Zillow Says Millennials Are Choosing Suburbs Over Cities

Zillow Group Data Reveals Why Millennials Are Choosing Suburbs Over Cities

Sonia Krishnan

SONIA KRISHNAN
 7 MINUTE READ

Ask Shaun Kennedy to describe the home he and his wife, both in their 30s, bought last year when they moved from Seattle to the suburbs of Boulder, CO, and here’s how he replies:

“It’s a McMansion,” he jokes.

That one word — McMansion — is enough to fire up a mental image of a home that has at least four bedrooms and four bathrooms (it does); sits in a subdivision more than a dozen miles from the nearest city center (check) and tops out at several thousand square feet (Shaun’s is 3,755 square feet to be exact — “on the smaller side,” he likes to point out).

A hint of amusement slips into Shaun’s voice when he talks about the McMansion, in part because they tried and failed to find a smaller house in the suburbs.

And, in part, because the couple’s house symbolizes what Americans simultaneously reject — and embrace — about homeownership in this country.

On the one hand, there’s our pop culture glorification of the downsized, urban-dwelling, less-is-more lifestyle. HGTV alone airs four different shows about tiny homes.

On the other hand, there’s the data that reveals what more and more millennial buyers, like Shaun and Courtney, truly desire: space, safe neighborhoods and yes — lots of bathrooms.

What the numbers say

According to the latest findings from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017, the suburbs are the most popular destination for all buyers across all generations.

Millennials are driving this market. Defined by Zillow Group as buyers ages 18 to 37, millennials comprise the largest segment of home buyers today.

Among millennial buyers who purchased homes in the past 12 months, 43 percent currently live in the suburbs, according to the report.

“We’re seeing an emerging pull to the suburbs, especially as cities grow more expensive and have a limited supply of homes for sale,” said Sarah Mikhitarian, an economist at Zillow Group. “As more millennials look to purchase a home, the suburbs are growing more appealing.”

This is a shift from the urban revival that took place during the 2000s, when young, college-educated professionals began pouring into city centers across the U.S., bringing vibrancy into long-neglected downtown cores. The 2008 recession also drew employers downtown to scoop up office space in urban centers as rental rates dropped, according to a 2017 report by Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate investment services firm which analyzes office occupancy data.

Now, U.S. Census data points to signs of a reversal.

In 2010, one-third of Americans moved to urban areas (30 percent), while less than half moved to the suburbs (46 percent), according to a Zillow analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, American Community Survey, 2010-2016.

By 2016, those numbers were starting to trend in opposing directions: 28 percent of Americans moved to urban areas while 54 percent moved to the suburbs, the analysis found.

There is, of course, more land and housing in the suburbs. Yet the decline in the share of people moving to the urban areas signals a renewed interest in the suburbs, Mikhitarian said.

“Underneath this is the simple fact that you get more house for your money once you leave the city,” she said.

What do suburban buyers want?

Short commutes rank high. Eighty-one percent of millennials and 75 percent of Generation X buyers desire a home close to work, Zillow Group found.

Take, for instance, Shaun and Courtney. While the couple toyed with the idea of living in Denver or Boulder, they ultimately decided against city life because it would have meant a brutal commute for Shaun, whose office is in the suburbs.

They wanted space and a safe neighborhood, and they wanted it all, of course, for a great price. So the suburbs it was.

These priorities mirror what suburban buyers across generations want, Zillow Group’s analysis found.

Most rank safety and ample parking as their top two priorities in a home.

The homes that suburban buyers purchase average three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and 2,100 square feet.

Bathrooms also play a fundamental role in the home-buying process for suburban buyers. More than half — 58 percent — say it is a requirement that a home has their preferred number of bathrooms.

While millennials may be starting their families, many Gen X-ers have young children under 18 living at home. As these children grow from toddlers to teenagers, “having an extra bathroom or two quickly goes from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘necessity,’” the report stated.

An agent’s view

Bic DeCaro, a Premier Agent in Great Falls, VA, near Washington, D.C., said she’s seen the shift to the suburbs happening firsthand over the past 18 years.

When she first became an agent in the early 2000s, many of her clients were first-time buyers looking to purchase starter homes either in D.C. or Arlington, VA.

Then her clients got married, got promotions, had kids. They came to her again years later, this time wanting bigger homes in better school districts and yards for dogs and kids, she said.

That desire is nothing new. The American Dream has long been synonymous with the white picket fence and its attendant trappings.

What was changing, however, was the suburban landscape on which this dream was built.

Live, work, play

As Americans began to demand more walkable communities, more and more mixed-use town centers — complete with restaurants, shopping, movie theaters and housing — started popping up in suburban cities across the country.

At the same time, office rents in urban cores got more expensive post-recession, making the suburbs a more affordable option for employers, according to the 2017 Marcus & Millichap report.

For employers, too, the suburbs have become even more attractive as millennials, a sought-after talent pool, increasingly choose to live there, the report stated.

Bic, whose client base primarily consists of buyers and sellers in the D.C. metro area, said the confluence of these forces has fueled increased demand for the suburban home.

Long commutes that once involved schlepping from bedroom communities to downtown offices are becoming less and less of a consideration, she said.

“When you’ve got the jobs, the restaurants, shopping and good schools, the suburbs make sense,” she said. “You have that sense of community. It’s not just a place to sleep anymore.”

In suburbia

Piper Ryan and her husband, Sean, have moved every few years over the past decade for Sean’s career.

The couple and their family bought a house last year in Great Falls, VA, and chose Bic to be their agent, in part because of Bic’s expertise in the suburban market.

With each home purchase over the past decade, Piper said, she and her husband have picked the suburbs. The choice made sense.

They needed space for their big, extended family, enough bedrooms for visitors during the holidays, good schools for the children and proximity to Sean’s office and the airport. Also, Piper said, she loves nature and wide-open spaces.

“If we were in our 20s, downtown would be great,” she said. “But with kids, I want them to have room to run outside and play.”

From city life to the ‘burbs  

Speaking from his suburban office in Colorado, Shaun Kennedy recalled the time when he and Courtney first went to visit homes in Broomfield, which is about 15 miles outside of Boulder.

They prioritized their wish list. Courtney works from home, but with Shaun’s office located in Broomfield, living in Boulder or Denver was out of the question, he said.

They also wanted a large kitchen, backyard space for their two dogs and a functional open layout.

The couple was living in Seattle at the time; before that, they lived in D.C. and Denver. They’d grown accustomed to city life and making the most of small spaces.

Then their agent took them to showings in Broomfield.

“Houses here are So. Darn. Big,” Shaun said. “You have to take a search party to visit the whole house.”

After two weeks of looking, they made an offer on a house adjacent to a golf course. Unlike their classic brick Tudor in Seattle, the Broomfield house was in a new, mostly uniform development.

That was an adjustment, purely from an architectural standpoint, Courtney said. In the city, they’d gotten used to “the diversity of seeing modern houses next to 100-year-old houses.”

Still, they loved the floor plan in the suburban house they found, as well as the large kitchen and guest en suite for frequent visitors. Plus, it was a 15-minute commute for Shaun.

Courtney said that even though she and Shaun miss aspects of urban life, like having great restaurants minutes from their door, they don’t worry about crime or their car getting vandalized where they live.

They entertain more now and invite friends to cookouts on their patio while their dogs play in the yard.

“There are trade-offs,” Courtney said. “There always are.”

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Zillow, What’s It All Mean?

Zillow, it’s been a big word in our industry for quite some time now and I don’t think that will be changing unless its Zillow continuing to grow and be an even bigger impact on our industry.  I say this in the most positive way, I am a premier agent with Zillow and strongly support their business model and what’s it’s brought to our industry.

I am writing this post to clarify a few things so consumers have a better understanding of the basics of Zillow.  So when you see a home for sale or for rent on Zillow and you see an agent listed beside it, this is not always in fact rarely is it the listing agent of the property.

Zillow is set up so that it rotates agents that show up on the home based on various factors.  So when you’re reaching out to an agent about a home you saw on Zillow don’t assume it’s the listing agent of that particular property.  The good news for you is the agent you contact can still get you all the information on the home and even show you the home in person even if it’s not their listing.  At least this is the case in my market which is Roanoke Virginia.

A couple issues that seem to arise fairly often for consumers are homes they find on Zillow but their agent didn’t send it to them.  This could happen for a number of reasons.  One is that the home may not meet the specific criteria you discussed with your agent.  For instance, if you asked your agent to send homes with 4+ bedrooms and the home you’re seeing on Zillow only has 3 bedrooms it would not have come up in the search results for your agent.  Another example; if you told your agent to search say up to $175,000 and the price of the home you’re seeing on Zillow is $179,950 it would not have come up in the search results for your agent because they asked the MLS to send everything under $175,000 so if a home is priced at $175,100 even it would be eliminated.  Another is the home may already be sold but be reflected yet as sold on Zillow.  It takes a little time for a home to formally go under contract with all the necessary paperwork back and forth between buyer, seller, listing agent, and in many cases buyer’s agent.

So what’s the difference between in MLS and Zillow? That’s a great question and MLS stands for multiple listing service which is a platform where licensed Realtors list their homes for sale for other Realtors and now the public to be able to see.  I think it’s fair to say that MLS updates first and then the public sites like Zillow update as a result so it may take a tad longer for a home to come off Zillow once it’s sold or taken off the market.

Another thing many consumers wonder about is the Zestimate.  I honestly cannot answer for Zillow about the Zestimate but as an agent I can say that it’s just like any other statistical data it’s subject to debate.  It doesn’t reflect what your home’s value is an can range from being low to high and sometimes within the range of value.  There is certainly no crystal ball for determining the exact value of any home.  I think Zillow has done a phenomenal job of collecting and distributing data.

In order to determine your home’s value, the best thing you can do is look at what homes you’ll be in competition with as well as those that have sold within the last six months that are comparable to your home in bedrooms, baths, sqft., age, style, and location.  This is basically how the appraiser goes about determining the value and is ultimately the one to determine what the bank loans on the property if the buyer is obtaining a loan.  Of course, you have to take into account the different features, benefits, upgrades, etc and this is where having a professional real estate agent can benefit you to make sure you don’t make the mistake of overpricing your home or what’s worse underpricing and leaving money on the table.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home our team would love to help you get succesfully from one door to the next.  Speaking of Zillow, please check out what our past customers and clients had to say about their experience with our team on Zillow here:

http://www.zillow.com/profile/thecrouchteam/Reviews/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

Finally, the housing market seems to have remarkably improved across the nation and in many markets, it’s become very much a seller’s market with bidding wars going on above list price for homes on the market in many cases.

New agents are coming in the business and killing it merely by having a license to sell.  It’s not quite the “good ‘ol days” but it’s not a bad time in the real estate world for sure.

What’s this mean to you? Well, if you’re thinking of selling, now is the time because we have more buyers than we do inventory if your home is in a sought after location, in good condition, and you price it right.  The three main factors that determine whether any home will sell no matter what the market conditions are price, condition, and location.  But obviously, even more so when you add the low inventory factor.

For buyers, if you’re thinking of buying now is the time as well.  Why?  Because inevitably with improving market and economic conditions comes rising interest rates which means the same house you can buy today will cost you more if you wait.  It’s really simple and so is the home buying and selling process if you work with an experienced team like ours to ensure you’re properly guided through the sometimes choppy waters of buying and selling a home.   Speaking of choppy waters, if you were heading out to do some white water rafting, you’d likely want an experienced tour guide, right?  Then surely you want an experienced agent to support you with one of your largest single investments whether buying or selling, don’t you?

Here are today’s interest rates quoted from one of the lenders we work with locally, Rob Furrow at Integrity Home Loans.  You can give him a call if you have questions about getting pre-approved, the different loan programs, options, costs, etc. as well as refinancing if you’re thinking of staying in your home.  His direct line is 540-529-5772 and you can call or text him on that. These are subject to change and based on a 30 year fixed rate:

FHA 4.375

VA 4.5

USDA 4.625

VHDA 4.75

Conventional 4.75

If we can answer any questions for you about buying or selling you can reach us directly by phone or text at 540-312-0085.  Here’s what we can do:

If you’re thinking of selling, we can provide you with a free market analysis giving you an idea of what your home could sell for in today’s market and tell you anything that might need to be done to get it ready for the market.

If you’re buying, we can get you access to all homes that are currently for sale based on what you’re looking for.  And yes, the public sites are great in fact we love Zillow and what it’s done for the industry.  If you’re on there look us up and see what our past customers and clients had to say about their experience in working with our team.  The difference is we are able to get you the most update to date inventory based on exactly what you’re looking for and help you choose just the right home at the right price.

 

 

 

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Real Estate Lingo, What’s it’s all Mean?

Real Estate Lingo, what’s it all mean? That’s a great question that many of our clients ask so in the next few posts I thought I’d share in hopes to help it all make a little more sense:
 
MLS: Multiple Listing Service which is where agents post their homes for sale for other Realtors to be able to see, share with buyers, and show.
 
