Home Buying During the Back-to-School Season

Child_Home_From_School_0011We’re already at the end of the second week of September, and the new academic year is in full swing. Parents are adjusting their schedules to fit with their children’s extracurriculars, getting used to an empty nest if their children are starting college, finishing up putting away all of the summer paraphernalia, or if you have recently moved into a new home, you’re probably getting ready for your child to venture into a new school district. If none of these apply to you, and you’re looking to purchase a new home, this is a great time of year to do so.

For families who are moving with young children, switching your child to a new school district is one of the more significant changes you will make upon moving. It also makes your move more of a time-sensitive matter because you want to move to your new home before the academic year begins. When moving before the start of a school year, your child will have a fresh start at a new school, instead of being transitioned into a school that already has its academic year in progress.

For other homebuyers, this is a great time of year to look for a new home because there will be a smaller buyer pool as a result of decreased competition, seeing as families who wanted to move before the school year began have already done so. According to an article from realtor.com, new contract signings were down 12 percent this July from June, which is not out of the ordinary for this time of year, seeing as most contracts that are signed in July won’t close until after the school year begins. As inventory stays on the market longer, pricing will go down, and if you sign a contract in September, you should be able to close before Thanksgiving, which means you can avoid the possibility of hitting a snowstorm in December at the beginning of winter.

“My buyers love looking in the early fall,” said Adam DiFrancesco, manager of business development for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “Besides homes looking their prettiest, there is less competition between buyers. In the spring, all of my buyers are very go-go-go, and many are that way due to wanting to be closed before the start of the school year. In the fall, the process is more relaxed, giving my buyers more leisure in finding their home.”

If you have been waiting for an advantageous time to buy a home, now would be one of those ideal times. You won’t have to contend with the potential buyers who come out in droves during the warmer months of spring and summer, and you won’t have to worry about the snowy and icy traveling conditions of winter. So, if you’re looking to purchase a home, look into doing so during the early fall when you have a better chance at closing on the home you have your eyes on.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.




Posted on September 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Are We In a Buyer’s or Seller’s Housing Market?

3d render image of houses with graph growingThe real estate industry is constantly going through changes, and that includes the climate of the market. If there is high inventory and low prices, you can bet that you are in a buyer’s market, and if there’s low inventory and high prices, you can be sure that you’re in a seller’s market. In the U.S., however, the type of market varies by location. Because of the size of the U.S., some areas might be displaying traits of a buyer’s market, and other places might be showing signs of a seller’s market. It all depends on where you live.

According to RealtyTrac, homes are selling for 108 percent of asking price on average in the Bay Area of California, as well as in Washington, D.C.; Cass County, North Dakota; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In these locations, sellers are receiving more than they originally asked for, which shows that there is a high demand for housing.

Then, there are areas, such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, where buyers have the most influence and sellers are receiving less than the asking price, and this is happening even though the number of homes on the market are limited.

According to RealtyTrac, less than a third of housing markets in the U.S. have homes that sell for above the asking price, 60 percent have homes selling for below the asking price, and only 14 percent of homes sell at their market value.

If you want further proof that the U.S. real estate industry can’t be pinned down to one kind of market over the other, there are also areas that have markets where the situation is on even ground between buyers and sellers. These places include the D.C. suburbs of Montgomery County, Maryland; Raleigh, North Carolina; the Phoenix metropolitan area; and Riverside County, California.

To give you an example of the areas around near where I live (the lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey), there is definitely a situation where there are certain counties that have markets that are more suitable for buyers, some that are better for sellers, and others that are great for both. Orange County is certainly a buyer’s market with its 30-percent sales increase of single-family homes from last year and a median sales price of $220,000. Dutchess County also has a relatively low median sales price, coming in at $249,600.00, but faired even better than Orange County in terms of sales for single-family homes, topping that region with a 21.4 percent increase. Putnam County experienced changes that have made it a decent market for both buyers and sellers, with sales having shown a considerable increase of 18.2 percent and prices displaying more consistency and a promise of growth.

