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2015: The Return of the Millennial Home Buyer

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

2015: The Return of the Millennial Home Buyer | Keeping Current Matters

Earlier this month, Zillow predicted that millennial buyers (under the age of 35) will become the largest group of buyers, overtaking Gen X (35-50 years old) by the end of 2015. Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist, explained:

"Roughly 42 percent of millennials say they want to buy a home in the next one to five years, compared to just 31 percent of Generation X, and by the end of 2015 millennials will become the largest home-buying age group. The lack of home-buying activity from millennials thus far is decidedly not because this generation isn't interested in homeownership, but instead because younger Americans have been delaying getting married and having children, two key drivers in the decision to buy that first home. As this generation matures, they will become a home-buying force to be reckoned with."

Two days later, Realtor.com also projected that Millennials will be a driving force in the housing market next year. In their 2015 Housing Forecast, they claim:

“Households headed by millennials will see significant growth as a reflection of economic gains. Millennials will also drive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years. Next year's addition of 2.75 million jobs and increased household formation will be the two key factors driving first-time buyer sales.”

Has the Millennial Home Buyer already re-entered the market?

AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk also released their first First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index this month. The report revealed that the percentage of first time home buyers may have been underestimated in 2014. According to the report, the percentage of first time buyers “averaged an estimated 46 percent over the 12 months ending October 2014”.

That number far exceeds other numbers reported by the National Association of Realtors and others.

Bottom Line

The Millennial generation is growing up, finding jobs, getting married and starting families. Homeownership will definitely be the next step.

Resource: KCM

Two Year Term as MFCAR President: A look Back

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

  

Cheryl Scott-Daniels: 2013/2014 MFCAR Board President

As my two year term comes to a close, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to the members of the Mid-Fairfield County Association of REALTORS®.

Dear Members,

As we celebrate this holiday season and my two year term as your MFCAR President draws to a close, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to our members who worked so diligently serving as our Directors during these two years. On our behalf, they performed locally, represented us among state association leaders and contributed to the activities and achievements of the National Association of REALTORS®.

We had the privilege of meeting with our Hartford and Washington lawmakers to advocate on behalf of homeownership on issues including national flood insurance, federal mortgage interest deduction, mortgage qualification requirements, mortgage debt relief tax forgiveness, foreclosure by market sale, the CT carbon monoxide and smoke detector regulation, appraisal policies, HUD Condo approval standards, the short sale process and other issues of importance to our industry. Some testified at legislative hearings, others wrote letters, sent emails and participated in NAR Calls for Action. I hope that all of our members are answering those calls for action and advising their buyers, sellers and home owners to contact their representatives.

We worked on committees to improve CTR real estate forms, produced and programmed advertising supportive of CT REALTORS®, developed methods to increase the skills and professionalism of REALTORS® promoting their role as an integral part of every successful real estate transaction.

On the local level, we arranged for well-respected national trainers to bring cutting edge techniques to our members, at a marginal cost per member. I hope you were among those who attended those meetings since they generated very positive feedback. We awarded the REALTORS® of The Year, recognized some members who achieved the Emeritus status, modernized our MFCAR logo, updated the MFCAR office equipment enabling our staff to be more effective and are now in the process of creating a new MFCAR website which will make more resources available to our members and increase staff efficiency. We were also pleased to award scholarships to Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk students who are continuing their education at the college level.

While our efforts help to strengthen the ability of Americans to own, buy and sell real estate, it also helps to improve the real estate markets in which we work, building stronger business for REALTORS® while keeping us on the leading edge of knowledge needed to help our buyers and sellers.

A big thank you to our Executive Officer-Carol Heins and our administrators Anissa Danville and Aidan Zoubek for all of their hard work. Congratulations to incoming President Elizabeth Kamar and our new Directors. Elizabeth has some exciting plans for the upcoming year. I encourage all of our members to get involved, join a committee and advance your skills while striving to keep our work fulfilling and rewarding and our industry vital.

Cheryl Scott-Daniels, MFCAR Board President 2013 & 2014, ABR, ASP, CDPE, CRB, CRP, CRS, GRI, MCRS, PSCS, SRES 

Will an Increase in Interest Rates Crush Home Prices?

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

 

Will an Increase in Interest Rates Crush Home Prices? | Simplifying The Market

There are some who are calling for a substantial drop in home prices should mortgage interest rates begin to rise rapidly. Intuitively that makes sense. The cost of a home is determined by the price of the home and the price of financing that home. If mortgage interest rates increase, less people will be able to buy. The logic says prices will fall if demand decreases.

However, history shows us that this has not been the case the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased.

Here is a graph showing what actually did happen:

Interest Rate Increases | Simplifying The Market

We will have to wait and see what happens as we move forward. But, a fall in prices should rates go up is not guaranteed.

Resource: KCM

Verify with Your Lender

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

iStock_000030685604-200.jpgIf you have a mortgage with an escrow account to pay your property taxes and insurance, you expect the company servicing your loan to pay this year’s taxes this year so that you can deduct them on your 2014 income tax return.  After all, your monthly payment includes 1/12 the annual amount so there will be money available for them to be paid on time.

IRS requires that expenses must actually be paid in the year that a deduction is to be taken.

The predicament occurs when you’ve made your payments but the mortgage company didn’t pay the taxing authority in the tax year they were due.  If they paid your 2014 taxes in January of 2015, they wouldn’t be deductible for you until you file your 2015 income tax return.

Verify with your lender after you make the December payment that they did indeed pay your property taxes.  The question for your lender’s customer service is: "Have you or will you pay the 2014 property taxes this year so I’m eligible to deduct them on my 2014 income tax return?”

CT Home Info: Money Saving Tips for Winter

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Compo Beach SnowDecember can be a very expensive month for homeowners. The cold weather is here, the heat is running constantly, the days are shorter which means using lights more frequently, and the gift giving and family visits really add up. The good news is there are little things Connecticut homeowners can do to save in big ways.  

1.       Keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep the heat from going up the chimney.  

2.       Dim lights by 10 to 15 percent. This small adjustment may not be noticeable to your eye but can make a big difference in your electric bill. 

3.       Have you checked your attic lately? Heat rises and you could be losing money and heat through attic cracks.  Seal attic cracks and add extra insulation to the floor or between the joists.

4.       Add window coverings. This may not be consistent with our staging suggestions but unless you are preparing your home for the market, we actually suggest adding window treatments to help keep cold air out. 

5.       Install vacancy sensors on lights. Yes, they make these! Motion sensors that detect when there has been no motion in a room and automatically turn lights off. 

6.       Invest in Programmable thermostats. Turn the temperature down when you are at work and have it automatically go up 30 minutes before you return. Also lower temperature for sleeping.

7.       Close heating vents in unused rooms. Why spend money heating rooms that are not often in use? Of course be sure that the rooms don’t get too cold, especially bathrooms, vacant in-law apartments, or other rooms with plumbing. 

Do you have any additional suggests on how Connecticut homeowners can save money? We would love to hear them!

Check back next month or follow us on Twitter @CScottDaniels, #CTHomeInfo. We will be offering January tips for emergency preparedness to help keep your family safe during this cold winter season.  

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Cheryl Scott-Daniels
CSD Select Homes
991 Post Rd East
Westport CT 06880
203-341-0100
203-200-0065
Fax: 866-806-6909