The New 2018 SPRING Edition of Buyers and Sellers Guides are Here!

The 2018 SPRING Edition of Buyers & Sellers Guides

Download your copy of the 2018 SPRING edition of the Buyers & Sellers Guides loaded with information to help you get started with your house search, or if you are thinking of selling your home.

We are sure you will have questions, so feel free to contact The Indigo Skye Group to help you with your next real estate transaction. The right Realtor really does make the difference!

2018 SPRING Selling Guide – Click on image to download printable PDF.

2018 SPRING Buying Guide – Click on image to download printable PDF.

 

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

This Month in Real Estate: March 2018

 

 

HOME PRICES:

The median home price decreased to $240,500 in January, which was down 2.4 percent from December and up 5.8 percent from January of last year. The median home price has increased by approximately $13,200 in the past year alone.

 

HOME SALES:

The National Association of REALTORS® reported home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of approximately 5.4 million homes during the month of January. This was a decrease of 3.2 percent from December and a decrease of 4.8 percent from January of last year.

 

HOME INVENTORY – MONTH’S SUPPLY:

There was a 3.4-month supply of housing inventory in January, which was a 6.2 percent increase from December. The total number of available homes for sale has decreased by 2.9 percent compared to January of last year.

 

For indepth information and an explanation of real estate conditions in your market, contact The Indigo Skye Group!

Featured Property: 5815 Flintshire Lane in Plano

Ignite your imagination in Briar Ridge Estates!

Looking for a house that’s waiting for you to add your own personal touches? Good bones, priced to sell with huge potential? This is the house for you. Located in beautiful Briar Ridge Estates, one of the most appealing and sought-after neighborhoods in far North Dallas. Beautiful street, huge trees, circle drive. All rooms are oversized with high ceilings, plenty of storage and closet space. Both den and upstairs living space overlook the private backyard with pool and spa. Roof replaced in 2016. Bring your inspiration. Home is being sold AS-IS, needs updating. Don’t miss out on the potential waiting for you in an amazing location. Exemplary West Plano schools, Access to Tollway-190-121, Toyota HQ, Shops at Legacy, dining. Offered at $625,000.

Briar Ridge is one of the best neighborhoods in North Dallas – Mature trees, well-maintained, custom homes, winding streets, and the beautiful Bentwood Park with picnic tables, two play areas, pond where you can feed the ducks, tennis/basketball courts, and plenty of walking trails for you and your pets. Active, and voluntary HOA at only $100/year supports residential gatherings and block parties, a monthly dinner club and Mom’s group. Sought-after Plano Schools. Briar Ridge was voted one of the safest neighborhoods in North Dallas (D Magazine and Trinity Title).

  • 4,759 SF
  • Year Built: 1984
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Total Baths: 5
  • Living Areas: 3
  • Dining Areas: 2
  • Fireplaces: 3
  • Garage Spaces: 3
  • Security System: Yes
  • Pool: Yes
  • HOA: Voluntary Managed by BT/BR/MC – $100 annually
  • Plano Independent School District
  • Elementary: Rosemary Haggar
  • Middle School: Frankford
  • High School: Shepton
  • Sr. High School: Plano West
  • Living Room: 23 x 17/1
  • Study/Den: 20 x 16/2
  • Living Room2: 22 x 19/1
  • Dining Room: 16 x 12/1
  • Kitchen: 17 x 12/1
  • Breakfast Room: 15 x 12/1
  • Master Bed: 24 x 18/1
  • Bedroom: 18 x 12/1
  • Bedroom: 13 x 12/1
  • Bedroom: 17 x 12/2

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

Click here to download checklist as a PDF.

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!
  • Indigo Skye Group will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will 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 $14,000 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 and 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.”

Evaluate 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!

Signs are pointing to a new Housing Bubble… will it really happen again, and when?

A recent report by CoreLogic revealed that U.S. home values appreciated by more than 37% over the last five years. Some are concerned that this is evidence we may be on the verge of another housing “boom & bust” like the one we experienced from 2006-2008.

Recently, several housing experts weighed in on the subject to alleviate these fears.

Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

 “The evidence indicates there currently is no house price bubble in the U.S., despite the rapid increase of house prices over the last five years.”

Edward Golding, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center

 “There is not likely to be a national bubble in the way that we saw the first decade of the century.”

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics

 “There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk

 “I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices

 “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

A recent article by Teo Nicolais, a real estate entrepreneur who teaches courses on real estate principles, markets, and finance at Harvard Extension School concluded that the next housing bubble may not occur until 2024.

