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Home buying trends: Millennials are more conventional than you might think

Conventional loans among Millennials hit two-year high

Millennial home buyers seem to have pretty good credit. According to new data, not only are their credit scores rising, but they’re also qualifying for more conventional loans – products that are traditionally more difficult to get without great credit.

Getting more conventional

According to the most recent Millennial Tracker from Ellie Mae, Millennials are increasingly choosing conventional loans over FHA, VA or other loan options. In fact, conventional loans made up 67 percent of all Millennial closed loans in January – the highest share in two years.

FHA loans only accounted for 32 percent of all Millennial loans for the month. Joe Tyrell, Ellie Mae executive vice president of corporate strategy, said this trend has been gaining speed.

“Historically we have seen Millennials look to FHA programs to help address their home buying needs, but in the past two months, FHA loans have represented less than 30 percent of the total loans for Millennials,” Tyrell said. “We view this as an indication that more Millennials are qualifying for conventional mortgages.”

Other Millennial home buying trends

Refinance loans were also up among Millennials in January. Refis accounted for 18 percent of all loans for the month – up from the 15 percent share seen since October. Millennial FICO scores rose too, increasing from 722 to 723 for the month.

The top three spots for female Millennial buyers were all in Wisconsin: La Crosse-Onalaska, St. Cloud and Green Bay. For male Millennials, it was Fairmont, West Virginia; Owensboro, Kentucky; and Macon, Georgia.

Women were more likely to use FHA loans. Thirty-two percent of women chose FHA financing compared to 27 percent of men.

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Posted 03/09/2018

5 Ways A Realtor Makes Buying A New Home Easier

A DYI house hunting project may seem like a good idea at first. You have a few ideas of what your dream home should be, so you decide to enlist a friend who knows your personality, your style, likes and dislikes, etc. You have a camera and measuring tape in hand, comfortable shoes on, but it dawns on you that you don’t really know where to start.

Buying a new home can get very emotional and challenging to say the least. It helps to have a realtor working on your behalf to simplify the process and to answer some tough questions that often surface. Consider the following ways a realtor can make buying a new home easier for you:

Neighborhood Knowledge

No one knows a local area better than a realtor, whom among other things, has reliable pricing information, they know why a neighborhood has a high distressed rate including neighborhoods that can suit your price range. Only a realtor can narrow the focus to the top two or three homes for you to consider within minutes.

Code of Ethics

If your realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), he or she will make a full disclosure of any problems with a property and be truthful when advertising it. They know that giving you false or misleading information when you are trying to buy a new home may lead to a hefty fine and a year’s suspension or a three-year expulsion from the association.

Finding Available Homes

Some homeowners want to sell their property privately due to financial difficulty, health issues, or from a divorce matter that needs privacy. Such homes are rarely advertised on websites, and sometimes they sold for a lot less. Working with a great realtor can give you access to homes you might otherwise miss on websites.

Pricing Expertise

Realtors have the experience to know whether a specific home is overpriced or underpriced. They can provide you every relevant information on all the houses on sales that you want to see and will advise you on how well a neighborhood holds its value through their years of carrying out various transactions in different neighborhoods.

Assessing Repairs and Handling Paperwork

Once you have your eyes set on a home, a realtor can recognize a few things that you may not see that need upgrading or repair and they can recommend a reliable home inspector who will provide a detailed report on problems with the house before you make an offer. They are also able to help you determine which of the repairs are worth spending money on and which you can comfortably live with.

A realtor will save you a lot of time and headache of finalizing all the necessary documentation. Thanks to their years of experience, they know the paperwork inside and out, and they remain levelheaded in tough negotiations.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.


Selling Your Home? Don’t Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else

If you’re a homeowner, you already know that keeping your property in tiptop shape requires dedication and patience for ongoing maintenance. But what if you’ve put your home on the market, or even accepted an offer? Perhaps you’re thinking: Not my problem anymore.

Sorry, folks, we’ve got news for you: Just because you’re selling doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from routine maintenance tasks—and that’s especially true if you’ve already vacated the house.

