Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 78

Where is the Real Estate Market headed in 2019?

by Lorna Calder

As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”

It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately, key indicators point toward a stable housing market in 2019 with signs of modest growth. However, shifting conditions could impact you if you plan to buy, sell, or refinance this year.

HOME VALUES WILL INCREASE

The value of real estate will continue to rise. Freddie Mac predicts housing prices will increase by 4.3 percent in 2019.While the rapid price appreciation we witnessed earlier in the decade has slowed, the combination of a strong economy, low unemployment, and a lack of inventory in many market segments continues to push prices higher.

"Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines," according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.2

Yun predicts that the national median existing-home price will increase to around $266,800 in 2019 and $274,000 in 2020. "Home price appreciation will slow down—the days of easy price gains are coming to an end—but prices will continue to rise."

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a home, act fast. Prices will continue to go up, so you’ll pay more the longer you wait. If you’re a current homeowner, real estate has proven once again to be a solid investment over the long term. In fact, the equity level of American homeowners reached an all-time high in 2018, topping $6 trillion.3

SALES LEVELS WILL STABILIZE

In 2018, we saw a decline in sales, primarily driven by rising mortgage rates and a lack of affordable inventory. However, Yun isn’t alarmed. "2017 was the best year for home sales in ten years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we've been experiencing over the past few years."2

Yun and other economists expect home sales to remain relatively flat over the next couple of years. Freddie Mac forecasts homes sales will increase 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.1

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” explains Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”4

What does it mean for you? If you’ve been scared off by reports of a market slowdown, it’s important to keep things in perspective. A cooldown can prevent a hot market from becoming overheated. A gradual and sustainable pace of growth is preferable for long-term economic stability.

MORTGAGE RATES WILL RISE

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, resulting in a rise in mortgage rates.5 While no one can predict future mortgage rates with certainty, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale estimates that the rate for a 30-year mortgage will reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019, up from around 4.62 percent at the end of 2018.6

While mortgage rates above 5 percent may seem high to today’s buyers, it’s not out of line with historical standards. According to Hale, “The average mortgage rate in the 1990s was 8.1 percent, and rates didn’t fall below 5 percent until 2009. So for buyers who can make the math work, buying a home is likely still an investment worth making.”7

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage, you may want to act quickly before mortgage rates rise. To qualify for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score, pay down existing debt, and save up for a larger down payment.

AFFORDABILITY ISSUES WILL PERSIST

Although the desire to own a home remains strong, the combination of higher home prices and rising mortgage rates will make it increasingly difficult for many first-time buyers to afford one.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive,” according to Hale. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid-to-higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”6

What does it mean for you? Unfortunately, market factors make it difficult for many first-time buyers to afford a home. However, as move-up buyers take advantage of new high-end inventory, we could see an increase in starter homes hitting the market.

MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP LARGEST SEGMENT OF BUYERS

“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand,” according to Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American. "Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.”4

Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicts the trend will continue. “Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.”6

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market for a starter home, prepare to compete for the best listings. And if you plan to sell a home in 2019, be sure to work with an agent who knows how to reach millennial buyers by utilizing the latest online marketing techniques.

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2019, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

START PREPARING TODAY


If you plan to BUY this year:

 

  1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.
  2. Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.
  3. Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

 

If you plan to SELL this year:

 

  1. Call us for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property, and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.
  2. Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. We can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.
  3. Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage ... and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. Freddie Mac Economic & Housing Research Forecast –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/pdf/201811-Forecast-04.pdf
  2. National Association of Realtors 2019 Forecast –  
    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/2019-forecast-existing-home-sales-to-stabilize-and-price-growth-to-continue
  3. Bankrate 2018 Year in Review –
    https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/year-in-review-for-housing-market/
  4. Forbes 2019 Real Estate Forecast –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/12/06/2019-real-estate-forecast-what-home-buyers-sellers-and-investors-can-expect/#a98b80a70d9a
  5. Mortgage Bankers Association Forecast –
    https://www.mba.org/2018-press-releases/october/mba-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-to-12-trillion-in-2019
  6. Realtors.com 2019 National Housing Forecast –
    https://www.realtor.com/research/2019-national-housing-forecast/
  7. FOX Business –
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/where-mortgage-rates-are-headed-in-2019

 

 

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

by Lorna Calder

Are You Covered? A Homeowner’s Insurance Guide

No one likes to think about disasters. Severe weather, fire, theft—or even a seemingly small issue like a broken pipe—can wreak havoc on your home and result in thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, a good homeowners insurance policy can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be financially protected if disaster strikes.

