Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018

Posted on September 12, 2018

Between 1987 and 1999, which is often referred to as the ‘Pre-Bubble Period,’ home prices grew at an average of 3.6% according to the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every month, the economists at CoreLogic release the results of their Home Price Insights Report, which includes the actual year-over-year change in prices across the country and their predictions for the following year. The chart below shows the forecasted year-over-year prices for 2018 (predictions made in 2017). According to their predictions, the average appreciation over the course of 2018 should be 4.8%, which is still greater than the ‘normal’ appreciation of 3.6%. If we layer in the actual price appreciation that has occurred this year, we can see that over the course of 2018, home prices have appreciated by an average of 6.9% and have outpaced projections all year! What does this mean? The tale of today’s real estate market is one of low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. The forces at work can be simply explained with the theory of supply and demand. That being said, if a large supply of inventory were to come to the market, prices may start to appreciate closer to the forecasted rate which would STILL be greater than the historic norm! Bottom Line If you are a homeowner whose house no longer meets your needs, now may be a great time to list your home and capitalize on the equity you have gained over the last year to make a significant down payment on your next home! Read More >>

NAR Reports Show It’s A Great Time to Sell!

Posted on September 11, 2018

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when the demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that right now continues to be a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered in the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report. THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are down 2.3% from last year and have continued to fall on an annual basis for seven straight months. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.” Takeaway: Demand for housing is strong and will continue to grow in 2019. Without an influx of new listings for sale, pending home sales will continue to decline. Listing now means you will be able to take advantage of the demand currently in the market. THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales-based, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained: Total housing inventory decreased 0.7% to 5.34 million homes available for sale in July This represents a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace Sales are now 1.5% below a year ago There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report: “Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their slowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million.” In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies: When there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation; between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation; and more than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are (and will remain) in a seller’s market and prices will continue to increase unless more listings come to the market. “Listings continue to go under contract in under a month, which highlights the feedback from Realtors® that buyers are swiftly snatching up moderately-priced properties. Existing supply is still not at a healthy level, and new home construction is not keeping up to meet demand.” Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a sizable supply does not enter the market. Bottom Line If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out looking for your house. Read More >>

4 Reasons Why Fall Is A Great Time to Buy A Home!

Posted on September 10, 2018

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights report reveals that home prices have appreciated by 6.2% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.1% over the next year. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense. 2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have already increased by half of a percentage point, to around 4.5% in 2018. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by half a percentage point to around 5.1% by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact your monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home. 3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home which you can then tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity. Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you? 4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But what if they weren’t? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy. If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Read More >>

Home Prices Up 6.49% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on September 07, 2018

Some Highlights: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest quarterly Home Price Index report. In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state. Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more! Read More >>

What Does the Future Hold for Home Prices?

Posted on September 06, 2018

Home prices are at the top of everyone’s minds. Can they maintain their current pace of appreciation? Will rising mortgage rates negatively impact home values? Will the next economic slowdown cause prices to crash? Let’s try to answer these questions based on what has happened in the past as well as what we know about the current real estate market. The Impact of Rising Interest Rates We explained earlier this year that rising mortgage rates have not negatively impacted home prices in the past and probably wouldn’t this time either. Freddie Mac’s comments were very direct: “In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.” They were correct. So far this year, home values have continued to appreciate above normal historic percentages and it appears the gradual increase in rates has had little impact on prices. The Impact of an Economic Slowdown Many people fear that when the economy turns, we may see the same depreciation in home values as we did a decade ago. However, we recently reported that the same group of economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists who predicted the next recession will occur in the next 18-24 months have also projected that house prices will continue to appreciate for the next five years, albeit at smaller percentages. It Comes Down to Supply and Demand As always, home prices will be determined by the demand to purchase compared to the available inventory of homes for sale. For the last six years, demand has far exceeded the available supply which has resulted in the average annual appreciation to top 6% since 2012. That is far greater than the historic norm of 3.6% annual appreciation that we saw prior to the housing boom. There are currently small signs that housing inventory is slowly beginning to increase. Months supply of houses for sale matched last year’s numbers for the last two months after 37 consecutive months of decreasing inventory. New construction data has also shown positive signs that inventory will be increasing. As inventory begins to meet demand, we will see appreciation return to more normal levels. We are already seeing projections coming in lower than the 6.2% annual average we have seen more recently. CoreLogic is predicting that home values will appreciate by 5.1% over the next twelve months and the Home Price Expectation Survey calls for values to increase by 4.2% in 2019. Bottom Line Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best: “We’re seeing the first indications that price appreciation may be slowing, but the underlying fundamental housing market conditions support a natural moderation of house prices rather than a sharp decline.” Read More >>

