Don’t believe the Chicken Littles in the media

I love YouTubers. Always a good laugh. Always predicting the market is going to crash.

They get a little nugget of data, like that the number of people refinancing their mortgages has dropped and draw the craziest conclusions. Well, when rates were between 2 and 3%, everybody rushed out to refi. Even if the rates had not gone up, eventually everybody who would have refinanced would have done so. That statistic was bound to decrease on it’s own eventually.

My favorite ones are those that predict a major housing crisis. It is just not going to happen, especially in Lexington.

Why?

The number one reason is that Lexington is almost out of land. Lexington cannot grow any more. The surrounding communities will of course grow. Lexington will always be the most desirable town in the Bluegrass and prices will remain higher than anywhere else around us due to that. (FYI-we will see a whole lot more remodeling in the future than we see building in Lexington.)

What else do I see in the near future? A slowing market, mainly due to interest rates and nothing being for sale. Right now everybody is complaining that 5% interest rates are the worst thing to happen to the market. I disagree. While rates being low were nice, it is the low rates that spoiled all of us and are affecting the market right now. We currently act like rates in the 2-3% range were normal and 5% seems excessively high. However, I don’t see prices dropping though. That’s because all those sellers who refinanced their mortgages when rates were under 3% are not going to move until they have a need. We need sellers in the market. When sellers are scarce, that means more demand than supply. People will likely only move when they outgrow their home, lose a job, get transferred, their family grows, Grandma needs to move in, or a divorce. You’re not going to give up a 3% mortgage on a cheaper house to get a 5% mortgage on a more expensive house unless you really need to move.

So, in Lexington at least, we have little room to build more houses, sellers who are less likely to move just because they want a nicer home, and higher interest rates. All of which means less supply at a time when we have Gen Z trying to get their first home and millenials needing to move up.

I guess if I had a YouTube channel, it would be pretty boring because you don’t get much attention by saying prices will remain at least stable and the market will stay slightly tipped in the seller’s favor.

My response to this always disappoints people

As a realtor, you wouldn’t be surprised that people are always asking me the best way to add value to their homes.

What might surprise you is my response.

There are no improvements or upgrades that get you more than a 100% return. All give pennies on the dollar. I know, you are thinking “Then how do people who flip houses make money?” They make money from buying the house below market value. You already own your house so spending money to sell it and getting back less than you spent is just wasting time. Usually you want to do the least you can do, and the best thing is to address the worst aspects of your home before selling it. If you have worn out carpet, replace it. If you have a rusting light fixture in a bathroom, replace it…..but what is the best bang for the buck in getting top dollar for your house when you are selling it?

The absolute best bang for your buck has always been and will always be a fresh coat of paint.

Fresh paint makes any room automatically feel better and cleaner. Fresh paint can be done in whatever the trendy color is at the moment, which gives your home an updated vibe. Fresh paint can be used to unify all the rooms in your house. Buyers will walk around every room in your home within their 30 minute viewing. Having the same color in all the rooms is soothing and calming. Buyers love that. In a vacant house, all you see in most rooms are 4 walls, a ceiling, a light fixture and the floor. Having 80% of all there is to see be new makes a huge impact.

So there you go! If you are getting ready to sell your home and want to know the wisest way to spend your money in preparation, hit the paint isle at the hardware store.