Owning A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In Most Markets In The US

According to a recent study by Zillow, owning a home is more affordable than renting in most metro markets across the United States.

According to the study, renters pay an average of 29.1% of their household income towards rent, while homeowners only pay an average of 15.4% towards their mortgages. This means renting eats up nearly twice as much of your income as owning a home.

Data Source: Zillow

Thanks to rising rents, homeownership is becoming a more sensible option across the nation, and renters are taking notice. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Confidence® Index, 39% of homebuyers from October 2016 to November 2017 were renting at the time of their purchase, which means that 39% of buyers made the transition from renter to homeowner. And many of them did so without breaking the bank on a down payment. In fact, 61% of first-time buyers made a down payment of 6% or less.

The Takeaway

If you’re currently renting, it’s time to reevaluate your situation. Why throw away nearly 30% of your income on rent when you can spend almost half as much and have a home to show for it?

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Historically Low Inventory Creates Perfect Storm For People Wanting To Sell Their Home

 

According to Realtor.com’s recent Housing Shortage Report, the US is experiencing the worst inventory shortage in two decades. And while this presents a definite challenge for people looking to buy a home, it creates the perfect storm of opportunity for those wanting to sell.

According to Realtor.com’s research, the housing shortage can be attributed to the baby boomer generation being unwilling to sell in the current market. In fact:

  • 72% of existing homeowners over the age of 55 feel their current home fits their needs
  • 85% of those baby boomers don’t plan to sell their home in the next 12 months

Boomers are keeping approximately 33 million properties off the market — a huge contributor to the historically low inventory the US is experiencing.

But this historically low inventory means that there couldn’t be a better time to sell. Low inventory means more competition, and more competition typically means higher offers and a better deal for sellers — especially if you’re selling a starter home.

Thanks to millennials entering the homebuying market for the first time, starter homes are the most in demand selling point on the market. And since they experienced a 17% decrease in supply from 2016 to 2017, a great starter home will be an even hotter commodity in 2018.

The Takeaway

Low inventory can be a problem for buyers. But if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, low inventory means there’s never been a better time to put your property on the market.

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8 Mistakes First-Time Home Sellers Make & How to Avoid Them

Plenty of home sellers consider their places to be coveted properties that others would be lucky to own. But, that hubris can often lead to trouble when it comes to actually landing an offer and closing a sale.

First-time sellers in particular exhibit some self-sabotaging behaviors that can trip them up on the way getting the deal done. The following are the most common mistakes they make and how to avoid them.

1. Thinking they can go it alone

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Selling a home is not for the faint of heart, nor is it an easy DIY project. First-time home sellers quickly realize marketing and showing their property is a full-time job. Unless they’re experts in real estate contracts, appraisals, inspections, and other documentation, they can end up make costly errors. Fortunately, this is an easy one to fix: Hire a licensed agent.

2. Wanting to price it too high

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Homeowners may think they’re living in the perfect home, but pricing it too high will render it a white elephant. It’s great to be optimistic that you’ll make a nice profit, but it’s important to be realistic and price a home accurately. Remember, time is money. Seeking top dollar can cost you if your home remains on the market far longer than you’d planned.

3. Being unwilling to negotiate

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Just because an offer comes in lower than a seller might have hoped, that’s no reason to take it personally and refuse to negotiate. Think of an offer as a starting point that leads to a compromise that works for both parties.

4. Not doing a thorough cleaning

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From the moment sellers decide to put their places on the market, they should begin cleaning and decluttering to make the home look as attractive and well-kept as possible. Staging is important, but experts agree, nothing makes a home shine quite like a thorough cleaning.

5. Making it difficult for agents to show it

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Sure, last-minute showings can be inconvenient, but if sellers really want to make a deal, they have to be willing to let an agent and prospective buyers inside. Thinking a two-hour open house once a week is going to be enough is some serious wishful thinking.

