Crystal Ball: Real Estate in 2018

Polishing the Crystal Ball: Real Estate in 2018
Whether you’re planning to become a home buyer in 2018 or hoping to sell your current property, it can be hard to forecast the way the real estate market will go. Here are some trend predictions, gathered from several sources, which may dominate in 2018:

A recent report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers brings good news: the usual boom-and-bust cycle isn’t behaving typically, so what could have been a bust may be a gentle downturn instead.

Smartcitiesdive.com, which highlighted elements of the PWC/Urban Land Institute report, suggests the real estate industry has begun to take an interest in a new generation.

This is not to detract from the importance of millennials who, incidentally, are expected to become more interested in purchasing a home in 2018 than in previous years. A new generation, “Gen Z,” is indicating an even stronger interest in becoming homeowners at an earlier age than their millennial counterparts. Born after 1995, Gen Zers are enthusiastic about fixer-uppers and do-it-yourself projects and may lead the way in gentrifying distressed urban neighborhoods.

The Internet of Things is changing everything, so why not real estate? Smart home automation is driving the industry to incorporate the latest tech in new home builds and attract tech-savvy buyers by focusing on tech amenities in listings. The PWC/Urban Land Institute report suggests the industry has been lagging behind, technologically speaking, so 2018 may well be the year of the high-tech home.

Little is known yet about the economic and political factors affecting the industry across North America.

Notes Smart Cities Dive: “A number of other changes potentially arriving in 2018 – such as tax reform and interest rate hikes – also could affect the real estate market and cities’ development.

However, none of the known factors appear drastic enough to derail the market’s long glide and instead send it into a nosedive.”


Trend-Setting Boomers Are Still Doing What They Love

We can’t welcome 2018 without wondering what the boomer generation will be up to this year. In fact, many boomers are still doing what they love, and they’re still doing it well! After years of working for others, they’re making the decisions – and taking the risks – to start their own businesses in retirement.

Notes writer Wendy Mayhew in the Globe and Mail: “Many people can’t wait to retire. They want to golf, travel, or just take it easy. Others can’t wait to retire so they can start the business they have always dreamed about.”

According to the 2017 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, individuals between 55 and 64 accounted for 25.5% of all new entrepreneurs in 2016, while the number of 20- to 34-year-old entrepreneurs declined by 34.3% over a 20-year period to 24.4% in 2016.

Why? It may be that the boomer generation is healthier and more energetic than previous generations, it may be that boomers (who are notoriously bad savers) need to supplement their income in retirement, or it may simply be that older workers have a lot to offer.

In a recent CNBC article, Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation for AARP, suggests: “[As a boomer] you know what works and what doesn’t, you’ve been in small and big companies … You have a network, possibly savings, or other ways to gain access to capital. All of those things come together as key success factors for building and sustaining a business.”

Plus, boomers have always wanted to change the world. And now’s their chance.


Twitter Re-Tweets from 140 Characters

If you want to share more this year, the Twitter universe is making it easier. Last fall, the social media network announced it was retreating from its 140-character limit and rolling out a change to 280 characters to the majority of its 330 million-plus users worldwide.

Twitter was developed in 2006 as an alternative to text messaging; individuals subscribed to get and send updates in real time. Interestingly, Globe & Mail reporter André Picard found a dictionary definition of “twitter” as meaning “a short burst of inconsequential information.” In fact, users loved it for this very reason. As its popularity grew, it became an opportunity for people to share their views, and to “follow” friends and celebrity Twitter users. Celebs boasted followers in the millions – pop music icon Katy Perry had 105 million followers in November 2017 – but many users found the 140-character limit restrictive.

The company stated: “We are making this change after listening and observing a problem our global community was having – it wasn’t easy enough to tweet …” Based on testing, it expects an enthusiastic response from Twitter users and, almost inevitably, more subscribers.


Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!


Make Your Home Buyer Friendly with Focused Staging
With the move to buyers’ markets in many areas, you’ll want your for-sale home to look its best. And that requires focus. Focused staging, that is.

Staging your home can increase the offer amount by up to 10%, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Staging. But what if you haven’t the time or cash to stage the whole house?

You focus on the rooms that push buyers’ buttons. A messy mudroom may not kill your sale, but an unusable kitchen or master bedroom may be a deal-breaker.

Few buyers can see beyond your personal style, particularly in hot-button areas like the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. So concentrate on staging these.

This article – from RISMedia – may help:

According to the NAR Profile, the living room is one of the most popular to stage. Make it feel larger by replacing bulky furniture with smaller pieces. Help buyers to imagine their things here; leave lots of space on shelves and around furniture.

In the kitchen, declutter countertops, the fridge and inside cabinets (yes, buyers will look). Add color with a bowl of fruit.

“Most bedrooms don’t need much more than the bed, dresser, end tables, and a mirror,” the article suggests. Make the bed the focus with beautiful, but not necessarily expensive, linens.

A clean bathroom is a saleable bathroom. The master bath, especially, should gleam. Add attractive towels and battery candles for atmosphere.

And don’t forget to tidy the outside. You know what they say about first impressions.

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Caramelized Veggie Bowl
Serves 4
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups diced butternut squash
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
2-3 cups kale, stalks removed and finely chopped
Directions
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.

Add squash and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 5 min. Flip pieces and cook for 3 min. Push squash to one side.

Reduce heat to medium-high. Sauté onions for about 2 min., then add garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 min., combine with the squash, and push all to the side.

Add mushrooms and cook without turning for 4 min. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and quinoa to the pan, and mix everything together.

Add kale and 1 tablespoon of water, and cover. Steam for 2 min. or until kale is wilted but remains a vibrant green.

Uncover, stir together, and serve in bowls.


Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What Should I Know About Relocating for My Job?

As you prepare to change your life and your family’s for a new job opportunity, these tips may help:

Familiarize yourself with the cost of living at the new location. You may be disappointed if you base your income expectations on your current expenses. Verify the company is offering you a competitive salary for the new market, not your current one.

You may not be familiar with neighborhoods in your new city. Contact a local real estate agent (who is) for help.

Moving involves many expenses. It’s important to realize you may need to dip into savings. Even if your company is paying many of the costs, this likely won’t cover everything. Even minor expenses add up quickly.

Streamline your relocation. Sell items that aren’t worth the cost of transporting. Ensure all former utility, bank, and other accounts are settled.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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