Thursday, May 30 2013
Although home sales have improved across all regions of the country, including our local market, I believe there are some subtle differences in both the results and the reasons. First, from a national perspective, existing home sales increased again in April to an annualized rate of almost 5 million homes. This is up 9.7% from the same time last year. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) median sale prices for existing homes were up 11% in April compared to April of 2012. Nationally foreclosures and short sales accounted for 18% of sales in April, down significantly from 28% last April. Finally the days on market number nationally has declined significantly to only 46 days this April compared to 83 days last April.
Locally we have seen improvements in all of the same areas but for the most part they have not been as dramatic. For the first four months of this year unit sales, (both existing and new combined) have increased 9.1% over the first four months of last year. I am confident that trend will continue for the next couple of months based on pending activity which has already occurred. Our improvements in days on market and average prices have been much less spectacular. Both have improved but not by statistically significant amounts. We have however seen a .67% improvement in the list price to sale price ratio or just over $1,000 on a sale price of $150,000.
There is a big difference in the reason for today’s sales figures and the real estate boom of 2005 and 2006. In 2005 and 2006 the market was fueled by “easy money”, meaning lending standards were too lenient and a significant number of buyers were ultimately foreclosed upon. Today’s market is based on a more tested economic reality, supply and demand. Nationally in April there was a 5.2 month supply of homes on the market. Locally April supply was similar at 5.65 months supply. Three reasons for this decline in inventory are reduced foreclosures, a return to a more normal level of buying activity and new construction has not caught up to current demand.
What does all this mean to you? If you are a buyer, interest rates are at bargain prices and local home prices have not increased dramatically. Both interest rates and home prices will ultimately rise. If you are a seller, housing supply has decreased and new construction has not caught up so there is less competition. If you would like to know what your house is worth give me a call and I can help you determine the market value of your home. If you are thinking about buying you can see what’s on the market at FCTuckerEmge.com or just give me a call. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, May 20 2013
When I update local readers about the latest news in housing prices, it’s usually not as ‘latest’ as I’d like. The reason is that there is a delay in most of the truly reliable indexes that measure housing prices. The big indexes are national (local housing prices are another matter), and they have a built-in two-month delay.
We can look at trends and directions, but if there is a change afoot, we won’t be sure of that for about 60 days.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal found a way to present unusually fresh numbers. Reporter Nick Timiraos ignored the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which reported statistics from back in March, and leapfrogged into April with the first solid news about our much-anticipated spring selling season.
It shows a startling 2.7% one-month increase: the largest March-to-April gain in any of the 17 years since the series was first reported.
“The monthly gain blew away all past Aprils,” said an economist at Credit Suisse. The basis of the reports comes from last Wednesday’s release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ producer-price index, which measures prices in the whole economy (at least as seen by manufacturers and wholesalers). It’s a backdoor way to gauge housing prices when you examine prices received by real estate agents.
The numbers showed a 9.1% gain over housing prices from a year ago…and remember, big price rises were already happening by then. The takeaway, per the Journal, “Don’t be surprised to see continued increases in prices and sales in the next batch of housing reports.”
Professors Case and Shiller are certainly standing by to give us those. And in case you would like a more locally focused update on our recent area housing prices, I’m standing by, too — why not give me a call today? You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, May 16 2013
You are buying a second home: this will be more than a sizeable investment — by any measure, it’s a considerable personal achievement as well.
That second home may be a family retreat, a vacation property you will be renting out (at least part time); or a pure income-producing rental. When a realistic appraisal says that you won’t be able to devote much time and attention to your new holding, the way to fill that gap is to locate an experienced local property manager.
As you will learn, it’s a specialized field. According to the latest studies, the median income for property managers nationwide tops $80,000 per year — a pretty trustworthy real world indicator that what they do has substantial value. If your second home is going to do duty earning additional income, the last thing you want is to face a commitment that competes with your full-time profession. Yet when tenants experience problems, dealing with them right away is a ‘stitch in time’ that does more than fostering good will. It can wind up saving money!
