Housing Inventory | Homes Sold By Jessica Harless

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash

Whether or not you owned a home in 2008, you likely remember the housing crash that took place back then. And news about an economic slowdown happening today may bring all those concerns back to the surface. While those feelings are understandable, data can help reassure you the situation today is nothing like it was in 2008.

One of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places:

  • Current homeowners putting their homes up for sale
  • Newly built homes coming onto the market
  • Distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures)

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? Inventory is still historically low. There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, and that may make you wonder if we’re overbuilding. But home builders are actually slowing down their production right now. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes:

“It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

And according to the latest data from the U.S. Census, at today’s current pace, we’re headed to build a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.4 million homes this year. While this will add more inventory to the market, it’s not on pace to create an oversupply because builders today are more cautious than the last time when they built more homes than the market could absorb.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

This graph shows how in the time around the housing crash there were over one million foreclosure filings per year. As lending standards tightened since then, the activity started to decline. And in 2020 and 2021, the forbearance program was a further aid to help prevent a repeat of the wave of foreclosures we saw back around 2008.

That program was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

Bottom Line

Although housing supply is growing this year, the market certainly isn’t anywhere near the inventory levels that would cause prices to drop significantly. That’s why inventory tells us the housing market won’t crash.

Republished from Keeping Current Matters
What is a real estate market shift?

Just What Is A Market Shift?

There’s a lot of talk, media chatter, and press going around about the current real estate market. The best way to describe it is “the market is shifting.”
𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙚𝙩 𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙛𝙩?
When the supply of listed property is more than the demand it’s a buyers’ market. Sometimes this can cause prices to decline.
 
A sellers’ market is when there is a higher demand for properties than the active available properties. This often results in bidding wars and higher sale prices.
 
𝙎𝙞𝙜𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙎𝙝𝙞𝙛𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙚𝙩
• A lot of Expiring Listings – an increase shows signs of a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Change in the Number of Offers – a decrease shows signs of a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Absorption Rate – when it takes more than 6 months for all the listed homes to sell it’s a shift to a buyers’ market.
• Days on Market – A longer selling period for listings often indicates a shift to a buyers’ market.
 
There’s a lot of talk and press about the current real estate market. The best way to describe it is “A Shift.” d to price realistically and buyers should see less competition when they submit an offer. Thinking about buying or selling? Let’s talk about marketing your home as the market shifts. Thinking of buying? Let’s start with a local lender…then begin your home search.
Real Estate | Prices for the rest of 2022

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices?

Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, you probably want to know: will home prices fall this year? Let’s break down what’s happening with home prices, where experts say they’re headed, and why this matters for your homeownership goals.

Last Year’s Rapid Home Price Growth Wasn’t the Norm

In 2021, home prices appreciated quickly. One reason why is that record-low mortgage rates motivated more buyers to enter the market. As a result, there were more people looking to make a purchase than there were homes available for sale. That led to competitive bidding wars which drove prices up. CoreLogic helps explain how unusual last year’s appreciation was:

Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021, up from the 2020 full year average of 6%.”

In other words, the pace of appreciation in 2021 far surpassed the 6% the market saw in 2020. And even that appreciation was greater than the pre-pandemic norm which was typically around 3.8%. This goes to show, 2021 was an anomaly in the housing market spurred by more buyers than homes for sale.

Home Price Appreciation Moderates Today

This year, home price appreciation is slowing (or decelerating) from the feverish pace the market saw over the past two years. According to the latest forecasts, experts say on average, nationwide, prices will still appreciate by roughly 10% in 2022 (see graph below):

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | MyKCM

Why do all of these experts agree prices will continue to rise? It’s simple. Even though housing supply is growing today, it’s still low overall thanks to several factors, including a long period of underbuilding homes. And experts say that’s going to help keep upward pressure on home prices this year. Additionally, since mortgage rates are higher this year than they were last year, buyer demand has slowed.

As the market undergoes this change, it’s true price appreciation this year won’t match the feverish pace in 2021. But the rapid appreciation the market saw last year wasn’t sustainable anyway.

What Does That Mean for You?

Today, the market is beginning to move back toward pre-pandemic levels. But even the forecast for 10% home price growth in 2022 is well beyond the 3.8% that’s more typical for a normal market.

So, despite what you may have heard, experts say home prices won’t fall in most markets. They’ll just appreciate more moderately.

If you’re worried the house you’re trying to sell or the home you want to buy will decrease in value, you should know experts aren’t calling for depreciation in most markets, just deceleration. That means your home should still grow in value, just not as fast as it did last year.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say nationally, prices will continue to appreciate this year, just at a more moderate pace. When you’re ready to begin the process of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have a local market expert on your side each step of the way.

As published By Keeping Matters Current
Older Home | Jessica Harless Next Home Realty Center

Pros & Cons of Buying an Older Home

Here are the pros of buying an older home (one built 15+ years ago):
• Higher quality or more detailed construction
• Bigger yards with mature landscaping
• Often have character and charm
• Located in established neighborhoods
• Attractive price

The downsides:
• Smaller rooms, garages, and closets
• Lack of storage
• Likely to require more maintenance

HVAC systems are less efficient
Older appliances, water heater, and roof

• Cost of upgrades

If you are thinking about making a move – let’s talk about your options…

Housing Market - Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Is the Housing Market Correcting?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may leave you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction. As realtor.com says:

The housing market is at a turning point. . . . We’re starting to see signs of a new direction, . . .”

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | Simplifying The Market

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

Headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters. Here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | Simplifying The Market

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this:

“. . . today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time.”

Bottom Line

If recent headlines are generating any concerns, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels. Let’s connect if you have any questions about our local market and what it means for you when you buy or sell this year.

from Keeping Matters Current
1

𝗖𝘆𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗧𝗫 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗘𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 (𝟳𝟳𝟰𝟯𝟯 & 𝟳𝟳𝟰𝟮𝟵)

Number of Sold Properties, Days to Sell, Average Sale Price, and Active Listings of re-sale homes as reported by HAR.com.

 These statistics include the following communities in 77433:2

 Ashton Woods Barker Lake
Blackhorse Ranch Bridge Creek
Bridgeland Canyon Lakes West
Cypress Creek Lakes Dunham Pointe
Fairfield Lakes of Fairhaven
Marvida Miramesa
Park Creek Towne Lake
 Westgate

And, these communities in 77429:3

Coles Crossing Cypress Mill
Cypress Point Bridge Creek
Bridgeland Canyon Lakes West
Cypress Creek Lakes Hidden Arbor
Lakes of Rosehill Lakes on Eldridge
Lakewood Forest Longwood Village
Park At Arbordale Ravensway
Rock Creek Stablegate
Stablewood Farms Sydney Harbour
Villages of Cypress Lakes

Want more detailed information? Let’s talk…

#cypressrealestate #jessicaharlessrealtor

Real Estate Recession | Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

The One Thing Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession 

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. That’s the one thing that every homeowner today needs to know. Everywhere you look, experts are warning we could be heading toward a recession, and if true, an economic slowdown doesn’t mean homes will lose value.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession this way:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”

To help show that home prices don’t fall every time there’s a recession, take a look at the historical data. There have been six recessions in this country over the past four decades. As the graph below shows, looking at the recessions going all the way back to the 1980s, home prices appreciated four times and depreciated only two times. So, historically, there’s proof that when the economy slows down, it doesn’t mean home values will fall or depreciate.

