Market [in a] Minute – September 2016

“Hey, John/Ashley! How’s the market?!” – The most common question consumers – future buyers and sellers alike – ask us about the local real estate market on a daily basis.

“It’s great! We’re busy! Inventory is low! Buyers are buying! Know anyone who wants to sell?” – Most common short answers we typically provide when we’re out and about, usually in line at the grocery store or in passing. Of course, when time allows, more detailed explanations, thoughts and answers are given and usually end up in great conversation.

*light bulb moment* – If everyone wants to know how the current market is doing and how it stacks up against this time last year, why don’t we put the facts together and share it?

We’re proud to introduce… the “Market Minute”… last months hard number statistics compared to the same time last year. Facts directly from the MLS stating how our local Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda markets are doing.

 

 

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-1-10-13-pm

The  Minute’s “key” (see what I did there?!):

  • “Avg. List Price” is the total amount of homes that were listed last month, their listing prices added together then divided by the amount of homes listed
  • “Avg. Sale Price” is the total amount of homes that were sold last month, their sold prices added together then divided by the amount of homes sold
  • “Days on Market” this is the average amount of days a home was on the market before it fully went under contract. It’s the cumulative amount of days starting from day 1 when the home was listed to day “x” where the home’s offer was fully executed
  • “Homes Sold” you guessed it, the total amount of homes that had the opportunity to put the desirable “SOLD” status on their property!

Want more specific numbers to your home or what’s going on in your neighborhood? Just ask, it’d be our pleasure to help you!

**All statistics are from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS and include ALL of Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida**

Want to view local MLS listings for free?  Visit www.BuyMeFlorida.com and feel free to ask us any questions about any homes for sale on the market or if you would like to have an exclusive preview of one in person!

Market [in a] Minute – July 2016

“Hey, John/Ashley! How’s the market?!” – The most common question consumers – future buyers and sellers alike – ask us about the local real estate market on a daily basis.

“It’s great! We’re busy! Inventory is low! Buyers are buying! Know anyone who wants to sell?” – Most common short answers we typically provide when we’re out and about, usually in line at the grocery store or in passing. Of course, when time allows, more detailed explanations, thoughts and answers are given and usually end up in great conversation.

*light bulb moment* – If everyone wants to know how the current market is doing and how it stacks up against this time last year, why don’t we put the facts together and share it?

Let us introduce… the “Market Minute”… last months hard number statistics compared to the same time last year. Facts directly from the MLS stating how our local Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda markets are doing.

Market Minute 072016

The  Minute’s “key” (see what I did there?!):

  • “Avg. List Price” is the total amount of homes that were listed last month, their listing prices added together then divided by the amount of homes listed
  • “Avg. Sale Price” is the total amount of homes that were sold last month, their sold prices added together then divided by the amount of homes sold
  • “Days on Market” this is the average amount of days a home was on the market before it fully went under contract. It’s the cumulative amount of days starting from day 1 when the home was listed to day “x” where the home’s offer was fully executed
  • “Homes Sold” you guessed it, the total amount of homes that had the opportunity to put the desirable “SOLD” status on their property!

Want more specific numbers to your home or what’s going on in your neighborhood? Just ask, it’d be our pleasure to help you!

**All statistics are from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS and include ALL of Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida**

Want to view local MLS listings for free?  Visit www.BuyMeFlorida.com and feel free to ask us any questions about any homes for sale on the market or if you would like to have an exclusive preview of one in person!

 

February 2016 “Market Minute”

“Hey, John/Ashley! How’s the market?!” – The most common question consumers – future buyers and sellers alike – ask us about the local real estate market on a daily basis.

“It’s great! We’re busy! Inventory is low! Buyers are buying! Know anyone who wants to sell?” – Most common short answers we typically provide when we’re out and about, usually in line at the grocery store or in passing. Of course, when time allows, more detailed explanations, thoughts and answers are given and usually end up in great conversation.

*light bulb moment* – If everyone wants to know how the current market is doing and how it stacks up against this time last year, why don’t we put the facts together and share it?

Let us introduce… the “Market Minute”… last months hard number statistics compared to the same time last year. Facts directly from the MLS stating how our local Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda markets are doing.

Market Minute_2-2016.png

The  Minute’s “key” (see what I did there?!):

  • “Avg. List Price” is the total amount of homes that were listed last month, their listing prices added together then divided by the amount of homes listed
  • “Avg. Sale Price” is the total amount of homes that were sold last month, their sold prices added together then divided by the amount of homes sold
  • “Days on Market” this is the average amount of days a home was on the market before it fully went under contract. It’s the cumulative amount of days starting from day 1 when the home was listed to day “x” where the home’s offer was fully executed
  • “Homes Sold” you guessed it, the total amount of homes that had the opportunity to put the desirable “SOLD” status on their property!

