Remember and Honor Those Who Gave All
May 29, 2023
Moving Now Can Give Your House Its Day in the Sun [INFOGRAPHIC]
May 26, 2023
- If you want to sell your house, consider doing it this summer. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and it’s a great time for sellers.
- If your needs have changed, now’s the time to capitalize on the low inventory and multiple offers in today’s sellers’ market.
- Connect with a local real estate agent today if you’re ready to sell your house and move to a home that meets your changing needs.
The Benefits of Selling Now, According to Experts
May 25, 2023
If you’re trying to decide if now’s the time to sell your house, here’s what you should know. The limited number of homes available right now gives you a big advantage. That’s because there are more buyers out there than there are homes for sale. And, with so few homes on the market, buyers will have fewer options, so you set yourself up to get the most eyes possible on your house.
Here’s what industry experts are saying about why selling now has its benefits:
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Inventory levels are still at historic lows. Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties.”
Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic:
“We have not seen the traditional uptick in new listings from existing homeowners, so undersupply of housing will continue to heighten market competition and put pressure on prices in most regions. Some markets are already heating up considerably, but price premiums that we saw last spring and summer are unlikely.”
Clare Trapasso, Executive News Editor at Realtor.com:
“Well-priced, move-in ready homes with curb appeal in desirable areas are still receiving multiple offers and selling for over the asking price in many parts of the country . . .”
Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow:
“. . . sellers who price and market their home competitively shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer.”
If you’re thinking about selling your house, connect with a real estate advisor who can share the expert insights you need to make the best possible move today.
Owning a Home Helps Protect Against Inflation
May 24, 2023
You’re probably feeling the impact of high inflation every day as prices have gone up on groceries, gas, and more. If you’re a renter, you’re likely experiencing it a lot as your rent continues to rise. Between all of those elevated costs and uncertainty about a potential recession, you may be wondering if it still makes sense to buy a home today. The short answer is – it does. Here’s why.
Homeownership actually shields you from the rising costs inflation brings.
Freddie Mac explains how:
“Not only will buying today help you begin to build equity, a fixed-rate mortgage can stabilize your monthly housing costs for the long-term even while other life expenses continue to rise – as has been the case the past few years.”
Unlike rents, which tend to rise with time, a fixed-rate mortgage payment is predictable over the life of the mortgage (typically 15 to 30 years). And, when the cost of most everything else is rising, keeping your housing payment stable is especially important.
The alternative to homeownership is renting – and rents tend to move alongside inflation. That means as inflation goes up, your monthly rent payments tend to go up, too (see graph below):
A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to protect yourself from future rent hikes. With inflation still high, when your rental agreement comes up for renewal, your property manager may decide to increase your payments to offset the impact of inflation. Maybe that’s why, according to a recent survey, 73% of property managers plan to raise rents over the next two years.
Having your largest monthly expense remain stable in a time of economic uncertainty is a major perk of homeownership. If you continue to rent, you don’t have that same benefit and aren’t as protected from rising costs.
A stable housing payment is especially important in times of high inflation. Connect with a real estate agent so you can learn more and start your journey to homeownership today.
Why Buying a Vacation Home Beats Renting One This Summer
May 23, 2023
For many of us, visiting the same vacation spot every year is a summer tradition that’s fun, relaxing, and restful. If that sounds like you, now’s the time to think about your plans and determine if buying a vacation home this year makes more sense than renting one again. According to Forbes:
“. . . if the idea of vacationing at the same place every year makes you feel instantaneously relaxed, buying a vacation home might be a wise move.”
To help you decide if making a move like this is right for you, let’s explore why you may want to consider purchasing a vacation home today.
Benefits of Owning Your Vacation Home
You don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay. It can be a challenge to find a rental where you want, when you want. Some summer vacation destinations are more popular than others, meaning your favorite place may be booked up in advance. Bankrate explains why owning your vacation home means you don’t have to worry about that sort of inconvenience:
“. . . a second home can offer a place to have quality time with your family and ensures that you always have a vacation destination.”
It’s an investment. Home values typically appreciate over the long haul. That holds true for your vacation home as well, especially if it’s in an area with growing market demand. This can help grow your net worth with time.
Vacation homes may provide tax benefits. If you own a vacation home, you may be eligible for tax deductions based on where it is. However, before buying, you’ll want to consult with a tax professional to discuss first as taxes can vary by location.
It could potentially turn into a retirement location. If you love the location of your vacation home, you could potentially sell your primary residence and retire there in the future.
How a Pro Can Help You Find Your Perfect Match
As you’re preparing for summer vacation, remember, you could potentially visit your second home instead of another rental unit or hotel. If that sounds appealing to you, a
local real estate agent is your best resource. They have the knowledge and resources to help you understand the area and what vacation homes are available in your budget. Plus, these agents can explain the perks of how owning a second home can benefit you.