RVAR: Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors
 
CMA: Comparative Market Analysis
 
DOM: Days on Market
 
ROC: Removal of Contingency
 
BD: Business Days
 
CD: Closing Disclosure
 
HOA: Homeowners Association
POA: Property Owners Association
 
HI: Home Inspection
If we can help you with buying or selling a home here in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas, we would love to apply for the job and interview with you.  We’ve sold 63 so far this year and are committed to taking excellent care of all our customers and clients.
We believe our 50+ year’s combined experience will help you get successfully from one door to the next and help you navigate the waters from beginning to end.

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First Quarter Market Stats for Roanoke

It has been a busy 1st quarter here in Roanoke and I am happy to share our year to date market stats:

Property Type Year to Date Activity Report

For 01/01/2018 To 4/11/2018

Property Type
Area
Current Active
New
Pend
Sold
Sold Volume
Average Sales Price
DOM
CDOM
% Of List
Coop Sales
Coop Volume
Expr
Withdrawn
Residential
0110 – City of Roanoke – Downtown
10
6
1
2
1,069,900
534,950
182
524
95.9
2
1,069,900
3
2
Residential
0120 – City of Roanoke – South
43
50
23
19
6,701,700
352,721
120
143
98.2
17
5,931,700
5
1
Residential
0130 – City of Roanoke – SW
79
146
57
84
14,303,111
170,275
56
74
97.3
80
13,821,631
13
3
Residential
0140 – City of Roanoke – NW
73
93
30
59
5,208,550
88,281
71
88
94.3
51
4,512,101
10
0
Residential
0150 – City of Roanoke – NE
57
106
45
68
7,950,575
116,920
64
92
94.8
61
6,924,200
17
4
Residential
0160 – City of Roanoke – SE
34
39
15
21
1,340,709
63,843
98
126
91.2
19
1,209,809
6
2
Residential
0170 – City of Roanoke – Garden City
17
23
10
17
2,053,450
120,791
69
80
97.5
15
1,767,950
4
0
Residential
0210 – Roanoke County – North
102
177
73
80
14,973,009
187,163
78
125
97.4
77
14,359,009
44
4
Residential
0220 – Roanoke County – East
40
70
32
32
6,364,688
198,896
69
136
98.2
29
5,779,638
30
3
Residential
0221 – Roanoke County – Town of Vinton
34
50
24
21
3,027,362
144,160
62
106
96.4
18
2,507,362
2
2
Residential
0230 – Roanoke County – South
173
230
96
131
30,018,400
229,148
82
121
96.8
119
26,932,450
33
6
Residential
0240 – Roanoke County – West
66
78
40
43
9,079,450
211,150
112
147
96.7
37
8,160,050
11
2
Residential
0300 – City of Salem
67
113
51
77
14,959,213
194,275
70
104
98.7
64
12,128,713
17
1
Residential
0400 – Franklin County
209
197
61
91
17,885,695
196,546
102
175
96.0
75
13,923,391
46
4
Residential
0490 – SML Franklin County
252
167
44
58
26,241,650
452,442
256
368
94.9
48
22,435,850
34
9
Residential
0600 – Bedford County
161
147
57
76
15,386,750
202,457
110
160
97.2
64
12,603,200
30
4
Residential
0601 – Town of Bedford
20
27
8
15
1,997,500
133,167
104
159
94.7
8
1,347,800
5
1
Residential
0690 – SML Bedford County
107
82
24
33
12,715,415
385,316
199
276
95.8
27
10,449,400
15
4
Residential
0700 – Botetourt County
168
174
63
87
19,647,994
225,839
104
146
96.3
75
16,945,449
33
3
Residential
0800 – Craig County
28
31
6
10
1,332,045
133,204
110
167
102.4
4
444,695
7
0
Residential
0900 – City of Radford
0
1
2
1
120,000
120,000
88
88
96.1
1
120,000
0
0
Residential
1000 – Montgomery County
33
32
10
12
2,186,413
182,201
135
149
95.6
12
2,186,413
2
1
Residential
1100 – Floyd County
40
25
9
10
2,128,570
212,857
142
196
84.5
9
2,101,070
11
5
Residential
1200 – Patrick County
6
4
0
4
301,000
75,250
127
127
90.6
2
90,000
2
1
Residential
1300 – City of Martinsville
7
8
1
5
367,415
73,483
116
116
94.3
4
320,715
7
0
Residential
1400 – Henry County
61
42
11
11
1,464,643
133,149
124
135
100.4
9
1,076,643
12
2
Residential
1600 – Pittsylvania County
15
10
2
5
994,900
198,980
143
158
90.3
5
994,900
2
2
Residential
1690 – SML Pittsylvania County
12
1
0
1
245,000
245,000
437
656
95.1
1
245,000
3
0
Residential
1700 – Halifax County
0
0
0
0
 
 
55
55
 
0
 
0
0
Residential
1900 – City of Lynchburg
12
14
5
6
864,900
144,150
74
82
95.0
2
197,300
0
0
Residential
2000 – Campbell County
5
6
3
4
1,026,800
256,700
156
274
91.7
1
150,800
0
0
Residential
2100 – Appomattox County
0
1
0
0
 
 
87
208
 
0
 
3
0
Residential
2200 – Amherst County
5
0
0
3
356,000
118,667
204
204
87.5
2
216,000
1
0
Residential
2300 – City of Buena Vista
1
1
1
0
 
 
381
478
 
0
 
1
0
Residential
2400 – City of Lexington
7
4
2
2
742,000
371,000
185
185
101.1
2
742,000
0
0
Residential
2500 – Rockbridge County
27
16
1
2
446,500
223,250
188
219
95.4
2
446,500
4
0
Residential
2600 – City of Covington
6
4
2
5
139,060
27,812
81
81
74.8
4
101,310
0
0
Residential
2700 – Alleghany County
47
30
10
19
1,506,299
79,279
115
121
92.1
8
684,850
1
0
Residential
2800 – Giles County
5
4
0
1
236,000
236,000
81
81
92.6
1
236,000
0
0
Residential
3000 – Pulaski County
14
14
5
6
2,263,350
377,225
120
136
97.8
5
1,963,450
4
0
Residential
3100 – Wythe County
4
2
1
0
 
 
335
335
 
0
 
0
0
Residential
3300 – Carroll County
3
2
0
1
85,000
85,000
84
147
85.4
0
 
0
0
Residential
9900 – All Other Counties/Cities
4
1
2
4
667,000
166,750
205
205
85.1
2
293,500
2
0
Subtotal
2054
2228
827
1126
228,398,017
202,840
112
160
96.1
962
195,420,749
420
66

 

If you are thinking about selling your home and would like a market analysis of your home showing what it could sell for in today’s market, give us a call at 540-312-0085 or email us at christy@thecrouchteam.com.

 

 

 

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What’s Gen Z?

Thought this was insightful information about our Gen Z!  Our world is always changing and since change is the only constant we must continue changing how we do what we do!
THE BLOG 

11/05/2016 11:59 am ET Updated Nov 06, 2017

8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millennials

A question I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “What is the difference between Millennialsand Generation Z?” I am going to list 8 key differences between Gen Z and Millennials in this post, hopefully shedding some light here.
Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.

Just so we’re clear:
A “Millennial” is a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation) is the demographic cohort following the Millennials.

The difference between the two is important to know in order to prepare your business, shift marketing, adjust leadership, and adapt recruiting efforts to stay relevant for the future.

How Generation Z Differs from Millennials

1. Less Focused

Today relevant is constantly being refined and Gen Z lives in a world of continuous updates. Gen Z processes information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine. Thus their attention spans might be significantly lower than Millennials.

2. Better Multi-Taskers

Though Gen Z can be less focused than their Millennial counterparts, in school, they will create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or tablet, while taking notes on a notepad, then finish in front of the TV with a laptop, while face-timing a friend. You get the picture.

Gen Z can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play, with multiple distractions going on in the background…working on multiple tasks at once. Talk about multi-multi-tasking. Just think about how this kind of flow might reshape the office.

3. Bargains

Millennials care more about prices than Gen Z. This is arguably because they came of age during the recession.

Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon, whereas only 46% of Gen Z polled said they would do the same.

Millennials also tend to click on more ads; 71% of Millennials in a recent poll said they followed an advertisement online before making a purchase, however only 59% of Gen Z’ers said the same.

4. Gen Z is Full of Early Starters

Many employers are predicting that more teens, between the ages of 16 and 18 will go straight into the workforce, opting out of the traditional route of higher education, and instead finishing school online, if at all. Would you make a major investment, possibly leading to years of debt to come—knowing there are new, more affordable (not to mention more convenient) online alternatives coming up every day?

As we’ll discuss later in this post, Gen Z knows the true value of independence, and knowledge is no exception here. If a Gen Z’er knows they are capable of learning something themselves, or through a more efficient, non-traditional route, you can bet they’ll take the opportunity.

5. Gen Z Is More Entrepreneurial

According to Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.” Generation Z desires more independent work environments. As a matter of fact, 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.

