Undersupply: Understanding the Current Real Estate Industry

There’s no denying the real estate industry is soaring. In October 2020, year-over-year new home sales were up an astounding 41%, paving the way for 2021’s real estate market.

But what does this mean for buyers and sellers alike? How are interest rates and house stocks affecting sales?

During volatile economic times, investors are often quick to sell off stocks and bonds. As demand increases, so does the price. This then lowers the interest payment.

The result? Lower bond yields (interest payments), and lower mortgage rates.

To understand more about the current real estate market, home value, and why it’s a sellers’ market, keep reading for information every buyer and seller needs to know.

Current Housing Market

Did you know that more homes were sold in 2020 than in the last 14 years? This may have you wondering how long trends will hold out.

It’s expected that the housing market will remain hot throughout 2021. The results are sellers receiving over-asking-price for their homes, and multiple-offer situations occurring.

Multiple offer situations are ideal for sellers, since they’re able to sell their homes quickly while turning a sizeable profit.

But what’s driving buyers to purchase property with gale-force speeds?

Record Low Interest Rates

Record low interest rates are making the American dream of homeownership a reality. Interest rates dropped approximately 14 times in 2020 alone, dropping to numbers as low as 2.71%.

However, as the economy recovers, so will interest rates. Rates have already increased by .5% since the start of the year. Even though the current housing market favors sellers, there are more buyers than there are available homes.

This past April, St. Paul residents have seen a 6.1% increase in home sale prices. On average, a home in St. Paul sold for $260,000 after being on the market for only two weeks.

In April 2020, 327 homes sold. However, in April 2021, 404 homes sold. It’s obvious the market is still hot, and there’s no time like the present to become a first-time homebuyer, purchase an investment property, or move up to a larger house. Luckily, low inventory has been on the rise, something that affects the forecast for investors.

Other Factors in the Real Estate Industry

Record low interest rates and the desire to purchase larger homes have played a contributing factor in the real estate market. As more people work from home and provide homeschool instruction, the need for separate offices increased, as well as space to conduct virtual learning.

Families also invested in vacation properties in rural areas, looking to escape city life as the pandemic gained traction, causing people to remain home.

Real Estate for All Your Needs

The real estate industry is hotter than ever before. With homes in demand but an undersupply of inventory, it’s no wonder homes are selling at or above the asking price and in record fast time. Add to the mix low interest rates, and you have a seller’s market.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, Elhm Realty has you covered. Contact us today to discuss your next real estate transaction.

House For Sale By Owner Sign in a front yard of a house

First Time Home Buyer and Real Estate Checklist

Did you know that first-time buyers account for more than 38% of all home buyers? That’s a figure that has dropped considerably over the last couple of decades.

Buying your first home can be both exciting and daunting. It may seem like there are lots of hoops that you need to jump through when taking your first steps to home buying.

So, what do you need on your real estate checklist when you’re a first-time buyer?

In this article, we’ll look at the home buying process

Your Real Estate Checklist

If you’re a first-time buyer, the buying process will be completely new to you. Here is a home buying checklist in brief.

  • Determine your budget
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage
  • Find a real estate agent
  • Visit houses
  • Put in an offer
  • Get an inspection
  • Get an appraisal
  • Close the sale

Let’s take a look at how to buy a home in more depth.

Determine Your Budget and Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Before you can even start looking for a home, you’ll need to determine your budget. It makes no sense to start house hunting until you’ve got an idea of what you can afford.

The best way of doing this is by speaking to a mortgage company and getting pre-approved for a home loan.

The lender will review your income and your credit score. They will then agree on a set amount of money that you can borrow. Once you have an in-principle mortgage agreement, you can start to find your perfect home.

Find a Real Estate Agent

Once you know how much you can spend, start speaking to real estate agents. Give them your budget and any requirements that you have from your home. Your real estate agent will then give you some suggestions for homes that suit your needs.

Visit Houses and Put In an Offer

Your real estate agent will then take you on tours of the homes that suit your needs. It can often be helpful if you take a tape measure with you when you view a home so you can see whether your furniture will fit.

It can be easy to become emotionally attached to a property that you view. If you’re 100% sure you like a property, put in an offer on it.

If you know you want to buy a home, submit an offer as soon as you can. It may get sold if you wait.

