Monthly Archives: October 2018

This Is a Great Time to Market Your Home

So you’ve made the decision.

It’s time to sell your home. It’s too small given the size of your family. Or maybe it’s too large, because the family is grown and out on their own.

But, you’re looking at the calendar and thinking this may not be the best time. The holidays are coming. There isn’t that much interest this time of year. Maybe you’d  be better off waiting until 2019.

Actually, the holidays are a great time to market your home!

First of all — and let’s be honest — our houses look the best during the holiday season. Our decorations emphasize the positive aspects of our homes.  Because family and friends will be visiting, we even take care of little imperfections, like the leaky bathroom faucet and the trim in the guest bedroom that needs to be touched up.

All contribute to making your house more inviting to potential buyers.

People looking to be settled in their new homes after the first of the year are searching now. They, too, will have concerns about moving during the holiday season and should be flexible with closing dates, etc.

Another reason why this time of year is great for marketing your home is that the weather is generally still decent making Open Houses and Realtor tours viable options for your agent’s marketing plan. After January 1, snow can hide some of your home’s attractive outside features.

Finally, there is less competition during the final months of the year, as many homeowners will believe that it’s better to wait. Buyers are serious, so you’ll be in a great position, since inventory will be lower.

If you have questions about selling or buying during the holidays, please contact us via the comment section or calling 508-568-8191. We’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your options.

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Thinking of buying a home? Here are a few terms you should be familiar with…

Appraisal – a professional analysis used to validate the value of the home. This is a necessary step to secure financing from a lender.

Pre-Approval Letter – a letter from a lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount.

Mortgage Rate – the interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your house.

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Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Halloween.  For some of us, the little trick or treaters will be out as we’re driving home from work and streets are getting darker.

Please be careful, especially on side roads. You never know when a little goblin will appear!

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

 

 

Welcome to the “New Normal”

Home prices on Cape Cod remain higher than in the past, but the pace at which houses are selling is slowing.

According to preliminary sales data for September compiled by the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, 372 single family homes and 116 condos sold on Cape during the month with a median price of $426,000 and $294,500, respectively.

Year to date, the median price for a single family home is $422,500, as compared to $392,500 through September 2017.  Condos have sold at a median price of $289,000, as compared to $271,000 for the first nine months of last year.

Inventory has stabilized across the Cape, while sales prices remain at or near record highs. Fewer homes are being sold, but those that are sell faster and for higher prices than they did in previous years.

This appears to be the start of the “new normal” that experts have been predicting and that we have mentioned in earlier postings.

With the potential for interest rates increasing and slowing the market, this might be the time for you to buy your first home, upsize or downsize.

If you’ve been thinking about this and are not sure about your options, we’d be happy to sit down with you to discuss the possibilities.  Just contact us through the comment section or call 508-568-8191.

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If you are ready to embark on a home search, here are five tips to keep in mind courtesy of industry resource KCM:

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking.
  2. Know the difference between your “must haves” and “would like to haves.”
  3. Research and chose a neighborhood where you would like to live.
  4. Pick a house style and stick to it.
  5. Document your home visits.

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For more information about interest rates and other financial news that impacts the real estate market, please check out Markets in a Minute from our partners at Residential Mortgage Services (RSM) that is linked below.

The Markets in a Minute

Enjoy your week.

Mari and Hank

Some Good Advice for Buyers

On Cape Cod and elsewhere, housing inventory remains low. This has led to a very competitive marketplace where buyers need to differentiate themselves to show that they are serious about making a purchase.

One way buyers can stand out from their competition is to be pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage.

If nothing else, being pre-approved lets you know how much you can afford and can help your Realtor focus the search on homes that are in  your price range.

Freddie Mac outlines the advantages of pre-approval in the “My Home” section of their website:

It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster and with great confidence in competitive markets.

In order to issue pre-approval letters,  lenders will ask potential buyers for their credit, debt, residential, and work histories, as well as what funds are available for down payments.

According to industry resource KCM, many potential home buyers over estimate the down payments and credit scores that they need to qualify for a mortgage.

The lending landscape has changed over the years and family members or friends who haven’t applied for a mortgage in years — or ever — aren’t the experts.

If you’re thinking about buying a home for the first time or making a change from where you currently live, talk to a reputable lender.

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Don’t have a lender?

Today Real Estate (TRE) has a partnership with Residential Mortage Services, which provides home financing in 22 States. A local Sales Manager and staff are available at all TRE locations to respond to your questions and help with pre-approvals and mortgages.

Their The Markets in a Minute provides a brief and understandable summary of weekly financial news and its impact on the real estate market.  Click on the link to check it out.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

 

 

 

Is the Market Changing?

According to industry resource KCM, home values are starting to appreciate nationally at a slower pace. There are also reports indicating that purchasing demand is softening. This has some thinking that we may be entering a buyers’ market after sellers have had the upper hand for the last few years.

Is this really happening?

According to two chief industry economists, we are a long way from a market that totally favors the purchaser:

Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow Chief Economist:

“These seller challenges don’t indicate we’re suddenly in a buyers’ market – we don’t expect market conditions to shift decidedly in favor of buyers until 2020 or later. But buyers certainly are starting to balk at the rapid rise in prices and home values are starting to grow at a less frenetic pace.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of realtor.com:

“The signs are pointing to a market that’s shifting toward buyers. But, in most places, we’re still a long way from a full reversal.”

In addition, Pulsenomics Inc. recently surveyed over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment/market strategists to ask this question: “When do you expect U.S. housing market conditions to shift decidedly in favor of home buyers?”

Only 5% said the market has already shifted. But, 43% said it will shift by 2020.

This is in keeping with other predictions we’ve read or heard about.  Most experts see a gradual “normalization” of the market over the next few years. The prediction is that increases in home valuations will level off to about 3% – 5% per year.

For us, the wild card is interest rates and the impact that recent and expected increases will have on the amount that buyers can afford to borrow.

In addition, reputable reports indicate that recent tariffs have added as much as $9,000.00 to the cost of new construction. This can potentially impact both builders and buyers, if final costs increase significantly.

What does it all mean?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, there’s no better time than now. This past weekend we hosted a very active Open House at a home with an asking price of over $600,000.  We also heard reports of strong turnouts at other Open Houses. So, buyer interest is there.  At Today Real Estate, there’s also been an up tick in listings.

If you’d like to talk about your options and what’s happening on the Cape or across the country, call us at 508-568-8191 or contact us via the comment section.

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We’re excited that one of our listings is featured on the cover of the current issue of Homes and Land of Cape Cod magazine.

The photo of 66 The Heights in the gated Willowbend community in Mashpee shows the stunning  back of the home, which faces the 14th fairway of Willowbend Country Club. A spacious deck and balconies for two of the three upstairs bedrooms can also be seen. (The third upstairs bedroom also has a balcony. Each has their own full bath.)

Professionally landscaped, this property is sitting on a double lot that neighbors say is “the best” in the development.

If interested, please contact us for more information.

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We lost a valued Today Real Estate colleague last week with the passing of George Wright at age 79. A true gentleman, George was getting ready to come to work at our Centerville office when he was stricken.  “Cuz” will truly be missed.

Mari and Hank