One apparent recurring factor you might notice throughout this post, is that many Gen Zidentifying factors can be traced back to the recession in 2008, from their frugality, to their value of experiences, and increased likelihood to become entrepreneurs. This is an interesting note to take down.

6. Gen Z Has Higher Expectations Than Millennials

Millennials remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial-up internet and using AOL. Generation Z was born into a world overrun with technology. What was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, are now taken as a given for teens.

“When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong,” said Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young. “They expect businesses, brands and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”

7. Gen Z Is Big On Individuality

Gen Z’ers were born social. In fact, nearly 92% of Gen Z has a digital footprint. Arguably as a result of the celebrities and media they follow, Gen Z seeks uniqueness in all walks of life primarily through the brands they do business with, future employers, etc.

8. Gen Z Is More Global

Millennials were considered the first “global” generation with the development of the internet, but as more of the world comes online — Generation Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions, and relatability. 58% of adults worldwide ages 35+ agree that “kids today have more in common with their global peers than they do with adults in their own country.” Diversity will be an expectation of Generation Z.

After asking people “Would you call yourself addicted to your digital devices? (computer, smartphone, etc.),” we found Gen Z’ers are 25% more likely than Millennials to say they are addicted to their digital devices. A full 40% of Gen Z are self-identified digital device addicts.

This generation grew up with technology, and for them, it’s probably hard to go without their devices. If this younger generation is constantly on their phones or devices and not watching as much live TV, we may experience a massive shift in advertising methods and marketing messages.

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Zillow Reports Seller’s Experience When Selling

New Data Finds Homeowners Struggle When Selling, Despite Hot Market

Twelve days before Thanksgiving, Mark Meaney and his wife, Sue, decided to put their 109-year-old house on the market. They looked at comps of similar-sized homes near their St. Paul neighborhood, agreed on a price with their agent and waited anxiously for their first offer to roll in.

Mark and Sue knew their timing wasn’t ideal. The holidays loomed, and the market was slowing; worse, St. Paul was entering its notorious subzero season.

The couple felt torn. After one year of searching for a new home, they had found the perfect place a few miles from where they lived. It was spacious enough to raise their three kids and had a first-floor bedroom and bathroom to accommodate Sue’s aging parents who could no longer live on their own.

As first-time sellers – Mark and Sue had lived in the house for 20 years – the couple took a leap of faith. They bought the new home, moved in Sue’s parents and dropped nearly $20,000 to spruce up their old house to help it sell quickly.

Several weeks later their vacant home remains for sale, its exterior weathering the forces of yet another Minnesota winter.

Selling a home: Truth in data

Skim any number of news articles on the U.S. housing market and chances are you’ll run across the phrases “low inventory,” “sellers’ market” and “strong demand.”

This rings especially true in larger metropolitan areas where stories of bidding wars abound, leaving the impression that sellers in these markets simply list their homes, sit back and thumb through stacks of “Dear Seller” letters from desperate buyers submitting offers above the asking price.

For much of the U.S., however, the data reveals a starker reality.

According to new findings from Zillow Group – which compiled a deep dive on the seller experience using data from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017 – selling a home in the U.S. is not only fraught with anxiety, but often culminates in unmet expectations.

In fact, close to one third of sellers said they felt unsatisfied with the selling process. Of first-time sellers, nearly 30 percent were unprepared for how long it took to sell their homes and said they wished they would have started the process sooner, according to the analysis.

Furthermore, 76 percent of sellers across the U.S. ended up making at least one concession, with lowering the price the most-cited compromise. And 36 percent said they either struggled to sell their homes within their desired price range – or time frame.

“Despite low inventory in many parts of the country, sellers still encounter massive pain points when trying to sell their homes,” said Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow Group. “This data shows there is a huge opportunity to create a better end-to-end experience for sellers and help them turn over their homes faster.”

More information, more stress

Much of the stress sellers feel stems from that nail-biting wait to get the right offer. Fueling this collective anxiety is, of course, more access to information.

While the internet has greatly democratized the buying and selling process, it has also created a state of seller vigilance. Sellers are more involved than ever in the sale of their homes – and more stressed out.

Take Mark, for instance. He’s constantly monitoring how many views his house gets on Zillow and how it ranks compared to other homes coming on the market.

He regularly gets text alerts when anyone wants a tour. He also reads “with too much interest,” he says, the feedback that buyers leave on what they liked and didn’t like about the house.

Despite working with an agent, Mark is immersed – and stressed.

