Monday, January 13, 2014
What Can You Expect from the Omaha Real Estate Market in 2014?
People have been frequently asking me about what the market will do in 2014. We are off to a strong start! Inventory is still very low making now a great time to list your home. If you are thinking about selling, do it as soon as possible! There are a lot of buyers out there and rates are projected to rise as we move towards spring time. With inventory and rates low, you have a much better chance of selling now.
As spring comes, more homes will come on the market and interest will rise. However, more buyers will come as well! I believe 2014 will be fantastic. If you’re a motivated seller, price your home according to comparable homes and work with a great agent that will help you with this, you will have no problem selling your home! The Omaha market is always a great market.
If you know of anyone who is looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, give us a call! We would be more than happy to help. Thanks and have a great day.
Friday, January 10, 2014
We Thought it Was Time for a Change!
We are so excited for 2014 and all the opportunities that lie ahead for our team. First and foremost, we will be re-branding. Team Elliott has served us well for many years; but from now on, we will be calling ourselves Elliott Co. As we begin to get involved with other ventures inside the real estate industry, along with our philanthropy, we felt a new brand was appropriate.
Be on the lookout for Elliott Co. Also, be sure to tell us what you think and stop by to say hello; we’re always home! If you or anyone you know is looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks and have a great day!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
In case you missed it, we have officially become a part of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate. More importantly, I wanted to wish you a very happy holiday season and to personally thank you for all of your referrals and support throughout 2013. As a reminder, it’s still a great time to buy and sell real estate. So if you know anybody who is looking to buy or sell, be sure to reach out to me.
I hope you’re having a wonderful day and have a wonderful holiday season!!
Monday, November 25, 2013
Is Now the Time to List Your Home?
Today I am here with Gina Elliot to speak about the seriousness of our low inventory and the amount of buyers and investors looking to purchase homes. Many people are serious about buying with the low interest rates and uncertainty of how long they will stay down but with the low inventory, they’re just waiting for things to come around.
Another question we get this time of year is whether or not people should wait until spring to enter the market. With the low inventory and interest rates, now is a great time to be selling your home. It is important to have your home in great condition and priced correctly as well. If you’re motivated, now is the time to sell!
If you have any questions, call us, text us or send us an email. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 1, 2013
Should You Wait to List Your Home?
Today, Jeremy Wilhelm from Private Mortgage Group has joined me to answer some questions about the current state of the mortgage business. “This is the perfect time to talk about selling your house and what’s going on in the mortgage market,” Jeremy said. “We’re seeing a huge rally in regards to interest rates dropping. Possibly in the next two days we may see a quarter percent drop in interest rates, which is huge,” he continued.
The issue is getting the word out to sellers, because everything we are listing right now sells very fast due to the lack of inventory. Sellers who wish to wait until spring are missing out on a fantastic time to sell. “Not only is the market poised for interest rates but 4.5% on 30 year money is excellent right now,” Jeremy stated.
Jeremy also explained that if a buyer wants to move up price ranges but waits until spring, they could lose up to $40,000 in interest over the 30 year period.
If you have any questions, please call email or text us and we will also provide Jeremy’s information. Thanks and have a great day!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
With fall approaching, I wanted to talk about how important health and fitness is. For the last two and a half years, I have been working with Heath Murray, owner of I Think Fit Gym. Heath helped me devise a workout plan to burn fat and increase muscle definition that consisted of three day sessions targeting specific muscle groups and having me do three days of cardio on my own. Working together, I have lost 16 lbs. of body fat, 4 lbs. gained in muscle mass and which coincides with a 10% total loss in body fat.
“Kudos to her, I think she’s done a real good job and I think she feels a lot better about herself,” Heath said. This is true and not only do I feel better about myself, my overall health is better, too. My immune system is built up and I am not getting sick as much, I’m sleeping better and the fact that I have much more energy is so important. If you have any health or fitness goals, I strongly suggest working with a trainer.
When I tell people about what I did, people are shocked about the financial commitment. Heath put it into perspective by telling me that we don’t think about how much we spend on a car payment and a house payment, but to invest in ourselves and our well-being, it’s something special.
“We have to overcome a lot of [that] in the profession because most people don’t see the value in the service when comparing to other gym memberships like 24 Hour Fitness where you pay $20 a month,” Heath explained. “But what we’re going to do is we will bring someone in, hold them accountable, put them on a calorie and goal specific plan and get them going in the direction they want.
There is a bit of a financial commitment, but doing so keeps people showing up,” Heath said. Heath helped me realize how important it was to invest in myself and really get the “wow” factor in my aesthetics.
“Those are things you just can’t put a price tag on.”
For me, the accountability is huge. I like being on a schedule and it gets me up in the morning. The feeling that I accomplished something early on in the day is really great. Heath gave some pointers for people going in to a fitness program, “Have a goal in mind, see the trainer’s credentials, make sure the atmosphere makes you feel good and most importantly make you connect with the members and that you are going into a family friendly atmosphere.”
I Think Fit also stocks a great line of fitness products called Rock Solid. So it’s a bonus to get my egg whites and protein powder, as well as any other supplements you may need in one stop. I Think Fit Gym has over 30 different camp times available which includes diet tracking, the flexibility of working with different trainers in a small group setting while keeping costs down. For people outside the Omaha Area, they can plan people’s workouts through our website.
