Big Shifts Coming To The U.S. Housing Market In 2018

According to’s 2018 National Housing Forecast, U.S. housing inventory constraints have fueled a sharp rise in prices and made it difficult for buyers to gain a foothold in the market.

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Millennials vs. Boomers: Tailoring Multifamily Homes To Today’s Twin Targets

What do Millennials, the laidback digital natives dubbed “Generation Me” by social scientists, have in common with the driven, disciplined Baby Boomers who spawned them?

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3 Reasons Why Refinancing Should Stay Top-Of-Mind

We all know that buying a home requires maintenance.

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5 Things To Expect From A Good Mortgage Banker

Buying a home is a big deal, and requires a lot of organization, communication, and decision making. Whether you’re doing it solo, or you’ve got a significant other to help you along, the mortgage process can be less stressful with one, specific person to guide you: your mortgage banker.

Many homebuyers associate the home buying process strictly with the real estate agent — a key player in your journey to being a homeowner, but the mortgage banker is the other key player who helps you through the financing aspect of the process. With the proper help from these two individuals, you can go through a smoother home buying process.

You likely already know a real estate agent’s role in the home buying process — they provide guidance and assistance in your home search, find the right home for you that fits your budget, negotiate with the sellers, etc. But what about the mortgage banker?

A mortgage banker acts as liaison between you and the lender and helps you find a mortgage option that’s in your best, long-term interest, while facilitating the origination process.

But not all lenders, or mortgage bankers, are created equal. There are certain things mortgage bankers should be doing to help you through your home buying process, and extras to make it a more enjoyable experience. If you know what to expect, you can ensure you’ll find a mortgage banker that’s the right fit for you. Here’s what you should expect from a good mortgage banker in the home buying process:


It’s much more beneficial to work with a mortgage banker who respects transparency and is able to deliver news, whether it’s good or bad, as soon as they get it. With the industry ever-changing, having that information quickly available, no matter what, shows your mortgage banker has your best interest at heart. They can also be transparent about what you qualify for versus what you’re really comfortable paying every month. Even if you qualify for more, they can suggest a loan amount that’s better suited for your unique financial situation, rather than focusing on their commission.


This is kind of a two-way street. You should obviously feel comfortable asking your mortgage banker any questions you have about the process, any documentation required, timing, etc. But a mortgage banker should be asking you a lot of questions, as well. After all, how can a mortgage banker find the best loan product for you, if they don’t really know you?

Here’s a few question topics to look out for:

  • Work-related questions: “Where do you work?” and “How long have you been working there?”
  • Debt-related questions: “What recurring debts do you have?” and “How much do you pay for loans a month?”
  • Asset and saving-related questions: “How much do you have saved up in your bank account?” and “Do you have additional assets elsewhere, and if so, how much?”
  • Down payment-related questions: “How much do you have saved up for a down payment?” and “What are the sources for the down payment? Is any of it gifted?”
  • Loan-related questions: “Are you planning to purchase a home or refinance?” and “Are you an active military member or veteran?”
  • Property-related questions: “Will this home be a primary residence?” and “Do you have a property in mind already?”
  • Family-related questions: “Are you co-borrowing and/or co-signing?” and “Do you have children or dependents?”
  • Long-term questions: “How long do you plan on staying in the area?” and “Where do you see yourself/your family in the next 5 – 15 years?”

All of these questions are important to ask because it provides the lender with a picture of who you are, your lifestyle, your future, and your financial situation; including how much you could comfortably afford.

For the complete article, please see the original article on, by clicking HERE.

4 Ways Relocation Experts Aid Out-Of-Town Buyers

In today’s highly competitive job market — where 68 percent of HR professionals are experiencing difficulty recruiting candidates — companies cannot afford to limit their recruitment to local candidates. This is where relocation comes into play.


Companies want to ensure that job candidates are sold on every aspect of the organization — including the ZIP code.


That’s why HR departments and recruitment firms have started to partner with real estate agencies that specialize in relocation to take on the role of selling their city.


I can tell you from experience that the partnership just makes sense. As the owner of a St. Louis-based real estate agency, I know that most candidates from other areas of the country have never been to our city.


Other than the occasional national — and sometimes negative — news story, they often have no idea what to expect. It is our job then, as a team of St. Louis experts and advocates, to show them why they would love to live, work and play here.

There are a variety of ways real estate companies and relocation experts can help recruit out-of-town candidates for their partner organizations. Here are five of the most common, and most successful, tactics:


  1. Advocate for the community


The real estate agent should demonstrate genuine city pride. Great relocation partners not only love and appreciate the city they are selling but also participate in the community.


Top-tier candidates are, after all, intelligent individuals who will likely see straight through a phony, rehearsed “here’s what makes our city great” spiel.


But when the relocation expert is constantly involved in exciting events throughout the city, it’s impossible for them not to be passionate about it — and that passion is contagious.


