Slowing Market Good for Both Buyers and Sellers

Experts are predicting that the housing market will slow down in 2019. But, that’s not such a bad thing. A slower market is more stable and offers advantages for both buyers and sellers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in mid-January 2019, according to Freddie Mac. While rates were nearly half a point higher than they were a year ago, they’ve since pulled back, making homes a little more affordable for homebuyers heading into spring.

Existing home sales in December 2018 were the lowest since November 2015, more than 10% lower than year-ago levels, reflecting sensitivity to rising interest rates and prices, according to The National Association of REALTORS. NAR chief chief economist Lawrence Yun explained that softer December sales reflected homes under contract at higher mortgage interest rates.

NAR also reported that the median sales price was $253,600, 2.9% higher than a year ago. While gains have been higher in previous years, prices are still rising – a benefit to home sellers.

Realtor.com economist Danielle Hale told Forbes.com that 2019 will bring less competition for homebuyers as the inventory of homes increases on the market. The Forbes.com forecast for 2019 is a 2% decline in home sales volume and a 2.2% rise in home prices from 2018.

These statistics are national averages, and market conditions could be very different in your area. Your BHHS KC Realty agent can share important local data with you that will improve your ability to buy or sell a home.

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Poor Rain Drainage Can Drain Your Equity

As a new homeowner, you may not know much about drainage, but rainwater that isn’t properly drained away from your home and yard can result in high repair costs and mold remediation that can deplete your equity quickly.

So what can you do to avoid drainage problems? Drainage issues are typically manmade and can be easily fixed. Watch how your home performs when it rains for clues.

Check gutters.
Rain gutters are designed to route rain into drain spouts that carry water away from your foundation and home. A gutter blocked with leaves and dirt will produce a gush of water that doesn’t reach the drain properly. Preventive maintenance like keeping gutters clear of debris can help prevent damage to the siding and structure of your home.

Look for yard erosion.
Puddles, gullies and pools caused by rain are exacerbated by yards without poor sloping, eroding topsoil, missing downspouts and catch basins, and breaks in underground drains. Where the rain collects can tell you what action to take, from rerouting drain spouts, to installing decorative “dry” creek beds of rocks and stone, to installing additional drains under the soil.

Look for basement puddles. 
A yard that slopes toward the house, clogged gutters, cracks in the foundation, and inadequate landscape drainage can lead to puddles in the basement. If there are stains and mildew near the ceiling, then it’s a drainage issue. If they appear near the floor, there could be broken drainage pipes under or near the house.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!