Possible End in Sight for Record Low Shortage as June Shows Surprising Numbers

Possible End in Sight for Record Low Shortage as June Shows Surprising Numbers

The record low housing shortage that we experienced due to the pandemic might be turning around due to the surprising numbers that June showed. Sellers are starting to feel more comfortable about putting their houses on the market which means the heat of the market might start to cool down a bit.

According to Realtor.com, new listings in June increased 5.5% year over year and 10.9% compared with May.

With more houses coming on the market, buyers should start to feel better about actually getting a house. The chances of multiple buyers on one house and the prices of homes should start to decrease as more homes enter the market. The other side of more homes being on the market means there will be more competition for sellers.

This could mean trying to price their home accordingly. Pricing a home for competition might mean lowering the price to attract more buyers but it could sway the other way where the sellers might price their home higher to get more money.

The number of houses on the market are still historically low compared to the average for this time of year before the pandemic. But it will take a while for the market to recover from the pandemic so any increase in the number of homes is good.

New listings usually decrease in the summer after a busy spring market, which is why an increase in listings in June is surprising, but you must remember that the market is completely different than any other year due to the pandemic. The usual highs and lows cannot even be compared to 2020 and 2021 because of that.

Mortgage rates are projected to start increasing which will make buying a home less affordable so take advantage of the record low mortgage rates and more homes on the market to finally buy one.

The fear of trying to buy a home in this market and potentially being outbid or being put in the middle of a bidding war is frustrating but as more houses become available, the hope is that there will be less offers on one home.

Whether you are planning on buying or selling a home, contact your local real estate agency for assistance!

Easy Exterior Updates A Home Seller Should Never Forget

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Every home seller knows that a well-kept interior will attract the eyes of a buyer, but the exterior is almost always just as important. Imagine pulling up to see a house and the exterior is not well kept but then going inside, and it is gorgeous, freshly painted, new floor, and renovated. An unkempt exterior could pull a buyer away from a house.

There are plenty of ways to make the outside of your home look nice and inviting. Some ways are a simple fix and others could be a bit pricey if you don’t know the right way to go about it. Not every home seller needs to do everything on the list but doing one or two of them before selling, might be a good idea.

When looking at your home, one of the first things that a buyer will see is your front door. Simply updating the color of your door or replacing the handle set will do wonders. You want to make a great first impression and set the mood for the rest of the house with your front door. It gives the buyers a sense of what type of style you set for the house and what they can expect color wise, possibly.

Along the topic of updating the front of your house, possibly installing new outdoor decorative lights to illuminate the front door and porch is a great idea. If the outdoor lights that you currently have are a little outdated or have some wear and tear on them, it might be a great idea to liven them up a bit and purchase and install new ones. Illuminating a path to your front porch and door will be a lot easier on everyone.

When thinking about colors for your home, you want to make sure the exterior and interior do not differ too much. If you must touch up the outside of your home, think about whether you want to change the color or keep the same one and simply do a touch up. They do not have to match exactly but they should complement each other. Making sure you have a good uniform look to your house that both the interior and exterior match well will catch the eyes of potential buyers.

If there are any windows that are damaged in your home, replacing them is a must. Even if the crack is tiny, replace them so you have the best chances of selling your home. Also consider buying new window frames to make sure your house pops to buyers.

One major fix that will help you in the long run is fixing roof problems. If a buyer knows that the roof will need to be replaced soon, that might turn them away. The last thing a buyer wants to do is spend even more money after buying a home and fixing a roof can be expensive. Even though it is a big hunk of money to spend fixing roof problems, it may be a good idea. Who knows, you may only have to replace damaged shingles.

You want to make sure that your house not only looks amazing on the inside but also on the outside. Fixing exterior problems will help you in the long run when trying to sell your home.

What To Explore For a Day of Fun in Philadelphia

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Are you looking for a fun day in the sun in Philadelphia? Well, luckily for you, there are numerous things to do in the city and in the surrounding areas for you and your friends and family to enjoy.

Fun And Games

To start off for a whole day of fun in just one area, take a trip to the Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest for roller skating, mini golf, arcade games, rides, and food and drinks. There is fun for the whole family and for all ages here. While the kids are playing the games, the adults can go relax and drink some beer. Admittance into the Summerfest is free, but the activities are pay as you go!

