Existing-Home Sales Suffer Sharp Decline

Real Estate market

Existing-home sales declined for the second consecutive month in January and last month’s decrease was the sharpest in three years.

Total existing-home sales slumped by 3.2% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.  The annual rate during December 2017 was 5.56 million.

Sales are down by 4.8% compared to this time a year ago, which is the lowest annual drop since August 2014.

Once again, low inventory is at the forefront of the market’s problems. Housing inventory actually increased by 4.1% last month to 1.52 million existing homes available for sale. Good news, right? Sort of. Inventory is still 9.5% lower than a year ago and has fallen year-over-year for 32 consecutive months, according to the NAR. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun believes the market desperately needs a correction from a supply standpoint to satisfy rampant buyer demand.

“While the good news is that Realtors® in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace,” Yun said. “It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

The good news for agents and sellers is that prices increased for the 71st consecutive month. The median existing-home price in January was $240,500, up 5.8% from January 2017.

Agents can seriously control the market by accumulating a sufficient inventory of listings. Not only can you grow your network by connecting with sellers and buyers, you’ll put yourself in a prime position to cash in on the current market conditions. Until supply meets demand, housing prices should continue to rise.

Keep generating leads and kicking the tires on prospective, hesitant sellers. Remember: those who list, last.

by Matt Barbato

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10 THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN BUYING A HOME!

10 THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN BUYING A HOME!

Here are 10 things, you should  Not Do when buying a home! If you do than chances are the deal will go South

1.Do not change jobs,Do not become self-employed and Don’t quit your job!

2.Don’t go out shopping- Especially Don’t buy a car, a truck or van, furniture, new tv or fridge, etc…- wait until you get the home first.

3. Do not use your credit cards excessively and don’t let current accounts fall behind!

4.Do not Omit any debts or liabilities you might have, on your Loan application, you don’t want any surprises toward the end with the underwirters!

5.Don’t spend the money you put aside for closing!

6. Do not make any new inquiries on your credit!

7. Do not make any large deposits in your account without first checking with your lender,to make sure its okay.

8.Don’t change bank accounts!

9.Do Not  Co-sign for ANYONE!

10. Don’t get too Emotional, and the buying process will be less stressful! 🙂

If you really want that new house, wait until you are recorded, then go out shopping,and celebrating!

Written by Lilly Ruiz

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DOWNSIZING

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DOWNSIZING

Why Downsize?

There are multiple reasons why downsizing is a good option for families. One reason is to help aid in a financial situation. High mortgages, and utilities may be enough reason for a family to move into a smaller home.

Empty nesters are also people who commonly downsize. They no longer need the additional bedrooms and square footage, so they opt for a home that fits their new size.

Living a simpler lifestyle is another reason people choose to downsize. Families will narrow down their possessions to just the basic things they need and find a smaller home to live in. Tip: Smaller homes are easier to keep clean!

Does it save money?

In some ways downsizing will save money. Mortgage, utilities, taxes, and any miscellaneous maintenance costs are bills that will go down. However, you may also incur a few costs if you need to redecorate your smaller home with smaller furniture.

Ideally you will be getting rid of many things in the process but some things you may want to keep that just won’t fit in your new home. In this case you may end up paying self-storage fees. If you move from a home into a condo or apartment you may also incur HOA fees.

When is the best time of year to downsize?

There really isn’t one particular time of year that is best to downsize because it is relative to each person’s situation. If you are going through financial difficulties, then there is no better time than the current time to move.

Don’t delay the move if you are going to be saving a great deal of money. If you decide to downsize in nicer seasons of the year, you have the advantage of the nice weather for yard sales to offload your excess possessions.

What places in a house can I cut down on in size?

After making the decision to downsize, naturally the next step is to figure out what parts of a house you are looking to cut out. If you have less people living in the home, you will need fewer and smaller bathrooms and bedrooms.

If you are headed into retirement and want to spend more time relaxing, you may want to opt for a home with a smaller yard to maintain.

If you are looking to simplify, perhaps purchasing a home with smaller rooms may suit your needs. Smaller rooms require less furniture and simplify things a bit.

With a smaller bathroom comes the need to make it feel as large as possible. Check out my tips for making a small bathroom look larger!

Is downsizing stressful?

Downsizing can be stressful simply because you will be parting ways with many different items from furniture to knick-knack’s. Some of these items may have memories behind them and saying “good-bye” can seem hard.

Related: How to Emotionally Prepare to Sell Your Home – Ferris Property Group

Downsizing isn’t just about buying a smaller home, it is also a change of lifestyle and emotions will be up and down through the process. Enlist a friend or family member to help you. They can be a great help in making hard decisions.

Give yourself plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons before beginning your house hunting. Creating a plan will also help in the process of eliminating excess things and packing the most important things.

What do I do with all my stuff?

As mentioned above, planning your downsize as early as possible gives you time to take part in the big purge. Once you have gone through each room of your home and set aside all the possessions that are no longer needed, you have to figure out what to do with them.

Having a large yard sale or finding a consignment shop to sell your items will help you earn some extra cash. If you do not have the time, donate the items to local shelters or thrift stores. Some charities such as Purple Heart, will actually pick up your unwanted items for you right at your home.

If you are tech and web savvy, you can sell your possessions online as well. Tip: Animal shelters are often in need of old towels, blankets or sheets!

 

By Teresa Cowart

MARKET CONDITIONS

MARKET CONDITIONS


National Summary (U.S.)
Pending Home Sales Rise in January to Highest Level in 18 Months

WASHINGTON (February 27, 2015) — Improved buyer demand at the beginning of 2015 pushed pending home sales in January to their highest level since August 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw gains in activity in January.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.7 percent to 104.2 in January from an upwardly revised 102.5 in December and is now 8.4 percent above January 2014 (96.1). This marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year gains with each month accelerating the previous month’s gain.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says for the most part buyers in January were able to overcome tight supply to sign contracts at a pace that highlights the underlying demand that exists in today’s market. “Contract activity is convincingly up compared to a year ago despite comparable inventory levels,” he said. “The difference this year is the positive factors supporting stronger sales, such as slightly improving credit conditions, more jobs and slower price growth.”

Yun also points to more favorable conditions for traditional buyers entering the market. All-cash sales and sales to investors are both down from a year ago1, creating less competition and some relief for buyers who still face the challenge of limited homes available for sale.

“All indications point to modest sales gains as we head into the spring buying season,” says Yun. “However, the pace will greatly depend on how much upward pressure the impact of low inventory will have on home prices. Appreciation anywhere near double-digits isn’t healthy or sustainable in the current economic environment.”

The PHSI in the Northeast inched 0.1 percent to 84.9 in January, and is now 6.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.7 percent to 99.3 in January, but is 4.2 percent above January 2014.

Pending home sales experienced the largest increase in the South, up 3.2 percent to an index of 121.9 in January (highest since April 2010) and are 9.7 percent above last January. The index in the West rose 2.2 percent in January to 96.4 and is 11.4 percent above a year ago.

Total existing-homes sales in 2015 are forecast to be around 5.26 million, an increase of 6.4 percent from 2014. The national median existing-home price for all of this year is expected to increase near 5 percent. In 2014, existing-home sales declined 2.9 percent and prices rose 5.7 percent.

The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

What is a C.L.U.E Report?

What’s In a C.L.U.E Report?

The information included in a C.L.U.E. report is the homeowners name and birth date, insurance policy number, dates of losses, types of losses, payments made by the insurance company, a description of the covered property, and the property address. Insurance companies do not report inquires, but they do report cases in which they set up a file for potential claim, formally deny a claim, or pay out on a claim that was made.

Insurance Claims - C.L.U.E. ReportWhen claims are filed against a property, property insurance costs may increase, or coverage could be denied or difficult to obtain. Not only may the cost of insurance increase, but a report with claims filed could also indicate problems with the property, warding off potential buyers. Savvy sellers will obtain a copy of their C.L.U.E. report at the time the property is listed to provide assurance to potential buyers. Potential buyers would be wise to request a copy of the C.L.U.E. report as a contingency with an offer. A C.L.U.E. report is beneficial to the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction.

When a property has experienced an accumulation of claims, insurance companies could opt out of providing insurance, or may charge higher rates. This consequence affects the buyer of the property, whose over-all monthly housing expenses could be increased, or who may have trouble obtaining homeowners insurance.

You might also like: The Worst (and Best) Home Improvements for Increasing Your Property Value

Homeowners, prior to listing their property for sale, can obtain a free copy of their C.L.U.E. report as mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. By securing a copy of your C.L.U.E. report before selling your house, you have an opportunity to modify any incorrect information, and can also add a note or brief explanation to a specific item or items that will show in future reports. To obtain a copy of your C.L.U.E. report, contact the consumer center at LexisNexis® at 888-312-8076. You can request corrections to your report or to note an explanation by calling 888-497-0011. You can also visit LexisNexis® online at http://www.LexisNexis.com.

