Coronavirus is a threat like we have never seen before, and that can be overwhelming. Today’s world seems just seems out of balance and contrasting especially between the state of health and the economy.
We stare in awe as surreal scenes unfold on the news and online. Heroes emerge from every corner of the earth.
Together, we will get this passed this. Our world, is going to be different. Things will be done in a new way. They’ll be done in a better way, because we’ll use what we’ve learned from all we’re going through now.
Let’s take a quick look at where we’ve been so we can where we’re going.
A Villain Comes to Town
Life in January of 2020 was up and down with news fires in Australia, political unrest around the globe and of a virus far away.
We followed the path of the virus on the news, removed from its affects. Then it hit us.
It spread across the country like wildfire and left a heavy toll of sickness and loss of life in its wake.
It’s also left a significant economic bruise. It’s one we’re dealing with now.
It’s so hard to believe this all began just a few weeks ago. That’s when our whole nation shut down.
Imagine for a moment if we were able to go back in time, just to January. What if we could talk to our January selves? We wouldn’t believe a word of what would hear!
What do you mean, buy stock in Zoom and Charmin? Why would I need to make a Costco run? Wait! Why are you laughing when I say I have travel plans?
Back to the future and here we are. We’ve stayed inside. We protect ourselves with masks and gloves and go out only when necessary. We help our neighbors. We discover new heroes each day. We watch the news for updates.
United We Stand
The very early weeks of the spread of Coronavirus were intense, to say the least.
Now, for the first time since the pandemic hit our shows, the news is heartening. Together we are pushing back!
We keep on this track and continue our pace, we can win this!
Fast forward a few weeks and the economy has made many adjustments.
- The Fed dropped interest rates by .05%, down to 1.25%.
- All three major U.S. stock market indexes lost over 10% of their value in what was the worst five-day trading session since 2008.
- The bond market plummeted, with the 10-year Treasury bond’s yield dipping below 1% for the first time ever.
- The Senate approved $8.3 billion in emergency funding for the Coronavirus.
We’re Doing Many of the Right Things
If we’re not in a recession yet, we’re about to be in one. This time, however, housing will be the sector that leads the economic recovery.
China is the largest foreign buyer of residential real estate as of The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2019 International Activity in the U.S. Residential Market. It accounts for $13.4 billion of $77.9 billion, or 17.2% of the foreign market share, the Coronavirus could greatly impact investor activity, but surprisingly in a positive way.
Recently, China’s foreign investment in American real estate saw a decline, which many economists attribute to the lower inventory in the U.S., the U.S.-China trade war, and the strengthening dollar.
But as confidence in their own real estate and other foreign markets falters, investors are moving their money into hard assets, like real estate, in areas like the United States, who to this point has not suffered greatly from the spread of the disease. Roofstock, a popular online marketplace for real estate investors to purchase or sell rental real estate, has seen a 450% increase in traffic from Asian countries in the past month.
Revenue and Growth in CRE
Commercial real estate (CRE) would be the hardest hit if the virus became out of control. Production and economic activity will slow because people will likely stay indoors, lowering consumer spending. Default rates in CRE loans would increase, and production and development would decline.
We’re flattening the curve with social distancing, taking increased measures to reduce the spread of the virus, especially in properties that house or employ multiple people.
CRE investors and Companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) are also preventing the spread of the virus by asking employees to work from home. These methods are helping. CRE investors also have a contingency plans and now the business loans and grants to fall back on in case the virus isn’t contained as intended.
It’s obvious Congress and the Federal Reserve are concerned about the strength of our economy. Lowered interest rates will only help for so long. The stimulus package may need to be duplicated. While this may boost borrowing and deployment of capital in the short term, it’s unlikely a fix that will counteract the impact of the virus in the long term.
The answer is the housing market. People will still need to buy, sell and invest in real estate. The virtual/mobile office is a fantastic answer to social distancing, flattening the curve and keeping the local real estate office open.
