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Real Estate Is On Fire

Earlier this month, realtor.com announced the release of their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following:

  1. Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity
  2. Home Price – Growth in asking prices
  3. Housing Supply – Growth of new listings
  4. Pace of Sales – Difference in time-on-market

The index then compares the current status “to the last week of January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100 in this baseline period. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its recovery and vice versa.”

The graph below charts the index by showing how the real estate market started out strong in early 2020, and then dropped dramatically at the beginning of March when the pandemic paused the economy. It also shows the strength of the recovery since the beginning of May.

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate | Keeping Current Matters

It’s clear to see that the housing market is showing promising signs of recovery from the deep economic cuts we experienced earlier this spring. As noted by Dean Mon, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

“As the nation reopened, housing has been well-positioned to lead the economy forward.” The data today indicates the housing market is already on the way up.

In addition to the incredible news regarding the housing market being a pivotal part of our nation’s economic recovery, a recent Gallup Survey concluded that Real Estate is the BEST Long-Term Investment for Americans looking to invest in their future.

Respondents are asked to select real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds, as their choice for the best investment option. For the seventh year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment. Gallup explained:

“Real estate remains the most favored investment to Americans, as has been the case since 2013, when the housing market was on the rebound. More than a third of Americans have named real estate as the top investment since 2016.”

This year’s results indicated 35% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 21%. The full results covering the last decade are shown in the chart below:

Bottom Line

The belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment remains strong, despite the many challenges our economy faces today. And considering that Real Estate has been leading the way back to economic stability & interest rates are still at near historic lows, it is very clear that now is the perfect time to Buy, Sell (or maybe both) Real Estate.

Contact me today for more information on how you can benefit from the current market conditions. (989) 429-1057

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand

As we enter the summer months and work through the challenges associated with the current health crisis, many are wondering what impact the economic slowdown will have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what’s to come.

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand | MyKCM

Making our way through the month of June and entering the second half of the year, we face an undersupply of homes on the market. Keep in mind, this undersupply is going to vary by location and by price point. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, we currently have a 4.1 months supply of homes on the market. Historically, 6 months of supply is considered a balanced market. Anything over 6 months is a buyer’s market, meaning prices will depreciate. Anything below 6 months is a seller’s market, where prices appreciate. The graph below shows inventory across the country since 2010 in months supply of homes for sale.Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) says:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt. Estimates vary, but based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Given the undersupply of homes on the market today, there is upward pressure on prices. Looking at simple economics, when there is less of an item for sale and the demand is high, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. The undersupply is also prompting bidding wars, which can drive price points higher in the home sale process. According to a recent MarketWatch article:

“As buyers return to the market as the country rebounds from the pandemic, a limited inventory of homes for sale could fuel bidding wars and push prices higher.”

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand | MyKCM

In addition, experts forecasting home prices have updated their projections given the impact of the pandemic. The major institutions expect home prices to appreciate through 2022. The chart below, updated as of earlier this week, notes these forecasts. As the year progresses, we may see these projections revised in a continued upward trend, given the lack of homes on the market. This could drive home prices even higher.

Bottom Line

Many may think home prices will depreciate due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, but experts disagree. As we approach the second half of this year, we may actually see home prices rise even higher given the lack of homes for sale.

Source Info: Keeping Current Matters

6 Curb Appeal Boosters To Attract Buyers!

Curb appeal: It’s the make-or-break first impression of your home. It either beckons a second look or turns buyers off entirely. And now, in the age of the coronavirus, curb appeal is more vital than ever—since buyers might not be able to tour your home and are placing more weight on the exterior, or might be limiting in-person tours to only their top choices.

If you’re trying to sell your home during this pandemic—and the facade is a little worse for wear—don’t panic! Check out these tricks for curb appeal are so irresistible, buyers will be clamoring to know what’s inside.

1. Keep the yard green and pristine

The lawn is one of the first things buyers notice, whether they are pulling up to the curb or looking at an online listing. When it’s lush and green, it creates a favorable impression & it’s one of the cheapest things you can do to enhance curb appeal!

2. Mind your driveway and walkway

Hose down the driveway and walkway before showing your home or taking photos.

You might be inclined to overlook the driveway and front walk—how much can you really do to make concrete look good? But, truth be told, these areas are like the red carpet of curb appeal: They lead buyers to the main event, the inside of your home.

A driveway and front walk with minor cracks and weeds popping up through the expansion joints (the straight lines that divide the driveway and walkway) are an eyesore.

Luckily, it’s an easy fix.

