Amazing Real Estate Tips, Trends & Ideas for the Greater Seattle market: Local real estate news in the Greater Seattle market: Home prices and trends in Seattle, on the Eastside, and across the Puget Sound region. By Dave McFarland, Broker with RSVP Real Estate.
Certain home sales of $400,000 and below will no longer require an appraisal, under a new rule that takes effect today. Homes that qualify for the appraisal exemption can receive an evaluation instead.
This is the first time in 25 years that federal regulators have increased the property value limit of the homes that require an appraisal as part of the selling process. Federal regulators cited price appreciation in residential real estate transactions for the change.
The new rules likely apply to about 40% of home sales, regulators estimate. For properties that do qualify for the exemption, the agencies require institutions to obtain an evaluation that provides an estimate of the market value of the real estate property.
The new exemption does not apply to loans sold or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac; all will still require an appraisal.
The previous rule stated that appraisals were not required on home sales of $250,000 and below. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve approved the new threshold over the last two months, and the rule appeared in the Federal Register this week, making it official on Wednesday.
The National Association of REALTORS® has advocated that any loan limit related to an appraisal exemption be tied to specific markets rather than a blanket number for the whole country. A $100,000 limit might be reasonable in some parts of the country, and a $500,000 limit might be reasonable in others, depending on average housing values, NAR says.
Real estate markets ebb and flow, just like the seasons. The spring market blooms right along with the flowers, but the fall market often dwindles with the leaves — and this slower pace has always been good for our buyer clients.
If you’re in the market for a home, now can be a great time to buy. In fact...
Looking at the “stats”, it’s easy to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the Puget Sound area. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase.
The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.
The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018:
Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense.
Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.
Whether you are thinking of selling your house or buying a home, today’s real estate headlines can be confusing – perhaps even concerning. What is actually happening with mortgage rates? Are home values dropping or are they just rising at a slower pace? What impact will the economy have on the housing market?
If you are either a buyer or seller (or both), you need to know what it will mean to your family if you go ahead with the move. You need to understand three things:
1. What is happening in the housing market right now?
Consumers must get past those fear-mongering headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening. How strong is buyer demand right now? How much competition do listings have today compared to what they will have in the spring? People want to make an educated decision on what is probably their family’s greatest financial asset.
2. Why is it happening?
Understanding the individual pieces that impact the sale or purchase of real estate is important. Understanding how those pieces impact each other is critical. How does the amount of a down payment impact the mortgage rate a buyer will be offered? Can you still price your house a ‘little ahead’ of the market and still be sure it will sell?
3. How do the first two affect your local market?
Basically, you want an understanding of the overall housing market and a simple and effective explanation of how it will impact your personal real estate goals.
Here's the Bottom Line
The best way to get all three is to work with a professional who understands this shifting real estate market and can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals. Let’s get together to discuss what today’s market means for you.