Real Estate 2017: What to Expect

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One of the most common questions we get at this time of year is, “What’s going on in the market?” It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who are curious; homeowners always want reassurance their home’s value is going up. The good news is the American real estate market is strong and healthy: home values are up, prices and sales are strong, and millennial first-time buyers are eager to become homeowners.

We often use national real estate numbers to give us a clearer view of our local market. However, real estate is local, and while statistics and predictions help us understand the overall real estate market, our local market may be different. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or just want to know how much your home is worth, give us a call!

What to Expect in the Real Estate Market in 2017

The American housing market is stronger than ever! Home values, prices and sales had their strongest numbers in 2016, a sure sign the market is healthy and strong. According to the Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), property values have increased in 58 of the last 62 months and have increased more than 35 percent nationally. Homeowners continue to build equity in their largest investment—their homes.

First-time buyers are back.

Housing forecasts from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers’ Association, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae all predict existing-home sales will surpass 6 million in 2017, higher than anticipated sales for 2016. Who’s driving the surge? According to NAR, millennials who have put off buying a home are ready to buy. While they may have avoided buying a home due to student debt and limited employment, many are entering their 30s, a time when their attention turns to marriage, family and setting roots with homeownership. They’re predicted to be the driving force behind home and condominium sales from now until into 2020. (Source: MarketWatch)

What does this mean to you? If you’re a millennial who’s been on the fence about buying, now is the time to act. Give us a call to answer your questions about the market and the buying process.

Renters are embracing homeownership

Additionally, many renters who’ve resisted buying are starting home searches due to the economic weight of rising rents. This year’s home buyers seek to take advantage of comparatively low interest rates and, in most cases, static payments each month—an advantage of home ownership. Rental costs will only continue to rise; if you’re thinking of buying, now is an ideal time to do so.

What does this mean to you? Every month you pay rent, you lose the opportunity to build equity in a home of your own. Break free from the limits of renting and invest in your financial future. Come in the office and we’ll discuss your options.

Home prices are on the rise.

According to NAR, the median existing-home price not only increased 6.0 percent year-over-year in October, it’s also the 56th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Prices are approaching the pre-recession peak.

What does this mean to you? Home prices, and subsequently home values, are increasing. If you’ve been waiting to list your home until you know you can sell it for what you think it’s worth, now is a great time to do so. We’ll be happy to give you a comparative market assessment of your home and help you get your home in list-ready shape.

If you’re in the market to buy, be prepared to act.

Homes were on the market for the shortest amount of time recorded since 2009: 52 days. The increase of qualified buyers in the market along with the increasing efficiency of the real estate process means homes are selling faster than ever, and in many cases buyers are engaging in bidding wars and paying over the list price to get the home of their dreams.

What does this mean to you? The home you have your eye on one day may be gone the next. In competitive markets, be prepared to come to the table with a competitive bid.

Looking for a new home?

New-home construction will increase to an average of 1.5 million per year to 2024, according to a report from NAR. However, experts anticipate housing starts will only increase to 1.22 million in 2017, which is less than the 1.5 million new homes required to keep up with growing demand. This inventory shortage of new entry-level homes—typically purchased by first-time buyers—may drive up prices in some areas. Home builders have been focusing on multi-family construction for the last few years, but this type of construction has begun to level off providing hope that builders will once again focus on single-family home construction. However, stricter proposed immigration policies may impact new home construction and tighten inventory.

What does this mean to you? First-time and repeat home buyers agree—there are plenty of advantages of buying a new home. Whether you want a home customized to your family’s needs or you don’t want to bother with age-related maintenance, a new home has much to offer. Give us a call to discuss your options.

Affordability pressures are increasing in many markets

Housing affordability in many of the nation’s largest cities has declined over the past few years, a trend that is expected to continue in 2017. However, there is hope. NAR created the Affordability Index to measure the affordability of homes across the United States. The Affordability Index assesses whether the typical family earning the median family income can qualify for a mortgage on a typical home based on the prevailing mortgage interest rate on loans closed on existing homes from the Federal Housing Finance Board.

