Ok, we're past the Super Bowl....entering Valentine's Day. In the Rochester area we affectionately refer to it as "Pre-Resident Match Time" (i.e. prospective Mayo Residents are matched in the 3rd week in March to their residential practice then & activity flourishes in the real estate world around that time). So Aaron, where's all the listings?
Here's the deal.
We have several factors creating a perfect storm of inactivity.
Cold weather (as of last count, 24 sub zero days up from other years). The January thaw did last for a few days, and warmer weather is projected for next week, but here we sit.
Market volatility (not in real estate, but stock & other hot spots). The new tax law initiated a spike in the Dow, a recent correction, and some are looking at their 401ks & wondering if this really is the time to use funds & make a move. Shhh, don't worry, it is....
Stagnant interest rates (actually no one is really talking about it but they are inching up). 3.75 has become 4 to possibly 4.5 to 5 as the Fed contemplates their next move. Urgency isn't prompted by a "sudden lender urgency" because for around a decade this hasn't been a concern. Interest rates haven't been dictating when people move, jobs & life have. "I'll move when I need to, or want to."
They aren't making more of the old ones...and their prices are going up. Your 4/2 split that you complained about because the entry was the side of a floor mat isn't getting built these days. Why? Demand told builders to go bigger. Then the market of McMansions went south, and so did many of the builders along with grand expectations. The return has been more comprehensive use of space as we still live generally in the era of open concept. And guess what? Local municipalities & state codes have been adjusted to warrant a "safer home". Passive radon mitigation. Lower level ceilings must have drywall. It all adds up. I haven't even mentioned the price of developing lots has raised in many places a minimum of 30-40k. So that "affordable home" you so courageously want to find? That price was just jacked up too.
So now that I have you in a small state of panic, will any real estate change hands this year?
Will I ever find anything I like? Of course. Here's why....
Spring's Coming. Temperatures rise, and so do people--out to call an agent to put a sign in the yard & list their home. The "to do" list is as good as it's going to get, and there's confidence that they're not moving in Icelandic conditions. Snow will melt, flowers will bloom, and our season of discontent will transition to hope. It's true.
Jobs change. People change. Circumstances change. A recent stat noted 45% of people change jobs because of a lack of opportunity for advancement. They will change jobs around 12-15 times in their working career. Many of those changes will be to other cities, prompting guess what? A sign in the yard. In addition, our tastes when we're 35 in a home are different than when we turn 60. The 2 story to get away from the kids may become a walkout ranch with enough room when the "kids" come home w/ families. Rochester is a city full of fluid life changes. Single. Married. Divorced. Empty Nester. Different dynamics inform our needs, and our desire to move.
The Market Moves....Whether We Like It Or Not. There's no such thing as a stagnant market. Variables of all sorts create a different environment each day. It's the domino effect of real estate. When someone places their home on the market, it causes someone else to pause and consider moving...to that home or otherwise. Activity breeds more activity in such a way that neighborhoods can turn quickly from one set of homeowners to others. Why? Was it a "bad neighborhood"? No. Someone acted out on a great idea, someone else realized a change for the better could be in their reach, and BOOM...things are hopping!
So What Do I Do Now Aaron?
You Call Me Of Course! Waiting until the last minute puts you behind the 8 ball. It adds pressure you don't need, and ultimately don't want. We'll explore the current value on your existing home, updates you may want to consider, visit w a lender about your level of comfort for your next home, and set you up with search tools that will bring it all together and put you in the driver's seat when others are still searching for their keys. Pitchers and catchers report next week. It's time to get your game face on:)