Home Prices Continue to Rise as Unique Trends Make Way

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Home prices are significantly rising in this market. We are seeing existing home prices jumping to a new record high of $334,500, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. In comparison to the median price of newly built homes that are $330,800, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, it seems as though existing home prices are increasing but not more than newly built homes, despite what the data suggests.

Even though home prices are at a record high, it doesn’t seem to be scaring off home buyers. In fact, the annual price growth reached 17% in March compared to last year. Homes are flying off the market just even after a few days or a week if you are lucky.

All of this is coming from the boom that the pandemic has created with record-low mortgage rates and the demand to move with remote work becoming more normal. With the pandemic forcing people to stay home and in turn, forcing people to save money, people are flowing with cash and wanting to spend it on a new home.

Not only are people buying primary homes, but many buyers are also looking for secondary homes, or vacation homes. The number of buyers who locked in mortgage rates for second homes soared 178% year over year in April, marking the 11th straight month of 80%-plus growth, according to Redfin.

Redfin Chief Economist, Daryl Fairweather, explains that the increase in the buying of vacation homes comes from wealthy Americans working remotely and having the freedom of not being tethered to a specific location for work. This new “normal” is giving them the freedom and opportunity to buy vacation homes as they continue to earn money and work remotely.

If you are being beat out by all cash offers even if you are significantly going over the asking price, hang in there. People just want cash in their pockets and all cash offers are quick and easy. On the flip side, all cash offers highly increases your chances of winning a home in a competitive situation, by 290% according to Redfin.

With how hot the market is right now though, no one is guaranteed that their plan will work. Homes are going for thousands of dollars over the asking price, so it just depends on the situation of whether you are in good shape or not.

Even though the market is crazy and fast-paced these days, contact a real estate agent to guide you through the process with ease!

Tips on How to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

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With the summer season approaching fast and temperatures starting to climb, it’s time to get your home ready for the warmer months ahead. Getting ahead and starting preparations on your home for the summer early will improve the efficiency of your home and potentially save you money that would otherwise burn holes in your pockets.

Clean Your Gutters

The gutters on your home can be filled with leaves and other debris that could block and/or damage them. If your gutters are clogged, it may lead to water damage within your home so carefully clean out your gutters to avoid potential damage. Next time it rains, check for leaks and if there are any, patch them up.

Clean Walkway and Driveway

To spruce up the outside of your home, pressure-wash your walkway to get rid of any dirt and unwanted stains. If you have a brick walkway, replace any damaged bricks if need be, for safety and aesthetic reasons. If you have a concrete walkway, fill in any cracks with crack filler that matches the color of your walkway.

Prep and Clean Windows

Check your windows for any cracks and caulk any gaps in the framing. Doing this will ensure that hot air will stay outside, and your cool air conditioning air will stay inside where it should be. Check to make sure your windows open and close properly. To clean your windows, use a vinegar-ammonia mixture first and then water only. Use a squeegee to properly dry without leaving streaks.

Inspect Your Roof

If you are able to, hop on a ladder and climb up to your roof or stand back on your lawn with a pair of binoculars and inspect for any damage or missing/cracked shingles. If there is any damage, call a roofing company to come and fix your roof so you don’t have to worry about potential water damage.

 Refresh or Update Outdoor Furniture

It’s time to take those covers off your outdoor furniture or take them out of storage. Dust the tables and chairs off and inspect the furniture for any needed repairs. If your old outdoor furniture is beyond repair or you are looking to refresh your outdoor living space, replace your outdoor furniture all together for a whole new summer look!

Spruce Up Your Front Door

Splash some color onto your front door by hanging decorative elements. Planting some inviting flowers or simply putting potted flowers by your front door will give the front of your house a warm and inviting sense to it during the summer months. While you are sprucing up the front door, make sure to check for and caulk any gaps and tighten the hinges with a screwdriver.

Spruce Up the Exterior of Your Home

Inspect your home for any chipped paint or broken shingles/sidings. Power wash the outside of your home if mildew and dirt has accumulated. If the paint job is minor, only fix the portions that are chipped or peeling. If the paint job is major and all over, a full repaint or repair may be necessary.

