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  • Don’t Let the Latest Home Price Headlines Confuse You

    Based on what you’re hearing in the news about home prices, you may be worried they’re falling. But here’s the thing. The headlines aren’t giving you the full picture. If you look at the national data for 2023, home prices actually showed positive growth for the year. While this varies by market, and while there were some months with slight declines nationally, those were the exception, not the rule. The overarching story is that prices went up last year, not down. Let’s dive into the data to set the record straight. 2023 Was the Return to More Normal Home Price Growth If anything, last year marked a return to more normal home price appreciation. To prove it, here’s what usually happens in residential real estate. In the housing market, there are predictable ebbs and flows that take place each year. It’s called seasonality. It goes like this. Spring is the peak homebuying season when the market is most active. That activity is usually still strong in the summer, but begins to wane toward the end of the year. Home prices follow along with this seasonality because prices grow the most when there’s high demand. The graph below uses data from Case-Shiller to show how this pattern played out in home prices from 1973 through 2022 (not adjusted, so you can see the seasonality): As the data shows, for nearly 50 years, home prices match typical market seasonality. At the beginning of the year, home prices grow more moderately. That’s because the market is less active as fewer people move in January and February. Then, as the market transitions into the peak homebuying season in the spring, activity ramps up. That means home prices do too. Then, as fall and winter approach, activity eases again and prices grow, just at a slower rate. Now, let’s layer the data that’s come out for 2023 so far (shown in green) on top of that long-term trend (still shown in blue). That way, it’s easy to see how 2023 compares. As the graph shows, moving through the year in 2023, the level of appreciation fell more in line with the long-term trend for what usually happens in the housing market. You can see that in how close the green bars come to matching the blue bars in the later part of the year. But the headlines only really focused on the two bars outlined in red. Here’s the context you may not have gotten that can really put those two bars into perspective. The long-term trend shows it’s normal for home prices to moderate in the fall and winter. That’s typical seasonality. And since the 49-year average is so close to zero during those months (0.10%), that also means it’s not unusual for home prices to drop ever so slightly during those times. But those are just blips on the radar. If you look at the year as a whole, home prices still rose overall. How Does Pasco County Median Home Value Measure Up? In contrast to the national headlines, Pasco County's real estate market exhibited unique trends in 2023. Local data paints a picture of resilience and steady growth of Pasco County median home value amidst national fluctuations. Over the year, Pasco County homes saw an overall appreciation of 2.5%, with the median home value rising to $379,440 by January 2024. Even in the face of occasional month-over-month dips, as was common across the country, Pasco County's market maintained a positive trajectory. This is a testament to the area's enduring appeal and the robustness of its housing market. For residents and investors alike, Pasco County continues to be a beacon of stability in an otherwise volatile market, proving that local dynamics often defy broad national trends. What You Really Need To Know Headlines are going to call attention to the small month-to-month dips instead of the bigger year-long picture. And that can be a bit misleading because it’s only focused on one part of the whole story. Instead, remember last year we saw the return of seasonality in the housing market – and that’s a good thing after home prices skyrocketed unsustainably during the ‘unicorn’ years of the pandemic. And just in case you’re still worried home prices will fall, don’t be. The expectation for this year is that prices will continue to appreciate as buyers re-enter the market due to mortgage rates trending down compared to last year. As buyer demand goes up and more people move at the same time the supply of homes for sale is still low, the upward pressure on prices will continue. Bottom Line Don’t let home price headlines confuse you. The data shows that, as a whole, home prices rose in 2023. If you have questions about what you’re hearing in the news or about what’s happening with home prices in our local area, let’s connect.

  • Will a Silver Tsunami Change the 2024 Housing Market?

