Thursday, October 31 2013
The national landscape for real estate has changed over the course of this year. Clearly 2013 has been an excellent year for real estate sales nationwide. Nationally year-to-date unit sales through September climbed 15%, while statewide units were up 14% and our local market increased 16%. Although these numbers are excellent the market is experiencing some other changes.
The mix of buyers has changed over the past few years. Investors represented about 34% of all buyers so far this year, while the percentage of first time buyers is fewer than 30%, a significant drop from historical levels, which have been closer to 40%. This relatively high percentage of investor buyers suggests that professional investors still feel real estate is a good investment. First time buyers have not declined because they don’t want to own their own home. Contrary to some articles you may have seen, the desire to own a home continues to be a goal across age groups. Survey after survey shows that if buyers have the ability to own a home they have a strong preference for owning vs. renting. There are two very clear reasons that the number of first time buyers has declined. One reason is the difficulty in obtaining mortgage loans. Increased banking regulations have made borrowing money an onerous process. Lenders have money and want to lend, unfortunately they are required to comply with expensive regulations making the entire process more cumbersome for everyone.
One additional positive in the housing market is the continued improvement in homeowner equity. Short sales and foreclosures have unfortunately been a significant portion of the market the past few years. With improved prices and more buyers the number of homes “underwater” has declined significantly. Current estimates suggest that over 8 million homeowners who currently owe more than their home is worth will be in a positive equity situation over the next 15 months.
Strong demand from investors, a strong desire to own vs. rent, and an improved equity situation all suggest that housing will stay strong for the foreseeable future.
Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season and please let me know if I can help with any of your or your friends housing needs. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, October 21 2013
After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season, says Rich Escallier, a handyman in Chicago. "If you can go six months without finding something that raises your blood pressure, you're lucky,” Escallier says.
CBS MoneyWatch recently released a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on:
During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After all, “if you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can't see it," says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. "But you'll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling."
45 days after move-in: Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBC MoneyWatch notes.
Six months after move-in: Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. "Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house," Cipriani says. "People don't think it's a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn't have anywhere to go."
Every year: Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.
Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.
Friday, October 18 2013
Even though local property prices continue to recover, the current market can still present challenges. No one understands this better than homeowners who are re-listing this fall. For some of them, surrounding seas of “For Sale” signs created a less-than-appealing neighborhood setting. Others drew buyers who weren’t able to secure financing in the uncertain mortgage environment. Whatever the reason, it can be disheartening for anyone who has to re-list their property.
Once you undertake a repeat attempt to sell your home, you want to be certain the job gets done right. A key part of that will be ensuring successful showings. It’s estimated that well-staged homes sell as much as 50% faster than those not “dressed for sale.”
Most buyers begin their search online, so take a look at its online marketing. A buyer who dismisses your property outright without a visit means one less chance to close a sale. Be sure you show multiple photos that show the property in the best possible light. If that's not the case, and professional photography might provide the solution.
Give the property another thorough cleaning. You cleaned your home for your first open house, but now that time has passed, your house certainly needs deep cleaning again. In particular focus on the two areas that get messiest fastest: bathrooms and kitchen rooms buyers look at first.
Take a look at timing: specifically, the times you choose to show your home. Try holding an open house between 3-5pm. This will make your home one of the last that prospects view. If they are still looking at day's end, chances are they are serious about buying a property. This slot also helps avoid viewing conflicts with other homes.
Sure, it's disappointing any time a home doesn't sell immediately, but that needn't mean it won’t succeed the second time around. In most parts of the country, real estate has been trending upwards and more buyers are entering the market. You're only looking for that one person who appreciates your property. Ready to get a fresh start? Then call me: let's get going! You Can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, October 16 2013
In Evansville's competitive housing market, shrewdly targeting which (if any) renovations to make prior to listing your home can sharply affect not only its DOM (days on market), but the price it ultimately brings. After making any obviously needed repairs any that would be standout deficiencies left untended you must still decide, what else?
Of the welter of possibilities you could choose before your property appears in the local listings, recent studies show some renovations have the greatest impact on selling prices.
An inviting outside entertainment area is a significant plus for many prospects, so the addition of a wooden deck heads the list. A deck is relatively quick and easy to install, so when Remodeling Magazine reports a 77% return at sale, being able to add “entertainment deck” seems an economical way to add appeal to any listing. If you already have a deck, you might consider expanding or improving it.
Since the kitchen is the heart of a home, even a modest improvement like freshening up cabinets or upgrading an appliance or two can make a dramatic impact on salability. If your home is already priced at the high end of the market, simply adding granite countertops is an investment that's not likely to add significantly to the bottom line...whereas the return on minor kitchen improvements is measured in the neighborhood of 75%.
For an older home, changing out questionable windows with new, environmentally advanced ones can create a listing feature that's ads appeal to utility cost-conscious home buyers. Window replacement is a quick fix; and if you already have newer windows, an upgrade to siding can add one fewer thing potential buyers find to worry about...and one more reason to choose your offering.
