The affordability index is up! Understanding the 2020 market

Remember the housing bust that started back in 2008?

Lenders–trying to boost “the American dream” for everyone–relaxed their strict lending standards. Too many people and businesses took on real estate loans they couldn’t afford. The bubble burst. The stock market crashed.

It didn’t take long for people to lose their homes in the aftermath. Foreclosed properties flooded the market. And there weren’t enough buyers to purchase them. Home prices tumbled so buying a home got much more affordable.

Now you can see from the green bar on this National Association of Realtor’s chart that median-priced homes are more affordable compared to median incomes. In fact, more affordable than they’ve been since the crash when properties were sold at discounts not seen before in the housing market. 

But today’s homes are affordable for a very different reason.

 

What makes a home affordable?

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

  1. Current mortgage rates
  2. Mortgage payments as a percentage of an owner’s income
  3. Current home prices

 

So why are homes so affordable today?

Although all three factors add up to the final numbers, the one that’s playing the largest part today is historically low mortgage rates. Based on this main factor, we can see that it’s more affordable to buy a home today than at any time in the last seven years.

No one can guarantee affordability won’t stay high. Or go even higher if more people lose their jobs and foreclose on their homes. But for today, conditions are favorable.

 

So where and when do I start?

You’ll want to do your research. Ask a local real estate professional their thoughts on the market today. And if you have another house you need to sell first, it’s not a bad idea to jump in on those little fix-it projects this very weekend. 

If you’re considering purchasing your first house or moving up to that dream home, remember affordability when it comes to the cost of your home. Buying while mortgage rates are low can save you quite a bit of money over the life of your home loan.

 

If you do choose to buy, you’ll need a title on your new home. When it comes time to close on your sale, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future!

Don’t miss our popular Title FAQs for tips that will give you the peace of mind only a clean title can. See us on our Facebook page and check out details of our services on our website. Or call 985-277-5095 to speak to one of our title professionals today!

It’s Virtually Sold! Marketing your Home Online.

Competition is fierce and in-person tours are so 2019. Don’t panic. There are still many ways you can set yourself apart and sell your house or property. Boosting your online presence is the best place to start.

Start with high-quality images

It’s an era of open concept plans, Pantone paint and HGTV-worthy listings. Shadowy or blurry pictures won’t inspire buyers. You need high-def, brightly lit, gleaming photographs that spotlight the very best of your house.

PRO TIP #1

Whether taking photos yourself or investing in a professional, don’t forget to tidy up first! You want viewers to say, ‘I could see me there!’ Don’t let them get distracted by cluttered bookshelves and messy bathroom counters. A picture is worth a thousand words and is sure to sell a house if it’s a good one.

Set up a virtual tour

In this pandemic season, home tours and the shopping process has been turned on its head. A virtual tour is a perfect way for potential buyers to get a feel for your property without actually having to come over. Look for this option to become more popular with buyers and sellers alike as we grow used to real estate in the new normal.

PRO TIP #2

You don’t need a 360-degree drone to get good footage. Updated smartphones do a decent job recording videos. Before you move from room to room, make sure the lights are all on and window shades are open for best lighting. Even easier still, you can use free online editing software to make a video slideshow. Just set individual pictures of the house to music or a voiceover.

Boost your online game

Another online essential for a successful real estate marketing plan is a strong social media presence. Plaster all the major social platforms with pictures of your home and share your best memory or what you’ll miss about it most. Make sure your neighbors get notified too… they can spread the news to their friends far and wide and hand-pick their new neighbors!

PRO TIP #3

If your budget allows, try paid Facebook or Instagram ads to reach your target audience. There’s also Zillow and other real estate sites—make sure your agent has access and uses these extensively.

Hire a professional

You don’t have to go it alone. If there’s one place that it could be worthwhile to put a bit of budget these days, it’s on marketing your home to stand out from the home.

