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Selling Your House at Christmas

by Melissa Thompson

The idea of putting your home on the market during the holiday season may seem overwhelming at first, but it turns out there are several good reasons to do so. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your house sold before the end of the year!

 - If people are looking for a home during the holiday season, chances are they are serious buyers.

 - Serious buyers have fewer properties to look at during this time of year, which means less competition and more money for you!

 - Since the number of listings will increase dramatically in January, that means more competition and less money for you.

 - Who doesn’t love a home delightfully decorated for the holidays?  Homes show better when festively dressed up!

 - Buyers may have more time to look at houses during their holiday breaks.

 - Some people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

 - If you sell now, it may provide an opportunity for you to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Staging Your House for the Holidays     

If you would like to talk more about selling your home, give me a call at 901-756-8900 or visit my website to discover your new home!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/New-Beginnings-Starting-Traditions-in-Your-New-Home

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Dont-Let-the-Holidays-Stress-You-Out

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Packing-101-Getting-Ready-for-a-Move

Housing and the Senate Tax Plan: What Now?

by Melissa Thompson

Members of the real estate industry are responding to the passage of the Senate tax plan, which chiefly includes a 20 percent corporate tax rate—down from 35 percent—and reduced rates for families and individuals over the next seven years. The development follows the House passage of its own plan in November.

Both bills challenge homeownership, industry members say. The bills extend the capital gains exclusion eligibility requirement that home sellers reside in the home from two of the last five years to five of the last eight. (The House plan, however, includes an income phaseout provision.) Both also raise the standard deduction, which has the potential to render the mortgage interest deduction (MID) useless.

“If eligibility rules for excluding the sale of a home from capital gains taxes are changed from requiring living in your home for two of the past five years to five of the past eight, selling the median U.S. home after four years of ownership would mean $2,363 in taxes, from $0 currently,” according to Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow. An analysis recently released by Zillow reveals homeowners in high-priced markets would bear the brunt of costs from the lengthened tenure.

The MID itself is addressed in both plans, as well. The House plan caps the MID for new loans at $500,000 (and only for primary residences), whereas the Senate plan retains the current cap of $1 million.

Additionally, both bills cap local and state property tax deductions at $10,000.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the industry’s largest organization, homeownership incentives are jeopardized in the Senate plan.

“The tax incentives to own a home are baked into the overall value of homes in every state and territory across the country,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in a statement. “When those incentives are nullified in the way this bill provides, our estimates show that home values stand to fall by an average of more than 10 percent, and even greater in high-cost areas. REALTORS® support tax cuts when done in a fiscally responsible way; while there are some winners in this legislation, millions of middle-class homeowners would see very limited benefits, and many will even see a tax increase. In exchange for that, they’ll also see much or all of their home equity evaporate as $1.5 trillion is added to the national debt and piled onto the backs of their children and grandchildren. That’s a poor foot to put forward, but this isn’t the end of the road. REALTORS® will continue to advocate for homeownership and hope members of the House and Senate will listen to the concerns of America’s 75 million homeowners as the tax reform discussion continues.”

“It’s time for homeowners to pay attention,” concurred Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com®, in a statement. “While the House and Senate still need to agree to a single version of the tax plan, they are already aligned on provisions that take away homeownership incentives for the majority of owners, which we expect to reduce home sales and prices in markets across the country.”

Housing in general—but notably in several states—will suffer, Hale said.

“Homeowners in California, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland will be hit hard by the combination of changes in the proposal, which will lead to lower prices and sales in these housing markets,” said Hale. “High housing costs in California made it the state with the third-highest average mortgage interest deduction, behind Hawaii and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, the elimination of the state income tax deduction for individuals will affect taxpayers in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Virginia, each of which saw 35 percent or more of tax payers take advantage of this provision. Lower-priced housing markets will also eventually be impacted, as these provisions are not indexed by inflation; thus, the few remaining tax benefits for homeownership will be eroded over time.”

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) expressed its own concerns about the Senate plan in a statement.

“We are disappointed that the Senate voted to pass a tax hike bill on California homeowners,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “If the goal of this bill is to help middle-class Americans keep more of their hard-earned money, this proposal fails miserably. We thank California Senators Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.] and Kamala Harris [D-Calif.] for opposing this legislation that attacks homeownership by significantly reducing incentives for people to buy homes. California already has a severe housing affordability crisis, and this bill will make it that much harder for Californians looking to attain the American Dream.”

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) countered that the Senate plan “represents a step in the right direction” in an NAHB Now update. The NAHB opposes the House plan in part because it applies the MID only to primary residences, and imposes an income phaseout on the capital gains exclusion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), meanwhile, applauded the Senate for considering mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) in its deliberations.

