Richmond, TX Real Estate News

By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from InflationIf you're following along with the news today, you've likely heard about rising inflation. You're also likely feeling the impact in your day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These rising consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to ensure they're still worthwhile.If you've been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you're probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes more sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here's how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.Homeownership Offers Stability and SecurityInvestopedia explains that during a period of high inflation...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Should I Skip a Home Inspection?When buying a new home, there’s a lot more that goes into the process than just signing some forms and picking up the keys. One of the big steps that you’ll typically take is getting a home inspection to identify any potential issues with the property. While this is common, most of the time it’s not actually required; while lenders will generally insist on an appraisal of the home, this isn’t a full inspection. So does that mean you can skip getting an actual home inspection as a part of the home-buying process?Technically, yes. Unless you live in an area where home inspections are legally required, you don’t have to get a home inspection before purchase. Should you skip a home inspection? Absolutely not. Having your home inspected serves a much greater p...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell Some Highlights If you're thinking about selling your house this season, focusing on a few quick and easy updates outside can help your home look its best. 78% of real estate agents polled say poor landscaping affects property values. As a seller, that means your yard could impact your bottom line. When getting your house ready to sell, lets connect to discuss what you should do to make sure your house shows well and catches the eyes of more potential buyers.    
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Why Pre-Approval Is an Important Step for Todays HomebuyersBeing intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. Thats why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reports, explains:The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you're eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you're qualified to make an offer.Why does that matter so much today? There are many more buyers looking for homes today than there are homes available for sale, and that's creating some serious competition. According to the National ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Myths About Todays Housing Market Some Highlights If you're planning to buy or sell a home today, its important to be aware of common misconceptions. Whether its timing your purchase as a buyer based on home prices and mortgage rates or knowing what to upgrade or repair before listing your house as a seller, it takes a professional to guide you through those decisions. Lets connect so you have an expert to help separate fact from fiction in todays housing market.    
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Using Your Tax Refund To Achieve Your Homeownership Goals This YearIf you're buying or selling a home this year, you're likely saving up for a variety of expenses. For buyers, that might include things like your down payment and closing costs. And for sellers, you're probably working on a bit of spring cleaning and maintenance to spruce up your house before you list it.Either way, any money you get back from your taxes can help you achieve your goals. Using a tax refund is a common tactic for buyers and sellers. SmartAsset estimates the average American will receive a 2,897 tax refund this year. The map below provides a more detailed estimate by state:If youre getting a refund this year, here are a few tips to help with your home purchase or sale this season.How Buyers Can Use Their Tax...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Why a Real Estate Professional Is Key When Selling Your HouseWith todays real estate market moving as fast as it is, working with a real estate professional is more essential than ever. They have the skills, experience, and expertise it takes to navigate the highly detailed and involved process of selling a home. That may be why the percentage of people who list their houses on their own, known as a FSBO or For Sale By Owner, has reached its lowest point since 1985 (see graph below): Here are five reasons why selling with a real estate professional makes more sense, even in todays hot market: 1. They Know What Buyers Want To SeeBefore you decide which projects and repairs to take on, connect with a real estate professional. They have first-hand experience with todays buyers, what they e...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?There's never been a truer statement regarding forecasting mortgage rates than the one offered last year by Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is: Don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.Coming into this year, most experts projected mortgage rates would gradually increase and end 2022 in the high three-percent range. Its only April, and rates have already blown past those numbers. Freddie Mac announced last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is already at 4.72%.Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, tweeted on March 31:Continuing on the recent trajectory, would...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Wood Isn’t Your Only Option: Building Materials Outside the BoxWhether you’re adding a shed to your property, expanding with a new room, or building an entire house, the cost of lumber is likely going to affect your plans. Though not quite as high as it peaked early in the pandemic, buying lumber in any quantity still isn’t exactly what one would call a cheap endeavor. There may be a bright side to all of this, however; the high cost of lumber is highlighting the fact that there are actually a few alternatives to wood out there that you might not have thought of.This doesn’t mean that you can completely avoid the use of wood in every project, of course. Some projects work better with alternative materials than others. Still, the fact that there are options out there other than just usin...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
What Is Multigenerational Housing?Some Highlights If you have additional loved ones coming to live with you but don't have enough space, it may be time to consider a larger, multigenerational home. Some key benefits of multigenerational living include a combined homebuying budget, shared caregiving duties, enhanced relationships, and more. These benefits might be why more people are choosing to live in multigenerational homes today. Lets connect so you can find a house that meets your changing needs and has plenty of space for you and your loved ones.     