Homeownership is a Dominant Gene

Posted on September 05, 2018

There are many things that factor into the decision to buy a home. New research from the Urban Institute suggests that one of those things may be inherited from your parents. Children are More Likely to Own a Home if Their Parents Did According to an analysis of millennial homeowners, the homeownership rate of those whose parents rent their homes is 14.4%, while the rate amongst millennials whose parents are homeowners is 31.7%! “A young adult’s odds of homeownership are highly correlated with their parent’s homeownership. Without controlling for such factors as age, income, education, marital status, and race or ethnicity, there is a 17 percentage-point gap between the homeownership rate for young adults whose parents are renters and young adults whose parents are homeowners.” The study also revealed that as a parent’s net worth increases, so does the likelihood that their child will own a home. These two findings are not surprising as we know from the Survey of Consumer Finances that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. So, a parent who is a homeowner will have more wealth which will, in turn, increase the chances that their children will own their own homes in the future. Below is a breakdown of the relationship between a parent’s wealth and a millennial’s likelihood to own a home. The Good News: The high homeownership rate amongst baby boomers (likely the parents of many millennials) is a great sign that millennials will want to own homes. We are already seeing this in the high-demand environment that we are currently experiencing in the starter and trade-up markets. Bottom Line Even though millennials took longer than many of the generations before them to start home searches of their own, the data shows that they will not be waiting much longer! Read More >>

Rents Are on The Rise: Don’t Get Caught in The Rental Trap!

Posted on September 04, 2018

There are many benefits to homeownership, but one of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped  A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating: “Our national rent index is up 0.1 percent month-over-month, marking the sixth straight month of increasing rents. Year-over-year growth now stands at 1.2 percent.” The article continues, explaining that: “Rents increased month-over-month in 62 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, down significantly from the 85 cities that saw rents rise last month. That said, rents are still up year-over-year in most of the nation’s largest markets — 77 of the 100 largest cities have seen rents increase over the past twelve months.” Additionally, Urban Land Magazine explained that, “Currently, nearly half (47 percent) of renter households are cost burdened (i.e., paying more than 30 percent of income for housing), while 25 percent (totaling 11 million households) are severely cost burdened, paying over 50 percent of their total household income for rent.” These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare. It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Reportfrom Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 2% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% less expensive in Detroit (MI), and 26.3% nationwide! Know Your Options Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 1,166 renters found that 34% said they rent because they cannot afford to buy, 29% said they cannot afford to buy where they live, and nearly a quarter (24%) were saving to buy. Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time homebuyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough! Bottom Line Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let’s get together to determine if you can qualify for a mortgage today! Read More >>

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Fall!

Posted on September 04, 2018

Here are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market. 2. There Is Less Competition Now  Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon! Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell. 3. The Process Will Be Quicker Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all that they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 44 days. 4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The abundance of inventory available in these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market for anybody looking to purchase these homes. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own! According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.1% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. 5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life  Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you feel you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important. Read More >>

A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on August 31, 2018

Some Highlights: Hiring a real estate professional to help you buy your dream home or sell your current house is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make! A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process. Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions and can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family! Read More >>

Why are Existing Home Sales Down?

Posted on August 30, 2018

The latest Existing Home Sales Report issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that home sales have decreased for four consecutive months and are at their slowest pace in over two years. This has some industry leaders puzzled considering the fact that the economy is strengthening, unemployment is down, and wages are beginning to rise. This begs the question: “Where are the buyers?” Actually, agents in the field of most communities are still seeing strong desire from prospective purchasers. They have a list of potential buyers ready to go if the right houses come on the market and they claim it is not a shortage of demand, but is instead a shortage of inventory that is causing the market to soften. Why is there a shortage of inventory? You only need to look at the graph below to understand:   New construction sales over the last ten years are far below historic numbers from 1995-2002. A recent industry report looked at building permits and concluded: “If construction over the past decade matched historic norms, accounting for population change, the country would have had 2.3 million more single-family home permits.” That decade of not building enough homes is the primary reason for the concerns about today’s market. Wait, weren’t we talking about ‘existing’ home sales? Some may argue that NAR’s sales report deals with existing home sales and not new construction, and they would be correct. However, reports have shown that one of the main reasons why existing homeowners are not selling is because they can’t find homes that meet the needs of their current lifestyles. Historically, the upgrades in a newly constructed home were the answers to those needs. Over the last decade, however, there were fewer homes built to satisfy this move-up seller. Consequently, there are many homeowners who stayed in their homes for a longer tenure, instead of putting their homes up for sale. Bottom Line As more new homes are being built, there will be more housing inventory to satisfy current demand which will cause prices to moderate and sales volumes to increase. Read More >>