    Have you ever heard the term “Silver Tsunami” and wondered what it's all about? If so, that might be because there’s been lot of talk about it online recently. Let's dive into what it is and why it won't drastically impact the housing market. What Does Silver Tsunami Mean? A recent article from HousingWire calls it: “. . . a colloquialism referring to aging Americans changing their housing arrangements to accommodate aging . . .” The thought is that as baby boomers grow older, a significant number will start downsizing their homes. Considering how large that generation is, if these moves happened in a big wave, it would affect the housing market by causing a significant uptick in the number of larger homes for sale. That influx of homes coming onto the market would impact the balance of supply and demand and more. The concept makes sense in theory, but will it happen? And if so, when? Why It Won’t Have a Huge Impact on the Housing Market in 2024 Experts say, so far, a silver tsunami hasn’t happened – and it probably won't anytime soon. According to that same article from HousingWire: “. . . the silver tsunami’s transformative potential for the U.S. housing market has not yet materialized in any meaningful way, and few expect it to anytime soon.” Here’s just one reason why. Many baby boomers don’t want to move. Data from the AARP shows over half of the surveyed adults ages 65 and up plan to stay put and age in place in their current home rather than move (see chart below): Clearly, not every baby boomer is planning to sell or move – and even those who do won’t do it all at once. Instead, it will be more gradual, happening slowly over time. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says: “Demographics are never a tsunami. The baby boomer generation is almost two decades of births. That means they're going to take about two decades to work their way through.” Bottom Line If you’re worried about a Silver Tsunami shaking up the housing market, don’t be. Any impact from baby boomers moving will be gradual over many years. Fleming sums it up best: “Demographic trends, they don't tsunami. They trickle.”

  • The Top Benefits of Buying a Multi-Generational Home

    Has the idea of sharing a home with loved ones like your grandparents, parents, or other relatives crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. More buyers are choosing to go this route and buy a multi-generational home. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons why, to see if a home like this may be right for you too. Why Buyers Are Opting for Multi-Generational Living According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), two of the top reasons buyers are opting for multi-generational homes today have to do with affordability (see graph below): First-time buyers are focused most on cost savings – with 28% saying this was a key reason for them. By pooling their resources with others, they can share financial responsibilities like mortgage payments, utilities, and more to make homeownership more affordable. This is especially helpful for those first-time homebuyers who may be finding it tough to afford a home on their own in today’s market. Buyers are also turning to multi-generational homes so they can more easily afford their dream home. Both first-time (28%) and repeat buyers (18%) chose to live with others so they could buy a larger home. When everyone chips in and combines their incomes, that big dream home with more space could be more within reach. But multi-generational living isn’t just about the financial side of things. According to the same study from NAR, 23% of repeat buyers chose to buy a multi-generational home to make it easier to care for an aging parent. Many older adults want to age in place and a multi-generational home can help make that possible. For those older adults, it gives them an opportunity to maintain their quality of life while being surrounded by their loved ones. As Axios explains: “Financial concerns and caregiving needs are two of the major reasons people live with their parents (and parents' parents).” Lean on an Expert Finding the perfect multi-generational home isn’t as simple as shopping for a regular house. That’s because there are more people with even more opinions and needs to be considered. It's like solving a puzzle, and the pieces need to fit just right. So if you're interested in the many benefits multi-generational living offers, partner with a local real estate agent who has the expertise to help. Buying a Multi-Generational Home -- The Bottom Line Whether your motives are financial or focused on the people you’ll share your home with, buying a multi-generational home may make sense for you. If you’re interested in learning more, let’s connect.

  • Navigating the Future of Homeownership: The Aging in Place Dilemma

    In a recent insightful report by Leaf Home and Morning Consult, a critical trend among baby boomers is highlighted: 55% intend to stay in their current homes during their senior years. However, a concerning detail emerges – less than a quarter of these individuals are preparing their homes for the realities of aging. This scenario presents both challenges and opportunities for homeowners and real estate professionals alike. As a real estate agent specializing in senior transitions, my role goes beyond buying and selling homes. It's about understanding and addressing the unique needs of aging homeowners. The report describes homes owned by baby boomers as “time capsules,” often unaltered for decades, with over half of these homes built in 1980 or earlier. The lack of updates not only impacts the safety and comfort of these aging residents but also poses a looming underinvestment crisis for future inheritors, primarily millennials. The Aging in Place Challenge Aging in place requires more than just a decision to stay put. It involves thoughtful modifications to ensure the home remains safe, accessible, and comfortable as mobility, vision, and cognitive abilities naturally change. Despite the importance of these modifications, the report finds a staggering 75% of baby boomer respondents have never added safety or accessibility features to their homes. This is where my expertise as a Certified Senior Transition Specialist becomes crucial. I assist in identifying key renovations that can transform these homes into safe, age-friendly spaces. From simple additions like grab bars in bathrooms to more comprehensive renovations for wheelchair accessibility, the goal is to ensure that homes evolve to meet the changing needs of their inhabitants. Rightsizing: Transitioning to More Suitable Homes For some seniors, the practical solution might be to sell their current home and move to a residence better suited to their stage of life. In this scenario, I provide knowledgeable support in navigating the market, identifying homes that are either already equipped for senior living or have the potential for easy modifications. My goal is to find spaces that not only offer safety and comfort but also align with the lifestyle and preferences of each individual. Market Implications and Opportunities The report's findings underscore a generational shift in the housing market, emphasizing the urgent need for renovation and adaptation. For current homeowners and potential inheritors, this means proactive planning and investment in home modifications. It also signals an opportunity for the real estate and home improvement industries to cater to this growing need. Bottom Line The decision to age in place is a significant one, requiring careful consideration and planning. As a real estate professional committed to supporting senior homeowners, I am here to guide you through this process. Whether it involves modifying your current home or finding a new space that better suits your needs, I offer the expertise and resources to make your transition as smooth and fulfilling as possible. If you're contemplating these important decisions, let's connect and explore the best path forward for your home and your future. --- Further Reading For a deeper dive into the insights and statistics discussed in this post, I encourage you to read the full article on HousingWire. It provides a comprehensive overview of the current trends and challenges associated with aging in place for baby boomers. You can access the article here: [Many Baby Boomers Live in “Time Capsules” That Need Renovations to Age in Place](https://www.housingwire.com/articles/many-baby-boomers-live-in-time-capsules-that-need-renovations-to-age-in-place/?share=link-copy&nb=1). You can also access the full report from Morning Consult here: 2024 Generational Divides in Homeownership Report: Impact of Boomers Aging in Place on Millennial Homeownership

