Sunday, August 1, 2021 / by Troy Schlicker
It’s the old supply-and-demand predicament: Home sales in the U.S. continue at a torrid pace, but the availability of listings remains limited. Buoyed by historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping for homes, reducing the available inventory and sparking a rise in home prices across the country.
News website The Atlantic summarized the sizzling home market this way:
“Pick a housing statistic at random, and it’s probably setting an all-time record. Home prices: record high. Inventory: record low. Percentage of homes selling above asking price: record high. Average time on market: record low.”¹
Meanwhile, homebuilders are contending with an increase in material costs and a shortage of labor. These issues come amid an ongoing shortage of housing. A study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors found the U.S. is coping with a deficit of about 2 million single-family homes and about 3.5 million other housing units.²
So what can ...
Sunday, July 4, 2021 / by Troy Schlicker
If you’re searching for drama, don’t limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition among buyers has never been fiercer. And with homes selling for record highs,1 the appraisal process—historically a standard part of a home purchase—is receiving more attention than ever.
That’s because some sellers are finding out the hard way that a strong offer can fizzle quickly when an appraisal comes in below the contract price. Traditionally, the sale of a home is contingent on a satisfactory valuation. But in a rapidly appreciating market, it can be difficult for appraisals to keep pace with rising prices.
Thus, many sellers in today’s market favor buyers who are willing to guarantee their full offer price—even if the property appraises for less. For the buyer, that could require a financial leap of faith that the home is a solid investment. It also means they may need to come up with additional cash at c ...
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 / by Troy Schlicker
COVID-19 and the global pandemic has had a pronounced effect on every aspect of our lives. In early 2020, when shutdowns started there were many factors that made it look like the next year would be a rough one for your net worth. With looming layoffs, a stock market in decline and a stalling housing market we looked ready to be in a prolonged recession.
Many people believed that a recession would mean a decline in home prices and negatively impact their net worth. As I mentioned over a year ago, in my January 2020 blog on the real estate outlook, having a recession was unlikely to negatively impact housing prices because homeowners today are in more secure financial positions, have built up more equity in their homes and financial institutions have been more careful with their lending policies.
Among its many impacts, COVID-19 has had a pronounced effect on the housing market, but not in the way many people initial imagined a recession would. Instead, low home inventory and high b. ...
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 / by Troy Schlicker
Imagine the first place you lived as a young adult. Now imagine trying to fit your life today into that space. Not pretty, right?
For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical.1 A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical to heat and clean. It’s no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.
While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor’s or friend’s, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. No one wants to regret their home purchase, and taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.
The Newly Married or Partnered Couple
The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buyi ...
Thursday, April 1, 2021 / by Troy Schlicker
The real estate market today is one of the fastest-moving in recent memory. With inventory at record-lows and prices at record-highs in Austin, we’re seeing multiple offers and bidding wars for homes in the most sought-after neighborhoods. This has led some home owners to question the need for an agent. After all, why spend money on a listing agent when it seems that you can stick a For Sale sign in the yard then watch the offers pour in?
Occasionally, buyers believe they’d be better off purchasing a property without an agent. They believe proceeding without a buyer’s agent may be a competitive edge and a good way to stand out from the competition. It may even score them a discount since the seller pays the buyer agent’s commission. Wouldn’t a do-it-yourself purchase sweeten the offer?
We all like to save money. However, when it comes to your largest financial asset, forgoing professional representation may not always be in your best interest. Find out ...