Monday, December 7, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
This year has demonstrated, perhaps more than ever, the importance of our family, friends, neighbors, and community. It truly “takes a village” to keep a community functioning effectively, whether that’s by keeping our waterways clean, feeding the hungry, teaching our kids, or supporting small businesses.
With the holidays right around the corner, December offers the perfect opportunity to give back to the place we call home. You might want to focus your efforts near home, expand to our larger community, or even help support the people closest to you. Whether you’re passionate about a particular cause or just want to get more involved in general, let these 10 ways, both big and small, inspire you to do good in your town.
GIVE BACK NEAR HOME
1. Attract local wildlife. By making your neighborhood more wildlife friendly, you’re helping to create a balanced and healthy ecosystem. Plus, many of the animals you can attract help with pest control and pollin ...
Thursday, November 5, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
“2020 will be known for a lot of things, and a record-breaking year for real estate will certainly be one of its more unexpected legacies,” prominent economist Daryl Fairweather said.1 And he’s right: most of us would have expected the housing market to suffer from circumstances like a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic and historic inventory shortages.
But, rather than a slowdown, we are continuing to experience a surprisingly robust real estate market across the country. And experts estimate that these conditions are likely to last well into the new year. Fannie Mae Senior VP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan predicts that existing home sales will ultimately “be up a percent or more in 2021.” He believes home prices will continue to rise due to limited inventory, but he is confident the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low into the future, which will be “very good for households.”2
Market conditions like fewer available listings, chan ...
Thursday, October 8, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
For years now, virtual home tours have helped real estate buyers far and wide find the perfect home. From long-distance military personnel being relocated, to investors expanding their portfolio, to homeowners looking for a vacation getaway, this technology makes finding a house that’s a bit out of driving distance much easier. And for real estate agents, virtual tours have been a useful way to help buyers with their home search and to assist sellers in creatively marketing their listings.
Because of the pandemic, virtual home showing options recently experienced a huge spike in popularity. One survey found that nearly 33% of recent home tour requests were for virtual tours, as compared to just 2% pre-pandemic. And it’s easy to see why.
Buyers want to quickly find their next safe haven, one that may need to serve as their office, gym, and even classroom for months to come. And sellers want to limit the number of strangers in their home, yet still have the ability to rea. ...
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
The pandemic and shelter in place order have changed all of our lives. Most significantly in the amount of time we spend at home. With many of us working and attending school at home as well as living there our priorities have changed when it comes to choosing a home.
The Harris Poll conducted a recent survey which showed that 75% of Americans who have started working remotely would like to continue to do so – and if those people didn’t have a commute as frequently a significant 66% would consider moving. The list of reasons that topped most desires to move were to have a dedicated office space (31%) a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall (29%).
Now that school has gone virtual for many families the need has only intensified for additional space. We are seeing buyers increasing deciding on homes further away from downtown areas as they look for more room and less congestion. In fact, nearly 40% of urban residents are considering leaving the city due to Coronavirus.. ...
Monday, August 3, 2020 / by Troy Schlicker
The 30-year fixed rate mortgage average fell below 3% in July for the first time in history. The drop in interest rates lead many home owners to refinance their mortgages as they looked to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. So, are today’s rates truly a bargain?
Average rates on mortgages have bounced between 4-5% for the past couple of years, however they haven’t always been that low. Since 1971 Freddie Mac has been tracking 30-year mortgage rates. A 7.31% rate was the national average then but as inflation started to rise in the mid-1970s there was a surge in mortgage rates as well. It may seem incomprehensible given today’s rates but in 1981 mortgage rates reached their U.S. average high at 18.63%.
Fortunately, inflation started to normalize by late 1982 and mortgage rates had a downward trajectory bringing them to a low in 2012 of 3.31%. Since then 30-year fixed rates have risen modestly with the rate reaching as high as 4.94% in 2018.