Such easy fixes are ways to increase the instant appeal of your listing without severely denting your pocketbook. Being conscious of the way your listing compares with others in town will put you ahead of the pack. Another way: call me for more ideas to make your home an irresistible buy! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Tuesday, October 15 2013
If you’re looking for a superior deal on a new home, you may find that a local bank-owned home is a serious contender. Today’s real estate market includes a variety of foreclosed homes, some of which can be had at prices well below baseline levels.
Adding to the activity in that sector is the virtual disappearance of any degree of the stigma formerly attached to the bank-owned home market. By May of 2012, Realtor Magazine was already reporting how the rise in distressed inventories had brought about an increased appetite for the sector: “Nearly 65% of buyers say they’re likely to buy a foreclosure today compared to 25% who said that in October 2009.” And 92% of those surveyed were interested in a bank-owned home as their primary residence, rather than as an investment vehicle.
If you think a local bank-owned home could be a serious contender for your attention, you should be aware of how to best prepare for the opportunities to be had among them.
Pre-qualification not only speeds up the purchase of a bank-owned home, it also produces a concrete range for your home-buying budget. Some banks charge a fee for the credit-checking procedure, while others simply build that into the bottom line.
Beware Potential Property Issues
The biggest issue facing the buyer of a foreclosed home is the potential for damage to the property. If it’s been vacant for some time, issues tied to improper weatherization or pest infestation can have resulted. A bank-owned home is typically sold as-is — so ordering a thorough, professional home inspection is an absolute must.
Buying a bank-owned home in Evansville can proceed on a different timetable than does a regular home buy, so be prepared to be patient. It’s also particularly helpful to have a buyer’s agent on your team to help answer questions as they arise.
If you are in the market for a new home this fall — whether it be a bank-owned home or not — I’m here to advise my clients from beginning to end. Getting started is just a phone call away! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, October 14 2013
Believe it or not, it takes home-seekers an average of 12 weeks to find a home. To shorten that time, there is nothing more useful than the Internet’s Multiple Listing Service. When you are working with a buyer’s agent, the lion’s share of the work will be done for you — but when you participate in the online search, too, it makes a dynamite combination!
Starting out with a clear idea of the features you think of as “must-have’s” will save the most time and effort. This doesn’t mean every feature you would ever consider a plus; these should be the items that you must have. Your deal-breakers.
Use these to pare down the MLS listings you examine more thoroughly. Chances are you’re going to find many homes that match your broader requirements, so narrowing the field will let you channel your time toward the best potential candidates.
MLS listings are available either by city or by region. If you’re open to examining a wider area, you’ll find a greater number of properties within your price range that list your key features. If you can’t find regional MLS listings near Evansville of interest, your agent will help expand your search. Sometimes this broadening of horizons uncovers the ideal property.
The local MLS listings are updated on a regular basis, so staying on top of the market involves revisiting the listings every few days. In case that sounds overly labor-intensive, your agent can sign you up to receive auto-alerts via email whenever a new qualified MLS listing comes online. It’s also a fact that not all real estate firms keep every one of their MLS listings absolutely current, so calling your agent as soon as you see something you like will keep you ahead of the crowd.
The MLS listings in Evansville offer a one-stop destination for identifying numerous candidate properties — as well as the ability to efficiently filter the results you find. If you’re in the market for a new home, using the local MLS listings will be a welcome aid. Call me today to help organize a comprehensive search effort! You can reach me in my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, October 09 2013
Rushing to sell your home is never desirable — but circumstances sometimes require it. To sell your home in Evansville quickly, the most important factor is finding the right price. Too high a price will dampen buyer interest — but of course you don’t want to set the price too low, either. Here’s one way to find the right price:
First, complete all repairs. They’ll have to be addressed at some point, so getting them out of the way first clears the deck for your sale. To sell your home quickly, you want to feature it in the best possible light…meaning that all of the little (as well as major) repairs have to disappear from the picture. A few hours or days of hard work can have a disproportionate impact on the ultimate selling price.
Next, familiarize yourself with local competitors. Scour the listings for homes in your area and attend any open houses you find. Get a feel for the way homes in the neighborhood are being listed, and which features look to be adding the most value.
It’s also a good idea to consult a qualified appraiser. Most homes will be appraised before sale anyway, and a certified appraiser will offer an unbiased view of your home’s value. Having a recent certified appraisal can also serve to encourage buyers to write an offer quickly.
At this point it will be possible to set the value. There are differing approaches to setting the price for a home, but they share a few things in common. Each generally takes into account average prices paid in recent comparable area sales combined with the appraiser’s feedback. To sell your home speedily, consider setting your price three to five percent below that formulation. While this may seem unnecessarily low, the idea is to encourage immediate interest from multiple buyers, setting up the potential for competing offers. One thing is nearly certain: a lower-than-average price will get more buyers through your door!
Planning to sell your home in Evansville this fall? Contact me today to learn more about building a sales attack designed to get results! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com