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Uncategorized Buy Now or Rent Longer? 5 Questions to Answer Before Purchasing Your First Home Deciding whether to jump into the housing market or rent instead is rarely an easy decision – especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. But in today’s whirlwind market, you may find it particularly challenging to pinpoint the best time to start exploring homeownership. A real estate boom during the pandemic pushed home prices to an […]
Uncategorized 8 Strategies to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate Mortgage rates have been on a roller coaster ride this year, rising and falling amid inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty. And even the experts are divided when it comes to predicting where rates are headed next.1 This climate has been unsettling for some homebuyers and sellers. However, with proper planning, you can work toward qualifying […]
Uncategorized 10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move The process of buying a new home can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But the journey doesn’t stop when you close on your property. On the contrary, you still have quite a bit to do before you can begin the process of settling into your new place. Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything in […]
Uncategorized 7 Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make (And How to Avoid Them) No matter what’s going on in the housing market, the process of selling a home can be challenging. Some sellers have a hard time saying goodbye to a treasured family residence. Others want to skip ahead to the fun of decorating and settling into a new place. Almost all sellers want to make the most […]
Uncategorized Higher Rates and Short Supply: The State of Real Estate in 2022 The last two years caught many of us off guard—and not just because of the pandemic. They also ushered in the hottest housing market on record, with home prices rising nationally by nearly 19% in 2021, driven primarily by low mortgage rates and a major supply shortage.1 But while some had hoped 2022 would bring […]
Uncategorized 5 Ways to Write a Winning Offer in Today’s Real Estate Market Our nation is in the midst of a serious housing crunch. Last year, a lack of inventory and soaring prices left many would-be homebuyers feeling pinched. But now, with interest rates climbing, many of them are also feeling desperate to lock in a mortgage—which has only added fuel to the fire.1 Fortunately, if you’re a […]
Uncategorized Seller’s Checklist: A Timeline to Prep Your Home for Sale We’re still in a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean your home is guaranteed to easily sell.1 If you want to maximize your sale price, it’s still important to prepare your home before putting it on the market. Start by connecting with a real estate agent as soon as possible. Having the eyes and ears […]
Uncategorized Hedge Against Inflation with These 3 Real Estate Investment Types The annual inflation rate in the United States is currently around 7.5%—the highest it has been since 1982.1 It doesn’t matter if you’re a cashier, lawyer, plumber, or retiree; if you spend U.S. dollars, inflation impacts you. Economists expect the effects of inflation, like a higher cost of goods, to continue.2 Luckily, an investment in […]
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Uncategorized 8 Popular Home Design Features for 2022 There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from the market and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, that design is also a key factor. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can […]
Uncategorized A Return to ‘Normal’? Real Estate Outlook for 2022 Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that caused home prices to soar nationwide by a record 19.9% between August 2020 and August 2021.1 However, there were signs in the fourth quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In the […]
Uncategorized 20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List Every year, it seems the holidays sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded last-minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years. But have no fear! We’ve lined up a list of unique […]
Uncategorized Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. Neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership have less crime and more civic engagement. Additionally, studies show that homeowners are happier and healthier than renters, and their children do better in school.1 But one of the […]
Uncategorized Shut Down Home Intruders with These 7 Safety Strategies According to the FBI, more than one million burglaries are committed in the United States each year, with victims suffering an estimated $3 billion in combined property losses.1 Fortunately, there are some proven tactics you can use to decrease your likelihood of a home invasion. Most burglars won’t go to extreme lengths to enter a […]
Uncategorized Nine Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time Selling your home when you still need to shop for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the demand for new homes keeps rising, but the supply feels like it’s dwindling.¹ You’re not alone either if you’re already feeling drained by the complex logistics of trying to sell and […]
Uncategorized 5 Factors That Reveal Where The Real Estate Market Is Really Headed It’s the old supply-and-demand predicament: Home sales in the U.S. continue at a torrid pace, but the availability of listings remains limited. Buoyed by historically low mortgage rates, buyers keep shopping for homes, reducing the available inventory and sparking a rise in home prices across the country. News website The Atlantic summarized the sizzling home […]
Uncategorized How to Bridge the Appraisal Gap in Today’s Real Estate Market If you’re searching for drama, don’t limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition among buyers has been fierce. And with homes selling for record highs,1 the appraisal process—historically a standard part of a home purchase—is receiving more attention than ever. That’s because some sellers are finding out […]
Uncategorized Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth? Learn how to determine your current net worth and how an investment in real estate can help improve your bottom line. Among its many impacts, COVID-19 has had a pronounced effect on the housing market. Low home inventory and high buyer demand have driven home prices to an all-time high.1 This has given an unexpected […]
Uncategorized Santa Cruz County Market Stats, April 2021 The Santa Cruz housing market is blazing brightly! The median sale price and the list/sales price ratio both increased substantially in April, while months of inventory has dropped to a mere 0.9 months. Less. Than. One. Month. (!!)
Uncategorized Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life Imagine the first place you lived as a young adult. Now imagine trying to fit your life today into that space. Not pretty, right? For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical.1 A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would […]
Uncategorized Can I Buy or Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent? Today’s real estate market is one of the fastest-moving in recent memory. With record-low inventory in many market segments, we’re seeing multiple offers—and sometimes even bidding wars—for homes in the most sought-after neighborhoods. This has led some sellers to question the need for an agent. After all, why spend money on a listing agent when […]