Tag Archives: home value

Money Monday: What’s in a Home Value?

When you are selling or buying, the value of houses can be affected by so many things.

Of course, location and neighborhood comps affect the going price of the home, but other things you may not have thought about can affect it as well. These include: privacy, frontage length, the backyard sloping down, and more.

CAR.org home value

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Homeowners are twice as house rich as five years ago

After hitting bottom in 2012, home prices took off dramatically before leveling off a bit in mid-2014. In the last two months, though, they turned higher again. The amount of equity homeowners now have — the value outside their mortgage debt — has doubled in the last five years, according to CoreLogic.

money houseSeptember home prices showed a 6.3 percent annual gain, slightly more than in August and a clear sign that prices are heating up again after cooling through much of spring and summer. CoreLogic’s chief economist said that home equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, large because of the recovery in home prices.

While homeowners today show more wealth on paper, they are not extracting it at nearly the rate they did during the last housing boom. Near-record-low mortgage rates have certainly prompted thousands of borrowers to refinance and lower their monthly payments, but a very small share have extracted cash in these refinances and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

Full story: www.cnbc.com/2016/11/01/homeowners-twice-as-house-rich-as-five-years-ago

15 Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

You’re finally ready to put your home on the market, but want to ensure you get top dollar. Are there any easy fixes that can increase your asking price without breaking your budget? Here are some tips, ranging from free to under $1,000. Happy selling!

1. Invite a REALTOR® over to give you suggestions on how you might increase the value of your home. REALTORS® will often do this as a courtesy, and many can offer great ideas for low-cost upgrades based on their day-to-day experiences.

2. Get an inspection to make sure you won’t be blindsided by hidden problems once your home’s on the market. Some small problems can cost a lot if they’re ignored for too long. So be proactive and see what your home needs to be in top condition.

3. Get an energy audit to see how you can improve the efficiency of your home. Many utility companies do energy audits as a free service, and figuring out how to make your home more efficient can be a great marketing tool when you decide to sell.

fixer upper4. Paint! Applying fresh coats of paint to every room is relatively low cost, but can be time consuming, which is why many people decide to forego this project. But take the time if you can, because it will pay off. And remember, neutral colors are best because they appeal to most everyone.

5. Plant a tree, or two. Even if you plan on selling your home in a week, planting trees is always a good investment in your home. If the tree has time to mature, and provides shade to your home, it can cut down energy cooling costs as well, sometimes by as much as 40 percent!

6. Use native plants to increase your curb appeal and save money on water. Find out what grows naturally in your region and showcase those plants in the front of your home. Saving water is a great benefit to new homeowners, and planting native plants is an easy way to “go green.”

7. Install a water filtration system in your kitchen. The cost to install these is fairly low, but is one of those small details that home buyers love.

8. Remove your popcorn ceiling. This sounds expensive, but scraping away the popcorn texture from your 1970s ceiling is actually a fairly inexpensive DIY project. Just visit your hardware store for advice, then start scraping.

9. Hire a lawn service company to cut your lawn and trim your hedges. Having this task professionally done before listing your home can go a long way towards improving curb appeal.

10. Hire a cleaning service to make the inside spotless. Again, this is a low cost way to make a great first impression.

11. Rent a storage unit. One way to really open up the space in your home is to rent a storage unit and put half your furniture in it for safe keeping. The relative emptiness of the home is appealing to buyers because it gives the impression of more space.

12. Small upgrades in the bathroom and kitchen can improve a buyer’s first impression. Change out the knobs on the cabinets. Install updated lighting fixtures. Put in a new faucet.

13. Replace worn carpets or rugs. Area rugs are fairly cheap to upgrade. Replacing carpet with wood floors, or discovering the wood floor underneath, is ideal but may not be cost-effective for you. Do what you can to improve flooring. At a minimum, consider getting the carpets professionally cleaned.

14. Get a tankless water heater. Today’s home buyers are looking for eco-friendly details that will save them money long term. Upgrading your standard water heater with a tankless version is a fairly low cost way to improve the efficiency of your home, and help the earth too!

15. Upgrade appliances. If you’re able to upgrade any of your appliances it will increase the value of your home. Look for Energy Star-rated appliances so you can show potential buyers another way this home will save them money in the long run.

Zillow Reports Home Gains in July, Predicts Market Decrease in Fall

Zillow Reports Home Gains in July, Predicts Market Decrease in Fall

Zillow: July Sees More Home Value Gains, Market to Cool in Fall

Zillow released on Tuesday its Real Estate Market Reports for July, revealing that the company’s Home Value Index hit $151,600 for the month, a 0.5 percent gain from June and a 1.2 percent increase year-over-year.

Of the metro areas covered in the reports, 62 percent saw home values climb during July, with only 49 of the 167 areas posting declines. Of the 30 largest areas covered, the Phoenix metro experienced the largest monthly increase (2.2 percent), followed by San Francisco (1.2 percent) and Denver (1.0 percent).

While rising home values may be taken as a sign of a healing market, Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries said these increases should simmer down in the coming months.

“This summer, the housing market continued to heal, as home values experienced their eighth consecutive month of increases,” Humphries said. “Tight inventory levels are leading to bidding wars and multiple offers across the country. Looking ahead, we expect to see less aggressive increases in the fall as rising values lift some would-be sellers out of negative equity, allowing them to place their homes on the market.”…

Read the rest of this article by DSNews.com online here: “Zillow: July Sees More Home Value Gains, Market to Cool in Fall”.

Taxes, real estate, and marriage: ’till death do us part

Taxes, real estate, and marriage: ’till death do us part

In the aftermath of tax day, specifically personal taxes, some people have a sigh of relief while some people are devastated. We cannot all avoid some emotion for this day whether we filed early, at the last minute, or are prolonging the agony with an extension. I would say that if someone is experiencing agony, their taxes are usually always postponed and prolonged. Why is this?

In marriage, with the highest divorce rates ever, is it not the same result as in taxes by delaying the inevitable if there is a problem? The procrastination of not addressing a problem or not thinking it is a problem when the other spouse does, spells disaster.

In real estate, I also see similar scenarios: with most people waiting ’till the last minute, whether trying to keep their home with a bad loan that’s worth more than the actual house, while days or weeks away from a foreclosure. Or with false hopes of keeping the property and thinking that they will get the modification done or that better yet, a miracle will happen and their loan will go away! While all these positive results are possible, isn’t it also possible to win the lottery? Your answer of “yes” is correct, but unfortunately the answer of “unlikely” is also correct. Unrealistic expectations rarely add up.

Anyone who has married knows they take a vow of “’till death do us part”, while taxes literally follow you until death and could even lower your estate in the process after death.  In real estate, some people have the notion that they will not leave their home unless they are dead! My take on this is that many people just do not see the big picture. I ask the question again: Why is this?

Everyone knows that life and everything on this earth is not forever–taxes, real estate, marriage–but still want to hold onto everything in it. We are all guilty of this, and yet we all know the reality deep down inside. If everyone told their friend going through the rough bumps in life that they knew of someone right here that could advise them on their situation, and has the experience and record to back it up, wouldn’t that make a difference in that person’s life?

I work with attorneys and accountants, and am a seasoned real estate professional that will handle your situation as if it were my own. Won’t you call? I am here to help 24-hours a day, your Realtor in Action–call now, or better yet: “Just Do It!”

– John A. Silva

(619) 890-3648

More mortgage relief from the White House – but congressional ‘ok’ doubtful

Mortgage reliefAn summary update (by CAR.org) on the mortgage relief plan by the federal government, covering an article by The Mercury News:

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out a plan to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. Details of that plan were released yesterday. However, funding for the proposed program must be approved by Congress, lowering the possibility that it will be implemented quickly. Making sense of the story:

  • Operated by the Federal Housing Administration, the plan would allow underwater homeowners to refinance into cheaper federally insured loans. Borrowers with good credit who are current on their loan payments are eligible.
  • The measure also streamlines the process of refinancing an underwater mortgage, eliminating the need for an appraisal or submitting a new tax return.
  • To qualify, borrowers must be current on their mortgage, have a minimum credit score of 580, and must be refinancing a loan on a single-family owner-occupied principal residence.
  • Lenders only need to confirm that the borrower is employed. Loans that are more than 140 percent of the home value probably would not qualify until banks wrote down part of the balance.
  • Congress must approve $5 billion to $10 billion in funding, leading housing experts to praise the plan’s objectives with skepticism of it passing this year.

Read the full story from The Mercury News here: “More mortgage relief from the White House – but congressional ‘ok’ doubtful.”