The One Thing Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession | Simplifying The Market

The first occasion on the graph when home values depreciated was in the early 1990s when home prices dropped by less than 2%. It happened again during the housing crisis in 2008 when home values declined by almost 20%. Most people vividly remember the housing crisis in 2008 and think if we were to fall into a recession that we’d repeat what happened then. But this housing market isn’t a bubble that’s about to burst. The fundamentals are very different today than they were in 2008. So, we shouldn’t assume we’re heading down the same path.

Bottom Line

We’re not in a recession in this country, but if one is coming, it doesn’t mean homes will lose value. History proves a recession doesn’t equal a housing crisis.

Keeping Current Matters  Thursday May 19th, 2022   s

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think

One of the biggest concerns for a homeowner looking to sell is the time they’ll have to put in before listing their house. If that’s the case for you, you should know – your home might be closer to list-ready than you think in today’s housing market. A survey of recent sellers from realtor.com finds that many were able to get their house ready in less than a month. It says:

“With many homeowners expecting a quick sale, and in many cases a lack of contingencies, the preparation process took less than a month for over 50% of home sellers this past year, with 20% completing it in less than two weeks.

Those sellers expecting to sell quickly are following recent buyer trends. With mortgage rates and home prices rising, buyers in today’s market are serious about finding a home quickly. But with the limited number of homes for sale, there are very few options for those buyers to choose from. That means many may be willing to take on projects after they purchase.

Because of this, you may be able to focus on less time-consuming tasks before putting your house on the market. According to the survey mentioned above, some of the top things recent sellers completed before listing over the past year include landscaping, making minor cosmetic updates, and touching-up paint (see image below):

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think | Simplifying The MarketA Real Estate Advisor Will Help Streamline the Process and Keep You Focused

Of course, each situation is different and knowing what repairs or updates your house needs to stand out in your local area is critical. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. In a recent article, NextAdvisor explains:

“. . . Real estate can be hyper-local, and demand can vary from one neighborhood to the next. It’s a good idea to work with a local real estate professional to determine an ideal listing price and if any improvements or repairs need to be completed before putting your home on the market.”

Your trusted real estate advisor knows the ins and outs of the market in your specific area. They’ll help you identify the places where you should and shouldn’t spend your time and money – and that can enable you to list quickly.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to take advantage of the incredible conditions for sellers in today’s real estate market but are worried about the time it’ll take to get your home ready, you might be closer than you think. Let’s connect so you can see what you need to do before listing your house today.

Keeping Current Matters 5/2022 |  For SellersSelling Myths

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help You Achieve Homeownership

For many homebuyers, the thought of saving for a down payment can feel daunting, especially in today’s market. That’s why, when asked what they find most difficult in the homebuying process, some buyers say it’s one of the hardest steps on the path to homeownership. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows:

“For first-time home buyers, 29 percent said saving for a downpayment [sic] was the most difficult step in the process.

If you’re finding that your down payment is your biggest hurdle, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here’s some information that can help.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

According to downpaymentresource.comthere are thousands of financial assistance programs available for homebuyers, like affordable mortgage options for first-time buyers. But, of the many programs that are available, down payment assistance options make up the large majority. They say 73% of the assistance available to homebuyers is there to help you with your down payment.

And it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible for these programs. Downpaymentresource.com notes:

“You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 38% of all programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”

That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.

There Are Local Programs and Specialized Programs for Public Servants

There are also multiple down payment assistance resources designed to help those who serve our communities. Teacher Next Door is one of those programs:

“The Teacher Next Door Program was designed to increase home ownership among teachers and other public servants, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.”

Teacher Next Door is just one program that seeks to help teachers, first responders, health providers, government employees, active-duty military personnel, and veterans reach their down payment goals.

And, most importantly, even if you don’t qualify for these types of specialized programs, there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. And the best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Bottom Line

If saving for a down payment seems daunting, there are programs available that can help. And if you work to serve our community, there may be even more opportunities available to you. To learn more about your options, let’s connect so you can start your homebuying journey today.

Courtesy of KCM

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

In an annual Gallup poll, Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment. And it’s not the first time it’s topped the list, either. Real estate has been on a winning streak for the past eight years, consistently gaining traction as the best long-term investment (see graph below):

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row | MyKCMIf you’re thinking about purchasing a home this year, this poll should reassure you. Even when inflation is rising like it is today, Americans agree an investment like real estate truly shines.

Why Is Real Estate a Great Investment During Times of High Inflation?

With inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of homeownership. Rising inflation means prices are increasing across the board. That includes goods, services, housing costs, and more. But when you purchase your home, you lock in your monthly housing payments, effectively shielding yourself from increasing housing payments. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrateexplains it like this:

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same.”

If you’re a renter, you don’t have that same benefit, and you aren’t protected from increases in your housing costs, especially rising rents.

History Shows During Inflationary Periods, Home Prices Rise as Well

As a homeowner, your house is an asset that typically increases in value over time, even during inflation. That‘s because, as prices rise, the value of your home does, too. And that makes buying a home a great hedge during periods of high inflation. Natalie Campisi, Advisor Staff for Forbesnotes:

Tangible assets like real estate get more valuable over time, which makes buying a home a good way to spend your money during inflationary times.

Bottom Line

Housing truly is a strong investment, especially when inflation is high. When you lock in a mortgage payment, you’re shielded from housing cost increases, and you own an asset that typically gains value with time. If you want to better understand how buying a home could be a great investment for you, let’s connect today.

Courtesy of KCM

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Whether you’re buying or selling – today’s housing market has plenty of good news to go around.
  • Buyers can take advantage of today’s mortgage rates to escape rising rents and keep monthly payments affordable. Sellers can reap the benefits of multiple offers and a fast sale.
  • If this sounds like good news to you, let’s connect today so you can capitalize on the unique opportunity you have in today’s market.
Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Sometimes it can feel like everyone has advice when it comes to buying a home. While your friends and loved ones may have your best interests in mind, they may also be missing crucial information about today’s housing market that you need to make your best decision.

Before you decide whether you’re ready to buy a home, you should know how to answer these three questions.

1. What’s Going on with Home Prices?

Home prices are one factor that directly impacts how much it will cost to buy a home and how much you stand to gain as a homeowner when prices appreciate.

The graph below shows just how much experts are forecasting prices to rise this year:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketContinued price appreciation is great news for existing homeowners but can pose a significant challenge if you wait to buyUsing these forecasts, you can determine just how much waiting could cost you. If prices increase based on the average of all forecasts (12.46%), a median-priced home that costs $350,000 in January of 2021 will cost an additional $43,610 by the end of the year. What does this mean for you? Put simply, with home prices increasing, the longer you wait, the more it could cost you.

2. Are Today’s Low Mortgage Rates Going To Last?

Another significant factor that should inform your decision is mortgage interest rates. Today’s average rates remain close to record-lows. Much like prices, though, experts forecast rates will rise over the coming months, as the chart below shows:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketYour monthly mortgage payment can be significantly impacted by even the slightest increase in mortgage rates, which makes the overall cost of the home greater over time when you wait.

3. Why Is Homeownership Important to You?

The final question is a personal one. Before deciding, you’ll need to understand your motivation to buy a home and why homeownership is an important goal for you. The financial benefits of owning a home are often easier to account for than the many emotional ones.

