Will Low Inventory Keep You from Your Dream Home?

New waves of first-time homebuyers hitting the market this summer have created a new and interesting statistic. A survey in move.com showed that nearly 60% of buyers searching for a home this spring said they are willing to consider buying a fixer-upper rather than endlessly searching for the home of their dreams. 95% of those said they believe the projects needed will increase their new home’s value.

As stated in several interviews and articles on Realtor.com’s, low-inventory for entry-level price ranged homes is to blame for the increase in willingness to renovate.

Just over half of all respondents who said they would be willing to buy a home in need of some TLC would also spend more than $20,000 to make the home fit their needs.

The most common ‘expected’ renovation is a kitchen remodel which can run anywhere from $22,000 for a minor remodel to $66,000 for a major remodel.

This isn’t a new trend by any means. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, “Americans spent $336.9 billion on remodeling projects, up 7.4% from the $313.6 billion a year earlier.”

Home renovation television shows have given many buyers hope that they could renovate a home they can afford into their dream home. Are you up for the task?

If you are one of the many Americans considering buying a home this spring, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find a house with the potential to be your dream home.

Roberta L. Voss, JD, e-Pro, CNE, SFR, CDPE

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals



March 2019 National Housing Report

Kicking off the spring home-buying season, March sales climbed almost 29% over February, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. But this remains the slowest start in five years, with March sales 8.6% lower than March 2018.

March was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines and the sixth straight month of year-over-year inventory growth, with a 5.3% gain. Housing activity in the report’s 54 markets nationwide also saw the Median Sales price grow by 3.4% year-over-year – notably smaller than the year-over-year increases in February (5.5%) and January (4.6%).  However, the median sales price has risen by more than 3% year-over-year in 17 of the last 18 months.

From 2015 to 2018, the housing market’s spring sprang to life with an increase in sales from February to March averaging 37.0%. March 2019’s month-over-month increase of 28.8% was the smallest since 24.6% in 2014.

Days on Market increased to 59 from 57 last March, while Months Supply of Inventory declined year-over-year to 2.7 from 3.0.

“It was encouraging to see month-over-month sales improve during March,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Although the seasonal bounce that typically ends the first quarter wasn’t as strong as in the past few years, conditions are in place for a healthy spring selling season. Falling interest rates, rising inventory and moderating price increases against the backdrop of a healthy overall economy are cause for optimism for buyers and sellers alike.”

Closed Transactions

Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in March 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up

28.8% compared to February 2019, and down 8.6% compared to March 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Burlington, VT, at +48.3%, Wichita, KS, at +46.8%, and San Francisco, CA, at +44.3%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices

In March 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $246,000, up 2.5% from February 2019, and up 3.4% from March 2018. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price:  San Francisco, CA, at -3.8% and Hartford, CT, at -1.4%. Three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages – Manchester, NH, at +12.2%, Omaha, NE, at +11.8%, and Wichita, KS, at +10.7%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas

The average Days on Market for homes sold in March 2019 was 59, down three days from the average in February 2019, and up two days from the March 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, and San Francisco, CA, both at 31, and Denver, CO, at 35. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME, at 122, and Burlington, VT, and Hartford, CT, both at 97. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas

The number of homes for sale in March 2019 was up 0.3% from February 2019 and up 5.3% from March 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in March 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.7 from 3.7 in February 2019, and from 3.0 in March 2018. A six-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In March 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.5 reported a supply at or over six months, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Denver, CO, at 1.2, and four metros at 1.3 – San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Boise, ID, and Manchester, NH.


Roberta L. Voss, JD, e-Pro, CNE, SFR, CDPE

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals



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Pet-Friendly Homes Are in Demand

pet-friendly, dog, homesA lot of home buyers are interested in buying pet-friendly homes so that they can finally settle with their ‘furever’ friend. Pointing out the aspects of your home that appeals to owning a pet can help you attract these buyers over other homes. That’s 68% of the market that’s looking for a pet-friendly home!

As a homeowner looking to list their home, how do you stand out among the rest of the listings to get your home noticed and sold?

These pet owners are looking to treat their pet like family and want them to be safe and comfortable. This means that the community also needs to be pet-friendly, not just the home.

