Here’s some good news for house hunters

Here’s some good news for house hunters

House hunters priced out of the market might finally be getting a bit of relief.

For the first time since 2011, incomes rose faster than home prices in the U.S., according to a new report from Zillow.

The median home price climbed to $188,100 in August, a 5% increase from the same time a year ago.

And last week, the Census Bureau reported that median household income increased to $56,516 in 2015, up 5.2% from 2014.

“People will have a chance to see more money coming in on a monthly basis in their paychecks, allowing them to save more for a down payment or afford more in a mortgage payment,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

Related: How much house can you afford?

While the rise in income — which was the first increase since 2007 — is good news for wanna-be home buyers, incomes still have a long way to go to catch up with home values.

Home prices have shot up since 2012, as strong demand and limited supply created an affordability issue in markets throughout the country.

In the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, banks also stiffened their lending standards, including down payment requirements. Higher prices mean larger down payments, which are a major obstacle for many potential buyers.

Mortgage rates hovering near record lows have helped ease some of the price pain. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.48%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the rate was 3.86%.

While home appreciation is slowing nationwide, some markets are still on fire.

Prices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Denver experienced double-digit annual growth. For instance, in Portland, home prices are up nearly 15% year over year to hit $338,900.

Renters are also starting to see some relief.

Rising home prices had pushed more people into the rental market, which in turn caused rental prices to soar.

Right now, rents are growing 1.7% nationally, according to Zillow. A year ago, rents were rising by more than 6%.

6 global cities that could be in housing bubble

Housing markets across the globe are overheating, and some are at risk of a bubble.

Vancouver’s housing market is the most at risk, according to The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, thanks to skyrocketing home prices and strong buyer demand.

London, Stockholm, Sydney, Munich and Hong Kong are also in bubble-risk territory, the report showed.

Low interest rates are a big contributor to inflating the potential bubbles.

Related: The 10 hottest housing markets for 2016

Home prices in the most at-risk cities have jumped by nearly 50% on average since 2011. At other major cities, prices have increased by less than 15%.

In Vancouver, prices have risen more than 25% since the end of 2014. A weak Canadian dollar brought strong demand from foreign buyers looking for investment opportunities. The market became so overheated that the government stepped in and passed a 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers in August.

London is also in the bubble zone with prices sitting 15% higher than where they were at the 2007 peak, despite the fact that incomes are now 10% lower.

“If you look at Vancouver, London and Sydney, these are the markets that have attracted a lot of foreign money, particularly from Asia, that has been a lot of the driver,” said Jonathan Woloshin, strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

Related: Here’s some good news for house hunters

Hong Kong isn’t quite as hot as it has been, but it’s still inflating. Incomes are flat, which has created affordability issues.

“You have a situation where a lot of people felt comfortable going back to Hong Kong ,but it’s an island so there’s not a lot of room to develop and demand is outstripping incomes.”

The report also found that all European cities are currently overvalued.

For instance, in Amsterdam, home prices grew at a rate of nearly 15% for the last four quarters, and are up 25% since its market bottomed in 2013. And in Frankfurt, prices are up 30% since 2011, while incomes have risen at a much slower pace.

“In this search for yield in a low-interest rate environment, it has pushed capital into real estate assets both in residential and commercial worlds,” said Woloshin.

While no U.S. cities made the bubble-risk list, some markets there are also heating up. For example, UBS deemed San Francisco’s housing market overvalued, as prices have risen 50% since 2011. Wages have also been strong in the area, increasing faster than the national rate, so affordability is still an issue.

 

How to Make Your Rental Unit Stand Out From the Competition

If you’ve decided to purchase real estate in Edmonton for rental purposes, you may be wondering how to make your unit stand out from the competition. Our realtor team at Proctor did some research to find the best ways to make your real estate investment more desirable to prospective renters.

Below are a few of our top tips that will help get you the best return on your rental property investment.

Don’t underestimate curb appeal

First impressions are a big deal, so if your rental property has an exposed exterior do your best to make it look as appealing as possible. If you’re looking for a tenant in the warmer months, be sure that your yard is clean and kept. Make your property even more attractive by adding flowerpots near the front entrance. During the winter months, keep your walkways and driveway clear of any ice and snow to ensure potential renters can safely access your property for a viewing.

