Real Estate and Community News

July 1, 2022

If You're Selling Your House This Summer, Hiring a Pro Is Critical

It can be tempting, especially with how hot the housing market has been over the past two years, to consider selling your home on your own. But today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional.

Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.

Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.

1. A Professional Follows the Latest Market Trends

 With higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a growing number of homes for sale, today’s housing market is showing signs of a shift back toward more pre-pandemic levels. When conditions change, following the trends and staying on top of new information is crucial when you sell.

That makes working with an expert real estate advisor critical today. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.

2. A Professional Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers

 Your agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:

“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”

3. A Professional Understands the Fine Print

 Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:

“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

4. A Professional Is a Trained Negotiator

If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

·        The buyer, who wants the best deal possible

·        The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer

·        The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house

·        The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

5. A Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your House

 If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. NAR explains it like this:

“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”

Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.

 Bottom Line

Whether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you’ll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone. If you plan to sell, reach out to a local real estate professional so you have an expert on your side.


 

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 2, 2022

How Homeownership Impacts You

June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s the perfect time to reflect on how impactful owning a home can truly be. When you purchase a house, it becomes more than just a space you occupy. It’s your stake in the community, an investment, and a place you can put your stamp on.

If you’re thinking about buying a home this year, here are some of the benefits you’ll experience when you do.

The Emotional Benefits of Homeownership

Because it’s a place that’s uniquely yours, owning a home can give you a sense of pride and happiness in several ways.

Your Home Can Reflect Your Tastes and Personality

Investopedia puts it like this:

“One often-cited benefit of homeownership is the knowledge that you own your little corner of the world.

That knowledge can lead to a powerful, emotional connection to the place where you live. But so can the realization that your home will grow with you. Because it’s yours, you have the freedom to make updates to it as your needs and tastes change. As Logan Mohtashami, Lead Analyst for HousingWiresays:

“The psychology is that this is yours and you’re going to make it as good as possible because you’re in for a long time, . . . “

And that can create a greater sense of ownership, pride, and connection with your home and your community.

It Can Enhance Your Neighborhood and Civic Engagement

Homeownership can lead you to get even more involved with your local area. After all, you’re putting your roots down in a location and will want to do what you can to help improve it, much like your home. In a recent report, the National Association of Realtors(NAR) says:

Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates and [sic] obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in said community.”

The Financial Benefits of Homeownership

When you choose to become a homeowner, you’re making a financial decision as well. That’s because your home is also an investment.

It Can Help You Feel Financially Stable

Homeownership is truly one of the best ways to improve your long-term financial position. Not only will you have a predictable monthly housing expense that can benefit your budget in the short term, but you’ll also gain equity as your home appreciates in value and you make your monthly mortgage payment. As Freddie Mac says:

“Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

It Can Grow Your Wealth

Because of your growing equity, you can build your net worth as a homeowner. And when you compare the difference in net worth between a renter and a homeowner, it’s clear that owning a home truly offers a great way to build your long-term financial position.

According to the latest data from NAR, the median household net worth of a homeowner is roughly $300,000, while the median net worth of renters is only about $8,000. That means a homeowner’s net worth is nearly 40 times that of a renter.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is truly a way to find greater satisfaction and happiness and to build financial freedom. If National Homeownership Month has you dreaming about purchasing a home, contact me today!

 

 

   

 

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
May 9, 2022

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

 

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

If you’re following along with the news today, you’ve likely heard about rising inflation. You’re also likely feeling the impact in your day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These rising consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to ensure they’re still worthwhile.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you’re probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes more sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here’s how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.

Homeownership Offers Stability and Security

Investopedia explains that during a period of high inflation, prices rise across the board. That’s true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, even housing. Both rental prices and home prices are on the rise. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from increasing costs? The answer lies in homeownership.

Buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, says:

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same.” 

So even if other prices rise, your housing payment will be a reliable amount that can help keep your budget in check. If you rent, you don’t have that same benefit, and you won’t be protected from rising housing costs.

