How Covid-19 is Impacting Real Estate

How is Covid-19 impacting real estate?

How COVID-19 is Impacting Real Estate

How is COVID-19 impacting real estate

2020 started out as a prosperous and hopeful year in so many ways, particularly in the real estate industry. The spring market arrived early, and real estate was hot! Now, though, we are forced to pivot to the big question of the moment: how is Covid-19 impacting real estate?

It’s presence impacts every single person on the planet. First of all, regardless of how this stinker is affecting you, I am sorry. I am especially sorry if you’ve lost a loved one, or have had to nurse someone through this sometimes aggressive illness. I’m sorry if your business is hanging on by a thread, or you have had to file for unemployment. I'm just sorry. I wish I could wave a magic wand and fix it all. I really do.

However, I also want to offer some hope and encouragement to you, specifically regarding your real estate investments. The future of the market is uncertain, but there are some positive signs. And even when the questions are hard, there are options and I am here to help.

Here are the answers to three questions that have been asked of me a lot in recent days, with some links for further reading if you’d like to learn more. 

1. How has the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order impacted the real estate sales process?

Real Estate services are considered essential in Washington State. What this means is that although open houses and overlapping showings are suspended for the time being, all other real estate services are still permitted in accordance with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service has put out a very informative release with more details on specific actions that can and cannot occur during the shut down, and you can view that here.

The bottom line is that real estate transactions are still moving, with just a few adjustments and accommodations to the ways we show houses and handle in-person contact.

2. How is the market reacting to the pandemic and the Stay Home Orders?

I'm not going to lie: it's a mixed bag.

Nationally, new listings are down 27% compared to the first week of April of last year. However, in the Seattle region listings are up 2.6%. In our area, people are continuing to sell homes!

Yet, the signs are there that the market is slowing down. Averaged over the past couple of years, when the local market has been HOT, only about 1 out of 5 homes sat on the market more than a month. But right now, it's closer to 2 out of 5 homes. So sellers should expect to wait a few weeks longer to sell their houses. So far, though, with over 60% of homes selling within a month of listing, the market is still moving along. That's not too shabby.

I don't have a crystal ball, though. There are still so many unknowns about not just the virus itself, but about how Covid-19 is impacting real estate and the economy at large. So my advice to someone asking me if it's a good time to sell, or a good time to buy, remains the same as it always is: the right time to buy/sell real estate is when it's the right time for YOU to buy/sell real estate.

It is such a personal decision, and I won't give a one-size-fits-all answer. That's not honest or authentic to who I am. So if you have a question specific to your situation, please reach out to me. I don't sell real estate—I help people through real estate transactions. So if it's not going to help you to buy or sell right now, I'll totally say that. But if you're positioned well for it, let's do it!

3. I am having trouble paying my bills right now. What should I do about my mortgage?

Okay, this is a heavy question, but it is reality for a lot of people right now. If this is you, first take a breath. I know this seems scary. You may or may not know that my husband and I lost our first home to foreclosure due to the 2008 crash. So I mean it when I say that I know what you're feeling, and I also know that this too shall pass.

Now that you've taken a breath here's what I would do: I'd Immediately call the bank that holds my mortgage and ask about forbearance option. The silver lining right now is that more than one out of twenty mortgage borrowers have been granted a pause on their monthly mortgage payments.

You should consider talking to your attorney about what's best for you.

Bonus Question: I don't feel well, but still need to view homes because we're on a time crunch to move. What do I do?

Please take care of yourself and stay home. We can figure out a way to get this done without you risking your health or that of others. Virtual tools and walk-throughs are a great option. I’ve taken a few clients on walk-throughs of houses using video calling. While Covid-19 is impacting real estate for sure, nearly every aspect of real estate transactions can be conducted virtually, if need be. And for those that can't, such as the inspection, if you can't be there I will be.

So, if you are not feeling well you should assess your symptoms, then call your doctors office to consult about next steps. The CDC has a helpful page about what to do if you are sick.  Once we all come out on the other side of this virus we will need to hit the ground running to keep our economy strong, but first things first… stay home, stay healthy.

Final Thoughts...

As we all continue to walk through this surreal time, I urge you to look outward and find ways to encourage those around you, whatever that may look like. In recent days, I am drawn to this John Wesley quote now more than ever:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

If you have any other questions about how Covid-19 is impacting real estate, just general real estate questions, or questions specific to your situation, I am available! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

All the best,

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If I Had to Do It All Over Again, Here’s What I Would Do

A duplex home is the ideal first real estate purchase.

If I Had to Do It All Over Again, Here's What I Would Do

A duplex home is the ideal first real estate purchase.Life and time have a way of sneaking away from us. The older we get, the faster it seems to go, am I right? Hindsight is 20/20, and for the most part I love our life and have been happy with a lot of the choices we’ve made along the way--but one big mistake keeps me up at night: 

WE SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A DUPLEX!

Duplexes are like a diamond in the rough and can be really difficult to come by, but oh, man…that rental income slipped through our hands like sand, and I am determined to help as many people avoid the same mistake as possible. 

First we need to clarify some definitions: 

A single-family residence is a structure that is used as a single dwelling unit. Good examples of this would be a residential house, a condominium, or a townhome. 

A multifamily dwelling is housing where multiple families/people can inhabit the same building or several buildings all within one complex.

A duplex is the ideal first purchase. Why? Because the down payment percentage for a single-family house is the same as it would be if you were to purchase and reside in a multifamily property. You will need to speak with your trusted lender to get more details on the financing. 

Long story short, you can buy property that you pay 100% of the mortgage for, or you can buy a property where a tenant can reside in the second unit and cover a large portion of the mortgage.

Some people struggle with the idea of becoming a landlord or living so closely to someone else, but for a fun way to find out what kind of real estate you should purchase, I’d encourage you to take my fun quiz HERE. 

If you’d like to chat more about the pros and cons of owning--and living in--a multifamily property, let me know

Market Update: February 2019

 Market Update: February

Hi ladies and gentlemen,

Below I'll be going into the existing supply of affordable housing, the current interest rates, and how demand is continuing to grow in our area.

Housing Supply:

“The spring homebuying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we expect to see a solid spring market.” Mike Fratantoni Chief Economist at MBA.

Housing Supply 19'

Interest Rates Decrease:

Due to interest rates remaining low, and inventory increasing the Chief Economist at NAR, Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist at Zillow, Aaron Terrazas, and Freddie Mac all agree that the supply and demand is leading us into an increase in existing home sales. New construction home sales are expected to remain flat. Existing home prices are continuing to appreciate, but it is at lower levels than the last few years. The market is not depreciating, but the rate of appreciation is decelerating.

Feb Interest rates 19'

Low Inventory:

Our biggest challenge is the availability of supply. Low inventory coupled with sustained demand creates an opportunity for sellers to capture a higher sales price due to less competition.

Best price to sell

2019 will be a great year to capitalize on your properties equity.

Keep more money when selling your property!

Fill in the information below to find out how much your house would sell for.

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All the best!

Market Update: January 2019

 Market Update: January

Welcome to 2019! 

Though changes are happening in the market, the year ahead is full of possibilities.  To paraphrase the Disney movie Up: Adventure Awaits!

Changing Prices:

More listings coming to market mean more competition. The dramatic appreciation left buyer's in sticker shock last year. Now that inventory is increasing, we are staring to see the price of available properties stabilizing. 

Average days on market

Slowing Appreciation:

Over the past 12 months, we have seen dramatic price spikes in King & Pierce county. Buyers were offering full price, and getting beat out by people paying far above asking price. Now the market is starting to shift. The chart below is the home price percentages appreciation projections from Home Price Expectation Survey, Zelman & Associates, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae.

Appreciation going forward

Preparing for Selling:

The rental market has been flooded, which has driven up the price of rentals. The rental price increase has caused people to rethink the cost of buying. Loan applications have increased to 5.5% in the past three months. This means renters have been saving and are starting to prepare to purchase. Demand for well priced houses is still in high demand.

The bottom line is that a changing market is not a bad thing. It is a sign that our economy is starting to stabilize. If you have been considering selling, now is a great time. There is a pent up demand for well priced, existing homes.

Do you have any questions about how these stats will be affecting you?

Fill in the information below, and I would be happy to help find a strategy that will fit your needs.

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All the best!

Market Update: December 2018

 Market Update: December

With the markets shifting again, and clients calling about where we are at in the market, it's a good time to look at the market overall.

Inventory:

Graph 3

Our inventory challenge is starting to change, which is great news for buyers… and is causing a shift in thinking for homeowners. Homeowners were seeing 6%- 12% appreciation over the last few years and that is starting to level out. Price is determined by supply and demand so as the supply increases, and the demand stays the same, the appreciation rate is going to stabilize.

Appreciation:

Graph 1

Over the past 12 months, we have seen dramatic price spikes in King & Pierce county. Buyers were offering full price, and getting beat out by people paying far above asking... but things have started to change. The chart above is the home price percentages appreciation projections from Home Price Expectation Survey, Zelman & Associates, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae.

Preparing:

Graph 2

The rental market has been flooded, which has driven up the price of rentals. This price increase, has caused a 5.5% increase in loan applications in the past three months. This means renters have been saving and are starting to prepare to purchase. Over the past two months, we can see the market starting to shift and more renters will be entering the home ownership market.

Do you have any questions about how these stats will be affecting you?

Fill in the information below, and I would be happy to help find a strategy that will fit your needs.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email.
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Please check this field.

All the best!

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