Tips for Buyers and Sellers - Kunal Patel - Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors
Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors

Posted on September 05, 2018

There are many things that factor into the decision to buy a home. New research from the Urban Institute suggests that one of those things may be inherited from your parents. Children are More Likely to Own a Home if Their Parents Did According to an analysis of millennial homeowners, the homeownership rate of those whose parents rent their homes is 14.4%, while the rate amongst millennials whose parents are homeowners is 31.7%! “A young adult’s odds of homeownership are highly correlated with their parent’s homeownership. Without controlling for such factors as age, income, education, marital status, and race or ethnicity, there is a 17 percentage-point gap between the homeownership rate for young adults whose parents are renters and young adults whose parents are homeowners.” The study also revealed that as a parent’s net worth increases, so does the likelihood that their child will own a home. These two findings are not surprising as we know from the Survey of Consumer Finances that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. So, a parent who is a homeowner will have more wealth which will, in turn, increase the chances that their children will own their own homes in the future. Below is a breakdown of the relationship between a parent’s wealth and a millennial’s likelihood to own a home. The Good News: The high homeownership rate amongst baby boomers (likely the parents of many millennials) is a great sign that millennials will want to own homes. We are already seeing this in the high-demand environment that we are currently experiencing in the starter and trade-up markets. Bottom Line Even though millennials took longer than many of the generations before them to start home searches of their own, the data shows that they will not be waiting much longer!

Posted on September 04, 2018

There are many benefits to homeownership, but one of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped  A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating: “Our national rent index is up 0.1 percent month-over-month, marking the sixth straight month of increasing rents. Year-over-year growth now stands at 1.2 percent.” The article continues, explaining that: “Rents increased month-over-month in 62 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, down significantly from the 85 cities that saw rents rise last month. That said, rents are still up year-over-year in most of the nation’s largest markets — 77 of the 100 largest cities have seen rents increase over the past twelve months.” Additionally, Urban Land Magazine explained that, “Currently, nearly half (47 percent) of renter households are cost burdened (i.e., paying more than 30 percent of income for housing), while 25 percent (totaling 11 million households) are severely cost burdened, paying over 50 percent of their total household income for rent.” These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare. It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 2% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% less expensive in Detroit (MI), and 26.3% nationwide! Know Your Options Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 1,166 renters found that 34% said they rent because they cannot afford to buy, 29% said they cannot afford to buy where they live, and nearly a quarter (24%) were saving to buy. Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time homebuyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough! Bottom Line Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let’s get together to determine if you can qualify for a mortgage today!

Posted on September 03, 2018

Here are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market. 2. There Is Less Competition Now  Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon! Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell. 3. The Process Will Be Quicker Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all that they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 44 days. 4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The abundance of inventory available in these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market for anybody looking to purchase these homes. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own! According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.1% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. 5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life  Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you feel you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Posted on August 31, 2018

Some Highlights: Hiring a real estate professional to help you buy your dream home or sell your current house is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make! A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process. Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions and can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!

Posted on August 30, 2018

The latest Existing Home Sales Report issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that home sales have decreased for four consecutive months and are at their slowest pace in over two years. This has some industry leaders puzzled considering the fact that the economy is strengthening, unemployment is down, and wages are beginning to rise. This begs the question: “Where are the buyers?” Actually, agents in the field of most communities are still seeing strong desire from prospective purchasers. They have a list of potential buyers ready to go if the right houses come on the market and they claim it is not a shortage of demand, but is instead a shortage of inventory that is causing the market to soften. Why is there a shortage of inventory? You only need to look at the graph below to understand: New construction sales over the last ten years are far below historic numbers from 1995-2002. A recent industry report looked at building permits and concluded: “If construction over the past decade matched historic norms, accounting for population change, the country would have had 2.3 million more single-family home permits.” That decade of not building enough homes is the primary reason for the concerns about today’s market. Wait, weren’t we talking about ‘existing’ home sales? Some may argue that NAR’s sales report deals with existing home sales and not new construction, and they would be correct. However, reports have shown that one of the main reasons why existing homeowners are not selling is because they can’t find homes that meet the needs of their current lifestyles. Historically, the upgrades in a newly constructed home were the answers to those needs. Over the last decade, however, there were fewer homes built to satisfy this move-up seller. Consequently, there are many homeowners who stayed in their homes for a longer tenure, instead of putting their homes up for sale. Bottom Line As more new homes are being built, there will be more housing inventory to satisfy current demand which will cause prices to moderate and sales volumes to increase.