  1. Know a ton about the area


In addition to finding a new home, relocating also means new schools, doctors, hair stylists, childcare, athletic teams, summer camps, grocery stores, etc.


Fortunately, real estate agents with a relocation specialty are not only knowledgeable about the homes they are showing and the housing market, but they can also act as incredible resources when it comes to life in the community.

We can guide candidates throughout the various decision-making processes and let them know that they will have a well-informed ally — even after they have committed to the position and made the move.


  1. Make personal connections


The things that sell one candidate on a city aren’t always guaranteed to appeal to the next. That’s why a critical step in any good relocation specialists’ process is to really get to know the candidate and his or her family.


This involves much more than reading their resume or bio; it means taking the time to sit down with them for a meaningful conversation.


What is most important to each member of the family? What are their hobbies? Are they in school? Will they need to find new jobs? Are they religious? Do they have any special needs?


Here’s an example of why this step is so important: One of our partner organizations once had a candidate whose daughter did not want to move, so we arranged for her to meet a local violin teacher because we knew she was passionate about the instrument.


The daughter fell in love with the teacher and was soon in full support of the move, so the candidate took the job. It was a win-win.


For the complete article, please see the original article on, by clicking HERE.

Home Prices and Buyer Competition Hit New Highs in June As Inventory Drought Dragged Into 21st Consecutive Month

The median home sale price increased 7.3 percent from a year ago to $298,000 in June. This is the highest national median sale price recorded since we began keeping track in 2010. Despite record-high buyer demand during the busy spring market, sales only increased 1.9 percent compared to last year, constrained by a low supply of homes on the market.


Market Summary June 2017 Month-Over-Month Year-Over-Year
Median sale price $297,600 3.5% 7.3%
Homes sold 308,800 7.2% 1.9%
New listings 352,500 -2.7% 0.0%
All Homes for sale 786,000 1.6% -10.7%
Median days on market 36 -1 -6
Months of supply 2.5 -0.2 -0.4
Sold above list 26.6% 0.6% 2.4%
Average Sale-to-list 95.5% 0.2% 0.4%

The number of homes for sale fell 10.7 percent, marking seven straight months of double-digit, year-over-year declines. Compared with a year earlier, there was no change in the number of homes newly listed for sale in June. June had a 2.5-month supply of homes–the lowest Redfin has recorded since we began tracking the market in 2010–well below the six months that represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers. San Jose and Seattle each had less than a one-month supply of homes.


Every record in market speed and competition that was set in May was broken again in June. The typical home that sold in June went under contract in 36 days, one day faster than in May, setting a new record-fast pace for home sales. Denver, Portland and Seattle were the fastest-moving markets, with the typical home in each market finding a buyer in just seven days.


More than a quarter (26.6%) of homes sold above their list price, the highest percentage Redfin has recorded. The average sale-to-list price ratio hit a record high of 95.5 percent in June.


“This market is unlike any we’ve ever seen before,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Month after month, new records are set for the pace at which homes are going under contract. Demand continues to swell while supply troughs.  For buyers competing in this market, it’s survival of the fittest. The strongest offers that are most likely to close quickly and smoothly rise to the top of the pile.”


For the complete article, please see the original article on, by clicking

Want To Get The Most Money For Your Home? Don’t Do These 9 Things

Owning a home and making mortgage payments is like putting money in the bank. Barring a market reversal, that nest egg of equity in your home will grow and grow. And for most homeowners, their house is their largest asset—which means there’s a lot of money at stake when it comes time to sell.


Want to get as much money back as possible from this big-ticket investment? Of course you do! So avoid doing these nine things when you put your home on the market.


  1. Ignoring your agent’s advice


Although you don’t technically need to use a real estate agent to sell your home, hiring one can help you get more money in your pocket.


A good listing agent can assist you with pricing your home, marketing it, negotiating with buyers, and guiding you through the closing process. That’s a lot of responsibility—and you might feel slightly uncomfortable putting your faith in a stranger’s hands. However, because your agent has a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests, you need to trust the person’s advice. So, if your agent says to do something—like make a price reduction—you should do it, says Daniel Gyomory, a real estate agent in Northville, MI.


  1. Neglecting important repairs prior to listing your home


Most home buyers will require a home inspection contingency. But that doesn’t mean you should wait for the home inspector to tell you what to fix. If your home has noticeable flaws, go ahead and ask your agent whether you should address them before putting your house on the market.


“Something as small as a leaky kitchen faucet can be a red flag to a buyer, since the person might assume there are bigger issues with the home,” says Gyomory.


  1. Being restrictive with showings


You want the greatest number of potential buyers to see your home, says Bellevue, WA, real estate agent Holly Gray. Hence, you need to be extremely flexible when responding to showing requests, says Gray. (Read: Be ready to leave your house at a moment’s notice.) Bear in mind that if you decline a showing, the buyer might not come back—and you could potentially lose out on a great offer.


