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What’s Motivating People To Move Right Now?

So, what’s motivating people to move right now? Well, that’s a loaded question! Okay, so this year, Americans are moving for a variety of reasons. The health crisis has truly reshaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending so much more time in our current homes has driven many people to reconsider what homeownership means and what they find most valuable in their living spaces.

According to the 2020 Annual National Movers Study:

“For customers who cited COVID-19 as an influence on their move in 2020, the top reasons associated with COVID-19 were concerns for personal and family health and wellbeing (60%); desires to be closer to family (59%); 57% moved due to changes in employment status or work arrangement (including the ability to work remotely); and 53% desired a lifestyle change or improvement of quality of life.”

With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves right now.

1. Working from Home

Remote work became the new norm, and for some, it’s persisting longer than initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live so close to the office anymore and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Apartment Listnotes:

“The COVID pandemic has sparked a rebound in residential migration: survey data suggest that 16 percent of American workers moved between April 2020 and April 2021, up from 14 percent in 2019 and the first increase in migration in over a decade… One of the major drivers in this trend is remote work, which expanded greatly in response to COVID and will remain prevalent even after the pandemic wanes. No longer tethered to a physical job site, remote workers were 53 percent more likely to move this past year than on-site workers.”

If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work very challenging.

2. Room for Fitness & Activities

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans, and dreams of having space for a home gym are growing stronger. A recent survey of 4,538 active adults from 122 countries noted the three fastest-growing fitness trends amongst active adults:

  • At-home fitness equipment (up 50%)
  • Personal trainers/nutritionists (up 48%)
  • Online fitness courses, classes, and subscriptions (up 17%)

Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – physically and mentally – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts, hobbies, and activities for your household.

3. Outdoor Space

Better Homes & Gardens recently released the outdoor living trends for this year, and three of them are:

  • Outdoor Kitchens: 60% of homeowners are looking to add outdoor kitchens.
  • Edible Garden: Millions of people began gardening during the pandemic . . . to supplement pantries with homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Secluded Spaces: As outdoor activity increases, so does the need for privacy.

You may not, however, currently have the space you need for these designated areas – inside or out.

Bottom Line

If you’re clamoring for more room to accommodate your changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need it most.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Everything You Need to Know About HOAs — Are They Worth It?

Everything you want to know about HOAs in Northern Virginia!

An HOA is an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium building that makes and enforces rules for the property and its residents. By purchasing a home within the HOA’s designated area, you are automatically members of that HOA. If you purchase a home within an HOA, you are automatically required to pay the dues required by the HOA and the community where you purchase a home.

Some associations may be more restrictive than others about what you can do in the community and what you can’t do when you reside within the community.

What Are Typical HOA Fees in the Northern Virginia Area?

HOA fees throughout Northern Virginia will vary based on the type of home you choose to live in. However, HOA fees are usually far lower than condominium fees, making the fees that you pay in exchange for the services you receive relatively minimal. HOA fees are usually paid monthly or quarterly, with some association boards passing and requiring an additional monthly or annual payment to cover emergency repairs or disaster funds.

Sometimes, you can expect a small increase in HOA fees from year to year, but these increases are usually quite small.

Most community HOAs in the Northern Virginia area will run between $200 and $400 per month. However, some luxury communities in the area with HOA fees as high as $1,000 to $10,000 per month.

What are the Pros & Cons of HOAs?

There are both good and bad sides to living in a community with an HOA. In the end, a lot of it will come down to lifestyle when you determine if a community with an HOA is right for you. The key is to understand the rules of the community before you purchase a property there to ensure that you can abide by the rules set forth by the HOA.

The following are some pros and cons to consider when purchasing a home within an HOA:

Pros of an HOA

  • The following are the pros of living in a home where there is an HOA:
  • They set and enforce a set of community rules for all residents
  • HOAs can help protect the values of properties within the community
  • The HOA can provide services, amenities, and facilities for residents to use
  • The HOA offers the ability for homeowners to participate in self-governance
  • These are some plus sides of having an HOA in place, as they can help keep your community a desirable place to live and keep your property values rising.

