Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18

Taking Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

by Amy McLeod Group

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainties about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need a down payment (the average down payment on all loans last year was 5%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income, and good credit history.

Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals who will all perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score® of all closed loans in September was 731, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all of your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer who can help you develop a spending plan, as well as help you determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure that you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

Let The McLeod Group Network assist you with all your home-buying needs! 971.208.5093 or [email protected].

By: KCM Crew

Wishing You a Spooktacular Day!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
610 Snead Drive N, Keizer, OR  97303

Rare opportunity to live in desirable McNary Estates! This beautifully updated, hard to find one level home is just waiting for you to arrive! Walls of windows and an expansive patio overlook the 3rd tee of the McNary Golf Club making this a golfers dream! Inside you will be equally impressed by the soaring high vaulted ceilings, glowing wood floors, glistening granite, a gas fireplace, modern fixtures, recessed lighting and 3 generously sized bedrooms in this flowing, open layout. A lovely formal entrance directs you to the gorgeous vaulted living room. This spacious room will accommodate large gatherings while still feeling cozy and livable. Get inspired in this chefs kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, an abundance of beautiful cabinetry and a breakfast bar open to the dining area with large picture window. Let your meals and memories be made here! Connecting to the family room for easy entertaining options where a stunning fireplace with tile surround is sure to be the focal point. A master suite sure to sweep you away features plush carpeting, a walk in closet, and private en suite. French doors lead to a bedroom or you could easily utilize this space as a home office or den. The large laundry room with sink and cabinetry helps you keep things tidy and organized. Quality landscaping, a peaceful water feature and attached 2 car garage check off the “must haves” on your list! Come enjoy all that 610 Snead Drive has to offer!

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.


Any horror movie fans worth their blood-drenched carving knives know that the brooding houses where villains stalk victims are often central to the most memorable moments in these gruesome flicks. Remember when Michael Myers falls off the balcony in "Halloween"? Or the haunted cookie-cutter suburban home in "Poltergeist"? How about the ending of "The Exorcist," when a possessed Father Damien Karras hurls himself out the bedroom window and tumbles down the stairs to his death? These homes were integral to the horror.

So as the ultimate Halloween treat, we decided to do a bit of real estate stalking of our own to locate the actual abodes used in five classic horror movies to see how they've held up, and how much they're worth today. To our delight, some of them—such as the "Poltergeist" house—still look like they did in the films, just with taller trees or a new paint job.

While none of these iconic places is currently for sale, it's worth noting that all of them have an estimated value higher than the neighborhood median listing price. Could it be their spooky cinematic cachet? Or maybe it's just that they're all rather nice places (at least, by the light of day).

Dying to learn more about these infamous properties? Take a look below—if you dare.

Freeling house in 'Poltergeist'


The home featured in the movie "Poltergeist"

Google Maps

Location: Simi Valley, CA
Estimated value: $767,400
Median listing price in 93063 ZIP: $615,100

Unlike earlier horror movies that took place in creepy Gothic mansions, the home of the Freeling family in "Poltergeist" is an average four-bed, three-bath tract house in the suburbs. And that's just how producer Steven Spielberg wanted it. The property in Simi Valley, a bedroom community 40 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, was chosen because of how commonplace it looks.

“Steven liked that house because it was the end of the road. It was a two-story, valley-type mock Tudor, and it just fit everything. ... He always wanted to be in normal residential areas,” Jim Spencer, the production designer on the 1982 horror film, told Yahoo.

Today, the house looks nearly identical to its celluloid self, save for the full-grown trees in the front yard that were just saplings during filming in the '80s.

The home may be valued just about $150,000 more than the median listing price in Simi Valley, but we wouldn't be surprised to see this iconic abode fetch top dollar from a horror movie buff, if it ever were to go on sale.

'Halloween' house


The house where Laurie baby-sits Tommy in the movie "Halloween"

Google Maps

Location: West Hollywood, CA
Estimated value: $2,694,400
Median listing price in 90046: $1,800,100

Although this famous flick is set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, IL, the unassuming Cape Cod–style home that's the site of the final showdown between baby sitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and murderous bro Michael Myers is actually located in Los Angeles. Of the five houses we looked at, this was the only one whose exterior and interior were used.

The ultralow-budget film was shot in spring 1978, so the production team painted dozens of bags of fake leaves and sprinkled them around the house and streets to make it look like fall.

Today, the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house is valued at just a smidge under $2.7 million—not too shabby for a place that will give every visitor nightmares.

MacNeil brownstone in 'The Exorcist'


The house used in the film "The Exorcist," as it stands today, in Washington, DC.

