The Advantage to Buying, Even in this Aggressive Market: One Buyer’s Scenario

I would like present a scenario I recently heard about for a 1st-time Homebuyer (aka a Renter). Fast-rising rents have many people seeking the protection that a consistent, fixed mortgage payment provides. Through this narrative I hope to demonstrate the advantage to buying a home, even in an unprecedented Seller’s Market like the one we are in now.

A Buyer is living in an apartment, paying $2,050 a month in rent. They are ready to buy a townhome. They have been fully approved by their lender for $325,000 but have decided to search under their maximum approved amount so they have some room to bid up, as is a common tactic in the current market. A desirable townhome was listed for sale for $250K; it is more spacious than the Buyer’s current apartment, and has many features the Buyer values. The Buyer put in an offer at $260K with an Escalation Clause, capping it at $2K higher than highest competing offer.

Putting an Escalation Clause in an offer may be one way to place your bid above others on a given home.

The Seller received multiple offers with the highest offer at $298K, $38K above the Buyer’s offer. The Seller’s Agent contacted the Buyer’s Agent and gave the Buyer the opportunity to invoke their Escalation Clause and win the contract. The Buyer’s new offer with Escalation Clause would be $300K

The Buyer rejected the opportunity, refusing to pay $50K over list price, which they considered an excessive amount for the home, even though the Buyer aspires to own a townhome just like this one. (List price is actually irrelevant — how was that price set? Was it set below market value, to bring in more prospective buyers? Over market value, by an aggressive and inexperienced Seller?)  Let’s examine the advantage of buying that home, even at what seems like an excessive price for that property. We will use a five-year period to examine the differences in Renting vs. Buying, as the Buyer wants to “wait it out”.

In this case, the Buyer’s monthly mortgage payment (PITI — Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) and HOA (Homeowners Association) payment for the home would equal the same amount they were currently paying rent for their apartment: $2,050. One of the strongest advantages to buying is related to that monthly payment: With a mortgage, that number never changes. Rent payment will increase yearly, at an average of 5%. Realistically, due to the current increased demand of rental properties, rents are increasing quite a bit more than 5% per year. However, using the modest 5% increase in our model, a rent today at $2,050 will go up approximately $100 per month every year. After five years, that rent is $566 per month higher — $2,616, while a mortgage payment remains at $2,050.

We know that rent rates increase an average of 5% year over year. We also know that home values increase year over year, around the same rate. Following this estimate, the value of a $300,000 home after five years is $382,884.

Including the payments made on principal ($26,684), and market value increases (at a modest 5% Y-O-Y) the Buyer will have $109,568 in equity in their home after five years.

The Renter will not have gained any equity, but has likely been building the equity and wealth of their landlord. Over five years, the Renter will have paid $142,764 to their landlord. Total monthly mortgage payments and HOA equal $123,000. Even after accounting for $7,000 to cover closing costs, the Buyer still comes out thousands ahead of the Renter as far as monthly payments go.

There are definitely costs associated with homeownership that are not part of a renter’s budget: the initial downpayment, home repairs, HOA special assessments, taxes, and insurance. Home ownership can also take up more personal time than renting, as there is not landlord to manage repairs and maintenance.

Since they declined the opportunity to go Under Contract on the townhome, the Buyer is still searching the market. With multiple offers on almost every property and very few days on the market, it remains challenging to win a contract. However, interest rates have risen over 0.5% since they put their offer in and declined to invoke their Escalation Clause and win the contract (winning a contract is no easy feat).

Due to the increase in interest rates, the Buyer’s dollar will not go as far as it did in months before. For every 1% interest rates increase, buying power decreases by 10% of purchase price. A higher interest rate lowers the amount paid on the monthly principal included in that $2,050 purchase price. The Buyer cannot afford the same priced home that they could a few months before. The Buyer will also end up spending more money on interest over the life of the loan. Home prices are rising steadily month-over-month as well, so a townhome that sells for $300,000 this month may sell for $315,000 or more in just a couple of months.

