3 Reasons you should buy a house now.

3 Reasons you should buy a house now.

One of the most common questions I get ask is “How is the market?”, and I normally answer “It depends”. Many times this gets people confused and seems like a sales answer, but it really depends.

When someone is telling a story about a restaurant they visited, what is the most common question? “How was the food?”, right? It depends. Some people may love it, while others would never go to the place. The same thing is with the real estate market. It depends on whether you are looking to buy or sell, in what area, the price range, fixer-upper or turn key…All this factors into how to get a straight answer.

Over the last few years, the market was great for most sellers, but for buyers, not so much. There were not enough choices, and even when you found a house, there were sometimes dozens of other buyers making an offer on the same house. Anyone considering buying a house was very frustrated. However, we know that market is cyclical and eventually it will level off. Good news for all the buyers, that level is happening right now.

Here are the 3 reasons you should buy a house now.

  1. Relatively high inventory. Over the last few years, the DFW area has seen tremendous growth. More people moving to the area needing a place caused the shortage of inventory. It took a few years, but this year it has finally caught up, and there are more homes available for sale. Better yet, now you have more choices on new homes as well (little secret: builders are more willing to negotiate).
  2. Low interest rate. In January of this year (2018), the interest rate was 4.03% (FreddieMac). By July the rate went up to 4.53%, only a .5% difference. However, on a $300,000 loan that would translate about $88/mo PI extra (Principal and Interested). Applying that extra to your payment at a lower interest, you would pay off your mortgage about 3.5 years sooner. Most lenders I have spoken to are predicting that the rate will go up another .5-1% in the next year.
  3. Less competition. Most homes are sold in the summer months, that’s when the competition is the strongest. This competition drives the prices up too. However, as the school year starts, many buyers put off moving to the next year. This is the right opportunity for you as a buyer, as you won’t have as much competition from other buyers driving the price up.

Please note that this may not apply to all markets and situations. Its best to talk to your trusted Real Estate agent, Lender, or Financial advisor.

Lastly, if you want to lower your tax burden and increase your net worth, according to many economist and financial advisors, owning real estate is about the best thing you can invest in. Ever wonder why wealthy people own so many homes?

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How to Make a New House Your Own

How to Make a New House Your Own

By Julea Joseph, guest contributor

The keys are in your buyer’s hands! They’ve gone through the process … the search, deciding, inspection, stress, closing, and finally, the elation of buying a new home. Now, they have to make it their own. Here’s how.

Color –  Paint is the least expensive, easiest way to update a space.  It can individualize a room and put your personal stamp on your home. Pick your color style: From modern farmhouse neutrals to Boho bold colors. Whatever is in your style files (Pinterest, HOUZZ, tear-sheets), color can showcase it. And color doesn’t have to be just on the walls. If you want to keep the wall color simple, infuse color with your furniture, art, or accessory choices. Get your craft on by painting a piece of furniture, or recover your dining chairs seats with new fabric. Try trending wallpaper on a single accent wall or powder room. Create a signature look with a statement making front door color. With color, the change is quick, easy and all you.

Photo credit: Benjamin Moore

Your Favorite Things –  A home should hold your beautiful art, furniture, passed down family treasures, and loved flowers in your garden beds.  Simple daily rituals with favorite things, cozy slippers slipped on at the end of day, or tossing your keys into that old bowl, will infuse you into the home. It could be something new that defines your new chapter of home. That perfect comfy sofa you spied, a fresh new style that you’ve wanted to try out, fun new pillows to add a splash to a patio set. By incorporating these favorite things, you’ll become instantly grounded in your new space.

Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space

Make Your Bed! – A bed is your personal haven and cocoon. Dressing your bed makes your home environment feel luxurious. Even if the bedroom still has boxes, you can sleep well with a beautifully made bed. I like to mix old with new. New, fresh, very fancy (the best you can afford) sheets, a stylish linen duvet set slipped over your old favorite down comforter and pillows. Pair the bedding with Grandma’s quilt or your favorite throw at the end of the bed and you’ll be ready for a great night’s sleep.

Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space

Room to Room – This is where you channel Frances Mayer, the character from “Under the Tuscan Sun” – by going room to room to make it yours. Don’t try to tackle the entire home’s decorating and styling needs, instead, try to work on the spaces you spend the most time in first.

Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space

Five Senses – Nothing says home more than seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and feeling your favorites things of home. Put out those family photos, beloved books, play music, light some candles in your favor scent, open your favorite wine, and curl up on that fluffy sofa and celebrate home.

