Gen Z and The Housing Market: Where They Currently Stand

Millennials have slowly been making their way into the real estate market – but it already looks like Gen Z is the next generational group to watch.

Realtor.com’s Generational Report shows that Gen Z holds a 2% share of the housing market!

Gen Z’s median price of a home purchased falls around $160,600 – Millennials are paying around $256,500. While the price gap on homes between generations is large, down payments are closer: Gen Z is putting down 5% on their home purchases, whereas Millennials are putting down 8.5%.

While Millennials seem to be moving to northern towns and cities, Gen Z is settling down in smaller Midwestern and Southern markets. The top Gen Z markets include:

  • Salem, North Carolina
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Wichita Kansas,
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia

It’s likely that Gen Z is staying put in the towns and cities where they resided for university. Because they’re only putting 5% down (likely because they haven’t had as much experience in the work force), they’ll be carrying a higher financial burden with private mortgage insurance.

One thing is for sure – Gen Z is highly interested in becoming homeowners.

Looking for more real estate news? Stop by Alliance Title’s blog to read more.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: How to Raise Your Agent Game

Whether you’re a new agent, or an expert in the field, it’s always a great idea to reflect on areas of improvement.

What are your goals for the 2020 year? Do you want to reach more clients? Sell “x” amount of homes, or make more genuine connections?

Being and becoming a great agent doesn’t mean you have to jump through hoops. It’s actually pretty simple. We have the tips you need below to start the year off right:

Customer Service

Ah – the scary world of customer service. Whether you’ve realized it or not, being a real estate agent means working in that exact field. But, it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Being an agent means knowing how to communicate, listen, provide suggestions, and decipher information clients are providing. Consumers know when you’re being pushy or inauthentic – so make sure you place yourself in your client’s shoes. Buying a home will likely be the biggest purchase of their life; they’re nervous, and they want you to guide them through it.

Prequalify

If you haven’t before, you’ve probably learned this the hard way. Prequalifying your clients before you show them homes will save you time and energy. Usually prequalifying shows how serious the buyer or seller is, and how much they’re willing to work with you – that, and you’ll know what financial ballpark they’re in as well.

Guru

There are plenty of real estate agents out there – but how can you stand out from the crowd?

Instead of claiming you know it all, show them how much you know in a specific area. Become the real estate guru for a specialized neighborhood, town, or city. Be the person clients know to reach out to when they wonder what new development is being built across town. A new coffee shop? – you’ve already got the details on when it will open.

Networking

You might have wondered how you’re supposed to know when the coffee shop opens, huh? Well, that’s where our next piece of advice comes in – networking.

You’ll work with many different people in your field – investors, vendors, inspectors, contractors, you name it. Keep their information handy, because you’ll never know when you might need them for a referral or to check in on what’s new in the market.

While these are only a few tips to strengthen your real estate game, they’ll set you apart from the pack – and help gain the confidence you need to close deals.

Looking for more real estate tips? Stop by Alliance’s Blog for more!

Out With the Old: New-Home Construction Rises

As more potential homeowners search for the home of their dreams, contractors are doing their best to keep up with demand.

However, it looks like new-home construction has had quite the boost – builders began construction on new homes in the U.S. at a pace of 1.37 million in November, which was a 3.2% increase from October and a 13.6% increase from a year ago.

These stats have surged for both single-family homes and multifamily structures.

Because of the said uptick, homebuilder sentiment has reached its highest level in decades. Coupled with lower unemployment and mortgage rates, economists believe that the housing market should continue to provide a boost to the U.S. economy for the unforeseeable future.

For more real estate news, check out Alliance’s Blog here.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Set a Marketing Plan

With 2020 in full swing, it’s important that you lay down a real estate marketing plan that will help drive future leads and put you ahead of the game.

While it may sounds daunting, we’ve got the tips to help you out.

Content marketing is all about providing real-time information that buyers and sellers are looking for – this doesn’t always have to be statistics on the real estate market, but rather, could also be any new developments taking place in your local area, open houses your hosting in a new neighborhood, or even networking events that you’re attending!

