5 Emerging Real Estate Trends to Get Ready for in 2020

Real estate seems to be one of those investment classes that is always viable to investors, simply due to the versatility of the asset and the numerous ways you can build a positive ROI. Whether you are selling or leasing, or if you’re buying during an economic shift for an affordable price with the intention to wait until the property prices rise again, there are numerous ways you can capitalize on your real estate investment. For example, in 2019 in the US alone, median home prices went all the way up to $316,000, making it one of the best years for real estate agents and experienced investors.

Now that 2020 is well under way, it’s time to prepare for the new emerging trends and adjust your strategy for the new year, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends you need to get ready for and act on sooner rather than later.

Home prices continue to rise

The growth trend for home prices in the US that has been persevering through 2018 and 2019 seems to the waning, and experts even predict that, while it will continue to rise, the average home price in 2020 will grow by only 2.8%. This means that investors and homebuyers, in general, will be able to take their time selecting the best properties for their needs, without fear of losing out on a good deal and having to overinvest. If you are a seller, you can expect fewer homebuyers to come your way simply because the elevated prices are squeezing them out of the market, however, that also means that affluent buyers will stay in the game.

On the other side, if you are a buyer, you will have to tend to some meticulous financial planning, forecasting, and property research. It’s important that you figure out the monthly mortgage payment according to your budget, and then make sure you stay within that amount. Search for properties that are low on the price list that you can fix up over time and as you build up your financial capabilities. 

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Accommodating seniors and Gen Z-ers

While the majority of homebuyers are still millennials, it’s important to note that other demographics are jumping into the fray and that real estate professionals need to optimize their offers and portfolios for other types of customers. Namely, 2020 will see a rise in senior buyers as well as Gen Z buyers. With millions of people entering their silver years and millions of young people entering their home-buying years, it’s important to adapt and stage every home according to the unique needs of these generations.

This is the only way to appeal to the modern buyer irrespective of age, as both generations will have very different lifestyle preferences and requirements. When you’re showing a home, you have to appeal to their current and future needs, which means thinking strategically about what seniors need vs what young people might be looking for. Remember to emphasize indoor safety for the senior buyers, and high-tech features for the tech-savvy Gen Z-ers.

The rise of display homes

Now that buyers are taking a more careful and calculated approach to property acquisition, it’s important to note that their decision-making process is evolving as a result. Whether they are looking to buy into a property development project that in its early stages, or if they are looking into plots of land to build their own homes, people are becoming very particular about the architects and builders they work with. In countries where property prices are sky-high, such as Australia, this has already become a major trend.

This is also why the popularity of luxury display homes in Sydney has skyrocketed in recent years, and why it will continue to rise in 2020, as Australian buyers want and need to examine the builder’s capabilities in real life rather than looking at online portfolios, pictures, and case studies. Display homes will become more popular in all high-priced regions of the world, so be sure to prepare for this trend whether you are an investor, an architect, or a buyer.

The neighborhood is not a deciding factor

Surprisingly, the neighborhood where the property resides doesn’t seem to be a deciding factor anymore. Yes, buyers will still research the neighborhood thoroughly, but they will be more inclined to give less-than-ideal neighborhoods a pass if the property is more affordable, or if there are other valuable features that the home can provide. For sellers, this is an opportunity to sell a home in a less popular neighborhood, and for buyers who are working with a limited budget, this is an opportunity to find a new home without breaking the bank.

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Technology will fuel market research

Finally, all investors and real estate experts need to invest in technology in order to capitalize on industry trends and market insights this year, and in the years to come. With more and more valuable data flowing around the digital realm, it becomes impossible to conduct predictive analytics manually anymore, which is why you need to integrate AI-driven data analysis into your operation to organize all of that data into actionable reports and create accurate forecasts that will drive your business strategy forward.

Wrapping up

In 2020, many trends that have been persisting in the past will stay relevant, but some will bring significant change to the industry that all parties should be aware of. With these insights in mind, go ahead and optimize your processes for the new year and pave the road to success.

How Homeowners Can Increase Value of Their Older Home

Older homes have charming appeal that many home buyers are drawn to. In fact, it may have been one of the reasons why you decided to purchase your current home. If you own an older home and are preparing to sell it in the near future, you may be banking on your home’s historic character to attract offers. However, you may also be interested in generating the maximum profit possible from the sale. There are several improvements that you can make to an older home that will help you to generate a faster offer at a higher price point.


Make Energy Efficient Improvements


Energy efficiency is not just the latest buzzword in the real estate industry. It equates to real financial savings for homeowners over the years, and it also can impact the environment considerably. Many home buyers are drawn to energy efficient homes, but older homes are unfortunately not built with this in mind. You can take numerous steps to address energy efficiency in your older home. For example, you can replace your HVAC system or water heater. If your system is very old and needs repair work, your home warranty may even pay for a portion of the replacement. Adding more insulation, replacing windows and re-sealing doors and windows can also be beneficial.


Enhance the Square Footage


While many homeowners may be drawn to the charm and architectural detail in an older home, they also often prefer the open floor plan that is commonly associated with newer designs. Taking down a wall or two in the home to open up the kitchen to the dining and living areas can add great appeal to your home. If possible, you can also finish out an attic or basement to add even more functional square footage to the home.


