Real estate tends to slow during November. But the news remains good as pending home sales have risen for 17 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales in 2012 will total close to 4.6 million, an increase of 9% over 2011. With reports of lower unemployment rates, sales of existing homes are projected to rise at an average of about 9% next year too.
Prices are rising in many areas of the United States. With a shrinking housing inventory, Yun predicts that the national median price for existing-homes is expected to increase 6% this year and 5% in 2013.
If you are looking for a great buy, now may be the time to shop. Holiday sellers are usually motivated and closing before the year ends may be a benefit. Please feel free to call me during the holidays with any questions.
Q: How do I know if the home I am interested in has building code violations?
A: Building codes change. New requirements are added to address safety issues and make homes more energy efficient. Below are just a few examples of changes that may be worth researching when you buy:
• Wiring standards now prohibit aluminum wiring in most residential construction and require ground fault circuit interrupters near wet locations.
• Changes have been made to wind and snow load requirements to strengthen structure of homes and prevent damage in extreme weather.
• The use of insulated HVAC ductwork may be required in some areas of the US.
• Water heater braces are now required in most areas.
To make sure the house you’re looking to buy is up to code, consider a trip to our local building inspection office or zoning and building department. Talking with the original builder can also yield valuable information. I always recommend having a professional inspection, but taking these extra steps may be worth your time too.