Thursday, May 25, 2017

More Folks are Choosing to Buy than Rent.

According to the latest report from the US Census Bureau, more Americans chose purchasing a home over signing a lease to rent in the first quarter of 2017. This marks the first time since 2006 that the number of new homeowner households outpaced the number of new renter households.
Of the 1.22 million new households that were formed in the first quarter, 854,000 were new-owner households making the jump straight to homeownership rather than renting first.

That means that the homeownership rate amongst new households was 70%!

This is huge news as the national homeownership rate is currently 63.6% and has only ever come close to this figure in the second quarter of 2004 when the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.2%.
A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed to the uptick in first-time homebuyers coming to market as a reason for the jump:

“The return of first-time buyers is accelerating. In all they have accounted for 42% of buyers this year, up from 38% in 2015 and 31% at the lowest point during the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to Fannie Mae, which defines first-time buyers as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.”
Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist, had this to say about what a bump in new homeowner households could mean for the housing market:
“Strong renter household formation is one of the reasons why the homeownership rate has continued to drop since the onset of the housing crisis, so any sign this trend is reversing is something to take note of. We look forward to future releases of these data to determine whether this is a statistical blip or a trend.”

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US IN THE TRIANGLE, NC

As rents continue to climb & interest rates remain at historic lows, more folks are realizing they can buy a home & pay less than what they would pay in rent. The biggest obstacle I'm seeing with young, first-time buyers is credit score problems & student loan debt.  There is good news for you!  I work with an fantastic credit repair company & they can help get your credit score up so you can qualify for a home purchase and get a lower interest rate.  Contact me today for more info!




Elizabeth
Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
Diamond Award – High Sales Volume
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC       
Phone: 919.306.9699
http://www.thesmartrealestateagent.com/contact/
Email:  Elizabeth@TheSmartRealEstateAgent.com



Monday, May 15, 2017

Home Remodeling Costs Explained

Remodeling is a great way to improve the comfort, value and livability of your home. But, as many homeowners know, the financial and organizational hurdles associated with upgrading your home are serious. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool during your remodel.

 Bathroom Remodel

 When it comes to your return on investment (ROI), few renovations are better than a bathroom remodel. Prior to beginning your bathroom makeover, make sure to fully understand your budget's limitations.

Bathroom Fixtures

Whether you're looking for an upgraded sink, faucet, toilet or jetted tub, updating your fixtures is a great way to modernize the look of your bathroom. While prices vary widely, purchasing your fixtures through a contractor is an easy way to save on remodeling costs. (Most contractors have access to below-retail pricing).









Bathroom Flooring
Choosing flooring is an overwhelming process. Fortunately, your budget will help you decide which flooring option is right for you. While browsing potential flooring, it's important to note that as the square footage of your bathroom grows, so will your costs. Before you decide on a particular flooring, be sure to know the exact square footage of your new bathroom space.
Bathroom Plumbing and Electrical
Is it necessary to move your toilet, cabinet and overhead lights? During your remodel, deciding to move plumbing or electrical systems will dramatically impact the cost of your project.
 Kitchen updates are a fantastic way to improve the usability and value of your home. The cost of your update will depend on the size of your kitchen, quality of materials and layout of the room.
Kitchen Countertops
Within each category of countertop material, you'll find huge price differences depending on the quality, availability and ease of installation. Fortunately, with the huge number of materials available, it's much easier to shop within a budget.
 Kitchen Cabinets
If you're working with dated cabinets, there's a good chance that your kitchen d├ęcor will go unnoticed. Fortunately, the cost of new cabinets will vary depending on the size and quality of the materials -- which means that finding cabinets to fit your budget and style isn't as hard as may think. If you don't feel like undergoing a major install, refinishing or refacing your cabinets will allow you to update your kitchen's look without the hefty price of a remodel.
Kitchen Appliances
Selecting the proper appliances for your new kitchen is a major decision. If your goal is to build a highly functional kitchen, you're going to want appliances that are durable, user-friendly and easy to clean. If you have a smaller kitchen, you might want to think about installing built-in appliances that maximize your kitchen's available space. Working within a limited budget? Freestanding appliances are typically less expensive and easier to install.
 
While an addition of any size is a sobering commitment in terms of time and money, enlarging your home is a wonderful opportunity to increase the comfort and usability of your current space.
Hire a Professional
If you're planning an extensive remodel, consider hiring an architect. Working with a professional will ensure that your addition is as practical as it is comfortable (and potentially profitable).
Whether you're thinking of buying or selling a home, a professional Realtor will always get you the best results in terms of your time and money.  Contact me today for all the latest info on our local market and see how I may help you achieve your goals!
  Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
Diamond Award – High Sales Volume
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC       
Phone: 919.306.9699
http://www.thesmartrealestateagent.com/contact/
Email:  Elizabeth@TheSmartRealEstateAgent.com
 
 
 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Measuring Your Ability to Achieve the AMERICAN DREAM!

The American Dream Index




Forbes.com recently released the results of their new American Dream Index, in which they measure “the prosperity of the middle class, and…examine which states best support the American Dream.”

The monthly index measures several different economic factors, including goods-producing employment, personal and commercial bankruptcies, building permits, startup activity, unemployment insurance claims, labor force participation, and layoffs.

The national index score was rounded out to 100 in January and saw a modest jump to 100.5 in February.

Alaska represented the lowest score on the index at 80.7, due mostly to the recent collapse in oil prices. Nevada came in with the highest score at 108.8, boosted by big gains in goods-producing jobs and new construction activity. The full results can be seen in the map below.



Forbes Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen explained why many states saw a boost in the index last month:

“[B]usinesses are hiring in part in anticipation of tax cuts and less regulation... Many areas of the country have experienced strong upticks in employment and construction, as well as declines in unemployment claims since the start of the year.”

Here in our Local Area
We are at 103.3 - above the national index score of 100.  Jobs continue to increase, consumer confidence in the housing market is very strong -- as evidenced by the rate that homes are going under contract - often a day after it hits the market.  And, I've helped my buyer get a great home in a hot neighborhood before it even hit the market!  If you want an agent who gets the results that you want, contact me today!


Elizabeth
Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
Diamond Award – High Sales Volume
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC       
Phone: 919.306.9699
http://www.thesmartrealestateagent.com/contact/
Email:  Elizabeth@TheSmartRealEstateAgent.com