Sure, a well-cared-for house shows better: Small things like broken doorbells and leaky faucets make buyers wonder if your property also has bigger issues elsewhere. But more important, a little routine maintenance can help you avoid a catastrophic problem down the line (e.g., burst pipes, roof leaks, critters moving into your attic) that could devalue your property and derail that sale.

To prevent minor issues from escalating into full-blown, money-sucking, sale-killing problems, focus on these six important areas you can’t afford to neglect.

1. Keep up the yard and walkways

Whether you’re still living at the home or not, you’ll want to make sure to keep your landscaping tidy—remove dead tree limbs, rake leaves, and clean out flowerbeds.

If your home is already vacant, have someone tend to the yard regularly so that grass and weeds don’t detract from your home’s appearance, suggests Kyle Hiscock, a Realtor® with Re/Max Reality Group in Rochester, NY.

“If your home does not have a well-maintained exterior, (potential buyers) will keep driving,” he cautions. “Plus, this kind of neglect can be a bull’s-eye for vandals to break into your property.”

Consider having lights on timers so the house doesn’t look dark all the time, and arrange for driveways and walkways to be plowed weekly in the winter months. And don’t let mail pile up in the mailbox.

2. Clean the gutters and check the roof

This one’s easy to forget about, even when you don’t plan on going anywhere. But when it comes to gutter and roof issues, neglect can cause a dangerous domino effect.

Overflowing gutters can damage your foundation, and also lead to drainage issues. And, of course, you don’t want buyers seeing puddling water as they approach your house.

Just ask Alise Roberts, owner/broker at Alise Roberts & Company in Bellevue, WA. In the rainy Pacific Northwest climate, she frequently has to remind her clients to keep sidewalks clear of moss and clean gutters of pine needles and leaves.

“Buyers, seeing the house when it’s raining, will also see your gutters overflowing,” she says. “That’s a terrible first impression.”

And then there’s the roof. Of course, it’ll be examined during the home inspection, but it would behoove you to do it before putting your home on the market. Small roof cracks can remain undetected for years, causing water to slowly infiltrate your home and damage ceilings and walls.

“If water starts to penetrate a property, it can be a very difficult sale,” Hiscock notes. “Water in basements or in homes is one of the top three things buyers are scared of.”

3. Service your heating systems

It’s not sexy, but the hidden guts of your home need regular attention, whether you’re still living there or not. That means having your HVAC systems professionally serviced.

First up, your furnace: If you get it addressed before you list your home, it won’t smell like dust when you crank up the heat during an open house on a chilly day. While you’re at it, have the duct work and filters cleaned as well. And if you have baseboard heaters, vacuum those out, too.

(Speaking of heat, Roberts suggests keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees Fahrenheit when agents are showing your house so buyers can visit your place comfortably. This will also avoid any issues with pipes freezing or bursting.)

Have a chimney? Be sure to have it inspected and cleaned as well.

“You want to make sure there are no cracked flue tiles, and that from the exterior, there are no gaps in the mortar between the bricks,” Hiscock explains. “Otherwise, you could potentially have the chimney fall over onto the house, and that’s a very expensive fix.”

4. Keep the critters out

If you don’t want to add “family of raccoons included” to your listing (and pay the hefty tab for getting them out), inspect the inside and outside of your home for any areas that need to plugged up. Take care of holes from damaged siding or fascia under the roofline—and do it promptly.

“In a colder climate, squirrels look for somewhere warm to go, and they’ll find their way into your property,” Hiscock says.

Stove and dryer vents, for example, should be covered with wire mesh to deter pests.

5. Wash your windows

Most people associate sparkling windows with spring-cleaning, Roberts says. But if your house is on the market, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is—you need to get those babies squeaky clean.

“If buyers walk through your home and all they see is dirty windows, that’ll really mar the showing process,” she says.

Make sure to wipe them down after a bad storm, when they’re especially likely to show muck and grime buildup.

6. Check the calendar

Depending on what time of year you bring your house to market, pay attention to any details that scream, “We don’t live here or care anymore,” Roberts says.

