We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not, we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.
No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. Owning your home is an accomplishment worth celebrating
You’ve likely worked very hard to achieve this dream, and whether it’s your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. You’ve earned it.
2. There’s no place like home
Owning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel recharged and truly content.
3. You can find more space to meet your needs
Whether you want more room in your home for your changing lifestyle (think: working from home, virtual school, or a personal gym), or you simply prefer to have a large backyard for socially-distant entertaining, you can invest in a location that truly works for your evolving needs.
4. You have control over renovations, updates, and your style
Looking to try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. You can do all of these things in your own home.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that turn a house into a happy home.
In a year that was financially devastating for many Americans, some good news for most homeowners is the dramatic gain in home equity over the last twelve months. Last week, CoreLogic released its 2020 3rd Quarter Homeowner Equity Insights report, which reveals four major findings:
- U.S. homeowners with mortgages have seen their equity increase by a total of $1 trillion since the third quarter of 2019.
- The average homeowner gained approximately $17,000 in equity over the past year.
- This is a 10.8% increase in equity over last year.
- The average household with a mortgage now has $194,000 in home equity.
This has given many homeowners the ability to redesign their homes to meet their changing needs. Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, explains in the report:
“The housing market has remained a strong pillar in an otherwise tumultuous economic year. A sharp rise in demand, spurred by record-low interest rates, continues to bolster homeowner equity. And with many people now spending more time than ever before at home, some homeowners have tapped into their strengthening equity to fund renovations.”
This build-up in equity also gives more options to homeowners who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. Today, homeowners with substantial equity are in a much better position to work out a deal with their lender if they cannot pay their mortgage. Alternatively, they also have the power to sell and walk away with their equity in the form of cash or as a down payment toward a more affordable house. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, addresses the issue in the report:
“Over the past year, strong home price growth has created a record level of home equity for homeowners…This provides an important buffer to protect families if they experience financial difficulties and is one reason for the generational-low in foreclosure rates reported.”
Here’s a map showing equity gains by state:This gain in home equity is a blessing for homeowners in these trying times, and it seems that the next two years will continue to reward those who own a home.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) held their 2020 Real Estate Forecast Summit. At the summit, they shared the results of a recent survey of 23 economic and housing market experts. The median forecast among the experts called for home values to increase further by 8% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022.
In a year that has many of us reevaluating what “home” really means, those who own their homes have been rewarded with a financial windfall that averages $17,000 individually and totals $1 trillion nationally.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, yet finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family is certainly still top of mind for many right now. This year, there’s another type of buyer that’s very active this holiday season – the homebuyer.
Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The most recent index notes:
“The Showing Index reported a 60.9 percent jump in nationwide showing traffic year over year in October, the sixth consecutive month to see an increase over last year.”
Here’s the breakdown of the latest activity by region of the country compared to this time last year:
- The Northeast increased by 65.5%
- The West increased by 64.7%
- The Midwest increased by 55.7%
- The South increased by 54.7%
Why is the traffic so active?
The health crisis definitely put homebuying plans on pause for many earlier this year. Buyers, however, are in the market and making moves well past the typical busy homebuying seasons of spring and summer.
One of the main reasons buyer traffic has continued to soar in the second half of 2020 is how dramatically mortgage rates have fallen. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 3.72%. Today, the rate is a full percentage point lower.
There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2021, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer is very likely searching for a home in your neighborhood right now.
- Buying a home in today’s sellers’ market doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle.
- Here are four ways to make sure you’re positioned for success when making a home purchase, even when the scale tips toward sellers.
- Let’s connect to make sure you’re armed for victory in the housing market this season.
If you’re one of the many homeowners thinking about taking your house off the market for the holidays, hang on. You definitely don’t want to miss the great selling opportunity you have right now. Here’s why this month is the optimal time to make sure your house is available for holiday buyers.
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale has dropped to an astonishing all-time low. It now sits at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace.
Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market, in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is today, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. This means competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.
As this happens, prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. So, if your neighbors decide to remove their listings this season, your house may quickly rise to the top of a holiday buyer’s wish list if you stay on the market.
Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase. Record-low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live and to take action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.
Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the next few weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will be actively competing against each other to purchase it.
This year, the opportunity to work remotely has increased the demand for vacation homes. Gay Cororaton, Senior Economist and Director of Housing and Commercial Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:
“Working from home is a positive factor in demand for vacation homes.”
Buyers are taking advantage of the fact that working from home might be someplace other than their primary residence – at the beach, in the mountains, or somewhere in between. NAR explains:
“Sales in vacation-home counties increased 48% on average year over year in the third quarter; overall, 81% of vacation-home counties saw a year-over-year sales increase.”
Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?
If you’ve been thinking about selling your vacation home, putting it on the market now while demand is high might be your best move. Here are two reasons why.
1. Vacation Homes Are Selling Quickly
These homes are not staying in the market for very long. NAR also notes:
“In September, 68% of vacation homes sold in less than a month. Historically, about 30% sell that quickly…It’s a pretty amazing uptick compared to past years.”
2. Home Prices Are Rising
With an increase in demand, prices go up. NAR continues:
“In the third quarter, prices in vacation-home counties rose by about 32% year over year. Seventy-nine percent of these counties experienced year-over-year price gains. NAR defines a vacation-home county as one in which seasonal housing accounts for at least 20% of stock.”
If your vacation home is sitting idle, maybe not attracting as many renters as you usually see, or if you simply want to sell it so you can trade up or take it off your worry list, now may be the time. Demand is high, so you’re in the ideal spot to get a stronger return on your investment today.
Demand is on the rise, so let’s discuss your next steps when it comes to selling your vacation home.
- If you’re thinking of buying a home and not sure where to start, you’re not alone.
- Here’s a map with 10 simple steps to follow in the homebuying process.
- Let’s connect today to discuss the specific steps along the way in our local area.