Financial Friday

April 13, 2018

Certainty Home Loans Community Connection Program Donated $25,500 To 36 Non-Profit Organizations In March

85% of consumers have a better outlook on a business that gives to a charity they care about. Saying that you work with a lender who provides this program can help to attract potential homebuyers who prefer to support companies who are socially responsible.

More Consumers Say It’s A Good Time To Buy

The latest consumer sentiment index from Fannie Mae shows that home buyers don’t seem to be deterred by rising prices and rates, at least for now. On the whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy.

According to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index:

  • 32% consumers say now is a good time to buy a home, which is up 10% from February.
  • 39% consumers say now is a good time to sell a home, which is up 3% and matches a survey high from June 2017.
  • 42% consumers say home prices will fall 3%, which is continuing a decreasing trend from last month.
  • -52% consumers say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months, a 5% increase.
  • 71% consumers say they are not concerned about losing their job, unchanged from February.
  • 17% consumers say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, also unchanged from February.

How Social Media Is Turning Millennials Into Homebuyers

“FOMO” (fear of missing out) has become one of the forces spurring many Millennials to finally buy a home, according to a Bank of America survey. They see photos of homes on Instagram and Facebook that their friends bought, and think: “What about me”?

When asked how they feel when they see pictures of homes purchased by other people on social media:

  • A third of Millennials (and 27% of all first-time buyers) think, “If they can buy, why can’t I”?
  • A quarter (and 21% of all first-time buyers) fear they’re missing out.
  • Nearly a quarter (and 18% of first-time buyers) mutter to themselves: “it’s time to grow up and buy.”
  • 23% (and 16% of first-time buyers) are jealous of the homes bought by their friends and acquaintances.

Millennials make up 65% of all first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. To connect with potential homebuyers, post your professionally photographed homes on Facebook and Instagram. What’s convenient, is that you only need to post to Instagram and the same image can be simultaneously posted to Facebook. Be sure to research the appropriate hashtags for your Instagram posts to maximize viewers.

How Different Generations Rely On Agents During Homebuying Process

Baby boomers (54%) and millennials (47%) relied most heavily on their agent during their homebuying process, compared with 42% of Generation X, who tend to rely on internet resources (50%), according to an survey. Across all age groups, 83% of homebuyers used a real estate agent during their home search. 

When asked how their agent could save them time in the home buying process, 66% of recent home buyers would value getting streamlined access to additional listings and 61% would like to be able to access data such as home appreciation, walk scores and neighborhood information easily in one place.

An agents’ understanding of their buyer’s preferences (60%) was perceived as a top value by 60% of respondents, and 23% cited an agent’s help in negotiating a better offer than they could on their own.

The amount of work that agents are trusted to do also varies by generation — only 29% of Generation Xers said they trust their agent to do most of the work in finding their perfect home, compared with 33% of millennials and 36% of baby boomers. The majority of homebuyers (55%) said they their research online before contacting an agent to move forward with the buying process, so agents should try to attract potential new clients to their business while they are researching.

$2.9 Trillion Worth Of Property At Risk Of Flooding

A University of Bristol study found that FEMA 100-year floodplain maps severely underestimate the potential for flooding in the U.S., putting 40 million Americans at risk of experiencing a flood event, two-thirds more than FEMA maps suggest. The new report indicates that $2.9 trillion worth of property is at risk.

The model that the study uses includes flood threats from rainstorms and streams but does not factor in hurricane storm surge, particularly in storm-prone areas like Florida, where $714 billion of property is in 100-year floodplain.

FEMA must first verify the information before deciding whether or not to incorporate data from the new models into its floodplain maps.

Last week, Houston City Council passed new building standards requiring all new structures in Houston to be built two feet above 500-year floodplain levels. The proposal could increase the price of construction by $11,000 (officials estimate) to $32,000 (builder estimate) per structure. Houston’s chief recovery officer said the cost of a 1,500-square-foot home would likely increase between $8,000 and $10,000.

Steam Showers And Professional Appliances Can Boost Home Price

Of all homes listed for sale on Zillow between January 2016 and December 2017, those mentioning “steam shower” and/or “professional appliance” in their listing descriptions earned their sellers a 29% higher sale price than listings that didn’t mention it.

Most of the upgrades fell into a few categories: spa-like amenities, cooking-oriented features and craftsman or farmhouse-style finishes. Upgrades such as Carrara marble and solar panels also helped boost a home’s final sales price. Other terms that attracted buyers and contributed to a higher sales price were “pizza oven” (25%), “outdoor kitchen” (25%), shed/garage studio (24%) and “wine fridge” (22%).



Information Courtesy of Jason Browning – Certainty Home Loans

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