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Boost Curb Appeal in a Day

Contributed by Jessica Kyriakos


Sometimes when planning to sell a house, in the name of renovating interior living spaces, updating bathrooms, replacing appliances and adding decorative touches throughout the bedrooms, homeowners leave outdoor curb appeal as a last priority. While of course the inside of a home is important, sellers make a big mistake when they neglect the exterior. Why is a home’s exterior so important? Consider this: Curb appeal is often a potential buyer’s first impression of a home, the very thing that helps him/her decide whether or not to come inside. Whether they’re shopping online or by cruising through neighborhoods, the outside of your property is the first thing they’ll notice. If you’re selling your home or about to, how can you quickly and effectively tackle the outdoor appeal? Here are some key tips for boosting the curb appeal in a way that means quick turnaround and increased home value:

1. Start with the Front Door. Believe it or not, your home’s front door can be one of its most important assets. A new steel entry door consistently ranks as one of the most rewarding projects in home repairs, yielding an increase in home value that’s greater than the costs to install one. Likewise, to make the door especially captivating, consider painting it a bold, pleasing color that will grab attention and add charm. When buyers see a new door that looks attractive, they see another asset that makes your home the one to buy.

2. Make Any Necessary Repairs. Is the driveway cracked or the front doorbell busted? Now is the time to call a repair company or get out your own toolbox to make repairs. Buyers want turnkey, move-in-properties, and that means they want properties with repairs already done. Do the work now to get your home in ship-shape condition.

3. Keep Up with Landscaping. From mowing the lawn to pulling weeds, make sure you’re keeping up with your outdoor landscaping so that your home looks presentable and well cared for at all times. Overgrown bushes and dying plants are a surefire signal to potential buyers that you’re not caring for your home and leaving more maintenance for them to handle.

4. Add Lighting. While most buyers will come visit your home during the daytime, it’s not at all unusual for the most interested ones to also drive by at night to see what nighttime curb appeal is like. Landscape lighting can make all the difference in terms of how a home looks, so make an investment in attractive lighting options that illuminate and add interest to your property. “Solar landscaping lights are a great addition to any yard because they don’t require complicated and expensive wiring,” says Bob Vila. “Remember, though, you get what you pay for—cheap lights won’t last as long and simply won’t look as good.”

5. Touch Up Paint. A fresh coat of paint is just as powerful outside as it is inside, so to update your home’s look, repaint the exterior or at least touch up problem areas. Another idea is to paint the trim a new color that creates either a nice complement or contrast to your home’s overall look.

6. Make Over the Mailbox. You might not think a mailbox matters much, but it’s yet another one of those little details that can add up together to make a strong impression on a buyer.

7. Add Outdoor Furniture. From rocking chairs on the front porch to an outdoor patio set on the back deck, outdoor furniture creates outdoor living spaces that expand your home’s appeal. Look for attractive, durable pieces that will endure weather damage and look good for years to come — whether or not you include these pieces with the home sale, setting them up is a great way to stage your home for greater resale value.

The bottom line when it comes to curb appeal is that a little investment today can add up to big rewards tomorrow. Take the time to update, clean, repair and add value to your property’s exterior now and you will make it more attractive to buyers, not to mention more beautiful to come home to. Use the tips above to get started now.

Jessica Kyriakos is Brand Manager of Superior Site Amenities in McAlester, Okla. She has worked in the site furnishing industry for more than 15 years.

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Spring Lake, Sand Springs  -  Announcing a price reduction on 4106 S 137th West Ave, a 4,338 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 1 3/4 story. Now MLS $415,000 - Great New Price. Originally $465k.

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It's Business As Usual for Interest Rates

By Suzanne De Vita


Prospective homebuyers may see a few more weeks of near-zero mortgage rates following news that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current interest rate policy. Economists have long anticipated a rate change in September of this year.

“The (Federal Open Market) Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its two percent objective over the medium term,” the Fed statement read.

