Wondering if you should sell your home now? Consider what experts are predicting will happen in the near future to sellers who choose to wait:
If you decide to sell, we have buyers looking for homes now. Could it be yours?
Keeping up the outside of your home is just as important as maintaining the inside! Buyers may not even step inside if the outside looks like it's in need of massive repair.
Wisconsin existing home sales jumped 9.2 percent in April 2013 compared to April 2012, representing 22 straight months of positive sales growth in the state. Median prices climbed by a solid margin, growing 7.8 percent over the past year to $138,000, according to the most recent statistical report released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA).
"This is a solid but sustainable pace of sales," said Renny Diedrich, chairman of the WRA board of directors. This continues the modest growth established in the first quarter of the year nationally in which sales were up 9.8 percent, as well as for Wisconsin, where revised figures show that sales rose 11.7 percent compared to first quarter of 2012. "It looks like the first quarter trends are continuing into the prime selling period of the year, which is very encouraging," Diedrich said, noting that in a typical year, about 60 percent of Wisconsin home sales take place between April and September.
Five of the state's six regions experienced positive growth in sales, with two regions up in the neighborhood of 20 percent. Median prices increased 7.8 percent in April compared to April 2012, after rising 9.3 percent in March, again compared to the same month in 2012. "We're seeing strong upward price pressure statewide and across all regions," said Michael Theo, WRA President and CEO, who pointed to a number of factors on both the demand and supply sides of the market. "On the supply side, unsold inventory has fallen by more than 9,000 homes over the last year, and on the demand side, very favorable mortgage rates have gotten some buyers off the fence and into the market over the last few months," said Theo. He also suspects that the tight inventory of entry-level homes is helping to fuel the upper end of the market. "We've been hearing from REALTORS® that trade-up buyers are having very little problem selling their existing homes, which helps explain why higher-end homes are moving more quickly than they have in the past," he said.
Despite increasing prices, housing in the state remains very affordable. "We're still quite a bit more affordable than the national level, but affordability will slip if prices and mortgage rates rise" said Theo. "This is the time to enlist the help of an experienced REALTOR® to get the most value out of a market that is clearly heating up," he said.
Home prices continued their upward trajectory according to data released in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
With prices appreciating throughout the country and buyers facing multiple offers on homes, many are wondering if we are in another bubble. Redfin's Chief of Real Estate Operations, Scott Nagel, says this is a question his agents are constantly asking.
"The catastrophic bubble that popped five years ago was plagued with faulty loans," said Nagel. "In contrast, today's rapidly rising home prices are largely driven by the abundance of all-cash offers and a lack of inventory. And when the home purchases are financed, appraisals and other tight lending practices are keeping home prices more in check."
Analysts at Econoday agree, noting that the Case-Shiller report only further strengthens the notion that housing is headed back to healthy again.
"This report underscores the healthy gains in the FHFA price report and confirms a pivot higher for home prices, a pivot that promises to be a special story for this year's economy. This report should boost confidence in the housing sector," Econoday said.
The Environmental Protection Agency is urging homeowners to be selective about when they put fertilizer on their lawns, less it end up polluting public waterways instead. The EPA recommends that if storms are in the forecast, homeowners wait until the rain passes before putting down fertilizer. "Fertilizer, along with your money, can just wash off your lawn and down the storm drain. Fertilizer runoff can pollute rivers, lakes, and bays, and cause problems in recreational areas or fishing grounds," it says.
From retirement to saving to paying off debt, our modern-day money worries are many. But some of that concern is fueled more by rumor than reality. Mechel Glass, vice president of community outreach for financial counseling service CredAbility, shares the top five money myths she has encountered while working with a range of clients on financial education.
Myth 1: Most financial goals are unattainable. "People may sit down and set their goals, but they don't track their progress," Glass says. "They will say, 'I'm getting out of debt this year,' but they don't look at where they are each month. They don't put themselves on a plan." In order to successfully reach your goals, you need a plan to get there and a method for tracking your progress.
Myth 2: It is impossible to have enough money for retirement. "It is possible, if we start when we are in our 20s and 30s and just start saving a little bit," she says. If someone tells you when you are younger to put just a little bit of money aside, the task isn't so overwhelming. "When you are in your 60s, it does seem unattainable because you've waited so long," Glass says.
Myth 3: Children don't need to learn about money until they reach high school or college. "You don't want (children) to get their opinions about how to handle money from other people," Glass says. "My daughter is 9 years old, and we started talking about money when she was 3 years old. People want to wait until their kids are in college, and by then they are too late."
Myth 4: Living on a budget means not having fun. "Fun is allowed," Glass says. You just have to plan for it. Glass set the personal goal of getting out of debt this year — including her mortgage — but was still able to negotiate an affordable rate on taekwondo classes to take with her daughter. "It is something we planned for and researched and it fit into our budget," Glass says. Other people may want to go shopping and they still can, she said, as long as they set aside money for each purchase. "You can't take your whole paycheck and go blow it," Glass said.
Myth 5: Marriage will end your money woes. "People get married and assume they are going to get a house, a car and go on vacations," Glass says. "Sometimes when you get married, your partner may have a lot of debt." Loved ones will often share their dreams and aspirations, but not their financial plans, and sometimes they may even hide their financial past, she says.