PRO TIP #4

Find a full-service firm for your one-stop marketing needs. Award-winning local real estate marketing and photography firm Nola Real Estate Marketing has an impressive array of photo, video, staging, and listing packages that can do the work for you and help you get it sold.
You don’t need a huge budget to have a successful marketing campaign. There are plenty of low-cost
ways to attract buyers using the web. Happy listing.
And when it comes time to close on your sale, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future!
Don’t miss our popular Title FAQs for tips that will give you the peace of mind only a clean title can.  See us on our Facebook page and check out details of our services on our website. Or call 985-277-5095 to speak to one of our title professionals today!
Open post

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Buying or Selling During a Market Upheaval

Only you can ultimately decide when to buy or sell a home. But no doubt about it, there are certain times, like when the economy is less stable and the market is uncertain, that, undoubtedly, you should analyze your plans and long-term goals more carefully.

Here Are A Few Key Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Looking to Buy in an Uneven Market:

  1. Are you employed and is work steady? If changes in the economy or a potential recession could affect your position and/or your company’s ability to pay you, moving right now might not be… well… your best move.
  2. How many months of living expenses do you have on hand? As long as a real estate down-payment doesn’t impact your ability to fall back on your savings accounts in a poor economy, you’re still a good candidate for house hunting.
  3. How long do you plan to be in your next location? If this is a long-term move for you, this is potentially a very good time to find not only a good value on a purchase price but on a lending rate as well.

Sellers should think of these possible issues:

  1. Where are you headed when you sell? If you’re looking to buy after selling your home, ask yourself the above questions. You’ll want to have money in reserve. Especially if you end up selling your current home for less than you expected.
  2. Are you willing and able to reduce the price of your home? You never know what the market is really like until you try. And you don’t know if it might not get worse. But if you’re someone who jumps at the first offer—and the offer isn’t great—are you prepared to say no? Or to negotiate a lower price?
  3. Are you willing to take your house off the market? Six months from now if your house hasn’t sold, would you rather take your house off the market than letting it get stale or give the appearance of being less valuable? (You might consider negotiating a shorter up-front contract with your real estate agent for this reason.)

Are you in the Right Space?

One other question for anyone dipping their foot into the real estate transaction waters: are you in a space emotionally and mentally to handle the added pressures and workload of buying or selling a home? Maybe a “household project” of this magnitude is exactly what you need right now!

With all the economic uncertainty we’re facing during COVID-19, a long-term economic downturn is possible and some experts say, probable. Only time will tell how long it could last. Since you need to make this very big, very important life decision now, just be sure to do your research and ask yourself the big questions first. And as always, make sure you’re basing your real estate decisions on finances and not emotions.

 

When it comes time to close on your sale, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future!

Don’t miss our popular Title FAQs for tips that will give you the peace of mind only a clean title can. Come see us on our Facebook page and check out details of our services on our website. Or call 985-277-5095 to speak to one of our title professionals today!

Open post

What exactly IS a clean title (and how can I get one)?

Meet Happy Homeowner Harold. Harold’s home has a clean title. He did his research, hired a title company, bought title insurance, and now he owns his home without a hassle. Harold is the single, undisputed king of his castle. There is no one else and no other party that can make any kind of legal claim of his ownership.

Then there’s Sadsack Sam. Saddest Sam the South has ever seen. Because he opted out of title insurance and closed on his home without any legal advice. Now a lawyer sent a summons saying Slippery Sue inherited the house when her distant relative died 14 years ago. It’s Sam’s word against the last remaining relative’s. And Sam stands to lose.

What is a clean title?

A clean title is a homeowner’s title without any type of lien or levy from a possible owner, creditor, or interested party. Because a clean title proves there is no question on legal ownership. Therefore, there is no error in the public records. And you are the sole homeowner.

How do I get a clean title?

The best way to get a clean title is to hire a professional title company to research and ensure your title is clean. A title company searches public records (deeds, mortgages, liens, wills, and more) and any documents that affect the property’s title. The company verifies the legal owner of the home and determines all debts owed against the property.

Since the title company does all the legwork leading up to the closing, you and your agent will want to schedule your closing with a title company you trust.

What about insurance?

