Have Pending Home Sales Hit Bottom? Market Rebound Predicted

By Liz Dominguez – RIS Media

April marked two consecutive months of declines for pending home sales, according to the National Association of REALTORS’® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). Every major market saw a decline, with total YoY pending home sales transactions down 33.8 percent, and decreasing 21.8 percent from March.

According to NAR, this is the largest decline in pending home sales since they began tracking these transactions in 2001. The silver lining, however? This may be the low point for pending sales, with May possibly having the lowest closed sales. Economists are hopeful the markets will begin to bounce back soon.


Secrets to Credit Score Success


How to keep track of your score, get it as high as possible—and keep it that way

If you think your credit history determines only the interest rate you get on home mortgages, car loans, and credit cards, you’d be wrong, but you certainly wouldn’t be alone.

In a recent U.S. News & World Report survey, less than half of the 1,497 respondents knew that in many states poor credit could lead to higher home and auto insurance rates or being denied an apartment (CR opposes the use of credit reports for these purposes).

The consequences go even further: Employers in many areas can use credit reports to vet job candidates, and having a low credit score could mean paying $4,000 more for a typical car loan or $200,000 more for credit over the course of a lifetime than someone with a high credit score.

There are several types of credit scores, but the FICO score is one of the most widely used by lenders, which makes it a good barometer of your overall creditworthiness.

According to the Fair Isaac Corporation, which creates more than a dozen versions of the score for various types of lenders, all of them are based on assorted forms of credit data (such as payment history and amounts owed) provided by the three major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Each form of credit data is given a different weight (see “The 5 Keys to Your Credit Score,” below).

What a great time to purchase your own home or condo!

I would be happy to answer your questions and give you a no obligation homebuyer’s counselling session.  You will learn about the process, Buyer Representation, negotiating in the current market and what the next steps are.

  • Improved Credit Scoring Rules. https://www.consumerreports.org/credit-scores-reports/changes-in-fico-credit-scoring/
  • Mortgage interest rates are still under 4%.
  • WHEDA & FHA Loans may get you a loan with 3.5% downpayment.
  • Payments can be less than renting, especially with the increases in rents.
  • Compare financing costs, it’s not just the interest rate that matters.
  • Get a pre-approval or get on the path to qualifying for a mortgage.  Find out what loan program works best for your situation.

#Buying a Home

Here is a tool that can help you decide if renting or buying is recommended for you:


John just did a fantastic job with a WHEDA loan for one of my clients!

(let him know I recommended him)

John Gonzales

Cherry Creek Mortgage

(414) 935-4165

11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

Sold house sign in Midwest suburban setting. Focus on sign.

Sold house sign in Midwest suburban setting. Focus on sign.

11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn?t Selling
Posted on Jun 1 2017 – 12:06pm by Housecall

House sold sign

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 1, 2017. Housecall continues to share this piece due to ongoing requests and reader interest.

By Charles Muotoh

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale?especially if you’ve put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn’t panic if the house doesn’t sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.

You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it’s simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can’t just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.

Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR? put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don’t forget to highlight unique features as well.

You’re always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don’t want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.

You’re too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn’t want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you’re going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.

You haven’t had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.

You haven’t staged your home. If you’ve already moved out, then don’t show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.

You kept up all of your personal d?cor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal d?cor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.

Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child’s room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don’t want to pay for features they don’t want.

Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.

Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don’t want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it’s just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.

You chose the wrong real agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good REALTOR? makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.

All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.

Charles Muotoh is the owner of dcrealestateguru.com, a full service real estate firm focused on leveraging digital marketing strategies to serve buyers and sellers of real estate in the Washington D.C. area.

Gradual rate hikes appropriate given uncertainty in U.S. economy

Adam Shell, USA TODAY 12:20 p.m. EDT June 21, 2016
Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, citing “considerable uncertainty” in the U.S. economic outlook and “vulnerabilities” from abroad, says the U.S. central bank will proceed “cautiously” when raising interest rates and sees a “gradual” pace of rate increases.

Yellen’s comments on the U.S. economy and monetary policy, as well as global headwinds from China and a potential shock if Britain votes to leave the European Union, came in the first day of two days of testimony before Congress.

Her testimony comes less than a week after the Fed broke from its two-day June meeting and Yellen told investors that the Fed not only wasn’t hiking rates in June but was also dialing back the number of interest rate hikes it sees in 2017 and 2018 amid an acknowledgment that U.S. economic growth will stay in the sub-par 2% range until at least through 2018.