Posted on August 29, 2018

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today’s real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage. Today, we want to try and clear the air by shedding some light on what’s causing some of these headlines, as well as what’s truly going on. Myth #1: We Are Headed for Another Housing Bubble Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. Many areas of the country are at or near their peak prices achieved before the last housing bubble burst. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble. Reality: The biggest challenge facing today’s real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes. Historically, a normal market requires a 6-month supply of inventory in order for prices to rise with the rate of inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is currently a 4.3-month supply of inventory. The US housing market hasn’t had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up! Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can’t be too far off. But what is a recession? Merriam-Webster defines a recession as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two consecutive quarters.” Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years, there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated. Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis Looming Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home. There are many different affordability indexes supported by different organizations that all measure different data. For this reason, there is a lot of confusion about what “affordable” actually means. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home’s price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week. Reality: As we mentioned earlier, home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 months, largely driven by high demand and low supply. According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median income necessary to buy a home in today’s market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 – 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms. The starter-home market has appreciated at higher levels (9.4% year-over-year) than any other market. One reason for this is the fact that many of the first-time buyers who have flocked to the starter-home market are being met with high competition. For some hopeful buyers, it may take more than a good offer to stand out from the crowd! Bottom Line There is a lot of confusion in today’s real estate market. If your future plans include buying or selling, make sure you have a trusted advisor and market expert by your side to help guide you to the best decision for you and your family.

Posted on August 28, 2018

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting that home sales will increase nicely in 2019. Below is a chart depicting the projections of each entity for the remainder of 2018, as well as for 2019. As we can see, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe that homes sales will increase steadily over the next year. If you are a homeowner who has considered selling your house recently, now may be the best time to put it on the market.

Posted on August 27, 2018

There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”: “While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.” With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained: “Over the last three years, renter house-buying power has increased fast enough to keep pace with house price appreciation, so the share of homes that a renter can afford to buy has remained the same since 2015. Although mortgage rates are expected to rise, they are still low by historic standards, and real household incomes are the highest they have ever been. Assuming this trend continues, our measure of affordability, which takes into account income, interest rates, and house prices, indicates that homeownership is still within reach for renters.” As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity. Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.51% last week. Bottom Line Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

Posted on August 24, 2018

Some Highlights: The majority of states in the Midwest and South offer a lower cost of living than states in the Northeast and West. The ‘biggest bang for your buck’ comes in Mississippi where, compared to the national average, you can actually purchase $115.74 worth of goods for $100. For more information regarding the methodology used to create this map, visit the Tax Foundation.

Posted on August 23, 2018

Last week, in a new report from Zillow, it was revealed that there has been a rash of price reductions across the country. According to the report: There are more price cuts now than a year ago in over two-thirds of the nation’s largest metros About 14% of all listings had a price cut in June Since the beginning of the year, the share of listings with a price cut increased 1.2% This is the greatest January-to-June increase ever reported, and more than double the January-to-June increase last year Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas further explained: “A rising share of on-market listings are seeing price cuts, though these price cuts are concentrated at the most expensive price-points and primarily in markets that have seen outsized price gains in recent years.” What this DOESN’T MEAN for the real estate market… This doesn’t mean home values have depreciated or are about to depreciate. A seller may put a home worth $300,000 on the market for $325,000 hoping a bidding war will occur and an overanxious buyer will pay more than its actual value. That has happened often over the last few years. If the seller gets no offers and reduces the price to $300,000, it doesn’t mean the home dropped in value. It is still worth $300,000. Home prices will continue to appreciate over the next 12 months. In this same report, Terrazas remarks: “It’s far too soon to call this a buyer’s market, home values are still expected to appreciate at double their historic rate over the next 12 months, but the frenetic pace of the housing market over the past few years is starting to return toward a more normal trend.” What this DOES MEAN for the real estate market… This does mean that sellers should be more conservative when it comes to the price at which they list their homes – especially sellers in the upper end of each market. Sellers have been listing their homes at inflated prices hoping a super-hot market will deliver a buyer willing to pay virtually any price to ensure they don’t lose the house. That strategy has worked somewhat successfully over the last two years. However, the time that strategy would have worked may have passed. Again, quoting Aaron Terrazas in the report: “The housing market has tilted sharply in favor of sellers over the past two years, but there are very early preliminary signs that the winds may be starting to shift ever-so-slightly.” Bottom Line Prices are not depreciating. However, if you want to sell your house quickly and with the least amount of hassles, pricing it correctly from the beginning makes the most sense.

Posted on August 22, 2018

You read that right! First-time buyers across the country are getting creative when it comes to saving the necessary down payment to buy a home. Many couples are asking their wedding guests to contribute to their “Down Payment Fund” rather than fulfilling a traditional registry. This is fueled by the fact that many couples live together prior to marriage and already have the necessary items to make a house a home…they just need the house! The average wedding in the United States has 120 guests who give wedding gifts valued, on average, at $186. This means that couples could walk away from their nuptials with over $22,000 towards their down payment! Services like HomeFundMe allow friends, family members, and almost anyone else in a buyer’s network to contribute funds toward the buyer’s down payment. Contributors can determine, at the time of their donation, if their gifts are ‘conditional’ or ‘non-conditional’ on the beneficiary buying a home. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “about 400 borrowers have used HomeFundMe to help buy homes since the program launched in October and on average, they raise about $2,500.” The article went on to explain that most borrowers use these funds in combination with their personal savings to shorten the time needed to achieve their goal of homeownership. There are more and more programs surfacing from lenders that allow buyers to put down as little as 3% to buy their dream home. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs require 3% down payments, while FHA programs require as little as 3.5%, and VA Loans are often approved with 0% down! Bottom Line Gone are the days of 20% down or no loan! If your dreams include buying a home of your own in the next year, you can get creative with your down payment savings to make it happen!