While Zillow’s findings show that 82 percent of sellers valued having an agent guide them through the process, America has entered a new era of how deeply involved homeowners are in selling their most expensive investment, Wacksman said.

“Sellers today are all-in, monitoring every piece of data about their home. They are no longer content to sit back and wait,” he said. “In many cases, they cannot afford to.”

In fact, timing is a big driver of anxiety, according to the data. More than one third of sellers had difficulty timing the sale of their home with buying a new home.

Even in a hot market, selling comes with risks. How long will it take? Is our house priced right? Are we paying too much for a new home?

And the most pressing worry: What if something goes wrong?

Hot market? Still stressful

Fall, 2017. Mention that period to Diana Leath and you will likely hear her exhale, then laugh. Diana remembers fall 2017 as a happy time. She also remembers it as a crazy, stressful time. Which makes sense when she explains.

In October, Diana gave birth to a baby girl, Noelle. She also had a two-year-old daughter to care for. Her husband, Adam, happened to be in the throes of building a new hotel for his family business. And that same month, after spending 200 days searching for a bigger home in Raleigh for their growing family, the couple finally stumbled upon The One.

Four bedrooms. Three baths. A yard. With a mixture of hope and anxiety, they submitted an offer. Soon after, their agent called. They had beat out the competition.

They had won The One.

Which was great. But it meant packing up. And selling their house. And doing all the things sellers do to ensure their house will sell quickly. They cleaned and painted and power washed and landscaped. They stewed over minor details – should they decorate the house for Christmas? Or would a big tree make the house look small? (They nixed the tree in favor of a wreath.)

They went back and forth on a list price with their agent, listened to her advice on comps, and put it on the market December 7. Then the family of four moved into a hotel and waited for their agent to call.

They didn’t wait long. Their 1,500 square foot ranch in Raleigh received two offers above the asking price one day after being on the market.

‘Sweating it’ in a hot market

Herein lies the rub of living in a hot market. If you want to stay in that market, be prepared to downsize – or shell out a lot more cash.

In Diana’s case, she and her husband are paying 67 percent more than what they sold their house for in order to buy their new house. As a couple in their 30s still working toward their peak earning years, that increase hit the outer limits of how far they could stretch.

“Trust me, we are sweating it right now,” Diana says. But she remains hopeful that, once the new hotel opens and she goes back to work, the financial strain will ease.

Looking back, she says, she was grateful for her agent who handled various complications that arose and helped beautify their home before it went on the market.

But she has no intention of going through the turmoil of the selling and moving process anytime soon, she says.

“We’re probably going to be here forever.”

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What’s Up in Roanoke, Virginia?

Here’s some exciting news I just saw from our local Board of Realtors

Roanoke County Studies Oak Grove and Hollins Areas
Roanoke County is beginning two new planning studies focused on commercial corridors in the Hollins and Oak Grove areas. Much like the 419 Town Center project, the purpose of these studies is to reimagine what the areas might look like in the future — including strategies to improve access to parks, shops, restaurants and amenities, as well as to enhance business development opportunities.

The Oak Grove Center Study covers 173 acres and more than 80 commercial and residential properties. The Hollins Center Study will focus on plans for a connected, mixed-use center in the heart of the Hollins community, comprised of 465 acres and more than 270 commercial and residential properties.

Click here for more information, including online surveys and dates for community meetings. (Posted 2/3/2018.)

Additionally, I read about another new restaurant coming near Earth Fare on Franklin Road.

Even more good news about our local economy from my broker last week:

Virginia legislature authorized $80,000,000 project to double the size of Tech’s Medical School in Roanoke and expand their research institute.  Building is going on now for a new building off Reserve Ave.  Carilion says 1000 more medical students, doctors and researchers should be living in Roanoke within 3 years.  The research institute connected with the medical school will concentrate on brain research.  All good jobs.
In addition, Carilion will be building a 15 story addition to Roanoke Memorial where old Crystal Springs tennis courts are now.
 Combine that with new Deschutes and Ballast distilleries, the new car part manufacturing facility in Botetourt and Virginia Community College System’s new facility in Daleville, it has been good news on the job front lately.
With this being said I expect the housing market in Roanoke Virginia to continue consistent and hopefully even continue on an upward trend.
If you have questions about the local housing market, buying, selling, or home values reach out, we’d love to help you!

 

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Enjoyed Being on The Morning Show Today!

http://www.virginiafirst.com/news/local-news/growing-up-in-the-valley-how-to-properly-sell-your-home-in-todays-market/940394897

More on this…..

