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July
5

House Hunting Tips

Finding the perfect home is a challenging endeavor under normal circumstances, but searching for a home in a different city or state might seem impossible. Coordinating the purchase of a lifetime from several hundred miles away can seem like a daunting task.

While long-distance house hunting can pose challenges, our real estate agents want you to know that it's not as difficult as it seems. In today's world, with easily accessible online listings and the ability to conduct virtual tours, it's actually never been easier. Here are some tips on how to make your long-distance home search a success:

Click Here to Read More...

February
22

Homebuyers looking to move to Dallas from other regions last year, especially from California and the west coast, were willing to pay 10.6% more than locals, new research finds.  People looking to move to Dallas are willing to pay an average maximum budget of $701,760, while locals are willing to pay up to an average of $634,465, according to a recent report from Redfin.   The company compiled the average maximum list price filters for homes in the saved home searches of its users. The analysis includes cities with at least 3,000 home searchers from inside the metro and 3,000 from outside the metro last year.

North Texas suburbs Plano and Frisco are prime examples of out of state transfreees willing to pay more.  Plano's average maximum for migrants was $695,729 and the average maximum was locals was $646,383 for a difference of 7.6% more. Frisco had an average maximum for migrants of $784,688 and the average maximum for locals was $802,154 for a difference of 2.2% less.

States without income taxes such as Texas and Tennessee are seeing many transplants from California who see that as a deal, said Redfin.   "People moving from the West Coast will pay way over asking price without batting an eye," Geyer said. "It's really hard for locals to compete right now, and it can be devastating for first-time buyers who aren't able to offset high prices by selling a home before they buy a new one."   The number one out of state buyer into Dallas-Fort Worth is from the Los Angeles suburbs.

  • Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2022
February
6

Rates are rising, inventory remains historically low and prices are sky high. Is a buyer's market on the horizon? Even as forecasters predict an uptick in homes hitting the market early this year, the most homes under construction since before the Great Recession, and more buyers to be priced out due to already high prices and rising mortgage rates, economists told Inman they don't foresee a return to what has traditionally been known as a buyer's market any time soon.  Sellers remain in the driver's seat, and economists told Inman the country still has a long way to go to settle into potentially new ways of thinking about just what is a normal housing market in the modern age.  So while December 2021 saw more new homes hit the market than at any other time, the country is working its way through a supply backlog that is helping to keep sellers in control.  If you look at demographics, you can say that the current level of construction is pretty close to normal. But what that doesn't tell you is how much behind that total supply is.   "It's still going to take a really, really long time to make up for the last 15 years of a lack of supply coming in," said Nicole Bachaud, economist for Zillow.

  • Inman News, February 1, 2022
January
24

Rising mortgage rates and last-year's record-breaking runup in home prices are expected to price many would-be homebuyers out of the market this year, denting sales of existing homes but bringing home price appreciation back down to more sustainable levels, Fannie Mae economists say.

"We expect the narrative around housing this year to shift from one of extremely limited inventories leading to hypercompetitive bidding wars to one in which increasingly more would-be homebuyers are priced out of the market," Fannie Mae economists said in commentary accompanying their latest monthly forecast.

New and existing home sales

Source: Fannie Mae Economic and Housing Outlook, January 2022.

Fannie Mae economists see sales of existing homes falling by 3.2 percent this year, to 5.945 million, which would still be the second-best year since 2006. Sales of new homes are projected to grow by 14.9 percent, to 885,000, as builders start putting homes now under construction on the market. Even with the projected increase in new home sales, total home sales are expected to fall from 6.91 million in 2021 to 6.83 million this year.

But that forecast could prove to be overly optimistic, Fannie Mae economists warn, if mortgage rates continue to rise as the Federal Reserve winds down its purchases of government debt and mortgages and starts raising short-term interest rates.

