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Catherine J | Everything Real Estate with Catherine J Smith Blog

Friday, October 15, 2021   /   by Catherine J

As Home Equity Rises, So Does Your Wealth

Homeownership is still a crucial part of the American dream. For those people who own a home (and those looking to buy one), it’s clear that being a homeowner has considerable benefits both emotionally and financially. In addition to long-term stability, buying a home is one of the best ways to increase your net worth. This boost to your wealth comes in the form of equity.
Equity is the difference between what you owe on the home and its market value based on factors like price appreciation.
The best thing about equity is that it often grows without you even realizing it, especially in a sellers’ market like we’re in now. In today’s real estate market, the combination of low housing supply and high buyer demand is driving home values up. This is giving homeowners a significant equity boost.
According to the latest data from CoreLogic, the number of equity homeowners has continued to gr. ...

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Monday, October 4, 2021   /   by Catherine J

Don’t Tackle Selling Your Home on Your Own – an Agent Can Help

If you’re looking to maximize your sale and minimize your effort, you need to work with a real estate professional. In a sellers’ market like today’s, it can be tempting to list your house on your own – known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). But the truth is, a real estate professional can save you time and money by managing every step of the process, from pricing your home to reviewing documents and handling negotiations.
Before you decide to sell your house on your own, here are five reasons why working with an agent is your best bet to maximize the sale of your home.
1. First impressions are everything – and an agent knows how to make a great one.
Prepping a house for sale requires a significant amount of time and effort, even though it may seem simple at first glance. Doing it right so it stands out takes expertise and an understanding of what buyers are looking for. An agent considers things like:


Shoul ...

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Thursday, September 23, 2021   /   by Catherine J

5 Tips for Making Your Best Offer

In today’s sellers’ market, standing out as a buyer is critical. Multi-offer scenarios and bidding wars are the norm due to the low supply of houses for sale and high buyer demand. If you’re buying this fall, you’ll want every advantage, especially when you’ve found the home of your dreams.

Below are five things to keep in mind when it’s time to make an offer.

1. Know Your Budget

Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac puts it:


“This pre-approval allows you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer.”

Showing sellers, you’re serious can give you a competitive edge. It enables you to act quickly when you’ve found your perfect home.

2. Be Prepare. ...

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021   /   by Catherine J

5 Reasons Today’s Housing Market Is Anything but Normal

There are many headlines out there that claim we’re reverting to a more normal real estate market. That would indicate the housing market is returning to the pre-pandemic numbers we saw from 2015-2019. But that’s not happening. The market is still extremely vibrant as demand is still strong even while housing supply is slowly returning.
Here’s the definition of normal from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”

Using this definition, here are five housing industry metrics that prove we’re nowhere near normal.
1. Mortgage Rates
If we look at the 30-year mortgage rate chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade:


The 1970s: 8.86%


The 1980s: 12.7%


The 1990s: 8.12%


The 2000s: 6.29%


The 2010s: 4.09%

Today, the average mortgage rate stands at 2.87%, . ...

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Monday, August 23, 2021   /   by Catherine J

A Look at Home Price Appreciation and What It Means for Sellers

When you hear the phrase home price appreciation, what does it mean to you? Through context clues alone, chances are you know it has to do with rising home prices. And as a seller, you know rising home prices are good news for your potential sale. But let’s look past the dollar signs and dive deeper into the concept. To truly understand home price appreciation, you need to know how it works and why it matters to you.
Investopedia defines appreciation like this:
“Appreciation, in general terms, is an increase in the value of an asset over time. The increase can occur for a number of reasons, including increased demand or weakening supply, or as a result of changes in inflation or interest rates. This is the opposite of depreciation, which is a decrease in value over time.” 
When we consider this definition and how it applies to real estate, a few words stick out: supply and demand. In today’s real estate market, we’re experiencing hig ...

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