Real Estate News from Ben & Kate January 2019   

 
Pursuing a job opportunity in a new city can evoke a variety of emotions. If you're thinking about relocating, this month's article offers some great advice that’ll help make the transition go smoothly.

There are also a few handy home hacks that will help make your life a little easier as well as some great reasons why you should switch your phone to airplane mode every once in a while.

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 see a slight drop in November.

Pending home sales overall slipped in November, but saw minor increases in the Northeast and the West, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.7 percent to 101.4 in November, down from 102.1 in October. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 7.7 percent, making this the eleventh straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the current sales numbers don’t fully take into account other data. “The latest decline in contract signings implies more short-term pullback in the housing sector and does not yet capture the impact of recent favorable conditions of mortgage rates,” he said.
Yun added that while pending contracts have reached their lowest mark since 2014, there is no reason to be overly concerned, and he predicts solid growth potential for the long-term.

All four major regions sustained a drop when compared to one year ago, with the West taking the brunt of the decrease. “The West crawled back lightly, but is still experiencing the biggest annual decline among the regions because of unaffordable conditions,” Yun said.

Yun suggests that affordability challenges in the West are part of the blame for the drop in sales. Home prices in the West region have risen too much, too fast, according to Yun. “Land cost is expensive, and zoning regulations are too stringent. Therefore, local officials should consider ways to boost local supply; if not, they risk seeing population migrating to neighboring states and away from the West Coast.”

Yun indicated the latest government shutdown will harm the housing market. “Unlike past government shutdowns, with this present closure, flood insurance is not available. That means that roughly 40,000 homes per month may go unsold because purchasing a home requires flood insurance in those affected areas,” Yun said. “The longer the shutdown means fewer homes sold and slower economic growth.”

That said, Yun cited year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com® to illustrate a potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., and Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island saw the largest increase in active listings in November compared to a year ago.

Yun believes that there are good longer-term prospects for home sales. “Home sales in 2018 look to close out the year with 5.3 million home sales, which would be similar to that experienced in the year 2000. But given the 17 million more jobs now compared to the turn of the century, the home sales are clearly underperforming today. That also means there is steady longer-term growth potential.”

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation 
Relocating to a new city can be an exciting yet overwhelming time.

The prospect of a work relocation means you'll need to be well organized as there’s usually not much time to get acquainted with your new area.

First off, determine what the cost of living will be in the new location. There's no point in relocating for a higher salary if the extra income will be eaten up by increased living expenses.

Make sure to also consider factors such as workload, expense accounts, travel expectations, job opportunities for your spouse and schools for the kids. Here are a few other points to keep in mind:

  1. Time is Money - Create a budget and a detailed timeline to help you stay on track.

  2. Recon Mission - Plan a trip to familiarize yourself with the local area or check out a few community websites if it's too far to preview in person.

  3. Check Yourself - A detailed checklist will help ensure everything goes smoothly which will reduce the stress that’s associated with a major move.

  4. Smooth Move - Select a real estate agent to sell your home and ask them to refer you to an agent in your new city who can help familiarize you with the local market.

  5. Take the Credit - Employers often provide relocation packages to help offset expenses such as temporary housing and moving costs. There may also be certain tax credits available.

Deciding whether or not to relocate can be very stressful. Not only are you trying to negotiate a career move but you'll also be starting a new life in an unfamiliar place. However, if you approach this process by paying close attention to all the details, you'll enjoy a much more positive relocation experience. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or need any real estate advice!

Handy Home Hacks 
These simple yet genius tricks will make your life so much easier!

Hacks are uncommon yet creative solutions for everyday problems. Here are five simple hacks for the home that will help make your life a whole lot easier:

  1. Towel Tip - Adding a dry towel to a load of wet laundry significantly reduces drying time which also cuts down on energy use.


  2. Sharpie Stain - If your child has decorated your hardwood floors with a magic marker, apply a bit of toothpaste with a damp cloth and watch it disappear!


  3. Blend Away - To remove stubborn stains from your blender, mix lemon juice and warm water with a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid and then blend for a minute.


  4. Watch Your Step - We all know that sinking feeling when a glass shatters leaving tiny shards everywhere. To make sure you get every last sliver, press a slice of bread over the entire area.

  5. Silence Squeaks - If your creaky wooden floors make you feel like you’re living in a haunted house, just sprinkle some baby powder between any open seams to lubricate the wood and stop the squeaking.

We all want an easier life and home hacks are a great way to accomplish that as they allow you to bypass and overcome some of life’s little problems. There are literally thousands of hacks out there so watch this space for cleaning, organizing and other life hacks that we’ll be sharing in future newsletters!

Switching to Airplane Mode 
If you think airplane mode is only for flying, then think again!

Airplane mode blocks your connection to cellular networks when you take to the skies but there are many other lesser known benefits to this often ignored feature.

Airplane mode also saves battery life, charges a phone quicker and it will even stop those annoying ads from displaying when you’re playing Candy Crush!

Smartphones can also be extremely distracting so if you’re down to the wire on a project, simply switch over to airplane mode for a quick notification detox so you can focus and get your work done.

Finally, if you’re concerned about electromagnetic field radiation, set your phone to airplane mode when your smartphone’s not being used for wireless transmissions as it will completely cut off any form of radiation.



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Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.