  • The Dramatic Relationship of Homeownership and Net Worth

    If you're trying to decide whether to rent or buy a home this year, here's a powerful insight on homeownership and net worth that could give you the clarity and confidence you need to make your decision. Homeownership And Net Worth Every three years, the Federal Reserve releases the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which compares net worth for homeowners and renters. The latest report shows the average homeowner’s net worth is almost 40X greater than a renter’s (see graph below): One reason a wealth gap exists between renters and homeowners is because when you’re a homeowner, your equity grows as your home appreciates in value and you make your mortgage payment each month. When you own a home, your monthly mortgage payment acts like a form of forced savings, which eventually pays off when you decide to sell. As a renter, you’ll never see a financial return on the money you pay out in rent every month. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American, explains it like this: “Renters don’t capture the wealth generated by house price appreciation, nor do they benefit from the equity gains generated by monthly mortgage payments . . .” The Largest Part of Most Homeowner Net Worth Is Their Equity Home equity does more to build the average household’s wealth than anything else. According to data from First American and the Federal Reserve, this holds true across different income levels (see graph below): The green segment in each bar represents how much of a homeowner's net worth comes from their home equity. Based on this data, it's clear no matter what your income level is, owning a home can really boost your wealth. Nicole Bachaud, Senior Economist at Zillow, shares: “The biggest asset most people are ever going to own is a home. Homeownership is really that financial key that helps unlock stability and wealth preservation across generations.” If you’re ready to start building your net worth, the current real estate market offers several opportunities you should consider. For example, with mortgage rates trending lower lately, your purchasing power may be higher now than it has been in months. And, with more inventory coming to the market, there are more options for you to consider. A local real estate agent can walk you through the opportunities you have today and guide you through the process of finding your ideal home. Homeownership and Net Worth -- The Bottom Line If you're unsure about whether to rent or buy a home, keep in mind that owning a home can increase your overall wealth in the long run, no matter your income. To discover more about this and the many other benefits of homeownership, let’s connect.

  • Retiring Soon? Why Moving Might Be the Perfect Next Step

    If you’re thinking about retirement or have already retired this year, it’s a good time to consider if your current house is still a good fit for the next chapter in your life. Fortunately, you may be in a better position to make a move than you realize. Here are a few things to think about as you decide whether or not to sell and make a move. How Long You’ve Been in Your Home From 1985 to 2008, the average length of time homeowners typically stayed in their homes was only six years. But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that number is rising today, meaning many homeowners are living in their houses even longer (see graph below): When you live in a home for a significant period of time, it’s natural for you to experience a number of changes in your life while you’re in that house. As those life changes and milestones happen, your needs may change. And if your current home no longer meets them, you may have better options waiting for you. How Much Equity You’ve Gained Additionally, if you’ve been in your house for more than a few years, you’ve likely built-up significant equity that can fuel your next move. That’s because the longer you’ve been in your house, the more likely it’s grown in value due to home price appreciation. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) illustrates that point (see graph below): While home price growth varies by state and local area, the national average shows the typical homeowner who’s been in their house for five years saw it increase in value by nearly 60%. And the average homeowner who’s owned their home since 1991 saw it more than triple in value over that time. Consider Your Retirement Goals Whether you're looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or simply be closer to loved ones, your home equity can be a key to realizing your homeownership goals. NAR shares that for recent home sellers, the primary reason to move was to be closer to loved ones. Whatever your home goals are, a trusted real estate agent can work with you to find the best option. They’ll help you sell your current house and guide you through buying the home that’s right for your lifestyle today. Bottom Line Retirement can bring about major changes in your life, including what you need from your home. Let’s connect to explore the available homes in our area.

