Archive for May, 2013
Running an energy-efficient home this coming summer doesn’t necessarily entail buying expensive solar panels or wind generators. Neither does it mean you have to leave the a/c on 24 hours a day. Here are 8 useful tips.
Laundry: Wait until you have a full load of laundry and run the machine on cold. Detergents are available to clan clothes at low temperatures.
Dishes: Don’t pre-rinse your dishes as this wastes energy. And wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on. If you have the time, use the air dry or no-heat dry settings so the dishes dry without using electricity.
Windows: In the winter during the day, open the blinds on south-facing windows to allow the sun to warm your home then close them in the evening to increase insulation. (In the summer, you can do the opposite to keep your home cool.)
Computers and TVs: Turn off your appliances when you are not using them. Even when they’re in standby mode they are still using electricity — it’s estimated 5% of household energy use is from appliances leaking away electricity. So turn them off at the wall.
Showers: While a long, hot shower is nice and relaxing, you can save a lot of money taking shorter showers and by installing energy-efficient shower heads that give you a good shower while reducing water use.
Space heaters: Surprisingly, space heaters are a lot cheaper than a central heat. And don’t forget to turn them off when you’re out. Installing a programmable thermostat will also keep your heating bill low.
Furnace filter: Change the filter at the start of every season and then every month or two after because a dirty filter makes the furnace work harder and be less efficient.
Floors and drafts: If you’ve got hardwood floors, put down some rugs, particularly if you have wood floors above a cold basement. Make sure also that you’ve installed insulation such as weather-stripping at the bottom of doors. Like all other necessities, energy bills are on the rise. Being aware of the optimum times to run appliances such as heat and air, dishwashers & washer and dryers will increase your chances of keeping that hard-earned dollar in your pocket. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.
How can buyers compete in today’s real estate? That’s the question being ask more and more by buyers near and far. It only takes a couple of offers not accepted to generate that response. When you have multiple offers on nearly every home that hits the market, there will be many unhappy prospects that miss out and will have to wait for the next opportunity. This market is not for the weak-hearted, only the strong survive. Even with what appears to be a never-ending supply of buyers, there are still many buyers that have decided to postpone buying and wait for the market to calm down and for more inventory to come on the market.
There are two problems with that last approach. The chances of inventory increasing enough to make supply outweigh demand is slim to none. The other point that should concern these buyers are property values are not stabilizing, they are still in an upward trajectory. The mind-set these fence sitters should consider is making adjustments to the strategy they used that made them lose the last property they bid on.
It’s difficult for buyers in general, but especially first-timers to give up their contingencies or protective devices. Unfortunately, that’s real estate as we now know it. When you have 25% or more of the homes selling with all cash offers, buyers that are obtaining a loan can only compete by giving up their appraisal and or loan contingencies. That’s a scary proposition for some, but just the way homes are now being bought. The correct sequence should be getting pre approved for a loan first before making an offer. If you take that step, removing the loan contingency should not be a big concern.
You still have that all important inspection contingency, right, no that’s something else that might have to go. Our purchase contracts allow 17 days for buyers to investigate the property. That is way more time than is actually needed. Lowering that to 7 or 10 days might be the difference in getting that home or losing out to a more motivated buyer. Sellers are in complete control when there are five prospects that want their home at the same time. Everything else being equal, giving up those contingencies could make a difference in moving into your new home or getting back on the fence. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.
Home prices in 10% of the nation’s top 200 housing markets have recently hit new peaks or are only a hair away, new data show. Another two dozen of the top markets are within 5% of their peaks. many of the remaining cities are likely to hit new peaks this year. The data show how far prices in many cities have rebounded since the historic housing collapse after mid 2006.
Many cities now or at previous highs never saw the price runup leading up to the bust that others did. They didn’t drop as far, so they have less of a climb back. Of the cities within 5% of their previous peaks, none saw more than an 11% decline in home values from mid 2006 to the market’s bottom in 2012.
Much of the recovery can be attributed to a number of factors, none more than the lack of inventory. Rising mortgage rates and job growth are the other components that have been part of the recovery. There are still dozens of markets where prices peaked in 2006 that are still 25% to 60% below those highs.
One constraint is that sellers are afraid they won’t be able to locate a replacement home, since so few properties are for sale. The lack of inventory has effected that segment of buyers most of all. Multiple offers are the new normal in this market. We basically went from having lots of inventory and no buyers to having a lot of buyers and no inventory. This combination has led to rising prices and a concomitant drop in short sales as homeowners regain positive equity. With prices starting to go up, the renewed hope is that some of the underwater homes will become afloat.
