Report: Bigger is Better for National Home Buyers

US New Home ConstructionThe sluggish housing market over the last several years did not have an impact on Americans’ desire for bigger and fancier homes, according to a recent report from USA Today.

Evidently, demand continues to grow for these large estates, especially as the housing market across the nation improves.

This is a fascinating trend on the national housing market and one that is sure to impact both home buyers and sellers.

Americans Love to Own Large, Luxury Homes

The American Dream of owning a bigger and better home is still very much alive across the country.

In fact, as the recent USA Today article noted, many of today’s buyers still want a house that includes as many luxury amenities and features as they can think of – or at least afford.

This may include gourmet kitchens, deluxe bathrooms, spacious decks or screened-in porches.

While this is occurring, experts also note that homeownership rates have remained mostly stagnant. And income growth appears to be lagging behind the rising price of homes.

Meanwhile, the size of families and households continues to shrink, even though the houses themselves are getting bigger.

Experts say that this is because Americans still love the idea of owning a home that makes a statement about them, that demonstrates their status in society.

A Closer Look at This Housing Market Trend

Here is some relevant data on this housing market trend, based on US Census data:

  • The average square footage of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by nearly 57 percent, from 1,660 in 1973 to 2,598 square feet in 2013.
  • The Northeastern region of the country had the second-highest average square footage, which rose by 65 percent. Specifically, the square footage jumped from 1,959 to 2,636.
  • Meanwhile, the average number of people per household in the U.S. dropped from 3.01 in 1973 to 2.54 in 2013.
  • Specifically, families fell to 3.12 members from 3.48 during the same period of time.
  • As a result of the construction of larger homes, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. skyrocketed by 419 percent from $62,500 in 1978 to $324,500 in 2013.
  • Even if you consider inflation, that still quite a jump, experts say.
  • The Northeast is home to the highest average sales price, which increased by 646 percent from $63,000 in 1978 to $469,000 in 2013.
  • Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by 20 percent: from $292,000 to $324,500.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. homeownership rate continued to drop during the fourth quarter of 2013: from 65.4 during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 65.2 percent.

So What Do Home Owners Get With These Newly Built Homes?

A better question is: What don’t they get?

Here’s a breakdown of these new construction homes and what they offer to buyers:

  • Of the 569,000 homes built last year throughout the U.S., 188,000 (33 percent) contained three or more bathrooms.
  • Meanwhile, 251,000 (44 percent) of last year’s houses featured four or more bedrooms, which is the largest share since 1973..
  • Also, of the homes built last year, 301,000 (53 percent) came with a patio.
  • And 361,000 (63 percent) featured a porch.
  • Meanwhile 127,000 (22 percent) included a deck.
  • Another trend that experts are seeing is more finished basements for added space, according to the report.
  • These homes have mostly hovered around one and two stories, however, despite the increase in size. In fact, 233,000 (41 percent) of newly built homes last year were one story and 305,000 (54 percent) were two stories. Meanwhile, only 31,000 (5 percent) were three stories or more.

Follow Our Blog for More Valuable National Real Estate Data

Check back here soon for more pertinent information on the housing market and how it may impact you as a buyer or seller.

We’ve made it our goal to help you stay informed as you navigate the market. After all, the better informed you are, the better prepared you are for securing a successful outcome on the housing market.

Home Improvements That Pay Off When Selling Your Home

Home RemodelingNot all home remodeling projects are created equal – especially when you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes time to sell your property.

So before you spend thousands of dollars on that home remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about, make sure that you’re armed with the facts first.

Today, we’re going to tell you which of the most common home renovation projects are worth the investment, and which ones you’re better off doing without. The answers may surprise you.

Roofs and New Siding: Not Very Glamorous but Quite Impactful

Remodeling Magazine reports that you’re more likely to recoup your investment on such features as your roof or your siding than you are on bathroom or kitchen remodels.

In fact, siding replacement recouped 92.8 percent of its investment while roof replacements recouped 90 percent or more at resale.

Roof replacement appears to be most important to buyers in the east, with home owners recouping an average 96.3 percent of the cost. In the Midwest, that average return was around 71.1 percent.

