Real Estate Tips, Tricks & Market Trends

 

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July 15, 2024

Top Reasons To Own a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Reasons To Own a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a home has powerful financial and non-financial benefits. It creates more stability, helps grow your net worth, and gives you an undeniable sense of pride.

While today’s market can be challenging for buyers, use these reasons to remind you of why homeownership is so worthwhile.

When you’re ready to enjoy all the amazing advantages that come with owning a home, let’s get in touch.

Top Reasons To Own a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted in Buyers
July 8, 2024

The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making Today

The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making Today




Buyers face challenges in any market – and today’s is no different. With higher mortgage rates and rising prices, plus the limited supply of homes for sale, there’s a lot to consider.

But, there's one way to avoid getting tripped up – and that’s leaning on a real estate agent for the best possible advice. An expert’s insights will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes homebuyers are making right now.

Putting Off Pre-approval

As part of the homebuying process, a lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you for your mortgage. This gives you a good idea of what you can borrow so you can really wrap your head around the financial side of things before you start looking at homes. While house hunting can be a lot more fun than talking about finances, you don’t want to do this out of order. Make sure you get your pre-approval first. As CNET explains:

“If you wait to get preapproved until the last minute, you might be scrambling to contact a lender and miss the opportunity to put a bid on a home.”

Holding Out for Perfection

While you may have a long list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, you need to be realistic about your home search. Even though your ideal state is you find a home that checks every box, you may need to be willing to compromise – especially since inventory is still low. Plus, a home that has everything you want may be too pricey. As Investopedia puts it:

When you expect to find the perfect home, you could prolong the homebuying process by holding out for something better. Or you could end up paying more for a home just because it meets all your needs.”

Instead, look for something that has most of your must-haves and good bones where you can add anything else you may need down the line.

Buying More House Than You Can Afford

With today’s mortgage rates and home prices, there’s no arguing it’s expensive to buy a home. And while it may be tempting to stretch your finances a bit further than you’re comfortable with to make sure you get the house, you want to avoid overextending your budget. Make sure you talk to your agent about how changing mortgage rates impact your monthly payment. Bankrate offers this advice:

“Focus on what monthly payment you can afford rather than fixating on the maximum loan amount you qualify for. Just because you can qualify for a $300,000 loan doesn’t mean you can comfortably handle the monthly payments that come with it along with your other financial obligations. Every borrower’s case is different, so factor in your whole financial profile when determining how much house you can afford.”

Not Working with a Local Real Estate Agent

This last one may be the most important of all. Buying a home is a process that involves a lot of steps, paperwork, negotiation, and more. Rather than take all of this on yourself, it’s a good idea to have a pro working with you. The right agent will reduce your stress and help the process go smoothly. As CNET explains:

Attempting to buy a home without a real estate agent makes the process more arduous than it needs to be. A real estate agent can give you professional legal guidance, market expertise and support, which will save you time, money and stress. They can also increase your chances of finding the right home so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the internet for listings.”  

Bottom Line

Mistakes can cost you time, frustration, and money. If you want to buy a home in today’s market, let’s connect so you have a pro on your side who can help you avoid these missteps.

Posted in Buyers, Market Updates
June 9, 2024

How an Agent Helps Market Your House

How an Agent Helps Market Your House




You’re ready to sell your house. But what do you need most from your real estate agent? Well, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) asked that very question to recent sellers and found one of the top things they were looking for is help marketing their house to potential buyers. Maybe that’s what you need the most help with too.

You expect your real estate agent to write a great description of your house for the listing and pair it with some high-quality photos. But that’s not all you’re going to get when you partner with a great agent.

They’ll do a lot more to make sure your house stands out. Here are some of the most common methods real estate agents use to market homes according to that same report from NAR (see graph below):

No Caption Received

 

So, how can you benefit from your agent using these methods?