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Summer is quickly approaching and to ensure your home is aesthetically pleasing and working properly and efficiently, follow these tasks as much as you can. Hire a professional for most if you can afford it. Start on these tasks now so your home is ready for summer!

How to Prepare for This Home Buying Season

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As we get ready for the warmer weather, the home buying market will likely stay hot.

It may go without saying but, buying a home during COVID-19 has changed the way many of the typical processes go including touring a home, virtual signings, and more. Staying up to date and knowing what to expect when buying a home during a pandemic is vital to make sure there are no bumps in the road.

Sight unseen purchases will likely keep happening because buyers are for the most part, forced to make quick and on the spot decisions about their potential new home. The market is so hot right now where the only way some buyers have seen their house before making an offer is through virtual tours and photos.

Sight unseen purchases are much easier nowadays with the ability to have the detailed photos and 3D renderings than in the past. These types of purchases are usually risky for the most part but to ensure that nothing is wrong with the place that can’t be seen in photos, hire a home inspector and get a home appraisal.

Although you may be able to tour a home in person, virtual home tours will still remain available. Drone shots of the property and 3D walk through layouts are still going to be very popular throughout this home buying season because it allows ways for people to explore the home at anytime from anywhere.

With virtual home tours continuing, in person tours will most likely remain by appointment only to not only keep contact down, but to merely weed out the curious people who are not serious about buying the home and just want to simply explore. This will help real estate agents and potential buyers know who is potentially planning on putting in an offer and if it is going to end in a bidding war or not.

Even though in person home tours are available, try to limit contact as much as possible and limit being in person to the homes that you are serious about.

Although there seems to be a light at the end of a very dark tunnel in the real world and real estate world, many of the new steps and processes are very likely to stay. COVID-19 has taught everyone that technology has adapted to every way of life and if it makes an older process much easier, then you should adapt it permanently.

What Will Crash First, Sales or Prices?

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As the competitive seller’s market continues and mortgage rates begin to rise, will the number of homes available keep up or will people decide to put off selling?

Fannie Mae predicts there will be a slowdown in the monthly pace of both existing and new sales later in the year. In the 2021 GDP forecast posted by Mae, the GDP is now 6.8 percent, up from a prior 6.6 percent.

We began the year with a strong housing demand with everyone wanting to buy due to low mortgage rates but as the year goes on, the hope of the housing supply catching up, is dwindling down. The hopes of people being able to buy their dream home within their budget is also dwindling down. As soon as houses enter the market, multiple offers come in and more often than not, a bidding war will happen which might push people over the top of their budget.

Not only are people spending more than their budget, but house prices are also increasing at an alarming rate so you might be paying more for a house than it normally would go for and then adding the bidding war on top of that.

With that, potential home buyers are holding off on buying a home because of these unstable market conditions. Because people are deciding to hold off on selling, less and less houses are becoming available to buy. This is also leading buyers to become frustrated.

But, with predictions of more millennials planning on buying homes in 2021, the housing demand should stay strong. In a number of ways, buying is more cost effective than renting which is attracting new millennial home buyers in this market. Unfortunately, with the shortage of homes available, millennials are causing the U.S. to run out of homes.

Even though mortgage rates are beginning to rise, they will remain on a friendly level through the rest of 2021 allowing buyers to still be comfortable and maintain the strong housing demand.

How to Guide Buyers in a Competitive Seller’s Market

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Navigating a seller’s market with your clients can be difficult especially when the market is very competitive like it is now.

Home prices continue to be on the rise and inventories are still lagging behind. Mortgages rates are starting to creep up, but they still remain low.

In a seller’s market with houses going on the market and coming off so quickly, you might want to help your client’s change their expectations a little bit. They might not find their exact dream home with everything checked off on their list but, they can still find what they are looking for if you help them set what is truly needed and what is wanted. Talking to your clients about what can be changed and what can’t be is extremely important in these market conditions. Lot size and location cannot be changed but features like the carpet and light fixtures can be.

When showing houses to your clients, try to stay below the top of their budget. In competitive market atmosphere’s, there will be multiple offers on homes which might turn into a bidding war. Your clients might end up well over the top of their budget if this happens. If you show a house in the lower or middle end of their budget, there will be more room for them to bid if a bidding war does happen.

