Moving can be extremely stressful if you don't plan out the details ahead of time. This month's article offers a pre-move checklist that will help you prepare for the big day!
There's also some advice on how to create a fire escape plan for your home as well as a few tips on how to help get the kids back into the school sleep routine.
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!
Angie & Teri
National Pending Home Sales Update
National pending home sales rise 0.9 percent in June.
Pending home sales increased in all four major regions in June, but overall activity lagged year ago levels for the sixth straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 0.9 percent to 106.9 in June from 105.9 in May. Despite last month’s increase, contract signings are still down 2.5 percent on an annual basis.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says an uptick in existing inventory helped lift contract signings in June. “After two straight months of pending sales declines, home shoppers in a majority of markets had a little more success finding a home to buy last month,” he said.
“The positive forces of faster economic growth and steady hiring are being met by the negative forces of higher home prices and mortgage rates. Even with slightly more homeowners putting their home on the market, inventory is still subpar and not meeting demand. As a result, affordability constraints are pricing out some would-be buyers and keeping overall sales activity below last year’s pace.”
According to Yun, the good news is that it is possible the worst of the supply crunch affecting most of the country has passed. Last month, existing inventory was up on an annual basis – albeit slightly – for the first time in three years. Furthermore, pointing to realtor.com® data on year-over-year changes in inventory in June, several large metro areas saw big jumps in active listings, including Portland, Oregon (24 percent), Providence, Rhode Island (20 percent), Seattle (19 percent), Nashville, Tennessee (17 percent) and San Jose, California (15 percent).
“Home price growth remains swift and listings are still going under contract at a robust pace in most of the country, which indicates that even with rising inventory in many markets, demand still significantly outpaces what’s available for sale,” added Yun. “However, if this trend of increasing supply continues in the months ahead, prospective buyers will hopefully begin to see more choices and softer price growth.”
Heading into the second half of the year, Yun now forecasts for existing-home sales in 2018 to decrease 1.0 percent to 5.46 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 1.4 percent to 93.7 in June, but is still 4.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 0.5 percent to 101.9 in June, but is still 2.1 percent lower than June 2017.
Pending home sales in the South climbed 1.1 percent to an index of 124.2 in June, but are 0.3 percent below a year ago. The index in the West inched forward 0.7 percent in June to 95.4, but is 5.6 percent below a year ago.
Cut the Stress with a Moving Checklist
The key to keeping calm during a move is to plan in advance.
Moving to a new home is an exciting life change but it can also be very stressful if you're not properly prepared.
It's important to create a detailed checklist a few months ahead of time in order to ensure things go smoothly. Here are some points to help get you started:
Two Months Before
- Itemize all of the major items you'll be moving.
- Get estimates and book the movers or a rental truck.
- Have a garage sale or donate items to charity to get rid of excess clutter.
- Start sucking up to friends and family for help!
One Month Before
- Switch your insurance, medical and school records to your new location.
- Arrange to disconnect and reconnect utilities and phone/internet services.
- Notify any other important parties of your new address.
- Start stockpiling various sizes of boxes.
Two Weeks Before
- Start packing up room by room.
- Plan meals so food in your fridge and freezer gets used up.
- Arrange for someone to look after your pets on moving day.
- Return library materials and other rental items.
The Final Week
- Water your plants a few days before you move.
- Put together a small bag of clothes and toiletries for the first few days.
- Gather valuable items such as legal documents and family photos so you can transport them yourself.
- Pack a box with essentials such as cleaning supplies, chargers, light bulbs, soap, garbage bags, etc. for the first week in your new home.
Day of the Move
- Make sure you have your new keys.
- Double check the movers have your new address and cell phone number.
- Have lots of refreshments on hand for your busy helpers!
Moving can cause a wide range of emotions from sadness to extreme excitement. Although moving can be stressful at times, a little bit of planning will provide you with some very valuable peace of mind. With the help of this checklist, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this exciting new phase of your life!
Planning a Family Fire Escape Plan
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a fire.
Planning for a house fire isn't something most people want to think about but if such an event occurred, you’d need to act fast. Having a fire escape plan is critical so here are a few points to consider:
- Floor It - Draw up a floor plan of your home that shows at least two ways out of each room.
- Keep it Clear - Ensure there aren’t any obstacles in front of windows, doors and escape routes.
- Practice Makes Perfect - Crawl through escape routes with your family during annual practice drills.
- Window of Opportunity - Family members need to know how to open all windows and remove screens.
- Climb on Down - Make sure escape ladders are accessible and not buried in the back of closets.
- Rendezvous - Designate a special meeting place for all family members once you've evacuated.
- Get Out & Stay Out! - Remind children never to re-enter a burning home under any circumstances.
If you live in a condo or apartment building, ensure you know the evacuation plan and do a few practice drills. Knowing what to expect and how to act is key in any emergency situation so practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Back to School Sleep Tips
Ditching the lazy days of summer doesn’t have to be a drag.
As summer winds down, we need to start getting the kids back into the school time routine, starting with bedtime. Here are a few tips to help them adjust:
- Screens Out - Don’t let your kids play video games before bedtime as screens can affect their sleep.
- Get Moving - Exercise improves sleep considerably so try and sneak in extra activities throughout the day but avoid it two hours before bed.
- Gradually Adjust Bedtime - Don’t wait until the night before school. Instead, gradually take it back 10 - 15 minutes early until you reach the desired time and get up at the same time each morning.
Being sleep deprived will affect both your kids and your own ability to focus and learn. It’s therefore important to adopt good sleep habits to help increase your energy levels during the day which will in turn help you sleep better at night.