Get an Inspection and Appraisal

Getting your potential new home appraised and inspected is vital. The appraisal will confirm the property’s value for your lender, and the inspection will let you know whether there are any concerns about the structure or integrity of the property.

Once you’ve had these carried out, you may want to renegotiate your offer if the surveys flag up any issues.

Close the Sale

Once you’ve ticked off every box on your real estate checklist and the deal is going ahead, it’s time to close the deal. That means signing the papers and exchanging funds.

For more help understanding how to buy a home, speak to our team of experts today.

asphalt road with text welcome to minnesota near yellow line. concept

Buying a Home in Minnesota? Here’s What You Should Know

Buying a home in a new state is always a little stressful. The differences in the market, factors in the area you’re looking at, and different policies for real estate agents can make the process pretty intimidating.

If you’re looking at the Twin Cities market, we’re going to tell you what to know about buying a home in Minnesota. Homes in the Twin Cities fall all across the board and the Minneapolis-St. Paul is filled with a wide variety of options.

Hopefully, the information below can give you some insight into how to approach buying a home in Minnesota and what to expect when you zone in on a house. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Things to Know When Buying a Home in Minnesota

The first thing to note about scoping out homes in the Twin Cities is that slight differences in location will have a big influence on price.

Summit Avenue in St. Paul, for example, has rows of million-dollar homes that sit just a few blocks away from homes that are far more affordable. So, don’t get discouraged by a few high asking prices if there’s an area that you like.

The Suburbs Are a Short Commute

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Twin Cities are at the center of a network of great suburbs. Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Edina, Cottage Grove, and Woodbury are all within a 15-minute drive of the city centers.

This makes buying a home a lot easier if you’re going to be driving into the city for work every day. Additionally, proximity to the city gives you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the nightlife, restaurants, museums, and various state parks that exist within the Twin Cities.

Account for the Weather

This is one of the most important Minnesota real estate tips, and it’s particularly true for the winter season.

Minnesota is home to a wide variety of seasonal conditions.

These differences can have a big impact on different elements of the home. Roofs, basements, siding, and heating systems all take a toll in the winter. These are elements of the house you’ll want to ensure are in good condition when you do a walkthrough.

It’s also smart to think about your commute and your vehicle. If you plan to drive a sedan, keep the slope of your potential driveway in mind. The winter can lead to a glaze of ice that might prevent you from getting back up!

Fortunately, most, if not all, of the houses you’ll look at near the city are very accessible throughout the year.

Minnesota Has a Unique Real Estate Process

Understanding how to buy a house in Minnesota might be a little different than it is in other states.

Issues like broker reciprocity, real estate commissions, dual agency, loan approval, and more might not be the same as they have been for you before. It’s important to contact a real estate agent to get expert tips about buying a home in Minnesota.

Help Is Never Far Away

A beautiful thing about living in Minnesota is that the people are notoriously friendly and helpful. “Minnesota Nice” is the common phrase used to describe the people here.

The real estate market is no exception. If there are any questions that you have about the process or how to find a home, we’re here to queue you into all of the details that you should know and answer any questions you may have.

Need Help Finding a Home?

Hopefully, this brief guide for homebuyers in Minnesota was helpful as you start your process.

If you’re buying a home in Minnesota, whether you’ve lived here forever or you’re just moving to town, we’re here to help. We have a wide range of listed homes, insight into the market, and a wealth of knowledge about how to make your home buying process as smooth as possible.

Contact us for potential homes, insight into the process, options for selling your home, and a whole lot more.

Estate Agent Looking Around Vacant Property For Valuation

Understanding Real Estate Valuation: How Your Home Is Valued

How much is it worth? We tend to see our homes as a nest egg. After all, it is an asset.

Our home’s value fluctuates depending on the economy as well as various other factors. Real estate valuation measures what a home is really worth.

If your curious as to what factors into your home’s worth or what the process is like don’t worry. We’re about to go over the home appraisal process.

Formal Valuation v. Market Appraisal

A professional valuer is the only one that can give a formal valuation. Real estate valuation methods come in three sub-categories: Kerbside, desktop, and full valuation.

A Kerbside or drive-by-valuation is as the name implies a valuation based on your home’s outward appearance. A desktop valuation is an appraisal based on what information is available online. Both are less expensive alternatives to a full residential real estate valuation, but without the benefits of having your home’s inside value-added.