Though the Fed does not set mortgage rates, its actions tend to impact those that do. After the unexpected employment gain in May, 30-year-fixed mortgage rates rose to 4.04 percent, marking the first week since November of last year that rates topped four percent.

“The housing market can handle interest rates well above four percent as long as inventory improves to slow price growth and underwriting standards ease to normal levels so that qualified buyers–especially first-time buyers–are able to obtain a mortgage,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, in a recent market update.

“You may see a 4.5 percent conventional interest rate by the end of the year,” opines Joe Petrowsky of Right Trac Financial Group in Manchester, Conn. “If the true employment numbers improve, rates should move up, but based on our current economy, it would be a bad move on the part of the Fed to raise rates. My sense is the Fed will attempt to raise rates throughout this year.”

In the interim, borrowers may choose to lock in a lower rate by timing the lock period with the projected closing date of sale.

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your client.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Top 10 Ways to Prep for a Remodel


Proper planning is essential before beginning a remodel, and may be the most critical step in the process, says the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). To prepare for the project, NARI shares the top 10 steps you should take before breaking ground on your next remodel.

1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product and material options. It is also a good idea to research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.

2. Plan project around the long-term.
How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly, so these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it is complete.

3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything: the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.

4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.

5. Ask the right questions.
Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his or her educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.

6. Verify your remodeler.
Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him; a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.

7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it is not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.

8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo – they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.

9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.

10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

Source: NARI

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

What Are the Hot Tulsa Home Décor Trends?
Just like fashion designs and hair styles, home décor trends are constantly changing and evolving. Each new season brings a new must-have feature for your home. In order to keep your [City] home looking fresh and chic, what are the hot trends that you can incorporate into your décor?

Bright Paint Colors
Vibrant (and even neon) hues are very popular in fashion at the moment and they also look really chic on your walls. If you are looking for a way to freshen up a dull room, a bright pop of color can really do the trick. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you keep the rest of the room neutral and use the bright color as an accent.

Original Artwork
Decorating your home with unique and original works of art from funky local artists is a hot trend this year. You could find such pieces at a local art fair or on online craft auction websites. You could also check out a local art school or university art program in your area where you can buy some student artwork at cheap prices.

1920s Inspired Designs
With the Roaring 20s being revitalized on the silver screen in the show Boardwalk Empire and the film The Great Gatsby, designs from the 1920s are becoming more popular. Why not incorporate some gorgeous Art Deco furniture or decoration into your home? Check out auctions to find authentic vintage pieces for cheap prices.

Simple Wood
Another hot trend is unfinished exposed wood furniture, with a very natural texture and feel. These simple wood pieces give your home a natural beauty that compliments any color. It works well with neutral accents to give the home a very peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.

Stripes and Graphic Prints
Crisp patterns, graphic prints and stripes are popular at the moment in everything from fabrics to wallpaper to furniture. If you really want to make your home décor look cutting edge, incorporate some of these eye-popping graphic designs into your décor.

These are just a few of the hottest home décor trends for the year. Which ones will you incorporate into the décor of your Tulsa home?

Resources:
Art Deco furniture or decoration http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/design/period_artdeco.shtml

artwork at cheap prices http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2010/02/16/affordable-art/

bright pop of color
http://www.hgtv.com/color/6-tips-for-painting-with-strong-colors/index.html

 Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Gap between Homeowner and Appraiser Home Value Opinion Continues to Widen


Detroit-based Quicken Loans recently reported the difference between appraiser and homeowner perceptions continued to increase for the fourth consecutive month in May. Appraiser opinions of home values were 1.15 percent lower than homeowner estimates, according to Quicken Loans’ national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). This is the first time in 22 months appraisal opinions were lower than homeowner estimates by at least 1 percent.

Home values continued to steadily climb nationally, and in many regions of the country. The national Home Value Index (HVI) increased 0.24 percent in May from its April level, and rose 4.64 percent since the previous May.