Top 3 Myths About Today’s Real Estate Market

Posted on August 29, 2018

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today’s real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage. Today, we want to try and clear the air by shedding some light on what’s causing some of these headlines, as well as what’s truly going on. Myth #1: We Are Headed for Another Housing Bubble Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. Many areas of the country are at or near their peak prices achieved before the last housing bubble burst. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble. Reality: The biggest challenge facing today’s real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes. Historically, a normal market requires a 6-month supply of inventory in order for prices to rise with the rate of inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is currently a 4.3-month supply of inventory. The US housing market hasn’t had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up! Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can’t be too far off. But what is a recession? Merriam-Webster defines a recession as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two consecutive quarters.” Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years, there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated. Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis Looming Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home. There are many different affordability indexes supported by different organizations that all measure different data. For this reason, there is a lot of confusion about what “affordable” actually means. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home’s price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week. Reality: As we mentioned earlier, home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 months, largely driven by high demand and low supply. According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median incomenecessary to buy a home in today’s market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 – 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms. The starter-home market has appreciated at higher levels (9.4% year-over-year) than any other market. One reason for this is the fact that many of the first-time buyers who have flocked to the starter-home market are being met with high competition. For some hopeful buyers, it may take more than a good offer to stand out from the crowd! Bottom Line There is a lot of confusion in today’s real estate market. If your future plans include buying or selling, make sure you have a trusted adviser and market expert by your side to help guide you to the best decision for you and your family. Read More >>

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing in 2019

Posted on August 28, 2018

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting that home sales will increase nicely in 2019. Below is a chart depicting the projections of each entity for the remainder of 2018, as well as for 2019. As we can see, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe that homes sales will increase steadily over the next year. If you are a homeowner who has considered selling your house recently, now may be the best time to put it on the market. Read More >>

Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage!

Posted on August 27, 2018

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”: “While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.” With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained: “Over the last three years, renter house-buying power has increased fast enough to keep pace with house price appreciation, so the share of homes that a renter can afford to buy has remained the same since 2015. Although mortgage rates are expected to rise, they are still low by historic standards, and real household incomes are the highest they have ever been. Assuming this trend continues, our measure of affordability, which takes into account income, interest rates, and house prices, indicates thathomeownership is still within reach for renters.” As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity. Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’slatest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.51% last week. Bottom Line Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy. Read More >>

What State Gives You the Most ‘Bang for Your Buck’? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on August 24, 2018

Some Highlights: The majority of states in the Midwest and South offer a lower cost of living than states in the Northeast and West. The ‘biggest bang for your buck’ comes in Mississippi where, compared to the national average, you can actually purchase $115.74 worth of goods for $100. For more information regarding the methodology used to create this map, visit the Tax Foundation. Read More >>

What Does the Recent Rash of Price Reductions Mean to the Real Estate Market?

Posted on August 23, 2018

Last week, in a new report from Zillow, it was revealed that there has been a rash of price reductions across the country. According to the report: There are more price cuts now than a year ago in over two-thirds of the nation’s largest metros About 14% of all listings had a price cut in June Since the beginning of the year, the share of listings with a price cut increased 1.2% This is the greatest January-to-June increase ever reported, and more than double the January-to-June increase last year Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas further explained: “A rising share of on-market listings are seeing price cuts, though these price cuts are concentrated at the most expensive price-points and primarily in markets that have seen outsized price gains in recent years.” What this DOESN’T MEAN for the real estate market… This doesn’t mean home values have depreciated or are about to depreciate. A seller may put a home worth $300,000 on the market for $325,000 hoping a bidding war will occur and an overanxious buyer will pay more than its actual value. That has happened often over the last few years. If the seller gets no offers and reduces the price to $300,000, it doesn’t mean the home dropped in value. It is still worth $300,000. Home prices will continue to appreciate over the next 12 months. In this same report, Terrazas remarks: “It’s far too soon to call this a buyer’s market, home values are still expected to appreciate at double their historic rate over the next 12 months, but the frenetic pace of the housing market over the past few years is starting to return toward a more normal trend.” What this DOES MEAN for the real estate market… This does mean that sellers should be more conservative when it comes to the price at which they list their homes – especially sellers in the upper end of each market. Sellers have been listing their homes at inflated prices hoping a super-hot market will deliver a buyer willing to pay virtually any price to ensure they don’t lose the house. That strategy has worked somewhat successfully over the last two years. However, the time that strategy would have worked may have passed. Again, quoting Aaron Terrazas in the report: “The housing market has tilted sharply in favor of sellers over the past two years, but there are very early preliminary signs that the winds may be starting to shift ever-so-slightly.” Bottom Line Prices are not depreciating. However, if you want to sell your house quickly and with the least amount of hassles, pricing it correctly from the beginning makes the most sense. Read More >>

