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Where is the Real Estate Market headed in 2019?

by Lorna Calder

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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

 

 

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/

July 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's video from HAR discusses Multi-Family Property Types.  You will learn the positive aspects, as well as the negative, of owning a Multi-Family Property.  If you are interested in owning a Multi-Family Property and/or have any questions about owning a Multi-Family Property please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The June 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Summer Safety Tips

Credit Score Fixes

Stay Cool 9 Ways When Paying Your Energy Bill

Home Fix-Ups More Popular Than Upgrades

Bathroom Storage:  Smart Ways to Stow More

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

June 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's video from HAR discusses legal subdivisions.  Subdividing means taking a larger lot of land and dividing it into smaller pieces of land to sell or develop.  You will learn about some of the laws that regulate subdivisions to protect consumers.  If you have any further questions about subdivisions after watching this video, please feel free to contact me.  I'd love to hear from you!

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The May 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Maximize Tax Credits for Energy and Medical Home Improvements

Do You Understand Your Hurricane Deductible?

Do's and Don'ts Before Home Appraisal

10 Ideas for Using Your Space Effectively

Dreaming of a Summer Escape to an Italian Villa?

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

May 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

In this video we will discuss why a consumer should always use a realtor when buying, selling or leasing a property.

Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the buying process and selling real estate.  Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime.  Your realtor can help you determine how much you can afford to spend, and possibly more importantly, how much you should spend.

Your realtor can take that information and refer you to lenders who are best qualified to help you.  Your realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search.  Sometimes the property you are seeking is available, but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some legwork by your realtor to find all available properties.

Your realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.  Agents who are realtors have access to a variety of informational resources.  Realtors can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. 

Your realtor also provides insight during the evaluation of the property.  Depending on the area and property, this could include inspection for termites, asbestos, or roof condition just to name a few.  Your realtor can help you find a qualified responsible professional to do most of these investigations, and provide you written reports.

Your realtor can help you negotiate.  When selling your home your realtor can give you up to date information about what is happening in the marketplace.  This is a key to getting your property sold at the best price quickly and with minimum hassle.

 Your realtor acts as a marketing coordinator, distributing information about your property to other real estate agents through a multiple listing service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc.  In many markets across the country, more than 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sells, meaning a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.

 Your realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.  The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers.  Your realtor is the best person to objectively help you solve these issues and move the transaction to closing.

So now you’ve learned why you should use a realtor when buying or selling real estate. 

And remember, that a realtor is always the best source of information for all your real estate needs.

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

 

The May 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Buying Condo For College Student is Smart Investment

Amazing Restorations Become Dream Homes

Spring Cleaning 101

7 Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

Swimming Pools: Alternatives to Chlorine

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

April 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month’s featured video discusses the difference between a townhome and a condominium.

They can look exactly alike! What differentiates a condo from a townhome is what property rights come to consumers who purchase them.  

A buyer of a condominium owns his or her individual unit structure, plus a percentage of the surrounding property, including land and any amenities on the property.  Condo owners are responsible for the space inside their own walls, which means they can paint them however they wish.  They don't enjoy that same privilege on the outside of their homes.  However, residents are members of a home owners association and pay a monthly fee to the association in exchange for the maintenance of the common property.

A buyer of a townhome purchases his or her individual unit and well as the ground underneath that unit.  Townhome property lines are generally more consistent with single family homes and common areas are usually still individually owned.  Townhome communities may also have owner associations which maintain certain external structures, security gates, trash service and other common items.  They may also have restrictions about exterior alterations to the property, parking and maintenance.  

Working with a knowledgeable realtor can help you decide if a condo or townhome is right for you.  Now you've learned something about the difference between a townhouse unit and a condominium unit!  

And remember, that a realtor is always the best source of information for all your real estate needs.

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

 

The April 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Create an Outdoor Resort in Your Backyard

Have $18 Million Lying Around? Coral Gables has a Home for You

Tornado Storm Shelters: Safe Room Protection When it Counts

Are You Looking for Energy Savings in All the Wrong Places?

What to Consider Before Building a Pool

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

February 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses why consumers should always use a realtor when buying real estate. 

Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge about the real estate market.  Real estate transactions involve one of the largest financial investments most people experience in their lifetimes.  Your realtor can help you determine how much you can comfortably afford.  They may also be able to refer you to lenders who will be able to help you.  Your realtor has many resources at their disposal to assist you in your home search.  Your realtor can also provide objective information about each property in which you are interested.  They will also provide you valuable insight during the evaluation of the property. 

