Home Sellers’ First Spring Results Show “Reignited” Demand
Traditionally, April is a dependable month when Milford, DE home sellers can expect a lively market—and if first reports from across the nation are any indication, the evidence points to a spring selling season that fits the pattern. Just before mid-month, a review by Realtor.com’s Economic Research Director prompted the headline, “Good News for Home Sellers.” Key points:
· In multiple regions, buyer demand has been “reignited” due to an increase in buyer affordability in markets where mortgage rates have lowered.
· The pace of home sales relative to inventory has quickened. This is the first time since March 2018.
· Supply data (the number of residences for sale in the Realtor.com database), while still somewhat constricted, rose 8% year-over-year.
In the 50 largest markets the overall rate of absorption reaccelerated after 11 months of declines. That turnaround suggests that the busy spring home buying season “could be more active than anticipated”—indicating the likelihood that this year will turn into more of a seller’s market than most prognosticators had been expecting.
Milford, DE sellers might be puzzled by the apparent contradiction between a “seller’s market” and reignited demand from buyers. One explanation could be deduced from a survey of 1,015 respondents who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months. Conducted by Toluna Research and published last week, a high proportion of this spring’s home shoppers:
· Nearly 60% are considering a home that needs at least some renovating.
· Just over half are willing to spend more than $20,000 in renovations.
· Of those considering renovations, 95% believe their efforts will result in a positive return on investment.
The willingness to invest time and energy in post-purchase improvement projects is thought to have been encouraged by renovation television programs. The positive before-and-after episodes are more persuasive for experienced homeowners and younger buyers—while fewer than a third of respondents older than 55 years old are as enthusiastic.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Sellers Ponder New Data Ranking Remodeling Project Returns
The numbers are in!
If you are among the local homeowners counting the days until Milford, DE’s hot selling season begins, unless your house is already in perfect showing shape, you might be pondering which—if any—possible remodeling projects would be wise to take on before you list.
The answers aren’t simple. The first consideration is the calculation for whether your property is likely to attract top dollar in its as-is condition. If not, you need a prospect’s-eye take on which areas are most likely to detract from the apparent overall value of the property. Then comes another factor: identifying which of those projects will go furthest in recapturing their cost.
Even if leaving everything as-is doesn’t inspire much confidence, it might be tempting to “test the market” just to see what happens. Unfortunately, the most common result is that offers (if any) will be lowered to reflect the cost you saved…less a premium, of course. Experienced bargain hunters look to be compensated for the value they’ll have to add.
A number of remodeling associations attempt to alleviate at least some of that guesswork via annual assessments. These survey current national data to compare average costs for remodeling projects with the average value they return at sale. These figures are difficult to pin down with precision, but the folks at remodeling.hw.net take on the challenge annually. As noted above, the numbers are in!
Their 2018 national survey names the top 4 remodeling projects earning the best returns:
· Garage door replacements returned 98.3% of its average $3,470 outlay.
· Manufactured stone veneer brought in 97.1% of its $8,221 cost.
· Entry door replacements drew 91.3% of its $1,471 cost (specified: steel doors).
· Deck additions returned 82.8% of an average $10,950 outlay.
Next in line were minor kitchen remodels, siding replacement, vinyl window replacement, and bathroom remodels—all of which averaged five-figure costs and all of which returned smaller percentages than the leaders. Milford, DE results could, of course, differ—but the national averages are food for thought.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Pinocchio - and Buying Time in Milford, DE Real Estate
The artist who conceived and painted the opening scene in Disney’s masterpiece, Pinocchio, was an old-world perfectionist. The opening shot was to employ an imaginative technical breakthrough that made it appear that the audience was swooping down out of the night sky into Geppetto’s workshop. The painting had to be distorted just so—in a way that had never been attempted.
The story goes that, after many frustrating delays, Disney’s producer had sent word that he would double the artist’s fee if he’d just hurry up. The artist refused, simply sending word, “I didn’t ask for more money. I asked for more time!”
For Milford, DE real estate, it’s a story that can have analogous meaning. Everyone has his or her own reasons for listing their home, and sometimes timing is of overriding importance. When professional imperatives call for an immediate change of location or when family matters create the same urgency, a speedy sale can take on primary importance. But there can be a variety of reasons why the market fails to produce a buyer. When just lowering the asking price fails to bring about the desired result, it can create a real conundrum.
Particularly for distinctive Milford, DE homes that have one-of-a-kind appeal, it might make sense to wait for a rare one-of-a-kind buyer to appear. In such situations, unlike the Disney example, it can be possible to “buy” time. One way is to examine the possibility of renting out the property. Even if the monthly rent doesn’t quite cover the mortgage, the loss can sometimes make financial sense if it allows time for the ultimate buyer to enter the market.
There are serious issues associated with such a stop-gap solution—and financial details that might make it impractical. In addition to the credit implications, there are tax repercussions— as well as the extra layer of complexity that’s added when a renter-occupied home is offered for sale. In any case, as the Washington Post noted in a feature on this solution, “…most sellers in this situation fail to think through all the factors…” that go into that decision.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Four Traits that Aid Delaware Homebuyers
The Rorschach (or inkblot) test is the one where a psychologist shows you a series of pictures that seem to be random black-and-white splatters. The shrink asks you what you think they look like. What you “see” in the inkblots tells something about who you are—how you look at things.
If someone were to create a pack of inkblots to test for who would be best suited for the tasks facing Delaware homebuyers, they’d be designed to pinpoint character traits that come in handy during a typical homebuyer’s quest. I don’t know how Dr. Rorschach came up with the shapes he chose (what was he thinking?)—but at least four characteristics to look for would be:
- Low financial anxiety. One trait that’s common among those who are well prepared to go after their first Delaware home is command of their financial affairs. If that’s not present—if finances are amorphous or if creditworthiness is shaky—potential first-timers are almost certainly jumping the gun.
- Patience. The probability of winding up with exactly the right Delaware home increases in tandem with the ability to resist hasty impulses. The first or second property visited might ultimately turn out to be the best one—but there is wisdom in verifying that through comparison with a range of other possibilities. Patience in house hunting makes for an informed homebuyer.
- Flexibility. Having a firm list of requirements is helpful to get a house hunt off to a productive start, but if those requirements are set in concrete, some of what might turn out to be the best candidate properties can be missed entirely. I can’t tell you how many great finds have resulted when we took a little extra time to check out what had seemed to be an iffy prospect.
- Openness. Homebuyers increase the likelihood of winding up with the most suitable Delaware home in their budget range when they aren’t shy about sharing their ideas and reactions with their agent. Being talkative is perfectly okay for engaged homebuyers—just as being closed-mouthed is something of a drawback. The more feedback that’s freely exchanged between the boss (you) and your Realtor® (me), the better!
For Delaware homebuyers of all stripes, another kind of “inkblot test” occurs when you walk through the front door of what ultimately becomes “the one.” That’s an experience it doesn’t take a shrink to interpret: it’s the feeling that you’ve found your home!
- Written by Russell Stucki