Follow these 5 guidlines when selling and treat each topic as important as the other!...and remember...
- Price Overpricing a home misses its market and discourages buyers from looking at your home. A comparative market analysis will produce a guide to help you estimate the best price obtainable in today’s market.
- Market Conditions Buyer demand, prices of recently sold properties, interest rates, availability of financing,condition of economy and time of year will all affect the sale of your home.
- Location Location will impact the buyer’s response to your home. It is an important factor to consider when pricing your home and during negotiations.
- Condition By carefully preparing your property for sale, we can “package”it to stand out above the competition.
Exposure Our exclusive marketing plan is the most effective approachavailable. It will expose your propertyto more potential buyers and help yousell your home as quickly as possiblefor the best possible price.
If 2012 was a shock to anyone in terms of how rapidly the Real Estate market has turned around especially in our local Massachusetts markets, then hopefully 2013’s predictions will not be as surprising. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) just released that housing permits have reached a 4.5 year high and we even discussed these findings in a past blog. Now, NAHB has pledged that housing growth will stay on this upward track through 2013 and beyond.
The Chief Economist for the NAHB, David Crowe has noted of these successful developments in the Real Estate marketplace but that challenges still exist. “Consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices, new-home sales and builder confidence in recent months provide further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation. However, stubbornly tight lending standards for home buyers and builders, inaccurate appraisals and proposals by policymakers to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction could dampen future housing demand. We are transitioning from a very low demand level, where most people hold themselves out of the marketplace, to a case where supply will start being the problem. As we begin to build more homes to address that supply, the new home stock will be a much more important element of the recovery.” Clearly there is a consensus amongst Crowe and his staff that the housing recovery can be looked at as a more local change however this is spreading across the nation more gradually.
Owner-occupied remodelling has also returned to previously normal levels from around the year 2000 through 2002. “Multifamily production is also well on its way, back to 69 percent of normal. It’s the single-family market that has the farthest to go, standing at only 40 percent of what is considered a typical market.”
The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) measured six-month upswings in housing permits, housing prices and employment in metropolitan areas. Remarkably enough, this study which was only established in September of 2011 announced that at that time just 12 out of the 360 metropolitan areas were successful enough in their Real Estate markets to be worthy for the list. As the closing of December of this year is here, we now have realized over 200 countries made the list. Crowe reflected upon these findings as well, “One reason we have seen such a significant jump in the IMI is because house prices are beginning to recover. House prices bottomed out early in 2011 and since early 2012 we’ve seen a 6 percent increase on a national basis.”
Household formations are also on the up. During the economic recession and the simultaneous housing crash, only 500,000 residences were being built each year. As a comparison, the beginning of this decade saw the United States generating 1.4 Million homes annually. Today, however, the numbers as not quite as promising although they are up to roughly 900,000 already per year, as Crowe mentioned, “We’re not up to normal, but this is adding to demand for housing.”
Another measurement, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index displays builder confidence in the single-family housing industry. This figure has showed positive strides for eight consecutive months of late and now is pegged at 47. The way this can be deduced is to understand that the critical midpoint score is a 50 as this signifies an equal level of buildings who view the market as either in a positive or negative state. It comes to be known that this level of 50 for the HMI has not been achieved since back in April of 2006; thus showing how strong these recent findings are.
For single-family home starts, the following information has been acquired:
For 2012, they have been expected to climb roughly 534,000 this year; up 23% from last year
For 2013, the NAHB is estimating single-family home starts will increase by another 21% to 647,000 residences
For 2014, forecasts show an even greater uptick of 29% over 2013’s predicted numbers, thus bringing that total to 837,000 units
For multifamily home starts, the following information has been acquired:
For 2012, production is expected to climb by 31% to 233,000 by the end of this year
For 2013, the NAHB shows another jump by 16% over 2013 up to a figure of 270,000
For 2014, this number is estimated to go in an upward direction by 9% more than in 2013, up to 294,000 properties
For single-family home sales, the following information has been acquired:
For 2012, the sales of these properties will climb from 307,000 in 2011 to 367,000 this year, up 20%
For 2013, sales of single-family homes are due to go up by 22% from 2012 to 447,000
For 2014, an even more impressive 36% improvement upon 2013’s numbers is forecasted, taking the total up 607,000
More Information: National Association of Home Builders
Multifamily permits gained 10.6% of late which also reflected an overall improvement in all housing permits. The most recent records provided by the Commerce Department showed a 3.6% rise in housing permits, the highest recorded jump in the past four and a half years. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) were thus quick to react and are now adamant that new home construction will only build upon these recent successes throughout 2013 as well.
