June 2018 Newsletter: Mallards Thank You | Market Advice

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for our client appreciation event at the Mallards game this week! We had nearly 130 guest, along with a ton of fun. We are so appreciative of everyone who has supported The Minter Team these last few years.

Market Advice for Buyers: 2018 has been a challenging year for many homebuyers. But so was 2017, 2016, and 2015. In fact, the last 5-6 years have really pushed homebuyers in many areas out of their comfort zone as inventory of available homes continues to drop, prices rise, and competition picks up. We don’t know when the market will shift back to favor homebuyers, but in our current state we still believe we have awhile before we get to that point. So where does that leave us and how can homebuyers navigate the rest of 2018?

First of all, realize that buying a home is still an affordable option that makes financial sense despite rising prices and interest rates. You can read more on the effect of these rising numbers in a blog post we wrote a few years ago (www.TheMinterTeam.com/the-right-time-to-sell). While the numbers in that article have shifted, the main idea remains the same: As interest rates & prices rise the amount of home you can afford declines. We know that over time rates and prices will more than likely continue to rise. The question remains how quickly this will happen. What we can feel very confident advising clients on today is that there’s strong evidence supporting the idea that buying in 2018 will be a better financial option than waiting to purchase in 2019.

If you are already in the game and hunting for a home you need to be prepared to write an offer just outside of your comfort zone. Many homes, especially those under $300,000, are seeing multiple offers and eventually selling over asking price. Often these homes also include buyer concessions on appraisals or inspections. Keep the big picture in mind and realize that “winning” in this market means buying a great home, not beating the seller in negotiations.

Market Advice for Sellers: We have talked to a number of people who would love to make a move but are afraid to put their home on the market as they are struggling to find a home to move in to. This is certainly a valid concern, but one that needs to be addressed in some manner prior to making a purchase. We’ve filmed a short video explaining some options for problem solving this scenario that you can watch on our YouTube channel (youtu.be/jfESSbdleGY). Our advice would be to get your home on the market and then figure out the next steps. We know this is uncomfortable, but it’s the best way for you to stay in control of your move as writing offers with home sale contingencies is very difficult in today’s market.

When you are ready to take advantage of today’s sellers market and list your home you’ll want to remember that just because it’s a great time to sell a home doesn’t mean you should just slap a sign in the yard and call it a day. Sellers who are really winning in today’s market are doing everything they can up front to ensure their home is fully market ready, marketed correctly, and priced appropriately. Yes, you can probably secure an offer just by putting your home up for sale, but if your goal is to maximize your profit then making a stronger investment into your preparation and planning is the best route to take advantage of the opportunities today’s market offers. Watch “5 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Sale” for more on getting your home ready for the market (youtu.be/xRJECwSNZ78).

Make sure your home is marketed on the MLS and your agent has a clear plan to put the home in front of as many people as possible BEFORE you hit the market. Video, professional photography, and “coming soon” teasers are great ways to draw excitement about your home and bring buyers in that are fully prepared to write an offer.

Beyond preparing the home for market you’ll want to price it appropriately and not get too greedy out of the gates. Today’s homebuyers are smart. When sellers price too high in an effort to see what they can get, or to leave room to negotiate, many buyers will pass on the home all together. This leaves the home on the market for longer than it should be, and that almost always leads to a lower final sales price. Smart sellers are pricing their homes where they belong, and allowing the market to raise the price through buyer competition.

Dane County Real Estate Market Update: March 2018

dane county market reportWhile March Madness is typically a basketball reference, the phrase holds meaning when looking at our local real estate market as well.

As we’ve started to settle into the spring housing market “madness” is quite possibly the best term to describe the current state of what we are seeing.

The combination of low inventory (the number of homes available for sale) and a strong economy have us firmly planted in a seller’s market in which the best homes are seeing fierce competition from interested homebuyers. (more…)

Dane County Real Estate Market Update: January 2018

dane county market reportIn the 1993 movie classic “Groundhog Day” we watched Bill Murray wake up at 6:00 AM every day only to find he was living the same day over and over again. As we turn the page on another year and look ahead at the 2018 real estate market I can’t help but feel a little bit like Murray.

It feels like we’ve been here before.

Heading into 2018 the big story is low inventory (the number of homes available for sale) followed up with low interest rates, lagging construction, rising prices, and a powerful economy. But we’ve seen this before. In fact, the only real difference between 2018 and each of the previous few years may be that our alarmingly low inventory is at it’s lowest point throughout this time period. (more…)

Misconceptions & Half Truths in the Dane County Housing Market

We’re sure you’ve heard the stories.

