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Articles Tagged "First-time Home Buyer"

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August
23

Dallas-Fort Worth Only U.S. Market Where Home Sale Prices Dropped Last Month

The North Texas housing market is downshifting quickly, with Dallas-Fort Worth being the only U.S. market to see a decrease in home sale prices last month, according to a report released today.  DFW home prices are down 1.9% year over year in July, according to the latest Re/Max National Housing Report.

 

And what a difference a month makes.  Last month, DFW led the U.S. for home price increases, with June prices up 29.3% over the previous year.   In hard numbers, home sales prices in DFW fell to $413,900 in July from $422,000 in July 2021.   Homes in DFW spend an average of 23 days on the market before selling.

 

Higher interest rates and inflation, as well as record home prices, triggered a sharp drop in demand for housing, said Todd Luong, a realtor with Re/Max DFW Associates:  "Here at our Re/Max office in Dallas-Fort Worth, our listings are currently getting on average 2.7 showings per week," Luong said. "Last year, at this same time, our listings were earning on average 5.9 showings per week. That is a huge drop in buyer demand compared to the previous year. Record home prices and higher mortgage rates have forced many potential buyers out of the market, especially first-time homebuyers."

 

While the latest trends may disappoint some sellers, buyers now have more choices and better opportunities for good deals, Luong said.   Luong said that the DFW housing market has been challenged with low inventory for years and reached an all-time low earlier this year, with only a two-week supply. Now, however, inventory is increasing.  "Although buyers have more choices now, it is still not a balanced market as we only have about a two-month housing supply," Luong said. "In a normal market, you have about a five to six-month supply of housing."

 

A new report from Zillow also found falling home values, although the numbers didn't match Re/Max's precisely because of different study methods and different geographic definitions of DFW as a metro area, among other reasons.  According to Zillow's findings, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area's typical home value is $396,904, down 1.1% since June, the first month of decline. Values are up 55.4% since July 2019.

 

Zillow also reported that the mortgage payment on a typical home in DFW is $2,633 a month, including taxes and insurance. That's up 77.4% compared to July 2019.

According to Zillow, inventory in DFW has risen 10.2% since June, and the share of listings with a price cut in July was 22%, compared to 15.6% in June.  Nationwide, after two years of unprecedented growth, home values fell for the first time since 2012 as competition for houses eased, according to Zillow's July market report.

 

The slowdown is being driven by decreased competition among buyers. Zillow's analysis says that affordability pressures have pushed many to the sidelines, and buyers are waiting in the wings to resume their search if and when prices relax a bit.  Skylar Olsen, Zillow's chief economist, called the flattening of home values "a badly needed rebalancing.  This slowdown is about discouraged buyers pulling back after the affordability shock from higher rates," Olsen said. "As prices soften, many will renew their interest, and we will continue our progress back to 'normal.'"

 

Luong said he sees positive signs in the market.  The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 5% after peaking in June. More than 290,000 new jobs were added in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, so North Texas has one of the strongest labor markets in the country.   "Reasonably priced homes that are in good condition and move-in ready are still selling very fast," he said. "However, the bidding wars have subsided considerably across the board."

  • Dallas Business Journal, August 19, 2022
July
5

Your Guide to Long-Distance House Hunting

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:

  • Visit Your New Neighborhood
    When starting a long-distance home search, it always helps to visit the new town to get a sense of the neighborhood, community, and amenities. A basic familiarity with the area allows you to choose the right location, envision your new life, and plan ahead. Take a trip or two to your new hometown and drive around, visit local businesses, and explore the area. When clients travel into town to look at Dallas homes for sale, we always encourage them to spend a day or two exploring our great city.

  • Choose A Reputable Local Agent
    When long-distance house hunting, working with an agent you can trust is more important than ever. Your agent can provide valuable local information, find listings that meet your criteria and negotiate the terms of your home sale. They can also help coordinate virtual listing tours. Choosing an agent that knows the area and has a strong reputation can really help make long-distance house hunting a success.

  • Include Travel Expenses In Your Budget
    Chances are you're going to want to make a trip to your new hometown at some point, whether it's during the house-hunting process or after your new home is under contract. Travel expenses can quickly eat into your funds, so make sure to factor travel expenses such as airfare, rental cars, gas, and hotel into your home-shopping budget.

  • Determine What You're Looking For
    Because your ability to tour homes in person may be limited, your buying decision will be naturally influenced by logic rather than emotion. Therefore, start by clearly defining your price range, and then create a list of the top 5 things you can't live without. Whether it's a specific location, a home office, or two full baths -- determine your non-negotiables and use them to narrow down your choices.

