Home prices may be rising by double-digit percentages annually, but buying a home still may be more affordable than renting in a number of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new study from realtor.com®. Record-low mortgage rates are helping to tilt more markets in favor of buying over the past year.
Researchers analyzed the monthly cost of buying a median-priced home to the median price of renting a two- to four-bedroom unit in the 50 largest markets this January. They found that buying a home cost the same or was cheaper in 15 of the 50 largest metros, up from 13 a year ago.
Nine more metros were within 5% of leaning in favor of homebuying: Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; Phoenix; Buffalo, N.Y.; Memphis, Tenn.; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; and Milwaukee.
Retirees Seeking Homes Need Help Navigating Areas With Short-Term Rental Bans
Retirees are finding neighborhoods that are free of short-term rental properties attractive as they seek quiet, peaceful areas where they can connect with their neighbors and avoid constant activity from renters. But the properties that retirees often find desirable in destination and resort areas can be prone to having short-term rentals next door.
“The vast majority of U.S. short-term rentals are in destination/resort and small town/rural locations around the country, of which many are the owner’s second homes,” Jamie Lane, vice president of research at AirDNA, an analyst firm for the short-term rental industry, told The Wall Street Journal. From the beginning of 2015 to the beginning of 2020, housing units rented on short-term sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo surged from 450,000 to 1 million, Lane notes
Short-term rental properties are becoming more common as homeowners look to supplement their incomes. Some consumers preparing for retirement target properties where they can generate revenue from short-term rentals until they are ready to move into the house. But once they are ready to occupy the property full-time, they can discover that living close to other short-term rentals is not appealing, real estate professionals say.
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Here It Is, Literally the Worst House on the Street!
Real estate pro Philippa Main decided to take a brutally honest yet tongue-and-cheek approach to selling a $69,000 decrepit three-bedroom home in Zephyrhills, Fla., a suburb of Tampa Bay. The listing ad reads: “‘Here it is, literally the worst house on the street! The seller has done the hard work of cleaning up almost half-acre property (it only took 7 dumpsters!), so now is your chance to take it from here.’” Main knew there was no way to cover up the home’s condition—peeling paint, knocked out windows, crumbling chimney, stained walls, holes in the ceiling, and more. So Main decided the listing ad needed to address all the wear and tear head-on. The listing ad continues: “The roof leaks, the floor creaks, and there’s a terrible draft, but this 3 bed, 1.5 bath home is very open concept. And by that we mean the inside is open to the outside, because several of the windows are broken.” Continue…https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2021/02/19/here-it-is-literally-the-worst-house-on-the-street
Most, Least Desirable Home Features Right Now
February 11, 2021 Melissa Dittmann Tracey
A quarter of Americans say the pandemic has changed their housing preferences, according to a newly released survey of about 3,000 recent home shoppers and buyers conducted last summer by the National Association of Home Builders. Growing demand for more square footage—particularly popular among those who work remotely—as well as home offices, touchless home entry, mudrooms, and flexible space are among the shifts in preferences.
Overall, 80% or more of survey respondents in NAHB’s 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want report indicate the following are the home features they consider most essential:
- Laundry room: 87%
- Exterior lighting: 87%
- Ceiling fan: 83%
- Energy Star-rated windows: 83%
- Patio: 82%
- Double kitchen sink (side-by-side): 81%
- Walk-in pantry: 81%
- Front porch: 81%
- Energy Star-rated appliances: 81%
- Hardwood flooring (in the living room on the main level): 81%
- Full bath on the main level: 80%
- Energy-efficient lighting: 80%
The survey also broke down desirable features by room. The five kitchen features survey respondents identified as most desirable are:
- Double sink (side-by-side)
- Walk-in pantry
- Table space for eating
- Central island
- Water filtration
The most desirable outdoor features are:
- Exterior lighting
- Front porch
- Rear porch
The most desirable accessibility features are:
- Full bath on the main level
- Doorways at least three feet wide
- Hallways at least four feet wide
- Non-slip floor surfaces
- An entrance without steps
The highest-ranked technology features buyers want:
- Programmable thermostat
- Security cameras
- Video doorbell
- Wireless home security system
- Multi-zone HVAC system
Meanwhile, home buyers also revealed features they consider to be turn-offs. Forty percent or more of survey respondents rated the following items as least desirable in a home or development complex:
- Elevator: 56%
- Glass walls: 54%
- Daycare center in the development: 50%
- Wine cellar: 48%
- Pet washing station: 47%
- Roof partially or completely covered by plants: 46%
- Golf course: 46%
- In-law suite: 42%
- Cork flooring (in the living room on the main level): 41%
- Dual toilets in primary bath: 40%
Buyers, Renters Are Moving for Love, Survey Shows
Forty-one percent of Americans have moved for love, with men more willing to relocate than women for their significant other, a new survey of 1,550 Buyers, Americans from LendingTree finds.
The top five states for a romance relocation, the survey finds, are: Florida (11%), California (10%), New York (7%), Texas (6%), and North Carolina (5%).
But not all of these moves for love have happy endings, the survey notes. Women were more likely than men to express regrets about moving for love—22% versus 9%. Forty-six percent of women who said they originally relocated to an area for love say they’re no longer with that person, while 31% of men said the same. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top reason for regret for moving for love was that the respondent was no longer with the person they originally moved for.
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What Sellers Should Not Display in Their Home Office
The home office has become an important space to stage, but certain memorabilia displayed could turn off some buyers who view the property in-person or online.
“For more buyers to see themselves in that office space, you’ll do well to take a lot of ‘you’ out of it first,” Chris Haro, a real estate professional in Hilton Head, S.C., told Apartment Therapy.
For example, real estate pros and stagers say college degrees and other homeowner achievements on display should be removed prior to listing the house on the market. This includes any regalia from your alma mater.
Optimistic Home Seller’s!!!
Home Sellers Are Feeling More Optimistic
February 9, 2021
As home prices rise by double-digit margins year over year, homeowners are increasingly viewing selling favorably. Consumers reported a significantly more positive view of homeselling conditions month over month in January, jumping 16 percentage points on net, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers.
“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Among owners and higher-income groups, however, the other five components of the index remained relatively flat or slightly negative, suggesting to us that some consumers are waiting to gauge the effectiveness of any new fiscal policies and vaccination distribution programs on both housing and the larger economy.”
Duncan notes that lower-income and renter groups were more optimistic in January across nearly all of the index’s components. “We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend, which could indicate either that some demographics who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic may be starting to feel the economic recovery or that this is a response to the additional stimulus enacted in December,” Duncan says.
More highlights from the January index reading:
- 52% of consumers say it’s a good time to buy a home, mostly unchanged from December 2020.
- 57% of consumers say it is a good time to sell a home, increasing from 50% the month prior.
- 41% of consumers believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months.
- 75% of consumers say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months, unchanged from December 2020.
- 21% of consumers say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower decreased to 14%. Sixty-four percent of consumers say their household income is about the same.
Source: Fannie Mae