Full valuations are typically required by lenders to help them how much they will be willing to lend. Potential home buyers or sellers will benefit from a full appraisal to properly gauge what their home is really worth.

market appraisal is conducted by a real estate agent. It can help you estimate the value of your home based on other home sales in your area. You may find this helpful if you are not seeking a loan or just want a ball-park guess at what you could be sitting on.

Real Estate Valuation Process

Appraisals are requested mostly by lenders. If they are going to be loaning large sums of money they want to make sure you have enough collateral to support the loan. That is also why a lender must hire an appraiser with no vested interest in the property. Appraisal fees are usually covered by the potential borrower.

An appraiser with no direct interest in the property must be found. Similar to a market appraisal, a real estate valuation will also have some influence from sales home sales similar to yours.

A complete inspection will include the interior and exterior of the home, including repairs your home may need. The number of rooms, square footage, and location of your home will also be factors. The report will be a summary of the appraiser’s findings and include public land records, sketches, pictures, a street map, and an explanation as to how the appraiser got the number he did.

Reap What You Sow

If you are wondering if the sale of your home will help you reach your retirement goals, find out. Having a realistic perspective can save you time, stress, and help you plan accordingly.

Real estate valuations are also used on rental properties. Charging the market rate for rent never hurts. We invest time and money in the present with the hope of reaping bountiful rewards in the future.

Undervaluing your property will cost you, so don’t take the risk. Find out how much your home is worth.

Interested in learning more about the housing market? Contact us for more about your real estate needs.

Young happy couple receiving house keys from real estate agent. Giving keys of new house to young couple. Smiling couple signing financial contract for mortgage.

Buying a Home? 6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Excitement is in the air when it comes to being a first time home buyer.

In 2019, the United States saw the largest boom among first time home buyers. Of the millions that bought homes, 29.8 percent of the national market was made up of new home buyers. This is a five percent increase in comparison to previous record numbers.

If you’re soon to join this list, you’ll want to know these 6 tips for first-time home buyers before putting in an offer.

1. Previous Debt and Emergency Funds

Before you add debt to your credit history, make sure you have the money to make a smart decision.

Home buying is expensive. This is especially true depending on the type of neighborhood you live in. Aside from the upfront costs of purchasing a home, you’ll be making investments in the property and any maintenance necessary.

Make sure you have enough emergency money and previous debt eliminated.

2. Set a Budget

Before you start saving money you need to determine your home-buying budget. First time home buyers rush into the process without reviewing their finances.

You can use helpful online resources to help you determine what your budget is. Settle on a price range that reflects your budget, relationship status, credit score, down payment, and location.

3. Consider Mortgage Options

There are a few different categories of mortgage options when you’re looking to buy a home.

Conventional mortgages, FHA, USDA, and VA loans are all worth looking at. Depending on your situation, one may provide a better interest rate or payment figure.

The longer the loan is in years is linked to the interest rate of the loan. Fewer years means higher payments but less interest paid over time. Choose an option you can afford.

4. Closing Costs

Buying a house is the beginning of additional fees you’ve never heard of. Closing costs on average cost about three to four percent of the purchase price of your home.

They’re necessary to pay the appraisal, home inspection, credit report, attorney, and homeowner’s insurance. Make sure you’re keeping closing costs in mind when you’re budgeting for a home.

5. Ignore Emotional Attachment

It’s easy to fall in love with a house you can’t afford. Emotional attachment is the root of making poor life choices.

Although this sometimes doesn’t backfire, getting too attached when buying a home can string your money out thin. Make sure you’re following the six tips for first time home buyers that we’ve laid out.

If not, you might find yourself bidding out of your price range.

6. Unicorns Don’t Exist

Unicorns, or the perfect house, is a common term in home buying. Although you want your first home to check all the boxes, it doesn’t have to.

Sure, sometimes the perfect situation falls into your lap. Most of the time this isn’t the case and if you find yourself waiting around for the house that checks all those boxes you might be waiting forever.

Follow These 6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

If you’re ready to use these 6 tips for first-time home buyers and make an offer, you need a company you can trust.

Next Home Elhm Reality is there for you. Tips for first time home buyers can make a break a purchase. If you’re led astray you’ll find yourself overpaying with additional stressors you don’t need to force on yourself.

That’s where we come in. Give us a call today to discuss some excellent Minnesota homes we have listed on our website.

You’ll be glad you took the time to prioritize your future home.