REAL ESTATE

5 Steps for Boomers Preparing to Downsize

Although it can be difficult to move from the family home, the decision to downsize to a simpler and more affordable life can be a good one for aging baby boomers. Here are 5 steps on how to go about it:

  1. Dream, research & strategize – Make your wish list. Begin by dreaming and considering different scenarios. What matters most? Where do you want to be – city? suburbs? 55 & over community? What about location? Do you want to be close to medical? close to airport? close to family?
  2. Begin to Downsize in Place – That means begin to get rid of your stuff. Storage is a big issue when downsizing. One perspective is to imagine how many rooms you’ll have in your new home, then purge belongings to fit your new space.
  3. Use available resources to help market your home – Curb appeal and online marketing are important now. Use a real estate agent who can help you spruce up your home for sale. Impressions count – both in person and online.
  4. Make a detailed plan based on monthly payments – Downsizing savings typically come from lowering monthly mortgage payments by using cash from selling your existing home. Additional savings come from reduced property taxes, maintenance and utilities. Prepare for the long-term. A National Association of Realtors survey says downsizers on average plan to stay 15 years in their new home.beach House2
  5. Scout locations – This is the fun part. With the “business” side of downsizing taken care of and your wish list in hand, you can turn your dreams into reality. Hop on the internet to research – can you afford a London flat? How about the beaches in Mexico? Statistically, the trend for downsizing boomers is toward smaller, walkable U.S. cities with well furnished homes, high speed internet, and accessible services.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

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Homeownership & Well-Being: It’s Complicated

Model house in female hands.Homeownership has come to represent security and wealth – the American Dream, realized, for millions who place their stake through property. There is evidence, even, that homeownership lends itself to overall satisfaction.

Financially, homeownership is also associated with well-being, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB defines “financial well-being” as “a state of being wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, can feel secure in their financial future and is able to make choices that allow them to enjoy life.”

The first factor is key. The ability to afford a home affects sense of well-being, the report shows. The CFPB assigned respondents to a survey, on a scale of zero to 100, scores of well-being. In comparing homeowners and renters, homeowners averaged a 58, while renters averaged a 49. (As a whole, respondents to the survey averaged a 54.) Generally, Americans in good enough financial straits (in the context of income and savings) are in a position to purchase a home; the capacity to own, therefore, rather than ownership itself, is a predicator of well-being.

Business 01Affordability is also impactful in that those with a lower share of their income spent on housing have higher scores of well-being. Respondents paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing averaged a 46.5, roughly 10 points below the 56.51 of respondents who shell out 30 percent or less.

Respondents with “non-retirement investments” have higher scores of well-being, as well. (A house, often, is an appreciating asset, building wealth, as other investments do, over time.) Respondents with even one non-retirement investment averaged a 62, while those without averaged a 51. (Real estate, relatedly, has ranked as the No. 1 investment in several studies.)

“Housing satisfaction” is connected similarly. Respondents “very satisfied” with the place they live averaged a 60; those less than “very satisfied” averaged a 50. One distinction, however: The ability to improve level of satisfaction (buying in a more costly but safer neighborhood, for example) hinges on having the wherewithal to do so.

New Home - family - 01Financial well-being is also linked to homeownership in unanticipated ways. According to the report, age, education and physical health are the top three influences on financial well-being. Age has implications: Americans at a certain life stage, for instance, could be of the perception that “now” is the time to own a home. If they do not meet that expectation, their sense of well-being could suffer.

A cushion for emergencies, likewise, is related. Respondents with access to at least $2,000 for the unexpected (within 30 days) averaged a score of 62 – leaps ahead of the 39 for those without. On the other side of the coin: Respondents who have experienced a “financial shock,” such as a major home repair, averaged a 52, while those who have not averaged a 57.

“The strongest relationships to financial well-being appear to be related to savings and security nets,” the report states. Homeownership, for most, is both – but its relationship to well-being? It’s complicated.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs.

Most Important Features Millennials Want in Their Homes

shutterstock_626492420There have been a lot of studies, think pieces and discussions trying to figure out millennials. Business owners were skeptical about hiring millennials a few years ago and now, as this younger generation continues to grow and succeed in life, the housing market seems to be the next millennial-facing industry.

There’s no doubt that millennials have finally entered the housing market. In fact, they currently make up 35 percent of buyers throughout the United States. Approximately 68 percent of all first-time home buyers fall into this age bracket, as well. But what do they want inside their homes?

Let’s take a look and see what millennials are looking for when it comes to buying a home.

Interior Laundry RoomSeparate Laundry Rooms – Say what you will about millennials and their laundry habits, the majority of millennial homebuyers are searching for homes with an additional room just for laundry. Roughly 92 percent of homebuyers want a separate laundry room, coming in as the No. 1 thing millennials are looking for.

