Great article by the RGJ.com Talking about our housing market.

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Seven years after the Reno-Sparks housing bubble popped, the area’s real estate market finds itself in a much different situation.

From affordability to new home construction, here are seven things you should know about the Northern Nevada real estate market.

Stability is the new normal: In the last decade, the story of the Reno-Sparks real estate market was akin to the diary of a roller coaster rider. There’s the steep climb to the top as it reached its crazy highs during 2006 and 2007, followed by an equally steep drop to the bottom.

This year, however, has been markedly different.

After seeing noticeable appreciation on the last couple of years, home prices have reached a plateau in the last few months. Since June, the median price of an existing home in Reno-Sparks have stuck to a holding pattern in the $250,000 range.

“Stabilization is the trend for home pricing in Northern Nevada and Nevada as a whole,” said Peter Counts, a graduate assistant with the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The institute produces a regular housing report with the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.

For those who remember the crazy days of the overheated market and the resulting fallout, stable is a good thing. For the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors, the pricing trend of the last few months could indicate something the area has not seen for quite some time: a more normal market.

“From 2008 to 2012, we had so many distressed properties that we did not see the traditional winter slowdown we’ve seen in the 20 years before that,” said Mark Ashworth, RSAR president. “I believe this is a sign that we’re returning to our traditional market.”

Housing is less affordable: In January of 2012, the median price for a home in the area was around $135,000. More than two and a half years later, home values have jumped by about 85 percent. In contrast, median salaries have not seen a similar jump, which is understandable given how much farther home values dropped in relation to wages.

Even as the pace of home value increases started normalizing at a slower rate, however, wages continue to be flat.

In 2013, for example, wages saw growth in the last three quarters after posting a decline in the first three months of the year, according to the Nevada Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation. The 1.1 percent increase in overall wages that year failed to keep pace with inflation, which grew by 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, an estimated 55 percent of houses in Northern Nevada are affordable to the area’s median income earners, compared to 62 percent nationwide, according to the Lied Institute.

Flat wages are a concern for maintaining continued growth in the housing market and the economy, specifically as it relates to first-time home sales.

“New home sales generate more economic activity than a housing move from one part of town to another,” Ashworth said. “That’s because new home buyers buy more new furniture and appliances and do more remodeling, so they generate more economic activity.”

Although houses are less affordable now than they were two years ago, the situation still does not compare to the peak of the housing boom. At the bubble’s peak in 2006, for example, only 18 percent of homes could be afforded by median income earners in Northern Nevada despite a record 4,518 homes being actively listed in July.

California also continues to be a key part of the local real estate market’s equation. Androo Allen, interim president of the Builders Association of Northern Nevada, remembers the buyer mix for one high-end community project. Of the 19 homes it sold, 18 of the buyers came from Nevada’s next door neighbor.

New homes are back: After the collapse of the housing bubble, the hum of bulldozers on new home construction sites went silent. With the value of new homes going up, however, new housing is back in business.

Reno posted 1,387 new home starts in the second quarter of this year, up 43 percent over the same period last year, according to Metrostudy. Meanwhile, only 36 percent of homes are priced below $300,000 compared to 64 percent last year.

This is causing many builders to finish rough cut lands that were started during the boom but got paused during the recession.

“We’re starting to see more confidence among builders, including the smaller ones,” said BANN’s Allen. “The price of a new home has gone up enough for a builder to absorb the development cost of a lot … and still come out with a profit.”

At the same time, smaller builders aren’t jumping full steam into the new building craze like larger builders. Although, they like to see price increases in new homes, they don’t want a repeat of the unsustainable spikes seen during the bubble days and the ensuing crash, Allen said. At the time, builders were making houses as fast as they could as buyers were snapping houses, at times sight unseen.

“We don’t want to see rapid growth, we want to see slow, consistent growth,” Allen said. “The market needs to define itself first so the next 12 to 18 months will determine just how solid it is.”