Cons of an HOA

  • There are also some cons to living in a home where there is an HOA:
  • There are set fees, dues, and assessment fees that homeowners must pay
  • The HOA imposes a set of restrictive regulations
  • Some HOAs may operate inefficiently which can make life challenging for residents
  • Sometimes HOAs are managed in a childish or inept way

For people who are uninterested in paying the dues, fees, and assessments required, or wish not to have any restriction placed on them, homes where their HOAs might not be the best for their lifestyle. Poorly run HOAs can also be a challenge for residents who live in one of the properties the HOA manages.

Is a Home with an HOA Right for Me?

It will depend largely on your lifestyle and your willingness to abide by the rules and regulations set by the HOA. Be sure to always read the rules of the HOA carefully before you purchase a home in an area where an HOA is active. Once you understand what the expectations of the HOA are, you can make a more informed decision as to if your lifestyle fits within the guidelines and requirements for the HOA where you want to move.

For more information on if moving into a community that has an HOA is right for you, please feel free to contact us at MMK Realty LLC for more information.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert

Should you sell your home right now? Homebuyers are flooding the housing market right now to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Many have a sense of urgency to find a home soon since experts forecast a steady rise in both rates and home prices this year and next. As a result, buyer demand greatly outweighs the current housing supply. Here’s how the shortage of houses for sale sets yours up to be the oasis in an inventory desert.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s housing inventory sits at an incredibly low 2.1-month supply, far below the 6-month mark for a neutral market. Inventory of single-family homes a year ago was already very low, and as you can see in the graph below, this year’s levels are even lower:Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert | MyKCMDue to these market conditions, today’s buyers frequently enter fierce bidding wars while trying to purchase a home. This in turn drives up home prices and gives sellers incredible leverage in the negotiation process, two big wins if you’re going to sell your house this year.

Bottom Line

In such a hot market, it can feel as though the supply of homes has virtually dried up, leaving buyers to wander in an inventory desert. That’s why there’s never been a better time to sell. To a parched buyer needing to secure a home as soon as possible, your house could be a true oasis.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Why Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost You a Small Fortune

Wondering if should wait to buy a home? Many people are sitting on the fence trying to decide if now’s the time to buy a home. Some are renters who have a strong desire to become homeowners but are unsure if buying right now makes sense. Others may be homeowners who are realizing that their current home no longer fits their changing needs.

To determine if they should buy now or wait another year, they both need to ask two simple questions:

  1. Do I think home values will be higher a year from now?
  2. Do I think mortgage rates will be higher a year from now?

Let’s shed some light on the answers to these questions.

Where will home prices be a year from now?

If you average the most recent projections from the major industry forecasters, the expectation is home prices will increase by 7.7%. Let’s take a house that’s valued today at $325,000 as an example.

If the buyer makes a 10% down payment ($32,500), they’ll end up borrowing $292,500 for their mortgage. Applying the projected rate of home price appreciation, that same house will cost $350,025 next year. With a 10% down payment ($35,003), they’d then have to borrow $315,022.

Therefore, as a result of rising home prices alone, a prospective buyer will have to put down an additional $2,503 and borrow an additional $22,523 just for waiting a year to make their move.

Where will mortgage rates be a year from now?

Today, mortgage rates are hovering around 3%. However, most experts believe they’ll rise as the economy continues to recover. Any increase in the mortgage rate will also increase a purchaser’s cost. Here are the forecasts for the first quarter of 2022 from four major entities:

The projections average out to 3.6% among these four forecasts, a jump up from where they are today.

What does it mean to you if home values and mortgage rates increase?

