Real Estate News from Ben & Kate July 2018   

 
Purchasing a home is an emotional time when serious mistakes can be made by even the savviest of buyers. This month's article highlights some common blunders that can cause a serious case of buyer's remorse.

We also examine the advantages of taking a staycation this summer as well as a few tips on how to naturally keep away those pesky mosquitoes.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Ben & Kate

In this issue...
National Pending Home Sales Update 
National pending home sales inch back slightly in May.

Pending home sales decreased modestly in May and have now fallen on an annualized basis for the fifth straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

A larger decline in contract activity in the South offset gains in the Northeast, Midwest and West.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.5 percent to 105.9 in May from 106.4 in April.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says this year’s spring buying season will go down as one of unmet expectations. “Pending home sales underperformed once again in May, declining for the second straight month and coming in at the second lowest level over the past year,” he said.

“Realtors® in most of the country continue to describe their markets as highly competitive and fast moving, but without enough new and existing inventory for sale, activity has essentially stalled.”

The lackluster spring, according to Yun, has primarily been a supply issue, and not one of weakening demand. If the recent slowdown in activity were because buyer interest is waning, price growth would start slowing, inventory would begin rising and homes would stay on the market longer.

Instead, the underlying closing data in May showed that home price gains are still outpacing income growth, inventory declined on an annual basis for the 36th consecutive month, and listings typically went under contract in just over three weeks.

“With the cost of buying a home getting more expensive, it’s clear the summer months will be a true test for the housing market. One encouraging sign has been the increase in new home construction to a 10-year high,” added Yun

“Several would-be buyers this spring were kept out of the market because of supply and affordability constraints. The healthy economy and job market should keep many of them actively looking to buy, and any rise in inventory would certainly help them find a home.”

Yun now forecasts for existing-home sales in 2018 to decrease 0.4 percent to 5.49 million – down from 5.51 million in 2017. The national median existing-home price is expected to increase around 5.0 percent. In 2017, existing sales increased 1.1 percent and prices rose 5.7 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast increased 2.0 percent to 92.4 in May, but is still 4.8 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 2.9 percent to 101.4 in May, but is still 2.5 percent lower than May 2017. Pending home sales in the South declined 3.5 percent to an index of 122.9 in May (unchanged from a year ago). The index in the West inched forward 0.6 percent in May to 94.7, but is 4.1 percent below a year ago.

How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse 
A bit of advanced planning will help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster which is why it's so easy to make mistakes. Here are a few common buyer blunders to be aware of:

  1. Not Thinking Ahead - If you’re hoping to start a family in your new home one day, it pays to consider features like local parks and school zones.

  2. Buying a Home that's too Expensive - Buyers who overextend themselves are often forced to sell at a loss. Avoid temptation by only viewing homes that are in your price range.

  3. Bad Location, Bad Location, Bad Location - Determining the location that best suits your lifestyle is critical so consider proximity to public transit, schools and other amenities.

  4. Choosing the Wrong Home - Make a list of all the features that are essential to you. It's easy to be taken in by curb appeal, but walk away if it lacks anything that you’re unable to live without.


  5. Uninspected Circumstances - Just because a house looks solid doesn't mean all is well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help eliminate any regrets.

  6. Acting too Slowly - The home you fall in love with could be gone tomorrow if you wait too long. Do your research ahead of time so you'll have the confidence to act swiftly when the time comes.

  7. Not Using an Agent - It's important to have an agent to help you make crucial decisions, negotiate the offer and explain the conditions in order to have a positive experience and avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an extremely emotional process so it's important to stay grounded in order to avoid errors that could cause regret. If you conduct your research ahead of time and are well aware of your wants and needs you'll be able to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. If you ever have any questions about real estate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

There's No Place Like Home 
Exploring your local area can be just as much fun as going away!

When you go on vacation, not only do you have to pack and plan but you also have to arrange for someone to collect your mail and look after your pets.

Gas prices also take a huge toll on vacation budgets so this year, consider unwinding locally with a staycation! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be a Tourist - Contact your local tourist board so you can plan a trip as if you were visiting your area for the very first time.

  2. Take a Hike - Check out a couple of local community trails that you’ve never been on before.  Enjoy a hike, bike ride, picnic or geocaching experience.

  3. Overnighter - Head out to an unfamiliar place an hour or so from home to experience a true getaway.  Book a night at a campground to really get into the spirit!


  4. Dine Out - Visit a few restaurants that you've been meaning to check out and research  specials such as happy hours or 2 for 1 promotions so you can plan around the deals!

  5. Kids Stuff - Involve your kids by letting them each pick a new attraction to visit. Nearby amusement parks, museums and summer festivals offer endless hours of fun.

Staying home and seeing your area through the eyes of a tourist will give you a new appreciation of where you live. Not only will you save money but you'll also reduce your carbon footprint while supporting the local economy. Best of all, you won't need a vacation after your vacation!

Natural Mosquito Repellents 
A few natural alternatives for all you mosquito magnets out there!

It’s so unfair :(  Whenever the weather turns nice, we have to lather ourselves in chemicals so we don’t get chased inside by swarms of mosquitoes. Here are a few natural solutions to consider:

  1. Go Natural - Make homemade sprays and lotions with essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, mint or tea tree oils.

  2. Not on My Watch - Eliminate breeding places by covering or flipping over backyard bowls, buckets, bird baths or any other spot where there’s stagnant water.

  3. Get your Garden On - Plant citronella, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, catnip and lavender in both your garden and in pots as they all help repel the little bloodsuckers.

  4. Gone Batty - Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes each night so attracting them to your yard by installing a few bat boxes is a great way to defend against skeeters.

It’s well worth giving some of these natural alternatives a try to avoid the nasty chemicals that come in spray cans. Don’t forget to also wear light or neutral shades as mosquitoes are attracted to people wearing dark clothing and avoid any heavy, perfumed scents.



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Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.