Real Estate Recovery is Expected to Continue

Leading up to 2014 real estate experts had very high expectations for the year’s market performance. Throughout the first half of 2014, however, those expectations were not met. Despite the lag in activity in the beginning months, which is likely due to the harsh winter weather and high consumer doubt, over the summer the national housing market has shown a steady increase in activity. HomeServices of America has developed and released a national perspective of the residential housing market, stating “we anticipate a robust second half of 2014” as housing inventories approach healthier levels.

During and after the recession, housing marketing throughout the country had an extremely high amount of distressed properties. It was private equity and investors that primarily drove the real estate market into recovery. This tactic of fueling market recovery, however, was a short-term resurgence. While investors removed a large amount of distressed properties from the market—which helped return property values to where they should be—once they did, recovery depended on the more traditional cycle. Fortunately, consumer confidence is on the rise. This is vital for the real estate market, because if people are fearful about buying and selling homes, than they simply won’t.  According to HomeServices of America along with this increase in consumer confidence, the real estate activity is being led more by homeowners, instead of driven by investors or banks dealing with distressed properties. They have noted that more consumers are buying homes as their own residences and more homeowners are selling their own properties. This trend is a great sign that the real estate market will only continue to thrive.

The housing industry is made up of a number of segments, each of which is experiencing different paths to recovery. For example, luxury properties have displayed a strong sense of recovery, with good sales recorded in many markets nationwide; however, the sales of mid-priced residential properties have not been showing the same enthusiasm. Buy looking at the most recent price-branded reports for the Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Elizabethtown markets shown at the bottom of this post, you see that the majority of homes that sell in the area are in the $125k-$150k range, with less than 3% of homes selling for more than $500k in the Louisville market. This could be why we hear of many other markets undergoing a quicker recovery than we are.

Strong sales of luxury properties is most likely due to a number of factors that affect the buyers and sellers in this market segment. A large portion of this segment are made up of first-time homebuyers who are struggling with getting a loan due to strict credit standards and student loan debts, which has recently shown a dramatic uptick cross the country. The mid-market segment is also facing lower inventory levels which cannot keep up with the demand that is higher than other market segments. Real estate experts are hopeful that these issues will subside, especially as more and more buyers are seeking professional and quality loan officers to assist them through the process of getting a mortgage loan. With the guidance and expertise of such loan officers, more homebuyers are taking the right steps, such as getting pre-qualified for a mortgage prior to shopping for homes.

Americans are beginning to once again become confident and enthusiastic towards real estate.  According to a 2014 survey by Gallup, more Americans consider real estate to be the best long-term investment, ranking above gold and stocks. The fact that consumers are still seeing the value in homeownership is a great indicator that things will continue to improve. While we are still a ways away from achieving full recovery, the signs are pointing in the right direction. Assuming that job creation and the overall economy will continue to grow, the momentum of real estate market is anticipated to continuously pick up speed through the rest of 2014.

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Bowling to Build 2014

The Semonin Realtors® all-company event held yesterday, August 20th, at Kingpin Lanes was nothing less than a huge success and a whole lot of fun! From 10a.m. to 2p.m., Semonin staff, agents, families, and clients put their bowling shoes on and enjoyed a great afternoon of fun, food, and strikes! Funds raised by bowlers, raffle tickets, and a bake sale exceeded $2,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

We had over 90 participates and gave away over 60 raffle prizes. We would like to thank everyone who helped us make this great event a success, with a special shout out to King Pin Lanes and their wonderful staff and to 2-10 warranty for sponsoring this event and allowing us to give 100% of all the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. We can’t wait to start building our 17th Habitat home next month!!

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To view the full photo album visit our Facebook Page!

Buying in a Bidding War: Give Your Offer a Personal Touch

Couple writing a letterIn low-inventory market the number of home shoppers exceeds the number of homes on the market. As a result, a number of properties are receiving multiple offers and homebuyers are finding themselves in a bidding war. In this kind of situation the strongest offer usually wins. To make an offer stronger and more appealing to a seller, the obvious answer would be to simply offer more money and ask for less in return, such as closing costs or allowances for appliances or repairs. Unfortunately, as the buyer, you will only know that there are multiple offers on the table, but you will not know exactly what those offers are. If you have already offered everything you can to best match or exceed the seller’s requests, there is another technique you, as the buyer, can use to appeal to the sellers.

