstly, this program sells homes in NJ 28 Days FASTER than the MLS Average.  Therefore, it is faster than many other regular single agent’s Approaches.  Lastly, it will sell on average for 4.65% MORE Money than the MLS Average.

Imagine being able to Sell Fast but Also for More Money!

Call the McLain Realty Team of RE/MAX 365 Today to schedule your private consultation.  We can review the other proven systems and guarantees that will sell fast and for more money.

John McLain Real Estate Broker / Owner of RE/MAX 365    908-878-9356

First Step to Purchasing a Home

First Step to Purchasing a Home

The First Step to Purchasing a Home

First Step to Purchasing a Home
First Step to Purchasing a Home

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

The First Step to Purchasing a Home This Year depends greatly on several things.  One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

The First Step to Purchasing a Home this Year means working with professionals that can guide you through the entire transaction.  Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so today.

For More Information on The First Steps to Purchasing a Home, Contact:

McLain Realty Team of RE/MAX 365

908-878-9356  Direct

908.923.4538 Office

Home of NJ Exclusive 2 Year Love it or Leave It Guarantee!  When you buy a home through anyone on the McLain Realty Team and are not 100% in love with it for ANY reason within 24 months after closing, we will personally buy it back or sell it for free!

Real Estate Market Projected in 2019

Real Estate Market Projected in 2019

Some Highlights:

  • ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes!
  • Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic.
  • All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

UNICOM Science and Technology Park

UNICOM Science and Technology Park

UNICOM Whitehouse Station NJ
UNICOM Global Whitehouse Station NJ Campus

First of all, the Merck Campus has been shut down for quite a while.  As a result the Future of the Campus was uncertain.  That is until a Large IT Company found the property.  This IT Company from Beverly Hills is UNICOM Global.  UNICOM Global is looking to make it there own.  The New Site will be named UNICOM Science and Technology Park or USTP.

While the current real estate market is flat, many of the companies in the area are optimistic. So, Beautiful Hunterdon County will see positive growth in the region.  The World-Class IT Real Estate Property consists of 1,100 Acres. These 1,100 acres consist of well landscaped and park-like grounds. The Grounds Consist of Office Buildings, Innovation Labs, Conference Centers, Heliports, Child Care Center, and much more.  With the Innovation that we have seen from the CEO and Founder of UNICOM, we are confident that the same will be brought to the campus.  USTP amenities include video conference centers, wellness centers, roadways, woodland assessments, cropland assessments, and a Sport Complex.  Above all, the Sports Complex will have everything from Volleyball Court to Softball Fields.

If you have never been up there, it is truly an incredible campus.  Most Noteworthy is UNICOM’s willingness to invest in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Even more, this will be a cornerstone of UNICOM’s work in the region.

UNICOM Science and Technology Park


For more detailed information, please feel free to call or e-mail.

John McLain Broker / Owner

RE/MAX 365

Office: 908-923-4538

Cell: 908-878-9356

RE/MAX 365 offers proven Award Winning Systems that simply no other company can.  Most popular is our Guaranteed Home Sale Program and our 2 Year Love It or Leave It Guarantee!   When you purchase a home through anyone on the McLain Realty Team of RE/MAX 365 and do not Love It for ANY reason within 24 months after closing, we will personally buy the home back or sell it for free!*

Your Home Sold in 47 Days, Guaranteed! Or We will Buy It Ourselves!*

*Restrictions Apply*

Interest Rates are Headed Higher in 2019

Interest Rates are Headed Higher in 2019

interest rates heading in 2019?
Where are Interest Rates Heading in 2019?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019.

Interest Rates Headed in 2019
Mortgage Rates Increasing

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. But don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year!

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

Interest Rates are Headed Higher in 2019

2019 Mortgage Rates
2019 Mortgage Rates

Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.  The 2019 Real Estate Market is looking to stay steady over the next 12 months with no backwards growth.  The amount of homes sold as a result will not be in negative territory.


Interest Rates are Headed Higher in 2019

7 Reasons to List your Real Estate this Holiday Season!

List your House for Sale This Holiday
List your house for sale this holiday season

List your Real Estate for Sale this Holiday Seasons!

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year.

Housing Supply yoy last 12 months during the holidays season
Housing Supply YOY During Holiday.

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.

Bottom Line 

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your real estate probably doesn’t make sense.  The inventory is extremely low and the buyers that Want to buy are looking right now.  No more Tire Kickers just previewing home after home.   List your Real Estate for sale this Holiday Season and statistically, you will not be dissapointed.