ReCap

April

What modern-style homes have to offer

Low maintenance costs and contemporary styling are some of the features drawing Millennials to modern-style homes.1 Here’s more on this unique style‚ which originated from post-war trends and ideas:

  • South-facing windows allow natural light to pour in‚ creating a welcoming setting. This also helps reduce energy costs‚ as less lighting is needed in summer and less heat is necessary in winter.
  • An asymmetrical design allows for easy additions to a home’s footprint.
  • Modern homes maximize interior spaces (e.g., hallways & ceiling heights); at the same time‚ the exterior can blend into any neighborhood.

As always‚ it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Ashley Baskin‚ “Modern homes: the style Millennials love‚” The Mortgage Reports‚ last updated March 19‚ 2019.

April

New England build times are the longest

There is nothing like the excitement and anticipation that comes with building a home. At the same time‚ it’s a complex process with many steps and challenges.

Share this homebuilding data1 with customers to help them better manage expectations.

  • On average‚ 7.5 months are needed before a single-family home is ready to be occupied. This includes a month for the permit process and 6.5 months for construction.
  • Houses built for sale average 6.9 months from permit to completion. Houses custom-built by owners average longer: 12.3 months.
  • Build times vary by region. New England has the longest at 10.4 months.

It is a pleasure staying in touch.

1How long does it take to build a single-family home?‚” Realtor Magazine‚ last modified July 10‚ 2018.

April

Key findings from the FHA’s annual report

As home prices rise, more buyers are looking to family for help with down payments.1  The Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) annual report found2:

  • More than 26% of borrowers who used FHA programs had assistance from a relative to fund down payments (up from 22% in 2011).
  • The homeownership rate among those 35 and younger has fallen eight points to 35%. The reasons?  Higher home prices, interest rates, and student loan debt.
  • The number of FHA borrowers receiving down payment assistance from family, the government or another entity jumped from 30% to 39%.

As always, it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Don Reisinger‚ “More homebuyers are turning to their parents for mortgage assistance‚” Fortune, last updated January 4‚ 2019.

2“2018 FHA Annual Report‚” HUD.gov.

March
Exterior spring cleaning tips

After a long New England winter, it’s time to savor spring and its warmer weather. Homeowners can freshen up outdoor spaces with these tips1:

  • Replace outdated fixtures, such as landscape lights, security lights & porch and patio lighting. Also, a switch to energy-saving LED bulbs can reduce monthly energy costs.
  • Clean out the shed, garage & other outdoor storage areas. Organize items into ‘keep,’ ‘toss’ or ‘donate’ piles.
  • Even properly-stored outdoor furniture may need cleaning. Wipe down metal, wicker or plastic pieces; use wood conditioner for teak and other woods. A lengthy sun drying will prevent mold.

Passing along helpful tips is a top priority of mine.

1Bill Gassett, “Eight outdoor spring cleaning tips and tricks,” Massachusetts Real Estate News, last updated February 8, 2019.

March

Buyers showing patience

Sharing data on the home search process can help buyers better manage expectations.1 The latest numbers from the National Association of Home Builders:

  • Of those intending to buy a home in the next 12 months, 54% have been searching for a property for at least three months.
  • Among long-term lookers‚ the #1 reason for not finding the right home is price (49% of respondents). Other top hurdles: a home’s features (40%)‚ the neighborhood (38%)‚ and being outbid in a competitive market (21%).
  • A majority of those still in the hunt do not plan on giving up: 61% said they will continue searching in their preferred location.

As always‚ it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Jann Swanson, “Buyers persist in search for the dream home,” Mortgage News Daily, last updated December 4, 2018.