Blake's Blog

4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Winter!

1/14/2019

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 Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

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 hovered around 4.8%. 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 in 2019.

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 that you can 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.

What Does The Future Hold For Home Prices?

9/13/2018

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.”

Thanks Poughkeepsie Journal, I enjoyed the interview!

4/18/2018

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the Poughkeepsie Journal to share my thoughts on the current market conditions for real estate in Dutchess County. Last week the article below was published on the front page of the Poughkeepsie Journal. Additionally, the video below, in which I give tips to both home sellers and buyers, was put on the Poughkeepsie Journal website. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and hope you find the article and video interesting as well!

 

https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2018/04/12/strong-dutchess-housing-market-requires-buyers-move-fast/482304002/

 

https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/videos/marketplace/real-estate/2018/04/12/video-dutchess-spring-housing-market/503106002/

5 Reasons To Sell This Winter!

2/7/2018

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this winter 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! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

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 that is 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, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. 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. 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 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 time to close a loan has dropped to 44 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

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 inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. 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!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% 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.

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.

 

The #1 Reason To List Your House Today!

1/12/2018

Many people believe that selling their house during “the spring buyers’ market” is the best thing to do. Their reasoning is that there will be more buyers than there are during the winter months and, therefore, their house will sell quicker and for a higher price.

Historically, this made sense. However, today’s real estate market is not following the rules of the past.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measures buyer “foot traffic” each month. It receives data on the number of properties shown to a prospective purchaser by a Realtor® (based on the number of lockboxes used). The data reveals the number of buyers out actively looking for a home, not just window shopping on the internet. NAR explains:

“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

According to the latest Foot Traffic Report, buyer traffic is greater now than it was during this year’s spring market and there are more buyers out now than at any other time in the last five years (March of 2012).

Bottom Line

If you are waiting for next spring to list your home because you think that’s when the buyers will be out in force, perhaps you should reconsider. Buyers are out right now!

 

5 Tips and Trick for Selling Your First Home

11/14/2017

When the decision is made by a first time home seller to list their home for sale, there is often a period of confusion.  Most first time home sellers have no idea where or how to start the home selling process.

It’s very important that first time home sellers understand what the home sale process entails, what costs are associated with selling a home, and many other very important aspects of the home selling process.

Before you sell your home for the first time, make sure you check out some of the most important first time home seller tips and tricks below.  By following these tips and tricks, you will put yourself in a much better position to sell your first home and will make the home selling process seem rather easy!

First Time Home Seller Tip #1: Prepare Your Home For The Market

Before selling a home for the first time, it’s important you realize how important it is to make sure your home is show-ready as soon as it’s listed for sale.

One excellent way for a first time home seller to prepare their home for the market is by making low-cost home improvements before listing the home for sale.  Just a few of the most popular low-cost home improvements to consider making before selling your home for the first time include;

  • Freshly painting rooms
  • Professionally cleaning floors and/or carpeting
  • Replacing outdated light fixtures
  • Replacing outdated hardware on cabinetry

It’s important that first time home sellers understand the importance of making a great first impression on potential home buyers.  By not properly preparing a home for sale, a first time home seller could potentially be costing themselves thousands of dollars and also valuable time, in the event their home takes longer to sell.

First Time Home Seller Tip #2: Hire A Top Producing Listing Agent

First time home sellers need to understand the importance of having a top producer representing them during the sale of their home.  Selling a home is not an easy task, so don’t attempt to sell your home by owner.  For sale by owners, also known as FSBOs, have a failure rate of 85%-95%.

In any given real estate market, there can be several hundred to several thousand real estate agents who have the ability to sell a home.  It’s important that first time home sellers understand that not all real estate agents are the equal.  Even real estate agents within the same company are not equal.  Some real estate agents are part time real estate agents, some are primarily buyers agents, and other agents may only have had their real estate license for a month or two.

How can a first time home seller ensure they hire a top producing listing agent?  It’s actually a fairly simple answer, you need to properly interview real estate agents.  A first time home seller who knows how to properly interview prospective real estate agents will have a much greater chance that they hire a top producer and not a dud.

First Time Home Seller Tip #3: Understand Your Local Real Estate Market

Real estate markets can vary significantly from one neighborhood to another.  First time home sellers need to understand what the current state is of their local real estate market.  Generally speaking there are three “states” of a real estate market, a sellers market, a buyers market, and a balanced market.

Obviously a sellers market is preferred when selling a home for the first time.  A sellers market typically will lead to lots of demand for a property and the possibility of receiving multiple offers.  Before you decide to sell your home for the first time, it’s important you ask a real estate professional their analysis relating to the current state of the local market!

First Time Home Seller Tip #4: Decide What Your Next Move Is

First time home sellers often neglect to figure out what their next move is after selling their current home.  Will you move into an apartment?  Will you be buying a new home?  Will you be building a new home?  It’s important when selling a home for the first time, you have a strong game plan for your next move.