Why is market planning important?

  1. You become the local area / neighborhood / real estate guru – people recognize your brand, your name, and know to reach out to you.
  2. You show potential buyers and sellers how knowledgeable you are on the market, and how you will go above and beyond to secure their transaction.
  3. You create a flow of business where repeat buyers and sellers come back to you – or refer you to others.

Here’s how you get started:

Create Goals

It helps to have a clear idea of where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase traffic to your listings? Do you want to increase the amount of clicks on your blog? Do you want to reach more people through a specific social media platform?

Be sure that you are setting realistic and attainable goals. You don’t want to feel defeated!

Plan Content

You’ll want to schedule how often and when you’re developing and posting content. Stick to a routine schedule, so consumers can expect when to see a post from you.

Here’s a link that shows the best days and times to post to social media.

What do you post?

Be sure to make it fun – get eyes on your page or your profile! Whether it’s posting a Boomarang on Instagram, uploading a video discussing the latest stats on Facebook, or sharing a thought-provoking article on LinkedIn – make it engaging and make it fun.

Here are some content ideas:

  • A home preview (video, Instagram live, photos on your FB album)
  • Q & A Sessions (this would be best through a “live” feature – through Instagram where consumers can type in questions)
  • Setting up for your open house
  • Discuss the process of purchasing or selling a home
  • Show any new developments that are happening within the community (a new coffee shop, restaurant, bar, business building, etc.)

Once you have your marketing plan set and scheduled, stick with it! It’s important to be consistent, and of course, to engage.

Want more real estate tips? Check out Alliance Title’s Blog here.

The Cold Bothers Homeowners: Easy Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Hear us out – even though it’s (possibly) freezing outside, your home still needs the time and care it receives over the summer months.

But that doesn’t mean we’re suggesting insane home maintenance projects! Below, you’ll find a list of easy-to-manage home projects that just happen to take place during the winter months. These projects can help you save money on the electric bill and help prevent any expensive repairs.

Take a quick peak at what we’ve got for you below:

Trim Branches

You’ll want to avoid potential property damage if any unforeseen winter winds take up! You can have the trees on your property inspected and treated. You don’t want branches breaking through a window, your roof, or even damaging cars.

Weatherproof Windows

Most windows develop an air gap over a period of time – this can cause an energy loss in your bill for heating and cooling!

To update, remove any old caulking and use a caulk gun to apply a newer, smoother level. Check out this article for more information.

Schedule a Roof Inspection

Yes, this isn’t as simple of a DIY, but it can help in the long run. Checking for missing shingles, roof tiles, and damage to your roof can help prevent any possible leaks or other expensive repairs down the road.

While these are only three suggestions – they are important to maintain the health of your home. For more winter home maintenance suggestions, check out HouseBeautiful’s article here.

Bigger vs. Smaller Home – What Downsizers Miss

The grass is greener on the other side – but, is it?

Homes.com released a survey focusing on homeowners who have recently downsized; the survey found that while downsizing was the better option for them financially, it didn’t necessarily mean immediate happiness.

Half of the respondents cited “getting rid of possessions” as a major challenge when downsizing to a smaller home, with loss of space as one of the greatest challenges.

If you had to decide between keeping your comfy sectional couch, or your antique dining room table, you’d have a difficult time too!

Another interesting find: 19% of homeowners became more distant from family and friends after they moved into a smaller home.

The survey also highlighted that on average, parents with adult children waited 5 years after they moved out before deciding to downsize – giving their children the option of moving back home, if need be.

Check out Homes.com’s infographic below!

Infographic provided by Homes.com

Want more real estate news? Check out Alliance Title’s Blog for more!

Real Estate of the Decade: How Did Neighborhoods Fare?

With 2020 approaching, it’s time we take a step back and look at how far real estate has come since 2010. After nearly a decade, some drastic changes have been implemented into the market.

At the start of 2010, real estate was in some tough waters: home values were at their lowest and delinquency in mortgages was high. But now, as 2020 approaches, home values have recovered (along with the economy) and mortgage rates are at a historic low.