Your new property is a business, and like any, needs cash flow supervision. A vacation home, for instance, may from time to time incur unforeseen end-of-stay housekeeping costs which could require an extra payment. Your local property manager will handle this kind of problem for you (in fact, he or she probably made sure your rental contract foresaw this in the first place!).
Whether or not you buy your second home for profit, you want it to be more of a joy than a burden. A professional property manager delivers insulation from the smaller details, and corresponding relief from the stress of 2 am phone calls, maintenance worker no-shows, and all the other day-to-day management details.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to buy or sell a second home in the area, I offer the kind of first-tier real estate service that will get you what you are looking for. Contact me anytime for reliableproperty manager recommendations — Evansville has some of the best! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or by email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, May 15 2013
If you are readying your home for sale this spring or summer, one of my favorite tactics to set your property apart from other area listings is to order a pre-inspection. If you’re not familiar with the term, a pre-inspection is a less detailed, less expensive visual inspection designed to report major conditions certain to be noted in the final. Why add this extra expense? Won’t buyers ultimately get their own inspection?
Yes, they will. But the purpose is not to replace a final inspection — it’s to attract more offers and hasten a final sale by minimizing re-negotiation.
Picture yourself as a prospective buyer. Listings which headline the availability of a pre-inspection report automatically seem to be offered by someone who is proud of their property’s condition and unafraid of what the final inspection will reveal. To skittish prospective buyers, it serves to lessen the "fear of the unknown" that can make buyers hesitate before writing an offer. If there were a formula, it would look something like:
Eliminating objections = Attracting more offers
Pre-inspected listings let you document major conditions that have either been addressed or left for the future owner to remediate as he or she sees fit. By noting how your asking price includes precise dollar allowances for named conditions, you display openness and conviction in the basis for your pricing. Local listings written after a pre-inspection are a lot more likely minimize last-minute re-negotiation: if you have ever been asked at the last minute to knock off $20k from an accepted offer, you know the value of that.
It is worth noting that any serious defects that a pre-inspection identify must be disclosed, for better or for worse. But fear of a major discovery shouldn’t dissuade you: any major defect will certainly be discovered by the buyer’s inspector. The old saying applies: knowledge IS power. You also have the option to repair the defects and let the buyer know that repairs have already been made.
If you plan to add your own property to the local listings any time this year, my job is to see that it brings you top dollar. Contact me today to talk over the way we will get that done! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, May 09 2013
With more than 43 million people relocating throughout the U.S. every year, you don’t have to wait until you are surrounded by stacks of cartons to realize how important it is to make your next move the right one. If you’re buying a house in Evansville in the foreseeable future, it’s a particularly valuable idea to take the time to chat with some of your potential new neighbors. And while you’re at it, why not bring up a few relevant questions:
Which schools are best?
School quality affects more than just property values. Especially if you have your own kids, buying a house in Evansville is least disruptive when their new school is the best one available. You’ll make the soundest choice by comparing more than one parent’s opinion.
Is there a neighborhood watch?
You will have already aimed for the safest area possible. Now, getting involved with an active neighborhood watch can further ensure your family’s safety. When buying a house, the presence of a neighborhood watch is a good indicator of some solid community spirit…and if there isn’t one, make sure the reason is that everyone already feels secure in the area.
What events are available in Evansville or the surrounding area?
Buying a house means buying a home base for all your family’s activities. By asking your neighbors which local events and activities they enjoy the most, you’ll get a glimpse of the scope and depth of the cultural life that’s going to surround you. As a side benefit, just inquiring shows you as someone who is sociable — and that you’ll be a good new neighbor to have!
The simple act of reaching out in this way lets you familiarize yourself with a new neighborhood faster, and ultimately leads to a better-informed long term real estate decision. Especially if the area is new to you and your family, buying a house in Evansville is actually a one-time opportunity to make a host of new friends. I have tons of information available for future residents. If you’re even considering buying a house in the area, don’t hesitate to call me! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com