The Accunet Mortgage Show (6/21/20) Episode

Join Brian and David Wickert on the Fathers Day 2020 edition of the Accunet Mortgage and Realty Show for important home buying questions, and answers you can count on.

This week’s highlights:

  • Is it illegal to record homebuyers and real estate agents when they’re in your home? The answer might surprise you.
  • The Milwaukee Metro 5-county area experienced a dip in year-over-year home sales during May 2020
  • Brian and David review how the government is keeping the economy afloat—and what that means for buying a home.

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Can you record homebuyers and real estate agents when selling a home?

This is a great question—and for a long time, Wisconsin statutes were silent on the issue. But now, the answer is a resounding yes.

If you’re selling your home, you are legally allowed to record (both audio and visual) home buyers and real estate agents on your property. But here’s the kicker: You don’t have to disclose that you’re recording them. So, if you’re buying a home, always assume you’re being recorded!

This new legislation is useful for two reasons:

  1. You can disinfect areas that visitors have touched
  2. You might be able to learn more about how people sell your home.

But, whatever you do, do NOT sell, rent, or distribute the recording, or you’ll be slapped with a $500 fine.

SE Wisconsin housing update: May 2020

Recently, we saw a pretty substantial dip in sales across Southeastern Wisconsin. It’s important to note that this data reflects contracts written in late March and April, when people were unable (or unwilling) to list their homes for sale. So, this is a supply-induced drop—demand is still very high. With that in mind, we’re betting sales will be back up in June.

County Population Home sales Median sales price
Milwaukee County
948,000
↓ 33%
$183,000
Dane County
542,000
↓ 19%
$310,000
Waukesha County
403,000
↓ 20%
$325,000
Brown County
263,000
↓ 27%
$219,000
Racine County
197,000
↓ 29%
$193,000
Outagamie County
189,000
↓ 22%
>$190,000
Winnebago County
171,000
↓ 8%
$174,000
Kenosha County
169,000
↓ 37%
$195,000
Rock County
163,000
↓ 22%
$170,000
Marathon County
136,000
↓ 14%
$183,000

The US economic outlook—and how it affects the housing market

Last week, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, gave congressional testimony. The consensus? The American economic outlook isn’t good, and with the beefed-up unemployment insurance running out in July, things might get even worse.

Recently, Larry Kudlow, Director of the United States National Economic Council, also spoke up with concerns about the extra unemployment benefits; namely, he’s worried that it gives people a disincentive to go back to work. And, with certain Americans eligible to receive $50,000/year in unemployment, we can understand why he’s worried.

Let’s look at some numbers.

Last week, 1,500,000 Americans applied for unemployment insurance.

This number is down by 58,000 from the week before and is only 25% of the record set back in March. So, you could paint this as positive.

However, a year ago in the same timeframe, only 219,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits. That’s a 12x year-over-year increase in unemployment…not great.

Many of these workers come from hyper-specialized industries (like airlines), and with those industries struggling to maintain a workforce, there’s concern about where specialized workers will find a job next.

In response to this, the government has beefed up unemployment insurance and forbearance. Basically, these programs are designed to prevent people from experiencing hardship so bad that they have to sell their home. Luckily, right now, there’s still a lot of equity in homes (unlike in 2012), so even if you do need to sell, odds are you’ll be able to get ahead of your debts with the resulting cash.