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Greater McAllen Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because I care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

May 1, 2019

Do Open Houses Lead To Faster Sales?

When you have something to sell, half the battle is getting it in front of the people who'll want to buy it. No matter what you're selling – or how great it is – if no one knows it's for sale, you're not going to have much success. This, of course, is also true when you're trying to sell a house. Even in a seller's market, you're going to get the best results if your home is accessible to as many home shoppers as possible. Proof of this is found in a recent analysis that looked at homes listed last year to determine the effectiveness of open houses. The analysis found that homes that had an open house within their first week on the market sold for more money and in fewer days than homes that didn't have one at all. Of course, like everything else, the benefits of having an open house depended on location. And it's also true that, in a lot of cases, homes that had open houses were the ones that were already attractive to home buyers. But, in the end, it makes sense. Getting more buyers to your home increases your odds of selling it quickly and having multiple offers. More here.

The effectiveness of open houses

Posted in Market Updates
April 30, 2019

How Long Will You Live In The House You Buy?

Choosing a house to buy takes a little bit of vision. After all, it's easy to know what you want in a home today, but more difficult to know for sure what you'll want years from now. Things change and your life will undoubtedly take some unexpected twists and turns. But just how long should you expect to live in the house you buy? Well, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' Q1 2019 U.S. Home Sales Report, homeowners who sold in the first quarter of this year had lived in their home an average of 8.05 years. For comparison, that's close to double what it was prior to the housing crash, when homeownership tenure averaged 4.21 years. In short, you're likely going to spend close to a decade in the house you buy. That means, home buyers need to be thinking of, not only what they need from a house today, but also what they hope and plan for over the next several years. More here.

How long will you live in your home

Posted in Housing Market
April 30, 2019

The Where And Why Of Millennial Moves

Where and how you live has a lot to do with your job and money. After all, if money were no issue, you'd likely have a far different list of priorities when it came time to buy a house. But since most of us have to stick to a budget, we choose what type of house to look for and in which neighborhood based on our financial situation. That's why it's not surprising that a recent report on where millennials want to move found that the most popular areas for younger home buyers are those that offer good jobs and affordable homes. Naturally, these aren't just priorities for millennials, as older buyers also want to live somewhere close to work that won't break the bank. But because younger home shoppers are at the beginning of their careers and are often first-time home buyers, who have to come up with a down payment from scratch, this is especially true. That's why the list of most popular areas for millennial buyers is made up of metro areas that have lower rates of unemployment, higher wages, and more homes in entry-level price ranges. More here.
How Mellenials Make Home Choices

April 16, 2019

How Much Do Sellers Spend On Home Improvement?

The typical home seller lives in their house for more than a decade before they put it up for sale. And during that 10 years, there are probably a few things they let go. So it's no surprise that the vast majority of them feel the need to fix their place up before putting in on the market. In fact, according to one recent analysis, nearly 80 percent of home sellers complete one home improvement project before they invite potential buyers to have a look. This can include anything from a fresh coat of paint to a bathroom remodel. Fortunately, the money sellers spend sprucing up their home often helps them sell it for more than their asking price. So, if you're thinking about selling, how much should you expect to spend on home improvement projects? Well, the national average is $6,570, though it does depend a lot on where you are. For example, in San Francisco, sellers usually spend closer to $8,000, while in St. Louis the cost is under $4,000. Wherever you are, though, it's good to consider not only what needs to be repaired and refreshed but also which projects are most likely to provide some return on your investment. More here.

Home Repair Costs for Making Home Ready to Sale

Posted in Housing Market
April 16, 2019

Millennial Borrowers Close Loans In 44 Days

After finding a house to buy and having your offer accepted, the home buying process really kicks into gear. There are several steps that have to be cleared before a pending sale is completed and your loan has closed. For example, this is the time when the home will be inspected and appraised. It is also the period during which the financial side of the transaction will be finalized. This takes time, as anyone who's been through the process before knows. But what about first-time home buyers? How long should they expect between making an offer and getting their keys? Well, according to Ellie Mae's Millennial Tracker, the average time it took millennial borrowers to close conventional purchase loans in February was 44 days, which was slightly higher than the previous month. Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of strategy and technology for Ellie Mae, says time to close is increasing as the share of home purchase loans grows. “The percentage of purchase loans is on the rise with millennials continuing to enter the home buying market for their first or maybe even second purchase,” Tyrrell said. “The increase in days-to-close we saw in February is relative to the percentage increase in purchases versus refinances, as purchases typically take longer to close.” More here.