A homeowners insurance policy covers your home—as well as the belongings in it—in case of theft, accidental damage, or certain natural disasters. In fact, most financial institutions require that you purchase homeowners insurance before they issue a mortgage. While coverage varies, most policies also help to protect you from liability should someone outside your household become injured on your property. And that liability coverage is often extended to include damage you (or anyone living in your household) may do to someone else’s property.1

With all the protection offered, it’s equally important to understand what a home insurance policy does NOT cover. For example, homeowners insurance won’t pay to repair malfunctioning systems and appliances within your home. And terms vary, but standard policies typically exclude coverage related to floods, earthquakes, slow leaks, power failure, neglect, aging, faulty repairs or construction materials, and acts of war.2

Homeowners Insurance Covers Things Like:

  • Structure
  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Furniture/Personal Belongings
  • Liability for Non-Residents Injured on Property
  • Liability for Damage or Injury Caused by You or Your Pets

Most Standard Policies DON’T Cover:

  • Malfunctioning Systems & Appliances
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Slow Leaks
  • Power Failures
  • Neglect or Aging
  • Faulty Repairs
  • Acts of War

NARROWING THE COVERAGE GAP

So how do you minimize your risk when so many potential issues are excluded from a standard homeowners policy? Many insurers offer supplemental coverage options that can be tacked on to a basic policy. We explore this further in the section below on “7 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance.”

Some homeowners also choose to purchase a home warranty, which covers many of the systems and appliances in your home that are NOT covered by homeowners insurance. Home warranties are separate from homeowners insurance, so if interested you’ll need to seek out a policy through a dedicated provider.

While terms vary, a home warranty will often pay to repair or replace components of your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and some appliances that fail due to age or typical wear and tear. Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties aren’t required by mortgage companies. But many homeowners like the added financial protection and peace of mind that home warranties provide.3

Keep in mind, if you do purchase a home warranty, you will still be responsible for paying a service fee, or deductible, every time you use it. And you will be limited to using service providers who are contracted through your home warranty company.
 

7 TIPS FOR PURCHASING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

Whether you’re shopping for a new policy on your first home or you’re considering switching providers on an existing policy, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not all insurance policies—or providers—are created equal. A little due diligence can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.

  1. Prioritize Service and Value

When choosing an insurance provider, ask around for recommendations. Check with neighbors, friends, and family members, particularly those who have filed an insurance claim in the past. Find out if they had a positive or negative experience. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable insurance broker who can help you compare your options.

Don’t just choose the cheapest policy. Instead, search for one that offers excellent client service and provides the best coverage for the cost.

  1. Choose the Right Level of Coverage

Your policy limits should be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Don’t make the common mistake of insuring your home for the price you paid for it. The cost to rebuild could be higher or lower, depending on the value of your land, your home’s unique features, market factors, new building codes, and local construction costs.4

Also, consider whether you need a higher level of liability insurance to protect your assets. If your investments and savings exceed the liability limits in your policy, you may need to purchase an excess liability or umbrella policy.

Ultimately, you should make sure your coverage is adequate to mitigate your losses—but don’t pay for excess insurance you don’t need.

  1. Inquire About Additional Coverage

Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage options that can help close any gaps you have in your policy.

For example, if you’re in a flood or earthquake-prone area, experts strongly recommend that you add those coverages to your policy. In fact, flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard, and a significant percentage of insurance payouts are for homes outside “flood zones,” or areas known to be at risk of flooding. So even if your home is not technically located in a flood zone, you may want to add flood coverage to your policy, just in case.5

Expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, or artwork may not be fully insured by a standard policy. Ask about raising your limits for any items of particular value, or check with a specialty insurer about a separate policy for such items.

