The Elections

If you’re worried about how the upcoming elections could impact the markets, you’re not alone. This year’s election is likely to be more contentious than the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore (a process that took over five weeks to resolve and saw the S&P 500 drop more than 8%). Numerous lawsuits have already been filed in state courts by both parties and we’re weeks from election night. With an expected increase in mail-in ballots, we won’t likely know the winner until days after the election. Even after that, we could see legal challenges that could take […]

Who is Buying?

This is the question I am asked most often when talking about the current boom in the housing market. I usually cite two key demographics that are behind this current head-scratching rise, and the primary one is first-time homeowners: Millennials. Much of the data on this group comes from YPulse, a marketing and research firm that specializes in Gen Z and Millennial consumers. YPulse recently published a report called “No Place Like Home” that offered some understanding on how the pandemic has affected the attitudes and intentions of this huge, young demographic. While 3 million Millennials have moved back into […]

Housing Market Continues to Soar, But Not Everywhere

According to recent statistics released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of existing homes in July rocketed up 24.7% from June, the strongest monthly gain in the history of their survey going back to 1968, and the highest sales pace since the housing boom in 2006. Gains year over year in July 2020 were 8.7% higher than in July 2019. NAR’s economic staff reports that median home prices in the week ending August 15 were up nationally 10.1% year over year, and when adjusted for inflation that is “higher than the bubble high set in 2006.” Regionally, the […]

Is the Housing Market Going Mad?

We are in the middle of the first truly worldwide pandemic in a century. The economy is returning the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Businesses are closing, reducing their workforce, and economists have their hair on fire. So… why is the housing market going like gangbusters? Like so much of what we’re experiencing in 2020, it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense. From actual experience in the Baltimore metro market, and discussions with real estate agents in other places, there simply are not enough homes on the market to meet current demand. Prices […]

The Stats Are Improving

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homebuyers are increasingly emerging from their hiding places to buy houses, which reports pending home sales spiked a stunning 44.3% in May compared with April. This constitutes the largest one-month jump in the history of the nearly 20-year-old survey and beats expectations of a 15% gain. While it still represents a lower number than a year ago, pending sales measures signed contracts on existing homes, demonstrating how buyers were shopping through May. “Sales had fallen 22% for the month in April, as the economy shut down to slow the spread of the […]

Are New Homes Recovering?

Since the economy started its slow climb out of the Great Recession, one of the biggest lead weights that the housing sector has been carrying is lack of inventory. Many homeowners were under water on their house value and decided to stay put in their current home longer than normal. Those potential “move-up” home buyers were not freeing up inventory for first timers. At the same time builders were having unprecedented difficulty securing the kind of financing necessary to add to housing inventory with large-scale new home developments. Those two circumstances left first-time home buyers unable to move out of […]

When Lovebirds Nest

With Valentine’s Day drawing near, and the spring real estate market just around the corner, it’s the time of year when Lovebirds think about nesting. Buying a home together should be an easy process, as long as you enter into it with some idea of what will happen and the unfamiliar terminology you will encounter along the way. So, here’s a quick guide to make the experience easier. Whenever two people will appear on a title or deed, they most likely will need to qualify separately to be on the mortgage, or Deed of Trust. It’s important that the Lovebirds […]

Are You Ready for the Silver Tsunami?

Zillow analysts have reported that between 2017 and 2027, over 900,000 baby boomer-owned homes will go on the market every year, and that will increase to 1.17 million units of housing inventory from 2027 to 2037. That means approximately 20 million properties, (or 27 percent of currently owner-occupied houses) will flood the market, as the elder generation passes on or gives up their homes. Arizona and Florida, the two states that have the most retired residents, will experience the highest inventory jumps, expected to top 30 percent. Zillow’s Jeff Tucker explains, “In many parts of the country, the Silver Tsunami […]

Estate Planning: the Basics

Estate planning in its simplest terms is passing your assets to your heirs as quickly and tax-free as possible. Assets can be transferred via wills, ownership, by contract (beneficiary arrangements), and trusts. The best way to ensure that you have everything covered is to meet with an attorney. Regardless of the complexity of your financial situation, your attorney will most likely start you with a basic estate plan. The basic estate plan typically includes the drafting of your will, powers of attorney for health care and finances, as well as living wills. Wills – I have encountered many excuses for […]

What Are You Drinking?

Over the last few years it’s become perfectly clear that homeowners cannot take the basic utilities that provide services to their house for granted. Whether it’s the sanitary sewer or septic lines, gray water drains, or the water service that comes into your home, we’ve seen spectacular failures in public systems that have had major effects on quality of life, health, and property value. 1) Flint, Michigan is only the most publicized water system failure. There have been and probably will be many more around the country. Since most consumers only pay attention to water quality when there is a […]