Archives for June 2020
Do-it-yourself projects are in vogue these days. You can find advice online for everything from
investing in crypto-currency to tearing down the living room wall. When considering the cost
of moving, it’s natural to wonder if real estate commissions are one way to save money, but it
would be a mistake. A good real estate agent might make it seem easy, but the fact is that
selling your own home could actually cost you thousands of dollars.
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home without an Agent
1. The Safety of Your Home and Family is a Priority – Real Estate agents control access to
2. Most Serious Buyers Start their Search Online – A professional listing area will market
your home aggressively online, which is where the buyers are searching.
3. The Buyer Might not be Qualified – A real estate agent knows how to qualify a buyer
and what to look for with lender letters. Selling your home on your own risks wasted
time with an unqualified buyer.
4. You Don’t Know How to Negotiate Properly – Every aspect of a real estate transaction
is negotiable; you don’t have the experience to know what to negotiate to get the best
5. You Could Expose Yourself to Liability – Required disclosures and paperwork for a
home sale is extensive; unless you plan to use an attorney, you could miss critical
disclosures and expose yourself to financial harm.
Finally, more often than not, sellers net more when they use an agent than when they try to
do it themselves. In addition to selling faster, a professional agent knows how to properly price
and promote your home, ensuring you get the best possible sales price and terms.
Now that warmer weather is upon us, the focus turns to the outdoor space of our home. As
Americans spend more and more of their time at home, this might be the perfect time to
invest in a new pool or pool remodel. Here are 5 trends in pool design for 2020.
1. Natural Pools – As more of us consider the effect of chemicals on our health, more pool
owners are installing natural pools. These pools are built to resemble a natural pond
with boulders, waterfalls, and plants which filter the water naturally. The pool is filled
with filtered water and maintained in an organic filtration process using gravel and
2. Saltwater Pools – Another way to avoid chlorine is by installing a saltwater pool. These
pools use a salt-chlorine generator to provide residue-free water and this process has
been growing in popularity for over a decade.
3. Tanning Ledges – Also known as a Baja shelf, or sun shelf, a tanning ledge is a shallow
shelf that allows you to stay cool while still enjoying the sun.
4. Rimless Infinity Pools – Infinity pools have been enjoyed at expensive resorts and spas
for years, and more homeowners are now opting to include these beauties in their own
5. Custom Fit Pools – As yards get smaller, the pre-formed pools are no longer practical.
Almost any yard can fit a pool by having a custom pool designed to fit the space.
Summertime is pool time. As 2020 requires more of us to stay home, a new or remodeled
swimming pool is a great way to enjoy our own backyards.
New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate
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:
- Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity
- Home Price – Growth in asking prices
- Housing Supply – Growth of new listings
- 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.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 reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward.”
The data today indicates the housing market is already on the way up.
Staying connected to the housing market’s performance over the coming months will be essential, as we continue to evaluate exactly how the housing market is doing in this uncharted time ahead.
Is a Recession Here? Yes. Does that Mean a Housing Crash? No.
On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession. This did not come as a surprise to many, as the Bureau defines a recession this way:
“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”
Everyone realizes that the pandemic shut down the country earlier this year, causing a “significant decline in economic activity.”
Though not surprising, headlines announcing the country is in a recession will cause consumers to remember the devastating impact the last recession had on the housing market just over a decade ago.
The real estate market, however, is in a totally different position than it was then. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained:
“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”
Four major differences in today’s real estate market are:
- Families have large sums of equity in their homes
- We have a shortage of housing inventory, not an overabundance
- Irresponsible lending no longer exists
- Home price appreciation is not out of control
We must also realize that a recession does not mean a housing crash will follow. In three of the four previous recessions prior to 2008, home values increased. In the other one, home prices depreciated by only 1.9%.
Yes, we are now officially in a recession. However, unlike 2008, this time the housing industry is in much better shape to weather the storm.