Trending First Time Home Buyers….WHO ARE THEY?

While the overall number of first-time homebuyers continues to decline, one segment of the population is bucking the trend. Young people ranging in age from their late teens to mid-30s, known as millennials, are the largest and fastest growing group of homebuyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Instead of converted industrial spaces and hip coffee shops in city centers, these young people are opting instead for older single-family homes with manicured lawns and soccer leagues in the suburbs.

The median age of millennials, 30, is the driving force behind this trend. “This is typically the time in life where one settles down to marry and raise a family,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. And these buyers are choosing the suburbs over the city, he adds, because of a shortage of condos in urban centers fitting their entry-level price range. “Affordability pressures make buying in the city extremely difficult for most young households,” he says. “Even if an urban setting is where they’d like to buy their first home, the need for more space at an affordable price is for the most part pushing their search further out.”

Source: Council of Residential Specialists

Michael Caruso is a long time member of the Council of Residential Specialists, designation CRS



How A Homeowner Can Sabotage Their Own Appraisal…


For decades there has always been a difference of opinion with  homeowners and an appraiser when they need that critical number to match the refinance package that is underway with their lender.

The appraiser value opinion is only 1 opinion…but guess what, it’s the opinion that counts with your lender.

Here are some ways you can sabotage yourself:

1) Leaving the home untidy. Having an un-kept exterior or interior can cause an appraiser to decrease the value somewhat. Reminder owners – curb appeal is also important for an appraisal. Overgrown bushes or an un-kept home exterior could prompt an appraiser to take as much as 3 percent off the value, according to a CNN Money article.

2) Having incomplete remodeling projects. Don’t keep a remodeling project unfinished prior to an appraisal. If it’s a must, make sure you include details of the complete project and when it is to be finished to the appraiser.

3) Failing to list improvements or upgrades made to the home. Compile a list of upgrades and home improvements made to the home and provide it to the appraiser. While some items, like a new roof, may not help raise the appraised value, other items might.  Source: Realty Times

So needless to say, all the complaining in the world to your lender won’t overcome the self sabotage…take care of projects, clean up and focus on the homes overall presentation before starting your refinance package. Treat the home like you were getting it ready to go up for sale. Lots of preparation, repairs and primping is worth all the effort. Because, when the time comes for that appraisal value analysis…you’ll be glad you did! 


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Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600