The Best Time to List Your House? TODAY!

You may have heard that the housing market is softening. There is no doubt that buyer traffic has decreased. There are fewer purchasers in the market than there were last month and at this time last year. What you may not have heard, however, is that there is still a severe shortage of listing inventory in many regions of the country. In a recent interview discussing the housing market, First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming put it simply: “The biggest challenge is really the availability of supply.” When we look at available inventory numbers released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), we see that the actual number of homes for sale has decreased in each of the last five months. What does this mean to you as a seller? The best time to sell is when there is less competition. That guarantees you a better price and fewer hassles in the transaction. Bottom Line If you are thinking of selling your house this year, the best time to put it on the market might be right now. Let’s get together to evaluate the demand for your house in our market!

Buying A Vacation Property? Now Is A Good Time!

Every year around this time, many homeowners begin the process of preparing their homes in case of extreme winter weather. Some others skip winter all together by escaping to their vacation homes in a warmer climate. For those homeowners staying at their first residence, AccuWeather warns: “The late-week cold shot should fade next week, but this is a warning shot for winter’s return late in the month and early February.” Given this, it’s time to go and stock up on winter weather supplies! However, if you’re tired of shoveling snow and dealing with the cold weather, maybe it’s time to consider obtaining a vacation home! According to the Investment & Vacation Home Buyers 2018 Report by NAR: “72% of vacation property owners and 71% of investment property owners believe now is a good time to buy.” It’s time to take advantage of the equity in your home. As the latest Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions stated: “Nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties (are) equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value — up by more than 433,000 from a year ago to a new high as far back as data is available, Q4 2013. The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.” This means that over a quarter of Americans who have a mortgage would be able to use some of their home…

Want to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home? Use These 2 Tips!

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible. 1. Price it a LITTLE LOW  This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below). Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house. HGTV gives this advice: “First impressions are everything when selling your home. Studies have shown that the first two weeks on the market are the most crucial to your success. During these initial days, your home will be exposed to all active buyers. If your price is perceived as too high, you will quickly lose this initial audience and find yourself relying only on the trickle of new buyers entering the market each day. Markets are dynamic, and your price has an expiration date. You have one chance to grab attention. Make sure your pricing helps you stand out on the shelf — in a positive way.” 2. Use a Real Estate Professional This, too, may…

Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, here are the top four home improvement projects that will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI). Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers. Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th best renovations for returns on investment.

Belief in Homeownership as an Investment is Far from Dead

Following last year’s real estate market was like riding a rollercoaster. The market started off strong in 2018 and then softened before finishing with a mild flurry. However, one thing that did not waiver was America’s belief that owning a home makes sense from a financial standpoint. An end-of-the-year survey by the Federal Reserve Bank’s Center for Microeconomic Data revealed that: “The majority of households continue to view housing as a good financial investment.” And that percentage has increased over the last three years. Bottom Line Though there is some uncertainty as to how the real estate market will perform over the next twelve months, one thing remains very certain: America’s belief in homeownership.

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch

As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: interest rates & inventory. Interest Rates Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019. The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month. With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by…

Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner

In today’s market, as home prices rise and a lack of inventory continues, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for most sellers. Here are the top five reasons: 1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers According to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers searched online for a home last year. That is in comparison to only 13% of buyers looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home, do you? 2. Results Come from the Internet Where did buyers find the homes they actually purchased? 50% on the Internet 28% from a real estate agent 7% from a yard sign 1% from newspapers The days of selling your house by putting out a lawn sign or putting an ad in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial. 3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner: The buyer who wants the best deal possible The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country) The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with…

Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes! Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic. All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage

One of the most common loans you can get to buy a home is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. If the thought of paying for your home over the course of 30-years seems daunting, here are some easy ways to shorten that term which will actually end up saving you money over the life of your loan. Any additional payments to the principal amount (the original sum of money borrowed in a loan), helps to cut down the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of your loan and can also help to shave years off the loan as well. When you make ‘extra’ payments toward your loan, the key is to let your lender/bank know that you want the extra funds to go toward your principal balance as they will not automatically do this for you. You don’t have to double your mortgage payment to make a big difference either! If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you’ll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment. Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone! Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big 1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month Benefit: In the example above, adding $111.84 to your monthly mortgage payment might not seem like a lot, but each year you will have paid one extra month’s worth…

What Makes a House a Home For You?

We frequently talk about why it makes sense to buy a home financially, but more often than not the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling ones. No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of a home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. 1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase. 2. There’s no place like home Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day! 3. You have more space for you and your family Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home! 4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally…