Home Owners Becoming More Realistic

Home owners are becoming more realistic about the current marketplace.
So where does this lead us?


August 18, 2010 – Zillow.com reports that home owner confidence about the value of their home has declined in the second quarter.

“Home owners have become much more responsive to current market conditions than they were just two years ago, when a more typical reaction was denial.” ..—Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com

Even with this new realism, over 72% of adult Americans still see owning a home as part of their future and their personal American dream according to a survey for Trulia.com.

Currently, 68% of renters who plan to purchase a home said it would be more than two years before they do. What would encourage them to buy now? These six factors were cited:

  1. Able to save a down payment (47 percent)
  2. Land a new job (28 percent)
  3. Interest rates stay low or fall lower (27 percent)
  4. Some other factor that persuades them that buying makes financial sense (24 percent)
  5. Get a raise (23 percent)
  6. Local real estate market stabilizes (9 percent)

One might have thought that market stabilization was more of an issue given all the foreclosures, short sales and declining values and yet it shows up at the bottom of this list of factors. A full 47% surveyed need to save for the down payment. Think about this—almost half of those surveyed.

If you’re a first-time buyer looking at a $200,000 home and you want or need to put 20% down, this amounts to $40,000. A buyer will also need funds for closing costs unless the seller is willing to pay these. The good news is that there is down payment and closing cost assistance for buyers.

Also on the good news front is that interest rates are at a forty-year low. Here is a sample of rates for today according to one site I’m checking:

30-year fixed conforming: 4.25%
15-year fixed conforming: 3.75%
30-year fixed FHA: 4.25%
30-year fixed VA: 4.25%
30-year fixed Jumbo: 5.25%
7-year Jumbo ARM: 3.75%

People who are currently in their seventies and older bought their homes, first and foremost, as a place to live and raise their families.

Appreciation was not the principal reason for buying. It’s very likely that home values will not rise significantly in the short term.

“Our forecast remains largely unchanged: We’re in for an L-shaped recovery that will likely keep annualized home value appreciation very low for the next three to five years.”  —Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com

There are certainly situations where money can be made in real estate. If you have patience and TEAM (my term for Time, Energy And Money, as well as a good team of people: Realtor, lender, closer, etc.), foreclosures and short sales represent a potential opportunity to make money. Easy money? It all depends on your definition of easy.

Back to the average homeowner, the one who is primarily looking for a place to live. What else does a homeowner get when they buy a home besides a place to live? They get greater freedom. They can make changes when and how they like. Paint the walls any color. Update the kitchen and baths to your taste. Plant a garden in the yard. Add a porch or deck. Change the carpeting. Add wood floors.

Maybe, just maybe, the idea of home ownership as the American dream is really about a larger dream: The dream of freedom and independence. We all appreciate freedom and independence. Maybe would-be and future home owners are seeking this type of appreciation. Who can put a price tag on that?

Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. —Robert Montgomery
.

Need help with your American dream of home and freedom?
Call or write me.

Kate Walsh, Realtor
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com
Twitter: designhouse9


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Shelter the Body, Comfort the Soul

A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.”
—Phillip Moffitt
.

What part of your home comforts you?

Is it a single room in your house?
Is it a piece of furniture within your home?
Is it your garden and the plants you watch grow?
Is it the food you prepare in your kitchen?

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A great bathtub filled with hot water has always been a source of relaxation and comfort for me. Water in general has this effect on me, be it a river, a lake, an ocean, an outdoor shower, a swimming pool, or a deep soaking tub.

A bathroom in and of itself does not necessarily comfort my soul. Some bathrooms, such as this one, are created as much for their design as for their function. Utilitarian yet beautiful.

Plenty of natural light enhances the space. The windows are visually doubled by the use of a large wall mirror. A windowless bath benefits from the natural light that a skylight allows in.

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There’s also an organic, earthy quality to this bath with its wood cabinetry, tile flooring, and colors that can easily be found in nature. The semi-opaque glass in the dividing wall reminds me of an early morning fog that will burn off once the sun rises high enough.

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“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”
—Hippocrates

What comforts your soul?

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Quiet Contemplation Speaks Volumes

Where there’s art, there’s beauty.

Where there’s beauty, there’s contemplation.
Where there’s contemplation, there’s inner knowing.
—Kate Walsh

"Contemplation Man"

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Sunday morning seems quieter than the other days of the week. Perhaps it’s all the sipping of coffee and tea and reading the Sunday papers that creates this peaceful tranquility that extends beyond daybreak.

Here’s a man who finds time to contemplate each and every day, Sunday and otherwise. There’s something calming about seeing him, sitting perched up above the stone retaining walls in a grove of trees. What are you contemplating today? What inner knowing is taking place for you?

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Minneapolis sculpture is of a man sitting in quiet contemplation.

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“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
— Albert Einstein

“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.” —Edgar Allan Poe

“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated.” —Auguste Rodin

“Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.” —Dodie Smith

“I feel like I’m stepping into a place of spiritual contemplation every time I enter a studio; it’s always had a certain magic to me that has never worn off with familiarity.” —David Knopfler

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