I think that 2013 was a wonderful year to buy a home. Interest rates were excellent and the inventory at times challenging still offered some beautiful homes. The stock market seems to be doing quite well and even young people seem to be contributing either through their employer or through an account they set up themselves. The job market could be better but I think it is on its way and I feel more optimism than I did in 2012.

I am concerned as most Americans are about Obamacare and the impact that will have on the economy in 2014. I am already hearing from my friends that their health insurance premiums have gone up considerably. Young clients who planned to expand their families are rethinking that as they see how much it is going to cost them out of pocket for doctor visits and delivery.  People expecting to have the same doctor are being forced to consider alternatives. I am optimistic that this will be fixed and that Americans will demand change one way or another.

So, let's go back to the title of my badly do you want a home? Interest rates this past year went up and down. If you were fortunate, you locked in and bought at a low rate. If not, the rates are still fabulous and the inventory continues to improve so by all means, if you can afford a home now is the time to jump in!

If new construction is in your future, remember the site person is representing the builder (the seller) so take an experienced agent with you who is working on your behalf. If you are considering a resale, remember that the home is not new. It may need some updating, newer appliances or carpeting or some fresh landscaping. The reason it is not priced like new  is because it is not new. Very similar to a used car. If you are the seller of the resale home, do your best to make it appealing to the buyer. Update within reason where you can to make it attractive.  You can't make it new again but you can stage it and give it a fresh coat of paint. Ask your realtor what price to expect. Be open to the comments you receive back from the buyers who preview it. If you can change some glaring issue, do so. If not, be prepared to accept less for the home.

Winter is actually a wonderful time to sell your home. Serious buyers are out there. Employers are bringing in new hires so they will be out looking in December and January. Be optimistic and motivated!

Dede Olds

Dede Olds

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