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5 Ways to Sell Your House Stress-Free

by Ashlie DuCros

You’ve made the decision to sell your house. You may have been mulling it over for years, or perhaps a sudden life change has prompted you to make the leap. Whether you’re relocating for a job, empty-nest downsizing, or just need a change, you’ve made it past the first hurdle of reaching the decision!

But the many complicated logistics of selling your house may feel overwhelming. Before you get stressed out and change your mind about the whole thing, know that there are some great ways to stay focused and positive as you navigate this important step. Here are some tips to help you sell your house stress-free to make this leap a very positive one.

Be Clear About Your Objectives Up Front

A lot of communication is required when selling a house, so it’s critical to set a clear set of objectives to yourself and everyone else involved in the process: your real estate agent, your family, and your friends. From the outset, determine an attainable selling price for your home with your real estate agent, and set up clear and reliable lines of communication.

Be clear with your family and friends about what they can expect during the process, and what you’ll need from them to help facilitate the situation with as little stress as possible. Determining your goals and expectations and sharing them clearly with those closest to you is a critical step in eliminating undue stress as you maneuver through the process of selling your home.

 

Stay Flexible

You may have an idea in your head of how long it will take to sell your home. If it begins to take longer than what you expected, the stress will grow. Keep in mind that there are so many variables at play—the location, the price, the market—and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you set your mind to a too rigid deadline. An immediate house sale is rare, so it’s best to curb your expectations and stay flexible as the process unfolds.

 

Keep Things Tidy

You may be required to show your home to potential buyers at a moment’s notice. Maybe they’re in the area and want to pop in to view your home, or perhaps some out-of-towners want to add your house to their list before ending their visit. You won’t be so easily rattled by these last-second requests if you work diligently to keep your house tidy and in order at all times.

Make beds before leaving for work in the morning, never leave dishes in the kitchen sink, and keep up with the laundry and vacuuming. Thoroughly clean the bathrooms every week. If this is overwhelming, consider hiring cleaning help during this transition period. You may want to consider enlisting the help of a willing friend or neighbor who can help with last-minute tidying up if you can’t leave work. Keeping things neat consistently will dramatically reduce your stress level when last-minute showings come up.

 

Leave the House for Social Activities

Sometimes the pressure of unexpected showings and persistent phone calls can begin to take an emotional toll. To stick a pin in the building stress of selling a home, give yourself permission to get out of the house on occasion.

Go out to dinner with friends. Take a long weekend trip. Go to a museum or sporting event. Think of this time as an investment in your personal well-being, by getting your mind off the house sale for a bit. Getting out of the house can work wonders, especially during the first few weeks your house is listed.

 

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

No matter how all-encompassing it may seem, selling a house is never more than one piece of the large pie of life. Don’t forsake your other needs and demands while navigating the process of selling a home. Maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the process by eating healthy meals and getting plenty of exercise and sleep.

If you plan to move out of town, you may not be inclined to get a gym membership or join a yoga class. But you can still walk for a half hour every day or take the kids to a park where you can blow off some steam together.

Getting the appropriate nutrition is a natural way to help your body fight stress. Drink more water, pass on the fried foods, and get more hours of sleep than normal. You’ll thank yourself for the extra effort.

Selling your house can be stressful, but if you set realistic expectations and come to terms with the certainty of uncertainty for the time being, you’ll make it through with a smile.

If you need help selling your home, contact me today!

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

by Ashlie DuCros


If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study shows that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale. Call me to discuss how we can make your dreams come true!

Add Value to Your Home With This Outdoor Spring Clean-up Guide

by Ashlie DuCros

 

The Seller Drought Continues

by Ashlie DuCros

Fewer homeowners have opted to sell for years now in spite of massive appreciation and excellent conditions to sell. 

SO, what gives? Why aren’t homeowners moving like they did before? 

Some think it is because too many millennials are delaying the purchase of their first home and are shacking up with their parents. Others think it is because financing is too tight and that Dodd-Frank regulations are hurting housing. Both issues would have a negative effect on demand; however, housing does not have a problem with demand.

One of the key issues that has impacted the Orange County housing market has been the lack of affordable new housing. Today’s builders have been focusing on catering towards the higher end. The Orange County new home market used to create a lot more local real estate activity as many local homeowners bought new and had to sell their existing homes first. With the county running out of vacant land, this will be an ongoing issue.