That means tackling seasonal tasks such as clearing away lawn mowers in the fall and storing shovels in the spring.

“Too often, I see a seller’s patio furniture still outside during the winter time. To me, that’s not a good reflection on the property,” Hiscock says. “It shows deferred maintenance and lack of caring, and can really turn off a potential buyer.

“If a seller can’t put away their patio furniture and lawn mower, what makes you believe that they’ve actually maintained the property all the years they’ve been there?” he adds.

Staying on top of these regular tasks will make it easier to sell your home with fewer headaches. Plus, it’ll preserve the value of your property, and potentially, the thickness of your wallet, too.

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Original Date: Feb 1, 2018

Nine Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be as exciting as it is demanding. Home ownership is a huge part of the long-term goals of many individuals especially as it provides much needed space for growing families. However, it is important to give this plan some thought as there is no time given to “think about it” after the purchase and there is no refund policy for you too. Hence, you must ask yourself the right questions, so you do not end up making costly mistakes. Here are nine practical and important questions you must ask yourself before you buy a home.

Why am I buying a Home?

This is arguably the most crucial question you must ask yourself as it is vital before you begin considering your options. Do you wish to buy and rent it? Are you going to live in it? Finding answers to these questions will help you determine the size of house that you would purchase and the loan structure that best suits the purchase.

What are your Long-term Career Plans?

Although you may have factored in the financial implications of a home purchase and consider yourself ready to buy a home, your career path may be an obstacle. If there is a chance you could be transferred from your current office location in the next few years, it may be ideal to reconsider your options.

What Kind of Neighborhood do you desire?

While your current situation – nature of job and age could play a big factor in deciding your choice of neighborhood, you might want to consider other factors such as the ease of access to public parks, the quality of local schools, and any other relevant environmental factors if you are thinking about starting a family in few years.

What is the nature of the house?

It would be near impossible to get the perfect house upgrade. The beauty of the wood floors or the amazing nature of the bay window may seem attractive, but you must really take a hard look at how outdated the apartment is and how much time you would invest if you engage in DIY projects yourself. This will help you avoid purchasing a home you could regret in future.

How much Utility can you reasonably afford?

Although your usage will largely depend on your family size, identifying the utilities you need to pay, and all the costs associated with moving into a potentially larger home will help you in making a wise decision.

Are there any environmental issues in the neighborhood?

Look out for any polluted sites in the area that may contain hazardous materials or any other contamination that could lead to emission of unhealthy fumes. You can make use of the Environment Protection Agency website to identify such areas.

What is the Security Situation?

You may be satisfied with the nature of the house and the local schools; however, you must consider the security of the area. In many cases, realtors may not inform you about every detail concerning the crime rate and overall security situation of the area. It is recommended that you contact the local police, ask for relevant security statistics and decide.

What would your Work Commute look like?

Have you found the perfect house already? Your work commute in the morning and evening should play a big part in your decision and if you find out you cannot bear the commute; the house is not one for you.

What is the Condition of the Drainage?

It is understandable for you to fantasize about the patios and visually pleasing lawns. However, the gutters are usually expensive to take care of when there is a problem. When it rains, does water pour over the gutters? Are there functional gutter guards in place? What is the proximity of the water emptying system to your house? These factors are crucial as you take that big step.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.


Which Generation Is Struggling the Most to Buy a Home? (It’s Not Millennials)

Scrimping and saving to come up with a down payment is no easy feat, especially when aspiring buyers have student loan debt, high rents, and soaring property prices to contend with. But millennials who are most likely to face those hurdles aren’t the generation having the hardest time saving up for a new home, a recent report finds. Instead, it’s Generation X.

The National Association of Realtors® report is based on about 4,000 responses received from non-homeowners in surveys performed each month in 2017.

Xers “are at an age where they may have children, car loans, credit card debt,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research. “They’re also less likely to be able to move back home [with their parents] to pay down debt.”


About 47% of Generation X respondents said they were having difficulty saving up for a down payment. That’s compared with 23% of millennials.