Use Home Price Appreciation to Your Benefit

While it’s true rising mortgage rates and home prices mean buying a house today costs more than it did a year ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. Buying now lets you lock in at today’s rates and prices before both climb higher.

In inflationary times, it’s especially important to invest your money in an asset that traditionally holds or grows in value. The graph below shows how home price appreciation outperformed inflation in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation | Keeping Current Matters

So, what does that mean for you? Today, experts say home prices will only go up from here thanks to the ongoing imbalance in supply and demand. Once you buy a house, any home price appreciation that does occur will be good for your equity and your net worth. And since homes are typically assets that grow in value (even in inflationary times), you have peace of mind that history shows your investment is a strong one.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to buy a home, it may make sense to move forward with your plans despite rising inflation. If you want expert advice on your specific situation and how to time your purchase, I would love to help.

Posted in Real Estate News
April 3, 2022

The Best Week to List Your House is Just Around the Corner!

Are you thinking about selling your house? If so, you may want to make it a priority to start the process soon. According to realtor.com, the sweet spot for sellers is just around the corner. In a recent study, experts analyzed housing market trends by looking at data from the past several years (excluding 2020, since it was an atypical year). When applied to the current market, experts determined the ideal week to list a house this year. The research says:

“Home sellers on the fence waiting for that perfect moment to sell should start preparations, because the best time to list a home in 2022 is approaching quickly. The week of April 10-16 is expected to have the ideal balance of housing market conditions that favor home sellers, more so than any other week in the year.”

If you’ve been putting your move on the back burner waiting for the ideal time to sell, you should know your golden window of opportunity is coming up. If you’re able to get your house ready quickly, here’s what you can expect from that week.

You Should See More Buyer Activity

The article expects higher buyer demand based on what’s happened in previous years. This could result in increased competition among buyers and ultimately a bidding war over your house. And since mortgage rates recently ticked up over 4%, chances are good that analysis is right. When rates rise, experts say buyers often hurry to make their purchase before rates climb higher. As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“. . . Buyers are rushing to lock in lower rates as the outlook is for even higher mortgage rates in the following months.”

Your House Is Expected To Sell Quickly 

Additionally, the realtor.com analysis shows houses sell even faster during this week of the year, likely due to the heightened buyer demand. If you work with a trusted real estate professional to price your house right, it should sell quickly. And when homes are already selling in just 18 days according to NAR, that could set you up for a big win.

Your House Will Be in the Spotlight

Since the beginning of the year, the number of homes available for sale has been at or near record lows. According to the realtor.com study, the typical trend for this week of the year is that there will be even fewer sellers on the market. If you list when inventory is low, your house will be the center of attention for eager buyers craving options.

If you’re ready to move fast, you may want to shoot for April 10th-16th as your target goal. Just remember, even if you’re not ready to list within the next couple of weeks, rest assured this is still a hot sellers market. If you list later in April, you’ll still be in the driver’s seat.

Bottom Line

Ready to get the ball rolling? Contact me today to kickstart the process. In the meantime, make a checklist of things you need to tackle to get your house ready. I can help you prioritize your to-do list and get you on the road to selling your house.

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 11, 2022

Sellers Ready To List

Survey: Sellers Waiting Out Pandemic Are Ready to List

 

NOVEMBER 12, 2021

 

Owners who postponed selling during the pandemic – perhaps waiting for a sign that price increases were slowing – appear ready to list their home within the next six months. Many, however, plan to overprice it – and they expect bidding wars to push the final price even higher.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Homeowners have had all the usual reasons to sell over the past two years – marriages, deaths, children, etc. – but many hunkered down during the pandemic, and some feared the housing market because selling might be easy but finding a new home? Not so much.

A survey conducted by HarrisX for realtor.com, however, suggests that many of those people might be planning to list their home in 2022, with 65% of them planning to do so this winter and spring. The survey of 2,583 consumers was conducted online in September-October 2021.

