Northern Rhode Island Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local home improvement tips and market statistics to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 25, 2019

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now? | MyKCM

With the fall season upon us, change is in the air. For many families, children are growing up and moving out of the house, maybe leaving for college or taking a jump into the working world. Parents are finding themselves as empty nesters for the first time. The question inevitably arises: is it finally time to downsize?

If you’re pondering that thought, you may also be wondering if you should fix-up your house before you sell it, or go straight to the market as-is, allowing a potential buyer to do the updates and remodeling. If you’re one of the many homeowners this camp, here are a few tips to help you decide which way to go.

1. Analyze Your Market

A real estate professional can help you to understand your market and the potential level of buyer interest and demand for your home. Are you in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? This can change based on the price range of your home, too. A professional can also give you some insight on what you can change or remodel, and how to declutter your house to make it attractive to buyers in your area.

2. Get an Inspector

Right now, the average length of time a family stays in a home is between 9-10 years. That’s a little longer than the historical average, so if you’ve been living in your home for a while, it might be time to make some significant improvements. Think: electrical system, HVAC units, roof, siding, etc. An inspector can give you a better idea of the condition of your home, if it is up to current code standards, and recommendations on how to have your house ready before you put it on the market.

3. Decide If You Need to Remodel

You may also be thinking about driving buyer appeal with something like a kitchen or a bathroom remodel. If so, first dig into the market value of your home, and compare it to the actual cost of the remodel. A local real estate professional can help you determine your home’s market value, and you’ll want to get a few quotes from contractors on the potential remodel pricing as well. Once you have those two factors narrowed down, you can to decide if a remodel will give you a return on your investment when you sell. Oftentimes, it is actually more advantageous to price your house to sell, list it competitively, and then let the buyer pick the colors they want for their bathroom tiles and the type of countertop they prefer. The 2019 Cost vs. Value Report in Remodeling Magazine compares the average cost for remodeling projects with the value those projects typically retain at resale.

Bottom Line

Nationwide, inventory is low, meaning there is less than the 6-month housing supply needed for a normal market. This drives buyer demand, creating a perfect time to sell. If you’re considering selling your house, let’s get together to help you confidently determine what will be the best choice for you and your family.

June 25, 2019

Stop Wondering What Your Budget Is & Get Pre-Approved!

Stop Wondering What Your Budget Is & Get Pre-Approved!

Stop Wondering What Your Budget Is & Get Pre-Approved! | MyKCM

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.  It also gives you the power to put in an offer when you do find that perfect home. (After all, no reasonable seller would accept an offer from a buyer who doesn't have financing in place.)

Freddie Mac lays 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.”

One of the many advantages to working with Alltown Real Estate is that we have relationships with lenders throughout the state who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have connected with a trusted lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Mortgage Loan Company Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so today.

If you're confident you qualify, but still haven't gotten pre-qualified, DON'T wait until after you've found the perfect home to sit down with a lender.  In the current market, chances are that home will be sold before you even have the chance!

Ready to take the next step twoard becoming a home owner?!  Let's chat!  Call or message us today to get started! 

Alltown Real Estate - 357 Putnam Pike, Smithfield (401) 949-5400

Posted in Real Estate
June 6, 2019

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth | MyKCM

There are many financial benefits to homeownership, but probably none more important than its ability to create family wealth.

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is an online resource for research and information on how homeownership contributes to individual and community success.

Their article, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, explains the importance of homeownership to a family’s financial health. In that article, they simply stated:

“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.”

To this point, National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed in a recent post:

“Housing wealth contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition, because home equity can be tapped for expenditures such as investing in another property (which can generate rental income), home renovation (which further increases the home value), a child’s college education, emergency or major life events, or expenses in retirement…

Housing wealth (or net worth or equity) is built up over time via the home price appreciation and the principal payments that the homeowner makes on the loan.”

Here is a graph showing the build-up of wealth over time:How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth | MyKCMJust last month, NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, explained that even though home appreciation has slowed, homeowners are still building wealth:

“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year.”

Later in life, this wealth is crucial…

This wealth is important to a family’s retirement plans. In a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University titled, Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, they revealed that a renter 65 years old or older has a net worth of $6,710. Meanwhile, a homeowner 65+ years old has a net worth of $319,200. That huge difference will allow for a dramatic upgrade in one’s lifestyle during your retirement years.

Bottom Line

Homeownership builds wealth. This, in turn, allows families to have more and better options when it comes to their children and their life in retirement.

Posted in Real Estate
Oct. 13, 2017

You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite it as the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one. This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

NAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less. If you will be a First Time Home Buyer there are even more programs available to you such as Rhode Island Housings 100% financing program. You may even qualify for a $7,500 down payment assistance which could give you the potential to buy a home without bringing any money to the closing table. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Feel free to contact us at 401-949-5400 and we will give you our opinion on which type of loan may be best for you.

2. FICO® Scores

An Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in August had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 683. The average across all loans closed in August was 724. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in August.

Fico Curve

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, let’s sit down to help you understand your true options. Give us a call at 401-949-5400 or fill out our Contact Form.

We also invite you to use the navigation bar to visit our home page where you can search for homes, get an instant property valuation on your current home and find other useful information.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 7, 2017

5 Reasons to Buy a Single Story Home

Single Story Home vs Two Story Home

A ranch style or single story house can have many attractive features that make them more appealing than two story homes. Whenever you are thinking about buying a new home you should consider the pros and cons of living in a one story home. Your physical mobility, children or no children and ease of cleaning are only a few consideration you should take into account when deciding on how many stories your home should be. 

1. Safety of Children and Seniors

The older adult population can have great difficulty with staircases, and if you want to buy a house you can live in for a long time, you will need to consider the challenges or climbing stairs to a second floor bedroom.  Similarly, a staircase can be hazardous for toddlers who are just learning to walk or crawl.  

2. Heating and Cooling 

During the winter months it may be nice to have a second floor as heat rises, but during the summer it will be difficult to cool the second floor of your home. A ranch style home is more efficient for cooling down fast in the summer months. Your bills will most likely be costly with the attempt to cool down your second floor. Most 2 story homes require two heating and cooling units in order to keep the house at a comfortable temperature throughout. A ranch home is cooled and heated more evenly and the thermostat will remain at a more constant temperature without overworking your units.   

3. Easier Cleaning 

In a home with a second floor, you can develop dust in many odd places that will make your cleaning efforts difficult. You will have a flight of stairs, more corners and baseboards, etc., which can be very difficult to clean. In a single story home, you will be able to easily walk through the space and see the areas that need to be cleaned. With the exception of the ceiling, a ranch home is much easier to clean. More importantly, it will take less time to clean, which means more time doing things you want to do.  

4. Indoor-Outdoor Flow

Ranches are usually built on slabs, so they're level with the yard, and are often laid out in U or L shapes, making them especially conducive to indoor-outdoor living. Take advantage of that by adding French doors, folding doors or retractable sliders.

5. Better Resale Value 

Typically it will cost more to build a one story home, but they also tend to sell for more. Resale value is always important even when you do not intend to sell. Your financial or family life can always change and you will want to get the most money for your home if you end up needing to sell. In most cases, you will be able to list your single story home for more that two story homes in the neighborhood.

View Single Story Homes for Sale in:

Burrillville                                         Cumberland
Foster                                              Glocester
Johnston                                          Lincoln
N. Providence                                  N. Smithfield
Pawtucket                                        Scituate
Smithfield                                         Woonsocket
                                  All

 

Posted in Real Estate
July 31, 2017

Curious About The Local Real Estate Market?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates