North Texas Real Estate News, Information and Trends

Covering everything from national and local market statistics to buying or selling a home. Homebuyer or Selling a home, please reach out to us if you have any questions. Let's Talk!

Brian and Melinda Stitzinger

Joyce Sutherland

 

May 21, 2021

Buying a Home Multiple Offers Watch This

Are you READY to compete? Let's Talk via zoom about the current market and how to make your offer the winning offer!

April 28, 2021

The Key to Buying a Home This Year is Patience

The question many homebuyers are facing this year is, “Why is it so hard to find a house?” We’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, which means real estate is ultra-competitive for buyers right now. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes homes are getting an average of 4.8 offers per sale, and that number keeps rising. Why? It’s because there are so few #HomesforSale in #FriscoTexas, #ProsperTexas, #LittleElmTexas and #DallasTexas

Low inventory in the housing market isn’t new, but it’s becoming more challenging to navigate. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:

“The housing market is still relatively under-supplied, and buyers can’t buy what’s not for sale. Relative to what we saw in 2017 to 2019, March 2021 was still roughly 117,000 new listings lower, adding to the pre-existing early-year gap of more than 200,000 fresh listings that would typically have come to market in January or February. Despite this week’s gain from a year ago, we’re 19 percent below the new seller activity that we saw in the same week in 2019.”

While many homeowners paused their plans to sell during the height of the pandemic, this isn’t the main cause of today’s huge gap between supply and demand. Sam Khater, Vice President and Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, Economic Housing and Research Division, shares:

“The main driver of the housing shortfall has been the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes . . . That decline has resulted in the decrease in supply of entry-level single-family homes or, ’starter homes.’”

When you consider the number of homes built in the U.S. by decade, the serious lack of new construction is clear (See graph below): Patience Is the Key to Buying a Home This Year | MyKCMThe number of newly built homes is disproportionately lower than the rate of household formation, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has continued to increase. Khater also explains:

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market was facing a substantial supply shortage and that deficit has grown. In 2018, we estimated that there was a housing supply shortage of approximately 2.5 million units, meaning that the U.S. economy was about 2.5 million units below what was needed to match long-term demand. Using the same methodology, we estimate that the housing shortage increased to 3.8 million units by the end of 2020. A continued increase in a housing shortage is extremely unusual; typically in a recession, housing demand declines and supply rises, causing inventory to rise above the long-term trend.”

To catch up to current demand, Freddie Mac estimates we need to build almost four million homes. The good news is builders are working hard to get us there. 

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, National Association of Realtors

“The March figure of 1.74 million housing starts is the highest in 14 years. Both single-family units and multifamily units ramped up. After 13 straight years of underproduction – the chief cause for today’s inventory shortage – this construction boom needs to last for at least three years to make up for the part shortfall. As trade-up buyers purchase newly constructed homes, their prior homes will show up in MLSs, and hence, more choices for consumers. Housing starts to housing completion could be 4 to 8 months, so be patient with the improvement to inventory. In the meantime, construction workers deserve cheers.”

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to buy this year, the key to success will be patience, given today’s low inventory environment. Let’s connect today to talk more about what’s happening in our area. #HomesforSale in #FriscoTexas, #ProsperTexas, #LittleElmTexas and #DallasTexas

April 26, 2021

Tips to Maximize the Sale of Your Home

Homeowners ready to make a move are definitely in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s fueling a steady rise in home prices as noted in #homesforsaleFriscotexas

In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically on the market for just 18 short days. #homesforsalerospertexas #homesforsalelittleelmtexas Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep your house to shine so you get the greatest possible return.

1. Make Buyers Feel at Home

One of the ways to make this happen is to take time to declutter. Or what we call "Pre Pack. Pack away any personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for a buyer to picture themselves living there. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:

“82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:

“Eighteen percent of sellers' agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

2. Keep It Clean

On top of making an effort to declutter, it’s important to keep your house neat and clean. Before a buyer stops by, be sure to pick up toys, make the beds, and wash the dishes. This is one more way to reduce the number of things that can distract a buyer from the appeal of the home. Sell your home #homesforsaleaubreytexas

Ensure your home smells fresh and clean as well. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers.

3. Give Buyers Access

Buyers are less likely to make an offer on your house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.

While health continues to be a great concern throughout the country, it’s important to work with your agent to find the best safety measures and digital practices for your listing. This will drive visibility and create access options that also keep everyone in the process safe.

4. Price It Right

Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set your house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing your house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and let bidding wars push the final sales price up.

Work with your trusted real estate professional to determine the best list price for your house. Having an expert on your side in this process is truly essential.

Bottom Line

If you want to sell on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the best price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. Let’s Talk to determine the best ways to maximize the sale of your house this year

April 22, 2021

Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today-82338 of Them!

The financial benefits of buying a home as compared to renting one are always up for debate. However, one element of the equation is often ignored – the ability to build wealth as a homeowner.

 

Most experts believe home prices will continue appreciating over the next several years. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a survey of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists, expects home appreciation to increase as follows:

 

2021: 6%   2022: 4.5%  2023: 4%  2024: 3.6%  2025: 3.5%

Using their annual projections, the graph below shows the equity build-up a purchaser could earn, using a $350,000 home as an example: a homeowner in #friscotexas #prospertexas #littleelmtexas #aubreytexas #dallastexas could increase their net worth by over $80,000 in five years. That’s an average of $16,000 annually. That number should be in any equation determining the financial benefits of owning a home compared to renting.

Bottom Line

Homeowners, especially those living in #NorthTexas are going to make a substantial amount of money in home equity over the next five years. If you’re ready to buy a home, let’s connect so you can enjoy this great benefit as well.

April 7, 2021

Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings to Achieve Homeownership

 

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCM

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the process. One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is by starting with the help of your tax refund.

Using data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s estimated that Americans can expect an average refund of $2,925 when filing their taxes this year. The map below shows the average anticipated tax refund by state:Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCMThanks to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. In addition, Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to put 0% down. You may have heard the common myth that you need to put 20% down when you buy a home, but thankfully for most homebuyers, a 20% down payment isn’t actually required. It’s important to work with your real estate professional and your lender to understand all of your options.

How can your tax refund help?

If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you realize.

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average anticipated tax refund:Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership when you qualify for one of the low down payment programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward the down payment on a home.

Not enough money from your tax return? 

A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that, of the households that received a stimulus check last year, “One third report that they primarily saved the stimulus money.” If you had the opportunity to save your Economic Impact Payments, you may consider putting that money toward your down payment or closing costs as well. Your trusted real estate professional can also advise you on the down payment assistance programs available in your area.

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This year, your tax refund and your stimulus savings could add up big when it comes to reaching your homeownership goals.

#STITZINGERTEAM #HOMES FOR SALE FRISCO #HOMES FOR SALE LITTLEELM #DALLASREALTOR  #OMES FOR SALE PROSPER

April 7, 2021

A Change in Mortgage Rate Impacts Your Homebuying Budget

Mortgage rates are on the rise this year, but they’re still incredibly low compared to the historic average. However, anytime there’s a change in the mortgage rate, it affects what you can afford to borrow when you’re buying a home. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shares:

“Since January, mortgage rates have increased half a percentage point from historic lows and home prices have risen, leaving potential homebuyers with less purchasing power.” 

When buying a home, it’s important to determine a monthly budget so you can plan for and understand what you can afford. However, when you need to stick to your budget, even a small increase in the mortgage rate can make a big difference.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today, the median existing-home price is $313,000. Using $300,000 as a simple number close to the median price, here’s an example of how a change in mortgage rate impacts your monthly principal and interest payments on a home.

For example, you’re getting ready to buy a home and know your budget allows for a monthly payment of $1200-1250 (marked in gray on the table above), every time the mortgage rate increases, the loan amount has to decrease to keep your monthly cost in range. This means you may have to look for lower-priced homes as mortgage rates go up if you want to be able to maintain your budget.

In essence, it’s ideal to close on a home loan when mortgage rates are low, so you can afford to borrow more money. This gives you more purchasing power when you buy a home. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains:

“Monthly payments have remained manageable despite soaring home prices because of low mortgage rates. In fact, monthly payments remain below the $1,250 to $1,260 range that we saw in both fall 2018 and spring 2019, but they are on track to hit that level this spring.

Although they remain low, mortgage rates have begun to increase and are expected to rise further later in the year, thus affordability will test buyer demand in the months ahead and likely help slow the pace of price growth.”

Today’s mortgage rates are still very low, but experts project they’ll continue to rise modestly this year. As a result, every moment counts for homebuyers who want to secure the lowest mortgage rate they can in order to be able to afford the home of their dreams.

Bottom Line

Thanks to low mortgage rates, the spring housing market's in bloom for buyers – but these favorable conditions may not last for long. Let’s Talk today to start the home buying process while your purchasing power is still holding strong.

