Category Archives: Real Estate and Housing News

Preparation Is Key for Buying or Selling Home

Whether you’re buying or selling a new home, preparing well in advance is crucial to a successful transaction. In fact, of over 13,000 U.S. residents surveyed, the number one regret for both buyers and sellers was not starting their home search or prepping their home to sell soon enough. 

The Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends reveal strategies for how to buy and sell in today's highly competitive market.

Buyers

Keep your options open. More than half (52 percent) of buyers said they also considered renting, and more than one third (37 percent) of first-time buyers seriously considered continuing to rent. Savvy shoppers will have a Plan B in place, hoping to buy if it works out, but willing to sign a lease for a home if they don't make a deal by the time they need to move.

Be realistic with your budget. Once you set it, stick to it: first-time home buyers are more likely to exceed their budget than repeat buyers (39 percent vs 26 percent). Before you meet with a lender to determine how much mortgage you'll be approved for, take a good look at your individual finances and spending preferences to determine the monthly payment range that you feel you can comfortably afford.  

Get your financing squared away early. Plan to meet a few lenders four to six months ahead of when you're planning to buy to ensure you can make a competitive offer quickly when you find your dream home. The majority (82 percent) of buyers get pre-approved, with 77 percent getting pre-approval from a lender before finding a home on which they are interested in placing an offer.

Find an agent with a winning track record. Take the time to find an agent who has expertise in fast negotiation, leveraging escalation clauses, and winning bidding wars. Only 46 percent of buyers got the first home on which they made an offer, demonstrating that competition is now part of the process.  

Communication is key. Make sure your preferred method – and frequency – of communication matches that of your agent. One third (33 percent) of all buyers preferred phones call with their agent over emailing (21 percent) or texting (15 percent). Buyers can use the agent reviews on Zillow to learn more about prospective agents and their clients' experiences. 

Sellers

Start early and be strategic. Sellers consider putting their home on the market for five months before they list it. But the top seller regret is that they wished they spent more time prepping for the sale. Many cities have a magic window in the spring when homes have a higher likelihood of selling quickly for more money.

Work with an agent from the start. The vast majority (90 percent) of sellers who sold quickly and for more than list price worked with an agent, and two out of three (58 percent) began working with an agent at the very beginning of their selling journey.

Pay attention to your online curb appeal. The majority of buyers begin their search online. Sellers who sold their home for more than list price made imagery and home information available online: 48 percent had professional photos taken of the home, 30 percent shot video footage and 21 percent even shot drone footage.

Home improvements can be a worthwhile investment. Sellers who fetched above list price tackled home improvement before listing their home, being 50 percent more likely to take on a large project like modifying an existing home plan and 20 percent more likely to renovate a kitchen than the average seller. 

Don't be afraid to try again. In many markets, nearly half of listing views occur in the first week the home is on the market. Twenty-six percent of those who sold above list price took their home off the market once to adjust the sales price, opting to start anew rather than letting the home languish on the market with minimal activity. 

Source: www.zillowgroupreport.com

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Survey: Optimism About Household Finances Edges Up

Consumers are a touch more optimistic about their household finances, expecting not only their household incomes to grow, but also their household spending, according to the results of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) for February 2017.

More consumers are confident they will not miss a minimum debt payment in the next three months; their expectation for more earnings, however, dipped, though remained within a range observed since August 2016.
 
In terms of housing, less consumers expect home prices to change—a share also remaining within range, this time observed since mid-2015. Consumers in the South and West, as well as those with a high school education or less and/or an income less than $50,000, were less likely to expect a change.
 
On the employment side, consumer perceptions of the likelihood of losing a job in the next year fell to its lowest level in four months. Consumer perceptions of an expanding unemployment rate also fell, to its lowest level in 19 months.
 
Consumer expectations concerning inflation were unchanged.
 
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

10 Tips for Homebuyers and Sellers This Spring

Spring is here, and so is spring home-buying and -selling. Buyers and sellers preparing to take action this season should put those plans into play now—according to Zillow Group's Report on Consumer Housing Trends, the No. 1 regret for both buyers and sellers is "not starting their home search or prepping their home to sell soon enough."
 
"This spring, both buyers and sellers should be prepared for fast-moving sales, intense negotiations, and even bidding wars," says Jeremy Wacksman, CMO at Zillow Group. "Home shoppers and sellers are motivated to become more strategic and knowledgeable about what's happening in their neighborhood. Understanding whether you are in a buyer's or a seller's environment will help you manage your expectations and will give you insight into what you're going to need to bring to the table in order to close the deal."
 
For buyers, that means:
 
Keep your options open. More than half (52 percent) of homebuyers surveyed in the report said they also considered renting, and more than one-third (37 percent) of first-time buyers seriously considered continuing to rent. Savvy shoppers should have a Plan B in place, hoping to buy if it works out, but willing to sign a lease for a home if they don't make a deal by the time they need to move.
 
Be realistic with your budget. Once you set it, stick to it. First-time home buyers are more likely to exceed their budget than repeat buyers (39 percent versus 26 percent), according to the report. Before you meet with a lender to determine how much mortgage you'll be approved for, take a good look at your individual finances and spending preferences to determine the monthly payment range that you feel you can comfortably afford. (Use Zillow's mortgage calculator to help with you with the math.)
 
Get your financing squared away early. Plan to meet a few lenders four to six months ahead of when you're planning to buy to ensure you can make a competitive offer quickly when you find your dream home. The majority (82 percent) of buyers get pre-approved, with 77 percent getting pre-approval from a lender before finding a home on which they are interested in placing an offer.
 
