As the spring market approaches, keep in mind that mortgage interest rates have fallen by over a full percentage point compared to Q4 of 2018. In fact, according to a recent report from Freddie Mac, the nation’s weekly average for new home mortgages was as low as 3.46%. That’s huge news for buyers in the market who are looking to get more for their money in 2020.
Now, many experts and economists expect home mortgage rates to remain low throughout 2020 and likely into next year. That’s even more good news for homebuyers entering the market, especially considering that home prices are only expected to increase modestly.
However, it’s not all good news for homebuyers. In many segments of the market, especially locally, low rates coupled with low inventory have made some areas very competitive. I’ve seen properties in desirable neighborhoods with up to 20 offers on them.
The bottom line is that even small changes in mortgage rates can affect your purchasing power and ultimately, your monthly housing costs. If buying a home is on your shortlist, the best thing you can do is align yourself with a market expert who can help you keep track of how the market is changing, how interest rates are changing, and help you make an informed decision.
If you have any questions or comments about your own situation or goals for the year, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling in 2020, there are five key reasons to hire a professional to help with your transaction:
5. Contracts. A professional agent will not only help you understand all the disclosures contracts to stay safe in our highly litigious world, but they’ll also understand the nuances and tools that lay deep within the contract to position you for success as it relates to contingencies or timelines. This is especially true for sellers who also need to buy a replacement home.
4. Experience. Experience and education about the sales process are valuable to any buyer or seller in the market. Here, ‘experience’ doesn’t mean the agent’s time in the industry, but rather how much they’ve done the particular thing you’re hiring them to do. Find an agent who knows all the ins and outs of the road ahead of you.
3. Negotiations. We’ll act as a buffer between all parties involved in the transaction. I like to negotiate strategically to put my clients in the best position based on my experience and understanding of the contract. I’ll use that as leverage to get the most out of negotiations as possible while ultimately advocating for their best interests.
2. Pricing. Helping clients understand pricing in today’s market has become more interesting as information has become more accessible through the internet. As professionals, it’s our job to help verify and increase the accuracy of our clients’ listing and offer prices. The real value comes from helping them understand the opportunity and/or leverage point that exists within the price. For example, we can tell sellers whether it makes sense to price your home slightly under market value to leverage it into a higher price. We’ll also help buyers understand how to compete within their desired price range.
1. Knowledge. Professional agents have their finger on the pulse of the market; they can simplify and explain what current market conditions mean for you, as well as inform you about opportunities.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, or you need professional assistance with your transaction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We hope to speak with you soon!
As a home-improvement enthusiast myself, today I’ll share the top four home renovations in terms of the kind of return you’ll get on your investment:
1. Garage door replacement. Garage doors can be the main focal point of your home. The average replacement costs about $3,600, and you can expect to recoup around 98% of that cost.
2. Landscape improvements. Don’t get too extravagant here; we’re talking about replacing sod, planting flowers, and maybe installing some rock formations. Sprucing up your landscaping can boost your curb appeal, which always gives a good return on your investment—a 95% return, on average.
3. Kitchen remodel. This is not only a great opportunity to add value to your home, but also a way to increase your enjoyment while you live there, be it for entertaining or handling your day-to-day cooking. The average kitchen remodel costs a little over $20,000 and you can get an 80% return on your investment.
4. Wood deck additions. If you’re lucky enough to have a large backyard, a wood deck addition can really enhance the usability of that space, allowing you to host more people and enjoy the outdoors more often. The average cost is upwards of $10,000 and your return on investment will be around 75%.
Use these tips to help get you started on any home improvements you’re considering for 2020. Remember that every home and neighborhood is different, so what may be good in one place isn’t necessarily going to be as good in another.
If you have any questions about your upcoming project or home improvement in general, feel free to reach out to us. I’d be happy to discuss your plans and even refer you to a trusted vendor. Hope to hear from you soon!
There are four compelling reasons to sell your home this winter:
1. Buyer demand is strong. In many areas in the Sacramento region, multiple buyers are competing against each other for the same home—especially in entry-level or first-time buyer markets. There’s a great opportunity to take advantage of this increase in demand.
2. There is less competition. Inventory is very low right now, which means there are fewer homes for sale than there are interested buyers. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes on the market this spring.
3. Buyers are serious this time of year. Traditionally, sellers think spring is the best time to sell because of the potential of more buyers in the market. However, buyers who shop for homes in the winter—when it’s rainy, cold, and wet—are eager to find a home quickly. It only makes sense to list your home while other sellers wait.
4. There may never be a better time to move up. There’s more active inventory in higher price ranges, which means it’s a great time to sell your starter home and move up into your dream home if you’ve been thinking of doing so. Additionally, home prices are expected to appreciate by 4% to 5% next year, so it will cost you more in raw dollars if you wait.
The bottom line is that selling your home and moving up sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
Of course, everyone’s situation is different, so if you’d like to discuss what your next move should be or if you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.