Barry Rutenberg, the Chairman of the NAHB regarding the results stated, “Many builders have reported improving conditions in their local housing markets and are increasingly optimistic about the spring buying season, but they are being very careful not to get ahead of demand.”
Housing starts even are showing signs of consistency with their readjustment showing more showing a, “…more sustainable level of production”, this according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Overall the housing starts for 2012 have seen a very influential boost of what is projected to finish it’s year-over-year growth at around 25%. It seems inevitable that this sector of the market for new homes is only going to continue to flourish. With the general shortage of properties available in the market, especially in our Greater Boston Area, a betterment in housing starts and a rise in housing permits all will contribute to yet another wonderful year for the housing industry that can be defined very simply by just one word; success.
More Information: Realtor Mag
The coming year of 2013 is looking to be ever so strong in terms of the Real Estate market and the overall direction it is headed in. There are statistics that support the fact that the beginning of 2012 saw housing prices hit their rock bottom point. As we have frequently discussed throughout the year, however, is that this unfortunate occurrence certainly is no longer the case due to the strong turnaround that the market has experienced thereafter.
The difference between the state of the Real Estate industry at 2012’s beginning until now is one simple fact about buyers; there is now a widespread sense of urgency within them. This urgency to be active in the market has come about for a variety of reasons but it goes without saying that the most obvious one is that there is a renewed sense of confidence in the market that has not been the case for quite some time. Not since 2006 have prices ended the previous year in positive territory and this year we are about to reverse that trend and that truly is a wonderful realization.
James Dimon, the Chief Executive of J.P. Morgan Chase mentioned how “Every single thing about housing is flashing green.” Homeowner vacancy rates are also very low compared to times from recent memory. In fact, this Fall saw the numbers plunge to 1.9% and this was near the long-run average that is pegged at 1.6% which is also down from the peak of 3% seen back in 2008; this all according to Goldman Sachs. All of these numbers are coupled with the fact that rents are rising which is also encouraging more individuals to look into buying property, especially given that interest and mortgage rates are drastically low. It has been an incredible year for Real Estate over the past twelve months and astonishingly enough 2013 looks to be just as impressive, if not even more so.
More Information: Wall Street Journal
The Winter season is quickly approaching and it soon will become incredibly necessary to take some needed steps to best prep your home. Not only can making certain changes keep your home warm but there are also many opportunities for saving money and energy as well.
Did you know? Annual Winter storms cause roughly $1 Billion in property damage. There is so much more to report on so please have a look to the following for some helpful tips that you may consider for the upcoming season.
- Turn down the Thermostat – 2-3% of energy costs can be saved from lowering your thermostat by just one degree. 10% can be saved from putting the temperature from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for just eight hours per day. Perhaps this makes sense for when individuals are at work for the day and if appropriate for their lifestyle will save them big in the long-run.
- Improve your Windows – As replacing windows with brand new energy efficient ones may be more expensive for some, it would be advantageous for all to nonetheless update your existing ones. Ensure that your windows are closed, caulk any gaps or cracks, use weather strips and window sweeps to have better seals.
- Preserve your furnace or boiler – Gas systems and heat pumps need maintenance every two years while systems that run on oil need to be serviced every year. Not much spending goes into buying a new filter and it is something that can truly lower your energy costs.
- Close dampers when not using your fireplace – Not only does having your dampers open bring in cold air from outside but more importantly if kept open they let the heat out that you have paid for.