Although the lingering pain of the financial crisis cut across age groups, it hit Generation Xers particularly hard.

“They were very likely to have purchased a home in the housing boom and then be hit by the housing bust,” says Lautz. “Generation Xers were most likely to have a home that was underwater.”

Not having sufficient home equity makes it harder to trade up to larger abodes to accommodate growing families.

But it isn’t just members of Generation X struggling to become homeowners. Millennials, many of whom are just beginning their careers and starting their families, make up the largest overall share of non-owners. Those making $50,000 or less were also more likely not to own their own abodes.

And despite 82% of non-owners aspiring to own a home in the future, the main reason that many are unable to do so is because they can’t afford it. Nationally, annual home list prices were up a median 7.8% as of Jan. 1, according to® data.

“They believe that homeownership is part of their American dream,” says Lautz. But “[they’re] feeling priced out of the home-buying market.”

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Original Author: Clare Trapasso

Original Date: Feb 7 2018

What your Buyer’s Agent Will Do for You

Are you considering the purchase of a new home?  Buying a home is never a simple task.  In order to purchase a home there are a number of elements that go into it.  One thing for sure is that you must have the cooperation of the individuals currently in possession of the home you are looking to buy.  Usually sellers have listed their homes with a seller’s agent as they are looking to find a buyer, so this part is usually a fairly simple part of the process.

Buying a house can be a very taxing and time-consuming process.  It can end with its fair share of problems as well if you don’t choose the right buyers agent.  To decrease the stress that comes along with the buying process, hiring a buyer’s agent is what you need to do. A good buyer’s agent ensures that you buy a house at the best possible price and with minimal exertion.

What does a buyer’s agents do?

Agents are essentially the main broker in such operations and deal in every aspect based on their client’s wishes. Hence, agents must have a great knowledge of everything related to houses, including marketing trends, street smarts, and thorough information about all the areas with houses for sale. Agents are the ones to initially advise you about the kind of property you should look for based on your wishes. After that, the buyer’s agent looks for houses meeting the requirements that their clients have expressed.

Real estate agents must have thorough knowledge of all the locations in which houses are for sale and must have a grab of the market trend prevalent in those areas. While dealing with the sale of the property, the agent is the one who talks and deals with the owners of the property, while representing the wishes of their clients. It is a buyer’s agent’s duties to make sure their client purchases the house they want at the best possible price and with the least hassle.

What you should expect?

It is important that buyers work with reputable agents since agents get a cut out of every single successful deal, they may often try to swindle you by brokering deals without disclosing all the details to you. Worse, agents might end up cheating you out of all the money you are entitled to with charges they might not have told you about before. Not all buyer’s agents are like this, with many being honest and highly efficient at their work. It is your job as the buyer of a home to find an agent that is dedicated to your needs.

Finding the Best Agent

It is necessary to hire the best possible real estate agent you can find. It is advised to always look for agents or real estate agencies that have a very good reputation in the market and a good reputation with previous clients. You need to thoroughly search for the real estate agent that works best according to your needs. Often you can easily tell the intentions of any agent at the very first meeting if you go with the intention of judging them. Many real estate deals end up in legal battles because of agent discrepancies, so make sure you buy the best possible buyer’s agent. A good buyer’s agent makes sure that you buy a house at the best possible deal while feeling the least stress during the process of buying a house.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.


6 Surprising Ways Home Staging Can Sabotage Your Sale

If there’s one thing that’s hammered home during the selling process, it’s that prospective buyers hate walking into an empty house. They need to imagine themselves in your space, and that means seeing furniture, accessories, and other decor trappings that make a house feel like a home—and wake prospective buyers to the potential of the place.

To the rescue: home staging. Consider it the professional makeover your home gets before the big dance. If done correctly, it can be a seller’s best friend, slashing the time your home sits on the market and boosting your profits.

But it’s also possible for home staging to go desperately wrong, even when you think you’re doing it right. Take heed of these oh-so-easy-to-make mistakes when staging your home.

1. Overdesigning your space

The goal of home staging is to help buyers visualize what the house could look like once they move in. The trick is to give off that feeling subtly, not smacking buyers in the face with design, design, design right when they walk in the door.

