Reno Real Estate News

Nov. 1, 2018

The Reason for Recent Housing Price Reductions

We’re not in a declining market. What we’re seeing now happens every year.

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Why are there so many price reductions? We are being flooded with these questions, and some buyers and sellers are even having fears about our marketplace. It’s a reasonable concern, especially if you have been keeping up with sites like Zillow and RedFin. We are going to be taking a look today at why all of these reductions have been happening.

 

What we need to understand is the pricing trend in our market that takes place throughout a year. The same things and the same trends have occurred every year. Early in January, there are few listings on the market due to the holiday season and the winter weather. Sellers would rather list their homes in spring when they’re framed by green grass and looking their best.

 

What about the buyers? After being stuck inside during the winter months, people are ready for a new place in time for spring and summer. This leads to many buyers but few sellers. We only had 646 home listings in January 2018. In March 2018, the year-over-year price increase was 17.6%. We had more buyers fighting over fewer homes which were higher priced, thanks to supply and demand. This happens every year due to the same market dynamics.

 

 


The same things and the same trends have occurred every single year.

 

Then, spring sellers come in thinking they will see bidding wars and score huge sales, so prices continue increasing. When we get to May and June, prices are still rising and more sellers get in to capitalize on competitive buyers. Around the end of June and July, we hit a peak in activity for the market and see those homes closing. Buyer traffic slows down around August, but sellers are still thinking of those homes that sold for high prices. They subsequently price their homes too high for the low demand of buyers and then have to begin reducing prices. Sellers are trying to initiate buyer traffic with these reductions, but there is no buyer traffic anymore due to sellers overpricing their homes in the first place. Buyer traffic will dry up after Thanksgiving and then we’ll begin the entire cycle again next year.

 

It’s important to note that pending and sold numbers have not gone down. Year-over-year numbers for September are up 11% and we have three months’ worth of inventory. We are not in a declining market—we are in a market where sellers are readjusting to where buyers were.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Market Update
Oct. 25, 2018

7 Reasons to Feel Confident in Today's Market

There are many facets to the current housing market. Here are some local and national facts to consider.

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With questionable headlines in the mass media and many recent price reductions in our area, we would like to share with you seven reasons why you can feel confident in today's market:

 

1. Prices are slowly increasing. Year-over-year prices in March 2018 were at a 17.6% increase, while September 2018 saw an increase of 11.3% over last year.

 

2. Inventory is increasing. We’re not seeing the market flooded with inventory, but instead seeing it at healthy levels. What we have is about 3.1 months’ worth of inventory, which is less than a balanced market of six months’ worth.

 

3. Vacancy is still low. At around 2.6%, it’s a strong indicator that there are more people searching than there are houses to buy or apartments to rent.

 

4. There are still better opportunities in Nevada. Our home prices are a substantially better deal than those in surrounding areas. In fact, we regularly work with people who are moving to Northern Nevada and a positive net immigration is good for our local market.

 

 


These seven points show that there are currently great opportunities for buyers and sellers.

 

5. Interest rates are still relatively low. Though they’ve increased, we are still at a time of historic lows. On top of this, they’re for 30-year fixed loans.

 

6. The national level of unemployment is low. It’s at the lowest it’s been since 1969. Because the two basic needs to buy a house are an income and available financing, this is great news.


7. Homeownership has been stable. Since 2009, virtually all loans have been 30-year fixed rates. Compare this to before, when adjustable-rate loans had homeowners suffering from highly fluctuating payments.

 

These seven points show that there are currently great opportunities for buyers and sellers. Buyers have alleviated pressure from upward price movement and a little more to choose from. For sellers, prices are still up year over year and inventory shows we’re in a seller’s market.

 

If you are interested in buying or selling a home, have any questions, or would simply like some further information, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Market Update
June 27, 2018

This Phenomenal App Can Help Buyers and Sellers


If you’ve ever tried to fumble with a tape measure to take a room’s dimensions, I’d like to introduce you to a new, easier way to complete this task: CamToPlan PRO.

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Technology can be an amazing tool, and this is especially true when it is applied to real estate. Today I’d like to highlight an awesome app: CamToPlan PRO.

