New Year, New Home

A Moment of Reflection For The New Year

A New Year has a way of breathing new life into us. The thought of being able to leave everything in the past and begin anew is invigorating. We set resolutions and goals. We talk about what we want to accomplish in the upcoming year for business and personal. The end of one year and start to another gives us time to reflect on what we would like to see different or maybe just reaffirm the path that we are already on. My resolution in my business is to continue to serve my clients on a personal level. To consistently exceed expectations and earn their trust and confidence. Such trust that they are thrilled to tell friends and family! Thank you for your continued trust in me as your Realtor® and cheers to a prosperous and successful 2020!

Mortgage Minute

Mortgage Predications for 2020

Mortgage interest rates have been going down in 2019—steadily dropping below 4% for common types of loans. In 2020, economist geeks ha! think interest rates will stay around 3.7% for a 30-year mortgage and 3.2% for a 15-year mortgage. But this is never a guarantee because things like tariffs and trade wars might gradually shift the economy, which could result in the Federal Reserve slowly increasing interest rates to balance things out. What Lower Rates Mean for Sellers– If interest rates stay low, buyers will be more motivated to buy your home sooner than later. But if interest rates do start to increase later in the year, just plan for your house to be on the market a little longer. What Lower Rates Mean for Buyers-More buying power! Simple as that. You live in the payment, not the purchase price and lower interest rates allow for more home.

What To Expect In 2020

What’s Ahead For The Housing Market

When closing out another year, it’s normal to wonder what’s ahead for the housing market. Though there will be future inventory issues, we expect interest rates to stay low and appreciation to continue. According to Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow “If current trends hold, then slower means healthier and smaller means more affordable. Yes, we expect a slower market than we’ve become accustomed to the last few years…consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive in much of the country.” As we can see, we’re still going to have a healthy market. It is forecasted to be a more moderate (or normal) market than the last few years, but strong enough for Americans to continue to believe in homeownership and to capitalize on the opportunities that come with low interest rates.

Have any additional questions on what to expect in 2020? Give me a call! 616-588-3625

4 Top Spring Tasks for Your Home

Spring will be here before you know it and every homeowner knows what that means. It’s time to “spring~erize” our home.  Yes, I made that up.  Michigan winters will do that to you!  Here you will find some useful information to check off your spring to-do list to make sure your home is up and running before the warmer weather arrives.

Fan It Out!

Summer is coming (well, kinda) so it’s time to change the direction your paddle ceiling fans rotate. During spring and summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise when looking up at the fan. This creates a downdraft that makes you feel cooler when it blows on your skin. To change the direction of your ceiling fan, turn the fan off, allow the blades to stop, then flip the switch on the fan housing. On many fans the “down” position on the switch indicates downward air flow. If your fan has a remote control with a direction setting, this job doesn’t even require a ladder.

No Chimney Guests Allowed

After the last fire of the season, don’t forget to close your fireplace damper to keep drafts, rain, animals, and insects out of your home. The damper is a metal flap inside your fireplace that covers the opening to the chimney. It will have a loop, lever, or chains for opening and closing. Close loop dampers by hand or by inserting a poker into the loop. To close lever dampers, lift up slightly on the lever, then push or pull to close. Chain dampers are closed by pulling on the longer chain to disengage the mechanism, then pulling the shorter chain to close the flap.

What Allergies?

Replace the air filter on your central heating and cooling system every one to three months so it will run more efficiently and keep the air in your home cleaner. It’s easy to change the air filter by removing the cover on the air return, sliding out the old filter, and replacing it with a new one with the arrows on the filter pointing in the direction of air flow. If you suffer from allergies, this is a great time to upgrade to a high-performance allergen air filter for your home.

Waterproof Advice

Over time even small plumbing leaks can add up to thousands of gallons of water wasted. After the last winter freeze, it’s a good idea to check your water meter for plumbing leaks. If the triangular shaped flow indicator on the water meter is turning when water isn’t running in the house, you’ve got a leak. Finding a plumbing leak can be difficult, but the main culprits to check are toilets, outdoor spigots, irrigation systems, and pipes on exterior walls that may have been damaged in a freeze.