  • Don't Waive Your Inspection Contingencies
    Making an offer on a home sight unseen can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If you aren't able to see the home in person, you can at least rely on your inspection contingencies to uncover any red flags. Be sure to consider the standard home inspection, pest inspection, radon, and sewer. These inspections give you the ability to back out of the deal without any penalty if problems arise and you can't come to terms on how to resolve them. Make sure to talk to your agent about what to expect with inspections.

Buying a home in a new city comes with its challenges, but it's actually never been easier than it is today. Contact us today to check out some great home listings in the Dallas area.

March
19

First Time Homebuyers Squeezed Out of the Market

As home prices soar, housing affordability is sinking to the lowest levels since 2008 and first-time buyers - who haven't benefited from rising home values and are also coping with rising rents - are being squeezed out.

First-time buyers accounted for 27% of existing home sales in January, according to the National Association of Realtors, near 2014 levels. With mortgage rates above 4%, around the highest in about three years, and expected to rise further, buyers on tight budgets may struggle even more to find homes they can afford.

  • Reuters, March 13, 2022
November
8

Don't Fall for These Real Estate Myths

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.

Read on about some common real estate myths you should not fall for.

  • Myth 1: You don't need to do any prep work
    Many home shoppers think the process starts by rushing out and touring houses either in person or online before you've gotten yourself organized. The best course of action to ensure a smooth transaction is to plan your financing. Get either a preapproval letter or perhaps even a prequalification letter, from the lender you choose. This will help you be prepared when it's time to make an offer, but you'll also be able to focus on searching within the price range you're qualified for -- rather than wasting time looking at homes that are out of reach.

  • Myth 2: You can do it alone
    You'll be missing the expertise an agent brings to the process, including knowledge of market conditions, and above all, the ability to negotiate the best deal. A good agent will also help you get your paperwork ready. Organized, complete paperwork can make the process flow much more smoothly than when papers and forms are shoddily prepared and incomplete.

  • Myth 3: You can rely solely on online sources
    These resources can tell you a lot, such as an estimate of what your home is worth, or a calculation of your monthly mortgage payment. What's missing is a visit to a property by an agent, who can determine if the data is all correct.

  • Myth 4: You won't need to worry about repairs
    Modern builders are tending to build quickly at minimal expense. That means you need to exercise caution regarding lower-quality construction. Hire a home inspector who is well versed in new home construction to suss out potential problems. Talk to your real estate agent about what to look for in new home construction  -- or older homes if you're looking at an older model.

  • Myth 5: You should always offer less than the asking price for a home
    Low-balling the seller can be annoying to the point they may move on to a potential buyer who's easier to work with. Do you really want the home? Is the price reasonable? Then offer the list price or a price that's close to it. In really hot markets, you may need to offer over the list price to make sure you're in the competition. Your real estate agent should be able to help you strategize the best approach.

Need more help navigating today's real estate market? Contact us today.

February
8

Storage Solutions You'll Want in Your Home

Home Storage SolutionsNo matter how big a house is, we seem never to have enough storage space. The problem might be you just haven't unlocked the secrets of a good storage strategy.

If you're considering homes among Dallas homes for sale or Fort Worth homes for sale, and you're wondering if the storage will be sufficient, just keep these tips in mind for how you might expand the storage space in your new home.

  1. Over-the-doorway shelving. 
    Bet you didn't know you had all that potential storage space right over the doorway. Install open-air shelves over the doorway in bedrooms, bathrooms, and above double doors. Depending on the type of room where the shelves are installed, you can place plants, decorative dishes, and pottery, or treasured mementos.

  2. Under-the-bed storage bins.
    Don't let that space under your bed go to the dust bunnies. Acquire long, flat storage bins and stow things such as holiday gift bags, tissue, and wrapping paper; or even off-season clothing. 

  3. Hooks for measuring spoons and cups.
    Don't you get fed up looking for measuring spoons and smaller-size measuring cups in your drawer full of miscellanea? Now you can put your hand right on them by installing hooks inside your kitchen cabinet doors and hanging them within easy reach.

  4. Drawer organizers.
    Utilize these to help organize your kitchen. Drawer organizers work well if you put some time into planning what you need to access before you buy the organizers. Make sure you measure your drawers as well! 

  5. Storage bins for cabinets.
    Same as for drawer organizers: think about what you want to place in storage bins before you buy them. For instance, maybe you have some spices you'd like to have right at hand, so you acquire a bin for the pantry where you can place them in rough alphabetical order. Storage bins in cabinets should work well for all the smaller items in the kitchen, such as packets of gravy or dressing mixes, a box of bouillon cubes, a baggie full of orphaned tea bags, sweetener packets, whatever. Obviously, storage bins for your bedroom closets will be larger so they can hold your shoes; maybe in your office, a storage bin would be useful for rounding up all those power cords and chargers you can't seem to throw away.

