13 Takeaways on the Real Estate Industry after 13 days of 2021!
More than likely, 2020 is not going down as your favorite year. It has such a nice ring to it, but didn’t exactly live up to the hype. BUT, it is now behind us and it’s time to look forward. I don’t know about you, but I am hopeful and encouraged. Maybe that’s the new year’s resolution nostalgia that still hasn’t worn off, but nonetheless, I am going with it.
After only 13 days, here are 13 takeaways that are setting the tone for the start of the new year:
Let’s start out with the obvious: This years Spring market is FREEZING! Yes, it might say January on your watch or Google calendar, but the Spring Market is here. Talk to any agent and they’re seeing a flurry in sales, closings and interest.
Seller’s: Inventory is TIGHT! That is incredible news if you’re a Seller as your home should sell FAST if properly positioned, priced and marketed! If you’re thinking about selling, you need to be on the market NOW!!
Buyers: Inventory seems even tighter! There are VERY few homes on the market, in fact, record lows. What does that mean? You need to be prepared by having your pre-approval in hand and a REALLY good advisor on your side.
New Construction costs are rising! Most have heard about lumber costs rising, but other material shortages are driving up costs as well. One of our clients says it best, there’s no better time to build than NOW (Credit: Bernie Kurlemann from Classic Living Homes). Costs will continue to rise so don’t wait until they get higher.
Lots are hard to find! We know this first hand with our sourcing team working overtime to find out clients lots. The good news: we’re still finding them 🙂
Land Values are Rising! Land has been slower to increase in value over the past several years, but we’re finally seeing it. Great news for developers and land sellers, but tougher to swallow for new home buyers as it’s pushing prices up.
New Development is happening! There are all sorts of new communities in 2021! Some of our favorites are Peterloon Meadows (Indian Hill), Three Oaks (Oakley), Factory 52 (Norwood) and Chimney Ridge (Loveland).
This is the last year of the current City of Cincinnati Tax Abatement! At the start of 2022, the tax abatement will be changing so get moving on your new City home! Link here for more information
Median Home Prices are rising! This has been happening for the past several years, but we continue to see this. It may be at a more modest pace, but 3-4% is likely!
Citirama is coming to Newport! We’re excited to see the Home Builders Association jump across the Ohio River to do an incredible show in Newport with incredible view. More news to come so watch our feed!
Mortgage Rates are still at ALL TIME LOWS! This helps to offset the rising values and new construction costs.
Baby Boomers are making moves. Call it what you want, downsizing or right sizing, but we’re seeing a surge in baby boomers making the move.
Lock your doors, there’s another little Hines coming in the Spring 2021. This was just a test to see if you made it all the way to number 13. But, seriously be careful, we’re really not in control any more.
As always, if you have any questions, thoughts, comments, or just want to say hello, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to hear what you’re seeing in the market and what your experience is.
So you’ve decided (along with many, many others in 2020) to renovate your home! As someone who spent the last three months going through the renovation process, I thought I would share what I’ve learned to help better prepare you for the journey ahead and hopefully leave you thinking, “I’m so glad I was ready for that!”
It will always take more TIME and more MONEY that you planned. I have never heard of a project coming in under budget or being completed in half the time you were told. Unexpected issues come up. Contractors fall behind. Supplies get back ordered. Things happen and you have to be ready to go with the flow. If you have realistic expectations from the beginning, the inevitable delays will be a little easier to swallow.
You need to be available at all times. Probably the biggest advantage of doing a renovation during COVID has been that my husband is working from home. That means he’s always available to sign for deliveries, talk to contractors and check on progress. If you have the type of job that doesn’t give you that kind of flexibility, or you aren’t able to “run home,” a big renovation might not be for you.
You think you’ve thought of it all, but you haven’t. We spent hours designing the kitchen, planning the space and looking at colors and selections. However, once the work started, we realized there were a number of things we had given no thought at all. Did we want the toilet to go on the left side or right side of the bathroom? What kind of closet doors did we want? Where should the lighting go? Again, being available to make last minute decisions is imperative.
If you aren’t a decorator, hire one. Renovations are expensive and there are a lot of beautiful choices. Don’t waste money changing paint colors later or being unhappy with something you picked out. There are many talented decorators available to pay by the hour, and for just a few hours investment, they can’t make sure your paint, floors, cabinets, countertops and fixtures all work beautifully together in your home.