The northern New Jersey counties near the lower Hudson Valley (Bergen, Morris, and Passaic), have been displaying wonderful activity within their markets. All three counties have enjoyed increases in sales and prices, and they also have the lowest amount of average days on market for their homes (ranging from 76-155 days), whereas Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in New York have homes that spend a higher average of days on the market (ranging from 170-218 days).

When you’re looking to buy a home, it’s always important to study the current housing market and see where you can get the best deal for a home. Each area has its own market that favors either the buyer, the seller, or both, so you should have an idea about what a certain market is going to offer you before you actually visit that area. As long as you stay on top of the market and use it as a valuable real estate tool, you will surely know where it is best to search for a home.

If you’re interested in Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s full market report for the second quarter of 2015, you can find it here on our blog. The QMR includes a market overview and in-depth analyses pertaining to each county that Rand Realty covers.

To learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.




Posted on July 5, 2015 at 11:51 am
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Landscaped flower gardenWhen you’re getting ready to sell your home, you do everything you can to make it look flawless as you go from room to room to make sure that every space is as clean and organized as can be. While you’re taking care of the inside of your home, however, it’s very important not to forget about the outside. As soon as a potential buyer pulls up in front of your home, you want them to get excited about going inside. They might even want to stay outside for a few minutes beforehand to marvel at the exterior, if you have put a lot of admirable work into it. You want the outside to shine every bit as much as the inside, so here are some steps to take when working to increase your home’s curb appeal.

During the warmer months, you’ll definitely want to do some gardening to add pops of color to your front lawn, so take advantage of the beautiful weather to plant some flowers. You should even get some potted plants to hang from the roof of your front porch, and also maybe add a plant to each side of the front door to make the entrance even more welcoming.

For the colder months, after you’re done raking the leaves, decorate the front of your home with some pumpkins or other fall-season adornments to give your home a festive autumn feeling. In the winter, use some holiday lights to brighten up your home. I know it’s very unlikely for a buyer to be getting a tour of your home during the night when these lights will be turned on, but you never know if they might decide to drive past and see what your home looks like when it’s beautified for the holidays. A decorated home will also help to radiate a sense of warmth and love from within that home.

If it’s raining, have the lights turned on in your home. Even if the potential buyer won’t get the full effect of your home’s exterior beauty in the rainy weather, at least they will be able to see the interior beauty shine through the windows when they pull up to the home.

Always remember to keep your lawn freshly mown. It will let your potential buyer know that you are diligent in keeping up the pristine appearances of your lawn. Don’t make the buyer have to venture through a jungle to get to the front door!

It’s important that you keep the front of your home as tidy as possible, so if you have children, try to keep their outdoor toys off of the lawn and front porch. You don’t want the buyer tripping over anything on their way to the door and potentially hurting themselves. It also won’t hurt to take a quick scan of your lawn to make sure there aren’t any bits of litter floating around.

If your porch is beginning to look old and the paint has started to chip, consider applying a new coating, either of the same color or a different color entirely. If you end up picking a new color, you don’t want it to be obnoxious, but you want it to be eye-catching to the buyer. So, pick something that’s both tasteful and attention-grabbing.

When tasked with boosting your home’s curb appeal, you’ll definitely want to consider hiring a professional if you plan on making any significant changes, such as creating a walkway, like from the driveway to the front door.

For your home to stay in the mind of the buyer, consider including some outdoor artwork on your front lawn, such as birdbaths, sculptures, or wind chimes. Never underestimate the relaxing power of the musical sound of wind chimes. Just try not to go overboard with the artwork.

There is much you can do when improving your home’s curb appeal, but these are just a few suggestions to help you get started. This is a task that involves a lot of work, but it’s also fun and rewarding. Do everything you can to make your home memorable for the potential buyers so they step out of their car and think to themselves, “I would love to own this home.”

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.






Posted on April 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm
Rand Realty | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,