  6. Excess stuff.
    You know you need to get rid of stuff you never use, but it's hard. We suggest once a year going through your possessions and doing a fearless assessment of what you're likely to need or can let go of without regrets. Some of it can go in the trash or the recycling bin; the rest, such as clothing or furniture in good repair, can go to charity. 

  7. Outdoor storage shed.
    This is one of the best solutions for relieving indoor crowding. Try to arrange stored items with a top to bottom plan by stacking seldom-used items on the bottom, and stuff you might need in smaller containers near the top. Think about what you'll want to get at (holiday decorations for instance) and place them so you can access them as needed. 

All these small changes will add up and provide you and your family more space so you can live more comfortably in your home.

Need more tips? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

February
17

Improve Your Odds as a First-Time Homebuyer

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:

  • Saving for a Down Payment
    A 20 percent down payment is a significant amount to save, especially for younger homebuyers. A single individual may find it difficult to reach this amount alone within a few years. Studies report that an individual may need up to 11 years to save for a down payment. Others may be struggling with student loan debt or are earning a salary that does not enable them to afford the homes in their area.

  • Increases in Housing Prices
    Even if an individual or couple are not struggling with debt and are earning salaries that meet the national average, these hopeful homebuyers can still encounter obstacles in the form of rising property values. Home prices are rising significantly in larger cities throughout the country where younger adults are relocating to, particularly new homes.

  • Limited Homes Available in an Area
    Even when young adults choose to relocate to larger real estate markets, they're still discovering that there are limited homes available — especially entry-level homes. Older adults are choosing to age in their current city, downsizing to smaller and more affordable homes.

  • Difficulties Qualifying for a Loan
    Although they may have an adequate down payment, some younger adults do not have the credit score or history necessary to secure a loan.

  • Increased Competition
    Young adults are facing two challenges simply because of their age. Not only are they competing for homes with other Millennial homebuyers, but they are also competing against another sizeable population — Baby Boomers who are downsizing. With the two largest generations competing for limited homes, it's increasingly difficult to secure a home.

How to Improve Your Odds as a First-Time Homebuyer

These obstacles may seem difficult to overcome, but don't lose hope! There are ways in which you can improve your odds of securing the home of your dreams even in a competitive market. We suggest that first-time homebuyers consider these tips:

  • Monitor and resolve any issues with your credit score. If you have a limited credit history, take responsible steps to improve it.

  • Save for more than the minimum down payment amount. Putting a few thousand extra aside will help cover closing costs or any bidding wars you might get into.

  • Limit your demands and try to find amicable ways to compromise during negotiations.

  • Submit an offer that's slightly above the asking price. A well-priced home could encourage more offers and your elevated offer will immediately stand out.

  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage loan before you begin your search. You should always calculate how much home you can afford before you begin searching. Securing pre-approval for a loan will show the seller that you are serious and able to afford the home.

Contact us today for the support and guidance first-time homebuyers need when buying Dallas homes for sale.

November
26

Young Homebuyers Are Vanishing From The U.S.

Faced with higher property prices and piles of student debt, Americans are getting older and older before they buy a home.

The median age of first-time home buyers has increased to 33, the oldest in records dating back to 1981, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Friday. The median age of all buyers also hit a fresh record, 47, increasing for a third straight year — and well above the median age of 31 in 1981.  While the median age of first-time home buyers only rose by one year, the increase reflects a variety of factors facing Americans searching for a home.  A nationwide shortage of affordable housing, coupled with lower mortgage rates, has stoked prices in cities from the coasts to the heartland. At the same time, student loans and other debts make it harder for Americans to save tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment, while tight lending standards can make getting a bank loan difficult for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit scores.  "Housing affordability is so difficult today, especially when coupled with rising rents and student loan debt, that they're finding different ways to enter home ownership," said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the Realtors group in Washington.  The characteristics of home buyers have changed in recent years. The share of married couples has declined as unmarried couples and those purchasing as roommates has risen.  As buyers' ages have increased, so have their incomes. The typical income of purchasers rose to $93,200 in 2018 as a lack of affordable options squeezed lower-income potential buyers out of the market.  Higher prices of homes have also changed how first-time buyers are entering the market. Nearly a third of first-time home buyers said they used a gift from a relative or friend to fund their down payment.

  • Investors Business Daily, November 8, 2019
October
18

Forecasters – What to Expect Over Next 12 Months

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

Too Few Moderate Homes; Too Many Upper-End Homes

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
April
27

Boom: Hispanics Lead Housing, Income Surge, Poverty at Record Low

Hispanic Population Growth By 2060Latinos are finding their economic legs under the Trump administration, leading the surge in home ownership and income growth and record low poverty rates, according to two comprehensive new surveys.  While they remain far behind whites in income, they have seen their third consecutive year of income growth and have a higher workplace participation rate, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project. 

