The Mondo Life- Real Estate, better living & fun.

So what about this whole real estate thing anyway?

Welcome to my inaugural blog for Patch. For those of you that have been following my tips and photos from my Facebook page, I'll be cross posting this on Facebook so you'll see this in addition to my regular photo/graphical posts. Those of you Patchians who want more info about homes/land or maybe even little ol' me, my business Facebook page is  http://www.facebook.com/SteveburrellRMHG.

Well enough of the introductions let's get to it!

Real Estate blogs abound with titles like  “Top 10 selling tips”, “5 ways for buyers to win big in today’s market”, “Don’t let these mistakes derail your next house purchase” and a dozen more you can probably come up with.  While there is always good advice to give and relevant questions to answer, sometimes I feel it’s important to stop and ask why all of this IS so important.  What makes this aspect of our life occupy so many words from experts, debate amongst friends and speculation by pundits?  The National Association of Realtors spends millions of dollars a year telling you how home-ownership is a lynch pin of economic stability in America. But is it? What makes that property a home and why does the concept of hearth and home resonate so strongly with us?

Market trends and pricing are based on supply and demand. But in world of home sales we have a unique product. New homes can be built but there is only so much land to put it on. Location in real estate is often about convenience or views but sometimes it’s about availability and how much that location may cost. In this market  many new homeowners are going to be dependent upon current homeowners making the decision to relocate to supply them with a place to call their own.  In an area like the Cedar Valley, new construction prices are generally about double what the typical entry level home costs ($110- 130,000 +/-).

So, where does that leave us? With decisions to make! Issues like 100 year old construction, knob and tube wiring, additions put on by previous owners, homes with the same owner for 50 years or a house that was bought 18 months ago that is back on the market. Beyond the selection of a home we have the mortgage and lenders offering 30 year fixed, FHA/VA loans, 10/1 ARMS and 90% Insured Conventional products just to get started. Add to that seller pre-paids and closing costs, result of inspection requests including radon mitigation and the assorted underwriting questions about that $2000 deposit last month…have you glazed over yet?

My hope is to offer a blend of market information, how to advice and explanations of the real estate transaction process but beyond that, to reflect on the most important part; you and the place you call home. I have a close friend who is a pastor. We discussed that both our jobs bring us into contact with you at turning points in life. Graduations, new jobs, marriages, births are part, but we also are called on when there are separations, passing of a loved one or job changes. All these events are far more important than the simple numbers and dates that are often the central points of the paperwork. The feelings and needs of the client often require as much consideration and attention as any home inspection or financing contingency.

So in the time to come I hope you join me in exploring what makes a house a home, a sale or purchase a success and the best way to handle the challenges involved in all of it!  Your input is helpful to directing my posts in a productive direction.

As always, the opinions expressed are mine. My wife and my office both grudgingly acknowledge their attachment to me but are in no way responsible for my statements! 

Steve Burrell

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve Burrell August 08, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I was referred more specifically to the Cedar Valley but it is applicable in other areas of Iowa. Even Des Moines recovered fairly quickly all in all and while there are pockets of stagnant valuations, now that the excess new construction has been sold off things are trending back to a more normal sales rate.
Lindsay Pieters August 08, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Jessica, Cedar Falls is a college town, too.
Steve Burrell August 08, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Thanks Lindsay, I was just gonna let it slide since she grew up here ;^)
Jessica Miller August 09, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Oh yeah the UNIdome I remember seeing that ;) But I was wondering if the housing market was doing well there because it's a college town (as is Ames and Iowa City.) I know here in Ames that enrollment swells every year and so more housing is needed and obviously some of that need is served off campus.
Steve Burrell August 09, 2012 at 11:36 PM
UNI doesn't have the impact in terms of creating a shortage of single family housing as much as setting the entry level of homes close to campus based on what a rental will earn per room. With the proliferation of apartments and new on campus housing options I don't see that driving prices up. The continued economic success of the various businesses in the industrial park and the strength of the job situation in the area as a whole keep the prices stable.


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