No one wants to buy at the top of the market, and no one wants to pay top dollar. The Buyer’s reservations are understandable. However, our current market is the result of supply and demand. The increase in price appreciation is the direct result of low inventory and high demand. New home construction was low even before the pandemic began, and Millennials and Gen Zs are now in the active buyer group, increasing the number of buyers searching for homes. There are no signs of the market slowing down, and if readers are worried about a crash similar to 2008, this is not that market. That market held high inventory, high demand, and very low financial requirements to acquire a mortgage, with buyers even leaving the closing table with some extra cash, such as with an unsettling 125% loan. That scenario is not happening today, mainly due to more stringent regulations. 

Are home values too high? Are they inflated? Below is a chart that shows a house price index for the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Alpharetta, Georgia area, from 1995-2022 [fred.stlouisfed.org]. Recessions are shaded in gray. Notice that during and after each recession, home prices continued in their trajectory upwards, except 2008 (The Great Recession), where conditions were very different from today. The housing market has adjusted — recovered — over the last decade, and home prices are back on a similar trajectory as they were before 2008. And apart from The Great Recession, most Buyers always paid “top dollar” for their homes because home values have consistently been on the rise.

As far as protecting yourself against inflation —  what better way to protect yourself than to lock in a mortgage payment and keep your largest monthly cost the same year after year, all the while growing your equity in an investment?  Consider spending $142,764 in rent over 5 years, resulting in $0 equity, or spending $123,000 over 5 years on mortgage payments, ending up with $109,568 in equity . . . It is a good time to buy a home.


I would like to extend sincere thanks to Marc Garfinkel, my colleague and my preferred lender, who works with Prosperity Home Mortgage, part of our Family of Services at Harry Norman, Realtors. Marc initially shared this scenario with me and then encouraged me when I decided to present it here. He enthusiastically assisted me as I worked to create all these charts and figures. I love working with Marc, and my Buyers always benefit from Marc’s down-to-earth approach. Marc provides numerous options to Buyers and he gives clarity to all of us in every situation: he strives to help prospective Buyers think outside the box. He makes himself available to clients after business hours; the demand for this is unavoidable in the climate of this challenging market. (Shout out to Marc for writing up a “Fully Underwritten Approval” letter for my clients’ offer on Thanksgiving Day — we won that contract!)


Metro Atlanta Living – Things that impact our lives and our real estate

A Thriving Metropolitan

The ATL, Hotlanta (does anyone still say that anymore?), A-Town, Hollywood of the South, City in a Forest, or just plain “A” . . . Atlanta, Georgia is a city rich in culture, industry, and community. What makes this city stand out? What is attracting so many to visit and stay? Outside of recording studios, the new booming movie industry, World Class sports teams, Civil Rights activism center, reigning Coca-Cola capital, and attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta is emerging as a top-rated U. S. city to live and work in. Metro Atlanta has the 3rd-highest growth rate of large metro cities in the last 10 years. Georgia population is now 10.8M, which makes it the 8th most populous state in the U.S. Last year, in 2021, we had the 5th highest growth in the country. What is driving people to Georgia, and to Metro Atlanta, in particular? The most relevant factors appear to be jobs, affordability, and lifestyle.

Atlanta, Georgia, Getty Images

Jobs

Have you been hearing about national and international companies moving a regional or national headquarters to Atlanta? Rivian, Hapag-Lloyd, Google, Visa, Microsoft, Micron Technology, Mercedes Benz…the list grows daily. Job growth in Metro Atlanta may be the #1 reason for the city’s population growth.

Georgia is attractive to businesses, big and small. Ranked #1 in the nation as the Best State for Doing Business, Georgia maintains desirable criteria including a lower overall cost of doing business, a cooperative and responsive state government, a competitive labor environment, robust workforce development programs and attractive available real estate. Home to 16 Fortune 500 companies, Atlanta is ranked #1 Metro Area for Tech Diversity and Growth Potential as a Tech Hub. A majority of tech companies moving to Atlanta cite the recruitment of Georgia Tech students and grads as a draw. Small tech startups are a large part of the Metro business growth as well. Movie studios are popping up all over the Metropolitan area. In fact, you can’t drive around the Metro Atlanta one single day without spotting the yellow directional signs posted for cast, crew, and extras in a Netfilx show or the next blockbuster movie in the works.

Affordability

And Atlanta remains in a positive position as far as housing affordability. At the end of 2021, the average cost of home ownership was 28.7% of income. Compared with Denver, CO (35%), Austin, TX (37%) and Brooklyn, NY (78%) Atlanta’s housing affordability is attractive to would-be homeowners. Inventory levels are expected to improve in 2022, with new construction re-appearing as an option for many. This year more jobs in construction are being filled and the the supply chain bottleneck is easing (although some continued delays can be expected) and costs of materials appear to be leveling out as well. Looking across Metro Atlanta, most new construction sales are in Fulton and Gwinnett Counties, at a variety of price points. The acceleration of new construction availability will boost the strained supply of houses on the market and may help the residential real estate market lean away from a Seller’s Market toward a more Balanced Market.

Lifestyle

Atlanta ranks in the top tier of cities considered “Most Neighborly” within criteria based on satisfaction with neighbors, community sense, and residents’ involvement in community activities. Atlanta is a top 5 large market for millennials — who are the largest generation of current homebuyers. Proximity the the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a strong attraction to living in Metro Atlanta. Our airport serves 150 U.S destinations and over 50 countries around the world. It’s the busiest airport in the U.S, and second busiest in the world. The mild climate in Atlanta affords for practically year-round outdoor living. Georgia’s great outdoors offers a variety of exhilarating activities: whether it’s hiking from the beginning of the Appalachian Trail, canoeing through the Okefenokee Swamp, basking in the sunrises and sunsets of a coastal beach, weekending at the lake, riding a lazy raft down the Hooch, or bicycling among the flora of Calloway Gardens, we can certainly find a recreation that suits us!

Getty Images

“Atlanta can expect the strong housing market to continue. With moderate price appreciation, supported by population and income growth, low unemployment, and relative affordability, Atlanta is expected to outperform national housing market growth.” 

Harry Norman, REALTOR’s publication, “Metro Atlanta Residential Real Estate Forecast, 2022.”


If you’d like a copy of our 2022 “Metro Atlanta Residential Real Estate Forecast”, please let me know via email and I can pop one in the mail to you! elizabethkay.pinder@harrynorman.com



Resource: inspired from Harry Norman, REALTOR’s Publication “Metro Atlanta Residential Real Estate Forecast, 2022.”

Great news for first-generation and first-time homebuyers

On October 28, the National Association of Realtors announced breaking news: Congressional leaders have released a long-awaited framework for President Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, which includes hard-fought NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down-payment assistance. A top-line price tag and an outline of new social programs directly affect the real estate industry. It includes $150 billion in affordable housing investments.

Funding for the following programs is included within the housing section:

  • Public Housing
  • Housing Trust Fund — Builds and preserves housing for extremely low-income households
  • HOME — Investments Partnership Program — allows state and local governments to use HOME funds for grants, direct loans, loan guarantees or other forms of credit enhancements, or rental assistance or security deposits.
  • Downpayment Assistance — Downpayment loans are forgiven over a certain period, such as five years. The money doesn’t have to be repaid as long as the borrower still owns and lives in the home at the end of the period.
  • Housing Vouchers
  • Minority Business Development Assistance

This bill will be particularly meaningful for lower-income households, millennials, and households of color. It ensures stable, affordable housing for millions of Americans and will enable Americans to improve and/or preserve over 1 million existing homes. Americans often have a distinct and very real fear when it comes to home ownership. This legislation can reach many in need. Industry professionals laud the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the final bill.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition published an article which describes specifics of the legislation and urged support of the legislation. “We are one step closer to achieving historic housing investments and keeping the country’s lowest-income people affordably housed, but we’re not done yet. We’re urging all members of congress to enact this legislation as soon as possible” said NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel.

For more information on the Build Back Better legislation, you can visit WhiteHouse.gov.

Peachtree Station Market Update

Did you know that 97 people a day are moving to the Atlanta area? Not everyone chooses to live in the city. In fact, there is a solid demand for homes in the suburbs. Many buyers want space for activities such as working from home, schooling from home, and entertaining & gathering — both indoors and outdoors. Some simply want a bigger yard, with more private outdoor space for themselves and their families. Homes in Peachtree Station neighborhood meet all these criteria and and have even more to offer! We have an impressive seller’s real estate market in my neighborhood…Peachtree Station subdivision, in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

Peachtree Station neighborhood homes are always in high demand, but inventory is currently low. This is creating attractive selling prices for homeowners. Here is a snapshot of the Peachtree Station real estate market:

The following charts present a more detailed look at recent market activity in Peachtree Station, including active listings, pending sales, and recent sales. There has been a lot of fascinating activity lately, to say the least!




