If Too Pricey, They Will Move: 2019 Real Estate Predictions

Housing markets in 2019 are showing a change for inland cities. Trulia measured five key factors from 2018 in order to dictate which real estate markets will be top dogs next year.

These were their metrics:

  • Job growth over the past year
  • Vacancy rates
  • Good starter-home affordability
  • Inbound versus outbound home searches on Trulia
  • Population age in certain areas – a large share of those being 35 and under (represents more potential for first-time homebuyers)

But why does it seem as though inland cities are taking the crown for 2019?

Redfin released a report that indicated rising mortgage rates in expensive coastal cities (i.e., Seattle and San Francisco being examples) have provoked a massive move towards affordable inland real estate markets.

So what cities made the list to grab the real estate market crown for 2019?

  1. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  3. Jacksonville, Florida
  4. Bakersfield, California
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Fresno, California
  7. Phoenix, Arizona,
  8. Columbia, South Carolina
  9. El Paso, Texas
  10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Check out Alliance Title’s Blog to stay in the know in all things real estate.

Bringing in the Monet – Museums & Real Estate

We might have just found out why the Mona Lisa is smiling – she’s been secretly helping real estate values soar.

A new study lead by economics professor at Williams College in Massachusetts, Stephen Sheppard, has found that the property values of homes near new museums can rise between 20-50% over a period of five years.

Sheppard’s prime example comes from Bilbao, Spain – which he now refers to as the “Bilbao effect.” With the Guggenheim Art Museum opening its doors in the port city back in 1997, the town has become a global international arts and luxury real estate destination!

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chattanooga, Tennessee has been experiencing the Bilbao effect. The average sales price of homes less than a mile from Chattanooga’s Hunter Museum of American Art back in July 2016 was $271,000 – as of now, these homes have surged to $573,000 in home value price.

It looks like museums are offering more than just stimulating conversation – they’re helping out your homes, too.

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Tip of the Week: There’s No Crying in Real Estate

Feeling a little weepy after not accumulating more listings? It’s easy to fall into the trap of routine and comfortability. But in order to grow and continue succeeding, stepping out of your comfort zone and approaching things with a different view is always key.

A great way to secure a sale and more experience in the real estate world is to garner listings – but this isn’t always easy.

Call Call Call

In order to build your network, you have to be willing to talk to people. Talk with your friends, family, past coworkers, the grocery clerk – everyone! They might even know someone who is looking for an agent and can refer you.

Local Major Developers

It’s always good to know one or two local developers in the area. Reach out with the intention of getting to know them – as well as them getting to know you. Again, networking is key!


After a successful closing, politely ask if your client wouldn’t mind writing a quick review about you – either through your social media sites, or through the company website you work for. The more positive reviews you have, the more reliable you seem to a potential client.

Social Media

Recognition is key here – building up your followers and your base, advising them on the work you do, and giving contact information – will never hurt in attracting sellers to help with their listing.

Face to Face

If you have been talking to a potential client through email or text messages, you should take it to the next step by offering to meet in person. It helps you become more than just a screen – you’re more approachable, relatable, and unforgettable when you meet in person.

Part of this industry is understanding that tactics and inventory are always shifting and changing – being the successful real estate agent that you are, you understand that you have to mold to what these needs are.

Rubber Ducky, You’re the One; You Make Remodeling so Much Fun

Like any good homeowner, you’re always on the lookout for the next premier upgrade for your home. Whether you’re considering aging in place or preparing to sell, it’s typically a positive measure to give your home the love and care it deserves.

When upgrading, it’s essential to acknowledge which rooms are needing a boost. If you’re trying to impress a potential buyer, the bathroom is usually the key.

Bathrooms can make or break the vision of a home – carpeted bathrooms? No way. Bright pink walls? These examples might push the buyer to run for the hills.

So what are some key improvements you can give your bathroom?

According to REALTOR® Magazine, grays, mixed metals, and farmhouse styles are some of the more popular trends that are being remodeled in bathrooms.

Some of the more special features that are popular: dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks, and built-in vanities.

These homeowners are even looking at more than just the bathroom – viewing their project as a complete renovation within their room – to create a master suite. It looks as though 46% of homeowners that remodel their master bathroom also take on their bedroom, with 11% actually creating their master bathroom to be the same size or even larger than their bedroom.

So, bathrooms are important. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also for creating a luxurious retreat from the stressful world. How does your master bath look?

Check out Alliance’s Blog to stay on top of all things real estate.

Tip of the Week: Spotting the Red Flags

Your seller or buyer is acting differently – you start to picture them bolting out the door and sprinting down the street, never to return to your office again.

Getting cold feet before a big financial decision isn’t a strange phenomenon, but it is your job as a real estate agent to rein in your client and help them see the big picture: that you’re there to help them and guide them away from making any “bad” decisions.

Here are a few instances that your client might be ready to head for the hills.

Financial Issues

If your client is selling, then it is incredibly important to ask for proof of funds for a down payment when accepting an offer from a buyer. If the buyer can’t prove funds initially, it could be an issue that derails the transaction. If your client is buying, have a clear picture of their available down payment and financing.

Mundane Emotion

Sometimes homeowners may be having a difficult time saying goodbye to their home, resulting in upsetting emotions. In this instance, offering reassurance should be your top priority – reminding them that they’ll be able to make new memories, and that a new family will be able to cherish their home – are good reminders.