  • Listing on the MLS – By listing your house on the MLS, it will get more visibility from other real estate agents and buyers. This could lead to more traffic, which could ultimately help you see an increase in offers and ultimately a better price.
  • Using a Yard Sign – A yard sign catches the eye of people driving or walking by. This method drums up local interest since people who live nearby might have friends or family looking to move into the area. It also prominently displays your agent’s contact information, so interested buyers can get in touch easily.
  • Having an Open House – When your agent advertises and hosts your open house, buyers see others are interested in your house, too. This competition can lead to stronger offers. An open house is also easier for you since you only need to leave once for many buyers to visit. Plus, your agent may get useful feedback on what people like or don’t like, which can help you make improvements to attract more buyers later, if needed.
  • Showcasing on Your Agent’s Website – Having your house visible on your agent’s website allows for a professional presentation of your property. Additionally, people visiting your agent’s website are more likely to be serious buyers who are ready to make a move.
  • Social Networking – Your real estate agent works hard to have a wide-ranging social media presence. Marketing your house this way allows them to reach a large audience. It also makes it easy for people to share your listing with friends and loved ones who might be interested.
  • Providing Virtual Tours – Virtual tours are extremely convenient for buyers, especially those who are relocating from out of town. This method allows them to tour anytime, day or night. It shows your agent is using the latest technology to market your house.

There are many tools that can be used to market your house. As NerdWallet sums up:

A good real estate agent will have a robust plan to promote your listing in an effort to find the right pool of buyers. Adding your home to databases of available homes called multiple listing services (MLS), open houses, 3D virtual tours, professional photography and broker tours for buyers’ agents (particularly for luxury homes) are all factors that may go into a marketing plan.”

As a seller, it’s smart to work with a creative local real estate agent who can maximize them to make sure you get as many eyes on your house as possible.

Bottom Line

When it comes to marketing your house, working with a local real estate agent has tons of benefits. If you’re ready to sell, but don’t know where to start, let’s chat.

Posted in Sellers
June 9, 2024

Use your Home Equity to Right-Size Up

Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Today’s mortgage rates are higher than the one they currently have on their home, and that’s making it harder to want to sell and make a move. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

But what if there was a way to offset these higher borrowing costs? There is. And the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.

What Is Equity?

Think of equity as a simple math equation. Freddie Mac explains:

“. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.”

Your equity grows as you pay down your loan over time and as home prices climb. And thanks to the rapid home price appreciation we saw in recent years, you probably have a whole lot more of it than you realize.

The latest from the Census and ATTOM shows more than two out of three homeowners have either completely paid off their mortgages (shown in green in the chart below) or have at least 50% equity (shown in blue in the chart below):

 

That means the majority of homeowners have a game-changing amount of equity right now.

How Your Equity Can Help Fuel Your Move

After you sell your house, that equity can help you move without worrying as much about today’s mortgage rates. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com says:

“A consideration today's homeowners should review is what their home equity picture looks like. With the typical home listing price up 40% from just five years ago, many home sellers are sitting on a healthy equity cushion. This means they are likely to walk away from a home sale with proceeds that they can use to offset the amount of borrowing needed for their next home purchase.”

To give you some examples, here are a few ways you can use equity to buy your next home:

  • Be an all-cash buyer: If you’ve been living in your current home for a long time, you might have enough equity to buy your next home without having to take out a loan. If that’s the case, you won’t need to borrow any money or worry about mortgage rates. 
  • Make a larger down payment: Your equity could also be used toward your next down payment. It might even be enough to let you put a larger amount down, so you won’t have to borrow as much at today’s rates. 

The First Step: Determine How Much Equity You Have in Your Home

Want to find out how much equity you have? To do that, you’ll need two things:

  1. The current mortgage balance on your home
  2. The current value of your home

You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To understand the current market value of your house, you can pay hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate agent who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report (PEAR).

Once you’ve connected with a trusted local agent and run the numbers, you’re one step closer to making a move you may not have thought was realistic – all thanks to your equity.

Bottom Line

If you want to find out how much equity you have and talk more about how it can make your next move possible, let’s connect.

 

If you have any questions about this article or other real estate challenges, please contact me directly!

 

Until next time, stay real informed!