If you live in Peachtree Station, I hope you have found something of interest in this Market Update. As you can see, there are very few homes on the market right now, and due to the nature of our subdivision, plus the highly-rated schools, wonderful local parks, and vibrant Town Center, Peachtree Corners neighborhoods are attracting buyers.

If you live in a different neighborhood and would like a Market Update for your own neighborhood, please comment below or send me an email elizabethkay.pinder@harrynorman.com — I’d be happy to create a complimentary Market Update for you!

As a Harry Norman Realtor®, my goal is to guide my clients seamlessly through the ever-evolving real estate landscape, as a trusted ally, creating a positive experience for everyone.

What’s Happening in Peachtree Corners — Town Green Summer Events

Peachtree Corners’ newest development, the Town Green — located in the popular Town Center, offers a variety of events over the summer months. From movies to concerts to livestream sports broadcasts on the giant screen, to early-morning yoga, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy!

PTC Town Center

The 21-acre Town Center is the new heartbeat of PTC community, with over 15 restaurants (Fire and Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen, Marlowe’s Tavern, Salata…), retail shops (Hollywood Feed, Boardroom Salon, Hand and Stone…), office space, and now, 75 new townhomes that overlook a 2+ acre Town Green park. The park is a central gathering place for many in our community, and hosts live outdoor concerts and seasonal events. The city’s landmark bridge located at the main entrance to the Town Center guides pedestrians over Peachtree Parkway and connects with the Corners Connector, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle trail system, and The Forum Shopping Center where many retail shops and more wonderful restaurants await.

PTC Town Green

The Town Green, designed as space for outdoor activities, includes so many wonderful features: an active water play space, open air pavilion, café tables, fire pit, 22′ digital display screen, open lawn, playable art, a fitness trail, and a 2,500 square-foot veterans’ monument featuring sculptures of military service people.


Town Green Summer Events

Summer Concert SeriesReservations Required

Night Music Series — Live, Local Music!

Flicks on the Green

  • Hook, Jul 3, 7:00 pm
  • Thor, Aug 7, 7:00 pm
  • Cars, Sept 4, 7:00 pm
  • Labyrinth, Oct 2, 7:00 pm

Sports on the Screen

  • Braves v Cardinals, Jun 19, 7:15 pm
  • Atl. United v New England, Jul 17, 5:00 pm
  • Atl. United v Columbus, Jul 24, 3:30 pm

Yoga on the Green provided by Sun Dragon Yoga

  • Every Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. through Sep 28

All events are tentative. Check city website a week prior to event for confirmation.


Summer Concert Series

The third annual Summer Concert Series features bands from across the nation at the Town Green in the Town Center at 7:00 PM. Admission is FREE (with reservations, see below) to enjoy live music with bands from all over the country. Concerts are the last Saturday of the month, through September. Fans can bring food or visit one of the many restaurants located within the Town Center for carryout. 

June’s concert will feature the ultimate Eagles tribute, On the Border. Treating fans to an authentic concert experience while journeying through The Eagles songbook, the band covers favorites such as “Desperado” and “Lyin’ Eyes” as well as rockin’ hits such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Heartache Tonight” with such accuracy, that listeners may permanently confuse “On the Border” with the real Eagles!

Opening for On the Border will be Atlanta’s own Carly Burruss. Carly’s whimsical, tongue-in-cheek disposition combined with her lilting sound make her the country music singer/songwriter who stands out from the rest.

Concert Tickets: To ensure everyone’s safety Summer Concert Series will require tickets this year. Visit the Town Center Events page here for a link to reserve tickets. Tickets will be available about a week before each of the concerts and there is a 6-ticket limit per household. You will be given wristbands the day of the concert, according to the number of tickets you have reserved, when you show your tickets. Participants will be able to get their wristbands and set up their spot after 2:00 PM on the day of the show. All areas will be first come first serve on the day of the event. Attendees may set up lawn chairs throughout the event area.