In a competitive seller’s market, situations may happen a lot faster than what is ideal. Make sure your clients know they can trust you if they have to put in an offer sight unseen or within an hour or two of even touring the home. The more they trust you, the more they will be willing to move at a faster pace. Complete research on all the homes you are going to recommend your clients see so that way you can answer any questions they may have.

It may be beneficial to build relationships with certain people in different communities so that you have an “in” when a house enters the market. The more professional relationships, the better for you and your clients.

It may go without saying but stay on top of your research. Houses are coming and going at a record speed so make sure you stay on top of what houses enter the market that fit into your client’s wants and needs. Provide the information the moment you receive it so your clients can have the best chance at getting the house they want.

Guide them in making the right decisions during these tough market conditions. Find the right balance between guiding them but still allowing them to put their input and opinions in on what they truly want and need.

 

 

 

Eviction Moratorium Extended Through June 30, 2021

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The nationwide eviction moratorium to halt evictions to slow down the spread of COVID-19 has been extended by the CDC through June 30, 2021.

This is the third time that the moratorium has been extended which in turn is bringing relief to millions of renters that have been financially impacted by the pandemic. The order first came in September 2020 set to expire at the end of the year but was then extended until January 31, 2021. One of President Joe Biden’s first acts in the office was extending the order until March 31, 2021. But the CDC once again extended the deadline.

Preventing evictions is one of the many ways to stop the spread of COVID-19, ensuring that people can stay in their homes even if they cannot pay rent. Oftentimes, when people are evicted from not being able to pay rent, they are forced to go to homeless shelters. This ban will prevent overcrowding and congregated areas like shelters to help the spread of the virus.

With the pandemic closing millions of businesses worldwide and people losing their jobs left and right, this ban allows people to stay where they are and not get evicted if they do not have the funds possible to pay in full every month.

This ban on eviction is to provide protection for renters who are unable to pay their rent each month but they must give a declaration to their landlord stating that they are unable to but will give their best effort to pay with what they can.

But, once the ban eventually lifts, renters will be expected to pay all of their owed rent from the start of the pandemic or work out a payment plan with their landlord. This could in turn, force people to move or be evicted.

The NextHome Experience: What You Can Expect When You Buy or Sell With Us

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When you hire a NextHome real estate agent, you are promised and guaranteed an agent who will personalize the service to your wants and needs. Our company is based on community and connection and what we can do to make your dreams become reality. We focus on your experience in a way that will stick with you forever.

With the growth of mobile technology in our world, NextHome has strived to make your virtual transactions effortless. The future of real estate is coming, and it is mobile and paperless. NextHome is staying on top of this trend to provide our consumers with the most updated systems. With DocuSign Transaction Rooms and eSignature platforms, the virtual process of buying or selling a home has made your transactions even more efficient. Consumers have the ability to quickly read and sign contracts and documents using their mobile devices or computers without the need to come into an office.

When buying or selling a house, you expect to be guided in the right direction, shown exactly or more than you are looking for, and a process that is as easy as it can be. With NextHome, this is the service we provide. We cater to every need and we are here to help you make this process go smoothly.

The NextHome Mobile Connect app is a feature that goes above and beyond. With this app, you can search for homes and learn all about where they are and what is around the area. If you see a property you like, you can save it and directly message an agent with any questions you may have. This feature allows you to search on the go, without having to be at home.

Our agents are offered an abundance of training and education to ensure you are getting the right information for what you are looking for. The on-demand training and education allows the agents to be skillfully trained with the ever-changing market and technology.

If you want to read more about the experiences others have had with NextHome agents, our Reach 150 system is tied to our websites to allow you to read past experiences and reviews to ensure you pick the right agent for you.

Choose a NextHome agent when you are ready to buy or sell!

The Changes the Pandemic Has Brought to Philadelphia Real Estate

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As we all know, the housing market has taken serious hits over the past year with the demand for homes surpassing the actual amount available. This in turn has home prices skyrocketing and buyers paying thousands of dollars over the listing price to win a bidding war with several other potential buyers. 

