Real Estate

Paint is cheap

Sprucing up the paint in your house with a nurtral color can help it to sell faster and for more money. 

Owner occupant buyers looking for homes generally fall into two catagories–those wanting a a deal and are willing to paint, carpet, and make some repairs and those wanting a move in ready home.  Most sellers want the maximum value for their home but also want to outlay the minimum cost, which is understandable. Generally, the buyers looking for a move in ready home are willing to pay a little more than those willing to do some repairs and updating.

In order to get the maximum value for the house, it should be clean and decluttered. Freshly painted homes look cleaner and fresher. In addition, sellers will want to take personal pictures off their walls and minimize the number of art work on the wall. In doing so, sellers need to pull nails and picture hangers, putty the holes, and touch up the paint as needed. If it has been awhile since the walls were painted the touch up paint will most likely not match. You don’t want the wall to look spotchy. So go ahead and paint the wall.

Wild colors of paint can make buyers cringe thinking of the number of coats of paint it is going to take to cover the purple or red rooms. In addition, white walls show all types of dirt and imperfections that otherwise might not be seen. White walls are also cold and feel like you are in a rent house.  I suggest that sellers paint a taupe or beige color. This way it is nuetral for the next buyer and yet makes the room warm and inviting.

A gallon of paint is about $25 and is well worth buying if you are trying to sell your house.  For other tips and questions, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-229 or visit my websit



Real Estate

Are you looking for Down payment assistance?

In Oklahoma City, we have an organization, Neighborhood Housing Services, LLC.,  that provides grant money to first time home buyers who meet certain income guidelines. This program allows up to $14,999 in grant money depending on purchase price of the property.  This money can be used for down payment, up front mortgage insurance, closing costs, and principle reduction.  The buyer does need to have some personal investment in the home—FHA loans will require a 1.75% investment while all other loan products will require a 1% investment. Meaning the buyer will need to have some of their own money. Example on a $100,000 house—$1750 with a FHA loan.

The grant allow the buyer to obtain a 90% to value loan. FHA guidelines state that if the original loan amount is 90% or less of the sales price then the mortgage insurance stays on the loan for 11 years rather than the life of the loan. Also if the buyer is able to do a 15 year note rather than a 30 year note, the monthly MI drops greatly but that is the subject for another blog. 

The amount of down payment assistance will be calculated as follows:

  • 10% of purchase price+UPMIP+closing costs——less seller or lender credits, additional DPA such as OCHFA, tax proration’s, etc. up to $14,999.  Attached is a calculation scenario.

The minimum required investment the DPA recipient is 1% of the purchase price but will increase to 1.75% when the lender requires 3.5% down payment on FHA loans.

  • DPA recipients must meet the First Time Homebuyer definition–could not have owned a house in the past 3 years.
  • Front & Back end ratios cannot exceed 30%/41% using NHSOKC’s income calculation
  • Maximum purchase price cannot exceed 95% median purchase price limits- $126,000 existing-$195,000 new construction
  • Loan Discount fee, Lender’s inspection fee and Underwriter fees are no longer allowed
  • Household income limits of 80% median income will remain the same
  • Five year (affordability) period will remain the same. Meaning you need to live in the home for 5 years or will need to pay back a proration amount of the DPA.

The current down payment contract expires July 31, 2014.  There may be additional changes to the program.

If you have questions regarding down payment assistance or real estate in general, please contact me, Sandi Walker.  I would love to discuss helping you buy your first home.  or 405-213-2992


Price it high, we can always come down–Right???

One of the most important decisions in marketing your home will be the original list price of the property.  Price determines whether buyers will look at your home or pass it over for another property.

If the home is viewed as a value, buyers will flock to the property early in the marketing cycle. Agents realizing that there is value in the home will contact their home buyers so they can view the property before it is gone.  If a lot of people view that the property  quickly,  the seller could obtain multiple offers on the house thus driving up the asking price on the property or having buyers forego asking for closing costs or extras. Because the we market property online with instance access to new homes by buyers via multiple websites, I do not believe you can under price a property. If the house is under valued on the listing, the market will correct the price during a multiple offer period.

However I do believe that you can over price a home, cause it to sit on the market for a long period of time, adjusting the price over time to help draw in buyers that weren’t interested in looking at the original price.   Homes that are on the market for long periods of time are often perceived to have issues whether it is true or not. Buyers worry why another buyer hasn’t bought the home by now.   Consequently, homes that have been on the market for longer periods of time may receive lower offers believing that the seller is more motivated than the first week the property was on the market. Statistically we know that homes that stay on the market for long periods of time tend to get less money than the homes that recently came on the market.

Sellers who set the list price high and adjusting over time tend to get less than the seller who listed the property at or slightly below market value. Therefore I believe it is not advantageous for my sellers to price the property above market value in order to have room to negotiate. Let’s face it, if few buyers are looking at the property because of the price, then there is nothing to negotiate. If you will price the property at the market value or even slightly below, you will get fair market value in a reasonable time frame.

If you are thinking about selling your home or know someone who is, please give them my name and number. And visit my website at for additional information.  405-213-2992

Real Estate

How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?

Home loans require a down payment (with the exception of a VA loan) as well as the loan fees also known as closing costs which are due at the time of closing. In addition, you will need earnest money—deposit money you submit at time of offer and the lender will most likely require you to pay for the appraisal at the time of application.
These amounts will be credited on the closing statement.

Depending on the type of loan you get will depend on the amount of down payment. There are several types of loans available including FHA, VA, and conventional.

FHA requires a 3-1/2% down payment, while VA does not require a down payment. Conventional loans can require as little as 5%. If you have 20% to put down on a home, you can avoid the PMI (private mortgage insurance, which will lower your monthly payment).
There are down payment assistance programs available for those who qualify. Qualifications are based on income guidelines, and most often include a requirement that you have not owned a home in the last three years. If you have not owned a home in the past three years you will be considered a first time home buyer.

Closing costs can vary based on the lender. They include lender fees, origination fees, appraisal, credit report, title fees, government fees, transfer fees and prepaids (interest to end of month, homeowners insurance, and escrows). The seller can help to pay closing costs for the buyer. VA and FHA will allow up to 6% of the sales price, while conventional loans generally only allow up to 3% of the sales price.

For many of my first time home buyers I can get them into a home for as little as $500-$1000 with down payment assistance and the seller paying their closing costs.
If you are looking into buying your first home, contact me a realtor who has made it her specialty to help first time home buyers purchase a home of their own.
Please feel free to visit my website at