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer TodaySince the number of homes for sale is low today, it can feel challenging to find one that checks all your boxes. But if you know which features are absolutely essential in your next home and which ones are just nice bonuses, you can land a home that fits your needs.Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this:Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how you'll craft your list. After all, you don't want to ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
What You Need To Budget for When Buying a HomeWhen it comes to buying a home, it can feel a bit intimidating to know how much you need to save and where to find that information. But you should know, you're not expected to have all the answers yourself. There are many trusted professionals who can help you understand your finances and what you'll need to budget for throughout the process.To get you started, here are a few things experts say you should plan for along the way.1. Down PaymentAs you set your savings goal for your purchase, your down payment is likely already top of mind. And, like many other people, you may believe you need to set aside 20% of the homes purchase price for that down payment but that's not always the case. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:One o...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Remote Work Trends Mean Flexibility for First-Time HomebuyersToday’s low inventory can be challenging for homebuyers, especially if you're looking to purchase your first home. But if you’re one of many people who work remotely, you may have a great opportunity to use the flexibility you have at work to achieve your homebuying goals this year.In a recent report, Arch Capital Services explains how the ongoing trend of remote work can open up more options for homebuyers:. . . This will enable those who are able to work from home on a part-time or hybrid basis to move slightly farther away from job centers. . . . For workers who secure full-time remote jobs, their place of residence will be determined by affordability and personal preferences.Basically, working from home is great news if yo...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
The Future of Home Price Appreciation and What It Means for YouMany consumers are wondering what will happen with home values over the next few years. Some are concerned that the recent run-up in home prices will lead to a situation similar to the housing crash 15 years ago.However, experts say the market is totally different today. For example, Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, tweeted just last week on this issue:. . . We do need price appreciation to slow today (its not sustainable over the long run) but high price growth today is supported by fundamentals- short supply, lower rates & demographic demand. And we are in a much different & safer space: better credit quality, low DTI [Debt-To-Income] & tons of equity. Hence, a crash in prices is very unlikely.Price a...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
A Key To Building Wealth Is HomeownershipThe link between financial security and homeownership is especially important today as inflation rises. But many people may not realize just how much owning a home contributes to your overall net worth. As Leslie Rouda Smith, President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:“Homeownership is rewarding in so many ways and can serve as a vital component in achieving financial stability.” Here are just a few reasons why, if you're looking to increase your financial stability, homeownership is a worthwhile goal.Owning a Home Is a Building Block for Financial SuccessA recent NAR report details several homeownership trends and statistics, including the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters. It finds:. . . the net worth of ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
The Best Week To List Your House Is Just Around the CornerAre you thinking about selling your house? If so, you may want to make it a priority to start the process soon. According to realtor.com, the sweet spot for sellers is just around the corner. In a recent study, experts analyzed housing market trends by looking at data from the past several years (excluding 2020, since it was an atypical year). When applied to the current market, experts determined the ideal week to list a house this year. The research says:Home sellers on the fence waiting for that perfect moment to sell should start preparations, because the best time to list a home in 2022 is approaching quickly. The week of April 10-16 is expected to have the ideal balance of housing market conditions that favor home sellers, ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
What's Happening with Mortgage Rates, and Where Will They Go from Here?Based on the Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has increased by 1.2% (3.22% to 4.42%) since January of this year. The rate jumped by more than a quarter of a point from just a week ago. Here's a visual to show how mortgage rate movement throughout 2021 was steady compared to the rapid increase in mortgage rates this year:Just a few months ago, Freddie Mac projected mortgage rates would average 3.6% in 2022. Earlier this month, Fannie Mae forecast mortgage rates would average 3.8% in 2022. As the chart above shows, rates have already surpassed those projections.Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explained in a press release last week:This week, the 30-yea...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Its Still a Sellers Market Some Highlights Due to low supply and high demand, today is one of the strongest sellers markets we've seen. Sellers can benefit from more offers to pick from, higher home values, and a faster sales process. There's a reason why 72% of people believe its a good time to sell. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity. Lets connect so you can take advantage of this hot sellers market.    
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Why Is My Furnace in the Attic or Crawl Space?Though it’s not as common as traditional furnace setups, some homes feature a furnace that’s installed in either the attic of the house or in a crawl space. It might seem at first that this would be inconvenient compared to standard furnace locations, and in some ways it can be. There are some advantages to having an attic-mounted furnace or a furnace in the crawl space, however. If you’re thinking of buying a home (or recently bought one) that makes use of one of these alternate furnace locations, it was probably done to take advantage of one or more of these factors.With that said, you may have some questions about your furnace and how to maintain it. First, the good news: A lot of your maintenance will be about the same as you would have ...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
The Average Homeowner Gained More Than 55K in Equity over the Past YearIf you're a current homeowner, you should know your net worth just got a big boost. It comes in the form of rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Today, you're building that equity far faster than you may expect and this gain is great news for you.Here's how it happened. Home values are on the rise thanks to low housing supply and high buyer demand. Basically, there aren't enough homes available to meet this high buyer interest, so bidding wars are driving home prices up. When you own a home, the rising prices mean your home is worth more in todays market. And as home values climb, your equity does too. As Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains...
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