  1. Decide on “Replacement Cost” or “Actual Cash Value”

Insurers can use a variety of methods to determine how much they will pay to reimburse you for a loss, but the two most common are “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.”

If your seven-year-old sofa is damaged in a fire, replacement cost coverage will pay you the cost to purchase a new, comparable sofa at today’s prices. Actual cash value coverage will pay you for the depreciated value of the sofa you lost—so what you would pay to buy a seven-year-old sofa rather than a new one.6

While a replacement cost coverage policy will result in a bigger payoff if you suffer a loss, it will probably require a larger annual premium. Compare both options to find out which is the better fit for you.

  1. Consider a Higher Deductible

A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on a loss before your insurance company will pay a claim. Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.

Note that in some cases, your insurance policy may have a separate or higher deductible for certain kinds of claims, such as those caused by floods, windstorms, hail, or earthquakes.

While a higher deductible can save you money on your premiums, opt for one that is still affordable given your current financial situation.

  1. Try Bundling Your Coverage

Combining your home, automobile, and other policies under one insurer can often result in a significant discount. And some insurers offer additional benefits, such as a single deductible if property insured by multiple policies is damaged. For instance, if a fire destroys your home and your car, you may only have to pay the higher of the two deductibles. Bundling can also make payment and renewal of your policies more convenient.7


However, bundling isn't always the best or least expensive option. In some cases, you may find better coverage options, service, and/or pricing if you split your policies between multiple insurers. So be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
 

  1. Reassess Your Policy Each Year

Even if you’ve done all your due diligence before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, don’t set your annual renewal on autopilot. Instead, when it comes time to renew, take some time to consider factors that have changed over the past year.

For example, have you made any home improvements that would require you to raise your coverage limits? Have you made any security or safety improvements that qualify you for a discount on your premiums?8

Has there been a shift in market conditions that would make it more or less expensive to rebuild your home now? If so, you may need to adjust your coverage levels accordingly.

If you’ve made any changes to how you use your home, you may need to adjust your policy, as well. For example, if you’ve started a home-based business or occasionally rent out your home on a home-sharing site, you may not be fully covered by your existing policy.9

Finally, consider any changes to your financial situation that may require increased liability coverage limits. If you’ve grown your investments or inherited property, it may be time to purchase additional coverage to protect your expanding asset base.

 

MINIMIZE RISK, MAXIMIZE VALUE

Now that you understand the basics of homeowners insurance, you should be ready to start shopping for a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Your goal should be to minimize your risk while maximizing the value your policy provides.

While you never want to leave yourself without a safety net should disaster strike, you also don’t want to overpay for insurance you don’t need (and will hopefully rarely use). Aim to strike a balance that will provide you with adequate protection at an affordable price.

 

NEED MORE GUIDANCE? WE CAN HELP

If you’re in the market to purchase homeowners insurance or a home warranty, give us a call! We get a lot of feedback from clients on the best (and worst) providers and are happy to share what we know.

We can also put you in touch with a trusted insurance professional who can answer your questions and help you find the best policy to meet your needs.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial or insurance advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

  1. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-standard-homeowners-policy
  2. Insure.com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance/exclusions.html
  3. American Home Shield -
    https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/cost-savers/whats-the-difference-homeowners-insurance-vs-home-warranty
  4. Insurance Information Institute -
    https://www.iii.org/article/how-much-homeowners-insurance-do-you-need
  5. Realtor.com -
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/buying-home-insurance
  6. Texas Department of Insurance -
    http://www.helpinsure.com/home/documents/acvvsreplace.pdf
  7. Insure.com -
    https://www.insure.com/home-insurance-faq/bundle-insurance-policies.html
  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners -
    https://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_homeowners_ten_tips.htm
  9. HomeAway -
    https://help.homeaway.com/articles/Do-I-need-a-special-vacation-rental-insurance-policy-for-my-property

How's The Market? What Lies Ahead...

by Lorna Calder

“How’s the Market?”
What’s Ahead for Real Estate

While no one can predict the future with certainty, most experts expect to see modest growth in the U.S. housing market for the remainder of this year and next. Inventory will remain tight, mortgage rates will continue to creep up, and affordability will remain a major issue in many parts of the country.