“I want to personally thank Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, [Senate Finance Committee] Chairman [Orrin] Hatch [R-Utah], Senator [Mike] Rounds [R-S.D.], [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Mike] Crapo [R-Idaho], and Senator [David] Perdue [R-Ga.] for working with us and commend them for their efforts on this important issue,” said MBA CEO and President David H. Stevens in a statement. “Because of the Rounds Amendment, this package will protect the ability of most Americans to obtain safe, decent shelter and affordable home mortgage credit without disruption. Had this language not been included, the change in tax accounting for MSRs would have had a devastating impact on the flow of capital that supports a robust and competitive real estate finance market, both single- and commercial/multifamily. We thank the Senate for its leadership on this issue.”

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the affordability crisis will escalate under the Senate plan. Diane Yentel, CEO and president of the NLIHC, issued the following statement:

“The Senate tax plan not only fails to make any new investments to address the nation’s growing scarcity of affordable rental homes for America’s poorest families, but it would lead to deep funding cuts to existing affordable housing programs, threatening to worsen the severity of an affordable housing crisis that impacts every state and community.”

The differences between the House and Senate plans remain to be settled. Lawmakers are aiming to present a reconciled plan to President Trump by Christmas.

By and photo credit: http://rismedia.com/2017/12/04/housing-senate-tax-plan-what-now/#close

Debunking Real Estate Myths

by Melissa Thompson

Whether you are buying or selling a home for the first time or you are a seasoned veteran of buying/selling real estate, chances are you think you have the knowledge needed to navigate the process based on what you have read or heard from friends and family. Unfortunately there are a plethora of myths circulating about buying and selling houses that have become prevalent, but just aren’t true.  The pitfall of believing everything you hear or read is that real estate myths can hurt you where it counts…in the wallet.  Here are eight common ones that can cause home buyers/sellers to make unnecessary mistakes:

  • Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Setting your asking price too high may net you a lower price.  That’s because many shoppers and their real estate agents will not look at houses that are priced above market value. While it’s true that you can lower your price if you have not gotten offers in the first few weeks, “Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the brokerage Redfin.
     
  • You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don’t use a real estate agent.

This is a false assumption. When a house is listed with an agent, the total sales commission is already built into the price.  If the buyer doesn’t use and agent, that just means the selling agent will get the entire commission.

  • You can save money selling your home yourself.

While it is possible to successfully sell your home on your own, there is a great deal of work that goes into it. You must know how to get the home listed online, market it to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases.  In addition, buyers will expect a significant discount, so what you might save on real estate commission may not be as much as you thought it would be.

  • The market will only go up.

Over the years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline due to the economy and then an upturn where values increase again.  But many people believe the market only goes up.  You need to be aware that prices can fall dramatically.

  • You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell.

If your kitchen and bathroom are in working order, an extensive remodel could be a mistake. Potential buyers might not like what you’ve done with the place, but they don’t want to change something that has just been renovated.  You are better off adjusting your price accordingly.

  • You’ll earn back what you spend on renovations.

Repairing things like your heating system, air conditioner or roof may help your home to sell faster, but you probably will not recoup what you spend. Per Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 cost-vs-value report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is adding fiberglass attic insulation. You will likely only get back 65.3% on a full kitchen renovation. And redoing your bathroom might get you 59.1%.

  • All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online.

Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it’s a good idea to verify that yours will.

  • Open houses sell properties.

Homes rarely sell to buyers who have visited them during open houses.  Agents like to have open houses because it helps them to find additional potential customers.  If you and your agent opt not to have an open house, it probably won’t hurt the chances of selling.  On the other hand, having a broker’s open house for other agents might be worthwhile.

 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Buying-a-Home-Can-Be-Scary-Unless-You-Know-the-Facts

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Should-I-Sell-or-Should-I-Rent

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Steps-to-Take-Before-Buying-a-Home-A-Guide-for-First-Time-Homebuyers

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Median Days on the Market Drops to 34!

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

- The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for their Confidence Index.

- The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.

- Homes sold in less than 60 days in 44 out of 50 states, and Washington D.C.

- Homes typically went under contract in 34 days in October!

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com for all your Real Estate needs!

By: KCM Crew

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most “Return On Investment” (ROI).
     
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com for all your Real Estate needs!

By: KCM Crew 

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A Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO!

by Melissa Thompson

With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.

Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.

Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X:

“We’re definitely not in a bubble.”

“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics:

“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

“Steady as she goes. Prices continue to rise. Sales roughly flat.…Overall this market is in an almost boring place.”

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk:

“I wouldn't call house prices a bubble.”

“So prices may be a little overvalued, but there is little speculation and I don't expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices:

“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

“…price increases vary unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

Bing Bai & Edward Golding, Urban Institute:

“We are not in a bubble and nowhere near the situation preceding the 2008 housing crisis.”

“Despite recent increases, house prices remain affordable by historical standards, suggesting that home prices are tracking a broader economic expansion.”

