How to Start the Lending Process

Starting the lending process is the first step to owning a home. Did you know you can buy a home with NO MONEY DOWN? Did you know that starting the lending process is FREE?

I enlist the help of an experienced lender to explain the basics of lending and common misconceptions about the home buying process.

Send me an email, text or give me a call and I will be happy to answer all of your real estate questions and recommend some of my most trusted lenders to get you on the path to homeownership.

aimeehartwigrealestate.com / 541-579-9213 / aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com

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Real Estate Market Update

For the first time since at least World War II, mortgage rates and the unemployment rate are below 4-percent. As a result, some economists are predicting home prices will increase at a faster pace over the next 12 months than they have in 2019.

Corelogic says home prices will likely increase by 5.8% through August 2020. That’s a faster pace than the 3.8% seen in August of this year.

First-time homebuyers, Generation Z homebuyers and single female homebuyers are taking full advantage of this fifty-year low…

46-percent of all loans Freddie Mac has purchased this year came from first-time homebuyers, while there has been a 200% and 500% increase in Gen Z and single female homebuyers, respectively.

* Labor Costs Likely to Push Home Prices Higher. In an article in CoreLogic’s Insights blog, Nothaft quotes National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) figures that say about 60 percent of a new home’s sales price reflects the construction costs of the home. The major components of building costs are those associated with purchasing and preparing a lot, acquiring permits and inspections, hiring labor and buying materials. There was a significant price run-up in the two major components of framing, lumber and steel. Labor costs are another matter. Much has been written about the shortage of construction labor. Many workers left the trades during the Great Recession and the industry has had trouble luring young people and especially young women into the field. Vacancies as a percent of construction job are now at the highest level in 18 years and compensation has risen accordingly. It is up 3 percent this year, about double the rate of inflation. Worker retention is an issue as well. Nothaft says rising land and labor costs will probably offset any savings builders might realize from lower lumber prices and overall costs for a new home will continue to rise.

Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/10092019_residential_construction.asp

* Mortgage Rates Drop Again – And First-Time Homebuyers Take Full Advantage. Mortgage rates dropped again, and according to Freddie Mac, the downward spiral has first-time buyers gaining ground. In fact, of all the loans Freddie Mac has purchased in 2019, 46% came from first-time homebuyers – a two-decade high for the company. According to representatives at online mortgage provider Better.com, the lender has seen a “huge uptick” in first-time homebuyers as well. There’s also been a 200% increase in Generation Z homebuyers (born 1997-2012) and a 500% increase in single female homebuyers aged 30-40. As Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, reported yesterday, “The fifty-year low in the unemployment rate, combined with low mortgage rates, has led to increased homebuyer demand this year. Much of this strength is coming from entry-level buyers.”  

Full Story…  https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2019/10/11/mortgage-rates-drop-againand-first-time-homebuyers-take-full-advantage/#4691dbabeb0d

Where Have All the Affordable Homes Gone? Housing affordability has been a growing concern in the housing ecosystem, but why is it such a problem? While home prices have been steadily rising for many years, Nothaft observed, “We find that lower-priced homes have appreciated much, much more than higher-priced homes.” Since May 2018, prices of homes more than 25% above the median have risen 3%, while homes in the lowest tier, those more than 25% below the median, have risen almost 5.5%.  As demand rises on affordable homes, the supply has become increasingly constrained. Nothaft noted, “New construction, while picking up gradually over the last few years, is still well below what it was prior to the housing boom.” The current inventory for homes is tightest in the lowest price tiers, particularly in those between 50 and 100 percent of the median home price. On the affordable housing shortage, Nothaft concluded, “I don’t see that changing any time soon unless we find ways to reduce the cost of producing or delivering lower-priced homes into the marketplace and reducing some of the regulatory costs.” In the meantime, with demand rising on an increasingly scarce product, we can expect prices to continue rising on affordable homes for the foreseeable future.

