Are You Thinking of Selling Your Home? Competition Is Coming!

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The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will rise over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Sales Report, the number of building permits issued in June was 850,000, a 0.8% increase from May. How will this impact buyers? More inventory means more options. Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist, explained that this is good news for the housing market – especially for those looking to buy: “The continued year-over-year growth in completions means more homes on the market in the short-term, offering some immediate relief in alleviating housing supply shortages.” How will this impact sellers? More inventory means more competition. Today, because of the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect: A great price on their home as buyers outbid each other for it. A quick sale as buyers have such little inventory to choose from. Fewer hassles as buyers don’t want to “rock the boat” on the deal. Bottom Line If you are considering selling your house, you’ll want to beat this new competition to market to ensure that you get the most attention on your listing and the best price for your house.

Existing Home Sales Cooling Off This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Some Highlights: According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Existing Home Sales Report, sales in June were down 2.2% from last year. Inventory of homes for sale showed a modest improvement of 0.5% over last year’s figures, but still remains under the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining. The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market.”

Supply & Demand Will Determine Future Home Values

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Will home values continue to appreciate throughout 2018? The answer is simple: YES! – as long as there are more purchasers in the market than there are available homes for them to buy. This is known as the theory of “supply and demand,” which is defined as: “The amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.” When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. Every month this year, demand (buyer traffic) has increased as compared to last year and for the first five months of 2018, supply (the number of available listings) had decreased as compared to last year. However, a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed the first year-over-year increase in supply in three years. Here are the numbers for supply and demand as compared to last year since the beginning of 2018: The increase in the June numbers doesn’t mean that prices won’t continue to appreciate. In that same report, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, explained: “It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this […]

The Wave of Millennial Homebuyers Continues to Swell

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Many have written about the millennial generation and whether or not they, as a whole, believe in homeownership as a part of attaining their American Dream. Comparatively speaking, millennials have taken longer to obtain traditional milestones (like getting married, having kids and buying a home) than generations before them, but that does not mean that they do not aspire to still achieve those things. For older millennials (aged 25-34) who have established themselves in their career and are starting to build their families, homeownership is the next logical choice. According to the Urban Institute’s State of Millennial Housing, the probability of a millennial becoming a homeowner increases by 17.9% if they are married, and by an additional 6.2% if they have children. Last year, according to the US Census Bureau, the average age at first marriage was 30 for men and 27 for women, while the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the average first-time homebuyer was 32 years old. With most of this generation having yet to age into the ‘Responsibility Zone’ (the time in their lives when their responsibilities start to dictate their behaviors), there will be a steady wave of buyers for years to come! Those who are currently out in the market searching for a home are being […]

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional Before Entering the Market!

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Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite the adventure. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ‘FSBO,’ but it’s not as easy as it may seem. That’s why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal! The 5 reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates and home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. 1. What do you do with all this paperwork? Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality. 2. So you found your dream house, now what? There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream? 3. Are you a good […]

Millionaire to Millennials: Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner!

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In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “Buying a home is the escalator to wealth in America. Homeownership can also help you retire early, that is, if you pay your mortgage off.” Bach suggests that homebuyers should, “Take out a 30-year mortgage, but with the intention of paying it off in 25, 20 or ideally, 15 years.” How does he suggest you do this? Here’s the secret: “…If you were paying $1,000 a month, now you’re going to make $1,100 payments every month. Inform the bank that you are doing this and that you want the extra $100 a month to be applied to the principal (not the interest).” What will happen to your mortgage? Bach explains that, “If you keep this up, you’ll wind up paying off your 30-year mortgage in about 25 years. Increase your monthly payment by 20 percent, and you’ll have that mortgage retired in about 22 years.” Bottom Line Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – buy a home and pay off your mortgage early so that you can retire sooner with the money you will have saved! Who is David Bach? Bach is a self-made […]

Are Lending Standards Propping Up Home Prices?

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Back in 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan described the dramatic increases in residential real estate values as a “froth in housing markets.” Greenspan went on to say: “The increase in the prevalence of interest-only loans and the introduction of more-exotic forms of adjustable-rate mortgages are developments of particular concern…some households may be employing these instruments to purchase homes that would otherwise be unaffordable, and consequently their use could be adding to pressures in the housing market.” Greenspan was warning that the loosening of lending standards could lead to disaster. And it did. With home prices again appreciating at percentages well above historic norms, many are wondering whether the market is again becoming “frothy.” Mortgage standards are much stricter now, however, than they were in 2005. The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a monthly index which measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default. A lower score indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards. A higher score indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks. Their July Housing Credit Availability Index revealed credit availability rose to 5.9%. For context, they went on to explain: “Significant space remains to safely expand the credit […]

Buying Is Now 26.3% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

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The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting, with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage, in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. In the six years that Trulia has conducted this study, this is the first time that it was cheaper to rent than buy in any of the metropolitan areas. It’s no surprise, however, that those two metros are San Jose and San Francisco, CA, where median home prices have jumped to over $1 million dollars this year. Home values in San Jose have risen 29% in the last year, while rents have remained relatively unchanged. For the 98 metros where homeownership wins out, 97 of them show a double-digit advantage when buying. The range is an average of 2.0% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% in Detroit (MI), and 26.3% nationwide! Below is a map of the 100 metros that were studied. The darker the blue dot on the metro, the cheaper it is to buy there. In order to calculate the true cost of renting vs. buying, Trulia includes all assumed renting costs, including one-time costs (like security deposits), and compares them to the monthly […]

You Need an Agent Who Will Always Put You First

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Whether you are a rookie homebuyer or have gone through the process many times, having a local real estate expert who is well versed in the neighborhood you are looking to move to, as well as the trends of that area, should be your goal while home shopping. One great example of an agent who is in your corner and is always looking out for your best interests is one of the main characters on ABC’s Modern Family, Phil Dunphy. For those who aren’t familiar with the character, Phil is a REALTOR® with a huge heart who always strives to do his best for his family and his clients. In one episode, he even shared an oath that he created and holds himself accountable to: “On my honor, I promise to aid in man’s quest for shelter, to recognize I’m not just in the business of houses — I’m in the business of dreams in the shape of houses. To disclose all illegal additions, shoddy construction, murders, and ghosts. And to put my clients’ needs before my own.”  While this might seem silly, as it was definitely written with humor in mind, the themes of helping someone achieve the American Dream and putting a client’s needs […]