So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.

CONTINUED GROWTH IN HOUSING MARKET

There’s good news for homebuyers! In many markets across the country, prices have begun to stabilize after a period of rapid appreciation. Nationwide, home sales experienced a slight decline of 1.6 percent in the second quarter, primarily due to higher mortgage rates and housing prices combined with limited inventory.

However, buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines in anticipation of a big price drop may be disappointed. Demand remains strong across the sector and prices continue to rise. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index reported a 6.2 percent annual gain in June, a healthy but sustainable rate of appreciation.1

In its latest Outlook Report, Freddie Mac forecasts continued growth in the housing market due to a strong economy and low unemployment rate, which dropped to 3.9 percent in July.

“The housing market hit some speed bumps this summer, with many prospective homebuyers slowed by not enough moderately-priced homes for sale and higher home prices and mortgage rates,” according to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “The good news is, the economy and labor market are very healthy right now, and mortgage rates, after surging earlier this year, have stabilized in recent months. These factors should continue to create solid buyer demand, and ultimately an uptick in sales, in most parts of the country in the months ahead.”3

INVENTORY TO REMAIN TIGHT, NEW CONSTRUCTION MAY HELP

Experts predict that demand for housing will continue to outpace available supply, especially in the entry-level price range.

“Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory accompanying unsustainable home-price increase,” said National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent release.

"The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed,” said Yun. Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to prospective homebuyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth."4

With so much demand, why aren’t more builders bringing inventory to the market? According to the National Association of Home Builders, a crackdown on immigration and tariffs on imported lumber have made home construction more difficult and expensive. Those factors—combined with the rising cost of land and increased zoning requirements—have put a damper on the industry overall.5

Still, there’s evidence that a modest rise in the rate of new building projects may be on the way. Freddie Mac predicts new housing construction will increase slightly after a stall last quarter.2 And a recent report by Freedonia Focus Reports forecasts an annual increase in housing starts of 2.4 percent through 2022, led by an uptick in single-family homes.6 The boost in inventory should help drive sales growth and relieve some of the pent-up demand in tight markets.

While the current lack of inventory is generally preferred by sellers because it means less competition, a combination of high prices and rising interest rates has narrowed the pool of potential buyers who can afford to enter the market. Sellers should seek out real estate agents who utilize technologically-advanced marketing tactics to reach qualified buyers in their area.

AFFORDABILITY REACHES LOWEST LEVEL IN A DECADE

According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Americans are paying the most in monthly mortgage payments relative to their incomes since 2008.7 And prices aren’t expected to come down any time soon.

"We believe that the current supply and demand environment will continue to push home prices higher, just at a decelerating pace," said John Egan, Morgan Stanley’s Co-Head of U.S. Housing Strategy.

Fortunately, economists aren’t concerned about affordability levels triggering another housing crisis, as lending standards are much higher today than they were during the run-up before the recession. According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, the share of homeowners who made mortgage payments more than 60-days past due fell in the second quarter to 1.7 percent, the lowest level since the market crash.7

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun agreed with this assessment in a recent statement. “Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession.”4

MORTGAGE RATES EXPECTED TO CONTINUE RISING

The Federal Reserve has taken measures to help keep the housing market—and the overall economy—from overheating. It has raised interest rates twice this year so far, causing mortgage rates to surge in the first half of the year.

Economists predict that the rise in mortgage rates will continue at a more gradual rate through this year and next. The U.S. weekly average mortgage rate rose from 3.99 percent in the first week of January to as high as 4.66 percent in May. Freddy Mac forecasts an average rate of 4.6 percent for 2018 and 5.1 percent in 2019.2

The good news is, mortgage rates still remain near historic lows and a whopping 14 points below the recorded high of 18.63 percent in the early 1980s.8 Buyers who have been on the fence may want to act soon to lock in an affordable interest rate ... before rates climb higher.

"Some consumers may be thinking that because mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, maybe I should just wait until rates fall down again," said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent speech. "Well, they will be waiting forever."9

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN FOR ME?

If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, you may want to act now. A shortage of available homes on the market means prices are likely to keep going up. And a lack of affordable rental inventory means rents are expected to rise, as well.

