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Holiday Traditions room by room.

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Whether you are a new homeowner, or are celebrating another holiday season in your well-loved home, your living spaces can be integral in making memories with family and friends. Time to put some holiday music on, gather up the kids and start creating these holiday traditions now, one room at a time.

Kitchen
With so much delicious food to make and bake during the holiday season, your kitchen is an easy place to begin creating holiday traditions. Baking cookies, frying latkes or building gingerbread houses (complete with a RE/MAX sign!) are activities in which the whole family can participate. You can go one step further and take your cooking skills to a local soup kitchen to support your community during this season of giving.

Living Room
Often the center of the home, your living room-is where the hustle and bustle of the holidays melts away. Kick back with a holiday movie, start a fire and decorate the Christmas tree as a family in matching holiday sweaters, no less! Light the menorah or host a New Year’s Eve party. The holidays can be stressful-use your home as a sanctuary to focus and reflect on what this time of year means to you.

Outdoors
When you think of holiday traditions outside, colorful lights and an inflatable Santa come to mind. But don’t dismiss other low-stress outdoor activities like sparklers in the snow, sky lanterns or caroling. If you can handle the cold, or live in a temperate climate, plan a get-together around an outdoor fire (complete with a yule log) on the Winter Solstice.

At RE/MAX, our agents find homes that match your life and style. Are you ready to start making traditions in a home of your own? Find an agent here

November Housing Report

 The third consecutive month of lower year-over-year home sales in October contributed to the first year-over-year inventory increase in a decade according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for October 2018. Meanwhile, the Median Sales Price recorded one of its lowest increases of 2018.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for October saw sales decline 4.6% from a year ago – compared to sales drops of 11.6% in September and 1.1% in August – and was the eighth month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017.

As a result, inventory is slowly being replenished, with the number of homes for sale in October increasing 1.0% over October 2017. October 2018 was the first month to show a year-over-year increase in inventory since October 2008 when two and a half times as many homes were for sale. The Months Supply of Inventory is now 3.5, compared to 3.3 a year ago.

“The market continues to move toward equilibrium. The modest inventory increase is a much welcome sign for buyers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although home sales were down year-over-year, it’s encouraging to see the magnitude of the decline decrease from the sharp drop we witnessed in September. The trend of easing price increases remains and that’s also a positive.”

Find the complete report here

October Housing Report

DENVER – The RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 showed the trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6% year-over-year drop in home sales. At the same time, the RE/MAX National Housing Report for September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. It is the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

The decline in home sales year-over-year was the largest since May of 2011, as September became the seventh month of 2018 to record lower sales than 2017. Even so, year-to-date 2018 home sales resemble 2017’s.

“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”

Find the complete report here

Top 7 Home Preps to Tackle Before Fall Temps Drop

Top 7 Home Preps to Tackle Before Fall Temps Drop
Ahhhh, fall – the air turns crisp and cool, yellow patches of leaves appear to take over the treetops and you’re prepped for sweater weather. But, is your home ready for the season? Whether you do the dirty work yourself or hire out, RE/MAX put together a checklist to help you tackle fall home preps that can make a big difference of how your home handles the season.

Get your mind in the gutter. If you’re not on top of clogged gutters, you’re just asking for water damage. Water with nowhere to go can lead to exterior and foundational damage and maybe even a flooded basement. It’s a dirty job, but you can do it-or hire it out.
Check the chimney. While you’re up on the roof and the weather’s still calm-check your chimney for damage. Search for loose or broken joints and if the flue cap is still in place. Now’s the time to also attend to any damaged roof shingles or flashing.
Let’s get physical. Once the temperatures begin to drop, you’ll crank up that furnace and put it through quite a workout. Make sure it’s ready to handle the workload by replacing the filter and keep all the vents open so heat can circulate throughout your home.
Turn off outdoor plumbing. Blow out sprinkler systems, drain outdoor faucets and cover them to protect them from the freezing weather to come.
Clean outdoor furniture and gardening tools. Don’t let the harsh fall and winter weather get to your outdoor furniture and garden gadgets. Give them a quick clean up so they are ready for storage over the winter.
Stay safe out there. Fall is as good reminder to perform an annual check of the safety features in your home. Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors get fresh batteries, check the fire extinguisher or replace if it’s six years or older and take this chance to update or practice your fire escape plans.
Pre-plan for spring-blooms. Fall is the perfect time to plant bulbs for a big pay off in the spring. Set your sights on a spot in your yard that gets full sun and get digging.
Looking for that perfect home where you’re in charge of home preps and maintenance? Look no further than remax.com to help you find a local agent who can help make your dream of owning your own home a reality.