Many homeowners are not moving because owning a home long term is now in vogue. The Great Recession rattled our collective psyche and people came out of it changed, looking at homeownership differently. Many are looking to hang onto their homes and dig in their roots, similar to the Midwest philosophy.

Still, the biggest factor preventing many would be sellers from placing their homes on the market is the fear that there will be nothing to buy after successfully selling their homes. This is one of the most prevalent, undermining market forces. Essentially, the low inventory is preventing homeowners from entering the fray. Collectively, they would significantly increase the inventory if they all gave it a shot and marketed their homes subject to finding a replacement property. A seller can accept an offer to purchase their home with the condition that they would be able to find a replacement property within a specific time period, 30-days being most common. If they are unable to find a replacement home within the given time period, then the contract is canceled or additional time may be negotiated.

Another way around this dilemma is the dreaded “double move” where a homeowner sells their home, moves into a monthly rental, and then takes their time to isolate the most ideal home for their family. There are plenty of moving companies that actually cater to this scenario and can crate and store whatever will not be used at the short term rental.

A lack of inventory coupled with a low housing turnover is a persistent trend that is not going to change in the near future. If you're a buyer, seller, or homeowner with any desire to make a move this year, call me to help you realistically approach the market and plan accordingly.

 

4 Urgent Reasons You Should Sell Your Home in 2017

by Ashlie DuCros

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling your home, it might just be time to hop off. Now. 2017 is poised to be the year of the home seller, real estate experts say. So what are you waiting for?

“Sellers have been in the driver’s seat for the last two years, but this year is shaping up to be even better for several reasons,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. “Nothing is bad for sellers today.”

A combination of factors is coming together to make 2017 a prime seller’s market for most of the nation. Here’s are 4 reasons why...


Reason No. 1: Mortgage rates are still low

It’s all about rates. Low mortgage rates translate to lower monthly costs. Lower costs entice buyers, which is good for sellers.

Although mortgage rates have been ticking up since mid-October to slightly over 4%, the rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage—the most popular home loan—are still hovering near 30-year lows. For now.

What does that have to do with home sellers? Well, potential buyers who are armed with that knowledge might hustle to close on a home before a rate hike.

What if you’re nowhere near ready to put your house on the market? That’s OK. Even if rates nudge up by the end of 2017, they’re still expected to be low enough to seduce buyers. The tipping point is when rates reach 5%, experts say. That’s when they could put the brakes on the robust real estate market.


Reason No. 2: Inventory is shrinking

Remember in Econ 101, when you learned that low supply and high demand lead to rising prices? The same is true for residential real estate. When inventory shrinks, available homes become more valuable. 

Make note of this too: not only are there fewer homes for sale, but the time those homes have spent on the market has decreased year over year as well. If priced correctly, the typical home should move quickly, Smoke says. And that’s another boon for sellers.


Reason No. 3: Home prices are rising

Lower inventory and greater demand have pushed up home prices. Higher prices particularly benefit the seller whose property value plunged during the recession. Thanks to rising prices, many homeowners whose property was underwater can now sell without suffering a big loss.

“2017 will be a rare ‘balanced market’ for buyers, because even though mortgage rates are edging up, many sellers have recovered enough equity to be able to afford to sell,” says Colby Sambrotto, president and CEO of USRealty.com.


Reason No. 4: Job markets are strengthening

As unemployment decreases and wages increase, consumer confidence will climb. Increased confidence will spur buyers to jump into the market which is more good news for sellers.

“These things are all connected,” Smoke says. “If people are confident, they’re more likely to buy big-ticket items like houses and cars. And then they spend more money on other things. It reinforces the economy, creating a virtuous cycle.”

 

If you are thinking of making a move in 2017, now may be the best time. Contact me for a no-obligation meeting to discuss your goals! 

Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2017

by Ashlie DuCros

The real estate market is constantly evolving and 2017 is shaping up to be another year of change. If you're planning to buy a home in the new year (or you want to sell your existing home), it doesn't hurt to know a thing or two about what's trending in the markets. As we look ahead to the new year, here's what should be on your radar with regard to the housing markets.

 

1. Home Prices May Stabilize

Home prices have been on a steady incline in recent years. But that momentum may begin to slow down in 2017. Since the Federal Reserve just raised interest rates for the first time in a year, that could have a stabilizing effect on home prices. The National Association of Realtors estimates that price growth will slow to 3.9%, down from 4.9% in 2016.

