Author Archives: siteowner

Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The Market

Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable

There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years.

It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters.

Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a monthly Housing Affordability Index. The latest index shows that home affordability is better today than at almost any point over the last 30 years. The index determines how affordable homes are based on the following:

“A Home Affordability Index value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index of 120 signifies that a family earning the median income has 20 percent more than the level of income needed pay the mortgage on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment so that the monthly payment and interest will not exceed 25 percent of this level of income (qualifying income).”

The higher the index, therefore, the more affordable homes are. Here is a graph showing the index since 1990:Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The MarketObviously, affordability was better during the housing crash when distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – sold at major discounts (2009-2015). Outside of that period, however, homes are more affordable today than any other year since 1990, except for 2016.

The report on the index also includes a section that calculates the mortgage payment on a median priced home as a percentage of the median national income. Historically, that percentage is just above 21%. Here are the percentages since June of 2018:Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The MarketAgain, we can see that affordability is much better today than the historical average and has been getting better over the last year and a half.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or moving up to the home of your dreams, don’t let the false narrative about affordability prevent you from moving forward. From an affordability standpoint, this is one of the best times to buy in the last 30 years.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth | Simplifying The Market

Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth

According to an Urban Institute study, homeowners who purchase a house before age 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60.

The good news is, our younger generations are strong believers in homeownership.

According to a Freddie Mac survey,

“The dream of homeownership is alive and well within “Generation Z,” the demographic cohort following Millennials.

Our survey…finds that Gen Z views homeownership as an important goal. They estimate that they will attain this goal by the time they turn 30 years old, three years younger than the current median homebuying age (33).”

Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth | Simplifying The MarketIf these aspiring homeowners purchase at an early age, the Urban Institute study shows the impact it can have.

Based on this data, those who purchased their first homes when they were younger than 25 had an average of $10,000 left on their mortgage at age 60. The 50% of buyers who purchased in their mid-20s and early-30s had close to $50,000 left, but traditionally purchased more expensive homes.Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth | Simplifying The MarketAlthough the vast majority of Gen Zers want to own a home and are somewhat confident in their future, “In terms of financial awareness, 65% of Gen Z respondents report that they are not confident in their knowledge of the mortgage process.”

Bottom Line

As the numbers show, you’re not alone. If you want to buy this year but you’re not sure where to start the process, let’s get together to help you understand the best steps to take from here.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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There’s a Long Line of Buyers Waiting for Your House | Simplifying The Market

There’s a Long Line of Buyers Waiting for Your House

If you’re following what’s happening in the housing market right now, you know that many people believe the winter months aren’t a good time to sell a home.

As realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu recently noted,

“Sellers tend to be more reluctant to list during the colder time of year when the market typically makes a seasonal slowdown.”

However, a recent report by ShowingTime reveals how this year is different. Buyer activity is way up compared to the same time last year. The report explains,

“The nation’s 12.6% growth in home showings compared to 2018 was the most significant jump in buyer traffic during the current four-month streak of year-over-year increases. The West Region saw the greatest growth in activity, with a 23.1% jump – the region’s greatest in the history of the Showing Index.”

The increase has spread across all four regions of the country, as the graph below shows:There’s a Long Line of Buyers Waiting for Your House | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Waiting for the “spring buyers’ market” may be a mistake this year. It seems the purchasers are already out and looking to buy.

 

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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The New Spring Real Estate Market is Here. Are You Ready? | Simplifying The Market

The New Spring Real Estate Market is Here. Are You Ready?

Which month do you think most people who are considering buying a home actually start their search? If you’re like most of us, you probably think the surge happens in the spring, likely in April. Not anymore. According to new research, January 2019 was only 1% behind February for the most monthly views per listing on realtor.com.

So, what does that mean? The busiest season in real estate has just begun.

The same research indicates,

“Historically, April launched the kickoff of the home shopping season as buyers would come out of their winter hibernation looking for their new home. However, the spring shopping season now starts in January for many of the nation’s largest markets.”

With the reality of fewer homes on the market in the winter, and that supply naturally increases as we head to the spring market, waiting for more competition to list in your neighborhood this year might put you behind the curve. Perhaps now is the time to jump into the market.

George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com says,

“As shoppers modify their strategies for navigating a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier.”

There is a lot of speculation in the market about why the search for a home is shifting to an earlier start. The one thing we do know is if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this year, the earlier you get started, the better.

Reminder: When should you sell something? When there is less of that item for sale and the greatest number of buyers are in the market. That’s exactly what is happening in real estate right now.

