Go?

Pokemon might be coming to your neighborhood.  The app claiming to get gamers off the couch has sent them into the streets, roaming parks and other public places in a zombie-like state.  Online real estate resource Trulia couldn’t resist getting into the game (and probably tapping the phenomenon for publicity) by creating a “cheat map” for enthusiasts that works like this according to Trulia’s senior public relations manager Andrea McDonald:  “Assuming the Pokémon in Go are popping up based on the habitat they thrive in, we have tapped into our map making prowess to showcase the potential hotspots across the U.S. for Electric, Fire, Grass, Psychic and Water Pokémon types.”  

Whether you’re looking to “catch ’em all” or for someplace to live, apps can be a great help.  They don’t replace the expertise of great real estate agents though.  We happen to know a lot of them and we’re happy to connect you.  The GCS Title team also works really hard to make sure buyers and sellers don’t feel like they’re walking blindly through the closing process…we love being part of your home buying and selling experience.  How can we help you? ~Charlie

Boom?

Seems like you can’t look, watch or listen to anything without hearing something about mortgage interest rates, the impact of Brexit an rates and even “more historic lows” and a possible refi boom.   There’s a ton of articles, information, speculation and opinion about what homeowners can do and gain during times of low interest rates and a lot of it is interesting and helpful.  Here are a couple highlights:

  • Save thousands of dollars on the life of their loans by getting a lower rate or shorter term (15 vs. 30 year)
  • Pay of a home equity line of credit
  • Consolidating debt
  • Get rid of mortgage insurance

These can all be great things…the problem is, you can’t know for sure if any of these things are possible and if they make sense for you personally when it comes to costs/fees/savings without getting specific, professional advice.  While it looks so available online, it’s not necessarily personalized…a mortgage calculator just doesn’t tell the whole story.  At GCS Title, we work with many, many incredible mortgage loan officers.  These people are licensed, experienced – and they’re actual, local people who you can reach without going through an automated system – which is a big deal when you’re making choices and decisions that affect such a big part of your finances.  Loan officers are happy to discuss your situation and let you know if you have options you didn’t know you had and their findings will be geared to what’s right for you – no obligation.  Let us know if we can introduce you to a loan officer who can answer your questions…a refi boom could be a great thing – as long as it doesn’t blow up in your face.  ~Charlie

We “Get It.”

If you read the team bios at gcstitle.com, you’ll notice themes:  We all appreciate how every day in this business is different, we thrive on solving problems and we love helping people – not only buyers and sellers who are going through an important transaction that they only do a handful of times in their lives, but the Realtors as well.  The 2016 National Association of Realtors member profile came out recently and I noticed that the median gross income for agents with 16 years of experience or more went up $4600 last year – great news for those seasoned pros.  Not so great news was the fact that NAR members with two years of experience or less fell $600.  Being self-employed and working on straight commission is challenging and we understand the importance of every client and transaction to the Realtors we work with and we consistently work to help agents and loan officers to develop business instead of simply asking them for it.   

Closings and everything that goes into them is our business at GCS but we believe our role extends beyond that in the industry and beyond.  We also work with our real estate and lending partners to reach out to the buying and selling public, participate in community events with Spare Key, support our veterans through organizations like the American Warrior Initiative.  We believe we’re all in this together and we’re always looking for ways to support our partners and community.  How can we help you?  ~Charlie

Short Supply

Every day, the GCS Title team and I talk with real estate and mortgage professionals. A hot topic lately is “low inventory” in some areas and price ranges. It’s an issue at the national level too according to Zillow – their Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell says, ” There still aren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with the high demand from every type of home buyer. In many markets, those looking to buy a home in the bottom or middle of the market will need to be prepared for bidding wars and homes selling for over the asking price. This summer’s selling season’s borders will most likely be blurred again as many buyers are left without homes and will need to keep searching.” With this in mind, it’s a great idea for current homeowners to find out what their properties are worth. CoreLogic reported that home prices grew 6.7% year-over-year nationwide, so you could have more equity than you think.

Homeowners: Have you checked in with a Realtor lately? You may have options you didn’t know you had. We can connect you with great real estate pros who can give you current, accurate information for your home and neighborhood. Get a status report…you may get some big ideas!

~Charlie

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