The NAR Affordability Index is 170.2 (composite) and 169.8 (fixed), meaning a family earning the median family income has 170.2 percent of the income necessary to buy a median-priced, single-family home. Nationally, the qualifying income is $41,616, but it varies by region. In the Northeast, the qualifying income is $45,024. In the Midwest, it’s $32,640. In the South, it’s $36,960. In the West, it’s $61,824.

What does this mean to you? If you’ve had your eye on a new home, but weren’t sure if you could afford it, you may be pleasantly surprised. We may have homes in our area that meet your needs and budget. Give us a call today to discuss your home search.

3 Things to Do Now if You Plan to Buy This Year

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you’re like most buyers who plan to finance part of the home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will allow you to put in an offer on a home and may give you an advantage over other buyers. The added bonus: you can see how much home you can afford and budget accordingly.
  2. Start looking. While most buyers start their searches online, be sure to look at homes in neighborhoods you’d like to live in as well. Keep a notebook to write down what you like and dislike about each home you view in person or online. This will help you narrow down where to look and what to look for in your next home.
  3. Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. Give us a call to make an appointment today!

3 Things to Do Now if You Plan to Sell This Year

  1. Make repairs. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs. While the repairs may or may not add value, making them will give your home a competitive advantage over other similar homes on the market.
  2. Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it’ll also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us price your home to sell in our market. Call us for your free CMA!
  3. Start packing. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up items you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or a storage space. This will make your home easier to stage as well as make it easier to move later on.

Are you thinking of buying or selling?

Whether you’d like to buy or sell a home this year, want to know how much your home is worth, or have general questions about our local market, give us a call! We’d love to discuss the market with you.

Start Checking Out Local Homes Now!

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Year End Real Estate Data in Highlands Ranch 2013

The Numbers – How Highlands Ranch Homes Sales Fared in 2013

Happy New Year!

Now that we have a couple weeks of 2014 under our belt let’s take a look at how the Denver area real estate market performed last year.  There is a lot of positive speculation out there regarding the economy and especially the real estate market here in Highlands Ranch, it’s always a good idea to take a look back at the year end real estate data for 2013 to get a sense of the activity and where it may lead us this year.

By most accounts, last year was a tremendous success when it comes to the Highlands Ranch housing market!  Days on market averaged only around a month while the average months of inventory remained just about 2 months.  If we compare the activity in Highlands Ranch for 2013, year over year to 2012 we see these very positive results:  Overall number of sales in 2013 were up by 314 homes. (Keep reading below my year end graphic.)

Highlands Ranch Market Stats 2013

Overall days on market to sell those homes was down by an average of 25 days. Almost a month! And the overall average sales price INCREASE was $22,318,000.  So more homes sold, for more money and took a lot less time to sell.  Is there any downside to that? Actually, if there is a downside to the year end real estate data in Highlands Ranch it is the inventory levels.  Low, low, low housing inventory throughout much of the Denver metro area but this is especially true in Highlands Ranch.  This creates a great market for sellers who want a faster sale and near asking price on their home – if of course it is priced right in the first place.  But for home buyers, this increases the likelihood of needing to overbid on homes, feeling rushed a bit in making a decision and of course, the disappointment of losing out on the home, or homes, of your dream.  It can be rough.  Most of the sellers become buyers and feel both ends of the home low inventory issue.

However, the year end real estate data for Highlands Ranch for 2013 is still a very positive result. It is always good to have home prices increasing and demand high.  This is a great situation to be in.  With interest rates remaining low for the time being, I would suspect demand for Highlands Ranch homes to stay red hot and why not, Highlands Ranch is a wonderful place to live and an excellent place to own a home.

I live and work in Highlands Ranch and have for nearly 20 years.  If you are considering a move in Highlands Ranch, you’ll want an agent with experience to help navigate the details in a fast moving market with competing offers.  If I can help you with your next move, please get in touch and let’s start the conversation.