Here’s to the finding a cure, a vaccine and the new future. Please feel free to contact us here at Luxe Premier Realty Group for any questions of concerns you have during this time. We all need to stick together!
Thank you to the many stats and articles we referenced below. The stats change everyday!
You can’t glance at your phone these days without getting an update on COVID-19. Newscasters say the word ‘Coronavirus’ 18 times more than they say “election” right now. We’re getting news from all around.
This pandemic is something most people have never seen before.
Hearing so much information from so many sources creates myths and rumors. The speed this information is coming at us is a catalyst for myths and bad advice.
Allen Homes for Sale
Mythbusting with WHO
Here are some questions and answers right from the World Health Organization. Some of these may surprise you!
Question: Will warm weather stop the spread of COVID-19?
Answer: COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. Doing this you eliminates viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Question: Will cold weather, snow or ice kill it?
Answer: Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new Coronavirus.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new Coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new Coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.
No information or evidence suggests that the new Coronavirus is transmitted by mosquitoes. It’s a respiratory virus spread through droplets that form what an infected person coughs or sneezes. Discharge of saliva or droplets from the news also spread the virus. Protect yourself. Wash your hands frequently. Practice social distancing.
Question: Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new Coronavirus?
Answer: UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
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COVID-19 Prevention Steps
The Coronavirus has captured headlines around the world, introduced us to self-quarnatine and is forcing us to be vigilant. These last few weeks have put into perspective the importance of our health, staying healthy and preventing illness. Things that we used to take for granted are now under deep scrutiny like hygiene and going to work when ill.
Our nation is one that requires most people to work even when they are ill. Kids go to school even when they aren’t feeling well. We still partake in extra-curricular and social activities because no one wants to be held back by illness. Life is short and there’s a lot to do!
Now things have changed a bit. Coronavirus has been labeled a ‘global pandemic.’ People are choosing self-quarantine if they feel sick. These are folks who may have the possibility of having it. Those who have contracted the Coronavirus are required to quarantine. Those who become very ill go to the hospital. Large gatherings all around the world are being cancelled or postponed.
All of this has sparked an interesting trend in the housing market.
Homes for Sale in Allen
Four Bedroom, 2 Bath, Perfect for the Self-Quarantine
A regular housing market this spring would still have buyers striving to find that perfect home. Business would be as usual if we never heard of this Coronavirus. This housing market is seeing a surprising trend. Sales haven’t slowed down in most areas and aren’t expected to but Coronavirus has had an effect.
Buyers are taking into consideration being stuck in a home for a few weeks. They’re considering what that looks like for them and their families.
These considerations make amenities the king right now. Buyers are beginning to consider that moving forward we may spend more and more time at home.
It’s been a trend that’s rising in the market for many other reasons as well.
People are working from home now much more than ever before thanks to technology. The commute from the kitchen breakfast table to the home office is a convenience that has seen a 115% increase from 2005-2015 according to Forbes.com. It’s a trend that isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Smart Technology has become an amenity that’s in high-demand. Technologies that are a big appeal for buyers range from programmable lighting to learning thermostats. Security cameras, video doorbells, and wireless remote controls are also heavy hitters.
Controlling your home through the use of an app is an important measure of control for many. Buyer feedback has been that these items make the home feel secure. They feel as though they’re getting the most out of their investment.
Families spending quality time together at home. Having room to gather is a very important feature for home shoppers. Media rooms, bonus rooms or game rooms have taken family time from the family room. The family room has become the informal living room and is usually where gathering is done in a more relaxed atmosphere.
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Size Is No Longer King
New homes are getting smaller in the entry-level market. Across the U.S. newly built homes totaled an average of 2,520 in 2019. This is the smallest they’ve been since 2011. They’re also about 170 square feet less than their peak in 2015. The first-time home buyer is also looking for amenities over size.
They’re more likely to choose well-built homes with top features than larger home with less features. This is given that they were choosing between two homes of about the same price. It’s a completely different mind-set than the early 2000’s.