The 2021 National Homeownership Market Survey shows that six of the nine reasons Americans value homeownership are because of how it impacts them on a personal, aspirational level. The survey says homeownership provides:

  • Stability
  • Safety
  • A Sense of Accomplishment
  • A Life Milestone
  • A Stake in the Community
  • Personal Pride

The National Housing & Financial Capability Survey from NeighborWorks America also highlights the emotional benefits of homeownership:Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home | Simplifying The MarketClearly, there’s a value to homeownership beyond the many great financial opportunities it provides. It gives homeowners a sense of pride, safety, security, and accomplishment – which impacts their lives and how they feel daily.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is life-changing, and buying a home can positively impact you in so many ways. With any decision this big, it helps to have a trusted advisor by your side each step of the way. If you’re ready to begin your journey toward homeownership, let’s connect to discuss your options and begin your journey.

Sold by Jessica Harless | Appraisals

What To Expect as Appraisal Gaps Grow

In today’s real estate market, low inventory and high demand are driving up home prices. As many as 54% of homes are getting offers over the listing price, based on the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser at CoreLogicelaborates:

 

“The frequency of buyers being willing to pay more than the market data supports is increasing.”

While this is great news for today’s sellers, it can be tricky to navigate if the price of your contract doesn’t match up with the appraisal for the house. It’s called an appraisal gap, and it’s happening more in today’s market than the norm.

According to recent data from CoreLogic19% of homes had their appraised value come in below the contract price in April of this year. That’s more than double the percentage in each of the two previous Aprils.

The chart below uses the latest insights from NAR’s Realtors Confidence Index to showcase how often an issue with an appraisal slowed or stalled the momentum of a house sale in May of this year compared to May of last year.What To Expect as Appraisal Gaps Grow | Simplifying the MarketIf an appraisal comes in below the contract price, the buyer’s lender won’t loan them more than the house’s appraised value. That means there’s going to be a gap between the amount of loan the buyer can secure and the contract price on the house.

In this situation, both the buyer and seller have a vested interest in making sure the sale moves forward with little to no delay. The seller will want to make sure the deal closes, and the buyer won’t want to risk losing the home. That’s why it’s common for sellers to ask the buyer to make up the difference themselves in today’s competitive market.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying or selling, let’s connect so you have an ally throughout the process to help you navigate the unexpected, including appraisal gaps.

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters
20210517-KCM-Share-549x300

Don’t Forget to Budget for Closing Costs

 When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

 What Are Closing Costs?

According to Trulia:

When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.”

For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price. 

Trulia gives more great advice, explaining:

“There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.

The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You’ll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”

Bottom Line

As home prices are rising and more buyers are finding themselves competing in bidding wars, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Let’s connect to be sure you have everything you need to land your dream home.

Keeping Current Matters: Buying MythsDown PaymentsFirst Time Home BuyersFor BuyersMove-Up BuyersPricing

Selling you home in a sellers market | Jessica Harless

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

Monday, March 29th, 2021

If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | Simplifying The MarketWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

Jessica Harless | NextHome President's Circle Award

Press Release: Jessica Harless Named A President’s Circle Award Winner

March 16, 2021

NextHome recognizes Jessica Harless for her sales achievements in 2020

Pleasanton, CA — 3/16/2021 — NextHome is proud to congratulate Jessica Harless NextHome Realty Center in Cypress TX, on her achievement in receiving the President’s Circle Award. Her hard work in 2020, having sold 31 units and over $12.5M in volume, has been recognized by the NextHome franchise with this award.

The NextHome franchise, established in 2014, has experienced tremendous growth due to its consumer-focused branding, technology, and marketing. The franchise currently has 480+ offices across the country with over 4,400 members, in 48 states. Recently, the brand has been recognized as the No. 1 Franchise in the country for customer satisfaction by Franchise Business Review, ranked No. 79 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list, and No. 3344 on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies, along with many other accolades.

The NextHome franchise wouldn’t be where it is today without the “NextHomies” behind the brand. The “Humans Over Houses” slogan coined by NextHome has turned into a philosophy adopted by NextHomies as the meaning behind why they do what they do, and why they do it so well.

Recognizing hard work and dedication runs deep within the NextHome franchise through their annual Awards Program. The franchise is proud to recognize nearly 600 NextHomies for their impressive track record of sales achievements in 2020.

“Every year, I have the great privilege of congratulating each award winner on their impeccable performance from the previous year. And while this year it is through a video instead of on the main stage during our annual conference, sharing these recognitions is even more rewarding,” said James Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome, Inc. “Our NextHomies have gone through so many challenges last year due to the pandemic and tight inventory, but their underlying goal has never shifted, never faltered, they’ve continued to help families find their next home. Thank you for continuing to make a difference in the real estate industry, and in the lives of your communities.”

“NextHomies have always been much more than a real estate professional in their local communities. When your profession is to help others, that passion doesn’t stop at the end of a deal,” said Imran Poladi, Vice President of NextHome, Inc. “This past year, when each and every one of our communities experienced hurt and fear, our members stepped up to be a resource for their people. I’m overwhelmed, with hopefulness, that during a time of such negative circumstances, people were still able to reach the American Dream of homeownership thanks to hard-working, and caring, NextHome real estate professionals.”
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About NextHome, Inc.
NextHome, Inc. is an independently owned national franchisor with a focus on changing the way consumers work with local agents and shop for real estate online. The NextHome franchise has 480+ offices and 4,400+ members across 48 states. The company closes over 29,000 transactions annually worth over $8.2B in volume.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Each office is an independently owned and operated business. 

NextHome #1 in Satisfaction

NextHome Named #1 in Satisfaction by FBR

Hello everyone,

It brings us great joy, and even more humility, to announce that NextHome has been ranked the number one franchise in the country in owner satisfaction by Franchise Business Review (FBR) for 2021!

Over 300 franchise brands participated in FBR’s research in 2020. More than 28,000 franchise owners shared their feedback on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction with their franchise system. The independent survey covered areas such as training and support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, and financial opportunity.

Only seven years after its inception, our company has climbed to the very top of this list, landing the No. 1 position across all categories. This follows our No. 1 ranking in the real estate category and No. 3 overall for 2019 as announced last year.

Our entire corporate team would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you, our amazing NextHomies across the country. Without your support, we would not have the pleasure of achieving this incredible milestone together.

Thank you again and congratulations to each and every one of you!

To read more about FBR and this recognition, please click HERE.

Regards,

 

James Dwiggins
Chief Executive Officer | NextHome, Inc.
facebook.com/dwigginsj | linkedin.com/in/dwigginsj

Like our NextHome Facebook Page!

Home Prices | Jessica Harless Next Home Realty Center

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.</p

Due to the undersupply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.

There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | Simplifying The Market

I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?

Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.

Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.

Bottom Line

Originally, many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. Instead, prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values rise even higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.

Shared from Keeping Current Matters

When the Inspection report is not good...

What to do When the Inspection report isn’t good

BY AMERICAN HOME SHIELD |OCTOBER 15, 2020

Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, the home inspection can be a critical time in the real estate transaction process. When the home inspection report is good, a collective sigh of relief can often be detected from agents and clients alike. When the home inspection report isn’t good, it’s time for agents to swing into action. Here are some steps to consider:

Know your market.