Unit sales are down from last year: Although year-over-year house sales saw steady increases in the first half of 2014, the last few months are a different story. In July, for example, 520 homes were sold in Reno-Sparks compared to 591 during the same month last year. The trend continued in August, which posted 548 sales in contrast to 638 units the previous year.

The RSAR’s Ashworth attributes the dip to a variety of factors, including lower inventory and the return of new home sales.

Demand remains healthy in relation to market supply, however. Supply for regular homes with no special conditions is at 2.5 months — 1.6 months for short sales and 2 months for foreclosure sales. There are 1,385 active listings in Reno-Sparks as of early September.

“Demand has remained constant for the year and that indicates desirability in the market,” Ashworth said.

North vs. South: While real estate trends in Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada mirror each other in many ways, there are also differences. One interesting difference, according to the Lieds Institute, is that building starts for single-family homes are up year-over-year in the north but down in the south.

Conversely, multi-family starts, which includes multi-unit facilities such as apartments, are up in the south but down in the north.

Fewer homeowners are underwater: Nearly three in four Northern Nevadans have equity in their homes, according to the Lied Institute. That’s a big improvement from the 2009-2010 period when only 27 percent of homeowners were not underwater on their mortgage.

With banks being more judicious in putting distressed properties in the market, the market likely won’t see a repeat of 2009, according to Ashworth.

“They basically flooded the market in 2009 with foreclosures and that’s why prices plummeted,” Ashworth said. “”Hopefully, they learned their lesson.”

There’s less distress: Only 14 percent of homes sold in Reno-Sparks involve a distressed property. That’s a big change from 2010 to 2011, when troubled houses accounted for 80 percent of sales.

“Foreclosures haven’t changed much over the past year (but) there are less than half as many short sales now as there were this time last year,” Counts said.

Data from the Washoe County Recorder’s office back Counts’ claim. Through August, the county posted 640 short sales, a large drop from the 1,485 it recorded last year.

Part of it could be related to the lack of an extension from the federal government regarding so far for a deficiency forgiveness program related to short sales.

Meanwhile, there are also continuing concerns about the bank-owned properties still out there.

“The elephant in the room that everybody sees and nobody talks about is shadow inventory,” Ashworth said. “You can see homes in neighborhoods that don’t have a for sale sign but are boarded up and unoccupied. As long as they come to the market slowly, then that’s fine.”

Overall, however, the Northern Nevada real estate market is on the right track, according to Counts. One thing everyone agreed on, however, is that the area is not quite out of the woods yet.

“Home prices are still gradually increasing and the construction industry is still building homes that can sell,” Counts said. “However, we still have a long way to go before to get to where we were before the housing market collapse.”

 

http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2014/09/21/trends-reno-real-estate-market/15976175/

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SPARKS, 75 QUIVERA LANE | Dominic Gentile, Realtor® | Condos to Castles. We are the first step in reaching your dreams.

SPARKS, 75 QUIVERA LANE | Dominic Gentile, Realtor® | Condos to Castles. We are the first step in reaching your dreams..

 

This well situated, grand one story country style home takes advantage of maximum light and unobstructed views.  Paved road from Quivera to the home…  This is not common in this area of town.   From its high vantage point, You’ll see sparkling Sparks lights in the evening, a panorama of the valley , beautiful surrounding homes, our changing seasons, and the occasional rain. On over 37 acres, at least 34 acres are undeveloped flat land surrounding the home, perfect for developing horse property.