Let’s get together to discuss your home buying and home selling needs. 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com

By: KCM Crew

The Difference an Hour Makes in Real Estate

by Melissa Thompson

Every Hour in the US Housing Market: 

  • 624 Homes Sell
  • 347 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.13

Contact your local expert’s at The Melissa Thompson Team 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com for all your home buying and home selling needs!

By: KCM Crew

The She Shed: A Place to Call Your Own

by Melissa Thompson

The she shed trend has arrived and it looks like it’s here to stay. And really, what took so long?  Men have had their “caves” for years.  Women should have their own space to get away and unwind too!  Whether a she shed is used for relaxation and contemplation, watching chick flicks, or as a space for hobbies, it is a long overdue oasis for hardworking women who deserve a peaceful space to call their own.  If you’re ready to create your own she shed, here are some ideas for you:

If you already have a backyard shed, you are going to need to clean it out.  Completely.  You will want a blank slate for designing your perfect environment.  Find new storage options for the items you are keeping and give away the rest.  If you don’t have a shed, you can build one with a build-your-own shed kit purchased online or from a local home improvement store.

Show off your one-of-kind sense of style by giving your she shed a fresh coat of paint.  Choose colors that you love.  Do you want a rustic look, or do you dream of a storybook cottage? The ideas for designing your own personal retreat are endless.  Remember, it’s all about YOU!

Think about what you want the purpose of your shed to be.  Will you use it as a peaceful sanctuary where you can curl up with a good book?  Perhaps you might set up an easel and use it as your art studio.  Whatever your intent, be sure to keep it in mind while coming up with your design. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to furnish and decorate your she shed.  Search antique stores and flea markets for unique pieces.  The idea is to make it feel relaxed and cozy.  You might already have everything you need, but just needed a special place for it all. 

Choose a spot in the yard that takes you away from your day to day grind and makes you feel surrounded by nature.  Lush plants and window boxes full of flowers will give you a tranquil ambiance that will provide the calm environment needed for quiet serenity.

The most important thing is to make your she shed a reflection of yourself. And remember…it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, so as your interests and hobbies shift, your shed can transform with you and always be there to fulfill your needs and desires.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Maximizing-Small-Spaces

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Popular-Flooring-Trends

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Luxurious-Laundry-Rooms

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4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

by Melissa Thompson

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

​​Contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key to Memphis and she can help you get your house on the market and sold this autumn!  901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com 

By: KCM Crew

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Should I Sell or Should I Rent?

by Melissa Thompson

Moving is not always a choice. Sometimes it is a necessity due to a new job or a myriad of other reasons. If you are a homeowner you must decide what you are going to do with your current home. Should you rent it out?  Or sell it?  There are many circumstances to consider before making that decision.  How long do you have before you move?  What is the housing market doing in your area?  And do you have someone you can trust to manage your property?

Of course, the biggest motivator in your decision is which option will be most financially beneficial.   If you have a lot of equity in your house and can sell it, you’ll walk away with some cash to put toward your new home.  If the house is paid off, you’ll walk away with a lot of cash.  However, if your equity is built up and you have low mortgage payments (or no mortgage payment), you could bring in a substantial monthly income by renting the house for more than your monthly payments.  You do have to consider the costs involved with renting the house out.  If you’re relocating to another town, you will likely have to hire a property manager to collect rent and take care of issues that come up.  You might also have to pay to advertise the home.

There are going to be risks involved either way.  If you put the house up for sale, you run the risk of not selling it quickly and possibly ending up with two mortgage payments or a house payment and rent payment on a new place.  But renting out your house might be a bigger risk. There’s a chance you will rent it to people who you think will be good tenants, but wind up paying the rent late or not at all.  There is also the risk that renters will not take care of the house and lower its value.

Another issue to consider is that housing markets can greatly fluctuate from year to year. You must question whether your neighborhood is in the kind of shape to support a quick sale.  If other homes haven’t been selling, for example, you might not get as much for your house as you might if you could wait a year or two and rent it out in the meantime.  On the other hand, if the housing market is hot in your neighborhood, it might just be the best time to take advantage of it and sell to get the best price possible.

Finally, you must think about whether you can afford a new mortgage while you still own the first house.  Per Kiplinger, lenders count about 75 percent of the income you receive from renters when figuring out if they’ll give you a new loan, but that’s only if you have a signed lease and your salary is sufficient to cover the rest of the mortgage requirement.  Selling your house will make it much easier for you to qualify for a new loan.

The bottom line is that, after doing your research, you can decide whether selling or renting is the best and most financially sound choice for you.

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Selling-Your-House-in-Autumn

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Hey-Millennial-Homeowners-It-May-Be-Time-to-Sell

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/5-Important-Things-to-Fix-Before-Putting-Your-House-on-the-Market

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 95

Contact Information

Photo of Melissa Thompson Real Estate
Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
6525 N Quail Hollow Road
Memphis TN 38120
(901) 729-9526
(901) 756-8900
Fax: (901) 435-0620