Category Archives: Real Estate Market Conditions

What the Tax Bill May Mean for Home Owners / Buyers


What the Tax Bill May Mean for Home Owners / Buyers

 In a highly unusual move, the National Association of REALTORS® has come out with a position on the tax bills currently in Congress.  The NAR, normally a non-political association, has come out strongly opposed to the bills in both the House and the Senate, and here are the reasons why.

  • According to the NAR’s research estimates, home values will drop 10% on average during the first few years. If this bill becomes law, the decline in home values, especially for recent home buyers, may find themselves underwater with their mortgage.
  • The one trillion dollar increase in the national debt that stems from the tax cuts could cause interest rates to increase, “exacerbating the negative aspects of the tax bill for current and prospective homeowners.”
  • As of the date of the National Association of REALTORS® report, the house version of the bill will eliminate the deduction for home equity loans, but will retain deductions for the primary residence. The Senate bill will eliminate the mortgage interest rates completely. The deductions will be allowed for investment properties for both the mortgage and any home equity loans.
  • Deductions for property taxes will be limited; however, the deductions for investment properties will not be limited.

The real estate market has made significate gains in the last few years as it recovers from the 2008 collapse of the economy and more precisely the real estate market.  Nevertheless, the real estate market still has a way to go for substantial growth.  The National Association of REALTORS® and this writter does not believe the bill before the House or the Senate will do nothing but harm the economy and the real estate market.

Roland

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What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Real Estate – December, 2016 VS. YTD


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Real Estate – December 2016 vs YTD

 The real estate market in Maryland, particularly Frederick County, Maryland has continued its upward climb throughout 2016 ending the year with some pretty solid increases.

Real Estate Market Trend is Strong
Real Estate Market Trend is Strong

Sales of homes in Frederick County Maryland increased by 10.6% in 2016.  This represents an increase of 392 more homes sold this year.  In addition, the average price of homes in Frederick County increased by 1.4% with the median price increasing 2.5%.

One of the numbers that REALTORS® watch closely is the Months of Inventory.  The Months of Inventory is how long it would take to sell all the current homes on the market at the current rate of sales.  If there are six months or more of inventory it is considered a buyers’ market; three to six months is considered a neutral market; and less than three months is considered a sellers’ market.

Frederick County ended 2016 with 2.8 months of inventory indicating that the year ended in a sellers’ market.  This was basically caused by 263 fewer homes on the market than last year.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in 2017, I encourage you to talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make informed decisions.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About – Months of Inventory


What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About

Months of Inventory

 One of the most important numbers in real estate is “Months of Inventory.”  The months of inventory is determined by calculating how many months it would take at the current rate of sales to sell all of the homes currently on the market in a given area.

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For example:  If there are 200 homes for sale in a given area and on average there are 50 homes that sell each month, the months of inventory would be 4 months.

Determining the months of inventory helps determine whether it is a sellers’ market, a buyers’ market or a neutral market.  Determining the market is critical in negotiating for both buyers’ and sellers’.

The rule of thumb for determining the market is if there are 6 months or more of inventory on the market it is considered a buyers’ market; 4-5 months of inventory is considered neutral; and 3 months or less is considered a sellers’ market.

As you can see from the chart, it has been a long time since the State of Maryland has been in a sellers’ market.  Maryland dipped into a buyers’ market in June, 2016 for one month and then trended back to neutral territory.

Frederick County has a more robust market and transitioned into a sellers’ market in May, 2016 and stayed there until September of this year when the county crept into a neutral market. This information is critical in determining what is right for you.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

The Ups and Downs of Real Estate


The Ups and Downs of Real Estate

There is no question that the “trend” in real estate is improving.  There are more homes being sold, prices are trending upward and mortgage interest rates are holding steady.  All of these factors are good news for the real estate market.

Real-Estate-News1

Nevertheless, there are bumps in the road that may cause concern to buyers’ and sellers’, but it is important to keep your focus on the trends in the real estate market and not the bumps that happen.  For example:  The Centralized Showing Service provides REALTORS® with data that provides data of  how many showings have taken place in a zip code during a specified time period.  The report reveals that showings of homes dropped to virtually nil for a two-week period.  It would possibly indicate to people that the market was slowing down: However, during that same period a heat wave hit the east coast that had the heat index in the triple digits for several days in a row – 118 degree heat index a couple of days.

A review of larger statistics continues to indicate that the market in Maryland and the United States is continuing its’ improvement at a steady pace.  Bumps will always be there, but the trend is continuing to show a slow, but steady improvement in the market.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808.

Roland

Maryland Continues It’s Trek Toward A Seller’s Market


Maryland Continues It’s Trek Toward A Seller’s Market

Maryland has continued it’s trend towards a seller’s market again in June, 2016. Maryland had an increase of 10.8% in sales of homes with an average price increase of 4.3% at the same time.

real-estate-dual-agency-buyers-and-sellers

The state in general went from 3.4 months of inventory in May to 3.1 months of inventory in June. Below 3 months of inventory is considered a buyers’ market.

Frederick County has moved deeper into a sellers’ market, from 2.7 months of inventory in May to 2.6 months of inventory in June, 2016. At the same time, the average price of sold homes in Frederick County increased 6.2%.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a professional real estate agent – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or                    email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

Frederick County Maryland is Officially a Sellers’ Market !


Frederick County Maryland is Officially a Sellers’ Market !

The real estate market has been improving dramatically nationwide and Maryland has been no exception. Frederick County Maryland has been showing dramatic improvement over the past several months and officially moved into a sellers’ market in May of this year.

Sellers Market

One number that real estate professionals keep a close eye on is the Months of Inventory. Months of Inventory indicates the number of months it would take to sell all of the inventory currently on the market in a given area at the current rate of sales. For example: If there are 300 homes for sale and 30 homes are being sold per month, you would have 10 Months of Inventory.

If there are more than 6 months of inventory on the market it is considered a buyers’ market; 3 – 6 months it is a neutral market that neither favors sellers’ or buyers’; less than 3 months of inventory and it is considered a sellers’ market.

The May statistics were just released and Frederick County currently has 2.7 Months of Inventory making it officially a sellers’ market. Although Maryland overall is still in the neutral range, some counties like Montgomery, Howard and Prince George’s Counties have been in the sellers’ market for a few months.

But there is good news for buyers’ also. Mortgage interest rates remain very low and it appears that the rates will not increase dramatically for some time to come, but the day is coming when they will be edging up.

Buyers’ need to be mindful of the market conditions and prepare accordingly. Working with a REALTOR® who can work with you every step of the way is critically important. Contacting a mortgage broker and having a pre-approval ready when you want to make an offer will go a long way in getting the home you want.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know – How to Avoid PMI Insurance


There is great news in the real estate market today regarding the ever-hated PMI Insurance.  Mortgage companies are looking for ways to ways to bring more home buyers into the market.  The 20% down payment required by conventional loans has kept a lot of buyers out of the market.  The other part of a mortgage that has continued to be problematic is the PMI Insurance that is generally required of mortgages that do not have the 20% down.

Eliminate-PMI

There are many programs out there that will enable buyers to circumvent the 20% down.  Programs as low as 3.5% downpayment are widespread, but until the other day, the PMI Insurance continued to be a problem for homebuyers.

This week Bank of America announced a new mortgage program called the Affordable Loan Solution.  This mortgage requires as little as 3% downpayment and is not an FHA loan.  Bank of America’s program is a partnership with Self-Help Ventures and Freddie Mac.  Because the Bank of America program is taking the first-loss position of the lien it does not require the PMI Insurance.

To give you some idea how this program will affect home buyers:  Let’s assume that you want to buy a home for $350,000 at 4.0% mortgage interest with the minimum downpayment – meaning that you do not pay the 20% down.  Your payments would be as follows.  PLEASE NOTE: These numbers are for comparison only and are rounded off. 

Monthly Payments                        BofA’s Affordable Loan Solution                         FHA Loan

Principle & Interest                       $1,621                                                                        $1,612

Property Taxes                               $365                                                                           $365

Homeowners Insurance              $102                                                                           $102

PMI Insurance                              $-0-                                                                            $290

Est. Monthly Payment          $2,088                                                                  $2,369

This would amount to a savings each month of approximately $281 per month for homeowners.

The program does require a FICO score of 660 at this time.  Therefore, if you are thinking of buying I strongly encourage you to start the process early to ensure you have the score you need to qualify for this program.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland