Prices are UP & STUCK….for now!

Are the Prices TOO DAMN HIGH OR NAH?

In the beginning of 2020, the Dallas-Fort Worth marker was headed to a neutral market. Buyers were able to find homes and sellers were able to sell. No problem, right?

Then COVID hit in March 2020 and shut the country down. This left real estate to be in the unknown territory. If we are being truthful, the absolute best time to have bought a house would have been March-June 2020. I won’t say people were giving away their houses but the unknown was so unknown, you could have gotten things that you cannot think to ask of now.

As far as homes are now, today’s market is reflective of supply and demand. Due to a lot of sellers not listing within the last year, builders not being able to keep up with the demand, and buyers looking to get out of rentals, we were hit with a high demand and a shortage of homes.

If you go back to your college Economics class OR high school Civics class, when demand is high and supply is low, the prices go UP! That is what has happened to the real estate market. Still confused? Let’s use the Jordan brand of shoes for example. They only release so many each round. Soooo many people want them, once they sell out, they sell out. However, resellers know they are the most wanted shoe. They KNOW they can resell and get a higher price because the availability is limited. Welp, that’s the housing market and supply and demand.

Are the prices higher, yes? However, it is relative to the market that you see. Is it favorable? Maybe not to some but the market reacts to what it has.

Prior to 2020, the $250K and below market was vanishing from the DFW market. Now, to find homes in that range, you will have to move out in rural areas of the metroplex. The only places that have a little bit of $250K and below left is the Forney-Heartland-Crandall market and the Princeton area market. In 2021, most homes are starting the $350s. In my honest opinion, today’s $300K is yesterday’s $250K with a low interest rate. You can get a higher priced home but that doesn’t mean the higher priced home will be a larger home.

For potential homebuyers, make a list of what you feel is important to have in the first home, determine howlong you plan to live there, and what amenities do you need in and around the neighborhood. Remember, it is the first home. In order to get bells and whistles, you’ll have to pay for it. If that is not an option, reconfigure what you can spend and realistically do for the first home. Build and grow your equity to make the next home your dream home.

Your first home is typically the first step to getting to the dream home.

If you need to discuss more, book a virtual appointment with us at calendly.com/newaverealty.

4 BIG Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now!

The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that there were 410,000 fewer single-family homes for sale this March than in March of 2020. The key to continued success in the residential housing market is for more listings to come on the market. However, many homeowners are concerned that selling their homes could be challenging for several reasons.

Recently, Homes.com released the findings of a survey that identified these concerns, as well as what it will take for homeowners to feel comfortable selling their houses. Here are the four major homeowner concerns and a quick explanation of what’s actually happening in the housing market today.

1. Homeowners don’t know if they’ll be able to secure their next home before selling.

In negotiations, leverage is the power that one side may have to influence the other side while moving closer to their negotiating position. A party’s leverage is based on the ability to award benefits or eliminate costs on the other side.

In today’s market, buyers have compelling reasons to purchase a home now:

  • To own a home of their own
  • To buy before prices continue to appreciate
  • To secure a mortgage at a historically low rate, while they last

These buyer needs give the seller tremendous leverage. Most already realize this leverage enables the homeowner to sell at a good price. However, this leverage may also be used to negotiate time to find their next home. The homeowner could sell their home to the buyer at today’s price, which will enable the purchaser to take advantage of current mortgage rates. In return, the buyer might lease the house back to the seller for a pre-determined length of time while the seller finds a new home or has one built.

This gives the buyer what they want while also giving the seller what they need. It’s a true win-win negotiation.

2. Homeowners don’t know if their current home will sell for the asking price or top market price.

This is the perfect time to maximize profits while selling a house. NAR just released a study showing that bidding wars are at an all-time high. The study reveals that when comparing the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year, the number of offers on homes for sale doubled from an average of 2.4 to 4.8 offers.

Whenever there’s a bidding war, the price of the item for sale escalates. Bloomberg recently reported:

“For the first time ever, the average U.S. home is selling for above its list price.”

If a seller is looking for a top-dollar sale, there’s no better time to sell than right now.

3. Homeowners don’t know if they will get an offer without their home requiring work or updates.

Again, leverage is the greatest strength a seller has in this market. Due to the lack of homes for sale, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after.

