Looking at statistics from 2017, we have learned that first time home buyers were made up of 57% of buyers were married couples, 18% were single females, 7% were single males and 16% were unmarried couples and repeat buyers were similar although married couples increased to 69%. We also found that the typical buyer is 45 years of age and the median household income for 2016 was $88,800 with median purchase price being $235,000. Buyers also looked at fewer houses in 2017 than compared to 1987 when making a decision to purchase and I believe that is because the internet allows buyers to shop online and preview houses and only physically touring those of serious interest. It’s interesting, too, that 68% of buyers used their mobile device to search for homes. While 8% of purchases were directly with a builder, 87% percent of buyers used a Real Estate Agent. Buyers rely on their real estate agent mainly to help them find the right home to purchase but also to help negotiate the terms and price as well as help with the paperwork. The median down payment was 10% for homes purchased with a mortgage, which is about 5% for first time buyers and 14% for repeat buyers, showing us that home ownership builds wealth and equity. Still, the main reason for delayed savings is student loan debt followed by credit card debt. Are you still renting and hoping to purchase a home some day? Perhaps a one hour (free) buyer consultation with our Team can help prepare you to reach that goal sooner than later. Our Team of Real Estate Agents can educate you on the process of home buying tasks, answer some debt to income questions and provide resources that will help take out any anxiety you might feel during this big decision and investment purchase.
The most frustrating market a buyer can encounter is one with low inventory where there are very few options and where there can be multiple offers. Broker/Owner Lori Todd has been in the real estate industry for 27 years and in that period of time, she has never seen inventory as low as it is in today’s marketplace. Some buyers have not found a home to purchase and have had to sign a lease agreement locking them in to another year of leasing. Some buyers have found themselves in a multiple offer situation which can force the purchase price higher. It’s always good to prepare for all sorts of scenarios. To help reduce the stress and avoid killing the budget, buyers need to determine in advance what their top dollar is for any given home that you don’t get caught up in the bidding war. And, another tip is to make a list of all the wants and needs of a house so that when you’re in a rushed moment, making a good decision can be as easy as referring to your predetermined list. Team Choice agents focus on helping buyers with a strategic plan of action which helps remove all of the stress and anxiety and allowing buyers to be excited about the home buying process. We go over all of that thoroughly in our free buyer consultation session before jumping in the car to see that first house option. We are available days, evenings and weekends to accommodate the needs of our buyer clients.
I had a mentor once tell me that he describes the real estate market as ‘unbelievable’. When I asked why, he said well, if it’s really good, it’s unbelievable and if it’s really bad, it’s still unbelievable. Hmmmmm….. good point and so true! Today’s market is really unbelievable! We have historic low inventory and rates have continued to stay under 5% for a decade. We have clients wanting to sell their homes but they cannot find another suitable home. It’s like the chicken and egg circle!! You don’t want to sell until you can buy and you can’t buy until you sell. So, what gives? What will be the solution to this low inventory and when will it let up? We don’t know. What we do know is that there is a lack of new construction which is said to be a piece of the problem. When talking to builders, they describe challenges such as no affordable land, high infrastructure costs, difficulty in finding labor, and increase in building supplies makes the home price higher than market can bear. Is this a community problem. We think so but how to we fix it? Realtors lobby regularly to help find ways to protect and promote home ownership. It’s really a grass roots effort starting locally and moving on to state issues as well as the federal level. It’s the big picture and it’s a proven fact that when the real market does well, the economy does well. Because of the low inventory, price values have edged up but are starting to level out as we approach summer.
It’s that time again…. time to get the outside cleaned up from winter, time to spruce up the landscaping, and time to clean gutters and make sure all debris is cleared so that Spring rains can drain properly and avoid water damage. When we are showing houses for sale or on a listing appointment, one of the most common maintenance issues is the lack of preventive care. When there is water in a crawlspace, more often than not, it’s simply due to poor drainage around the exterior of the home but looks to be a bigger problem. And, when you see rotted wood around the roof overhang, it’s usually caused from clogged gutters and downspouts so the rain water cannot flow and ends up running over onto the wood structure.
Houses continue to sell throughout the winter and early spring even when exterior work may be needed. When inspection items occur, it is most common to escrow funds for the work to be completed when weather permits. Realtors and Lenders know this is common so buyers and sellers just have to work through the process and realize that sometimes Mother Nature causes a delay in maintenance. But, as long as funds and labor are available, there should be no issues with proceeding to closing on time.
If you are planning to sell, having a checklist and doing as much maintenance as possible prior to showings, the easier the process will go and chances are, you’ll get higher price during negotiations.
Do you hear it’s a “Seller’s Market” but still see houses sitting on the market for sale for long periods of time? In most cases, that means one of two things…. The house is either drastically overpriced or the condition needs improved. Today’s buyers are not patient or willing to invest money and time to get a house to move-in condition. They want to simply buy and move in and they are not willing to pay more than market value.
We are currently experiencing a Seller’s Market. Right now, every one of our company listings are under contract with a sale pending. While a few of our current listings sat on the market for a while, the sellers continually made improvements using showing feedback in order to reach a purchase without raising the list price. If Sellers are not willing to make improvements and price competitively, they will miss the peak selling market and their house will become stale and overlooked by buyers or will receive lower offer prices because of the length of marketing time.
Our company website has tips for sellers to prepare their house for the market. Simple and inexpensive tasks include fresh, neutral paint on exterior door and trim as well as inside in main areas, cleaning up landscaping, updating cabinetry hardware and light fixtures, cleaning/dusting the utility room and creating an inviting and cheerful entry. These tasks are good for annual maintenance even if you are not planning to sell but ready for a fresh outlook on your home! For more tips and consulting, call or email Team Choice!
For a while now, we’ve been experiencing low inventory on the market, making it difficult for buyers who have few options. Now that the weather is improving and Spring Break is just a couple of weeks away, we are hopeful the 2018 market activity will see a good increase in new listings. People have asked why we are having a shortage in listings and we think it’s a combination of several things. Not only have we had less new construction over the past several years but homeowners are staying in their houses longer. People don’t want to sell until they’ve already identified a new place to purchase and the loan process has tightened causing people to be intimated and simply avoid it.
Choice Realty & Management has a pre-listing packet available to owners who are thinking of selling. We can also prepare a market analysis for owners to help them decide if and when they want to list their home on the market. We have local data and consider local market conditions and influences rather than use other websites that have inaccurate and incomplete data. If you’re thinking of selling, give us an opportunity to offer our services to you!
It seems like February is always a month for down time. Coming off the holidays, people make resolutions for the new year and ready to start off with new goals and activities. But, then February arrives and things fade away while people tend to focus on the next exciting time, Spring Break! Sellers should be prepping their house if they plan to sell. Buyers should be searching online for inventory in order to get familiar with the market if they plan to buy. February is an ideal month to contact a Realtor who will work for you! It gives the consumer plenty of time to make plans and get tasks completed. With our consultations, we prefer starting early so that we can thoroughly review the needs of our clients and spend time making a good plan and getting organized.
Wow! What a challenge we’ve had to the start of 2018! These frigid temperatures have caused havoc to housing with overworked furnaces having heating issues and water lines freezing. The below zero temps cause spikes to utility bills, too, because electricity and gas are constantly fighting the battle of cold air. Things you can do to help relieve some worry and expense are to close crawlspace vents, seal around doors and windows, leave cabinet doors open so warm air can reach all pipes, and keep your home closed up as much as possible. Even coming and going through the garage door lets in so much cold air! We’ve even experienced water lines outside of the home are frozen, which falls to the service provider. And, depending on what company that might be, they may work to thaw the lines or they may ride it out and wait until temperature raise. It’s frustrating for everyone. Residents without water and service techs battling the weather outside of their control have to do what they can which may not be enough. Doing everything possible in advance can help avoid bigger problems but there is no guarantee it won’t happen. Our Maintenance Dept has been working overtime on heating issues and frozen pipes. IF you need assistance, please email: Repairs@CallChoiceRealty.com and we’ll get you on the list!
Just a quick reminder, the office of Choice Realty & Management is closed on Monday, January 1 and Tuesday, January 2. During our closed hours, our emergency maintenance phone extension is available for tenants in need of emergency repair.
Please remember, as we have extreme cold weather, close crawlspace vents, keep warm airflow around plumbing along outside walls and keep a small stream of water flowing on any faucets that tend to freeze.
We are looking forward to working with our customers and clients in 2018.
Let’s be blunt….. if you are not a responsible pet owner who can properly care for your pet, you shouldn’t have one! With these winter frigid temperatures, it is critical to keep pets indoors. If it’s too cold for a human, it’s too cold for an animal!! Please make sure your pets have shelter, food and water. The last statistic we heard said that 65% of people have a pet. We are pet lovers, too! And, that’s why, proper care of your pet is important to us.