Your realtor can help you negotiate the price paid, contract terms and closing costs.  Your realtor can guide you through the closing process, and make sure everything flows together smoothly.  The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most buyers.  Your realtor is the best person to objectively help you resolve any issues, and move the transaction to closing.  So now you’ve learned why you should  use a realtor when buying real estate.

Remember a Realtor is always the source of information for all your real estate needs.

 

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The February 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Simple Tips to Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal

7 Best Remodeling Projects for the Money

How to Claim your 2011 Energy Tax Credits

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home Security System

Considering Retirement Communities? Top 10 Picks

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

January 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses homeowners associations.  These entities can be found in almost every housing environment. Consumers must research to determine if a homeowners association (HOA) has authority over any home they might be considering for purchase. When a person buys a home in an area with a HOA, he or she becomes a member of the association and is responsible for membership dues.  By design a HOA has the goal of ensuring that living in the area or on the property is pleasant for all residents.

The first act of the HOA is to establish a set of rules or guidelines to hopefully accomplish that.  The HOA Board of Directors then establishes monthly dues for all homeowners and can restrict the rights of the way a person can use his or her own property or the joined or common property.  For example the rules may govern the number of people who can occupy a house, the colors one can paint a house, or the time at which common areas like exercise rooms or pools can be used.  Fines or fees can be assessed or even evictions for those that don’t abide by the rules.

Many find the HOA well worth extra fees associated with owning property.  When well administered, the HOA can provide certain predictability to owning a home and clearly delineate both the homeowner’s and association’s responsibility.

Remember a Realtor is always the source of information for all your real estate needs.

 

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The January 2012  Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:    

2011 Energy Tax Credits: What You Need To Know To Collect

8 Small Space Solutions for Shared Kids' Rooms

Top 3 Most Common Home Defects to Check For

Home Security Cameras: Peace Of Mind While Your Away

Winter Gardening: Plants That Provide Beauty All Year Round

You can view the newsletter here.  

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.   

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

 

December 2011 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses why consumers should always use a realtor when buying, selling, or leasing a property.  Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the buying process and selling real estate.  Real estate transactions involve one the biggest financial investments that most people will experience during their lifetime.  Your Realtor can help you determine how much you can afford to spend and possibility more importantly how much you should spend.

Your realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search.  Sometimes a property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market and it will take some leg work by your realtor to find all available properties.  Your Realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.  Realtors can provide local community information and insight during evaluation of the property. Depending on the area this can include inspection for termites, asbestos or roof condition just to name a few. 

When selling your home your Realtor can give you up to date information about what is happening in the market place.  This is the key to getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.  Your Realtor acts as marketing coordinator, distributing information about your property to other real estate agents through a multiple listing service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses, etc.  Your Realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.  The required paperwork along is overwhelming for most sellers.  Your Realtor is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.  A Realtor is always your best source of information for all your real estate needs...

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The December 2011  Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:    

San Antonio is Number 1 in Texas and US in 2011 Best Performing Cities

Hidden Treasures Found Beneath Homes

Stay Warm and Keep In Budget This Winter Season

Buying a House at Foreclosure Auction is Risky

7 Tips For Staging Your Home

You can view the newsletter here.  

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.   

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

 

November 2011 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses Homeowner's Insurance, also commonly called Hazard Insurance.  This is the type of insurance that covers private homes.  It is an insurance policy that combines coverage for various personal insurance protections which can include losses occurring to the home, its contents, loss of its use, loss of personal possessions, as well as liability for accidents that may happen at the home.  Most mortgages require the owner to carry homeowners insurance at all times that the mortgage remains in effect.

The insurance policy is a lengthy contract and lists what will and will not be paid in the case of various events.  Typically losses due to floods or war are excluded, though special insurance can be purchased for these possibilities. The insurance policy is usually a term contract that is effective for a fixed period of time and is provided in exchange for "premium".  The insured (homeowner) must pay the insurer each term.  Anyone with an insurable interest in the property should be listed on the insurance policy.  It is important to review the policy coverages and requirements provided by your insurer. To learn more information about hazard insurance, please contact your insurance agent.

There is a lot to know about owning a home. Working with a knowledgable Realtor can help make sure your most valuable investment is protected.  A Realtor is always your best source of information for all your real estate needs...

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The November 2011  Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:    

Top Ten Reasons to Sell Your Home In Winter

Make Your Home Holiday Hosting Disaster Free

Wall of Glass Not Just for Modern Style Home

9 Ways to Keep Lid on Energy Bills

Three Options for Buying Home After Short Sale

You can view the newsletter here.  

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.   

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

 

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