For sellers, that may lead to a shrinking profit margin in previously hot local markets. Buyers, on the other hand, may be better positioned to snag a deal on a home in areas where prices have recently skyrocketed.

 

 

2. Demand for Housing Could Heat Up

According to the National Association of Realtors, we could see an uptick in the demand for properties in 2017. Specifically, NAR is predicting that existing home sales will top 6 million in 2017, which is similar to forecasts from the Mortgage Bankers' Association, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The increased push for housing may be driven in part by a growing number of millennials who are venturing into homeownership for the first time. In addition to purchasing single-family homes, younger buyers may buy condos as well.

 

 

3. Homeowners Could See Their Equity Rise

While the National Association of Realtors is projecting a slowdown in home prices, other housing industry experts are taking a different stance. CoreLogic, for example, is forecasting a price increase of 5.2% through September 2017. If home prices increase at that rate or close to it, some homeowners could see their home equity rise.

Having more equity in your home is a plus if you're hoping to sell your home or refinance. The more equity you've built up in your property, the more you stand to make if you decide to sell your house. If you're refinancing to pull equity out of your home for a major renovation, a higher equity value will give you more borrowing power.

 

 

4. More people will move to the suburbs for affordable housing

According to Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, as home prices continue to rise, more buyers will move to the suburbs to find affordable housing.

"After the housing bust, people were able to move back to the cities because it was much cheaper than a few years ago," she said. "Now, we see people would still like to live close to the city center where they're close to amenities and in walkable neighborhoods, but for the first time they're not able to find enough inventory that's affordable for them to buy."

As a result, many people have to look further out from cities to find homes in the right price range.

This trend could be good news for suburban homeowners who are planning to put their homes on the market in 2017. For buyers, the primary advantage of choosing the suburbs over the city is the ability to stretch their budgets. For example, $325,000 may buy you a three-bedroom home in the 'burbs versus a one-bedroom studio in the city.

 

As we usher in the new year, if you plan to sell or buy a home this year, it helps to have a local professional on your side. Contact me TODAY! 

5 Home Design Trends for 2017

by Ashlie DuCros

As seasons change, so do home decor trends, and the 2017 trend forecast will give you a whole lot to look forward to. So if one of your New Year's resolutions is to revamp your living space, take note of the list below.

 

TREND: VELVET

Velvet
A hot fashion trend right now, velvet is expected to make a big splash in interior design next year. Look for velvet fabrics and textures to weave their way into anything from throw pillows to upholstered couches and curtains. (via Decor Pad)

 

TREND: JEWEL TONES

​Jewel Tones
Saturated colors like emerald green or sapphire blue will take center stage in 2017. From artwork to furniture, these vibrate hues will be popping up everywhere, bringing life and richness to homes. (via Dalliance Design)

 

TREND: MARBLE SURFACES


Marble Surfaces
Equal parts luxe and glam, marble tables are here to stay.Marble, especially in shades of white and light gray, will be one of 2017’s biggest design trends. Experts predict marble will become an increasingly popular material for countertops, flooring and tabletops, as well as in everyday household items like serving platters or vases. (via Alexa Dagmar)

 

TREND: ORGANIC MATERIALS

Organic Materials
The outdoors is making its way in, and the organic materials trend is no exception. Wood and stone can be beautifully integrated into a variety of aesthetics while contributing a soothing natural vibe. (via A Beautiful Mess)

 

TREND: BUILT-IN BARS

Built-In Bars
Stemming from 2016’s popular bar cart trend, homeowners next year will look for a more permanent solution for entertaining within their home. From built-in shelving for craft cocktail fixings, to a small bar seating area, homeowners are enjoying decorating and hosting more classic parties, and will seek ways to make these spaces more of a focal point within the home. (via Construction Resources)

 

6 Tips for Selling Your House in Winter

by Ashlie DuCros

With people away on trips and cold weather making house hunting less appealing, winter can be a challenging time to sell your home. On the other hand, fewer homes on the market means yours will get more attention from buyers. By upping the cozy factor, making the most of winter assets and paying attention to details, you can make your house really stand out.

Here are six ways to prepare and stage your home for success, and create a warm and welcoming vision for buyers, even when the weather outside is frightful.

 

1. Have a cozy, crackling fire.

If you have a gas fireplace or new clean-burning woodstove, go ahead and light a fire to welcome visitors. But if your home's wood-burning fireplace is older and leaves a smoky smell in the room, hold off. Those with allergies or smoke sensitivities can be turned off — or literally turned away when they have to go outside.instead.