Find an agent with a winning track record. Take the time to find an agent who has expertise in fast negotiation, leveraging escalation clauses, and winning bidding wars. Only 46 percent of buyers got the first home on which they made an offer, according to the report, demonstrating that competition is now part of the process. Use search tools, like Zillow's Agent Finder, to choose an agent based on sales and listing activity, area of expertise and reputation.
 
Communication is key. Make sure your preferred method—and frequency—of communication matches that of your agent. One-third (33 percent) of all buyers surveyed in the report preferred phone calls with their agent over emailing (21 percent) or texting (15 percent). Buyers can use the agent reviews on Zillow to learn more about prospective agents and their clients' experiences. 
 
And for sellers:
 
Start early and be strategic. Sellers consider putting their home on the market for five months before they list it—but the top seller regret is that they wished they spent more time prepping for the sale. Many cities have a magic window in the spring when homes have a higher likelihood of selling quickly for more money.
 
Work with an agent from the start. The vast majority (90 percent) of sellers surveyed in the report who sold quickly and for more than list price worked with an agent, and two out of three (58 percent) began working with an agent at the very beginning of their selling journey.
 
Pay attention to your online curb appeal. The majority of buyers begin their search online. Sellers who sold their home for more than list price made imagery and home information available online: 48 percent had professional photos taken of the home; 30 percent shot video footage; and 21 percent shot drone footage. Zillow's video walk-throughs give sellers an easy way to show home features that are hard to capture in photos.
 
Home improvements can be a worthwhile investment. Sellers who fetched above list price tackled home improvements before listing their home, being 50 percent more likely to take on a large project like modifying an existing home plan and 20 percent more likely to renovate a kitchen than the average seller. 
 
Don't be afraid to try again. In many markets, nearly half of listing views occur in the first week the home is on the market. Twenty-six percent of those who sold above list price took their home off the market once to adjust the sales price, opting to start anew, rather than letting the home languish on the market with minimal activity. 
 
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

New-Home Sales Heat Up to Seven-Month High in February

New-home sales heated up to a seven-month high in February at 592,000, a 6.1 percent increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The average new-home sales price was $390,400, while the median was $296,200. New-home listing inventory was 266,000—5.4 months supply.
 
New-home sales sizzled compared to a tepid January, when activity was stifled by limited new supply.
 
"This growth was likely spurred by several factors, including a warm winter that allowed builders to stick to construction schedules, last year's strong home construction starts, and a gradual shift from building apartments to individual homes," says Joseph Kirchner, senior economist at realtor.com®.
 
"While this growth is encouraging, it's important for house hunters to keep in mind that builders have been focusing on the more pricey part of the market; affordable options are still in short supply. That's a key reason why existing-home sales dropped in February while sales of new homes went up—existing home sales include both affordable and premium homes. During that month, sales of existing homes under $100,000 plummeted 15 percent and sales of homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range fell 2 percent, while sales of more expensive existing homes soared."
 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Report: Same Old Story for Inventory

Housing inventory hit a new low in the first quarter of 2017, bottoming out from the early days of the recovery from the recession, according to Trulia's recently released quarterly Inventory and Price Watch. Supply overall fell 5.1 percent year-over-year, dragged down by an 8.7 percent decrease in starter home supply and a 7.9 percent decrease in trade-up supply. Premium supply dribbled down just 1.7 percent.
 

 
"Recovering home values have proven to be a double-edged sword," says Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. "While homeowners across the country are thrilled to regain equity in their homes, many have not been in a hurry to trade up. This has added to the inventory gridlock that ties up would-be starter home inventory from ever coming on to the market, further constraining supply and decreasing affordability."
 
The starter home squeeze is being felt by first-time homebuyers, who, given the current supply, have to spend more of their monthly earnings to afford an entry-level home: 38.8 percent. The median list price of a starter home in the first quarter of the year was $166,015.
 
"Saving up for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles to homeownership for first-time buyers," McLaughlin says. "In markets plagued with tight inventory and decreasing affordability, millennials who make up most of these first-time buyers may find homeownership increasingly out of reach. However, there continues to be an uptick in new construction, which should help increase supply in some inventory-constrained markets."
 
Source: Trulia

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

In Like a Lion: Spring Gets Roaring Start With High Values, Low Supply

The spring home-buying season is off to a roaring start, with home values up 7 percent and supply down 3 percent year-over-year, according to Zillow's Real Estate Market Reports for February. Competition is expected to be fierce as homebuyers chase down few listings, says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.
 
"Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year's home shopping season," Gudell says. "Even though interest rates are rising, buyers are eager to start their home search."
 
High values and low supply are especially pronounced in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., where values are up 7.1 percent year-over-year and supply is down 18 percent; Cincinnati, Ohio, where values are up 6.4 percent and supply is down 14.9 percent; and Detroit, Mich., where values are up 10 percent and supply is down 14.4 percent. The median home value in Minneapolis-St. Paul ($239,700) is above the national median, $195,700, while the median home values in Cincinnati ($150,500) and Detroit ($137,500) are below it.
 
The highest home value appreciation occurred in Tampa, Fla., Seattle, Wash., and Dallas-Fort Worth Texas, where values rose more than 11 percent year-over-year—above the national appreciation, 6.9 percent.
 
"If you're a prospective buyer about to enter the market, keep in mind that it's rare to get the first home you make an offer on, and homes in particularly hot markets frequently sell for over asking price," says Gudell. "Buyers should give themselves enough time to get their finances in order and find a real estate agent they know and trust before jumping into the market."
 
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com  McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.