Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Home Owners Remodeling Trends

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that remodeling of kitchen and baths is on the rise.  According to a recent survey, home remodeling has seen an increase over 2010 (the last survey done by the NAHB).  Bathroom remodeling jobs have an edge over kitchen remodeling projects (perhaps because the cost of a kitchen remodel is generally greater than a bathroom remodel).

The trend of increased home remodeling can be attributed to many reasons.  Among our thoughts are:

(1) Homeowners are deciding to stay in their homes longer.  This decision means that rather than moving, homeowners are electing to stay in their current home and remodel it - give it a "face lift" - and enjoy living in their home.
There have been many reports of a lack of housing inventory in recent months. The California Association of Realtors reported that  "Housing inventory remains extremely tight throughout the state and at levels severely under normal market conditions"  (source: March home sales and price report).


(2) Homeowners are finding - or it's being recommended to them - that they update the look of their home before putting it on the market.  More and more home sellers are updating their home to help it compete in the real estate market.  This can mean more than just "home staging".  It can mean that replacing old-style construction elements will help in the sale of the home.  Buyers are looking for that sleek, updated look.  You can read our previous blog post here:  TV Shows Affect Real Estate

This survey is yet another indicator of today's real estate market climate.   You can read our previous blog post  --- Is NOW the right time to buy a home?   It's great if now is the right time for you to buy a home ... but there needs to be a home on the market to buy!

You can read the NAHB press release here:  Kitchens and Bathrooms Remain Top Remodeling Jobs According to NAHB Survey

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Is NOW the right time to buy a home?

Is it time to buy a home?
With continued uncertainty in the economy, we just have to ask ... is NOW the right time to buy a home?   The economists study the indicators, trends and graphs; "experts" make their predictions; and the consumer wonders what to believe.

If you are trying to decide if now is the right time for you to buy a home, consider these recent real estate-related news stories:

1.  Interest rates are at an all time low.  Read:  MSNBC: 30 year Mortgage Rates at record low

2.  Home prices have possibly hit the bottom.  Read:  CNN: Buying a home won't get much cheaper

3.  Consumer confidence is in positive territory globally.  Read: Consumer Confidence Gains as Taiwan, U.S. Rise in Nielsen Survey

4.  Job growth points to a pull-back in the economy.  Read: Bloomberg: Job Gains Trailing Forecasts Add to U.S. Slowdown Concern

5.  Do you value the investment advice of Warren Buffett?   Read: Warren Buffett on CNBC: I'd Buy Up 'A Couple Hundred Thousand' Single-Family Homes If I Could

6.  An investment analyst who was previously negative on the real estate market claims now is the time to get back into the real estate market.  Read:  Time to start buying houses again in U.S.: Pimco

7.  March home sales were up over last year.   Read: National Association of Realtors: March Pending Home Sales Rise, Market Recovering

8.  Housing affordability index hits record high.  Read:  National Association of Realtors: Housing Affordability Index Hits Record High

9. If you want to buy a home, can you buy a home? The ability to obtain financing is affecting the market and still remains a sticking point.  Read:  Los Angeles Times: Home loan demand rises, but credit standards remain tight

While no one can predict the future, and until time passes, we won't know if these real estate stories are wishful hype or educated predictions.  We feel there are more positive signals in the real estate market than we've seen in a number of years.