- Let the heat reach you – Keep furniture and other objects away from your furnace duct openings, baseboard heaters and vacuum radiators. In addition, remember to always dust and clean these heating elements as having no filth or obstructions in the way allows the heat to reach you and become more effective.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Many heating devices within the home increases the risk for toxins leaking out into the living spaces. Having proper Carbon Monoxide detectors allows the homeowner to breathe easy. It is also imperative not to use kitchen stoves or to burn coal in a fireplace as both heating techniques can produce the deadly Carbon Monoxide gas.
- Keep the Cold out and Warmth in – Make sure to seal up borders between specific living spaces where heat is more desired to be kept in. Also look to the attic and the basement and ensure that valuable heat is not going to these perhaps unwanted or less lived in areas. Sealing the gaps and putting in additional insulation is something that is very easily done by yourself or of course by a professional at a very reasonable cost.
- Save Electricity – Energy Star appliances can save one a great deal of money every year. When buying products for your home, make sure to look for the Energy Star label when deciding on specific models. Home Performance Energy Star Contractors can also be hired who can save you upwards of 30% on energy bills with their guidance. Energy Star light bulbs in particular use up 75% less electricity than traditional bulbs. Many forms of electronic equipment use up a great deal of electricity even when turned off as they are still plugged in. It thus becomes appropriate to unplug devices when not in use or even utilize a power strip that can be switched off for all of the items plugged into it.
- Freezing Water – Often as water freezes around our property it can cause quite the substantial risk. Frozen pipes often cause immense amounts of pressure leading to bursting pipes. Bursting pipes, water hoses and sprinklers have the propensity for flooding and if one’s home does not have flood insurance, obvious financial problems arise. That’s certainly not the way we envision spending our Holiday’s. Inspecting, sealing and insulating pipes are an ideal solution to avoiding this unfortunate predicament.
- Tree Trimming – While snow covered trees are a beautiful sight to behold, they do pose the threat of breaking and falling due to the weight, especially if already dead. Look to trim back specific trees that are dangerously close to your home, automobiles, pool, driveway or other valuable locations on the property.
- Prepare Roofs – The way to ready your roof to the best of its ability for the snowy season is to check it for leaks and strength and ensure that this is all strong and patched up. In addition, look to clear out gutters and other gathering areas on the roof to prevent clogs and proper drainage systems.
Whether or not this Winter is as mild as it was a year ago, the necessary due diligence for prepping your home must always be done. As we have just learned from Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature’s might is relentless and often unpredictable. If a tenant in a home, make certain that your landlord has gone the extra mile to assure you that the property is up to date with its preparations. It is always far more simple and cost efficient to buy the necessary products, appliances and technology for the Winter season before it is in full swing. Do not wait until the last minute, the time to start getting your home organized to protect your wallet, yourself and your family is now.
Due to the fact that rates have been incredibly low as of late, borrowers are now having a shift to 15-year mortgages as opposed to deciding on a 30-year mortgage. The reason behind this is simple; borrowers are looking to take advantage of the current state of the market to pay off their homes in half of the time due to the unique affordability these low rates have provided us today.
According to Freddie Mac, 16% of the fixed-rate mortgages in the Third Quarter of this year were 15-year mortgages. This, it must be shared is up from the 10% these forms of mortgages were during the same period from a year ago. In terms of refinancings, CoreLogic informed us that the 15-year mortgages were also far more popular than in times past as the first seven months of the year had them used roughly one-third of the time.
The Wall Street Journal also brought forth some fascinating information and commented on the topic. “The 30-year mortgage became the standard in lending because its lower monthly payments made real estate affordable to more Americans. While the 30-year remains king, the gap between the two loans’ popularity is shrinking.” Looking to the exact rates themselves, currently they stand at or close to 2.81% for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage and this is drastically lower than during the housing boom in 2007 when they were at 5.85%.
With mortgage rates being so low, homeowners have discovered that they can have smaller payments under the 15-year mortgage as opposed to the 30-year. The monthly payments are now less due to the shortening of the terms of one’s mortgage. This may come as news to some as this reality is a reverse from the past when refinancing into a shorter term mortgage meant an increase in payments. However, with the status quo of today’s market, it seems like an obvious choice to seriously consider a 15-year mortgage. It will be interesting to see if these rates continue to set record lows as the New Year gets underway.
More Information: Realtor Mag