Remove the weeds, and patch the concrete with caulk, Robertson suggests. Hose it down or power-wash it. For extra special touch, finish a concrete driveway or walkway with a clear, glossy sealer. At the very least, hose down the driveway and walkway before photos, or a video or in-person tour, to give it a fresh look.

3. Flaunt your nighttime appeal

Prospective buyers might be driving by after dark see what your house looks like at night. Turn on the charm with a warm glow from exterior lighting. All exterior lighting on the house and garage should match or have the same style for continuity, if possible.

4. Don’t forget the garage

Match your garage door color to the trim.

The garage is a key component in curb appeal, too, especially if it’s attached to the house. But how do you spruce up this often dull space? Try painting the garage door the same color as the trim on the house. Garage doors with a row of windows are pleasing to the eye, too.

DIY garage window kits are available for most newer garage door models and allow you to remove a row of existing panels and add glass inserts. If you’re adding windows where people can see in, don’t forget to stage the garage too!

5. Replace outdoor accents and give your landscaping some love

A shabby doormat, dingy house numbers, and a rusty old mailbox are hardly deal breakers, but they do leave a stale impression. If your outdoor accents have seen better days, replace them. Then make sure your landscaping looks lush for any passersby. Prune overgrown shrubs and trees. Weed flower beds, and spread a layer of fresh mulch.

Add pretty-looking annuals if your yard is lacking color. Plant a Japanese maple to fill a bare spot and create symmetry. Then wrap up by cleaning the windows and sweeping the cobwebs from the front porch. Tidy up and stage the front porch so buyers can imagine themselves relaxing there on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

6. Give your front door a face-lift

Would a shabby door with peeling paint, rusty hardware, and scuff marks entice a buyer to go inside? Front doors with glass inserts evoke a warm and welcoming feeling. If there isn’t room in the budget, rejuvenate your existing door with a fresh coat of paint and hardware.

In truth there are endless possibilities to explore when trying to boost your homes curb appeal & properly stage for sale. For additional ideas or an experts opinion on what buyers are really looking for & what catches their eye the best. Give me a call today, I would be happy to chat with you!

(989) 429-1057

*Blog Source: Realtor.com

Home Offices Are More Desirable Than Ever!

For years, we’ve all heard about the most desirable home features buyers are looking for, from upgraded kitchens to remodeled bathrooms, master suites, and more. The latest on the hot list, however, might surprise you: home offices.

In a recent article by George RatiuSenior Economist with realtor.com, he notes how listings with an office are selling quickly:

“As more companies have been embracing remote work, buyers are driving demand for houses with home offices higher. Homes featuring the term ‘office’ are selling 9 days faster than the overall housing inventory.”

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever | MyKCM

Today, more and more people are working remotely, and that’s not just because the current pandemic is prompting businesses to operate virtually. According to the same piece and the most recent data available, the number of employees working at home was fairly steady from 1997 – 2004 but has been climbing ever since (see graph below):Clearly, the work-from-home population is growing, and technology is making it possible. Just last month, according to an article on Think Google, searches for telecommuting hit an all-time high, and that’s certainly no surprise given our current situation.

People all over the U.S. are looking for answers on how to be most effective at home, and it’s making the ideal workspace more and more desirable. In fact, best practices from seasoned work-from-home professionals, like Chris Anderson, Senior Account Executive at HousingWire, tout that having a dedicated space is a must for productivity.

With today’s increasing demand for home offices, it’s a great feature to highlight within your listing if you’re selling a house that may meet this growing need. From bright natural light with large windows to built-in bookshelves or a quiet and secluded atmosphere, whatever makes your office space shine is worth mentioning to buyers when you’re ready to list your house.

Ratiu concludes:

“For housing, the continued increase in the share of remote workers implies that demand for homes with offices or dedicated work spaces will continue to increase. The current coronavirus pandemic offers a dramatic indication of the fact that companies and employees will have to develop plans and clearer policies for remote work beyond the current crisis.”

Bottom Line

Remote work may become more widely accepted as this current crisis teaches businesses throughout the country what it takes to function virtually. So, what seems like a business challenge today may be more of the norm tomorrow. With that in mind, if you have a home office, your house may be more desirable to buyers than you think.

Century 21 Northland – COVID-19 Official Statement

“Amid escalating concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Century 21 Northland, would like to take this time to speak directly to our clients, prospective clients & community members!

In real estate, like many other industries, despite the serious nature of our current events, the show must go on. Especially considering the latest drop, in prime interest rates! Home affordability may never be better.

