We all wish we had that crystal ball to take out what if’s and all uncertainty; especially when thinking about selling your long-time home and moving to your new lifestyle. Our economy is forever shifting in one direction or another. We can never be certain when that perfect time presents itself for any major decision. The best we can do is make a calculated guess and hope the chips fall our way. Experience has shown me that listening to experts and taking emotion out of decision making is our best chance for making the right decision for any given situation. I have been a full-time Realtor in the 4-County Milwaukee-Metro market for over 35 years which gives me a better vantage point looking ahead into the health of our local real estate market.
Property values are on all of our minds as it makes up a significant portion of our asset portfolio. We have our own idea of value which in most cases is about 10% high in most cases. This may very well be the year you are correct! So many positive signs are out there for anyone thinking of selling this year. We still have a large consortium of buyers who could not achieve an accepted offer due to lack of inventory in 2016. This is a large and anxious group who are just waiting for that next home to show up on the market. Due to this glut of buyers we are seeing multiple offers on homes that are priced properly. In many cases home values are higher than the current appraisal value which is common in an escalation market. Since appraisers have to look backwards for recent sales, they will have to adjust forward to expected higher values.
Those of you who list your homes early this year will be the winners as most buyers wait until after the holidays to begin their search. Combining the new crop of buyers with the purchasers from last year will benefit any homeowner ready to make the move. The spring market is always our best market of the year which is typically February to June. This year is starting out fast for reasons mentioned.
Many of you probably want to sell but you may be experiencing the same lack of inventory on the other end where you want to buy. My best advice is to purchase before putting your home on the market so you know where you are going and know when you can move into your new condominium, or home. If you have the financial means to buy first, do it now! There is a huge group of baby boomers ready to downsize right now, so your competition for your new home will gain momentum as we move into the spring market. The highest demand property in today’s market for boomers is a one level condominium with an attached garage and a basement. Don’t wait for prices on condos in demand to surge. The sooner you buy the lower the price!
If you are thinking of moving into a senior community, begin your search now. The reason is the same. You will get more for your home in the spring market. At the same time you can assure an apartment before the rush to move causes waiting lists in the senior community you choose.
2017 will be one of the strongest real estate markets in recent memory. Of course this is my opinion based on listening to buyers, sellers and lenders. Interest rates are going up (4.25% for a 30 year fixed). This escalation in interest rates will also work to seller’s benefit as home buyers who have been putting off a purchase will jump into the market.
The down side of an up market is that buyers will experience frustration and competition when trying to obtain an accepted offer. Purchasers will in many cases face multiple offers coming in on the property they choose. So if your children or grandchildren are waiting to buy their first home, do all you can to help them do it sooner, by explaining the benefits of purchasing a home rather than renting. The longer they wait, the higher the price and interest rate.
If I seem overly exuberant, I am! My nature is to be cautious an offer more of a middle of the road opinion. But every bone in my real estate body points to a seller’s market and a buyer’s challenge! Procrastination may be costly as the market can shift overnight. It is better to ride the wave than to try and time the market!