To some extent, reaction to a less-than-stellar inspection report may be tempered by whether you’re dealing with a buyers’ or a sellers’ market. If it’s a buyers’ market, sellers may be on the line to fix most of the deficient items noted in the report before the deal can continue. In a sellers’ market, buyers may not have as much negotiating power. It’s important to understand the current real estate climate and explain to your clients how the market conditions factor into home inspection expectations.

Work with the other agent.

As soon as possible, contact the other agent in the transaction to discuss the inspection report findings. Acknowledge that the report contains bad news and start the conversation about next steps. As much as possible, try to get a sense of their reaction and willingness to make concessions.

Ask for more time.

The real estate contract often specifies a date or timeframe for removing the home inspection contingency. Requesting an extension of that date may give you and your clients the chance to consider the report, gather additional information or estimates, negotiate repairs, fix deficient items, or decide your next steps. If you think some extra time would help keep the deal on track, request it.

Get multiple estimates.

If the cost of repair work noted in the report concerns the buyer or the seller, gathering several quotes from qualified sources may help pinpoint what exact costs are likely to be. In some cases, repair costs may be lower than the client’s project, which can be reassuring. If the estimates come in higher than clients predict, they have the accurate information they need for negotiation and decide whether to move forward.

Communicate.

With accurate figures in hand, have a heartfelt conversation with your clients to understand how the inspection report affects their financial and emotional commitment to the deal. Be ready to communicate their position to the other agent clearly.

Negotiate.

After you’ve assessed market conditions, have an accurate understanding of costs involved, and have communicated with your clients, it’s time to negotiate. In some cases, you may be negotiating which repairs the seller needs to make before the deal can close. In other cases, you might negotiate a reduction in selling price or a credit at closing to cover the repair costs. If you’re facing an unusual inspection issue, seek advice from trusted colleagues who may have handled similar situations in the past.

Request documentation.

For everyone’s protection, specify that sellers submit documentation of repair work performed from qualified service professionals. It’s also a good idea to schedule a follow-up inspection or a walk-through to confirm that the negotiated work was satisfactorily completed.

Add American Home Shield® Home Warranty Coverage.

300,000 real estate transactions per year include American Home Shield home warranties, and for a good reason. In addition to offering important budget protection for covered items, American Home Shield coverage can help mitigate unexpected home inspection issues to keep transactions on track. Home warranty protection can also offer valuable reassurance to buyers, especially when the age or condition of covered home systems and appliances are in question.

When home inspection reports are disappointing, it’s important for clients to see their agent responding calmly and deliberately. They will always remember the valuable, professional, and steady guidance that you offer during a critical time.

For more helpful tips from our partners at American Home Shield, check out their blog!

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

Selling a home can be a process, even in a hot seller’s market.

Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center
By prepping your home a few months in advance, you can reduce your stress and increase the odds of finding a buyer quickly after listing. Take a look at this handy checklist I’ve created to ensure you know all the important steps that go into selling your home.

If at any time, you’d like to discuss the home selling process, don’t hesitate to reach out! My specialty is getting homeowners the best possible price for their home.

Download Your copy of The checklist

20200529-MEM (1)

Top Reasons to Own Your Home

Top Reasons to Own Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM
Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Some Highlights

June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

 All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary.

Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit.

As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First Americanrecently explained:

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”

Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:

“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”

And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Bottom Line

Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies. As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy.

reprint KCM.com
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?

With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home values will be impacted. The price of any item is determined by supply as well as the market’s demand for that item.

Each month the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for the REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand) during this pandemic.

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 34 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now ‘strong’ and 16 of the 50 states have a ‘stable’ demand.

Seller Supply

The index also asks: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020? | MyKCMAs the map above indicates, 46 states and Washington, D.C. reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 3 states reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 1 state reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the needs of buyers looking for homes right now.

With demand still stronger than supply, home values should not depreciate.

What are the experts saying?

Here are the thoughts of three industry experts on the subject:

Ivy Zelman:

“We note that inventory as a percent of households sits at the lowest level ever, something we believe will limit the overall degree of home price pressure through the year.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

“Housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it’s not likely to go negative.”

Freddie Mac:

“Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand.”

Bottom Line

Looking at these maps and listening to the experts, it seems that prices will remain stable throughout 2020. If you’re thinking about listing your home, let’s connect to discuss how you can capitalize on the somewhat surprising demand in the market now.

Homes Listed by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

a-buy-me-a-coffee-987096_1280

2020 Homebuying Checklist

Some Highlights:Homes Listed and Sold by Jessica Harless | nextHome Realty Center

  • If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval.
  • Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step.
  • Make sure to work with a trusted real estate professional along the way, to help guide you through the homebuying steps specific to your area.
Real Estate Trends - Covid Recovery

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will.
  • We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down.
  • Let’s connect to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move.
Homes Sold By Jessica Harless -| NextHome Realty Center

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home.

The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs.

According to the latest Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, prices have appreciated 3.5% year-over-year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports inventory has dropped 4.3% from one year ago.Have You Outgrown Your Home? | Simplifying The MarketThese two statistics are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a home and are thinking about selling. The equity in your house has likely risen as prices have increased. Even better is the fact that there’s a large pool of buyers out there searching for the American dream, and your home may be high on their wish list.

Bottom Line

If you think you’ve outgrown your home, let’s get together to discuss local market conditions and determine if now is the best time for you to sell.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Planning on Buying a Home? Be Sure You Know Your Options.

When you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to determine if you prefer the charm of an existing home or the look and feel of a newer build. With limited existing home inventory available today, especially in the starter and middle-level markets, many buyers are considering a new home that’s recently been constructed, or they’re building the home of their dreams.

According to Robert Dietz, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB),

“The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by the gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months.”

This is great news for homebuyers because it means there is additional inventory coming to the market, giving buyers more choices. The most recent data from NAHB shows,

“The inventory of new homes for sale was 321,000 in September, representing a 5.5 months’ supply. The median sales price was $299,400. The median price of a new home sale a year earlier was $328,300.”

Another added bonus is that builders are very aware of buyer demand in this segment, so they’re now building in a price range where there are more interested buyers ($299,400 instead of $328,300). With a reduced sales price and low-interest rates, today’s buyers have strong purchasing power.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may want to consider a new build to meet your family’s needs. Let’s get together to discuss the process and review what’s available in our area.

Homes Sold by Jessica Harless | nextHome Realty Center

2019 Real Trends 500 – NextHome Realty Center

Hard Work and a great team of agents (we call ourselves Homies) earned NextHomeRealtyCenter national recognition! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️And we’re growing – the sky’s the limit…🏡🏆

Three NextHome franchises were recently recognized in the 2019 REAL Trends Five Hundred Up-and-Comers list – a supplemental list to the top 500 firms representing the industry’s rising firms that closed a minimum of 500 transaction sides in 2018. The featured franchises included NextHome Experience (Worthington, Ohio), NextHome Experience (Bangor, Maine) and NextHome Realty Center (Cypress, Texas).

For 31 years, REAL Trends has been the leader in ranking the top-performing residential real estate brokerages firms. This year, over 1,250 firms qualified for the Up-and-Comers list by closing a minimum of 500 transaction sides. The 2018 Up-and-Comers list included three NextHome franchisees:

  • NextHome Experience – Worthington, Ohio closing 837 transactions
  • NextHome Realty Center – Cypress, Texas closing 634 transactions
  • NextHome Experience – Bangor, Maine closing 508 transactions

“Having three of our NextHome franchisees highlighted by the REAL Trends Up-and-Comers list is a remarkable recognition,” stated James Dwiggins, CEO of NextHome. “This accomplishment places our real estate brokerages among the industry’s elite. We are not only honored to be named, but we are beyond grateful for the hard work and dedication our NextHome franchisees are putting forth in this highly competitive industry.”