Not Understanding Scheduling

As a real estate agent, you’ve seen everything; you understand what will be smoothed out, and you understand the possible issues that arise and how to fix them. Your buyer or seller, ultimately, doesn’t really understand the ins and outs of the business.

Sometimes buyers and sellers start to panic when – to them – it seems as though things are going “too quickly” or taking “too long.” It’s important to remind yourself that you are their gatekeeper – let your client know when things are going smoothly and that in all honesty, the scheduling for closing on a home is pretty normal. According to the August 2018 Realtors® Confidence Index Survey showed that 76% of contracts were settled on time, with only 20% being delayed or 5% being terminated.

As a real estate agent, you’re helping guide your client through an excitedly chaotic time in their lives – a huge purchase that they’ll rarely make. Keep them calm, excited, and of course, help them reach their real estate goals.

Stay in the real estate loop by subscribing to Alliance’s blog.

Get Ready, Get Set, Vote!

Voting day is here!

Alliance Title’s 6th annual Canstructure Contest has begun! Follow the link below to vote for your favorite canstructure.

The winner will be allowed bragging rights, and the Fido Traveling Canstructure Trophy!

Get voting – and help Alliance Title close the hunger gap by donating nonperishable food items to any Alliance Title location throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.


Closing the Hunger Gap 2018

We’ve officially kicked off the 7th annual Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. ‘Closing the Hunger Gap’ companywide food drive! The drive will run through October 31st, 2018.

Our branches throughout Idaho and sections of Montana and Washington have teamed up with their local food banks to collect non-perishable food items and funds to help end hunger in the communities we serve.

This year’s goal is to collect 27,000 pounds of food.

Each branch will be creating food art installations we call “Canstructures” – each office will come up with their own theme and design! Come into participating offices to vote on your favorite one, or vote for your favorite Canstructure starting on Monday, October 8th!

We’re eager to have you help us reach our 27,000 pound food collection goal and end hunger in our community!

Don’t forget to use the hashtag, #CHG2018 to share your donations!

A Rise in Home Value and a Latte, Please

Coffee: it does more than just help you get out of bed in the morning – it also helps your home value.

A recent study released by Harvard Business School found that when a Starbucks pops up in your neighborhood, your home can increase by 0.5% within a year.

The conclusions from the study pinpoint how the expansion of restaurants, bars, cafés, grocery stores, and Starbucks chains can be a sign of gentrification. However, the study argues that these openings don’t necessarily attract affluent residents – but rather, how these openings mesh in with the neighborhood.

The study explains, “The most natural hypothesis to us is that restaurants respond to exogenous changes in neighborhood composition, not that restaurant availability is driving neighborhood change.”

If you’re a realtor, or in the process of thinking about selling your home, it might be worth seeing what new construction might be coming near the neighborhood. It’s important to know how to market your home to potential buyers, and if the neighborhood is changing, your approach might need to change.

And who knows? You might just see a spike in caffeine and home value.

Staying Safe on the Job

September is right around the corner – and since 2003, the National Association of REALTORS® has devoted the month as REALTOR® Safety Month.

NAR’s 2017 Member Safety Report shows that 44% of females and 25% of males have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or safety of their personal information.

It’s easy to fall into a routine and let your guard down – we’ve all been guilty of becoming a little lazy in some shape or form. But it’s always important to refresh your thinking and list out positive and simple methods to make sure you’re feeling safe and secure while on the job.

Meet in a public space. Have a “second meeting only” policy – the first time you meet your clients should either by in your office or another public location before agreeing to a private showing. This allows you an opportunity to evaluate them and for your intuition to do some work. Always require that your clients bring some form of identification that you can file (but be sure to discard properly when no longer needed).

Tell others where you’ll be. Before attending your open house or your showing, be sure to let your colleagues, friends, or family members know of your location. Give them the name of your client and the address you are planning to meet at. NAR’s Safety Report also demonstrated that 28% of Realtors use the “Find my iPhone feature” when out for the job.

Allow your clients to lead. When walking through the property, it’s safer to let them guide you through the house, rather than yourself. By having them lead, you are able to always have them in view.

Be mindful of exits. Always know where you can quickly exit and avoid showing basements or attics. This goes hand-in-hand with being mindful of where the property keys are!

Listen to your gut. If you feel as though something is off, or you feel uncomfortable, follow your intuition. You know the saying, “better to be safe than sorry.”

Frankly, my dear, Buying a Home is Stressful

The typical anxieties include: finances, relationship issues, not getting your multiple Americanos on time before going to the office…you know, the usual.

Homes.com released a bombshell of a statistic regarding the biggest stressor currently for Americans: buying a home.

Here’s their breakdown:

  • 33% of homebuyers had at least one moment of shedding tears during the home-buying process.
  • 38% of homebuyers were surprised at the length of the process
  • 13% of homebuyers believed they overpaid for their new home
  • 28% felt devastated after losing property that they put a contract in for
  • Only 1 in 5 homebuyers felt confident with their decision making

Apparently buyer’s remorse is a legitimate thing.

Avoid the Anxiety

Do your research.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and be as honest as you can with your real estate agent.

Understand that buying a home takes time and requires patience and obviously, money. Acquire a nice little nest egg before making the big leap.

By being prepared, you will be able to jump aboard with confidence when making an offer on a home that feels right for you. Because when you purchase a home, frankly, you should be thrilled – not distressed.