A buyer will pay a lot more in mortgage payments each month if both of these variables increase. Assuming a buyer purchases a $325,000 home this year with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 3% after making a 10% down payment, their monthly principal and interest payment would be $1,233.

That same home one year from now could be $350,025, and the mortgage rate could be 3.6% (based on the industry forecasts mentioned above). That monthly principal and interest payment, after putting down 10%, totals $1,432.

The difference in the monthly mortgage payment would be $199. That’s $2,388 more per year and $71,640 over the life of the loan.

Add to that the approximately $25,000 a house with a similar value would build in home equity this year as a result of home price appreciation, and the total net worth increase a purchaser could gain by buying this year is nearly $100,000. That’s a small fortune.

Bottom Line

When asking if they should buy a home, many potential buyers think of the nonfinancial benefits of owning a home. When asking when to buy, the financial benefits make it clear that doing so now is much more advantageous than waiting until next year.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Don’t Believe These Common Myths About Northern Virginia Real Estate Agents

Truth: there are some common myths about Northern Virginia Real Estate agents that you probably assume are true! Planning to sell your home in Northern Virginia is a big decision. Most of us start the process with an internet search, but sorting out fact from fiction can be a nightmare! So, what are the myths? We’ve debunked the top three myths about real estate agents in Northern Virginia to help you make an informed decision about using a realtor when it’s time to sell your home.

Myth #1: You’ll make more money if your real estate agent charges low commission rates

Debunked! Real estate agents that charge low commission rates, often called “discount brokers,” love to advertise this myth in the hope of getting more business, but it usually results in a lower selling price and a longer time on the market for your home.

The truth: When it comes to real estate agents, you get what you pay for. Discount brokers in Northern Virginia cut costs by offering fewer services. That means less exposure, cheaper marketing, and less expertise in the Northern Virginia market. By choosing an agent with a low commission rate, sellers miss out on these valuable resources and often end up selling their home for quite a bit less than it’s worth. If you sell your home for 10% less than its actual value, you don’t really save on commission.

The best realtors will offer appropriately competitive listing rates to ensure that you get the maximum value. Knowledgeable realtors understand the type of buyers who are looking for homes in Northern Virginia, and offer a full suite of services to sell your home to buyers specific to that area. From taking pictures and pricing your home to closing the deal, a good realtor will be there for you every step of the way, ensuring you get your full money’s worth.

Myth #2: Real estate agents get part of the profits from inspectors, title companies, and banks

Debunked! It’s illegal for real estate agents to get any sort of kickbacks or benefits from vendors in the real estate industry.

The truth: Real estate agencies value their relationships with YOU, the seller. I can’t imagine compromising that trust with kickbacks from someone else! You can trust that at MMK Realty, I put you first when we’re selling your home, and I stay up to date with all the latest real estate laws, best practices, and professional education to ensure you get the best service from MMK Realty.

Myth #3: Agents put all their effort into the most expensive properties

Debunked! Real estate agents build their reputation by serving diverse clients and putting equal energy into every sale. Selling a home is a big deal, no matter what the listing price is, and agents work hard to ensure their business offers great services to every seller.

The truth: One of the best thing about the Northern Virginia real estate market is its diversity. At MMK Realty, I ensure the best service for every single client, regardless of the value of their home. We create a customized selling plan to ensure your home is marketed aggressively to buyers who will absolutely love it. This is not a cookie cutter service — each home is unique, and we make the most of that with a perfectly customized plan for your neighborhood, price range, and individual home. I’m honored to be a certified Military Relocation Professional who understands the specific requirements and processes for military personnel in addition to the needs of those in the public sector. From starter homes to high-end properties, I provide my very best work to every client.

When it comes to selling your home, it pays to work with a qualified real estate agent. With 19 years of experience in the Northern Virginia area, MMK Realty is a name you can trust. Contact us today to learn more about selling your home!

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Your Stimulus May Help You Achieve Homeownership

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the process. One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is by starting with the help of your tax refund.

