Thank You Veterans

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

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Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Home buying activing (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogic increased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months.

The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysis that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, and wages from January through August of this year. Here are their findings:

Home Prices

“In January 2019, a family with the median household income in the U.S. could afford to buy a $373,900 house. By August, that home had appreciated to $395,000, an increase of $21,100.”

Mortgage Interest Rates

“The 0.85 percentage point drop in mortgage rates from January 2019 through August 2019 increased affordability by 9.7%. That translates to a $40,200 improvement in house-buying power in just eight months.”

Wage Growth

“As rates have fallen in 2019, the economy has continued to perform well also, resulting in a tight labor market and wage growth. Wage growth pushes household incomes upward, which were 1.5% higher in August compared with January. The growth in household income increased consumer house-buying power by 1.5%, pushing house-buying power up an additional $5,600.”

When all three market factors are combined, purchasing power increased by $24,500, thus making home buying more affordable, not less affordable. Here is a table that simply shows the data:Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

In the article, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best:

“Focusing on nominal house price changes alone as an indication of changing affordability, or even the relationship between nominal house price growth and income growth, overlooks what matters more to potential buyers – surging house-buying power driven by the dynamic duo of mortgage rates and income growth. And, we all know from experience, you buy what you can afford to pay per month.”

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3 Reasons to Use a Stovall Team in a Complex Digital World

If you’re searching for a home online, you’re not alone; lots of people are doing it. The question is, are you using all of your available resources, and are you using them wisely? Here’s why the Internet is a great place to start the home-buying process, and the truth on why it should never be your only go-to resource when it comes to making such an important decision.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the three most popular information sources home buyers use in the home search are:

  • Online website (93%)
  • Real estate agent (86%)
  • Mobile/tablet website or app (73%)

Clearly, you’re not alone if you’re starting your search online; 93% of home buyers are right there with you. The even better news: 86% of buyers are also getting their information from a real estate agent at the same time.

Here are 3 top reasons why using Micah Stovall and Stovall Team in addition to a digital search is key:

1. There’s More to Real Estate Than Finding a Home Online. It’s a lonely and complicated trek around the web if you don’t have a real estate professional to also help you through the 230 possible steps you’ll face as you navigate through a real estate transaction. That’s a pretty staggering number! Determining your price, submitting an offer, and successful negotiation are just a few of these key steps in the sequence. You’ll definitely want someone who has been there before to help you through it.

2. You Need a Skilled Negotiator. In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of dollars. From the original offer to the appraisal and the inspection, many of the intricate steps can get complicated and confusing. You need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

3. It Is Crucial to Make a Competitive and Compelling Offer. There is so much information out there in the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates. How do you know what’s specifically going on in your area? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring a real estate professional who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying experience an informed and educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.  If you’re ready to start your search online, you’ll need an educated and informed real estate professional like Micah Stovall. You’ll want someone at your side who can answer your questions and guide you through a process that can be complex and confusing.  As your Realtors, we are living the market daily. I see  between 5-50 homes every single week-approximately 1,100 homes per year.  I can help you maximize your investment, even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon.  Locally, inventory is low, meaning there is less than the 6-month housing supply needed for a normal market. This drives buyer demand, creating a perfect time to sell. If you’re considering selling your house, we should sit down and chat and help you confidently determine what will be the best choice for you and your family. Call me today at 714.343.9294.  

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Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth

Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth,

“The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below):

Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | Keeping Current MattersThis does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help you to increase your family’s wealth. This study reinforces that idea,

 “Net worth is an important indicator of economic well-being and provides insights into a household’s economic health.”

Having equity in your home can help your family move in that direction, building toward substantial financial growth. According to the report noted above, people are not only creating net worth in the homes they live in, but many are also earning equity in rental property investments too. (See below):Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | Keeping Current MattersJohn Paulson said it well,

If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”

Bottom Line

There are financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home. If you would like to increase your net worth, meet with Stovall Team to help you understand all the benefits of becoming a homeowner. Call 714.343.9294 or visit stovallteam.com

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MID-YEAR HOUSING MARKET UPDATE: THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY

As a homeowner, it’s always tempting to dream about the next big project you’re going to tackle. The possibilities are endless. Should I renovate? Should I refinance? Should I stay? Should I move? The list goes on and on. In today’s housing market, it’s actually a great time to shift your thoughts toward selling your house and moving up into the home of your dreams. We have a finger on the pulse of the market and will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. You  deserve open lines of communication.  Today’s real estate market is highly competitive.  Having a  professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is an important step that will give you a huge advantage! Call us today at 714.343.9294.

Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.

Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average,  suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.

An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008.  With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Reach out to the Stovall Team today to see how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.

 Sources:  Micah Stovall, Stovall Team; National Association of Realtors

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Inventory in the Current Market

The current housing landscape presents greater home values, low  interest rates, and high buyer demand. All of these factors point to the strong market forecasted to continue throughout the rest of the year.  There is,  however, one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: an overall lack of housing inventory. Buyer demand naturally   increases during the summer months, but in our local market the current supply is not keeping up.

If you’re  thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong during a period when there is very little competition, ideally leading to a quick sale and a great return on your investment. If you are  considering listing your home for sale please remember that who you work with matters! Our primary goal is to deliver the highest level of service available to each and every one of our clients. We strive to make each of our listings the best they can be. Is now the time for you to make your move?  Call Micah Stovall at Stovall Team today at 714.343.9294 to discuss your options.                                                                                                                                         

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