Full Story…  https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2019/10/where-have-all-the-affordable-homes-gone.aspx

AimeeHartwigRealEstate.com
541-579-9213

Easy Home Staging Tips

For most of us, our home is the biggest investment we will ever make. When it comes time to sell, treating your home as such will help you get a bigger return on your investment. You want it to look it’s very best when potential buyers come through or view your photos online. First impressions matter, which is where home staging comes in. Home staging emphasizes its strengths and minimizes its weaknesses. This is important for your marketing photos and when potential buyers are trying to visualize a life there.

Here are a few tips to help you get your home ready to sell.

Declutter

One of the first things you want to do is declutter. Clutter takes up space and space is what sells. Make your home look bigger and more desirable by editing down to just the basics.

De-personalize

De-personalizing goes hand-in-hand with decluttering. You want potential buyers to be able to picture their things in the house. Go room-to-room and clear off the countertops, desk tops and shelves of all personal items. This includes your family photos. In this case, less is always more.

Clean

Cleaning goes a long way to improve the look and feel of your investment. A deep clean before you list the home is a good idea, but then set aside time each week to give the floors and bathrooms a once over.

Spackle and Paint

Now that your home is decluttered, de-personalized and clean, it’s a good time to spackle and paint. Filling in the holes and applying a fresh coat of paint will freshen the look of the house. Using lighter colors like white or beige will make the room feel bigger.

The National Association of REALTORS took a look at the value staging a home brings to the selling process, the return on investment or ROI. Here is what it determined.

  • 83% of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.
  • 44% of buyers’ agents say that staging a home increases the dollar value offered
  • 53% of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market
  • 95% of agents recommend that sellers declutter their home before putting it on the market.

When it comes to the return on investment, a staged home will sell faster and for more money than a non-staged home. The results of a recent Coldwell Banker survey show staged homes sell for more than 6% above the asking price. For a $200,000 listing, that’s $12,000 extra in the seller’s pockets.

AimeeHartwigRealEstate.com / 541-579-9213 / aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com

Appraisals on Certain Home Sales May NOT be Required Soon

If a new Federal rule is approved it will have a sizeable impact on the real estate market. Federal regulators are close to approving a proposal to increase the appraisal threshold on residential home sales. What’s that mean for you? It means that certain home sales, of $400,000 and under, may not require an appraisal. Since 1994 the appraisal requirement has been set at $250,000.

The proposal is currently awaiting Fed approval to move forward. It has been approved by both the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) and the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), so experts believe it’s only a matter of time before the Fed approves the rule, it’s entered into the Federal Register and enacted as the law of the land.

Now, it’s important to mention this does not apply to ALL loans. New rules do NOT apply to loans that are wholly or partially insured or guaranteed by, or eligible for sale to, a government agency or government sponsored agency. That means loans sold to or guaranteed by the FHA, HUD, the VA or Fannie and Freddie Mac would still require an appraisal, per agency rules. However, the new rule would apply to approximately 40% of home sales.

541-579-9213 / aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com

Download my mobile app for the most up-to-date housing information in our area.

Real Estate Market Report – Q2

HEALTHY GAINS

The second quarter of the year marked a healthy springtime market for Eugene and Southern Oregon. New listings and active listings surged, the average for days on market narrowed in most cities and even if closed transactions inched downward, pending transactions for the second quarter showed signs of seasonal promise.

DAYS ON MARKET

Average days on market in the second quarter of 2019 was 42 days, a 6.7% decrease from year-ago figures. In Sweet Home, days on market surged 44% to 46 days, while year-over-year averages fell in Albany, Lebanon and Roseburg.

CLOSED TRANSACTIONS AND PENDING SALES

The number of closed units dropped 6% this quarter from 2018. Pending sales fared better this quarter, jumping 18.4% from the same time period in 2018. Closed transactions fell year-over-year in Albany, Roseburg Sweet Home and Leb- anon, with the latter city experiencing a 21% dip in closed sales from year-ago figures. Pending sales fared better this quarter, jumping 18.4% from the same time period in 2018.