If you have any other questions, call Heath at 402-203-8824. Thanks and have a great day!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Government Shutdown Risks Hurting The Housing Recovery
By: Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff
The government shutdown is here. Whether it’s not being able to get a new Social Security card or visit a national park, Americans will immediately feel the effects. But there’s one bright spot of the economy that stands to be affected as well: housing.
One of the biggest questions regarding the shutdown and how it will affect housing has revolved around the mortgage market, specifically prospective buyers’ access to new home loans. After all, more than 90% of all loan activity is underwritten, insured, or owned by the government and its affiliated entities.
Initially at least, the mortgage market is likely to be only minimally impacted. New loans will continue to push through most government agency pipelines. What will change is how long the process takes, as many agencies expect to experience delays.
Mortgages purchased and securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be unaffected because their operations are paid for by fees charged to lenders. And the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to guarantee mortgages for Americans that have served in the military since these loans are funded by user fees as well.
But if the government shutdown of 1995-1996 is any indicator, the process will take longer than usual. “Loan Guaranty certificates of eligibility and certificates of reasonable value were delayed,” the VA warned in its September 25th contingency plan.
Where there has been mounting concern is the Federal Housing Administration, which currently endorses about 15% of the entire single-family mortgage market. Several media outlets recently reported that the FHA would be unable to endorse any single-family loans and that no staff would be available underwrite and approve new loans.
That prospect would be somewhat worrisome – if it were actually true. The FHA’s Office of Single Family Housing will indeed remain open for business, albeit with a smaller staff. “FHA will be able to endorse single family loans during the shutdown. A limited number of FHA staff will be available to underwrite and approve new loans,” the report now states. In other words, other lenders’ loans will continue to be insured and some in-house lending will continue to take place at a reduced rate.
The reason for that mix-up: the initial draft of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s contingency plan mistakenly stated that single-family loan operations would cease. The report was amended over the weekend.
The FHA’s single-family loan operations are funded through multi-year appropriations, meaning their budget is not tied to the government’s standoff over funding for the new fiscal year that starts in October. On the other hand, what will be more affected is the agency’s Multifamily Housing Office, which is funded through yearly appropriations.
“Because we are able to endorse loans, we don’t expect the impact on the housing market to be significant, as long as the shutdown is brief,” continues the HUD report. “If the shutdown lasts and our commitment authority runs out, we do expect that potential homeowners will be impacted, as well as home sellers and the entire housing market.”
One government lender that will indeed suspend its home loan activity, however, is the Department of Agriculture. The USDA says that no new housing loans or guarantees will be issued through its Rural Development programs in a shutdown. The department also warns that such a scenario could cause “a setback in construction start-up,” and if the shutdown lasts for an extended period, “a substantial reduction in housing available in rural areas relative to population.”
“The government doesn’t generally approve loans, they basically just insure them,” says Don Frommeyer, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and a vice president at Amtrust Mortgage Funding. “For the most part you aren’t going to see much of a hit in the mortgage market unless it goes for a long period of time.”
If it does stretch on, he adds, the worry will be what mortgage rates do in a market shrouded in fiscal uncertainty and how that will affect the home buying, especially in light of recent rate spikes.
Home lending aside, many economists and real estate experts are keeping a close watch on how Americans will react to this shutdown. “Administratively everything should keep moving along, but it’s more about the confidence of consumers and whether they perceive that the government shutdown could lead to a recession,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.
Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi recently told the Senate Budget Committee that a partial shutdown could shave as much as 1.4 percentage points off of fourth quarter economic growth if it drags on for several weeks.
Americans’ confidence in their ability to buy and sell homes hit a record high in May, according to a Fannie Mae survey. Since then, as mortgage rates jumped more than a percentage point, that confidence level has plateaued. If prospective homebuyers fear that the country’s economic recovery will stall, or worse slip back into recession, they will pull back on purchases, worries Yun.
“Home sales is always the first housing variable that changes so one would see sales declining and that would naturally lead to more inventory on the market and eventually put pressure on prices,” he says. But that would be a worst-case scenario based on a long-term shutdown.
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia TRLA +6.43%, notes that if the shutdown lasts longer than a few days, the first places to feel the impact will be local economies with large concentrations of federal government workers. Metro areas like Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md., where 19% and 13% respectively of total local wages go to federal employees, would be the feel the negative effects of unpaid furloughs and with them, tightened consumer spending and weakening local economic growth. Though not all will be equally affected, other metro areas like Virginia Beach, Va., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Dayton, Ohio are areas that Kolko is keeping an eye on: “Whether there is a big effect depends on how long the shutdown lasts, how long people think the shutdown lasts, and whether people get back-pay. All those things matter for the impact.”
Still others are worrying even more about the next fiscal standoff, in mid-October, surrounding the debt ceiling debate and its accompanying threat of debt default by the U.S. ”With the threat of an impending partial government shutdown and yet another battle over the nation’s debt ceiling, in particular, we are really messing with fire right now—even if it doesn’t seem to bother some legislators,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.
“But the effects of a government default associated with the impending debt-ceiling deadline would be more pronounced because of its greater impact on domestic and international markets. This will rattle consumers and investors alike, slow down the overall economic recovery and further slow the housing recovery, which is already undergoing a moderation in the pace of home value gains due to rising mortgage rates,” he warns.