I want to share something I'm currently seeing with you that's very important for both home buyers and sellers.
In the 55 and older communities sector, I have noticed in the last 30 to 60 days that one particular segment of the buying population has changed very significantly.
We have a lot of Canadians who come down and spend time with us in South East Florida and we're very happy to have them of course.
However, in the past 18 to 24 months their currency has changed dramatically. Seventy Canadian cents is now only worth one US dollar.
In the past 30 days, I have had a few Canadian clients reaching out to me to discuss me helping them to put their homes on the market for sale as, due to the change in their currency, it is now costing them 40% more to come down and enjoy the season here.
Therefore, in certain 55+ communities where Canadians particularly like to reside, representing about 40 to 50% of buyers in some cases, the inventory is actually going up by a lot as so many homeowners are suddenly putting their units up for sale.
So we're seeing much greater availability of property at the same time as the overall pool of buyers is shrinking, reducing demand.
All this is inevitably creating price pressure and there has already been a need to make adjustments on asking prices, as there is now so much more competition in the 55+ community sector.
If you are interested in buying or selling a property in a 55+ community, or have any questions regarding this information, please contact us today. I hope this information has been helpful to you.
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I want to share something I'm currently seeing with you that's very important for both home buyers and sellers.
It's really good to be able to report that the momentum we enjoyed in the South Florida real estate market at the end of 2015 has clearly continued into this brand new year.
This is, of course, great news for anyone buying or selling a home. Very high levels of positive buyer sentiment were a major contributor to an unusually busy run up to the holidays and this enthusiasm shows no signs of diminishing. Indeed, we can expect it to increase as the month progresses and more people enter or re-enter the market.
We're already seeing plenty of evidence to substantiate realtor.com's prediction that this will be the best year for real estate in a decade. Significantly, millennials are expected to be the largest group of buyers this year, giving entry level housing sales, in particular, a further very welcome boost, after the return of the first time buyer during 2015, following a long absence.
A fluid entry level will benefit the entire selling chain and current market conditions and rock bottom mortgage rates can only make this more likely.
My immediate advice would be to not delay listing your home. In the coming weeks we'll witness the arrival of many new sellers and the gradual return of all those sellers who, unwisely in such favorable conditions, put their plans on hold for the holidays. Listing right away will mean that you're ahead of the arrival of more competitors in the market.
Why not call us today and get things under way.
No one has a crystal ball, including me. What we do have, though, is an upfront seat to the South Florida market, so here is what I am seeing and expect to see in 2016.
Firstly, I have already noticed that inventory, particularly for condominiums and townhomes, has started to rise. This is a key indication of the market transitioning in that particular sector. As the supply of homes goes up, there will be more choice for buyers and, therefore, there will be a little pressure as far as prices are concerned.
The second thing that I have started to see and expect to continue is that, with interest rates rising for the first time in many years and likely to continue to do so over the next 18 months, homes will become more expensive, even without any price changes. That will end up affecting property, especially at higher price points, where inventory will increase as the number of qualified buyers reduces.
Certain segments of the marketplace will however remain very robust. Demand for anything below $350,000 for both single family residential and condominiums will remain strong with plenty of buyers, as long as it is postioned competitively and is a good product.
All in all, it promises to be a great year. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance to you and your family.
The festive season is almost upon us and, inevitably, some sellers will temporarily take their homes off the market until after the holidays, in the misguided belief that there is now no chance of a sale until the New Year.
It's a huge and widespread myth that homes do not sell at this time of year.
Buyers right now rank among the most serious and motivated of the entire 12-month real estate cycle. There are often tax incentives to buy before year end and it's also a traditionally busy time for essential relocation in advance of new jobs/promotions that will start in early January.
Also remember that buyers will soon have more spare time than usual to view property! The holiday season also encourages them to be in a more emotional state to make positive decisions.
Of course with some sellers withdrawing their homes, even in spite of good advice not to do so, there is simply less competition around at the moment. Your asking price will inevitably be more robust while there is less supply and plenty of very active buyers out there.
Also consider how attractive your home is going to look to potential buyers over the next few weeks. Seasonal decorations are a one-off, annual chance to greatly enhance the staging of your home. This is so inviting for home viewers and really increases the likelihood of them falling in love with the property.
Wait until 2016 and the decorations are packed and your home is back to normal and you'll also notice a number of other sellers following suit, with the end result of greater competition out there at every price point, when right now there's less choice for buyers, who often don't have the luxury of waiting until the New Year.
Showings can always be scheduled so they don't interrupt your traditional holiday celebrations.
There really is nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by keeping your home exposed to end of year buyers ready to make that all-important purchasing decision.
Call us today to discuss how to make the most of these great opportunities.
