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The Reinhart Blog

Giving Thanks for Your Business

This time of year we are especially thankful for community members like you.

give thanks - Thanksgiving concept - text in letterpress wood type printing blocks with cone, acorn, leaf and berries fall decoration

You invite us into your lives to:

– Advise
– Advocate
– Educate
– List
– Market
– Stage
– Search
– Dream
– Relocate
– Spotlight
– Photograph
– Research
– Sell
– Collaborate
– Evaluate
– Explore
– Negotiate

On behalf of everyone at Reinhart, thank you for entrusting us with your real estate needs.

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Thinking of Selling? You May Want to Act NOW!

Inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand remains high.

FeaturedStory.6-11-17
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, commented, “Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.” When inventory shrinks, available homes become more valuable. This defines today’s real estate market and is good news for sellers.

While multiple offers were common this spring, there are signs that the frenzy is slowing down. As we approach the end of summer, sellers still hold a significant negotiating advantage in many price ranges over factors such as price, inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies. If you‘ve been considering selling your house, you may not want to wait any longer.

For all of the facts about what is happening in your neighborhood, contact a Reinhart Realtor today.

Source: KCM, July 18, 2017

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Do You Know How Much Equity You Have in Your Home?

A house made of money,dollars

78.8% of homeowners have significant equity (more than 20%) in their homes today! But do they realize their equity position has changed?

“Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014…” states CoreLogic, with their latest Equity Report revealing that 91,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2017. This is great news for the country, as 48.2 million of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation, and great news for the 2017 market. This means risk will continue to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

According to the Fannie Mae, more homeowners are beginning to realize that they might have more equity than they first thought, with the majority thinking it’s a good time to sell rather than buy. With a sizable equity position, many homeowners with a mortgage have an opportunity to take advantage of today’s seller’s market and easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs.

Unsure of how much equity you have built in your home? Contact a Reinhart Associate today and find out why now could be a great time to sell!

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Low Inventory Leads to a Seller’s Market

The biggest real estate story throughout Washtenaw County and all of Southeast Michigan is that we have begun 2017 with extremely low inventory.
year-to-date
Year-to-Date Closed Sales Up

Despite limited and picked over inventories, closed sales activity for both single-family homes and condos is up and ahead of last year’s pace by 7% and 5% respectively. Considering the extremely low inventory levels, buyer activity and demand remains strong.

prices rising

Sale Prices Up Slightly for Single Family, but Level for Condos

Closed average sale price for single-family homes is up by 5% for single family homes, but about even for condos. Considering the limited inventory, this is good. Assuming buyer options will open up as spring inventory levels rise, values should rise.

House for Sale

Early Market Opportunities for Sellers

With early inventory levels so low, there are significant opportunities for sellers who get their properties on the market early. There is a large pool of buyers waiting in most price ranges for homes and condos that have been well maintained and are move-in ready. With inventories low and demand strong, those sellers who may be waiting to put their homes on the market should enter the market now.

If you are ready to learn more about selling your home, please contact us. We’d be happy to learn about your goals and how we can help you start living the life you desire. 

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Advantages of Downsizing Your Home

A recent study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down. There are many reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners. In this post, we will explore some of the reasons to downsize and how to make the move easier.

CleaningLess Time Cleaning
Most people tend to put off tedious chores such as weeding, dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning toilets. The good news is with less space, you spend less time and energy on cleaning. Not to mention, if you own less, there is less to clean around. With less time cleaning think how much more time you will have to pursue your passions.

 

Save Energy - house or home with energy efficiencyGo Green and Save Big
Those who have lived in a large home know one of the downsides is high energy costs. Whether it is heating and cooling or water savings in your bathrooms and kitchens, you use a lot of energy maintaining a large home. Smaller homes will give you the benefit of reducing your family’s carbon footprint while you enjoy a lower energy bill in the warmer and cooler months. This reduction in you energy usage will also downsize your utility bills. When you have less space to heat, cool and light, your utility bills will naturally be lower. You’ll also save money on maintenance, taxes, insurance and repairs.


Piggy Bank
Boost Your Retirement Fund
Once you’re debt free with a fully funded emergency fund, it’s time to build wealth for the future.  Experts recommend investing 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans.

If you’re still working your way up to 15%, that extra $500 could be the push you need to get there.  An extra $500 over 30 years, could give you an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years. You can do a lot of living with that nest egg.

Preparing for Your New Home
Putting your home on the market is a process that takes time. Before you downsize your home, you will need to scale down your other belongings too. Look at this as your opportunity to do something new and live life with a lighter load. Start by going through your belongings and determining what you really need.

