Monthly Archives: January 2022

Does the Weather Have You Thinking About Making a Change?

We’re more aware than ever of the effects weather, climate change and natural disasters can have on where we live. According to a report from realtor.com, more than 3 in 4 recent buyers took climate into account when deciding where to locate.

The study also found that many existing homeowners (34%) have already considered selling their houses and moving to a new location, because of the climate.

Many of us remember when we bought our homes on Cape Cod and were told we could play golf all year round, because it just didn’t snow that much.

If you’re a “snowbird,” are you spending more time at your other home, because the weather there seems to be better longer?

Or has our weather made you decide that it’s finally time to upsize, downsize or make that “someday” move whether on Cape or elsewhere?

Here’s some information to keep in mind if you’re thinking about marketing your Cape Cod home because of weather concerns.

Do Your Research

As a homeowner, it’s impossible to completely control what types of weather events your house is exposed to. Every area has its unique climate challenges.

So, the first step is understanding how to navigate your decision making process with your specific concerns in mind. For example, are you tired of the snow, but not crazy about high humidity and temperatures? Is easy transportation to family important? Is it time for a condo or do you still want a house with a yard? While getting the answers to these questions — and a multitude of others — can seem like a difficult undertaking, with the appropriate resources and experts on your side, you can simplify the process.

The Mortgage Reports provides some tips for making your next move, including, but not limited to: 1) Vet the location. 2) Research Climate Action Plans and learn if the community you’re interested in has one. 3) Work with professionals for additional assessments on a home’s ability to withstand the local weather. Maybe you’re moving away from the snow, but locating to an area that is prone to hurricanes.

Ultimately, your best resource throughout the process is a local real estate professional, who understands the area and has access to the experts, who can answer your questions.

And have no fear, there are plenty of buyers for your Cape Cod home. Most likely, many. With the record low number of houses available for sale right now, your property — if priced right — will attract interest and you’ll receive a good return on your investment that will help finance your next move.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions. Because of our involvement with the Tom Ferry organization, we can also assist you in finding a top notch real estate professional in the area you’re interested in.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

…and for now, enjoy the snow!

Mari and Hank

Why Is the Housing Supply Still So Low?

The one question that’s top of mind for homebuyers as we start the new year is: why is it still so hard to find a house to buy? The truth is, we’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, so real estate is ultra-competitive  right now. The number of buyers searching for a home greatly outweighs how many homes are available for sale.

While low inventory in the housing market isn’t new, it’s a challenge that continues to grow over time. Here’s a look at two reasons why today’s supply is low and what that means if you’re looking to buy.

1. New Home Construction Has Fallen Behind Demand

The graph below shows new home construction for single-family homes over the past five decades, including the long-term average for housing units completed. Builders exceeded that average during the housing bubble (shown in red on the graph). The result was an oversupply of homes on the market, so home values declined. That was one of the factors that led to the housing crash back in 2008.

Since then, the level of new home construction has fallen off. For the last 13 straight years, builders haven’t been able to construct enough homes to meet the historical average (as illustrated in green on the graph). That underbuilding left us with a multi-year inventory deficit before the pandemic started.

Buyers Want To Know: Why Is Housing Supply Still So Low? | MyKCM

2. The Pandemic’s Impact on the Housing Market

The pandemic fueled a renewed appreciation and focus on the meaning of home. Having a safe space to live, work, learn, and exercise became even more important for Americans throughout the country. So, as mortgage rates dropped to at or below 3%, buyers eagerly entered the market looking to capitalize on those low rates and secure a home that would fulfill their changing needs. But, at the same time, sellers hesitated to put their houses on the market as concerns about the pandemic mounted.

The result? The number of homes available for sale dropped even further. On Cape Cod, the supply of available homes last month was 53% less than it was at the same time in 2020.

We ended the year with 14.7% fewer single family home sales in 2021 than 2020. (4,192 vs. 4,915). Median sales prices were up 26.6% over the same period. ($510,000 vs. 619,950).

Condominiums saw an 8.2% drop in sales (1,202 vs 1,104) and a 10.1% increase in median sales price. ($345,000 vs. $380,000).

What Does All of This Mean for You?

Buyers need to remember that low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. If you want to find the home of your dreams, be sure that you’re pre-approved, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and have your home on the market if you need to sell it. (You just won’t be able to compete with buyers who are offering large down payments or paying cash, if you home isn’t even being marketed.)

There is also some good news. Experts are projecting more homes will become available thanks to sellers re-entering the market to take advantage of high returns on their investment or finally deciding that it’s time to get on with their lives.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, shares this hope, but offers perspective: “For buyers, the market is likely to continue to move fast. If you see a home you like, be right to jump on it right away.”

Today’s market is favoring sellers. If you have questions, we’d be happy to provide answers. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week.

