Check out our live video from our CEO/Lead Listing Agent Michael Blood about how we are changing up our Open House protocols during this challenging time in order to continually meet our clients need and continue to provide the service you have come to know and expect from us here at the Blood Team.
We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well during these challenging times. Please rest assured that as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, our number #1 priority is the safety and well-being of our clients, staff, and families.
In cooperation with CDC recommendations, we would like to share the following updates with you:
In conjunction with our Office adjustments, we are also making some changes to our Open House procedures.
First and foremost, if you are experiencing fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, or any other symptoms of illness, we kindly ask that you reschedule your showing and not attend open houses.
For your piece of mind...
What we ask of you..
We encourage you to stay current by visiting the CDC's website: https://www.cdc.gov
We appreciate your understanding and remain committed to providing you with the same level of quality service you’ve come to expect from the Blood Team.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
Stay safe everyone!
Michael & Sandra Blood
When the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.” The advantage tips toward the seller as low inventory heats up the competition among those searching for a place to call their own. This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough for buyers to land their dream homes – unless they stand out from the crowd. Here are three reasons why pre-approval should be your first step in the homebuying process.
Low inventory, like we have today, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get to make a strong impression and close the deal. One of the best ways to get one step ahead of other buyers is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer. For one, it shows the sellers you’re serious about buying a home, which is always a plus in your corner.
Pre-approval can also speed up the homebuying process, so you can move faster when you’re ready to make an offer. In a competitive arena like we have today, being ready to put your best foot forward when the time comes may be the leg-up you need to cross the finish line first and land the home of your dreams.
Here’s the other thing: if you’re pre-approved, you also have a better sense of your budget, what you can afford, and ultimately how much you’re eligible to borrow for your mortgage. This way, you’re less apt to fall in love with a home that may be out of your reach.
Freddie Mac sets out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
Local real estate professionals also have relationships with lenders who can help you through this process, so partnering with a trusted advisor will be key for that introduction. Once you select a lender, you’ll need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”
Freddie Mac also describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you’ll be qualified to borrow:
While there are still many additional steps you’ll need to take in the homebuying process, it’s clear why pre-approval is always the best place to begin. It’s your chance to gain the competitive edge you may need if you’re serious about owning a home.
Getting started with pre-approval is a great way to begin the homebuying journey. Let’s get together today to make sure you’re on the fastest path to homeownership!
The Blood Team
MA: 978-433-8800 | NH: 603-966-0025
Find out what your home may be worth: HERE
The real estate market is expected to do very well this year as mortgage rates remain at historic lows. One challenge to the housing industry is the lack of homes available for sale. Last week, move.com released a report showing that 2020 is beginning with the lowest available housing inventory in two years. The report explains:
“Last month saw the largest year-over-year decline of housing inventory in almost three years with a dramatic 12 percent decline, pushing the number of homes for sale in the U.S. to the lowest level since January 2018.”
The report also revealed that the decline in inventory stretches across all price points, as shown in the following graph:George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains how this drop in available homes for sale comes at a time when more buyers are expected to enter the market:
“The market is struggling with a large housing undersupply just as 4.8 million millennials are reaching 30-years of age in 2020, a prime age for many to purchase their first home. The significant inventory drop…is a harbinger of the continuing imbalance expected to plague this year's markets, as the number of homes for sale are poised to reach historically low levels.”
The question is: What does this mean to you?
Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be ready to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand that a shortage in inventory could lead to the resurgence of bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home, if you truly love it.
Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there is a shortage of an item at the same time there is a strong demand for that item, the seller of that item is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it is price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to demand more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.
The housing market will remain strong throughout 2020. Understand what that means to you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.
There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years.
It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters.
Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a monthly Housing Affordability Index. The latest index shows that home affordability is better today than at almost any point over the last 30 years. The index determines how affordable homes are based on the following:
“A Home Affordability Index value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index of 120 signifies that a family earning the median income has 20 percent more than the level of income needed pay the mortgage on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment so that the monthly payment and interest will not exceed 25 percent of this level of income (qualifying income).”
Obviously, affordability was better during the housing crash when distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – sold at major discounts (2009-2015). Outside of that period, however, homes are more affordable today than any other year since 1990, except for 2016.
The report on the index also includes a section that calculates the mortgage payment on a median priced home as a percentage of the median national income. Historically, that percentage is just above 21%. Here are the percentages since June of 2018:Again, we can see that affordability is much better today than the historical average and has been getting better over the last year and a half.
Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or moving up to the home of your dreams, don’t let the false narrative about affordability prevent you from moving forward. From an affordability standpoint, this is one of the best times to buy in the last 30 years.
A night for fun, dancing, time together with our friends and family but even more important to help raise money. Our goal was to raise money to be donated to a local charity, non-profit or family in need and we did just that! We raised just over $3,800! The majority of funds raised will be donated to Molly who was the top voted choice during our event for the donation and a portion will be donated to Pepperell Pach and Pepperell Fourth.
We were beyond amazed with the outpouring of love, support and donations that came in once we announced the event publicly. We had over 20 baskets donated for the raffle, numerous of locals who donated their time for setup, donated money to help cover some of the overhead costs of the event, food donations and so much more, which in the end brought our total to donate higher than anticipated.
Our night also wouldn't have been so successful without our amazing DJ of the night.
DJ Jamo (Chris Jamieson) really carried the tone throughout the night. From the music choices, the photobooth and his creative twist on musical chairs, we are pretty sure we can speak on everyone's behalf that he really lit up the night! Another fantastic highlight of the night was a single song karaoke moment by Michael Blood. He started the night saying if he was feeling it, he would do it at some point. Well, he felt it and totally rocked "Hardworking Man!"
We ended the night by announcing the winner of best dressed of the night which was awared to Patrick Coppinger.
Of course, the night would not have been complete without the top hit of the year by doing The Git Up Dance.
Should you be interested in doing a raffle basket or donating towards the 2020 Hometown Charity Hoedown for next year please email Elizabeth@bloodteamrealty.com with HOEDOWN2020 in the subject line and we will add you to our list and reach out next year once we start planning our exciting event again!