Feb 24, 2014 Common Deal Killing Mistakes As an agent, you have an obligation to stop your clients from making simple mistakes that may sabotage a sale. The most common staging mistakes are as follows: COLLECTION OVERLOAD. The home needs to look orderly and neutral. Even a desirable collection can come across as a pile of space consuming clutter. Let your seller know that while the collection is admirable, a potential buyer will most likely prefer a more neutral home. ECHO CHAMBER STAGING. It seems bad staging ideas amplified more than good ones. That bold wallpaper or bright colored paint may seem like a good idea at the time, but a prospective buyer may feel otherwise. They may keep echoing in a buyers mind and over shadow the pleasant aspects of the home. Tactfully suggest to your seller that while the wallpaper is lovely, a buyer may prefer a more subtle pattern or color. FAILURE TO EDIT. Help your clients edit, edit, edit and the edit some more. Tell your client to look at it pre-packing. If your client seems reluctant to follow your suggestions, ask them to call in a few friends to offer their suggestions. That plain-spoken friend can get the point across in a much less subtle way.
Feb. 15, 2014 Top 3 Ways To Turn a Seller Off 1.Unjustified or extremely low offers. Be realistic. No seller wants to take as offer that is obviously far below market value. They will turn down the offer and, perhaps, not even bother with a counteroffer. Show buyers recent sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. 2.Buyer side mortgage fails. Lending standards have changed in the last few years. This means a buyer may not be as readily approved as in past. A sellers worse nightmare is to accept an offer only to find out weeks or even months later that the buyer cannot get approval for the loan 3. Bashing the house. Buyers may start bad-mouthing the house and/or neighbor heed in hopes of getting a lower price. This can turn off the seller immediately. Tell your buyers this will not work. I only servers to irritate the seller.
Recently surveyed builders expressed surging confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes among buyers age 55 and up.
According to the results of the latest National Association of Home Builders 55+ Housing Market Index – which measures builders' confidence on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor – confidence in the market for single-family homes increased 20 points year-over-year to a level of 48, the highest fourth-quarter reading since the NAHB began tracking the data in 2008.
Robert Karen, chairman of the NAHB's 50+ Housing Council, said they are seeing continued improvement in the 55+ housing market because consumers have gained confidence in the economy and are able to sell their current homes and move into a new home or condo that fits the lifestyle they desire. Karen expects this optimism from builders and developers to carry through 2014. All individual components of the single-family HMI showed significant improvement, with confidence in present sales levels climbing 26 points from one year ago.
The Taos real estate market has always been popular with the boomer crowd. Seniors from all over the world have been retiring here in recent years, attracted by our quiet way of life, the beautiful vistas, and fantastic year-round climate. Although existing vacation homes, second homes, condos and casitas have been popular, land inquiries are picking up, indicating a desire of some to build the retirement home of their dreams. Land prices have dropped from their highs of 2008, but this report could portend renewed interest in land, with the result of higher land prices in the future.
The Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey tracks the homeownership and vacancy rates for owner-occupied and rental housing across the country. . .
Since they began tracking this data in 1965, the results have shown a steady rise in the number of Americans who own their own home. From an early low of 62.9 percent, the homeownership rate climbed to a high of 65.8 percent in the 1980s before settling into a roughly 10-year period where it hovered around 64 percent. Then, in the mid-1990s, homeownership levels began to rise again, setting a new high in 2004 at 69.2 percent.
Since falling during the financial crisis and recent recession, the homeownership rate has, once again, settled.
The latest data shows the rate has plateaued at 65 percent and has remained virtually the same since the 2nd quarter of 2013. If the homeownership rate stays at 65 percent, it would be higher than the historical norm but still below the highs of the housing bubble.
And bubbles are bad for those buyers looking for a great deal on a primary residence, land or vacation home. Bubbles mean inflated prices and lots of craziness in the market. Our Taos market feels very steady right now; prices have bottomed for the moment, but haven't spiked as they do in a bubble market.
This means, if interest rates stay calm, that this spring could be the best time to buy your home, land or condo in the Taos area. Remember, Taos is one of the best small towns in the country for retirement.
Americans grew more confident in the economy in 2013, according to recently released data from Gallup.
Though their perception of economic conditions and the future direction of the economy experienced some ups-and-downs throughout the year, Americans were more optimistic than in years past, with gains seen across several key indicators.
Gallup's Job Creation Index, for example, gained two points from its year-before level, while economic confidence rose five points and average daily spending increased to $88, a $16 improvement over 2012. Overall, Americans were more confident in the economy than in the previous five years, which is a positive sign that the economy is recovering from the most recent recession.
Still, Gallup warns that it is unclear how strong the economic recovery is due in part to the support its received from the Federal Reserve over the past two years. This year, the Fed will begin winding down some of the economic stimulus that has been keeping interest rates at historic lows and helping boost the economy and housing market. Though this has the potential to drive rates up, the Fed has indicated that it will keep short-term rates low until unemployment drops or inflation becomes a concern.
I read this to mean that if you're buying Taos or Angel Fire real estate, whether a single family home or a condo, or land, do it this year before rates have a chance to rise. For a time rates will remain low, but if your dream is to move to Taos or Angel Fire, or at least have a second home or vacation home here, don't wait. We never know what the future will bring, but we always know an investment in Taos and Angel Fire real estate is a very good bet.