If any of these reasons for owning a vacation home resonate with you, reach out to a trusted real estate agent. You still have time to enjoy spending the summer in your vacation home.
Why Buyers Need an Expert Agent by Their Side
May 22, 2023
The process of buying a home can feel a bit intimidating, even under normal circumstances. But today’s market is still anything but normal. There continues to be a very limited number of homes for sale, and that’s creating bidding wars and driving home prices back up as buyers compete over the available homes.
Navigating all of this can be daunting if you’re trying to do it alone. That’s why having a skilled expert to guide you through the homebuying process is essential, especially today. Bankrate shares this perspective:
“Advice and guidance from a professional real estate agent can be invaluable, particularly amid a hot or unpredictable housing market.”
Here are just a few of the ways a real estate expert makes a big difference:
- Experience – Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of what’s happening today, how it impacts buyers, and how to navigate any hurdles that may pop up.
- Education – Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a home. Your advisor will simply and effectively explain market conditions and translate what they mean for you so you can feel confident in your decision.
- Negotiations – Your real estate advisor advocates for your best interests. Having an expert on your side provides assistance with the purchase agreement. An agent can also help you negotiate potential seller concessions if the inspection reveals issues with the home.
- Contracts – Real estate advisors guide you through the disclosures and contracts necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment.
- Pricing – Making an offer and negotiating with a seller can be one of the most difficult and stressful parts of the homebuying process. A skilled agent will help you understand what similar homes are selling for so you have the full picture of what you may want to offer.
All of these reasons combined may be why 86% of recent buyers used an agent according to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR also has this to say about why an agent is so essential today:
“A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. Agents are also a great source when you have questions about local amenities, utilities, zoning rules, contractors, and more.”
What’s the Key To Choosing the Right Expert?
It starts with trust. You’ll want to know you can trust the advice they’re giving you, so you need to make sure you’re connected with a true professional. No one can provide perfect advice because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen at every turn – especially in today’s market. But a true professional can give you the best possible advice based on the information and situation at hand.
They’ll help advocate for you throughout the process and coach you on the essential knowledge you need to make confident decisions. That’s exactly what you want and deserve.
It’s critical to have an expert on your side who is skilled in navigating today’s housing market. If you’re planning to buy a home this year, connect with a real estate advisor who will give you the best advice and guide you along the way.
The Impact of Changing Mortgage Rates [INFOGRAPHIC]
May 19, 2023
- If you’re looking to buy a home, you should know even a small change in mortgage rates has an impact on your purchasing power.
- These charts show how rates generally affect your monthly payment.
- The best way to navigate changing mortgage rates and make an informed buying decision is to rely on the expertise of a local real estate professional and mortgage lender.
Powerful Job Market Fuels Homebuyer Demand
May 18, 2023
The spring housing market has been surprisingly active this year. Even with affordability challenges and a limited number of homes for sale, buyer demand is strong, and getting stronger.
One way we know there are interested buyers right now is because showing traffic is up. Data from the latest ShowingTime Showing Index, which is a measure of buyers actively touring homes, makes it clear more people are out looking at homes than there were prior to the pandemic (see graph below):
And though there’s less traffic than the buyer frenzy of the past couple of years, we’re not far off that pace. There are a lot of interested buyers checking out available homes right now.
But why are buyers so active at a time when mortgage rates are higher than they were just last year?
The Job Market Is Growing at a Stronger-Than-Expected Pace
With inflation still high, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) repeatedly hiking the Federal Funds Rate, and a lot of chatter in the media about a recession, it might surprise you just how strong today’s job market is. What might be even more surprising is the fact that it appears to be getting stronger (see graph below):
Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports how many new jobs were added to the U.S. job market. The graph above shows 88,000 more jobs were created in April than in March. In fact, the April numbers beat expert projections. That’s a solid indicator the job market is growing.
Unemployment Is at a Near All-Time Low
Ever since the Fed began fighting inflation, many people expected the low unemployment rate we’ve seen over the past couple of years to rise – but that hasn’t happened.
In fact, what has happened is the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.4% – a 50-year low (see graph below):
With so many people steadily employed and financially stable right now, they’re still able to seriously consider buying a home.
What This Means for You
If you’re thinking about selling your house this year, a market with active buyers is music to your ears. That’s because there’ll be increased interest in your home when you put it on the market, especially at a time when the number of homes for sale is so low.
To get started, your best resource is an experienced real estate agent. They can help you price your house appropriately, navigate the offers you’ll receive, negotiate effectively, and minimize your stress and hassle.