 

My team and I use this technology all the time as a resource for ourselves and our clients, whether it’s to show clients an approximate floor plan, estimate the size of a room, or to know how big furniture will need to be to fill a certain space.

 

Taking dimensions the old fashioned way, with a tape measure, pen, and paper, can be a major hassle. By using CamToPlan PRO, measuring distances and drawing up plans becomes much easier.

 

You can reference the video above, starting at the 1:00 mark, to see this great app in action.

 

At only $8, I believe this app is truly a phenomenal investment. It’s extremely easy to use, and could potentially save you time and money.

 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give my team or me a call or send us an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Buying Tips
June 26, 2018

7 Reasons Fernley MUST Be On Your Radar


There are seven key reasons why buyers, investors, and Realtors alike need to keep Fernley on their radar.

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Today I would like to address a key question: “Why Fernley?”

 

There are seven key reasons why Fernley is a great location for buyers looking to make a move:

 

1. Affordability. The Reno/Sparks area is 54.3% more expensive than Fernley. In Reno/Sparks, the median price is $375,000. But in Fernley, the median price is just $243,000.

 

2. School system. The Lyon County School District is the only one in Nevada to achieve the designation of “School System Accreditation Quality Achievement” through AdvancED and the Northwest Accreditation Commission.

 

3. Amenities and commute. Many don’t realize or embrace how truly connected Fernley is to the kinds of amenities people need. Also, Fernley is just a short commute away from popular area destinations. From Fernley, it takes just 35 minutes to get to the Outlets at Legends shopping center, 40 minutes to get to the airport, and about 75 minutes to get to Lake Tahoe.

 

4. Rental demand. Fernley has a population of about 20,000, and right now there are only 30 available rental units in the community. If you’re an investor, this creates a very favorable circumstance.

 

5. Availability and value. Take the example of two different properties my team and I are involved with. The first property is a 28-year-old resale home in Reno that was listed at $355,000 and is in contract to sell above asking price. The second property is a new home in Fernley priced at $292,500. Let’s look at the details of these two properties. The Reno resale is a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom property with 1,350 square feet and a choppy floor plan. For this marginally upgraded home, there were 26 showings scheduled in just three days.

 

Now, let’s look at the Fernley property. This new home is also a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom property, but is a little larger, sitting at 1,580 square feet. The home also has a modern floor plan that has been fully upgraded. Unlike the resale home in Reno, this home is available now, and for a much more affordable price. This just goes to show the value you can get by extending your home search to Fernley.

 

6. Blockchains, LLC. More than just cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, LLC is changing the way industries record transactions and protect data. In 2017, aggregate investment on Blockchain Solutions was just under $1 billion. By 2021, this figure is expected to grow to around $10 billion. That said, this will bring a huge amount of value to the Fernley area.

 

7. Potential. People coming from other areas have already observed Fernley’s potential. Many who have seen similar transformations occur in their own hometowns are seeing the same growth and value coming to Fernley. 

 

If you have any other questions about the benefits of moving to Fernley or you have any other real estate needs I can assist you with, don't hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. I'd love to help you.

Posted in Buying Tips
June 6, 2018

Luxury Apartment vs. Townhome: A Cost Comparison


Which would be a better value in the long-run: a luxury apartment or a new townhome? Today, I will compare the costs of each.

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La Vida is a new luxury apartment community near the entrance to Somersett. Meanwhile, Cantabria is a new townhome community near McQueen, off of 7th and Sierra Highlands. With these new housing opportunities in mind, let’s do a cost comparison between a brand-new luxury apartment and a brand-new townhome in Northwest Reno.

Let’s begin with the La Vida apartments. These 3-bed, 2-bath, 1,438 square-foot apartments have beautiful views, are located near a great school district, and I imagine that they have great amenities as well. From what I know, the garages are not attached. Additionally, when considering apartment costs, you have to factor in pet costs as well. Not including extra fees and bills, rent for one of these apartments is $2,150.