The articleHow to Use Real Estate Trends to Predict the Next Housing Bubble, looks at previous peaks in real estate values going all the way back to 1818. Nicolais uses the research of several economists. The article details the four phases of a real estate cycle and what defines each phase.

Nicolais concluded his article by saying:

“Those who study the financial crisis of 2008 will (we hope) always be weary of the next major crash. If George, Harrison, and Foldvary are right, however, that won’t happen until after the next peak around 2024. 

Between now and then, aside from the occasional slow down and inevitable market hiccups, the real estate industry is likely to enjoy a long period of expansion.”

Bottom Line

The reason for the price appreciation we are seeing is an imbalance between supply and demand for housing. This has created a natural increase in values, not a bubble in prices.

Daylight Saving Time 2018: When do we spring clocks forward? And why?

Spring is almost upon us, meaning longer days and more sunlight. It also means the start of Daylight Saving Time — when nearly all of the U.S. will collectively set their clocks ahead an hour, causing us to lose an hour of sleep.

Daylight Saving Time — sometimes incorrectly called daylight savings time and often referred to as “spring forward” — begins on Sunday, March 11, 2018, at 2 a.m. — when people should set their clocks ahead an hour to 3 a.m.

Though your cellphones and smart devices should change automatically, don’t forget to turn those manual bedside alarm clocks forward, or you could risk oversleeping and being late the next day.

What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time is a roughly century-old practice in the U.S. centered around making better use of the day’s light by shifting an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

How does Daylight Saving Time work?
DST occurs twice a year, beginning on the second Sunday of March and ending on the first Sunday of November, when we set our clocks back an hour, allowing us to get that precious hour of sleep back.

 

 

Who came up with Daylight Saving Time?
The modern idea of Daylight Saving Time was first proposed in 1895 by George Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist (the study of insects) and astronomer.

Some credit William Willett, an English architect, for first proposing the idea in 1907. However, it was Hudson who came up with the idea nearly a decade earlier after becoming annoyed with the little amount of daylight during the summertime, which was interfering with his study of bugs.

He believed that there must be a way to make better use of the day’s light by shifting the clocks by two hours in the summer and then two hours back in the winter.

However, when Hudson presented the idea to the Wellington Philosophical Society, he was ridiculed by many society members. Willett was also disregarded when he proposed a similar idea to Parliament in 1907.

Didn’t Benjamin Franklin come up with DST?
Sort of, but not in the way we know today. Franklin is credited with coming up with the notion of making better use of the day’s light.

While visiting Paris in 1784, Franklin came to believe that sunlight was being wasted during the day. So, in a fanciful, tongue-and-cheek letter to the editors of a Paris newspaper, Franklin proposed a tax on all Parisians whose windows were closed after sunrise.

He believed that this would “encourage the economy of using sunshine instead of candles,” according to Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.

Who came up with modern DST?
Good question — war. During World War I, the German Empire hatched an idea that most resembles the DST that we observe today. Believing that it would conserve fuel during the war, the German Empire in 1916 became the first to switch its clocks to save daylight.

How did the U.S. come to adopt the practice?
Also World War I. In 1918, two years after the German Empire implemented its version of DST, the U.S. enacted a Daylight Saving Time law as a way to also conserve fuel.

Wasn’t DST created for farmers?
No, but you’re not alone in thinking that. A common misconception is that DST was implemented as a way to improve farming practices. However, this is a myth. In fact, during the early adoption of the practice in the U.S., farmers were among the biggest opponents of DST, believing that it would disrupt their farming practices.

Who made the practice of DST official in the U.S.
In 1973, President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act, which made DST permanent in the U.S. This helped reduce confusion throughout the country with some regions of the U.S. participating in the practice and some regions opting out.

Does DST actually conserve energy?
Not really. But that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from continuing the practice and even expanding it.

In 2005, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, extending Daylight Saving Time by a month. Backers of the bill believed extending DST would conserve even more energy throughout the U.S.

However, a study three years later by the U.S. Department of Energy revealed that the extended daylight throughout the year of 2005 saved a mere .5 percent in electricity use per day and only about .3 percent over the entire year.

What did Americans think of DST in the beginning?
Simply put, a large majority of Americans hated it and mocked it relentlessly.

Could DST have nothing to do with saving daylight and energy?
In his book, Downing said the biggest backer of passing a DST law in the early 20th century was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which believed that people would participate in more recreation and therefore be more likely to go shopping at stores and spend more money with additional daylight.

How many countries observe DST?
There are 78 countries that observe DST, many in Europe. Russia, China, India and Japan do not participate in the practice.

 

Article by Spencer Kent | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Housing Market Expected To “Spring Forward” This Year

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2017 all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2018, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market.