People have been moving to the suburbs for generations, trading bustling city life for quiet communities in which to buy a home and raise a family. And prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research reinforced the notion that suburban living is where it’s at for Millennials as well — despite long-held assumptions that younger homebuyers prefer urban areas. The driving reason was affordability, but now "social distancing" makes crowded cities — and attached product — even less appealing.
A report from last November makes a great case for detached living in the current coronavirus climate. “Nearly 90% of Millennial homebuyers told Redfin that they would choose a single-family home over an equally priced unit in a triplex with a shorter commute,” said HousingWire, and 85% of combined Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer buyers would endure a longer commute to own a detached home.
Now, more than ever, this quote from Redfin's Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather rings true: “Even as we’ve seen a revival in many urban neighborhoods, the American ideal of a detached home with a white picket fence and a private lawn doesn’t appear to be changing—at least for the time being. Our research indicates that the vast majority of homebuyers and sellers would prefer a single-family home over a unit with shared walls, assuming the price is the same. Just one out of every 10 prospective homebuyers and sellers would prefer a unit in a triplex with a short commute over a comparable single-family home farther away from their job.”
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Unless you’re offering your home at an unheard-of price and buyers think they’re going to get a screaming deal, it has to be in tip-top shape when it hits the market.
“When potential buyers walk in the door they bring a critical eye,” said NBC News. “All the little things you've grown accustomed to and don't even see anymore will stand out to them like a flashing red stop light. So before you open the door on your first showing or open house, it's time to get your house in order.”
Clean like you’ve never cleaned before.
“Specifically, be sure to include the windows and tile showers (especially any moldy grout). And grab your Magic Eraser and go through the whole house, but especially the kitchen. You can be sure buyers will notice greasy fingerprints.
Take a good look at your front door.
The ROI on a new front door is strong, but if you don’t want to spend the money, freshening it up can make a big difference. “Take a look: are there cobwebs on your light? Does the door need a coat of paint, or a good cleaning? And make sure the hardware like the doorknob is up to date and or not worn looking because that is the first thing buyers touch and see.
Concentrate on curb appeal
Like the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. “Once you have a clean baseline, think about planters, fresh flowers, just something attractive. And get a nice doormat.”
Let the sun shine in
Open up those blinds and clean all the windows (and window sills!). Natural light is important, but remember you can always cheat it by leaving all the lights on in your house.
Do a lightbulb check
“A bulb that's out may not seem like a big deal, but anytime a buyer sees something the seller is not taking care of, the worry is 'what else?'”
Give it the smell test
You may not even realize there are some unpleasant smells hanging out in your home—especially from pets—because you’re so used to being there. Buyers won’t be so forgiving. “Enlist a friend who can be honest to tell you what they smell when they walk in. If it's dog, cat litter, cigarette smoke, or cooking smells, get busy. Covering smells up with strong candles is worse than the original smell, so do whatever it takes to get odors out, whether that's refraining from cooking while you're showing, emptying the trash and litter box daily, opening all the windows, replacing your HVAC filters and cleaning the ducts, or renting a heavy duty air filter.”
Read more here: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/selling-your-house-these-small-changes-can-boost-price-ncna995446
Everyone wants to be a soothsayer at the end of the year, with predictions for what to expect in the months to come. While no one can say for sure what awaits for the 2020 housing market, experts have weighed in with some compelling expectations.
Mortgage rates will remain low
In fact, some expert predictions have them dropping even further. “According to Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at title insurance and settlement services provider First American, there’s 'emerging consensus' that rates will remain low next year—likely somewhere between 3.7% and 3.9%," said Forbes. “Forecasts from Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association back this up, both predicting 2020 rates within this range. Fannie Mae actually predicts rates will clock in even lower, vacillating between 3.5% and 3.6% throughout the year.
Prices will continue to rise.
“Home prices will continue their climb upward, according to experts, largely thanks to tight inventory and high demand. According to the latest home price forecast from property data firm CoreLogic, home prices should tick up by 5.6% by next September—up from the just 3.5% jump we saw this year. It seems the price growth may continue beyond 2020, too. Data from Arch MI shows the chance of home price declines at a mere 11% for the next two years. There are currently no states or metro markets projected to see prices decline in that period.
Inventory will remain tight.
“According to recent data from Redfin, the average homeowner is staying in their home 13 years—up from just eight years in 2010. In some cities, homeownership tenures are as high as 23 years.”
However, there is a glut of new homebuyers coming, and they have a heightened interest in new construction, which could ease inventory constraints.
The share of millennial homebuyers will continue to increase.
“Data from Realtor.com shows Millennials made up a whopping 46% of all mortgage originations in September—up from 43% one year prior. Meanwhile, shares of Baby Boomer and Gen X mortgage activity declined. It’s no wonder, either. Millennials rank homeownership as one of their top goals in life—higher than even marrying or having kids—and with interest rates low and incomes up, it’s the right time to buy a home for many.”
Millennials will head for the suburbs.
It’s a familiar pattern—rising priced send homebuyers farther out in search of affordability. Millennials are embracing this trend by heading for the ‘burbs.
“As home prices skyrocket, cash-strapped Millennials are looking toward more affordable places to put down roots—namely smaller, suburban towns on the outskirts of major metros. The trend has led to an uptick in ‘Hipsturbia’ communities—live-work-play neighborhoods that blend the safety and affordability of the suburbs with the transit, walkability and 24-hour amenities of big cities.”
Read more here.