The following notification was provided to Aurora, Oregon residents by Lietutenant Chris Baldridge from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on the morning of November 7, 2016:
This morning a semi truck destined for Vancouver was struck by an Amtrak train traveling from Eugene to Seattle. The truck was traveling east on 1st Street in Aurora when it was forced to stop on the tracks due to heavy traffic.
Amtrak train 500, carrying 43 passengers was traveling 35 miles per hour when it impacted the trucks trailer, spilling 65000 pounds of paper pulp that was destined for China. Thankfully only minor scrapes and bruises were reported by the passengers and the semi truck driver. The Amtrak train will be moving soon but the semi truck will keep the road closed for the next several hours. Drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible.
One relieved passenger even mustered a ‘thumbs’ up’ from the Amtrak train involved in the crash:
To view a brief video of the cleanup in the aftermath of this Amtrak train crash in Aurora, Oregon, click on the video thumbnail image below.
Simultaneous/Consecutive Home Transactions
Selling your Aurora, Oregon home and buying a replacement property are frequently linked activities. In this article and related audio podcast, we reveal how to maximize the efficiency and minimize the bother when simultaneously home buying and home selling.
We’ll also examine options to help decide if either simultaneous or consecutive real estate transactions may be best for you.
Timing The singular act of buying or selling a home is often the foremost concern of many. Whichever immediate task you may be considering, it’s common to have twice the activity anticipated, but in two steps. That’s because Aurora, Oregon home buyers often not just have a home to sell…in addition, Aurora, Oregon home sellers are frequently seeking a home to buy. So what’s the best way to navigate this potential real estate quagmire without getting entangled in a morass of stress and needless extra costs?
First Steps To begin, it helps to examine three common dual home sale/home purchase options:
Selling your existing house first, then buying your next house.
Buying the next house first, then selling your existing house.
Simultaneously moving from your existing house to your next house.
Your challenges, benefits and results will largely depend upon which of these three decisions you settle upon. Here are three quick takeaways for these three usual options:
Option #1. Selling your existing house first, then buying the next house This option usually requires a ‘double move.’ Yet one advantage of this approach is that you won’t have double house payments. One disadvantage is that you may have to move twice. An added benefit of this ‘selling first’ approach can include negotiating with strength in the purchase of your next home. That’s because your purchase needn’t be contingent upon the sale or closing of your sold home. As a result, you are seen as a ‘cash in fist’ buyer, or at the very least, a buyer who is considerably more likely to qualify for a home purchase, given that you ostensibly now have access to the equity in your now-sold home. This helps you negotiate with more power in the purchase of your next home.
Option #2. Buying the next house first, then selling your existing house When first buying a house, then selling yours, one advantage is that you know where you’ll be moving. The reduced stress of ‘knowing where you’ll land’ is empowering.
Unless you’re a cash buyer, you’ll likely need to qualify with a lender. And if you have an existing loan in place on the house you’ll be selling, this may mean you need to qualify for two loans, your current home loan and the loan on the house you’re buying.
As long as your current Aurora, Oregon home sells in a timely manner, added financial obligations can be minimized. For more information about bridge loans, see the below ‘A Bridge Too Far?’ discussion.
Option #3. Simultaneously moving from your existing house to your next house This situation is very common. Provided your activities are clearly thought out, well-executed and contingencies are in place for protection, it’s also one of the more affordable options.
Think far ahead and shoot for impeccable timing, in order to make your move the smoothest possible. In order to have sufficient time to move out soon after closing on your current home’s transaction, you will need to locate your next home, write an accepted offer, have the home inspection and if you’re getting a home loan, likely an appraisal…all before you close on the purchase and can actually move in.
One advantage of this approach is that you won’t have double house payments. You also know where you will be landing, and you won’t likely have to move twice. One disadvantage is that your timing needs to be good and possibly have a little extra ‘cushion’ to allow for emergencies, like delays with appraisals, inspections and repairs. Otherwise it’s easy to feel ‘squeezed’ by your being in the middle of two time-sensitive transactions.
That’s one challenge of going this route; It’s complicated by not knowing with precision the timeline of certain key activities. That’s because while home inspections can usually be completed within a set time frame, like 10-14 business days, other requirements like appraisals, can take much longer, with less certainty of the completion date. On top of that, most transactions involve two appraisals, one on the house you’re selling and another on the house you’re buying. So if you plan on a simultaneous sale/purchase, huddle up with your Realtor to create a well planned timeline, then build in some extra breathing room, as necessary.
A Bridge Too Far? One way to do purchase a house without first selling your Aurora, Oregon home is with what’s called a ‘bridge loan.’ This is effectively a loan against the equity on your existing home. There are plenty of added details, but for the sake of simplicity, just understand that if you use a bridge loan to buy your next home, until your current home is sold, you will likely have double house payments. So if your current home doesn’t sell in a timely manner, hopefully the squeeze on your wallet won’t be more stressful than if you were to have simply sold your existing home first.
Tools of the Trade To accomplish the job of simultaneously buying and selling homes, among the most common protective tools is called a contingency. Consider contingencies as akin to safety goggles. They’re designed to prevent a mishap, only in this case, the mishap could be losing your earnest money.
Earnest Money Earnest money is usually a certain dollar figure placed on deposit as a sign a buyer is earnest, and later applied to the home purchase. This helps convince sellers that a buyer is serious and take their property off the market. Earnest money essentially helps to ‘hold’ a property for a buyer. Earnest money is not often the total down payment, although it can be applied as part of the down payment. Earnest money is important to homesellers, because without it, a buyer could otherwise tie up the seller’s property with virtually no obligation.