Now let’s put that up against the cost of ownership of one of the new Cantabria townhomes. It is located in the same school district, each unit has 1,587 square feet, they are also 3-bed and 2-bath, and they have 2-car garages. Assuming just a 5% down payment and that you have a good credit score, your total payment is going to be $2,376 if we factor in $200 for HOA fees, which will take care of the exterior of your home.

Though the townhome clearly costs more money per month, let’s take a look at what that $200 represents. With that cost, you could potentially get a mortgage deduction on your tax return, and you get extra security that your rent is not going to keep going up and up. You will also get the opportunity to build equity and wealth over the long-term by paying down that debt. You can have a pet at no additional cost, and your garage is attached to your unit. Further still, you get to pick your own finishes.

Ultimately, though the townhome costs more, choosing it over the apartment is a much better value in the long-run.

 

If you have any questions or needs relating to real estate, please feel free to give us a call. We wish you all great success in your real estate ventures.

 

Posted in Buying Tips
Nov. 13, 2017

How Land is Stolen

 

What is vacant land theft? What happens to the real landowner, the title company, and the buyer when it’s over? I’ll explain today.

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What is vacant land theft? How can someone steal vacant land?

A recent case study in Las Vegas revealed a series of the latest scams, frauds, and schemes happening in the real estate industry. I would like to thank Tidemore Title for teaching me about these scams so that I can share this information with you.

Vacant land theft has happened in Las Vegas multiple times. Basically, the culprits search county records to find out-of-state owners of vacant land. Most of these owners reside in California.

Once they find the owner of the property, they do a background check on the owner and learn everything they can about them. Then, pretending to be the landowner, the culprit places an ad for the property in a local newspaper, selling the property at a very low price.

Let’s say the property is worth $400,000. They’ll market the property for $70,000. As a result, they’ll get a lot of interest in the property and receive an offer.

They will then direct the offer to a title company that might not have a very cohesive system or sold processes in place so that they can get the transaction through.

Once the culprit opens escrow, they commit a large amount of fraud or forgery. They also stay “out of town” throughout the deal. At the end of the deal, they tell the title company to send the money to a “family member’s account.” As soon as the money hits the account, they withdraw and run, sending the money elsewhere.

So, what happens to the real landowner, the title company, and the unfortunate buyer in this situation?

The good news is that this is covered by title insurance. The landowner will lose the use of the property while the transaction occurs. Eventually, the transaction will get undone and the deed will be transferred back to the rightful owners.

The buyer has to wait for their money to be refunded through title insurance.

The title company then loses the money for insuring a fraudulent sale.

Vacant land theft does cost everyone a tremendous amount of time and energy to get everything resolved.

This is not the only scam happening in the real estate industry. We’ll explore all of the ways that people are using technology to scam people in real estate.

Technology has done a lot to improve the real estate industry, but it has also opened us up to some risks that I want you all to be aware of.

I’ll go into more detail about this in my next video. In the meantime, if you have any real estate questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Posted in News
Sept. 28, 2017

Is UNR Student Housing Really Worth It?

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If you haven’t driven up North Virginia Street through UNR’s campus, you have to do it, because some beautiful buildings have been constructed there recently. As a Reno resident, I get excited about these new developments because it means great things are happening in our area.
 

 

If you’re a student, though, is that housing really worth the money? 

 

The average cost of a 2-bedroom apartment anywhere on campus is $690 per room, or $1,380 per month. A studio apartment costs $850 per month for one student and $1,200 for two. College students are used to bunking up, but that’s still a lot of money.  

 

With that in mind, I decided to look at the real estate market to see what I could find that could compare in terms of cost. I ended up locating a two-story house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms at 1750 West 12th Street that was listed at $388,000. The total living space was 3,178 square feet and it also featured an extra family room and three bonus rooms in the basement. 

 

If I was a student and had to choose between paying $690 a month to live in a 2-bedroom apartment with management restrictions and parking limitations or paying $500 a month to live in a house, I’d choose the house. Why? That extra $190 can probably buy about 400 tacos per month.  

 

From an investment perspective, what does renting that house out for $500 per student really look like? 

 

For the purchase price of $388,000, let’s assume your down payment is 25% (or $97,000). That would make your loan amount $291,000. For a 30-year fixed interest rate of 5% and an additional $210 for taxes and insurance, your total payment would be $1772.15 per month.  

 

If you decided to undercut that 2-bedroom apartment by even more and charge just $450 per room, your total rent collection would total $2,700 per month. Minus a 10% maintenance and vacancy charge of $270 and your $1,772.15 mortgage payment, your net cash flow would be $657.85.  

 

Now, let’s take it a step further and look at all the elements of return:

 

  • Cash invested = $97,000

  • Cash flow = $7,894.20 per year, or an 8.14% ROI

  • Equity earned = $4,321.01 per year

  • Depreciation tax savings = $3,880

  • 3% capital appreciation = $11,640

 

All totaled, your annual ROI for cash invested would be 28.59%. 

 

While it’s true that $97,000 is a large down payment and managing a house requires a lot of time and effort, it has a large financial upside if you’re an investor. If you’re a student, your savings would be substantial by living in the house. If you elected to live in the 2-bedroom apartment for $690 a month for four years instead, you’d lose out on $33,120.

 


As an investor or a student, you should take
these figures into consideration.

 

Whether you have a child going off to college at UNR, you’re a college student yourself, or you’re interested in investing in the UNR student housing market, you should take these figures into consideration.  

 

If you have any questions about this topic or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in our market soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Misc.
Aug. 22, 2017

Always Avoid This During A Negotiation

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During any real estate transaction, there are a few important things that you should always avoid doing.

 

Today, I’ll be discussing one specific thing: texting. Zappos Founder Tony Hsieh once called the telephone the most powerful communication device.  

 

Speaking on the phone, despite what some may believe, is actually faster and more convenient than texting. During a phone call, you are able to convey approximately 150 to 180 words per minute.  

 

Tone, as well, is much more easily conveyed in a verbal conversation. It is incredibly easy to miscommunicate as a result of texting—since it makes tone so much more difficult to convey. 

 

Agents should act as representatives to their clients. In order to best understand your wants, needs, and goals, a verbal conversation is simply more effective.  

 

Regardless of how many emojis a person may use in a text, spoken words will always have a stronger potential for expressing empathy. 

 

Another benefit of talking aloud with someone instead of texting is the ability to focus. When people have a conversation via text, it’s often done alongside something else. Texting is an activity people complete while multitasking.

 

Phone calls, on the other hand, are far more engaging. Speaking on the phone allows both people to be more fully focused on the conversation at hand.

 


Speaking on the phone allows both
people involved to be more fully focused.

 

Finally, a verbal conversation allows for more complete communication overall. Text messages don’t allow people to express themselves to the extent that is possible when speaking aloud.  

 

Being able to communicate thoroughly is incredibly important—especially when the conversation is about buying or selling a home.  

 

Thorough, complete communication relates back to the subject of tone, as well. For example, the phrase: “I didn’t say he shot his wife” could be read in many different ways.  

 

A fun exercise to illustrate the importance of tone is to read the phrase aloud to yourself seven times, emphasising a different word each time.

 

As you can see, it can be very easy for a phrase to take on different subtexts depending on how you say it. This is just one of the reasons that proper communication is extremely important to any real estate transaction.  

 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Posted in Misc.
July 7, 2017

What Kind of Coverage Do Vacant Properties Have?

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I’m back at Country Financial with Bridget Evans to learn all about home insurance for vacant properties.

 

If you plan on vacating your premises, finding a new property, or turning your home into an investment property, it is always a good idea to consult with your homeowners insurance company, as different companies have different policies for each kind of property.

 

Let’s say you’ve moved into your new house and your old home has been vacant for five months. The insurance company will look at that vacant property a little differently than an owner-occupied property.

 

Typically, a home is considered vacant if no one has lived in the property for 30 days or longer. The problem with vacant properties is that there is no one in the home to mitigate risks. A claim could happen in a short period of time or over a long period of time, and there would be no one there to stop the damage. As a result, the insurance company could be on the hook for covering the damage.

 

One of Bridget’s neighbors went on a long trip over Thanksgiving, back when Reno was going through really big freezes. They were gone for about a week when their next door neighbor happened to notice water rushing from their threshold. The neighbor broke a window to get in and found that a frozen pipe had burst, filling the main floor with two to three inches of water. The neighbor shut off the valve, the insurance company was reached, and everything got figured out.

 

That just goes to show that a claim can happen in a couple of days or over a longer period of time. Vacant homes are at a bigger risk because no one is there to stop the damage.

 

In my case, I was told that if I had not let the insurance company know that it was a vacant home, they would have denied coverage and I would have been responsible for the damages. If your home is going to be vacant for more than 30 days, then you need to let the insurance company know. Even if there is no change in your premium or coverage, it’s definitely worth avoiding that risk.

 

Bridget adds that if you plan on going on an extended vacation, it’s a good idea to have someone stop by your property every other week or so to make sure that everything is still intact. That person will check to see if there has been any theft or unwanted claims.

 

If you change your home from owner-occupied to an investment property, then you need to let the insurance company know. Owner-occupied properties get certain coverage for replacement of the dwelling, liability, and guest medical. If you change it to an investment property, some of that coverage goes down, and it’s even less when you have a vacant property.

 


If your property is not properly insured,
you risk not getting any coverage at all.

 

 

It is incredibly important that your homeowners insurance company knows the status of the property because if the home is improperly insured, you risk getting no coverage at all.

 

If you have any questions for Bridget, give her a call or send her an email at bridget.evans@countryfinancial.com. As always, if you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help you!

Posted in Misc.
May 30, 2017

5 Reasons You Should Consider Buying a Home in Fernley

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When some people think of Fernley, they might think of the hard times it experienced during the economic downturn, but since the introduction of Google, Tesla, Apple, and other major companies in the TRI Center, the city’s dynamics have changed. Here are five reasons why Fernley now represents a great opportunity in our market:

 

1. Affordability: While the median price in the Reno/Sparks market is $324,000, the median price in Fernley is just $216,000. That means the Reno/Sparks market is 50% more expensive. The next time you hear about buyers getting priced out of the market, rent skyrocketing, and apartments being the only thing available in the Reno/Sparks area, just remember that a whole new level of home affordability is just 30 minutes away.

 

2. School funding: I have a young family myself, so it’s important to me that school systems are sound. I don’t mean to knock the Reno/Sparks area, but Washoe County is out of options for a $40 million deficit. Lyon County schools districts are funded differently, so they don’t have the same issues. If you’re a buyer with a young family, this should make it a more attractive option.

 

3. Amenities: Among its amenities, the Fernley community has a Walmart, a Lowe’s, a Scolari’s, and its own golf course—not to mention Google, Tesla, Apple, and other major employers within the TRI Center.

 


Fernley is a true live-work community.

 

4. Commute time: Despite perception, Fernley is closer to the action than people think. When you’re heading from Fernley to the TRI Center, you’re heading west and against the grain of traffic. Most of the major traffic times on I-80 are from Reno/Sparks heading east to the TRI Center. The drive from Fernley to the TRI Center exit is only about 13 minutes. By comparison, the drive from Reno/Sparks to the TRI Center exit can be as long as 25 or 30 minutes. If you work in the TRI Center, it would be more convenient to drive there from Fernley. In addition, all the shopping centers and restaurants just outside of Reno are only 30 minutes away. Lake Tahoe is also only 75 minutes away, and the airport is only 40 minutes away.

 

5. Lack of rental availability: As of 2014, Fernley had a population of 19,208 people. As of right now, there are only nine rental properties available. There are many employment centers pulling from Fernley, and very little rent available.

 

All these factors will create upward pressure on pricing. If you’re an investor thinking in terms of a rental dollar versus purchase price basis, Fernley will provide your best return. On an expected future appreciation basis, we can expect Fernley to appreciate faster than Reno and Sparks.That 50% gap in pricing will eventually shrink, but right now Fernley is a great opportunity in today’s market because it’s a true live-work community.

 

If you have any questions or are looking to buy or sell a home in our market, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’m here to help.

 

Posted in Buying Tips