  • New Year, New Space: Join My FREE Downsizing Email Course for Downsizing Tips!

    With a brand-new year upon us, it's the perfect time for fresh starts and exciting adventures. And guess what? I've got an adventure that's both exhilarating and incredibly practical – my FREE 7-Day Email Course, "Rightsizing Your Space" full of fantastic downsizing tips and strategies! Why Downsizing, You Ask? Have you ever felt like your living space is bursting at the seams with stuff you don't even remember buying? Or maybe you're thinking about a move in 2024, but you're not quite sure how to make the leap? You're not alone! Downsizing is the secret sauce to simplifying your space and creating a life that's as clutter-free as it is fulfilling. But guess what else? It's not just about ditching the clutter; it's about gaining control, clarity, and the freedom to live the life you want. So, whether you're planning a move this year or just looking to start the journey to a more organized and stress-free life, this course is tailor-made for you. Ready to Make a Move? Picture this: You walk into your home, and it's a haven of space, organization, and serenity. No more endless piles of stuff crowding your living space. Every item has its place, and you feel like a master of your domain. Sounds like a dream? Well, it's achievable! Course Highlights – Because Who Doesn't Love Perks? My "Rightsizing Your Space" course is your key to unlocking the life you've been envisioning. Here's what you'll get: ✅ Simplify Your Space: Discover the secrets to decluttering and organizing your home without the overwhelm. ✅ Personalized Downsizing Plan: Tailor your downsizing strategy to fit your unique needs and aspirations. ✅ Expert Guidance: Gain insights from a certified Senior Transition Specialist (spoiler alert – that’s me!)  – someone who understands your journey. Course Details – Because Clarity Matters 📅 Start Anytime: No need to wait; this is your journey, and you set the pace. 💌 Delivered to Your Inbox: Learning couldn't be more convenient; the course comes to you. 🔑 Absolutely FREE: Yes, you heard it right – no hidden costs, no strings attached! Ready to Begin? So, what are you waiting for? Secure your spot in "Rightsizing Your Space" by clicking the link below and embark on this thrilling adventure: Make 2024 Your Year! This year, let's simplify, organize, and create a future that aligns with your dreams. Remember, it's not just about moving to a new space; it's about crafting a life that reflects your aspirations. Here's to decluttering, downsizing, and a fantastic year ahead! 🌟

  • Your Homebuying Adventure

    Ready to embark on your homebuying journey? The path ahead looks promising as interest rates are forecasted to decrease multiple times in 2024. It's the perfect time to prepare yourself as a buyer and secure your dream home. Let's get you buyer-ready for this exciting opportunity!

  • Are the Top 3 Housing Market Questions on Your Mind?