That’s because home buyers care more about the overall structure of the home than they do about an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

What’s more, a recently replaced roof or new siding tells buyers that their maintenance costs are going to be low to non-existent for the first few years. And it’s impossible to understate how important that is to buyers.

Kitchens: A Sound Investment or Not?

The consensus is unanimous: Kitchen remodels are an excellent way to spend your home renovation dollars – but only if you don’t spend too much out the gate.

In fact, minor kitchen remodels (in the ballpark of $15,000 or less) returned 92.9 percent of the investment. That number dropped off on bigger remodeling projects in the kitchen.

Some features to focus on in the kitchen include all wood cabinets, commercial-looking appliances, stone floors and stone counter tops.

How About Bathrooms?

Bathrooms are also a fantastic place to invest your home remodeling dollars. Often, home owners are pleasantly surprised to discover that they get a 100 percent plus return on their investment.

For instance, a $9,400 bathroom remodel in Baltimore recently recouped 182 percent of its cost at resale.

Some features that you may want to focus on during a bathroom remodel include floor-to-ceiling steam showers and walk-in showers.

And if you only have one bathroom in your home, spend your money on adding a second bathroom instead of remodeling the only bathroom you have.

Don’t Forget To Consider Your Home’s Curb Appeal!

People often focus their remodeling dollars on the inside of the home but the exterior is just as important – if not more so.

After all, a potential home buyer will form an opinion about your home before they ever step foot inside.

Perhaps that’s why adding siding is such a sound investment when you look at the return you could get at resale.

Another way to make sure your home has adequate curb appeal is by adding a front porch or other architectural features to make your home more inviting.

Give Buyers Extra Room to Grow

Finally, consider adding another room to your home during a remodeling project.

We’ve already talked about the benefits of adding a bathroom. But the same principles hold true for other room additions as well.

In fact, for every 1,000 square feet added to a home, your sales price will increase by more than 30 percent, according a 2005 National Association of Realtors study.

One caveat to this rule: Don’t add so much extra space that your home becomes the most expensive home in the neighborhood. That’s a sure way to turn off home buyers.

Just a Few More General Notes About Home Remodels

RS1551_shutterstock_983846-lprRegardless of what type of project you select, remember that the following factors will also help determine your return on investment:

  • The Value of Your Home
  • The Value of the Homes in Your Neighborhood
  • The Housing Market You’re Located In
  • How Soon You Sell Your Home After the Home Improvement Project
  • The Quality of the Home Improvement Project

Your #1 Resource for Real Estate Trends and News

Hopefully you learned something today about home remodeling projects and how much they really benefit you as a prospective home seller.

Make sure to follow our blog to receive the latest updates on real estate trends like these and how they may impact you.

Have a great day!

Report: US Home Sales Increased Sharply in May

US Home Sales InformationIt’s certainly a headline we like to see around here: “US Home Purchase Contracts Have Seen a Significant Increase.”

And in fact, that’s exactly what The Associated Press recently reported.

This is great news, especially given that – so far this year – the pace of buying is slower than in 2013. A lot of this can be attributed to the harsh winter that kept many home buyers inside.

But as the recent report indicates, spring and summer sales activity may ultimately compensate for those sluggish winter months.

It’s Not Just Sales Contracts Enjoying Favorable Conditions

Here’s a full report of what the National Association of Realtors recently revealed:

  • Its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May.
  • That marks the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
  • The index is still, however, 5.2 percent below the level it was at a year ago.
  • Experts believe that lower mortgage rates and an increased home inventory drove much of May’s gains.
  • All four U.S. regions (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West) saw increases in signed purchase contracts

Meanwhile, in a different report released by the Association, completed sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes.

Still, it’s worth noting that sales are down 5 percent year over year.

The association predicts that sales of existing homes will decrease 2.8 percent this year to 4.95 million. That’s compared to 5.1 million in 2013.

In terms of new homes, sales increased 18.6 percent in May to an annual rate of 504,000. That’s the highest level since May 2008.

