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SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL SPRING TO “MAKE MY MOVE?”

We all can agree that the spring is usually the busiest of seasons when it comes to the real estate market. Often we will see many buyers and sellers wait for spring to make their move. But knowing what we have experienced these last past two years – is this really the best strategy for buyers? When you think back on the last two years, where buyers either felt they had over-paid for a property, or just felt beaten down by the process with the multitude of offers and bidding wars on properties they were offering on – Do you really want to go down the road again? If you are a buyer, who is ready to buy a home but is waiting on spring market to make your move … you may want to consider these few things. 

It’s all about the competition …

Buyer Competition

The reality is, there are less buyers out there looking to buy a home in the winter months, giving “ready” buyers a little bit of the upper hand without feeling the pressure of buyer competition. Having said that, the same holds true for sellers, who tend to wait until spring to make their move, giving buyers less options to choose from. But keep in mind … it only takes “one house” that could be the perfect home for you! With the lack of inventory still being the driving force of the market, buyer competition can be a key factor to getting your offer accepted by the seller. During the winter months, sellers may be a little bit more willing to negotiate with you knowing the real estate frenzy of the last 2 years, for now, appears to be in the rear-view mirror. 

Spring vs Winter Market

In years past, the housing market has gone through predictable seasonal trends in market activity. Winter as we know it, typically is a quiet time of year for real estate, while spring will see an increase of buyers entering the market as they begin their home search. Experts predict that this year will be no exception. Thus, if you are a “ready” buyer” now may just be the right time to start or continue your home search before your competition grows as more buyers enter the market.

Sellers May Be More Motivated

Low demand from buyers means sellers may be more likely to work with you. In fact, sellers have been more willing to negotiate this winter because there are fewer buyers in the market. But keep in mind, the advantages buyers have this winter may be short lived. The competition you face could be greater come spring, if you wait to make a move … and with increased buyer demand gives the seller less motivation to negotiate with you

Laura

The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals

WHAT ARE EXPERTS SAYING ABOUT MORTGAGE RATES IN 2023

In an effort to bring down inflation, the Federal Reserve took action. In response to this action, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, which was just up over 7% last October. As a result, buyers that were in the market early on came to realize that their purchasing power was less as interest rates increased. Buyers needed to make decisions based upon this reality, lower their purchase price to stay within their budget, or put a pause on their home purchasing plans and go into wait and see mode. 

Today, the rate of inflation is starting to slow, and as a result, we have seen mortgage rates follow suit dipping below last year’s peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, states “While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.

This could be potentially great news if you’re a buyer looking to jump in/back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates will give the buyer more purchasing power by bringing down your monthly mortgage payment. This means the lower mortgage rates that experts forecast for this year may just be what the buyers need to get off the sidelines and back into the game. 

While this is great news for the buyers, let’s set the expectations … yes, rates are expected to take a dip in 2023 – but they are not expected to drop back down to the rates we saw in 2021. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, states  “I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year. But we’re not going back to 3 percent anytime soon, because inflation is not going back to 2 percent anytime soon.

It’s important to have reasonable expectations of what you can expect this year when it comes to mortgage rates. Speak to a professional mortgage lender to get good sound advice as you start your journey towards homeownership. Remember, knowledge is power that enables you to put your best foot forward. You may be pleasantly surprised with even just a mild drop in mortgage rates on how that will affect your monthly mortgage payment.

If you are just getting into the market, I would suggest as a first step … speak with a professional mortgage lender and get pre-approved. From there, you will get a bit of an education on the process and a good understanding of what your budget will afford you as you start your home search. 

Laura

The Key to Your Real Estate Success

Helping buyers & sellers achieve their real estate goals

RENTING vs. BUYING

Renting

If you are currently renting, you are probably asking yourself every year, should I renew my lease, find another rental, or purchase a home? It helps to understand the true costs of renting vs buying to determine the best decision for you moving forward.