If the game plan is to purchase another home, a first time home seller needs to determine whether they can get pre-approved for a mortgage without being contingent on the sale of their current home.  While it’s uncommon in most cases that a buyer is able to purchase a home without selling their current home, it’s extremely important to know.  Buying and selling a home simultaneously can be tricky and it’s important that a game plan is in place if this your next move!

First Time Home Seller Tip #5: Price Your Home Correctly 

The number one reason a home doesn’t sell in real estate is because the property is incorrectly priced.  There are lots of different reasons why homeowners incorrectly price their home and it’s important the first time home sellers don’t make those common real estate pricing mistakes.

First time home sellers often have no clue on how a listing price is determined in real estate.  There are many different ways a listing price can be determined and it’s important that you understand the various ways.  The most common real estate pricing practice is a comparative market analysis that is completed by a real estate professional.  A comparative market analysis, also commonly referred to as a CMA, can be summarized as a review of local active homes for sale, past home sales, and also past expired listings.  A top producing real estate agent should be able to determine a probable sale price of a home by completing a detailed market analysis.  While a CMA is the most common way to determine the price of a home, another accurate way to produce a listing price of a home is by having an appraisal completed on the property.

It’s critical that first time home sellers avoid some of the inaccurate ways to price a home, such as using the homes assessed value or using an online home valuation estimate, such as Zillow’s “Zestimates.”  There is no possible way an online website based out of San Diego, CA can accurately determine the price of a home in other parts of the country.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home for the first time can be extremely stressful and exhausting.  A first time home seller who has a top producing agent in their corner will have a much greater chance of a smooth and successful home sale.

The above tips and tricks are some of the most important for any first time home seller.  Make sure when selling your home for the first time you’re mentally prepared for the possible upcoming home selling challenges that you may encounter.

More Americans Chose To Own A Home Than Rent In Q1

6/7/2017

According to the latest report from the US Census Bureau, more Americans chose purchasing a home over signing a lease to rent in the first quarter of 2017. This marks the first time since 2006 that the number of new homeowner households outpaced the number of new renter households.

Of the 1.22 million new households that were formed in the first quarter, 854,000 were new-owner households making the jump straight to homeownership rather than renting first.

That means that the homeownership rate amongst new households was 70%! 

This is huge news as the national homeownership rate is currently 63.6% and has only ever come close to this figure in the second quarter of 2004 when the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.2%.

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed to the uptick in first-time homebuyers coming to market as a reason for the jump:

“The return of first-time buyers is accelerating. In all they have accounted for 42% of buyers this year, up from 38% in 2015 and 31% at the lowest point during the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to Fannie Mae, which defines first-time buyers as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.”

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist, had this to say about what a bump in new homeowner households could mean for the housing market:

“Strong renter household formation is one of the reasons why the homeownership rate has continued to drop since the onset of the housing crisis, so any sign this trend is reversing is something to take note of. We look forward to future releases of these data to determine whether this is a statistical blip or a trend.”

Bottom Line

As more and more potential first-time buyers realize their ability to buy a home without having to rent first, not only will the homeownership rate benefit, but so will the overall economy.

 

Millionaire To Millennials: Buy Now!

3/28/2017

Self-made millionaire David Bach was quoted in a CNBC article explaining that "the single biggest mistake millennials are making" is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is "an escalator to wealth.”

Bach went on to explain:

"If millennials don't buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter."

In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:

"As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!"

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Timesbestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show appearing more than 100 times, has been a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS, and has been profiled in many major publications, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Buyers Are Searching For Your House

2/22/2017

The most recent Pending Homes Sales Index from the National Association of Realtorsrevealed a slight bump in contracts with an increase of 1.6% in December. This news comes as existing home sales are also forecasted to be on pace for 5.54 million in 2017, a 1.7% increase over 2016, which was the best year for sales in a decade.

The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.

According to NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun,

Pending sales bounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract.

So, what’s the problem?

Buyers are searching for existing homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand!

Yun went on to explain,

The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing cost. Sales will struggle to build on last year’s strong pace if inventory conditions don’t improve.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

Buyers are out in force right now! If you are considering selling your home this year, the early months of 2017 will be your best option. Contact a local professional today to capitalize on current market conditions.

4 Reasons To Buy Your Dream Home This Winter

12/5/2016

As the temperature in many areas of the country starts to cool down, you might think that the housing market will do the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Here are 4 reasons you should consider buying your dream home this winter instead of waiting for spring!

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.

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

Your monthly housing cost is as much related to the price you pay for your home as it is to the mortgage interest rate you secure.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage are currently at 4.08%. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase 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’re Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home 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 have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with 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 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.

 

Page:  of 000  |