Archive | Real Estate Updates

    Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

    Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

    Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | Simplifying The Market

    Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Index as a part of their Realtors Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is reflected when broken down by state. Only 11 states have a stable level of seller traffic compared to the remainder of the country, which came in with a weak rating.

    As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year is half of what the rate was in the 1980s.

    Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | Simplifying The Market

    This does not come as a surprise, as tenure length (the number of years someone owns a home before moving again) among existing homeowners has increased. It has risen from an average of 6 years from 1985 to 2008, up to 9.5 years over the last few years. This is shown in the graph below:

    Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | Simplifying The Market

    As we can see, there is a pent-up seller demand!

    What led to this change in behavior? Falling prices during the housing crisis led to many homeowners having negative equity in their home, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. Others were able to secure a low interest rate on their mortgage and have not been quick to obtain a new mortgage with a higher rate.

    Will this trend continue?

    Recently NAR reported that “69% of people believe now is a good time to sell a home.”

    With a strong economy, low interest rates, and wages continuing to rise, some homeowners will be ready to put their house on the market and move up to the home of their dreams!

    Bottom Line

    There is a great opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the current real estate market before new inventory comes to market. If you are considering selling your house or would like to know your options, let’s get together today to help you understand the possibilities available to you!

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    What to Consider When Choosing Your Home To Retire In

    What to Consider When Choosing Your Home To Retire In

    What to Consider When Choosing Your Home To Retire In |Simplifying The Market

    As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether they should sell their homes and move has become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

    According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

    1.Affordability

    “It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

    Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

    2. Equity

    “If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

    The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $9,700 in equity last year.

    3. Maintenance

    “As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

    As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

    4. Security

    “Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

    As scary as that thought may be, any additional security is helpful. An extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

    5. Pets

    “Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

    Consider all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

    6. Mobility

    “No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

    Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

    7. Convenience

    “Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

    How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

    Bottom Line

    When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

    Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

    Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come | Simplifying The Market

    There has been a lot written about millennials and their preference to live in city centers above their favorite pizza place. Some have even gone so far as to say that millennials are a “Renter-Generation”.

    And while this might be true for some millennials, more and more research has surfaced that shows for the vast majority, owning a home is a major part of their American Dream!

    New research shows that 66% of millennials who currently rent are determined to buy a home! Seventy-three percent of those surveyed by Pulsenomics plan to buy a home in the next five years, with 40% planning to do so within the next two years!

    Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come | Simplifying The Market

    “Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at Meyers Research says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.”

    Bottom Line

    You’re home maybe a perfect fit for this new wave of buyers. Let’s get together to review the best possible strategy for success for your housing dreams!

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand

    Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand

    Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand | Simplifying The Market

    One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers, rather than alienating the 68% of American households that have a pet!

    If you are one of the many homeowners looking to list your home for sale, how do you stand out to the millions of pet parents searching for their dream home?

    Whether a dog person, a cat person, or someone who prefers the company of another pet species, 99% of pet owners say that they consider their animal to be family. When finding a home, 95% of animal owners believe it is important that a housing community allows animals.

    A study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there are many aspects of the home buying, selling and owning experience that have been greatly impacted by our love for our pets.

    This should come as no surprise, as $72 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2018. NAR’s President William E. Brown shed some light on the impact of pet owners and their home search.

    “It is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership. REALTORS® understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family.”

    The Power of Pets When Choosing the Right Home

    • 89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
    • 81% of Americans say their pets play a role in their housing situation
    • 31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals
    • 19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet
    • 12% percent have moved for their pet

    New home builders have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck away neatly inside door jams as a highly requested feature in new homes to attract pet-parents.

    So, if you are a homeowner looking to sell in today’s pet-friendly environment, point out the features of your home that will attract pet owners:

    • Fully fenced in backyard – (91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
    • Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
    • Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)

    Bottom Line

    Americans love their pets and will look for pet-friendly features in the home they wish to buy, so take advantage of this knowledge by pointing out your home’s ability to meet their needs.

    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    The Enormous Divide Between the Headline and the Truth

    The Enormous Divide Between the Headline and the Truth

    The Enormous Divide Between the Headline and the Truth | Simplifying The Market

    “I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.” – John Stuart Mill (1840s)

    Even back in the mid-1800s, people knew that negative news sells. That is still true today. All forms of media realize that they will get more eyeballs, clicks, likes, and engagement by posting something negative. However, they must realize that negative headlines impact markets.