April 1, 2021

How to Design a Home Office You’ll Love

If you’re running a business out of your home, you need a legitimate workspace. Owning and managing a small business is hard work, to say the least, so it’s critical to make a place where you can stay focused and productive in your everyday tasks. Whether you choose to renovate your current home or buy a new one with the help of realtors Brian and Melinda Stitzinger, here is some practical advice for making an awesome home office that you’ll cherish for years to come:

Image via Unsplash

 WHAT TO DO

 If you're trying to decide whether to renovate or buy new, here are some factors to consider:

Renovating

Renovations can go a long way in transforming your home. But they can also be expensive. Think about where you can put your office so that it provides you physical separation from the primary living areas in your home. If you have an available spare bedroom, garage, or basement, for instance, it might be worth investing in a little bit of remodeling.

However, be mindful of the costs. If there will be a lot of demolition and building involved or if it is going to be difficult to create enough space for your office, it might be wise to look for a new home. 

Buying New

If your business plays a significant role in your life, especially financially, then buying a new home that provides the space you need to flourish could be the best investment you make. And by working with a top-notch agent who is mindful of your needs, you can set yourself up for a stress-free home buying process that you feel good about.  

Furthermore, figure out what business structure you will use for your new business. If you choose an LLC, you may be able to write off the parts of your home you’re using for your business, among many other benefits. However, forming an LLC can be complex, and each state has different rules and regulations. Make sure you understand the requirements, and think about hiring a formation service to avoid expensive lawyer bills.

DESIGNING YOUR HOME OFFICE

Once you know where your home office is going, consider these brief tips as you figure out the design:

Take in the View

If possible, set up your office in a space with windows. Not only will this provide the health benefits of working in sunlight (including boosted productivity), but it will simply do your mind good to look out and see nature.

Stay Organized

Look into the wide variety of attractive storage solutions that can help you maximize space. For instance, floating shelves are great for keeping equipment and other items out of the way, while vertical file organizers look great on desks and will keep essential papers and documents easily accessible.

Go With Your Favorite Color

One of the main perks of working out of your home is that you have the freedom to make your office look exactly like you want it to. This means that you can paint the walls something more exciting than white. Go with a color that inspires you, whether it’s deep blue, pale orange, lime green, or whatever your favorite shade is.

Choose Beautiful, Functional Furniture

You don’t have to settle for boring office furniture either. Look for pieces that are beautiful and functional, whether that means using a similar style of furniture as the rest of your home or going with a completely different style. If nothing else, make sure you have a high-quality ergonomic chair and desk that will allow you to work comfortably and productively, day in and day out.

Having a workspace you love is essential when you own a home-based business. Carefully determine whether you should renovate your current home or invest in a new home that better meets your business needs. Try to set up your home office in a room with windows, and find attractive storage solutions. Lastly, get creative with the wall color, and look for furniture that both adds appeal and function to the space 

Start your stress-free home buying search in North Texas by reaching out to Brian and Melinda Stitzinger today!

Start your stress-free home buying search in North Texas by reaching out to Brian and Melinda Stitzinger today!

Special thanks goes to Tina Martin at ideaspired.com for providing us this article, her knowledge and her expertise. Thank you Tina!

 

March 9, 2021

Things Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About Foundation Repair Part 2 Home Sellers

For Sellers  Part 2

1.     Fix foundation issues before listing.

 

As a seller, it can be stressful and frustrating to find out the home you have put for sale has a foundation problem. In some cases, it can even be a deal-breaker. That’s why it’s important to have your home inspected before considering putting it up for sale.

So, if you have doubts about the structural integrity of your home, consider having it inspected before putting it up for sale. Doing this can make the difference between a successful sale and an unsuccessful one.

2.     Understand that some concessions may be necessary.

 

If your home has been found to have foundation issues, then be ready to make some concessions. Your ability to make them will make a huge impact on how slowly or quickly you’re able to make the sale.

First and foremost, you need to be willing to price the home accordingly. How much to reduce it will again depend on the severity of the foundation problem. But generally speaking, expect to reduce the home’s value anywhere between 10-15% if it has a foundation problem.

That means that if you had priced the home at $400,000, then expect to shave off up to $60,000 off of the price.

Secondly, you may choose to invest some of your money to fix the issues. This can be both costly and time-consuming.

And thirdly, understand that the repair records will be part of the property’s records. This can dramatically reduce the interest of potential buyers.

Buying or selling a home needing foundation repairs is possible. If you are a buyer, always insist on a professional inspection and then make the decision based on the outcome. As for sellers, having a home with foundation problems isn’t a deal-breaker. Just have the will to make a few concessions.

