Tag Archives | #realestate

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

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!

Real Estate = Strength

Real Estate = Strength

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time | Simplifying The Market

Last week, the National Association for Business Economics released their February 2019 Economic Policy Survey. The survey revealed that a majority of the panel believe an economic slowdown is in the near future:

“While only 10% of panelists expect a recession in 2019, 42% say a recession will happen in 2020, and 25% expect one in 2021.”

Their findings coincide with three previous surveys calling for a slowdown sometime in the next two years:

  1. The Pulsenomics Survey of Market Analysts
  2. The Wall Street Journal Survey of Economists
  3. The Duke University Survey of American CFOs

That raises the question: Will the real estate market be impacted like it was during the last recession?

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. According to the dictionary definition, a recession is:

“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

During the last recession, prices fell dramatically because the housing collapse caused the recession. However, if we look at the previous four recessions, we can see that home values weren’t negatively impacted:

  • January 1980 to July 1980: Home values rose 4.5%
  • July 1981 to November 1982: Home values rose 1.9%
  • July 1990 to March 1991: Home values fell less than 1%
  • March 2001 to November 2001: Home values rose 4.8%

Most experts agree with Ralph McLaughlin, CoreLogic’s Deputy Chief Economist, who recently explained:

“There’s no reason to panic right now, even if we may be headed for a recession. We’re seeing a cooling of the housing market, but nothing that indicates a crash.”

The housing market is just “normalizing”. Inventory is starting to increase and home prices are finally stabilizing. This is a good thing for both buyers and sellers as we move forward.

Bottom Line

If there is an economic slowdown in our near future, there is no need for fear to set in. As renowned financial analyst, Morgan Housel, recently tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

How will this impact your real estate plans? Let’s discuss. Reach out and we can talk the best course of action.

Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

2 Reports That Say Now Is a Great Time to Sell

 

2 Reports That Say Now Is a Great Time to Sell

2 Reports That Say Now Is a Great Time to Sell | Simplifying The Market

Heading into the spring buying market, there are strong trends starting to emerge.

The inventory of homes for sale has increased on a year-over-year basis for eight months in a row. Home price appreciation has continued to grow, although at a slower rate. The homeownership rate has reached heights last seen in 2014, with millennials and Generation X leading the way!

Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the recent reports that have been released and what they mean for the spring buying season!

  1. National Association of Realtor’s Existing Home Sales Report

Sales of existing homes were down for the third consecutive month in January. Some of this can be explained by the natural seasonality that the real estate market experiences every year, and some can be explained even further by a lack of homes available for sale on the market.

Inventory

For the last eight months, the inventory of homes for sale has been higher when compared to the same month the year before. The challenge in the market is the mismatch of the type of home that is available for sale. First-time homebuyers looking for a starter home are often competing with other buyers to stand out, often outbidding each other.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, agrees that the market is still experiencing an inventory shortage.

“In particular, the lower end of the market is experiencing a greater shortage, and more home construction is needed.”

Home Prices

The median home price for homes sold in January was $247,500. This is up 2.8% from January 2018 and marks the 83rd consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The 2.8% growth in home prices represents the smallest year-over-year change since February 2012 but is a welcome change for buyers who had feared being priced out of the market.

Days on the Market

Properties that sold in January were on the market for an average of 49 days with 38% of homes on the market for less than a month.

Yun is positive about how today’s market conditions will help buyers this spring,

 “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

  1. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Report

The national Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 4.6% to 103.2 in January from 98.7 in December. An index score of 100 is considered normal. All four major regions of the country experienced gains in January, with the largest increase coming in the South.

 “The PHSI is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.”

Increases in the PHSI often predict increases in the level of home sales in the coming months, which is great news for the housing market leading in to spring! Yun had this to say,

“Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers.”

Bottom Line

The housing market in 2019 will require homeowners to list their house at the right price to attract buyers. If interest rates continue to stay low while wages increase, and more inventory comes to market, 2019 could be one of the best years for home sales in recent history.


Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

How to Have a Unique Open House

How to Have a Unique Open House

How to Have a Unique Open House | Simplifying The Market

According to the National Association of Realtors, total inventory has been growing for six months straight, as has the number of buyers looking to find their dream home. In a market where inventory is increasing, you want to stand out in the crowd!

This quote from Grandscope puts it well:

You can differentiate from competition by WOWing or exciting customers, not just trying to compete on price.

What better way than to be creative with your Open House!

Here are a few ideas for how to do this in this era of technology.

1) Facebook Live Virtual Open House

This can also work as a ‘preview’ before an official Open House. We walk potential buyers through your home using a webcam or cell phone, highlighting the unique features of your house and taking questions. This can be of great benefit, especially for those out-of-state buyers looking to relocate to your area.

2) Youtube Live Virtual Open House

YouTube is forecasted to have 187.8 million video users in 2019 in the United States alone! One of those users might be the buyer you’re looking for! Like Facebook Live,  we have a virtual open house will making it available, especially for all those first-time homebuyers house hunting on their phones! This allows access to your home from the comfort of their own. Broadcasting at peak time (during lunch between 12 and 2 P.M.) also prevents buyers from having to leave work.

What if you do not want to show your house online?

3) Go With Off-Peak Times

Why not host an Open House during the week when people are on their way home? This works especially well if the home is convenient for commuters. Add a little something as a transition to going home for dinner! Or, why not have an Open House at 9:00 in the morning? After parents drop their kids at school, they can stop by your Open House for coffee & cake. Promote the Open House in community chats. Maybe one of the neighbors has a family member that wants to move to the area.

Bottom Line

With new inventory coming to market, you need your house to stand out from the crowd! Let’s get together to see what alternatives will work best in our area.

Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates

Award Winner- Chairman’s Circle GOLD Award Presented to John Rice for 2018

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has awarded John Rice the Chairman’s Gold Circle Award for 2018 production making him a multiple year recipient of this award.  The award is presented to top performing agents that place within the top 2% of Berkshire Hathaway Agents Nationwide. With 5 straight years for John Rice at this tear this event is marked with the prestigious Legend Award.

John Rice began his real estate carrier in 2002 and passionately assists West Michigan residents in their housing needs. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate is ranked as one of the top producing brokerage firms in the nation.

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at their lowest for 2019. Rates like these haven’t been seen since February 2018!

Last week’s survey results reported an interest rate of 4.35%. This is a welcome change from the near 5% rates seen in mid-November. At 4.32%, the second week of February 2018 was the last time rates were this low. This can be seen in the chart below.

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low! | Simplifying The Market

Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Sam Khater, had this to say:

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend that began late last year.

Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”

Bottom Line

If you plan on buying a home this spring, let’s get together to prepare you to take advantage of today’s market before rates increase!

Source: Michigan Real Estate Updates