Home Price Perception Index (HPPI)


Quicken Loans’ exclusive look at the gap between the perceptions of appraisers and homeowners showed the difference of home value opinion continued to widen on a national level. Appraiser opinions of home values were 1.15 percent lower than homeowner estimates according to May’s national index. This is a larger gap than in April, when the national index showed appraiser opinions 0.69 percent lower than homeowner estimates. Despite the widening perception gap at the national level, appraiser opinions remain higher in the majority of the metro areas examined.

“The HPPI, more than anything, is a reminder that there is no such thing as a national housing market,” says Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “Every city, and every neighborhood, moves in different directions based on local factors. Consumers need to remember to watch their local area closely to understand the direction their market is heading.”

Home Value Index (HVI)

Home values were slightly higher in May according to the Quicken Loans HVI, posting a 0.24 percent increase in the national index when compared to the month prior. Annual growth remains strong, showing a 4.64 percent increase. This same theme played out in the majority of the country, with exceptions in the Northeast, which only demonstrated a 0.90 percent annual increase.

“While smaller monthly increases and a slowing of the annual growth may sound discouraging, it is precisely the measured, healthy growth that is needed to embolden homebuyers and create a sustainable housing market,” explains Walters. “A more balanced market between buyers and sellers almost always leads to continued steady home value increases.”

For more information, visit QuickenLoans.com/Indexes.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Hunters Pointe, Tulsa  -  Announcing a price reduction on 4101 E 98th Street Tulsa, a 5,938 sq. ft., 5 bath, 4 bdrm 1 1/2 story. Now MLS $950,000 - New Price & Below Appraisal. Remodeled, new addition, private elevator, salt water self clean pool with infinity edge.

Property information

 

 

 Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

New Report Finds Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost Thousands


With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released recently by realtor.com®, a leading provider of online real estate services operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.

The proprietary report examines a wide range of factors, including the long-term financial impact of owning versus renting a home, the likely monetary gain renters forego in waiting to buy and the financial benefits of homeownership by market.

“Current market conditions give buyers the opportunity to build substantial wealth in the long-term, compared with renters and later buyers, in advance of the projected increase in mortgage rates and continuing price appreciation,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “The problem is inventory is low, which has many would-be home buyers –especially first timers – standing on the sidelines and missing out on potentially material financial gains.”

Nationally, the estimated wealth an average buyer would accumulate over a 30-year period based on today’s dollars totals $217,726. Although some markets are more buyer-friendly than others, national data shows homeowners see significant financial benefits as compared to lifetime renters. In 88 percent of MSAs, buying a home produces a financial benefit of at least $100,000 over 30 years.

Ten markets offer an especially considerable upside to owning, with estimated 30-year financial gains above $500,000, and opportunity costs of waiting three years as high as $200,000. These MSAs, in California and other Western states, are relatively expensive markets with strong housing demand and limited supply. The potential long-term wealth in these areas is the greatest nationwide, and likewise, the long-term financial penalty for delaying ownership is substantial, due to price appreciation, escalating rents, and higher mortgage rates on the horizon.

“This analysis looks solely at the financial reasons to buy a home, based on assumptions about rising mortgage rates and changes in home values,” Smoke says. “It’s important to remember that a home purchase decision is deeply personal. Potential buyers need to consider factors such as upcoming life events, job security and potential relocation, in addition to financial benefits, because they too can have a significant impact on ownership.”

For more information, visit Realtor.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

The Home

• 1,102 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS $69,900

 -  Come and see this wonderful condo in a gated development. Small private community of 1 story homes. This neighborhood has the benefit of two swimming pools exclusive to Riverwood South. It has new paint throughout, plus new flooring in living, kitchen and dining areas. A new stove & hood has also just been installed. New roof in 2013/4. Wonderful 3 bed 2 bath home with private courtyard and large storage shed all ready for you to move into and very close to Riverside trails.