A recent post on whether or not to renovate before selling notes:

“It may be wise to let future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. As a seller, your dollars and time might be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior. Instead of over-investing in your home with upgrades that the buyers may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects that will maximize your listing, without overdoing it.”

If a seller is worried about doing work or updates on their home, they must realize that today’s historically low inventory likely renders these projects less critical to the sale of the house.

4. Homeowners don’t know if they can have a quick closing process.

When speed is important, there are two points sellers should look at:

  • The time it takes to find a buyer for the home
  • The time it takes to close the transaction

In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, NAR explains:

“Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in March, down from 20 days in February and from 29 days in March 2020. Eighty-three percent of the homes sold in March 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now | Keeping Current Matters

Eighteen days is fast, and it’s a new record. Here are the days the average house is on the market in each state:Regarding the time it will take to close the transaction, all-cash sales accounted for 23% of all home purchase transactions in March. All-cash sales can usually be closed in thirty days.

If a mortgage is necessary, the most recent Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows:

“Time to close all loans decreased in March. The average time to close a purchase fell to 51 days, down from 53 the month prior.”

If you’re looking for a quick closing process, there’s never been a market in which the two-step process (finding a buyer and closing the deal) has taken less time.

Bottom Line

Selling your house can be daunting, especially in a fast-paced market. However, the fact that we’re in such a strong sellers’ market clearly eliminates many common concerns. Contact New Avenue Realty Group today to learn more about the opportunities for homeowners who are ready to sell.

SOURCE: KEEPING CURRENT MATTERS

Will There Be MORE Homes to Buy This Year?

Photo: Highland Homes

If you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of available homes for sale is at an all-time low – the lowest point recorded since NAR began tracking this metric in 1982. There are, however, more homes expected to hit the market later this year. Let’s break down the three key places they’ll likely come from as 2021 continues on.

1. Homeowners Who Didn’t Sell Last Year

In 2020, many sellers decided to pause their moving plans for a number of different reasons. From health concerns about the pandemic to financial uncertainty, plenty of homeowners decided not to move last year.

Now that vaccines are being distributed and there’s a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it should bring some peace of mind to many potential sellers. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comnotes:

“Fortunately for would-be homebuyers, we expect sellers to return to the market as we see improvement in the economy and progress against the coronavirus.”

Many of the homeowners who decided not to sell in 2020 will enter the market later this year as they begin to feel more comfortable showing their house in person, understanding their financial situation, and simply having more security in life.

2. More New Homes Will Be Built

Last year was a strong year for home builders, and according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 2021 is expected to be even better:

“For 2021, NAHB expects ongoing growth for single-family construction. It will be the first year for which total single-family construction will exceed 1 million starts since the Great Recession.”

With more houses being built in many markets around the country, homeowners looking for new houses that meet their changing needs will be able to move into their dream homes. When they sell their current houses, this will create opportunities for those looking to find a home that’s already built to do so. It sets a simple chain reaction in motion for hopeful buyers.

3. Those Impacted Financially by the Economic Crisis

Many experts don’t anticipate a large wave of foreclosures coming to the market, given the forbearance options afforded to current homeowners throughout the pandemic. Some homeowners who have been impacted economically will, however, need to move this year. There are also homeowners who didn’t take advantage of the forbearance option or were already in a foreclosure situation before the pandemic began. In those cases, homeowners may decide to sell their houses instead of going into the foreclosure process, especially given the equity in homes today. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains:

“Given the huge price gains recently, I don’t think many homes will have to go to foreclosure…I think homes will just be sold, and there will be cash left over for the seller, even in a distressed situation. So that’s a bit of a silver lining in that we don’t expect a massive sale of distressed properties.”

As we can see, it looks like we’re going to have an increase in the number of homes for sale in 2021. With fears of the pandemic starting to ease, new homes being built, and more listings coming to the market prior to foreclosure, there’s hope if you’re planning to buy this year. And if you’re thinking of selling and making a move, doing so while demand for your house is high might create an outstanding move-up option for you.

Bottom Line

Housing demand is high and supply is low, so if you’re thinking of moving, it’s a great time to do so. There are likely many buyers who are looking for a home just like yours, and there are options coming for you to find a new house too. Contact New Avenue Realty Group today to see how you can benefit from the opportunities available in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

SOURCE: KEEPING CURRENT MATTERS

Get Into This! Target Black Beyond Measure Collection

I am a Target shopaholic any day of the week. A few years ago, my sister gifted me a “Target is My Happy Place” shirt for my birthday. It literally is. If I am feeling stressed or depressed, I just need Target to make it better. 🤷🏾‍♀️

My favorite store in the world has a new Black History Month collection called Black Beyond Measure.

Just like last year, this year’s collection is one to grab before they are all out. Here are some goodies that I collected in-store and online.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Let’s start with The Lip Bar.

Before I go any further, check out this lip color by The Lip Bar (Ms Independent)

Now, I purchased this a few months ago and felt it was fitting for this blog post. I need to go back and add some of the Mented Cosmetics to my lip collection.

The Items

Partake is a snack company started by a black mom who developed snacks for her daughter who had a severe food allergy. I ordered the cookie butter cookies because how can you say no to cookie butter ANYTHING?

Vegan, Gluten Free, AND Black Owned https://goto.target.com/VoGbj

Shea Moisture Wig & Weave Line

If you haven’t heard, I am opening a beauty supply store and I like to try products to see what I would like to carry in my store. This isn’t available by my supplier so I purchased it for myself at Target. I like to switch up my hair style every once in awhile or every 3 days.🤷🏾‍♀️ One day it could be crochet braids, the next a curly wig, and the next kinky straight hair. A girl needs OPTIONS!!!

I grabbed all that I could in the store to lay down my wigs and smooth it all out.

DesignWorks Ink Black History Every 2021 Planner

It is a new year and a new year needs plans. Some of the planners/calendars have pictures that can be turned into 8×8 pictures after the planner is used. Add some #blackgirlmagic to your office, home, and more.

Black History Month Enamel Pins

I’m a hoarder on pins. I rarely wear them but for some reason I love to have them. I’m going to change that in 2021.

Honey Pot Feminine Products

If you missed the whole hoopla last year, you may not have learned about the popular Honey Pot. Now prior to this ordeal in 2020, I became a fan of Honey Pot. I suffer each month from painful periods and just to use their products give me a relief. I had to add more to my collection. The Honey Pot collection has options from feminine pads, tampons, pantyliners, panty spray, etc. I keep wipes in my bathrooms so now visitors will get to see the magic of HoneyPot.

Capital City Mambo Sauce

I’ve been to DC a few times and mambo/mumbo sauce is a staple in the area. I decided to add this to my shopping cart to add some flavor to my food since I plan to cook more at home in 2021. I’ll report back in April to tell you if I kept my word on cooking at home.

Capital City Mild Mambo Sauce - 12oz - image 1 of 3
Capital City Mambo Sauce

The Fashions

Now let’s get to the clothes! This is where I tend to do too much at Target. The clothes are always super cute and land in my basket or cart.

I give curls for the girls and this let’s that be known.

Black History Month “Curls Kinks” Tee
Black History Month Women’s Silhouette Sweatshirt
Black History Month Women's 'Black Is Beautiful' Hooded Sweatshirt - Beige - image 1 of 6
Seriously, how cute is this? Black is Beautiful Hoodie

I am still awaiting this hoodie and my two year old niece even has one too. I cannot wait to get this one in the mail. Seriously, I am excited. Just purchased one for my nephew and sister. Yes, it will be a family affair or celebration.

Wine Down.

Okay so I saved the best for last. The McBride Sisters. I have been wanting to try this black owned wine brand and didn’t know Target sold them. Now, I couldn’t order this online or even get it curbside. I hopped right into the car to go purchase these. I purchased the McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rose, Black Girl Magic Rose, and the Black Girl Magic Red Blends (I gifted this to a neighbor). Target has it where you purchase 4 wines and get 10% off. I grabbed some Stella Rosa to finish my collection. However, there are other wines you can find at other retailers and on their website.

So, what did you think? What are your thoughts on Target’s Black History Month collection? These are the goodies that I personally purchased but if you need more, head here to collect because it will sell out. ✌🏾😘

3 Ways Low Inventory Is a WIN for Sellers!

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently entering into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this can definitely work to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to put that money toward a down payment on your next home or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

When we’re in a sellers’ market like we are today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you sell your house. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally move into their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell your house at the perfect time. Today’s market gives sellers immense negotiating power. However, it won’t last forever, especially as more sellers return to the housing market next year. If you’re considering selling your house, the best time to do so is now.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, contact a local real estate professional today to determine your best move.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

6 Smart Home Devices for Under $100

Operate your home from your smart phone.

Every day, the world presents us with new technology. It seems like there isn’t much left that technology can’t do. Thankfully, with every advancement, many items have become more affordable.

While a high-tech home may not be the choice for everyone, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to try out if you are interested in making your home a little bit more accessible.

Here are 6 items to try:

Smart Speakers

Amazon Alexa

Setting reminders, asking questions, and playing music on demand has never been so easy! Smart speakers are capable of making lists for you, looking up recipes, and so much more. My favorite smart speaker is the Google Home mini. I keep one in the kitchen and one in my bathroom. Google is super helpful in finding my phone when I’ve lost it.

Smart Plugs

Left the coffee pot plugged in and need to turn it off, but you aren’t home? Smart plugs allow you to turn off (and on) something plugged in from your phone. These are also great for lighting systems like lamps or even holiday lights.

Smart Plug

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells are an incredible investment. Monitor who is ringing your doorbell, when packages are dropped off, and so much more all with your phone!

Smart Locks

Lost keys? Need to let someone in to water your plants while you are out of town? Smart Locks allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock your door, or just use a keypad!

Smart Switches

Smart switches allow you to turn lights off and on with your phone. Next time you forget to turn off the kitchen light and you are already in bed, smart switches can save the day!

Smart Bulbs

Adjust the brightness of color in any room when you install smart bulbs. Great for kids or rooms where you want to be able to dim the lights!

For my home, I have smart bulbs, smart door locks, smart garage opener, and smart doorbell. These are very essential for me as it helps me lock things from my phone and navigate my home while continuing to work.

Here is a bonus:

MySmart Q

This one was a lifesaver for me as it was my first time having a garage when I purchased my home. I no longer had to question myself on whether I closed the garage or not. If you have multiple garage bays, you can add on sensors to your bay.

Should You Buy An Existing Home or New Construction?

Finding the right home to purchase today is one of the biggest challenges for potential buyers. With so few homes for sale and construction of newly built homes ramping up, you may be wondering if you should consider new construction in your search process. It’s a great question to ask, and one to look at from the pros and cons of what it means to buy a new home versus an existing one. Here are a few things to consider when making the best decision for your family.

New Construction  

When buying a new home, you can often choose more energy-efficient options. New appliances, new windows, a new roof, etc. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time. With programs like ENERGY STAR, your home also helps protect the environment and reduces your carbon footprint.

Lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great benefit. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. With new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

Another solid benefit to new construction is customization. Do you want a mudroom, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors, an office, or a multipurpose room to homeschool your children? These items can be customized to your specific needs during the design phase. With an existing home, you’re buying something that’s already completed, so if you want to make changes, you may need to hire a contractor to help get your home ready for your family.

Existing Home

When buying an existing home, you can negotiate with the current homeowner on price, which is something you generally don’t get to do with a builder. Builders know their material and construction costs, and they have a price set for the model you’re buying. So, if you want to negotiate, then maybe an existing home will be best.

For many families, having an established neighborhood is also important. Some buyers like to know the neighbors, if it’s family-friendly, and traffic patterns before making a commitment. When you buy new construction, you won’t have a full view of some of those details until the lots around you are sold.

Finally, timing comes into play. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers. With new construction, you need to wait for the house to be built. Depending on the time of the year you’re buying and the region you’re in, the weather can also be a factor in the timeframe. This is something really important to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later. Over the past few months with COVID-19 and social distancing regulations, some areas for new construction have been delayed.

Bottom Line

Whether you want to buy a newly built home or one that’s already established, both are great options. They each have their pros and cons, and every family will have different circumstances driving their decision. If you have questions and want to know more about the options in your area, contact New Avenue Realty Group today so you can feel confident making a decision about your next home.

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For?

