Beyond Grateful

WOW! What an incredible first half of 2020 it has been for The Messa Group! We’ve been honored to have so many people trust and even refer their friends and family to us! 2020 has been incredibly challenging for many, and we are very grateful for all of the amazing people in our lives and in our community that have rallied to overcome all of the obstacles that have been thrown at us all! We are so blessed to do what we do, and we want to thank each and every one of you for all of your support and trust. It means the world to us, and we promise to continue to give exemplary service to all and to give back every chance we get!! 

We look forward to an AMAZING 2nd half of 2020, and HOPEFULLY, we will be able to be out in the community running into all of you VERY SOON…WARNING: be ready for a HUGE hug!!!!

ALSO, We will be offering these #BeKindSV facemasks for FREE to all of our past and current clients. They will also be for sale to help raise money for the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network!

Stay tuned…we will let you know when they are available!

New Trend?

A surge of homebuyers are moving to the Suburbs… Is this a new trend?

As remote work continues on for many businesses and Americans weigh the risks of being in densely populated areas, will more people start to move out of bigger cities? Spending extra time at home and dreaming of more indoor and outdoor space is certainly sparking some interest among homebuyers. Early data shows an initial trend in this direction of moving from urban to suburban communities, but the question is: will the trend continue?

According to recent data from Zillow, there is a current surge in urban high-end listings in some larger metro areas. The month-over-month increase in these homes going on the market indicates more urban homeowners may be ready to make a move out of the city, particularly at the upper end of the market.

Why are people starting to move out of larger cities?

With the ongoing health crisis, it’s no surprise that many people are starting to consider this shift. A July survey from HomeLight notes the top reasons people are actually moving today:

More interior space

Desire to own

Move from city to suburbs

More outdoor space

More space, proximity to fewer people, and a desire to own at a more affordable price point are highly desirable features in this new era, so the list makes sense.

John Burns Consulting notes:

“The trend is accelerating faster than anyone could have predicted. The need for more space is driving suburban migration.”

In addition, Sheryl Palmer, CEO of Taylor Morrison, a home building company, indicates:

“Most recently, we’re really seeing a pickup in folks saying they want more rural or suburban locations. Initially, there was a lot of talk about that, but it’s really coming through our buyers today.”

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also shares:

“New home demand is improving in lower density markets, including small metro areas, rural markets and large metro exurbs, as people seek out larger homes and anticipate more flexibility for telework in the years ahead. Flight to the suburbs is real.” 

Will the shift pick up speed and continue on?

The question remains, will this interest in suburban and rural living continue? Some, like Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) think the possibility is there, but it is still quite early to tell for sure. Yun notes:

“Homebuyers considering a move to the suburbs is a growing possibility after a decade of urban downtown revival…Greater work-from-home options and flexibility will likely remain beyond the virus and any forthcoming vaccine.”

While much of the energy behind this trend has largely been accelerated by the current health crisis, monitoring the momentum over time is critically important. Businesses are discovering new and innovative ways to function in remote environments, so the shift has the potential to stick. Much like the economic recovery, however, the long-term impact may hinge largely on the health situation throughout this country.

Bottom Line

Early data is showing a shift from urban to suburban markets, but keeping an eye on this trend will help us understand how it will ultimately play out. It may just be a temporary swing in a new direction until Americans once again feel a sense of comfort in the cities they’ve grown to love.

Current Market Update

According to the latest FreddieMac Quarterly Forecast, mortgage interest rates fell to historically low levels this spring and they’re projected to remain low. This means there’s a huge incentive for buyers who are ready to purchase. And homeowners looking for eager buyers can take advantage of this opportune time to sell as well.

There’s a very positive outlook on interest rates going forward, as the projections from the FreddieMac report indicate continued lows into 2021:

“Going forward, we forecast the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain low, falling to a yearly average of 3.4% in 2020 and 3.2% in 2021.”

With mortgage rates hovering at such compelling places, ongoing buyer interest is bound to keep driving the housing market forward. Rates also reached another record low in June, so homebuyers are in what FreddieMac is identifying as the buying mood:

“While the rebound in the economy is uneven, one segment that is exhibiting strength is the housing market. Purchase demand activity is up over twenty percent from a year ago, the highest since January 2009. Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to declining inflationary pressures, putting many homebuyers in the buying mood. However, it will be difficult to sustain the momentum in demand as unsold inventory was at near record lows coming into the pandemic and it has only dropped since then.”

