Home buyers – the sequence is significant!

This happens frequently… I get a call on the phone, a nice someone says “my friend said you’re a good Realtor…  I saw a house I like in Logan – can you show it to me?”  I absolutely love a call like this – because there are few things more satisfying than helping someone find a great home.  BUT…there are a few steps that should be taken BEFORE we go out & look at homes.  Just as successful baking (following a recipe) often has sequential ramifications, home buying goes much more smoothly if things are performed in a certain order.  It should go something like this:

1) Find a Realtor – that you trust, is attentive,  knowledgeable and that you won’t mind spending time with. (Check references). Make sure the Realtor is someone who will have your best interests in mind, and then please be loyal to them in return.  Realtors receive no compensation until  a transaction (home sale or purchase) is successfully completed.

2) Get pre-approved for a loan with a lender who is competent, qualified & knowledgeable! Once again, check references… there are many loan programs, find out which one will be the best for your situation.  If you need to wait a while & save up some more money or get rid of some debt in order to obtain a loan with more favorable terms… do it!  A good lender will give you direction.  Either you or your lender need to let your Realtor know what loan program you will be using.  FHA loans have certain guidelines – not all houses will qualify for that type of loan.  USDA loans have geographic parameters – so if you are getting a USDA loan, you need to look at homes only in certain areas.. (In Cache Valley, homes in North Logan, Logan, River Heights, Providence, and parts of Nibley will NOT qualify for a USDA loan).  

If you have CASH to buy a home, you may ignore step two – and go straight to looking at homes!  You’ll also have additional negotiation power:-)

3)  Now that you know your budget, know your loan parameters, have your pre-approval letter and you have the ability to act when you find the home that “trips your trigger”   IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT HOMES!  When you find a home/homes that you want to see, please let your Realtor know  a day in advance if possible.  Showings need to be scheduled with the sellers who often need ample notice to get the home ready and find a place to go while you’re there.  It also makes sense to be able to schedule showings logistically – saving time, gas & air quality.

When these steps are performed out of order, sellers are inconvenienced needlessly  ( getting their homes in order for showings – often dragging children away from dinner, homework etc… – not to mention the emotional drag of getting their hopes up) and the buyers themselves waste time & emotional turmoil looking when they may not be in the position to buy.

If you discover you’re not quite financially ready to purchase, but you really have the hankering to look at homes,  spend time looking at properties online (your Realtor will send you properties to view if you’d like to have things filtered & only look at what fits your guidelines), and by all means attend open houses.

Happy Buying!

Cache Valley/Logan Utah Real Estate still “On Fire”!

For the past year or more there has been an expectation of increased home inventory in our Real Estate market – precipitated by robust new-home construction and an uptick in listings, since prices have increased almost 28% since 2016.  This would naturally result in a leveling off of prices.  Inventory has not decreased despite the active new-home market and strong listing numbers because the demand remains stronger than the supply!  The mortgage interest rates have also contributed to a continued strong market – rates have dropped to below 4% on a conventional 30 year fixed mortgage!

Here are the facts: While the State of Utah as a whole has seen an increased inventory of 12% over 2018, our local market (Cache Valley) actually has 20% LESS INVENTORY than we did last year at this time.  Right now there are 266 homes listed for sale in Cache Valley as compared to 321 last year at this time.  The number of single family homes selling in the first half of 2019 is almost identical to that of 2018 (info gathered from the Utah MLS). Most new home construction sales are not included in the MLS statistics.  Prices have risen 5% in the past 6 months, from an average $113 per foot up to just over $120 per foot.  The average home sale price has risen from $260,000 to almost $272,000.

Currently the average days on market (time it takes for a home to go under contract) is 55.  As I’ve mentioned before, the DOM (days on market) varies greatly depending on the price of the home.  Homes priced under $200K have an  DOM of just 33 days, while homes priced $350,000-$400,000 have an average DOM of 96 days.

One last note: Our beautiful valley currently has 124,564 residents and has been growing by 1.8 – 2% the past 5 years. It is a beautiful place with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, good health care facilities,  a reasonable cost of living and a strong job market. It is anticipated that the growth will continue.  There is a real push in most municipalities for building higher density housing so that open space might be preserved, air quality improved and reasonably priced housing made available.  Many of the new PUD’s (planned unit developments) – town house communities and over 55 communities – will play a very important part in providing attractive, reasonably priced housing for the future.

Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Status of the Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate Market

 

It appears time has marched us through yet another year….

It seems like a short time ago we were breathing a sigh of relief at the understanding Y2K hadn’t caused a world collapse.  (For you youngsters – our emergence into the 21st century brought many people much anxiety.  There was much apocalyptic hysteria linked to fears of global failure and nuclear war. Many were certain that modern life would dissolve, become extinct with the collapse of computer systems unable to roll over to the year 2000).  I remember thinking I would really miss a washing machine and vacuum, but it would be okay rolling back to simpler times…and that was pre-smart phone era:-)

My very wandering mind has stumbled back to that curious time of global angst because I hear some of that same sort of doom and gloom threading through some conversations currently.  I’m here to say – Life is GOOD!  It’s never going to be perfect, let’s just appreciate the good!