Property information

March Home Prices Continue to Rise


According to FNC’s Residential Price Index™ (RPI), U.S. home prices continued to rise at a brisk pace in March and up 0.9 percent nationwide.

March’s increase follows a strong momentum in February that recorded some of the largest unseasonable gains in many of the nation’s key housing markets. With continued low interest rates and easing credits, particularly recently launched low-down-payment conventional loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie, home prices are positioned for strong gains. This spring/summer home buying season already appears well under way across the West, South, and Midwest regions.

The latest development in the for-sale market shows the pace of home sales has picked up rapidly since March. The median time-on-market is down from 128 days in March to 106 days in April, the fastest seasonal pace for the month of April since the housing market began to recover in early 2012. The average asking-price discount is 3.3 percent, down from 4.2 percent in March.

Completed foreclosures in March comprise about 13.7 percent of total existing home sales, down by two percentage points from February’s 15.8 percent.

FNC’s RPI is the mortgage industry’s first hedonic price index built on a comprehensive database that blends public records of residential sales prices with real-time appraisals of property and neighborhood attributes. As a gauge of underlying home values, the RPI excludes final sales of REO and foreclosed homes, which are frequently sold with large price discounts, likely reflecting poor property conditions.

The attached table shows seasonally unadjusted month-over-month (MOM) and year-over-year (YOY) changes in three composite indices. The national index is based on recorded sales of non-distressed properties (existing and new homes) in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Both the national and 30-MSA composite indices were up at a seasonally unadjusted rate of 0.9 percent. After a relatively steep gain in February, the 10-MSA composite moderated slightly during the month and was up 0.6 percent. Quarterly performance across the indices was dragged lower by a weak January, registering a small gain of about a half percentage point. Average home price appreciation ticked up slightly but remained in the 4.5-5.0 percent range nationwide.

The attached chart tabulates the latest MOM and YOY price trends for each MSA in the FNC 30-MSA composite index. Home prices are up in all MSAs except San Antonio, Baltimore, and New York. Of the 27 up-markets, 21 cities recorded more than a 1 percent MOM increase in March, led by Tampa, Nashville and Chicago at 3.4 percent, 3.2 percent, and 2.8 percent, respectively. For Chicago, Portland, Riverside, CA and Sacramento, March marks a second consecutive month of strong price momentum. Other cities that appear off to a strong start of the spring home buying season include Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas and Minneapolis.

While most of the nation’s housing markets have gained momentum, New York, San Antonio and Baltimore continue to show weakening prices as of March, down 1.6 percent, 0.3 percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively. Baltimore’s foreclosure sales have climbed rapidly in recent months, largely contributing to its continued price weakness. Foreclosure sales in New York also appear to be at three-year highs.

As of March, the fastest YOY growth markets are Las Vegas (13.1 percent), Riverside (12.0 percent), and Dallas (10.1 percent), which are followed by a number of other cities that also continue to enjoy robust appreciation: Los Angeles (9.6 percent), San Diego (9.4 percent), Orlando (9.4 percent), Miami (9.3 percent), Portland (9.2 percent), and Atlanta (8.7 percent).

Source: FNCInc.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

7 Best Paint Colors for a More Soothing Bedroom

By Barbara Pronin


According to a Sherwin-Williams survey, three out of four consumers say their bedroom needs painting – but they want to be sure they choose a wall color that soothes and promotes more restful sleep.

The paint company suggests that a black painted ceiling in a room with soft beige walls encourages a good night’s sleep. They also provide tips for seven other color choices most likely to accommodate rest:

Soft Gray
– It’s not as neutral as most people think, but it pairs beautifully with accents of driftwood or metal, and a gray shade with undertones of violet is quite soothing when accented with metallic colors.