Many sellers, however, want to set an asking price higher than they think their home is worth, and they expect buyer bidding wars.

“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research for realtor.com.

“Buyers should be ready for high asking prices and offer deadlines as seller expectations of the upcoming market are greater than in the spring, but an increase in new sellers could mean some relief from the inventory crunch,” he says, saying price growth has moderated some, and many sellers will likely wait until after the holidays to make a move.

However, early 2022 home listers may have an advantage, he adds. “As buyers race against the clock of rising mortgage rates, sellers who price their homes in line with today’s market and stick to their plans will likely see their expectations met.”

When will sellers list?

  • Among homeowners who seem prepared to enter the market in the next year, 65% will do so within six months, including 19% who have already listed their home.
  • Compared to the spring (76%), more prospective sellers (93%) have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%).
  • More than one-third of prospective sellers (36% each) have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood, and started making repairs or decluttering.

Top reason for selling? More time at home during COVID

  • Compared to the spring (15%), nearly two-times as many prospective sellers (33%) want different home features.
  • With more sellers having children at home this winter (65%) than in the spring (43%), family considerations are a top reason behind homeowner decisions to enter the market: 37% of prospective sellers say their home no longer meets their family’s needs and 32% want to move closer to friends and family.
  • The rise in remote work is also a key driver: 23% of sellers want a home office and 19% don’t need to live near work, up from 6% in March.

Seller expectations

  • Nearly half of today’s prospective sellers want to take advantage of the current market and think they can make a profit (45%), nearly doubling from the spring (24%).
  • When asked about current market impacts, 42% said they plan to list their property for more money than they think it’s worth, and 29% will push for a quick close.
  • Compared to the spring, more prospective sellers anticipate buyer bidding wars, more offers above asking price, and more buyers willing to forgo contingencies like inspections and appraisals.

Price range changes

  • Sellers with homes at the core of the market ($351,000-$750,000) remained the same over March (29%). However, more sellers plan to list in the $500,000-$750,000 price range.
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of prospective sellers would be willing to accept a lower offer to close quickly versus just over half in March (54%).
  • Compared to spring sellers, a higher number plan to take alternative routes to moving out, such as living with family initially (19%) or temporarily renting their home back from the buyer (29%).

“For homeowners who do feel ready to sell, getting pricing right from the start is key to a fast and successful home sale in any market – take the Goldilocks approach,” says Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at realtor.com.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 4, 2022

8 POPULAR HOME DESIGN FEATURES FOR 2022

8 Popular Home Design Features for 2022

 

There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from the market and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, that design is also a key factor. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can easily control.

 

According to Realtor.com’s 2022 housing market forecast, home for-sale inventory will increase from last year, as will the projected number of overall sales.1 This means, if you’re looking to sell in the near future, now is the time to consider how you can stand out.

 

Updating your home design is one way to do that. Changes like new security features or upgraded siding can add value to your home now and be highlighted when you market it for sale later. To get the most out of your updates, focus on these popular home design features that will wow buyers in 2022.

 

Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to buy, list, or renovate a property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.

 

Eco-Friendly Fixtures

 

Millennials account for the largest share of current homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.2 Sustainable living tops the list of priorities for this generation. A recent Deloitte survey found that nearly one-third of millennials initiate or deepen their consumer investment in products or services that help the environment—this also includes the houses they choose to live in.3

 

Here are a few eco-friendly design features that will be attractive to these millennial buyers in 2022. Bonus, they can net a significant return on investment (ROI) for you, as a seller, too.

 

        Energy-Efficient Windows: Heat gain or loss from low-performance windows drives 25–30 percent of home heating and cooling costs, according to Energy.gov.4 Therefore, energy-efficient windows can help homeowners save money.

        Low-Flow Water Fixtures: According to the EPA, replacing your shower head with one that’s labeled with WaterSense can save four gallons of water with each shower.5 Doing the same with your faucet can save 700 gallons per year. This leads to cost savings and environmental support.