Outdoor Lighting – The second most desired feature for millennial homebuyers is exterior lighting. Roughly 90 percent of all people searching for a home in the current market want exterior lighting to illuminate their landscape.

Energy-Efficient Appliances – Another aspect of home-buying that cracks the top 10 for millennials is having energy-efficient appliances inside the home. (In fact, across every generation of homebuyers, 90 percent of people are looking for this feature.)

Hardwood FlooringHardwood Floors – Millennial homebuyers also prefer hardwood floors for their homes. Rather than choosing carpeting, approximately 82 percent of homebuyers are searching for properties with open hardwood floor plans.

There are still plenty of millennials who aren’t ready to buy a home just yet – but it looks like these are the kinds of features they will be looking for when they are ready to enter the housing market.

Information about Millennial homebuyers provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 outstanding agents ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

 

Boost from Buyers – Confidence in Housing Up

FannieMaeLogoConfidence in housing again met an all-time high in September according to Fannie Mae, propelled by optimism from buyers. Recently polled renters are also helping drive this trend, with the Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) posting 88.3 in September, 0.3 percentage points higher than the month prior.

“The biggest driver for the increase in the HPSI is the rebound in the good time to buy sentiment, which outweighed the largest drag: a sizable reduction in the net share of consumers expecting home prices to rise over the next year,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. “Details in the survey showed a meaningful pickup in the good time to buy component, especially from the renter respondents. Additionally, perceptions of easing inventory helped boost the net share saying that now is a good time to buy, which is consistent with less bullish home Realtor 01price appreciation sentiment during the month. Overall, we believe that the devastating impacts of the hurricanes will likely weigh on home sales in coming months, posing downside risks for our forecast, which already calls for only a modest gain in home sales this year.”

The share of home buyers surveyed for the Index who believe now is a good time to buy rose 10 percentage points to 28 percent, while the share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell rose two percentage points to 38 percent. The share of those surveyed who believe home prices will go up fell eight percentage points to 40 percent.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified realtors ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

Here’s Why Home Building is Thriving in the Lone Star State

building - 6Home-building is floundering against soaring demand, with inventory now at its lowest in two decades. Are any markets keeping up?

New construction is taking off in at least three, where each are expected to gain 40,000 new homes this year, according to a recent study. Activity is exploding in Dallas and Houston, Texas, and New York, N.Y., the study found, with Dallas adding 48,772 homes to its stock, Houston growing by 47,946, and New York expanding by 40,006.

Researchers analyzed building permit data from the U.S. Census Bureau from 1980 to 2016, and the first half of 2017 – which offer a basis to estimate ground-breaking – to project how many new homes will be built across the largest 100 metropolitan areas this year, and which metro areas are constructing more than their historical average. The markets set to have the most permits after Dallas, Houston and New York? Austin, Texas (29,872) and Phoenix, Ariz. (29,280). Austin, markedly, is also outdoing its norm, with 107.7 percent more permits, followed by Charleston, S.C. (72.8 percent more) and Nashville, Tenn. (65.8 percent more).

business - growth 5How are Dallas, Houston and New York coming out ahead when the rest of the country is playing catch-up? Sheer size, for one, but also growth in employment, income and home prices, the study reveals. Home-building is connected to jobs for the simple fact that more jobs provide more residents income, which stokes demand for homes in the market. In fact, in the 100 metro areas assessed, every one percentage point climb in jobs (per data from 2010 to 2016) parallels an average 5 percent rise in permits.

The link between building and income is comparable: a one percentage point increase in the median household income (also using data from 2010 to 2016) leads to a 2.1 percent upswing in permits, on average, the study shows. More pay, the researchers say, ups the ability to purchase a costlier home – and new homes, without question, tend to be higher-priced.

The relationship between building and home prices is also a factor: a one percentage point step-up in home prices results in an average 1.2 percent tick up in permits – but with a significant distinction. Price growth upwards of 24 percent moves the needle in the opposite direction, possibly because at that point, builders begin shouldering higher land costs and incomes start to lag behind prices, researchers speculate.

Information provided by Keller Williams Dallas Metro North. Call us today – we have over 400 qualified realtors ready to assist you with your real estate needs!

KWDMN: Wearing Many Hats …

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween makes me think of costumes, which makes me think about the phrase “wearing many hats”. With over 400 qualified Realtors© ready to serve you, here is a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the hats you THINK we wear!

What our friends think we do:Friends3
What our mom thinks we do:Mom3
What our clients think we do:Clients3
What we think we do:superhero4
What we actually do!multi1
Keller Williams Dallas Metro North
– juggling the details daily to serve you the best! Call us today for help with ALL your real estate needs!