 

Richard Allen

REALTOR®, Media Realty Group Inc.

Licensed in MA, CT, RI and NH

President, the realinsyghts group LLC

Zillow Premier Agent

508-686-0940

rich@realinsyghts.com

 

Click here to schedule a time to speak about buying a new home

Click here to schedule time to speak about selling your home



The information contained and the opinions expressed in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. do not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Posted in Buyers
May 30, 2024

Using Home Equity to Buy a New Home

Posted in Buyers
May 23, 2024

Now’s a Great Time To Sell Your House

Now’s a Great Time To Sell Your House




Thinking about selling your house? If you are, you might be weighing factors like today’s mortgage rates and your own changing needs to figure out your next move.

Here’s something else to consider. According to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Fannie Maethe percent of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell is on the rise (see graph below):

No Caption Received

 

Why Are Sellers Feeling so Optimistic?

One reason why is because right now is traditionally the best time of year to sell a house. A recent article from Bankrate says:

“Late spring and early summer are generally considered the best times to sell a house. . . . While today’s rates are relatively high, low inventory is still keeping sellers in the driver’s seat in most markets.”

These are the seasons when most people move. That means buyer demand grows. And because there still aren’t enough homes for sale to meet that demand, sellers see some serious perks. According to Rocket Mortgage:

“Homes that are listed at the end of spring and the beginning of summer typically sell faster at a higher sales price.”

What Does This Mean for You?

More sellers are coming to realize conditions are ripe for a move. And that’s one reason why we’re seeing more homeowners put their homes up for sale. If you think you might want to get in on the action, it’s a good idea to start preparing.

A local real estate agent can help you get your house ready by offering advice on how best to fix it up and make it appealing to buyers in your area.

They also know if you list during the peak buying seasons of spring and early summer, you might sell quickly and for a higher price.

Bottom Line

If you list during the spring and early summer, you might sell your house quickly and for a higher price. When you’re ready to make the most of today’s seller’s market, let’s get in touch.

Posted in Sellers
May 16, 2024

Competing Listings when Selling your Home

What More Listings Mean When You Sell Your House




The number of homes for sale is playing a big role in today’s housing market. And, if you’re considering whether or not to list your house, today’s limited supply is one of the biggest advantages you have right now. That’s because your house stands out more when the inventory is low, especially if it’s priced right.

But the supply of homes for sale is growing. According to the latest data from Realtor.com, new listings (homeowners who just put their house up for sale) are trending up (see graph below):

 No Caption Received

 

This graph shows more homeowners are putting that sale sign up in their yards compared to the same time last year. As Realtor.com says:

“. . . sellers turned out in higher numbers this March as newly listed homes were 15.5% above last year’s levels. This marked the fifth month of increasing listing activity after a 17-month streak of decline.”

What This Means for You

If you’ve been putting off selling your house, maybe it’s time to start thinking about it again – before your neighbors do. While we’re not going to suddenly have a surplus of homes for sale, each house that pops on the market in your area runs the risk of pulling buyer attention away from yours.

For example, if your neighbor gets in on the action and lists their house too, it means you’ll have competition right next door. You don’t want buyers to tour your house and fall in love with someone else’s. You want yours to be in the spotlight.

A great agent can make that happen. They’ll help you get your house ready to list, draw attention to everything today’s buyers are looking for, and help you price it right. That way buyers are really drawn to your listing and eager to make it their home.

If you’re ready and able to sell now, here’s your chance to get the best of both worlds. Since the supply of homes for sale is growing, you’ll have more options for your own move. But you’ll also be able to sell while your house will still stand out.

Bottom Line

Even though inventory is still low, you don’t want to wait for more competition to pop up in your neighborhood. Let’s connect to go over the perks of selling before more homes come to the market.

Posted in Sellers
May 9, 2024

Buy or Rent

The Perks of Buying over Renting




Thinking about buying a home? While today’s mortgage rates might seem a bit intimidating, here are two solid reasons why, if you’re ready and able, it could still be a smart move to get your own place.