Today we're going to look at how to hire a real estate agent for the job of selling your home.
There are four main criteria to focus on:
How many homes has the agent sold so far this year? - This is a specific question that is geared towards productivity. Anyone can tell you that they're great. The question is can they demonstrate this to you in their track record?
How many homes does the agent currently have listed for sale? - The agents who have the most inventory almost invariably are the ones who are working with the most buyers. This greatly increases the probability that the agent is going to be able to find a buyer for your home.
How many homes does the agent have pending (under contract waiting to close)? - This is another important question about productivity. You want an agent who is actually selling homes for people just like you in your neighborhood and the surrounding ones.
Go online and do your homework! - Check out the agent's business Facebook page and reviews on Zillow.com to see the level of service and results being delivered to clients just like you.
Following these simple tips and pointers will help you get the results you want in the timeframe you want which, in the end, is what your choice of agent is all about.
We'd be delighted to provide you with further assistance and advice about choosing the right agent, so please don't hesitate to contact us today.
Receiving multiple offers for your home is just about the best situation you can be in as a seller.
The really good news is that with the current excellent market conditions, you are far more likely to be in the happy position of having a number of buyers effectively bidding for your home in what becomes, essentially, an auction-style sale.
With low inventory of available homes for sale and such high demand for them, we're seeing many more competitive bidding scenarios playing out in the area.
As you may have experienced with simple online auctions, people typically do not like to lose and the one who ends up winning is you the seller. You get not only the best price but also the best possible terms and conditions in your favor. It allows us to work with you to negotiate your sale from a position of great strength.
In our experience, a very effective way to handle multiple offers is to go to all interested potential buyers and give them an opportunity to bring their highest and best offer. Once we receive those offers, you will have the luxury of choosing the one you prefer, in terms of the best overall package deal.
Remember also that, with your home priced competitively and in the best condition possible, your property is going to be in the very best position to attract multiple offers, because it clearly presents a better overall offer than other similar homes competing for the same buyers.
From a buyer's perspective, if you want to stand out from the crowd and secure the property, ensure your offer is as-is, supported by a strong price, deposit and also be able to demonstrate appropriate pre-approved financing, if applicable. Cash is always king, of course, but a good down payment or deposit gives you a boost when you are arranging a home loan.
Call us today to find out more about our home marketing strategies that further increase the likelihood of attracting a good selection of enthusiastic buyers.
There are currently some really compelling reasons to either begin or grow a property investment portfolio:
Appreciating property prices - While there are clearly advantages to investing in property while prices are falling, getting ready for a good return when they start climbing again, buying now gives you a very real chance of realizing a virtually instant and sustained return on investment.
Rentals likely to rise for the forseeable future - In our last blog, we looked at the findings of a report from the Harvard Joint Centre for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners, anticipating that the figure for households spending half or more of their income on rent will rise by at least 11% from 11.8 million to 13.1 million by 2025! With rents having outpaced income growth for the past 15 years, this is clearly not good news for renters, but a very welcome prospect for investors, who stand to do very well from the ever robust demand for rental property.
Low mortgage rates - If you need to borrow some money to get on the investment ladder, you could scarcely have picked a better moment. Despite many predictions to the contrary in recent months, interest rates have resolutely stayed near to historic lows. It's a situation that cannot sustain indefinitely, hence why we would highly recommend applying for finance now and locking in a rate before the mortgage rate trend inevitably starts to be a consistently upward one.
Tax Efficiency - Rental property expenses such as mortgage interest, lawncare, insurance, many repairs and even some travel costs are tax deductible. The 1031 Exchange process enables you to sell a rental property and put the proceeds of the sale into another more expensive investment property purchase without paying any taxes on the proceeds (time limits apply). If you already have a portfolio, there is clear potential to enhance your rental income by upgrading to higher value homes in a tax efficient way.
While the above are all compelling contemporary influences on property investment, it's important never to forget the historic perspective that property has proven to be a rock solid investment, outperforming many other options in important respects.
Why not contact us today about your property investment options.
It's been great to see the continuation of the superb home buying and selling conditions across the area in recent weeks.
The feel good factor is most definitely lacking in the rental sector, however, after the recent publication of a report by the Harvard Joint Centre for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners.
In "Projecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters", the Centre predicts that the number of households that spend half or more of their income on rent is expected to rise by at least 11% from 11.8 million to 13.1 million by 2025!
This isn't good news at all for renters. Right now, about one in four renters already contributes more than 50% of household income for property rental purposes and those figures are clearly set to climb.
Rents have been growing faster than incomes for the past 15 years. For anyone who can possibly afford to buy, the benefits of doing so will very likely save them literally tens of thousands of dollars over the next few decades.
