The Jared Zimmer REMAX Properties Blog

 

July 28, 2021

Mortgage Rates Drop To A Six Month Low

Mortgage Rates Drop  To A Six Month Low

Yet again, mortgage rates are tumbling and this morning it was announced that 30-year rates are now at the lowest levels since February (Source: CNBC).

This is very welcome news that is likely to drive a very busy market in August.

We've recently seen signs of a more balanced approach by buyers and slight improvement in inventory of available homes for sale, but even lower mortgage rates can only act as an important further purchasing stimulus.

And while inventory has improved, it's still much lower than the very busy market at this time last year, so there's still tremendous scope for new sellers to enter the market.

A combination of lower cost borrowing and wider choice of homes has the potential to really energize the market as we approach the end of summer.

Why not contact us today at 435-327-2090 to discuss your best options.

July 19, 2021

Why More Choice For Buyers Can Be Good News For Sellers Too

  Why More Choice For Buyers Can Be Good News For Sellers Too

We have been studying the latest Iron County real estate stats for June and they confirm something we have already been noticing - inventory of available homes for sale has started to climb.

If you look at the above graph, you'll see that last month saw the first upward spike in new listings since March. That's partly in line with seasonal expectations, but it also follows the trend that started in March for the number of active listings to rise.

If you look at the number of sold listings on the same graph, you'll see that the difference between them and the active and new listings is increasing, though we continue to see more sales in total month-on-month.

These patterns reflect the general view across the nation that the real estate market is starting to cool a little from the unsustainably frenetic market we were seeing just a few weeks ago.

But it's also important to put things in perspective. June saw a small improvement in the number of months of supply in our market (see absorption rate graph below), but it's still only about six weeks, so it remains very much a seller's market. There were also hundreds more homes on the market in June 2020 than in June this year (a drop of just over 44%).

We also observed that the average number of days a home is on the market (see graph below) continues to fall quite dramatically, again demonstrating the exceptional demand that's still around.

And if inventory does continue to rise, this may yet attract even more buyers, as they will enjoy having more choice and the reduced possibility of rejected offers.

We are arguably seeing a return to a more normal and balanced market that is also actually good news for sellers too, especially if they are looking to buy another property themselves.

It's important to emphasize that these changes were bound to happen at some point and don't represent anything close to a market collapse.

The pandemic was a time of extremes and we now appear to be progressively moving to living more normal lifestyles again. That will be reflected in real estate, where the fear of living in major cities caused so many people to move here. That fear is not nearly as strong as it was even a couple of months ago.

As the return to normalcy gathers pace, we can expect to see a continuation of the popularity of this area to newcomers. This is reflected in over 30 new subdivisions that will be coming online in the next year or so.

As always, we'd be delighted to talk with you if you have any questions or concerns regarding the current market conditions and/or your situation , so don't hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your best options - 435-327-2090.

  Why More Choice For Buyers Can Be Good News For Sellers Too

  Why More Choice For Buyers Can Be Good News For Sellers Too

June 30, 2021

Are We Heading For A More Balanced Real Estate Market?

  Are We Heading For A More Balanced Real Estate Market?

There have been quite a few press reports in recent days, suggesting that we may be seeing the beginnings of a more stable, balanced real estate market and this could, in fact, be a very good thing.

While low mortgage rates remain an incredible motivation for many buyers, the widespread rollout of vaccines and reducing number of Covid cases is arguably calming some of the frenetic buying patterns we saw earlier in the year.

This doesn't mean that buyers aren't still looking to move to areas like ours in very significant numbers. They probably don't have quite the same sense of fear/urgency any more and things are possibly settling into a more usual pattern.

There have also been signs of increasing inventory of available homes in some sectors of our market. These aren't necessarily a reflection of less buyer sentiment, however.

Amazing price growth over the past few months has undoubtedly caught the attention of many Iron County homeowners, rightly recognizing that this could be the best real estate market they'll see, especially bearing in mind that over 30 new subdivisions will be coming on stream in the next year and beyond, greatly increasing competition with new build properties, possibly leading to further market correction.

It's very important to acknowledge that a more balanced market, with more choice for buyers, is actually a healthier one. It could easily lead to even more buyers, motivated by having increased options and the decreasing chances of frustration as offer after offer fails to meet with success.

For sellers, more buyers could yet lead to even better returns as, even though inventory has improved slightly, it is still not at a truly sustainable level to meet future demand, especially before the new subdivisions start to come online.

It's a perfect time to sell your home, as we approach the height of the selling season, so don't hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your best options - 435-327-2090.