        Native Landscaping:  According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, 58 percent of members report increased client demand for native trees and plants as a means to combat biodiversity loss from climate change..6 Enhance the eco-friendly appeal of your home with some native plants in the front yard.

 

Wellness Retreat Nooks

 

The pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health. For example, in an effort to prioritize mental health, many people are relocating to quieter, more peaceful homes, with 22 percent of city dwellers planning a move to less congested residential areas, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) 2021 Insights Summit.7

 

However, no matter where you live, you can still intrigue buyers by jumping on this trend. At-home wellness amenities, which were once viewed as luxuries, are now on many homeowners’ must-have lists. Indoor spaces that function as a retreat for wellness and self-care have become extremely popular, according to HIRI.

 

Improve your quality of life in your home with reading nooks, spa-inspired bathrooms, and exercise or meditation spaces. Even if your house doesn’t have the square footage to section off an entire room for relaxation, making simple tweaks to natural light, air purifiers, and indoor plants can help you feel better in your home now while enabling future buyers to see the opportunity for their own space.

 

Calming Paint Colors

 

Paint colors that produce a calming atmosphere will also be a key selling point in 2022. Soft earth tones and natural hues will prevail this year, including various shades of blue, green,  brown, and beige. Recent research suggests steering clear of trendy paint colors in favor of a more classic palette to bring the feel of nature indoors in a subtle and soothing way.8

 

In fact, the same research found that buyers are often willing to pay an extra $4,698 for a house with a light blue bathroom or an extra $1,491 for a house with a dark blue bedroom. Another crowd-pleasing hue to refresh the walls with is BEHR’s 2022 paint color of the year, known as Breezeway.9

 

This shade of green with silver undertones was created to mimic sea glass. As the BEHR website describes it, Breezeway “evokes feelings of coolness and peace, while representing a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions.” 

 

Home Safety Features

 

Buyers want peace of mind more now than ever before. According to a 2021 survey from the American Institute of Architects, members report seeing an increase in the popularity of these home safety features10:

 

     Emergency backup power generation

     Accommodations for multiple generations

     Wider accessible doorways and hallways

     Home security monitoring equipment

     Interior ramps and home elevator features

Consider how you can build home safety features like these into the design of your home to enhance your quality of life now and attract more buyers later. For example, you could install a backup generator in the garage and sell it with the house or update your major doorways to be wider.

 

Before making an investment in expensive home safety upgrades, contact us. We can help you determine what will deliver the greatest ROI for your location and goals.

 

Designated Work Spaces

 

It may come as no surprise that after the pandemic, 63 percent of homebuyers want their next house to feature room for a designated office, according to the National Association of Home Builders.11 In addition, 70 percent of these buyers want the office to be at least 100 square feet (or a 10x10 room).   

 

If you can, consider turning a bedroom or a den into a work-from-home office. When designing the space, make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Position a desk near the window for natural light, install a bookshelf unit, arrange a few succulents on the work surface, and hang a few framed posters or a cork bulletin board on the wall. You want the space to foster productivity as well as be a place in your home you enjoy spending time.

 

When you get ready to sell, we can help you highlight your designated work space. Given the high demand for this design feature, it can help you interest more buyers and attract more competitive offers—if marketed creatively.

 

Luxury Kitchen Retouches

 

The kitchen has always been a main focal point of interior design, and that’s no different in 2022. Families will always need this space to come together in their own homes.

 

This year’s buyers want a kitchen with new upgrades and retouches, but you don’t have to renovate the entire kitchen to make an impact. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips on how to create a kitchen that buyers will love without spending too much money on renovations:

 

        Repaint the kitchen, keeping the calm and nature-inspired colors in mind that are most popular right now. Taking a kitchen from dark to light by painting cabinets and walls can make all the difference.

