Has this ever happened to you? You’re looking for a contractor or other professional for a home project or repair. You search on Google and find hundreds of names. You spend hours considering them. Yet, you never feel confident that the people you find will be qualified, experienced and reputable.
That’s not an unusual scenario. In the end, most people email a friend or neighbor, and ask, “Do you know a good contractor?”
Often that approach works best!
In fact, a growing number of my clients come my way by referral too. I deeply appreciate all those people who recommend me to their friends and neighbors.
So, I’d like to return the favor.
You see, I’m well-connected in the local “home industry”. If you’re looking for someone – a contractor, a repair person, a landscape company, etc. – please give me a call. I may be able to recommend someone to you.
“The highest compliment anyone can give me is to recommend me to a friend. If you know of anyone with a real estate need, I would appreciate your referral, and promise to take good care of them”.
January 2020 National Housing Report
HOME SALES YEAR-OVER-YEAR DIFFERENCE +10.5%
January 2019 to January 2020
MEDIAN SALES PRICE JANUARY 2020 $256,000
+8.9% from January 2019
AVERAGE OF 59 DAYS ON THE MARKET
equal to January 2019
NUMBER OF HOMES FOR SALE
-15.6% from January 2019
*** Average of 54 metro areas.
How Much Housing Wealth Can You Build in a Decade?
Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership.
Below are three graphs depicting the most important data revealed in the study.
How much have home prices increased?
One of the first measures of the financial benefits of homeownership is the net worth (in the form of equity) an owner can build over time. The study showed the average increase in home values based on how long homeowners stayed in a home.
What was the percentage of appreciation?
Was this appreciation consistent throughout the country?
Today, when we think of markets that have done well over the last decade, we have a tendency to think about San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and other West Coast cities. Though it is true the West Region showed the highest price growth over the last three decades, we can see how every region of the country did quite well in ten-year increments:
This data validates the claim that homeownership is great for building wealth. The importance of this information was highlighted in the study’s first sentence:
Homeownership is an important source of wealth creation, enabling current homeowners and succeeding generations to move up the economic ladder.
Homeownership has many financial and non-financial benefits. The accumulation of housing wealth through increased equity is a major one. If you’re thinking of buying a home for the first time or moving up to your dream home, the sooner you make the move, the sooner your net worth will begin to grow.
Moisture on Windows
You’re standing by your window admiring the view. Then you notice it. Moisture has built up around the edges of the glass. Should you worry?
It all depends on the reason for the build up.
Assuming you have traditional double-pane glass in your windows, there are a few things to look for if you notice moisture.
Often, moisture at the bottom of your windows is simply caused by too much humidity in your indoor air. If that’s the case, simply adjust your humidifier.
If the moisture is on the outside of the window, typically there’s also no problem with the window itself. It may have rained recently, or the outside humidity may have spiked causing the accumulation. Generally, there’s no reason for concern.
However, if the moisture is in between the two panes of glass, the seal has broken and surrounding air – along with its water content – has made its way in. This disrupts the thermal barrier of the window, reducing its energy efficiency. In fact, the glass might feel noticeably colder than your other windows on chilly days. In that case, you’ll need to replace the pane.
Similarly, if the moisture is coming in through only one spot – the bottom right corner for example – then you might have a leak. If you have a wood frame or sill, you may also notice a growing water stain. It’s important to get leaks fixed quickly. There may be water damage occurring within the frame that you cannot see.
Home Shopping and the Four-Legged Stool
What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.
What does this have to do with shopping for a new home?
Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.
The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture of the type of home you want. How many bedrooms? A large deck? Don’t forget about the neighborhood. Do you need to be close to major highways for ease of commuting?
The second leg is a pre-approved mortgage. Getting the financing handled upfront takes the guesswork out of what you can afford. And, sellers are more likely to take any offers you make more seriously.
The third leg is realistic expectations. Of homes that sell, 99% sell at or near their current market values. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. It does mean you’re unlikely to find a “steal”. Fortunately, there are likely several wonderful properties available within your price range.
The final leg of the stool is a great real estate professional. Choosing the right real estate professional is crucial to making your home shopping experience less stressful and more productive.
So, when you’re hunting for a new home, make sure you start with a stable “four-legged stool”. It will dramatically increase your chances of finding a home that fits your needs and budget.
Need help with that? Call today.