Wants vs Needs When Buying a Home – Learning the Difference

One of the first questions that a real estate agent will ask new buyers is, “What do you want in
your new home”? It might seem like an easy question to answer but identifying your “wants’
from your “needs” is an important aspect of home seeking.

Needs
A need is something that is truly essential to how you and your family live. For instance, if you
have a family of four, you truly can’t live in a studio-style apartment; bedrooms become a real
need in house hunting. By contrast, while having an acre of land would be nice, do you truly
have to have that much space in your yard?

Make a List
One way to focus your thought is to create a list of features and amenities that you would like
to have in a new home. Prioritize this list starting with the essential (need) first and work your
way down to the aspects that would be nice to have (want). Remember that you might live in
this home for a number of years, so consider how your family will grow over the next few
years and what needs might change.

Think about elements outside the house itself as well. Do you have school aged children, or
will you? The location of the home might be a need as well. Commute times, recreation and
services must also be included in the list of priorities.

Home hunting is exciting; make sure you include your needs in your search so you don’t get
distracted by a want instead.


Posted on August 1, 2018 at 5:32 am
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate |

Good Start Back to School

To give students every possible advantage, we are having a school supply drive for lower income Bellevue kids. Please consider purchasing some of these items (or a gift card and I will purchase the items) – I will even come to you and pick the items up!


Posted on July 24, 2018 at 9:58 am
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Uncategorized |

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home! | Simplifying The Market

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased by half a percentage point already in 2018 to around 4.5%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.


Posted on June 4, 2018 at 10:59 am
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Investment, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate |

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team?

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team? | Simplifying The Market

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team?

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market.

As the financial guru Dave Ramsey advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals they’ve worked with in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report:

Buyers from all generations primarily wanted their agent’s help to find the right home to purchase. Buyers were also looking for help to negotiate the terms of sale and to help with price negotiations.”Additionally, “Help understanding the purchase process was most beneficial to buyers 37 years and younger at 75 percent.”

Look for someone to invest in your family’s future with you. You want an agent who isn’t focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it.


Posted on April 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Buying a home, First Time Buyers, Investment, Luxury market, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Selling your home |

GREEN Homes Introduction

In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting many new features and information about Green Homes that I’ve learned from earning my National Association of Realtor’s GREEN designation.

Whether you want to improve the resale value of your home or are looking for a new, more resource-efficient property, a REALTOR® with NAR’s Green Designation
can help.

NAR Green Designees really know green. While considering updates to your home, I can help you understand the advantages of resource-efficient upgrades to existing homes, interpret the benefits of high performance features, select the best products and professionals, research information on improving resource use, and access a variety of credits, incentives, and programs designed to help you make your home more resource efficient.

Why use a GREEN Designee? (click the link to be taken to the Green Designee website with specialized answers for Buyers, Sellers, or Builders.


Posted on March 28, 2018 at 11:08 am
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Buying a home, Green homes, Investment, Move Up Buyers, New Construction, Real Estate, Remodel, Selling your home, Uncategorized |

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Simplifying The Market

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 675,000 US homeowners regained positive equity in their homes in 2017. This is great news for the country, as 95.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

U.S homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all the properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of $908.4 billion since the fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 12.2%, year over year.”

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation. The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.2 percent during 2017. The largest calendar-year increase since 2013. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years.”

He also believes this is a great sign for the market in 2018, saying:

“Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years.”  

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

A study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their homes as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 4.9% of homes are in that position (down from 6.3% in Q4 2016).

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%) when in actuality, 83% do!

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Simplifying The Market

This means that 46% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a house (either larger or smaller) that better meets their current needs.

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation!

 

 

 


Posted on March 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Active listing, Finance, Mortgage, Move Up Buyers, Real Estate, Selling your home |

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now's the Time! | Simplifying The Market

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.


Posted on March 19, 2018 at 9:38 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Luxury market, Move Up Buyers |

March Neighborhood Update


Neighborhood Update
from Ted Mansfield

LOCAL MARKET UPDATE

The local real estate market set new home price records in many parts of the region in February. Prices here have grown faster than anywhere else in the country for the last 16 months in a row. Demand remains high and inventory very low. Brokers are hoping the normal seasonal increase in listings this spring will help give buyers some relief.

Read the full Local Market Update, including statistics for the Eastside,Seattle, King County and Snohomish County.

  EASTSIDE

  


If you’d like information on your specific neighborhood, give me a call and I’ll be happy to send you a report.

See more over-the-top homes on our Pinterest board!

IN THE KNOW a few things I think you’ll like:

Ted Mansfield – Broker
Mobile: (425) 502-2201

Office: (425) 643-5500
If there is any additional information I can get you, please give me a call.   
– Ted
Windermere Real Estate East, Bellevue South, 14405 SE 36th St., Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98006

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Uncategorized |

Spring Forward March 11th

 

When do clocks spring forward?

 

Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 a.m. change your clocks to 3:00 a.m.

 

Spring is almost upon us, meaning longer days and more sunlight. It also means the start of Daylight Saving Time – when nearly all of the U.S. will collectively set their clocks ahead an hour, causing us to lose an hour of sleep.

Though your cellphones and smart devices should change automatically, don’t forget to turn those manual bedside alarm clocks forward, or you could risk oversleeping and being late the next day.

 

 

 


Posted on March 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Household tips |

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | Simplifying The Market

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

 

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | Simplifying The Market

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to 1.52 million homes available for sale.
  • Unsold inventory is 9.5% lower than a year ago, marking the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines.
  • This represents a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisisthat is weighing on affordability.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.

“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right noware becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.


Posted on February 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm
Ted Mansfield | Posted in Uncategorized |