Why Are Things Showing Improvement Now?

Of course, it helps that we’re still in the spring and summer home buying market.

But another key factor is the removal of two previous obstacles: Rising mortgage rates and a low supply of available homes for sale.

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.17 percent recently. Before, it had been at 4.20 percent and higher. Still, rates are roughly 0.25 percent higher than they were at this time last year.

Meanwhile, the supply of homes has increased. By 2.2 percent in May to 2.28 million. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago, helping to fuel increased activity on the market!

How Can You Expect This to Affect You?

If you’re a home seller, the recent flurry of activity should give you confidence that you too will be able to sell your property and in a reasonable amount of time as well.  But one things that will decide that is working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the market.

And if you’re a home buyer purchasing a property on the local housing market, the recent activity suggests that you’re in good company – with more and more people entering the market to invest in property!

Always Here To Give You The National Real Estate 411!

What other valuable information would you like to learn about the real estate market in order to make your transaction easier? We will be happy to supply you with all of the insight you need!

Contact us today for valuable real estate advice today!

And make sure to check back to our website soon for more pertinent information that affects you!

Recently Sold Real Estate – Richmond Real Estate Listing

Recently Sold Real Estate – 13924 Spyglass Hill

With the help of Tyler Rackley and his team of Richmond Real Estate Experts this meticulously maintained piece of Richmond Real Estate is now under contract. This transitional style home is located in the fabulous golf course community of Birkdale and has so much to offer! Inside this stunning piece of Richmond Real Estate features beautiful hardwood floors throughout most of the 1st floor an open 2 story foyer, formal living room boasting handsome crown molding, carpet & french glass doors, formal dining room with crown molding & bay window, a wonderful kitchen that opens into an eat in area and family Room with gas fireplace, TV nook & bay window. Upstairs you will find a large master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, CF & large walk in closet, a spa like master bathroom with double vanity, shower & jetted tub. The 2nd floor is also home to 3 additional spacious bedrooms with good sized closets and a large laundry room. Storage is not a problem with the oversized 2 car garage! Outside you will find a refinished & stained deck that is perfect for entertaining and summer barbecues! We told you that this great Richmond Real Estate Listing would not last long.

Recently Sold Real Estate

13924 Spyglass Hill Circle , Chesterfield, VA

The Richmond Real Estate Experts

Are you looking to buy a home, sell a home or invest in Richmond Real Estate. Contact the Richmond Real Estate Experts at The 20/20 Team – Keller Williams Richmond West and we will help you find the perfect Richmond Real Estate Listing. Our team sees hundreds of homes each month and knows exactly what is on the market and what homes are going for. This gives us the superior knowledge needed to help you get the best price for your home. Regardless of if you are looking to buy a home or sell a home make The 20/20 Team – Keller Williams Richmond your first call for your Richmond Real Estate needs. Contact us today and see how we can help!

Richmond Real Estate Search

If you are looking to buy a home start you Richmond Real Estate Search at The 20/20 Team website . Here you can search for homes in Richmond Virginia in more ways than one. At www.GoRichmondRealEstate.com you can browse our list of featured listings, use our real estate search tool to search all Richmond Virginia MLS listing, or use perform a real estate search by neighborhood ensuring that you find the perfect home in the perfect location. With so many ways to start your Richmond Real Estate Search you are bound to find your dream piece of Richmond Real Estate.

US Home Sales See Second Consecutive Month of Increases in May

US Home SalesOne month of positive real estate sales is encouraging, but sometimes it can be a fluke.

That’s why we’re always so thrilled when positive numbers one month carry over into the next month.

And that’s just what we saw with the recent release of May sales numbers.

According to a recent USA Today article, existing home sales increased for the second straight month in May, increasing to their strongest rate since the fall.

More Details Emerge About the Current State of the US Housing Market

Here’s what the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors revealed: Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, which marks a 4.9 percent increase from April’s rate of 4.66 million.

This was the highest monthly percentage gain since August 2011!