“Home staging is like being a backup singer to the house, which is the star,” says Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency. “As a backup singer, you have to be good, but, girl—do not overshadow Miss Tina Turner.”

Staging should boost your home, not the other way around. Keep it simple with furnishings, some decor, and textiles to add softness. Don’t cover every nook and cranny, even if you think it’ll look amazing.

2. Displaying fake everything

Making a home feel lived in without actually being lived in is tricky. But if your home stager suggests a nice bowl of fake fruit or anything inflatable, run quickly in the other direction.

“Fake plants, fake flowers, fake food, fake TV screens and computers, and, most of all, blow-up mattresses,” Riordan says. “Every time [buyers] see a fake item they are reminded that this is not real, this is not achievable, and this is not their new home.”

Keep it real, and forget the artificial bananas and silk leaf palm trees.

3. Not staging to scale

What home seller doesn’t want to create the illusion of more space? And to do that, you might assume you should use smaller, lightweight items.

Au contraire! That tactic can actually dwarf a home, experts say. Instead, make sure your furniture and accessories match the room in scale and proportion. In other words: If you have a huge family room with a vaulted ceiling, don’t opt for a small, low-backed sofa and tiny ottoman coffee table.

Plus, buyers should walk in and feel like there’s room for the family to grow and for entertaining. If the furniture used for staging is too small, the whole space will scream, “not enough room for life in this house.”

“Putting a small four-top table in a giant dining room does not show good use of the room,” Riordan says. “It shows poor use of scale.”

The same goes for decor accessories—your Italian ceramics, votive candles, artwork, and other odds and ends. If they’re disproportional to the space, the whole room can feel visually cluttered—even if you’re not displaying many items.

“No piece should be smaller than a softball,” says Tori Toth, home stager, founder of Stylish Stagers, and author of “Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell.”

4. Staging your entire home in one aesthetic

Even if you’re selling a restored Victorian, buyers might not want to see oil lamps and fainting couches in every room. Buyers are trying to envision themselves—and everything they already own—in the space.

To help them get there, feel free to showcase eclectic furniture that proves to buyers their mismatched furniture will also go great in the house, Riordan says.

When in doubt, however, opt for traditional pieces: light-colored sofas, tables with clean lines, and timeless decor pieces. Your goal is to create the feeling of home for the buyer, not a museum.

5. Keeping doors closed

This one seems like an obvious no-no, but sometimes we’re all guilty of habitually closing doors.

“Having a person be able to move through the house without thinking is hugely important,” Riordan says. “We have seen entire floors missed by potential buyers because a door was closed and the buyer had assumed that the door was a closet rather than a staircase to the basement or upper floor.”

Before your real estate agent shows your house, do a final walk-through and make sure everything is open and ready to go.

6. Going too neutral

There’s nothing wrong with a classic color scheme, but if you keep everything ivory and beige, it won’t make your house stand out from the pack.

We’re not saying you should go crazy with the color. But your home should have a bit of unique appeal—some pops of color here and there, and one or two rooms that don’t look like every other room in the house (and on the planet).

“We create one color story for each room,” Riordan says of his design firm. “There might be a red office, a green living room, and an orange bedroom in a single house.”

The end result? After a potential buyer has seen 10 houses—each with eight rooms—in one day, she’ll have an easier time calling yours to mind.

“The red office is much easier to recall hours later than the office that had a desk in it,” Riordan explains.

And, after all, your goal here is to have the house that buyers remember.

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Original Date: Jan 24 2018

Are You Cut Out For Real Estate?

According to the Top National Workplaces survey, real estate was the second happiest industry to work in 2016, and most people tend to agree with these findings. Imagine making a living by looking at houses all day long, having more wiggle room in your schedules than other professionals, where you are in a nutshell, self-employed, you are free to set your working hours, and your salary has no cap.

Qualities To Have As a Real Estate Agent

Real estate professionals have the propensity to inspire trust thanks to their excellent communication skills. They are not only sensitive and mature, but they also can give and receive constructive criticism and feedback, all the while staying calm during a crisis. What’s not to love about this line of work?

