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Beat The Competition With A Winning Offer

by Teri McCarthy

Top Six Tips For Making a Winning Offer

      The Jackson Hole real estate market is steadily heating up as there are fewer available properties listed for sale and buyers are finally getting off the fence in an attempt to buy their "piece of Jackson Hole" before prices rise.

In some segments of Teton County's real estate market, available property listings are dwindling fast, and we are seeing more and more multiple bidding situations. As an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and top Teton County Realtor for the past 23 years, I would like to share my six best tips for increasing your chances of making a winning offer, should you find yourself in a bidding war.

 
 
Preparation Pays Off
Always be prepared well ahead of making your offer. When you are looking at homes, you never know when the right one is going to hit you and you will want to make a move before too many others discover it as well. 
Upon making an offer, Cash buyers may need to provide POF, Proof of Funds, a letter or statement from your bank or financial institution such as:
  • Certified financial statement
  • Bank statement
  • Open equity line of credit
Note: Before handing over your POF, remove or use a black marker to obliterate any sensitive personal information such as your social security number and account number.
 
If you will be seeking financing, talk with your lender, prior to making an offer to get pre-approved and request a pre-approval letter to submit with your offer.  Since you might be bidding against cash buyers, and cash buyers are more common than not in Jackson Hole, you will be in a stronger position if your offer is not contingent upon financing, but there is risk so consult with your mortgage broker to be certain you are well within your limit and that there is no doubt you will get the mortgage. 
 
Hire a Top Jackson Hole Realtor
You know the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of the business is done by 20% of the agents.  These agents are in the game daily; it is their full time and only job; and they are consistently networking with mortgage brokers, inspectors, contractors, architects, and appraisers.  With a local, top 20% Realtor who is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) on your side will not only help your chances of having the winning offer, but the escrow will be smooth and stress-free. 
 
Be Market Savvy
Have your buyer’s agent show you market values of similar properties.  He/she will provide you with a market analysis showing what other comparable properties have been selling for.  This is critical in Jackson Hole, since Wyoming is a non-disclosure state with regards to real estate sold prices. It is important to have a buyer’s agent on your side, and not to rely on the listing agent, since the listing agent represents the seller and is working in the seller’s best interest, not yours. 
 
Make a Strong, Clean Offer
When you are up against other bidders, and you want the property, give your highest and best offer. You may not have another chance to raise your bid.  Many times the highest bidder wins.  You might kick yourself if were outbid by a few thousand dollars when you would have gladly paid the price of the winning bid.  With such few Jackson Hole property listings, it may be awhile before another acceptable property comes on the market and, by then, prices could be higher. 
 
If you have no emotional attachment to the property, and there are other acceptable properties, make a reasonable offer, knowing the top dollar of what you are willing to pay, before you get into the bidding frenzy.
 
I always advise my buyer clients the importance of making a clean offer.  A clean offer is one that is a cash purchase or pre-approved mortgage, without a lot of contingencies, and a fair amount of earnest money that shows you are a serious buyer.  Note: Contingencies acceptable to most Jackson Hole sellers are title review and home inspections.  In a seller’s market, with bidding wars, most sellers are reluctant to accept an offer with a contingency that the buyer needs to sell their home before they can purchase another.
 
Accommodate the Seller's Needs
Try to be mindful of the seller's needs by being flexible, if possible, in your offer. For instance, Mr. and Mrs. Seller have kids in school and you know they would prefer to stay in the home until their children can finish up the school year. You might give them the option of "renting back" the home for a few months after closing, or extend the closing to a date that would be preferable to the seller. The seller might be willing to accept a lower price if it keeps peace in the family.
 
Start Your Due Diligence Now 
Once your offer is accepted, you will have a strict timeframe by which to complete all of your due diligence.  Start interviewing inspectors now. I have a comprehensive list of local inspectors, engineers and contractors.
 
Besides building and property inspections, you will have a title commitment to review, and you may have subdivision Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions CC&Rs, meeting minutes and budget to review.
If you think you might be building in Teton County,  either new construction or an addition, you will want to look over the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan and the Teton County Land Development Regulations (LDR). The Town of Jackson has Design Guidelines.
By starting your research now, not only will you be prepared to move quickly to complete your due diligence, but having some knowledge upfront may help you with questions you might not have otherwise thought of.  It will also show the seller you’re committed, serious, and will set an expectation that the rest of the transaction will go smoothly. 
 
      In my 23 years selling real estate in Jackson Hole, I am blessed to have had the privilege to represent many successful buyers, from investors to vacation home buyers to first-time home buyers.
 
