Is it okay to sell in the winter?
December 5, 2016
People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every fall; we ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather, or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait.
If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to sell now instead of in the dead of winter.
1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index 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!
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition Now
According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market (which is 4.5-months).
This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market soon.
Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase, reaching historic levels in 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream homes within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. 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.
According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.57% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.
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 think 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.
July 15, 2016
This is a great question...should you buy now or wait? If you wait and the interest rates go up by a small jump, you stand to lose almost $200 a month. Your buying power also goes down as well. Take a look and see the big difference!
July 1, 2016
"Is it the Right Time to Sell?"
Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings. The report revealed that this May’s numbers weren’t quite as good as the year before:
“With last month’s decline, the index reading is still the third highest in the past year, but declined year-over-year for the first time since August 2014.”
The mainstream media ran headlines highlighting that the index had dropped for the first time in two years. Many read this as an indication that the housing market must be slowing down.
If you were thinking that now may be the perfect time to put your house on the market, these reports may have caused you some concern. We want to alleviate that concern today.
Though it is true that the index dropped in last month’s report, let’s take a closer look at the numbers. Below is a graph of the index since January 2014. We can see that the index has increased every month over the last eighteen months, leading up to this past May.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explained that it wasn’t a slowing of the market that caused the index to slip, but instead a lack of housing inventory:
“Total housing inventory at the end of each month has remarkably decreased year-over-year now for an entire year. There are simply not enough homes coming onto the market to catch up with demand.”
Here is a graph depicting the situation Yun was referencing:
Did the latest numbers from the Pending Home Sales Index cause you to question if now is a good time to put your house on the market? If anything, it indicated the exact opposite: that this may be the perfect time to sell!!
June 18, 2016
"How do I prepare to sell my home?"
Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).
Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
Realtor.com, gives this advice:
“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:
“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.
June 1, 2016
"Do you know the answer to this common home buying questions?"
Whether you are considering the purchase of your first home or trading up to the home your family frequently fantasizes about, there are three crucial questions you must know the answer to:
What is the minimum down payment required to purchase a home?
What is the minimum FICO score required to qualify for a mortgage?
What is the maximum Back-End DTI Ratio allowed?
A survey conducted by Fannie Mae revealed startling information: most Americans don’t know the answer to these three crucially important questions. Here is a graphic showing the results of the survey:
The percentages are quite disturbing but can explain why so many people believe they are not eligible to purchase a home whether it is a first home or a trade-up home. Here are the actually requirements as per Fannie Mae:
If you are considering purchasing a home, make sure you are aware of all your options before moving forward.
May 15, 2016
"4 Reasons to Sell this Summer"
Summer is here! The temperature isn't the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market in many areas of the country! 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 Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 5.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.3% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. 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 remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & theNational Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point 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
As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”
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 whether 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.
May 1, 2016
"Home Ownership Promotes Wealth"
The most recent Housing Pulse Survey released by the National Association of Realtorsrevealed that the two major reasons Americans prefer owning their own home instead of renting are:
- They want the opportunity to build equity.
- They want a stable and safe environment.
John Taylor, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, explains that those who lack the opportunity to become homeowners have a weakened ability to reinvest their wealth:
“We traditionally have been huge supporters of homeownership. We see it as a way to provide stability for households but also as an asset-building strategy. If you continue to be a renter, locked out of the homeownership arena, increasingly those things are further and further out of reach. They’re joined at the hip. They perpetuate each other.”
Does owning your home really create a more stable environment for your family?
A survey of property managers conducted by rent.com disclosed two reasons tenants should feel less stable with their housing situation:
- 68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%.
- 53% of property managers said that they were more likely to bring in a new tenant at a higher rate than negotiate and renew a lease with a current tenant they already know.
We can see from these survey results that renting will provide anything but a stable environment in the near future.
Homeowners enjoy a more stable environment and at the same time are given the opportunity to build their family’s net worth.
__________________________________________April 12, 2016
The Luxury Market in the DFW area is much lower than the National average according to the ILHM Matrix's.
What does that mean to you? Always a good time to buy in Dallas!!
April 11, 2016
Blog from the desk of Lisa Powers......Getting your home ready to sell....