All tickets must be redeemed by 7:30 PM. Any tickets that have not been redeemed by that time will become available to those waiting on a first come first serve basis.

Guests are asked to social distance and wear masks as often as possible while attending the event. Space is very limited and expected to fill up quickly. Once all reservations are filled, the event will be at capacity and no additional guests can be accommodated.


Night Music Series

No reservations are required to attend this music series, which features live local bands. June’s Night Music concert features The Sawgrass Blues Band. As described on their website, they are “homegrown, Roswellian, blues-loving machines, specially selected for smoothness and taste. Acoustic, eclectic, bluesy, electric, — toe-tapping, foot-stomping rock, rhythm, & blues!”


Flicks on the Green

Join your PTC neighbors on the Town Green for Flicks on the Green a FREE movie series featuring iconic movies on their anniversary, on the 22′ digital display! Mark your calendar for the first Saturday of each month through October 2. Movies will be begin at 7pm; bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn and experience movies under the stars. Bring a picnic or grab food from your favorite Town Green restaurants.

Sports on the Screen

Come tailgate with fellow fans on the Town Green in July! A Braves baseball game and two Atlanta United soccer games will be live cast on the big screen (22′ digital display) at the Town Green. Sports fans are encouraged to bring their own coolers or purchase food and drink from one of the many restaurants in the Town Center. 

*Times and games could change last minute due to network availability


Yoga on the Green

Stretch and strengthen wit your neighbors at Yoga on the Green every Tuesday at 8:30 am, April 27 through September 28. Everyone from beginners to experienced yogis are welcome to this FREE class taught by David Penn from Sun Dragon Yoga.

What to Bring — Water (no glass containers), a small towel or two, and a mat if you have one. Please note the ground can be wet for these early morning classes so a towel under your mat can be helpful.

What to Wear — Wear comfortable clothes that allow a range of motion. Consider a close-fitting shirt, or a shirt that can be tucked in.  Come in whatever shoes you would like, as practice will be done barefoot.


EV charging is available at the Town Center

  • 4 Electrify America DCFC Stations 150kw – 350kw (parking deck, lower level)
  • 12 Tesla DCFC stations 350kw (parking deck, lower level)
  • 6 Level 2 charging stations (parking deck, two on each level)
  • To access charging, when entering Town Center from Hwy 141, head straight through the traffic circle and turn right, in front of Cinebistro. You’ll find chargers on the lower level there, and more on every level.

Some tips to keep in mind when attending PTC Town Green events

  • Items Allowed: Chairs & Blankets, Coolers 
  • Items Not Allowed: Tents, Grills, Glass Bottles
  • All events are tentative; Please check city website one week prior to event for confirmation.
  • Park and Walk — Parking is available at the Town Center parking deck, and additional parking is provided at 3720 Davinci Court. You’ll park there, cross PTC Circle, and access the Town Green via a pathway. Look for signage.

I hope all our locals will come out this summer and enjoy this beautiful space we have here at the Town Center in Peachtree Corners. I hope that we will have the chance to welcome lots of visitors, too! I’d love it if you would leave a comment to share your favorite summer outdoor community event!

Limewash Fireplace Transformation

My family bought our 1980s Williamsburg-style home, in Peachtree Corners, GA, in 2006. The home is tucked near a nice little cul-de-sac, deep in a subdivision full of 1980s Williamsburg-style homes. The homes are not too varied, interesting, or exciting, but do we love our home, our yard, and our neighborhood. The previous owners, who were the original owners, had made some quality upgrades to the house over the years. We have enjoyed continuing with numerous renovations ourselves.


One update we made a few years ago was kind of a big leap for me. It wasn’t a huge project, but was definitely a commitment. We limewashed the brick fireplace surround. When it comes to painting brick, there’s no going back…you can’t really “unpaint” brick. I’ve always felt that brick and wood are some kind of Sacred — you just can’t paint them on a whim! I realize many people feel this way. …but many don’t!

To my eye, the brick in our family room was a drab color, and while the surrounding oak bookcases were a great quality and of nice workmanship, I was tired of the heavy, honey-colored oak. That whole end of the room was dark.

