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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Is Lane County Still in a Seller’s Market?

Lane County is still in a seller’s market, but the right time for buyers to buy is now.

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As you know, we’ve been in a seller’s market for quite some time in Lane County, and according to the latest reports, we basically still are.

680 new listings came on the market last month, which is a good sign. Still, we can’t say inventory is rising, because we also had 519 new properties close and 524 go under contract.

We’re still at about two months of inventory. To put that into perspective, the normal level of inventory for Lane County is six months. This means that if no new homes came on the market starting now, we’d be completely out of homes to sell in two months.

Our market is still strong and will be for the next couple years.

The median home price has risen a little over 10% from $230,000 to $254,000 in the past 12 months.

Buyers shouldn’t look at these numbers and consider this a bad situation, though, because the market continues to rise and interest rates are still low. If you were to put off buying for a year, the same homes available now would cost 10% more to buy. In other words, the sooner you buy, the better off you’ll probably be.

In summation, we’re in a strong market, and it will continue to be a strong market for the next couple years. If you have any questions about our market or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Is It Worth It to Make a Backup Offer on a Home?

By writing a backup offer, you still have hope of winning the home you want while retaining the freedom to search for other homes.

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As you know, multiple offer situations happen a lot in our market. In each situation, though, only one offer can be accepted.

In this case, most of the buyers whose offers were rejected go away, but a smart buyer will put in a backup offer in case the first offer falls through.

When buyers who’ve been beaten out before in multiple offer situations encounter another multiple offer situation, they can sometimes put in their offer too hastily, overbid for the property, and get cold feet. If and when the first offer falls through, that means your offer is automatically put in first position and no one else can drag you into another bidding war for the home.

Putting in a backup offer is a good strategy for any buyer involved in a multiple offer situation.

Putting in a backup offer doesn’t stop you from looking at other properties, either. If you find another property you like, make an offer for it, and get that offer accepted, you can simply cancel your backup offer. If you’re not in first position for a home, you can cancel your backup offer anytime.

Putting in a backup offer is a good strategy for any buyer involved in a multiple offer situation and has worked out well for many buyers in our market. If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help you!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Keep Cool This Summer & Save on Energy Costs

Don’t sweat out the summer—there are nine simple things you can do to stay cool and save money on energy costs.

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Some of the same routines we use in the winter to keep warm can actually keep you cool during the summer and save you money on your energy bills. There are nine simple things you can do:

1. Plug any holes around your windows using some kind of foam substance. If it’s in your budget, consider replacing your windows with double-paned vinyl windows, which makes a huge difference.

2. Lower your shades. Drawing the shades cuts the solar heat in your home and helps keep cold air in your house.

3. Keep your filters clean if you have an A/C unit.

4. Use a programmable thermostat. Adjust the thermostat so that if you’re not in the house, your air conditioning will stop for awhile. You can schedule the thermostat to turn the AC back on about a half an hour before you return.

Skip the oven and cook dinner outside on the grill.

5. Unplug your computer and other electronics. There are things we leave plugged in all the time that can have a huge drain on your power. If you can, consider unplugging your computer and turning it off when you’re not using it, which can also protect you from hackers.

6. Use your oven less often. Don’t heat up your house on a hot summer night—use your grill and cook outdoors instead.

7. Turn down the temperature on your water heater. You can do this in the winter to save money as well. The water heater is usually set at 130°, but you can set it at 115° and save at least $50 a year.

8. Get your air conditioner serviced. You should get your furnace and your air conditioner serviced once a year.

9. Change your lightbulbs to energy efficient bulbs. If you can, switch over to LED bulbs, which will make a huge difference in your power savings for the year.

These are great, simple ways to help you save money and stay cool this summer. If you have any other questions or need to be put in touch with someone to help you with any of these tasks, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!