5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

Seb FreyBlog

When selling a house, most homeowners hope for a quick and profitable transaction that puts them in a position to make a great move. If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring. Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready. 1. There’s high demand from homebuyers. Buyer demand is strong right now, and buyers are active in the market. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, recently announced that buyer showings are up 51.5% compared to this time last year. Daniil Cherkasskiy, Chief Analytics Officer at ShowingTime, notes: “As anticipated, demand for real estate remains elevated and continues to be affected by low levels of inventory…On average, each home is getting 50 percent or more requests this year compared to January of last year. As we head into the busy season, it’s likely we’ll push into even more extreme territory until the supply starts catching up with demand.” When your house is positioned to get a ton of attention from competitive buyers, you’re in the best spot possible as the seller. 2. There aren’t enough houses for sale. Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available houses for sale. Recently, realtor.com reported: “Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in February decreased by 48.6% over the past year, a higher rate of decline compared to the 42.6% drop in January. This amounted to 496,000 fewer homes for sale compared … Read More

How to Prepare Your House for a Winning Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC]

Seb FreyBlog

Some Highlights With so few homes available to buy today, houses are in high demand, and they’re selling fast. That means it’s a great time to sell if you’re ready to make a move. Let’s connect to make sure your house is ready for a top-dollar sale this spring. It may be closer than you think!

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House?

Seb FreyBlog

Last year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell. Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, explains: “Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale.” Normally, spring is the busiest season in the housing market – the time when many homeowners decide to list their houses. While this is obviously not a normal year since the pandemic is still very much upon us, experts are optimistic that consumer positivity around selling will lead to more homeowners making moves this year. Duncan continues to say: “We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend.” What does this mean if you’re thinking of selling your house? The fact that there are so few houses available for sale today is one driver that’s encouraging consumers to think more positively about selling. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states: “Total housing inventory at the end of January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million).” With so … Read More

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today?

Seb FreyBlog

Whether you’re buying your first home or selling your current house, if your needs are changing and you think you need to move, the decision can be complicated. You may have to take personal or professional considerations into account, and only you can judge what impact those factors should have on your desire to move. However, there’s one category that provides a simple answer. When deciding to buy now or wait until next year, the financial aspect of the purchase is easy to evaluate. You just need to ask yourself two questions: Do I think home values will be higher a year from now? Do I think mortgage rates will be higher a year from now? From a purely financial standpoint, if the answer is ‘yes’ to either question, you should strongly consider buying now. If the answer to both questions is ‘yes,’ you should definitely buy now. Nobody can guarantee what home values or mortgage rates will be by the end of this year. The experts, however, seem certain the answer to both questions above is a resounding ‘yes.’ Mortgage rates are expected to rise and home values are expected to appreciate rather nicely. What does this mean to you? Let’s look at how waiting would impact your financial situation. Here are the assumptions made for this example: The experts are right – mortgage rates will be 3.18% at the end of the year The experts are right – home values will appreciate by 5.9% You want to buy a home valued at $350,000 today … Read More

Home Prices: What Happened in 2020? What Will Happen This Year?

Seb FreyBlog

The real estate market was on fire during the second half of 2020. Buyer demand was way up, and the supply of homes available for sale hit record lows. The price of anything is determined by the supply and demand ratio, so home prices skyrocketed last year. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Division of Research and Statistics, explains: “House prices nationwide recorded the largest annual and quarterly increase in the history of the FHFA Home Price Index. Low mortgage rates, pent up demand from homebuyers, and a limited housing supply propelled every region of the country to experience faster growth in 2020 compared to a year ago despite the pandemic.” Here are the year-end home price appreciation numbers from the FHFA and two other prominent pricing indexes: Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index Report: 10.8% CoreLogic Home Price Insights: 9.2% S&P Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index: 10.4% The past year was truly a remarkable time for homeowners as prices appreciated substantially. Lawrence Yun, Senior Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals: “A typical homeowner in 2020, just by being a homeowner, would have accumulated around $24,000 in housing wealth.” What will happen with home prices this year? Many experts believe buyer demand will soften somewhat as mortgage rates are poised to bump up slightly. Some also believe the inventory challenge will ease as more listings come to market this year. Based on this, most forecasters anticipate we’ll see strong appreciation in 2021 – but not … Read More

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

Seb FreyBlog

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. While there are plenty of lower down payment options available for qualified buyers who don’t want to put 20% down, it’s important to understand how a larger down payment can have great benefits too. The truth is, there are many programs available that allow you to put down as little as 3.5%, which can be a huge benefit to those who want to purchase a home sooner rather than later. Those who have served our country may also qualify for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA) and may not need a down payment. These programs have really cut down the savings time for many potential buyers, enabling them to start building family wealth sooner. Here are four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan if you can afford it. 1. Your interest rate may be lower. A 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you’re more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they’ll likely be willing to give you. 2. You’ll end up paying less for your home. The larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you’re able … Read More

It’s a Sellers’ Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Seb FreyBlog

Some Highlights Over the past year, homeowners have gained an unprecedented opportunity to sell with great success while buyer demand is soaring. With homes selling twice as fast as they did last year at this time, getting multiple offers, and rising in price, homeowners are in the driver’s seat. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to learn about the leverage you have as a seller in today’s housing market.

Are There Going to Be More Homes to Buy This Year?

Seb FreyBlog

If you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of available homes for sale is at an all-time low – the lowest point recorded since NAR began tracking this metric in 1982. There are, however, more homes expected to hit the market later this year. Let’s break down the three key places they’ll likely come from as 2021 continues on. 1. Homeowners Who Didn’t Sell Last Year In 2020, many sellers decided to pause their moving plans for a number of different reasons. From health concerns about the pandemic to financial uncertainty, plenty of homeowners decided not to move last year. Now that vaccines are being distributed and there’s a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it should bring some peace of mind to many potential sellers. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes: “Fortunately for would-be homebuyers, we expect sellers to return to the market as we see improvement in the economy and progress against the coronavirus.” Many of the homeowners who decided not to sell in 2020 will enter the market later this year as they begin to feel more comfortable showing their house in person, understanding their financial situation, and simply having more security in life. 2. More New Homes Will Be Built Last year … Read More

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You

Seb FreyBlog

We’re currently experiencing historically low mortgage rates. Over the last fifty years, the average on a Freddie Mac 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been 7.76%. Today, that rate is 2.81%. Flocks of homebuyers have been taking advantage of these remarkably low rates over the last twelve months. However, there’s no guarantee rates will remain this low much longer. Whenever we try to forecast mortgage rates, we should consider the advice of Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American: “You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and/or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.” Many things impact mortgage rates. The economy, inflation, and Fed policy, just to name a few. That makes forecasting rates difficult. However, there’s one metric that has held up over the last fifty years – the relationship between mortgage rates and the 10-year treasury rate. Here’s a graph detailing this relationship since Freddie Mac started keeping mortgage rate records in 1972:There’s no denying the close relationship between the two. Over the last five decades, there’s been an average 1.7-point spread between these two rates. It’s this long-term relationship that has some forecasters projecting an increase in mortgage rates as we move throughout the year. This is based on the recent surge in the 10-year treasury rate shown here:The spread between the two is now 1.53, indicating mortgage rates could rise. Actually, a bump-up in rate has already begun. As Joel Kan, Associate VP of Economic Forecasting … Read More