“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”Rainer Maria Rilke
We hope that your 2020 is off to a great start! As we enter another year, we wanted to look back at 2019 and review the year. We went a little more in-depth with some of the statistical data and have some different graphs for you. This year we continued to see population growth as inventories are beginning to increase. Some interesting stats of note:
- Tarrant County had the largest number of sales in 2019
- All four counties show slight price increases in 2019
- All four counties have increased supply
- All four counties have bank-owned (foreclosure) of less than 1%.
Here are the numbers and stats for 2019:
Overall the markets are flattening with slight increases for the year. We are not in a down cycle. As the Texas economy remains strong and population growth continues we do not anticipate a market decline. That said, unforeseen things can impact the market, thus we will continue to provide you with monthly updates and information.
**Please note that these statistics are general market trends and are not considered to be used to determine the value of your specific home**
Please let us know if there is are other metrics or information you would like us to cover for North Texas.
Want to know how to build equity in your home? Lexi Klinkenberg with Redfin put together these answers from real estate appraisers. We were honored to be featured in this article.
How to Build Equity in Your Home
Published on: January 21, 2020 – By Lexi Klinkenberg
Building home equity is one of the many financial benefits to homeownership, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Increasing your property value through renovations or home additions, and paying off your mortgage, seem like the most straightforward ways to build equity. But there are also some factors that determine what your house is worth that are out of your control, like the location and popularity of the particular housing market. We gathered tips from experts in the field to share what they find to be the most effective ways to build equity in your home.
Spurgeon Appraisals: Thinking about putting in a gazebo? A saltwater pool? Custom features may not always contribute to value, because they may not be widely accepted by your market. Spend your money where every homebuyer looks, the kitchen, bathroom, roof, and repairs. The more you stray from the norm the less likely you’ll see a return on your investment.
OlaesSmith Appraisals: A good way to build equity in your home is to see if your house is being used at its highest and best use. Being able to add additional square footage to your home to maximize your floor to area ratio allows you to use larger home sales when an appraisal is done on your home, which in turn will add more equity to your home versus its original smaller footprint.
John Tsiaousis, Chicagoland Appraisals: Start by understanding what is happening in your market for the type of property you have. Let’s take a 2-flat in Chicago’s Logan Square for example from a real estate appraiser’s perspective. If you were to automatically remodel the kitchens and bathrooms in both units in a very short time you’d find yourself having questions as to the value. Most 2-flats in Chicago’s Logan Square are not being fully remodeled, rather the 1st-floor unit is being duplexed with the basement and that is being fully remodeled to current tastes and the 2nd-floor unit is being spruced up with paint and minor updates.
Alex Argianas, Argianas and Associates: Your first priority, if you have been putting off, should be superstructure & mechanicals like the roof, HVAC system, electrical and plumbing. What’s more, a proper appraisal will identify and should apply the costs associated with these upgrades in the appraisal of the home. A new kitchen is great, but if the roof leaks or you can’t heat it, you’re going to have some unhappy home buyers.
American Realty Appraisals: While it’s important to increase the energy efficiency of the home which will improve comfort and lower utility bills, the market doesn’t react to these critical factors that they don’t see, like they should. One thing homeowners can do which may not necessarily increase the equity in the home on a refinance, but lowering your taxes through tax appeal can increase the purchasing power of a potential buyer and thus increase buyers’ bids to purchase the property…..and that is extra equity for the homeowner.
Gynell Vestal, Consumer Home Value: Build a strong relationship with a local real estate appraiser. They should obtain an appraisal every few years to keep current with their home value and property expectations for their market. An appraiser can advise them on trends and characteristics important in their micro-market and the cost-to-value relationship of improvements remodels or upgrades being considered. This way homeowners spend their money on improvements that will maximize returns and are steered away from potential over-improvements.
Matthew Frentheway, Aspen Appraisal Group: Typically, the amount people spend in finishing a basement will only yield about half as much in equity. So it’s not a good idea to finish one if you expect to get immediate equity back out if they sell or get a loan. It is better to do it for the use of the area, and wait for the market to increase to get your money back out.
Sun Point Appraisals Inc.: The one thing on a financial lending appraisal report and only one thing regarding upgrades is a box on page 1 of the report. This box asks the appraiser to indicate if the kitchen and/or bathrooms have been updated within the prior 15 years. Once this box is checked “yes” the Appraiser now has told the Reader of the report this home is updated. Now when the Appraiser compares this home (the subject of the appraisal) to other recently sold homes they will need to analyze how this updated kitchen and/or bathrooms have impacted the overall value of the home.
Appraisal Partners: One way to help gain equity is to help sell your neighbor’s home. As an agent, I have run into scenarios where neighbors are not very accommodating when it comes to the sale of their neighbor’s home. They take down directional arrows, they steal yard signs and leave cars parked in the street. If you’re directly next to the home for sale, clean up your backyard. I have had a few sales where the property had trouble selling because the neighboring backyard was in disarray. As an appraiser, we are looking for comparable sales to form our value opinions. If your neighbor’s home sold low, likey when you go to refinance, we are going to use that sale as a comparable for determining value. So if you see your neighbor trying to sell their home, help them out. Spread the word, be accommodating and help the real estate agent.
DW Slater Company: Home improvements can add equity to your home, however, we recommend checking with a local market expert to find out which improvements are showing the best return on investment in your area. Not all markets are the same. Kitchen remodels may add greater value in some markets where outdoor living spaces will add more value in another market. Check with a local real estate appraiser.
Jamie Owen, Aspen Appraisal Services: If you have a walk-up attic with a high enough ceiling height, a fairly simple way to add equity is by finishing and heating that area. It’s a fairly simple way of adding gross living area and it’s much less expensive than most traditional additions. If a person wants to do so, I recommend checking with their municipality to make sure that it is legal to do so and that the area can be considered gross living area when completed. But this is a relatively easy way to add equity.
Brian Kirkpatrick, DFW Appraisals: Equity is in residential real estate is typically built by identifying items that the current market reflects. In the day and age of real estate television shows, Pinterest, and social media, one can visibly see what trends are current with fashion and styling. Updating components of your home to reflect popular culture is the best way to build equity in your property. Components such as roof, HVAC system, and water heater are considered short-lived items; meaning, their economic life span is shorter than that of the real estate. Always remember that cost is what you pay but value is what you get.
Just Appraisals: Design trends come and go, but a great way to add long-lasting value is by adding an accessory dwelling unit. The extra living space and potential income will continue to add value for as long as you own the property.
Ryan Lundquist, Sacramento Appraisal Blog: This might sound strange, but one of the best ways to build equity is to do absolutely nothing. During an increasing market, a homeowner has an incredible opportunity to sit back and build wealth by simply riding the wave of growth. In fact, many owners have done this over the past eight years and they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity without having lifted a finger. Yes, kitchen remodels and other improvements can surely make a big difference for a home’s value, but what the market is doing can actually mean way more.
Master Appraisal Services: If you want to build equity in your home to increase the value, the pat answer is almost always updating kitchens and bathrooms or add square footage. Just updating is not necessarily maximizing the potential. It is also important to make sure that the updates are current to today’s demands and expectations of the market. One way to see what is most current is to go tour the model homes in new developments for ideas.
Originally Published on Redfin
Happy New Year!! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and made great memories. As 2019 ends, we wanted to say thank you for your support and confidence in us for your appraisal services. This year was a great year and we were honored that you chose us for your residential and commercial appraisal needs. We had a great year of residential services including, single-family homes, waterfront properties, new construction, barndominums, condominiums, and high-end luxury homes. We also enjoyed providing commercial services for warehouses, commercial land, office/retail, and equine facilities. We appreciated the continued relationship with many of our clients and the new clients of 2019. We look forward to continuing to provide you with reliable appraisal services in the year 2020.We have been experiencing some technical issues with our blog and with the very busy end of year work we have not been able to provide the December Newsletter earlier. I think that I have now fixed some of the issues in WordPress. It is the last day of 2019 but here it is! Real estate markets are still inching up ever so slowly. Most metrics are trending upward. Median Sales Price – up slightly; Marketing Times- up; Supply-Up; Volume- Flat. The charts below represent the month of November compared to the same time last year and have been seasonally adjusted. Here are the charts:
Median Sales Price Trends
Days on Market
Months of Supply
In next month’s newsletter, we will be able to do a full recap of 2019 as December’s numbers will be in. We try to publish the newsletter after 2 weeks into the month in order to allow time for all of the data to be collected.
It’s that time of year when family and friends gather together for the season of Thanksgiving. All of us at the DW Slater Company want to take some time to let you know that we are very thankful for you! Our clients, subscribers, and friends! We are thankful that you choose us for your real estate appraisal services, market updates, questions or concerns. As you gather together in groups big or small, may your time together be special and memorable. If you are cooking for Thanksgiving, scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for a special recipe from our family to yours!
Let’s talk about real estate! The markets in North Texas are still up. Although we have been talking about the slowing and certain markets are beginning to flatten, overall markets are still rising. The Texas economy is still very strong. According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center: The Texas economy gained 297,100 nonagricultural jobs from October 2018 to October 2019, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, higher than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.4 percent. The nongovernment sector added 284,600 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent, also more than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.5 percent in the private sector . Jobs and people continue to migrate to the DFW area. With its recent purchase of Ameritrade, Charles Schwab will be moving its headquarters to Westlake in Tarrant County. To make room for all those relocating to North Texas, PMB Capital Investments with the purchase of 3,400 acres, just announced plans for a residential development of 10,000 homes in Wise County called Rolling V Ranch. This will be one of the largest residential master-planned developments in North Texas.
Median Sales Prices are still slightly up in our main four counties YoY. Inventory & marketing times are up and volume is either down or flat moving to a more balanced market. As noted before, we are still inching up but at a slower pace. Here are the numbers:
3.5 | +16.7%
We will continue to watch the real estate markets. Watch for our monthly update in next month’s newsletter.
Congratulations to our own, Shannon Slater and to realtor Whitney Delcourt as they were chosen as Appraiser of the Month and Realtor of the Month from Consumer Home Value. If you have’t checked out Consumer Home Value’s website, please do. They provide a wealth of information to help consumers navitgate the home buying, selling, refinancing or remodeling process. We apprecited the kind words about our company and services from our clients and collegues.
Nana’s Jalepeno Corn Casserole
Two 12 oz cans of whole kernel corn (mostly drained)
One 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
One stick of butter
One & 1/2 whole jalepeno diced ( remove seeds if mild is desired)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt the cheese & butter together
Combine all ingredients in a 9X13 baking pan
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly (approximately 10-20 minutes)
This recipe is written exactly as it was given. It will be on our table for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Last month, I was complaining about how it was still so very hot and I was ready for the cooler fall weather. Well, yesterday we walked around a large 70-acre equine property when it was wet, misty and 45 degrees. I loved it! We are already getting a freeze warning for tonight. That is early in Texas. Some around here say we just skip fall and just go from summer to winter. Some days it certainly feels that way, but I have lived here my whole life and I know that it never stays hot forever and it never stays cold forever. Changes do come, just as they do in the real estate markets.
Real estate markets go and down. They fluctuate. This can really be seen in the interactive charts below when looking at the ups and downs from month to month. To look at a broader picture of our markets check out this chart of the real estate price cycles in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area. You can see that we have only had two big downturns. One in the ’80s which coincides with the Savings and Loan Crisis and the second on started in 2007 with the housing crisis.
The markets also change with the seasons. If it feels slower right now, that is because the markets typically do slow month to month in the fall. Looking at our markets of Denton, Collin, Dallas, and Tarrant counties there is a slowing month to month but when compared to the same time last year they are still increasing. The pace of appreciation has slowed but prices are still up YoY. We also wanted to show you the more rapid price appreciation in our more northern and rural markets of Cooke and Grayson counties. See the Cooke and Grayson County charts below. Don’t forget to hover over the charts as they are interactive.
Median Sales Price Trends
Median Price Per Square Foot
Median Days on Market
Months Supply of Inventory
Volume- Number of Sales
Cooke & Grayson Counties
Interests have been dropping over the past year and increased slightly last week. With interest rates so low, refinances and housing purchases have been holding strong. Here is a look at the rates over the past year:
We hope you have plans for a safe and Happy Halloween! As a member of the Pilot Point Chamber of Commerce, the DW Slater Company will be at our local Trunk or Treat. If you are local, stop by and we will give you a treat!
