Real Estate News 2/5/19

REAL ESTATE NEWS
 After an inspector has finished a home report, buyers may feel overwhelmed by any flaws that might have been found. That’s why it’s important they take the opportunity to learn more so that they can move forward confidently in the transaction. Realtor.com® recommends home buyers ask their inspector clarifying questions like: “I don’t understand this; what does it mean?” or “Is this a major or minor problem?” and “Do I need to call in another expert for a follow-up?” Home inspectors are bound to uncover something in a home; no home is perfect. But the majority of the problems they uncover will likely be minor. “The inspector can't tell you, ‘Make sure the seller pays for this,’ so be sure you understand what needs to be done,” Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told realtor.com®. If the inspector identifies a potentially major problem, consumers will want to follow up whether they should call an additional expert in to investigate further. For example, consumers may need to bring in an electrician to take a closer look at potential electrical issues that were flagged or a roofer if a roofing problem is suspected. Those specialists can then give an idea of the cost to fix it, which the real estate agent can take to the seller to request a concession, if the seller doesn’t want to fix it prior to the sale. Also, Lesh says that the list of items a home inspector identifies are issues the new buyer may need to address as soon as they move in. He says it’s like a “to-do list” for those items that did not get repaired by the seller prior to the sale. Source: realtor.com® 

In 2018, the total value of the U.S. housing market increased $1.9 trillion, propelling its value to a whopping $33.3 trillion, according to new data from Zillow. Zillow highlights that this 6.2% increase is up $10.9 billion from 2012, when the housing market crashed. In a press release, Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas said, seen from the rearview mirror, 2018 was a year of unusually strong, stable home value growth across the country, but cracks in the foundation are clearly starting to emerge. “During the second half of the year, appreciation slowed sharply in the priciest corners of the country while it picked up in affordable hotspots,” Terrazas said. “Periods of stability often precede periods of instability, and the outlook for 2019 is certainly both cloudier and blurrier than the outlook a year ago.” “Housing wealth may have touched new highs this year, but home value gains don't translate into dollars in the bank account unless homeowners opt to sell or borrow against their home and, in contrast to previous housing booms, many Americans have been more reluctant in recent years to spend against their home's worth," Terrazas said. Source: HousingWire

The dynamics of the housing market, which had grown over the past few years fueled by high demand, limited inventory, and low interest rates, shifted gears by the end of 2018, according to a study by Trulia that looked at how last year shaped the 2019 outlook of homebuyers, sellers, and renters. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the U.S. revealed that while Americans still dream of owning a home, the dream was getting more distant for younger adults who made up the biggest chunk of first-time buyers. Home sellers were also less optimistic as home price appreciation slows. The study showed that 19 percent of those surveyed said they would purchase a home next year, up from 16 percent a year ago, while 60 percent said they planned to wait until after 2020 to buy a home. Among home sellers, 29 percent said they believed 2019 would be a better year to sell than 2018, compared to 21 percent who said next year would be worse than 2018. As to what would be a key factor to hold back homebuyers this year, the study listed money as a key challenge for would-be homeowners. Nearly all (92 percent) of the U.S. renters surveyed said that while they wished to buy, they perceived barriers in homeownership related to personal finances. Source: DS News 

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