Congratulations to our NextHome offices who made this year’s list! We are honored to be in business with you today and in the future, supporting your goals any way we can!

smart Home - Jessica Harless

TOP SMART HOME TRENDS FOR 2019

If there is one thing we know about the future, it’s that smart technology will increasingly be an everyday part of our lives. And the public is ready. Each year, sales increase on voice recognition products such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Apple’s HomeKit. Currently, 60 percent of customers have one or more of these items in their homes, and each year the IoT category (Internet of Things – devices that communicates together wirelessly) increases, resulting in more smart products that would make George Jetson feel right at home.

2019 brings us even more products and advancements that show how smart tech is smarter. Here’s a look at what we’ll see during 2019.

INCREASED HOME SECURITY AND SAFETY

Home video surveillance has been a success and you will see much more of it. Updated products from doorbell companies such as Nest and Ring provide detailed video of your front door, and neighboring cameras will coordinate to allow for additional views (with your neighbor’s permission). Along with a slew of video doorbell and camera products, there are also updated smart locks that give you automatic locking capability and easy access automatically via your app or voice technology.

Additional safety features on the rise include warnings of water leaks and fires, allowing you to catch issues sooner.

CLEANING

There are continued advances with vacuum robots and this year brings us to the next level. One ongoing issue with these products is the need for constant emptying, but the iRobot Roomba i7 automatically cleans itself, reducing the frequency of manual emptying.

Vacuum robots are growing in popularity each year. They clean automatically at your schedule, avoiding stairs and ledges and attacking dirtier areas through the help of laser sight technology. And their ability to automatically leave and return to a charging station means you don’t have to lift a finger.

Other advances in the cleaning category are new self-cleaning toilets and stoves as well as wifi controlling capability for washers, dryers, stoves, and dishwashers.

HOME FRAGRANCE

Fragrances are perhaps the biggest extension of the beauty tech category. Products from companies like Kompoz and Moodo become your personalized home fragrance concierge. They use a jukebox-style system for creating ambient scents to suit your mood or occasion. Moodo’s product called MoodoGo also offers this tech for your car.

BATHROOMS

The biggest news in this category has been in smart toilets. They are now motion activated, lighting when you approach. You can talk to your AI devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant, listen to music, and even activate a light show for ambiance. Not only do these toilets provide our favorite benefits of Japanese-style features such as seat warning and bidet technology, but they are also now self-cleaning. The Kohler Numi even has a foot warmer.

Other areas of the bathroom are seeing advancements as well. There are voice-activated shower and tub controls and increased tech with mirrors that allow you to check the weather, order replacement toiletries via Amazon Replenishment, and get beauty tips from the ever-expanding line of beauty tech.

KITCHENS

There is an increased focus on AI interaction on products throughout the kitchen such as coffee makers and Instapots and even faucets. With the limitations of voice technology, there is a need for more involved smart screens that provide more information and interaction, so we are seeing interactive screens on refrigerators and stoves. Refrigerators such as the Samsung Family Hub series of refrigerators have a built-in screen that functions much like a tablet. You can download recipes off the web or download apps that specialize in all things food-related, including delivery company apps for easy ordering. You can check your calendar, create a shopping list, let your kid’s hand draw notes, and enjoy favorite TV shows and music. These screens are also handy controllers for smart home devices including doorbells, lighting, and other smart kitchen devices, communicating with AI devices such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Similar features are appearing on ovens, with additional benefits such as touch screen doors for easy-to-use controls and technology that automatically senses how long to cook an item. You can even watch your food cook on your smart device thanks to onboard cameras. You can control functions remotely and make sure it’s off when you’re not at home.

SMART TVS

For TV’s in 2019, the biggest news is they are getting larger, more detailed, and some models even fold like a roller shade such as the LG Display 65” TV. This rollaway design may make a TV’s constant presence in your living room a thing of the past. With smart tech, we are seeing a continued focus on voice recognition, allowing you to ask Alexa and other devices to start your favorite shows and adjust volume controls or pause it without a need to stare at your controller.

BABY TECH

New smart tech in baby care is working hard to make parenting easier. You can track your baby’s breathing, vital signs, and movement as well as record video and more accurately hear and speak. One surprising addition is Nanit’s creation of Breathing Wear – a swaddling blanket that works with its camera devices to provide breathing monitoring without the need for a cumbersome and uncomfortable hand or foot band.

PET TECH

It’s the dawn of a new day for pets. We are undergoing the refinement of “digital daycare,” allowing you to care for your furry friends while you are away, avoiding the cost and hassle of pet daycare. More advanced microchip technology will track your pet’s whereabouts and communicate wirelessly with pet doors, allowing your pet in and other intruders out.

There is more focus on devices that monitor, track, and report your pet’s every move using more advanced HD cameras, LCD displays, and monitor detectors. Pets can also call you, and I assure you they will. In between their calls, they will have more activities to keep them busy. They can enjoy puzzle games that provide treats, play with automatic ball launchers such as iFetch, and play specially designed game consoles with special touchpads.

There is also an increased focus on automatic feeders and waste disposals such as self-cleaning litterboxes and even a new smart toilet for dogs called InuBox.

WATCH FOR INCREASING SMART TECH IN THE FUTURE

The continued focus on smart technology means we will expect much more in the way of convenience. They will gladly take on the tasks you hate, making home life easier and more fun. It’s hard to argue with that.

reprint from luxury home marketing…

 

Affordability - Jessica Harless

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

 

Headlines spotlight the fact that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in more than a decade. Those headlines are accurate.

Understandably, buying a home is more expensive now than immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history. Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many that this lowered the prices of non-distressed homes in the same neighborhoods. As a result, mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Prices have since recovered. Mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has impacted housing affordability. However, it’s necessary to give historical context to the subject of affordability.

Two weeks ago, CoreLogic reported on what they call the “typical mortgage payment”. As they explain:

“One way to measure the impact of inflation, mortgage rates and home prices on affordability over time is to use what we call the ‘typical mortgage payment.’ It’s a mortgage-rate-adjusted monthly payment based on each month’s U.S. median home sale price. It is calculated using Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment…

The typical mortgage payment is a good proxy for affordability because it shows the monthly amount that a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to buy the median-priced U.S. home…

When adjusted for inflation, the typical mortgage payment puts homebuyers’ current costs in the proper historical context.”

Here is a graph showing the results of CoreLogic’s research:

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability | MyKCM

As the graph indicates, the most recent calculation remained 28% below the all-time peak of $1,275 in June 2006. That’s because the average mortgage rate at that time was 6.68%. As seen in the graph, both today’s typical payment and CoreLogic’sprojection for the end of the year are less than it was in January 2000.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are appreciating at a slower rate, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is an unattainable goal in most markets. It is still less expensive today than it was prior to the housing bubble and crash.

courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

Homes Listed and Sold by Jessica Harless | NextHome Realty Center

Renting vs Buying – Is now the time?

Renting vs. buying a home: Which is right for you?

