The Housing Market Will “Spring Forward” This Year!

Share-KCM

Just like our clocks on Saturday night, March 10th that have to be moved forward one hour (ugh, I HATE losing an hour of precious sleep!), the housing market will soon “spring forward!” tooIf you envision how there’s tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market in a similar way.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest.  Traditionally, they would have been right, because Buyer demand does have a “seasonality” to it. Usually, it falls off in the winter months and reappears with the time change and the warmer temperatures.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an extremely affordable monthly payment. And there are lots of buyers who are increasingly jumping into the market to secure a lower rate. So, sellers who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.

Bottom Line

So what does all this mean for you?? Well, if you’re planning on selling your house in 2019, get in touch with me for more money for you. Hope to hear from you soon!

2019 Spring Forward

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale | MyKCM

One of the biggest challenges for my sellers when we discuss listing their house is decluttering. It is so important to do though, because cleaning out some of the more personal decorating choices allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the home and makes them more likely to fall in love with it!

Marie Kondo, the inventor of the KonMari Method of Tidying Up, has become the newest, hottest guru in the “organizational world” and her decluttering process gained enormous popularity with her new Netflix series. She gives some great tips for sorting through years of accumulated possessions that we all collect in our homes.

“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

Can we all just take a moment and acknowledge the “thank them for their service” part of the process?? Love that!  And really, when you subjectively look at all of your belongings, you can pretty quickly identify the ones that mean the most to you. Not only will you increase space for more joy-bringing items in your new home, but you will also have a much easier time packing remaining belongings!

“Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”

As I tell my sellers, first impressions matter so much when you’re selling your house – buyers don’t come back or make offers on homes that don’t WOW them. This is why making the most of the spaces in your house is so important.  This is also why part of my selling services for clients includes complimentary professional staging – I hire a professional stager to work in the house (usually for two or three hours) to situate furniture and items in the home. This allows the things in the home to highlight the home itself, to enhance the home, and not to be a distraction to buyers.

Blog Post 02262019

Then the professional photographer comes and takes fabulous photos so that the home really shines online.  My advice to sellers is also that the way you stage a home is not for living, it’s for selling…it’s a way to look at your house with fresh eyes, as well as to begin emotionally distancing yourself from it being a “home” to it being a “house”.

There’s one other important piece to this too…when you sort through your more sentimental items, you can go ahead and pack them away to ensure that you know where they all are. That way, they are safe during the staging process and during showing appointments. This will also cut down on the amount of packing you have to do right before you sign the closing papers and make the actual move!

Bottom Line

Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one, downsizing, or moving in with family, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. Proven Strategy for Home SellingThis will not only help cut down on the items you move, but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home! And always consider professional staging when you’re selling – or better yet, just call me and I’ll provide fabulous real estate AND staging services FOR you.  Email me at HeatherSims@Ebby.com, call me at 214-549-7978, send me a carrier pigeon (sorry, no link for that) and let’s discuss my proven strategy for home selling!

Your House Should Be Like Bacon!

8579924_pdf__page_1_of_2_

Your house really should be like bacon, it’s as simple as that. How should it be like bacon?? You might be wondering.  Well, your home should make everything better. It should be your refuge and comfort at the beginning and end of every day, it should be where the people (and/or pets) you love are, it should be where you most LOVE to be.

If you’ve fallen out of love with your current home – or current situation in an apartment or rental – consider this…the market is still really good for both home sellers and home buyers. There may not be the frenzied level of selling that there was in the previous 2 or 3 years (like one of those crazy meat market singles bars!), but the market is strong.

Houses are only staying on market for an average of 30 days prior to contracting, and actually my stats are lower!  I think because of the professional staging and photography that I provide, plus proper market pricing, my listings do go under contract faster than the norm.

So, here’s the bottom line: if your house isn’t like bacon…if it doesn’t make everything better and you don’t LOVE it anymore, don’t take your chances on Realtor.com or some other random home-dating website. Nobody finds The One on those! Let me help you fall in LOVE with another home that’s a better fit, I bet I can find you your perfect match!

PLUS I can help you get your current home sold so that you can put that all equity (that you gained over the past few years that prices increased exponentially) to work for you in a home that works better for you.

