Author Archives: Mike Domines

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The Feature Millennials Are Most Willing To Go Without

Unless you’re having a house built to your exact specifications, the house you end up buying will likely be a feature or two short of what you’d been fantasizing about. That’s because, you’re going to be choosing only from the homes that are on the market during the time you’re shopping. So the odds of finding each and every thing on your wish list in one home are pretty slim. In other words, you’re going to have to compromise. But how willing you are to compromise may have something to do with your age. In fact, according to one new study, millennial home shoppers are more willing to compromise on home and neighborhood features than Gen X buyers or baby boomers. Among respondents, 89 percent of millennials said they’d be willing to give up a neighborhood feature for their ideal home and 84 percent said they’d be willing to sacrifice a home feature to live in their preferred neighborhood. So what is the feature young home buyers are most willing to forgo? Well, garages top the list, with 34 percent saying they’d be willing to give up having one to live in the right neighborhood.


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Homeowners Get A Better Grip On Home Values

The mortgage process is really just about verifying and documenting the various aspects of the home’s sale. Whether it’s verifying the buyer’s income and debts or that the house doesn’t have a major problem with its foundation, there are a number of items that are typically among the checklist of things that need to be done before the deal is closed. The appraisal is one of them. In short, an appraisal provides a professional evaluation of the home’s worth. Based on the size of the home and lot, as well as the prices of similar homes sold in the area, an appraiser will determine whether or not the home’s price is fair. Sometimes, when a homeowner has an unrealistic idea of their home’s value, a lower-than-expected appraisal can be an issue. For that reason, a recent report tracking the difference between homeowners’ perception of their home’s worth and its appraised value is encouraging. That’s because, it found that homeowners’ expectations and actual appraised value are more in line than they have been in more than three years. In fact, nationally, appraised values were just 0.33% off homeowner estimates in April.


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What Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

If you’ve ever sold a house or are currently thinking of selling, you know there are a lot of factors that play a role in deciding when it’s the right time to list your home. Most of the decision-making process will rightly focus on your personal goals, finances, and plans for the future. But there is also the question of what time of year is the best for selling a house. Well, according to an analysis of nearly 15 million home sales that occurred between 2011 and 2017, ATTOM Data Solutions has narrowed the best time to sell down to, not just the month, but the exact date when it’s best to sell a home. Their study shows that homeowners who sold during the month of May realized the biggest premiums over estimated market value. In fact, the average seller premium was 5.9 percent. But, if you’re looking for the single best day to sell a house, the results says it’s June 28. Sellers who sold on that date saw an average premium of 9.1 percent.


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Compromise Isn’t Just For Home Buyers

With buyer demand high and the number of houses for sale low, today’s market is favorable for homeowners who want to sell. But though they’re likely to find interested buyers, homeowners shouldn’t expect that everything will always go their way. In fact, a home’s sale almost always involves a negotiation and home sellers, just like buyers, should expect to have to compromise here and there. For example, 76 percent of sellers said they had to make at least one concession when selling their home, according to one recent survey. That means, even in markets that favor sellers, homeowners should have some flexibility when it comes to working out the details of the final sale. Home sellers should also be prepared to make some pre-sale improvements to their house, as the vast majority of recent home sellers also said they had to fix up their home before listing it. In short, regardless of how hot your local market is, you still have to get your house in shape and work with your home’s buyer to ensure the sale is a success on both ends.


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Housing Outlook Says Take The Long View

If you spend any time following the real estate market or economy, you know there’s no shortage of data. Nearly every day there’s a new report detailing some corner of our economic lives, whether it’s consumer spending, mortgage rates, jobs, or home sales. But reading the day-to-day news reports can sometimes give you a distorted view of what’s really happening. That’s because monthly updates on the housing market’s ups-and-downs can be more volatile than a look at annual results. And so it’s important to take a big-picture view of the market from time to time. For example, Fannie Mae’s most recent Economic and Housing Outlook says, despite a slower-than-expected first quarter, the economy will continue to grow. And, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, home sales will also continue to improve, despite a more challenging environment for buyers. “Soft residential investment last quarter should prove temporary, as home sales resume their slow upward grind, with inventory shortages playing friend to prices but foe to affordability and sales.”


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Buyers Come Out Despite Market Challenges

For the second straight month, sales of previously owned homes increased from one month earlier, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. In fact, sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, rose 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.60 million in March. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says warmer weather may have had something to do with the sales pickup. “Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million,” Yun said. Put simply, low inventory and higher prices have made the housing market more challenging for buyers in some markets but overall demand is running high and, as the weather improves, may even see further gains. For interested buyers, that means available homes are selling fast this spring. The NAR reports that the typical property was on the market for just 30 days in March and half of the homes that sold were purchased in less than a month.


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Busy Buyers Say They Hope To Avoid Renovations

Unless you’re buying a new house, you’re likely to be choosing which house to buy based on how much work it might need. And if you don’t have the time and expertise to do the work yourself, you’re going to have to factor possible remodeling costs into your buying equation. In other words, it can get complicated. That’s why, today’s home buyer says they’re looking for a move-in ready home that requires very little renovation. Busy schedules and tight budgets mean many Americans don’t have the resources or time to invest in a major kitchen overhaul or bathroom upgrade. But is it realistic to expect to find the perfect home in perfect condition at a time when many markets have lower-than-normal inventory levels? Well, probably not. That’s why buyers should have an idea about what they will or won’t compromise on before heading out to shop homes. Conversely, home sellers should think about any investments they can make before listing that might help sell their house at a higher price.


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Prices Below Peak In Nearly Half Of All Markets

If you’ve been at all interested in shopping for a home, you’ve likely heard news about rising home prices. Since the housing crash, home values have rebounded and, in some areas, the climb has been quick. However, news about increasing prices should be measured against how far they fell. In other words, though prices have rebounded, they are still below their previous peaks in many markets. In fact, according to recent numbers from ATTOM Data Solutions, median home prices are still below their pre-recession peaks in 46 percent of the 105 metro areas analyzed – including cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Tucson, Las Vegas, and New York-Newark-Jersey City. That’s why it’s always a good idea to look into where prices are in the specific neighborhoods where you’d most be interested in buying. Price increases will vary from one city to the next. So there may still be opportunities for buyers in the areas you’d like to live, despite home prices’ overall upward trend.


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Homes Sell At Fastest Recorded Pace In 2017

Making big decisions quickly is not usually a recipe for success. However, in today’s housing market, that’s exactly what home buyers have to do. That’s because homes are selling faster than ever these days. In fact, according to a recent analysis, the average home took 81 days to sell last year. And that includes closing, which usually takes four to six additional weeks. In other words, since many markets have more buyers than they do available homes, houses for sale are selling fast. So what should buyers do to prepare for possible competition? Well, for starters, adjust your expectations. A recent report from Zillow found the average buyer spends just over four months searching for a home and makes two offers before successfully buying a house. That means, expect a process. Outside of that, be prepared. Get prequalified, know what you want, what you want to spend, and what your dealbreakers are. The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll make good decisions, even if they have to be made quickly.


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