With robust home price gains in 2017, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expects robust gains for the 2018 housing market. The newly enacted tax laws have created a favorable tax climate for businesses, which should spur economic growth, jobs, and wage gains, and keep single-family home production moving upward. Jan. 24th 2018
Terry Story starts Real Estate Round-Up by updating us on what new homeowners are buying for their homes these days. Unexpectedly, the #1 item is furniture, followed by appliances (which are often not included in new homes), and expensive remodeling projects with an average spend of about $11,000 in the first year of homeownership. New homeowners also spend an average of about $4,000 on furnishings after they move in. Jan. 17th 2018
Steve asks Terry for an update on real estate scams. Terry warns of For-Sale-By-Owner listings because you don’t know if the caller really owns the home or is just taking advantage of a For Sale sign outside a seller’s door. Most real estate scams involve financial transactions because of the large sums involved, such as the transfer of funds to someone other than genuine parties through email fraud or changing wiring instructions. Terry sees fraud rising as people increasingly transact online, sight unseen. Jan. 10th, 2018
Steve starts the first segment of Real Estate Round-Up for 2018 with Terry Story’s tips on the requirements to be a successful home flipper. Jan. 3rd, 2018
Switching gears, no pun intended, with major car manufacturers planning either fully autonomous vehicles or ones capable of navigating highways on their own, Steve wants to understand the impact self driving cars may have on the real estate industry. Dec. 27th, 2017
When first-time buyers move into a home, they’ve often depleted their savings to make the down payment but are still keen on making a few changes, such as a new carpet, a paint job, or minor remodels to make their homes more comfortable. As a result, they may be tempted to go with the lowest bid, which would be a mistake because low bids involve cheaper material and less attention to detail. For instance, cheap paint the first time around would lower cost but may require a re-paint much sooner than if the first-time home buyer went with higher quality paint. Short-term savings could, thus, result in increased long-term costs.
Instead, Terry wants homeowners to focus on quality with better materials and good workmanship so they can reduce long-term costs. Dec 20, 2017
With more millennials becoming home buyers, it’s important that they know how to budget for a home so they aren’t overly stretching themselves. As opposed to renters having to worry only about a single monthly payment, homeowners have to add up monthly mortgage payments, annual property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and association fees if your house is part of an HOA or equivalent, and home maintenance expenses such as wear and tear, minor and major repairs, gardener expenses, etc. Also factor in property tax, insurance, and HOA price increases over time. Buyers with mortgage down-payments of less than 20% may also have to add-in Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Dec. 13th, 2017
While it sounds absurd, homes are apparently more affordable now than they were 20 years ago. Although the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home is $100 higher than a year ago, as of September 2017, mortgages on a median-priced home (also called the payment-to-income ratio) took a 21.4% bite of median nationwide income, which is significantly down from 24.2% from 1995 to 1999, and 26.2% from 2000 to 2003. Terry’s message to buyers on the sidelines: While prices have risen, this is a great time to buy; so don’t wait, buy now!
Dec 6, 2017
This week’s Real Estate Round-Up starts with Steve asking Terry about the potential impact on real estate of the new tax reform bills doing the rounds in the Congress and the Senate.
Nov 29, 2017
Steve wants Terry’s point of view as an agent on the best time for someone to buy a home. Unsurprisingly, Terry says “Absolutely right now, no question about it!” And on Steve’s follow-up on the best time for somebody to sell, her response is a solid “Oh, absolutely, no question, right now!” Steve jokingly remarks that that’s been Terry’s stance from the first time they did Real Estate Round-Up together and hasn’t changed one inch! Nov 22, 2017
Changing gears, Steve wants to talk about an article in the New York Times about the explosion of rental units across the country. Terry mentions an uptick in the housing market and increasing home-ownership rates as millennials reach the age where they’re forming families and settling down. Even so, home-ownership is still below its historic norm of 65% and future growth could be slowed by rising interest rates and an overhaul of the tax code, which could take away the mortgage interest deduction on Federal taxes. Nov 15, 2017
Switching gears, Steve poses a listener’s question for the Real Estate Survival Guide segment, which asks if it’s wise to add a child’s name to older adults’ deeds. While this may seem like a good idea on the face of it, Terry believes it may not be all that wise. When you add an adult child to the deed, you’re also giving them permission to say “no” to selling your house, so if you need the money or decide you want to sell the house and travel, your child could refuse and that could be a problem. Nov 8, 2017