6. Refusing to take the agent’s advice

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Homeowners often think they know their properties better than anyone, so why should they take any advice — even from a professional? Because you’ll benefit from the wisdom and experience of a professional. If your agent suggests that you stash your garden gnome collection in the shed or fix that rickety staircase, just do it.

7. Being unwilling to make changes

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Things like kitchen and bathroom updates can make a home look more attractive and move more quickly as it means less work a buyer will need to tackle after moving in. Still, some sellers dig in their heels and decide to adopt a “take it or leave it” attitude. Sadly, many buyers will choose to leave it.

8. Not considering the next move

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Homes can sell more quickly — or more slowly — than anyone, including even a Realtor®, can anticipate. So it’s important to have a back-up plan either way.

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10 Amenities That Get Homes Sold During Winter

Many homeowners believe attempting to sell their places during winter is a losing proposition. Real estate agents, however, know any season is the right one when a property is attractive and represents a great value.

With inventory typically lower during the cold weather months, it’s actually a perfect time to put a home on the market. It also doesn’t hurt to set the stage — or sweeten the pot, if you will — by evoking a warm and welcoming vibe that makes would-be buyers want to hang up their coats, kick off their boots, and stay a while.

There’s no denying it’s cold out there, so why not embrace it? The following are amenities that prove winter really can be the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Fire pit

#Cozy #night by the #fire during the #holidays…

A post shared by Lights Over Atlanta (@lightsoveratlanta) on

Create a covetable outdoor space with the help of a fire pit. Whether it’s made of stone and serves as a permanent fixture or is a movable and affordable centerpiece for backyard S’mores-making, adding the element of fire ups the charm factor immediately.

2. Hot tub

A nighttime soak in this Jacuzzi ® Hot Tub will bring a smile to your face in no time

A post shared by Jacuzzi Europe Official® (@jacuzzi.europe) on

Wait, is this a home or a five-star resort? Watching steam rise from a frothy hot tub on a chilly afternoon or evening makes anyone want to move right in! Giving a place the spa treatment, will remind home-shoppers that with this luxurious item on the premises, winter can last as long as it likes.

3. Home theater

Think the kids will like this one? #SoldbyKenitaTang #Kenitatangrealtor #Movienight #hometheater #movies #Kids #Realtor

A post shared by Kenita Tang (@kenitatangrealtor) on

Especially during the winter, and particularly in cold weather climates, playing up the ability to have a blast indoors does wonders for buyers’ peace of mind (moreso if they’re parents). A home theater, even on a smaller scale (think flat screen and an old-fashioned popcorn maker), helps visitors envision themselves and their families surviving those endless snow days in style.

4. Fireplace

It’s almost impossible to resist the hypnotic allure of a roaring fire. According to the National Center for Real Estate Research, fireplaces have a positive impact on the selling price, with each fireplace adding about 12 percent. If a home has this feature, by all means, strike a match and watch that property heat up!

5. In-home wine bar

Baby, it’s cold outside — so why leave the house? This wine bar is one way to keep spirits merry and bright. It also conjures up thoughts of hosting holiday parties and gatherings as new owners envision celebrating and showing off their place.

6. Hot cocoa bar

Hello Friends!! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!I've been pretty busy working on projects all last week and still haven't put up my Christmas tree. I did manage to get my hot cocoa bar done!! Is Everyone finished with their decorating yet or are you like me and it's taking you forever!! I'm normally not like this, but I'm struggling on trying to figure out how I want things to go. Hoping to figure it out and get it done by the end of the day. Happy decorating!! #mugrackmonday #signsandstemsmonday #wordsindecor #merrymerrydecor #mymerryhome #merrymondaydecor #myfarmcharmchristmas #verymerrymonday #mystyledholidayhome #lovingmyholidayhome #hotcocoabar #raedunn #raedunnchristmas #targetdollarspot #hotcocoa #coffeestation #farmhousechristmas #christmasdecor #holidayraedisplay Cute coffee banner is from @diyinspiredhouse Have a Holly jolly Christmas sign is from @rusticchicksboutique and Hot cocoa sign is from @houseon77th Awesome shops to check out

A post shared by Andrea (@ourcarolinafarmhouse) on

On the other end of the spectrum, but no less festive, a hot cocoa bar offers a sweet welcome all ages can enjoy. Placed in the kitchen, dining room, family room, or foyer, this treat station makes you feel comfortable and right at home.

