Reno Real Estate and Community News

July 26, 2021

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

 

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

A Shortage of Homes for Sale

Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:

“In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.” 

This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we’re experiencing small gains in the number of available homes for sale, inventory remains a challenge in most states. That’s why it’s still a sellers’ market, giving homeowners immense leverage when they decide to make a move.

Buyer Competition and Bidding Wars

Today’s ongoing low supply, coupled with high demand, creates a market characterized by high buyer competition and bidding wars. Buyers are going above and beyond to make sure their offer stands out from the crowd by offering over the asking price, all cash, or waiving some contingencies. The number of offers on the average house for sale broke records this year – and that’s great news for sellers.

The latest Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average home for sale receives five offers (see graph below):Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCMFor buyers, the best way to put a compelling offer together is by working with a local real estate professional. That agent can act as your trusted advisor on what terms are best for you and what’s most appealing to the seller.

Home Price Appreciation 

The competition among buyers is driving prices up. Over the past year, we’ve seen home price appreciation rise across the country. According to the most recent Home Price Index (HPI) from CoreLogic, national home prices increased 15.4% year-over-year in May:

“The May 2021 HPI gain was up from the May 2020 gain of 4.2% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2005. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices.”

Rising home values are a big part of why real estate remains one of the top sought-after investments for Americans. It also means it’s a great time to list your house to maximize the return on your investment for potential sellers.

A Rise in Home Values and Equity

The equity in a home doesn’t just grow when a homeowner pays their mortgage – it also grows as the home’s value appreciates. Thanks to the jump in price appreciation, homeowners across the country see record-breaking gains in home equity. CoreLogic recently reported:

“…homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.”

That’s a major perk for households to leverage. Homeowners can use that equity to accomplish major life goals or move into their dream homes.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there’s no time like the present. Let’s connect to talk about how you can take advantage of the conditions we see today to meet your homeownership goals.

Posted in Market Updates
June 8, 2021

In Today’s Market, Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

In Today’s Market, Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

In Today’s Market, Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price | MyKCM

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home never really changed. A homeowner would try to estimate the market value of their house, then tack on a little extra to give themselves some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home. As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation. The actual sales price would almost always be somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.

Today is different.

The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand is leading to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, homes today often sell for more than the list price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.

According to Lawrence YunChief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes are being sold above list price.”

You may need to change the way you look at the asking price of a home.

In this market, you likely can’t shop for a home with the former approach of negotiating to a lower price.

Due to the low supply of houses for sale, many homes are now being offered in an auction-like atmosphere in which the highest bidder wins the home. In an actual auction, the seller of an item agrees to take the highest bid, and many sellers set a reserve price on the item they’re selling. A reserve price is the minimum amount a seller will accept as the winning bid.

When navigating a competitive housing market, think of the list price of the house as the reserve price at an auction. It’s the minimum the seller will accept in many cases. Today, the asking price is often becoming the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. Therefore, if you really love a home, know that it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. So, as you’re navigating the homebuying process, make sure you know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted advisor who can help you make all the right moves as you buy a home.

Bottom Line

Someone who’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than that of today may think it’s foolish to offer more for a home than the listing price. However, frequent and competitive bidding wars are creating an auction-like atmosphere in many real estate transactions right now. Let’s connect today so you have a trusted real estate professional on your side to provide the best advice on how to make a competitive offer on a home.

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 11, 2021

Experts Say Home Prices Will Continue to Appreciate

Experts Say Home Prices Will Continue to Appreciate

Experts Say Home Prices Will Continue to Appreciate | MyKCM

It’s clear that consumers are concerned about how quickly home values are rising. Many people fear the speed of appreciation may lead to a crash in prices later this year. In fact, Google reports that the search for “When is the housing market going to crash?” has actually spiked 2450% over the past month.

In addition, Jim Dalrymple II of Inman News notes:

“One of the most noteworthy things that came up in Inman’s conversations with agents was that every single one said they’ve had conversations with clients about whether or not the market is heading into a bubble.”