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Buying a Home During The Holidays

There are many things that we can agree can be stressful.  For many people, the holidays are a time of year that can be very busy and exciting at the same time. Same is true for buying a home.  Weather it is a first home, move up or investment.  Buying a home is a huge purchase and can be one of the most stressful events in one’s life.  So, what about buying a home during the holidays?  Can it get any more difficult than that?

Christmas treeMoving and house hunting are never easy. However, there are plenty of good reasons for buying a home during the holidays.  For starters, taxes.  Many sellers may need to sell by the end of the year for a tax benefit and same is true for buyers.  If you find that you can benefit with your tax situation by buying before the end of the year, then buying a home during the holidays is just going to be part of your celebration!

Competition is another good reason for buying a home during the holidays.  Or, maybe a lack of competition is a better way to look at it.  We all know that the Spring market is the busiest season for most areas when it comes to real estate.  Demand seems greater, and the number of buyers out there competing for the few listings make it tougher to negotiate  with sellers or even get an accepted offer! So buying a home during the holidays can be far less competitive and possibly a better situation to negotiate with sellers.

Mortgages.  If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to definitely meet with a mortgage advisor and get pre-approved before heading out to look.  But once you do, buying a home during the holidays can likely speed up the approval process in getting your loan done.  With fewer buyers in the market at this time of year, the mortgage process is less bogged down, and your loan can move much faster towards final approval!

Of course, fewer homes typically tend to be on the market during the holiday season. With that in mind, you may not find the perfect home but it shouldn’t stop you from looking if you are in the market.  Unless you must buy before the end of the year then you can just keep looking.  Many sellers understand the advantage of listing their home at this time of year, and so they put their home on the market now, and it may be the right home for you.  Looking for your next home and possibly buying a home during the holiday season may be the best time of year for you.

We all get busy this time of year, and many folks take time off during the holidays.  I am available if you would like to take advantage of the market.  Besides, it’s always fun to see the homes decorated and the faces of my customers when they find the right home to add to their holiday cheer!  Let me know if I can help you this year.

 

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Homes For Sale Are Needed In Denver

homes for sale in denver

How is the Denver Housing Market 2013?

If you are in tune with the real estate market in Denver at all, then I’m sure that you have heard all about the lack of inventory.  Here’s the facts on the 2013 housing market. The inventory is really that low! I have a number of qualified buyers looking right now with nothing to look at.  I’m not alone.  Many of my real estate colleagues have the same problem.  In fact, being in this business I get email solicitations all the time for new listings on the market, builder homes, etc…but lately I have been getting a ton of emails from other agents asking if anyone has a new listing coming on the market in certain areas and price ranges because they have buyers wanting them.  We are doing everything we can at this point to try and drum up some inventory for our buyers. We are really in a situation where there is a huge demand and homes for sale are needed in Denver!

So, if you or someone you know may be considering a move and need to sell a home now may be the best situation as a seller that you could ask for in a very long time.  Mortgage rates remain extremely low, and buyers are out to buy right now.  This does not mean that you should think of asking too high of a price for the neighborhood or not bothering getting the home in shape to show. No. It is not a free for all. Well, in some areas and price ranges it may be close to that. But for most, you still need to be in a market range of value not only for the buyers to agree with but for the lender’s appraiser to agree with.  You see, they still need to have solid facts that the home is worth that much in it’s present condition for the neighborhood. But it may be a great time to push the values to the high end!

But let me be straight to the point. If you want to sell your Denver area home right now then with the right pricing strategy, in good condition and an aggressive marketing plan it couldn’t be a better time to do it.  The economy is improving and confidence is rising rapidly.  The Denver real estate market made the shift a long time ago and as we head along the inventory will increase and balance out.  This will be a good and healthy market.  Right now it is to the seller’s advantage.  Take advantage of this market timing and sell while the market is hot!

If you have concerns about finding a replacement home or questions about a solid marketing plan then please get in touch.  We can chat some about all these things and come up with a plan that is right for you.  I would love to help!