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MLS May Market Report

METRO MLS (Milwaukee, WI Area)
May 2016

We are in the thick of an exciting period of home buying and selling, often with
quick multiple offers that are near, at or even above asking price, depending on
the factors of the home and submarket in question. It was widely predicted that
we would see healthy sales activity during the second quarter of 2016, and the
market has not disappointed.

New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 7.7 percent to 2,591. Pending
Sales were down 33.4 percent to 1,293. Inventory levels fell 10.4 percent to
6,822 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 1.0 percent
to $195,000. Days on Market was down 7.0 percent to 66 days. Sellers were
encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 11.3 percent to 4.7

Although inventory is still being stretched thin in many areas, low mortgage
rates coupled with higher wages have built a relatively sturdy housing
marketplace. How long that can continue without fresh supply remains an
important question, but conditions are seemingly good enough for serious
buyers. With the current slow state of new construction for non-rental
households, the road ahead could be tricky if demand remains high.

All data for the market reports comes from the Multiple Listing Service, Inc. and is powered by 10K Research and Marketing. You can follow this link: Metro MLS Market Updates or visit www.metromls.com.

Please contact your respective MLS with any questions. You may also follow our updates at http://twitter.com/metromls.

Nursery Decorating Trends For 2016

by Jacklyn Renz

Whether it?s your first or your fifth, having a new baby is exciting and a cause for preparation. The nursery, where your bundle will sleep and play, is key to creating an atmosphere conducive to sleep and relaxation. You?ll be especially thankful for your nursery amidst the cries and late night snacks. Here are some of the nursery decoration trends to watch for in 2016 that can help make your baby?s new room a portrait of his or her personality!

    Pastels Are Back
    Statement Cribs
    Making it Modern
    To the Skies
    Bold With Lighting

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5 Reasons Now Is the Time to Buy a Home According to a Top Economist

By Zoe Eisenberg
RIS Media

5 Reasons Now

Ted Jones, Stewart Title’s chief economist, says now is inarguably the right time to buy a home. Those who have been waiting on the sidelines, struggling with rising rent and dreaming of a place to call their own should wait no longer, according to Jones, who believes we are in the perfect market to promote homeownership. Here are five reasons why: Jobs are up. ?Jobs are everything,? says Jones…

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To Sell or Not to Sell? 5 Signs it?s Time to List Your Home

Posted on Apr 27 2015 – 3:39pm by Maria Patterson


If you?re like me, thoughts of putting your home on the market and moving up, down or out of dodge all together periodically float through your mind. These days, there?s extra incentive given the inventory shortage in most regions of the country?some areas are even experiencing bidding wars.

?After back-to-back years of a robust housing recovery, we are continuing to experience another year of a shortage of inventory of homes for sale,? reports Phil McBride, COO of John L. Scott Real Estate in the Northwest. ?With a large backlog of homebuyers, multiple offers on new listings are the norm. We are seeing approximately 90 percent of sales activity in the market areas and price ranges where we are experiencing the shortage/low inventory, which is sending prices upward.?

National statistics bear this out. According to the National Association of REALTORS?, total existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March?the highest annual rate since September 2013?however, the housing supply has only experienced a modest increase, just 2 percent above a year ago. Long to short?it?s a seller?s market.

Still, choosing to sell is a big decision?a decision that requires the careful weighing of a variety of factors, both lifestyle and financial. To help sort things out, here are five telling signs that now just might be the time to finally put your home on the market.

You?ve outgrown your space?really. This is usually the number-one reason that gets me thinking about moving up to a bigger home. I get anxious trying to find sleep spaces for overnight guests or frustrated by my overcrowded closet. But truly needing more space is about more than that. Do you have kids outgrowing shared bedrooms? An in-law moving in? A new virtual work opportunity that requires a home office? These are the life events that really necessitate a bigger home?not the inability to curb one?s shoe-buying habit.

Your neighborhood is booming. While home sales and values are improving at a healthy yet gradual rate on a national level, you may find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a hot market. Pay attention to those ?Recently Sold? postcards in your mailbox and talk to those neighbors plunking down For Sale signs in their yards. Contact your local real estate professional and check out comparable sales. If homes are selling above listing price and you?ve been on the fence about selling for a while, now might be a wise time to take the leap.

You?re letting things go. Remember when home improvement projects and landscaping chores were fun? When you?d spend hours happily painting, planting and hammering away? Well, if that?s a distant memory and your grass is knee-high and the porch railing?s rotting, this may be a sign that you?re ready to move onto a maintenance-free way of life. Realize that the more you let things go around the house, the more money you?ll have to invest to get it ready for market or worse, you?ll have to drop the price to get it sold. So honestly evaluate if it?s time for a home that offers a simpler, less work-intensive option.

