Buying, Selling and Market Trends

Real Estate

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales are now at an annual pace of 5.46 million.
  • Inventory of existing homes for sale dropped to a 4-month supply, marking the 35th month in a row of declines.
  • The median price of homes sold in April was $257,900. This is the 74th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.
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Home Inspections

Atop the long list of items to do when buying or selling a house is the home inspection. But what is involved? How much does it cost? Why is it done in the first place? It’s important to understand what a home inspection entails and how it affects the sale of your home or the purchase of a new one. The more you know, the less likely you are to get ripped off or taken by surprise.

 

What is a Home Inspection?

First of all, let’s clear up a commonly misunderstood point: a home inspection is not the same as an appraisal. An appraisal is an estimate of a property’s overall market value. A home inspection is much more detailed and practical. It is also not a code inspection and therefore does not report on building code compliance or give a “passing” or “failing” grade. It is defined as an objective visual examination of the structure and systems of a home by an impartial, neutral third party not related to the buyer or seller. In layman’s terms, it shows you what’s wrong with the property you want to buy or sell and if it is serious enough to prevent a sale.

The three main points of the inspection are to evaluate the physical condition of the home, including structure, construction and mechanical systems; identify items that need to be repaired or replaced; and estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure, and finishes. Bottom line: a home inspection is to inform the buyer of any readily visible major defects in the mechanical and structural components, and to disclose any significant health or safety issues.

 

What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

A home inspection includes a visual examination of the house from top to bottom. There are hundred of items a home inspection covers, including general structure, flashings, basement or lower level, framing, central cooling and heating, chimneys, plumbing and electrical systems, drainage, bathrooms and laundry facilities, foundation, common safety devices, fireplaces and wood stoves, kitchen and kitchen appliances, general interior, attic, insulation. ventilation, roof, and exterior.

An inspector cannot report on defects that are not visible. For instance, defects hidden behind finished walls, beneath carpeting, behind storage items and in inaccessible areas, and even those that have been intentionally concealed. Systems that are seasonally inoperable (swamp coolers, air conditioning, furnaces) will not be turned on during the inspection.

 

How Do I Find an Inspector?

To hire an inspector, get recommendations from your Realtor, or from friends and family. If you don’t know anyone who has hired a home inspector, you can find home inspectors in the Yellow Pages category “Home Inspection Services.” When interviewing inspectors, be sure to ask for references and any memberships in professional associations. Find out about the inspector’s professional training, length of time in the business, and experience.

It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection for a couple of reasons: First, you can ask the inspector questions during the inspection. Also, the inspector will have the opportunity to point out areas of potential trouble, which will mean more to you if you see it with your own eyes than read it in the inspector’s report later. Many inspectors also will offer maintenance tips as the inspection progresses.

 

Is the Seller Obligated to Make Suggested Repairs?

The seller is not required to make any repairs, replacements or maintenance since this is not a code inspection. However, the buyer can use the inspection report as a negotiating tool. For instance, if certain repairs or replacements are made, the buyer might offer to pay more, or if they’re not, the buyer can bid lower.

Also, never allow an inspector to contract with you to make repairs he/she has suggested — this is a major conflict of interest, not to mention unethical. However, some inspectors do offer a guarantee or warranty on their service for an additional fee, although it is not a standard practice and not required.

 

How Much Does it Cost and How Long Will it Take?

Remember that a thorough, accurate home inspection takes time. The last thing you want to do is to try to hurry the inspector along. The inspector’s most important priority is accuracy, and accuracy takes time. The chances of mistakes and missed conditions are much more likely the more the inspector rushes through. Expect your home inspection to take anywhere between two and five hours (allowing about one hour for each 1,500 square feet of living space over 3,500 square feet). Of course, older homes will take longer than newer ones.

Expect your inspection to cost anywhere from $200-$500 depending on size. The cost is worth it and may be one of the most important investments you make when buying a home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop in Inventory Fuels Sales Slowdown [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Drop in Inventory Fuels Sales Slowdown [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales are now at an annual pace of 5.46 million.
  • Inventory of existing homes for sale dropped to a 4-month supply, marking the 35th month in a row of declines.
  • The median price of homes sold in April was $257,900. This is the 74th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.
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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/25/drop-in-inventory-fuels-sales-slowdown-infographic/feed/ 4 Selling Your House on Your Own Could Cost Youhttp://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/24/selling-your-house-on-your-own-could-cost-you/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/24/selling-your-house-on-your-own-could-cost-you/#comments Thu, 24 May 2018 10:00:58 +0000

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37574

In this extremely hot real estate market, some homeowners might consider selling their homes on their own which is known as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). They rationalize that they don’t need a real estate agent and believe that they can save the fee for the services a real estate agent offers. However, a […]]]>

 

Selling Your House on Your Own Could Cost You | Simplifying The Market

In this extremely hot real estate market, some homeowners might consider selling their homes on their own which is known as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). They rationalize that they don’t need a real estate agent and believe that they can save the fee for the services a real estate agent offers.

However, a study by Collateral Analytics reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money than if they had used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.

Conclusions from the study:

  1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
  2. The data suggests the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

As Dave Ramsey, America’s trusted voice on money, explains:

“Research has shown that, between mistakes, lack of negotiating skills, pricing errors and general exposure on the market, you’ll cost yourself more than the real estate commission…You’ll come out slightly better and with a lot less hassle if you use a top-shelf agent.”

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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/24/selling-your-house-on-your-own-could-cost-you/feed/ 8 Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/23/why-have-interest-rates-jumped-to-a-7-year-high/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/23/why-have-interest-rates-jumped-to-a-7-year-high/#comments Wed, 23 May 2018 10:00:43 +0000

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37590

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “Healthy consumer […]]]>

 

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High? | Simplifying The Market

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week.

Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

But what do gas prices have to do with interest rates?

Investopedia explains the relationship like this:

“The price of oil and inflation are often seen as being connected in a cause-and-effect relationship. As oil prices move up or down, inflation follows in the same direction.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially more expensive in recent months. The average national gas price has climbed nearly $0.50 from the beginning of the year, leading to the highest price for Memorial Day weekend since 2014.

As rates go up, your purchasing power goes down, but don’t worry; rates are still well below the averages we’ve seen over the last four decades.

“Freddie Mac said this year’s higher rates have not yet caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets, but inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5 percent could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.”

Buying sooner rather than later will help lock in a lower rate than waiting, as the experts believe rates will continue to climb. Even a small increase in interest rates can have a big impact on your monthly housing cost.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home this year, keep an eye on gas prices the next time you’re at the pump. If you start to feel a big jump in price, know that rates are probably on their way up, too.

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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/23/why-have-interest-rates-jumped-to-a-7-year-high/feed/ 9 How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Powerhttp://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/22/how-current-interest-rates-can-have-a-high-impact-on-your-purchasing-power/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/22/how-current-interest-rates-can-have-a-high-impact-on-your-purchasing-power/#comments Tue, 22 May 2018 10:00:44 +0000

 

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37496

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.61%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history! The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is […]]]>

 

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power | Simplifying The Market

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.61%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range while keeping your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power | Simplifying The Market

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/22/how-current-interest-rates-can-have-a-high-impact-on-your-purchasing-power/feed/ 9 Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Nowhttp://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/21/dont-wait-to-sell-your-house-buyers-are-out-now/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/21/dont-wait-to-sell-your-house-buyers-are-out-now/#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 10:00:51 +0000

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37559

Recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that now is a great time to sell your home. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item is realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how […]]]>

 

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now | Simplifying The Market

Recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that now is a great time to sell your home. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item is realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high.

Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed to sustain a normal market for over a year at this point. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from NAR revealed that there is currently only a 3.6-month supply of houses on the market.

Supply is currently very low!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers who are actually out looking at homes) disclosed that “foot traffic grew 10.5 points to 52.4 in March as the new season approaches.”

Demand is currently very high!

Bottom Line

Waiting to sell will only increase the competition between you and all of the other sellers putting their houses on the market later this summer. If you are debating whether or not to list your home, let’s get together to discuss the conditions in our market.

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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/21/dont-wait-to-sell-your-house-buyers-are-out-now/feed/ 9 Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? [INFOGRAPHIC]http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/18/is-your-first-home-within-your-grasp-now-infographic/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/18/is-your-first-home-within-your-grasp-now-infographic/#comments Fri, 18 May 2018 10:00:36 +0000

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37554

Some Highlights:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.
  • According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.
  • More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) are realizing that homeownership is within their grasp now!
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Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying the Market

Some Highlights:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.
  • According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.
  • More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) are realizing that homeownership is within their grasp now!
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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/18/is-your-first-home-within-your-grasp-now-infographic/feed/ 6 Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait!http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/17/moving-up-to-your-dream-home-dont-wait/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/17/moving-up-to-your-dream-home-dont-wait/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 10:00:27 +0000

 

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37539

Mortgage interest rates have risen by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year, and many assume that if mortgage rates rise, home values will fall. History, however, has shown this not to be true. Where are home values today compared to the beginning of the year? While rates have been […]]]>

 

Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait! | Simplifying The Market

Mortgage interest rates have risen by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year, and many assume that if mortgage rates rise, home values will fall. History, however, has shown this not to be true.

Where are home values today compared to the beginning of the year?

While rates have been rising, so have home values. Here are the most recent monthly price increases reported in the Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic:

  • January: Prices were up 0.5% over the month before.
  • February: Prices were up 1% over the month before.
  • March: Prices were up 1.4% over the month before.

Not only did prices continue to appreciate, the level of appreciation accelerated over the first quarter. CoreLogic believes that home prices will increase by 5.2% over the next twelve months.

How can prices rise while mortgage rates increase?

Freddie Mac explained in a recent Insight Report:

“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.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about moving up to your dream home, waiting until later this year and hoping for prices to fall may not be a good strategy.

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http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/17/moving-up-to-your-dream-home-dont-wait/feed/ 11 Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home!http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/16/renters-under-50-want-to-buy-a-home/?a=405125-308878164eb660e5d3688d6b989c2fd2 http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/05/16/renters-under-50-want-to-buy-a-home/#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 10:00:12 +0000

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/?p=37487

Every year, the New York Federal Reserve publishes the results of their Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Each survey covers a wide range of topics including inflation, labor market, household finance, credit access and housing. One of the many questions asked in the housing section of the survey was: Assuming you had the financial resources […]]]>

 

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home! | Simplifying The Market

Every year, the New York Federal Reserve publishes the results of their Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Each survey covers a wide range of topics including inflation, labor market, household finance, credit access and housing.

One of the many questions asked in the housing section of the survey was:

Assuming you had the financial resources to do so, would you like to OWN instead of RENT your primary residence?

Over three-quarters of respondents under the age of 50 said that they would prefer to own their home, rather than rent. While only 52.6% of those over 50 would prefer to own. The full breakdown can be found in the chart below.

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home! | Simplifying The Market

When renters were asked what the average probability of owning a primary residence at some point in their future was, 66.4% of those under 50 believed that they would eventually own their home, while only 23% of those over 50 did.

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home! | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Many had wondered if young Americans had lost their desire to own a home, but for those renting now, that dream is still alive.

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