Weighing the rent-versus-buy decision? Both have upsides and drawbacks. Ultimately, the answer depends on multiple factors, including your finances, your long-term plans and the real estate market in your area. Here are five questions to ask when deciding to rent or buy a home:

  1. What can you afford and how much savings do you have?
  2. How long do you plan to stay in the home?
  3. Do you want stability or flexibility to move around?
  4. Do you want to be responsible for repairs/maintenance?
  5. What are your financial, career and family goals?

Renting vs. buying a home: Calculating the costs

The first consideration in the rent vs. buy decision is often how much each will cost. If you rent a home, your monthly costs are generally fixed for the term of the lease. Your monthly rent may or may not include utilities such as electric, gas, cable or internet. Most leases require the first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent in advance. For an apartment that costs $1,000 per month, you’d typically need $3,000 up front. Keep in mind, though, that landlords can in most places increase the rent as much as they like when the lease ends or sell the property you’re renting, so you may have to move a few times.
The good news: When you’re a tenant, your landlord is generally responsible for fixing any issues with the property, whether it’s a leaky roof, a cranky furnace or a burst pipe.
You can use Bankrate’s rent vs. buy calculator to help you crunch numbers and determine whether renting or buying option is better for you.

How much house can I afford?

When buying a home, most mortgage lenders require a down payment between 3 percent and 20 percent of the home’s price. Some loans may have a lower threshold, but down payments below 20 percent will mean paying for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which is an additional monthly expense. You’ll also pay closing costs, which average 2 percent to 4 percent of the home’s price. A mortgage calculator can give you a rough estimate of your monthly payments, including your interest and principal, outlays and other expenses such as property taxes, homeowners insurance and, in some cases, homeowners association dues. A housing affordability calculator can help you determine how much house you can afford. But our financial responsibility doesn’t end with your monthly mortgage payment. You’ll also need to pay for utilities, maintenance, and repairs, whether it’s a few bucks to fix a leaky faucet or thousands to replace a roof.

With a strong local lender and an experienced REALTOR® at your side – together we can find your NextHome.

Reeal Estate Market - Jessica Harlesss

Top 3 Myths About Today’s Real Estate Market

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today’s real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage.

Today, we want to try and clear the air by shedding some light on what’s causing some of these headlines, as well as what’s truly going on.

Myth #1: We Are Headed for Another Housing Bubble

Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. Many areas of the country are at or near their peak prices achieved before the last housing bubble burst. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble.

Reality: The biggest challenge facing today’s real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes.

Historically, a normal market requires a 6-month supply of inventory in order for prices to rise with the rate of inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is currently a 4.3-month supply of inventory.

The US housing market hasn’t had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up!

Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash

Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can’t be too far off. But what is a recession?

Merriam-Webster defines a recession as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two consecutive quarters.”

Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years, there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated.

Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis Looming

Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.

There are many different affordability indexes supported by different organizations that all measure different data. For this reason, there is a lot of confusion about what “affordable” actually means.

The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home’s price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week.

Reality: As we mentioned earlier, home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 months, largely driven by high demand and low supply.

According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median income necessary to buy a home in today’s market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 – 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms.

The starter-home market has appreciated at higher levels (9.4% year-over-year) than any other market. One reason for this is the fact that many of the first-time buyers who have flocked to the starter-home market are being met with high competition. For some hopeful buyers, it may take more than a good offer to stand out from the crowd!

Bottom Line

There is a lot of confusion in today’s real estate market. If your future plans include buying or selling, make sure you have a trusted advisor and market expert by your side to help guide you to the best decision for you and your family.

real etstate technology - Jessica Harless

3 WAYS TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING REAL ESTATE

From digital open houses to Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to bitcoin cryptocurrency, new technologies are taking over the real estate industry by storm and accelerating the pace of business. With tech-savvy Millennials and Generation Y representing the largest group of homebuyers, it is important to power up your career by staying on top of these swiftly evolving trends and learning how new tech can work for you.

Over 70% of customers look for homes online and more than half of house tours are booked through a website. Now more than ever, keeping up with the latest tech can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. Learn how to leverage the real estate tech revolution with these three emerging trends:

1. Artificial Intelligence can be an intimidating and even threatening idea to some. Science fiction has conditioned us to view it as something that will ultimately overpower human intelligence and bring about our demise. But, today’s AI solutions do not dream of electric sheep yet and are used to meet a growing need for convenience and efficiency. Real estate AI platforms can range from robots giving house tours to immersive virtual tours offered from the comfort of your client’s couch. Beyond its consumer-centric approach, AI can streamline processes for agents by automating repetitive tasks, like answering questions in real-time with chatbots, and use predictive analytics to sift through large amounts of data to target hot leads.

2. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) offer a unique try-before-you-buy model in real estate. Thanks to aerial footage obtained from drones and 3D technology, your clients can now “step into” a space and have an immersive virtual experience while you assist another client. Agents may soon no longer need to spend time and money staging a space, because clients are able to personalize it with virtual furniture. Many international investors already use VR before considering a real estate purchase, and this trend will increase as the VR experience becomes more immersive and sophisticated. Allowing your clients to evaluate a space will help speed up their decision-making process and is more likely to put you in touch with an interested buyer.

3. Blockchain Technology. While Blockchain Technology is still in its infancy, it has already demonstrated its vast potential with the recent use of bitcoin currency in luxury real estate sales. Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency created by blockchain technology, is essentially a decentralized electronic money used for transactions worldwide. The appeal of this peer-to-peer currency is that it is borderless, not controlled by a monetary authority and has created a wave of new digital wealth valued at about $200 billion — in less than a decade. Despite bitcoin’s potential tax implications and tech bubble “feel”, sellers are willing to accept the currency for large-scale projects fueling speculations that bitcoins may be revolutionizing the financial sector next.

It is important for real estate professionals to adjust to these technological advances and diversify their strategies, as new tech will continue to accelerate the pace of business. Consumers will increasingly seek centralized experiences that integrate all facets of a real estate transaction. One way you can diversify your strategy is by offering an AHS® Home Warranty along with your listing. This can help save your clients’ time and reassure them that their budget is protected from unexpected covered breakdowns.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog

Interest Rates - Jeessica Harless - One 2 Sell

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
Real Estate When to Sell - Jessica Harless - One 2 Sell

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. This leads us to the main reason to sell before spring. Spring being the time when the market traditionally heats up.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2017:

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring | MyKCM

Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Viewing Homes - Jessica Harless

What To Look For When Viewing A home

Whenever you view a home for the first time (or the second)…

Walk through the entire house to get a feel for the layout.

  • Will you be able to live happily in the home as-is?
  • Are there major changes you will want to do? Be sure to consider their cost.
  • Is there adequate closet and storage space?

Check the condition of the floors.

  • Will the carpet need to be changed or removed? Check for hardwood under carpet
  • Will the hardwood refinished?.
  • If possible, check under rugs for stains or faded flooring.

Look for evidence of water.

  • take a close look at the ceilings and under windows for wet spots or water stains. Remember to check under sinks, too. In older homes with stone foundations, you are likely to find some moisture in the basement. A small amount is fine and to be expected in these homes, but a large amount of water in the basement is an issue. While you’re down there, check for mold, foundation cracks and the condition of the floor joists, if visible.