Bottom Line

The new spring market for real estate is underway. If you’re considering buying or selling, let’s connect, so you have the advantage in this competitive market.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Big Demand for Small Homes | Simplifying The Market

Big Demand for Small Homes

Movies, tv shows, and celebrities often have us dreaming of owning large homes, but the reality for most people is quite different.

Since 2015, the square footage of newly built houses has been shrinking, according to Yahoo Finances. This is not projected to change as we continue into the beginning of the year.

“We expect this downsizing trend to continue in 2020, driven by a confluence of economic and demographic trends.”

Why are smaller homes trending now?

As noted in the article, there are a few main reasons for this demand:

  • “Many of today’s younger, millennial home buyers have expressed a preference for denser, more urban homes that are more walkable to shared amenities.”
  • “Today’s older homeowners are expressing a desire for smaller, less maintenance-heavy and more accessible (read: less stairs) homes as they age and move into newer homes.”

With these two demographic groups surging through the market, the demand for this type of home is rising. If you’re a homeowner with a smaller-scale house, now may be a great time to sell, as the demand for this end of the market is surely on the rise.

Bottom Line

The demand for smaller houses will continue to rise throughout 2020. Let’s get together to discuss what the housing inventory looks like in your neighborhood. It might be time for you to take advantage of this trend!

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year | Simplifying The Market

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting.

1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment

Several reports indicate that real estate is a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps build equity, a form of investing for you and your family. According to CoreLogic’s Equity Report,

“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 64% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $457 billion since the third quarter 2018, an increase of 5.1%, year over year.”

This means the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity over the past year. If you want to start building your equity, put your housing costs to work for you through homeownership this year.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Low

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have fallen since November 2018 when they hit 4.94%. In their latest forecastFreddie Mac expects rates to remain low, leveling out to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.

When you purchase a home at a low mortgage rate, it will impact your monthly mortgage payment, giving you the opportunity to buy more house for your money.

3. Investing in Your Family is a Win

There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you’re paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.

Today, rental prices continue to increase, and when you’re paying your landlord’s mortgage instead of your own, you’re not the one earning the equity. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ you can use later in life to reinvest in your family. You can use it for a variety of opportunities, such as saving for your children’s education, moving up to a bigger home, or starting your own business. As a renter, it can be more challenging to achieve those types of dreams without home equity working for you.

Bottom Line

Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings and long-term financial growth for you and your family. Let’s get together to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you this year.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • If you’re planning on selling your house in 2020, these are the top renovations that will give you the highest Return on your Investment.
  • Regardless of how long you’re planning on staying in your current home, it’s smart to be aware of which home renovations add the most value.
  • The exterior of a house is the first thing buyers see when searching for a home. Upgrading your roof or siding will ensure your home leaves a great first impression!

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Here’s to a Wonderful 2020!

Here’s to a Wonderful 2020! | Simplifying The market

We hope 2020 is a great year for you, both personally and professionally!

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Why You Shouldn’t "For Sale By Owner" | Simplifying The Market

Why You Shouldn’t “For Sale By Owner”

Rising home prices coupled with the current inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their homes on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might be hard to execute well for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top 5 reasons not to FSBO:

1. Online Strategy for Prospective Purchasers

Studies have shown that 93% of buyers search online for a home. That’s a pretty staggering number! Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

According to NAR, here’s where buyers found the homes they actually purchased:

  • 55% on the Internet
  • 28% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 10% Other
  • 6% from a Yard Sign
  • 1% from Newspapers

The days of selling your house by putting up a sign in your yard or placing an ad in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here’s a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become Increasingly Difficult

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

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own, but the seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

A report by Zillow revealed that FSBOs are inclined to do so because they believe it will save money (46 percent cite this among their top three reasons), but they don’t actually save anything, and eventually end up listing with an agent.

The same report revealed that,

“While 36% of sellers that (at first) attempted to sell their homes on their own, only 11 percent of sellers—in other words, less than a third…actually sold without an agent.”

It appears working with a real estate professional is the best answer.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together to discuss your needs.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference [INFOGRAPHIC]

Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Choosing the right real estate professional is one of the most impactful decisions you can make in your home buying or selling process.
  • A real estate professional can explain current market conditions and break down what they will mean to you and your family.
  • If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2020, make sure to work with someone who has the experience to answer all of your questions about pricing, contracts, and negotiations.

Samuel Spinella

Samuel SpinellaRealtorSRESInteroSunnyvale CA408-393-9294As a professional in the real estate industry over the past seventeen years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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