Want more specific numbers to your home or what’s going on in your neighborhood? Just ask, it’d be our pleasure to help you!

**All statistics are from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS and include ALL of Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida**

 

“Hot Trends” on NAR’s RE Today Radio! [according to the Housemans]

How to flatter a Realtor beyond measure? Ask them to be a guest on the National Association of Realtors radio station, Real Estate Today, for their insight on selling a home to millennials in today’s market – for a third time.

Translation: my Realtor Mothership likes me enough [and apparently their listeners too?] to come back on the air to give advice to all the sellers in the world through their broadcast. It’s basically like Christmas, my birthday, winning a partial ticket in the lottery [if I ever played] and having the ability to eat Girl Scout Thin Mints year-round bundled into one, big happy emotion.

Listen to the broadcast (it’s short, I’m not boring but I do say “absolutely” a lot, sorry)


Don’t have time to listen but like to read? Here’s my synopsis (or rather the script with my scribbles):

Real Estate Today:  On today’s show – ‘Hot Trends,’ we’re looking at what’s happening in the American Home. How it looks, how it’s equipped and also – how to reel in the home buyers – if THIS is the year you plan to sell. It’s no secret that many buyers – especially younger buyers – like a home they can move right into. And one that has all the features they want. Present a house like that – and you have a much better chance of selling in the minimum time for the maximum profit!

So let’s talk about exactly what those younger buyers want in today’s market. Joining us now is Ashley Houseman, Realtor and Associate Broker with the Houseman Team, at Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty – in Port Charlotte, Florida. Ashley’s also a member of NAR’s Young Professionals Network. Ashley how are you today?
Ashley: Awesometastic! I didn’t really say that, but I thought it. It seemed silly to write this out!

RE Today:   Ashley, first of all, how’s business down on the West Coast of Florida?
Ashley: Business is busy! Probably one of our favorite times of the year, spring break through summer… we feel it’s one of our busiest times because snowbirds are ending their season and ready to buy for next season and families are gearing up to buy so they can move on summer break. We’re ready for them!

RE Today: So Ashley – as we all know, the Millennial generation is the biggest demographic group in America – what are they looking for when they buy homes, and how can a seller give it to them?
Ashley
: Millennials are looking for value and a great home for the price. We’re realistic that this demographic is searching online looking at hundreds of homes before they ever call a Realtor. They’re comparing prices. Neighborhoods. Getting a good idea of what type of home they can get for their money. Keeping this in mind when we’re listing our homes, we educate the seller on a few key things that will help them stand out among these hundreds of homes buyers are sifting through – presentation – it’s all about the pictures. We educate our sellers on how to stage their home and prepare it for photos and showings so that when we take our professional photographs, we stand out amongst the other comparable homes that we’re up against in their listing range – which in turn gets us more activity online, more showings and hopefully an offer sooner! 

RE Today:  Our Millennial friends say they like homes that are ready to go – not interested in months of repairs, and fix-ups. Sounds like a seller would do well to make their house is in really good repair before going on the market.

With that in mind – have any of your clients actually had a home inspection – on their own dime – before putting their home on the market? So that when buyers come around – it’s kind of ‘perfect?’
Ashley: When discussing preparing a home to hit the market, sometimes sellers will ask our opinion on whether or not we feel that they should get their own home inspection in order to show a buyer what issues there are with the property. We always recommend against this, since many homes in our market are sold “as is” and the buyer will likely conduct their own home inspection within their inspection contingency period, which is typically 15 days in Florida unless negotiated otherwise. Instead, we recommend our sellers complete a sellers disclosure which we include in the MLS as an attachment, which is a series of questions completed by the homeowner to the best of their knowledge and serves as an overview of the home (plumbing, roof, deed restrictions, etc). We get this upfront when we list the home, as it shows the buyer transparency and that the seller is not trying to hide anything from the buyer. As a buyer, always ask your agent to as the listing agent for a copy of the sellers disclosure when they are considering making an offer on the property. 

RE Today: How about energy efficiency? Does that come up on a Millennial buyer’s shopping list?
Ashley: This year, Coldwell Banker was a co-sponsor for the Smart Home Showcase at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Prior to the show, they conducted a survey interviewing over 4,000 adults in the United States testing their knowledge on smart homes. When they were asked what they thought would consider a home to be “smart”, the top choices were security (such as locks and alarm systems), temperature (thermostats and fans), lighting (bulbs and lighting systems) and safety (night lights, fire and carbon monoxide detectors). “smart” home technology has come a long away and have found ways to create homes more energy efficient which is becoming more and more desirable to today’s buyer

HOT NOTES* (Courtesy of Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter Blog):
Can smart home technology help you sell your home faster?

  • More than half of homeowners (54 percent) would purchase or install smart home products if they were selling their home and knew that doing so would make it sell faster.

Most Americans think a home can be considered “smart” if it has smart security, temperature, lighting and safety.

  • When asked about what needs to be in a home for it to be considered “smart,” the top choices were security (e.g., locks and alarm systems – 63 percent), temperature (e.g., thermostats and fans – 63 percent), lighting (e.g., light bulbs and lighting systems – 58 percent) and safety (e.g., fire / carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights – 56 percent).

    *shoutout to Tori Keichinger! Great article, friend! 

RE Today: And how can a seller help attract the energy-conscious buyer? Is showing the buyer the utility bills a help – or not?
Ashley: We always try to avoid asking for bills for our buyer or providing bills for a potential buyer for this main reason – just as every home is different in its construction and how it will handle heating and cooling – every buyer is different on how much or how little they use energy or utilities. Growing up, I remember as a little kid that if my dad heard an exterior door open and wasn’t shut within a few seconds, he’d exclaim “shut the door, I’m not paying to air condition the whole neighborhood!” As a kid, that seemed so silly to me… but now as an adult and momma of 3 young boys, my dad’s words echo in my thoughts and make me chuckle, as his words were so true when you’re being conscious about your heating and cooling bills – especially in the middle of our Florida summers! Every customer is going to be very different on how they utilize and conserve their water and utilities so asking for someone else’s bills could really skew your view on considering a property if your habits are different from the current homeowners’

RE Today:  And how about internet? Most places have broadband now – but many people – not just young people – require blazing fast internet. Can that help a seller, who could use that as a marketing element?
Ashley: How do people live without internet? Under our roof we have 2 adults with phones, iPads and computers, 2 toddlers running around tablets, and an AppleTV all streaming on our home network!! I guess you could say that internet – fast internet – is very important in our house! Our market can be very limiting on the service provider and type of service that as available to you, as some providers are heavily prevalent in some neighborhoods while absent in others. When selling our first home and buying our second 20 minutes north, we were unable to transfer our internet/television/phone service provider as they had not yet reached our new neighborhood yet. Our recommendation to buyers is if there is a specific provider or type of internet service you require as part of your new home selection process, be sure to check with your preferred provider to make sure that your prospective new home is within their coverage area prior to making an offer!

RE Today: Speaking of marketing, what about social media? That’s probably the hottest of all the hot trends out there. How can a seller and their Realtor use social media to help attract buyers?
Ashley: You have to be careful how you use social media to advertise your listings, as it can either excite your audience or totally turn them off. Try and deviate away from what all the other agents are doing in your market such as simply just posting the MLS link or posts for an open house. Make it fun, interesting, create some excitement with your post. Make sure your agent is using good grammar, correct spelling and truly highlighting the selling features of your home and do it with photos – good and attractive photos – that will lure your target audience into wanting to learn more and hopefully bring you the perfect buyer.

Ashley Houseman, Realtor and Associate Broker with the Houseman Team, at Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty – in Port Charlotte, Florida. And, a member of NAR’s Young Professionals Network. Ashley – thanks for joining us today!

(thank you for having me again, Stephen Gasque and the RE Today Team!! Next time you’re in Florida, a charter should be be on the agenda!)

What Does a Tornado Sound Like? (Give me a break, I’m from Florida)

I had a rude awakening at 3:59 this morning. It sounded like an ambulance siren making its way through my master bedroom.

Tornado Warning "Siren" Received Via Cell Phone at 3:59am

“The Siren” Tornado Warning, extreme alert received via cell phone from the NWS at 3:59am, June 6th, 2013

The following message was displayed on my screen, “Tornado Warning in this area til 4:30 AM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media. – NWS

Needless to say, I’ve been up since 4:00am.

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life (and will probably never leave), lived through countless hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. I’ve had my roof cave in from a hurricane and lost most of my childhood belongings. I’ve camped out with no power for ever a week. I’ve walked up and down the streets of historic Punta Gorda asking friends and neighbors if they needed supplies. I (stupidly) dislocated my shoulder while catching waves during a tropical storm. I’ve seen a lot… but tornadoes… they scare the living life out of me.

On and off all day, my phone has continuned to receive these “siren” warning messages, as has my television through the National Weather Service updating me on Tropical Storm Andrea and the fact that we’ve been under constant “Tornado Warning”.

Just a few moments ago, there was an update that a tornado may have touched down in Suncoast Estates, which is a subdivision made up of 1-5 acre properties just 2 miles away from my home. It wasn’t until then that it hit me, maybe I should really prepare for a worst case scenario?

Naturally, like most obsessed Googlers, I entered: “What does a tornado sound like?”

I truly don’t know, so I figured it may help. In case you’re as clueless on the subject as I am, here’s a snippet to let you know what it’s like, courtesy of The Weather Channel:

http://www.weather.com/video/what-does-a-tornado-sound-like-36983

A step further, here’s some useful information provided by The Weather Channel about tornado preparedness. The link below has articles on how to prepare, how to take action during, and what to do after a tornado strikes.

http://www.weather.com/life/safety/tornado/tornado-safety_2011-11-03

No matter what you and your loved ones plan on doing during this and the storms to come this season, be prepared and be safe.

More updates on Tropical Storm #Andrea can be found at http://www.weather.com or by following @weatherchannel on Twitter

Pimpin’ the iPad (first of many video blogs)

It finally happened. I caved. I’ve now joined the the Apple-loving world of obsessed iPad users.

Thanks to help from hubs and iMovie, here’s the first of many iPad video blogs to come. Enjoy, this is just a snippet of our wonderful (& often quite random) marriage.

Adventures in First Time Home Buying (what to look for and what to avoid)

[Blog content featured on Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter, May 16th, 2013: http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/adventures-in-first-time-home-buying-what-to-look-for-and-what-to-avoid/]

There’s nothing more exciting than researching homes on the internet, sifting through hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos of homes listed for sale until you narrow down the possibilities and compile your list of those you’d like to see in person. In most cases, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

On numerous occasions, I’ve had the pleasure of walking through homes with First Time Home Buyers to discover some of the most outrageous and interesting features a house could possibly possess. Some in which you wish the Realtor would have posted pictures of, so you could’ve ruled it out as a possibility and saved yourself the gas and your precious time to see it.

Epic Fail: Roadblock for Resale!

Epic Fail: Roadblock for Resale!
Blog content featured on Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter, May 16th, 2013: http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/adventures-in-first-time-home-buying-what-to-look-for-and-what-to-avoid/

Homes with holes in the floor (we could see the dirt fill below), bathrooms with the door against the toilet, homes that were previous crime scenes (which I found out later via “Googling” the address), an ENTIRE home that was a dedicated shrine of Dale Earnhardt Jr (I’m a fan, just not an entire house of it) and my personal favorite:  a bidet in the middle of a bedroom, yes, a bedroom.

It’s tough to see yourself in a home when either photos don’t do a good home justice or when a potential home is washed out by clutter or issues that are hard to look past. Here’s a few tips to help you to weed out the bad ones from the diamonds in the rough:

Do Your Homework:
Go online:  Did you know that most Realtors can send you listings via email to check out from the web from the comfort of your couch? Use their services to check out homes! Their MLS will be your most up-to-date source for what’s available on the market. Also check out www.ColdwellBanker.com and their app as well.
Do the Drive-by:  If it’s a good possibility, drive by the home and see if you like the location. This will help you to weed out more homes than you think.

Look Past the Surface:
Good Bones:  If shag carpet and gaudy wallpaper isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it. Those are cheap fixes to a home that may have great bones. Look past the things that are easily replaceable and look at the layout of the home, as adding an addition is way more expensive than that gorgeous granite you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t Fall for the Bells & Whistles: Quite opposite of the last tip. A home may have some sweet upgrades like solid countertops and stainless appliances, but you aren’t too crazy about the layout. Just remember, you can always customize the home down the road but living in a home with an awkward layout can eventually get annoying. It’s more expensive to do a total renovation (knocking down walls, permits, etc) than it is to buy an entire stainless kitchen on a Memorial Day sale.

Think About the Future:
Resale, Resale, Resale:  That small bedroom that is a decent “office” now may not be a considered good-sized bedroom for a buyer down the road when you’re trying to sell, as this personally cost us 10+ buyers when selling our home!  Don’t compromise on things that you think may hinder your chances of selling the home in the future.
Replacement Costs:  Buying a home is an investment, especially if you have to replace a ton of stuff inside. Take a closer look at things like the roof, air conditioning unit, pool pump, and other high ticket items that could be in need of replacing. It’s good to budget replacement costs into your yearly budget, but you don’t want to take on a home that needs everything replaced all at once.

A Home Fit for a Family:
Busy Streets:  If you have or plan on having kids, that’s great, just make sure the house accommodates them! Any parent of a toddler will tell you that living on a busy street is one of the scariest things in the world as you watch cars fly by your driveway. Consider an area that has less traffic and will be safer for the little ones.
A Tub:  As silly as it sounds, you will want a tub in the guest bathroom. Unless you want your sweet munchkins taking over your master every night until they can bathe themselves, save yourself the insanity and make sure there’s a tub in the guest bathroom for the little ones.

These are just a few things to think about when you’re looking to buy a home for the first time. When in doubt about certain things, always consult your Realtor, as they are your best source of information in the home buying process.

No matter what your first time home buying adventure is like, just remember, you could always have a bidet in the middle of your bedroom.