Locate the furnace, boiler, hot water heater, A/C unit, etc. You might be able to find a tag or sticker on these items with a date on it – this will give you an idea of its age. Your inspector will be able to tell you its remaining useful life.

Check out any appliances that may be staying in the home. Feel free to turn them on to make sure they work. Double check that the water line has been hooked up to the fridge, if necessary for filtered water or an ice maker.

Take a walk around the property for exterior issues. This is a good time to check for foundation issues and caulk around windows, doors, and siding.

Don’t stress yourself out about missing something – you’ll have an in-depth inspection once the property is under contract.

NextHome - Jessica Harless

THE NEXTHOME FRANCHISE ANNOUNCES 200TH FRANCHISED LOCATION

Pleasanton, CA— August 9, 2017—Real estate franchisor NextHome proudly announces the opening of their 200th office location – Palm Harbor, Florida.

The company’s growth has been unlike anything seen in the real estate industry. NextHome began franchising in January of 2015 and since launching, the company has expanded nationally into 41 states.

“To be able to grow our company from zero to 200 offices in less than 30 months has been an incredible ride,” said NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer, James Dwiggins. “It has been a humbling journey and still having the family feel while building a national network of NextHome agents and brokers has been inspiring.”

“We are looking forward to what the next 30 months has in store for our company,” added Dwiggins.

Key to the expansion has been the work of the sales team, led by NextHome’s Vice President of Sales, Charis Moreno.

“I’m excited about our company’s expansion and how quickly we have grown,” said Moreno. “But what truly impresses me is the quality of the NextHome agents and brokers that have become a part of our company. The best companies are driven by the quality of the people in it.”

Based in Pleasanton, California, NextHome’s headquarters features nearly 20 staff members dedicated to serving more than 1,600 NextHome members nationally. The team, led by NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer, Tei Baishiki, handles more than 8,500 member services inquiries per month.

With NextHome’s highly automated Intranet system, the Member Services team can focus on highly personalized, first-class interactivity with members who are in need of real estate assistance.

New additions to NextHome’s technology platform has substantially increased broker interest in franchising with the company. NextHome’s Chief Strategy Officer, Keith Robinson, focuses on identifying and implementing new products to the NextHome suite of tools. These tools include the integration and connectivity of real estate technology products such as: SmartZip, Ylopo, BombBomb, RealScout, Homespotter, and Spacio.

Once these programs have been added to the franchise’s platform, members are shown the benefits of NextHome services through various live in-person trainings, as well as online webinars. These courses, taught by NextHome’s Franchise Development Director, Mackenzie Baishiki, allow a flexible, yet interactive experience that caters to today’s REALTOR®.

With NextHome’s goal of having offices in all 50 states by mid-2018, the company looks to grow not only in total offices, but also in agent count.

“Our company has seen a pretty significant increase in agent count over the past year,” said NextHome’s Vice President of Business Development, Imran Poladi. “As our brokers get more comfortable and confident in what their NextHome brokerage has to offer, their ability to add talented agents has been exceptional.”

“I remember being in a room just three years ago with a dedicated corporate team who wanted to change the industry. And here we are, just 30 months into our journey and I’m so proud to see our company growing with productive, career-oriented REALTORS®,” added Poladi.

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Nest Home Realty Center - Jessica harless

Change is Good

NEXTHOME OPENS THREE OFFICES IN HOUSTON WITH THE LAUNCH OF NEXTHOME REALTY CENTER

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NextHome Realty Center

Gayla Skates and Stacie Schafer

Gayla Skates and Stacie Schafer

Pleasanton, CA— November 3, 2016 — NextHome is proud to announce our latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Center. The brokerage will feature three locations in the city of Cypress, Texas – Telge, Mueschke, and Fry.

The three offices will provide sales services in residential, luxury, farm and ranch, land, new construction, commercial and leases to the greater Houston Metro area that is home to over 6.3 million residents.

The brokerage will be owned and operated by 24-year real estate veteran broker, Gayla Skates, and her daughter, Stacie Schafer. Schafer will serve as the Director of Business Development for the offices.

After a decade of successful real estate sales under the RE/MAX franchise brand, Skates and Schafer are moving their highly successful brokerage to the NextHome franchise. With over 1,300 transactions annually, NextHome Realty Center positions the firm as one of the most productive real estate companies in the state of Texas.

Skates started her real estate career in 1992 with RE/MAX Preferred in Georgia. Skates quickly built her business and was recognized as the Rookie of the Year for the Northwest Georgia Association of REALTORS®. In the mid-2000s, Skates and her husband relocated to Cypress, Texas due to a job transfer and this is where she furthered her real estate success.

In November 2006, Skates fully made the commitment to helping other agents when she opened her own brokerage under the RE/MAX franchise model. In just under one year, Skates grew the company to over 30 producing real estate professionals

“As a broker, I have been very fortunate to attract some of the most experienced REALTORS® to create a brokerage that prides itself on customer service, integrity, and teamwork,”  said Skates. “We are excited that many of our agents have decided to join us on this new journey with us.” Through this culture, the office has grown to three locations in the greater Cypress Area; serving Northwest Houston, Katy, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands, and other surrounding communities.”

With over 16 years in the mortgage industry, Schafer joined the company in June of 2015 to assist in the growth of the company. As the company recruiter, Schafer brought on board 26 agents in less than six months.

As the Director of Business Development, Schafer is set to oversee the progressive changes to the office under the NextHome brand. With an increased focus on consistency in training, agent recognition, branding, office production, and family time for the agents, Skates, and Schafer pride themselves in focusing on their agents.

“We focus on the success of each and every one of our agents,” said Schafer. “We know that by focusing on agent’s productivity, success, and overall happiness, the brokerage will be successful as well.”

NextHome Realty Center offices feature significant resources for agents such as live classes in their 1,400 square foot training facility, full access to first-class technology, and accountability and coaching by the leadership team.

Please join us in welcoming Gayla, Stacie, and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Center to the NextHome family!

 

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Share-STM-1

Investors: More Sales and Higher Prices

The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. The survey revealed many characteristics of both vacation home purchasers and investors . Today, we want to concentrate on the investor real estate market and the trend toward higher prices.

The survey revealed that investment-home sales in 2015 jumped 7.0 percent to an estimated 1.09 million from 1.02 million in 2014.

Investors: More Sales and Higher Prices | Simplifying The Market

Investor Home Sales

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist discussed the increase in the number of sales:

“Despite a smaller share of distressed properties coming onto the market, investment purchases reversed course in 2015 after declining for four straight years. Steadily increasing home prices and strong rental demand appear to be giving more individual investors assurance that purchasing real estate will diversify their portfolios and generate additional income if they decide to rent out the home.”
Prices Are Also Up

The price paid by investors also increased in 2015 by 15.3%.

Investor Home Prices

Investors: More Sales and Higher Prices | Simplifying The Market

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 For Buyers, Housing Market Updates, Pricing

Home Values

Past, Present & Future Home Values

In CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, they revealed home values – appreciation in three categories: percentage appreciation over the last year, over the last month, and projected appreciation over the next twelve months.

Here are state maps for each category:>

The Past – home appreciation over the last 12 months

Past, Present & Future Home Values | Simplifying The Market

The Present – home appreciation over the last month

Past, Present & Future Home Values | Simplifying The Market

The Future – home appreciation projected over the next 12 months

Past, Present & Future Home Values | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Homes across the country are appreciating at different rates. As we have mentioned before, the rate of home price appreciation across the country is due to a strong housing market reacting to supply and demand, and not a new housing bubble.