Mastering tactics to get more real estate listings, listing leads, and ultimately more money in real estate can prove challenging to a novice let alone a savvy realtor. The idea is to nurture potential buyers along and get them excited about the prospects of owning a home.

There are three known types of real estate listings:

1) Open Listing – allows a homeowner to sell his or her house by themselves and only pay 1 ½ of the selling broker’s commission

2) Exclusive Agency Listing – while the owner can still assert their rights to self-sell their home, in some cases the owner pays a broker to represent them

3) Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing – this listing is the most commonly used ways where the broker has the exclusive rights to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing potential buyer

While listing agreements are negotiable, the most common terms and conditions in regards to the length of listing can range from 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year or more. Selling commissions can be dictated by how fast a homeowner wants their house sold.

However, it is advisable that if the owner wants the agent to generate buzz and attract potential buyers, then he or she must up the total commission. The owner and real estate agent must also agree on the conditions of contract cancellation and expiration. All monies owed to the broker must be paid in full, and the broker should be willing to let the owner cancel the contract at any time if they (the homeowner) are is not satisfied with the overall real estate listing process or with the broker’s services.

The following are various ways that one can get potential real estate listings:

  • Partner with local banks, builders, mortgage providers, plumbers, electricians, marriage counselors, or dentists. They always have a good lead
  • Start advertising your services online
  • Send for sale by owner (FSOB) mail to your client list
  • Checkout vacant, inherited, or divorce homes. Unless an inherited home is in a pristine condition, most people do not want to incur renovations or building cost and are looking for a quick sale. Additionally, most divorcees that list their homes is because they are mandated to do so by the judge to sell their property

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.

The 3 Best Reasons to Buy a Home in 2018 (but You’d Better Hurry)

Figuring out when to plunge into the real estate market can be quite intimidating—especially when prices are high, choices are limited, and history urges restraint.

“We’ve seen two or three years of what could be considered unsustainable levels of price appreciation, as well as an inventory shortage that resulted in a record-low number of homes for sale across the country,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for®. “When you factor those together, you have a market that has to either explode or see some relief.”

Comforting, right? Well, take heart: Experts agree that relief is indeed on the horizon.

New predictions for 2018 forecast more moderate gains in home prices and rising inventory levels, while low unemployment and record levels of consumer confidence mean more buyers are feeling good about their finances.

A lot depends on where you live (and how much you plan to finance), but these factors combined could mean 2018 will be your year to take the buying plunge.

1. Rates are going up

After years of record-low interest rates (hello, 3%!), the Fed is finally making some noticeable increases: The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage broke the 4% mark last year. And with economic growth continuing to carry momentum, Vivas predicts we’ll see at least two to four more rate increases throughout 2018. Rates are anticipated to hit 5% by the end of the year.

“The big story there is that those increases will further constrict affordability,” Vivas says. “The more buyers wait, the more expensive it will get to buy—not just because of home prices, but because of inflationary pressure.”

In other words, if you want in on the American dream, now might be the time.

2. Prices are climbing, but not crazily fast

Home prices have soared over the past few years, pricing otherwise well-positioned buyers out of high-cost areas and leading some experts to cry “bubble”. But in 2018, price increases are expected to moderate.

Vivas forecasts a home price increase of 3.2% year over year, after finishing 2017 with a 5.5% year-over-year increase. Existing-home sale prices are predicted to increase 2.5% year over year.

Of course, it all depends on where you live. While red-hot markets such as San Francisco are predicted to finally lose some steam, sales numbers and home prices are poised to climb in Southern states such as Texas and Florida, where economic momentum continues chugging along and new construction is happening in the right price points.

So what does that mean? Basically, home prices will still increase, but not at the same pace as they have over the past few years.

3. Inventory levels will begin to increase

An inventory shortage has plagued the U.S. housing market since 2015, forcing some buyers to settle (a tiny house with linoleum floors for $1 million, anyone?) and keeping others out of the buying game entirely. But by fall 2018, the tides will begin to turn, with markets such as Boston; Detroit; and Nashville, TN, recovering first.