Nearly 100% of the time, your lender will require you to have title insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender if a title or ownership problem comes up after the property is purchased.

A lender’s policy is issued for the amount of the mortgage. The coverage decreases as you pay down your loan. Once the mortgage is paid off, the lender’s policy ends.

An owner’s policy (for buyers paying cash) protects you from the full price of your home, plus legal costs if any issues come up after you close. The policy is based on the cost of your home, and it will cover you as long as you own vested interest in the property.

You’re not required to purchase an owner’s policy but you run the risk of being forced to fight for your rights without it.

What other benefits will title insurance give me?

Title insurance is affordable, especially when you think of all you could lose if something turns up on your home.  Title insurance will:

 How do I choose a title company?

Since a title company is your last line of defense when you buy a home, you’ll need one with a solid reputation and proven track record.

You want only the best.

Clean Title, LLC, is researching the past to protect your future!

We’re proud of our track record and the recommendations our clients have shared. (Check out some of our reviews on our Facebook page).

With a blend of exemplary service and professionalism, we ensure our clients know exactly what’s happening every step of the way. We want you to feel confident that when you sign on the dotted line, you’ll be turning a house into a home.

Check out our home buyers’ Clean Title FAQs and reach out at 985-277-5095 anytime with questions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open post

How Millennials are Shaping the Real Estate Market

The 2008 housing crisis struck around the same time that many millennials were graduating high school, college, or first dipping their toes into the workforce. This calamity in the real estate market, and the economic downturn that ensued, discouraged millennials from investing in real estate. In many cases, the economy stifled their ability to save, making home ownership more of a pipe dream for many young Americans. However, as the economy recovered and some of the lost confidence of young buyers returned, millennials came back to the market to shake things up.

Generally speaking, millennials have different interests and values than Gen X and Baby Boomers. These differences have forced the market to adapt and usher in a new era in home buying and real estate marketing. Here are just a few ways that the millennial generation has helped shape the real estate market going forward.

High-Tech Housing

If there is one stereotype of millennials that is almost universally true, it is that they love technology. If there is a new development in mobile tech or software, you can be sure that millennials will want a piece of the pie. The market has picked up on this, and many agencies and sellers are equipping their houses with the newest “smart home” software to allow for more advanced security, leisure, and even automated housework.

No More Starter Homes

While it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that millennials are impatient, it is generally true that they are wary of an economy that has fluctuated throughout most of their lives. As a result, many millennials choose to forego starter homes entirely. After all, if you aren’t sure that the economy will improve, why invest in a temporary option? Instead, these young buyers go straight for finished homes at the higher end of the price scale. According to Realtor Magazine, about 1/3rd of millennial homebuyers spent more than $300,000 on their first house.

Trust in Professionals

While putting trust in a realtor is nothing new, millennials rely heavily on professional expertise when navigating the real estate market. This newfound dependence on industry professionals is the result of the complexity of purchasing new homes, as well as a general consensus that millennials are unprepared for “adulting.” Though courses in civics, personal economics, and general life skills used to be commonplace in schools, they have largely disappeared, leaving millennials feeling unsure in the face of important life decisions. To ease these anxieties, millennials choose to trust in real estate professionals.

Must-Have Features

Realtors have their work cut out for them with millennials. In the past, most prospective home buyers had a general idea of what they wanted, and then made a choice of what best fit their needs among the available options in their price range. Millennials, on the other hand, are not so accommodating. Can’t find a house with a second story terrace for under $200,000? Then no sale. Millennials know what they want, and they are more than willing to wait it out until they find the perfect home.

Despite the changes that millennials have brought to the real estate market, it must be said that they are not all cut from the same cloth. There is a lot of diversity in this generation, but their shared experiences have shaped the way they look at purchasing a home. Technology has made millennials crave new gadgets and be a little bit picky for certain features; in addition, cuts in education and economic uncertainty have made them more cautious when shopping for a place to call home. But no matter the reasons, it is clear that millennials have forever changed the future of the real estate market.

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6
Scroll to top