If you plan on relocating to another state, and are waiting for your home to appreciate more, you need to know that the home you will buy in another state may be appreciating even faster.

Let’s meet up so I can guide you through your next steps and help you decide what’s right for you.

Texas Guesthouse Is Big on Style and Function

Calendar - Option Period Home Buyers

How to calculate the last day of your option period

My clients often ask me about their option period and when it ends. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) ensures compliance of state rules and regulations for all transactions in Texas.

The Texas Real Estate Option Period:

  • is at the beginning of the purchase contract period
  • is an agreed-upon number of days between the buyer and the seller, i.e., it is negotiable
  • the option money is non-refundable
  • is given directly to the seller (or seller’s agent) at the beginning of the contract, usually in the form of a personal check
  • must be delivered within 48 hours, regardless of business day or weekend
  • should not be delivered to the Title Company
  • can be extended by mutual agreement between the buyer and the seller, for an additional option payment ( also negotiable)
  • is commonly 10 or so days, to allow time for the property to be inspected and for repair quotes to be obtained
  • can be shorter, or longer – depending on the circumstances and requirements of the buyer and the seller

Option periods provide time for buyers to inspect and initiate mortgage qualification. For sellers, they provide nominal compensation for not showing their property to other buyers. Option periods are security for buyers because one can terminate for ANY reason within the option period without risking earnest money. If a buyer chooses to terminate a contract, the seller has the right to keep the amount paid for the option period (option fee).

Your Realtor uses the following method to calculate the beginning and end of an option period:

  • How do I determine the last day to terminate under my client’s 10-day option period in the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale)?
  • Since Paragraph 23, the Termination Option Paragraph, uses the word within when describing the time period, Day One of the option period is the day after the effective date of the contract.
  • For example, if your client’s effective date is January 22 with a 10-day option period, the option period will end on February 1. If your client wishes to terminate under the Termination Option Paragraph, she must provide notice to the seller by 5 p.m. local time where the property is located on February 1.

– 01/14/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff TREC

 Buying or selling a home in Cypress, Katy or the NW Houston, TX  area? Let’s talk through your questions about buying a home or/and selling your current home…

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One-2-Sell – 2015 Recap

Business plans, strategies, goals, resolution, and reflections are all part of the January landscape. If gives us a time for “do-overs,” “do-betters” and  “well that was a mistake” accountability. This is a roller-coaster of emotions, piles of paper, and long conversations.

All in all, I can say 2015, was a good year in so many ways, especially when it comes to the great people, who became clients, new friends, and of course, new homeowners!   You can see on the map – Cypress, Katy, and Northwest Houston are now home to smiling faces getting the keys to their new home.  Others smiling as they started new chapters in their lives, selling their home and moving on to their next adventure.

2016, the road ahead…  I hope to put smiles on more faces with some fabulous spaces, all in one of the greatest places to live!

 

 

 

Property tax in Texas is a locally assessed and locally administered tax. There is no state property tax. Property tax brings in the most money of all taxes available to local government to pay for schools, roads, police and firemen, emergency response services, libraries, parks and other services provided by local government.

Texas offers a variety of partial or total (absolute) exemptions from appraised property values used to determine local property taxes. A partial exemption removes a percentage or a fixed dollar amount of a property’s value from taxation. A total (absolute) exemption excludes the entire property from taxation. Taxing units are mandated by the state to offer certain (mandatory) exemptions and have the option to decide locally on whether or not to offer others (local option).

Read More at http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/proptax/exemptions.html

TRID – New Process for Real Estate Transactions

TRID Is The New TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures
•The Loan Estimate replaces the initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure & Good Faith Estimate for most closed-end mortgage loans
•The Closing Disclosure replaces the final Truth-in-Lending disclosure & HUD-1 Settlement Statement for most closed-end mortgage loans
Disclosures are required on transactions for which the creditor receives an application on or after…October 3rd, 2015

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If you are a homeowner…

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If you are a home buyer or about to become one…

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What Does it Take to Sell Your Home – A Great Listing Agent Working for You!

For most people when they decide to sell their home it is a new adventure. Some think it is just a matter of putting out a “For Sale sign and you will sell your home. However, the sign is just the Ad – not the event. You need to know what’s ahead on that road less traveled. It “takes a village” or at least an experienced, knowledgeable and qualified professional to guide you and provide their expertise. But, it also takes your commitment to tasks, timeframes, and sometimes a little “give and take!”

Always keep in the back of your mind – that everyone share a common goal – to put that “SOLD” sign on your front lawn!

Housing Shortage on the Horizon?

Mike Castleman, founder and CEO of Metrostudy, which tracks real-time data of the country’s inventory of new homes, says a housing shortage is looming that will soon will create a huge surge in demand for new homes. As such, now is the time to buy, he says.

In the 41 cities Metrostudy covers, 78,000 houses are either vacant and for sale, or under construction —that is less than a quarter of the new homes that fell in that category during the housing boom in 2006 and way below the level of a decade ago.

“If we had anything like normal levels of buying, those houses would sell in 2½ months,” says Castleman. “We’d see an incredible shortage. And that’s where we’re heading.”

The historic drop in new construction mixed with the decline in housing prices is laying the foundation for a dramatic recovery in residential real estate, Castleman told CNN. Castleman expects home owners soon will start returning, which will drive up prices in many markets later this year.

While demand remains low for new construction, he expects that to change. He foresees the recovery following a similar path as previous ones: A severe housing shortage will drive a big increase in demand.

“We’ll get a big surge in demand and the drywall companies will take a long time to ramp up, and it will take years to get new lots approved,” he predicts. “Buyers will show up looking for a house in a subdivision, and all the houses will be sold. The builders will tell them it will take six months to deliver a house.” But they’ll want the house so bad that they’ll “bid the prices up.”

Source: “Real Estate: It’s Time to Buy Again,”CNN (March 28, 2011)
Article from the REALTOR Magazine

Mortgage-Interest-Deduction-of-Unmarried-Co-Owners-Applied-on-Per-Residence-Basis

Defending the Mortgage Interest Deduction

The National Association of Realtors respond to a Jan. 1 Washington Post editorial about the idea of cutting the mortgage interest deduction. I’m as interested in deficit reduction as anyone, but I have serious reservations about actions that could dramatically harm the already fragile real estate market.
Removing this longstanding homeownership incentive just isn’t a smart move right now. Here’s an excerpt from the Jan. 2 letter submitted by Lawrence Yun (viewable here in its entirety):
“It’s a common misperception that the mortgage interest deduction benefits primarily the wealthy, as argued in the Washington Post’s January 1 editorial, ‘Trim the Excessive Tax Subsidy for Real Estate.’
“In fact, the MID actually benefits primarily middle- and lower income families. Sixty five percent of families who claim the MID earn less than $100,000 per year, and 91 percent who claim the benefit earn less than $200,000 per year. As a percentage of income, the biggest MID beneficiaries are younger middle-class families.
“… It’s no wonder, then, that most Americans support the MID. In fact, in a recent NAR survey by Harris Interactive of 3,000 home owners and renters, nearly three-fourths of home owners and two-thirds of renters said the MID was extremely or very important to them.”
Sent by NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun