I have been watching this year with all the news reports on a possible recession on the news daily and lots of folks talking about real estate stats. I have to say, just like a weather report, generally speaking, the NATION might be experiencing the same “season” but if it’s raining in Chicago, it isn’t necessarily in Jacksonville.
What has been going on with our market? Well, simply put the changes in the loan application processes as well as what particular mortgage products are available has changed tremendously in the last few months. What that means is folks who qualified to buy expensive homes may no longer qualify for that price range, they can still buy but usually with a conventional or VA type loan for significantly less. . .long story very short, it has changed the buying power a prospective home buyer has. . .and how many homes and then an option to browse through. Everyone can afford to pay LESS for a home than the budget for, not rocket science. . .fact of the market.
So, what can you do? If you’re a seller, among other things, you know I am going to tell you to find a great and talented agent (need my number? 😀 ) and second, price your home appropriately for the market. Last summer, you home may have sold and appraised all day long for what you WANT to sell it for, but as that old expression goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Clean, clean, clean (read my other blog articles with el-cheapo suggestions and pointers), air out and freshen. . .and neutralize (not talking white walls here, but maybe the orange kitchen and purple dining room won’t have mass appeal).
Buyers, my numero uno suggestion is of course, find a great agent. Second. . .SHOP AROUND. . .for three things: your mortgage, your homeowner’s insurance, the house itself. Make sure whomever you work with (again, need my number? ;D) does a CMA (Cost Market Analysis) just like they would for a seller, essentially you are looking for homes that are similar to your first choice sold within the last 6 months, a great indicator for what you should be paying for your home. . .of course changes in the neighborhood or perhaps rezoning, etc. can change values in 6 months but you know you are in the right ball park at least.
My market is pretty tight thanks to the fact that is primarily appraisal driven, meaning about 99% of the transactions that happen here have to have an appraisal to ensure the mortgage company is loaning money on a home on your behalf that is worth what you have offered to pay for it. . .meaning we never experienced the crazy “bubbles” you’ve heard so much about.
Wanna know more? I can be bribed with coffee or diet coke to speak with any group (neighborhood association, girl scouts, wives group, etc.) about their area in regards to the current market conditions. Or, planning on buying or selling . . .know someone who is? I’d love to hear from you. . .even if I can’t sell you a home our help you sell yours I actually give pretty decent advice and can be a great sounding board. . .I have childhood friends all over the country that sill call me for “house stuff”. . .and I would love to do the same for you.
Bundle up tonight, after a WARM February day here in Eastern N.C. we are supposed to have a yucky stormy night. . .curl up on the sofa and browse through the latest edition of Homes Magazine available all over town for free. 🙂