Posted on August 21, 2018

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more all in one sitting. When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but you may need a reality check. Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life: Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.   Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes being shown are already sold and are off the market.  Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy.  Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house.Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area but are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind that many homes are sold during regular listing appointments as well.  Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation.Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives/goals. Bottom Line Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee that you can make the home of your dreams a reality!

Posted on August 20, 2018

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. Their latest survey data, covering 2013-2016 was recently released. The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013). These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter. Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home. That is why, for the fifth year in a row, Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment. This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26% and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds. Greater equity in your home gives you options If you want to find out how you can use the increased equity in your home to move to a home that better fits your current lifestyle, let’s get together to discuss the process.

Posted on August 17, 2018

Some Highlights: Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019. The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be. Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

Posted on August 16, 2018

Some are attempting to compare the current housing market to the market leading up to the “boom and bust” that we experienced a decade ago. They look at price appreciation and conclude that we are on a similar trajectory, speeding toward another housing crisis. However, there is a major difference between the two markets. Last decade, while demand was being artificially created by extremely loose lending standards, a tremendous amount of inventory was coming to the market to satisfy that demand. Below is a graph of the inventory of homes available for sale leading up to the 2008 crash. A normal market should have approximately 6 months supply of housing inventory. As we can see, that number jumped to over 11 months supply leading up to the housing crisis. When questionable mortgage practices ceased, and demand dried up, there was a glut of inventory on the market which caused prices to drop as there was too much supply and not enough demand. Today is radically different! There are those who believe that low mortgage rates have created an artificial demand in the current market. They fear that if mortgage rates continue to rise, some of the current demand will dry up (which is a possibility). However, if we look at supply again, we can see that the current supply of homes is well below the norm of 6 months. Bottom Line We will not have a glut of inventory like we did back in 2008 and home values won’t come tumbling down. Instead, if demand weakens, we will return to a normal market (approximately a 6-month supply) with historic levels of appreciation (3.6% annually).

Posted on August 15, 2018

It should come as no surprise that buying a home in a good school district is important to homebuyers. According to a report from Realtor.com, 86% of 18-34 year-olds and 84% of those aged 35-54 indicated that their home search areas were defined by school district boundaries. What is surprising, however, is that 78% of recent homebuyers sacrificed features from their “must-have” lists in order to find homes within their dream school districts. The top feature sacrificed was a garage at 19%, followed closely by a large backyard, an updated kitchen, the desired number of bedrooms, and an outdoor living area. The full results are shown in the graph below. Buyers are attracted to schools with high test scores, accelerated academic programs, art and music programs, diversity, and before and after-school programs. With a limited number of homes available to buy in today’s real estate market, competition is fierce for homes in good school districts. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, explained further, “Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list, but our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise. For many buyers and not just buyers with children, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.’” (emphasis added) Bottom Line For buyers across the country, the quality of their children’s (or future children’s) education ranks highest on their must-have lists. Before you start the search for your next home, let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area.

Posted on August 15, 2018

Write the latest real estate news !

Posted on August 14, 2018

For many Americans, buying their first home is their first taste of achieving part of the American Dream. There is a sense of pride that comes along with owning your own home and building your family’s wealth through your monthly mortgage payment. It may seem hard to imagine that the first home you purchased (which made your dreams come true) might not be the home that will allow you to achieve the rest of your dreams. The good news is that it’s ok to admit that your home no longer fits your needs! According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices in the starter home market have appreciated faster than any other category over the last year, at 9.4%. At the same time, inventory in this category has dropped 14.2%. These two stats are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up. This is great news if you own a starter home and are looking to move up to a larger home as the equity in your home has risen as prices have gone up. Even better is the fact that there is a large pool of buyers out there searching for your starter home to help them achieve their American Dream! Bottom Line If you have outgrown your starter home, contact a local real estate professional who can explain the market conditions in your area and help you find your next home!

Posted on August 13, 2018

The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will rise over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Sales Report, the number of building permits issued in June was 850,000, a 0.8% increase from  May. How will this impact buyers? More inventory means more options. Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist, explained that this is good news for the housing market – especially for those looking to buy: “The continued year-over-year growth in completions means more homes on the market in the short-term, offering some immediate relief in alleviating housing supply shortages.” How will this impact sellers? More inventory means more competition. Today, because of the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect: A great price on their home as buyers outbid each other for it. A quick sale as buyers have such little inventory to choose from. Fewer hassles as buyers don’t want to “rock the boat” on the deal. Bottom Line If you are considering selling your house, you’ll want to beat this new competition to market to ensure that you get the most attention on your listing and the best price for your house.

Posted on August 10, 2018

Some Highlights: According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Existing Home Sales Report, sales in June were down 2.2% from last year. Inventory of homes for sale showed a modest improvement of 0.5% over last year’s figures, but still remains under the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining. The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market.”

Kunal Patel Chat Now

Please let me know how I can help you

Kunal PatelColdwell Banker Heritage Realtors