Here in our Happy Cache Valley, the Real Estate market is thriving.  In November we hit a tiny bit of turbulence, but otherwise it’s been smooth sailing.  There were 2.7% more homes sold in 2018 than 2017.  The home prices increased just over 9% for the year, and in the 4th quarter 2018 the average home sale price went up to $271,000.  The average price per foot has increased to $114, up from $104 a year ago.  While that seems high, it is still in the “affordable” range relative to most of the country – where the average exceeds $150 per foot.  The current average mortgage interest rate is 4.68% for a 30 year fixed mortgage – down from almost 5% in November!        

In Logan/Cache Valley there are currently 216 homes for sale, a 5% increase over this time last year.  Home inventory is expected to increase in the upcoming months – good news for buyers.

Growth in the state and our area might slow some, but is not going to stop any time soon…Utah in general is Booming!  A report from Think Adviser in September 2018 ranked Utah 2nd after Washington State in economic health & economic activity.  US News & World Report ranks Utah as #4 in employment rankings, and Kiplinger ranks Utah #2 in job growth.

Logan/Cache Valley ranks in the top 10 best (and most affordable) places to live in Utah on various sites such as Area vibe, Livability, Niche, Crazy Tourist and HomeSnacks.  We who live here know it belongs in the tip top!

If you need any Real Estate assistance, please call me at 435-770-9407

Have a Wonderful 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cache Valley/Logan Utah Real Estate Market 3rd Quarter 2018

The Cache Valley Utah real estate market remains strong.  The number of homes sold 3rd quarter 2018 was up 3% over 2017 at 470 homes – even with the prices 13.5% higher than last year at this time and interest rates rising.  The past 3 months our home inventory has hovered between 315-325, and currently the average sold price per foot is $114 (remember this is an average – as I’ve mentioned before, pricing varies wildly depending on type of home, age and condition). The average home sale price in Cache Valley is now $262,000.

To put these prices in perspective, the average price per foot in the state of Utah is over $150, and the average home price in Utah has exceeded $350,000 (33% higher than Cache Valley)!  Compared to much of our state, our real estate market is very reasonable.  The state, and our local valley continues to attract new residents with great scores on job growth, outdoor recreation opportunities and excellent quality of life (seasonal air quality excluded).

Despite the strong Utah economy, a market adjustment is anticipated.  As the mortgage interest rates increase, buyers who need to obtain mortgages (most buyers are in this category) find their budgets decrease.  Likely we will see this decreased purchasing power affecting the acceleration of prices and modifying the current sellers’ market to a more balanced market again.  Locally we’re seeing a dual market developing, with homes appropriately priced under $250,000 moving like wildfire, but the higher priced homes – over $350,000 sitting on the market a longer time as they compete with the many new construction options and the increased inventory.  Historically, a yearly real estate market appreciation is around 4 – 4.5% – not the 12-13% appreciation we have seen the past 3 years.  In Utah in general, experts predict a continued appreciation, but at a more normal 6-7% increase next year.

 

 

 

UP, UP and AWAY! Cache Valley/Logan Real Estate Market (2018 2nd quarter stats)

The Cache Valley/Logan Utah Real Estate market continues on it’s remarkable upward trajectory!  The average (not median) sold home price went from $244,400 a year ago (June 2017) to $271,600 June 2018, and the average price per foot went from $104.5 to $117.6 –  another 12.5% increase in a year!  Two years ago, in June of 2016 – the average price per foot was a mere $94, so prices have increased 25% in 2 years!

Despite the increase in home prices and the increase in mortgage interest rates (the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.6%) there were 6% more homes sold 2nd quarter of 2018 than 2nd quarter of 2017.  People continue to move to Utah, and to Cache Valley specifically.

On a positive note for buyers, home inventory has gone up almost 60% over what it was 3 months ago.  Currently there are 325 homes on the market, giving buyers more choices, and alleviating some of the frantic multiple offer situations we had previously.  There are also more homes available in the affordable ranges, with 27% of the available homes priced under $250,000. Though there are more homes available, the average days on market remains around 41 days – a clear indication of a continuing strong, thriving local Real Estate market.

If you have any Real Estate questions or want a market analysis performed on your home to determine value, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Summer!!

Terri Sizemore 435-770-9407

 

 

 

 

 

Logan/Cache Valley Real Estate update 1st Quarter 2018

Predictions that the Utah Real Estate Market – and our local Logan/Cache Valley market- would see prices increase at a lower, more historical rate in 2018 have proven incorrect.  The demand for Real Estate continues to match or exceed the supply; even with the added inventory of new homes and townhouses.