Pale Pink or Coral
– Too much pink can give your bedroom a Barbie’s Dreamhouse look, but soft pastels in either of these soft, warm hues reflect light and pair beautifully – and restfully – with white or gray accents.

Deep Forest Green
– Works best in a room with lots of natural daylight or in north-facing rooms with filtered light. Pairs well with light wood furniture and brightly colored bedding.

Burnt Brick Red –
Keep it a deep, warm shade for a pop of color that is elegant, flattering to skin tones, and surprisingly restful at night.

Dusty Aqua
– This coastal shade favorite is both masculine and feminine, bringing the essence of nature indoors and creating a spa-like feel in the bedroom.

Light Cocoa Brown
– A down-to-earth brown with a gray tint can make for an intimate, enveloping space. Add cream accents for an especially calm, serene feeling.

Light Harvest Gold
– The wrong gold can be too energetic for a bedroom, but if you choose a gold color a couple of shades lighter than you think you want, you will find it both restful and sleep-inducing.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

The Road to Recovery: 4 Factors That Affect Home Prices

By Suzanne De Vita


With housing on a steady path to recovery, home prices have risen approximately 20 percent in the last three years, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Case-Shiller house price indices – and both consumers and industry professionals expect that upward trajectory to continue this year.

The anticipated increase is the result of intersecting economic indicators – macro-level factors painting the big picture that is today’s housing market.

So what’s impacting prices these days?

Wages and Inflation - As much as the economy’s improved, a recent RealtyTrac analysis illustrates disconnect between house price growth and wage growth. Between 2012 and 2014, home prices increased by 17 percent; wages, in contrast, increased 1.3 percent – a 13 to 1 disparity. Furthermore, home prices continue to outpace inflation rates, growing twice as fast in 2014, according to S&P.

But inflation rates as they stand likely affect home prices indirectly, argues renowned economist and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller. Because pay increases often boost perceptions of buying power, inflation may have a greater impact on consumer confidence, which, in turn, could ignite housing activity.

Interest Rates and Inventory - Inflation rates, however, do tend to influence interest rates. While it’s reasonable to assume rising mortgage interest rates equal falling house prices, in truth, there’s little evidence of a causal relationship between the two. In fact, higher mortgage rates have a tendency to predicate a decrease in purchases, rather than a dip in prices, concludes Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President, Economic & Strategic Research Group.

That said, interest rates do play a role in overall affordability. In many markets, today’s rates have significantly propelled demand.

“The biggest factor in price gains has been the current low interest rates spurring demand,” says Gabe Sanders of a real estate firm in Stuart, Fla. “And our low inventory, which makes buyers willing to spend more, since they can’t find enough available lower-priced properties.”

In Sanders’ market, prices on the lower end have risen much more than those of mid-range homes, with the largest gains seen under $400,000 in Martin County and under $200,000 to $250,000 in St. Lucie County. This demonstrates what many nationwide are experiencing – escalating prices, due to a shortage of affordable listings, have adversely tipped the scale, especially for first-time homebuyers.

To counter the lack of inventory and rise in prices, new construction gains are essential, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. Post-crash, single-family construction has been slow to pick up steam, primarily because of construction costs that fail to meet buyer expectations.

Demographics - In addition, generational shifts have historically affected demand and moved prices in the housing market. Currently making waves are baby boomers and millennials, though many of the latter have been priced out due to statistically lower incomes and sluggish wage growth. And like toppling dominos, too few first-timers bodes ill for move-up buyers or those seeking to relocate.

International interest can also drive home prices, particularly in luxury markets. In Beverly Hills, Calif., global demand, coupled with the area’s high-end status and pleasant climate, impacts prices considerably, says Endre Barath, Jr. of a California brokerage.

“Prices in the 90210 zip code are trending upward and are getting close to an all-time high,” Barath says. “Looking at the current rate of sales versus the current inventory, we are still in a seller’s market, but getting close to a balanced market.”

