Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/26/2017

People often talk about boosting the value of their home with various improvements. But it is seldom that you hear anyone talk about the unforeseen factors that devalue their home. Furthermore, there are some fluctuations in a home's market value or appraisal value that are out of the homeowner's hands. In this post, we'll break down some of the broader aspects of home value and determine which "improvements" will serve you best in the long run. We'll also point out the red flags that are sure to devalue a home on the market.

Location

Few things so greatly affect the value of your home as location. If you happened to buy a house in Brooklyn Heights a couple decades ago its value has probably gone up exponentially since then due to the high demand of living in a trendy part of New York. Aside from living in the hippest neighborhood, people choose their home based on other location factors. Schools, hospitals, shopping centers, vicinity to highways or public transportation may all play a big role for many people. Location factors that will negatively affect the value of your home are high or increasing crime rates, economic decline (boarded up stores aren't very appealing to home buyers), a high incidence of registered sex offenders nearby, and neighbors that have unkempt homes or hoard junk in their yards. Other location factors are harder to sniff out. With the exception city dumps or waste processing centers--which you won't have any trouble smelling--having undesirable places like power plants or noisy freeways in your neighborhood can also devalue your home.

Inside the home

Home improvements are a great way to increase the value of your home--as long as those improvements meet a few criteria. Any changes you make should be legal and up to code. Potential buyers do not want the liability of illegal home improvements, nor can they ensure that the job was safely done and doesn't put them and their family at risk. Your improvements should also be up to social standards and changing tastes. Yes, we all have our own preferences when it comes to paint colors and home decorations. But when trying to sell a home it's important that it doesn't look like a time capsule from the 70s, rife with wood panels and shag carpets. When it comes to home repairs many homeowners elect to put off big projects because they are daunting and time consuming. Instead they focus on surface level improvements that might not do much to improve the value of their home. If you have plumbing that needs to be replaced, deteriorating flooring, or faulty heating and ventilation, make sure you take care of those before putting your home on the market.

Ask the pros

If buying or selling a home is in your foreseeable future, one great way to get a jump on your research is to consult a real estate agent and a building contractor to learn more about your area's own unique market values. This will give you a head start on making changes to your home and will tip you off on what to look out for when home hunting.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/20/2015

It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth? 1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay. 2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price. 3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home. 4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition "online" takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition. 5. Sell It-The only way to know a home's true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/22/2015

If you listen to the media you will never know which way is up when it comes to the state of the real estate market. It's not just the market that determines how a house will sell but also location, price, and condition of the home. Like they say real estate is local. Just like you wouldn't expect the weather to be the same in one place vs. another - the same is true about the real estate market. There are a few things you can look at to determine the type of market in your area. 1. Contact a real estate professional. 2. If you are a seller ask for a comparable market analysis on your home. 3. If you are a buyer determine the average number of days on the market in your desired area and price range. 4. Ask your agent what the absorption rate is the market your are looking to buy or sell. Absorption rate is the rate at which homes are selling. Whether you are buying a home or selling it's important to understand the market conditions.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/14/2014

Is it a seller's market? A buyer's market? Depends on the day and which media outlet you happen to be listening to. One thing is sure the market is changing. Here are some ways to know what kind of market it is: These are the signs of a buyer's market High inventory or more than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are higher than active listing prices. Lower closed sale numbers. Declining median sales prices. Higher DOM or days on the market. Here are some signs of a seller's market Low inventory or less than six months of inventory currently on the market. Sale prices are lower than active listing prices. Higher closed sale numbers. Increasing median sales prices. Lower DOM or days on the market. These are signs of a balanced market Three to six months of inventory is currently on the market. Sale prices are similar to active listing prices. Stable sales numbers. Flat median sales prices. Days active on the market are approximately 30 to 45 days. If you want to know how to figure out the months of inventory there is a simple way to do that. Take the total number of active listings and the total number of sold or closed transactions on the market last month. Divide the number of total listings by the number of total sales, which results in the number of months of inventory remaining. Then you can determine what type of market it is.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/9/2012

It’s time to buy a home! That is right you heard it here, no more doom and gloom for the real estate market. The time has come to go out and buy some real estate. The only thing holding buyers back has been consumer emotion but a look at the facts should help buyer feel more confident in opening up their wallets for a great opportunity in today's housing market. JP Morgan’s Market Insights report has outlined why people looking to buy a home have never been in a better position. Here are just three important points from the JP Morgan report. The Price is Right One measure the report looked at was the ratio of personal income to home prices. “Since 1966, the median price of an existing single family home in the U.S. has varied between 150% and 251% of personal income per household. However, roughly three-quarters of the time it has been in a relatively narrow band between 185% and 230%. In September 2011, the ratio was just 153%, implying that to get back to an average price to income ratio, home prices would have to rise by about 27%.” Mortgage Rates are Right Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows as compared to personal income.  The report notes, “During the week of October 7, Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates had fallen to an average annual level of 3.94%. Assuming the use of a fixed rate mortgage with 20% down, this would make the median mortgage payment on a single family existing home just 6.9% of per household personal income, compared with an average of 14.4% since 1966.” What this means is that it is a buyers perfect storm. Buyers who buy now will likely reap a long term financial gain by buying a home at a lower than average cost and financing it for a lower than average cost. It is a win-win situation. Home Ownership Beats Renting The report goes on to look at the cost of renting versus owning. JP Morgan predicts that by the "third quarter of this year, we estimate that the implied median mortgage payment had fallen to just 78% of the median asking rent. In other words, at current mortgage rates, home prices would have to rise by 35% just to get back to their average relationship to rents." Home buying is now more affordable than it has been in decades. Home prices are at all time lows, mortgage rates are at rock bottom and income levels remain steady. Despite what you may hear on the nightly news home ownership has never been more affordable.