There’s great opportunity for today’s homeowners to sell their houses and make a move, yet due to the impact of the ongoing health crisis, some sellers are taking their time coming back to the market. According to Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com:

“Sellers continue returning to the market at a cautious pace and further improvement could be constrained by lingering coronavirus concerns, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest.”

For homeowners who need a little nudge of motivation to get back in the game, it’s good to know that buyers are ready to purchase this season. After spending several months at home and re-evaluating what they truly want and need in their space, buyers are ready and they’re in the market now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

“A number of potential buyers noted stalled plans due to the pandemic and that has led to more urgency and a pent-up demand to buy…After being home for months on end – in a home they already wanted to leave – buyers are reminded how much their current home may lack certain desired features or amenities.”

The latest Market Recovery Survey from NAR shares some of the features and amenities buyers are looking for, especially since the health crisis has shifted many buyer priorities. The most common home features cited as increasingly important are home offices and space to accommodate family members new to the residence (See graph below):The survey results also show that among buyers who indicate they would now like to live in a different area due to COVID-19, 47% have an interest in purchasing in the suburbs, 39% cite rural areas, and 25% indicate a desire to be in small towns.
As we can see, buyers are eager to find a new home, but there’s a big challenge in the market: a lack of homes available to purchase. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:

“The realtor.com June Housing Trends Report showed that buyers still outnumber sellers which is causing the gap in time on market to shrink, prices to grow at a faster pace than pre-COVID, and the number of homes available for sale to decrease by more than last month. These trends play out similarly in the most recent week’s data with the change in time on market being most notable. In the most recent week homes sat on the market just 7 days longer than last year whereas the rest of June saw homes sit 2 weeks or more longer than last year.”

In essence, home sales are picking up speed and buyers are purchasing them at a faster rate than they’re coming to the market. Hale continues to say:

“The housing market has plenty of buyers who would benefit from a few more sellers. If the virus can be contained and home prices continue to grow, this may help bring sellers back to the housing market.”

Bottom Line

If you’re considering selling and your current house has some of the features today’s buyers are looking for, reach out to us at NewAvenueRealty.com. You’ll likely be able to sell at the best price, in the least amount of time, and will be able to take advantage of the low interest rates available right now when buying your new home.

Keepingcurrentmatters.com

Buyers: Take Advantage of the Affordability of Today’s Market!

Everyone is ready to buy a home at different times in their lives, and despite the health crisis, today is no exception. Understanding how affordability works and the main market factors that impact it may help those who are ready to buy a home narrow down their optimal window of time to make a purchase.

There are three main factors that go into determining how affordable homes are for buyers:

  1. Mortgage Rates
  2. Mortgage Payments as a Percentage of Income
  3. Home Prices

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index, which takes these three factors into account and determines an overall affordability score for housing. According to NAR, the index:

“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”

Their methodology states:

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

Taking Advantage of Homebuying Affordability in Today’s Market | Keeping Current Matters

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here’s a graph of the index going back to 1990:The green bar represents today’s affordability. We can see that homes are more affordable now than they have been at any point since the housing crash when distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dominated the market. Those properties were sold at large discounts not seen before in the housing market.

Why are homes so affordable today?

Although there are three factors that drive the overall equation, the one that’s playing the largest part in today’s homebuying affordability is historically low mortgage rates. Based on this primary factor, we can see that it is more affordable to buy a home today than at any time in the last seven years.

If you’re considering purchasing your first home or moving up to the one you’ve always hoped for, it’s important to understand how affordability plays into the overall cost of your home. With that in mind, buying while mortgage rates are as low as they are now may save you quite a bit of money over the life of your home loan.

Bottom Line

If you feel ready to buy, purchasing a home this season may save you significantly over time based on historic affordability trends. Reach out to New Avenue Realty Group today to determine if now is the right time for you to make your move.

Buying a Home in 2020

Lives have been changed greatly in 2020. Everything we have known prior to Marcg has been erased and we are in a new era.

I don’t know about you but there are things I’d like to stay long after we’ve dealt with the pandemic. Yes, let’s stay 6 feet from each other in public and to-go drinks (I’m free Louisiana so I was confused that I couldn’t get a Daiquiri to go when I moved to Texas).

Now what about the housing market? What has changed? Check out this replay of Buying a Home in 2020 and BEYOND!