Category Archives: Real Estate News

5 Myths About Real Estate Reality TV Explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there… watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more, just in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but you may need a reality check.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and make a decision to purchase one of them.

Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search. 

Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.

Truth: The reality is being staged for TV. Many of the homes being shown are already sold and are off the market. 

Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.

Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy. 

Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the Open House.

Truth: Of course this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Just realize that many homes are sold during regular listing appointments as well.

Myth #5: Homeowners make a decision about selling their home after a 5-minute conversation.

Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives/goals.

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee that you can make the home of your dreams a reality!

 

Columbus #12! — 20 Markets With Strongest Kickoff to 2017

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The time it has taken for homes to sell nationwide in January has decreased at a rate of 4 percent compared to a year ago, despite record-high housing prices, according to realtor.com®’s latest housing report.

“We saw evidence of a stronger-than-normal off season starting last September and October due to pent-up demand and surging interest from first-time buyers,” says realtor.com® chief economist Jonathan Smoke. “The downside to this strong off season is that we have started 2017 with a new low volume of available homes for sale and a new high for prices.”

Listing inventories are down 11 percent in January compared to a year ago. Also, the median list price for the month is an estimated $250,000 — 10 percent higher than January 2015, realtor.com® notes. Nevertheless, “the threat of rates approaching multiyear highs in the months ahead is creating a sense of urgency [among buyers],” Smoke says.

The following are the top-performing markets this month:

  1. San Francisco
  2. San Jose, Calif.
  3. Vallejo, Calif.
  4. Dallas
  5. San Diego
  6. Sacramento, Calif.
  7. Yuba City, Calif.
  8. Denver
  9. Stockton, Calif.
  10. Fresno, Calif.
  11. Oxnard, Calif.
  12. Columbus, Ohio
  13. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  14. Nashville, Tenn.
  15. Detroit
  16. Modesto, Calif.
  17. Los Angeles
  18. Tampa, Fla.
  19. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  20. Fort Wayne, Ind.

Source: “The 20 Hottest Markets for U.S. Real Estate in January 2017,” realtor.com® (Jan. 26, 2017)

 

Builders Predict Big Expansion in Construction

Construction of single-family homes is expected to gradually rise this year, as a growing economy, solid employment gains, and rising household formation buoys builders’ forecasts.

Last year, the National Association of Home Builders projected 1.16 million total housing starts in 2016, which was up nearly 5 percent from the previous year. Now NAHB is forecasting a 10 percent increase in single-family production for 2017 and a 12 percent rise for 2018.

Still, there will be pressing challenges as builders look to increase their supplies this year. “While positive developments on the demand side will support solid growth in the single-family housing sector in 2017, builders in many markets continue to face supply-side constraints led by the three Ls — lots, labor and lending,” says NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. Sixty-four percent of builders reported “low” or “very low” lot supplies. “The industry needs to recruit more workers and get more land in the pipeline, but it will take time.”

Builders are particularly facing challenges building $200,000-range entry-level homes. Regulatory requirements comprise nearly 25 percent of the cost of a new home, which has made construction on lower-cost homes more difficult, Dietz says. Nevertheless, townhome construction, which tends to appeal to younger buyers, is already showing significant growth, comprising 12 percent of all single-family starts, Dietz says. “As millennials age, that is a big potential base to expand the home buyer market,” adds Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

While higher mortgage rates may soften demand this year, builders remain upbeat. NAHB forecasts mortgage interest rates to average 4.5 percent in 2017 and then 5.3 percent in 2018. “Higher mortgage rates will be offset by stronger wage gains and job growth, which suggests that housing demand will increase this year,” says David Berson, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. “The question is: How much will supply go up?”

Many metro areas nationwide are seeing solid job growth, dropping mortgage delinquency rates, and strong housing price gains, Berson notes. He says demand has been exceeding supply and likely will continue to do so in 2017. That could put more pressure on home prices, however. “If there aren’t enough homes on the market, that will be a problem,” Berson syas. “Price gains need to moderate. We can’t have 6, 7, or 8 percent gains. That is not sustainable.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders

10 little fixes to sell a home faster

3339632149_a310f5e3b0_zThe devil is really in the details when buyers look at a home. Lots of everyday wear and tear that you don’t even notice can ding your home in the eyes of potential buyers. Here’s my list of ten simple improvements you can do to help your home sell faster:

  1. Spruce up your baseboards: Pets, kids, and stumbling husbands in the dark can make a mess of your baseboards. Repainting baseboards after repairing scratches with putty can make the border of any room look new.
  1. Fill in nail holes: Part of interior repainting should be careful attention to those errant nail holes from pictures, shelves, and other wall-mounted baubles. Putty, smooth, sand and paint!
  1. Sniff for smokers: Filter replacement is a must if someone’s been puffing in your home. Also wash down those walls, prime them to seal in any cooked-in nicotine, and repaint. Be sure to check entryways and lawns for cigarette butts, too!
  1. Review the roof: Do you have missing singles? Broken tiles? Is mold and moss sprouting up there? Do some cleaning and spot replacing.
  1. Reinforce your gutters: Clean them out, dry them out, then caulk them to prevent leaks. This will keep water off the siding, reducing staining and damage.
  1. Replace bad vinyl floors: Not only are they tacky when they’re cracked or cut, but they can suggest water damage to buyers.
  1. Repair dripping faucets: Buyers will turn faucets on and off. What will they find? If your sinks and baths dribble, fix them before buyers imagine their future headache.
  1. Tune up screens: Did you have a dog that liked to lean against the front door? Look for the sagging, hanging, bent, and bubbling screens, especially around doors. New screens look clean. Old screens suggest neglect.
  1. Patch cabinet scratches: Tibet Almond Stick, Old English Scratch Cover, or even some artful re-staining can make cabinets seem new. Remember to polish them up when you’re done!
  1. Reseal wobbly toilets: If the bowl moves when you sit on it, the bolts are rusted, or the bathroom floor is damp and discolored around the commode, replace the toilet or at the very least reseal it.

Download the Staging Report for more tips on preparing your home for sale.

View the Top Home Features By State

most-common-featuresRealtor.com® researchers recently analyzed 1.5 million active single-family listings to compile a list of more than 200 individual home features from the listing descriptions. They narrowed down a list of the top five features for each state and then selected one with the most “local flavor.”

The analysis found that wet bars are particularly popular in Kansas, a state known for having one of the strictest alcohol laws in the country. Seven percent of the active listings currently list a wet bar.

In Oklahoma, a place that sees an average of 55 tornadoes a year, 6 percent of the homes for-sale list a storm shelter. In Oregon, home owners show a fondness for hot tub, with 5 percent of homes for sale currently touting a hot tub. In Michigan, the pole barns are popular – barns that use large poles to provide vertical structural support and are known as being cheap to build. Five percent of Michigan listings say they include a pole barn.

In Idaho, RV parking is a popular amenity, with 6 percent of Idaho homes for sale promoting they have it. In North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Minnesota, the front porch is a highlight. While in New Mexico, Alaska, Delaware, and Vermont, fireplaces are all the rage.

View realtor.com®’s interactive map where you can find the favorite amenity of your state.

Source: “Wet Bars, Hot Tubs, and More: What Home Features Rules in Your State?” realtor.com®

Amenities That Jack Up Sales Prices

Americans will dig deeper in their pockets and shell out more cash to live near top-notch schools and in safer neighborhoods with access to retail and “artificial amenities,” according to a new study published in the Journal of Urban Economics. In analyzing 2,000 neighborhoods across the country, researchers found that home buyers are willing to potentially spend thousands of extra dollars for these amenities.

 

A regional funding increase of $1,000 per student in schools is associated with a $570 annual increase in what people are willing to pay for a home in the neighborhood, though “this number is likely biased from well-funded areas being nicer or having more desirable residents,” researchers note.

However, unsafe neighborhoods will bring in much lower offers from buyers. A 10-point increase in the murder rate — from 10 to 20 deaths per 100,000 residents annually — is associated with an annual drop of $1,000 to $1,600 in what people are willing to pay, according to the study.

Buyers will also pay more incrementally depending on how many bars and restaurants there are in the neighborhood. Each establishment per 1,000 was found to be worth an annual $170 increase in what people say they’re willing to pay for a home. That number may also reflect a desire to live near a variety of stores and entertainment areas, researchers note.

A neighborhood’s size, density, and “artificial amenities” — those that are created by the residents — were also found to be important, even more so than living near a natural environment such as mountains and coastlines, according to the study.

“Because artificial amenities are largely produced by local residents, they may reflect the desirability of the populations themselves,” the authors note. That means residents are willing to pay not only for the neighborhood itself but the access the neighborhood affords them to other people, jobs, and amenities, according to a report on the study by The Atlantic.

East Oahu, Hawaii, is the study’s top desirable location, with households willing to sacrifice 25 percent more of their pay than the average American in order to live there. California cities such as Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Oakland follow closely behind East Oahu, as well as parts of Colorado and Washington State.

Source: “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to Live in America’s Best Neighborhoods?” The Atlantic CityLab

How Much Does a House of Money Really Cost?

Homes can be expensive, but just how much are they truly worth? The real estate brokerage Redfin set out to find out how expensive a house that was actually constructed from dollar bills.

To figure it out, Redfin researchers took into account the dimensions of the average American home — 1,811 square feet — as well as averages like it’s two stories; has exterior walls that are eight inches thick and interior walls that are five inches thick; a roof that is three inches thick and a floor that is two inches thick. The dimensions of a dollar bill — 6.14″ x 2.61″ x 0.0043″ — was then used to calculate how many dollars it would take to build a house if you stacked the bills on top of each other.

The grand total: 441,435,440 dollar bills.

Home buyers are getting a deep discount considering the median home purchase price is currently $256,000.

Source: “How Many Dollar Bills Would It Take to Build a House — Literally?” Redfin