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Tracy Elman

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Tracy Elman

CENTURY 21 Everest

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by Tracy Elman

June 24, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.1. Interest RatesOne of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. In our recent post we posed the question, “Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.2. Building MaterialsTalk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as . . .

June 18, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.1. Demand Is StrongThe latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.2. There Is Less Competition NowHousing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between . . .

June 10, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Freddie Mac recently released a report entitled, “Perceptions of Down Payment Consumer Research.” Their research revealed that,“For many prospective homebuyers, saving for a down payment is the largest barrier to achieving the goal of homeownership. Part of the challenge for those planning to purchase a home is their perception of how much they will need to save for the down payment… …Based on our recent survey of individuals planning to purchase a home in the next three years, nearly a third think they need to put more than 20% down.”Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”Buyers often overestimate the funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:22% of renters and 31% of homeowners believe lenders require 20% or more of a home’s sale price as a down payment for a typical mortgage today. . . .

June 03, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.1. Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer makes sense.2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.An increase in rates will impact . . .

May 28, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
In today’s housing market, home prices are increasing at a slower pace (3.7%) than they have over the last eight years (6-7%). However, they are still are above historical norms. Low supply of listed homes and high demand from buyers has pushed prices to rise rapidly.In the mind of the homeowner, annual home price appreciation over 6% has become the new normal. This becomes a challenge when a homeowner looks to refinance or sell their home, as the expectation of what the homeowner believes the home should be worth does not always line up with the bank’s appraisal.Every month, the Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) measures the disparity between what a homeowner seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.Over the last five months, the gap between the . . .

May 21, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
In today’s real estate market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.In a realtor.com article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your SearchOne way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.This step . . .

May 13, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest point in years. The market will continue to strengthen in 2019.However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory! Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but supply has not kept up.Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors“Further increases in inventory are highly desirable to keep home prices in check, the sustained steady gains in home sales can occur when home price appreciation grows at roughly the same pace as wage growth.”Jessica Lautz, . . .

May 06, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by condition, financing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.Open . . .

May 01, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Two positive trends have started to emerge that impact the 2019 Spring Housing Market. Mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate loan have dropped to new lows, right as reports show that wages have increased at their highest rate in decades!These two factors have helped keep housing affordable despite low supply of houses for sale driving up prices. First American’s Chief Economist, Mark Fleming, explains the impact,“Ongoing supply shortages remain the main driver of the performance gap as the housing market continues to face an inventory impasse – you can’t buy what’s not for sale.  However, an unexpected affordability surge, driven primarily by lower-than-anticipated mortgage rates, rising wages and favorable demographics, has boosted housing demand.”Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for most of 2018 before . . .

April 22, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try to sell their homes on their own rather than using the services of a real estate professional.Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation while, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):The buyer, who wants the best deal possibleThe buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interests of the buyerThe buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the houseThe . . .
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