To alleviate some of these concerns, let’s look at what several financial analysts are saying about the current residential real estate market. Within the last thirty days, four of the major financial services giants came to the same conclusion: the housing market is strong, and price appreciation will continue. Here are their statements on the issue:

Goldman Sachs’ Research Note on Housing:

“Strong demand for housing looks sustainable. Even before the pandemic, demographic tailwinds and historically-low mortgage rates had pushed demand to high levels. ... consumer surveys indicate that household buying intentions are now the highest in 20 years. … As a result, the model projects double-digit price gains both this year and next.”

Joe Seydl, Senior Markets EconomistJ.P.Morgan:

“Homebuyers—interest rates are still historically low, though they are inching up. Housing prices have spiked during the last six-to-nine months, but we don’t expect them to fall soon, and we believe they are more likely to keep rising. If you are looking to purchase a new home, conditions now may be better than 12 months hence.”

Morgan Stanley, Thoughts on the Market Podcast:

“Unlike 15 years ago, the euphoria in today's home prices comes down to the simple logic of supply and demand. And we at Morgan Stanley conclude that this time the sector is on a sustainably, sturdy foundation . . . . This robust demand and highly challenged supply, along with tight mortgage lending standards, may continue to bode well for home prices. Higher interest rates and post pandemic moves could likely slow the pace of appreciation, but the upward trajectory remains very much on course.”

Merrill Lynch’s Capital Market Outlook:

“There are reasons to believe that this is likely to be an unusually long and strong housing expansion. Demand is very strong because the biggest demographic cohort in history is moving through the household-formation and peak home-buying stages of its life cycle. Coronavirus-related preference changes have also sharply boosted home buying demand. At the same time, supply is unusually tight, with available homes for sale at record-low levels. Double-digit price gains are rationing the supply.”

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 6, 2020

Should You Accept the Previous Buyer’s Inspection Report?

Sometimes a home falls out of contract. Most buyers assume that it is related to a bad home inspection, but there are many reasons for a home to come back on the market that are unrelated to the condition of the home. During the contingency period, most buyers can cancel for almost any reason – or even no reason.

Of course, the listing agent and seller are motivated to get the home back under contract as quickly as possible and may offer the previous buyer’s home inspection report to the new buyer. Some may even ask that the new buyer remove their right to a home inspection, based on the one they offer.

If you have been offered the previous buyer’s inspection report, you’re probably wondering if you should accept it and remove that contingency. In a fast-moving seller’s market, it might be tempting, but before you accept the report, there are a few considerations:

• Before accepting the inspection, do your research. Who did the inspection? Is it a reputable, licensed home inspector? Check public review sites for comments and customer satisfaction. Check their license with the issuing board and see if they have had any violations or suspensions.

• Once you verify the company, give them a call. Make sure they have performed a comprehensive inspection. Many companies offer both a comprehensive and a simpler, cheaper, visual inspection.

• Finally, read the report carefully. If there are issues discovered, ask for clarification and consider paying for the inspector to meet you at the home to discuss the report in person with you.

Accepting the home inspection might seem like a good idea – both to make your offer more appealing to the seller and to save a few dollars – but before you remove the home inspection contingency, do your homework. Make sure you understand the real condition of the property before you buy it.

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 30, 2020

Happy Nevada Day!

Happy Nevada Day, everyone! I hope you all have a safe and festive holiday weekend. 

Posted in Community News
Oct. 23, 2020

Keeping Up With Smart Homes

It seems almost everything is connected these days. Want to check the temperature of your oven from outside? See how much milk you have in the refrigerator from the market? It’s possible! You can now control almost every aspect of your home from your smartphone. Yet with all this connectivity, you need a powerful internet network. If you’ve suddenly realized you have “dead spaces,” then it might be time to consider a mesh network.

A basic wifi network relies on the antennae of the router to reach all the connected devices. A mesh network uses a series of access devices that connect to the main hub and each other – forming a mesh of coverage. This helps eliminate the dead spaces because, in essence, you are creating overlapping wireless zones.

Smart devices benefit from the mesh network system. Unlike extenders that have their own identity, every device in a mesh network has the same name. This provides seamless coverage as smart products move between connectors. For example, items such as camera systems or multiple thermostats stay on the same network, allowing them to better coordinate with each other.

The smarter our homes become, the greater the strain on our internet connections. Mesh networks are just one way to ensure the best possible coverage throughout your home and property. Smart products are only valuable when they are online. 

Oct. 16, 2020

Local Pumpkin Patches are Open!