September Housing Report

Home prices rose by 3.7% over August 2017, much lower than the year-over-year price increase of 5.4% from August 2016 to August 2017. In fact, the past three months of 2018 have trailed 2017’s rate of price growth year-over-year—compare that to four of the first five months of 2018 when year-over-year price increases easily topped those posted in 2017.

The Median Sales Price of $248,500 marked the 29th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

Even though active inventory dropped for the 118th consecutive month, the decline of 5.4% from August 2017 marked the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the August 2018 inventory drop marked the fourth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines, rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen in early 2018 and over the previous three years.

“It varies by market, but we’re hearing that buyers are being more selective and sellers are becoming more pragmatic,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “That dynamic could bring inventory levels up, especially in the most overheated markets, where we expect to see the clearest signs of equilibrium returning. The economy is strong and potential buyers are out there—they just need more listings, at the right price points, to consider. We believe that balance will return, which will be good for everyone in the long run. It’s just a matter of when.”

Contos added that although the lack of inventory continues to be a challenge, the trends suggest that the market finally appears to be rebalancing.

“The moderation we are experiencing seems to be a bit more than the normal seasonal lull we’d expect this time of year,” said Contos.

Find the complete report here

The Power of ‘Kidfluence’ When It’s Time to Buy a Home

While parents may have a handle on the household budgets, it’s the kids who influence one of the biggest purchase decisions you make as a family-a new home. In the U.S., there are 50 million children 11 years old and under who have a hefty $1.2 trillion in annual purchasing power and they mean business. We’re not just talking about their mini-opinions on everyday purchased like food, clothing and toys; their influence extends to larger life purchases including cars, vacations and yes, even homes.

According to a recent Harris Poll, 55 percent of homeowners with a child under 18 said the opinion of their child played a factor in their home buying decision. For millennial parents, the influence grows to nearly 75 percent-now that’s some ‘kidfluence.’

While parents study and search for the best school zones, other home features like having their own room, a large backyard and a swimming pool were more popular to the Mini-Me in the family. This might explain why many couples move out of the city to suburbs when they start a family-even as some urbanists continue to stay put in city life raising their city kids.

Finding the right home that’s just right for your family starts with finding the right agent. RE/MAX agents are more recommended because they recommend what’s right for you-and your kids. When you’re ready to start the process of buying a home, RemaxAllPro.com will be ready to help.

August Housing Report

In the July 2018 report, 37 of the report’s 54 metro areas posted sales increases over July 2017—April was the first month of 2018 where more homes were sold than the same month in 2017. The report also marks the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

The Median Sales Price of $250,575 was up 4.4% from July 2017, and represents the third-highest price in report history—topped only by May and June of this year. Months Supply of Inventory was at 2.9 – the smallest total ever recorded for July.

Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. The Days on Market dropped to 41 – four days less than July 2017 and one day under the previous nine-year low set in June 2018.

“Because we’ve faced challenging inventories and increasing home prices for some time now, a seasonal slowdown that rebalances the market a bit might actually be a positive in the months ahead,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It could level affordability to some extent and create more opportunity for buyers who’ve been priced out of hot markets.”

Find the complete report here

Top tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market

Top Tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market

If you’re ready to stop renting and start enjoying the benefits of home ownership, finding the perfect house within your price range can seem daunting, especially in a seller’s market. Keep these things in mind when you are shopping for your first home.