The new challenges of 2020? Well, much of the country is still grappling with housing affordability and lack of homes for sale.

Below, you’ll find Redfin’s research of the housing markets that have experienced the most dramatic changes over the past decade.

Take a look here:

  • Highest % increase in home prices: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Biggest contrast between increase in home prices and decline in incomes: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Largest dollar value jump in home prices: San Francisco, California
  • Greatest decline in days on market: Long Island’s Nassau County, New York
  • Steepest drop in home supply: Salt Lake City, Utah

We’ll have to wait to see what 2020 will bring – but with the decade coming to a close, it’s interesting to see where real estate has come.

Deck the Halls and Test Your DIY Homeowner Skills

Being a homeowner, you might already know the frustration of attempting a DIY home project yourself, rather than hiring a professional.

But – you’re not alone!

A new survey released from HireAHelper found that many homeowners would tackle a renovation first before hiring someone.

Which projects are homeowner most comfortable with, you ask?

86% of homeowners would rather assemble furniture themselves than hire a professional. The project homeowners are least comfortable with – installing a ceiling fan.

The second project homeowners feel confident tackling: unclogging a toilet. When it comes to generational groups, however, 1 in 4 Gen Zers would rather hire someone to unclog a toilet, than complete the task themselves.

Check out HireAHelper’s infographic below:

Infographic from HireAHelper

Want more real estate stats? Check out Alliance’s Blog here.

Must Love Dogs: Condo Requirements Before Move-In

There might be some ruff news for future homebuyers if you’re looking to purchase in a condo.

Home shoppers know that when it comes to finalizing a home transaction, you’re going to need to send in financial statements, tax returns, and more – to condo and co-op boards before you’re accepted.

But now, a lot of condos are requesting an extra step if you own a pet.

Some condos and co-ops are requiring headshots, resumes, recommendation letters, and even sit-in interviews for pets.

As of now, this is more popular in New York City – where pet interviews are mandatory in order to ensure pets won’t fight other residents or bark throughout the night. Those on the board believe they might be held legally liable if the pet bites another person in one of the common spaces.

Some pets, if listed as “banned”, have the opportunity to try out a trial period – if the resident signs a letter that acknowledges the dog can remain in the building only at the board’s discretion.

While this might be another hoop to jump through – maybe a cute sweater or bow tie might help your pet pass on a good first impression.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog here.

Real Estate Tip of the Week: Keeping Up with 2020 Trends

The real estate world is constantly changing and expanding – and it’s important that you, as a real estate agent, stay at the forefront of it.

Instead of being fearful of the industry changes, embrace it! Change will always occur, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt. Here are some tips to ensure your relevance in the upcoming 2020 real estate year.

Security Updates

According to Real Estate Consulting Firm, T3 Sixty, in 2018, more than 11,000 real estate data crime victims lost $150 million in total. Not good.

But – there are ways you can combat this problem. With new technology, comes new ways to hack – so it’s important that you keep your vigilance. Here are some tips:

  • Update your passwords – check out our recent blog on updating your password here.
  • Verify, verify, verify – call your client, lender, etc., when you have received an email about any updates or changes to your transaction.
  • Update your programs – make sure your computers and cell phones are on the most current update.
  • Two-Step Authentication – requiring a second form of identification can thwart potential hackers.

iBuyer Growth

Not all brokerages have implemented this feature yet – but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. iBuyers are a quicker sale and is essentially all online. Atlanta Real Estate coach, Dr. Lee Davenport, has a great article discussing the advantages to jumping aboard the iBuyer train – and how to do it.

Referrals and Leads

The average consumer spends $10,000 on services like movers, insurance, utilities, home security, and home improvements within the first six weeks of a home purchase.

Using a third-party vendor to offer referrals for these services after your client’s transaction has been completed is predicted to go on the rise – and hey, it offers a great structure for a referral base.

These are just a few of the changes that are heading our way in the real estate world. Let’s make this a successful year – check out the rest of Alliance Title’s blog to stay in the know!