This is from 2016, before we limewashed fireplace surround and painted the woodwork. Even with the inset lighting, that end of the room was dark and kind of blah. The wood and brick colors blended too much.

I looked into adding a fresh, current tile over the brick to update it, but after looking at pricing and logistics, we decided to try the limewash (since it’s inexpensive), and if we hated that, we could reconsider the work and expense of adding tile.

I was inspired by a few photos I found after Googling “painted brick fireplace” and settled on the limewash effect. We went with Romabio Avorio White Limewash Interior/Exterior Paint, which was in stock at Home Depot. I liked the limewash because it wasn’t going to completely cover the tones of the brick. Limewash paint gives a unique “whitewash” effect. The product we chose is a one-coat process, no priming required. That’s what sealed the whole deal for me.  According to the Romabio website this product is toxin free and environmentally friendly. Romabio Limewash is mineral-based and is derived from sustainable materials. . . . Bonus! And we were thrilled with the results!

The limewash process gives an old-world, antiqued/weathered look. Some of the brick color remains exposed, which results in a warmth you just wouldn’t have with a painted brick.

Here is a terrific sampling of the Romabio Limewash colors, found at brick&batten.com.

We decided to keep the oak mantle in place, as is, as it compliments our oak floors, and has a nice, neutral style.  So after taping off the edges by the mantle, bookcases, floor, and ceiling, we were ready to experiment.

The application was very easy. We went with the recommended 50% dilution (see chart below; the .67-gallon can was plenty for our fireplace surround). Before applying the limewash, we misted a 3’x3′ area of the brick with a spraybottle of water. Once the brick was damp, we used a paintbrush to apply the wash. It soaks right in!

Keep your brick damp with water as you apply the limewash.

We adjusted the look by applying plenty of the product and then washing off in random areas, so the brick color would peek through. We were able to balance out the intensity with some vigorous buffing, and there was lots of stepping back to observe, adding or removing the wash, and more observing after that!


This was at the end of the first day. We did remove a little more the next day, as it was a little more opaque than we wanted.

Removal is possible for up to two days after the initial application — very forgiving. This product can be re-applied to add color depth, even past the two-day removal limit. Since the finish is flat, touchups are undetectable. Nota Bene: the product dries more opaque and it looks “thicker” or “darker” when dry than when it’s wet. We ended up removing quite a bit over the next couple of hours, adjusting the amount of brick color and the “location” or “pattern” of the red that showed through.

Romabio Classico Limewash dilution recommendations


1L/1QT.2.5L/0.67GAL15L/4GAL
50%500ml1.25L7.5L
70%700ml1.75L10.5L

After the wonderful transformation with the limewashed  masonry, we decided to go ahead and have the woodwork painted to coordinate with the wall color, Silver Strand (7057, Sherwin Williams). The paint colors we used are: bookcases “Attitude Gray” (7060); wainscoting “Unusual Gray” (7059); all Sherwin Williams colors. 

‘White Rose Trio’ over mantle, by Tatyana Klevenskiy

This update truly brightened this part of my home. Adding the limewash to the fireplace surround and then painting the woodwork gave everything a fresher, cleaner, more updated feel. I just love it!

Low Mortgage Rates Benefit Many — Not Just Buyers

Mortgage rates are continuing to hold below 3% this spring. Rates were at record-breaking lows throughout most of 2020, during the unprecedented real estate market during the global pandemic. After rising a fraction in early 2021, the rates for a 30-year mortgage were averaging at 2.98%  on April 29, 2021. It’s natural to see homebuyers as reaping the real benefits from this. But consider others who benefit … even if you are not in the market for a new home, you could benefit from these low rates.

Advantage for buyers

It’s obvious that homebuyers are the most directly benefiting from the low interest rates. Says Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale, “Today’s mortgage rates give home buyers a much needed boost in purchasing power that will help them navigate higher home prices, which nearly every housing market across the country is seeing right now.” Perhaps reluctant would-be homebuyers are actually ready to act now in response to the lower interest rates. With the usual springtime increase-in-inventory, the market is turning a little more friendly to buyers the coming months.

