As we are about to bring in the New Year, families across the country will be deciding if this is the year that they will sell their current house and move into their dream home. Many will decide that it is smarter to wait until the spring "buyer's market" to list their house. In the past, that might have made sense. However, this winter is not like recent years. The recent jump in mortgage rates has forced buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year. Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:
Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the time.
Whether you're thinking about getting out of the rat race or you've already dipped your toes into the investment pool, information is a tool that you cannot afford to build a foundation without. Alongside fear, overconfidence is responsible for hindering the success of many entrepreneurs. Think about it. What keeps most people from investing or being able to bounce back from a setback? The fear of failure keeps the majority of Americans stuck in what they believe is 'job security', when in fact a high percentage of the population is one medical emergency away from being on the street.
So what about overconfidence? You can't have too much confidence right? Wrong. An overconfident person that doesn't know what they're doing is dangerous to themselves and others.
Imagine you're pretty good at baking some delicious chocolate chip cookies. Your cookies are so good that family, friends, and co-workers keep telling you that you could make a fortune selling them. You know your cookies are that good so one day you decide to quit your job, buy a nice little store front and sell cookies and cakes full time. Here's the catch you never did your research.
A few months go by and you're bleeding money by the day. When you opened your store, you didn't realize that there were two more well-known bakeries down the block. In addition you never learned how to properly market and promote your business.
Now it's too late. One more bad week and you'll be completely bankrupt. This could have all been prevented had you just took the time to take do your homework and seek the advice of one or two #experts in the field. Now let's look at this from a #realestate perspective.
Real estate is one of the best investments you can make. Certain gadgets, cars, and clothes are big sellers but they will always go in and out of style. People will always need a place to stay.
No one ever goes into any business venture without hitting some bumps in the road, but it's how you maneuver the vehicle afterwards that determines how smooth the trip to your destination will be.
When it comes to being a Landlord it will be highly beneficial for you to learn from others mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes is failing to properly screen and approve qualified tenants. Trust in the fact that it is better to have no tenant then to have bad one.
Here are some great TIPS:
1. Congratulate the prospective tenant(s). Letting them know that they beat out others and are now being given the opportunity to move forward will help them realize that this is really happening. This also gives you the opportunity to analyze their reaction to the news. I would be looking for a little excitement here.
2. Set the appointment as soon as possible. You don't want them looking at other properties or thinking too much.
3. Make the appointment at a professional setting such as an office, and tell them what they will need to have with them. This ensures that you not only have the necessary documents, but it also shows the tenants that you are a professional.
4. Make sure all decision makers will be there. You don't want a husband or wife calling you back later because their spouse disagrees with something. You also don't want to have to repeat yourself or chase them down to get signatures and documentation.
5. Do not accept personal checks. You are changing possession of a property here, you need to make sure all funds are cleared. Think about it, if you have to wait for a check to clear anything can happen and that means the deal is not closed. Cash, money order or bank check ONLY.
6. Get picture ID. This should be obvious. You want to make sure the person is who they are saying they are. There are people who will buy a house in your name without you even knowing about it until it's too late. It happens more often than you would think.
The only way to lose is by doing nothing. If you align yourself with the right people and use your common sense to analyze the information you receive anything that goes wrong after that can be chalked up to learning. I hope the information provided here today has given you the thirst for knowledge that is necessary to succeed in world of real estate. I also hope you realize that this is just a small percentage of the knowledge we possess and wish to provide to you in the near future.
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Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner's net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that by the end of 2016, the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater. The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun's prediction:
Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You
As we've said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of 'forced savings.' Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord's net worth. The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments: "Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn't be overlooked."
If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you by purchasing a home, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can guide you through the process.
You may have heard that the Federal Reserve raised rates last week... But what does that mean if you are looking to buy a home in the near future? Many in the housing industry have predicted that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, would vote to raise the federal fund's target rate at their December meeting. For only the second time in a decade, this is exactly what happened. There were many factors that contributed to the 0.25 point increase (from 0.50 to 0.75), but many are pointing to the latest jobs report and low unemployment rate (4.6%) as the main reason. Tim Manni, Mortgage Expert at Nerd Wallet, had this to say,
"Homebuyers shouldn't be particularly concerned with [last week's] Fed move. Even with rates hovering over 4 percent, they're still historically low. Most market observers are expecting a gradual rise in home loan rates in the near term, anticipating mortgage rates to stay under 5 percent through 2017."
Only time will tell what the long-term impact of the rate hike will be, but in the short term, there should be no reason for alarm.
According to a recent analysis by CoreLogic, Millennial renters (aged 20-34) who have student loan debt also have higher credit scores than those who do not have student loans. This may come as a surprise, as there is so much talk about student loans burdening Millennials and holding them back from many milestones that previous generations have been able to achieve (i.e. homeownership, investing for retirement). CoreLogic used the information provided on rental applications and the applicants' credit history from credit bureaus to determine if there was a correlation between student loan debt and credit scores. The analysis concluded that:
"Student loan debt did not prevent millennials from access to credit even though it may delay their homebuying decisions."
In fact, those with a higher amount of debt actually had higher credit scores.
"Renters with student loan debt have higher average credit scores than those without; and those with higher debt amounts have higher average credit scores than those with lower student loan debt amounts."
Millennials are on pace to become the most educated generation in our nation's history, with that comes a pretty big bill for education. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel:
"Despite the fact that student loan debt has grown into the nation's second largest consumer debt, following mortgage, and has created a significant financial burden for millennials, it does not appear to prevent millennials from accessing credit."
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 build 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?
Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:
"With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you'll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years - unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades."
This holiday season, why not give yourself the gift of homeownership? Lock in your housing costs for the next 30 years and guarantee you are the one building wealth.
The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by 'supply and demand'. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2016:
Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.
If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating taking your home off the market for the next few weeks, don't! You will miss the great opportunity you have right now! The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR), revealed that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped to a 4.3-month supply. Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a 'normal' market, explained below:
Home prices are appreciating in this seller's market. Making your home available over the next few weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will be competing against each other to buy it.
Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.24% per year on average and to grow by 21.4% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics' most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position? As an example, let's assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?
Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to, today!
In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you're looking for when you start your home search.
If you've been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you've probably come up with a list of things that you'd LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make or break now?
The first step in your home buying process should be to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:
Having this list flushed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration, while also letting your agent know what features are most important to you before starting to show you houses in your desired area.
A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close. It's no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!
"Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same."
The study goes on to say that:
"Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they're much less likely to make a lowball offer and they'll often want to close quickly -- two things that can make the sale much smoother."
If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now! The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 - Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 - June 20; Summer: June 21 - Sept 21; Autumn: Sept 21 - Dec. 20).
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Along with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters. This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate less than 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows. Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago; a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.