Having Trouble Saving Enough for Your Down Payment? Crowdfund It!

Posted on August 22, 2018

You read that right! First-time buyers across the country are getting creative when it comes to saving the necessary down payment to buy a home. Many couples are asking their wedding guests to contribute to their “Down Payment Fund” rather than fulfilling a traditional registry. This is fueled by the fact that many couples live together prior to marriage and already have the necessary items to make a house a home…they just need the house! The average wedding in the United States has 120 guests who give wedding gifts valued, on average, at $186. This means that couples could walk away from their nuptials with over $22,000 towards their down payment! Services like HomeFundMe allow friends, family members, and almost anyone else in a buyer’s network to contribute funds toward the buyer’s down payment. Contributors can determine, at the time of their donation, if their gifts are ‘conditional’ or ‘non-conditional’ on the beneficiary buying a home. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “about 400 borrowers have used HomeFundMe to help buy homes since the program launched in October and on average, they raise about $2,500.” The article went on to explain that most borrowers use these funds in combination with their personal savings to shorten the time needed to achieve their goal of homeownership. There are more and more programs surfacing from lenders that allow buyers to put down as little as 3% to buy their dream home. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs require 3% down payments, while FHA programs require as little as 3.5%, and VA Loans are often approved with 0% down! Bottom Line Gone are the days of 20% down or no loan! If your dreams include buying a home of your own in the next year, you can get creative with your down payment savings to make it happen! Read More >>

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

Posted on August 21, 2018

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more all in one sitting. When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but you may need a reality check. Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life: Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them. Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.   Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale. Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes being shown are already sold and are off the market.  Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet. Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy.  Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house. Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area but are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind that many homes are sold during regular listing appointments as well.  Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation. Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives/goals. Bottom Line Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee that you can make the home of your dreams a reality! Read More >>

The Net Worth of a Homeowner is 44x Greater Than A Renter!

Posted on August 20, 2018

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. Their latest survey data, covering 2013-2016 was recently released. The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013). These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter. Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home. That is why, for the fifth year in a row, Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment. This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26% and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds. Greater equity in your home gives you options If you want to find out how you can use the increased equity in your home to move to a home that better fits your current lifestyle, let’s get together to discuss the process. Read More >>

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on August 17, 2018

Some Highlights: Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019. The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be. Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home! Read More >>

Housing Market: Another Gigantic Difference Between 2008 and 2018

Posted on August 16, 2018

Some are attempting to compare the current housing market to the market leading up to the “boom and bust” that we experienced a decade ago. They look at price appreciation and conclude that we are on a similar trajectory, speeding toward another housing crisis. However, there is a major difference between the two markets. Last decade, while demand was being artificially created by extremely loose lending standards, a tremendous amount of inventory was coming to the market to satisfy that demand. Below is a graph of the inventory of homes available for sale leading up to the 2008 crash.   A normal market should have approximately 6 months supply of housing inventory. As we can see, that number jumped to over 11 months supply leading up to the housing crisis. When questionable mortgage practices ceased, and demand dried up, there was a glut of inventory on the market which caused prices to drop as there was too much supply and not enough demand. Today is radically different! There are those who believe that low mortgage rates have created an artificial demand in the current market. They fear that if mortgage rates continue to rise, some of the current demand will dry up (which is a possibility). However, if we look at supply again, we can see that the current supply of homes is well below the norm of 6 months. Bottom Line We will not have a glut of inventory like we did back in 2008 and home values won’t come tumbling down. Instead, if demand weakens, we will return to a normal market (approximately a 6-month supply) with historic levels of appreciation (3.6% annually). Read More >>

Imperial Home Team

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