Using data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s estimated that Americans can expect an average refund of $2,925 when filing their taxes this year. The map below shows the average anticipated tax refund by state:Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCMThanks to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. In addition, Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to put 0% down. You may have heard the common myth that you need to put 20% down when you buy a home, but thankfully for most homebuyers, a 20% down payment isn’t actually required. It’s important to work with your real estate professional and your lender to understand all of your options.

How can your tax refund help?

If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you realize.

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average anticipated tax refund:Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership when you qualify for one of the low down payment programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward the down payment on a home.

Not enough money from your tax return? 

A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that, of the households that received a stimulus check last year, “One third report that they primarily saved the stimulus money.” If you had the opportunity to save your Economic Impact Payments, you may consider putting that money toward your down payment or closing costs as well. Your trusted real estate professional can also advise you on the down payment assistance programs available in your area.

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This year, your tax refund and your stimulus savings could add up big when it comes to reaching your homeownership goals.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits

A Fannie Mae survey recently revealed some of the most highly-rated benefits of homeownership, which continue to be key drivers in today’s power-packed housing market. Here are the top four financial benefits of owning a home according to consumer respondents:

  • 88% – a better chance of saving for retirement
  • 87% – the best investment plan
  • 85% – the chance to be better off financially
  • 85% – the chance to build up wealth

Additional financial advantages of homeownership included in the survey are having the best overall tax situation and being able to live within your budget.

Does homeownership actually give you a better chance to build wealth?

No one can question a person’s unique feelings about the importance of homeownership. However, it’s fair to ask if the numbers justify homeownership as a financial asset.

Last fall, the Federal Reserve released the Survey of Consumer Finances, a report done every three years, with the latest edition covering through 2019. Their findings confirmed that homeownership is a clear financial benefit. The survey found that homeowners have forty times higher net worth than renters ($255,000 for homeowners compared to $6,300 for renters).

The difference in net worth between homeowners and renters has continued to grow. Here’s a graph showing the results of the last four Fed surveys:Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits | MyKCMThe above graph only includes data through 2019, but according to CoreLogic, the equity held by homeowners grew by $26,300 over the last twelve months alone. That means the gap between the net worth of homeowners and renters has probably widened even further over the last year.

Some might argue the difference in net worth may be due to homeowners normally having larger incomes than renters and therefore the ability to save more money. However, a study by First American shows homeowners have greater net worth than renters regardless of their income level. Here are the findings:Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits | MyKCMOthers may think homeowners are older and that’s why they have a greater net worth. However, a Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report on homeowners and renters over the age of 65 reveals:

“The ability to build equity puts homeowners far ahead of renters in terms of household wealth…the median owner age 65 and over had home equity of $143,500 and net wealth of $319,200. By comparison, the net wealth of the same-age renter was just $6,700.”

Homeowners 65 and older have 47.6 times greater net worth than renters.

Bottom Line

The idea of homeownership as a direct way to build your net worth has met the test of time. Let’s connect if you’re ready to take steps toward becoming a homeowner.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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Why hire a Realtor to Sell Your Home in Northern Virginia?

Wondering why you should hire a Realtor to sell your home in Northern Virginia? Having trouble finding a solid buyer for your home in Northern Virginia? If that’s you, then you need an experienced realtor who knows how to get your home ready for sale, create exposure on the market, and effectively negotiate buyers’ offers. Here’s how a realtor can help you sell your home:

Helps you get started

Getting started with selling your home is not a quick and easy process. There is a lot of research involved and having the proper tools at hand is essential. This initial research involves: researching comparable currently listed properties in your area, looking at the sales activity for the past 18 months, looking up property’s ownership and deed type, finding property’s public records and property’s land use coding and deed restrictions, and much more. Additionally, a comparable market analysis (CMA) needs to be completed to find your home’s value. Unless you have the time, knowledge, and proper tools to find all this information, you’ll be better off having a knowledgeable Northern Virginia realtor do all of this for you.