Miilenial Home Loans

April 12, 2019

The Number Of Homes For Sale Is Increasing

There are many ways to gauge the housing market. You can follow home prices and mortgage rates, buyer traffic and sales, new home construction, or access to credit. But, if you're a potential home buyer or seller, there may be no better indicator than inventory. That's because, it's an easy way to determine whether or not the market favors buyer or sellers. When there are too few homes for sale, buyers have to compete for available homes, which leads to higher home prices. When there are too many homes for sale, the pressure's on sellers, who have to make sure their home is attractively priced. Typically, inventory is measured by how long it would take to sell the homes currently for sale. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market. Recently, inventory has been low. But new data shows a dramatic improvement. For example, one analysis found that the number of metropolitan areas with less than three months of available inventory has fallen to 3.1 percent from 12.6 percent last year. It also found that two-thirds of metros now have between four and eight months of remaining inventory, which is considered healthy. Overall, the numbers indicate that the housing market is far better balanced than it was during last year's sales season. More here.

Home Inventory for Sales Increases

Posted in Housing Market
April 1, 2019

Majority Of Buyers Say Prices Have Hit Their Peak

As home prices have recovered over the past several years, prospective buyers have become increasingly concerned about affordability conditions. After all, buying a home is a major financial commitment and getting less house for your money isn't ideal. But things may be changing. In fact, a recent survey of active home shoppers found that a majority think prices may have hit their peak. According to the results, 56 percent of respondents said they don't expect prices to climb any further. That's good news for buyers, as slowing prices and steadier mortgage rates would help improve affordability conditions. But though home shoppers were confident that prices wouldn't go much higher, they also expressed concern that a recession was on its way – with 30 percent of participants expecting it to begin sometime next year. Danielle Hale, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors' consumer website – who commissioned the survey – says home shoppers may be expecting a recession but it hasn't made them pessimistic about the housing market. “When the U.S. enters its next recession, it is unlikely that the housing market will see a sharp nationwide downturn,” Hale said. “The same record low inventory levels that have made buying a home so difficult recently, will likely protect home prices in the next recession.” More here.
Homes Prices Peak

Posted in Housing Market
March 18, 2019

Rent Increases At Fastest Pace In 10 Months

For many Americans hoping to make a move, the decision to rent or buy comes down to affordability. It isn't the only factor, of course. Depending on your job and lifestyle, there may be other reasons to prefer renting over homeownership. But there's no question money is a top concern when making decisions about your next move. So, what does the latest data on rental costs say? Well, according to one recent report, February saw rent increasing at its fastest pace in 10 months. Following the increase, median rent nationwide is now up to $1,472 per month. That means, calculating what's most affordable may not be so clear cut. After all, the average monthly mortgage payment is just $1,030. But while rental prices have been going up over the past several years, there's evidence that they may soon hit their peak. With millennials reaching the age of the typical first-time home buyer, demand is expected to decline over the coming years. As more renters become homeowners, it will likely have a slowing effect on future increases. More here.

Posted in Housing Market
March 15, 2019

Mortgage Lenders Say Credit Standards Are Easing

If you're doing it right, the first step in your home-buying process will be talking with your lender. Your mortgage lender is the one who will be able to tell you whether or not you'll be able to buy and how much you'll be able to spend. In short, you won't get very far without first going over your numbers and figuring out what you'd be approved to borrow should you find a house you want to purchase. Some of that calculation will be determined by your financial situation, debts, income, etc. Another part will be based on credit standards. And, according to the most recent Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey from Fannie Mae, they're easing – which means it's getting easier to get a mortgage. In fact, the survey found “lenders on net continued to report easing lending standards at a modest pace across all loan types.” That's good news for prospective home buyers. And, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist, it's helping push expectations for this year's selling season. “Lenders' improved demand outlook going into this spring selling season bodes well for our forecast of relatively flat mortgage volume following the double-digit drop in 2018,” Duncan said. More here.

Home Loan Credit

Feb. 28, 2019

Mortgage Rates Fall As Buyers Hit The Market

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year mortgages. The drop coincided with a surge in home buyers applying for loans to buy homes. In fact, the purchase index was up 6 percent from the week before and is now 3 percent higher than last year at the same time. Michael Fratantoni, MBA's senior vice president and chief economist, said rates are stabilizing and it's helping spur demand for loans. “Mortgage rates were little changed last week, but as we anticipated, home buyers are responding favorably to this more stable rate environment,” Fratantoni said. “Purchase applications for both conventional and government loans rose last week, with the government gain led by a 14 percent increase in applications for VA purchase loans.” Along with home price increases beginning to slow, favorable rates and growing inventory have combined to make this spring's housing market a better deal for buyers. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgages. More here.

Mortgage Rates Decline

Posted in Market Updates