In a multiple-offer situation, many real estate agents will advise their clients to strengthen their offer with a little personal touch by including a letter addressed to the sellers explaining how much they love the property and why they should be the ones chosen to buy it. The personal value this kind of letter can add will make your offer stand out from the others.

Selling a property can be a very emotional process for many sellers. Whatever their reason for selling, they are still having to let go of the home they have built and the memories they have created there. Including a personal letter in your offer is a way to express to the sellers that they will be leaving the house to someone who wishes to create the same kind of memories for themselves, that they have valued so much. The bottom line, the sellers are not just selling a house, they are selling their home. Respect this feeling in your letter by expressing to the sellers how you would be purchasing more than just any other house; you would be purchasing the home where you want to begin the next chapter of your life.

Including a personal letter is not a guaranteed strategy. Sometimes other buyers will simply out bid you. However, the additional value a letter brings can be extremely powerful. You may find that even if another buyer offered a little bit more money, or asked the seller for a little bit less, this personal touch can win over the hearts of the sellers, leading them to consider you as the most deserving new owner.

Price Banded Market Report – July 2014

What price range are most homes in Louisville selling for? This graphic gives a good visual representation of the amount of homes that have sold in each price range during the past 30 days. As you can see, the most selling activity has been in and around the $100,000 – $125,000 range.

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Former Army Sergeant Receives Home Courtesy of Wells Fargo

Matt Kinsey, a former Army sergeant and member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, and his girlfriend Christina were the recipients of a remodeled house courtesy of Wells Fargo. Matt and Christina received the keys to the house yesterday, enabling them to see it for the first time. Semonin agent Jay Wyzard was instrumental in the process. Matt is most deserving of this fantastic house in New Albany and Semonin is honored to have had a special part in it.

A former Army sergeant, receives home courtesy of Wells Fargo

A former Army sergeant, receives home courtesy of Wells Fargo

Matt Kinsey, a former Army sergeant and member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, recipient of a remodeled house courtesy of Wells Fargo

A former Army sergeant, receives key to new home

Home Listed by Semonin Realtors

A former Army sergeant, receives home courtesy of Wells Fargo

 

At Semonin Realtors, we strive to lead differently, teach relentlessly, and serve passionately. To be able to give back to those who serve our country is so meaningful to the Semonin family. In further efforts to assist our military moving in or out of the Kentuckiana region, Semonin Realtors participates in the U.S. Military of the Move program to say thank you to all our service men and women. This program allows military active duty, retired (20 years of service) and wounded warriors to earn cash back when they buy or sell a home with Semonin Realtors®.

Poll: What’s Important to You?

People choose the home they buy for all kinds of different reasons. Some consider space to be their top priority; some would rather give up square footage to have a home with more high-end finishes or architectural detail. We would like to know what is most important to you in a home!

The 61st Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle $10,000 Drawing

After winning the last $10,000 drawing, Phil Miller, of Semonin Realtors, never thought he would win it AGAIN at the very next event! But that is exactly what happened at the 61st Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle drawing, held July 15, 2014. Thirty agents from around the area were entered into the drawing after selling a property registered in the Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle program. Phil won the grand $10,000 prize, plus a $500 bonus for being both the listing and selling agent on the property drawn as the winning entry.Phil and Tim with Check

Celebrate this Independence Day in Louisville!

For many, 4th of July weekend is always a highlight of the summer. Some leave town, some stay at home to light sparklers with the kids. Whatever you do, it is a holiday worth celebrating! For those of you who have yet to make plans, there are tons of things going on around town! Click here for a couple of events taking place in the Louisville area this holiday weekend.  4th of July Weekend

Louisville Market Snapshot: Months of Inventory

Months of Inventory as of June 15, 2014

What is Months of Inventory? This term considers the amount of inventory currently on the market and the recent demand shown by buyers. As you can see from the graph in the image, the months of inventory in the Louisville market is currently around 5.3. This means if no more inventory were to come of the market, it would take approximately 5.3 months for buyers to purchase everything that is currently listed. This number indicates that we are in a seller’s market right now. Often in this kind of market, seller’s experience multiple offers and sell their homes in less time and for more money. If you have been thinking about selling, now is the time to get your house listed!

Greater Louisville Months of Inventory 6-15-14

Flood & Disaster Insurance

Many homeowners are misled when it comes to what their homeowners insurance actually covers. It is vital that you understand all the details of your policy before you have to use it! Click here to find out what you need to know about flood and disaster insurance. Flood insurance

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