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Free Online Webinar Provides Home Selling Tips

Are you looking for an easy way to become more informed about the home selling process in West Central Minnesota? Karen Zell of Homes and Lakeshore / Keller Williams Realty Professionals has a new online series to demystify both the selling and buying process.

Take Care of These Top 6 Tasks Before Selling

home maintenance

To get top dollar when selling your home, there’s no question a well-kept home will sell better, even if you have moved out. Be sure to address small fixes (broken doorbells or leaky faucets) so buyers aren’t left to wonder if there are bigger problems you are trying to hide. Here are six more often-overlooked areas that should be corrected.

Buying a Home While Selling

buying a home while selling

It can be exiting to buy a new home. However, if you are trying to sell a home at the same time as buying it can be stressful, especially if money from your current home’s sale is needed to put toward your next home. However, with a little planning and working with a savvy real estate agent can ease the process for both of these transactions.

To keep your sanity intact, here are some tips to help you manage the process.

Should You Downsize Your Home?

downsizing

Many people find themselves downsizing, motivated by debt, an empty nest or retirement. However, determining how much smaller to go can be tricky.

Finance guru Dave Ramsey says the average family in America has “plenty of room to downsize their home without cramping their style.” According to the United States Census Bureau, Ramsey elaborates that in the 1950s, middle-income Americans homes were around 1,000 square feet or less, as opposed to today’s typically 2,600 square feet plus – new single-family home.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed in 2021?

Mortgage Rates

2020 was an odd year for the mortgage industry. Instead of a market crash due to the pandemic and economic turmoil, home prices and sales actually rose. At the beginning, low-interest rates, low unemployment, and rising rents drove the housing market up. As the pandemic wore on, people fleeing urban areas, or looking for more space to work from home, plus historically low interest rates kept demand for housing high. The important question is, where will interest rates go now?

Industry experts expect mortgage rates to rise in 2021. If you are not planning to buy or sell in the coming year, then hopefully you have refinanced, or will soon. We strongly encourage those thinking about selling to list now. There are still many people looking to buy, but the market will be changing. No one can predict with certainty how high mortgage interest rates will go or when, but four top experts weighing in with their thoughts and rationale, giving us a pretty good glimpse of where we are headed in 2021.

Build Your Financial Future, Even in a Pandemic

saving money

The global pandemic caught many of us unprepared, especially financially. Last year you may have been considering buying your first home, this year you’re wondering how to stay afloat. If you are still struggling with job loss, business reduction or other financial impacts, your mind may not be on how you can better insulate yourself financially in the future. 

Possibly the best time to create a financial mindset shift is while you are still feeling the money struggle. The right mindset can help you get you through this difficult period, be happier and help put you in a better financial position a year from now. Here are the basic steps.

Housing Market Crash or Rise in 2021?

housing future

Instead of just relying a crystal ball, there are some facts that help predict what will happen to home buying and selling in the coming year.

Throughout the pandemic, residential real estate markets across the country have remained steady, and most have even seen growth. While we feel for those that are truly suffering due to COVID-19 related losses, there are positive economic indicators for the future. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released a consumer survey of responses in September 2020 entitled Survey of Consumer Expectations showing less pessimistic views about personal financials in the year ahead due to improvements in the labor market and spending expectations.

Details About Mortgage Forbearance

mortgage forbearance

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the economy furthers into disarray, more people are having financial difficulties including how to pay their monthly mortgage bill. As of October 2020, nearly 3 million Americans are in mortgage forbearance plans as according to data firm Black Knight. Forbearance may mean you can forgo some of your mortgage payments. Ed DeMarco, president of the Housing Policy Council (HPC) says, “Forbearance is a normal tool in the toolkit, it’s been used with some regularity with natural disasters, or any temporary emergency which disrupts normal living and income.”

Remodeling Projects that are Best for Resale

remodeling ROI

In today’s market, remodels that are planned with a return on investment in mind is essential. Properties are selling quickly, so only those projects with the best opportunity to increase value are worth the investment. For investment properties, you can then rent your units for more income while planning to sell. Or, you can add value to your home while enjoying living in it.

According to the 2018 Consumer Housing Trends report, nearly 80% of sellers made at least one improvement before selling with most sellers averaging 2.2 renovations or improvements before selling. Only 21% of the sellers in 2018 actually listed their home as-is. This article covers a range of the best improvements for return on investment across different budgets, plus those remodeling projects that do not pay off at resale.

Understanding a Buyers Comparative Market Analysis

Buyers CMA

A comparative market analysis, commonly abbreviated as CMA, is a report we prepare to help determine the value of a home. The report analyzes three or more recently sold properties similar to the home in question, usually chosen based on their similarities in size, location, age and quality.

CMAs are a valuable tool that you, as a buyer can use to ensure you are making a competitive offer on a home. CMAs are also used by sellers to help determine an accurate listing price.