Welcome to our blog where you can expect More Education. 

June 24, 2016

Thinking You Should Sell Your Home Yourself? Think Again

Think your should sell your home yourself?

Some Highlights:

 According to NAR's Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers:

  • 88% of buyers look for their new home online.
  • Using a real estate agent can net you $39,000 more than FSBO'ing.
  • There is a long list of people that you will have to negotiate with when you decide to sell your home, using an experienced professional can help ease the process.

    In our experience, people who want to sell their own home without using a Realtor  most commonly make this choice to save money. We certainly love helping our client's save money and the research shows that those who hire a true real estate professional to help them sell their home, actually make more money then if they tried to sell their home themselves. 

    If you are thinking of selling your home in Meridian, Idaho or the Treasure Valley we would love to discuss your options with you and show you ways we can help you save time, stress, and net you more money.

    Call our team today at 208-501-8200 to learn  more about how we get our client's homes marketing and sold.

  • Curious about what your home is worth?  Use our home valuation tool to get an INSTANT value check by clicking the link below.
    Yes, I want to get my home's value INSTANTLY now.

 

 

June 23, 2016

Do Idaho Homeowners Realize Their Equity Position Has Changed?

Meridian-Idaho-home-values-are-up-west-real-estate-group

Yesterday, we reported that according to CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report, nearly 268,000 homeowners regained equity and are no longer underwater on their mortgage in the first quarter. Homes with negative equity have decreased by 21.5% year-over-year.

study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware of how their equity position has changed as their home has increased in value.

For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 8% of homes are in that position. 

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%), when in actuality, 74% do!

Do Homeowners Realize Their Equity Position Has Changed? | Simplifying The Market

This means that 37% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs (moving to a larger home or downsizing).

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate: 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

CoreLogic’s report also revealed that if homes were to appreciate by an additional 5%, over 800,000 US households would regain positive equity.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is unsure of your current equity situation, let's meet up to discuss your options. 

You can call our team today at 208-501-8200 or you can learn the estimated value of your home instantly by clicking this link:  

Yes, I want to check my home's value now

June 22, 2016

74% of Households in Idaho Now Have Significant Equity!

74% of Meridian, Idaho Home Values are up by West Real Estate Group

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 92% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation, while 74% now actually have significant equity (defined as more than 20%)! The report also revealed that 268,000 households regained equity in the first quarter of 2016 and are no longer under water.

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

“In just the last four years, equity for homeowners with a mortgage has nearly doubled to $6.9 trillion. The rapid increase in home equity reflects the improvement in home prices, dwindling distressed borrowers and increased principal repayment.  These are all positive factors that will provide support to both household balance sheets and the overall economy.” 

Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2016 as well, as he had this to say:

“More than 1 million homeowners have escaped the negative equity trap over the past year. We expect this positive trend to continue over the balance of 2016 and into next year as home prices continue to rise.  

Nationally, the CoreLogic Home Price Index was up 5.5% year over year through the first quarter. If home values rise another 5% uniformly across the U.S., the number of underwater borrowers will fall by another one million during the next year.” 

Below is a map illustrating the percentage of households in each state with significant equity: 

74% of Households in the US Now Have Significant Equity! | Simplifying The Market

Many homeowners with more than 20% equity in their home would be able to use that equity as a down payment on either a larger home or even a retirement home.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who are unsure of how much equity you have in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home this year!

Call our team today at 208-501-8200 to discuss your home's value and how it may have changed or you can use our INSTANT value check tool to learn the value of your home: Yes, I want to get my home's value now!

June 21, 2016

What’s Happening in the Real Estate Market?

What’s Happening in the Real Estate Market? | Simplifying the Market

This is a pretty common question that a potential home buyer or seller may be asking themselves. Leading economists in real estate converged in New Orleans this past week as they presented their answer to this question at the 50th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference for the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Here are the top takeaways from the week of presentations:

Many of the conversations at the conference came back to the impact that Millennials and first-time home buyers will have on the market in the future. Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for realtor.com had this to say:

“At any given time in our history, demographics would explain 60-80% of what’s happening [in the market], and we are in a period of time where Millennials make up a largest demographic group according to the Census, at 84 million.”

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median first-time home buyer age is 30 and many millennials are entering a prime age to drive the housing market into the future. 

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR shared that myths and affordability may be holding back potential buyers:

“84% of current renters have the desire to own. While 36% believe they cannot afford a home and 60% of renters believe it would be ‘difficult’ to qualify for a mortgage.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President, Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they do not qualify for a mortgage:

“Many potential home buyers are 'disqualifying' themselves. You don't need a 750 FICO Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) revealed that Millennials and Baby Boomers are often competing for the same housing inventory, causing a challenge as these two groups are the largest generations by population.

Both groups are looking for affordable, convenient homes close to city centers and ‘what’s happening.’

Bottom Line

The experts agree that homeownership is still desirable across all demographic groups, with Millennials and Baby Boomers having a great impact on available supply. If your dreams include owning your own home, let’s get together and evaluate your ability to buy now!

Call our team today to discuss your real estate goals at 208-501-8200 or click the link below to start your home search:

Start my Home Search Now!

 

Posted in Market News
June 8, 2016

Single Women Make Up 2nd Largest Home Buying Group

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women made up 18% of all first-time homebuyers last year, second only to married couples who made up 54% of total buyers.

Whether they are young, single and no longer want to rent, or newly divorced, the amount of single women becoming homeowners greatly outnumbers single males (11%). A survey of recent home buyers revealed some interesting trends about this rapidly growing group:

 

  • Average Age: 32 years old
  • Average Income: $49,400
  • Single women are more likely to become pre-approved for a mortgage in order to know their budget at the beginning of the home buying process and to be able to make a move if they find their dream home.
  • Many female homebuyers think long-term when considering buying a home, often considering what amenities they may need in the near future.

“So what do women like best about homeownership? They believe that they are investing in their future by building equity and financial security. They are also very happy to no longer be paying their landlord’s mortgage payment. Being independent and having control over their environment is a key factor.”

 

It appears that it is not marriage before mortgage any longer, for either gender. As we reported in the past, unmarried couples make up 13% of buyers, while single males account for 11%.

Bottom Line

If owning a home of your own has always been your dream, let’s get together to determine if your dream could become a reality sooner than you think.

 

Call our team today to discuss your home buying goals at 208-501-8200

Posted in Buying a Home
April 7, 2016

Building Wealth: First Rung on the Ladder is Housing

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is “an online resource for the most rigorous research and practical information on how a quality, stable, affordable home in a vibrant community contributes to individual and community success”.

A recent story they published, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, discussed the importance of having affordable housing available to as many families as possible because:

“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.

Home equity provides Americans with the ability to send their children to college with less student loan debt and is the primary source of funds for retirement. Half of the assets of Americans over age 55 are in their home.”

Bottom Line

We have often posted that the net worth of a family owning a home is 45 times greater than that of a family that rents. That is not a coincidence.

Buying a home is a big step in right direction for anyone looking to build wealth. If you have been considering buying a house, we would love to talk with you.

Give us a call today at 208-501-8200 and or click the link below to start browsing for homes available for sale now: www.WestRealEstateGroup.com

Posted in Buying a Home
April 6, 2016

Real Estate: 2016 Will Be the Best Year in a Decade

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist at realtor.com, exclaimed: “All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006.”

Now, Freddie Mac has doubled down on that claim and is saying that 2016 will be the best year that the real estate industry has seen in a decade. In their March Housing Outlook Report, Freddie Mac explained:

“Despite the challenges facing the housing market, we expect this to be the best year for housing in a decade. Home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest level since 2006 according to our latest forecast…Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets, but on balance, the housing markets in the U.S. are poised for the best year since 2006.”

The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are:

  • Low interest rates
  • A resilient labor market
  • An increase in household formations
  • A projected increase in newly constructed homes

Bottom Line

The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are2016 looks to be shaping up as a great year for residential real estate. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, we should meet up to discuss the new opportunities that are arising in your market. 

Give our team a call at 208.501.8200 or click the link below to start shopping for a new home!

www.WestRealEstateGroup.com

March 7, 2016

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You!

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. As we have said before, mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows and rents continue to rise.

Housing Cost & Net Worth

Whether you rent or buy, you have a monthly housing cost.

As a buyer, you are contributing to YOUR net worth.

Every mortgage payment is a form of what Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls“forced savings.”

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

The principal portion of your mortgage payment helps build your net worth through building the equity you have in your home.

As a renter, you are contributing to YOUR LANDLORD’S net worth.

Below is an example of the home equity that would be accrued over the course of the next five years if you had purchased a home in January; based on the results of the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Simplifying The Market

 

In this example, simply by paying your mortgage, you would have increased your net worth by over $44,000!

Bottom Line

Use your monthly housing cost to your advantage! Let's meet up to discuss the opportunities available in your market. Call our real estate office at 208-501-8200 today!


You can also start browsing for a home by clicking here

March 4, 2016

Home Prices Up 5.76% Across The Country!

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, waiting to move may end up costing you more.
  • Idaho and the Mountainwest area are seeing some of the highest home value increases.

    If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Meridian, Idaho or the surrounding areas, give our team a call at 208-501-8200. We will help educate you about our market and set up a plan to help you reach your real estate goals.

    Curious about your home's current value? Get an instant value check by clicking the link below: 
    Yes, I want my home's value check instantly!

 

March 3, 2016

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

 

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

 

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

 

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

Our team sells houses every day and has been ranked as one of the top real estate agencies in the Meridian, Idaho and surrounding areas. We know what it takes to not only list a home properly but what it takes to get it SOLD. We can put our years of experience to work for you. 

Call our team today to learn more about getting your home sold. You can reach us at 208-501-8200. You can also get an instant value check on your home by clicking here

Posted in Selling a Home