Peter Paulsen

Location: Georgetown, Washington DC
Estimated value: $3,690,700
Median listing price in 20007: $1,099,500

"The Exorcist" is considered one of the most disturbing films of all time, and most of the horrific happenings take place in the well-appointed home of Chris MacNeil and her daughter, Regan.

While the action inside the home was filmed in a studio in New York City, production chose a traditional brick house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, the city where the film takes place.

Fun fact: The staircase where Father Damien Karras dies is located close to the MacNeil house, although not as close as the film makes it look. The film crew had to build an extension of the front of the house in order to stage the scene of Karras falling from Regan's bedroom window onto the stairs. The stairs were also padded with rubber so the stuntman wouldn't get seriously injured rolling down them, according to USA Today.


The infamous stairs in "The Exorcist"

SDC

'Amityville Horror' house


The first three "Amityville Horror" movies were filmed at this house.

realtor.com

Location: Toms River, NJ
Estimated value: $1,075,163
Median listing price in 08753: $315,100

Anyone who has read the original "Amityville Horror" book or seen any of the movies knows that the real murders that inspired this (um, fictional) story happened at 108 Ocean Ave. in the town of Amityville on Long Island, NY. But since the town was unwilling to allow filming to take place there, the production team chose this four-bed, two-bath home in Toms River, NJ, to be immortalized in the 1979 film.

Exterior shots were filmed at the Toms River property, while the interior scenes were captured on a sound stage at MGM Studios in Los Angeles.

Although the home is currently valued at a little more than $1 million, the recent real estate history of this home is a sad tale. Listed in 2011 for $1.45 million, it languished on the market and endured steady price cuts for two years until, in July 2013, it sold for a measly $350,000.

Nancy Thompson's house in 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'


The house where Nancy Thompson is stalked by Freddy Krueger in "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

realtor.com

Location: West Hollywood, CA
Estimated value: $2,660,600
Median listing price in 90046: $1,800,100

Just a few blocks from the "Halloween" house is another iconic piece of real estate: the house where Freddy Krueger stalks Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven's 1984 film, "A Nightmare on Elm Street." The movie took place in the suburban town of Springwood, OH, but the real house is on a tree-lined street in Los Angeles.

The three-bed, four-bath house sold in 2013 for $2.1 million, and its estimated value has crept up to $2.6 million—much higher than the neighborhood median listing price.

Interior shots were filmed on a set in Los Angeles where the crew could facilitate such famous scenes as a bed spewing a geyser of blood, a special effect that took 80 gallons of water and red paint that was then poured through an upside-down set, according to IFC.

By: Realtor.com, Natalie Way 

Exploring Salem Oregon: 13th Annual Halloween Dress Rehearsal

by Amy McLeod Group

Bring your kids in their costumes and help them “rehearse” being safe on Halloween night.  Officers will go over pedestrian, traffic, and costume safety.  They will also teach kids how to go door to door safely for trick or treating on Halloween night.  And what a great way to get more than one use out of that Halloween costume!!

Salem Police Department
555 Liberty St, SE, Room 130
Salem, OR 97301

503-588-6123

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo credit: travelsalem.com

How Long Does Underwriting Take—and Can You Speed It Up?

by Amy McLeod Group

How long does underwriting take? Underwriting—the process in which mortgage lenders verify your assets to get a home loan—can last a little as two to three days, but typically takes over a week to finish.

Underwriting happens right before you close on a house, so timing can be crucial, particularly if you want to move in by a certain date. But make no mistake: Underwriting is unavoidable. All loans go through an underwriting process before the lender can promise you the funds for a purchase.

While you might have daily contact with your mortgage officer, the underwriting process is long, somewhat secretive, and seemingly mysterious. And very, very stressful! Here's why it takes so long, and a way to speed up the process.

What is underwriting?

Your mortgage officer typically reviews buyers' tax forms, paystubs, and other basic documents before issuing buyers a prequalification. Underwriting takes a fine-toothed comb through every form, deposit, and credit report, to ensure your credit-worthiness. An underwriter's job is to make sure you meet the lender's guidelines, confirming and assessing your income, debt, and credit.

Most of the mortgage process is relatively transparent, but underwriting takes place behind closed doors. Someone at the bank or a lender will relay any requests for documents or further explanations.

What does an underwriter look at?

The specific documents requested will vary based on the type of loan you are receiving (an FHA loan, for example, often requires more paperwork). Expect to provide your tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, and paystubs.

You can also expect to send additional documentation every time an underwriter has a question. For instance, your bank statement might show a recent $2,000 deposit. Youknow it's a birthday gift from your dear grandmother, but the underwriter doesn't. You will probably have to write a letter of explanation detailing the gift.

Underwriting can be frustrating, because the questions seem obvious. Don't worry—many underwriters find it frustrating, too.