7. Wood-burning stove

Wood-burning stoves represent a delightful throwback to bygone days. Their timeless appeal will charm visitors at the same time they warm up a home. Thanks to advancements in technology, these old-fashioned heaters are more energy efficient than ever.

8. Home sauna

A home sauna? Why not? We can do that.

A post shared by Raykon Construction (@raykon_construction) on

Calling all athletes and anyone who could use a haven from the stresses of the outside world! (So, OK, everyone!) An in-home sauna is the oasis you’ve been seeking. Steam away those cares while enjoying health benefits that include improved circulation, detoxification, and even sinus relief.

9. Storm survival kit

Throwing in a highly-desirable item often increases interest from buyers. In a snowy climate, there are few tools as sought-after as a snowblower once that white stuff starts falling. Want to keep the enticement more affordable? Heavy-duty snow shovels, high-end gloves, rock salt, and de-icer all come in handy as well. First-time home-buyers who may be snow-removal newbies will appreciate this gesture.

10. Highlight energy efficient upgrades

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In addition to being comfortable temperature-wise, if a home is as energy-efficient as possible, that’s something buyers will definitely want to know — and remember. Creating a list of any upgrades to windows, doors, HVAC units, and the roof, as well as the installation of energy-saving appliances, means more money in buyers’ pockets and less going out the window.

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Real Estate Apps Can Go Wrong

Nowadays, online shopping has almost taken over the act of physically going to a store and checking the merchandise. Almost anything can be done online. Yes, even the concept of buying and selling homes online has been embraced for convenience and efficiency. People who are interested to buy or list their homes resort to apps that are available online to check out the real estate market.

Homeowners who wish to put their house in the market now have the option to show pictures and other pertinent details of their property. They can also get to communicate with online shoppers and asses the serious shoppers.  Because online listings now, can show to would-be buyers almost everything they need to know before actually seeing it.

The thing about all these information thrown in the internet though may render consumers misinformed because of several issues with these listing sites.

There are common things that these listing sites can get wrong:

1. Fake listings: In this time where fake news are all over the internet, it is definitely true that there are also fake listings. For example, posters or online flyers with pictures fake house are posted in these sites merely as click bait.Worse, these fake listings are used to get your personal information for marketing purposes. Like in online or offline shopping, scams happen. One home owner was shocked to find pictures of his home were posted in a listing site after a suspicious would-be buyer informed him about it. Apparently, someone stole the pictures from another listing site, assumed his identity and asked people for holding fees on a home they would never own.

 

 

Zillow.com instructs its users how to be alert of scams and internet fraud so you don’t waste time and energy engaging with fake listings.

2. Listings may not be updated: Many times, some listings aren’t updated. Listings that may show Active in these sites may actually be Pending or are already Sold. Or a house that is labelled Sold has  been brought back to the market.

This may confuse some sellers and those who wants to put their homes in the market. Potential buyers may pass on a perfect home or sellers might miss out on buyers because the listing information is out-of-date.

In an effort to avoid losing potential buyers or sellers who search for information online, some listing sites (like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com) gets automatic updates from the brokerage company’s database for a more accurate information on their other listing sites. This means that realtors connects their  database or their main listing site to these apps in order to widen the exposure of their client’s property. Any edits or updates can automatically be reflected on the listing site connected to the realtor’s main listing site. This has so far reduced the update fiasco. However, an updated listing site may still have incorrect information that may confuse online home shoppers.