Stand in your kitchen and take a deep breath. Smell that? From last night’s fish to your son’s nasty lacrosse pads (why did he leave them on the table?), you probably can’t detect any of your home’s rankest odors. You’ve got nose blindness.
“You adapt to the smells around you,” says Dr. Richard Doty, the director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania. On a sensory level, your processing mechanism becomes less sensitive to the continuous stimuli. Or, on a cognitive level, you can become habituated to the smells and basically learn to ignore them. Or you can do both.
But on a I-don’t-want-my-house-to-stink level, you don’t have to be resigned to living with odors — even if you can’t smell them yourself. Here are some of the most common nose blindness culprits, and how to ban them from your home.
1. Love Your Pet. Destroy Their Smells.
There’s one easy way to tell if your home smells like pets: Do you have them? Then yeah, unless you’re an obsessive cleaner and groomer, your abode has at least some Fido funk. It could be pee, but more likely it’s just hair, gunky ears, and weeks-old slobber.
The first step to cleaning up pet smells is — sorry, pets — cleaning the pets themselves. Bathe and groom them regularly.
Then, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. If they have a favorite couch or cushion, cover it with a blanket and run it — and the cushion cover — through the wash weekly. Every time you vacuum, start with a hearty sprinkle of baking soda on the carpet. And use that crevice tool liberally; pet hair loves tight spaces like the border between the carpet and the wall, the edges of your steps and that little crack of space between the stove and your cabinets.
Hopefully urine isn’t the issue, but to be sure, you can use a black light to out any dried stains your pet was hoping you’d never notice. Use more of that baking soda followed by a half-water, half-vinegar solution to neutralize the odor. Lots of people also swear by store-bought neutralizers, like Nature’s Miracle.
2. Battle Mustiness … With Onion?
Fortunately, nose blindness only affects one of your senses, and you don’t need your nose to verify a basement with a musty smell. Mustiness is caused by mildew and mold, which — for better or for worse — your eyeballs can easily detect. Do a careful inspection and if you find gray or white splotches anywhere, it’s probably mildew. If it’s fuzzy, (oh no!) it’s mold.
First, you’ll want to bust up those existing odors. Then, you’ll want to make sure they never return. A solution of one-part bleach to four-parts water and some elbow grease will help you scrub away mildew. Although bleach can be used to clean mold too, it usually isn’t necessary. A regular household cleaner can do the trick.
To prevent mildew and mold from returning, consider running a dehumidifier or improving air circulation and sunlight exposure in the affected area if possible. For chronic mustiness, you can deodorize rooms by setting out bowls of vinegar, cat litter, baking soda, or — as crazy as this sounds — an onion also will do the trick. Cut one in half and let it sit in a bowl in the room. The onion smell goes away in a few hours, and so will the dankness.
3. Mind Mattress Smells
Similar to pet odors, knowing if your mattress could smell is easy: Do you have a human body with skin and oils? Do you sleep on it? Eventually, all the dead skin and body oils you shed while sleeping are going to build up, and stink they will, especially if your bedding is older.
You can’t exactly toss your mattress in the washing machine, so you’ll have to deal with it where it lies. But it’s an easy fix: Sprinkle baking soda on it, let it sit for an hour or more, and then vacuum up the soda. (This works for memory foam, too.) Add a couple drops of essential oil to the soda (drip directly into the box and shake it well to mix evenly) for a pleasant smell. Bonus: Lavender has been shown to help you sleep.
4. Fade Fridge and Freezer Funk
It’s your fridge and freezer’s job to keep your food fresh, but they need a little help staying fresh themselves. Itty bitty food bits hang out long after you’ve tossed the item from which they came. Although you might not notice the odor creep, you may notice your ice starting to taste funny or see those food morsels start to accumulate in the corners of your fridge shelves. If you see or taste something icky, you can bet others can smell something icky.
To zap odors from from your freezer and fridge, unplug and empty them and do a thorough cleaning with a mix of hot water and baking soda. You can sanitize with a solution of one tablespoon bleach and one gallon of water. Let it air out for 15 minutes. Try wiping it down with vinegar for extra odor eliminating, or even leave the door open for a few days. What better excuse is there for a long weekend away, or to treat yourself to takeout?