10 Things About the Whitley County Real Estate Market
Oct 17, 2019
10 Things about the Whitley County Real Estate Market!
For a couple years now I have been hearing people on the streets saying how great they hear the real estate market is in Columbia City and Whitley County here in Indiana. "I bet you have been loving this" they say! Well only partially true.
Having been a real estate broker in Whitley County, IN for nearly 35 years now I have seen about every type of market you can imagine. Interest rates were 12-13% when I entered the business. And that looked good compared to the previous years. Recently the interest rates have been at historic lows in the 3-4% range. We have had hot sellers markets. Hot buyers markets. Recessions and recoveries. The meltdown 10 years ago. Booms and busts! But this market has been very unique for several reasons.
1. Building has exploded and new home sales have gone up over any previous market I have experienced.
2. Existing housing on the market has experienced a shortage the last 2-3 years which has prompted the new housing boom to take off as well as pushing prices to all-time highs (supply and demand).
3. Social media has allowed a lot of sellers to try and market their own homes online.
4. Average time on the market has gone from a historic average of 3-4 months to merely weeks.
5. Many buyers are experiencing frustration finding the home they want and when it does come available there is often a lot of competition with other buyers to get an offer accepted.
In a way these are healthy issues. Property values have risen all over America because of the high demand for housing and while Whitley county has always had a pretty good buyer/seller balance in the past, it has also caused prices to rise slowly. Now with the shortage, we Whitley County residents are seeing appreciation like other parts of the country have experienced and it is good for our sellers.
On the flip side the current market is creating some issues that consumers should be aware of.
6. All markets run in waves and when buyers buy at all time highs there is the likelihood that at some point the market will drop and home values will slide down some. Buyers need to understand that when you get a 30 year loan there will always be periods of highs and lows (just like the stock market) where your home is worth more and then maybe is worth less for a brief period. Don't panic when the market drops. Stay the course and it usually tends to work out well. A house is a long term investment.
7. Sellers who try to sell their own homes need to understand the disservice they may be doing to themselves by posting their home on-line. A good real estate company (Like Orizon Real Estate hint hint) will make sure you have professional photos, MLS exposure, An abundance of home buying prospects that follow us on social media just waiting for the next listing to appear), tools for creating and handling multiple offers to maximize your price potential, and the company makes sure all is ready to go so that when your home hits the market it has the best possible chance to get its highest possible price. Homeowners just cannot market their own home that way and get the same results. You may be able to get an offer secured but in most cases you have not given your home the best opportunity to let the market bid your home up to its maximum potential without having a real estate professional market it.
8. Real estate agents are able to get a seller total exposure to the market which results in the highest possible price and usually means agents often pay for themselves. But even the home sellers that are marketing their own home and find a buyer are normally paying a real estate professional to write up the paper work and get thru all the hurdles of the loan and inspection process. Out of 100 sellers that claim to sell their own home, approximately 75 still use a real estate agent in some capacity.
9. A recent slow down in sales time indicates we could be in for a market change soon and while the housing shortage likely will mean a strong market in Whitley County for the foreseeable future, the home prices may not rise as quickly as they have been.
10. Finally, no matter what market we are experiencing, one fact remains; Everyone needs a place to live and as long as lenders are loaning money to purchase homes, the real estate market will be active and intriguing.
-John Bellam, CRB
Managing Broker at Orizon Real Estate