 

closetClothes
Whether you love to shop or just think you might need that outfit in the back of the closet someday, most of us tend to hold onto more clothing than we need. Begin by taking all your clothing out of your closet. Examine what you do and don’t wear. Remember that you didn’t build up an oversize wardrobe overnight, so give yourself time to go through and purge enough pieces so that everything will fit. Get rid of unwanted clothing at yard sales or online, or by donating items to charity.

 

Open self storage unit full of cardboard boxes. 3d renderingAnything in Off-Site Storage
According to the Self Storage Association, there are about 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. That’s more than five times the number of Starbucks. Vow to eliminate storage fees by getting rid of enough stuff so that all your possessions fit in your own home.

 

Treadmill in room on brick wall backgroundExercise Equipment
If there is an exercise bike, treadmill or stair climber sitting in your attic or bedroom that has morphed into a permanent clothes rack, now is the time to donate it to a local thrift store or sell it online.


kitchen appliances
Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets
Do you really need all of your kitchen appliances? If you are someone with a juicer, food processor, blender, hand mixer, waffle maker and more considering asking yourself: “When was the last time I plugged that in?” If it’s been more than six months since you’ve used the convection oven or bread maker, it’s probably time to find that appliance a new home. While you’re in the kitchen, eliminate unused culinary gadgets and nonmatching tableware.

 

toysChildhood Memorabilia
If your kids or other family members don’t want keepsakes from their own childhood (or yours) now, they’re not going to want them when you’re gone. Hold on to a few precious, symbolic mementos — those that truly spark memories and joy — and digitize images of the other things.

 

leather-sofa-Furniture
When you went to college or got your first apartment you probably filled it with new furniture. Over time, as you got a larger space the tendency is to fill or overfilling your home with furniture.  When moving to a smaller space too much furniture will make rooms seem smaller. Start by measuring the new space and doorway and seeing what pieces will actually fit. If that couch is not going to fit through the front door there is no point in hauling it across town or the country.


bookshelf
Books, Magazines, DVDs
Unless a book has sentimental value or you’re going to read it again, put it back into circulation via a yard sale or thrift store so that others can enjoy it. Don’t want to sell it? Consider donating it to your local library, where you can always get free access to books, CDs and DVDs. You can store countless e-books (many are available for free) on an e-reader that’s smaller than a single print volume, and you can easily digitize your music and movie collections.

 

file foldersPaperwork
Consumer Reports advises organizing your important files into four categories: “papers that you need to keep for the calendar year or less; ones that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover; tax records, which you should save for seven years; and papers to keep indefinitely.” Many of the records you need to access indefinitely are now available through online accounts. Consider storing digitized documents on a web-based storage service or an external drive.

Finding the right home for your family is a personal decision. If you or your friends are ready for your next real estate action step, don’t hesitate. For sound advice and help creating your personal real estate plan, contact us today.

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Benefits of Investing in a Smart Home

smart-home-640While neutral walls and good curb appeal are still necessary, smart home technology is the latest way to increase the speed of your home sale. Studies have found that consumers want the addition of technology in their home to increase safety, comfort and efficiency.

security bolt in doorSafety
Safety is the number one reason people want smart home features. Consider adding mobile device-operated or computer-controlled home systems such as a doorbell camera, keyless entry, garage door opener, or indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras. These features allow users to monitor their home from anywhere in the world.

According to the National Fire Protection Association from 2007 to 2011, almost a quarter of home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in home with non-working smoke alarms. Smart devices can help prevent or detect a fire in your home. For example, a smart smoke detector will send an alarm to your smart phone when smoke is detected. Some smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest Protect, offer the ability to flash smart bulbs to alert you and light your way when the alarm goes off. Additionally, they have the ability to shut off your HVAC unit in an emergency. Additionally, these devices won’t beep when the battery is low; instead they send an alert to your smart phone.

hand-1148981_640Comfort Appliances
Imagine waking up in the morning and turning on your espresso machine from your bed via your smartphone. Click another app on your phone and your blinds open. You get up go to the bathroom and look in your smart HiMirror. The smart device analyzes and assesses your skin conditions, and then recommends customized skincare routes to help improve those blemishes. From work, you can turn off the lights you accidentally left on. Envision being able to see what is in your in fridge from the convenience of work and providing the most up-to-date grocery list.

This type of comfort and convenience was unimaginable in the past, but with the new wave of smart home devices, these devices could be yours. While it is not cost prohibitive to invest in every smart home appliance, smart lighting, thermostats and built in speakers are worth looking into and considered a solid investment by many real estate professionals.
energy efficient light bultEnergy Efficiency
A study conducted through the company Under One found that 68% of respondents cited energy efficiency as a driving factor enticing them to add technology to their home. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. house. Smart thermostats typically save 10% – 12% on heating and around 15% on cooling.