Happy spooky season, everyone! Get in the Halloween spirit by visiting one of our great local pumpkin patches. These are the three that are open for business and COVID compliant! 

Posted in Community News
Oct. 9, 2020

Working From Home? What Home Buyers Are Looking for Now

With major employers now stating that their employees will be working from home for the foreseeable future, many homebuyers have adjusted their list of desirables in their next home. Some not only need to plan for a home office space, but also need to accommodate the homeschooling or distance learning needs of their children as well.

This is impacting the way homes are marketed and the type of features that have become important to buyers at all price points. Of course, homebuyers with larger budgets have the luxury of seeking homes with extra bedrooms or offices and dens already included. But many buyers are not as fortunate and need to find the needed space in more creative ways.

The easiest way to add working space is within the bedrooms. This offers the ability to close a door for privacy. Larger bedrooms (both in master and secondary bedrooms) have been a top priority for homebuyers. Another important feature is an open floorplan which features a Great Room design. For generations, kids have done their homework at the kitchen table, and a spacious kitchen/family room combo makes it easier for home learning without becoming cluttered. Another option for homebuyers is a separate formal dining room which could be converted to a workspace.

With all the changes in working and learning environments for both adults and kids, the home is even more important than ever. As needs change, homebuyers seek different features from their new dwellings. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 2, 2020

Downsizing? What to Do with Your Stuff

Whether you call it downsizing or rightsizing, the bottom line is you’re moving into a smaller space and have no idea what to do with all the stuff you’ve collected over the years. Many people consider moving from a larger home to a smaller home at some point in their lives. Often this move is made after the childrearing years, when homeowners no longer need the extra bedrooms or living space, and want less home to worry about (or to clean!). The problem is that they have accumulated items to fill the space that they aren’t ready to part with, yet all their stuff won’t fit in a smaller home.

If you’re considering this type of downsizing, begin by sorting your possessions into three piles: keep, donate, trash. After trashing, donating, and storing what you can, here are some clever ways to store your stuff in the new, smaller space.

• Dual-Purpose Furniture – Find furniture that offers hidden storage, such as a coffee table or ottoman with storage compartments for extra pillows, throw blankets, games, or books.

• Baskets and Cubes – There are a lot of great options for cube storage units that incorporate baskets to store extra items for easy access when needed.

• Digitize – This is the perfect time to put your important papers and pictures into a digital format. From treasured pictures to tax forms, there are companies who specialize in transferring your items for later access.

• Repurpose – Take a careful look at your furniture…and Pinterest. You’ll find great ways to use some of your favorite pieces in different and useful ways.

• Closets – Consider a closet consultation to make sure you maximize your closet space, not only in the bedrooms but also in your kitchen pantry and hall coat closet.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything you love. Take a hard look at what matters and then use some of these tricks to store the items you treasure without adding clutter to your new home. 

Sept. 25, 2020

Self-Employed? What You Need to Know about Financing a Home in 2020

Self-employed borrowers have always had to jump through a few hoops to finance or refinance their homes. Without a traditional paycheck, lenders look for other ways to document income. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many business owners and delayed tax return filings. As a result, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have enacted changes in the way the mortgage industry processes home loan applications (as of June 11, 2020).

Income Verification

Self-employed borrowers are typically verified by the most recent two years of income tax filings. As a result of the pandemic, those two years might not give a current or accurate picture of the borrower’s income. As the borrower is seeking to secure a loan before the next filing period, underwriters are now requiring a signed Profit and Loss Statement (P&L) from these borrowers.

Profit and Loss Statements

As part of the underwriting process, self-employed applicants must provide an audited or self-generated P&L statement for the current 2020 period. The statement must not be older than 60 days and must include:

• Expenses

• Net Income

• Business Depository Account Statements (two most recent)

• Business Revenue

In addition, the borrower must provide their most recent personal bank statements which should support the P&L statement.

Professional Advice

Self-employed loan applicants have always faced challenges when seeking a home loan. Now more than ever, it’s important to understand the requirements and work with a mortgage professional to ensure the loan application is packaged correctly with all the needed documentation. Lenders are still approving home loans, but with these changes put in place to minimize risk as the mortgage industry works through the challenges of this pandemic. 

Posted in Real Estate News