3. Property information may be incorrect: This poses potential problems for both buyers and sellers. The number of bedrooms may not be posted correctly, pictures are labelled or arranged wrongly or worse, the location may not state where the property is located exactly. Indeed, there are still technical glitches in the app’s feeds. Buyers may use a feature that estimates the property’s worth but the disparity may be off by 8% nationally. This can scare off buyers of your property.

The BEST option:
Because of misinformation, your home sale or search may just be a waste of time and energy. Hence, it is always best to work with a real estate agent. Not only are real estate agents reliable in terms of access to a property that you are interested in but they can also take you on a tour to the home you are interested in or bring in potential buyers to your home.

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15 Easy DIYs To Consider Doing Before Selling Your Home

Whether you’re prepping your home for sale, or plan on enjoying it for years to come, getting it into tip-top shape should be a high priority. A priority, mind you, that doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s a list of 15 satisfying home upgrades that you can perform yourself with little to no specialized knowledge or experience.

1. Learn how to cheaply and easily make an ugly backsplash a thing of the past.

2. Tired of that ugly ceiling light cover? Want to focus the light on a smaller area? This DIY shows how to create a drum shade for your ceiling light.

3. For vanity updates, grey is the new black. Here’s a DIY to create your very own modern, concrete-style vanity.

4. If you would like a little more privacy without cutting the lighting down too much, try frosting your windows with cornstarch.

5. You can hang a curtain from the ceilings to create the illusion of a larger shower. Giving your rod a few coats using gold spray paint adds a nice touch too.

6. Upgrade those boring cabinets with this shaker style DIY.

7. You can also create that beadboard country-cabinet look with a simple wallpaper job.

8. Enhance your closet racks with elegant end-brackets. See how here.

9. Add an extra dimension of style to your flatscreen TV by framing it using various moldings and trim.

10. By half painting a wall, it will make the room seem quite a bit taller.

11. Use some inexpensive frames to upgrade any boring light switches.

12. Turn that plain jane cabinet into something amazing with some basic molding and a fresh paint job.

13. Make your rug nice and plush by using carpet underlayment.

14. See this DIY for the details on un-staining and restaining your wooden furniture.

15. Here’s a great example of how to upgrade your bathroom mirror with the appropriate trim.

 source: http://lightersideofrealestate.com/

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Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market.

And, it is…

…in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there’s also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings.

The thing is, some of the houses listed back in the Spring don’t end up selling. (Usually just because they were overpriced.)

Now, it isn’t like new listings don’t happen in the Fall. There’s always new listings coming on the market. But it’s not like, just because it’s Fall and not Spring, prices are necessarily going to fall. In other words, new listings aren’t likely to list for a lot lower than you would have seen in the Spring.

However, the homeowners who did list back in the Spring, are much more likely to be anxious (perhaps even desperate) to sell their home. They’ve created their own problem…they missed the boat by pricing too high.

Which is great news for you, if you’re looking to buy a home:

  • Less competition. (Many buyers stop looking at this time of year…for no good reason.)
  • Motivated sellers. (They’re sick of being on the market, and wondering why nobody bought their house.)

But it isn’t always easy to find those listings. They don’t wave a white flag, or lower their price to some ridiculous amount everyone would notice. If only it were that easy…
Just because someone listed their home back in the Spring doesn’t mean they’ll be all that negotiable.

There are certain things a great real estate agent will know to look for.

And I love rolling up my sleeves and finding the ones we can most likely negotiate the best deals on.

So, got anything you want me to roll up my sleeves and look for? Real estate deals won’t just fall in your lap, but I can certainly help you find one this Fall.

Bonus
Want another reason to buy a home in the Fall?

You can take advantage of year-end sales to outfit your home!

Hardly anybody buys a home who doesn’t want (or need) to make improvements, however small. So why not coordinate your purchase with sales on items you’ll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is an ideal time for buying carpet and paint. In October lawn mowers go on sale, and the same goes for appliances and cookware in November.

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