        Update the hardware. These kitchen “accessories” stand out and add personality to an otherwise standard kitchen.

        Update light fixtures to bring in more light while also adding a fresh look and feel to the space.

 

Unique Accent Walls

 

In a recent interview with the National Association of Realtors, Brian Santos, the director of education for Fresh Coat Painters, explains that bold, unique accent walls are trendy right now.12 An accent wall gives a home character while maintaining the calming feel of natural- and neutral-colored walls.

 

Santos also explains that this is part of a design aesthetic that draws inspiration from the Roaring Twenties, and it’s likely to remain a sought-after home feature in 2022. Here are some bold colors to consider for your home’s accent walls:

 

        Solid black

        Jewel or metallic tones

        Textured wallpaper

        Painted ceilings

        Built-in shelves

 

If you’re planning to sell in the next year, talk to us before adding an accent wall. Depending on your target buyer, it may be a design feature that actually hurts your home’s value. We can run a free Comparative Market Analysis on your home to help you understand what would resell best in your neighborhood.

 

Exterior Siding Updates

 

A new exterior siding refresh is one of the most affordable renovation projects you can do to help increase a home’s resale value. The average cost is just $12 per square foot, but higher-end material options can push costs closer to  $50 per square foot.13 What’s more, there are many siding materials available, from fiber-cement, brick, and wood to vinyl, metal, and stone.

 

While all these options can infuse the exterior with character and add curb appeal, fiber-cement and vinyl deliver the highest ROI. In fact, according to a 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a vinyl siding replacement can boost resale value by $11,315 (68.3 percent cost recoup), and a fiber-cement siding replacement can boost resale value by $13,618 (69.4 percent cost recoup).14

 

Give your home this simple, affordable, and attractive facelift before putting it on the market. If you’re not sure how to get started yourself, our team can connect you with a trusted vendor to guide you through the process.

 

Keep These Home Design Features on Your Radar in 2022

 

These design features can infuse personality into your home while helping to close the deal if you plan to sell in 2022. The average buyer knows just what they’re looking for in a space they plan to call home, so with some investment and foresight, you can give your house an edge over the competition—and boost resale value in the process.

 

However, you don’t need to make all these changes to attract more buyers. We can help you determine which design features you should add to your home by sharing insights and tips on how to maximize the return on your investment. We can also run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area, which will help us decide what changes need to be made. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

 

Sources:

1.     Realtor -
https://www.realtor.com/research/2022-national-housing-forecast/

2.     National Association of Realtors -
https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends

3.     Deloitte -
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/2021-deloitte-global-millennial-survey-report.pdf

4.     Energy.gov -        
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/update-or-replace-windows

5.     EPA.gov -
https://www.epa.gov/watersense/about-watersense

6.     American Society of Landscape Architects -
https://www.asla.org/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=60427

7.     Home Improvement Research Institute -
https://www.hiri.org/blog/4-major-home-wellness-trends-from-hiri-summit-speaker-dr-jie-zhao

8.     Zillow -
http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2021-07-15-Homes-With-Light-Blue-Bathrooms,-Dark-Blue-Bedrooms-Could-Sell-for-Up-to-4,698-More-Than-Expected

9.     Behr -
https://www.behr.com/colorfullybehr/behr-announces-2022-color-of-the-year-and-trends-palette/

10.   American Institute of Architects -
http://info.aia.org/AIArchitect/2021/0910/aia-interactive/index.html#

11.   National Association of Home Builders -
​​
https://www.nahb.org/-/media/NAHB/news-and-economics/docs/housing-economics-plus/special-studies/2021/special-study-what-home-buyers-really-want-march-2021.pdf?_ga=2.188050984.1824982414.1639512139-1247360189.1639512139

12.   National Association of Realtors -
https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/styled-staged-sold/hot-home-trend-the-accent-wall-is-back

13.   Forbes -
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-much-does-siding-cost-to-install/

 

14.   Remodeling Magazine -
https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2021/