Oil Prices – Another distinct market trend could also affect home prices in the near future. Following the decline in oil prices, markets with oil economies, such as Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, may see home prices drop at the end of this year and into 2016, Trulia reports. Conversely, non-oil-producing markets, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, may see a boost in prices. These findings mirror oil and home price fluctuations since the 1980s.

While there are many more variables factoring into the equation, house prices remain subject to these predominant large-scale influencers. I put it to our readers – where do you think prices are headed?

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

1433507_58
Custom Built 1 Owner Home

• 4,338 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 1 3/4 story - MLS $445,000

 -  Beautiful 5 car custom built 1 owner exceptionally loaded home! Glorious windows throughout fitted with plantation shutters. Superb hardwoods, granite counter J bar in kitchen with plentiful cabinets and separate pantry. Bright oversized dining and living rooms with high ceilings. 1st floor mother-in-law suite with built in safe room and private bath, currently in use as an office. Wet bar. Large 1st floor master suite with oversized 2 person whirlpool bath. Sound surround inside and outside. This is a wonderful floor plan. Perfect rear yard with in-ground swimming pool overlooked by an exquisite gazebo with waterfall and pond. 5 car garage plus ample additional parking and a circle drive all on nearly an acre (0.97 acres). Just fabulous!

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When It Comes to Housing, Hope Springs Eternal


Housing numbers are looking hopeful for the spring season, according to Clear Capital's recently released Home Data Index™ (HDI) Market Report with data through April 2015.

“While spring brings renewed confidence and demand, the numbers through April are mixed,” says Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “Sales may be up, but subsiding gains imply the recovery is at a critical inflection point. As the market normalizes—a good thing for housing overall—small losses could have greater impact, forcing a standstill or even worse, a return to negative territory in certain areas across the country.”

April marks the sixth consecutive month of softening quarterly appreciation for the nation. While single-digit and percentage point gains can rally consumers, the overall health and recovery of the market is far from a sure thing. National home prices through April 2015 are up 5.1 percent year-over-year, while the quarterly rate of growth continued its path to normalization coming in at 0.5 percent. Suggestions that the market continues to recover at the clip we saw in 2012-2013 is misleading.

While early predictions called for gains in the Midwest, the region remains volatile. Most of the regions sustained price growth through the winter, while the Midwest is already seeing negative quarterly declines of -0.10 percent. For nearly seven years, it has struggled to get on equal footing with the nation. Still in the wake of the worst housing crash in modern history, the Midwest’s regional legacy has made gains all the more difficult to hang on to.

“Confidence is down in April, suggesting consumers aren’t quite convinced that the economy, much less housing, is as rosy as some early spring metrics suggest,” says Villacorta. “Yet, we continue to see blooms of opportunity as distressed properties continue to provide fertile ground for investors of all sizes to take advantage of a red hot rental market. As we saw back in early 2013, this type of inventory can be the catalyst that revives confidence and re-engagement.”

Within the top performing markets for April, eight are Western markets. While the West’s market-by-market performance may exceed the other regions, gains have been softening since the beginning of 2014—hence softening gains at the national level.

Three Florida markets that rank among the top performers boast high levels of distressed saturation (REO and short sales). All three markets have distressed saturation rates that are at least 10 percentage points higher than the national level, at 16.5 percent, suggesting growth is dependent on a higher propensity of distressed inventory in this area.

REOs are now part of the consumer lexicon. In this recovery, the stigma once associated with REOs (poor condition, buyer beware) has turned around. Today, REOs and short sales signal opportunity to investors and traditional homebuyers alike, and an indication that market-level gains could be ahead. The Jacksonville, FL MSA’s overall market performance, including low and distressed sales, shows quarterly growth of 1 percent and yearly growth of 6.8 percent. This is nearly double that of the MSA’s fair market performance at .5 percent quarterly growth and 3.7 percent yearly growth—more evidence that Jacksonville’s performance relies on distressed opportunities.