When is a good time to formally put your home on the market to get the most action?

I always say the sooner in the year the better, as a seller.  The closer we get to the spring season the more inventory, thus more competition for sellers.

This year even more than recent years, the market has been crazy busy!  It didn’t slow down for the holiday season, the New Year, or the frigid temps.

We are low on inventory so it’s a great time to come on the market now.

What can a seller do to best prepare their home for showing

Photos and curb appeal are more important now than ever before because most buyers are shopping online and then driving by to determine if they like the outside and location in most cases before ever getting with their agent on the homes they actually want to tour.

A few quick bullet points we always like to mention to our sellers when listing:

•       If it needs to be painted, paint!  Paint makes a world of difference inside and out when it needs it.

•       Remove front window screens, clean the windows really good and watch it glisten!  This makes a big difference.

•       If you are able to paint your front door a fresh, catchy color this is a new trend that seems to really set a house apart from all the others

•       Clean, organize and declutter throughout.  The idea is to make your home feel as light, bright, spacious, and as tidy as possible.

•       Replace all light bulbs in light fixtures, lamps, ceiling fans, etc., super frustrating when showing a home and a buyer reaches to turn a light on that doesn’t work.  This is simple and so many sellers fail to do it.

•       Replace your air filters throughout and clean, paint, or replace the cover as needed

•       Remove important, personal, expensive jewelry etc from your home allow a family member to keep or purchase a safety deposit box.  While it rarely happens you must accept you’re opening your home to the public and need to take necessary steps to protect your belongings.

•       Be flexible with showings and make it easy for buyers and agents to see

•       Fix anything that needs to be fixed.  As a seller you must disclose if everything is not safe, operating, structurally sound, free and clear of any hazardous materials, infestation, etc.  The inspection process can be a very stressful and overwhelming for sellers and it will go much smoother if you ensure everything is in good shape beforehand.  Any work done once under contract must be done by licensed contractors so it also becomes more expensive.

•       And last, I always tell our sellers to walk around and through the home through the eyes of a buyer.  If you were looking to buy, what would you think of your home?  Adjust, fix, repair, paint, etc as necessary.

What are the biggest factors in what causes a home to sell

After 27 years of helping buyers and sellers I could come up with a laundry list but honestly, in the end, it boils down to 3 things:

Price, Condition, and Location. You have control over 2 so make sure you do your very best ☺


How should a seller go about choosing the right price

You know that’s the million dollar question!  What’s the right price to list at.  And it’s also one that there’s no magic answer for.  You could likely line 10 agents up alongside 10 appraisers and potentially get 20 different opinions on what the right price is.  In the end, it’s what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to sell for.

The only way to determine price is by numbers, I always say numbers never lie.

There are several parties a seller must convince of the right price and sometimes more

First the buyer, sometimes their family members (parents, grandparents, Realtor friends from out of town, etc)

Second is the buyer’s agent

And last and most importantly is the appraiser

There’s way more to choosing just the right price than an agent coming in the door and telling a seller what they want to hear so they get to take the listing.

The key is looking at what other homes you’ll be in competition with and what’s recently sold and coming on the market within a range of value that other similar homes are selling for.  It’s always best to price it right from the beginning than to come on high and sit on the market.  This actually helps other sellers sell their homes vs getting your own home sold.

How should a seller go about choosing the right Realtor to list with?

Well, you could simply list with our team and be in great hands ☺ no, just kidding!

I would say to interview a couple different agents and companies before listing to see who you feel most comfortable with, get a couple of opinions on pricing, and see what their track record is for getting homes sold.  Anyone can list a home but getting a home sold is another story.

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Interesting Stuff on Home Buyers and Sellers from 2017

NAR 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

A Snapshot

Home Buyers

• 34% of recent home buyers
were first time buyers.

• 41% of first time buyers have
student debt.

• 65% were married couples,

18% single females, 7%

single males and 8%
unmarried couples.

• The typical buyer was 45
years old.

• 88% of buyers purchased
their home through a real
estate agent.

• 42% of buyers paid the list
price or higher.

• The median purchase price
was $235,000.

Source: National Association of
REALTORS®

Home Sellers

• The typical seller was 55
years old and lived in their
home for 10 years.

• 89% of sellers used a real
estate agent to sell their
home.

• Sellers sold their homes for a
median of $47,500 more than
they purchased.

• Homes were on the market for
an all-time low of 3 weeks.

• The median distance between
the home purchased and the
home sold was 18 miles.

• 52% traded up to a larger
home.

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