A number of prospective buyers have made offers on homes and lost out to higher bids. Homes are so scarce that some offers are substantially higher than asking prices and many buyers are releasing appraisal, inspection and loan contingencies to make their offers more competitive. This maneuver would not have been even considered as late as 2012 and is now a common practice among many buyers.
Investors, all cash buyers and first time and repeat buyers are all competing for the same properties. This has created a demand that far outweighs the supply. This buying frenzy combined with limited inventory will continue throughout the rest of this year and make buying a home feel like a lottery win. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.
Fast and furious certainly defines the housing market today. What an excellent analogy when it comes to today’s real estate. The first five months of 2013 has had a similar feel to the roaring early 2000’s when sellers were in complete control and buyers were pursuing homes at a frantic pace. We are just now moving into what normally would be the selling season, no telling what the summer months will bring. There are many factors for the housing resurgence. Let’s look at a few factors that have turned the real estate market from fizzle to sizzle.
Lack Of Inventory: This is the most important reason for the turn around. When you have a one or two month supply of homes for sale at any given time and more buyers than homes available, this creates a supply and demand that favors the seller. Most indicators say it’ll be slim pickings for home buyers when it comes to home choices this summer and throughout the rest of 2013. Home prices have increased and the lack of inventory is the main component for that hike.
Uptick In Mortgage Rates: The combination of steady mortgage rate increases and the lack of sellable properties has changed the buyer’s perspective when it comes to buying a home. Patience is no longer a virtue for those determined prospects that want to buy a property before both rates and home prices move higher. One of every four homes selling are purchased with all cash, but for those that need financing, this is the time to get a loan before rates move higher.
Fewer Short Sales/Foreclosures: The past gluttony of short sales and foreclosures brought the housing market to a screeching halt and prices plummeted. The number of distressed properties have shrunk this year compared to the last several years and stagnant home prices have made a steady climb with fewer short sales and foreclosures to compete against.
Home Buyer Confidence: Lessons were learned by buyers, lenders and the real estate industry as a whole from the housing collapse. Lenders are less likely to give loans to questionable applicants and 20% down payments are now the norm. There are still programs for those buyers with less than the desired 20% down, but there are more stringent guidelines than in years past. Buyers feel compelled and confident with buying a home again. The lessons learned from the recent past are much less likely to be repeated by todays home buyer. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.
It seems like just yesterday that buyers were in complete control of the housing market. Being patient was extremely beneficial because of the weekly drop in home prices and mortgage rates. You could not go wrong by waiting. As the clock ticked midnight on December 31st and the new year began, almost by magic the market turned from a buyers market to a full-blown sellers market. There were signs last year that real estate might be moving in a different direction, but nothing that would indicate what’s currently taking place. Even though home prices were stagnant in 2012, many more buyers felt the time was right to buy.
Bank owned and short sales were dwindling in numbers in 2012 and traditional sellers were being cautious when it came to competing with those distressed properties. As the new year set in we then saw the overnight phenomenon that changed the way buyers and sellers adapted to the quick turnaround. Home buyers were like sharks in a feeding frenzy and sellers were reluctant to sell because of the reports of steady increases in home prices. Why sell now when home prices are on the way up and could go higher was the thought process for many home owners.
Nationwide, home prices are up over 9% this year. Each region of the country showed price improvements. Let’s use our local markets in Davis and Woodland as models for what housing is doing throughout the rest of the country. There have been 129 properties sold in Davis as of 30 April 2013 compared to 71 properties sold last year through the same period. The average sales price also increased this year to $494,907 from last years $427,752. Price per square foot jumped to $266 this year compared to $253 last year. These are drastic increases across the board in such a short period of time.
Like Davis, the Woodland market saw large increases this year compared to last year. There have been 170 homes sold year-to-date compared to 108 properties sold in 2012. The average sales price of $236,794 this year dwarfed the $181,447 from 2012 and the price per square foot leaped to $135 from $115 last year.
Limited inventory and rising mortgage rates, plus home buyer confidence have been the catalyst with the surge in the housing market. Both Davis and Woodland have less than a two month supply of homes available for sale. Six months are considered a normal market. The rise in mortgage rates combined with the lack of inventory has quickly changed what was a buyers market into a full-fledge sellers market. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home.