There are plenty of buyers out there right now trying to find a home that fits their needs. That’s because the job market is strong, and many people have the stable income needed to seriously consider homeownership. To put your house on the market and get in on the action, reach out to a trusted real estate agent.
What You Need To Know About Home Price News
May 17, 2023
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its latest Existing Home Sales Report tomorrow. The information it contains on home prices may cause some confusion and could even generate some troubling headlines. This all stems from the fact that NAR will report the median sales price, while other home price indices report repeat sales prices. The vast majority of the repeat sales indices show prices are starting to appreciate again. But the median price reported on Thursday may tell a different story.
Here’s why using the median home price as a gauge of what’s happening with home values isn’t ideal right now. According to the Center for Real Studies at Wichita State University:
“The median sale price measures the ‘middle’ price of homes that sold, meaning that half of the homes sold for a higher price and half sold for less. While this is a good measure of the typical sale price, it is not very useful for measuring home price appreciation because it is affected by the ‘composition’ of homes that have sold.
For example, if more lower-priced homes have sold recently, the median sale price would decline (because the “middle” home is now a lower-priced home), even if the value of each individual home is rising.”
People buy homes based on their monthly mortgage payment, not the price of the house. When mortgage rates go up, they have to buy a less expensive home to keep the monthly expense affordable. More ‘less-expensive’ houses are selling right now, and that’s causing the median price to decline. But that doesn’t mean any single house lost value.
Even NAR, an organization that reports on median prices, acknowledges there are limitations to what this type of data can show you. NAR explains:
“Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data.”
For clarification, here’s a simple explanation of median value:
- You have three coins in your pocket. Line them up in ascending value (lowest to highest).
- If you have one nickel and two dimes, the median value of the coins (the middle one) in your pocket is ten cents.
- If you have two nickels and one dime, the median value of the coins in your pocket is now five cents.
- In both cases, a nickel is still worth five cents and a dime is still worth ten cents. The value of each coin didn’t change.
The same thing applies to today’s real estate market.
Actual home values are going up in most markets. The median value reported tomorrow might tell a different story. For a more in-depth understanding of home price movements, reach out to a local real estate professional.
The Worst Home Price Declines Are Behind Us
May 16, 2023
If you’re following the news today, you may feel a bit unsure about what’s happening with home prices and fear whether or not the worst is yet to come. That’s because today’s headlines are painting an unnecessarily negative picture. Contrary to those headlines, home prices aren’t in a freefall. The latest data tells a very different and much more positive story. Local home price trends still vary by market, but here’s what the national data tells us.
If we take a year-over-year view, home prices stayed positive – they just appreciated more slowly than they did at the peak of the pandemic. To get a more detailed picture of some of the trends in the market, we need to look at monthly data.
The monthly graphs below use recent reports from three sources to show that the worst home price declines are already behind us, and prices are on their way back up nationally.
The story this more detailed monthly view tells us is that the last year has been a tale of two halves in the housing market. In the first half of 2022, home prices were climbing, and they peaked in June. Then, in July, home prices started to decline (shown in red in the graphs above). And by roughly August or September, the trend began to stabilize. As we look at the most recent data for the early part of 2023, these graphs also show a recent rebound in momentum with prices ticking back up. Monthly changes in home prices are gaining steam as we move into the busier spring season.
While one to two months doesn’t make a trend, the fact that all three reports show prices have stabilized is an encouraging sign for the housing market. The month-over-month data conveys a clear, but early, consensus that a national shift is taking place today. In essence, home prices are starting to tick back up.
Andy Walden, Vice President of Enterprise Research at Black Knight, says this about home price trends:
“Just five months ago, prices were declining on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis in 92% of all major U.S. markets. Fast forward to March, and the situation has done a literal 180, with prices now rising in 92% of markets from February.”
Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains the limited supply of homes available for sale is contributing to this positive turn:
“ . . . prices in many large metros appeared to have turned the corner, with the U.S. recording a second month of consecutive monthly gains. . . . The monthly rebound in home prices underscores the lack of inventory in this housing cycle.”
Here’s What This Means for You
- Sellers: If you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about what was happening with home prices and how it would impact the value of your home, it may be time to jump back in and partner with an agent to list your house. You don’t have to put your needs on hold any longer because the latest data shows a turn in your favor.
- Buyers: If you’ve been waiting to buy because you didn’t want to purchase something that would decrease in value, you now have the peace of mind things are looking up. Buying now lets you make your move before home prices climb more and gives you the chance to own an asset that typically grows in value over time.
If you put off your plans to move because you were worried about home prices falling, data shows the worst is already behind us and prices are actually rising nationally. Partner with a local real estate professional so you have an expert to explain what’s happening with home prices in your area.