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Thursday, November 5, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

The New Normal: A Strong Housing Market Expected to Continue into 2021

“2020 will be known for a lot of things, and a record-breaking year for real estate will certainly be one of its more unexpected legacies,” prominent economist Daryl Fairweather said.1 And he’s right: most of us would have expected the housing market to suffer from circumstances like a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic and historic inventory shortages.
But, rather than a slowdown, we are continuing to experience a surprisingly robust real estate market across the country. And experts estimate that these conditions are likely to last well into the new year. Fannie Mae Senior VP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan predicts that existing home sales will ultimately “be up a percent or more in 2021.” He believes home prices will continue to rise due to limited inventory, but he is confident the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low into the future, which will be “very good for households.”2
Market conditions like fewer available listings, chan ...

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Thursday, October 8, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

5 Secrets Buyers and Sellers Must Know About Virtual Home Tours

For years now, virtual home tours have helped real estate buyers far and wide find the perfect home. From long-distance military personnel being relocated, to investors expanding their portfolio, to homeowners looking for a vacation getaway, this technology makes finding a house that’s a bit out of driving distance much easier. And for real estate agents, virtual tours have been a useful way to help buyers with their home search and to assist sellers in creatively marketing their listings.
Because of the pandemic, virtual home showing options recently experienced a huge spike in popularity. One survey found that nearly 33% of recent home tour requests were for virtual tours, as compared to just 2% pre-pandemic. And it’s easy to see why.
Buyers want to quickly find their next safe haven, one that may need to serve as their office, gym, and even classroom for months to come. And sellers want to limit the number of strangers in their home, yet still have the ability to rea. ...

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

What’s Your Best Option for More Space?

The pandemic and shelter in place order have changed all of our lives. Most significantly in the amount of time we spend at home. With many of us working and attending school at home as well as living there our priorities have changed when it comes to choosing a home.
The Harris Poll conducted a recent survey which showed that 75% of Americans who have started working remotely would like to continue to do so – and if those people didn’t have a commute as frequently a significant 66% would consider moving. The list of reasons that topped most desires to move were to have a dedicated office space (31%) a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall (29%).
Now that school has gone virtual for many families the need has only intensified for additional space. We are seeing buyers increasing deciding on homes further away from downtown areas as they look for more room and less congestion. In fact, nearly 40% of urban residents are considering leaving the city due to Coronavirus.. ...

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Monday, August 3, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

What the Lowest Mortgage Rates in History Mean for You

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage average fell below 3% in July for the first time in history. The drop in interest rates lead many home owners to refinance their mortgages as they looked to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. So, are today’s rates truly a bargain?
Average rates on mortgages have bounced between 4-5% for the past couple of years, however they haven’t always been that low. Since 1971 Freddie Mac has been tracking 30-year mortgage rates. A 7.31% rate was the national average then but as inflation started to rise in the mid-1970s there was a surge in mortgage rates as well. It may seem incomprehensible given today’s rates but in 1981 mortgage rates reached their U.S. average high at 18.63%.
Fortunately, inflation started to normalize by late 1982 and mortgage rates had a downward trajectory bringing them to a low in 2012 of 3.31%. Since then 30-year fixed rates have risen modestly with the rate reaching as high as 4.94% in 2018.
What&rs. ...

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Monday, July 6, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

9 DIY Improvements to Add Value to Your Home

Whether you are looking for ways to maximize your homes long-term value or prepping it to go on the market, these nine home improvement projects are a great way to add function, beauty and real value to your home.
Best of all, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a single weekend plus specialized skills and experience are not required. Grab your toolbox and get ready to boost your home’s appeal AND investment potential!
Spruce Up Your Landscaping
Improvements to your homes landscaping can increase the value by 10-12%, but it’s important to understand which outdoor features buyers care about the most. In a recent survey of Realtors, having a healthy lawn was the most important landscaping factor. If your lawn is lacking consider overseeding or laying new sod. These investments are extremely worthwhile as they respectively net an expected return of 417% and 143% on your investment in your home.
Flowers . ...

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