Check John out talking about this years May numbers compared with last years and how condo/townhomes are the new starter homes!
Murfreesboro Tennessee Real Estate
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A while back, John Jones talked to you about the perils of using online lenders like Quicken Loans and Lending Tree. This advice rings truer today now more than ever, with the increase in the online lending companies that have been established in the past few years. As a recap, here are the top 3 reasons to choose a hometown lender over an online lending broker:
Accountability & Integrity When you’re talking about the most important investment of your life, a more personal relationship with your lender is a no-brainer. With online lenders, you’re talking to people working out of a call center that might be in a different part of the country. With an investment as big as a home purchase, wouldn’t you rather look the person in the eye when getting advice about this purchase? Hometown lenders want to work hard to keep you satisfied and win your business so you can be a good long term referral source. They know one of the best ways to do that is by offering superior customer service. A good local lender, just like a good real estate broker, creates a relationship of trust and reliability. They will hold your hand through the process, help prevent you from making major mistakes and answer all of your questions. There’s less accountability when you use an online lender. They never lay eyes on you in the first place and once the transaction is complete you're not going to run into them at your local grocery store. Would you trust an online doctor to diagnose your cancer? In my experience, home buyers find accountability in the face-to-face relationship with their lender to be imperative in the already-stressful process of buying a home.
Fluid and Timely Transactions: There’s always an advantage to working with people who are more familiar with the area and often have an existing relationship with your realtor. This puts local lenders in a better position to resolve conflicts during the transaction. In the past few months alone - and as indicated by numerous others on various online message boards - our agents have had to navigate their clients through several issues with Quicken Loans, including delayed closings, lack of communication, and lengthy turnaround times for simple submission of basic documents and forms. And as you all are aware, one delay leads to multiple delays in the cycle of a real estate transaction. IMHO, these are unnecessary headaches that can be avoided by using local lending.
Fueling the Local Economy When you shop locally for a mortgage, your investments are used in that same local economy in which you now live. You’re helping a local company who supports local businesses, events and charities, thus sinking money back into their local economy. It’s a true win-win for everybody. Like the old saying goes, “Love your lender, love your town, love your agent and there will be love all around.” And by “old saying” I mean, 30 seconds old because I just made that up. But it’s still true.
Moral of this point: Trust your local lenders to maintain integrity, provide you with superior customer service and an all around smoother transaction. If you do choose to work with an online lender, perform thorough research on the company, check out online reviews and engage with people on online forums to become the most informed consumer possible. We work with some of the best mortgage lenders in the business so give us a call at 615-867-3020 for a referral. I'd love to hear your feedback on the choice between online vs. local lending. As agents, what do you recommend to your buyers considering using an online lending company? Homebuyers, what has been your experience working with these lenders?
Like Shakira's hips, the numbers don't lie; often well-staged homes will sell faster and bring more lucrative offers than their messy, cluttered counterparts. The key is to getting ahead of the process. Often times, sellers will delay putting their house on the market because they dread the overwhelming process of cleaning and de-cluttering. But fear not, mighty minions. By beginning the monumental task of clearing the clutter and doing a pre-pack now, you can reduce the stress of preparing for showings and make it easier to move when your home sells.
Still fighting it? Here are 5 staging and organizing tips to help you get the move on, well...your pending move.
- Started (Purging) From the Bottom Now We're Here: Clutter distracts from a home's features and makes it seem like there isn't enough storage space. Do a proper sort and purge, tossing outdated clothing, duplicate items and rarely used gadgets. If you haven't worn it/used it/looked at it in a year, send it packing (literally). If it's broken/busted beyond repair, it's a goner. Say bye bye. Shed no tears. (And NO, jamming your closets to the brink will not fly either. Buyers will look there also.) To keep this task from turning you into The Exorcist's Regan MacNeil, tackle one room (or even one drawer) at a time. Proceed with patience, my friend. You got this.
- Pack Everything but the Kitchen Sink: It is finally socially acceptable to be a pack rat. Start pre-packing your home, storing non-essentials or out-of-season gear in the garage or in off-site storage. Only the best and brightest should make the cut and travel with you to your new abode. The idea is to give potential buyers a sense of space, which can't be done if your home is overloaded with your own crap.
- Fix Glaring Problems: Remove out-of-style wallpaper, replace broken light fixtures, update cabinet and drawer pulls, and refresh dated window treatments. Simple fixes like these can make your home stand out from the competition. And don't forget to consult with your real estate agent before taking on certain fix-it-up projects. He/she can advise you on the most cost-effective repairs to take on and what to leave on the table to negotiate with a potential buyer. You got 99 problems, but don't let fixing stuff be one.
- Depersonalize Dang It: Your home by definition is very personal so this step can sometimes be very difficult for home owners. The key is to take the "you" out of your home so it will be easier for potential buyers to see themselves living there. Remove family pics and personal collections and replace them with neutral artwork and simple accessories. Create a neutral canvas so to speak, so others can imagine their own belongings in the space.
- Polish Your Armour: Research the latest design trends and stage your house to match. Potential buyers aren't just looking for a structure to inhabit - they're looking to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyles. Staging helps sell those dreams and creates a more emotional purchase that can generate more money for the seller. And, um hello, who doesn't want to sell a dream and make some money? Make sure each room has a single, defined purpose. Also make sure that every space within every room has a purpose so that buyers will see how to maximize the home's square footage.
If you like to stay up to date on the latest in home design, then you may be interested to hear the color trends predicted for this wild colorful ride that will be 2016. From Benjamin Moore's Simply White to Behr's Ivory Keys, the leading color trend is white, which - while that may not sound all kinds of crazy - will serve as a neutral backdrop for other dramatic elements you can utilize as a more "colorful" extension of your personal style in your home.
But before you go out and buy gallons of non-refundable eggshell, note that this year's on-trend whites have a bit of color and the warm feel of happy to them. These subtle variations in tone make them the perfect accompaniment to other hot colors that are being highlighted in home decor trends this year. Keep that in mind as you select your accent colors as well. Choose corresponding hues that represent your own uniqueness. Do you, girl (or guy.)
To update your living space using the neutral white trend, give these following steps a go-go:
- Create a blank canvas -- Paint an entire room in your favorite warm white shade. Starting with a neutral background lets other elements in the room stand out and become the focal point. Neutral rooms tend to be minimalist, so scale back on the knick knacks and accessories and let the major pieces support your design. Simple is the new black.
- Experiment with hues -- Try layering with several shades of white. Create a clean, classic look with a white room and an occasional pop of color. The design possibilities using a white color palette are surprisingly endless. "Hues" to say you can't have fun with color? Color Fun 101
- Add contrast -- Bold accent colors and crisp lines create sharp contrasts against white walls. Consider creating a feature wall with one of the other 2016 trend colors, like Blue Cloud from Olympic Paints or Paradise Found by PPG Porter Paints. You can also add other architectural elements in a dark wood or with geometric patterns. A little fun never hurt anyone so have some. Now go.
Get out your paint brush and give some of these splashes of color a whirl. And in the wise words of someone I've never met on Pinterest, "Change is good. Paint is change. Therefore, paint is good."
I receive weekly calls from current and past clients inquiring about whether or not certain renovation projects are worth the time and investment. Today I want to talk about the 5 most important home improvements you can do to add value to your home and prepare it for resale in this current market. I’ll also talk about a few improvements that will add more personal value than monetary gain.
Before diving into the list, I want to stress to home owners the importance of continued maintenance of your home from the moment you take ownership. Continued upkeep will end up benefitting you in the long run and is easier on the wallet as opposed to making a bunch of renovations at the time you are ready to list.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Capitalizing on that investment by tackling these 5 projects to help increase your home’s value:
- Paint: Wall space is the most noticeable element in any home. A new coat of fresh paint is the best way to transform and revitalize any room in your house. Neutral colors tend to attract more buyers because it allows them to focus on the home’s attributes. White and beige color schemes work with most types of furniture, so buyers will be able to see themselves in the space.
- Clean / Updated flooring: Next to wall space, flooring is another thing people first notice upon entering your home. While hardwood flooring is a very popular asset to your home, clean, high-quality carpet can be quite attractive and will create a warm atmosphere. Be sure to repair any flaws in your flooring and have your carpets professionally cleaned or replaced if necessary.
- De-clutter and depersonalize: Vital to the pre-listing process is de-cluttering and depersonalizing your home as much as possible. Thoroughly cleaning your home, removing personal belongings like family photos and minimizing decorative accents will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the space.
- Update Fixtures and Hardware: Replacing old light fixtures and door hardware can go a long way in making your home appear up-to-date and modernized. Long gone are the days of all brass fixtures. Oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel accents have become trends that many home buyers now look for when perusing homes in today’s market. Installing new hardware fixtures throughout the home is a simple and inexpensive endeavor that can make any space brighter and more appealing thus creating a better overall sensory experience for the potential buyer.
- Landscaping - Making very minimal changes to your outdoor landscaping can vastly improve your homes curb appeal. Mowing your lawn, pulling weeds, removing dead or overhanging branches from trees, trimming overgrown shrubs and bushes, and adding a fresh layer of mulch to garden beds are some of the basic maintenance items that will help spruce up your home’s exterior. I don’t recommend spending a boatload of money on elaborate landscaping schemes. This can sometimes overwhelm potential home buyers because they lack the desire or ability to maintain it.
