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Ask the Patch Pro: All About Real Estate

Realtor Matthew Johnson fields your questions about buying or selling a home.

Is it a good time to buy? Good time to sell? Is the housing market beginning to rebound?

This week’s Ask the Patch Pro is all about real estate.

Answering your questions today is Matt Johnson, owner of the Johnson Real Estate Group, a realtor for the past 10 years.

Just leave your question in the comments section below.

For more information about Johnson, visit his website.

Brad Butala July 18, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Matthew, yes the rates for FHA loans are currently lower than conventional and have less strict score requirements. However each individuals situation in regards to mortgage insurance will be different depending on the credit score for conventional whereas even with the recent increase to the up front mortgage insurance premiums and the increase in annual mortgage insurance of FHA will be the same for all borrowers. Both options should be explored given the scenarios and the buyers intentions.
Caitlin Burgess July 18, 2012 at 07:21 PM
What about staging? My dad is getting ready to put his home on the market. It's an old house (like built in 1918) and there is some work that needs to be done. The landscaping is great, fresh paint on the outside, but he's lived there for 35 years and I know I need to reduce the clutter and make it clean. What are the important areas to show off? Kitchens and bathrooms?
Matthew Johnson July 18, 2012 at 07:32 PM
There are certainly options regarding staging, starting with basic furniture arrangement all the way to knockdown / open up remodeling. What's right for your situation depends on several factors including Return On Investment. The guidance of a great real estate agent can be the determining factor on if the house sells and for how much! De-cluttering and paint/carpet can be great because of the low cost and while kitchens and baths give the best ROI according to Builder / Remodeling Magazine they are also very expensive. I am always happy to stop by for a 30 min consult with no obligation or fee. I did this for a family who had their home struck by lightning this spring and they planned to sell in a couple years. It gave them direction in the fix up and where to invest for the best sale possible!
Linda July 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Is it true that in 2013 the sale of your home will be subject to a sales tax?
Matthew Johnson July 19, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Hi Linda, it's only to gains above the exclusion levels ($250k single / $500k married) if you have a pretty healthy income..... Will not affect many transactions. Don't believe the hype!

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