June 17, 2021

The Market's Doing Great, But Don't Be Complacent When Presenting Your Home

 The Market's Doing Great, But Don't Be Complacent When Presenting Your Home

We are currently seeing what is arguably an unprecedented seller's market in Iron and Washington Counties, with incredible levels of demand for homes in the area.

It might therefore be assumed that the normal levels of meticulous preparation of your home for sale are not so vital, or even necessary, at present.

In reality, however, nothing has changed in terms of the importance of making your home look as good as it possibly can.

Ultimately, buyers still have choices and, while low inventory levels of available homes might not be ideal from their perspective right now, it's still the case that the most impressive homes will sell fastest and for more money.

Of course, mindful that they could have fewer options than they might wish, buyers might make some compromises when one or two small details aren't exactly what they would ideally like to see. In general, though, you'll still have a much harder time selling, and a lot less interest, if you don't take staging the home seriously.

Another key factor in today's market is that many buyers are arriving here from other states, especially California. This makes your online property photos/virtual tour more crucial than ever, as a lot of home shopping starts on the internet. Therefore a home that doesn't show well in photos might struggle to get on short lists for viewings by more distantly based potential buyers.

Here are some useful pointers:

  • Honestly ask yourself if you would buy your home in its current condition. If the answer is no, then identify what needs changing and, as best you can, address those issues immediately.
  • If you're really in a hurry to sell, prioritize the work that will make the biggest difference in the shortest time frame.
  • Paint touch-ups and surface cleaning products can actually transform a property in a few hours or days, depending on how much work is needed.
  • Clutter never helped to sell a home, so a thorough life laundry and possibly even using storage to thin out the content of your rooms, will inevitably pay dividends.
  • If time allows, don't wait until you're about to list, or have already listed, before making improvements.

We are always happy to offer advice as to how to optimally present your home for sale, and what to prioritize, so please don't hesitate to get in touch with us - 435-327-2090.

May 27, 2021

Why Is A Great Listing Agent So Important In This Fantastic Seller's Market?

Why Is A Great Listing Agent So Important In This Fantastic Seller's Market?

Iron County is enjoying unprecedented real estate market conditions right now.

Demand for great properties is sky high and there's huge competition among buyers, eager to secure a home in this ever faster growing area. It's becoming increasingly common for properties to be under contract very, very soon after they are listed.

There's no question that it's a great seller's market right now. Arguably it has never been better for those who do decide to list in this moment of astounding buyer sentiment and high pressure on inventory of available homes in every market sector.

So why, you might ask, is it still so important to make the right choice of listing agent if buyers are so eager? Isn't it just a case of listing and waiting for the offers to flood in?

Were all listing agents operating equally, then the above questions might be very valid.

However this is emphatically not the case and, in order to achieve top dollar and a sale in a time frame that's right for you, it's still essential to team up with a top producing agent.

Here are just some of the main reasons for this:

Pricing - Prices are constantly on the move at the moment and it's absolutely vital that your agent is right on the pulse with this when setting the right asking price, so that you make the most of the stunning opportunities at present. A strong current track record of success is a good sign. Make sure you ask to see it.

Marketing - Just because the market is so ignited doesn't change the basics of selling and your agent needs to be able to demonstrate a vigorous, robust and comprehensive marketing plan. This ensures that the maximum number of qualified buyers are being informed of the presence of your home, so that the pool of potential offers is optimal.

Connections - Long established close relationships with past clients, other influencers and, critically, the area's top buyer's agents, further enlarge the circle of potential qualified buyers. And as a lot of people are moving into the area, ask your agent what his/her connections are with other agents in areas, such as California, where they may be selling existing homes and networking to see what availability is like in places like here for those clients who are looking to move out of state.

Tenacity - Is your agent just concerned with selling the home at any price, or maximizing your return? It's a very valid question. Ask agents to show you how they've achieved top dollar for clients in recent weeks.

Your next home - Things often move very fast in today's market and working with a top agent helps to ensure that your key goal of seamlessly moving into your next home is realized. That's always more difficult if your agent isn't making strenuous efforts to get your current home sold as soon as possible, for the highest return.

Full service - Ensure that your agent offers an expertly staffed full service, from initial listing to completion and beyond. This helps everything to progress smoothly and efficiently, which is so important at the moment.

We would be happy to be put to all the above tests, so please reach out to us today - 435-327-2090.

May 18, 2021

Have You Thought About Estate Planning Yet?

Have You Thought About Estate Planning Yet?

It's generally estimated that between 50-60% of Americans have not made any estate plans.

This has some very serious implications and the negative effects of doing nothing about it can even begin while you're still alive!

Did you know that in the state of Utah, if you have over $100K in total assets, or if you own any real estate, regardless of its value, your estate must go through probate if you do not have a well-crafted estate plan in place prior to your death?

It's imperative to declare a person to make financial, healthcare and investment decisions, and other day to day matters, including paying bills, if you are not able to.

Without a healthcare plan and power of attorney, usually bestowed on a relative, hospitals have to follow their own protocols. It can even mean that relatives living far away are not able to obtain something as basic as a condition check without having to go through a lengthy and expensive legal proceeding.

Legally recognized power of attorney is very important in areas such as real estate and vehicle ownership, if items need to be sold, titles need to be updated or information is needed from the bank for payoffs etc.

Dying intestate without a will means that your estate will have no pre-planned structure that deals efficiently with asset distribution and its management. A correctly constructed will avoids probate, whereby courts can become involved in the process.

A well-conceived plan empowers you and your beneficiaries to exercise complete control over what will transpire, including compilation of the final tax return that needs to be filed following your death.

It's also important that your plans create a line of succession so that someone will always be there to handle the estate.

Effective estate planning avoids stress and confusion for your survivors. They could be unable to carry out your wishes without any legally recognized record.

No one knows what lies ahead in the future, so you would be well advised to act now and liaise with your legal advisor(s), not least to give everyone concerned peace of mind and a lot less worry at a distressing time.

Cedar City attorney David Westwood commented: “Nobody thinks that their family will fight after they are gone; however, it really can happen to anyone. The best of families can be torn apart if an effective estate plan is not in place.

“The last thing you should be worrying about when you are in poor health or on your death bed is about money and/or material possessions. An effective estate plan gives you the peace of mind in knowing that your family is protected so that you can focus on what is most important in life.

“An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Putting together a solid estate plan is less expensive than you may think and is certainly a lot less expensive that putting your family through a litigated probate.

“Your house is often the most valuable asset in an estate. Why not put together an estate plan to ensure that the wealth in your estate passes on your terms and to the people you feel would benefit most? It’s not something that should be left for the government to decide.”

David Westwood can be contacted at:

Westwood Law, P.C.
98 W. Harding Ave.
Cedar City, UT 84720
Ph:  435-267-2145
Fax: 866-627-3433
david@westwoodlawfirm.com
https://www.westwoodlawfirm.com/

April 30, 2021

How Smart Is Your Home?

How Smart Is Your Home?

Smart device technology around the home can provide simple solutions to these problems and much, much more.

So what is a smart device?

It's basically any electronic device that can be connected to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc., so that it can be operated interactively and autonomously.

Control of these devices is generally via smartphone apps and/or voice operated systems such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home.

The range of smart solutions now available to us is truly remarkable.

Here are just some of the things you can control via smart technology:

  • Opening and shutting garage doors.
  • Doorbells with built-in high resolution security cameras that can alert you whenever someone approaches your home and record this.
  • Internal and external lighting.
  • Ceiling fans.
  • Window blinds and shades.
  • Security alarms.
  • Closed circuit camera systems.
  • Complete control of your TV and many other home entertainment systems.
  • Switching almost any electronic device on or off, indoors or outdoors, via smart plugs.
  • Setting up speakers around the home as an intercom and "public address" system, announcing meal times, for example.
  • Controlling lawn sprinklers.
  • Heaters and air conditioning via smart thermostats.
  • Baby monitoring.
  • Door locks.
  • Washing machines and dryers.
  • Cookers that can start cooking your meal so it's ready when you arrive home.

The above list is just a selection of what's possible and the range of smart solutions is constantly expanding.

In most cases, you can exercise complete control of your home no matter where you are in the world. Astonishing technology and peace of mind.

If you're not yet using any smart technology around your home, we hope that you'll be inspired to look further at the many possibilities to make life at home easier, more enjoyable and far more secure.

As ever, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns related to real estate.

April 19, 2021

Timing Your Home Sale - Is This The Best Market We'll See?

Timing Your Home Sale - Is This The Best Market We'll See?

We've been enjoying amazing current real estate market conditions here in Iron County for some time and they just seem to get better and better.

Inevitably, of course, at some point this will all begin to reverse to an extent.

So the obvious question is exactly when that might be?

While giving advice on timing your home sale is never an exact science, here are some key considerations that might influence your decision:

Mortgage rates - While there has recently been some easing of rates, their general direction so far in 2021 has been upward and this is a broad trend that is expected to continue. While rates are still very close to historic lows, the higher they climb, the more likely that we will see some cooling of buyer sentiment.

Inventory - Low inventory at the moment, combined with exceptional buyer demand, creates a perfect storm for sellers.

However, here in Iron County we are likely to see literally thousands of homes going live in the next year or so.

And here's why.

There are over 30 new subdivisions expected to go live here in the next 12 to 18 months! That is no exaggeration and, believe it or not, there could be even more in the pipeline!

This has the potential to transform the dynamics of the market, injecting a huge number of new homes into the mix.

So there is a strong chance that upward pressure on mortgage rates and a far more abundant supply of homes could create a significant shift, with more choice for the buyer and a generally less strong position for sellers.

Therefore, if you are considering listing your property, doing so now means that you won't have to factor in what might happen to our local market in the not so distant future.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us to discuss how to best optimize the situation to your advantage.

March 31, 2021

Preparing Your Home For The Warmer Months Ahead

Preparing Your Home For The Warmer Months Ahead

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy Easter weekend.

Although it's quite early this year, the Easter holiday is usually the point in the calendar when thoughts start to turn to the warmer months everyone always looks forward to so much.

Luckily we have a good amount of sunshine already, even though it can still freeze in the evenings. There are some promising temperatures being forecast in the next few days, with maximum temperatures approaching the high 70s over the weekend!

It's therefore an ideal time to begin to turn your attention to those important seasonal tasks that, if dealt with now, will make things smoother and more enjoyable in the coming months.

Here are some key tasks that you can begin to address:

Roofs and gutters - Inspect the roof for any signs of winter damage (binoculars can help). Make sure trees are a few feet away from the roof to protect paintwork and avoid an easy path for critters to enter the home. Gutters and downpipes should be clear of leaves etc, to ensure good water flow.

Walkways - Harsh weather can damage or move pavers or bricks. It makes sense to pressure wash your walkways and look for anything that's changed in the past few months, including filling in any cracks in concrete.

Paintwork - Again an inspection for winter damage pays dividends. Wood surfaces, including decks will benefit from a pressure wash. This will also help to reveal any areas requiring fresh paint or wood stain.

Decking - Apart from checking the state of the deck finish, pay attention to the deck structure too, making sure that nothing has changed over the winter which would affect the ability to sustain additional loads in spring/summer events.

Aircon - This is the best time to get your aircon serviced, rather than waiting for something to go wrong when you most need your home to feel cool. Make sure your external aircon unit is clear of vegetation and any other airflow obstructions.

Lawn sprinkler systems - Make sure your entire irrigation system is functioning as it should and effect any necessary repairs. Adjust controllers to avoid wasteful and potentially costly excess water usage. While the possibility of a sudden freeze will recede as the weeks go by, you need to factor in weather conditions when deciding when to begin watering.

Sealing windows and doors - Making sure these building apertures are sealed in spring and summer is no less important than in fall and winter. The reasons for doing so are, of course, very different. Air leakage around windows and doors can lead to unnecessarily high air condition costs, so now is an ideal time to be inspecting for any seal damage and making appropriate repairs.

Window cleaning - Cleaning winter dirt off your windows is best carried out on a cloudy day to avoid the possibility of water streaks.

Screens - Winter can take a toll on your home's screens and they won't do their job of keeping out critters if they have degraded since you last wanted to assist airflow with open windows and doors. It therefore pays to make extensive checks now and to repair any damage.

Fencing - While big problems in fencing don't need a close inspection, now is a great time to have a detailed look for any weakened areas and to make repairs.

We hope you find at least some of these reminders useful. As ever, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding real estate.

March 16, 2021

How Fast Can A Home Sell In Today's Local Market?

How Fast Can A Home Sell In Today's Local Market?

The answer is often very fast!

The above image shows just one recent instance where a home has gone under contract within a very short space of time after having been listed.

There are several examples of this in our area at present.

In the case of the Washington UT house above, the average price of similar homes in that area was $360k-$370k just six months ago.

With careful attention to up-to-the-minute pricing trends, we listed the property at $429k and it is now under contract over that list price!

This represents a 20% jump in prices over the past six months.

These really are remarkable conditions for sellers right now, with highly motivated buyers snapping up many properties very, very soon after they hit the market!

Contact us today if you are wondering what today's value is on your home.

We'll be happy to help and provide you with some idea of comparable current home values and do what works best for you from there.

If you just want a free instant ballpark home price valuation, please click here.