ARE YOU LIKE OTHER HOME BUYERS?

ARE YOU LIKE OTHER HOME BUYERS?

If you’re like most homebuyers, you’re not taking any chances. You want to own a home, but you’ve struggled to save for a down-payment. You waited until you were 31 years of age to buy a home, and plan to stay there at least 10 years. You believe that buying a home is a sound investment.

Like other buyers, your dream of owning a home was delayed by student debt of $25,000 or more. You worked to bring your debt down until you were earning over $69,000. You improved your credit scores so you could qualify for a fixed-rate loan, knowing that today’s artificially low rates won’t last forever.

You’ll take advantage of today’s easier loan qualifications and put down between six percent and 14 percent of the purchase price. As a first-time buyer, you’ll purchase a 1,620-square-foot home at $170,000. If you’re a repeat homebuyer, you’ll purchase a 2,020-square-foot home costing over $246,000, because you’re older (about 53 years old) and earn nearly $99,000.

You’ll go with a government-insured loan, either FHA or VA loan with low or no down-payment requirement. You’ll use your own savings for a down payment, but you’ll also accept money from family or friends, and tap into other investments to come up with the down payment. You’re likely to be a repeat buyer, using the proceeds from the sale of your home to make your down payment.

You’re more likely to be married than single. You’re using the equity from your current home to help you get into a better home. You may be looking for a property that will accommodate aging parents as well as your children.

From the time you begin your home search, you’ll spend about 10 weeks before you find the home you’ll ultimately buy. You’ll search the Internet for homes using your phone or tablet to see how far your money will go, then call a real estate agent to help you. Tight supplies in most areas will keep you frustrated, and more than one or two homes may slip through your fingers before you find the right home and make an offer in time to prevail over other buyers.

The home you buy will likely be a detached single-family home built in 1991 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It will be located in a suburb or subdivision about 14 miles from your current residence. You’ll choose the home for its neighborhood location, its affordability and its convenience to your job.

These are the characteristics of most buyers who purchased a home in 2015, according to the National Association of REALTORS

 Written by Blanche Evans

WHY BUYING THE RIGHT HOUSE IS BETTER THAN SEX

WHY BUYING THE RIGHT HOUSE IS BETTER THAN SEX

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 2:33 pm

 

Let’s try something fun. Google “Better than sex.” You know what you’ll find? Mascara, cake, some random dessert restaurant in Florida, some sort of tutorial we were too scared to click on, and 15 things Huffington Post ran from an original Reddit post. They include:

When I walk through the front door and my dog is SUPER PUMPED to see me.
Using the word literally correctly.
Guacamole

But they’re all wrong. Except maybe for the guacamole. Good guacamole is better than almost anything. Including a lot of the sex most people have had. We’re assuming.

Come to think of it, we do love that feeling when we walk into the house through the garage door and the dog comes running. And we are sticklers for proper grammar…

But we digress. You want to know what’s REALLY better than sex? Finding the right house.

Just imagine. Your pulse is racing. Your brow beading up with sweat. You’ve spotted a hot one and you just have to have it. Good-looking single across the bar? No, gorgeous single-family home in the city.

The thrill of the chase is no different, whether you’re looking for a date or real estate. The difference is, a house may actually hold your interest if it’s got character and personality to match its looks (you may not be able say the same of your last relationship).

The endorphin rush is similar too. Signing on the dotted line when you’ve found that house you’ve been seeking for so long—it’s a release similar to…well, you know.

We did find this gem on ouchmytoe: “A friend once told me that buying a house was like having sex. There is a lot of planning, too many people are involved, you feel tired afterward and almost always there is none of the appreciation that you expected.”

But as they say about bad sex, if you feel that way when your home purchase is over, maybe you’re doing it wrong.

Here are a few more ways buying the right house is better than sex:

  • Because it’s not over in a few minutes.
  • Because it continues to bring you joy year after year.
  • Because you can do it again and again without anyone calling you names. And without risk of catching something.
  • Because you can make money on it. Legally.
  • Because long-term security is sexy.
  • Because it’s more than a physical attraction—the emotional connection is much more compelling.
  • Because when you get down and dirty in your house, you’re actually improving its value.
  • Because the foreplay can go on as long as you want it to and when you finally get to the, err, climax, it means you’re a homeowner. Which means the fun is only just beginning.