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator that tracks contract signings, not closings. The index, which is released monthly, is a predictor of future existing-home sales.
In December, the index fell 8.7 percent from November's downwardly revised total. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes and making offers. According to Yun, rising home prices and lack of for-sale inventory are also to blame for the poor sales performance in December. Still, existing-home sales are expected to be at about the same level this year as last year, despite the fact that inventory is limited in much of the country. Prices, though still rising, are expected to moderate this year, gaining about 5.4 percent in 2014.
December and January are always slow months for real estate in Taos. Most people visiting Taos in the winter are here to ski, not to look at homes or condos. But they love their time here so much in the winter, many people call us in the spring, hoping to find their perfect ski condo or vacation home. Taos definitely leaves a lasting impression on visitors during every season. Lots of summer visitors staying in town look for condos or vacation homes out on the mesa. And of course those skiers love to be in the mountains. Taos has such a variety of landscapes and recreational options, it's easy to pick the place of your dreams.
Though prices usually weaken at the end of the year, the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show year-over-year increases of nearly 14 percent in both the 10-city and 20-city Composites through the end of November 2013. The gains continue the upward trend of year-over-year improvement that began in June 2012. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said home prices continue to rise despite last May's jump in mortgage rates. According to Blitzer, mortgage applications for purchase were up in recent weeks which validates home builders' optimism as seen in the most recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Combined with low inflation, homeowners are enjoying real appreciation and rising equity values, Blitzer said. Though home price increases are expected to moderate this year, Blitzer feels housing will make further contributions to the economy in 2014.
Absolutely, things are turning around for sellers; more equity, better value for their homes. This should give Taos and Angel Fire homeowners incentive to market their home or condo, giving buyers more choice when buying Taos real estate, and when we have a bigger selection of properties, prices come down. Come on out this year and see what Taos and Angel Fire have to offer: land, homes, condos, casitas . . . Taos and Angel Fire have what you're looking for in real estate!
New residential construction ended 2013 at the highest level in six years, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. An estimated 923,400 housing units were started last year, which is 18.3 percent above year-before levels and the best total since 2007. That year, housing starts came in at 1.4 million. Still, despite a strong finish year-over-year, monthly figures fell in December. Privately-owned housing starts dropped 9.8 percent, after surging to the highest pace of the year the month before. But, though starts fell nearly 10 percent, December's estimate was still the third best month of 2013. Also in the report, building permits were down 3 percent from the previous month. Permits – which are a barometer of future building activity – ended the year 17.5 percent above 2012's estimate. There were an estimated 974,700 housing units authorized in 2013.
And guess what this means . . . land sales will be coming back, too. As we run through the inventory of existing homes, buyers will more and more consider buying land and building their dream home.
We have plenty of land for sale here in the Taos and Angel Fire areas. Prices have come down from their 2008 highs. And building sites here are varied. From lots of one to two acres to your own ranch or ranchette, we have what you're looking for. Want to live in the mountains surrounded by trees, or would you rather be out on the mesa with 360-degree views, looking at the mountains? Taos and Angel Fire offer the perfect land situation for your new home.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, total mortgage loan application volume increased 11.9 percent last week due to a significant drop in the average mortgage rate. The Refinance Index was up 11 percent and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 12 percent. The previous week's results included an adjustment for the New Year's. Michael Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist, said the drop in rates triggered a pickup in refinance volume, while the change in purchase activity most likely reflects an increase following the holiday season. Still, the gain in purchase demand was more than anticipated and may indicate a strong selling season this coming spring and summer.
The MBA's survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990.
The feeling in our offices here in Taos and Angel Fire is that all the calls and emails we've been getting is foretelling a great selling season. And this new interest rate decline can only help, and help a lot!
Most buyers interested in this area, for the past three or four years, have been buying homes; land sales haven't been great because it's been cheaper for buyers to purchase a home already built than to buy a piece of land and build. But that could be changing; in the last two weeks I've had land inquiries that I hope will produce two land sales. In January??? Land may be on the rise, and I'm not talking about new islands, either. This is New Mexico.
Come out and visit us this spring or summer. We'll help you find your special piece of Taos or Angel Fire real estate.
Nationwide, housing and economic activity is 86 percent back to normal, based on current permits, prices, and employment data.
In fact, more than 35 percent of all markets tracked by The National Association of Home Builders Leading Market Index are operating at 90 percent or better of their previous normal. The index tracks 350 metro areas across the country and identifies those that are now approaching or exceeding their previous norms. According to the most recent release, 56 out of those 350 have returned to or surpassed their normal levels of economic and housing activity. And nearly half of the improved markets are areas with populations less than 500,000.
David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist, said 45 percent of metro areas are recovering at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, with smaller markets leading the way. The results are a good sign that the housing recovery's progress will continue in 2014.
Here in the Taos and Angel Fire real estate markets we're getting lots of calls and leads from national websites for buyers looking for condos and vacation homes, and even land is making a comeback. It's early in the year to be getting so many inquiries because our selling season doesn't catch fire until late April. Get in while the getting's good.