Wanting to spend a night in the open air and under the stairs of Philadelphia with family and friends? Enjoy outdoor movie nights in several places throughout the city including at Navy Yard and in the Schuylkill Banks.

Live Music

There are an abundance of summer concerts going on so if you are ready to take the plunge from over a year without live music, go ahead! For outdoor concerts check out The Mann and TD Center. Venues are gradually opening to concerts indoors this summer starting with The Met, with TLA starting in July, Union Transfer in August, and Franklin Music Hall in September. Speaking of concerts, Jay-Z’s Made in American festival returns September 4 and 5 with a weekend full of live music from some of the hottest artists on the charts.

Wawa Welcome America returns this summer with their 4th of July celebration with a few weeks full of free events from June 19-July 4 that include free museum admission, movie nights, Wawa Hoagie Day, and a huge outdoor concert.

Interesting Experiences

If you are looking to spend a couple of hours in a museum that is Instagram picture worthy, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia and a wonderful immersive art experience at Wonderspaces will do you just fine! Take some friends or enjoy an afternoon by yourself to fully appreciate and take in the beauty of these art exhibits. For a more traditional museum experience, check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art to explore their newest galleries.

Are you looking for a spookier experience? Take a trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary for either a daytime or nighttime tour. Explore crumbling cell blocks like Al Capone’s cell and empty guard towers for a day or night full of haunting experiences. If you are up for it, enjoy a beer at Triple Bottom Brewing Company at the prison’s Fair Chance Beer Garden.

Adventures

If you are one for an adventure outdoors, there are an abundance of parks, trails, and water to get your adventure on. Fairmount Park is Philly’s largest park, and you can hike, tour, and kayak throughout the park. This Park has everything you could think of for your inner adventurer. Another great place to kayak is at Penn’s Landing but you also can rent a canoe, a swan shaped boat, and a dragon shaped boat to explore the city from the water.

Wissahickon Park is also a great place to hike if you are in the walking outdoor type of mood. There are plenty of trails ranging from different lengths for you and your family and friends to enjoy on a beautiful day off.

Wrapping Up

 There is an abundance of activities to do this summer in the wonderful city of Philadelphia. Come on, come all, and enjoy what this city has to offer. There are activities for everyone from a little toddler to your grandparents. What activity will you do?

Seller’s Leverage in Today’s Market

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In a competitive seller’s market, like the one we are currently in, sellers usually have more leverage when negotiating with buyers. The sellers of a house have more power in these types of situations because homes are flying on and off the market at a record pace.

There are simply not enough houses for sale to keep up with the number of buyers. Sales are still increasing each month, but the number of available homes is steadily decreasing.

The leverage between sellers and buyers in this sense is the seller’s ability to award or eliminate costs in order to actually sell their home. Sellers have immense power in this market to influence buyers to move more on their side in the process. Sellers also have the ability to receive more benefits and eliminate costs on their end. Another advantage for sellers right now is to possibly sell their home for more than it would be worth in a far more normal market because buyers are desperate since inventory is low.

The trend of buyers who are being outbid by others is sitting at 40%. Being outbid by others is one of the biggest reasons people have not been able to find a home. The other reasons why people are not able to buy homes usually consist of not finding a home they can afford, having features that they want or need, or not finding a home in a neighborhood they would like. All of these scenarios have been decreasing significantly over the last few years but being outbid by others is increasing.

There are buyers out there offering all cash offers for a home which in the eyes of a seller, is the quickest and easiest way to sell their home. Others are waiving contingencies for a smoother selling process. You could put in an offer on a house that is $20,000 over asking price but be outbid by someone putting in an offer significantly larger than that. This is just how the market is going right now.

Buyers are buying a home right now to just buy a home, buy now before prices continue to rise, and to take advantage of record low mortgage rates. But, with numerous offers on just one home, the sellers have the ability to leverage with the buyers to weed out and find the right potential buyer for their situation.

If you need help finding ways to make a deal with a seller or you are wanting to make sure your offer is good enough, contact a local real estate agent.

