lake county real estate. and then some…

selling homes…a family tradition


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Rents are expected to rise in 2016.

Now may be the time for you to buy!

Don't Let Rising Rents Trap You! | Keeping Current Matters

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com recently reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis”. He warns that,

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 Report on Rental Housing, in which they reported that 49% of rental households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,

“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”

 “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps, you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reported that analysts at Nomura believe:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.

It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As we reported last week, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible to get a mortgage.


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The economy is showing signs of recovery, including pockets of the housing market.

Now may be the time to buy, and start building your family’s weath. 
 
Building Family Wealth Over The Next 5 Years | Keeping Current Matters

As the economy continues to improve, more and more Americans are seeing their personal financial situations also improving. Instead of just getting by, many are now beginning to save and find other ways to build their net worth. One way to dramatically increase their family wealth is through the acquisition of real estate.

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. What will that home be worth five years down the road?

Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists every quarter. They ask them to project how residential prices will appreciate over the next five years. According to their latest survey, here is how much value that $250,000 house will gain in the coming years.

Family Wealth Earned with Home Equity | Keeping Current Matters

Over a five year period, that homeowner can build their home equity to over $40,000. And, in many cases, home equity is large portion of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to better your family’s long-term financial situation, buying your dream home might be a great option.


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Getting ready to sell your home in 2016?

Here are some reasons to use a real estate professional to help sell your home…

Selling Your House? 5 Reasons You Shouldn't For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five of those reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The 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 house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 44% on the internet
  • 33% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.


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How long will it take…

Depending on your housing region, it may take a lot longer to save up for a down payment on a house than you had anticipated. But what if you look at other mortgage options that require a lower down payment? You could shorten that wait by years… 

 

  In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.

According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.


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For most of our area school’s, winter break begins at the final bell on Friday.

At our house, that means no alarm at 6:15 am for the following 2 weeks 🙂 It also means travel for a lot of families. Are you going somewhere for the holidays? If so, make sure that you take the necessary stapes to ensure that your home is prepared for your absence.  A few keys actions to take, as outlined by @ properties:

1)  Securely lock your home.  Doors, windows, garage access.

2)  Stop your mail, or make arrangements for a neighbor to empty your box frequently.

3)  Set up deterrents – lights on alternate timers, ask a friend to stop by for an evening, have neighbors park in your driveway.

4)  Prepare for the weather.  If it is really cold, shut off your water so pipes can’t freeze.  Schedule snow removal services so that snow doesn’t pile up outside and call attention to the fact that you are not home.

5)  Pamper your pups.  Don’t foget to make arrangments for the care of your furry family members.  Boarding sites fill up quickly at the holidays, and pet sitters may be booked to the brim as well.  Plan ahead so Fido has the care he needs.

6)  Tidy up your home.  There is no place like home, except for a clean one!  Spending the extra minutes to leave your home clean and smelling fresh will be well worth it when you arrive home after traveling, and exhausted.  

Take a few minutes to read through these tips in the full article 6 ways to prep your home for a holiday vacation


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Renting? As you head into 2016, you may want to reconsider…

 

The Residential Rental Market Heading into 2016 | Keeping Current Matters

Below are quotes from experts as well as industry reports & articles that cover the residential rental market in the U.S.

The experts…

Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell:

“Make no mistake: Despite this recent slowdown in rental appreciation, the rental affordability crisis we’ve been enduring for the past few years shows no signs of easing, especially as income growth remains weak. It will take a lot more supply, and a lot more renters-turned-homeowners, to fully reverse this.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors

“Rents and home prices are expected to exceed income growth into next year because of the insufficient creation of new home construction and the detrimental impact its inadequacy continues to have on housing costs in several markets.”

David Brickman, Executive Vice President of Freddie Mac Multifamily

“We know rents are rising faster than incomes, and now we have data to show that many renters don’t have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items.”

The reports and articles…

Zillow’s 2016 Housing Market Predictions

“Rising rents won’t let up in 2016, and will continue to set new records. The next year will bring the least affordable median rents ever.”

2015 rent.com Rental Market Report

“68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%”

CNBC

“The primary reasons cited for the latest rises were increasing demand and low inventory. Vacancy rates for rental housing nationally dropped to a 20-year low of 6.8 percent in the second quarter…Rents and occupancies are currently hovering at historic highs as supply isn’t keeping up with demand.”

 Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters debating a home purchase, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can show you your options, before your rent goes up!