      Recently, I helped two different buyer clients compete with multiple bidders, and both won the contract. Their families are now enjoying their new homes, one in Teton Village and the other in Jackson. I am always happy to provide references. Please call me 307-690-6906 if I can be of assistance in your search for Jackson Hole real estate. Teri McCarthy, ABR
 
 

 

Selling Your Home in 2013 With New Tax Laws

by Teri McCarthy

 

2013 Real Estate Sales and the New 3.8% Medicare Tax 
 
Numerous tax changes have occurred in the beginning of 2013 some of which affect taxpayers selling real estate. Several people have asked me about the new 3.8% Medicare tax and what to expect with the sale of their home or other real estate. The following is a brief summary of some of the new tax laws. 
 
Income Tax Rates
The tax bracket of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% have been permanently extended; however, an additional tax bracket of 39.6% has been implemented to impact individuals with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) over $400,000 and married couples filing jointly with AGI over $450,000.
 
Capital Gains/Dividends Tax Rates
The long-term capital gains rates have been permanently extended at 0% for taxpayers in the 15% tax bracket or lower; 15% for taxpayers in the 35% tax bracket or lower; and 20% for taxpayers in the 39.6% (AGI over $400,000/$450,000) tax bracket.  The long-term capital gains rates have also been permanently extended to apply to qualifying dividends.
 
3.8% Medicare Tax
This new tax, called the Net Investment Income Tax, on net investment income impacts individuals with AGI over $200,000 and married couples with AGI over $250,000. They must pay a 3.8% tax on income from investments, including the sale of a home. 
 
Net investment income subject to the Medicare Tax
Generally, “net investment income” that is subject to the 3.8% tax consists of interest, dividends, annuities, rents (less expenses), royalties, and net gains from real estate sales.  Read more on Net Investment Income Tax.
 
Sale of Primary Residence in 2013
With the sale of your primary residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain for individuals and up to $500,000 for couples filing jointly. The excluded gain will not be taxed the 3.8%.  Gain that exceeds the exclusion will be subject to the 3.8% tax.
 
Sale of Vacation Home in 2013
Gain on the sale of a vacation residence, land or investment real estate is subject to the 3.8% tax.
 
Don't Forget State Taxes
Taxpayers must also take into account the applicable state tax, if any.  When you sell property that is located in Wyoming, whether your primary residence, a vacation home or investment property, no tax will be paid to the state of Wyoming.  Wyoming is considered the tax-friendliest state in the nation.  Read more about  Wyoming’s tax benefits.
 
I am a 24-year real estate professional in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, NOT a tax professional.  This summary of tax information is from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should NOT be relied upon. Consult with your professional tax advisor for definitive answers on all of these issues and what these provisions actually mean.
 
Give me a call 307-690-6906 if you are thinking about buying or selling Jackson Hole real estate in 2013.
 

Best Year For U.S. Real Estate Market in Five Years

by Teri McCarthy

 

Housing’s ‘Snowball Effect’ Gathers Inertia
 
The Weather Channel has nothing to do with it. What’s happening at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, likewise. The ‘snowball effect’ being discussed in print and on TV won’t soften anytime soon.
 
This is an economic snowball -- one that’s gathering momentum following what CNN’s Money website describes as “the best year for U.S. real estate market in five years.” Businesses that stand to benefit from growth in the Jackson Hole housing market are watching closely.
 
The Wall Street Journal’s snowball report took form in last Monday’s Marketplace section, where the top headline read “Housing Recovery Opens Spigot…Makers of Products From Carpets to Air Conditioners Feel Effects of Rebound.”
 
It was even more heartening as a counter to last week’s government indications that the greater economy seemed to slow. The housing sector’s performance was so strong it acted as a tonic to its many associated industries.  The snowball effect was noted widely. The company that makes Carrier air conditioners said that orders rose 20%; Honeywell International reported the “first sign of life we have had in a while.” 
 
Locally, fingers were crossed that Jackson Hole businesses will be swept up in the snowball. National suppliers expected that to happen. “Housing is what we see leading the economy out of the doldrums,” according to the CFO of United Technologies Corp. The WSJ reported evidence that Americans are spending more to build and refurbish their properties.
 
With sales of existing housing registering the largest annual jump since 2004, it should come as no surprise if Credit Suisse’s Daniel Oppenheim proves correct in predicting a 7%-8% rise in home improvement spending. He expects it to keep going for at least the next two years. That’s a pretty solid forecast, and in line with what most observers are saying. 
 
All in all, the boost from the housing recovery is one snowball no one seems to think is likely to melt soon.
 