"The Fed has accelerated the pace at which it intends to reduce monetary accommodation, as inflation appears more resilient than initially expected," said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan, in a statement. "Currently, we expect inflation to run above the Fed's two-percent target through 2023, and for the Fed to respond by tightening over that period. The resultant rise in interest rates will likely put additional stress on housing affordability measures vis-à-vis higher mortgage rates for consumers and the continued, though decelerating, rise in home prices."

The Fed is in the process of winding down an emergency program implemented during the pandemic, in which it was purchasing $120 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities every month to keep interest rates low. When it's done tapering, Fannie Mae economists expect the Fed to start raising the short-term federal funds rate in March, and implement three rate increases this year.

Fannie Mae and MBA mortgage rate forecasts

Fannie Mae economists project mortgage rates will rise only gradually, hitting 3.4 percent by the end of this year before leveling off at 3.5 percent in 2023. Economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association are predicting a more abrupt rise in rates, to 4 percent by the end of 2022 and 4.3 percent next year.

But both projections were made before minutes of the Fed's December meeting were released, which revealed that after tapering its asset purchases, the Fed was contemplating shrinking its balance sheet.

That news prompted a runup in 10-year Treasurys and mortgage rates, which pose an "upside risk to our published interest rate forecast," Fannie Mae economists said. Based on more recent data, Fannie Mae estimates that mortgage rates could go up by two-tenths of a percentage point more than currently forecast.

The latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 3.64 percent during the week ending January 14. The Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices, which track daily changes in mortgage rates, show rates on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages hit 3.78 percent on Tuesday.

Looking at recent history, a 100-basis point change in the 30-year mortgage rate over the course of a year can dent home sales by 8 percent, with a one-to-two quarter time lag, Fannie Mae economists noted. "As such, we could expect home sales to be about 1 to 2 percent lower than our published forecast over this next year if the recent rate increase holds."

However, the same forces pushing interest rates higher — consumer and investor confidence in continued economic growth — could also support home purchases, "partially mitigating any negative effects on sales from higher rates," Fannie Mae economists said. But if interest rates are readjusting "due to new expectations over long-run inflation or a shift in monetary policy, then the effect could be larger. Our next forecast will of course incorporate formally any recent interest rate changes."

The forecast assumes that in the near term, the Omicron surge "will have only modest and temporary economic impacts. The severity of the variant appears to be lesser than prior waves, and most high frequency economic indicators suggest a smaller change in consumer behavior compared to the 2020-2021 winter wave of COVID."

Annual home price appreciation, by quarter

Source: Fannie Mae Economic and Housing Outlook, January 2022.

Fannie Mae economists expect that national home price growth "will remain strong but decelerate" in 2022, and that worsening affordability will slow home price growth from a peak of 18.5 percent during the third quarter of 2021, to 7.6 percent by the end of the year.

"Our expectation of 7.6 percent growth in 2022 is still considerably higher than the average pace of 5.4 from 2012 to 2019," Fannie Mae economists said. "However, this represents a large deceleration from 2021's expected record house price growth of 17.3 percent."

Fannie Mae economists are keeping a close eye on recent increases in the average back-end debt-to-income (DTI) ratios of borrowers, particularly for first-time homebuyers, as an indicator of growing affordability issues.

"This measure is likely soon to meet or eclipse the recent high recorded in 2018, which precipitated a notable slowing in home sales following a rise in mortgage rates," they said. "For now, there appears to be ample prospective homebuyers engaging in bids to facilitate sales even as some drop out of the market completely, but the amount will likely lessen as the year unfolds."

However, Fannie Mae economists see a risk that some metro areas "have overheated and will experience at least modest price declines over the next year or two," singling out Boise City and Austin as examples "where there may be declines."

Mortgage refinancing and purchase loan originations by year

Source: Fannie Mae Economic and Housing Outlook, January 2022.

While a modest dip in home sales is expected this year, Fannie Mae economists see rising home prices driving a 10 percent increase in purchase mortgage originations, which are projected to hit $2.049 trillion this year. But rising mortgage rates are expected to gut the pandemic-fueled refinancing boom, with refi originations falling by 50 percent, to $1.289 trillion.

