Economic Indicators That Will Help You Understand the Housing Market

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Apr 182019
 

Economic Indicators That Will Help You Understand the Housing Market

From home prices and sales to construction and mortgage rates, these are the real estate gauges to watch.

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Look carefully at year-over-year changes between home prices, the number of sales and available homes to better interpret the future direction of the housing market. (Getty Images)

Concern seized the U.S. housing market in late 2018, prompting discussion about an impending slowdown, a recession even. After home prices skyrocketed earlier in the year, the back half of last year ushered a softening that invoked comparisons to the real estate crash of a decade ago. Yet by the onset of 2019, anxiety seemed to have thawed as the billowing headwinds failed to topple the market.

“The U.S. real estate market looks like it is on solid ground” this year, says Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at business intelligence firm CoreLogic.

Another housing market crisis is unlikely in the immediate future, primarily because the trouble-prompting factors of the mid-2000s aren’t present today. In the pre-bust period, subprime loans stirred up demand and hurled the market into overdrive, whereas today, tight supply reigns, coupled with stern mortgage requirements.

This peculiarity, however, spawns its own issues. High home prices and low inventory, which dominated 2018, erode affordability that further suffers when mortgage rates spike. Such “pain points,” McLaughlin says, often fester rather gradually, as the real estate market moves slowly compared to the stock market.

Even with a slow-moving market, certain industry indicators offer a prognosis to buyers, sellers and investors alike. Several such gauges, when measured collectively, could measure the vitality of mostly any housing market under nearly any economic condition.

Here are the indicators you should keep an eye on to better understand the future of the housing market:

  • Home prices
  • Home sale volume
  • Construction
  • Available housing inventory
  • Mortgage rates

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https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/economic-indicators-that-will-help-you-understand-the-housing-market

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

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Apr 112019
 

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

For the millennial generation, homeownership can still be intimidating. Here’s what you should consider before making an offer.

Female realtor discussing documents with couple

Buying a home is easier when you’ve first taken stock of your financial situation and what you expect the next few years to look like. (Getty Images)

What does it take to activate a millennial homebuyer? Are the reports true that the younger generations prefer renting over homeownership, the American dream? As the market indicates and many real estate professionals can attest to, that’s not the case. Millennials do want to own a home, but many don’t know how to navigate this field. After all, it is the largest purchase most people ever make, and requires many considerations.

So, how does the traditional process of buying a home jive with this technologically savvy generation that is used to relying on data derived from computers? More importantly, how do you know when you’re ready to buy, and how do you know what to buy? There’s no right or wrong way to answer any of these questions, and how you move toward homeownership is based on a variety of factors, both deeply personal and connected to the real estate industry overall.

Here are five important things to consider and questions this generation can ask themselves to figure it out:
  • Money matters.
  • How long you plan to live there.
  • Timing.
  • The online marketplace.
  • Expert advice.
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How to Sell Your House in a Buyer’s Market

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Apr 032019
 

How to Sell Your House in a Buyer’s Market

A row of houses in a suburban American neighborhood

A buyer’s market doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell your home, but you do need to put in the effort to attract the right buyer.

The tables have turned across the U.S. as the real estate market has shifted from a seller’s to a buyer’s market, which means that more homes are for sale than there are buyers to purchase them. Gone are the days of listing a home and it selling overnight simply because of its mere existence, as if it were the last home to be had. In many parts of the country, buyers had felt lucky and accomplished just for winning a bidding war for a property.

Those days are over and now sellers have to do everything perfectly, from initial pricing to marketing strategy, in order to sell their properties on a reasonable timeline. But not everything about this shift is unfavorable for sellers and their agents.

There are a few things sellers can do to ensure the buyer’s market doesn’t get the best of them. This new set of rules is critical to follow in any market as it forces both sellers and agents to think carefully about all aspects of the transaction process, and the importance of getting it right the first time around.

Here are five details to focus on while you prepare your house to sell in a buyer’s market:

  • Pricing
  • Staging
  • Marketing
  • Showings
  • Attitude Adjustment

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https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/how-to-sell-your-house-in-a-buyers-market

4 Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home

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Mar 282019
 

4 Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home

You can improve your home with green features, but you don’t have to sacrifice a sleek design.

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Make your home a little more green by incorporating smart home technology, like a smart thermostat to keep energy usage down. (Getty Images)

Selling a home is no longer solely dependent on prime location and high-end amenities. Today’s luxury homebuyers are seeking homes that have eco-friendly features or design elements, and sustainability has never before been such a hot topic in everyday real estate.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 report on sustainability in real estate, 71 percent of members note that promoting energy efficiency in listings is valuable to them. Savvy buyers are acutely aware of the importance of protecting the planet and have been increasingly drawn to homes with the perfect balance of rich architecture and sustainable features. As the focus on environmentally friendly living continues to grow, there are several ways you can easily upgrade your home with green features without sacrificing a sleek design.

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https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/4-eco-friendly-upgrades-for-your-home?int=undefined-rec

Everything You Need to Know About a Pending Home Sale

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Mar 212019
 

Everything You Need to Know About a Pending Home Sale

As the buyer, seller or interested outside party, here’s what you need to do while a real estate deal is pending.

Red and white

Few home sales fall through once they reach pending status, but that doesn’t mean all parties don’t have plenty of work to complete before closing day. (Getty Images)

Few moments are as exciting for both a home seller and homebuyer than the moment that “sold” badge is added to the For Sale sign in front of your property. But when you drive through neighborhoods, especially as you’re house hunting, you may see the occasional “sale pending” badge posted instead.

But what does it mean when a property is pending?

A pending home sale takes place after the seller has accepted an offer and the contract between both parties has been signed. When a home sale is pending, it is no longer considered an active listing on the local multiple listing service, which is where agents provide information on available properties. Public sites for marketing properties, including Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, also pull listing information from the local MLS. When a property is taken off the market on the MLS, its availability is also removed from those websites.

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https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-a-pending-home-sale?int=undefined-rec