Update the Kitchen and Bathrooms


Because many of the features in a kitchen and bathrooms are built-in features, they are often dated. Some buyers may find charm in these older features, but in many cases, they need to be restored or updated so that they are more functional and appealing. When you are renovating these spaces, try to resource materials as much as possible. In addition, retain the historic character of the home while adding modern features. For example, an antique look on the cabinets paired with modern appliances is a great combination for a kitchen in an older home.


Add Fresh Paint to the Walls and Trim


Re-painting the interior and exterior of the home is a rather affordable project to complete, and it can add dramatic appeal to the space. Fresh paint makes a home look cleaner and brighter, and this is particularly true when the right colors are selected for the home. Because many rooms in an older home are smaller in size, use painting techniques to create the illusion of space for maximum results.


Focus on Curb Appeal


While home buyers may be sold on a home based on the interior design and condition, the curb appeal can play a large role in enticing buyers to stop by and tour the home. Curb appeal is instantly noticeable when buyers are searching online for listings, and it makes a first impression on the buyer when he or she arrives for an on-site visit. Spending time refreshing the lawn, trimming bushes and updating flower beds can enhance your property’s value and appeal.


An older home has special charm and personality that many newer homes lack, and this can be an instant selling point. However, when you are focused on maximizing the return you can get from selling your home, you may need to spend time making some repairs and improvements to the home. These are some of the projects that are most commonly needed with older homes and that can have a major impact on property value. Analyze your property to determine how these ideas can benefit your space.

Shopping Tips for This Year’s Home Buying Season

A whopping 50 percent of homes are sold in the summer. Even though there can be benefits to buying at other times of the year, you might find that shopping for a home during the traditional home buying season is ideal, since you can go house shopping while the weather is warm and so that you can buy a home and move in-between school years for your kids.


Regardless of why you are choosing to go shopping now for your home, you probably want to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Luckily, if you follow these tips, you can help ensure that you have the best possible success when shopping for a home.


Set Your Budget First


First of all, you’ll want to set your budget first. There is really no reason to waste your time looking at homes that you can’t afford, after all. Plus, you don’t want to buy more home than you can easily afford, which can make things a lot more stressful once you’re actually in the home and making your mortgage payments.


There are online calculators and basic formulas that you can use when deciding how much of a home you can afford. However, you will generally only want to use these numbers as a starting point. Only you really know how much you feel comfortable paying for a home each month, so it can be worth it for you to sit down, make a budget and get a number in mind of how much house you can afford before you ever start shopping around.


Get Prequalified


If you are unsure of whether or not you will be able to actually qualify for a mortgage, it can pay for you to work with a mortgage lender to get prequalified. Few things can be as upsetting as house shopping and falling in love with a house only to find that you can’t actually buy it because you can’t get approved for the loan. By working with a lender now, you can determine if you will be able to get a mortgage and can get an idea of how much you will get approved for.


Make a List


Before you start shopping, think about the things that are most important to you. You might want to have a certain number of bedrooms to ensure that the home will be a good fit for your family, for example, or you might prefer a home that has a nice, large yard for gardening. Making a list of these things can make it easier for a real estate agent to show you homes that you will actually be interested in and can help keep you focused on what you really want so that you don’t start looking at homes that won’t be a good fit.


Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate


When looking at homes, don’t be afraid to negotiate. In many cases, you can negotiate a lower price on a home. Some sellers are also willing to take certain steps to sweeten the deal and encourage you to choose their home out of the ones that you are looking at, such as by covering closing costs or adding in a budget to swap out the flooring or to paint.


Plan for Other Costs


You shouldn’t just be thinking about the cost of buying the home. You should also be planning for other costs, such as by saving up for closing costs, shopping around for home and auto insurance quotes so that you can secure affordable homeowner’s insurance and thinking about how much you will have to spend in utility deposits and moving expenses.


If you are getting ready to start shopping for your dream home, you probably want to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Luckily, following these tips can help you enjoy the best possible success when shopping for the home of your dreams.

5 Tips to Buying a New Home

Purchasing a new home is usually a complicated and stressing experience. One wrong move can kill the deal in minutes. You have to play it safe to get what you want. Here are some key tips you need to consider.


Know What You Want

A real estate agent can only help if you know exactly what you want. Be specific about your requirements so that the agent can identify the right house for you. This may include the number of bedrooms, type of exterior, floor plan, security of the neighborhood, noise level and desired footage. You might also consider the distance of the house from the grocery stores, schools, restaurants, highways, hospitals and places of worship. Knowing exactly what you want will minimize surprises and enhance the quality of search. You will also save a lot of time spent in evaluating various homes you come across.


Get Your Loan Pre-approved

You can apply for a mortgage to finance your house in a cheaper and more convenient way. However, you need to make sure it is pre-approved before you proceed with the buying process. Make sure your credit score is within the acceptable limits to get pre-approved with the best interests possible. Avoid a new debt, as this will complicate the process and reduce the amount you qualify for. You should also consider paying down your consumer debt since most banks factor in your debt-income-ratio when approving your application. It is wise to get pre-approved for the mortgage before bidding on a house to avoid major disappointments associated with failed applications.


Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

Choose a real estate agent who can communicate and listen to your demands. A good real estate agent should also be in a position to adjust well to your needs and work within the set timeline. There are about two million active real estate agents out there, so you need to employ effective strategies when selecting the most suited person for the job. Choose a real estate agent by looking at his track record. Let him provide you with at least 20 past clients. Ask the clients about their overall experience with the agent and whether he worked up to their expectations. You can also do some research online or ask friends and family members who have had a previous experience with a real estate agent for recommendations. Above all, ensure the agent is fully certified and licensed by the relevant state agencies.


Consider Location

You surely don’t want a home that is located in a place with no good highways, grocery shops or schools. For instance, a place with poor roads will only damage your vehicle and increase the premiums in your auto insurance coverage. Convenient access to popular places, restaurants and shops will make your life easier and enjoyable. Be aware of things associated with a bad location. A home in a busy intersection or near a fire station will make the environment very uncomfortable. Same applies to homes located in open neighborhoods with no security provisions.


Save Enough Cash

There are a lot of things that come with buying a new home. You need to have enough money to sort them out quickly when they come up. Some of the related expenses you will have to deal with include earnest money deposits, home appraisal and home inspection. Running out of money when the deal is in the middle will force you to pull out. You don’t want to find yourself in this situation, especially if the house has all the things you always wanted. You should also expect your mortgage financier to ask for a down payment ranging from 3.5 to 5 percent.

About one million Americans buy new homes every year. You could be among them, but only if you employ effective strategies when purchasing your new home. The tips discussed above could help you make prudent choices when selecting the home you want for your entire life.


It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

There is an old adage that encourages us to bloom wherever we are planted. If you are perusing for a new home, one of the top considerations is what type of neighborhood you want. Wikipedia.org reports that the average cost for a home in the United States was $187,000 in 2016. For that kind of money, you probably want to be particular where you settle. While you will never find a location that will satisfy every point on your checklist, you can get pretty close to it. You want a neighborhood that will complement your family’s style of living. Here are some common neighborhood types to consider:


Downtown (Urban Neighborhoods)

If you crave the lights and action of the big city, then an urban dwelling is for you. Downtown is the city’s epicenter, where most of the shops, restaurants, and attractions are. Typically, these neighborhoods are comprised of older apartments and single family homes. Homebuyers who want new property may find condominiums and luxurious lofts that are converted from vintage warehouses and other structures. Your neighbors will usually be of a diverse ethnicity with a range between low and middle incomes. Depending on the property you choose, downtown housing can be affordable. It is a healthy mix of modest to high-end dwellings. These neighborhoods are popular with seniors and young professionals. The downside of urban neighborhoods is a higher rate of crime and a larger population of drifters.


New Development Urban Neighborhoods

There are business areas being built up on the outskirts of the city center. These neighborhoods are close enough to downtown to enjoy its amenities, yet far enough to take advantages of the new businesses in the area. Homebuyers who have a panache for reconstruction can often find great bargains on fixer-uppers in these neighborhoods. Many of the house flipping shows that you enjoy take place in new development. There are a variety of home styles, including ranch, shotgun, or two-story. A large number of the residents are seniors who have lived in the neighborhood for decades. Some homeowners may be single divorced people or immigrants. Since the whole area is being developed, you will have to get used to the sight and noises of construction.

Family Cul-De-Sacs

According to reports from the 2010 US Census, a little over 20% of single family homes have married couples with children. The quintessential cul-de-sac neighborhood is found in new developments and the suburbs. These are the iconic neighborhoods that ring with the laughter of children. It is home to the busy couples who efficiently juggle careers and family. You will see the soccer moms hop in their minivans to take their children to yet another sporting practice. Homeowners can expect large single family homes and new builds. When you see the neatly manicured lawns and all the children riding their bicycles down the sidewalk, you are instantly transported to earlier decades. There will be families enjoying their backyard pools or enjoying a yoga session. Cul-de-sacs are not ideal for single people, childless couples, or those who want to bask in the lights of the metropolitan center.

Rural Neighborhoods

Some of the most prominent buzzwords in American lifestyle are homesteading and “living off the grid.”  The number of families who are taking this earth-friendly route is increasing every year. If you have always wanted your own little plot in the country, you may consider buying a home in a rural neighborhood. When you think of these places, your mind wanders to visions of lush vegetable gardens, simple country homes, and wondering livestock. Often times, these homes are miles away from their closest neighbors. While rural living used to be reserved for humble incomes and generational farms, it now attracts young couples who are eager to live off the land like our ancestors. You can often find vintage farm houses for good prices that need a little TLC. Your family will feel closer to nature and can enjoy all it has to offer.

Whether you choose a swank condo downtown or a little farmhouse in the clearing of the woods, you can find a rich variety of neighborhoods in which to live. Your real estate professional can help you find what you want in the right location. When you settle into your new place, every day can be a wonderful day in the neighborhood.