Check out these great reads:
Does the market really change every seven years? – Sacramento Appraisal Blog
5 Scary Movies that Describe and Appraiser’s Job – Birmingham Appraisal Blog
The Penny… A Classic Example of Cost Not Equaling Value– Cleveland Appraisal Blog
Fall is officially here!– But it sure doesn’t yet feel like it in North Texas. It is still so very hot. Today David was headed to his last appraisal appointment. He looked at his device to see the temperature outside felt like 106 degrees. Whew! We are well on our way to having the record for the hottest September in North Texas. Not only is it still hot, but it also does NOT look like the picture above. Everything is still very green. As I type, the cicadas are singing their summer song which has long since lost its appeal. I need a new playlist. It is time for the weather to cool, the cicadas to end their concert and the summer wardrobe to change from summer sandals to boots & sweaters. I love the fall. I love the cooler, crisp weather. I love the fall colors and just that bit of change in the air. But, alas, I cannot rush it. It will eventually make its way here and my summer lamenting will be just a distant memory. Until then, I will keep cranking the A/C, and wait for the change. Speaking of change, do we see any change in our real estate markets?
Our markets started out the summer slowing and were almost flattening last month. However, prices are still rising- just at a much slower pace. In May we discussed the pace moving from a sports car to a tractor. We are maintaining this tractor pace as prices are still up 1-4 % YoY. This month, we are showing the seasonally adjusted charts for our main four counties. This better depicts the slowing pace of appreciation.
Median Sales Price
$315,000 | +0.3%
$339,990 | +1.5%
$248,500 | +3.5%
$247,000 | +6.2%
3.2 | -3.0%
3.6 | -5.3%
3.4 | +13.3%
2.5 | -3.8%
Days on Market
29 | +31.8%
34 | +25.9%
20 | +11.1%
18 | +28.6%
1,620 | +9.7%
1,615 | +2.9%
2,318 | -3.2%
2,658 | -3.2%
Although prices are still rising, you can see the signs of slowing as days on the market are longer and supply is increasing. Volume has not declined yet. Mortgage rates continue to remain very low which has kept this train moving. Demand is still high. New construction is trying to keep up with the demand. is typical for the market to slow in the fall. We will be watching these trends for next month.
In the meantime, check out some of these interesting reads from this month:
- Differences Between A Home Inspection and An Appraisal Inspection – Cleveland Appraisal Blog
- The Brady Bunch House Renovation And Thoughts On Value- Birmingham Appraisal Blog
- When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count– Sacramento Appraisal Blog
- Supercar manufacturer McLaren is moving its U.S. base to Coppell – Dallas Morning News
As always, if you have a question about real estate appraisals or need appraisal services, please feel free to contact us at www.dwslaterco.com
We hope that you have some great plans for labor day weekend. We have had a very busy month of August. We know that you work hard to provide good services or products in your businesses and we hope that you do get to enjoy a little time off from your labor. Whether you are making a last-minute trip or staying home for some downtime, make it a great weekend!
Our thoughts are with you that are in the path of Hurricane Dorian our prayers for safety from this unpredictable storm.
The summer months have ended up strong but flat. Sale volume is up. Sale price appreciation year to year is flat. Days are on the market are still increasing and supplies are up in Dallas and flat in the other markets.
Here’s a current look at the market trends- don’t forget to hover over the charts for more information.
Median Sales Price
$322,950 | +1.0%
Months of Supply
3.3 | +3.1%
Days on the Market
25 | +31.6%
1,660 | +13.6%
Grayson & Cooke Counties
We wanted to also share an update on some of our more rural markets. We appraise in Cooke and Grayson counties. We have been seeing sale prices rising in these more rural, less dense markets. Some of this is due to affordability. As the prices in the North Texas market have been increasing, many are searching further north to find more affordable homes.
$206,500 | +11.9%
What’s up with Mortgage Rates?
Mortgage rates are still at historically record lows. Per Freddie Mac, the current 30 year fixed rate is 3.58%. Although rates are low and the economy strong, we are not having the housing boom you might think. We are seeing boom in refinances but supply, affordability and the cost of construction are keeping a damper on housing.
Again, we wish you a wonderful Labor Day weekend and if you have any questions about real estate appraisals or services don’t hesitate to contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.
It’s that time of year when the heat can really begin to bother you. Many parts of the country have been experiencing a heatwave. I am so very thankful to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern-day air conditioner. I have lived in Texas my entire life but could not do it without AC! That being said, last week our AC stopped working. Yikes! Not when the heat index is over 100 degrees! Fortunately, the repairman was able to come quickly and get it up and running again. What was the culprit? What caused my AC to stop cooling? A gecko! I guess because of the more than usual rainfall we’ve had, there has been an abundance of geckos at our place. Four or five every night on our porch. Evidently, three of them decided to crawl into our outside unit and one of them crawled into a space that shorted out the system as well as himself. In fact, there were three gecko casualties found in our unit.