“Expect little privacy when selling your house,” says Karen Elmir, a luxury real estate agent in Miami.


  1. Failing to keep the house tidy


To be prepared for last-minute showing requests, you have to keep your home relatively clean, neat, and organized at all times.

“Your home should look as much like a model home as possible,” says Gray. In other words, try your best to make the place look spotless (or close to it) before buyers arrive.


  1. Being present for showings or open houses


Home buyers are already apprehensive about touring a stranger’s property, so don’t make things even more awkward by sticking around for open houses or showings. Buyers need to be able to envision your home as their own, which can be difficult to do if they see you hanging around the house, says Danielle Schlesier, a real estate agent in Brookline, MA.


For the complete article, please see the original article on, by clicking HERE.

One In Three Recent Homebuyers Made An Offer Sight-Unseen – Up From Nearly One In Five A Year Ago

Yet many would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views; more than half of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents said immigration orders influenced their moving plans.


In May 2017, Redfin commissioned a survey of 3,350 U.S. residents in 11 metropolitan areas who in the past year bought or sold a home, attempted to do so or plan to do so soon. The purpose of the survey was to better understand the perspectives and experiences of people who were recently in the market to buy or sell a home, and to reveal trends over the past two years since we began commissioning similar surveys.


Following are six major findings:

  1. Thirty-three percent of people who bought a home in the last year made an offer without first seeing the home in person. That’s up from 19 percent a year ago.
  2. Affordable housing was the most prevalent economic concern, cited by 40 percent of buyers; 21 percent said rising prices led them to search in more affordable metro areas.
  3. Forty-one percent of buyers would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views from their own.
  4. Orders restricting immigration influenced the buying and selling plans of 52 percent of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents; 45 percent of minority buyers felt that sellers and their agents may have been less eager to work with them because of their race.
  5. Buyers remain resilient amid the prospect of rising mortgage rates. Just 5 percent said they’d cancel their plans if rates surpass 5 percent.
  6. Fifty-one percent of buyers and 46 percent of sellers saved money on real estate commissions.


“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “They are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to make an offer sight-unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings. Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into Millennials’ decisions about where to live; nearly half cited hesitations about moving to a place where their neighbors wouldn’t share their views.”


  1. More buyers made offers on homes sight-unseen.


One-third of people who bought a home in the last year said they made an offer on a home without first seeing it in person. That’s up from 19 percent last year and from 21 percent two years ago. Millennials were even more likely to have made an offer sight-unseen, with 41 percent saying they had done so, compared with 30 percent of Gen-Xers and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.


The abundance of photos–including interactive 3D photography like Redfin 3D Walkthrough that lets people virtually walk through Redfin listings–and other information available online about homes for sale helps buyers feel comfortable bidding on a home they haven’t set foot in. But the strong prevalence of sight-unseen bids this year is likely due in great part to the record-fast speed of today’s highly competitive housing market. The typical home that sold in May went under contract in just 37 days, a week faster than homes were selling a year ago and the fastest pace on record since at least 2010 when Redfin began keeping track.


  1. Buyers’ most common economic concern was affordable housing; one in five said rising home prices caused them to search in another metro area.


Affordable housing was the economic concern most commonly cited by people who bought or tried to buy in the last year, with 40 percent selecting that issue, followed by the income gap between the rich and the poor (38%) and the federal budget deficit (27%). Low on the list of concerns were the trade deficit (13%) and restrictive immigration policies (15%).


With affordable housing a frequent concern, rising home prices drove more than one in five (21%) people who bought or tried to buy a home last year to search for homes in another metro area where homes were more affordable. When asked how high home prices affected their search, buyers were more likely to say only that they searched in more affordable neighborhoods (32%), searched farther outside the city center (26%) or that they considered smaller homes (23%) or fixer-uppers (22%).


  1. Many buyers reported hesitations about moving to a place where most people have political views different from their own.


Despite the fact that so many people were relocating for affordability and even making offers on homes they hadn’t seen, many buyers were wary about moving to a place where their neighbors were likely to vote for an opposing candidate. Forty-one percent of people who bought or tried to buy a home in the last year said they would have hesitations about moving to a place where most of the residents do not share their political views. This is largely unchanged from December. Like in the December survey, Millennials were more likely than their elders to be hesitant about this, with 46 percent indicating they had some or significant hesitation, compared with 29 percent of Baby Boomers.


For the complete article, please see the original article on, by clicking HERE.

What The May Housing Start Slump Means For The Summer Market

May was a problematic month for the U.S. housing sector: a dismal monthly housing starts report from the U.S. Commerce Department showing new home starts were down by 5.5% for May (they were expected to rise by 4.1%).

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Top 5 Reasons For Declining Homeownership In America Revealed

What could be causing the trends we’re seeing?

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