San Francisco MSA behavior offers more grounds for continued moderation across the country. The MSA is posting quarterly growth of 0.8 percent and yearly growth of 8.6 percent. While at first blush, this sounds pretty healthy for winter, a steady decline in quarterly performance over the past two years is on track with historical appreciation rates for the MSA.

“While gains and subsiding losses in the here-and-now are both good signs of a normalizing market, making sense of the numbers to reveal underlying trends is key for all market participants,” Villacorta notes. “Bottom line, the early spring numbers are encouraging but rest assured, the overall market is far from being ‘back to normal’. There is reason to be hopeful, but arm yourself with accurate data and remember to read headline numbers with the right perspective.”

For more information, visit ClearCapital.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

To Sell or Not to Sell? 5 Signs it's Time to List Your Home

By Maria Patterson


If you’re like me, thoughts of putting your home on the market and moving up, down or out of dodge all together periodically float through your mind. These days, there’s extra incentive given the inventory shortage in most regions of the country—some areas are even experiencing bidding wars.

“After back-to-back years of a robust housing recovery, we are continuing to experience another year of a shortage of inventory of homes for sale,” reports Phil McBride, COO of a successful Northwest real estate firm. “With a large backlog of homebuyers, multiple offers on new listings are the norm. We are seeing approximately 90 percent of sales activity in the market areas and price ranges where we are experiencing the shortage/low inventory, which is sending prices upward.”

National statistics bear this out. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, total existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March—the highest annual rate since September 2013—however, the housing supply has only experienced a modest increase, just 2 percent above a year ago. Long to short—it’s a seller’s market.

Still, choosing to sell is a big decision—a decision that requires the careful weighing of a variety of factors, both lifestyle and financial. To help sort things out, here are five telling signs that now just might be the time to finally put your home on the market.

1. You’ve outgrown your space—really. This is usually the number-one reason that gets me thinking about moving up to a bigger home. I get anxious trying to find sleep spaces for overnight guests or frustrated by my overcrowded closet. But truly needing more space is about more than that. Do you have kids outgrowing shared bedrooms? An in-law moving in? A new virtual work opportunity that requires a home office? These are the life events that really necessitate a bigger home—not the inability to curb one’s shoe-buying habit.

2. Your neighborhood is booming. While home sales and values are improving at a healthy yet gradual rate on a national level, you may find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a hot market. Pay attention to those “Recently Sold” postcards in your mailbox and talk to those neighbors plunking down For Sale signs in their yards. Contact your local real estate professional and check out comparable sales. If homes are selling above listing price and you’ve been on the fence about selling for a while, now might be a wise time to take the leap.

3. You’re letting things go. Remember when home improvement projects and landscaping chores were fun? When you’d spend hours happily painting, planting and hammering away? Well, if that’s a distant memory and your grass is knee-high and the porch railing’s rotting, this may be a sign that you’re ready to move onto a maintenance-free way of life. Realize that the more you let things go around the house, the more money you’ll have to invest to get it ready for market or worse, you’ll have to drop the price to get it sold. So honestly evaluate if it’s time for a home that offers a simpler, less work-intensive option.

4. Your equity is back. Many of us didn’t even consider selling for many years based on the fact that our equity evaporated during the housing crash. But don’t stay stuck in that mindset. The fact is, increasing numbers of homeowners are returning to positive equity. According to Corelogic’s Third Quarter 2014 Equity Report, 94 percent of homes priced at $200,000 and above have positive equity. So do some research and have your home reappraised. You may find that your equity is back and that selling is an option again.

5. Your life has changed. An important life change can trump all other reasons to sell your home. Growing or shrinking families, a new job with a new, long commute, retirement, divorce, etc., are cause to seriously consider moving on to a home that makes more sense for life as you now know it. Ultimately, a happy home is one that’s in sync with your current phase of life. Make sure you find the right fit.

View this original post on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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