Just as that gecko caused problems with our AC, there are factors causing the North Texas markets to shift. The sizzling markets of rapid price appreciation, low supply and short marketing times are cooling with supply and marketing times on the rise.
What is impacting our markets? Mortgage rates are certainly not causing them to slow. Mortgage rates decreased all of throughout the month of June. But what about affordability? The demand in our area brought about by immense population growth has caused prices to rise at a pace faster than the wages have risen. A recent study reveals that only around half of Americans can afford an entry-level home. Affordability inTexas has historically been greater than the US. However, the gap has been closing in. Affordability is becoming more of an issue in many areas of Texas and especially in the DFW metroplex. Homes are beginning to stay on the market a bit longer, which is increasing the supply of homes available for buyers and in turn in bringing prices down. Sellers can no longer price to the sky and expect any and all to be able to afford it.
Today when I look at a snap snot of this area, the largest number is not the number of new listings or pendings but the number of price decreases. This means that sellers are having to come down a bit to meet the buyer. The slowing down of our markets do not indicate a crash but perhaps a more balanced market. Prices will need to match what buyers can afford.
So in our markets, median sales prices have increased nominally or are flat. Supply has increased as well as marketing times. Volume has decreased. All signs of a cooling market. Is affordability the “gecko” that is slowing down the markets? Take a look at this month’s numbers:
Feel free to click on all of the charts and get the numbers. You can see the changes that are occurring. They are not big, they are not drastic but they are enough to dampen the blazing markets that we have experienced the last five years. Of note, the Texas economy is very strong. Foreclosure rates are very minimal. People are staying in their homes longer than ever. We continue to grow as more jobs, homes, and people are headed our way. So, just maybe there is no “gecko” shorting out the system and making it unfunctional. Perhaps, home prices need to slow down and let wages catch up.
So I hope that your geckos are not shorting out your AC units and that you are able to find some great ways to cool off in the summer heat. In the meantime, if you have questions about our local real estate markets or appraisal services- reach out to us at www.dwslaterco.com
Summer is here! The summer equinox has occurred. June 21st was the longest day of the year, well it was still 24 hours, but it is the day with the most sunlight. This day was also special to us personally as we had a son marry his bride on this special day! The wedding was beautiful and they were able to capture some beautiful sunset pics. We appreciate our clients who were accommodating, understanding and sent us well wishes while we were out of the office a few days for the wedding.
So what is going on in our markets? Buyers are gaining a little more leverage in North Texas. Home prices are still rising but at a slower pace. We have been reporting this for the past few months. What is becoming apparent is that homes are staying on the market longer and the supply is increasing. Mortgage rates continue to decline. Check out the stats and interactive charts we have in the monthly market updates below.
We also wanted to share some exciting things going on in our area.
- Futuristic Flying in DFW– Did you know that Uber is going to having its first flying taxi service in DFW? The skyports are set to start flying in 2023. Are we going to be the first Jetsons?
- Blue Lagoon Time-The first crystal lagoon in Texas is now open in Denton County in the Windsong Ranch development. We will watch to see how this 5-acre pool/beach/lagoon impacts the prices in this development.
- Frank Lloyd Wright– Do you love Frank Lloyd Wright architecture? There are plans to renovate the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas.
- Crazy Water- Speaking of renovations, the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells has plans for renovations will substantial backing. Many have dreamed of this for years but this time it looks like it may actually happen. This famous historic hotel in Mineral Wells has the most stories of any hotel in the US located outside of a metropolitan area. Years ago famous people traveled and stayed there for the spa and a chance to get into the spring water from the natural wells referred to as “crazy water”.
Monthly Market Updates
Median Sales Prices
$313,050 | +3.3%
Median Price Per Square Foot
$138 | +3.0%
Months Supply of Inventory
3.1 | +29.2%
Median Days on Market
26 | +44.4%
1,616 | +2.6%
Great Cycle Challenge
Last month we shared that we are participating in the Great Cycle Challenge. We are finishing up this month but there is still time to be a part. We were honored to be featured on the Great Cycle Challenge page. The Great Cycle Challenge has 80,270 riders this year and so far we have raised $7,741,337 to go to cancer research. If you would like to help this worthy cause see below:
We wish you a great start of your summer and look forwarding to reporting back to you in July. If you are in need of a residential or commercial appraisal service please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com