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January 2017 News
Existing Homes Sales Report
Based on data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), an upsurge in the Northeast and a more modest gain in the South nudged existing-home sales up in November for a third month in a row.
Total existing-home sales (transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) grew 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November against October's downwardly revised 5.57 million. November's sales velocity is now the briskest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and sits 15.4% above one year ago (4.86 million).
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated that it's been an impressive three-month period for the housing market as 2016 ends. "The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months," Yun said. He added, "Furthermore, it's no coincidence that home shoppers in the Northeast — where price growth has been tame all year — had the most success last month."
Housing Data Takeaways
Winter Home Staging Tips
When selling your home in the winter, the art of staging the inside becomes more important. Here are five simple tips to make your home shine even when the outside landscaping has faded:
Keep your house warm. In the winter people tend to turn the thermostat down to save money, however a warmer house is more welcoming to a potential buyer.
Clear your walkways and driveways of any snow or ice. Make it easy for buyers to get to your home.
Clean the windows and blinds. Letting in the natural light can brighten up a room and cheer up the home. This also brings attention to the windows and blinds so make sure they are clean even during winter. Dirty windows will make the home appear neglected.
Background music played softly can completely change the atmosphere, which will make the home feel cozy and keep potential buyers around longer. Select classical music to appeal to anyone.
Leave the light on. Before showing a home, make sure it's well lit. A well lit home is more inviting. If you're not home, consider setting up timers.
Following these simple tips can give your house that added boost in today's competitive market. For information on selling in our local market, please contact us for a free market analysis of our recent neighborhood activity. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
Are Bi-Weekly Payments Right for You?
Many people ask about bi-weekly payment plans designed to reduce the interest paid out over the course of your loan. These programs help the borrower budget an extra payment a year, and over time this can knock years off the repayment schedule.
Many people are surprised to learn that they can do this themselves without any special programs, simply by submitting an extra principal payment as they are able. By submitting an extra payment, you get the advantages of an early payout, without the extra contractual obligation. Want more information on other mortgage options?
Contact us today for our list of preferred local mortgage experts who can help you position yourself for a great year in 2017!