Quality is queen. This shift is speculated to have started in response to the ‘affordability crisis’ that many new owners were experiencing. Now it’s become true across the board meaning these buyers are savvy. They know where to put their money.
Area Homes for Sale
Quarantined in Luxury? Yes, please!
Here’s where the amenities become fun.
Care for a regular media room? No, thank you. We’ll have a dedicated home theater designed to our specifications, please. We wish to create the perfect environment for movies with surround sound, the perfect projection screen and lighting to match.
Luxury owners can have systems installed that will run everything from the shades to the popcorn machine right from their phones.
These homeowners know how to vacation…at home. High-end buyers are demanding more from their patio than uneven bricks. They wish for the resort in their yard. That’s exactly what they’re getting! Living in Texas means these owners can enjoy their outdoor paradises well into the winter months when everyone else has stuffed their outdoor furniture away.
The lavishness continues right into the garage. Again, this isn’t just any garage. We’re talking a high-end, temperature-controlled showrooms. Here you’ll find exquisite car collections and maybe a teched-out man-cave or two.
One thing is guaranteed. Luxury home buyers demand the finer things in life. The home that sells is the one that can provide that for them.
Contact Kelly Pearson for more info on home buying, selling and luxury amenities.
It’s 2020! We are at the start of a brand new year with the usual New Year’s resolutions made. Eat right. Loose weight. Travel. Less time on social media and more time at the gym. There is, however, one unique resolution authorities are asking everyone to make. Please write 2020 on all official forms. No abbreviating.
It’s an original resolution. One that might actually be kept!
It all started in Law Office of George E. Moore III, LLC., an attorney in Ohio, who put up the original warning. His Facebook post has over 54,000 shares.
Then the police department of a small community in Penobscot County, Maine shared it. The East Millinocket Police Department to be exact. They also decided put the post out as an actual warning.
The New Year’s Day tip has since gone viral. This piece advice has been all over the place. It’s on ABC News and CNN and FOX News. You can’t buy this kind of publicity!
The question remains. Is this something we need to really worry about?
Allen Homes for Sale
Two Sides to a Story
Looking at all the comments on the posts, many people are talking about the turn of the century. Remember Y2K and all those scares? It seemed like everyone’s computer was going to crash over turning from 1999 to 2000.
Here’s an archived page from the LibraryofCongress.com showing how just one network planned to handle the Y2K issue.
Those poor people. Wonder how viral a Y2K post would have been if we had Facebook then. Would there have been a real panic? Would someone automatically known the solution? We’ll never really know.
The Y2K disaster everyone was warned about never even happened.
You have to wonder why. Was it because computer programmers managed to fix every ‘operating system’ out there? Was it because there really wasn’t a scare in the first place?
A Practical Approach To Abbreviating
Here at Luxe, we take the practical approach to everything. We like to look each situation from all angles before we judge.
We asked Attorney and Realtor® Lynda Roundtree on our team for her take on the subject.
She came up with some very sound advice.
“When signing any type of legal or financial documents, it is always important to make sure the documents are properly dated. Completely writing out the year 2020 as opposed to the abbreviated “20” will erase any potential confusion or fraud if someone were to try and manipulate the date after the fact. Best practice would also include obtaining copies of the documents you sign at the time of execution. I don’t anticipate this being a huge concern, but erring on the side of caution is always best.”
That second part is just as important! Protect yourself by writing out the date. Get copies of everything you sign when you sign them.
They’re the proof in your hand. Those copies of what you signed are part of your best defense against any fraud.
How Long To Keep Documents
What do you do with the copies of all these important papers you’ve saved?
Protect your papers in a warm, dry, fireproof-box, or safe. Invest in a good paper shredder. It will minimize the risk of identity thieves getting hold of your discarded documents.
Organize them in categories such as financial, medical, home, and school. Financial advisers agree you should divide your financial papers into four categories.
