Twin Cities MN Area Real Estate News & Info.

Jan. 15, 2024

Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years


Some Highlights

  • If you’re worried about what’s next for home prices, know the HPES shows experts are projecting they’ll continue to rise at least through 2028.
  • Based on that forecast, if you bought a $400,000 house this year, experts say it could gain over $72,000 in equity over the next five years.
  • If you're worried about falling home prices, don't be. Many experts forecast they'll keep rising for years to come. If you have questions, let’s connect.
Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 20, 2023

2024 Housing Market Forecast




Some Highlights

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 3, 2023

Should Baby Boomers Buy or Rent After Selling Their Houses?



Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change? If you’re thinking about selling your house, you have a lot to consider. Will you move to a different state or stay nearby? Is it time to downsize or do you want more space to accommodate your loved ones? But maybe the biggest consideration boils down to this – will you buy your next home or choose to rent instead?

That decision ultimately depends on your current situation and your future plans. Here are two important factors to help you decide what’s right for you.

Expect Rents to Keep Going Up

The graph below uses data from the Census to show how rents have been climbing steadily since 1988:Rents have been going up consistently over the long run. If you choose to rent, there’s a risk your rental payment will go up each time you renew your lease. Having a higher rental expense may not be something you want to deal with every year.

When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, it helps stabilize your monthly housing payment. This allows you to lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your home loan. That keeps your payments steady and predictable for the long haul. Freddie Mac sums it up like this:

“. . . homeowners with fixed-rate loans will see little to no change to their monthly housing cost over the life of their loan. You can be confident in knowing that your mortgage payments won’t change much in the long term, even when life’s other costs do.”

Owning Your Home Comes with Unique Benefits

According to AARP, buying your next home is a better long-term strategy than renting:

“Though each option has pros and cons, buying provides more pros, with a broader range of benefits.”

To help you choose what you’ll do after you sell, here are just a few of the benefits of homeownership that article covers:

  • Owning your home can help you save money for the future. Your home, and the equity you build as a homeowner, can provide generational wealth that could be passed on to loved ones, giving them a better life.
  • You might not have to pay a monthly mortgage payment at all. If you have enough equity to buy your next home outright, you wouldn’t have a monthly mortgage payment. While you might still need to cover property taxes or maintenance fees, not having to worry about a monthly mortgage payment could be a big relief.
  • Aging in place can be simpler. If your needs change, owning your home gives you the freedom to make renovations and updates that can make everyday life easier.

Bottom Line

If you're a baby boomer who’s wondering whether you should buy or rent your next home, let’s connect. With rents going up and homeownership providing so many benefits, it may make sense to consider buying your next home.

Posted in Helpful Tips
Oct. 3, 2023

Beginning with Pre-Approval



If you’re looking to buy a home this fall, there are a few things you need to know. Affordability is tight with today’s mortgage rates and rising home prices. At the same time, there’s a limited number of homes on the market right now and that’s creating some competition among buyers. But, if you’re strategic, there are ways to navigate these waters. The first thing you’ll want to do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way you’ll know your numbers and can set yourself up for success from the start of your home search.

What Pre-Approval Does for You

To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to know what pre-approval is. As part of the homebuying process, a lender looks at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you know how much money you can borrow. Freddie Mac explains it like this:

A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.”

Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the homebuying process that’ll help you understand how much you may be able to borrow. Why does this help you, especially today? With higher mortgage rates and home prices impacting affordability for many buyers right now, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important so you can truly wrap your head around your options.

Pre-Approval Helps Show Sellers You’re a Serious Buyer

Let’s face it, there are more buyers looking to buy than there are homes available for sale and that imbalance is creating some competition among homebuyers. That means you could see yourself in a multiple-offer scenario when you make an offer on a home. But getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you stand out from other hopeful buyers.

As an article from Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:

If you plan to use a mortgage for your home purchase, preapproval should be among the first steps in your search process. Not only can getting preapproved help you zero in on the right price range, but it can give you a leg up on other buyers, too.”

Pre-approval shows the seller you’re a serious buyer that’s already undergone a credit and financial check, making it more likely that the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or financial issues.

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved is an important first step when you’re buying a home. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of getting the home you want. Connect with a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to purchase a home in today’s market.

Posted in Helpful Tips
Sept. 23, 2023

What Experts Project for Home Prices Over the Next 5 Years




If you're planning to buy a home, one thing to consider is what experts project home prices will do in the future and how that might affect your investment. While you may have seen negative news over the past year about home prices, they’re doing far better than expected and are rising across the country. And data shows, experts forecast home prices will keep appreciating.

Experts Project Ongoing Appreciation

Pulsenomics polled over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts in the latest quarterly Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES). The results show what the panelists project will happen with home prices over the next five years. Here are those expert forecasts saying home prices will go up every year through 2027 (see graph below):If you’re someone who was worried home prices would fall because of stories you’ve read online, here's the big takeaway. Even though home prices vary by local market, experts project prices will continue to rise across the country for years to come. And these numbers indicate the return to more normal home price appreciation.