Keep your interiors clean and neutral

Walking into a space that looks cluttered and personalized to another individual can make it harder for possible tenants to picture themselves living in the home. Keep your interior design as simple as possible and try to stick to neutral colours that will go with a variety of different furniture colours. You can’t go wrong with white tones on walls – this also helps keep the home looking big and bright. Carpets should all be professionally cleaned, and any hardwood or tile floors must always be swept prior to a showing.

Staging can make all the difference

Bringing a vacant property to life by staging a few key spaces can be a fantastic way to help renters visualize themselves living in your rental unit. If you have the budget to hire a professional staging company, go for it! You can also take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and invest in a few key pieces that can later be resold after your property is rented. If you do plan on taking the DIY route, try to stick to a monochromatic colour palette, or choose tones that only vary in shade throughout each space. Remember not to go wild with patterns or personal touches – this could end up being a deterrent for potential renters!

Safety is key

Make your property feel as safe as possible. Ensure your home’s doors are fitted with appropriate locks, and check that all windows can be properly closed. If possible, install a security system on your property. Renters will be happy to know that their potential new home is equipped with home security, plus you’ll have some additional peace of mind knowing that your rental investment has some extra protection.

Do you like the property you see in this post? Take a closer look here, or contact me, Chris Proctor, for more information. You can also browse our featured listings for more outstanding real estate options in Edmonton.

If you’ve decided to purchase real estate in Edmonton for rental purposes, you may be wondering how to make your unit stand out from the competition. Our realtor team at Proctor did some research to find the best ways to make your real estate investment more desirable to prospective renters.

Below are a few of our top tips that will help get you the best return on your rental property investment.

Don’t underestimate curb appeal

First impressions are a big deal, so if your rental property has an exposed exterior do your best to make it look as appealing as possible. If you’re looking for a tenant in the warmer months, be sure that your yard is clean and kept. Make your property even more attractive by adding flowerpots near the front entrance. During the winter months, keep your walkways and driveway clear of any ice and snow to ensure potential renters can safely access your property for a viewing.

Keep your interiors clean and neutral

Walking into a space that looks cluttered and personalized to another individual can make it harder for possible tenants to picture themselves living in the home. Keep your interior design as simple as possible and try to stick to neutral colours that will go with a variety of different furniture colours. You can’t go wrong with white tones on walls – this also helps keep the home looking big and bright. Carpets should all be professionally cleaned, and any hardwood or tile floors must always be swept prior to a showing.

Staging can make all the difference

Bringing a vacant property to life by staging a few key spaces can be a fantastic way to help renters visualize themselves living in your rental unit. If you have the budget to hire a professional staging company, go for it! You can also take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and invest in a few key pieces that can later be resold after your property is rented. If you do plan on taking the DIY route, try to stick to a monochromatic colour palette, or choose tones that only vary in shade throughout each space. Remember not to go wild with patterns or personal touches – this could end up being a deterrent for potential renters!

Safety is key

Make your property feel as safe as possible. Ensure your home’s doors are fitted with appropriate locks, and check that all windows can be properly closed. If possible, install a security system on your property. Renters will be happy to know that their potential new home is equipped with home security, plus you’ll have some additional peace of mind knowing that your rental investment has some extra protection.

Do you like the property you see in this post? Take a closer look here, or contact me, Chris Proctor, for more information. You can also browse our featured listings for more outstanding real estate options in Edmonton.

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Why I think Real Estate Investment is a great Idea!

Why investing in Real Estate is a good idea!

Why Real Estate Investing is a Good Idea!

Every aspiring real estate investor is attracted to this industry because of the understanding that real estate investments can double or if you are luckier triple the invested money.

However, not a lot of them are sufficiently informed that this can only happen if one knows how to apply the right strategies to gain the profit in such a marvelous manner. Sure enough, those investors who had the chance to reap huge sums from their invested money are those who have learned and known how to understand current market trends.