Sets your home’s selling price

Effectively pricing a home so that it sells fast takes skill and a great deal of selling experience. Pricing a home incorrectly is one of the biggest caveats to selling a home. Too often, home sellers price their homes below the market value and end up leaving money on the table. Conversely, when pricing your home too high, you risk keeping your home on the market for more than 3 months. An experienced realtor sets your home’s selling price at the “fair market value” that your buyers would be willing to pay. Curious how much your home’s worth? Get a free market analysis today!

Gets your home ready to sell

Did you know that it only takes 3 seconds to make a first impression? This statistic not only applies to meeting people but also applies when your home greets potential buyers. To maximize your home’s curb appeal, a professional realtor conducts a curb appeal assessment and suggests exterior improvements your home needs. Things like landscaping, a fresh coat of exterior paint, and lighting fixtures can transform its look and appeal. Furthermore, a real estate agent will perform an interior decor assessment and suggest other home improvements that make your home more appealing to potential buyers. A knowledgeable realtor helps you prioritize the right upgrades so that you maximize your ROI.

Efficiently markets your home

Making your home attractive does not suffice. Your home needs the proper exposure along with an efficient marketing plan. To begin with, a realtor prepares the home’s MLS Profile Sheet then enters the property data into the MLS database. Printing materials and internet property ads get created along with high-quality photos, and panoramic photography to accurately showcase your home. In some cases, listing the property on the MLS and creating ads is not enough. A highly experienced agent uses an extensive network that he or she has built over many years to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. This network is often comprised of past clients and other agents representing buyers. However, it is not always about bringing many buyers to your door because the more doesn’t always mean the better. A skilled realtor weeds out all the unqualified buyers that just want to view the house without planning on making an offer.

Negotiates offers & prepares your home for closing

Offer negotiations take practice and skill. Unless you’ve sold many homes in the past, you’ll most likely need to hire an experienced agent who may have negotiated hundreds of home purchases in the past. Moreover, a realtor knows what’s driving demand and is aware of the terms worth negotiating. Once an Offer-to-Purchase contract is signed and the buyer has received it, there are many legal steps to be followed and paperwork to be completed. One key item is the Seller’s Disclosure form. If you fail to disclose a hazard or defect and the buyer finds out about it after he or she moved in, you can get sued. Last but not least, the closing process can get overwhelming and complicated. Often, closing preparations involve additional paperwork and reviewing of closing documents. If you’d like to get familiar with the work that goes into the selling process, check out our resource on the “184 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Agent”.

It’s an extensive task to learn how to sell your own home. The selling process is complex and can turn into a full time job. A skilled agent can make a big difference because they have the experience and the time. With over 19 years experience under her belt, Michelle is highly knowledgeable of the local market in Northern Virginia. If you like in Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria, Prince William County or Loudoun County, give Michelle of MMK Realty LLC a call!

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage?

According to data from the most recent Origination Insight Report by Ellie Mae, the average FICO® score on closed loans reached 753 in February. As lending standards have tightened recently, many are concerned over whether or not their credit score is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. While stricter lending standards could be a challenge for some, many buyers may be surprised by the options that are still available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

The fact that the average American has seen their credit score go up in recent years is a great sign of financial health. As someone’s score rises, they’re building toward a stronger financial future. As more Americans with strong credit enter the housing market, we see a natural increase in the FICO® score distribution of closed loans, as shown in the graph below:What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage? | MyKCMIf your credit score is below 750, it’s easy to see this data and fear that you may not be able to qualify for a mortgage. However, that’s not always the case. While the majority of borrowers right now do have a score above 750, there’s more to qualifying for a mortgage than just the credit score, and there are still options that allow people with lower credit scores to buy their dream home. Here’s what Experian, a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans: “With a 3.5% down payment, homebuyers may be able to get an FHA loan with a 580 credit score or higher. If you can manage a 10% down payment, though, that minimum goes as low as 500.”
  • Conventional loans: “The most popular loan type typically comes with a 620 minimum credit score.”
  • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans: “In general, lenders require a minimum credit score of 640 for a USDA loan, though some may go as low as 580.”
  • S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans: VA loans don’t technically have a minimum credit score, but lenders will typically require between 580 and 620.”

There’s no doubt a higher credit score will give you more options and better terms when applying for a mortgage, especially when lending is tight like it is right now. When planning to buy a home, speaking to an expert about steps you can take to improve your credit score is essential so you’re in the best position possible. However, don’t rule yourself out if your score is less than perfect – today’s market is still full of opportunity.

Bottom Line

Don’t let assumptions about whether your credit score is strong enough put a premature end to your homeownership goals. Let’s connect today to discuss the options that are best for you.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before You Sell

When thinking about selling, homeowners often feel they need to get their house ready with some remodeling to make it more appealing to buyers. However, with so many buyers competing for available homes right now, renovations may not be as vital as they would be in a more normal market. Here are two things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of selling this season.

1. There aren’t enough homes for sale right now.

A normal market has a 6-month supply of houses for sale, but today’s housing inventory sits far below that benchmark. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there’s only a 1.9-month supply of homes available today. As a result, buyer competition is high and homes are only on the market for about 21 days, during which time many receive multiple offers from hopeful buyers.

In a competitive market that’s moving so quickly, it makes sense to sell your house when buyers are scooping homes up as fast as they’re being listed. Spending costly time and money on renovations before you sell might just mean you’ll miss your key window of opportunity. While certain repairs on your house may be important, your best move right now is to work with a real estate advisor to determine which improvements are truly necessary, and which ones are not likely to be deal-breakers for buyers.

Today, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after, even if it means putting in a little extra work. Home Advisor explains:

When it comes to the number of home improvement projects completed, Gen Z homeowners are leading the pack, completing an average of 3.5 projects. Millennials closely follow Gen Z, taking on an average of 3.3 projects, followed by Gen X at 2.8 projects. Boomers completed an average of 2 projects, and the Silent Generation completed the fewest projects, on average, at 1.8 per household. Compared to 2019, millennials are spending 60% more on home improvement and doing on average 30% more projects.”

In this market, it may be wise to let future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. As a seller, your dollars and time might be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior. Instead of over-investing in your home with upgrades that the buyers may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects that will maximize your listing, without overdoing it.

2. Focus on getting a good return on your investment.

When planning any bigger projects to tackle, you and your real estate agent will want to discuss the potential return on your investment and if those projects are worth the cost. Some homes do need a kitchen or bathroom renovation, roof repairs, or other major work, but definitely not all of them. You might be surprised by how well your house could fair in today’s sellers’ market. Hanley Wood states:

“The 2020 Cost vs. Value report shows a predictable increase in costs for all 22 remodeling projects but a consistent dip in the perceived value of those projects at the time of home sale, as estimated by real-estate professionals in more than 100 metro areas across the U.S. This results in a slight downturn on the return on investment for nearly all projects relative to the trends we saw in last year’s report.”

Ideally, homeowners getting ready to move should try to avoid over-investing in big renovations if they won’t make that money back when they sell their house. According to the 2020 State of Home Spending report from Home Advisor:

The average household spending on home services rose to $13,138, an increase over last year’s survey results, where homeowners who did projects spent $9,081 on average in 2019.”

Before you renovate, contact a local real estate professional to see if it’s the best course of action. You may find out that putting your house on the market as-is will help you sell quickly, and it may result in the best return on your investment. Every home is different, but a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.

Bottom Line

We’re in a strong sellers’ market, and that means you have the leverage to sell your house on your terms. Let’s connect today to determine if renovating is really the best way to spend your time and money before you sell.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.