 

In two studies just released, the groups also provided revealing details about Latinos and their growth in America. For example, by 2060, nearly one of every three in the U.S. will identify as Latino.  The reports detailed Hispanic housing and economic trends and found most signs rapidly improving.  What's more, the group's goal of nudging overall Hispanic income up is showing signs of success. The group said that within the next five years, Hispanic median income will triple.Hispanic Homeownership rate

 

The group listed the positive trends in its income report:

  • For the fourth consecutive year, Hispanics increased their rate of home ownership, reaching a rate of 47.1%. In 2018, Latinos added 362,000 homeowners which is the highest number of owner households added for Latinos since 2005.
  • In 2017, Hispanics saw the third consecutive year of income growth and the highest of any demographic.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Hispanics increased their real median income by 3.7%. Latino families making an annual income over $200,000 increased from 2.1% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2017, and the percentage of Latino millionaires more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.
  • Poverty rates reached a historic low for Latinos. Simultaneous to median income growth, Hispanics have lowered their poverty rate for three consecutive years. With a poverty rate of 18.3% in 2017, Hispanics reached their lowest level since poverty estimates for Hispanics were first published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1972.

Hispanic Income Growth

  • Latinos have significantly higher labor force participation rates. Hispanics are employed at a rate of 66.1%, compared to 62.9% of the general population. The Hispanic unemployment rate was reduced by over 7 percentage points between 2009 and 2018, from 12.1% to 4.7%, respectively.
  • Latinos continue to drive small business growth. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Latino-owned employer firms increased by 13.1%, accounting for 23.8% of the net growth of all employer firms during that period.
  • Participation in retirement accounts for Latinos is increasing. Between 2013 and 2016, Hispanics increased their rate of retirement account ownership from 25.1% to 29.7%, and the value of their retirement accounts increased by roughly 40.4%.
  • Washington Examiner, April 23, 2019
March
31

Dallas Home Price Hikes Are Turning Buyers Into Renters

 

Should you buy or rent?

Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score."  Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2019
March
30

Dallas Ranks #1 For Millennials Nationwide

 

Meyers Millennial Desirability Index (MDI)

        SOURCE: Meyers Research

 

Dallas and Houston are the hottest spots in the country for millennial homebuyers. That's what analysts at California-based Meyers Research found in their annual "millennial desirability index" that rated the country's largest housing markets. Austin ranked third on the same list, which compared data on housing affordability, job growth, cost of living and other factors for major metro areas across the country. Meyers Research's director of research, Ali Wolf, said factors such as Texas' relatively low new home prices, strong economy and high quality of life push the state's major cities to the top of the list. Job opportunities, affordability and lifestyle were key factors millennials said they would consider in moving to a new city. Meyers' study is one of two recent studies that give North Texas high marks for first-time homebuyers.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 24, 2019
January
7

Home Buyers: Understand Applying for a Mortgage

Applying for a Mortgage - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Buying a home is a big decision, but paying for a home is an even bigger deal. Naturally, if you're looking at purchasing a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, then you'll most likely be looking toward a mortgage to finance your home purchase. 

The mortgage process is complex, multifaceted, and became even more so since the housing crash from a decade ago, so our real estate agents have put together some tips to help you understand the mortgage application process.

  • Applying for a Mortgage
    First things first, regardless of who you end up going with as your lender, you need to apply for a mortgage. Most mortgage applications can be filled out online from your lender of choice, and some online services offer a "catch-all" mortgage application that can be submitted to multiple lenders saving you a lot of time. After all, most mortgage applications take 45 minutes or more to complete and submit!

    Once you've applied, your lender will likely give you pre-approval or pre-qualification for a certain amount of funds. In other words, based on what you provided in your mortgage application, the lender will give you a fair ballpark of how much they can lend you. From there, you can budget and shop within that price range.

  • Get Your Documents Ready
    As you're working through the mortgage application process, your lender will want to see quite a few financial documents to prove your financial standing. Your lender will want documentation proving your monthly or annual income, the total of all of your debt obligations, your credit score, how much you can use for a down payment, and what you can afford in a home. 

    Prepping these items early in the process will give both your lender and yourself a good picture of your financial standing and allow either one of you to make adjustments to financing as needed.

  • Clear Up Debts
    One thing that your lender will be looking for is your income to debt ratio. In other words, how much do your current liabilities weigh on your gross income?  If you're preparing to buy a home and you haven't started the mortgage process, or if you're just trying to prove your position as a worthy borrower, then pay off any small debts.
    Small debts such as credit cards, small amounts in collections, or car notes that you can clear up will improve your position as a borrower worthy of a mortgage. Additionally, clearing up any unnecessary debts will improve your credit score and give lenders more confidence in you.

  • Credit Score
    Your credit score will say a lot about you as a borrower. Credit scores effectively give lenders a numerical value of your creditworthiness and your overall risk as a borrower to them.