And while the projected increase in 2024 isn’t as large as 2023, it’s important to recognize home price appreciation is cumulative. In other words, if these experts are correct, after your home’s value rises by 3.32% this year, it’ll appreciate by another 2.17% next year. This is a good example of why owning a home is a choice that wins big over time.

What Does This Mean for You?

Once you buy a home, price appreciation raises your home’s value, and that grows your household wealth. To see how a typical home's value could change in the next few years using the expert projections from the HPES, check out the graph below:In this example, let’s say you bought a $400,000 home at the beginning of this year. If you factor in the forecast from the HPES, you could potentially accumulate more than $71,000 in household wealth over the next five years.

So, if you're thinking about whether buying a home is a good choice, remember how it can be a powerful way to grow your wealth in the long run. 

Bottom Line

According to the experts, home prices are expected to grow over the next five years at a more normal pace. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as home values (and your own net worth) grow. Let’s connect to start the homebuying process today.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 23, 2023

Why Is Housing Inventory So Low?




One question that’s top of mind if you’re thinking about making a move today is: Why is it so hard to find a house to buy? And while it may be tempting to wait it out until you have more options, that’s probably not the best strategy. Here’s why.

There aren’t enough homes available for sale, but that shortage isn’t just a today problem. It’s been a challenge for years. Let’s take a look at some of the long-term and short-term factors that have contributed to this limited supply.

Underbuilding Is a Long-Standing Problem

One of the big reasons inventory is low is because builders haven’t been building enough homes in recent years. The graph below shows new construction for single-family homes over the past five decades, including the long-term average for housing units completed:

For 14 straight years, builders didn’t construct enough homes to meet the historical average (shown in red). That underbuilding created a significant inventory deficit. And while new home construction is back on track and meeting the historical average right now, the long-term inventory problem isn’t going to be solved overnight. 

Today’s Mortgage Rates Create a Lock-In Effect

There are also a few factors at play in today’s market adding to the inventory challenge. The first is the mortgage rate lock-in effect. Basically, some homeowners are reluctant to sell because of where mortgage rates are right now. They don’t want to move and take on a rate that’s higher than the one they have on their current home. The chart below helps illustrate just how many homeowners may find themselves in this situation:

Those homeowners need to remember their needs may matter just as much as the financial aspects of their move.

Misinformation in the Media Is Creating Unnecessary Fear

Another thing that’s limiting inventory right now is the fear that’s been created by the media. You’ve likely seen the negative headlines calling for a housing crash, or the ones saying home prices would fall by 20%. While neither of those things happened, the stories may have dinged your confidence enough for you to think it’s better to hold off and wait for things to calm down. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parclsays:

“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

That’s further limiting inventory because people who would make a move otherwise now feel hesitant to do so. But the market isn’t doom and gloom, even if the headlines are. An agent can help you separate fact from fiction

How This Impacts You

If you’re wondering how today’s low inventory affects you, it depends on if you’re selling or buying a home, or both.

  • For buyers: A limited number of homes for sale means you’ll want to seriously consider all of your options, including various areas and housing types. A skilled professional will help you explore all of what’s available and find the home that best fits your needs. They can even coach you through casting a broader net if you need to expand your search.
  • For sellers: Today’s low inventory actually offers incredible benefits because your house will stand out. A real estate agent can walk you through why it’s especially worthwhile to sell with these conditions. And since many sellers are also buyers, that agent is also an essential resource to help you stay up to date on the latest homes available for sale in your area so you can find your next dream home. 

Bottom Line

The low supply of homes for sale isn’t a new challenge. There are a number of long-term and short-term factors leading to the current inventory deficit. If you’re looking to make a move, let’s connect. That way you’ll have an expert on your side to explain how this impacts you and what’s happening with housing inventory in our area.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 21, 2023

Equity Is a Game Changer for Homeowners Looking To Sell



If you’re a homeowner, you might be torn on whether or not to sell your house right now. Maybe that’s because you don’t want to take on a higher mortgage rate on your next home. If that’s your biggest hurdle, understanding your equity may be exactly what you need to help you feel more comfortable making your move.

What Equity Is and How It Works

Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. And recently, that equity has been growing far faster than you may expect.

Over the last few years, home prices rose dramatically, and that gave your equity a big boost very quickly. While the market has started to normalize, there’s still an imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase. And it’s because homes are in such high demand that prices are back on the rise today. Rob Barber, CEO of ATTOM, a property data provider, explains:

“Equity levels were high even during the recent downturn, and now they are going back up and better than ever.”

