Penn Wealth Publishing

2016.04.10 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 4 Issue 5

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Page 8 of 33

april 10, 2016 wealth & success volume 4 issue 5 9 Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. tactical awareness bidding war with like-minded buyers. This will work itself out as the builders catch up to the demand, but for now, sellers have the upper hand, often receiving more than their asking price. As if that weren't bad enough for the apartment-dwellers wishing to buy, landlords are taking advantage of the situation by jacking up rental rates to record levels. Leases are expected to jump an aver- age of 8% over the next year, following a similar spike in 2015. It has become a vicious cycle, with higher lease costs forcing more renters to consider buying, exacerbating the problem. When should potential sellers list their homes? Suppose you are on the other side of the equation and are thinking of selling your home. When should you list it, and what should you expect? While it is true that many home sellers, especially those list- ing in the sweet spot of $200k to $250k, will end up getting more than their asking price should a bidding war erupt, a seller cannot be cavalier about the process. Kitchens, bathrooms, hardwood floors, and carpets should all be in tip-top shape. Of course, the mechan- ical systems of the house and the exterior (think wood rot or termite damage) should be in good shape as well, but a soiled carpet or dirty bathroom can crush a sale. As for when to list, experts at Zillow consider spring to be the strongest season. This year the best bids may come in May, as potential buyers are getting frustrated at that point and would like to move in before summer. Thursdays are reportedly the best day of the week to list, as a seller can beat the weekend rush. If the home is in good shape, priced right, and staged properly, there is a good pos- sibility that a flood of offers will come in on the very first weekend. Put your "buyer's hat" on. One good trick to help prepare your home for sale is to walk up the driveway and into the house as if you were thinking of buying it. You may have become accustomed to all of the "nuances" of the home, but some common items will stick out like a sore thumb to a buyer. No clutter whatsoever, and no family photos. The decor should be simple, and the wall colors neutral. Consider renting a PODS® to get your excess clothing and furniture into storage until you move. And don't forget curb appeal—first impressions can make or break a sale, with many potential buyers never even venturing into the house. Millennials fueling apartment boom, but how much gas is left in the tank? In the 1940s and 1950s a major demographic shift was occurring in the United States. In rural areas, which comprised the vast swath of the American landscape, farm life was the norm. For those living near big industrial cities, however, tenement living was typically the only option. Increased pay and a building boom changed all of that in the 1940s and '50s, however. Suddenly, home ownership became the American Dream. The concept of the modern mortgage gave ordinary workers the ability to raise their family in their own home. Following the implosion of the mortgage industry in 2008, home ownership suddenly went out of vogue for millions of so-called Millennials—those born after 1980. They flocked to apartment com- plexes in droves, especially those located in urban areas. As rents become higher, however, this generation is reconsidering its stance on home ownership. Their income is also rising, along with crime in the inner cities, and their kids are growing older. They learned from the mistakes of others and may now qualify for a low-rate mortgage. For many, the hustle and bustle of the inner city will lose its luster as their kids begin going to the local public school. Suburbia is back. Despite the boom in apartment complex construction, demand and high occupancy rates have driven up rental costs to record levels.

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