If you buy now, you will benefit from appreciating property values while locking in an historically-low interest rate on your mortgage. Waiting to buy could mean paying more for your home as prices increase and paying higher interest on your mortgage as rates continue to rise.

And if you’re in the market to sell your home, there’s no need to wait any longer. Prices have begun to stabilize, and rising interest rates could decrease the number of available buyers for your home. Act now to take advantage of this strong seller’s market.

LET’S GET MOVING

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. As local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the issues most likely to impact sales and home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you have specific questions or would like more information about where we see real estate headed in our area, let us know! We’re here to help you navigate this changing real estate landscape.

Sources:

  1. S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release -
    https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/766551_cshomeprice-release-0828.pdf?force_download=true
  2. Freddie Mac Outlook Report -
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20180827_strong_economic_growth.html
  3. DSNews -
    https://dsnews.com/daily-dose/08-28-2018/freddie-weighs-in-on-housing-market
  4. PR Newswire -
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtors-chief-economist-reflects-on-past-recession-whats-ahead-for-housing-300702632.html
  5. CNN Money -
    https://www.keyt.com/lifestyle/where-is-the-us-housing-market-headed-4-things-you-need-to-know/787471572
  6. PR Newswire -
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-housing-starts-to-rise-2-4-yearly-to-2022--300711989.html
  7. Business Insider -
    https://www.businessinsider.com/housing-affordability-slowing-market-sales-2018-8
  8. Value Penguin -
    https://www.valuepenguin.com/mortgages/historical-mortgage-rates
  9. Times Free Press -
    https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2018/aug/14/despite-prospects-higher-mortgage-rateshousin/476979/

You Don't Need Luck to Find Your Dream Home

by Lorna Calder

You don't need luck to find your Dream Home! Let The Lorna Calder Team guide you through the process step by step!

Step One:

Give us a call today! 281-361-2280

Step Two:

Our team of professionals can help you with the first steps of getting pre-approved with a reputable mortgage lender.

Step Three:

We can then start the search for your dream home in Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita and and Houston area.

Step Four:

We will handle all the paperwork and use our proven negotiation techniques to help get you the best deal for the perfect home.

Step Five:

You get to move in! Its that easy. We simplify the process so you don't have to sweat the small stuff.

Read our past clients' reviews and see what they had to say about us here.
 

5 Reasons Why You Should Call Us TODAY!

by Lorna Calder

Sure we can help you buy and sell a home but did you know we can do so much more? In fact, we offer our amazing clients a variety of services regardless of whether we are working with them on a home sale or purchase.

1. You will be informed on our local market!

The housing market nationally may look similar to our local market but there are many important differences. We can help you decide if now if the best time to buy or sell from giving you the full scoop on what's happening locally in our market. Also, we can product for you a FREE Comparative Market Analysis to let you know how much your home is worth. Give us a call today and we can start the discussion!

 

2. We can answer all of your Real Estate questions!

If we are currently working on a transaction together, we will guide you through the ENTIRE process and answer any question you have. We are also here to answer any questions you may have even after the transaction is closed, no matter how long ago it closed. We can provide you tips on your list of improvements or your home's curb appeal that will help to save you money, find the correct professional to do the job and help to make it even more sell-able in the future. 

 

3. We are delighted to share our professional network!

Because of the social nature of the Real Estate business, we are in contact with a wide array or reputable tradesmen, service providers and anything in between for our local area. It doesn't matter if you need a handyman for a simple job or a contractor for a remodel, we can help you find the right person for the job. We can even help you find landscapers, pool service companies and roofers!We assure you that if you call us today, we can help you find the right person for the job!

 

4. We are your "Community Connection"

We are very involved in our community! It doesn't matter if you are new in town or have lived here for many many years, we can provide you with updates on what's happening in our neighborhood. Shannon and Lorna live in Kingwood and Christina lives in Atascocita, so we are very familiar with the areas!

 

5. Will you be moving out of the area?

If you have decided to move away from the area, allow us to connect you with a TRUE professional that can give you the level of service we would provide. Moving can be a stressful event but we know many top-notch Real Estate professionals in Texas and many other states that will make the experience a breeze! And while we will be saddened by your departure, we will make sure that you are in good hands.