Just like other smart home appliances, the thermostat can be controlled through an app. This means if you are returning from vacation, you can tell your home to heat up or cool down from the airport. Research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), 19% of global electricity generation is used for lighting. Smart bulbs use less energy and last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. Smart bulbs can be put on a schedule or controlled remotely, which is great if you forgot to turn off the lights when leaving the house. Some bulbs even pair with other systems, like Amazon’s Alexa, enabling you to turn them on or off with your voice.

Now you can see how smart homes enhance quality of life. However, there are also security concerns that need to be addressed. As with any new technology security protocols are important. To help keep your smart home safe, you should: use multifactor authentication, perform security updates and install malware protection. And, don’t use public Wi-Fi.

In the past, home automation systems were high-tech curiosities that were not affordable or accessible to the majority of homeowners. Now just about anyone can take advantage of home automation to simplify their lives and increase their home’s market value.

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7 Steps to Prepare Your House for a Spring Sale

grass

Spring is right around the corner. With the warming weather, home-buyers come out of hibernation making spring an ideal time to put your house on the market. If you are considering listing your home, you will need to start preparing now. Following these seven steps will speed the sale of your home this spring.

Cleaning supplies in washbasin standing on cleaned kitchen countertop. Hand of cleaning lady with rubber glove beside

1. Clean Everything
A clean home will allow buyers to picture themselves in the space. This is the chance to remove clutter from your house. The best way to start is to make a list of essential things that need to get done. Once you have a spring cleaning list, recruit your family to help tackle each task individually. Remember to have realistic expectations about the amount of time it will take to clean. It’s usually best to take your time with cleaning. Try spending one weekend doing the garage and the next weekend cleaning the storage unit. By breaking up each task, you won’t become overwhelmed or frustrated.

Hat Rack2. Organize
After cleaning it becomes clear to many homeowners that they are in need of increased organization. By adding a few hooks, shelves, and storage baskets organizing becomes a breeze. Organizational systems make closets and storage spaces appear larger.

Repair man3. Repair
Have you been meaning to tighten loose doorknobs, fix a leaky faucet, or replace old lighting fixtures? Now is the time to tackle these tasks. These small things can be a big turn-off to buyers and end up preventing you from getting top dollar for your home.

Welcome Mat4. Replace the Ragged
Replace items that may be worn out. Things like your welcome mat, street numbers and mailboxes often get overlooked. These small ticket items are easy to replace with a quick trip to Target or Home Depot.

Lawn ornaments5. Remove the Clutter
Personal touches make your house feel homey. They also make it hard for buyers to picture themselves living there. Remove any lawn ornaments, personal pictures, children’s artwork and personal effects that you plan to bring with you to your new home. Potential buyers will look through your home thoroughly so make sure to remove piles of shoes and coats from the entry and the mail from the kitchen table.
Painting

6. Paint
When living in a house, people decorate and paint in ways that are not always alluring to potential buyers. In order to get the most value out of your home, it is important that buyers can picture themselves living there. Painting a house in neutral shades with white ceilings will make it appear larger and more comforting to buyers. Remember to also repaint trim, molding and the front door if needed. New paint can help your house sell faster.
living-room-1952072_640 (1)
7. Let the Light Shine
Bright rooms feel warm and inviting whereas dark rooms feel smaller and gloomy. Removing heavy or dark curtains will allow more light to shine in. Also, consider adding mirrors to rooms. The bigger the mirror, the more light you capture. Adding a large mirror at the end of a short hallway will make the room look longer. Additionally, make sure your windows are clean and streak free to maximize the sunshine.

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Five Reasons to Sell Your Home this Winter

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the snow melts to hammer in that For Sale sign.
5ReasonsToSellNow_Infographic

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Why Fall is the Right Time to Sell Your Home

School has started. Leaves are changing colors. The holidays are coming. This is the perfect time to sell your house. With inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell your home.

1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. With fewer homes for sale, buyers have fewer to choose from. This creates an increased demand for available homes. Buyers are ready and are looking for a home right now. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

 

2. There Is Less Competition
If you have been waiting to sell your home, consider acting now. According to NAR, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

New construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Listing before the wave of new construction homes hits the market can put your home in a more favorable competitive position and result in a higher price.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

 

3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring. This means a quicker process for the loans to process, and the house to get inspected. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

 

4. Mortgage Rates are Still Low
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you thousands more in both down payment and mortgage payment if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

 

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market.  If you are on the fence about moving this fall, please contact us. We’d be happy to learn about your goals and how we can help you start living the life you desire. 

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May Sets A New Record

May has set another new record in pending sales, breaking the older record set just a month ago!

May 2015 Reinhart Market Share

For Sellers, the peak of the demand curve is passing but listings for sale are still in short supply, so we recommend you get your property on the market as soon as possible. For Buyers, inventory is improving and finding the right home is getting easier.

May 2015 MLS Market Share Numbers

For sound advice and help creating your real estate plan, call a Reinhart Realtor today

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