There are many home improvement projects from which home owners will gain a lot of personal value that won’t necessarily bring as much ROI. Now, I am all for putting in that swimming pool you’ve always had Clark Griswold dreams about. The memories you will create with your family and friends will last a lifetime and you can't put a price tag on that. Just remember that a pool is a pricey investment that often times will only bring you about one-third of the monetary return. Other enhancements such as detached garages and elaborate media rooms tend to bring sellers only about half of the money they spent on the project.
Be sure to tune-in to my Facebook page again next Tuesday at 10AM where we’ll be discussing more relative information about the Rutherford County housing market. As always, don’t hesitate to Contact Us if we can assist you with any of your real estate needs!
Live from Facebook…it’s Tuesday Morning Coffee!
Thanks to everyone who joined our very first Facebook Live stream this morning. I had a blast, and I hope you did too!
We just finished up a very successful year at John Jones Real Estate and are looking forward to another great year for the local market. Which brings me to our topic for today: “A Recap of the 2015 Rutherford County market and What To Expect in 2016.”
Last year was a great year for me both personally and professionally. For single-family residential sales, the market continued it’s growth as we saw interest rates fall to the lowest they’ve been in over a decade. Closed sales were up 10% from the previous year (2014) however total listings were down 21%, which is the lowest we’ve seen in quite some time. This is due mostly to the fact that construction came to a halt after the market crash in ’08 and because of that, inventory is down while builders attempt to play catch-up to the population growth that continued in this area during that time. We saw median days on the market decrease from 54 days in 2014 to 44 total days on the market in 2015. Homes were selling faster and at nearly an 11% higher price at $190K (from $170K) year-over-year. Median square footage for single-family homes in Rutherford County came in at 1978 sq. ft and averaged a little bit over $96 per foot, which is up 6% from 2014.
A lot of people have inquired about the value of their home and the appreciation rates as they pertain to the growth in our local market. Sometimes this is a tricky question, because experts tend to base home value on varying factors. I always look at median cost per square foot because I believe it paints the truest picture of home value. To understand the current appreciation rate in our area, I believe we must touch on exactly what happened in previous years to understand the type of growth we are experiencing today.
From 2000-2007 we had what I call the “thunder-clap” market, all of these factors were in play at once: baby boomers were at their peak buying potential, lending practices were completely unregulated and for the first time, Wall Street got involved in the mortgage game (if you haven’t seen the movie The Big Short based on the book by Michael Lewis, get to the theater. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.) All of these factors came to together to create the perfect storm which ultimately led to what I like to call “The Lost Years.” Between the years of 2008-2012, millions of people lost their jobs and their homes, and builders, developers and real estate agents - including yours truly - lost their ass…ets. I consider November 2011 to be the point our market bottomed out here in Rutherford County as far as home sales, home value and overall volatility of our local market. We finally started to see pick-up during 2012 and our market has continued to steadily improve. Prices are up 21% from that low point in Nov. 2011 and up 6% from last year as I mentioned previously. Now does that mean every home’s value has increased 6%? No. That is merely the median value increase based on that current median value of $190K. For a $250-$300K property, your home might have only appreciated between 4-5%. The value of your home is going to also be determined by the strength of our market in regards to the price point of your property. Be sure to give us a call if you have more questions regarding the resale value of your current home.
The biggest change we saw in 2015 was the growth in condo/townhome sales. In 2006, we had the most number of condo sales in the history of our market…until last year, where we were up 6% from 2006. The reason for that is because condos and townhomes have become new starter homes for first-time home buyers.
So this brings me to the topic of trends and expectations for real estate in Rutherford County in the coming year. Based on what I’m seeing from last year and experts in this industry, the next few years should be vibrant barring some unforeseen shakeup that is out of the market’s control. Millennials (<34 yrs) will continue to be the largest generation group of home buyers followed by financially recovering Gen Xers and older baby boomers who are downsizing. Interest rates will ease up but should remain manageable. Across the nation, rental rates are predicted to rise faster than home prices due to the expected demand. Overall, I expect 2016 to be another banner year in real estate sales and I am looking forward to the continued growth of our community in this optimistically stealth market.
Read up on the National Housing Market Forecast for 2016-2017 here.
Be sure to tune back in next Tuesday at 10am for another Tuesday Morning Coffee LIVE on Facebook.
Don't live in a brand-new home? John discusses how even your 20 year old home can bring in top dollar!
It's been six months since Jim Dibble officially started his new career in real estate, so John checks in to see how his experience has been since becoming a new agent.
If you're looking to buy or sell home, be sure to give Jim Dibble a call at 615-439-8175.
Tune in to hear John discuss 5 mistakes to avoid if you're considering selling your home in this hot market!