Call me, I’ll be waiting by the phone like a lovesick teenager! Well, not really, but it seemed to fit in with this theme! 😉

-Heather Kinder Sims

5 Ways to Warm Your Home for Less

2733-mayhew-dr-dallas-tx-1-high-res-8

Fabulous fireplace from my listing at 2733 Mayhew is a great combination of function and design – it heats up the home and looks cool at the same time.

OK, I know we’re in Texas, but with the brutally cold weather that’s come through in the past couple of days, plus the cold blasting the northern United States, I thought it was appropriate to talk about the best ways to heat your home.  Just like the heat of the summer can stretch your wallet with high AC bills, cold weather can test your home’s efficiency and, sometimes, significantly impact your wallet. Instead of having to pay those higher energy bills, try these six tips to stay warm this winter!

Set It Right

Programming your thermostat to let the temperature drop a bit while you’re away and heat up when you return is an easy way to save big on heating bills.

Let the Light Shine

Draw back curtains and blinds during the day to allow the sun to come in. A sunny day, even a cold one, will heat up rooms a few degrees.

1812_trend_8

Light My Fire

A fireplace doesn’t have to just sit there and look good, it can actually be useful in heating up a home too. For gas fireplaces, turn the gas as low as you can while still getting the maximum amount of heat; that’ll give you the most heat (or bang) for your buck.

1901_hd_fireplaces_10

Flip the Switch

Ceiling fans don’t necessarily need to be off during colder months. If you flip the directional switch on your fan and choose a low speed, it will push the naturally rising hot air in your home back down.

Mind the Gap

(Can you hear the English accent as you read that?!) Check windows and doors for cracks, gaps, and openings. Replace weatherstripping around doors, replace broken glass on windows, repair cracked window and door frames, and caulk (it’s like duct tape, it’s good for everything!) where necessary.

Closing

(That is most realtors’ favorite word!) If you spend more time in some rooms than others, simply close doors to trap the heat. Additionally, if there are rooms you don’t use, shut doors and vents to redirect heat.

Are you finding that you may want to change the entire environment of your home by selling and buying a new one?! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 🙂

Etiquette For Home Sellers

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019 being your best year ever!  I thought I’d start off the year with a blog about home selling, hope you enjoy it.

If you’ve contemplated listing your home for sale and you’ve watched any kind of HGTV show, you probably already know that your house needs to be cleaned and staged as if Architectural Digest were stopping by for a photo shoot. But, the house itself isn’t the only thing under scrutiny…you are, too. No matter how nice your house is, you are an important factor in affecting how potential buyers feel about making an offer.

Here are a few etiquette “rules” that I share with home sellers…following these are the best way to show, and ultimately sell, a house.

Leave the home during showings or an open house – This is the #1 most important rule. Prospective buyers and their agent will appreciate the freedom to view the home without having to censor their thoughts and feelings because they’re worried about what the seller might hear). If a seller works from home, the best thing to do is just step outside for a little while – go for a short drive, walk the dog, grab a Starbucks, anything, just make yourself scarce for a period of time enough for buyers to make themselves at home.

Take your pets with you (or crate them if that’s the only option) – Ideally, pets should be removed from the house. If that’s just not possible, corralling the pet is important and is a good secondary option.  If coralling is the choice, a crate is best or a relatively insignificant spot in the home can be used. Bottom line is that not everyone will like your pet (gasp!) – some may be intimidated by animals and actually you never really can be 100% sure how your pet will act if they’re left out to wander around the house with strangers.

Move your car – This is primarily for curb appeal, and is especially important for cars that park on the street in front of the house. Also, a vacant garage look more spacious, too.

Be polite but don’t get into conversation – If you happen to run into buyers and agents, be nice but don’t get into detailed conversations about the house. For example, asking about what buyers thought about your house puts them on the spot, and the last thing you want is for a buyer to be uncomfortable in your house. Also, you never know if something you offhandedly say might make an interested buyer rethink how much they really like the house.

Be willing to negotiate – Everyone wants top dollar for their home, but an unwillingness to negotiate may inhibit a possible sale and keep your home on the market long after you hoped it would be sold. And remember, most of the time, the first offer is the best!

Selling a home can be complicated, but I am here to help you every step of the way!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Do Kids’ Opinions Matter When Buying a Home?

STM-Share

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and released by SunTrust Mortgage found that “55% of homeowners with a child under the age of 18 at the time when they purchased their home said that the opinion of their offspring played a major role in their home buying decision.”

When the results were broken down by the parent’s age, millennials (those 18-36) led the way with 74% of homeowners saying that their child’s opinion was a factor in choosing which home to buy. Eighty-three percent of renters believe that their child’s opinion would be a deciding factor when looking to purchase a home.

So what features in a home are most important to kids?

Parents Say Kids’ Opinions Matter Big When Buying a Home | MyKCM

Coming in at 57%, it should come as no surprise that gaining their own bedrooms was the top most-desirable feature of any home for kids, followed by a large backyard to play in at 34%.

Todd Chamberlain, Head of Mortgage Banking at SunTrust explained the reasoning behind the survey,

“As a parent of two kids, I know from experience that including children in the home buying process is not only fun for the whole family, but also educational for our homebuyers of tomorrow.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, make sure to highlight all the kid-friendly features your home has to offer so that you can sway the real decision makers – the kids!

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

20180924-Share-STM

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.

DID YOU KNOW?

FINDING A HOME IS EASIER THAN EVER!

Search (1)

It’s now easier than ever to find a home, thanks to the Ebby Halliday Companies. The firm’s websites, ebby.com, daveperrymiller.com and williamstrew.com as well as my personal website www.heatherkindersims.com provide these popular search features:

Proximity Search – finds homes for sale within your selected distance of a specific location or landmark.

Map Search – you can use the polygon tool to draw the boundaries of your unique search and display every home listed for sale within that area.

School Search – locate a home within the attendance area of a school district or even a particular school.

Open House tour – create your own custom open house tour complete with routes and driving directions.

Advanced Search – allows you to add specific features: pool, media room, etc. Or, you can search for homes that have been reduced in price.

For even more options, visit my website at www.heatherkindersims.com and click on the tab “Find a Home” or just contact me if you need any help!

FALL HOUSING MARKET

fall_foliage

Much like the ever-changing Texas weather, the Dallas-Fort Worth and N. Texas residential real estate market is beginning to cool off, with home sales down slightly from last year and prices growing at a somewhat slower pace.

Home sales in North Texas last month were down 13% from September 2017, while the average sale price increased by approximately 4%.

In June, July and August of this year, traditionally some of the hotter months for home sales, real estate agents sold slightly fewer homes than they did in the summer of 2017, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

“In general, there is a slowdown, and while short supply remains a major headwind, demand is basically still good”, according to James Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center. Paige Shipp, with housing analyst Metro Study noted that the slowdown in home sales comes after a “long period of record sales and huge home price increases in North Texas. Median home resale prices in the area have increased almost 50% in the last five years.”

In September there was a 3.3 months’ supply of homes on the market, up 6.5% from September 2017, but still considered a “tight market”. The average time it took to sell a home was 43 days, up about 5% from September 2017. It should be noted that the market is still pretty aggressive, with mortgage rates remaining historically low for buyers and with not much competition for sellers – both sides can win in this market. 🙂

For more info on the current real estate market, or how you as a buyer or seller might benefit in a changing market, holler at me anytime at 214-549-7978 or email me at heathersims@ebby.com. Would love to hear from you!

Heather

 

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling

2018100-Share-STM

When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey (can you see me with my hand up in the air saying “pick me, pick me!”?) are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.72% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be over 5% by this time next year.

Inventory

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 4.3-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 78 straight months.

The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last three months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, in June, July, and August, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

This is a trend to watch as we move further into the fall and winter months. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. I’m ready when you are!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Uncomplicated.Life

A story of inspiration

Bible Tracts

Dispatches from the edge of empire

Cynthia and Diego Lopez, Ebby Halliday 190

LIVE • PLAY • GROW • D.FW metro

Skinny Meg

What You Want To Know About Real Estate!

Dallas Homes Blog - Heather Kinder Sims

What You Want To Know About Real Estate!

Texas Real Estate Blog

What You Want To Know About Real Estate!

Social Triggers

What You Want To Know About Real Estate!