There’s no doubt that even though buyers are ready to purchase, it’s hard for many of them to find a home to buy today. Mortgage rates aren’t the only thing hovering near all-time lows; homes available for sale are too. With housing inventory as scarce as it is today – a nearly 20% year-over-year decline in available homes to purchase – keeping buyers in the purchasing mood may be tough if they can’t find a home to buy (See graph below):

What does this mean for buyers?

Competition is hot with so few homes available for purchase and low mortgage rates are helping to drive affordability as well. Getting pre-approved now will help you gain a competitive advantage and accelerate the home buying process, so you’re ready to go when you find that perfect home you’d like to buy. Working quickly and efficiently with a trusted real estate professional (THAT WOULD BE US!!) will help put you in a position to act fast when you’re ready to make your move.

What does this mean for sellers?

If you’re thinking of selling your house, know that the motivation for buyers to purchase right now is as high as ever with rates where they are today. Selling now before other sellers come to market in your neighborhood this summer might put your house high on the list for many buyers. Homebuyers are clearly in the mood to buy, and with today’s safety guidelines and precautions in place to show your house, confidence is also on your side.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, there’s great motivation to be in the housing market, especially with mortgage rates hovering at this historic all-time low. Let’s connect today to make sure you’re ready to make your move.

Let’s Talk About Mortgage Forbearance & Interest Rates

Thank you to Whitney Pauley of Caliber for sharing this info.

The Covid-19 Coronavirus has led to some challenging times for all of us.

The Government has created the CARE Act, to assist homeowners whose income may have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus. One of the components of the CARE Act is the possibility of mortgage forbearance.

Forbearance is often misinterpreted. And while it is intended to help, it can have some dangerous repercussions. Many people are mistakenly thinking that forbearance equals forgiveness. It does not.

Forbearance means that the payments will be suspended for a short period of time, initially up to 6 months, but will need to be caught up when the forbearance period is over.

Think about when you buy something at a furniture store that offers “no payments” for 3 months. You still must pay for the furniture…the payments are just deferred.

But mortgage forbearance is even worse if the borrower has dug themselves in a deep hole and can’t catch up. Should this happen, the lender will enforce their right to be paid, which may cause the borrower to be foreclosed upon. They could lose all the equity in their home in the process.

Forbearance is designed to help those as a measure of last resort. It is not a free pass and may have serious consequences.

Our best advice is to call your mortgage company if you have any questions or need to get help with your monthly payments. PLEASE do not assume you can just stop making your payments.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates are EXPECTED to be at all-time lows for the next 6 months, and possibly even hold for up to 18 months. For every .50% in rate (3.875%-3.375% on a $650,000 loan amount), allows the buyer to purchase $50K more in home value. With rates holding low, it should allow people to afford more when the market comes back.

Mortgage companies appear to be figuring out all the logistics of everything…what programs are available, how to price loans, and how to manage capacity so they can continue to help clients lower their payments and stay in their homes.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions about these or any other topics!

Spring Market Update

With all of the uncertainty surrounding us right now, we are getting a lot of questions about whether or not it is a smart time to buy a home. We definitely say YES…it hasn’t been this affordable to buy a home in quite some time!

“If you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971…mortgage rates change frequently. Over the last 45 years, they have ranged from a high of 18.63% (1981) to a low of 3.31% (2012). While it’s not likely that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will return to its record low, the current average rate of 3.45% is pretty close — all to your advantage.” – Freddie Mac

UPDATE: Rates have gone up this past week, and are now closer to 4% (which is still an amazingly great, low rate!). This is due to the high volume of refinances the lenders have been experiencing, causing them to have little capacity for any new business! We are definitely in some crazy, unprecedented times! The demand for listings is still HIGH…there are still lots of buyers wanting to buy homes! And the supply is still VERY LOW! We are still helping clients buy and sell homes…we now are just doing it a little more cautiously, bringing sanitizer with us, not going into crowded open houses, etc. Please call us if you have any questions!

