Jim Long
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Overcoming the Hassle of MOVING: 

 
Moving. I don’t know anyone who has positive thoughts about packing up their stuff, getting it moved, and then unpacking it in a new location. For those who are moving because of the military or a civilian job, most times it means they pack up the stuff. But most people are on their own, moving from one home to another within the same community. It’s all on them…

Or you and me. At age 50, I still get asked to help people move, so even age doesn’t have an impact. Socioeconomic status doesn’t always either (we all know people who could afford to pay someone, they just choose not to.)

But this article is about you and me moving. It’s a hassle! And yet it may be something you’re grappling with right now as you consider moving into a new house. So, let’s talk about how to minimize the hassle involved with moving. Here are some best practices I've observed over nearly 7 years in the real estate business (I know…7 years!!!)

  1. Purge Now. Begin the great purge of 2017. Whether your stuff goes via a garage sale, a donation truck, or both, start pulling out the things you no longer need or want now. Do it before you start looking for a new place. BENEFIT: It will begin helping you wrap your head around how much you actually need to move.
  2. Pack Some Now. You know what will happen. Just before you put your house on the market, I’ll come over to your house before you sell to tell you what you need to get out of the house. If you don’t need it out now, then put it away now. You don’t need to put it all into storage. Just put it in your garage. Items to consider: books, toys, possibly some furniture items. BENEFIT: This task may be a part of the Purge Now process, so get it done at the same time.
  3. Talk to Me Now. Frequently, people will wait until they’re “ready” before they contact me. They don’t want to reach out too early. Sometimes, they’re concerned that it’s a secret or under wraps, and they don’t want anyone to know. Just ask Kristin…she’s always the last to know! It’s never too early. For example, I just met with a client that I've been talking with for more than a year! Moving isn’t typically something you decide overnight. So contact me early in the process and the process will go much more smoothly.

The part of the process that often concerns people more is how to make the move from one home to another when there are so many factors that can impact the sale of one home and the purchase of another. Just remember: I've made it work for so many clients. When we meet, we’ll talk about how I can make it work for you also.

If you begin the process NOW, the stress of the move will be greatly reduced. Call, text, or email me with any questions. I’m always glad to help.

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What will interest rates do?: 

Just days after the election, mortgage interest rates rose by about ½%. While still low, the jump had an impact on affordability. For the same loan amount, loan payments rose approximately 6.25%.

It had no immediate negative impact on sales. If anything, people rushed to make a purchase, thinking that rates will go up even more. The demand for properties has never been higher. Inventory levels are at all-time lows. And it’s likely that we won’t see a rise for a while.

What will interest rates do? Though no one can be certain, let’s review what could impact them.

  1. The Federal Reserve continues to talk about raising the overnight rate. While the rate doesn’t always have a direct link to mortgage rates, it does indicate that the Federal Reserve anticipates an increase in inflation, and raising the overnight rate can slow the rate of inflation.
  2. The stock market has seen record activity across most sectors since the election. Investors are feeling more confidence in a Trump presidency, at least in the short term, and it has caused stock values to increase because more money is entering the market. This can be bad, though, for mortgage rates, because that means less money for the mortgage market, driving up rates.
  3. The minimum wage increased in California to $10.50 per hour for 2017. While it sounds good for minimum wage workers, it means that prices for basic goods will go up with the minimum wage. This puts pressure on employers to raise compensation for all employees, including those who make many times more than minimum wage. This will cause prices on goods and services to increase, causing inflation.
  4. Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. means more jobs and more tax revenue. This revenue will offset the tax breaks that will be given to businesses, which will lead to more jobs in other professions. Demand for employees will impact pay as well, so another influence on inflation. This will have an impact in the short term and long term.
  5. Housing demand is still high and supply is low in most parts of California and in many places across the nation. High demand coupled with low supply will always push on prices to go higher. We continue to see multiple offer situations on well-priced properties. (Interestingly, though, I’m not seeing the same thing for overpriced properties.)

Given that many indicators say that interest rates should go up, what should you do? I suggest you don’t do anything! That is, don’t do anything different from your plans or needs. Don’t plan ahead for a changing market we aren’t certain will go up. Selling now, refinancing now, or buying now just to beat an increasing market may mean that you rush in before a drop (unanticipated change) as much as you could be rushing in before a rise (anticipated change.)

If you are making plans to change, please let me know. I’d like to help you make an informed decision. Contact me anytime.

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WHY PROPERTIES DON’T SELL: 

Have you ever wondered why a house isn’t selling? There are a lot of reasons people give, and most of them are wrong. In fact, there are only two reasons houses don’t sell, and only one of them is true in virtually every situation.

Before we get to the real reasons, here are the ones I get often that are wrong:

1. Location – people assume a house isn’t selling because of where it’s located. Homes too close to a busy street, near an airport, or right next to the freeway are often reasons given…that aren’t the real reason.

2. Condition – a house that needs painting, updating, or landscaping can be seen as detriments to selling. Not so…

3. Needs Updating – a house that’s in good condition but is dated inside and out can seemingly take longer to sell, but it’s not because it needs to be on “Fixer Upper”.

There are more, but these are most often given. They sound good. But…they’re wrong.

There are only two reasons why a house doesn’t sell. In a few cases, it’s marketing. Specifically, people don’t know it’s for sale. In today’s marketplace, it’s very uncommon that a house for sale isn’t seen by hundreds, even thousands, of people. The MLS shares information with so many websites, virtually every potential buyer knows when a property goes on the market.

In every other case, the reason a house doesn’t sell is because of PRICE.

If you live in the United States, then you have experience with our capital markets, supply and demand, and pricing. You’ve been to Costco and bought in bulk because it was cheaper, purchased more clothes than you intended because they were on sale, and even justified a luxury purchase like a nice watch or pair of shoes because you couldn’t pass up the price.

You’ve also seen some beautifully renovated homes come on the market that you never saw up for sale before they were updated. That’s because an investor swooped in and bought them for cheap and made lots of money. Why did they buy them? Not because they were in the wrong location or in bad condition…but because the price was right.

So, when you see a property on the market for a long time and it hasn’t sold, don’t judge anything else about it except the price. If it hasn’t sold, it’s because it’s overpriced. That’s all.

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