Thursday, May 11, 2017

Understanding Gen-X Homebuyers

                                               Understanding Gen-X Homebuyers

The housing crash was extremely detrimental to the U.S. economy. Years later, many areas of the country are still feeling the effects. Our renowned persistence is beginning to pay off, though. People are beginning to buy and sell again, often at the best rates since the crash. The group making the biggest comeback is the very one that was hit hardest during the crash – generation X.


Why the Crash Hit Gen-X Hard

Most Gen-Xers had been homeowners for about 10 years when the housing market crashed. Ten years is the amount of time the average person will keep a home, so many of these individuals were trying to recoup their investments right before home values fell. As the crash happened, they were not only unable to sell their homes, they also had greatly diminished equity, effectively costing them multiple thousands in lost investment. Some were forced to sell their homes at rock bottom prices while others couldn’t sell at all. Those people either had to stay where they were or face foreclosure.  


Making a Comeback

Fortunately, the economic turnaround has been strong. Lawrence Run, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, explains that the total rise in home values since 2011 has been more than 41 percent. He also noted that the steady incline has gone a long way to help enough people build equity and trade up to a better home.

In recent years, millennials have made up the bulk of home sales at around 34 percent. They were largely too young to be affected by the housing crash, meaning they didn’t have to make up ground, which left them open to purchase more quickly, and, in turn, the market has evolved to appeal to them more.


Gen-X homebuyers aren’t quitting. In 2014, they accounted for 28 percent of the market. That’s only 2 percent behind baby boomers, who sat at 30. It’s becoming a much closer race, which means the market will need to become more equalized rather than specialized.


The biggest problem with Gen-X and homeownership is student loans. On average, they carry $5,000 more in loans than millennials, totaling $30,000 and $25,000, respectively. This debt makes it hard for both generations to save up for down payments or home upgrades.


Everyone felt pangs from the depressed housing market to some degree, and Gen-Xers in particular will be gun-shy about jumping back into the real estate market, but better numbers mean positive changes throughout the industry. Expect more people to expand their home ownership opportunities in the current, thriving market.


Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Home

                                              Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Home
As the weather warms up, many of us find ourselves motivated to freshen up our homes. Spring cleaning isn’t just good for appearances. You can turn your house into a healthier home by following these easy tips.
Update the Insulation
If you have an older home, it’s almost impossible to know exactly what kind of insulation is hiding in your walls. Many types are inefficient or unhealthy and you should replace them. The first step is to have a professional examine your existing insulation. They’ll be able to determine what sort of insulation your home has without exposing you to anything harmful, like asbestos.
There’s another benefit to replacing your insulation beyond safety – savings. New insulation can dramatically reduce your monthly power bill. The savings can pay for the installation quickly. Plus, updated insulation will draw buyers and make it easier to get top dollar for your home, should you decide to sell.
Order a Mold Inspection
The problem with mold is that for most of us, out of sight equals out of mind. Many homeowners don’t even consider mold a problem until it’s already visible. Instead of waiting to see it, hire a professional to check your home for mold. Not only will it keep your family safer, it will be less expensive to eliminate the problem early versus when it gets out of hand.
Choose Excellent Paints
Many homeowners repaint during the spring. This is a great way to add a personal touch to your space and increase your home’s value, but you need to be careful about what kinds of paint you use. Paints and stains account for as much as 9 percent of volatile organic compound emissions every year, according to the EPA. Select low-VOC varieties to minimize the harmful chemicals in your home.
Take Off Your Shoes
Shoes harbor lots of harmful bacteria in addition to dirt and debris. Though you can sweep and mop some of it away, some bacteria can stick around carpets. Wearing shoes inside your home spreads outdoor contaminants throughout it. Always take off your shoes in the entryway or mudroom to contain dirt and keep your house clean.
Add Green
Live plants serve double duty by brightening your space and purifying the air. Certain plants will remove chemicals (like formaldehydes) from your indoor environment. Some plants, like aloe vera, also have other convenient uses like treating burns and small cuts. Make sure you choose plant varieties that aren’t toxic to your pets.