FHA Loans Are Being Looked Over for A Clean Sale

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For home buyers who are facing challenges and barriers, FHA loans provide mortgage insurance to make buying a home more accessible. These loans are a type of federal assistance. FHA loans allow home buyers to finance homes with down payments as low as 3.5%. These types of loans are often very popular with first time home buyers that may need a little more help if they don’t have enough money in their pockets.

The reason that FHA loans are popular for first time home buyers or low-to-moderate-income borrowers is because they require a lower minimum down payment, as low as 3.5%, and lower credit scores than conventional loans.

As of 2021, the requirements for FHA loans are to have a greater than 580 credit score, a down payment of 3.5%, a debit/income ratio of less than 43%, and mortgage insurance. If you have a credit score less than 580 but greater than 500, the down payment is 10%. Proof of steady income and employment are also required to obtain FHA loans.

With the strong nature of a seller’s market that we are in currently, homeowners are prioritizing other offers over others for an easy sale. Buyers are offering all cash offers, paying way above asking price, and waiving contingencies to have the best chances of getting the house in this very competitive market.

The reason why FHA loans might be phased out right now is because FHA appraisals tend to be stricter about home inspections when it comes to health and safety concerns. The trends of the market right now are sellers looking for buyers with more conventional mortgages because they tend to care more about the price, they can sell their house for and knowing the sale of the home will close.

In a seller’s market, the sellers have a big advantage when it comes to deciding who they are willing to sell their house to. Especially when the market is as competitive as it is right now, sellers want the easiest offer and the best price.

There are many contingencies’ buyers are waiving right now to help ensure that their offer gets approved such as waiving the inspection and appraisal contingencies. If a seller has an offer with contingencies waived or an all-cash offer, there is less for them to do so it’s the easiest option.

In this market, buyers are trying to steer clear of FHA loans and go with conventional loans because that might show they will actually go through with the sale and not back out.

In the meantime, buyers should improve their financial profile so when the time comes to getting a loan, they are able to get whatever loan they want

How to Tend to A Garden

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Gardening is a pastime that has been around for ages. Tending to your land and adding plants not only makes your home more inviting but gives you a sense of happiness.

There are a lot of things about your home that you may not be able to change with the snap of your finger and without spending a lot of money, but gardening is one activity that will change your home more than you may think. You can always change up your garden, moving plants to other places and putting in new ones where you think they may look better. Gardening is something that just keeps going on and on.

The first step for putting a garden in is to find a place in your yard, whether it’s the front yard or backyard, that you will see on a daily basis. Being able to see your garden will entice you to work on it more often instead of doing it once and forgetting about it. Before figuring out a place for your garden, inspect your yard to find the best places with the most sunlight. Sunlight is key to most plants. Along with placement of your garden, make sure you are able to run a hose to water the plants. Just like humans, plants need water and sunlight to thrive.

Plants need space to grow into. With that in mind, the plants you choose should be able to have enough space to fully grow. You can always carefully replant if there isn’t enough room, or you decide another place for them later.

Not only do you have to majorly consider where the physical plants should go, but make sure you buy soil that is rich in nutrients for them to be healthy and grow well. If you do not have that much room in the ground itself, consider using containers and pots for your plants. Many edible plants grow well in containers and pots outside of the ground.

Do your research to find out what types of plants grow and survive the best in your climate. You want to make sure the climate isn’t too hot but also isn’t too cold for your specific plants. Knowing your frost dates is essential so you do not freeze your plants and grow them in times of the year they are destined to die in. If you do want to keep a garden during the colder months, keep an indoor garden in a garage or another indoor space. This is also a way to keep plants alive by moving them inside before the first frost.

When choosing what plants to put in your garden, take a walk through your local garden center and see what sticks out to you. Did your eyes immediately go to a certain flower or vegetable? Did your eyes light up when thinking about a certain tree or brightly colored tulip? If so, do you research on how to tend to that specific plant and start the journey. You can either buy seeds or seedlings to plant, whichever you are more comfortable with and go from there.

Like humans, plants need to be nourished and fed as well. Invest in some plant food and after a few weeks, begin to feed your plants to help them grow and survive.

Remember to slow down and breathe when tending to your plants. This type of activity is not meant to be rushed but to be enjoyed. Take care of your garden and plants like they are your own.

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.

Overall

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.