COVID Update

Our ❤️❤️ go out to anyone impacted by this pandemic…which happens to be just about everyone!

We want to let you all know, for the time being, we’ll be “hunkering down” at home as much as possible, doing our part to flatten the curve and get through the COVID-19 crisis as quickly and safely as we can.

That doesn’t mean we are not working, available, or able to help you…reach out to us! It does not need to be about real estate. It can be a personal issue. We’ll do our best to assist you in any way possible.

Alicia’s phone number is 425-919-9302.

Kris’ phone number is 425-736-3490

We are still available by phone, text, email, or any other non-face-to-face way you can think of. Luckily, there’s a lot we can get done remotely nowadays, both personally and in real estate.

So, whether you’re currently in the middle of buying or selling a house with us, need to figure out how (or whether) to buy or sell during this time, or need help getting groceries, just reach out and we’ll do our best to figure out the best way to help as safely and conscientiously as possible.

Be safe…stay home…and reach out to us if you need something! We are all in this TOGETHER!!

On a lighter note, watch this AMAZING video!!

We want to thank EVERYONE who is doing their part during this health crisis…from the First Responders, Grocery Workers and Mail/Delivery Workers, to all of the people abiding by the Stay at Home order…THANK YOU!!

We WILL get through this TOGETHER!!

Concierge Services Now Available!

We are now offering concierge services. What exactly do we mean by “concierge services”? With this new service, our clients who want to sell their homes will have the ability to do pre-sale home improvements with no upfront costs to them. All our clients have to do is list exclusively with The Messa Group Real Estate and we will do the rest!

We will give our clients advice on what home improvements would provide them the best return on their investment and then, once agreed upon, we will organize and schedule all of the work to be done. It is that easy!

Have questions? Give us a call today!

We want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone making it possible for us to offer this CONCIERGE SERVICE to our clients, including:
All Weather Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, LLC, Beacon Davenport, BT Painting Inc, D & D Floor Covering, Handy in the Valley, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling Eastside, Si View Window Cleaning & Exterior Maintenance and Sweeping Beauty Cleaning Service!!

We’ve Got Big News!

We are excited to announce that we are joining McFarland & Associates in North Bend!  We will still be working as The Messa Group Real Estate, but now our brokerage is located where we live, work and play!!

Rob McFarland welcomed us by saying, “I’m thrilled to have Alicia and Kris joining McFarland and Associates. These talented brokers add experience and depth to the agency to serve client needs better than ever.

In other exciting news, LYNDSI IS BACK and is once again taking on her role as our marketing manager while still working full-time at T-Mobile.

We are so happy to have her back and look forward to all the new content coming this year!

Winter Market Update

Oh boy, oh boy!! Can it be?? The market is starting to closely mimic our market back in 2017/18 with listing review dates and multiple offers once again becoming more and more common!! The record-breaking low inventory and an abundance of eager buyers are definitely helping to create a seller’s market once again.

Luckily, we have record low-interest rates helping buyers afford more for their money!! But wait! Aren’t we headed into a recession sometime soon? The Wall Street Journal revealed only 14.3% of economists now believe we’re in danger of a recession occurring this year!!

So now the questions is, “Is now the right time to buy or sell?” The answer is YES!! As a buyer, interest rates are amazing…and home prices are going to continue to rise! You buyers need to get pre-approved for a mortgage, be ready to make a competitive offer from the start, and be patient. 

We just helped a client of ours win a home, going up against 10 other offers! We know how to package your offer right to get you the home you want! 

As a seller, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When supply is low and demand is high, you, as the seller, are in a good position to negotiate. Whether it is price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to demand more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand. 

We just closed on a home we had listed for $25K over list price! We know how to market your home and generate a buzz, causing multiple offers and netting you top dollar for your home!

Help us Spread Holiday Cheer to all This Year!

Holiday light show fun!!

Come watch as our cute reindeer sings Holiday songs while lights dance to the music! We will be collecting food for the Helping Hands Ministry’s BackPack Program that sends home food every week to families in need and the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank. Food donation bin located at 1730 Tannerwood Way SE, North Bend.