AVERAGE SALES PRICE

Average sales price posted a moderate first quarter, up 2.6% year-over-year in the region to $300,783. Prices for homes in Corvallis were up 10% this quarter, landing at $408,960, the highest average price in the region.

NEW LISTINGS

As with most markets this quarter, Eugene and Southern Oregon saw a boost in both new and active listings. New listings soared year-over-year by 63.5% to end the quarter at 1,442.

541-579-9213 / aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com

Download my mobile app for the most up-to-date housing information in our area.

The Seller Advantage

We can help you make informed decisions.

Informed Sellers Can Make Better Decisions

It’s simple math… the more people who see your listing, the greater the chances for a fair and timely sale of your property.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we have one of the industry’s most comprehensive strategies for ensuring maximum exposure of a property to buyers searching in your area.

We also keep our sellers informed about current market trends by providing them with an overview of the competitive selling landscape. This helps you, the seller, make strategic pricing decisions to quickly sell your home at an agreeable price.

Here is what you get with our Seller Advantage:

Listing Presentation Report

Our Seller Advantage program gives you the information and decision-making tools throughout the home sale process. Here’s how… Our Listing Presentation Report will show you exactly how many potential buyers are searching a specific neighborhood for homes similar to yours.

Listing Activity Report

Then, once you’ve listed with me, a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network agent, you will get our Listing Activity Report. This details how many times your home has appeared in potential buyers’ search results and how many times your listing has been viewed.

Market Activity Report

Last, but not least, we offer a market activity report. Perhaps your not ready to sell, but would like a sense of buyer interest in your neighborhood and in homes like yours. The Market Activity Report will show you just how many people are searching in your neighborhood for a home like yours. You’ll gain specific market updates including new listings, price changes and status changes.

Such comprehensive information, combined with the global reach that only Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices can offer, will give you unmatched advantages when you list and sell your home.

Contact me to set up your free home evaluation now. Let me help you get the most money for your investment!

Your Local Real Estate Expert

c: 541-579-9213 / e: aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com

From Fixer Upper to Fabulous

Photo courtesy of: Laurie Schuler, CMPS, Stearns Lending

From Fixer Upper to Fabulous! We’ve all seen the shows on HGTV. It’s trending nationwide and there’s a reason for it. Home buyers get the customized home they want for less and typically have thousands of dollars in built-in equity by the time the deal closes.

In Lane County, 80% of the homes on the market are 15 years or older. With a lack of housing, and a lack of affordable housing in general, renovation loans are a perfect option for buyers who want more bang for their buck.

“Putting families in, with an equity base, is a great place to start for them.”

Alan Martin, Branch Manager, Stearns Lending

Did you know there are loans out there that allow home buyers to couple the purchase of their fixer upper with a renovation budget to customize it into their dream home? Well, there are!!! These programs have been around for a long time, they’ve just been under utilized.

What if you could take a house from this…

Photo courtesy of: Laurie Schuler, CMPS, Stearns Lending

To this…

Photo courtesy of: Laurie Schuler, CMPS, Stearns Lending

The first step is to find a real estate broker, like myself, who can help you find a great deal on a home that needs some work, or even A LOT of work. With the current loans available, no job is too BIG, so long as the house appraises. Depending on the scope of the project you could walk away with anywhere from $10k to $100k in built-in equity by the time it’s completed.

Unfortunately, in this market, getting into a starter home can cost you $250k, but what if you found a fixer upper for $150k and put $100k in renovations into it to create your dream home? It’s possible. I have a network of lenders and potential contractors that can turn a fixer upper into your dream house before you ever move in.

And, you have to admit… the before and afters are amazing!

Kitchen

Bath

Outdoor Space

If this is something you’re interested in learning more about give me a ring or drop me an email and we can chat about your options and getting you into your dream home.

Aimee Hartwig: aimeehartwig@bhhsrep.com or 541-579-9213 or aimeehartwigrealestate.com.