Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Strong Data About Surprises in Economic Activity


STRONG DATA: Courtesy the Loan Ladies at Prospect Mortgage
Upside surprises in economic activity are usually not good for mortgage rates.  The major reports released over the past week, especially the housing market data, far exceeded expectations.  Hawkish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a speech on Friday afternoon also had the potential to push mortgage rates higher.  Despite the strong data and hawkish comments from Fed officials, mortgage ratesd ended the week with little change.
Two important reports on the housing market released over the past week showed that activity in April rose to the best level in years.  First, a report that measures the number of contracts signed to buy newly built homes showed that activity in April rose to the best level since january 2008.  This was good, but new homes represent only 10% of the overall housing market.  The remaining 90% is made up of activity involving previously owned homes.  The data on previously owned homes also showed stunning results in April.  Contracts signed in April to buy previously owned homes jumped to the highest level since February 2006.
The other significant data released this week that exceeded expectations was report that measured activity regarding orders for durable goods.  Durable goods include items considered to be useful for at least three years, like planes, autos and machinery.  Orders for durable goods rose in April by 3.4%.  Most of the increase came from orders for civilian aircraft, which generally are quite large and can be very volatile--even excluding transportation, new orders rose .4% from March.  For more information on how the latest economic activity effects your ability to buy or sell a home, contact FRITZ.

Monday, April 11, 2016

GlassHouse Keeps Your Home in Check!

More time living at home and less time maintaining it . . . sound good?  Unless we are diligent about their upkeep, our homes are going to become worse with wear and that's just the stuff we can see.  But it's the items that you can't see that can really cost the big bucks and leave you a little shell-shocked come time to sell.  Outdated foundations, leaking roofs, water intrusion and active infestations behind walls can all lead to expensive repairs . . . a plumbing leak is problematic enough without compounding the damage by waiting too long to make the repair, but add to that ongoing small maintenenace issues like air filters, dryer vents, removing debris from gutters.  So what is the answer?  Enter, "Glasshouse" which literally manages your house for you.  For a small monthly fee, your home will have a proactive service with four quarterly maintenance visits a year--a wellness check-up if you will.  Your home will have someone checking and maintaing the working components of appliances, water heaters, HVAC system, gutters, toilets, pipes, etc.  To sign up for an appointment and find out more about this amazing service, visit https://glasshouse.com/.  For more information about all your real estate needs, call FRITZ.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Must-Dos Before Showing a Home

Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room.  It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right.  Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Eliminate Clutter.  Clear the clutter from around your home.  It's easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes.  Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items.  Larger pieces like coat racks and side tables can make a room feel smaller.

Clean Out Storage Spaces.  Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas.  Pack up items you don't regularly use and put them out of sight or donate them. Leaving these area completely full may give potential buyers the impression that your home doesn't have enough storage.

Clear the Way.  Make sure potential home buyers can move through your house easily.  Remove furniture that blocks the flow of traffic or hinders sight lines.

Remove Personal Items.  Family pictures, children's artwork and other personal items should be removed to avoid distraction.  Personal belongings can also make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Remember Curb Appeal.  Make a strong first impression by sprucing up your front yard and entryway.  Replace the house numbers and exterior light fixtures if necessary.  Keep the lawn mowed, plants maintained and free of clutter and toys.

For more information about how to sell your home fast and for the right price, contact FRITZ.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Here Are The Top Features That Help Sell Homes Fastest

From the Pacific Union blog:
What makes one home sell overnight and another languish on the market for weeks on end?  A recent study identified a half dozen attributes such as architectural style and amenities that caught the interest of home buyers, and the results, while hardly scientific, open a window on current trends in real estate . . . read more.  For more information on buying and selling a home, call FRITZ.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Alameda's East End Attracts with Schools, Parks and Recreation

From the Pacific Union blog:
The island of Alameda used to be considered a bit of a local secret, but times have certainly changed. With the announcement that Google is planning to open an office at the former Alameda Naval Air Station and the general shortage of available homes throughout the Bay Area, the island city has become a highly desireable location for both East Bay homebuyers and those coming from San Francisco . . . read more: http://blog.pacificunion.com/alameda-east-end/

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pacific Union's January 2016 Real Estate Update

Bay Area home shoppers who ventured out in the first month of 2016 were in luck, as the amount of homes for sale expanded in every one of our regions, although conditions still mostly favor sellers. See how 2016 kicked off in the world of Northern California real estate in our January real estate report.  http://pacunion.us/1nYTV7D.  For more information on this and all your real estate needs, contact FRITZ.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

US, Bay Area Housing Markets Finish the Year Strong


From the Pacific Union blog:
The national housing market enjoyed a sizable annual improvement in December, with the Bay Area's two major metro areas also flexing their muscles.  Read all about it at http://pacunion.us/1mDqLdJ.  For more information on this and for all your real estate needs, call FRITZ.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

It's Never Too Late for New Year's Real Estate Resolutions


From the Pacific Union blog:
The year 2016 is already more than a week old, but it's never too late to adopt a smart set of resolutions to help guide you through the year ahead.  Whether you are a home buyer or a seller---or might become one or the other over the course of the year---take a look at Pacific Union's roundup of real estate resolutions for the new year.  They're online at http://pacunion.us/1mH6h3G.  Contact FRITZ for all your real estate needs.