The 3rd quarter of 2020 has just ended, and we are well on our way through the 4th and final quarter! While normally I like to share with you some numerical stats, instead this month, I’d like not spend so much time on the numbers. The numbers are interesting, and suffice it to say that this year, with everything going on, it has been a record breaking 3 months in the summer in terms of the number of homes bought and sold, and prices have been, in many areas, at all time highs, due to the low interest rates and the number of people interested in purchasing homes.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story, and that is what my blog post today will share with you.
Let’s be real. It’s been a tough year so far! Continues to be, and almost everyone is stressed, one way or the other. And yet everyone is doing there very best and plug through and and do what we need to do. In my business, we are very sensitive to the stresses our clients are going through. My team and I have been working under our very changed circumstances to help people make moves that they have long been contemplating.
Even in a pandemic, with heartbreaking California wildfires casting a darkened sky, an election year and its related drama, we have been professionally assisting and guiding individuals and families through safe and successful moves. Our goal is to enrich lives through the vehicle of real estate.
Sorting through all the real estate activities in our new reality
Many people are not aware that there are over 180 activities associated with the complex transaction of selling or buying a home. Therefore, just getting an offer on your property or making an offer on a home is just really the beginning of a series of tasks and milestones that get us to the finish line. This year, with the special circumstances we are dealing with, with lenders and underwriters working from home, interest rates being at an all time low driving a ton of homeowners toward refinancing their loans, it has been a challenge for home buyers to have their loans processed in a timely manner. Real estate professionals and lenders are working tirelessly to get your purchase loans presented and processed so they can get completed in a timely fashion.
We are also under marketing restrictions such as no open houses! So we are using other ways to market your home – the internet, social media, telemarketing – calling buyers and top agents in the area to drive more qualified buyers to your property – when previously we could do so with a simple open house. Similarly, buyers cannot just go to open houses on the weekend, and we need to prepare buyers with appointments to see home after they are fully qualified.
Where are people moving?
So, challenges aside, people are making great moves! Some of the most popular moves are:
(1) Renters becoming first time homeowners! With rates as low as they are, it makes sense for many renters to stop renting and start owning. We are helping a lot of first time home buyers enjoy home ownership and start for the first time paying their own mortgage instead of their landlord’s, building their own wealth instead of someone else’s.
(2) Condo owners are becoming house owners! This year we have helped several condo and townhouse owners sell their condo or townhome and use that equity to buy their first single family house with a yard. This is a challenging dance with actually 2 concurrent transactions, lots of paperwork, some stress, but we can get it done using several techniques including rent back, negotiating longer or shorter escrows, and some other tricks we have up our sleeve.
(3) House owners moving to different neighborhoods to a different house. With all this time in our homes now, many people are rethinking whether they like their neighborhood all that much. Without the distraction of going to the office, going to restaurants and travelling, we have a lot more time on our hands in our homes to decide whether it’s a good time to move to a different neighborhood, maybe a quieter one or one closer to the family and relatives. We have helped several families move from one neighborhood or town to the next one.
(4) House owners moving to a bigger house. This is often combined with #3, above. Moving to a bigger house is a desire of many since many children are going to school at home, and many adults are working from home. So more square footage and more rooms are desirable features.
(5) Homeowners moving out of state. Like my friends, pictured above! This year, as with last year, I have helped several individuals, couples and families move out of state. Popular states my clients move to from California include Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Idaho and North Carolina. It seems that many people are deciding that there’s no time like the present to seize the day and live that longtime dream to explore another part of this beautiful country.
This gives you a little idea of where our home buyers are coming from and where our home sellers are moving to.
What I have seen less of this year is downsizing. We like to keep our big spacious property this year! Maybe in the future, that may be a direction and a trend, but not so far this year.
Let’s ring in the 4th Quarter!
With interest rates remaining this low, and the desire for a great place to call home remaining this high, how do you feel the 4th quarter of 2020 will be for residential real estate?
Call me for any questions, or to discuss any concerns or thoughts you have, or any real estate needs my team and I can help you with. And as we say in 2020, stay safe and healthy, and everyone, have an excellent 4th quarter!