Co-Living

The Philly area saw an influx of residents from other Metropolitan areas like New York City during the last year. NYC residents were attracted by the housing prices because they were a fraction of the cost of what is in NYC. This influx increased the amount of people choosing to co-live in places like the Common Civic which is where tenants can choose to rent a single high-end room measuring out to 800-1,240 square feet instead of a whole apartment for themselves. The rent for this type of living arrangement which included utilities and weekly cleanings, were between $900-$1,100. 

Co-living has increased in the Philly area because it offers more affordable housing and living in cities that have rising real estate prices, especially to renters in their early to mid 20’s.

Housing Market

Active listings are still significantly down than a year ago. According to Realtor.com, the percentage of active listings in Metropolitan areas that include Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington were down 46% in February compared to February 2020. The amount of people buying homes has increased but there are still not enough on the market and the winter has slowed down construction considerably. With the housing demand, prices in the Philadelphia metro area have risen 12%. 

There is hope in the near future that with the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more readily available, people will start to feel more comfortable with putting their homes on the market.

 

Seller Optimism on the Rise

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The further we get into the pandemic; the more people are starting to feel comfortable with putting their homes on the market. 

As prices for homes continue to rise, people who have been hesitant before, are finally putting their homes on the market because. With the prices and demand for houses being so high, they could possibly list their house for more than originally planned which in turn is helping sellers view market conditions in a more positive way.

The percentage of people who said this is a bad time to buy decreased from 39% to 37% and people who think it is a good time, stays at 52%. When it comes to selling a home, the percentage of people in the study that do think it is a good time to sell increased from 50% to 57% and the respondents who don’t think it is a good time decreased from 42% to 33% all according to a survey conducted by Fannie Mae

Houses are going quickly so if you put your house up in the morning, there may be a chance of an offer that same day. Low inventory shortages are still affecting the market as of right now which is the cause of houses coming off the market so quickly. Be prepared for a quick process!

The housing market is very competitive at the moment which can result in people placing bids for the house above the listing price and it is possible for a bidding war to start. Competitive markets are very common in the type of market we are in right now, a seller’s market. The amount of people looking for a home far exceeds the supply. 

If you are looking to put your home on the market, be prepared for quick and quite possibly, multiple bids that exceed the listing price.

 

Places to Explore in Chester County, PA

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Exploring around Chester County and not knowing where to start? This wonderful county has a long list of amazing attractions to fit every need. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure, historic places, restaurants, or local businesses to check out, Chester County has it all.

A local business that is a must to visit is The Games Keep in West Chester. This board game store has over 3,000 titles to choose from ranging from board and card games, to RPG’s, to mini games, and more. This shop has been listed as one of the best board game stores in the region by The Philadelphia Inquirer. If you are looking for new games to try during downtime or a new way to engage with your friends and family, checking out this shop is a must!

If you are looking to park and roam around a beautiful and historic area for a meal and some light window shopping, Historic Kennett Square is your spot. In this wonderful area, you can shop and dine to your heart’s content. If you are looking to browse art galleries, clothing stores, bookstores, home decor, or gift shops, there are plenty to choose from! Talk a stroll through this area and you will see just how many things there are to do! There are even B&B’s to stay in if you want an overnight or weekend getaway.

If you are looking to take a stroll in some beautiful gardens, Longwood Gardens is a wonderful place to take in the beauty of nature. Right now, until March 21, you are able to see their Winter Wonder gardens which feature flowers and foliage that burst with color all while taking in the crisp winter air.

Feeling like a hike in the crisp winter air? Weather warming up a bit and want to get outside? Chester County has many hiking trails to choose from such as Binky Lee Preserve, Stroud Preserve, Cheslen Preserve, and Ridley Creek State Park to name a few. The parks in this county caters to all sorts of adventurers wanting to get out into nature.

If you are in the mood to sit back, relax, and sip on some wine, there are a number of wineries in this area to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a nice afternoon to yourself or a date spot for you and your significant other, wineries here like Stargazers Vineyard and Va La Vineyards are great choices.

Of course, there are plenty of other options to choose from in Chester County, PA but no matter what you choose to do and explore, there are activities for everyone.