    A FICO score is usually the number that most lenders and credit companies use to compare a borrower's creditworthiness. FICO takes into account debts owed, how long they've been owed, and how frequently you make payments on those debts among other things. Getting rid of small debts or paying down loans will help improve your credit score.

Buy a Home in the Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Area

If buying a home is part of your plan for 2019, and you're looking to settle in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, then contact us today. Our agents at RE/MAX DFW Associates have an ear to the ground in the Dallas Fort Worth housing market and can help you find the home that's right for you.

September
7

Dallas Area Market Appears Headed for Slowdown

Percent of Prospective Home Buyers

  Source: National Association of Home Builders
 

Is the housing boom running out of gas?  During the last few years, the home market has been on a tear in North Texas and in other parts of the country, with prices soaring and buyers lining up as soon as a sign hits the front yard.  But there are growing signs that the fast-paced housing market is shifting gears, with a decline in sales in many markets and smaller price increases.  In July, U.S. preowned home sales fell from a year ago for the fifth month in a row. And nationwide new home sales were down almost 2 percent in July, causing analysts at IHS Markit to question if the bull home market has turned bearish.  "The economy is strong. Labor markets are solid. Yet, new home sales and single-family housing starts and permits have stalled. How can this be?" said Patrick Newport, executive director of the U.S. economics team at IHS.

Newport said rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have cooled the ardor for home buying.  "This has choked off demand," he said. A slowdown in immigration and household formation could also be factors, Newport theorizes.  In North Texas, year-over-year preowned home sales have fallen in many neighborhoods, and for the entire region, year-to-date sales were up a measly 2 percent as of July.  At the same time, the double-digit percentage home price gains of the last few years have faded in Dallas-Fort Worth. Through the first seven months of 2018, median home sales prices were up only 6 percent from the same period last year, according to sales data from real estate agents.

Property agents say that some first-time buyers have given up after losing out to other buyers or all-cash investors who snapped up affordable homes.  At midyear, the number of prospective U.S. homebuyers who said they planned to make a purchase in the next 12 months fell to just 14 percent — down from 24 percent in fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That's still another sign that the home market — while not in a traditional bubble — may be headed for slower sales in the year ahead.  "It's clear that the winds that have boosted sellers over the past few years are ever-so-slightly starting to shift," said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.

  • Dallas Morning News, August 27, 2018

 

June
20

Buyers Are Paying 19% More Than One Year Ago

Buyers Are Paying 19% More Than One Year Ago

Homebuyers are getting a double whammy. "Home prices are up and mortgage rates are up," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with CoreLogic. Nationwide home prices are almost 7 percent higher than a year ago. And the average long-term mortgage cost has risen by seven tenths of a percentage point interest compared with this time in 2017, according to CoreLogic. "That translates into a 16 percent increase in the monthly principal and interest payments to buy the same house," Nothaft said. For the first-time homebuyer there is a 19 percent increase from one year ago. "Average wages around the country are up only 2.5 percent to 3 percent from a year ago. Each passing month as prices rise and mortgage rates rise, it's increasingly challenging for home buyers, especially entry-level homebuyers," he said. "The pinch it takes out of their monthly budget starts to affect more and more buyers across the country." Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the markets with record-high home costs. While overall median home prices in North Texas are up about 5 percent so far in 2018, prices for the most affordable houses — under $200,000 — are rising at almost twice that rate.  CoreLogic is forecasting further increases in home prices and interest rates in the year ahead.

  • Dallas Morning News, June 15, 2018
March
5

6 Secrets for Getting Your D-FW Home Offer Accepted

DFW Home Offer Accepted
If you follow local real estate news, you already know that North Texas has been identified as one of the country's hottest real estate markets. Home prices are rising and sellers are expecting to sell their homes at their asking price or better. Whether you're considering Dallas homes or Fort Worth homes, you're negotiating in a seller's market. You must bid conscientiously or risk missing out on a home you love. 

Our REALTORS® understand it can be difficult for your offer to get a seller's attention, especially when they realize that the next buyer might be willing to pay more. When you're ready to begin your home search, we'll be here to help with "Six Secrets for Getting Your Offer Accepted."

  1. Get Pre-approved
    You may have heard this before, but it's worth repeating. For sellers and realtors to take you seriously, you must get pre-approved. No one wants to waste time on home tours and bidding wars with unqualified buyers.

    During the approval process, your mortgage company reviews your financial data and decides whether or not they would finance you and for how much. The letter they issue isn't a guarantee, but it tells the buyer that the mortgage company considers you financially ready to buy.

  2. Don't procrastinate
    When you're serious about buying a home, you must put a lock on any indecisive tendencies. You won't have forever to make up your mind about a home you love. You have to decide quickly and get your offer on the record. With so many buyers out there, you're destined to lose your dream home if you spend too much time mulling it over.

  3. Go big or stay put
    If you find the right home at the right price, don't try and lowball an offer. When home prices are rising, sellers know they can sell. They won't be tempted by a half-hearted offer. It's important to make a good offer the first time around or you might not get another chance. Maintain a little wiggle room to negotiate if you must, but don't nickel and dime the seller.

  4. Be a person
    Sometimes money isn't enough to win a bidding war. Sellers are human so they respond to humanness. They want to know who's buying their home, so let them know when you bid. Send a personal note. Identify yourself. Talk about sipping coffee on the porch while your children play in the backyard. Your bid will be coming from a real person.

  5. Pay cash if you can
    Cash is a wonderful option for sellers. Cash is simple. It speeds up the closing process and eliminates the mortgage company's complicated documents. When you make pay cash, the built-in benefits encourage a seller to accept a lower offer.

  6. Give the seller more than one option
    It's a known selling norm that people prefer to choose between something and something as opposed to choosing between something and nothing. Try making a two-part offer that forces the seller to think.

    - Bid a cash offer for one amount. (i.e. $200,000).
    - Supplement that with an offer that's higher (i.e. $220,000) because it requires financing.

    With two offers, the seller has options. They can accept the lower offer, take the cash, and avoid a lengthy mortgage approval process. Or they can take the bigger offer and wait.

The bidding process can be complicated, especially when there's a lot of buyer competition. Contact us when you're ready to begin your Texas home search.

January
26

8 Tips for Millennials Entering the Dallas Housing Market

Tips for Millennials Entering the Dallas Market
Purchasing your first home has long been a part of the American dream.  While some cities across the country are considered Millennial Magnets, according to a report by ABODO Apartments, Dallas ranks near the bottom of the list of major US cities for this new wave of home buyer.

Dallas, Texas has experienced a boom in its employment market because of huge economic opportunities.  Consequently, the increase in the job market has also caused an increase in demand for housing making it difficult for Millennials to afford Dallas homes for sale.

But despite these challenges, some continue to push forward with buying their first home in the DFW.  Our REALTORS® know the local market well and offer these eight tips when you're ready to buy a home in Dallas.

  1. Have Your Finances in Order
    With Millennials having higher student debt than previous generations, you will want to make sure that your finances are in order. Know your credit score and make sure to review your credit history and resolve any credit issues. A lower credit score and poor credit history will cost you with higher interest rates.

  2. Saving for a Down Payment
    The National Association of REALTORS® recommends saving approximately $34,000, which is 20 percent of a Dallas-area starter home priced at $168,300. If you are starting at zero savings, and can only afford to save $300 a month, it could take you up to 10 years to save that amount. There are low down payment programs available for first-time home buyers.

  3. Closing Costs
    In addition to a down payment, you will need to factor in closing costs that are included with most home purchases. Your REALTOR® can give you an estimation of how much these costs could be.

  4. Think of the Future
    When purchasing your first home, consider its future resale potential. Look for features that are appealing not just to you but will be appealing to potential buyers. This could be as simple as the house being on a quiet street or having a master suite on the main floor.

  5. Don't Go Overboard with Contingencies
    When you make an offer on a home, don't ask the seller to make minor repairs like replacing light bulbs or re-caulking the tubs. However, if there are obvious signs that major repairs are needed, like repairs to the roof, air conditioner or foundation, it's not unreasonable to ask for repairs. Your REALTOR® can create an amendment to your offer requesting these repairs be made.

  6. Make a Strong Offer
    In a seller's market, you need to make a strong offer for your purchase price to be taken seriously. Other buyers could be offering the asking price or higher. If you make a low offer, your offer may not initially be accepted.

  7. Don't Delay
    If you find a Dallas home that you really love and it's at the right price, don't delay in making your offer. The current market for real estate in Dallas is hot and taking time to "sleep on it" or ask your friends or family for their opinions could cause you to miss out.

  8. Choosing a REALTOR®
    It's a good idea to interview a few real estate agents before choosing one. It's important to ask about their familiarity with the Dallas area and its housing market. You should also get an idea of their negotiation style, the technology they have available to help you during your search and buying process and their track-record.

If you're getting ready to take your first steps to homeownership, there is no better time than now to start. Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates to speak with an experienced realtor that knows the Dallas market and understands the needs of first-time home buyers.

January
3

Is Home Buying Going to the Dogs?

More Millennials Consider Dogs in Their Home-Buying Decision

Home Buying Dogs

There are many people in the world who love dogs, but you can't always include landlords on that list. While a landlord may love their own dog, they're typically less enthusiastic about the four-legged friends of their tenants. Combine that with the fact that dog owners love giving their pets room to roam the outdoors, and you can see one of the hidden motivations that inspire many renters to purchase a house of their own. So in a way, home-buying really is going to the dogs, and that's not a bad thing!

Our REALTORS® have the details on this growing trend, along with other key reasons buyers choose to purchase a home for the first time. 

Motivations for Owning a Home

It's no surprise that house hunters consider their dog when shopping for Dallas homes for sale. In fact, a third of Americans from the Millennial generation has stated that a better space/yard for their dog was an important motivating factor in choosing to purchase a home for the first time. A great space for their four-legged friends is one of the motivators which influence young home buyers:

  • A Home with a Yard – Whether it provides space for your pet, a fun place for outdoor parties, or simply a beautiful view while you're eating dinner, owning a home with a yard comes with many perks. Many renters are motivated to buy in order to have an outdoor space of their own which they can customize to their heart's content. Want an outdoor barbecue area, a dog-run, or both? With a yard of your own, you can set up your outdoor space any way you please.

  • Tying the Knot – For many young homeowners, getting married was the moment when they decided to get serious about purchasing a home and saying goodbye to rental agreements. The idea of "settling down" means different things to different people, but there's no doubt that owning a home makes it easier to pursue long-term goals. With two people to save, budget, and shop, tying the knot can also make it easier to navigate the real estate market for the first time.

  • Starting a Family – While many newly married couples do choose to buy a home, there are also those who keep on renting... until they add a new member to the family. Having a child has always been a major motivator for owning a home, and for good reason. A home will often offer much more space than an apartment for a family, including outdoors. Owning a home also gives you the opportunity to get a head start on choosing a school district where your child can thrive.

  • Building Equity – For some young buyers, owning a home is one important step on the path to financial planning. A home allows you to build equity over time, maintain a great credit score, and invest in your future. Planning your purchase well – and considering the future of the neighborhood – can also allow you to recoup a great return on your investment if you ever do choose to sell. Starting young has many benefits, allowing you to get a head start on your financial future.

  • Room to Grow – Renting a property has its perks, but one of the main drawbacks is that it will never truly be yours. Owning a home is the opposite. Rather than seeking approval for every little thing, you can customize the home as you see fit. Whether you want to paint the walls or renovate the whole room, the choice is yours. Owning a home also provides you with plenty of room to grow, whether that means expanding the home or simply updating it until everything is just right. Home-buyers of all ages love the freedom that comes with owning the space that they call home.

Looking for the perfect DFW home for you, your family, and your favorite pets? We can help! Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Dallas, TX area.

September
27

Open House Etiquette for Dallas Home Buyers

Open House Dos & Don'ts
A Buyer's Guide to Open House Etiquette

An open house is a great opportunity to tour homes for sale in your community without having to schedule an appointment.

Hitting open houses on a given Sunday can also help you gauge available homes in a market and begin a relationship with a REALTOR® if you have not already found one. If you're new to "Open House Sundays," here are easy tips for making your search for Dallas homes more enjoyable and productive.

  1. It's okay to walk in.
    You don't need to ring the doorbell or knock, unless there is a sign posted instructing you to do so. Someone may be outside or at the door to greet you.

  2. Introduce yourself.
    The person hosting the open house may not be the agent who is selling the home, but an associate agent who is hoping to represent a buyer. If you don't have a REALTOR® representing you, let them know that you are still looking for a buyer's agent. Getting there early allows you to talk with the agent and determine if you want to work with that person.

  3. Sign in.
    You may be asked to sign in and provide contact information. This makes it easier for the seller's agent to follow up with you. Even if you don't like the house, it's still a good idea to leave your phone number or email address, as the agent could have other listings that may interest you. If you prefer not to sign in, make sure to introduce yourself and say hello so the agent can keep an eye on who's touring the home.

  4. Beat the crowd.
    Try to arrive as soon as the open house starts. (NOT before that time!) The agent will have time to show you around and give your personal attention.

  5. Don't show up last minute.
    Don't wait until the last minute to arrive. The REALTOR® has most likely been there all day and is ready to pack it up and head home. You want to take your time when looking at the house, so contact the seller's agent and arrange a personal showing if you're running late.

  6. Wear appropriate, comfortable clothing and shoes.
    You don't want to look under or overdressed, so choose something casual you'd wear every day. Nice jeans and a t-shirt or are fine for attending an open house. You're probably going to be doing a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

  7. It's okay to politely ask valid questions.
    Ask about the seller's motivation and if there are any offers. REALTORS® can also give you insight on the neighborhood and nearby schools. Be prepared to ask questions about plumbing, electrical systems, roof and other major components of the home. Please don't take an antagonistic tone or corner the agent with countless questions during a busy open house.

  8. Don't be nosy.
    Of course you want to check out closets and other storage space, but don't go through personal belongings. It's okay to a quick peek, but don't disturb any items that are stored in them.

  9. Don't criticize.
    Remember this is the seller's home. Don't criticize it during the tour. If there are multiple offers, you don't want the seller selecting another buyer because they heard you saying something negative about their home.

Our Dallas REALTORS® can guide you every step of the way during your search for a home. Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates today.

June
8

5 Super Smart Ways to Save for a Dallas Home

Save for a Dallas Home
Buying a home
can be challenging in all kinds of ways. Simply finding a home that has everything you need is a big accomplishment, and we're here to help you in every way that we can.

For many, saving the money needed for buying a house is another major challenge. So to help you avoid any financing woes, our team has put together some of our favorite clever tips to save money for buying a home. With a little willpower and outside-the-box thinking, you'll be well on your way to saving for your dream home.

  1. Make More Money
    Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Of course, you can't just make money appear in your bank account, but there are plenty of ways to get a little extra dough rolling in, whether it's picking up an extra shift every week, or even taking a second job on the side. Now is also a good time to have the yard sale of a lifetime; if you don't need it, sell it. You'll make a little extra dough, and you'll have fewer things to carry around when moving day comes.
  1. Create a Separate Account
    When you're putting aside money that you plan to use for buying a house, create a separate bank account that is to be used solely for that purpose. When you keep your new-home funds in your regular savings or checking account, it's too easy to become complacent and start spending your savings without realizing that you're setting yourself back. Put that money aside, and don't touch it until you've found your dream home.
  1. Downsize Now, Upsize Later
    It might seem like moving backward, but sometimes the best way to step forward is to take a step back first. If you're renting a big apartment, you can temporarily move into a smaller place and start putting aside the money you save on rent. If you're leasing a pricey car, trade it in for something cheap and reliable that gets good gas mileage. Skip your vacation, eat out less, drop your gym membership and work out at home, start buying generic-brand breakfast cereal – whatever you have to do.
  1. Save Automatically
    Unless saving money comes much more naturally to you than it does to just about everyone else, it's tremendously beneficial to automate your savings process. Set up an automated savings plan so that a certain percentage of your earnings are automatically set aside for your new home.
  1. Make It a Contest
    If you and a significant other are buying a house together, you have a chance to finally put your competitive impulses to good use. Turn saving money into a contest, and keep track of how much you are each able to put aside. It's a surprisingly effective incentive. And if you need a "prize" that's more tempting than simple bragging rights, how about this: whoever saves the most money gets to choose what color to paint your new living room.

Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates today to learn more about finding your dream home and making it yours. Our team offers the expertise you need to find Dallas homes that suit every lifestyle.

February
17

Daydreaming About Your First Home

Buying your first homeBuying a house for the first time always comes with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Don't worry, it's normal. There's nothing like the feeling of picking out your very own home for the first time, but like any homebuyer you also want to make sure that you're getting solid value for your financial investment. Preparation is the key to finding a home you'll love long-term: you don't have to be an expert to prepare like one. Our REALTORS® at RE/MAX DFW Associates agree that differentiating between what you want and what you need is one of the most important steps you can take when buying a house for the first time.

Do I Want It or Do I Need It?

When defining wants versus needs, it's important to consider the neighborhood in addition to the home itself. You can find homes in Dallas in all shapes and sizes, but the neighborhood you choose helps determine which entertainment options, amenities and services are nearby. Deciding where your priorities lie will allow you to compromise on less important points in order to focus on getting what you really need.

  • Home Size – How much room do you really need, and how much do you expect to need in the future? Buying a home with room to grow may be ideal if you plan on starting a family in the future, while choosing a home with less square footage can help you save money in the present. Always keep one eye on the future when buying a house.
  • Location – The DFW area is a great example of the importance of location, because every community here has a unique feel. Homes in Flower Mound are known for their family-friendly suburban setting, while homes in Plano are located in one of the region's most affluent cities. The right location depends on your present needs and future wants.
  • Employment – Even if you're not moving specifically for a job, it's important to consider your employment needs along with your potential commute. Our region has a ton of great suburbs in addition to the big cities, so homes in Frisco or homes in Coppell offer excellent employment markets and an easy commute to other booming communities.
  • Perks and Amenities – Maybe you really want an ultra-modern kitchen, a formal dining room or bathrooms that look like they were plucked from a Victorian villa. While special perks may not fall into the "need" category, choosing the amenities you want the most will allow you to sacrifice and save in other areas. Homes in Las Colinas are a great option for upscale amenities and inspired design.
  • School District – This is one that every parent shopping for a home for the first time is likely considering, so it's no surprise that choosing the right school district is a priority. If you need to be in a great school district, DFW is a perfect place to shop. Homes in Carollton put you in one of the state's best school districts, but you really can't go wrong with any of the big DFW communities.

Deciding between what you want and what you need is a personal decision, but that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. The help of an experienced real estate agent will make life much easier as you work to find a home that matches your needs. Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates to buy and sell homes throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.