Mari and Hank

The Right Time to Sell Your Home

When Is the Right Time To Sell [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • If you’re trying to decide when to list your house, the time is now. There are plenty of buyers eagerly waiting for your home to hit the market. Just this morning, one of our colleagues at our office team meeting reported 120 buyers attending her weekend open houses!
  • The latest data indicates home showings are rising after a holiday lull. There are more buyers than homes for sale right now. That means you’ll likely receive multiple offers, and your home won’t be on the market long. But, as of now, those over asking price offers don’t seem to be as head scratching as they were back in the summer.

For more information about the market here on Cape, please check out this video that we posted at the end of last week on our YouTube channel, Mari Sennott Plus.

Today’s market favors sellers. If you have questions, we’d be happy to provide answers. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discus your options. You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

Five Tips for Making Your Best Offer for a Home

As 2021 ended, there seemed be a subtle shift in the Cape Cod real estate market. While many properties still received multiple offers, there weren’t as many as earlier in the year.

And while most successful offers were for above asking price, the final figures were not as head scratching as they were in the summer.

As a buyer in a sellers’ market, it can feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. How far over asking price should your offer be? How willing are you to get involved in a bidding war, even when the competition isn’t as challenging?

When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, remember these five easy tips to help you rise above the competition.

1. Know Your Budget

Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a reputable lender so you can be pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac puts it: “This pre-approval allow you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.”

As a practical matter, offers without pre-approval letters have little chance of being accepted. We work with several reputable lenders who serve the Cape Cod market and will pass on their contact information. Please reach out if you’re interested.

2. Be Ready To Move Fast

Homes are selling quickly in today’s competitive housing market. According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “Eighty-three percent of homes sold in November 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”

With houses selling this fast, staying on top of the market and moving quickly are key. Know what you’re looking for in a home and be ready to act when you see it.

3. Lean on a Local Real Estate Professional

No matter what the housing market looks like, rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac advises: “Be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who can help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”

Real estate markets are different from area to area. Your uncle’s best friend’s godson who just got his license and works in western Massachusetts is probably not the best choice to help you buy (or sell) property on Cape Cod.

Cape-based based professionals have insight into what’s worked for other buyers here and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.

4. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, 40% of offers today are above the list price. Submitting a strong, yet fair offer is critical in these situations. If you are really interested in a property, a low ball offer to “see what happens” is not a strategy for success.

Not all that long ago asking price was the most a seller could hope for. Now, it’s the minimum they expect.

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

When putting together an offer, consider what options you have to make your proposal the most attractive. Can you be flexible with the closing date? Are you willing to let the seller leave behind furniture, even if you have no use for it?

Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up. Freddie Mac advises resisting the temptation to waive the home inspection as you could move into a house and discover repairs that you can’t afford.

If you’re thinking 2022 is the year to make your move, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Stay warm….

Mari and Hank

Expert Insights on the 2022 Housing Market

As we move into 2022, potential buyers and sellers are wondering, what’s next? Will the inventory of available homes increase? Will prices keep climbing? How high will mortgage rates go?

For the answer to those questions and a little more, let’s turn to the experts. Here’s a look at what they say we can expect in 2022.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American: Consensus forecasts put rates at about 3.7% by the end of next year. So, that’s still historically low, but certainly higher than they are today.”
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com: “Affordability will increasingly be a challenge as interest rates and prices rise, but remote work may expand search areas and enable younger buyers to find their first homes sooner than they might have otherwise. And with more than 45 million millennials within the prime first-time buying ages of 26-35 heading into 2022, we expect the market to remain competitive.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR): “With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease. Home prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace.”
George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research, realtor.com: “We also expect a growing number of homeowners to bring properties to market, taking some pressure off high prices and offering buyers more options.”
Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American: Strong demographic demand will continue to act as the wind in the housing market’s sails.”

What Does This Mean for Sellers?

Make no mistake – this sellers’ market will remain in 2022 as home prices on Cape Cod and elsewhere are projected to continue climbing — just at a more moderate pace. Selling your house while buyer demand continues strong will truly put you in the driver’s seat.

While multiple offers were still common at the end of the year on Cape, the money offered over list price was generally speaking not as head scratching as it was earlier in 2021.

So don’t wait too long. With more listings projected to be available, your ideal window of opportunity to stand out from the crowd won’t last forever.

In fact, Mari was out with a buyer on New Years Day! And the spring market is just around the corner.

What Does This Mean for Buyers?

Hope is on the horizon for 2022. You should see your options grow as more homes are listed and some of the peak intensity of buyer competition starts to ease.

Just remember, rising rates and prices are a great motivator for you to find the home of your dreams sooner rather than later so you can buy while today’s affordability is still in your favor.

Waiting for either prices to drop or a sudden rush of foreclosures that no one is predicting — except maybe your Uncle Harry “who knows a little something about real estate”– is not a successful strategy. It will only cost you money as prices continue to increase.

If you’re thinking 2022 is the year to make your move, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week.

Mari and Hank