1. Home Values Typically Go Up Over Time

There’s been some confusion over the past year or so about which way home prices are headed. Make no mistake, nationally they’re still going up. In fact, over the long-term, home prices almost always go up (see graph below):

No Caption Received

 

Using data from the Federal Reserve (the Fed), you can see the overall trend is home prices have climbed steadily for the past 60 years. There was an exception during the 2008 housing crash when prices didn't follow the normal pattern, but generally, home values kept rising.

This is a big reason why buying a home can be better than renting. As prices go up and you pay down your mortgage, you build equity. Over time, this growing equity can really increase your net worth. The Urban Institute says:

“Homeownership is critical for wealth building and financial stability.”

2. Rent Keeps Rising in the Long Run

Here’s another reason you may want to think about buying a home instead of renting – rent just keeps going up over the years. Sure, it might be cheaper to rent right now in some areas, but every time you renew your lease or sign a new one, you’re likely to feel the squeeze of your rent getting higher. According to data from iProperty Management, rent has been going up pretty consistently for the last 60 years, too (see graph below):

No Caption Received

 

So how do you escape the cycle of rising rents? Buying a home with a fixed-rate mortgage helps you stabilize your housing costs and say goodbye to those annoying rent increases. That kind of stability is a big deal.

Your housing payments are like an investment, and you've got a decision to make. Do you want to invest in yourself or keep paying your landlord?

When you own your home, you're investing in your own future. And even when renting is cheaper, that money you pay every month is gone for good.

As Dr. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and VP of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“If a homebuyer is financially stable, able to manage monthly mortgage costs and can handle the associated household maintenance expenses, then it makes sense to purchase a home.”

Bottom Line

If you're tired of your rent going up and want to explore the many benefits of homeownership, let’s talk to explore your options.

Posted in Buyers
May 2, 2024

Mortgage Rate Trends

What Is Going on with Mortgage Rates?




You may have heard mortgage rates are going to stay a bit higher for longer than originally expected. And if you’re wondering why, the answer lies in the latest economic data. Here’s a quick overview of what’s happening with mortgage rates and what experts say is ahead.

Economic Factors That Impact Mortgage Rates

When it comes to mortgage rates, things like the job market, the pace of inflation, consumer spending, geopolitical uncertainty, and more all have an impact. Another factor at play is the Federal Reserve (the Fed) and its decisions on monetary policy. And that’s what you may be hearing a lot about right now. Here’s why.

The Fed decided to start raising the Federal Funds Rate to try to slow down the economy (and inflation) in early 2022. That rate impacts how much it costs banks to borrow money from each other. It doesn't determine mortgage rates, but mortgage rates do respond when this happens. And that’s when mortgage rates started to really climb.

And while there’s been a ton of headway seeing inflation come down since then, it still isn’t back to where the Fed wants it to be (2%). The graph below shows inflation since the spike in early 2022, and where we are now compared to their target rate:

No Caption Received

 

As the graph shows, we’re much closer to their goal of 2% inflation than we were in 2022 – but we’re not there yet. It's even inched up a hair over the last 3 months – and that’s having an impact on the Fed’s plans. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macexplains:

“Strong incoming economic and inflation data has caused the market to re-evaluate the path of monetary policy, leading to higher mortgage rates.”

Basically, long story short, inflation and its impact on the broader economy are going to be key moving forward. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says:

It’s the longer-term outlook for economic growth and inflation that have the greatest bearing on the level and direction of mortgage rates. Inflation, inflation, inflation — that’s really the hub on the wheel.”

When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down?

Based on current market data, experts think inflation will be more under control and we still may see the Fed lower the Federal Funds Rate this year. It’ll just be later than originally expected. As Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said in response to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision yesterday:

“The FOMC did not change the federal funds target at its May meeting, as incoming data regarding the strength of the economy and stubbornly high inflation have resulted in a shift in the timing of a first rate cut. We expect mortgage rates to drop later this year, but not as far or as fast as we previously had predicted.

