Performance Report: How the has the real estate market evolved over the past year?
Compared to one year ago (largely due to the last few months), the market has slowed down to a very noticeable degree.
Relative to August 2013, the number of listings one year later that sold is down about 7%. Days on market have increased substantially (up 16%) but the average sales price is about the same as July 2013. Values were up slightly in June 2014 from the previous month but down in both July and August. Many buyers are not motivated to give up the very low rates they locked in over the last few years and most lenders are still quite strict with their lending guidelines.
It has been reported that applications for new home purchases have decreased 9% while the average loan size increased about 1% for August 2014.
What does this mean for sellers? Proper pricing, effective marketing and the condition of your home are crucial in getting the most money and a quick sale but patience may also be needed.
What does this mean for buyers? If you can qualify for a loan and find a home that meets your needs, you will be in a better negotiating position. You can also enjoy a mortgage at historically low interest rates.
Low-E and Argon Gas Windows Explained
Most heat is lost (or comes into the property) near windows and doors. This is why most homes have their vents or radiators near an exterior wall and specifically near a window. High performance Low-E and Argon gas windows do a great job of saving you money in your heating/cooling bills by keeping heat where you want it.
Low-E, meaning low emissivity, is a very thin layer (or several layers) of metal that block longer wave lengths (heat) visible light passes through. When Argon gas is sealed between the panes of glass, it acts as an additional insulator (heat and sound) and is non-toxic should a pane break and you inhale it into your system.
Single pane windows offer very little efficiency. You can feel the cold by touching the glass inside a home on a cold day. Single pane windows can be helped if storm windows are used but the air in between is no different from the air we breathe. High performance windows are designed to cut down on heat transfer, and subsequently, your heating and cooling bills.
Bonus tip: Ensure your weather stripping is in place around exterior doors. If you can see light between the door and the frame, air is getting through, too and costing you money.
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