Friday, September 13 2013
Whenever you hear that a neighbor’s house is on the market, the same question flashes through nearly every homeowner's mind: how much are they asking?
That's because of the nature of residential markets: our own homes' real estate values (in fact, all local real estate values) are connected with one another, and that asking price is an estimate of the current state of affairs. It has to be reasonable in order to attract the attention of serious buyers — but if it’s too reasonable, on closing day the seller will walk away with a lighter bank account than necessary.
Real estate values in Evansville are determined in large part by what other similar homes have recently sold for. These comparable sales show what a real world bank was willing to lend, and how many dollars a real life buyer was willing to pay. “Comps” are to real estate values what the Dow Jones is to securities: a trustworthy reality check, no kidding around.
How 'comparable' a comp is depends on a number of factors to be taken into account:
The structure of a comp sale will have similar square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. Its condition is a value judgment best made by professional appraisers. Amenities can include everything from upgrades in a development to added features like central air conditioning or a Jacuzzi. And location means a great deal (is it in a high crime area?) — as does the similar but more precise neighborhood (are the neighbors taking care of their yards? Are the schools first-rate?).
Ultimately, when determining real estate values for area homes, appraisers take into account much more than just the house itself. That’s why when you set out to find a home for your family it’s important to look beyond the physical facets of the house alone: should you later decide to sell it, the whole host of factors will come into play. Whether you are buying or selling a home in Evansville this fall, contact me today for a pricing evaluation. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, September 12 2013
If the area’s baby boomers are echoing national demographics, they are either already enjoying retirement or are preparing for it. But for soon-to-be seniors, that word retirement has taken on some new connotations. Today’s seniors may be headed to a retirement with some major differences.
Taken as a whole, boomers remain a markedly active group — one less likely to consider a 65th birthday the end marker for their working life. Yet for those buying a home in Evansville that will make their senior years as comfortable as possible, their choices are bound to differ greatly from those they’ve made in years past. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the 76-million-strong boomer generation is already registering some new preferences:
Semi-retired is the new retired. Instead of giving up on work completely, many retirement-age homeowners choose to start small home-based businesses to supplement their income (or follow up on their passions). The home office is also a fine command center for researching vacation ideas, running household affairs — or whipping up the next Great American Novel.
Big windows and superior lighting not only bring home a cheery look, but that light makes everything easier to see and navigate around. Accidental fall prevention may not be the top priority for a member of the 55-plus group who’s buying a home in Evansville, but if the health statistics are correct, it ought to be a major consideration.
Chances are increasingly good that a typical boomer will live a long time, but that also means arthritis and age will come into the picture, as well. Buying a home with wider doorways and halls mean buying a home that’s potentially wheelchair-friendly!
Future retirees have an increasingly sophisticated relationship with technology, so in addition to Internet access, remote-controlled lighting and alarm systems are becoming more commonplace.
Whether or not you are approaching retirement, when you set about buying a home in Evansville, it’s my job to help you find one that will fit your needs for the long term. Contact me today! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or by email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Monday, September 09 2013
There are a lot of positive things to discuss about real estate in this month’s Market Watch, both locally and nationally. Although from both perspectives the news is good, the news is not necessarily the same.
According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for The National Association of Realtors, sales prices nationally are 13.7% above last year’s levels. Prices are still 7.3% below their all time high (July 2006). Days on market data is more difficult to obtain accurately but best estimates are in the 60-70 day range. There is currently a 5.1 month supply of homes on the market. Several factors influence these statistics. Cash buyers represent 31% of the market. This segment is largely represented by investors, who obviously view real estate as an attractive long term investment. Distressed properties represented 15% of all sales in July. That percentage is down about 40% from its high but is still almost double the historical average. This suggests that shadow inventory is disappearing, which is good, but it will still take a couple of years to get back to historically normal levels. Finally, first time buyers currently represent about 29% of the market, substantially below the normal 40-45% of the market.
Locally, our market is very similar to the rest of the nation in terms of month’s supply of inventory. We currently have a little under 5.3 months supply and have been under six months supply since April. Our days on market is higher than most of the country and is still just over 100 days. The most interesting comparison however is sales price and how it has changed. While year-to-date sales prices are only up 4.7% from last year’s average our market is now at the highest level of both average and median prices we have ever seen. The median price in our market declined for 4 consecutive years and our low point was in 2009. Since that time our median price has increased every year with this year representing the highest average and median prices we have ever experienced in this market. While it may not feel that way our market simply did not decline as much as the nation as a whole and our market has, at least in terms of price, completely recovered from the recession.
One interesting thought I had after looking at this data was that it all made sense to me except I would have thought our days on market would be lower than it is, given all of the other market conditions. I asked another Realtor in our office what she thought and she said
“It’s simple. Houses priced right in excellent condition sell quickly. Houses that need work or are a little over priced just sit on the market”. She is right. If you want to know the right price for your home or if you need some tips on getting your house ready to sell give me a call today. If you want to see some homes visit FCTuckerEmge.com or give me a call. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234.
Friday, September 06 2013
Have you ever driven by fantastic-looking homes one week, only to notice that they have lost their appeal only a few weeks later? Chances are such a nosedive in curb appeal could be due to an unrealistic approach to front yard landscaping. Especially as homes approach fall weather changes, and even more notably for homes that are about to be put on the market, reality (instead of fantasy) should rule when landscape design changes are being decided.
The key is maintenance. Taking care of lush landscaping is a time-consuming activity, so if you are not a garden hobbyist dedicated to the mowing, fertilizing, spraying, pruning, and weeding that elaborate greenscapes require, your choices are to be willing to pay a pro to keep on top of it all, or…actually, that’s your only choice!
Yesterday’s impressive front yard can turn ragged in days if it is neglected. Whether you’re a busy professional or overscheduled soccer mom, homes for sale require constant attention to the front yard landscaping. That curb appeal either invites a call to your Realtor® — or a drive past without a second look.
That same reality factor that may prompt a decision to install a modest, less-expansive lawn and plantings can affect the number of potential buyers. That’s especially true if your target market weighs heavily with retirees, busy professionals, active families, or folks looking for second homes to use as vacation getaways or income properties. Many of those buyers will gravitate toward homes that won’t cost a lot of money to re-landscape to lower maintenance requirements.
Local homes with easy-maintenance yards that still present a natural feel can be big winners in today’s market. Along the same lines of less is more, having gnomes, deer or other ornaments on your lawn is generally a turnoff. You can add to that list too much “stuff” in the backyard.
If you’re planning to list your home for sale in Evansville this fall, it’s time to do some serious planning. I offer pre-marketing consultations to help prepare area homes for the market. Call me today to schedule yours! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Thursday, September 05 2013
The advance home inspection process in Evansville plays a pivotal role to both seller and buyer. Correcting problems at an early stage increases a home's appeal — and its selling price. An advance inspection also sets the stage for a favorable final inspection report for the buyer (and the buyer’s lender), expediting a sale.
Yet according to home inspection experts, approximately half the homes on the resale market today have at least one significant defect! Advance knowledge of imperfections or malfunctioning systems in a property helps buyers commit if the house is a worthwhile buy. And knowing trouble spots in advance helps a seller set an attractive price.
Whether you are buying or selling, here are a few tips to help you have a trouble-free final inspection this fall:
Minimum scope for a home inspection in Evansville should include roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical wiring and central heating and/or air-conditioning. Except under special circumstances (those would include REO or estate sales), sellers are uniformly required to provide disclosure information about the property. Present these disclosures to your inspector, so he can double-check known issues first, and go over them with you during the inspection.
A pest control inspector is sometimes considered optional, but is really highly recommended. This inspector makes a specialized report for any areas infested with pests that could damage the home. Even if the home looks terrific and was recently serviced, underlying pest issues can be some of the most expensive to correct. They can derail a loan in no time.
Mold, asbestos, radon and other potentially harmful substances are not always included in a home inspection: they require a specialized license. If you are concerned about these elements, or live in a neighborhood where they are known to be a problem – consider adding additional inspections.
Knowledge is power when it comes to home inspections in town: the more you know in advance, the stronger your negotiating position will be. If you are preparing to buy or sell this fall, give me a call! I’m here to protect and advise my clients every step of the way. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com