Jackson Hole's Second Home Market

by Teri McCarthy

 

Second Home Buyers Size Up Jackson Hole Market
 
 
Lately, buying a second home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming has become a much more attainable goal for a great many buyers looking for a vacation home. Partly due to the historically low mortgage interest rates, the affordability factor has become less of a barrier. With prices beginning to rise, those who have been considering buying a second home might take this winter as a good time to make their move – or at least to do some serious research. 
 
The first part of that effort should be arithmetical: does buying a second home make financial sense? For someWilson Home on Fish Creek people, buying a second home will entail getting a second mortgage with the characteristics of that mortgage dependent upon how the home will be used.  
 
For a second home that is strictly that – a property that serves as a personal residence – mortgage rates are usually about the same as for a primary residence. But if the home will also serve to provide rental income, banks will usually consider it an investment property – and call for a bigger down payment and a slightly higher interest rate. 
 
According to Shannon O’Brien of realestate.com, those buying a second home for its income-producing potential can currently expect down payments ranging anywhere from around 25% to 40%. Penciling in accurate up-front capital requirements means taking that -- as well as applicable interest rates -- into account. Since investment property involves offsetting tax implications, talking second home finances over with a trusted accounting professional is a good idea.
 
Considering all the factors currently, Jackson Hole real estate climate is definitely encouraging. Especially for those who have been waiting patiently for a chance to take fuller advantage of it, the realm of second home ownership could be worth investigating. If you are interested in the prospects for buying or selling a second home, do give me a call 307-690-6906. I’ll be happy to help you investigate the many possibilities in today’s market. 
 
Click on the links below to see Jackson Hole vacation homes for sale now (updated daily)
                TETON-VIEW HOMES          SKI HOMES            GOLF HOMES
 
 
 

 

Teton County Delinquent 2011 Tax Sale
 
Nearly 300 Teton County Wyoming property owners could have a tax lien placed on their property unless they pay up by August 7, 2012.
 
Teton County's annual delinquent 2011 tax sale will be held on August 8, 2012.  If you’re older than 18 years you are eligible to buy tax liens on delinquent properties during the sale. Just pay the outstanding tax balance and you will be first to be re-paid, including up to 18% annual interest, before the property can be conveyed.  After five years, if you’re still holding the property, you can start proceedings to take it over.
 
Delinquent property owners can pay the back taxes at any time but must also pay interest.
 
Property tax liens to be sold are published in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, legal section, the weeks of July 11, 18 and 25 or see the complete list of delinquent tax properties. The properties, commercial and residential, are located in Jackson, Wilson, Teton Village, Moran, Hoback Junction and Alta, Wyoming.
 
For more information: Teton County Treasurer 307-733-4770
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

You Can't Ski Into Your Apartment Building

by Teri McCarthy

Vacation Homes are on the Rise

More buyers are investing in vacation homes, and they are choosing places where they would ultimately like to live. They want to live a healthy lifestyle, have a good quality of life, and be in a place where they know their kids and grandkids will love to visit.
 
According to a 2011 survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 19% of homebuyers own more than one home, up 5 percent from the previous year. Further, vacation properties accounted for 27% of all home sales last year.  Buyers are investing in vacation homes now because they know prices are not going lower and they’re seeing the current inventory being bought up. In Jackson Hole, property values have dropped 40-50% since the market peaked in 2007. Many of these buyers are future retirees looking for a deal now while prices are low and interest rates are so favorable.   
 
NAR reports 34% of vacation home buyers plan to occupy their vacation home as a primary residence upon retirement.  Some buyers own three or more vacation homes.  
 
We’re seeing baby boomers planning to retire in a few years, taking advantage of our low market prices, with the intent to move to Jackson Hole when they are able.  They know prices will go up as well as interest rates. The market is at or very near bottom.  There’s no better time than now to start getting to know the market. 
 
You can’t ski into your apartment building.  Some investors are exchanging their investment properties, such as apartment buildings, warehouses or commercial buildings, utilizing the IRS Code 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange.  They’ll acquire a Spring Creek condo or a Teton Village ski-in/ski-out home that will go into a rental pool where it will be professionally managed and maintained by one of Jackson Hole’s many property management companies.
 
A second home can be a vehicle to generate investment income. Or it might be the fulfillment of a long-held dream. For those fortunate enough to have put aside some disposable cash, today any one of those Teton view homes for sale could wind up representing both!  If you’ve been thinking about a vacation home or if you were previously priced out of the market, now’s the time to jump in or you may be kicking yourself, again, when prices move up.
 
Call me today 307-690-6906 for a complete list of available Jackson Hole vacation homes.
 