That being said, we firmly believe that our Agents can still carry out their duties responsibly under these conditions, & are encouraged to continue to do so on behalf of buyers who believe they may have opportunity now, or sellers who cannot wait weeks or months to resume their sales plans.

Thus, we will be deep cleaning our offices, and continuing to do so on a regular basis, per the CDC recommendations. Our agents who tour properties with buyers or sellers will be practicing safety precautions for each showing. Alcohol/Sanitizing Wipes for doorknobs & light switches, as well as the use of hand sanitizer and/or hand washing at both the beginning and the end of the showing.  To minimize the exposure to germs in general, we will be foregoing the traditional handshake at this time. Of course, we do not wish to offend anyone by politely declining a handshake but feel it necessary to take every precaution for both the safety of our clients and ourselves. Obviously if you are feeling ill or been exposed to someone who has, please reach out and we will simply reschedule your appointment!

At Century 21, we already offer our clients an online experience that outshines the competition & will be ramping up our efforts to increase those areas of communications during this time! We encourage those that are currently selling your home, to share your listing online. The dramatic increase in the numbers of folks online, will leave open the possibility for possible buyers to find the home of their dreams, while they at home avoiding the public! If you are in the market for a home, please do not hesitate to reach out to us personally via our website, social media or simply give us a call. Our agents will be able to work with you remotely and share with you many of the same tools we already use in the business that can help you narrow down your search without subjecting yourself to the public until absolutely necessary!

No epidemic lasts forever, and everyone will still need a place to live when this one passes. Please stay safe, remember a panicked public often breeds more problems. We encourage you to be safe, smart and practical. But discourage any hysteria and mass assumptions. The internet can be a fantastic resource for information. But not source is credible, so be mindful of misinformation.

We are confident that like most everything else, this too shall pass! We thank you in advance for your cooperation and partnership in helping to protect the health of our communities. We are dedicated to providing a stress free, and healthy environment.

Stay Healthy Friends”

Sincerely,

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally. I would be happy to talk things through with you!

Call: (989) 429-1057

Email: ashley@realestate-madesimple.com

Michigan’s Other Great Lake – HIGGINS LAKE

They don’t call Michigan the Great Lakes State for nothing. Yes, we’re surrounded by some of the most famous lakes in the world, but we’re also home to plenty of inland bodies of water that offer just as much charm. There’s one lake here in Michigan that will absolutely delight you with its crystal-clear shorelines, sapphire hues, and perfect ambiance. Once you visit, you might never want to leave.

Higgins Lake is a small community tucked away in beautiful Roscommon County and that’s where you will find this hidden gem. Higgins Lake is the tenth largest lake in the entire state of Michigan and covers approximately 9,900 acres.

With its 21 miles of stunning shoreline it offers some of the greatest lakefront homes in the area. Here you’ll also find all sorts of scenic spots and plenty of wonderful outdoor adventures just waiting to be discovered.

However, the most impressive of all, is the lake’s stunning colors. The deepest parts of the lake are a rich sapphire color, while the shallower sections sparkle with a delightful turquoise hue.

Visitors to Higgins Lake will find ample opportunities for fishing, camping, & beach going. With two state parks to enjoy, North & South Higgins Lake, you’ll find easy access to boat launches, swimming, & find yourself transported into a blissful beach paradise.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages will be completely blown away by the magical atmosphere at Higgins Lake. For many Michiganders, visiting this gorgeous spot is a lifelong family tradition.

Whether you’ve been splashing in the beautiful blue waters of Higgins Lake for years or you’re just preparing for your first trip, there’s no denying that this is one of Michigan’s most incredible bodies of water.

Need some help planning your next vacation?

Follow the links below for some rental properties & state parks in the area.

Thinking of taking the dive and investing in your own piece of blissful lakefront paradise? Now is the time with home prices on the rise and interest rates at record breaking lows.

So, why not put an experts eye on your home search! You’ll receive personalized matches of results delivered direct to you. I’ll take into account your goals, criteria and preferences to find properties that are exactly what you’ve been dreaming of.

Learn more about how to discover your dream home, HERE -or- Call me today to start living your dream on the tranquil waters of Higgins Lake! (989) 429-1057

Source Credit:

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/michigan/sapphire-lake-mi/

Now w/Century 21 Northland

Hello,
I would like to let you know I am now working at CENTURY 21 Northland in Houghton Lake. After much thought and deliberation, the association to a large franchise firm seemed to be the best option for myself and my customers. CENTURY 21 has been the most recognized name in the real estate industry for many years. I believe the marketing and opportunities CENTURY 21 has available will increase the level of service I am able to provide to my customers.

I value the years I spent at Midge & Co, and the friends and connections I made while working there. I’m thankful to Midge & the whole team and wish them all the best.  Please be sure to save this new email address- ashley@realestate-madesimple.com and delete my old Midge & Co email. I will no longer be receiving emails through that account.

I look forward to and am excited for the future, feel free to contact me with any questions.  
Thank you for all your continued support & friendship!

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments

Spring is right around the corner, so flowers are starting to bloom, and many potential homebuyers are getting ready to step into the market. If you’re thinking of buying this season, here’s how mortgage interest rates are working in your favor.

Freddie Mac explains:

If you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971…

Mortgage rates change frequently. Over the last 45 years, they have ranged from a high of 18.63% (1981) to a low of 3.31% (2012). While it’s not likely that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will return to its record low, the current average rate of 3.45% is pretty close — all to your advantage.”

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments | MyKCM

To put this in perspective, the following chart from the same article shows how average mortgage rates by decade have impacted the approximate monthly payment of a $200,000 home over time:Clearly, when rates are low – like they are today – qualified buyers can benefit significantly over time.

Keep in mind, if interest rates go up, this can push many potential homebuyers out of the market. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes:

“Prospective home buyers are also adversely affected when interest rates rise. NAHB’s priced-out estimates show that, depending on the starting rate, a quarter-point increase in the rate of 3.75% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage can price over 1.3 million U.S. households out of the market for the median-priced new home.”

Bottom Line

You certainly don’t want to be priced out of the market this year, and waiting may mean a significant change in your potential mortgage payment should rates start to rise. If your financial situation allows, now may be a great time to lock in at a low mortgage rate to benefit greatly over the lifetime of your loan.

*Source: Keeping Current Matters

Tips for Sellers this Fall

5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for the Fall Selling Season

Sellers looking to get the best price know that curb appeal plays a huge role in getting buyers through the door. Once the flowers fade and the temperature drops, however, it can be easy to overlook your outdoor space altogether. Here are five simple ways to make the most of what fall has to offer and give your home the edge it needs for a quick sale.

1. Improve Your Entry

With every potential buyer passing through your front door, your entryway is critical to a good first impression. Cleaning the door, sweeping the stoop, and ridding the area of dirt and cobwebs can be enough to improve the overall look of your home, but for maximum impact, lay a new doormat and replace or paint any rusted or corroded hardware, mailboxes, or light fixtures. If you’re feeling adventurous, painting your front door a different shade can be a great selling feature that can be done in an afternoon.

2. Let the Light Shine

While the outdoors is the natural habitat for all manner of insects, they don’t need to reside in your outdoor light fixtures. Dirty lights and windows will not only reduce your nighttime curb appeal but can also affect how much natural light makes it through to the inside of your home. A thorough cleaning of light fixtures and windows will boost the overall impression buyers have of your home and can affect their impression of the rest of the home. For added impact, place inexpensive solar lights along the border of any gardens or walkways to illuminate your yard at night.

3. Love Your Landscape

Given that landscaping can amount for up to 15 percent of a home’s value, keeping your yard in tip-top shape is more important in the fall than ever. Fall colors and cascading leaves may provide a romantic vision, but may leave a potential buyer focusing on how much raking they will have to do. When seasonal plants fade away, be sure to cut back the dead growth and ensure your yard is regularly raked. Even if your yard doesn’t require frequent mowing, be sure to edge walkways with a straight-edge for a clean-cut look, and add some quick color by placing pots of seasonal plants in gardens and on porches.

4. Whisk the Water Away

The fall tends to bring increased precipitation, which can be a deal-breaker for buyers if they feel water penetration will be a problem. To prevent pooling water, be sure the grading around the foundation slopes away from the house and use downspout extenders, if necessary, to move water out into the yard. Clean the gutters regularly, and take a good walk around your home after a heavy rain to identify any problem areas that may allow water into the house, like door and window caulking.

5. Don’t Overdo the Decor

Finally, while the bounty of fall can be used to enhance the beauty of your home, be wary of overdoing the decor. Too many Halloween decorations, for example, can easily detract from the beauty of your home. Try instead for colorful mums, gourds, and pumpkins in a variety of colors and sizes that can provide earthy variety without overdoing it. Regardless of the weather, the fall is still a hot time to sell a home, and can be an incredible opportunity to make a lucrative sale. Keep in mind that most buyers will either view your home online or drive by before making a decision to visit, so a sharp curb appeal can help keep your home above the competition.

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