And this wasn’t the only indicator that the market is improving. In fact, metrics across the board hinted at growth on the national housing market:

  • Sales prices also showed marked increases. Specifically, the median existing home price was $213,400 in May, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, sales of homes priced at $1 million and above increased everywhere but the Midwest
  • Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 2.2 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago.
  • At May’s sales rate, there’s a 5.6-month supply of homes for sale, which is close to the 6-month inventory that’s considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

Of course, some obstacles still remain on the market.

For instance, sales are still weaker than they were a year ago, when the annualized sales rate was 5.15 million.
And through May, sales were down 8.2 percent from the first five months of last year.

What’s more, the market continues to be difficult for those home buyers with modest financial resources, particularly first-time buyers. Consequently, these home buyers’ share of sales decreased to 27 percent in May, down 2 percent from April 2013.

And although single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent from April, they’re also down 5.7 percent from a year ago.

Still, real estate experts across the country remain optimistic.

They agree that at least three factors will continue to encourage growth and improvement on the national housing market:

  • More homes are being listed on the market
  • Home prices are rising more slowly than in 2013
  • Mortgage rates have declined recently

All of these factors will drive more and more home buyers to the market, further encouraging a healthy and stable real estate market.

Count on Us for Reliable National Real Estate Data!

We hope you ‘ve learned something useful about recent  national real estate trends and how they may affect you locally.

Check back here on July 15 as we continue to provide you with useful and up-to-date housing market information that is relevant to you!

Baby Boomers Setting New Trend on National Real Estate Market: All Cash Deals

Baby Boomer home buyers As more Baby Boomers retire, real estate experts all across the United States are seeing more cash deals, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.

Evidently, these Baby Boomers (defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964) are opting to purchase their homes with all cash instead of taking out a mortgage.

Experts credit this in part to the fact that US home price gains have restored $3.8 trillion in value to home owners since 2012.

This means that a record number of Americans (including Baby Boomers) are using that equity to help them pay cash for properties, avoiding a home loan altogether.

Another factor is that these Baby Boomers have more money in savings, allowing them the option to pay with cash.

This is an important trend that is sure to have an effect on all home buyers, not just those who fall in the Baby Boomer cohort.

More Revealed on This Recent National Real Estate Trend

Here’s what else the recent Bloomberg article noted about Baby Boomers affecting real estate trends:

  • In the first quarter, 29 percent of non-investment home buyers used cash.
  • Most of the people making all-cash deals are Baby Boomers, mostly because this generation is starting to retire.
  • For instance, in 2012, there were 61.8 million Americans over the age of 60, according to the Census. In 2000, that figure was 46.6 million.
  • Home mortgage lending dropped to $115 billion during the first quarter, which is the lowest it’s been in three years
  • Meanwhile, in the first three months of 2014, buyers paid $105.1 billion of their own money for properties, compared with $84.7 billion the year before.
  • And the percentage of purchases made by investors (who are typically associated with all-cash deals) fell to the lowest first-quarter level since 2010.
  • About 16.3 million Americans over the age of 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, according to Census data. In 2009, that number was 12.1 million.
  • About 39 percent of Baby Boomers want to retire to a rural community, such as a farm or a small town, according to a Better Homes poll.
  • About 27 percent want to move to an active adult community that offers activities like rock climbing and yoga.
  • And 26 percent said they want to retire to a city.

Baby Boomers have historically been considered a very influential generation, in part because of their sheer size. And their latest activity on the national real estate market is likely to have a major impact on the state of the housing market for many years to come.

After all, about 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center in Washington. And it’s estimated that between 2010 and 2020, Americans age 65 to 74 will jump 51 percent.

Experts are also saying that the Baby Boomer generation is expected to stay in the housing market longer than the previous generation.

Some even predict that Baby Boomers will be purchasing and selling properties well into their 80s because they have led active and healthier lives for a longer period than their parents.

Keeping An Eye on Key Real Estate Trends for You

It will be interesting to see how the Baby Boomer generation continues to shape real estate trends on a national scale.

We’ll keep you posted on this trend as well as any other trends that may affect you as a home buyer or seller.

Make sure to check back on July 1 for even more valuable information that will help you navigate the local real estate market.