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Do People Still Use Real Estate Agents?

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Technology seems to be the heart of the real estate market.  It begs the question, do house hunters and owners selling their house still feel that they need to use a real estate agent?  Based on a recent housing consumer study completed by Harris Insights, the answer is a resounding yes.

In fact, the percentage of home buyers or sellers who used a real estate agent in a recent transaction has increased 5 percentage points from the last study three years ago and up 9 percentage points since 2001.

Many might assume that the older population of buyers and sellers are the most likely to use a real estate agent for their transaction.  After all, Gen Xers and Millennials are tech savvy and more accustomed to navigating the virtual world.  However, according to an article published by Housing Wire, “91% of those ages 18 to 34 used real estate agents in their transaction. That number is slightly higher among Gen Xers, or those ages 35 to 44 years old, at 94%…Actually, it’s the older generations that are cutting real estate agents out of the picture as just 81% of those ages 55 and older reported using a real estate agent in their transaction.”

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Helpful Tips for Buying a Condo in Chicago

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A number of first time home buyers are ready to enter the real estate market.  Young professionals who are looking to purchase their first home might find it appealing to own a property in one of the many Chicago neighborhoods; however, the prices for a single family home are too steep.  Purchasing a condo is an attractive alternative; in fact, owning a condo can be very appealing to many home buyers who want to move into one of these hot areas but also don’t want to take on the maintenance single family home.

FotoFlexer_PhotoNevertheless, purchasing a condo in Chicago can offer its own set of issues if not researched thoroughly by the buyer.  An article published by Alex Mayster in U.S. News Real Estate offers many considerations buyers should remember when purchasing a condo in the city.

For example,  Mayster encourages the buyer to find out how many units in the building are rented out currently.  “If it’s over 50 percent rented, you could have trouble getting a loan,” says Jennifer Mills Klatt with the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group.  Even if the buyer is able to secure a loan, home owners in a building with more than 50 percent of the properties rented out may find that their neighbors don’t share the same level of financial investment in the property.  This could also lead to frustration when owners renting their property vote to spend to less money on improvements and maintenance.  A high percentage of rental units may also affect the resale value of the property.

The article goes on to provide other helpful tips for condo buyers such as researching and exploring the neighborhood first-hand,  personally investigating the availability of parking, whether it be street parking or an included parking spot, and researching the condo association minutes and assessments.

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Photo Credit:  Gregory Richard

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Expect A Surge of Young, First-Time Home Buyers Into 2020

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Over the past fifteen years, the percentage of first-time home buyers that fell between the ages of 20 and 29 has increased from 17 percent to 28 percent of all buyers, according to TransUnion.  Following the same trend, first-time home buyers between the ages of 20 and 39 increased 16 percent in that same 15 year span; ultimately, the age group made up 60 percent of all first-time home buyers by the end of 2015.

An article published by The M Report by Brian Honea indicated that TransUnion anticipates up to 17 million first-time home buyers will enter the real estate market over the next five years.   With this influx of new homeowners comes positive economic news for both local economies as well as the mortgage lending industry.

FotoFlexer_Photo Joe Mellman, VP and Mortgage Business leader for TransUnion, explained  that first-time home buyers help to
improve the local economic activity as a result of increased construction and home improvement demand.  Mellman also describes, from the perspective of mortgage lenders, “First-time home buyers are valuable prospects in the eyes of many mortgage lenders, as that time in a borrower’s life often corresponds to additional financial needs,”.

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Photo Credit:  Renaude Hatsedakis

 

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The Impact of Millennials on the Real Estate Market

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for-rent-sign-2-1147396It had been predicted that the Millennial Generation (18-34 year olds), would be key to a healthy rebound in the real estate market.  However, based on new survey data released by Redfin, they might actually be responsible for the low inventory of homes for sale.

Millennials are, for the most part, more optimistic about the housing market.   They have not seen home mortgage rates over 5 percent and have been able to build more equity than home owners of older generations.  Additionally, they are confident they will see an increase in home values over the next year.

Therefore, according to the survey, millennials are more apt to rent out their home instead of selling their starter home.  As a result, the supply of homes for sale will continue to remain low.  A recent article on DSNews.com by Brian Honea indicates “…28 percent of millennials plan to rent out their house instead of selling it, compared to only 4 percent of homeowners ages 55 and older.”

For more information, read the entire article 

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