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5 Tips For Showing Your Home In Bad Weather

Bad weather snow shovelingHere in Denver the weather has not been all that messy so far this winter.  Yes, there has been some snow fall, not too much but it doesn’t take much snow or rain to make a mess of your shoes.  This can be a real problem when you are trying to sell your home and lot’s of folks are walking in.  You need a plan for this.  You need 5 tips for showing your home in bad weather!

So here is a brief list of 5 common sense tips that may help you with a lot of clean up or even permanent damage. These tips may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many homes I go into and the sellers have made no provisions for messy shoes and tracking in dirt, mud and water from the messy weather outside.

  1. Remind visitors to remove their shoes.  This starts with the instructions given to the showing service or broker office that sets up the showings.  Have them give instruction to the agent that will be showing to remove shoes when entering the home.  This may easily be forgotten or overlooked, so a best practice would be to also post a reminder note in an obvious place, like on the front door, to remind visitors again to remove shoes.
  2. Provide a place to put shoes at the home’s entry.  Once inside, your visitors will be expected to remove their shoes and they should have an obvious place to put the shoes before continuing through the house.  Place an indoor mat just inside the entry for this purpose and keep it clean.
  3. Provide booties to cover shoes.  These are the cloth type covers you would find in hospitals and such that slip over shoes.  This is an alternative for those that may not want to remove their shoes.  Not everyone does.  Caution! They can either come off inside the house or can provide the visitor extra courage to venture into areas such as the garage or out on the deck that they may not have in their own socks.  Also, if you provide booties at the entry then also provide a place to sit and put them on, like a chair or a convenient step.  Nothing like trying to stand on one foot while stretching the bootie over your shoe that seems too big at the moment.
  4. Pay attention to the indoor environment.  You should always do this anyway, however with bad weather outside it is likely you will have a closed environment inside.  So keep the temperature comfortable and keep the home smelling nice.  Since the windows likely won’t be open you will want to keep trash empty, pet areas clean and generally avoid any unpleasant odors.  Don’t make the mistake of over doing any air fresher or other scent.  This can be as obnoxious to many people as bad odor.
  5. Clear and clean a path.  This is another obvious thing to do, but can get overlooked.  If it is snowing and you can clear a path to the door, then do it.  I know this is not always feasible.  You may actually need to leave home and go to work while it is snowing. 🙂 But if you can then don’t forget it.  Also, don’t forget to clear the deck or patio as well.  Remember that people do like to go out there to check it out.  In rainy or other messy weather, cleaning the path is as important.  Make sure there is not dirt and mud to walk through on the way inside.

 

I hope these 5 tips for showing your home in bad weather is helpful.  I know it seems like simple and obvious things to do.  For some, maybe this gave you an idea you didn’t consider.  Bad weather can’t be controlled here in Denver or anywhere else, a seller needs to deal with it while trying to sell their home.  However, you don’t need to have your floors all messed up or ruined in the process.  If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional and experienced help please get in touch with me.  I would love to talk with you to see if we would be a good business match.

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Littleton Real Estate Market Report

The Littleton Real Estate Market Report for October shows great signs of continued improvement.  The real estate data for the month is up significantly in the average sold price with just under 15% gain from last year!

Taking a look at the year to date figures, we can see that the homes under contract and sold are both up over 30% while the days on market have slid down just about 30% as well.  Wonderful news for the sellers in the Littleton real estate market.  Buyers will need to compete for the few listings available in today’s market.  Inventory levels are down and active listings in Littleton are down just about 42% from the same time last year.

The good news for buyers is the continued low interest rates.  With mortgage rates this low, it makes it easier to qualify and of course, your money can go a lot further each month with less to pay towards interest.

Overall, Littleton is in a seller’s real estate market.  With low inventory and rising values, I think we have seen the bottom of the market come and go already.  Get ready for a great 2013.

If you would like help selling or purchasing a home or investment in Littleton, please get in touch.  I would love to talk.

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