"The banks also give almost no room for underwriters to make exceptions using their judgment," says Emily Rees, a former underwriter. "Underwriters are terrified of getting a loan audited and having a bad score, so they frequently will over-ask for documentation to cover their behinds, rather than stand confident in a decision and moving on."

How to speed up underwriting

The best way to speed up the process is to make sure your paperwork is complete, which should allow your loan to sail through in as little as two to three days—if you're lucky, even just one day.

But if more documents are required—as is true for the vast majority of loans, even for those with perfect credit—expect to wait at least a week for the underwriter to issue a "conditional approval."

Although the underwriting process can be frustrating, just know that you're near the finish line. If the underwriter only wants a few additional documents, you should be "clear to close" soon enough!

For more smart financial news and advice, head over to MarketWatch.

By: Realtor.com, Jamie Wiebe

4145 Geranium Loop NE: Newer Geranium Meadows Home at an Affordable Price!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
4145 Geranium Loop NE, Salem, OR  97305

Opportunity is knocking – here is your chance to live in a newer home at an affordable price in a great neighborhood! This Geranium Meadows 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home offers an open layout filled with large windows, fresh paint, new carpeting, a lovely kitchen, recessed lighting, neutral colors, plus a low maintenance yard and attached 1 car garage. Illuminated with natural light, the large, open living and dining room is warm and inviting creating the perfect atmosphere for casual everyday living and entertaining.  Guests can relax at the breakfast bar while you wine and dine them from this stylish and functional kitchen. An abundance of beautiful cabinetry and tons of counter space make meal prep a breeze. Heading upstairs you will find the three generously sized bedrooms including the master suite with a walk in closet and private bath. Relax in the fenced backyard with plenty of room to BBQ on the patio. Why pay rent when you can afford to own this beautiful home! Sale subject to 1031 Exchange at no expense to buyer.

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

4141 Geranium Loop NE: Newer Home in a Great Neighborhood!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
4141 Geranium Loop NE, Salem, OR  97305

Located in a great neighborhood and offered at an affordable price, 4141 Geranium Loop just might be the home you have been searching for! Outfitted with an open floor plan made for entertaining and function, you are sure to enjoy 3 spacious bedrooms, 2.5 baths, fresh paint, new carpet, recessed lighting, a laundry space, plus a low maintenance yard and attached 1 car garage. Sun shines through the many windows filling the living and dining room with natural light creating a relaxing space. Sliding doors off the dining area to the fenced backyard with patio lets you easily enjoy the outdoors, grilling and chilling.  A breakfast bar, an abundance of beautiful cabinetry and tons of counterspace make this kitchen stylish and functional. Retreat to the soothing master suite with a walk in closet, plush carpeting and a private bath. Two additional bedrooms and a full bath on the second level provide space for everyone. Offering so much in quality and location, this Salem OR beauty will not last long! Subject to 1031 Exchange at no expense to the buyer.

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

Will Home Prices Continue To Increase?

by Amy McLeod Group

There are many unsubstantiated theories about what is happening with home prices. From those who are worried that prices are falling (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.

However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything greater than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below).


According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below).

Bottom Line

If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.

Let The McLeod Group Network assist you with all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or [email protected].

By: KCM Crew

628 W Maple Street: Nicely Maintained 3 Bedroom Home!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
628 W Maple Street, Stayton, OR  97383

Enjoy country quiet with close proximity to town in this nicely maintained home nestled amongst the trees! 628 W Maple Street is sure to check numerous “must haves” off your list…an open floor plan, 3 spacious bedrooms, 2.5 baths, warm wood trim, neutral colors, plush carpeting, recessed lights and an attached 2 car garage. A lovely two story front entrance leads you right into the large living room illuminated by natural light and kept toasty warm by the gas fireplace. This space provides comfortable everyday living with plenty of room to entertain guests. Sip your morning coffee in the vaulted dining area overlooking the yard. Style and utility meet in the nicely arranged kitchen accented with an abundance of beautiful cabinetry, a gas range and durable tile flooring. Retreat to the soothing master suite with an en suite featuring a double vanity, walk in shower and handy laundry pass thru. Two generously sized secondary bedrooms with large closets and a shared full bath provide space for everyone. Keep things tidy in the spacious laundry room with cabinetry and shelving. Heading outside, relax under the beautiful pergola, BBQ on the patio or enjoy a short walk to the river. Offering so much is quality and location, we are sure you will be ready to call this special place yours!

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of The McLeod Group Network Real Estate
The McLeod Group Network
Keller Williams Capital City
1900 Hines St SE #220
Salem OR 97302
971-208-5093
Fax: 971-599-5229

**Disclaimer: Amy McLeod, and her team, do not initiate, process, or service mortgages.  And provide this information only as a service.  You should confirm information here with your Licensed Mortgage Lender.