But if recent increases in mortgage rates hold, Fannie Mae economists say purchase mortgage volumes could be $33 billion lower in 2022 than they're currently forecasting, and that 2022 refinance volumes could be about 10 to 15 percent lower than forecasted.

  • Inman, January 19th, 2022
November
8

Real Estate Myths

Today's real estate market remains hot, hot, hot, with sellers enjoying high prices, while buyers are facing a highly competitive market that has made it difficult for some to land the home they're longing for. This is especially true for those selling homes in Dallas/Fort Worth or shopping for Dallas homes for sale and Fort Worth homes for sale

It's easy to get distracted during the buying or selling process by certain widespread real estate myths. Our real estate agents help many families in the area find their dream home and advise them to not fall for misconceptions they might hear from well-meaning friends and family members.

Click Here to Read More...

September
17

The average DFW home down payment is now $40,000

With home prices soaring, buyers must spend more up front to put a roof over their heads.  Dallas-Fort Worth-area homebuyers on average are forking over almost $40,000 in down payments when they purchase a property, according to a study by LendingTree.  That's an all-time high, but D-FW down payments are less than the $46,283 nationwide average in the 50 largest metro areas.  "While there are signs that the housing market is beginning to cool somewhat, home prices are still significantly higher in many parts of the U.S. than they were before the coronavirus pandemic," LendingTree's Jacob Channel said in the report. "One of the side effects of these higher home prices is higher down payments."  "If you are a first-time homebuyer, that means the nest egg you need to save up is basically 16% larger than it was a year ago because home prices have gone up," said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic's chief economist. "The first-time homebuyers are having sticker shock right now.  "That's why we are seeing in some of the latest statistics maybe there's a bit of a slowdown in homebuying toward the end of the summer."

Dallas Morning News, September 8, 2021

October
26

Questions During Video Tour - Home for Sale - RE/MAX DFW Associates

If you're interested in buying a home, you may live in another city and find it difficult to travel to see each house you're interested in. Or perhaps you'd simply like to save some time and rule some houses in or out without seeing them in person. That's why video tours of homes for sale are becoming more and more popular with prospective homebuyers.

Our real estate agents suggest that you ask your REALTOR the following questions during a video tour:

  • Do you notice any indoor or outside odors?
    Your agent should be able to tell you if there are any unusual or unpleasant smells in the home, including those associated with pets, sewage, or a musty odor. Outside smells are also important to note so you can make sure the home isn't located near a garbage dump, paper mill, or other industrial site.

    Click Here to Read More...

July
13

Buy a House Sight Unseen - RE/MAX DFW Associates

If you're looking to move to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, house hunting can be complicated by the commute to open houses and other viewings. If you spot a particularly appealing choice among the Dallas homes for sale, you may consider making an offer before you're able to tour the house in person. This option has its risks, but with some caution, making an offer before you have a chance to see the house in real life can pay off. 

  • Take A New Look 
    Making an offer sight unseen is much less literal than it used to be. With services such as Facetime, Zoom, and Skype, it's possible to take a virtual tour. A seller may arrange for a virtual open house to show off their home to potential buyers, or you may ask for a personal virtual viewing. Low-tech options include hiring a home inspector or even a trusted friend to tour the property and take notes. Our real estate agents will be happy to facilitate a viewing that meets the needs of buyers and sellers alike.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
17

Buy a Home - Beat the Odds - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Buying a home for the first time can feel like an overwhelming experience. The walkthroughs, loan applications, and negotiations are only made more difficult when your offer is denied by a seller who chooses another buyer. Our real estate agents are also discouraged when a great offer goes unaccepted. Although a normal part of this process is to feel like the odds are stacked against you, remember that it's only a matter of time until you're handed the keys to your dream home.

Why First Time Homeowners are Faced with Unfavorable Odds

As each generation gets older, many men and women hope to purchase their first home early in adulthood. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that could prevent potential homebuyers from the home of their dreams. Some of the common hurdles first-time buyers struggle to overcome include:

Click Here to Read More...

January
20

Real Estate Agent Help - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Our real estate agents are always working hard to connect our clients with the best Dallas homes for sale. Many clients, especially first-time buyers, are surprised by all we can do for them. A real estate agent is your guide through the whole home-buying process. If there's a question we don't know the answer to, we know where to find it! We strive to be our clients' top resource.

But agents don't just answer questions: They're also there to solve problems. No matter what comes up, a good agent will equip you with the knowledge and options to make a sound decision. Sometimes, the process of buying a house is smooth and easy. Most of the time, though, there are tricky choices to be made at one point or another. Your agent simplifies the issues.

Click Here to Read More...

November
18

Short-Term Rentals - Hosting Tourists - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Dallas homes for sale are some of the most desirable around. It's no surprise many people enjoy seeing them up close – both to buy and to stay a while! Our real estate agents have noticed a trend: Newly-sold Dallas homes are becoming popular Airbnb destinations.

Airbnb equips homeowners to provide short-term lodging for travelers – from a day to a few months. It maintains an online, mobile-friendly platform where homeowners list properties and visitors view them. Once a booking is made, Airbnb notifies both parties. The company takes a portion of the proceeds; the rest goes to the homeowner.

Listing on Airbnb can be a terrific way to generate income from almost any Dallas home. If you choose, you can make hundreds or even thousands monthly, even while still living on the property. But making money with Airbnb isn't quite as easy as downloading an app. Here's how to decide whether it's the right move for you.

Click Here to Read More...

October
21

Bridge Loans - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Buying or selling a home can be a stressful situation, but buying and selling a home simultaneously can get downright terrifying if you're not ready for the transition. Fortunately, there are some ways to help ease the burden of buying and selling at the same time, and the primary method is by way of a bridge loan.  

Just like it sounds, a bridge loan helps bridge the gap between selling your current home and buying another. Our real estate agents are familiar with the challenges you face when trying to sell your existing home and purchase a new home, so we've put together this guide on how to bridge the gap.

  • How Does a Bridge Loan Work?
    Bridge loans are meant to be short-term solutions to help you purchase your new home. Generally speaking, you can borrow up to 80% of the combined value of the two homes. The 20% gap will need to be made up with equity in your current home or cash. Unless you've got a substantial amount in liquidity, you're probably banking on having a good deal of equity in your current home.

    Click Here to Read More...

October
18

Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections.  "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins."   Worries about a recession may also impact the home market.  "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com.  "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that."   However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding.  "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019

 

October
17

The number of homes listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents has risen by about 15% this year. But they aren't in the price range most buyers want.  "The inventory is increasing at the upper end — $750,000 and above," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. "If you have a well-located $300,000 house, you can sell it tomorrow. We are seeing evidence of price fatigue in the market."  D-FW home prices are up only about 3% so far in 2019 — nothing like the double-digit percentage home price gains of a couple of years ago.  "The recent spike in mortgage rates did expose how price sensitive the market is," said Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. "Things are not quite as rosy as they seem in terms of what people can afford."  Many home sellers haven't gotten the message, she said. "They want to list their house for more than their neighbors sold for and sell it overnight."  D-FW has an undersupply of homes priced below $250.000.

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019
September
23

Multi-Generational Living - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Life never stands still, and the single-family home occupied by the nuclear family unit doesn't work for everyone. There's a rising demand for multi-generation homes as younger adults stay at home longer, and families come together to take care of parents and grandparents in their retirement years. Today our real estate agents are providing you with all the information you need to decide if multi-generational living is right for your family.

What Is Multi-Generational Living? 

We're seeing a rising trend of multi-generational living spaces in our inventory of Dallas homes for sale, and it isn't surprising given the recent trends. Close to 25% of families are currently or have recently shared a multi-generational living arrangement. These are often younger couples starting families while still living at home with parents. In some cases, grandparents return to live with their children after the grandchildren have grown up and moved away. This can be in one large home or in multiple structures on the same property, such as the ever-popular "mother-in-law" suite.

Click Here to Read More...

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