A large part of contingencies relate to a buyer keeping their earnest money, or the initial deposit showing the buyer is ‘earnest’ in proceeding to closing on a home sale. If a homebuyer does not have a sufficient contingency in place during a home sale, forfeiture of a buyer’s earnest money becomes possible. It’s not terribly common, but it can and does sometimes happen.
Types of Contingencies Home inspection contingencies provide buyers with the right to have a house inspected for a variety of conditions, all within a specified time frame. Another common contingency is the loan contingency, so if for some reason a lender does not approve a buyer or the property for a home loan, the earnest money deposit is returned to the buyer. Buyers have lost out on qualifying for a home loan because they went out and bought a car during the home purchasing process, thereby disrupting their loan ratios.
The Reality of Earnest Money Deposit Risk As long as appropriate contingencies are in place and they’re followed in a time-conscious manner, it’s relatively uncommon for buyers to lose their earnest money. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your timeline.
Buying And/Or Selling? Use the form below to contact Aurora, Oregon veteran Realtor Roy Widing with Certified Realty for a FREE consultation. Whether your real estate situation involves homebuying, homeselling, or if you simply have questions about our current Aurora, Oregon real estate market, Roy can help!
While there is a case to be made for homeselling in each of the four seasons, Winter is one of the most powerful times that Aurora, Oregon sellers can place their home on the market and for ten very good reasons.
Price & Market Time. Statistics show homes sell faster and for more money in Winter. One way to understand this phenomenon is by considering a motorist with a flat tire in bad weather. That motorist has an urgent need and is less likely to haggle, or even seriously consider less expensive options, in order to meet an immediate need. Our local Winter homebuyers around Aurora, Oregon can experience the same kind of urgency and this helps to explain the premium that homes can command during the real estate ‘off season.’ Another way to look at the Winter market dynamic is if you want to buy snowshoes in July (at least around Aurora), expect to pay more, since availability is typically lower.
High Quality Buyers. Because home touring is generally less convenient, there tend to be fewer ‘Looky-Loos’ during the Winter. This means Aurora, Oregon homesellers have fewer buyers tracking dirt into their house, in Winter, with less energy spent preparing for real estate ‘Tire-Kickers.’
Less Seller Competition. Let’s face facts: It’s convenient to sell in the Spring and Summer, especially locally around Aurora. The weather is usually better, flowers are blooming and with plenty of homebuyers looking, it’s a ‘target-rich environment.’ Yet while it’s easier and more convenient to sell in sunny weather, this convenience often comes at the cost of increased competition from other sellers. Conversely, Aurora’s Winter homesellers can expect fewer like-minded sellers competing for buyers. Just like the successful contrarian investor who sells when everyone else is not, avoiding a ‘herd mentality’ can pay off with a higher price and faster sale.
Higher Buyer Motivation. Is your idea of a fun time getting into a car on cold drizzly nights to look at houses? Probably not…unless you just got a job transfer. Or a nice raise. Or you received an inheritance and want to get out of your tiny apartment. It’s helpful for Aurora’s prospective Winter homesellers to know that corporate relocations are common in the first quarter. Plus family changes can occur anytime and estates are settled year around.
The Hunt for Red December: Get a ‘Jump’ on the New Year’ s Competition. The best time to get your Aurora property on the market could be when everyone else isn’t. Placing your home for sale in Winter gives you access to hyper-motivated buyers who have made homebuying a New Year’s resolution. That way, when these eager homebuyers begin their ‘hunt,’ your house will be a prime ‘target’ as visible as Rudolph’s nose. So if your home is market-ready and available to tour leading up to the New Year, expect to tap into this highly focused ‘pent up demand.’
Your Aurora Home Looks Inviting During the Holidays. Who doesn’t enjoy the happy glow of a Christmas tree or other holiday decorations, along with the pleasant smell of fresh-baked pumpkin pie, cinnamon buns, or a vanilla candle? Homes often look their most inviting during the holidays. And given the pleasant, even emotional attachment so many have during that time of year, expect some homebuyers to fully embrace the holiday theme of ‘Peace on earth, good will toward men.’ As a result, such positive feelings can spill over into the home selling process and make it easier.
Your Lawn & Landscaping is Virtually a Non-Issue. Forget to mow your lawn? No worries. Some Aurora buyers won’t care if they tour your property and it’s covered in snow, raining hard, or after sundown. Buyer landscaping expectations can be quite reasonable during Winter months around Aurora.
When Your Home Sells, You May Buy With Less Competition. Few Aurora homesellers stop to consider that given good timing with their sale, their own future home purchase may also benefit from similar, unique seasonality. So depending on a variety of factors in the market where and when you buy, Aurora homesellers can sometimes take advantage of lower Winter activity levels to successfully negotiate with a motivated seller. This is because some sellers place their home on the market during Winter not for convenience, or desire to maximize their selling price, but from genuine need. In other words, they are highly motivated. Such homesellers could therefore provide a good buying opportunity.
Fewer people relocate in Winter, so this means you’re likely to have an easier time booking a mover. Competition for moving companies can be challenging during the real estate ‘high season.’ As a result, expect less difficulty scheduling your moving company when you sell in Winter.
You Can Dictate Which Days & Times Are Available for Showings. As an Aurora, Oregon homeseller, you typically have control over tour times and dates for your home. This includes during Winter months. Given holiday-related gatherings and events, buyers are likely to understand their need to schedule their tour of your home. Your Realtor can help by specifying days and times your home is available for showings. For example, you could have your house available for tours on Saturdays from 2 to 5pm, weekday mornings after 9:00am, or between 5 and 8pm weekday evenings.
Thinking about selling your Aurora, Oregon house this Winter? Use the convenient form below to contact our AuroraOregon.com sponsor, Certified Realty, for a FREE consultation!