In the past year, both current renters and new renters coming into the market have seen rents go up substantially accordingly to information noted from Realtor.com. In fact, three out of four renters who have moved in the past 12 months reported their rent had increased. This speaks to renters renewing their leases as well as new renters coming into the market. And if you look back at historical data, according to the US Census Bureau rents have been rising consistently since 1988.

So, if you’re considering renting as an option in 2023, it’s worth weighing whether this trend is likely to continue. To sum it up/simplify it if you will … if trends continue as they have year after year, you can pretty much bank on the fact that rents will continue to rise. 

Homeownership = EquityValue

These rising costs we are seeing today may just make you reconsider what other alternatives you may have. If you’re looking for more stability, it could be time to make homeownership your goal. One of the many benefits of owning your own home is it provides a stable monthly cost that you can lock in for the duration of your loan. As Freddie Mac says – 4 Benefits for Owning a Home

“Monthly rent payments may increase over time, but a fixed-rate mortgage will ensure that you’re paying the same amount each month. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate is locked in for the life of loan. Steady payments allow you to budget wisely and make plans for the future.” 

aIf you’re planning to make a move this year, locking in your monthly housing costs for the duration of your loan can be a major benefit. There’s no need to wonder if you will need to adjust your budget to account for any annual rent increases from the landlord. When you are renting, you are building the landlords equity, NOT your own. As a homeowner you are building your own wealth – HUGE benefit! Let me repeat … as a renter you are building your landlords wealth … plain and simple! In fact, the latest Homeowner Equity Insight report from CoreLogic shows the average homeowner gained $34,300 in equity over the last 12 months. With that in mind, as a renter your rent payment only covers the cost for you to live in residence. Whereas when you pay the mortgage on your home, you grow wealth through forced savings that ultimately builds wealth through the equity in your home. 

If homeownership is your goal for 2023 – reach out to me, I would be happy to connect you with one of my recommended mortgage lenders to discuss the possibility, give you the information you need to help you get the process started, get pre-approved and on your way to your journey towards homeownership!

Laura

The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR YOU IN 2023

A new year brings new opportunities! Could a move be just up on the horizon for you? If you are pondering that idea of “making a move” there are many things to consider – but one of the first things to take into consideration is your “Why?” Once that is established, everything else will fall into place as it should. We all can agree that there are many emotions that take place when thinking about buying or selling a home, never mind the emotions that come along when one actually goes through the process of buying or selling. I urge you to stay focused on your “Why” – and set your sights on the goal! 

Here are just a few key things sellers should keep in mind once the decision has been made to sell their home … 

Price Your Home Right

As we come out of 2022 and make our way into 2023, we can all very much agree that the housing market shifted as mortgage rates rose … forcing some buyers to go into “wait and see” mode. As a seller, you’ll need to come to terms that the market is not as they were back in 2020-2022 and setting that expectation for yourself and pricing your home appropriately based on where the market is today will be key in getting your home sold for the best value possible. Homes that don’t have any major objections and are priced well should sell quickly. Inventory is still at an all-time low in our area, which is a good thing for the sellers if you’re in the market. Supply & demand is and will always be one of the driving forces in home value, but still and all based upon other factors, such as inflation, mortgage rates, etc., experts say, we won’t see home values rise to levels that we had seen over the last 2 years – which was in the craze of the market … but moreover should hover in/around where they are, but I guess this too will remain to be seen. What I do know is pricing your home correctly is key to getting your home sold for the most value with the most suitable terms. If you price your house too high, you are not going to reach the right buyer, giving them the opportunity to make an offer on your home. If you price your home too low, you are taking the risk of leaving money on the table. As an experienced real estate professional, I can help determine what your ideal asking price should be. 

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their homes much longer than they have in years past. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average time a homeowner have owned their home has increased from 5 to 10 years. With that in mind, it’s only natural that you become more attached to your home and find “the move” even that much more difficult. It may be that it was the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, a memorable celebration took place … you get the idea! Every room has memory, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value. Remember, stay focused on your “why” and set your sights on the goal! 

