Author: barthorowitz

3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House This Year

When preparing to sell, a real estate professional will help you set the true value of your home. Do you want to sell you your home? When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes when it’s time to move. Being mindful and prepared for the process can help you stay on the right track when selling your house this year. 1. Price Your Home Right When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, it’s common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that’s not always true. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your house. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be aware that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you set the true value of your home. 2. Keep Your Emotions in Check Today, homeowners are living in their houses for a longer period of time. Since 1985, the average tenure, or the time a homeowner has owned their home, has increased from 5 to 10 years (as shown in the graph below): This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay...

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Study Shows Rise in Preference for Multi-Generational Homes

This year challenged us to reprioritize everything – from the way we use our time to where we work, how we socialize and gather together, and our needs at home. For many, this also meant making decisions about how to best support and engage with our extended families, near and far. In some cases, we weren’t able to see our relatives and loved ones who were living in senior facilities. In others, maybe older children moved back home. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “A lot of families have an aging senior relative who was living independently or in senior care and wanted to move them into their home.” These changes led more homebuyers to invest in multi-generational homes to accommodate more long-term plans. A multi-generational home, according to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, is a home that has adult siblings, adult children over the age of 18, parents, and/or grandparents in the household. A recent study from NAR shows that since the health crisis began, there’s been an increase in purchasing trends for homes that cater to this dynamic: “Buyers who purchased after March were more likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 15% compared to 11% who purchased before April.” There are many reasons for this uptick in preference toward multi-generational homes. The graph below shows the top two reasons...

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Today’s Mortgage Rates Offer Significant Benefits for Consumers

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point, hitting a new historic low 15 times. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today’s low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here’s a look at three of them. 1. Move-up or Downsize: One option is to consider moving into a new home, putting the equity you’ve likely gained in your current house toward a down payment on a new one that better meets your needs – something that’s truly a perfect fit, especially if your lifestyle has changed this year. 2. Become a First-Time Homebuyer: There are many financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home, and the most important thing is to first decide when the time is right for you. You have to determine that on your own, but know that now is a great time to buy if you’re considering it. Just take a look at the cost of renting vs. buying. 3. Refinance: If you already own a home, you may decide you’re going to refinance. It’s one way to lock in a lower monthly payment and save more over time. However, it also means paying upfront closing costs, too. If you want to take this route, you have to answer the question: Should I refinance my home? Why 2020 Was a Great Year for Homeownership Last year, the average mortgage rate was 3.93% (substantially higher than it is today). If...

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3 Reasons to Be Optimistic about Real Estate in 2021

This year will be remembered for many reasons, and optimism is one thing that’s been in short supply since the spring. We’re experiencing a global pandemic, social unrest, an economic downturn, and natural disasters, just to name a few. The challenges brought on by the health crisis have also forced many homeowners to reevaluate their space and what they need in a home going into 2021. So, experts are forecasting that next year is one in which we can be optimistic about real estate for three key reasons. 1. The Economy Is Expected to Continue Improving Tim Duy from the University of Oregon puts it this way: “There is nothing fundamentally ‘broken’ in the economy that needs to heal…there was no obvious financial bubble driving excessive activity in any one economic sector when the pandemic hit…With Covid-19 cases surging again, it is understandably hard to look optimistically to the other side of this winter…Don’t let the near-term challenges distract from the economic stage being set for next four years.” 2. Interest Rates Are Projected to Stay Low In the latest projections from Freddie Mac, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are expected to remain at or near 3% next year. These low rates will continue to make homes more affordable, driving demand for housing in 2021. 3. Future Home Sales Are Expected to Grow While the economy improves and interest rates remain low,...

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Staten Island’s Winter 2021 Home Sellers Guide

Reading SIBOR’S “Winter 2021 Home Sellers Guide” is a great way to learn more about what’s most important in today’s real estate market. The Guide is free — and it’s available now! Look through the publication and connect with a Realtor member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR) so you can feel confident when selling your house. Click here to view or download the...

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