“Colette did an amazing job for us…. she really listened to what our needs and wants were, and it started with getting us into look at our house quickly and knowing that it wouldn’t last long…. It was exactly what we wanted. Then we ran into some hiccups and Colette kept her head and helped us to not bail when it didn’t look like this would work out. We love our house, and from the first phone call Colette was fast, helpful, knew everything about the area, and found us our HOME. We couldn’t be happier with her service and won’t use anyone else, if we ever want to move :)”
Owning real estate is a key component of the American Dream. Are your finances ready for your first homeownership purchase – or an upgrade? Most people only prepare themselves for the mortgage application and home buying process.
They think about their credit rating and how much they have saved for a down payment and closing costs. However, it is important to remember there are other expenses that need to be taken into account that are associated with owning a home:
After the home purchase is complete, homeowners can expect to have ongoing home maintenance. It is recommended that each year homeowners set aside 1% of their home’s value for maintenance costs. That means if you are buying a home for $500,000, having $5,000 in home maintenance is on par. Replacing a room or furnace can take a big chunk out of this budget and need to be prepared for.
Utilities are another cost that tend to increase after purchasing a home. People who are used to their landlord footing the bill for these or paying less in a smaller space when upgrading can be surprised when those first bills begin to arrive. I advise asking the seller for what was paid in utilities in the last year.
If you are moving to an area with an HOA or Condo Association, the regular payment amount is usually listed front and center. But what about special assessments or if the HOA votes for an increase? When buying in an HOA, I encourage buyers to review the HOA minutes for the last year or so to make sure the HOA is financially sound, is functional, and see if there are clues regarding upcoming assessments.
A survey on consumer spending data conducted by the National Association of Builders found that new homeowners spend $4,500 more per year on appliances, furnishing, and home improvements than a similar non-moving homeowner. In fact, a non-moving homeowner will spend about $7,568 per year on furnishings and upgrades, where new homebuyers will spend $12,023.
To be comfortable in your new home and to avoid surprises, take all of these factors into account to determine the true cost of owning a house and make sure it is affordable. Overall, the costs of homeownership are well worth the sense of pride in calling something your own. And don’t forget about how homeownership builds your net worth! If you are thinking about a purchase or an upgrade, let’s talk! We can discuss your goals and I can help you determine if your dreams fall in line with your finances.
The coronavirus pandemic created an economic freefall experienced across the country this spring, causing a lot of uncertainties in the real estate market.
At a time when the real estate is gearing up for its hottest season of the year, the country was experiencing record unemployment claims. Some sellers have cancelled their listings, while many opted to wait to list their homes until things settled down.
Here’s the good news: stay-at-home orders are being lifted across the nation and we are finding our new normal as the real estate market shows promise for a strong resurgence this summer.
Summer Will Pick Up Spring’s Slack
Experts predict that the summer will be hotter than usual as it picks up some of traffic that the spring season would have seen.
Chief Economist Danielle Hale, from Realtor.com, told Yahoo Finance, “There are a lot of indicators showing that the summer is going to be a good period for the housing market. I think we’re going to see some of the buying that would have happened in the spring shift into the summer.”
Housing prices and mortgage applications support these predictions.
Heading into the month of March, mortgage rates were starting to rise, making a promise for a spring market with a lot of pent up demand as buyers tried to lock in rates before seeing any additional increases.
However, as the pandemic set in, mortgage rates dropped to a 30 year low. This, in combination with Americans who are ready to resume life despite the pandemic, has caused a surge in mortgage applications.
Data from the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that mortgage applications have increased in the beginning of June by 13% higher than June of 2019.
Throughout the pandemic, housing values have shown resiliency. In April the median home value in the Cle Elum area increased by 2.9% of the year prior and by mid-May values had increased by 1.8% year over year. Even June saw growth over last year’s performance, finishing the month with a current median home price of
Rising home values coupled with historically low rates and lower available inventory indicate an active and busy summer real estate market.
Here’s a look at how our local market is shaping up:
Median Home Value
Avg. Days on Market
During an unprecedented time, it is reassuring the see the real estate market recovering in this strong of a manner. If you were planning to make a move in real estate this year, the summer is looking to be a great season to do it.
A lot has changed in our world over the past couple of months and we are facing an unprecedented situation unlike anything the world has ever seen. Everyday life has changed tremendously for nearly everyone in the world and naturally, people are examining the short-term and long-term implications of these changes.
Despite the major impact on our global economy, the real estate market in the United States is showing promising signs that it will weather this storm.
Business is Being Conducted Virtually
The real estate industry is responding to the coronavirus crisis just like the rest of the world — it is adapting. We are seeing many new ways to conduct business while maintaining social distancing. Title companies are performing drive-through closings that allow both buyers and sellers to sign required documents without going into the office. Mortgage lenders are relying on their already-established virtual capabilities for accepting applications and receiving documentation.
Realtors are finding creative ways of showing properties without having buyers physically present by relying on “virtual tours” and utilizing tools like Facebook Live to conduct open houses. Sellers are opting for “touch free” showings by leaving cabinets and closet doors open.
Buyers Eager to Purchase
Despite the current coronavirus outbreak, buyers are still showing many signs of urgency within the market. Mortgage rates still hover around all-time lows, and those in favorable economic conditions want to buy a home now to take advantage of these rates.
The number of video tour requests for showings has been steadily rising. A recent poll conducted by RedFin showed that many buyers are opting to make an offer on a property sight unseen. They are making offers after seeing properties through virtual tours. Last week 12% of offers made were by customers who had toured the home only by video, up from 6% last week and nearly 0% at the beginning of March.
Pent-Up Housing Demand
Historically, spring has been the hottest season for real estate. Currently, the number of listings on the market has decreased from last year. However, it is promising that once the social distancing has finished, there will still be a great number of homeowners that need to sell, and buyers who want to move forward.
Before social distancing was implemented, the real estate market throughout much of the country was experiencing low inventory. In many areas new construction builds were not considered essential services, therefore drastically decreasing the number of new builds available for purchase. This will create an even greater shortage of inventory and retain value for the existing homes being listed for sale.
Ultimately, the majority of Americans still feel like it is a good time to buy or sell a property. Although it feels like the world has come to a halt, there are still houses being listed, buyers looking to purchase and real estate professionals ready to help.