Photo credit: Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space

This post originally appeared at Reinventing Space. Reprinted with permissions. Copyright 2018. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julea Joseph is the owner and lead designer at Reinventing Space in Chicago. Visit her website and blog at Julea.com.

Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

Hot Home Trend: Edison Bulbs

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Does your listing’s lighting need a contemporary makeover? Edison bulbs may be the answer. These clear glass light bulbs, in which the center is exposed, have a nostalgic-like appearance and let out a nice warm glow. They stand out, instead of allowing your lighting to blend in.

Edison bulbs may best fit in an industrial décor style, but we’re seeing them weaved more and more into other design styles too.

Table lamps, chandeliers, and pendant lights are getting an Edison-bulb upgrade. Not to mention, they’re popular outside at the moment too with stringed Edison-style bulbs to entertain your outdoor spaces. (Read: Add a Party Vibe to Your Outdoor Staging)

Check out some stylish ways Edison bulbs are being used in different home styles.

March 2018 Housing Affordability Index

March 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.42 percent this March, up 8.2 percent compared to 4.28 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in March moving the index down 7.0 percent from 150.4 to 161.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in March in the US was $252,111 up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 35 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.5 percent. The South had an increase of 6.0 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 5.1 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 3.5 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.2 percent. The South had a decline of 7.3 percent followed by the Midwest with a drop of 5.7 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 2.7 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all four regions. The West had a decline of 4.7 percent followed by the Northeast with a dip of 5.6 percent. The South had a drop of 5.9 percent followed by the Midwest, which had the biggest; dip in affordability of 8.6 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 194.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.6. For comparison, the index was 151.8 in the South, and 163.5 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down 2.5 percent. Mortgage credit availability in April was flat. Rates are rising which will increase-housing costs. Home prices are up 5.9 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.7 percent. Inventory gains will help ease the pressure on home prices.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

Top 5 features that home buyers don’t like

If you are thinking about selling your house and figuring out where to invest for the highest return on your investment, consider these few updates. According to a new Taylor Morrison consumer survey, 70% of new or prospective home buyers report having outdated features in their homes. Here are the top 5 outdated features:

  1. Linoleum floors 40%
  2. Popcorn ceiling 29%
  3. Wood paneling 28%
  4. Ceramic tile countertops 28%
  5. Shag carpeting 19%

Number 6 was listed as avocado green appliances. Does anyone still have those?

  • Linoleum floors 40% 40%
  • Popcorn ceiling 29% 29%
  • Wood paneling 28% 28%
  • Ceramic tile countertops 28% 28%
  • Shag carpeting 19% 19%

…and a few features new home buyers hope for.

  • Better energy efficiency 62% 62%
  • Personalized floor plans 58% 58%
  • Easier maintenance 56% 56%
While you may not be able to change the floor plan, improving efficiency by adding more insulation in the attic, and re-sealing or replacing weather stripping around windows and doors will definitely improve the efficiency. You may even consider replacing older appliances with newer, more energy efficient ones. Also, you may love your blooming flowers in the flower bed, but many buyers will see it as more work. Consider a simple, low-maintenance yard.

The interior

Wood flooring came in as the most essential feature in any home, followed by tech features like USB and Ethernet plugs. In my experience, many buyers were hoping for a few other tech features like a smart thermostat, doorbell, and even garage door opener. According to the study, millenials preferred jetted tubs, a home theatre, and a wine cellar/refrigerator over the older generation. A dining room is still very desirable, however 65% of millennials are using it for other purposes. As for interior color, 77% want soft natural tones. However, deep, rich tones may be taking over, as 59% of millennials want the interior painted with darker colors.

  • Wood flooring 65% 65%
  • USB and Ethernet ports 44% 44%

Whirlpool tub

  • Millenial 39% 39%
  • Older generations 32% 32%

Home theater

  • Millenial 30% 30%
  • Older generations 24% 24%

Wine refrigerator or cellar

  • Millenial 21% 21%
  • Older generations 12% 12%
Source: “Home Is Where the Shag Carpet Is?” BUILDER (Nov. 16, 2017)

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

Living in Texas, most people have heard about foundation shifting, a house needing a lift. But have you ever wondered how much your house weighs? Or what it would take to get it lifted with balloons?

As a rule of thumb around the construction industry, a single story home weighs about 200 lb/sf.; 2 story – about 275 lb/sf.; and 3 story – about 300 lb/sf.

Based on this little information, here is a fun little game to play. Can you guess how many balloons it would take to lift your house? Don’t forget to include the garage.

Up, Up and Away... SOLD

12 + 7 =