The majority of inventory growth will happen in the middle- to upper-tier price point, in the ranges of $350,000 and $750,000 and above $750,000, Vivas predicts.

New home construction is also expected to expand. But that will happen slowly, thanks to a constricted labor market, limitations on the amount of lots and land that’s available, tight bank financing for building loans, and a run-up in building material prices, says National Association of Home Builders chief economist Robert Dietz.

“It’s been a slow climb back from the recession, and now we’re confronting all of these limiting factors and supply-side constraints,” Dietz says.

It’s particularly tough, he says, for builders to break ground at the entry level for first-time buyers, particularity in high-cost coastal markets such as California. That means it will take longer for those inventory levels to recover.

But there’s a bright spot: Builder confidence is at its highest level since 1999, according to the NAHB. And that means hope is on the horizon.

“As we head into 2019 and beyond, we expect to see the inventory increases take hold and provide relief for first-timers and drive sales growth,” Vivas says.

The wildcard: Taxes and politics

When the Republican tax plan was introduced, the proposed elimination of the mortgage interest deduction was all anyone could talk about: While the new limitations on the deduction will affect only 2.5% of all existing mortgages in the U.S., it will have a disproportionate effect on Western markets, where 20% to 30% of mortgages are above the new threshold, according to Vivas.

Across the board, experts agree that the new tax plan decreases incentives for homeownership and reduces the tax benefits of owning a home—particularly in highly taxed, expensive markets such as California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. But on the flip side, that means that if fewer folks are motivated to buy, then there’s less competition for those who want in the game. Plus, some taxpayers—including renters—will see a tax cut. That increase in buyers’ disposable income could spur demand from folks who are looking to build equity as a homeowner, rather than flushing away their savings in rent.

“Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term—that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option,” Vivas says. “As people get more savings in their pocket, buying becomes the better option.”

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The Advantages of Selling Your Home Using a Real Estate Agent

Do you own a residential property that you are looking to sell? Have you searched for buyers around you? Have you seen that it is not so easy to close a real estate deal on your own? Most homeowners that try to sell their homes one their own end up selling their house for a lower price from the value that it deserves. It is important to take help from professionals to complete this process as they know the right tactics to close the sale with benefit.

You might have overlooked the importance of having real estate professionals for selling your home; but here are few essential advantages to hire them.

Priced Right

The house selling process takes a potential turn when it begins with a reasonable asking price. The real estate agent can help you to stay up to date about property price variations happening in the local market so that you can set a strong selling amount for closing potential deals. Also, to improve the value of your house, the realtor may suggest few repairs and improvements in the space. This significant contribution can help you to sell your home at a beneficial price.


The next important step for selling a house is a strong marketing plan. If you focus on the right market with a strong marketing strategy, you will find more buyers for your property and then it will become easier to close deals at a beneficial price. The expert real estate agents make use of multiple real estate listings along with cooperative marketing networks; they can help you to reach up to more people.


When properties are sold without real estate agent; they often face troubles on security criteria. You may find strangers at your doorstep and it is risky to let them enter inside to view your property. But when you hire real estate agents for your home selling process, buyers come from right channels. These experienced sellers will help you to get qualified prospects for your property to lead the process safely.

Expert Knowledge

An expert real estate agent can help you to evaluate buyer’s proposal as per market position. Homeowners often find it difficult to negotiate the price point with buyers due to lack of knowledge about market prices. An expert agent can stay with you from the beginning of the process until you sign the final sale agreement. He will fight the whole case on behalf of you and will bring the best value to your pocket.


The home selling process involves lots of paperwork and it must be done carefully. To complete everything safely, it is good to hire professional real estate agent as they know the right procedures to close the deal. They will handle all the paperwork for you without making any mistake and you will be able to get your money on time.

Learn more about C21 Lady of the Lakes Realtors and the numerous services they offer including: buying a new home, selling a home, or renting a home at  To contact one of our real estate agents call 734-426-6060 today.