    When it comes to what’s happening in the housing market, there’s a lot of confusion going around right now. You may hear one thing in conversation with your friends, see something totally different on the news, and read something on social media that contradicts both of those thoughts. And, if you’re thinking about making a move, that can leave you with a lot of lingering questions. That’s where a trusted local real estate agent comes in. Here are the top 3 questions people are asking about today’s housing market, and the data to help answer them. 1. What’s Next for Mortgage Rates? Mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been in recent years. And, if you’re looking to buy a home, that impacts how much you can afford. That’s why so many buyers want to know what’s ahead for mortgage rates. The answer to that question is: no one can say for certain, but here’s what we know based on historical trends. There’s a long-standing relationship between mortgage rates and inflation. Basically, when inflation is high, mortgage rates tend to follow suit. Over the past year, inflation was up, so mortgage rates were as well. But inflation is easing now. And this is why the Federal Reserve has recently paused their federal funds rate hikes, which means many experts believe mortgage rates will begin to come down. And in some ways, we’ve started to see hints of slightly lower mortgage rates in recent weeks. But it’s certainly been volatile and will likely continue to be that way going into next year. Some ongoing variation is to be expected, but the anticipation is, that in 2024, we’ll see a downward trend. As Aziz Sunderji, Strategist at Home Economics, says: “The bottom line is that interest rates are likely to be lower-perhaps even lower than many optimists think – in the weeks and months to come.” 2. Where Are Home Prices Headed? While there’s been a lot of concern prices would come crashing down this year, data shows that didn’t happen. In fact, home prices are rising in most of the nation. Experts say that trend will continue, just at a slower pace that’s much more normal for the housing market – and that’s a good thing. To help show just how confident experts are in this continued appreciation, take a look at the Home Price Expectation Survey from Pulsenomics. It’s a survey of a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. As the graph below shows, the consensus is, that prices will keep climbing next year, and in the years to come. 3. Is a Recession Around the Corner? While recession talk has been a common thing over the past few years, there’s good news on that front. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) polls experts on this topic regularly. And last year at this time, most of them thought a recession would have happened by now. But as experts look at all the leading indicators today, they’re changing their minds and saying a recession is getting less and less likely. The latest results show that more experts now think we’re not headed for another recession (see chart below): This is big news for the housing market. And while the 48% to 52% split may seem close to half and half, the key thing to focus on is that the majority of these experts think we’ve avoided a recession already. Bottom Line The big takeaway? The data shows there isn’t cause for concern – there are actually more signs of hope. Looking for expert guidance through the housing market? Reach out to me today for personalized insights and navigate your next move with confidence! https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2023/11/28/are-the-top-3-housing-market-questions-on-your-mind/

  • Maximizing Space Through Minimalism: Tips for Downsizing Your Home

    Welcome to a journey of intentional living and efficient spaces! Whether you're downsizing by choice or necessity, the path of minimalism can help you make the most out of your smaller home. In this guide, we'll explore how to combine the principles of minimalism with downsizing to create a serene and functional living space. In today's world, the idea of "more is better" is often challenged by the simplicity and elegance of minimalism. Downsizing your home doesn't mean sacrificing comfort or style; it's an opportunity to declutter, focus on what truly matters, and live with purpose. Let's dive into the art of maximizing space through minimalism. Tips for Downsizing Your Home with Minimalism 1. Purpose-Driven Downsizing Clarify Intentions: Define why you're downsizing—whether it's to simplify life, reduce expenses, or embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Guided Decision-Making: Use these reasons as a compass to make choices about what stays and what goes. Stay Committed: Keep your purpose in mind throughout the downsizing process to stay motivated and focused. 2. Mindful Decluttering Critical Evaluation: Assess each item's usefulness and emotional value; discard those that no longer serve a purpose or bring joy. Donate or Sell: Consider giving away or selling items that are in good condition but no longer needed. Organized Approach: Sort items into categories (keep, donate, sell, discard) to streamline the decluttering process. 3. Quality & Versatility Invest Wisely: Prioritize quality over quantity when choosing furniture and home items to ensure durability and functionality. Multi-Purpose Pieces: Opt for furniture that serves multiple functions, like a sofa bed or ottomans with storage compartments. Adaptability: Choose versatile pieces that can be rearranged or repurposed to suit different needs. 4. Multi-Functional Spaces Maximize Every Area: Convert spaces into dual-use areas, such as a home office that transforms into a guest room with a pull-out bed. Flexible Furniture Arrangement: Use movable partitions or furniture to create adaptable spaces that can easily transition. Creative Solutions: Explore creative design ideas that make the most of your available square footage. 5. Simplified Living Kitchen Efficiency: Keep only essential kitchen items; opt for minimalist designs to maximize functionality and visual space. Vertical Storage: Utilize wall-mounted shelves, hooks, or hanging organizers to make use of vertical space. Minimalist Design & Digitization: Choose open shelving for an airy feel, and digitize important documents to reduce paper clutter and enhance organization. Conclusion As you embark on your journey to downsize your home while embracing minimalism, remember that less truly can be more. By decluttering your space and focusing on what truly matters to you, you can create a harmonious and efficient living environment that reflects your values and goals. Just as Leslie Knope passionately pursued her dreams, you can passionately pursue a simplified and purposeful lifestyle. Now it's your turn to embrace minimalism and make the most of your downsized home. Start by decluttering and reevaluating your possessions. Ask yourself, "Does this item add value to my life?" If not, consider letting it go. Share your downsizing journey with others, and together, we can create spaces that reflect our passions and values.

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