How Equity Benefits You in Today’s Market

With today’s affordability challenges, that equity can be a game changer when you move. Here’s why. Based on data from ATTOM and the Census, nearly two-thirds (68.7%) of homeowners have either paid off their mortgages or have at least 50% equity (see chart below):

That means roughly 70% have a tremendous amount of equity right now.

Once you sell your house, you can use your equity to help with your next purchase. It could be some (if not all) of what you’ll need for your next down payment. It may even be enough to allow you to put a considerably larger down payment on your next home, so you don’t have to finance quite as much. And, if you’ve been in your current house for years, you may have even built up enough equity to pay in all cash. If that’s true for you, you’d be able to avoid borrowing altogether, so you wouldn’t have to worry about today’s mortgage rates.

How To Find Out How Much Equity You Have

The best way to learn how much you have is to reach out to a trusted real estate agent for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR).

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 9, 2023

The Value of an Agent When Buying Your New Contruction Home




Buying a new construction home can be an exciting experience. From being the very first owner, to customizing your home’s features, there are a lot of benefits. But navigating the complexities of buying a home that’s under construction can also be a bit overwhelming. This is where a skilled real estate agent can make all the difference.

An article from The Mortgage Reports sums it up like this:

Your Realtor or real estate agent will be key to helping you navigate this process. . . . they can guide you through construction and help anticipate and solve for any possible snags along the way.”

Here’s how your agent is an invaluable resource in your search to find and buy your new home.

Agents Know the Local Area and Market

Your agent is well-versed in the emerging communities and upcoming developments that could influence your decision. For example, you'll want to be aware if there were any plans to construct a highway through the woods behind your prospective backyard. It’s important to consider how the neighborhood and the surrounding area might evolve before making your home purchase. Your agent can help you find a community that perfectly aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and future needs.

Knowledge of Construction Quality and Builder Reputation

An agent also has the expertise to evaluate the construction quality and reputation of different builders. Their knowledge and experiences with local builders allow them to offer insights into each one’s track record, customer satisfaction, and construction practices. This information can help you avoid any potential risks and help you confidently select a builder known for delivering quality homes.

Assistance with Customization and Upgrades

The most obvious benefit of opting for new home construction is the opportunity to customize your home to suit your preferences. Your agent will guide you through that process and share advice on the upgrades that are most likely to add long-term value to your home. Their expertise ensures you focus your budget on areas that will give you the greatest return on your investment later on.

Understanding Builder Contracts and Negotiations

Builder contracts can be complex and differ from traditional home purchase agreements. Your agent can help you navigate these contracts to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. They’re also skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf, potentially securing better deals, upgrades, or incentives for you throughout the process.

Bottom Line

The guidance and expertise of a local real estate agent can make all the difference in turning your vision of the perfect home into a reality. Let’s connect so you can feel confident about purchasing your new construction home.

Posted in Helpful Tips
Feb. 27, 2022

Before and After - Stunning Bath Remodel

 

BEFORE: 

The original owner of this home truly embraced 1980's trends - check out that black jetted tub!  The original shower had a small plastic / plexi enclosure that was worn & cracked, with a door that did not close properly.  The original custom vanity was considerably shorter in height than today's vanities, with considerable storage challenges and, frankly TOO MUCH counterspace.

AFTER;

This bathroom has been transformed into a spa-like retreat! 

  • The free-standing tub boasts a Brizo free-standing tub filler.  This new-style tub is not only luxurious but also frees-up floor area. 
  • The shower has been expanded considerably.
    • Custom shower pan & tile work
    • 12 x 24 porcelain wall tile
    • Brizo fixtures
    • Custom, frameless glass enclosure with matte black hardware
  • On the floor:  24 x 24 porcelain tile designed to resemble distressed marble.
  • The custom vanity is a game-changer for this space:
    • Drawer space rather than tiny lower cabinets with shelves
    • A "lazy susan" in the lower corner space (My carpenter told me this is the first time he has installed a "lazy susan" in a bathroom.  It was interesting getting that piece of cabinetry through a bedroom door, and then through the bathroom door!)
    • Vicostone Quartz countertop
    • Brizo fixtures
    • A countertop upper cabinet for added storage, with interior outlets to enclose / hide razor and toothbrush chargers.
Jan. 6, 2021

Drone Photography - A Game Changer

Drone photo showing private lotDrone view of approach

Drone showing waterfront behind homeDrone showing scenic area

Drone photography captures a view of homes and settings not possible from the ground.  Here are examples of drone photos for two different listings.  In the top example, the home was situated on a 2.7 acre hilltop, surrounded by trees.  I asked my drone photographer to capture the size and privacy of the lot.  The result was 8 offers within the first 12 hours!  In the lower example, the home is situated on a small lake near an historic, scenic downtown on the Mississippi.  I received calls from all over the country from buyers interested in this home!  13 offers received before the deadline.  Buyers continue to contact me to see this home, knowing it is under contract.