Most aspects of buying, selling and owning a home, come down to pet-friendly variables, which is of no surprise since $72 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2018.

Pet Stats Matter in Choosing a Home

  • 12% percent have moved for their pet
  • 19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet
  • 89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
  • 81% of Americans say their pets play a role in their housing situation
  • 31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals

Even new home builders are taking new strides to make their homes marketable to pet owners. Some have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck inside door jams to attract new pet owners and home buyers.

What can you do to stand out in this pet-friendly market? Make sure to point out the features of your home that will attract these pet owners:

  • Fully fenced in backyard – (91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
  • Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
  • Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)
  • Sectioned off or split floor plan homes. These make it easier to gate certain areas
  • Tile and wood flooring compared to carpet that holds dander, allergens, hair and shows dirt
  • A backyard big enough for the pet to do their business and still have room to play and run

Take advantage of the fact that many Americans love their pets and will do anything they can to find a home that includes these valuable features by showing how your home can meet these needs.

Roberta L. Voss, JD, e-Pro, CNE, SFR, CDPE

The Voss Team

RE/MAX Professionals



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How to Pet-Proof Your Home

Dog, Pet Proof, Chewing, Home ValueFrom fury snuggles and kisses to comic relief and unconditional love, pets are wonderful additions to a home. However, they also bring with them some less desirable traits: truckloads of animal hair and drool, bad table manners and the ability to break things around the home.

While you may be looking to sell your home in the future or at least increase its value, your beloved animals can actually ding the value of your property. They can add scratches to your doors and floors, funky, semi-permanent smells, and other flaws that may scare away prospective buyers. Take a look at these precautions you can take to pet-proof your home so that their negative impact is greatly reduced.

Damage control tips are as follows:

Set up some barriers

Do you have an area of the house that contains your favorite rug or your favorite and fragile vase? The best idea would be to set up barriers to discourage your pet’s curiosity in that section of the home.

Most of our furry friends show their love for their environment with their noses and mouths. Indoor and outdoor items alike are sure to be sniffed, licked, or chewed. This is why physical barriers are so important. Try out some baby gates, doors, screens, and other barriers to contain your pet.

If you’re finding it impossible to keep your pets off your brand new couch, you may try investing in a pet cover or large throw blanket. When company comes over you can remove the blanket and reveal your new and perfectly clean couch.

Create a separate eating area for them

You can take all of your old cabinets, appliances, and dishes downstairs or into the den to create an entirely new eating space for your animals that is strictly for them. If they eat in their secluded area, they usually refrain from scratching up the new kitchen flooring or cabinets. We’ve all seen how excited your furry one can be when you head to the closet to scoop out their food, with their jumping, excitement, scratching and pawing.

Get smart about flooring

Not everyone can set up barriers or even separate eating areas for their pets. Another recommendation is to use bamboo flooring.

Bamboo is much harder than most woods so it doesn’t scratch easily and it doesn’t have any grooves between boards like other hardwood floors. The lack of groove makes it much easier to clean up potty accidents.

Tile throughout the house is also another great option along with recycled tire rubber flooring for the basement floor covering for people with kids and pets.

Carpet is typically the last choice for good flooring when people have pets and want to preserve the value of their home. Carpet holds hair and odors and is a complete disaster for people with allergies.

Decorate your windows wisely

It is also important that pet owners pay attention to how they decorate their windows.

Curtains need to not drag on the ground. Both for the sake of picking up pet hair and dirt but also because kittens like to claw at and climb them.

For window coverings, it is recommended to use thick wood or faux wood blinds that can stand the test of clawing. Remember to keep all chords tucked away as well.

Keep pet toys and chews out of sight

The fastest way to ruin the ambiance of your home on a tour is to come across a chewed up bone or destroyed toy. It’s recommended to stash all the toys and chews in a cute basket that you can hide away when needed. This is also another place where a designated pet spot can come in handy to distract your pet away from your home decor. Use a comfy crate or dog bed near a kitchen nook, under a table, or in a large corner of a room.

While it would be impossible to trick a buyer into thinking you’ve never had a pet in the home, it sure helps to hide and prevent the negative telltale signs of a pet, especially when considering selling the property.


Roberta L. Voss, JD, e-Pro, CNE, SFR, CDPE
The Voss Team
RE/MAX Professionals
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