Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank You


My sincere thanks to all you have served and continue to serve to preserve our freedom.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Future House Prices: A Look into the Crystal Ball

Home-Price-Expectation-275Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.4% in 2014.

  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.

  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.

  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 9.4% by 2018.

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Selling a House? Fannie Mae Suggests You Use An Agent

Using my program you can not only use an agent but you can save money doing it!  Win-Win!



Friday, May 16, 2014

Harvard: Five Financial Reasons to Buy A Home

Bank as House.1Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year he released a paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income...On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for many social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Should You Sell Now?

5.8 BlogThe price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale is still below the normal 6 month level of inventory. That means less competition.

However, a recent study revealed that 71% of current homeowners are considering selling their home this year. Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for this increased competition to come to the market might make a lot of sense.

Buyers currently in the market are motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory available in most markets, a seller will be in a great position to negotiate their best possible price.

And I offer the best way for selling your home, whether full service or one of our limited service option, we save you money!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ada County Real Estate Market Report

April Market Report for Ada County…its time to get something going.

by marclebowitz

by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

ACAR Executive Director

Single family home sales in April 2014 were 662 in Ada County, an decrease of 8% compared to April 2013.   YTD total sales are down 1% compared to this time last year; 2,097 homes sold compared to 2,115.

In April 75% of our total sales were for homes priced above $160,000.  This graphically portrays the smaller role that first –time buyers has on our market. In 2010 more than 52% of buyers were “first-time”. Today the number of first-time buyers is closer to 30%.  Recent data shows that as many as 73% of millenials are delaying their first home purchase because of accumulated student debt. At the same time 87% of this group believes that home ownership is a good investment.

Days on Market for April were 57.  That’s down almost two weeks from March. In April 2013, Days on Market was 55.

New homes sold in April totaled 103; down 34% from last year; and down slightly from March.

Existing home sales were 559; down a mere 1% from April 2013.

Historically, April sales launch into Spring from a strong March “platform”. April 2014 posted only a modest 12% increase over March. (Note: April 2013 sales were up 28% over March 2013; leading us into a huge spring and summer.)

Of the total sales in April, 10% were distressed; down 2% from last month. In April 2013, 21% of sales were distressed.

Pending sales at the end of April were 1189; down 18% from April 2013. Pending sales have trailed behind previous year’s pending sales for nine consecutive months. The good news for April is that pending sales are ahead of 2012; first time this year.

Pending sales in distress are 8%.

April median home price was $209,450; up 12% from April 2013. Our YTD median price is $203,500; up 10% over last year.

New Homes median price for April was $299,998; up 14% from March 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 9% to $190,000.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of April increased 13% from March 2014 to 2,530.  This is an increase we really needed going into Spring selling season.  This is 35% more than last year at this time.

We anticipate continued inventory growth from now until the end of Summer. Our challenge is that the increase in inventory is largely driven by homes listed for more than $200,000.

Of the total active listings, 7% are distressed, down 1% from March.

In Ada County we now have 4.5 months of inventory on hand, down a little from the end of March.

The price category in shortest supply is $100,000 to $119,000 where we have 1.1 months.

From $120,000 to $160,000 we have 2.3 months available inventory.

From $160,000 to $300,000 we have between four and five months…except for the very popular $250,000 – $300,000 which has only 4.1 month’s supply available.

Above $300,000 we have a 5 month’s supply. Above $500,000 the supply is closer to 15 months.

Of sales in April, the most popular price point was $120,000 to $160,000 (21%); and $160,000 to $200,000 (21%) followed by  $200,000 to $250,000 with 15%.

So…what’s next?

Sales in April sputtered. Now we are into a Spring that was “blockbuster” in 2013. Chances are that we will continue to lag behind some months and be barely ahead in others.  Pending sales showed a spark of life in April that may take hold in May. That’s what I’m counting on.

Median price seems to be holding tight to the $200K level. This will go up “a little” as we head into summer.

New studies reveal that student debt is a bigger retardant on new homebuyers. Three out of four college grads say they have to wait longer to retire more of that debt before they can afford to own their first home.

Somehow we have to find a way to increase the number of homes available in the $120K to $160K price range. The number of homes for sale in this category is down 3% from January.

There is demand and ability, we’ve just got to have the right product.

Bottom line…its going to be a cooler summer than last year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

3 Reasons to Sell Your Home this Spring

4.8 Visual

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are three of those reasons.

1. Demand is about to skyrocket

Most people realize that the housing market is hottest from April through June. The most serious buyers are well aware of this and, for that reason, come out in early spring in order to beat the heavy competition. We also have a pent-up demand as many buyers pushed off their home search this winter because of extreme weather. Sellers in markets where seasonal weather is never an issue must realize that buyers relocating to their region will increase dramatically this spring as these purchasers finally decide to escape the freezing temperatures of the winters in the north.

These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition - For Now

Housing supply always grows from the spring through the early summer. Also, there has been a growing desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners have seen a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all the other potential sellers in your market put their homes up for sale.

3. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by approximately 4% this year and 8% by the end of 2015. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate at about 4.5% right now. Freddie Mac projects rates to be 5.1% by this time next year and 5.7% by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Moving up to a new home will be less expensive this spring than later this year or next year.