4 Tips to Get Your Home Sold For More Money

Most realtors will tell you that it is best to sell your home “as-is”. But what does “as-is” even mean in this sense? To me, this means that you are going to put the minimum amount of work into getting your home ready for the market. Your normal check-list might include the following:

#1. Declutter your home

#2. Rearrange furniture to be more visually appealing

#3. Clean up your yard

#4. Minimize evidence of pets and kids. (Before eyebrows raise; Yes! I am a lover of pets and kids. But hey, we are trying to sell a house here and get it in front of every possible buyer out there.)

Now, this is a fantastic start, but when do you need to go beyond a simple plan? The main thing you want to consider is what is your neighborhood calling for. Are you surrounded by new builds or homes that have recently been updated? Has your neighbor recently sold for more than what you thought their home would be worth? Compare. Really look at how your house holds up to the others. If you are unsure, this is what a Realtor® is for. My clients will always receive a recommended list price with the above check-list and a recommended list price with updating. Now, this can be as simple as paint colors or as extensive as renovating a kitchen. You want your home to SHINE like a pretty penny. Let’s take a look below. This home I recently sold has gone through some renovations before we sold. Here’s the kicker. The home was bought a year prior for $120,000 UNDER what it sold for the following year. “Yes Alicia, that’s great, but how much did the renovations cost?” How’s $30,000 sound?

Jaw-drop.

When the home was bought, it had cheap carpet in the living room. There was hardwood flooring in the entry way and dining, but not through the living space. We simply extended the hardwood flooring through the living room and refinished the remainder.
Orange tile not your thing? Yeah, it’s not ours either. Tile was ripped up and replaced with a modern large plank ceramic tile in a creamy white.
Notice those orange countertops are gone? A beautiful granite tile replaced what was and adds loads of light into this expansive kitchen.
Pillars? What pillars? You wouldn’t even recognize this dining room. All walls were repainted in Comfy Beige by Behr and the pillars were removed. Now, the space is open and inviting.

This home is the perfect representation of what you can do to a home to update and modernize while still maintaining the original beauty of the home. This move-in ready home was a great purchase for the sellers and ideal for that buyer who wanted a turn-key home that didn’t need an ounce of work.

Looking for ideas on your home and curious if a renovation can give you more “bang” for your buck when you sell? Call me at 616-588-3625.

What to Expect in the Housing Market in 2019

Homeowners and non-homeowners alike are always fascinated with what’s happening in the real estate market. I find myself discussing what’s going on in the market with complete strangers while in line at the grocery store. It’s amazing! With a low inventory of available homes to buy, 2018 threw first time home buyers in a tizzy with competing offers and missing out on homes even with an over-asking price offer. Is this now the new norm for buying a home or can we expect to see a more “balanced” market in 2019?

In their forecasts for 2019, the National Association of Realtors expects home sales to flatten and home prices to continue to increase, although at a slower pace than 2018. NAR expects the median home sale price to rise 3.1 percent to around $266,800 in 2019. Overall, home values are expected to see a 2.2% increase in value over 2018. So, what does this mean? While inventory on available homes for sale are likely to remain equal to that of 2018, we are not likely to see the double digit appreciation like years past. Home values are seemingly increasing at a normal appreciation rate which means buyers are less likely to overpay for a property they would like to purchase.

Mortgage rates are expected to see an increase in 2019 as well. Realtor.com has mortgage rates averaging 5.3 percent in early 2019 and should reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019. With anticipated increases in mortgage rates, this will leave potential buyers wondering how this will affect their buying power. Take a look at the chart below.

Overall, the housing market is continuing strong coming into 2019. With projected increases in 2019, it may be advantage to the buyer to buy sooner in 2019 than later. Questions on this information? Contact me at AliciaFisher@bhhsmi.com.