[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]

Choosing Smart Improvements for Monrovia Homes for Sale

“Should we remodel our kitchen if we are selling?” Use this data to guide your decision.

For local homeowners whose Monrovia homes will be up for sale in 2018, there’s bound to be some consternation regarding how much time, effort, and budget need be directed to the project. In addition to formulating a timetable for extra maintenance in areas where signs of undue wear and tear stand out, there’s the question of whether more ambitious projects are called for. Often, a fresh coat of paint or some deep steam cleaning can make a real difference in how well Monrovia homes for sale show, but those are the easy calls.

More challenging are the gray areas—places where it’s possible that more major and costly improvements could result in a quicker sale, higher offer—or both. They are gray because no crystal ball (or Tarot card deck or Ouija board) exists that can guarantee that the extra expense and effort will reap a commensurate return.

One information source is the studies which reveal “costs-recouped” statistics for various home improvement categories. These average cost figures shouldn’t be taken too seriously since they are national averages, and Monrovia costs can differ significantly. But they do indicate the relative scope of the projects named. More meaningful for decision-making are the percentages of expenses recouped in each category. When preparing Monrovia homes for sale, to answer the question of which, if any, improvements will return their investments, here are some highlights from the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 survey of results from midrange homes for sale:

Attic Insulation (fiberglass): $1,343 — 107.7% recouped

Deck Addition (wood): $10,707 — 65.2%

Minor Kitchen Remodel: ($20,830) — 80.2%

Major Kitchen Remodel: ($62,158) — 65.3%

Window Replacement: ($15,282) — 73.9%

Garage Door Replacement: ($3,300) — 85%

Entry Door Replacement: (3,276) — 77.8%

Roofing Replacement: ($20,664) — 68.8%

Master Suite Addition: ($119,533) — 64.8%

Zeroing in on the minimum outlay to achieve maximum return will, of course, differ for each Monrovia home for sale—but the NAR’s findings indicate how hard it is to recoup most expenditures. If I’m tapped to be your Monrovia Realtor®, I’ll be able to serve as a useful source of advice in this department. Knowing what has recently led to success for other Monrovia homes for sale allows me to share some practical insights. I hope you’ll decide to give me a call!

For Some, Buying a Home in Monrovia May Get Easier

Because buying a home has long been a hallmark of success in America, whenever that possibility seems to weaken for the average Joe (or Josette), it comes as sobering news. Back in June, CNN Money ran a downbeat story focused on how the rising cost of housing had been “putting a major squeeze” on some Americans. For Monrovia readers who took it to heart, that kind of grim analysis could have been enough to cause them to reassess their own prospects.

But now there is evidence that the “squeeze” may be losing its grip.

The CNN story focused on what most experts agree is the maximum of monthly income that should be allotted toward buying a home. That number is 30%. The authors found that rising real estate prices had made that goal unattainable “for millions of Americans.” It pointed to nearly 19 million who were then devoting more than 50% of their income to housing costs.

In truth, no financial advisor worth listening to would recommend such a budget allocation. In reality, no prospect intent on buying a home in Monrovia under such a scenario would be likely to find a mortgage lender, either.

Back in June, it did seem as if the nation’s economic prospects were showing signs of better news—and since then, the consensus has brightened steadily. As one consequence, Monrovia home buyers are now likely to experience the affordability prospects that look a good deal different.

Last week, CNBC reported Fed data showing that household wealth rose a healthy 2% in the third quarter alone. That made it “near double the level it was during the financial crisis.” Particularly if wage growth continues to quicken, it’s a trend that, combined with continued historically low mortgage interest rates, should support a rosier affordability picture.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors’® composite Housing Affordability Index has been on the rise in every month since CNN’s June feature. If the NAR’s latest estimate of median mortgage payments for existing American homes is accurate (they have it at only 15 ½% of family income), that early summer housing “squeeze” may have already lost its grip on many families.

Buying a home in Monrovia should result in a more stable, predictable family housing budget—and a bottom line that’s headed in the right direction. It’s one of the reasons it’s a pleasure for me to guide buyers through the home buying process. Call me!  

Of Monrovia Real Estate Values and Missing Zambonis

Last week’s real estate news didn’t rate front page headlines, but I spotted three items of interest—two of which have implications for Monrovia real estate values. Both fall in line with upbeat news about the economy that permeated the airwaves. Holiday shopping (online and otherwise) was strong as consumer optimism peaked—probably related to expectations for a tax break.

The two stories that related to Monrovia real estate values stemmed from the periodic HPI report. That’s the “Home Price Index” put out by researchers at CoreLogic. Last week’s announcement showed national single-family residential sales and prices rising in October. That made it the fourth month in a row for 6%+ price rises—the longest such winning streak since June of 2014!

For those Monrovia real estate watchers who fret whenever price rises look like they might create an over-inflated market situation, the HPI forecast carried some reassuring news. Its forecast called for more price rises in the coming year, but at a more moderate and sustainable 4.2% rate. They based both findings—October rise and the 2018 forecast—to the tight supply of homes on the market combined with a strengthening economy.

The third, less weighty item was a feature in the Wall Street Journal’s real estate section. It didn’t have anything to do with Monrovia real estate values, but as the first winter storms swept the upper Midwest and Northeast this past weekend, it was definitely season-appropriate.

The story featured an $8.3 million home for sale in Dedham, Massachusetts. The “classic shingle-decked three-story” house was said to preside over 22 acres. It boasted seven bedrooms and baths and one other special feature: an ice hockey rink. Although the 2007 home does have a wine cellar and billiards room, the owners might be accused of being dangerously tight-fisted, because the Zamboni garage apparently is offered sans the requisite Zamboni.

But perhaps that can be negotiated.

Back to our own rising real estate values, ice hockey rinks aside, there are currently some eminently affordable offerings on the market. I’ll be here to offer my expertise and a helping hand to Monrovia buyers and sellers. Do give me a call!