In the simplest sense, what this says is that mortgage rates should still come down later this year. But timing can shift as new employment and economic data come in, geopolitical uncertainty remains, and more. This is one of the reasons it’s usually not a good strategy to try to time the market. An article in Bankrate gives buyers this advice:

“ . . . trying to time the market is generally a bad idea. If buying a house is the right move for you now, don’t stress about trends or economic outlooks.”

Bottom Line

If you have questions about what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for you, let’s connect.

If you have any questions about this article or other real estate challenges, please contact me directly!

 

Until next time, stay real informed!

 

Richard Allen

REALTOR®, Media Realty Group Inc.

Licensed in MA, CT, RI and NH

President, the realinsyghts group LLC™

Zillow Premier Agent

508-686-0940

rich@realinsyghts.com

 

Click here to schedule a time to speak about buying a new home

Click here to schedule time to speak about selling your home



The information contained and the opinions expressed in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. do not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

 

Posted in Buyers
April 22, 2024

The Top 5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent when Buying a Home

The Top 5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent when Buying a Home

 

You may have heard headlines in the news lately about agents in the real estate industry and discussions about their commissions. And if you’re following along, it can be pretty confusing. But here’s the thing you really need to know – expert advice from a trusted real estate agent is priceless, now more than ever. And here’s why.

A real estate agent does a lot more than you may realize.

Your agent is the person who will guide you through every step when buying a home and look out for your best interests along the way. They smooth out a complex process and take away the bulk of the stress of what’s likely your largest purchase ever. And that’s exactly what you want and deserve.

This is at least a part of the reason why a recent survey from Bright MLS found an overwhelming majority of people agree an agent is a key part of the homebuying process (see visual below):

why use a buyers agent

To give you a better idea of just a few of the top ways agents add value, check out this list.

1. Deliver Industry Experience

The right agent – the professional – will coach you through everything from start to finish. With professional training and expertise, agents know the ins and outs of the buying processAnd in today’s complex market, the way real estate transactions are executed is constantly changing, so having the best advice on your side is essential.

2. Provide Expert Local Knowledge

In a world that’s powered by data, a great agent can clarify what it all means, separate fact from fiction, and help you understand how current market trends apply to your unique search. From how quickly homes are selling to the latest listings you don’t want to miss, they can explain what’s happening in your specific local market so you can make a confident decision.

3. Explain Pricing and Market Value

Agents help you understand the latest pricing trends in your area. What’s a home valued at in your market? What should you think about when you’re making an offer? Is this a house that might have issues you can’t see on the surface? No one wants to overpay, so having an expert who really gets true market value for individual neighborhoods is priceless. An offer that’s both fair and competitive in today’s housing market is essential, and a local expert knows how to help you hit the mark.

4. Review Contracts and Fine Print

In a fast-moving and heavily regulated process, agents help you make sense of the necessary disclosures and documents, so you know what you’re signing. Having a professional that’s trained to explain the details could make or break your transaction, and is certainly something you don’t want to try to figure out on your own.

5. Bring Negotiation Expertise

From offer to counteroffer and inspection to closing, there are a lot of stakeholders involved in a real estate transaction. Having someone on your side who knows you and the process makes a world of difference. An agent will advocate for you as they work with each party. It’s a big deal, and you need a partner at every turn to land the best possible outcome.

Bottom Line

Real estate agents are specialists, educators, and negotiators. They adjust to market changes and keep you informed. And keep in mind, every time you make a big decision in your life, especially a financial one, you need an expert on your side.

Expert advice from a trusted professional is priceless. Let’s connect today.

 

If you have any questions about this article or other real estate challenges, please contact me directly!

 

Until next time, stay real informed!

 

Richard Allen

REALTOR®, Media Realty Group Inc.

Licensed in MA, CT, RI and NH

President, the realinsyghts group LLC™

Zillow Premier Agent

508-686-0940

rich@realinsyghts.com

 

Click here to schedule a time to speak about buying a new home

Click here to schedule time to speak about selling your home



The information contained and the opinions expressed in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. do not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. the realinsyghts group™ LLC and Media Realty Group, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

 

 

Posted in Buyers