What Is Your Home Worth?

by Teri McCarthy

 

What is my home worth?  This is the most frequently asked question I’m hearing these days. We have seen the national real estate market begin to rebound, and expect Jackson home values to soon start to reflect movement as well. Most local homeowners are in the habit of keeping an eye on area home values. But especially for anyone considering buying or selling this spring or summer, estimating their home’s value is one of the first items on the agenda. 
 
To get you started, there are a couple of different methods to help establish a ballpark estimate of what your home may currently be worth.  There are two good online options to determine the current value of your home, both free and without having to speak with a Realtor. The quickest is a market report that is generated automatically and emailed to your inbox. Click here for a sample report.  Then just complete and submit the form at www.TetonHomeValue.com with your property address.
 
Another great option to determine the value of your home, condo, townhome or vacant land in Teton County, Wyoming is www.HomeValuesInTetonCounty.com.  Both methods use the Teton Board of Realtors MLS data combined with Teton County public record data to produce an estimate of home values. 
 
While these calculators are great at aggregating data, nothing replaces human input.  Real estate is, after all, the very definition of a local occurrence, so if you’re looking for more than an estimate, or you have a very special property, it may be time to call a local expert.  When an experienced agent creates their professional estimate, it not only takes into account the trends for properties closest to yours, but also incorporates real life features -- such as the curb appeal your home and garden offers right now. The better kept your property is at any given time, the greater its estimated value should be. An agent can also suggest the small changes that work best to enhance a property’s value.
 
If you have been considering selling a home and are curious about today’s home values in Jackson Hole and the surrounding communities, call me anytime for a complimentary consultation! 
 

Investment & Vacation Home Markets Waking Up!

by Teri McCarthy

The investment- and vacation-home markets have been among the first to show signs of real estate resurgence, according to the people who keep track of such things (as usual, the National Association of Realtors® is one). It might seem unlikely, given the general view that the housing sector continues to post mixed signs of recovery. But when you think about it, there are reasons why it could make perfect sense. A few that come to mind:

* The price is right. If the overall real estate market is in fact in the process of rebounding, it’s still so early that no one can be certain it will be strong -- or even that it will continue. You couldn’t describe a more appealing situation for small investors who have been biding their time, waiting for the right bargain to pounce upon. Investment home prices rose 6.4% last year (of course, because rents were rising), yet the median vacation-home price was down over 19%! Talk about vacation bargains! All of a sudden, the daydream of affordable ski homes for sale seems to have become a reality.
 
* The market is open. Right now, there are also strong inventories of vacation and resort homes for sale – many of them located in attractive settings, like Jackson Hole. Many of those settings also happen to be the very places where the real estate market is still digging out from under the foreclosure mess. This makes it easy for people to find vacation- or investment-home opportunities that previously would have been out of their price range. 
 
* Interest rates are low. Low interest rates make a second mortgage even more affordable for those seeking a luxury vacation home.  Today's interest rates signal savings throughout the term of the loan, which is even more appealing for those seeking a second home. Combined with the sheer volume of properties for sale, this makes it the ideal time to purchase a dream vacation or retirement home.
 
*Optimism on the rise. When the wolf is at the door, few of us are tempted to make luxury purchases. And for years, it seemed like the only news about the economy was bad. But declining unemployment numbers, soaring stock markets, and the resulting good news for retirement accounts can change attitudes…the same attitudes that underlie investment decisions of every kind. 
 
A second home can be a vehicle to generate investment income. Or owning a vacation home in Jackson Hole might be the fulfillment of a long-held dream. For those fortunate enough to have put aside some disposable cash, today any one of those mountain homes or resort condos for sale could wind up representing both!  
 
Call me 307-690-6906 if you have any questions about Jackson Hole real estate, the area, or the market.
 

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Whether you’re relocating to Jackson Hole, or want to buy a vacation home, primary residence, second home, resort property, condo, townhome, land, horse property, Teton view home, golf estate or ski-in/ski-out home, you’ll find all Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village real estate listed for sale here. You need an advocate, a buyer's agent to represent your best interest, with confidentiality, Teri will you acquire a Jackson Hole property for your 1031 exchange, investment, second home or future retirement.  Take advantage of the many tax benefits of Wyoming residency. Already own a home in Jackson Hole?  Interested in knowing the value in today's market? Thinking about selling? Talk with Teri about creative marketing to attract qualified buyers for your home.  Teri McCarthy is the Broker/Owner of Jackson Wyoming Real Estate.  Teri holds the designations of ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and RSPS (Resort and Second Home Specialist) matching buyers and sellers with Jackson Hole properties since 1989. All rights reserved 2015 Teri McCarthy Inc and Teri McCarthy, Realtor, ABR, CRS, RSPS.