Read Part One Foundation Repair for Home Buyers

For more information about Foundations and Foundation Repair contact Granite Foundation Repair   214 865 8609  Locations for #granitefoundationrepair are Plano, Arlington, Rowlett, and Dallas Texas.

For information about home search in Homes for Sale in Frisco Texas, Homes for Sale in Little Elm Texas, Homes for Sale in Prosper Texas, Homes for Sale in Celina Texas, Homes for Sale in McKinney Texas, and many other places in North Texas. Let us help with your home search!

March 9, 2021

Things Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About Foundation Repair Part 1 Home Buyers

 Part 1 Home Buyers

 

 

Whether buying or selling a house, it’s important to pay particular attention to the home’s foundation. After all, it’s what everything above it rests upon. So, if it’s compromised, the entire home becomes structurally unsound and, at worst, may come crumbling down.

In this article, we’ll share 6 things both buyers and sellers need to know regarding foundation repairs.

For Buyers

1.      Insist on a home inspection.


As a potential homebuyer, having a home inspection is an absolute must. As a matter of fact, 9 in every 10 home sales involve a house inspection. This is at least according to the American Society of Home Inspectors.

A home inspection can help reveal underlying structural issues, including foundation problems. Foundation issues are not always easy to spot with an untrained eye; and yet, they can cause significant damage to your property over time if left unattended.

 The following are some common signs of foundation problems to be in the lookout for.

  • Improperly functioning doors and windows
  • Separation of windows, doors, and walls
  • Sloping staircases or floors
  • Cracked drywall over the door frame
  • Gaps appearing between wall seams
  • Appearance of stair-step cracks in masonry joints
  • Appearance of cracks in the walls

If you notice any of these issues, have them investigated further. An experienced foundation repair specialist will examine them and offer you helpful advice.

2.     Understand the extent of the damage.

Once your potential home has been inspected, make a point to determine the extent of the problem. Not all foundation problems are created equal. It is possible to have a minor problem in a foundation a century old, and a major issue is one that’s been around for just 10 years or so.

As you’d expect, fixing major foundation issues doesn’t come cheap. It usually costs anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 depending on how bad the problem is. If, as a buyer, you encounter a home with a major problem, it may be wise to just walk away.

Besides the cost factor, serious foundation problems can be very time-consuming.

Minor foundation issues, on the other hand, shouldn’t typically be a cause for concern. They are inexpensive and don’t take long to fix. So, if you really like the home and understand any potential risks, then consider fixing the issues.

3.     There may be financing challenges.

Even when you are willing to buy a home with foundation issues, getting finance can prove to be a problem. More so, from conventional lenders like banks who typically don’t provide financing for structurally unsound homes.

And even in the rarest circumstance that they do agree to finance your loan, you risk being subjected to higher interest rates.

Be that as it may, you may still be able to get financing from alternative methods.

4.     Include the appropriate contingency clauses.

So, you have found a home that you really like, and although the home has a foundation problem, you are still willing to put in an offer. Well, in such a case, consider working with an agent. This can help ensure you have all the appropriate contingencies in place.

These contingencies will ensure you have ample room to wiggle out of the deal should a problem arise later.

READ PART 2 FOR SELLERS

For more information about Foundations and Foundation Repair contact Granite Foundation Repair   214 865 8609  Locations for #granitefoundationrepair are Plano, Arlington, Rowlett, and Dallas Texas.

For information about home search in Homes for Sale in Frisco Texas, Homes for Sale in Little Elm Texas, Homes for Sale in Prosper Texas, Homes for Sale in Celina Texas, Homes for Sale in McKinney Texas, and many other places in North Texas. Let us help with your home search!

March 4, 2021

Renting a Home, You Can Probably Own a Home

Did you know that if you can afford to rent, you can probably afford to own?

Here are three basic factors for qualifying for a home loan:

  • Income - If you have a job or steady source of income, you're off to a great start.
  • Down Payment - Many programs will work with 5%, 3.5%, and in some cases, even 0% down. Sometimes, closing costs can be paid for you as well.
  • Credit – Even if there are a couple of dings on your credit report, there’s probably a loan program for you.

That's it. These three items are the fundamentals of mortgage lending. If you work and pay your bills on time, you may already be well on your way to homeownership.

Now, would you like to see how far your rent payment might go when applied to principal and interest in a mortgage payment? Contact us today!

Homes for Sale in Frisco Texas, Homes for Sale in Little Elm Texas, Homes for Sale in Prosper Texas, Homes for Sale in Celina Texas, Homes for Sale in McKinney Texas, and many other places in North Texas. Let us help with your home search!