If you wanted to sell your home during the past few (difficult) years in real estate, your biggest area of competition would have been the large number of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales).
Fortunately, as the market improves and home values go up, this formerly significant inventory is sinking rapidly. As homeowners emerge from being underwater, many are thinking now might be a good time to sell.
If you’re thinking along these lines, you may not want to wait. There’s another market that’s starting to heat up, and that’s new construction. Builders are realizing that there’s a healthy demand for housing again, and they’re stepping back out into an increasingly stable economy.
Trulia recently conducted a survey and found that, given a choice, buyers strongly prefer new construction over existing homes.
The charts below (compliments of KCM blog) explain some of the reasons why. Topping the list were modern features, the ability to customize before construction, and fewer maintenance or repairs needed.
Construction on many new homes is starting now, which means that later this year, these homes will be up for sale.
If you’re planning to sell this year, there’s no time like the present – that is, if you want to avoid increasing competition from new homes.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report, which revealed interesting trends that seem to point to the fact that NOW is the time to sell your home, if you’re thinking about selling over the next year or so.
Pending home sales are those going under contract. Last month, according to the NAR, pending sales surged by as much as 6%, a staggering monthly increase when one considers that the last time a month-over-month gain like that was seen was back in April 2010, when the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was expiring and prospective buyers rushed to sign their contracts to take advantage of the tax incentive.
Compared to earlier in 2014, demand is picking up dramatically, due to more homes coming on the market, improved job creation, and attractive mortgage rates. Experts predict that sales could exceed an annual pace of 5 million homes in coming months. Read more…
Interestingly, industry analysts have uncovered a big reason why first-time home buyers (often the Millennial generation) aren’t rushing in droves to buy their first home, even as the market begins to pick up.
Contrary to what was previously thought – that they were saddled with too much student debt or that they no longer believed in the American dream of owning a home because of the housing bubble burst - it seems that more often the reason is that would-be first-time buyers believe they wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage or that they don’t have enough saved to make a down payment.
In fact, a recent survey revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29, and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34, believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home. What they don’t realize is that in many instances, purchasers these days can put down much less than that and still buy a home. Read more…
Anyone who has tried to apply for a mortgage or refinance over the last couple of years knows what a difficult, drawn-out process it can be nowadays. Paperwork can drag on for weeks, and it seems the bank needs to know every little personal detail about you. The mortgage loan application often even requires separate sources to verify your entries on the form.
Did you realize that the application process hasn’t always been this hard? In fact, those who bought homes 10 to 20 years ago believe their experience was as much as 100 times easier than what people go through today. To put perspective on the matter, it’s likely that the loan process today is more onerous for Buyers than at any other time in history. The reason why can be boiled down to two solid reasons:
1) Banks don’t want to be in the real estate business. During the crash of the housing market over the last 7 years, banks were forced against their will to get into the business of liquidating millions of foreclosures. They also had to negotiate at least another million short sales. To avoid ever having to go through that again, they now insist on double and triple checking every detail of an application form. Read more…
Millennials (those born between 1980-1995) have traditionally been generally frowned upon in terms of perception of how invested they are in our current economy and real estate market.
While it may have been true that over the last decade many came into their own more slowly than previous generations had done (which was likely due to a fragile economy, astronomical home prices, and crushing student loan debt), it’s far from true today.
In fact, according to a recent study of Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends by the National Association of Realtors, Millennials make up the largest generational percentile of all Buyers, and even have a respectable showing as Sellers. Read more…
Factors such as an increase in the mortgage interest rate, an economy that’s only improving at a snail’s pace, and a lack of interest in pursuing the American Dream of homeownership among Millennials are quoted as the reasons why.
But it’s more likely that the truth is that there simply isn’t enough inventory to keep up with Buyer demand.
A recent survey of 2,500 Americans in the market to buy or sell a home in the near future actually showed a strong belief that the housing market is on the right track. It also confirmed that Millennials’ belief in home ownership is stronger than the average population.
The extreme weather seen in many regions of the country this winter contributed to keeping demand pent-up, but in recent weeks numerous transactions have taken place, causing rapid depletion of an already small existing inventory. Fears of increased pricing appreciation and mortgage rates will likely spur many more on to buy this spring or summer. Read more…
Traditionally, the term “snowbird” has most accurately described the most common senior retirement trend. Many retirees like to spend their time up North in the summer (to get away from the heat) and down South in the winter (to get away from the cold).
In keeping with this pattern, it would stand to reason that most boomers or retirees looking to relocate to a new city during their golden years would be heading to someplace warm and sunny like Arizona or Florida. One would expect that these locations would offer more age-in-place benefits to appeal to their older crowd than would other cities and states.
Interestingly, that’s not the case. An objective Google search for “best cities to retire” turns up an intriguing mix, with places like Sioux Falls, SD; Provo, UT; Iowa City, IA; Bismarck, ND; Columbia, MO; Omaha, NE; Madison, WI; and Boston, MA topping the list. Read more…