While the average median home sold price dropped from $229,000 last quarter to $221,000 the first quarter of 2018, the average sold price per foot increased from $104 per foot to an average $109 per foot – an increase of 5% in just 3 months!  Please keep in mind the price per foot a home fetches depends on the age, style and condition… it can range from $70 or less per foot for an 80 year-old bungalow with an unfinished basement and no updates on a tiny lot to $200 + per foot for a single level rambler with stellar finishes on acreage.  Appraisals are still very important, and your Realtor will pull sold comps to give you an accurate idea of how your home should be priced.

The decrease in median sold price is reflective of the demand for less expensive homes.  There is a proportionally high number of buyers seeking homes priced lower than $300,000.  Of the 241 homes that sold in Cache Valley the past 3 months, 204 (85%) of them were priced under $300,000 and only 9 were priced above $400,000.  This brought the median hold sold price down.  This statistic will change next quarter though, because 21 homes priced above $400,000 are under contract.

Currently there are 204 homes active on the market in Cache Valley.  There are also 204 homes under contract- poised to close in the next 45 days or so.  This illustrates the high demand for Cache Valley Real Estate!  People from other states continue to flood into our Valley – as a result of better job opportunities, lower price of living and better quality of life than afforded in many other places.  It may not be perfect, but it’s close enough to perfect for me – and apparently many others.

If you’ve been thinking about it, NOW is a perfect time to “move up” in home size/price. The demand for homes in the lower price ranges is extreme – with town houses being especially attractive to many young people, but there are more homes available to purchase in the above $300,000 price range (62% of the homes on the market are priced above $300,000).  The mortgage interest rates are still in the “affordable” range, though they have gone from just under 4% at the end of 2017 to 4.5% currently on a fixed 30 year conventional mortgage.  Rates are expected to continue rising over the year with projections of 5% by the end of 2018. On a $200,000 loan, a 1/2% interest increase raises the monthly payment by $60 per month – so timing is important on a purchase if financing is required.

Please call or e-mail if you want specific Real Estate information pertaining to the Logan/Cache Valley area, or if you want a price evaluation on your home.

Happy Spring!

Terri Sizemore/Youngblood Real Estate

435-770-9407 supersizemore58@gmail.com

 

 

Recap of The Logan, UT Real Estate Market 2017

I sound like a broken record, but once again I’m here to report that our Local residential Real Estate market is HOT (booming, flourishing, rip-snorting are other cliched adjectives that could be used).

The demand for homes in Cache Valley continues to exceed the supply, and the inventory of available homes has stayed low all year in response.  Currently there are a paltry 202 active homes/townhouses on the market, and 61 of those are under construction!

While the number of residential sales reflected on the MLS (1504) was 7% lower in 2017 than in 2016, the actual total number of sales was certainly higher because of the abundant new construction – most of which are not reflected on the MLS.  Home prices in the valley continued to rise. In 2017 the average price per foot rose over 10% to $104 per foot, and the median sold home price rose to $229,000 4th quarter 2017.

A year ago experts were predicting mortgage interest rate hikes, but that did not happen.  Currently the 30 year fixed mortgage interest rate is at or under 4% with a credit score of 740.  Experts are once again certain that interest rates are going up in 2018 (today the DOW broke the 25000 mark and economy projections are very bullish -giving credibility to the interest rate increase predictions).

The Utah Real Estate market in general, and Cache Valley/Logan specifically show no signs of declining.

Jim Wood, who’s studied Utah’s housing market for 40 years and is a senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem Gardner Policy Institute,  tells people “don’t wait for prices to go down. That’s not going to happen in the short term.” He predicts prices will go up another five to six percent depending on where interest rates go. My local research supports Mr Wood’s assessment.(see https://homescachevalley.com/2017/11/10/forecast-cache-valley-logan-real-estate-market-in-2018/). 

Selling and purchasing in this tight, rapidly moving market can be very tricky.  Although values are rising, we are experiencing some problems with homes appraising.  Sellers still have to have appropriate pricing – with substantiated value; and home condition remains very important if the goal is top dollar.  Buyers are frequently dealing with multiple offer situations, and it’s important not to get impatient or  desperate and make an imprudent decision. Buyers who need help with closing costs (buyer closing costs are all associated with procuring a mortgage loan) are at a disadvantage in this market, but a savvy Realtor can help negotiate an offer that will be accepted.

Please feel free to call or email me if you have Real Estate questions or need Real Estate help.  Terri Sizemore  435-770-9407  supersizemore58@gmail.com.

As the New Year Begins I’m reminded of this quote by Michael Altshuler “The bad news is time flies.  The good news is you’re the pilot”

May your 2018 be filled with time well spent!