Your equity is back. Many of us didn?t even consider selling for many years based on the fact that our equity evaporated during the housing crash. But don?t stay stuck in that mindset. The fact is, increasing numbers of homeowners are returning to positive equity. According to Corelogic?s Third Quarter 2014 Equity Report, 94 percent of homes priced at $200,000 and above have positive equity. So do some research and have your home reappraised. You may find that your equity is back and that selling is an option again.
Your life has changed. An important life change can trump all other reasons to sell your home. Growing or shrinking families, a new job with a new, long commute, retirement, divorce, etc., are cause to seriously consider moving on to a home that makes more sense for life as you now know it. Ultimately, a happy home is one that?s in sync with your current phase of life. Make sure you find the right fit.

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Kitchen Design Goes Global!!

Real Estate Book Blog Spot

Every great kitchen starts with great design. Whether you favor contemporary or traditional styles, kitchen trends today draw inspiration from global sources. You can incorporate all different cultural influences from around the world while balancing the practical needs of your family. To add worldly flair to your kitchen, start by:
Getting Fancy with Flooring
Certain materials establish a regional look because they are widely available in that region. In India, where quarries make natural stones easily affordable, kitchens commonly feature floors of glossy marble or other stone. Ceramic tile is abundant in Spain, and a wide variety of styles are available to create the underpinning for any regionally-inspired kitchen design.


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#kitchen designs

Modest Home Prices to Stoke the Winter Fire



As the year draws to a close, housing continues to recallibrate and the Midwest maintains its impressive trend, according to Clear Capital’s December 2015 HDI Market Report. November?s data shows Detroit up 135 percent from the trough, with other regional MSAs demonstrating strong growth. In January Clear Capital predicted that the Midwest would be a frontrunner this year for both homeowners and and investors, and the regions small percentage point gains, subsiding losses, and decreased volatility indicate steady improvement that is reflective of the greater recovery.

“As we approach the end of the year, the state of American housing is as we thought 2015 would play out-a wait-and-see year,” says Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “The slow moderation of prices back to historical rates of growth is the most defining attribute of the market over the year. Although housing continues to stabilize, there is still significant variability in individual market performance. For example, some Midwest markets still have a ways to go to return to their pre-bust levels, while other Western markets are seeing all-time highs. Perspective remains key.”…

RIS Media Article

Americans Think Homeownership Is a Sound Investment

Americans Think Homeownership Is a Sound Investment
RIS Media


A vast majority of Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, and most believe they could sell their home for at least its initial purchase price, according to a new survey from the National Association of REALTORS?. The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey also found that a preponderance of Americans think that now is a good time to buy a home. The survey, which measures consumers?…

Click here to Continue Reading…

Metro MLS May 2015 Market Report

May 2015
Multiple Listing Service, Inc.

The U.S. economy has been pretty even so far this year. Usually when new
figures are released, they paint a pretty picture worthy of putting above the
fireplace in that purchased new home. Recently, some numbers for the first
quarter were adjusted to show a slight contraction in the economy. The initial
response from Wall Street was unfavorable, but the correction itself is truly a
mere blip. Nobody is predicting that the market will take a sudden turn.

New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 1.3 percent to 2,773. Pending
Sales were down 29.8 percent to 1,229. Inventory levels rose 2.0 percent to
8,258 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 11.2
percent to $195,000. Days on Market was down 17.0 percent to 70 days.
Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory
remained flat at 6.1 months.

One interesting effect of a weaker-than-expected economy is that the Federal
Reserve does not seem ready to raise short-term interest rates during summer,
as some had suggested might happen. New projections indicate that rates will
remain the same until September at the earliest. The dominant storylines in
housing are decidedly not negative these days. Instead, you’re more likely to
see top sales and luxury living highlighted than the woes of foreclosures and
short sale.

All data for the market reports comes from the Multiple Listing Service, Inc. and is powered by 10K Research and Marketing. You can follow this link: Metro MLS Market Updates or visit www.metromls.com.

Metro MLS Market Updates

Home Sales and Median Prices Grow Substantially in March

Wisconsin Realtor’s Association
WRA Chairman of the Board Dan Kruse and WRA President & CEO Michael Theo

Press Release
MADISON, Wis. ? The Wisconsin housing market grew substantially in March, with both home sales and median prices increasing at a robust pace over the past year. Home sales increased 16.1 percent in March 2015 over March 2014, and median prices rose 8.8 percent to $149,000 over that same period.

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