Investing in real estate does not mean that all you have to do is find and buy homes for sale and just sell it afterward. Certainly, it needs more than that if you want to get the most out of the money you invested on a purchased real estate property.

But since we are talking about why people see real estate as a good investment, let us focus more on the possible reasons why real estate is a great investment;

Real estate is a limited  resource and the necessity to find a home they can call their own is still the “Great Dream for every individual”! Yes, people would always be interested in finding their piece of property, which they can call their own.

While there are plenty of investments that people can put their money in for the purpose of gaining profits, real estate properties are still considered the safest choices. Compared to stocks and mutual funds, it is more attractive for some investors to see the property they invested in over than stocks that are only indicated in writing.

Even with the reality that real estate market fluctuates, it is clear in the minds of many that the promise of wealth and profit conveyed by investing in real estate will not be totally ruined enough to put you in the wrong place entirely. This can be achievable if you know how to keep up with the current trends, and you are completely aware on the most appropriate time to put your asset in listings of homes for sale in such a manner that it would gain more profits from its sale.

What to remember when buying a new piece of real estate!

1 – If you are not experienced find people around you that are!

You can always hire a home inspector for less than $500 to tell you whether or not the property you are investing in is worth it. They can highlight any deficiencies in a home and give you their professional opinion on whether or not you can turn a profit from that specific piece of property.

2 – Get the home appraised

It is always a good idea to get the home appraised once you are finished remodelling it to see what the market value of the home is. A good place to aim for is just under the highest comp for the area your home is in.

3 – Save some money for mortgage payments just incase you cannot flip your home quickly.

You know why this is important. You don’t want to have too much laid out on the table and then have to go into foreclosure before you make a profit, and on top of that go into bankruptcy because of your poor investment decision.

 

Yes, investing in real estate can help you bring great profits in your bank account; provided you are a wise and smart investor. By learning how to choose the best properties and the right timing to sell them, real estate can be your source of wealth easily.

My take on getting a home evaluation

A Home Inspection is in your greatest interest before selecting a house!

 

The first thing you should do before looking for one is to ask yourself what does the home inspection mean to me and then find the inspector that best suites your needs.
A home inspection is a vital before of buying a home. It is also a step in the process that can be skipped but only by a fool. You would not buy a car without driving it at least around the block and even to your mechanic so why would you even consider spending thousands of dollars on the place your family will spend massive amounts of time without making sure it is not just a pretty paint job?
A home inspection is a way of looking under the hood and kicking the tires of the house to make sure the walls are not made from marshmallows and the wiring made from licorice. While marshmallow walls may be tasty they do not make for a good house, do they?
Smart buyers prefer to make informed choices. After all, knowledge is power. A properly done home inspection report will tell you everything you need to know to make a decision about the home. Simple repairs that need to be made are no big deal, but you do not want to brag to your friends about a great deal you got only to discover later that the walls are made of marshmallows.
To find the right inspector for you, there are a couple of things you need to know. The standards practice for home inspection rends to vary a lot from state to state as well as a county to city. Some states do not even require inspectors to be licensed therefore it is up to you, the informed consumer to know what to look for before you buy the service.
The American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors are two places to obtain standards of practice from. Gaining a copy of these minimum standards of reporting from either of these places will give you an idea of what your home inspector should do during the inspection. Ask the inspector what standard of practice he uses and compare it to what you need. A thorough and knowledgeable home inspector will usually do more then is listed.
Many professional home inspectors also carry a type of insurance called Errors and Omission Insurance. Though not required and very expensive it is a good way to judge a good inspector from a fly by night one.
Many inspectors that are licensed are also members of some professional association such as American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Both of these organizations require a strict code of ethics as well as continued education to maintain membership.
Buying a home is a big step in a person’s life. A home inspection done by a competent inspector can save you thousands in the long run by pointing out any problems with the home before you buy. Do yourself a favor and have one done before you make an offer.

 

How does one find a home inspector?

Well, for me when I lived in Calgary I simply Googled “Calgary Home Inspection“. That search returned a list of a bunch of certified inspectors that I chose from when I bought my house.