Hire a professional for the big projects. Weekend handymen are great, but most projects take more than a weekend. Hire a reputable contractor for the big stuff; electric, plumbing and wiring should only be done by professionals. These types of mistakes are too costly to mess around with.
Be prepared to live in the dust. You are in the middle of a construction site. Truly. The dust never ends, the noise is loud and constant and new people are walking in and out of your home at all times. Try to get out of the way and live in a part of the house that won’t be near the construction.
If you think you can DIY, know the consequences. I get it. We’ve all watched the shows and thought, “If they can do it, so can I.” The reality is, there is no behind the scenes team at your house tearing out walls and putting up shiplap. Renovations require accurate measurements, correct cuts and considerable time. If you have a project in mind and want to give it a shot, go for it. In my experience, getting it done faster and with fewer mishaps is worth a few calls to contractors.
I hope this helps you understand the good, the bad and the ugly of home renovation. With a lot of time and patience, you can and WILL get the home you’ve always dreamed of!
The Cincinnati Tax Abatement is CHANGING! Learn More Here
On September 2nd, City Council passed a motion to change the policy to the current Tax Abatement also known as the Community Reinvestment Areas. The tax abatement allows residents and businesses to have a portion of their property taxes abated based on the improved value of their investment into a specific property. Essentially, if you renovate or build a home in the City of Cincinnati, you have the opportunity to pay less in taxes if you follow certain criteria.
Quick disclosure as we get started, this blog post is not meant to give you a step by step guide how to have your taxes abated nor is it the end of your fact finding on changes. I am a real estate agent that focuses on New Construction in Cincinnati, but not an attorney, consultant or expert on the tax abatement policies. I say this to make sure you understand that expert guidance may still be needed if you are making investments or decisions to which the tax abatement may impact..
Anyways, back to the information…the original goal of the tax abatement and the CRA (Community Reinvestment Areas) is to remain intact. If you read through the City’s tax abatement information, you’ll see that the original goal of the CRA was to: 1) stimulate community revitalization, 2) retain City residents, 3) attract homeowners, and 4) reduce development costs of home-ownership and rental projects. To find out more, click here to review the City’s website on the current tax abatement.
Fast forward to today, City Council under Vice Mayor Smitherman has empowered “The Property Tax Working Group” at the end of 2018 was set up to investigate the effects of the CRA and see how they can improve upon it. These are the results of thousands of hours of review by that group and recommendations from a number of parties.
In regards to the suggested changes, which may soon become a reality, here’s what you need to know.
Tax Abatement Terms and Caps are CHANGING –You can review these by clicking here, but you’ll notice that each of the categories for new construction has gone down. There are also new incentives based on Historic Renovations, Visibility and renovations in general.
Four Families may be moving from the Commercial tax abatement requirements to residential, which is highly favorable for owners of multi-families.
Visibility – This is a term you might not know yet, but soon will. By increasing threshold widths, creating zero step entries, and adding “visitable paths”, you may be able to increase your abated value by $100,000. This can only be done at the planning stage, during design, and could save you around $2500/year. For more information on visibility, click here (https://docplayer.net/42823090-City-of-cincinnati-visitability-standards.html)
Tiered Approach Under Consideration – On the final policy change, you may see something along the lines of a tiered neighborhood approach. We’ve heard that they plan to continue to engage in an extensive study to review this option.
Grandfathering – USGBC and the HBA are talking through the provisions for grandfathering properties to the old Tax Abatement Rules that are in some phase of development. This is still TBD and being discussed, but will most likely be a part of the new ordinance.
TALK TO YOUR CONSULTANT – It’s more important than ever to talk to your consultant, especially Green Building Consulting, who has been at the forefront of these changes.
Disclosure: Since this information is changing on a daily basis, please consult the City of Cincinnati, a LEED Consultant and/or your builder before you act on any of this information. We can not guarantee any of this for accuracy as it’s based on our interpretation of the Property Tax Working Group and Home Builders Association information.
Cincinnati has been voted one of the best places to live in the United States, and while that may be not surprise to us lifelong residents, we want to make sure new visitors and transfers understand just how great our City is! Of course we love our sports teams, unique restaurants, and the wide array of things to do, but our personal favorite is the affordable housing market.