Stage Your Home

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your home through the years, understand that not all buyers will feel the same way, so neutralizing your design where possible could help appeal to a larger buyer pool. Make sure you focus on your home’s first impression, which in essence is their “first showing”. As NAR says “Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. Allow the buyers to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it is a place that they can call home! 

In case you missed it, here is the 2022 Year in Review Market Watch. Lot’s of good market info and insights! 

Laura

The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping Buyers and Sellers Achieve Their Real Estate Goals 

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

While the financial benefit of owning your own home is one to plan and strive for when looking at it from a financial standpoint, just think for a moment about the emotional aspect of homeownership … that value is priceless!   Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, move-up buyer, or you are a buyer looking to downsize, or perhaps you are thinking about your up-coming retirement.   All these scenarios are “new chapters” in life, and all should be celebrated!  

Home can mean something different for each one of us, but the emotional aspect is relative to all.  Think about it … you have been living home with Mom & Dad, trying to save enough money to purchase your very own home, or perhaps you’re a newly married couple living in an apartment, saving what money you can to purchase your very first home together, or maybe your company just offered you the option to work remote, which is great and still popular these days –  but your current home lacks the space needed to work efficiently, or perhaps you are an investor looking to purchase a few properties as an investment for the future – which comes with its own set of emotions – which is another topic for another day.  Whatever the case may be, “Home” will mean something different for each of us … whether a first-time homebuyer, move-up buyer, or a buyer looking to downsize for whatever your reasons … finding that home that will allow you to live your comfortable lifestyle that will work for you and your family … and then calling that house “Your Home,” is priceless!!  Even as an investor, if you are of that certain mindset, and have the capacity to do so – building wealth through real estate is said by many to be the way to go these days … and one still to be celebrated.

First time home buyer – Buying a home is a major milestone in one’s life.  One to be proud of and one to be celebrated. Set your goals, then educate yourself on how to attain them.  Speak to the key people you need to, so they can assist in making that goal your reality. 

Move-up buyer – Your family is growing, and space is getting a little tight.  You’ve been saving all you can in preparation for that day when you can purchase that bigger home, giving everyone that additional space desired to enjoy a happier more comfortable family lifestyle.   Perhaps you are coming from a condo – and now your goal is to purchase a single-family home where the outdoor space is welcomed.  For these reasons, you may be asking yourself, is now the right time to purchase a home with all the goings-on in the world today?   My answer … there is no right or wrong time, it is when the time is right for you.  My advice for you would be speak to a real estate professional to discuss your individual wants and needs.  Then have a market analysis done to determine what your home’s true market value is in today’s market.  Having this information will be helpful in making the decisions that will best work for you.  Depending on when you purchased the home, you may be pleasantly surprised on the amount of equity you hold in your current home.  The equity gained could allow you to purchase that bigger home while keeping within your current budget, all while gaining a more comfortable lifestyle.

Down-sizing buyer – Whether it just makes sense to live in a smaller home … perhaps the kids are grown and flew the coop or, retirement is just around the corner.  This is a chapter many make their plans around and look forward to them as that day finally arrives.  You have worked long and hard through the years, and this chapter is one to be celebrated.  But is now the time to make that move, you ask?  As I had suggested earlier as being a move-up buyer for example, same advice would hold true for a buyer who is looking to down-size.  Knowing the value of your home in today’s market will be a key factor in making your plans.  If you owned your home for a long time, you may be pleasantly surprised of what equity you hold in your home that may just allow you to purchase a smaller home outright if the equity is there.  Speak to a real estate professional to help determine what your true market value is in today’s market, which will help give you some perspective when making these decisions.

Having said all that, purchasing a home may very well just be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in life – it is also one of the most emotional decisions you will make in life as well.  It is the goal for so many, to one day find that special place that truly makes us feel like “There is no place like home”  … because that is where it all begins!  A place to call HOME allows us to live and grow … to create lasting memories with those we love … all to be cherished for years to come.  

Laura

The Key To Your Real Estate Success

Helping sellers and buyers achieve their real estate goals