 

The home is designed to accommodate the large family and has entertained over 90 people comfortably! Each bedroom has its own bathroom, the massive living area has a focal point of a floor to ceiling natural stone fireplace which is wood burning, also there is a pellet stove with a blower. The heart of the home is it’s kitchen which is open, featuring a 48 inch, 6 burner 2 oven WOLF range.  With many areas to seat people, especially the huge “nook” which is 14 X 26 and counts as part of the square footage. You’ll notice the more than ample counter space.  There is a cultivated 7800 sf yard that has an uncovered patio and is surrounded by a picket fence. There are 2 garages, the dimensions are extra deep 28 X 38. The home has a fire sprinkler system that protects the home home.  The RV garage has 2 bays and is 14″ high with 12″ high doors.  The assessment covers the costs of a 17 mile asphalt road which leads right to the home. The current owners are motivated to downsize and will leave this home with many happy memories of entertaining their large family.  If you have horses there is not a better property in the area for you to ride.   Grab your appetite for open land and come on up and view this amazing piece of heaven.

Follow these 7 steps to make your offer more sexy to sellers

Image1.  Cash is king.  With less contingencies and potential “weirdness” during the escrow period, home sellers love the CASH word.  If you need to finance your purchase, your lender will require an appraisal.  If the appraisal comes back below the sales price, this spells uncertainty for the seller.  Cash = less risk for the seller and could shorten the escrow period; both are pluses.  If it’s in the cards for you to pay cash, this will make your offer supremely attractive.

2.  Get pre-approved.  If cash isn’t in the cards, go shopping when you know “the money’s in the mortgage bank/brokerage.”  Have your pre-approval letter from a mortgage company and thedirect contact information of your loan officer in hand – this means you’ve done your homework.  That’s something for a seller to smile about.

3.  Put your best foot forward.  You may only have one shot to show your aces, your best foot, your best price for the home.  Don’t expect the seller to counter multiple offers for “highest and best,” because they may not – they may simply accept the best offer that’s on their coffee table.  Ensure the one that’s accepted is yours.

4.  Put your earnest money to work.  1% of the purchase price is customary for earnest money in my market (Reno/Sparks, NV)… But what if you doubled that?  Shelling a hefty earnest money deposit demonstrates that you’re serious about the property.  If you withdraw from the contract during the inspection period (as long as you’re not in default of the contract in any way), you’re entitled to receive your earnest monies back.

5.  Penny for your thoughts.  Write a love letter.  Not even kidding.  Pen why you love the seller’s home… How you can see your family growing there, how the backyard inspires your love for the outdoors.  Lay it on the line.  Chances are, the seller will identify with why you’ve fallen in love with their home.  This adds an emotional component to your offer.

6.  Get in the seller’s head.  Ask your agent to find out what makes the seller tick… Are they building a home and need a leaseback after closing?  Do they get a discount from a certain title company?  Is there a particular date that they’d like to close escrow?  Make it about them, and you’ll make your offer more attractive – show you care and make it easy for the seller to accept your offer over anyone else’s.

7.  Ask that your agent present your offer to the listing agent in person.  In our digital world, this adds one more touch point, one more emotional component to your offer.  The listing agent will be advising the seller, and getting that agent in your corner is a great way to get your offer noticed.  Presenting an offer in person also a bit “old school” and is rarely done these days; in-person makes an impression.  It makes your offer stand out.

Sellers are people, just like you.  Put yourself in their shoes, see things through their eyes and you’re on your way to making your home purchase a win-win.

Why use Harcourts and Dominic to Sell your Home?

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Dominic is committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly.  He subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics and is expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again. 95% of Dominic’s business is from repeat referrals.

Real estate transactions are one of the biggest financial dealings of most people’s lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $250,000. If you had a $250,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a certified professional accountant? If you had a $250,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Consider the small upside cost and the large downside risk.

Here are a few reasons to use him:

  • When selling your home, Dominic can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace as well as the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
  • He can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the saleability of your property.
  • As your REALTOR®, Dominic  markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over half of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.
    He acts as the marketing coordinator, distributing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires  REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients
  • Dominic  will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. NAR studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. He will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  • Dominic can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing – and a lot of possible pitfalls. As your REALTOR®, he can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
  • Dominic can help close the sale of your home in Reno. Issues may arise between the initial sales agreement and closing (also called settlement or escrow), for example, unexpected repairs might be required to obtain financing or a title problem is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.