First time buyers have made a significant comeback this year. Given what's happening in the rental sector is it really surprising!
With mortgage rates still heading south and a Federal Reserve clearly under pressure not to raise interest rates soon, the motivation to buy one's own home ought to be overwhelming.
You may have been turned down for a home loan in the past, but remember that circumstances change and there is gathering evidence that suggests that stringent lending standards are starting to ease a little (sources include The Mortgage Bankers' Association Mortgage Credit Availability Index, Fannie Mae's latest Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey and Ellie Mae's most recent Origination Insights Report).
With mortgage rates still in retreat, right now is a great time to review your options! Getting approved for a home loan at the moment means that, with a fixed interest rate, you will be able to lock in a near historic low rate for the life of the loan, freeing you from the constant worries of the rent on your home rising to an increasingly less affordable level.
Market forces will always dictate that, with continuing high demand, rents will very likely continue to become less and less affordable as time moves on. With finance so relatively inexpensive and home prices still at very sensible levels, there has rarely, if ever, been a better time to break the cycle.
Call us today to discuss your specific circumstances
How much time a year do you spend on average in your second home?
For many owners, the answer will probably be "not as much time as we would like" as the pressures of work and other calls on schedules prevent them from using the property to its fullest extent.
In the case of owners who only live in the home for a very limited time in a calendar year, say less than three months, there may be more merit in cashing out and choosing to rent rather than own a property.
With properties in great demand in this area and inventory of available homes for sale remaining on the low side, now would be a very good time to sell.
We are confidently expecting a very successful winter selling season this year, as it is simply a great time for buyer sentiment right now. The continuing near historic low cost of home loan borrowing makes property investment really attractive. Factor in the increases we have seen in property prices recently and you have a recipe for an ideal moment for you to pause and consider whether you are getting true value from keeping your home or taking the profits and reinvesting them in other ways that don't require the ongoing maintenance costs and property tax burdens etc. that are part and parcel of a bricks and mortar asset.
Yes, it's a great time to sit back and watch that asset appreciate, but if your personal circumstances are dictating that you cannot spend much time actually enjoying the property, there's an ideal opportunity at present for you to successfully repurpose your asset base into other activities that will potentially add more value to your life. And if you still want to have your, albeit limited, annual dose of Florida sunshine, there are plenty of stunning homes for you to rent.
If this sounds like you, why not contact us today and explore the possibilities. We can offer you tremendous insight into market trends and how best to exploit them to your benefit.
Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO).
Financial expert Mark Lamkin from Lamkin Wealth Management says there are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. If you're selling to a family member or a neighbor, for example, selling your home yourself is a great way to do this. But the vast majority of sales do not happen this way.
Here's the Five reasons Mark Lamkin believes you need a realtor:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With- Negotiations
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer's agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer's attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
The appraiser if there is a question of value keeping the sale in tact for the time between the accepted of and managing the phone calls to all parties is consuming
As you can see, the list of the players in the negotiations can go on and on and I didn't list them all. Many people LOVE to negotiate and haggle, but far too many people don't enjoy this aspect of buying or selling anything--let lone the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are on the line in this deal. Professional negotiators (Realtors often are) can make you tens of thousands in this manner, so don't discount this simple fact alone.
2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you? Realtors use the MLS- Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is a local or regional service that compiles available real estate for sale by member brokers along with detailed information brokers can access online. Also, with the MLS system, realtors can search certain parameters to match certain buyers with a number of houses. Obviously, if you are selling your home yourself, industry stats say you are passing up almost 9 out of 10 buyers. While that doesn't mean you can't sell your home yourself, Lamkin's opinion is that it's significantly harder to do so. And of course, there's the time value of money aspect of this as well.
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
43% on the internet
9% from a yard sign
1% from newspaper
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial
Many people selling a home have full time careers. That leaves a spouse or child home alone or in vulnerable spots. Do you really want strangers in your home with your family, when they come to see your home? This really is a huge safety concern. Lamkin says he wouldn't want his wife and kids in this spot, and he knows most of you wouldn't either. Second, If you're a single person or a family that tells a person when you're at work (to schedule the appointment), you're showing or telling someone when is the best time to come back and help themselves. Or if you're a single female, you could also be putting yourself at risk.
4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult- Legal Risks
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years. The big issue I have with this: You can Be Sued! Think about how litigious our society has become. If you fail to disclose something, even in an innocent manner, you can be sued- and most likely you will lose! A realtor knows the questions to ask and what is mandated by law to be disclosed. This also can cost you thousands!
5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent's commission. The seller and buyer can't both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $175,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $215,000. This doesn't mean that an agent can get $40,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Bottom Line? Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, call Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today to discuss your options.