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Impact of the Corona Virus on the US Housing Market


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused massive global uncertainty, including a U.S. stock market correction no one could have seen coming. While much of the news has been about the effect on various markets, let’s also acknowledge the true impact it continues to have on lives and families around the world.

With all this uncertainty, how do you make powerful and confident decisions in regard to your real estate plans?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) anticipates:

“At the very least, the coronavirus could cause some people to put home sales on hold.”

While this is an understandable approach, it is important to balance that with how it may end up costing you in the long run. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, it is key to educate yourself so that you can take thoughtful and intentional next steps for your future.

For example, when there’s fear in the world, we see lower mortgage interest rates as investors flee stocks for the safety of U.S. bonds. This connection should be considered when making real estate decisions.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

“The Fed’s action was expected but perhaps not to this degree and timing. And the policy change was consistent with recent declines for interest rates in the bond market. These declines should push mortgage interest rates closer to a low 3% average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.”

This is exactly what we’re experiencing right now as mortgage interest rates hover at the lowest levels in the history of the housing market.

Bottom Line

The full impact of the Coronavirus is still not yet known. It is in times like these that working with an informed and educated real estate professional can make all the difference in the world.

Staging Your Home Can Capture Buyers Imagination and Corner the Market


Viewing a house for sale requires buyers to visualize the property as a future place to call home. Would-be buyers often have to rely on their imagination for how they want to design the property as homeowners and what that man cave set-up in the basement could look like.

Staging your home before you put it on the market is a great way to impress potential buyers or create a living space homeowners may prefer. Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, according to the National Association of Realtors®2017 Profile of Home Staging.

Buyers want to be able to picture the home’s interior designs in the easiest way possible. Staging your home with even the smallest touches like new bathroom towels, drapes over the windows or flowers on a coffee table will liven up your listing and make a big difference to the buyer.

Staging your home can also put you ahead of the competition, no small feat in an unpredictable and high-cost housing market. Over 60 percent of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. With so many factors that play in to what sells a home and what buyers are willing to pay, staging your home is an advantage that can mean selling faster or at a higher price.

Here are some simple staging tips that will help you spruce up your listing and stay ahead of the market:

  • Declutter living spaces. It is a good idea to clear all unnecessary objects throughout the house, such as magazines on the coffee table and bathroom items on the sink. In addition, take down magnets and pictures from the refrigerator and remove clothes you do not wear from closets to show a cleaner, more spacious area.
  • Refresh your walls. Remove and rearrange artwork or photos and then patch and paint interior walls in order to give buyers a better visual of each room. A new coat of paint can brighten up rooms and give the interior a facelift. Something as simple as refreshing walls can affect a buyer’s perception of the home’s value and potentially raise the price.
  • Personalize spare rooms. Buyers will have different needs depending on family size, and it is wise to stage a spare bedroom based on your target buyers. If you are putting a condo on the market, you might want to stage the spare bedroom as office space for young and single professionals. Make sure the room is comfortable, has overhead lighting, plenty of room for a desk and an area for filing cabinets.

By simply following a few staging guidelines, you can increase your home’s value and help it sell more quickly. If you would like any help in giving some ideas on what would make your home more appealing to buyers when you put it on the market, contact me and i'll be happy to help!




Rainy Days Are Great Days For Giving a House You Are Considering Buying a Second Look, Or for your Home Inspection!


No one really enjoys getting out in the rain, unless you are an aquatic creature who lives in the water 24/7!  But, when you are in the process of buying a home, a rainy day is a great day to take a second look at a home you are considering putting an offer on or for having your Home Inspection performed.  Notice I didn't say that rainy days are great for just getting out and looking at houses in general.  I don't see that as being beneficial.  But, when you have chosen a serious candidate to purchase, consider taking a look at it when water is falling from the sky so you'll know where the water lands, or settles, around the house.

As you may know, water intrusion is the #1 silent killer of a house.  Since houses are primarily constructed of wood, the two just don't play well together.  Lingering water intrusion can produce wood rot, mold, termites, and settlement/foundation problems among other things.

So, what are some areas to pay attention to in order to discover if there may be some water related issues that a professional would need to handle?  Here is a quick list of some things to look at on a wet day, or even a dry day-

  1. The slope and grading of the lot.  Is the lot graded so that all of the water flow is diverted away from the house and not toward the house?  Pay attention to hilly terrain around the house and take notice of proper or improper grading meant to divert water flow.  Also take note of the ground against the house and make sure it is sloping away from the house and not directly toward it.
  2.  Gutters and downspouts around the base of the house.  Many times gutter downspouts are found to be dumping water right at the base of a house.  This can cause water issues such as wet basement walls in the area of the downspout or irregular settlement around the structure itself.  This problem can be easily prevented/solved by adding gutter extensions to the downspouts to divert the water away from the house.
  3. Observe all gutters around the rooflines.  Take a look at all of the gutters around the rooflines for clues of any potential problems.  Are they clean and free of debris?  If it's raining, are they overflowing?  If they are overflowing in places, make note of these areas and be sure to check the areas for wood rot on a dry day.
  4. Does the house have dormers or skylights?  While leaks may not be readily visible from the exterior on dormers and skylights, check the interior ceilings around them for signs of active or past leaks.  If these are not flashed or sealed properly, they can be a water nightmare!
  5. Basement walls.  Check all basement walls for signs of past moisture.  Also, make a mental note of the smell of the air in the basement.  Does it smell musty/damp?  If so, there's water somewhere.
  6. Attic.  If there is an attic on the house, climb up there and look at the undersides of the roof decking.  You'll always see moisture stains on the roof decking if there has been a leak there in the past and the decking hasn't been replaced.  Also check the areas where pipes may be vented through the roof to the outside.  There should be a boot around the pipe on the exterior side to prevent leaking, but often these boots will crack when they get old and water will be able to penetrate them.

These are some areas that I suggest you should look at on a rainy day, or even on a dry day.  The list is not, by any means, meant to cover every single possible area of a house where water may creep in.  But, the areas listed above are some good general starting points to look at on your own for clues to potential water issues with a house.  If you have concern over any particular area, consult a professional for expert advice on how to remedy the situation.




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