Read on for the latest news in real estate in Wayne, Nebraska and the surrounding communities as well as useful tips for buying and selling your home. Bonus features include a look into the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeownership as shared by blog author, homeowner, property manager, and real estate broker, Trisha Peters.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Is 2013 the Year to Buy or Sell a Home?

A recent report in HousingWire magazine indicates that the nationwide housing inventory was down 27 percent as of December 2012 from December 2011 figures.  The Wayne area is experiencing a similar phenomenon with declining housing inventory levels as buyers continue to search for a variety of homes in all price ranges.  Buyers and sellers  needing to make a move due to changing familial status, health issues, job changes, and a variety of other reasons are having difficulty securing properties to meet their needs in Wayne or other market areas.  First-time homebuyers and move-up homebuyers are struggling most significantly at this point to locate home listings that satisfy their needs and wants. 

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is predicting that increasing rental rates will continue to drive homebuyer traffic as many people find that home mortgages are actually more affordable than the rising cost of rent in many areas of the country.  Several families in Wayne are finding this to be the case as well.  This is being fueled by low mortgage interest rates as well as favorable conditions for obtaining home financing in rural areas.  The USDA-Rural Development and FHA loan programs continue to be popular loan products for first-time buyers and many local lenders.  Several first-time buyers are also seeking downpayment and rehabilitation assistance from programs such as the Wayne Community Housing Development Program or Northeast Housing Initiative.

According to NAR, solid demand for homes in 2013 is predicted to drive home sales up and improve prices across the board by roughly one to two percent, which is great news for sellers.  Home sales will also increase if bank underwriting standards return to normal levels as rising home prices improve collateral values for banks.  However, pending Federal legislation threatens to make it more difficult for lenders to finance buyers, which will affect home purchasing decisions.

Since starting at 1st Realty in 2004, the number of home listings on the residential market is at the lowest level that I can remember.  The market is certainly trending towards a seller's market.  Buyers will testify that there is not much selection to pick from in today's marketplace.  In particular, several move-up buyers have commented on the lack of inventory available between $125,000 and $200,000.  Unfortunately, this has been the case for several months.  Much of this phenomenon can be largely attributed to the cautious optimism that is accompanying the U.S. economic situation.  Economists predict that many buyers and sellers have been biding their time in order to determine what the fiscal cliff debate means for them in 2013.  With the promise of higher taxes and fewer deductions, many people have decided to stay in their existing home longer in hopes of avoiding financial problems in the future.

With all this in mind, 2013 is indeed the year to sell your home.  Limited inventory means limited competition from other home sellers as well as the benefit of increased buyer traffic.  Many buyers in today's market are prequalified for loans and have money available for downpayments and closing costs.  Several qualified buyers are also in the market to make immediate purchases as they are currently renting and do not have to wait on home sale contingencies.

As opportunities arise, 2013 will also prove to be the year to buy a home.  Interest rates continue to be favorable for buyers as they hover near all time lows.  Although the looming threat of higher taxes is always upon us, the good news is that the mortgage interest deduction survived the fiscal cliff and is still available for homeowners.  As mentioned, many economists predict that housing prices have hit their lowest point and will start to appreciate in rural areas between one and two percent each year. 

If you have questions about the local housing market, contact 1st Realty at (402) 375-1477 or e-mail me at  Whether you are in the market to buy or sell a home, farm, or commercial property, 1st Realty can provide you with the advice you need to make 2013 your year to buy or sell!  Welcome Home.

Source: “Housing Inventory Steadily Declines in 2012,” HousingWire (Jan. 9, 2013)

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