Now is also a great time for 2nd-home buyers to make their dreams come true. Even if a great purchase price bargain is hard to come by in today’s housing market, you can still lock in at a respectable low interest rate and save a lot of money in the process. If owning a beach condo has been a goal for your family, this is a great time to buy, as the market for condominiums is not quite as competitive as the market for single-family detached homes.


Advantage for sellers

The climate of today’s housing market is by far the most advantageous for the seller. Low mortgage rates spur buyer demand, plain and simple. The more buyers, the more bidding wars and the higher the sales prices go. This also gives more negotiating power to the seller. 

Houses are on the market for a shorter time right now, with the average days on the market (DOM) being 18, as compared to the average over the last few years being 35-50, depending on the city. Higher DOM can make buyers wonder what’s wrong with the home, and after a few weeks, as interest drops, the appeal of the home drops. 


Advantage for the homeowner not planning to sell 

Lower rates are a positive incentive for refinancing, which can reduce monthly mortgage payments.  An increase in the homeowner’s equity can result, as well as the possibility of eliminating the pesky mortgage insurance.

All this can enhance a homeowner’s overall financial status. Quoted on the CNBC.com website, Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst for LendingTree says, “One of the best things Americans can do right now is build up their savings while trimming their debt.” When any loan balance is high compared to the original borrowed amount, credit scores are lower. Eliminating debt leads to financial security and peace of mind.

Even an advantage for renters

Landlords may take advantage of refinancing their rental property, which can lower their monthly payment and thus eliminate the need for increased rents during the hard times of the pandemic.

Many Americans are purchasing rental properties, taking advantage of the low interest rates. This makes more homes and apartments available to renters. “There’s just been extraordinary demand for rental homes in a lot of these secondary cities, tertiary cities, suburban markets, where a lot of the single-family rental properties are located,” said Gary Beasley, CEO of Roofstock, a marketplace for buying and selling single-family rental properties. According to an article on money.com, large portion of rental purchasers are first-time investors and many of those are moving from renter to landlord. Many of these properties become short-term rentals, through Airbnb or VRBO platforms. Since the onset of the pandemic, there seems to be a move away from hotels and motels and a trend of vacationers choosing detached homes, or condominiums, which don’t require as many close physical interactions during the vacation stay.


What’s next?

Mortgage rates are inching upward monthly. March saw the first dramatic increase over the previous 12 months, but the trajectory has slowed back in the last month. Rates are expected to stay below 3.20%, which is still a relatively low rate compared to the last few years. 2021 looks to be a safe time to make that home purchase, or secondary home purchase. Still, it’s good to keep in mind, the market is volatile, and speculation is just that. But home value growth is sure to remain in 2021.



If you are interested in selling or buying a home, I’d love to be of help as your Harry Norman Realtor. As a seller listing your home with me, you can be assured that your home will have the best market exposure. Harry Norman properties are featured on thousands of real estate websites visited by millions of qualified viewers. No other Atlanta residential real estate brokerage offers greater local, national, and international exposure. We are relocation specialists, so your home will be marketed not just to local Georgians, but specifically to the thousands of buyers relocating to the Atlanta area. We will present your home in the best light, with an eye toward the shortest time on the market and the best selling price. As a buyer’s agent with Harry Norman, I will work closely with you, taking in to account your specific and individual needs in the home buying process and I will be your exclusive advocate. It is to your advantage as a buyer, especially in this erratic market, to have a realtor who can make sure your offer stands out from the others, and that the contract is aligned with your best interests.

If you have questions about your neighborhood housing market trends, or are interested in buying or selling, I’d love a chance to chat with you about it all. Please contact me via email at ElizabethKay.Pinder@HarryNorman.com so we can set up an in-person or phone appointment.

Elizabeth Kay Pinder, Realtor ~ Harry Norman, REALTORS ~ 404-394-4646, mobile ~ 404-394-2131, office ~ ElizabethKay.Pinder@HarryNorman.com ~ ElizabethKayPinderWeb.HarryNorman.com

Sources

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/28/the-fed-keeps-rates-near-zero-heres-how-you-can-benefit.html

https://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/mortgage-rates-drop-home-prices-rise/

https://www.opendoor.com/w/blog/why-days-on-market-matter

https://money.com/historic-low-mortgage-rates-new-investment-property/