Tripp's Take on Real Estate | New Year Same Market Dynamics | Episode 58

Miss last episode? Watch 7 Challenges Buyers will Face in 2024 | Episode 57 

Happy New Year. We’re barely into 2024 but hopefully all those resolutions you made are still intact.

My primary goal this year is to keep you informed on the real estate happenings and hopefully along the way it will provide to you. Thank you for sticking with me and I look forward to your feedback when something particular jumps out at you.

While everything about this year is still new and fresh, for buyers and sellers in the real estate market, things are still fairly unchanged from really the past couple of years. Rates slowly continue to decline but inventory remains low. 

I have a couple resources for your consumption. Whether you’re considering a change or not, my buyer guide and seller guide will address questions and answers we haven’t covered here. I encourage you to download these and reach out to me with your questions.

I’m excited about this year. I’m excited about today. Would you give me a few more minutes of your time to cover these items?

Here’s to a Happy New Year and your amazing success ahead.

Jon Signature

Homeowners are taking on Improvements

Over the past year, a majority of homeowners across all demographics initiated home improvements. Was it high interest rates that ruled out a move or a low interest mortgage rate made it more compelling an argument to stay and improve what they have? Yes. Probably a bit of both.

But the point is that by improving and updating ones home, that house becomes more compelling and attractive a home to the next buyer – whenever that time comes.

What are they updating?

  • interior painting
  • landscaping
  • bathroom remodels
  • remodeling unused living spaces / basements
  • upgrading electrical wiring
  • adding new roofs

And they're typically paying for these updates with savings and equity from their home.

By maintaining and improving the home, those owners who are doing so with an eye towards selling are absolutely doing the right thing. Having a clear picture of the home with all its warts, blemishes and improvements, a potential seller will take items off the table for a buyer to try and negotiate at contract.

What repairs and improvements are you taking on in 2024?

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Download the Seller Guide 

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Price Appreciation over 60 Years 

This should offer confidence that over the long term owning a home is a solid decision.

Price Appreciation past 60 years

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The Best Source for Downpayment Assistance

Housing affordability for a majority of younger first-time homebuyers (FTHB) remains a challenge. While it is a fallacy that you have to put 20% down on a home, it is the truth that the more you can put down the better.

While there are 0% down options for VA and a few other loan programs, the most favored go-to loan program for FTHB is the FHA 3.5% down loan program.

And yes, there are down payment assistance (DPA) programs available - if you qualify. Oftentimes the restrictions are prohibitive in higher earning areas despite home prices being equally aggressive.

An often overlooked resource for downpayment assistance is…family. For Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X homebuyers, gifts from family members can help take years off the process of them getting into a home.

I realize this may not be an option for everyone, but I would encourage older parents with disposable money to consider helping your child in this area. It can be a special blessing and help them in a financial capacity that sets them up for years to come.

Beginning yesterday, “an individual may make gifts in an amount up to $18,000, in total, on an annual basis to any recipient without making a taxable gift, and married couples who elect to gift-split may annually gift a combined $36,000 per recipient without making a taxable gift.” Source: Vorys  

Of course, check with your accountant on the particulars and plan on writing a gift letter at some point upon the lender’s request.

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Download the Buyer Guide

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Part 2: Real Estate Credentials - Good For Something or Nothing?

Last e-newsletter I covered a couple of the designations and credentials commonly seen in my email signature line. They aren’t meant to impress you with the alphabet soup of meaningless acronyms, rather they are to demonstrate specialized learning that hopefully gives a potential client confidence in my education, experience and extra steps I’ve taken to excel in this industry. Because not every real estate licensee has that as their goal. 

So beyond the professional licensure for Realtor®, the designation of GRI and ABR, the remaining two I’d like to cover today are: SFR and MRP.

SFR: The Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification designation prepares REALTORS® to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales and help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. 

Back in 2006-2010 short sales and foreclosures were prevalent due to the mortgage default crisis. Buyers who had little to no financial skin in the game became over leveraged or a job loss created a crisis of its own that ultimately led to many buyers walking away from the property. Short sales - or selling short of what was owed on the mortgage. The lender had to ultimately agree to a deal, but negotiating these transactions were where many of the successful agents of today cut their teeth.

MRP: The Military Relocation Professional certification program educates REALTORS® about working with U.S. service members and their families and veterans to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs and to take full advantage of available benefits and support. 

Quite simply, the Northern Virginia area is heavily focused on military. With the Pentagon, Fort Myers, Joint Base Andrews, Quantico, to name a few, understanding the needs of my military clients is critical. And this designation helped provide me with key insights when working with the specialized needs of our nation’s military community.

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Mortgage Rate Update

The mortgage interest rate (at close of business Monday) on a $500k home (with 20% down and a credit score of ~750) for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 7.022%.  

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Upcoming Opportunities

I have a couple of upcoming properties I want in front of you as soon as possible. Given rules and regulations, I can’t say too much before they’re on the market, but here’s what I can say:

  • Newer 6,600+sf single family home in Manassas that would be great for multi-generational living. This home has so many amazing features, but the possibility it offers for its next owners is truly exciting. Expected date on market: January 18
  • Several condos, townhomes and single family homes from DC to Reston to Manassas in various stages of planning. I’ll update you as soon as possible, but if you’re looking and have any interest in an off market deal, timing is important. Let’s talk as soon as you can.

Have a happy and blessed 2024.

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