Ridiculous offers by desperate buyers competing over the one house that seems to be available in today’s market.

In talking to homeowners and interested homebuyers there seems to be a number of common misconceptions, half-truths, and myths about the state of our local housing market.

We’re here to address these misconceptions and add some clarity to the wild Dane County housing market of 2017:

Misconception #1: Everything is Selling Overnight and For Way Over Asking Price

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February 2017 Update & Market Strategy

After a rollercoaster year in 2016 in which we saw inventory levels hit rock bottom, interest rates stay low, and record sales in Dane County there are many questions as we being to tiptoe into 2017.

Stark Company President Dave Stark outlines a number of factors that will affect our 2017 market in the most recent edition of the company newsletter found here, starting with the fact that our inventory levels are 27% below where they were a year ago.

With so few options available, and rates still relatively low, basic economics come into play and we can see that demand heavily outweighs supply. In other words, we’re in a strong sellers market.

So if there aren’t many homes to choose from, when should you put your current house on the market?

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How Rising Interest Rates Are Affecting Your Purchase Power

rates-risenIt’s no secret that the biggest story in the housing industry since the election has been the rapid rise of interest rates.

As recent as late October getting a 30 year mortgage at 3.5% was a realistic option. Almost immediately following the November election we saw rates jump and quickly hit 4%. As of today (12/6/16) we are currently sitting around 4.125% as the common rate for a 30 year mortgage.

But what does that really mean? What effect can a small change in rates mean for today’s home buyer? 

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Where Can Dane County’s Middle Class Afford to Live?

middle-classA few years ago I read the article “Where Even the Middle Class Can’t Live Anymore” by Emily Badger and grew curious about how local families were being affected by rising home prices.

I began to wonder, “Where Can Dane County’s Middle Class Afford to Live?”

Affordability takes into account a variety of factors so using the local median income of $83,900 with an online calculator to estimate home affordability I determined the maximum purchase price for the majority of Dane County residents to be around $375,000.

Keep in mind this is the maximum, not a recommendation, as this number was based around the assumptions of 20% down (not easy for many middle class families), 3.75% interest rate, $7500 annually in taxes, annual home insurance of $700, roughly $500 per month in additional debts, and no more than 30% of monthly income going towards housing costs. (more…)

Dane County Real Estate Update: November 2016

dane county market reportAs we head into what is typically considered the slow season in Dane County real estate, we may be left with more questions than answers when it comes to responding to the question of “How’s the market?”.

In our last quarterly market review Stark Company President, Dave Stark described the state of the market as “wild”. With the frantic pacing and unpredictable nature we saw through much of the spring, this was certainly a good term to characterize Dane County real estate in 2016. But where does that leave us heading into 2017?

Without a crystal ball we can’t speak in definite terms about what to expect, but we certainly know the following 3 factors will have a major impact on overall market health entering the new year.

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Stark Company Realtors Market Source Newsletter: Q3 2016

Q3 News 2016“How’s the market?”

When you’re in real estate it seems every conversation starts with that question. The problem is, that it’s not exactly an easy question to answer. In fact, the best answer really is, “it depends”.

It depends. Are you buying or selling? What price range are you in? What’s the location? Depending on how you answer these questions will affect the answer you get.

Today’s market is up and down and all over the place depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. However, generally speaking we can define today’s market as quick, active, and in the words of Stark Company President Dave Stark “wild”.

Let’s look at a few factors that affect the current pace of today’s local market… (more…)

Stark Company Realtors Market Source Newsletter: Q2 2016

newsletterAfter spending much of the last 2 years looking at pace of sales and predicting whether or not we would break the previous record for sales set in 2005, this year’s story is much different.

In 2016 the market discussion is all about lack of inventory and how strongly we are currently tilted to favor sellers.

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Oregon, WI Real Estate Market Update: February 2016

Oregon WI Real EstateHere is your monthly market update for the Oregon area (53575 zipcode). For more information about market trends give us a call or sign up for monthly notification in your area HERE.

Oregon Market by Price Point

Under $200,000

5 active homes (View Homes), 1 sold last month, 1.3 months of inventory. This market typically runs with 10+ active properties but the last 3 months have been in the single digits. This price point remains a great environment for sellers.  (more…)