Listing Courtesy of OCEAN ATLANTIC SOTHEBY'S INTL REALTY
Suppose you are a Sussex County homeowner who intends to move to a different home eventually, but for the moment, you aren’t under any particular deadline pressure that would dictate when you have to put your home on the market. In that case, you’re likely to keep tabs on overall market conditions, awaiting what looks like circumstances favor those with homes for sale.
Twice a year, the National Association of Realtors® issues their economists’ midyear forecast—it appeared last week. For those with homes for sale in Sussex County (or anyone thinking about adding theirs to the homes already for sale), the outlook was heartening.
The forecast was for the greater U.S. economy to improve, bouncing back from the weather-blasted winter stall which made the first quarter a disappointment. Subsequently, consumer spending opened up, causing expectation that the GDP would rise in the remainder of the year. Overall, the forecast for 2015 was positive, though lukewarm. As a whole, the year promises to be “not bad but not great.”
On the other hand, focusing narrowly on the outlook for U.S. housing market activity—homes for sale—the upside momentum was already decidedly more in evidence. The prospects for any single one of the Sussex County homes for sale depend upon a combination of factors, but if national activity is any reflection, the latest numbers packed what you could call a “6-7-8-9 punch”:
· Existing home sales in May notched a high water mark not seen in 6 years (and the 2009 level had been artificially inflated because of an $8,000 homebuyer tax credit).
· New home sales hit the highest level in 7 years.
· Housing permits to build new homes registered an 8 year high.
· Pending contracts to buy existing homes for sale reached a 9 year high.
Examining the demographics behind the figures, it was clear that, for the first time in quite a while, first-time buyers are back. Last year during the same period, only 27% of buyers were first-timers. They now make up a more normal 32%. As prices brought by homes for sale continued to rebound, institutional investors were disappearing from the scene, creating a more typical mix of buyers.
A major part of the reason why homes for sale were fetching “stronger than normal home price growth” had to do with a shortage of inventory—ascribed to the volume of new homes being built (or not being built). The rule of thumb is generally for about 1.5 million new homes to be constructed per year, a mark that’s failed to be realized for a number of years. In 2009, only 550,000 home were built—and the total had barely reached a million through last year. But now, with optimism among homebuilders at newly robust levels, it’s expected that normal output will have fully resumed by 2017.
The other major factor boosting sale prices was the specter of mortgage rate increases. Rising mortgage rates “initially rush buyers to decide”—just the kind of sign that could tip the scales for a homeowner who’s been waiting to add their property to the homes for sale in Sussex County. Should you decide that this summer is shaping up to have just the conditions you’ve been waiting for, I hope you’ll give me a call for a no-obligation consultation! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
Lewes home owners don’t have to live in the kind of January landscape that features blizzards and snowdrifts to want to winterize their home before the onslaught of the chilliest temperatures. In even the mellowest of climates, winterization is a way to shrink energy bills. And even if the recent shocking downward spirals in world oil prices have sent your home heating costs to the bottom of your budget-tightening "to do" list, remember that if and when you eventually put your Sussex County home on the market, low utility expenses can be a strong selling point. Regardless of how you set your internal thermostat, theBig Three of energy cost reduction always include the following:
Raise the Air Temp; Lower the Water Temp
Two tips that could seem counterproductive will cut energy costs in many an Sussex County home. You’d think you should just switch ceiling fans off until spring, but not so. For cooling, the blades are set to spin counterclockwise so that cool air won’t be wasted down near the floor. The tip is to reverse the fan’s rotation to clockwise. That will act to push warmer air down from the ceiling. Wait until the blades come to a stop, then slide the small direction switch (it’s usually next to the pull cord). The second tip is actually one you can do any time of the year since hot water heaters are usually set to heat to 140 degrees. In truth, most of us don’t need it that hot. Try resetting the temperature to 120 degrees, and see if it’s sufficient. If so, in the course of a year you’ll save more than a few dollars!
Block Air Creep
For a few dollars, a tube of caulk can be a final defense against the creep of cold outside air. Use caulk to seal cracks in the walls and gaps around your windows and doors. In extremes, there are inexpensive extra measures, such as see-through plastic sheets to cover windows with a second seal (doing both would keep the most remote Siberian cabin as buttoned-up as a baby kangaroo). If a drafty door will have to wait until spring for full renewal, an interim trick is to roll up a bath towel and place it against the threshold. This temporary fix keeps out the worst drafts and doesn’t cost a dime.
Take Care of Your Air Conditioner
If you have water-served central air, during the colder months when it’s out of service, good maintenance requires draining the water hoses. Split air conditioners don’t have that issue, but some of them need an exterior cover for preventing drafts (if you haven’t felt any on chilly evenings, it’s not necessary). If you haven’t already removed any window units, better go to the hardware store to buy exterior covers: a lot of chilly air can make its way in through uncovered vents.
The Big Three tips alone comprise a Sussex County home winterization program that costs less than a burger and fries—yet can result in measurable energy savings. If you have found any other simple energy savers, I hope you’ll share: drop me an email, or give me a call at the office!