Keep an eye on your credit score
The interest rate of your mortgage matters a great deal. Even a fraction of a percentage can add (or subtract) thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year loan. One thing that can influence your interest rate is your credit score – it’s just one way for the lender to determine how likely you are to repay the loan. Well before you begin browsing properties online, take steps to get your credit score in the strongest possible position. Review your credit report and report errors immediately. Make on-time payments and put off opening new credit accounts until after the mortgage is finalized.

Work with a full-time, experienced real estate agent
Plenty of online services claim you can save money by completing the process without a real estate agent. But as many buyers discover, the savings don’t always come through as promised. In fact, going through this complex process without professional guidance can lead to costly problems later. If you work with an agent, you’ll get to work with a pro who’s in touch with the local market and can lend a helping hand every step of the way. Their expertise can help you find that perfect house and help you craft the right strategy for your offer.

Play to your strengths
When you find the right house, you may not be the only one making an offer on the property. That can be intimidating. But keep in mind it’s not always about coming in with the highest dollar amount. Buyers have different motivations to sell. Some may be in a situation where they want to close and move out as soon as possible. They’ll be less likely to work with buyers who have their own houses to sell, making first-time buyers more attractive candidates.

Buying a house is a big step, and in the heat of a seller’s market, it takes extra patience and perseverance. Find the right real estate agent to help you through the process, and moving day may arrive sooner than you expected.

July Housing Report

June sales were 5.5% lower than June 2017 in the 54 metro areas surveyed, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines.

Headed in the opposite direction, the June Median Sales Price of $258,500 was an all-time high in the nine-year history of the report. It was 5.1% higher than the $245,000 recorded last June, bringing the consecutive months of year-over-year price increases to 27. In each of the previous five years – going back to June 2013’s $193,750 – June has posted the highest Median Sales Price of the year.

“Year-over-year prices have been climbing for more than two years now, which is great news for homeowners and sellers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “In the hottest markets, demand is especially high because there simply aren’t that many homes for sale. The slower sales figures we’re seeing are tied to inventory more than anything else.”

Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. That years-long trend is reflected in Months Supply of Inventory dropping to 2.7 – down 8.8% year-over-year and the smallest figure ever recorded for June. Fewer houses for sale generally results in a faster process: Homes sold in June averaged just 42 Days on Market – five days less than June 2017 and three days under the previous nine-year low of 45 days (July 2017).

“Lack of inventory has become a theme for the year,” Contos said. “Having fewer homes to choose from poses a challenge for buyers, who need to be ready to act decisively and quickly. Working with a full-time, professional RE/MAX agent can prepare them for that.”

Find the complete report here

5 Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market

5 Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market
Purchasing a home in a seller’s market doesn’t have to be challenging. Some preparation and a strategy may give you an advantage over other potential buyers and increase your chances of having your offer accepted by a seller.

1. Get lender preapproval or prequalification. Determine your loan options and obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender prior to beginning the home search. Some homes are going under contract within days, if not hours, so being able to move quickly with financing is often a plus. The letter gives you an idea of how much home you can afford – so you can easily eliminate homes not in your price range – and lets sellers know you have been vetted financially. Remember, being pre-approved does not guarantee a mortgage – be prepared to shop around with different lenders or work with a mortgage broker.

2. Be available to close as quickly as the seller requires. A seller wanting to close within 30 days may not be interested in an offer from a buyer who also has a home to sell prior to closing on a new one.

3. Offer more earnest money. Earnest money, typically 1% to 5% of a purchase price that eventually goes towards a down payment, is held in escrow until a sale closes. By offering more earnest money, you’re letting the seller know that you’re a committed buyer.

4. Make your best offer. In a seller’s market, you probably won’t be able to present an offer that’s below the asking price. If you love the property, present the seller with your best offer price.

5. Include an escalation clause. If you want your offer to compete with multiple offers, consider having your real estate agent include an escalation clause. The clause details how much you’re willing to pay over competing offers. Including an escalation clause in your offer is another way to show a seller that you’re a serious buyer.

Read more here