So, please take a quick look at all the reasons we love the Queen City and head on over to our PROPERTY SEARCH to browse our selection of homes currently on the market to purchase. You know you love Cincinnati as much as we do… is it time to set new roots in your favorite neighborhood?
The housing market is hot, and while that may be great news for those listing their homes, for buyers, the frustration is real. Week after week, house after house, they’ve grown accustomed to the phrase…”we’re now in multiple offers.” A great looking, well-cared-for and most importantly, well-priced house, is creating quite the frenzy for those out searching for their next home in this low inventory seller’s market.
When demand outweighs supply, there are a few things you can do to get ahead in this competitive market:
FIND A WELL QUALIFIED BUYER’S AGENT: Along with obtaining a strong financing pre-approval, this is the first step in getting closer to the home of your dreams. Ideally, you want an agent who has dealt with multiple offer situations before and knows several strategies to help you win. Overall, it can come down to what you’re willing to pay. As a buyer’s agent, I would never encourage a client to overpay for a home, but I can offer advice to help get you to the “right” price.
MAKE A STRONG INITIAL OFFER: Yes, we’re starting with the $$$. In most cases, this is what it comes down to. Sellers usually want the best possible price they can get for their home. Still, it doesn’t mean the highest offer will always be the winning offer. Along with the purchase price written in the contract, you can also consider asking your agent to include an escalation. This is an addendum to the contract stating that you will pay a set amount over the highest written offer up to the limit you set.
HAVE YOUR AGENT ASK ABOUT THE SELLER’S NEEDS: Is there an occupancy time that would work best for them? Do they need a quick close? Ultimately, the offer that best fits the needs of the seller is the offer that will win.
CONSIDER WAIVING CONTINGENCIES OR KEEP TIME FRAMES SHORT: While I can’t recommend skipping an inspection, some buyers are waiving the inspection as a contingency and accepting the house “as is.” The same goes for the appraisal. There is a concern when a house sells far over listing price that might not appraise. In a multiple offer situation, the buyer could offer to pay the difference between the appraisal value and the purchase price should the appraisal come in lower.If you don’t want to waive the contingencies all together, it can be a good idea to keep the inspection and settlement period as short as reasonably possible
DON’T ASK FOR EXTRAS: A multiple offer situation is not the time to throw in a lot of extras like closing costs, a home warranty or appliances or furniture. It’s best to keep the contract as clean as possible.
GET A PLUG FROM YOUR LENDER: Have your mortgage person CALL the agent to tell them how well qualified you are. Even if they just leave a message it can help.
GIVE IT YOUR BEST EFFORT: As mentioned before, having a strong pre-approval to back your offer can help the seller feel much more confident in your ability to purchase their home. You can also add to the amount of earnest money you would normally offer to show a strong interest and commitment to following through with your offer. If possible, consider a cash offer. While cash isn’t always king, it does make for a very compelling offer and a streamlined purchase process that can be hard to top.
STAY CALM: It can be easier said than done, but the best advice I can give to my clients is to present the strongest offer they can to help get the house they want at a reasonable price that falls within their budget. While it can be difficult to remaIN unemotional about these decisions, you have to keep it in perspective. Offering more than you’re comfortable with paying or forgoing important contingencies can lead to regret down the road.
Build Collective is Here to Help Home Buyers Every Step of the Process
See How to Have Your Home Show Ready… In 10 Minutes!
When you are selling your home, one of the hardest things is to have your home ready to show at a moments notice. Sound overwhelming? Build Collective is here to help! We break down what we call “THE TEN MINUTE TIDY.” In our video, Brandi explains how you can tidy up your home in just 10 minutes and have it sparkling for the buyers to tour.
We break down the most important items to focus on so you leave the best impression possible to all potential buyers! Taking care of clutter, weird smells and bright light goes a long way.
And these tips don’t have to just apply to Home Sellers. Use our Ten Minute Tidy for a quick clean up during the week, before the neighbors stop over for happy hour or even when your in-laws come by unannounced!!
Build Collective is Here to Help Home Sellers Every Step of the Selling Process
Want more tips on selling your home? Reach out to us today… we are full of great ideas!