 

2. Keep entryways scrupulously clean.

 As with any time of year, a clean and clutter-free house will sell more easily (and maybe at a higher price) than one with more visible clutter. During winter it is especially important to remove mucky boots outside and keep family gear hidden in a closet or trunk, where potential buyers won't trip over them.

 

3. Give each room a warm touch. 

A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a plump quilt at the foot of the bed or an area rug in warm hues are a few small additions that will make a big difference in the way a room feels to prospective buyers. Also, be sure that every light is on — even for daytime showings. Winter days can be quite dim, and your house will look its best when it's as warmly lit as possible.

 

4. Show how outdoor rooms can be used even in the coldest months. 

If you have a covered porch or outdoor fireplace, be sure to keep the area fully furnished. Turn on outdoor lights, build a fire in the fireplace and drape a few thick throws over your outdoor furniture.

 

5. Showcase the entertaining possibilities of your home. 


Winter is prime time for festive parties and holiday open houses, so whet prospective buyers' appetites with an enticing display. Set out stacks of plates and fresh flowers on a dining room buffet or display holiday cookies on cake stands in the kitchen.

 

6. Do decorate for the holidays.

Buyers want to be able to envision living in your home, so it pays to make that vision as inviting as possible. Festive twinkling lights, green wreaths or topiary, and a decorated tree near Christmas will strike the right note. That doesn't mean you have to go overboard — in fact, a house overly cluttered with holiday decor can be a real turnoff.

The Presidential Impact on Housing

by Ashlie DuCros

In short: the immediate impact of the election results on housing is a bump in interest rates from 3.5% to 4%.

The evolution of the housing market is inevitable. Regardless of who takes office, the housing market will change over the next four years. Historically low interest rates at 3.5% could not last forever. 

So what does all of this mean for housing in Orange County? 

Let’s take a look at the impact on the rise in interest rates. Buyers locking their interest rates today, compared to prior to the election, are looking at paying an additional $161 per month for the median detached home at $710,000. That’s an increase from $2,551 per month to $2,712; that's $1,932 extra over a year. And if long term rates continue to rise to 4.5%, that would be an extra $327 per month compared to where rates were just prior to the election. That’s an additional $3,924 per year.

Historically, a 4.5% rate isn't all that bad. As rates climb, affordability will be squeezed and the Orange County housing market could move from a seller’s market to equilibrium, a market that does not favor sellers or buyers. The active inventory would climb, adding more competition for sellers and more choices for buyers.

It is important to note that nobody knows yet how the new presidential administration will truly unfold. It is mere speculation based upon gut feelings of what most likely will occur. However, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.

The chart below shows how far rates have fallen this year (on the left), and uses an average of the projections from the aforementioned institutions (on the right). As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

 

One thing is for certain, the Orange County housing market will eventually evolve and higher interest rates will be the catalyst of that evolution. 

Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago; a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago!

So contact me today for a free consultation to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home!

 

 

Why Are Mortgage Rates Increasing?

by Ashlie DuCros

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate jumped up to 3.94% last week. Interest rates had been hovering around 3.5% since June, and many are wondering why there has been such a significant increase so quickly. 

WHY DID RATES GO UP?
Whenever there is a presidential election, there is uncertainty in the markets as to who will win. One way that this is noticeable is through the actions of investors. As the election was drawing nearer, many investors pulled their funds from the more volatile and less predictive stock market and instead, chose to invest in Treasury Bonds.

When this happens, the interest rate on Treasury Bonds does not have to be as high to entice investors to buy them, so interest rates go down. Once the elections are over and a President has been elected, investors return to the stock market and other investments, leaving the Treasury to raise rates to make bonds more attractive again.

Simply put, the better the economy, the higher interest rates will go.

THE GOOD NEWS
Even though rates are closer to 4% than they have been in nearly 6 months, they are still slightly below where we started 2016, at 3.97%.

The great news is that even at 4%, rates are still significantly lower than they have been over the last 4 decades, as you can see in the chart below.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 17:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.57 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent.

  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.

  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.07 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.98 percent.



BOTTOM LINE
Interest rates are impacted by many factors, and even though they have increased recently, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. 

If you are ready to purchase a home of your own, now is a great time to jump in. Contact me to get started on owning your dream home!


 

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 276

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Ashlie DuCros & Associates
Coldwell Banker Previews Global Luxury
21580 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92887
714-743-9778
Fax: 714-849-5489