 

So remember, give us a call TODAY whether you are relocating, want to buy or sell a home, need a professional tradesman, want the neighborhood scoop or would like the update on the Local Market; we are here for YOU! Call us today, 281-361-2280!

 

 

© 2018 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY EREPORT S

 

🍂 House Hunting Checklist 🍂

by Lorna Calder

"When I was searching for my First Home, I was starry-eyed with the whole process: "OOOH look at the size of the bathroom, the granite is SO PRETTY, wow the new fixtures are perfect, the home is so cute, the paint color is great!" I wasn't  really looking at the meat and bones of WHERE I was going to be living, WHO I was living by, WHAT was near, etc." - Christina (Client Care Coordinator, The Lorna Calder Team)

 

This is a great start to the home hunting process, although it doesn't replace the eyes and knowledge of a Realtor on The Lorna Calder Team, it's something great to bring along to showings so you can jot down notes and answer questions you may need to be asking yourself. I have attached the PRINTABLE PDF version right below! Enjoy!

 

HOUSE HUNTING CHECKLIST

 

5 Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Transation

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of buying or selling a home this year?

Here are a few ideas to help you get through the Real Estate process. 

 

1. Don't let timing consume you. A lot of sellers and buyers attempt to anticipate the actions of the market so they can properly time their purchase or listing correctly. When you're ready to buy or sell, is the time when you are ready. Simple as that. Instead of obsessing about the ideal perfect time, focus on making sure YOU are ready!

 

2. Check your Expectations. TV shows and experiences of your friends and family may fog your perception of the reality behind the buying and selling process. Absolutely everyone's experience WILL be different! Having your agent explain to you the process and state of the market will help you set more realistic expectations. 

 

3. Keep control of your emotions. Yes, buying a home is a HUGE investment and home buyers may put extra pressure on themselves to get that perfect home that checks everything on their list. Furthermore, selling home can be extremely emotional, you put a lot of time and money into making your home the perfect home for you and have made so many memories. It's easy to make a rash decision when emotions are involved. Trying to stay calm and focused will help you to feel more in control. 

 

4. Do your research. When you're thinking of buying, it's a good idea to check out the neighborhood you may want to live in, write down your must-haves and how long you want to live in that home. 

 

5. Rely on a Real Estate Professional. You don't have to be alone on this adventure! I'm here to answer any of your questions, to ease your concerns and guide you through the process. I'm never to busy to answer any of your questions so please feel free to call me anytime! 

 

Click HERE for a PDF of this information!

 

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JANUARY EREPORT S

Why Sell? Why Buy?

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of Buying or Selling? 

WHY BUY?

1. It is a part of your financial plan this year. To make the property your home, you have the freedom to make the move and are financially ready.

 

2. Your circumstances are correct. Your circumstances may have contrived you to buy, whether it was a relocation for your job or you may have just sold your home.

 

3. There are many homes for sale in your desired area. If it is a buyer's market in your desired area of town then now would be a great time to make the move!

 

 

WHY SELL?

1. You have outgrown your home. It may be time to sell your home and move to a larger one if you have a growing family or an adult child or parent has moved in with you. 

 

2. You want to live closer to family and friends. If you desire to be closer to your friends or family then it may be a good idea to sell your home and move closer to them.

 

3. Job relocation is moving you. If you have found your dream job or your current job is transferring you, that may cause you to list your home for sale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can we expect from 2017's Housing Market?!

by Lorna Calder

What does the future hold for the 2017 housing market?

One thing is for sure, says experts, the housing market is set to HEAT UP!

 

 

PRICES ARE ALMOST AT PRE-RECESSION HIGHS

Nationally speaking, the market is expected to normalize with healthy sales and moderate price growth.1 However, some expects predict modest price declines because wages aren't keeping up with the home prices.

The median home price has increased 43% from 2010, while wages have only increased 5%.2 

 

HOME SALES ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

Existing home sales are up from 5.8 million in 2016, expected to reach 6 million.3 

Projections for total single family home sales for 20174

  • National Association of Realtors 6 million
  • Frannie Mae 6.2 million
  • Freddie Mac 6.2 million
  • Mortgage Bankers Association 6.5 million

​​

MAKE WAY FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Millennials are expected to strengthen home and condo sales into 2020.3

Sales by first-time buyers reached a four-year high in September at 34%.3

 

HOUSING APPRECIATION IS UP

Most markets report an increase in home appreciation, with the increases hitting near 10% in the hottest markets, which have growing populations and tight supply.5

Top 3 Markets for Home Appreciation6

  • ​Seattle, WA (up 11.2%)
  • Portland, OR (up 11.1%)
  • Denver, CO (up 9.9%)

 

RENT WILL KEEP GETTING HIGHER

Rental affordability is one of the biggest factors for first-time buyers deciding to buy.1

 

THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2017 IS EXPECTED TO BE FUELED BY HIGH DEMAND FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION. 

 

To download this PDF, click here!

 

 

Sources:

  1. 1. The Mortgage Reports
  2. 2. Dun & Bradstreet
  3. 3. NAR
  4. 4. Keeping Matters Current
  5. 5. REALTOR Magazine
  6. 6. BusinessWire

​​

© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK MARCH S

7 Signs that you chose the right Real Estate Agent for YOU!

by Lorna Calder

When you are selling or buying a home, it can be a stressful ordeal with lots of moving pieces that would surprise you if you are not privy to a lot of real estate transactions.  These things are why having an amazing Real Estate agent is SO important!

When you go to choose the right Real Estate Agent, it may not be easy at first but once you have found the one there are definitely signs that let you know, THIS IS THE ONE!

 

 

1. You actually like spending time around them

We aren't saying you need to be gaga over your Agent, but you should be able to enjoy being around them. There is so much communication that goes on during the process and after, so having that great relationship helps immensely. There is no worse feeling than hanging around someone you cant stand to be around especially if things get a bit rough. 

 

2. They are available and quick to respond

Obviously, this is a non-negotiable one! A competent Real Estate Agent will never leave you in the dark waiting for their answer, they will make themselves available for your needs. There is something defiantly wrong if you feel like your agent is ghosting you. A truly competent Agent will understand the importance and seriousness of a Real Estate transaction and will always make sure you are priority.

 

3. They have asked you to get Pre-Approved

THIS ONE IS HUGE! If you are a buyer and haven't talked to a mortgage lender before going out and looking at home, then you will not be taken seriously and a good agent knows this. This is a benefit to you and all involved in the transaction to make things start quick yet smooth. There is also a great amount of things you may discover about your financial situation during the Pre-approval process that you may have never thought of or known, this is a VERY important step!

 

4. A good agent is Pro-active, not reactive

Here is a great gauge that will help set the right agent apart from all other agents. The right agent will be ahead of the game, finding issues before they even arise and already having a solution in place or a plan. As an example, a good agent will always be on the hunt for properties suiting your every need instead of you sending ones over that you like. This is a true sign of a great Real Estate professional. 

 

5. Even if you don't want to hear it, they are honest with you

Honesty is an integral part of ANY type of relationship, whether it be business or personal. Even if its inconvenient for them, a good agent will let tell you the truth. It takes a lot of gusto to be honest especially if it is costing them money, but it's ethical and a good agent will take in account honesty and integrity over a few bucks. 

 

6. A good agent NEVER gives up easily

They will go down fighting for you, tooth and nail. These days a Real Estate transaction rarely ever goes awry but when it doesn't it can feel like the universe if punishing you and it's so much easier to just throw your hands up and give up but the right agent won't give up until EVERY avenue and path is tried and tested. The right agent will fight for you!

 

7. They care about you and want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you have chosen the right agent comes before and after a transaction when they are building a relationship with you. Before, they want to know who YOU are, what YOUR wants and needs are. And after, they want to stay in touch, wondering how you are enjoying your home, if there is anything else they can do for you, recommending vendors for various home improvements, etc. A good agent doesn't play a disappearing act when the transaction is over, they will ALWAYS be there for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 78

Syndication

Categories

Archives

 Each Office Independently Owned and Operated.