    Just last week, the National Association of Home Builders released a survey revealing:

    “Negative media reports making buyers cautious was a significant problem for 48% of builders in 2018, but 62% expect it to be a problem in 2019.”

    Even today, good news is headlined with a negative spin in order to get attention. Here are two recent examples from mainstream media:

    Actual Headline #1: Cash-out refis are back – will homes become ATMs again?

    The real story: The headline is accurate – to a point. It is true that the percentage of refinances in which the homeowner received cash at the closing has increased to levels that existed in 2006. However, the actual amount of equity homeowners “cashed-out” compared to a decade ago isn’t close.

    The dollar amount cashed-out last year was $63 billion. That seems like a really large number until we compare it to 2006, when homeowners cashed-out $321 billion. That is more than five times the current amount.

    In 2006, people did use their homes as ATMs. They purchased new cars, boats, and lavish vacations. Today, the cashed-out equity is being used to consolidate debt, as seed capital for a new business, or to help a child with their college tuition.

    Actual Headline: Consumer Debt hits $4 Trillion. Americans are diving deeper and deeper into debt.

    The real story: The first sentence of the headline is accurate. The second sentence couldn’t be further from the truth. Total consumer debt is the highest it has ever been. That’s because the population continues to grow, and so does the economy (prices and wages).

    The important number is how that total debt ranks as a percentage of disposable personal income. That percentage is the lowest ever recorded!! People are not “diving deeper and deeper into debt”. The exact opposite is true. They have less debt now than ever before.

    Bottom Line

    If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, it is important that you have a true professional handling your real estate needs. Someone who knows the truth about the current economy and its potential impact on the housing market.


    Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

    20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Some Highlights:

    • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
    • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
    • Reviewing the specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market is key!

    When Selling This 1 Improvement Can Net You An Incredible Response

    Spring is a time for action. Time to shake off winter and put it behind us.

    This is time of year when you and your neighbors will be placing your homes on the market. So how do you win? How do you capture the buyers interest?

    Time and again the #1 most important improvement you can make to add WOW factor to your house and place it right in the HOME section of the buyers brain is to PAINT.

    Today’s buyer is searching the internet and while doing so they are constantly being shown what the hottest design trends are in today’s home. From closets to kitchens, from bathrooms to garages, sheds to fascias – paint makes the difference.

    Two key points to winning buyers and converting them to be the new owner:

    1. Color choice: Choosing a color that is appealing and current is key. Most paint stores work with design professionals and for a small fee they will have the design professional run a consultation with you and help you select the right color to really maximize impact and appeal.
    2. Professionals: Nothing turns a buyer off faster than drips on the walls color splash on the ceiling and messy trim…As a result hire a professional to do the painting. By hiring professionals you giving the buyer what they need to see: clean, fresh, move-in ready home(joy) vs a bad paint job they now have to paint over (pain)….

    Need Inspiration? Many great sites offer wonderful examples for inspiration one of the best out there today is Sherwin Williams.

    Consider these links for fun inspiration:

    Sherwin Williams Inspiration Gallery

    west elm Collection

    Pottery Barn Collection

    Not sure what else might have impact on buyers? That’s what we are here for!

    7486 Alaska Ridge – Private Thornapple River – Forest Hills Schools

    Forest Hill Schools – Private Thornapple River frontage. This gorgeous Town & Country cedar home is surrounded by the natural beauty of hardwoods. Located on the open 6 mile stretch of the Thornapple River (all sports.) This home offers the best of rustic-lux. With soaring vaulted plank ceilings, stone fireplace, majestic views out every window, and quality finishes throughout every inch breathes the essence of home. The main floor master with luxuriously appointed on-suite, the additional bedrooms, finished garage loft space, and walk-out lower level each offer custom touches combining form, function and fun. Experience the peace of this location while appreciating its easy proximity to everyday amenities such as shopping, dining, entertainment, and more.

    2629 Miller Ave NW – Move In Ready 4 BD – Kenowa Hills Schools

    With 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, huge 3 stall garage and fenced in yard – this Kenowa Hills School District charmer is a rare opportunity! Excellent location, minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, and right around the corner from everyday amenities such as dining, shopping, entertainment and more. Several updates inside and out make this home truly move-in ready!