Keep for less than a year.
Store papers like your ATM, bank-deposit, and credit card receipts until you reconcile them with your monthly statements. Once you’ve done that, shred the paper documents or securely trash electronic files unless you need them to support your tax return. Keep insurance policies and investment statements until new ones arrive.
Keep for a year or longer.
Hold on to loan documents until the loan is paid off. That will often be for more than a year. Hold on to the title of your car until you sell it. Keep the purchase confirmations for investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds until you sell, so you can establish your cost basis and holding period. Always hold onto your mortgage paperwork, closing file, deed. Keep track of mortgage as it’s being paid off to make sure that your payment records and your bank’s are the same.
Keep for seven years.
Failing to report all of your gross income on your tax returns mean the government has six years to collect the tax or start legal proceedings. Err on the safe side, keep all tax records for at least seven years.
It’s not just as simple as abbreviating a date to protect yourself from fraud. You need to really have a system in place to handle paperwork important to you and the people you love.
They and you are worth the effort.
Thank you to Attorney Lynda Roundtree for the free legal advice.
Lynda has a great reputation for helping people sell homes that have been on the market for quite a while. She has a knack for analyzing the situation and developing a plan to go from unsalable to sold!
Got questions for Lynda? You can contact her here.
If your plan for 2019 includes selling your home, you will want to pay attention to where experts believe home values are headed. According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home prices increased by 4.7% over the course of 2018.
The map below shows the results of the latest index by state.
Real estate is local. Each state appreciates at different levels. The majority of the country saw at least a 2.0% gain in home values, while some residents in North Dakota and Louisiana may have felt prices slow slightly.
This effect will be short lived. In the same report, CoreLogic forecasts that every state in the Union will experience at least 2.0% appreciation, with the majority of the country gaining at least 4.0%! The prediction for the country comes in at 4.6%. For a median-priced home, that translates to over $14,000 in additional equity next year! (The map below shows the forecast by state.)
So, how does this help you list your home for the best price?
Armed with the knowledge of how much experts believe your house will appreciate this year, you will be able to set an appropriate price for your listing from the start. If homes like yours are appreciating at 4.0%, you won’t want to list your home for more than that amount!
Biggest mistakes homeowners make is pricing their homes too high. Then reducing the price later when they do not get any offers. This can lead buyers to believe that there may be something wrong with the home, when in fact the price was just too high for the market.
Pricing your home right from the start is one of the most challenging parts of selling your home. Once you decide to list your house, let’s get together to discuss where home values are headed in your area!
When homebuyers begin their research, they want to see all their available options! In many cases, they will include both new construction and existing homes in their search; but is a new construction home really the house of their dreams?
According to a recent survey by Zillow, of the 38% of total buyers that added new construction to their list, only 11% ultimately purchased a newly constructed home!
They added that 71% of these buyers are repeat buyers who are financially secure, with 45% using the money from the sale of their previous homes to make a purchase.
Below are some reasons why buyers are interested in purchasing a new build:
- Everything in the house is new/never used (49%)
- To be close to family (41%)
- The home is the best value for their money (37%)
- Appealing home features (34%)
- Desirable location (34%)
So, then why did most of the buyers surveyed choose not to purchase a new home?
Buyers could not find new construction in the desired neighborhood, and some felt that new construction is not established (e.g., landscaping, community, neighbors).
Buyers face the end of a lease or sale of their previous property and could not wait for a house to be built.
Some buyers felt that new construction base prices were deceiving. Adding upgrades and HOA fees no longer made the home fit in their price range.
For some buyers, new construction homes are too “cookie cutter,” and models are limited. Others feel that the charm and uniqueness of an existing house trumps one that’s never been lived in.
Not all buyers are looking for a newly built house! There are many buyers looking for “the charm and uniqueness” of an existing home. If you are considering selling your house, don’t wait! Let’s get together to come up with a plan to feature the charming details of your house to future buyers.