Grassland Weekly Watch: 8/27/2020

August 27, 2020

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I’m starting a home renovation project, so I’m screenshotting looks and features that I love on Pinterest. 

As a Realtor, it’s taking everything in me to not just buy every move-in ready house that comes across my desk in my price range.

But honestly, it would be so much smarter of me to just move to another Grassland home. We could cash in on all the equity we’ve built in the past 5 years in our current home and upgrade to a bigger and more updated home with probably a similar (or smaller) mortgage payment because interest rates are still SOOOOOOO low right now. Not to mention buying-and-selling would only be a 4-to-6 week process. Who knows how loooong this home renovation will last and what a hassle it’s going to be living among it, plus all the money we will spend doing it. Moving may actually save us money – and will force some de-cluttering around here in the process!

I may have just talked myself into o u t of this home renovation.


Factors to Consider

There are so many “moving” parts right now in the Real Estate world, thanks to Covid19. It’s not the same market it was 3 months ago. And 3 months, ago, it was totally different from the 3 months before. Shoot, here in Grassland, things are changing weekly.

I’ve been intensely monitoring our market during Covid19. Here in Grassland, we’ve seen our home values increase dramatically when you compare prices year-over-year. Our median home sales price in July 2020 was $106,050 more than in July 2019! This increase has been largely driven by fewer homes on the market. Sellers got scared away by the Pandemic this spring, uncertain about whether there would be negative changes to their home values. But as you can see, their fear ended up being a huge help for the Sellers who did hit the market.

Realtor.com® reports the median list price for homes nationally rose 10.1% year-over-year in the week ending August 15th. “No one predicted such a dramatic increase compared with 2019—when the economy was strong, no one had heard of COVID-19 and social unrest hadn’t exploded.”

Aside from our home values constantly changing, Buyers are shifting their wants and needs in homes (and therefore your home’s marketability). Lending practices are tightening due to Covid19 ripple effects and Appraisals are more of a challenge for Sellers. There are also some “surprises” that are popping up during a lot of Real Estate transactions right now.

Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman says because of these dramatic shifts, Real Estate Agents — experts in your local area– are more important now than ever. “[Consumers] want the phone to do more for them but they need the partner,” Wacksman said. “They need the expert guide that’s done this hundreds of times, is going to get them through the process, and knows how to navigate the unexpected because the stakes are higher now.”


So What Does Our Grassland Market Look Like?

Right now, at 10am on Thursday morning, we have 38 existing (not new construction) homes on MLS.

Eleven of these homes are priced below $900,000. Can you imagine the success of Sellers right now with homes priced in the $400s, $500s and $600s? I can. I see it firsthand every day. Imagine the equity you could have for a down payment on your next home.

If you’re thinking of selling your home to upgrade, get in touch with your Lender to see what you would qualify for. You’ll also want to meet with a Realtor for an exact idea on the equity you could get from your home. You may be surprised at what “trading up” homes can get you around here! (If you don’t have a Lender, I can refer you to a few good ones.)


Are we in a Bubble that could burst soon?

You may have guessed – this run won’t last long. Just like the stock market saw the fastest bear-market plunge turn into the fastest bear-market recovery in US history, Home-Sellers’ confidence is growing along with the confidence of investors. And that means, if more Sellers hit the market, our prices could level out.

In Real Estate, we saw record-setting gains in existing home sales during June and July. (I’m betting we’ll be saying the same about August, too.) In fact, remember when I reported predictions during Stay-Home orders that we’d see a V-shaped Recovery in our market? Here’s what I meant by that:

See the “V” in this graph? This visual is put together by Real Estate information source, Keeping Current Matters, and reflects the amount of showings rebounding beyond Pre-Covid levels nationwide.

Our graph for rebounding home sales in Grassland would look very similar.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days.”

Furthermore, a report from Freddie Mac last week shows that for the seven-day period ending last Thursday, 30-year fixed rate mortgages have inched back up (emphasis on inched). They came in at 2.99, up from 2.96 the week prior.

All of these are indicators in predicting what’s next for our market. We may not be in a bubble right now.. and there may be no popping. But with more Sellers hitting the market and interest rates going back up, could there be a slow-down of our value increases? Absolutely.

Realtor.com weighed in on this, saying “Certain parts of the country could see price hikes slow down or flatten, or prices even come down—by just a little.”


My 2-Cents

Strike while the iron is hot! I don’t know that there will ever be another time where we’ll see our home values grow so much in such a short amount of time AND interest rates will be so low. If you already own a home right now, you are in the best position possible. You can cash in on equity AND purchase another home with more buying power since you’ll have a bigger down payment and record-low interest rates.

I personally don’t see our home prices dropping here in Grassland, though the rate of increase will likely slow down.

Maybe instead of screenshotting renovation ideas, I need to head back to the drawing board and look for a new home altogether!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, I’m happy to help you and give you honest advice. I’m a Grassland area resident and I’m a Platinum Award-winning Williamson County REALTOR® ranking in the top 2%. My business partner and I have been featured on TV and our success is the topic of an article in the July 2020 edition of Nashville Real Producers magazine. But most importantly, I specialize in helping my friends and neighbors buy and sell homes!