The Accunet Mortgage Show (12/22/19 Episode)

Brian and David Wickert bring back the Accunet Mortgage and Realty Show with insights on today’s market, including vacation home purchases, housing affordability and home sales in 2019.

This week’s highlights:

  • Over 21,000 homes were sold in 2019, not including homes sold by the owner.
  • First American Data Services recently released data identifying Milwaukee as the #21 most affordable city in America.
  • There has been progress in both the US-China trade war and Brexit, eliminating some economic uncertainty – despite this, rates are still great, making 2020 a great time to buy a home.

2019 home sales year-over-year

2019 saw incredibly low interest rates, providing a fantastic incentive for tentative home shoppers. However, as we’ve mentioned before, low rates don’t always seal the deal; home sales in 2019 are roughly 1% down from 2018. Why? Well, there are a few explanations:

  1. Home prices continue to rise.
  2. Home sales are usually tied closely to life events, rather than low rates.
  3. This data doesn’t reflect homes as sold by owner.

So, despite being slightly down (officially, anyway), 2019 was still a great year for home sales, all things considered.

Quick facts: Milwaukee County single-family home sales

  • Median sales price increased by 7.6%, or $17,000
  • 2019 Median sales price: $240,000

Quick facts: Milwaukee County condo sales

  • Median sales price increased by 10%, or $17,000
  • 2019 Median sales price: $185,000

Top 5 most affordable cities in America, and how Milwaukee compares

First American Data Services is an amazing financial firm with fantastic data on the housing market. Recently, they released some numbers detailing the most affordable cities in America, with Milwaukee ranked #21.

#1 Most Affordable: Oklahoma City

  • Median renter income: $37,000
  • Buying power (how much home the median renter can afford): $230,000
  • Availability of inventory: 74% of homes for sale in Oklahoma City are at or under $230,000

#2: Louisville

#3: Memphis

#4: Birmingham 

#5: Kansas City 

Using these metrics, Milwaukee is the 21st most affordable city in America – and surprisingly, Chicago is #11!

Client story: Finding issues with a home at the last minute

We recently had a client come to us about purchasing a home in Florida. (Don’t forget: Accunet Mortgage is licensed in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Florida!) Within two days, the buyer found substantial issues with two separate homes – both of which they were ready to write an offer on.

What was wrong with house #1?

The buyer was set and ready to write an offer on house #1, which was in a very nice golf community. But before writing, they decided to grab lunch at the clubhouse on a whim. While there, they read the community newsletter, and saw that golf membership had a hefty price tag:

  • $40,000 up front, then $10,000/year
  • Nothing up front, and then $13,000/year

Either way, it’s a hefty chunk of change. So, they scrapped the idea of an offer and moved on to a different golf community.

What was wrong with house #2?

The next day, the buyer saw a very nice house in a neighboring community, and was ready to write an offer. The problem: They still hadn’t received the Seller Condition Report.

Seller Condition Report = Lengthy form detailing the seller’s honest knowledge of property defects. This is written in earnest, and is meant to point out anything wrong with the house or the property it’s on.

When the buyer finally got the Seller Condition Report, they noticed something strange. They saw that the sellers had filed a claim to have their roof completely replaced as a result of damage from a storm in October 2018 – 14 months prior!

Then, on top of that, the roof inspection showed that the roof was in great condition – contradicting the open claim.

This much uncertainty so early into the home-buying process is never a good sign, and our buyer wisely walked away.