6 Great Lakes Bay Real Estate Trends

Anyone considering buying or selling a house, property or building this year probably has noticed the real estate market is booming. According to research by Redfin, the average house listed has sold within just 40 days on the market in the last year. Three real estate professionals from the Great Lakes Bay Region gave insight into some of the top trends hitting the real estate market this year. Modern Move-in-Ready Homes Technological advances and lifestyle choices drive the wants and needs associated with buying a home. Scott Rausch, owner of Rausch and Associates Realtors in Frankenmuth, said homebuyers in 2020 want modern, move-in-ready houses. Some of the features they desire include:
  • Open floor plans
  • Energy efficiency
  • Multiple bathrooms
  • Stainless-steel appliances
  • Tiles and premanufactured flooring
  • Large master bedroom with en suite
  • First-floor utility room
  • Two- to three-car garages
Prices are High Inventory is Low There is more demand for houses than what is in supply, said Tricia Boerma, owner and broker at Boerma Realty in Mount Pleasant. She explained that the shortage is driving home prices up. “Prices have jumped up jurisdictionally, but I think they’re going to level out over the next year,” Boerma said. “During election years, usually real estate is really good and levels out after the election.” Yet, the price increases haven’t slowed people down from buying homes. “if we have the homes to sell, they will go fast,” Boerma said. “if it’s a good house, it will sell in 72 hours.” Monique Gilbert, a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Michigan Real Estate, agreed that it’s a great time to sell. “We do not have a shortage of buyers,” she said. “We continuously are urging people who are thinking about selling their homes to get them on the market now when there is less competition than what there will be in a month or two. There are plenty of qualified buyers for every price point.” Millennials are Top Buyers Boerma, Gilbert and Rausch all identified current homebuyers as millennials. Boerma said they are mostly interested in move-in-ready homes. “A lot are first-time homebuyers, they’re young – 33 and under,” said Boerma. “they want a nice house, but they don’t want to do anything to it. They want to walk in and have an easy transition.” There Isn’t a “Right” Season to Sell Rausch said spring and summer have historically been the prime time to sell houses, but that is changing. As jobs and lifestyles have changed throughout the years, the times to buy and sell houses are expanding into fall and winter months. Interest Rates are at and all-time low Buyers don’t need as much money out of pocket to purchase houses this year, Gilbert said. Rausch agreed, emphasizing how the low interest rates have increased the ability to afford more expensive homes. “the average rate today is 3.8% for a 25-year fixed mortgage,” Rausch said. “The lower the rate, the lower your payment. The lower the payment, the more house you can buy. That has changed the market significantly. People can afford more money because their payments are less.” The Evergreen Trend One trend that each real estate expert said will never fall to the wayside is using an experienced real estate agent. Boerma said agents know the regulations for each county, make sure buyers pay the right price, ensure sellers get a fair price for their house, work with the title companies and banks, and know the market. “There’s a lot of ‘for sale by owners,’” Boerma said. “I just caution people to trust Realtors. Real estate is pretty complex, and you really need to rely on experts.”

Anyone considering buying or selling a house, property or building this year probably has noticed the real estate market is booming. According to research by Redfin, the average house listed has sold within just 40 days on the market in the last year.

Three real estate professionals from the Great Lakes Bay Region gave insight into some of the top trends hitting the real estate market this year.

Modern Move-in-Ready Homes
Technological advances and lifestyle choices drive the wants and needs associated with buying a home. Scott Rausch, owner of Rausch and Associates Realtors in Frankenmuth, said homebuyers in 2020 want modern, move-in-ready houses. Some of the features they desire include:

  • Open floor plans
  • Energy efficiency
  • Multiple bathrooms
  • Stainless-steel appliances
  • Tiles and premanufactured flooring
  • Large master bedroom with en suite
  • First-floor utility room
  • Two- to three-car garages

Prices are High Inventory is Low
There is more demand for houses than what is in supply, said Tricia Boerma, owner and broker at Boerma Realty in Mount Pleasant. She explained that the shortage is driving home prices up.

“Prices have jumped up jurisdictionally, but I think they’re going to level out over the next year,” Boerma said. “During election years, usually real estate is really good and levels out after the election.”

Yet, the price increases haven’t slowed people down from buying homes.

“if we have the homes to sell, they will go fast,” Boerma said. “if it’s a good house, it will sell in 72 hours.”

Monique Gilbert, a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Michigan Real Estate, agreed that it’s a great time to sell.

“We do not have a shortage of buyers,” she said. “We continuously are urging people who are thinking about selling their homes to get them on the market now when there is less competition than what there will be in a month or two. There are plenty of qualified buyers for every price point.”

Millennials are Top Buyers
Boerma, Gilbert and Rausch all identified current homebuyers as millennials. Boerma said they are mostly interested in move-in-ready homes.

“A lot are first-time homebuyers, they’re young – 33 and under,” said Boerma. “they want a nice house, but they don’t want to do anything to it. They want to walk in and have an easy transition.”

There Isn’t a “Right” Season to Sell
Rausch said spring and summer have historically been the prime time to sell houses, but that is changing. As jobs and lifestyles have changed throughout the years, the times to buy and sell houses are expanding into fall and winter months.

Interest Rates are at and all-time low
Buyers don’t need as much money out of pocket to purchase houses this year, Gilbert said.

Rausch agreed, emphasizing how the low interest rates have increased the ability to afford more expensive homes.

“the average rate today is 3.8% for a 25-year fixed mortgage,” Rausch said. “The lower the rate, the lower your payment. The lower the payment, the more house you can buy. That has changed the market significantly. People can afford more money because their payments are less.”

The Evergreen Trend
One trend that each real estate expert said will never fall to the wayside is using an experienced real estate agent.

Boerma said agents know the regulations for each county, make sure buyers pay the right price, ensure sellers get a fair price for their house, work with the title companies and banks, and know the market.

“There’s a lot of ‘for sale by owners,’” Boerma said. “I just caution people to trust Realtors. Real estate is pretty complex, and you really need to rely on experts.”

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