Real Estate News from Angie Baltic and Teri Mitchell November 2018   

 
When selling your home, it's important that everything be in tip-top shape. This month's article highlights some fairly common repairs that will help you sell your home fast and for top dollar!

There are also a few tips on how to prevent an invasion of rodents this winter as well as some reminders on foods you should never feed your dog.

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!

Blessings,
Angie & Teri

In this issue...
National Pending Home Sales Update 
National pending home sales see a slight increase.

Pending home sales rose slightly in September and saw substantial increases in both the West and Midwest, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.5 percent to 104.6 in September from 104.1 in August. However, year-over-year, contract signings dropped 1.0 percent, making this the ninth straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that even though we are still seeing year-over-year declines, the latest monthly increase is a good, stabilizing trend. “This shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right,” he said.

Yun continues to point to the lack of inventory of moderately priced homes and affordability as factors restraining the housing market but when viewed through the lens of the last few decades, the current affordability climate is still favorable.

“When compared to the year 2000, when the housing market was considered very healthy and home sales figures were roughly equivalent, the affordability conditions were much lower compared to now. So even though affordability has been falling recently, the demand for housing should remain steady.”

While the economy is thriving, it has yet to have a substantial impact on the real estate market. However, Yun believes that may be about to change. “The general condition of the economy is excellent, it simply has not lifted home sales this year,” said Yun. “Home prices are still rising, so people who are purchasing are still seeing wealth gains.”

Yun pointed to year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com® to illustrate a potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Columbus, Ohio, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. saw the largest increase in active listings in September compared to a year ago.

With rising mortgage rates and high prices, conversations about the possible benefits of renting over buying have begun to pop up; however, Yun believes that homeownership is still the path to long-term financial health. “Excluding periods of subprime lending, homeownership has consistently led to wealth gains,” said Yun. “If people are willing to purchase a home within their budget, they will likely continue to accumulate equity.”

The PHSI in the Northeast dropped 0.4 percent to 92.3 in September, and is now 2.7 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index rose 1.2 percent to 102.4 in September and is 1.1 percent lower than September 2017.

Pending home sales in the South fell 1.4 percent to an index of 119.6 in September; however, that is 3.3 percent higher than a year ago. The index in the West increased 4.5 percent in September to 93.1 and plunged 7.4 percent below a year ago.

Reaping Returns on Repairs 
Completing basic repairs before selling your home pays off.

If you plan on selling your home in the near future, you'll want to tackle any necessary repairs ahead of time as buyers will be completely turned off if your home appears to have been neglected.

Buyers also factor fix-up jobs into the purchase price, often overestimating the costs involved, so it's best to just take care of them yourself. Here are a few repairs to consider:

  1. Grimy Grout - Dirty grout is a real turn off as it looks like mold so apply new caulking to freshen up the entire area.

  2. Flooring Fixes - Flooring can totally transform the look of your home so replace any cracked floor tiles or torn carpeting and refinish scratched hardwood.


  3. Rough Roof - If your roof needs replacing, it's better to do it before you sell as buyers get so turned off by the cost and hassle that it could be a potential deal breaker.


  4. Fresh Paint - Fill in all holes and cracks in the walls before painting. Make sure to repair and paint your baseboards so they don't look beaten up compared to your fresh walls.

  5. Curb Appeal - Your home needs to make a perfect first impression so patch cracks in the driveway, caulk windows, spruce up your porch and invest in some landscaping.

  6. Dripping Faucets - A dripping tap can signal expensive plumbing repairs to buyers. It'll probably only need a new rubber washer that costs less than a dollar so get it fixed!

  7. The Kitchen is Key - Kitchens are critical and can make or break a sale. Repainting cabinets, adding new hardware or upgrading your countertop are all worthwhile investments.

Buying a home is an emotional experience so it's critical to create an incredible first impression that will make buyers want to own your home the moment they set eyes on it! Although it may initially seem like a hassle to repair a home you'll be moving out of, it'll be well worth the time and money in the end.

Move Over Mice 
'Tis the season for mice who are looking for cozy winter homes!

Rather than dealing with mice who’ve already made themselves at home, try and prevent them from entering in the first place! Here are a few ways to refuse access:

  1. Fallen Fruit - Pick up any fruit that has fallen from the trees in your yard.


  2. Put a Lid On It - Store any food items including pet food and birdseed in rodent-proof containers.


  3. Tight Squeeze - Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil so fill any gaps around your foundation and soffits.


  4. Inside Job - Don’t forget to seal holes from the inside of your home and around any openings in your garage or shed.


  5. Controlling Climbers - Mice are great climbers and will try and access your roof by using vines, shrubs and overhanging branches. Cut these back so they're not able to get a leg up on entry points!


One or two mice can quickly turn into a full-scale invasion and once you have them, they’re very hard to get rid of. There’s nothing that’ll keep you up more at night than the sound of mice scurrying around inside your walls so take steps now before it’s too late.

Foods NOT for Fido 
We all share scraps with our pup but certain foods can be toxic.

The holiday season is almost upon us which means lots of delicious food! If your pup hides out under the table looking for scraps, it’s important to know what food you can share and what could be poisonous.

There are plenty of festive foods that Fido shouldn't be indulging in such as fat trimmings & bones, chocolate, salty snacks and sugary foods as they can cause serious issues or even death.

There are also many lesser-known foods that are harmful to dogs such as avocados, chives, leeks, garlic, dairy products, macadamia nuts, cooked bones, yeast dough, the sweetener xylitol, corn on the cob, persimmons, peaches, plums and grapes; to name just a few.

The holiday season is a time for sharing amazing meals with loved ones but not everything should be shared with the dog. Aside from fattening up Fido, certain foods can cause serious damage. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always look it up online.



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing out on your dream home.


Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.