Is the Health Crisis Driving Buyers Out of Urban Areas?

The pandemic has caused consumers to re-examine the components that make up the “perfect home.” Many families are no longer comfortable with the locations and layouts of their existing homes. The allure of city life (more congested) seems to be giving way to either suburban or rural life (less congested). The fascination with an open floor plan seems to be fading as people are finding a need for more privacy while working from home.

Recently, released a report that revealed how buyers’ views of listings are leaning heavily to more suburban and rural properties. Here are the year-over-year percentage increases in views per property type:

  • Urban – 7%
  • Suburban – 13%
  • Rural – 16%

In the report, Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for, gives these numbers some context:

“This migration to the suburbs is not a new trend, but it has become more pronounced. After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are likely two of the factors contributing to the popularity of the burbs.”

Realtor Magazine also just reported that the desire to move is strongest in our city markets:

“Nearly 30% of respondents living in a high-density urban area say that the pandemic is prompting them to want to move by the end of the year…This is more than double the rate of those living in rural parts of the country, where residents are much more likely to stay put rather than to relocate.”

New Construction Also Seeing a Surge in Views

Since the pandemic has altered how consumers think about floor plans, builders are anticipating how future homes will change. In a recent press release by Zillow, it was explained that:

  • Builders believe as people spend more time at home during the pandemic, buyers are realizing which features of their homes are working and not working.
  • Homebuilders predict open-concept floor plans will be a thing of the past, as people now value more walls, doors, and overall privacy.
  • New construction, which offers the chance to personalize home features, saw its listing page views grow by 73% over last May.

The Virus is Even Impacting the Luxury Second-Home Market

It appears that COVID-19 is impacting the luxury market too. In an article released last week titled, Luxury Buyers Return to Market in Force, Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for reported:

“Stay at home orders and social distancing have put a new value on the extra space. We’re seeing this in the luxury market as well, which could mean there is renewed interest from high-end buyers to find a second-home that is within driving distance from their primary residence.

Much like the suburbs are gaining favor with home shoppers, second home markets are seeing increased interest from luxury buyers…Views of luxury properties accelerated 56% in The Hamptons, 28% in Palm Springs and 24% in Greenwich compared to January trends.”

Bottom Line

It appears that a percentage of people are preparing to leave many American cities. Some of these moves will be permanent, while others will be temporary (such as a getaway to a second home). In either case, many consumers are on the move. Real estate professionals are ready and willing to help in any way they can.

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 6:28 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,

Top 8 Reasons to Own Your Home

There are numerous reasons why owning a home is beneficial.  We’ve quickly summed up the Top 8 Reasons to Own Your Home and here they are…

  1. Privacy.  Creating space that is solely your own means no landlord visits.  It’s not your landlord’s house… It’s yours, so nobody should be stopping by to “check in on things.”
  2. Accomplishment.  Buying your own home is a reflection of your efforts and successes.  Give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of what you acquire.
  3. Family.  Purchasing and living in a home that is dedicated to your family brings them together and is your special place to make lasting memories.
  4. Community.  Owning your home ties to you the community and neighborhood, giving you a sense of belonging (if you so desire).
  5. Comfort.  Having a place to call your own allows you to surround yourself with enhanced experiences…  Construct a home gym, design a hobby room, create a killer home office and enjoy!
  6. Stability.  Investing in and controlling your future direction and security could prove to be beneficial in the long-run.
  7. Personal Expression.  Painting rooms your favorite colors and hanging art are just a couple benefits to putting your own style into your abode.
  8. Financial Investment.  Investing in the real estate puts you in a position to grow your assets and wealth.

Some Highlights

  • June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
  • If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
  • Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.
Posted on June 3, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

How Are Home Searches Changing in the Wake of COVID-19?

In the wake of COVID-19, many who live in more populated city limits today are beginning to rethink their current location. Being in close proximity to everything from the grocery store to local entertainment is definitely a perk, especially if you can also walk to some of these hot spots and have a short commute to work. The trade-off, however, is that highly populated cities can lack access to open space, a yard, and other desirable features. When it comes to social distancing, as we’ve experienced recently, the newest trend seems to be around re-evaluating a once-desired city lifestyle and trading it for suburban or rural living. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at notes:

“With the re-opening of the economy scheduled to be cautious, the impact on consumer preferences will likely shift buying behavior…consumers are already looking for larger homes, bigger yards, access to the outdoors and more separation from neighbors. As we move into the recovery stage, these preferences will play an important role in the type of homes consumers will want to buy. They will also play a role in the coming discussions on zoning and urban planning. While higher density has been a hallmark of urban development over the past decade, the pandemic may lead to a re-thinking of space allocation.”

The Harris Poll recently surveyed 2,000 Americans, and 39% of the respondents who live in urban areas indicated the COVID-19 crisis has caused them to consider moving to a less populated area.

Today, moving outside the city limits is also more feasible than ever, especially as Americans have quickly become more accustomed to, and more accepting of, remote work. The number of people working from home has also spiked considerably, even before the pandemic came into play this year.

Bottom Line

If you have a home in the suburbs or a rural area, you may see an increasing number of buyers looking for a property like yours. If you’re thinking of buying and don’t mind a commute to work in exchange for a little elbow room, you may want to consider looking at homes for sale outside the city. Let’s connect today to discuss the options available in our area.

Posted on May 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

3 Reasons Why Pre-Approval is the 1st Step in Your Home Buying Journey

When the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.”  The advantage tips toward the seller when the home is priced at or near market value, and as low inventory heats up, so too does the competition among those searching for a place to call their own.  This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough for buyers to land their dream homes, unless they are coming in a with a big wad of cash.  When financing your home purchase, here are three reasons why pre-approval should be your first step in the buying process:

  1. Gain A Competitive Advantage.   Low inventory, like we have today, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get to make a strong impression and close the deal. One of the best ways to get one step ahead of other buyers is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer. For one, it shows the sellers you’re serious about buying a home, which is always a plus in your corner.  In addition, having pre-approval from a LOCAL lender that the we know and trust, and that the listing agent recognizes, may give you a huge advantage over the competition.  Sellers and their Realtors tend to look more favorably on experienced lenders we know over online “quickie” loans.
  2. Accelerate the Home Buying Process.  Pre-approval can also speed up the home buying process, so you can move faster when you’re ready to make an offer.  In a competitive arena like we have today, being ready to put your best foot forward when the time comes may be the leg-up you need to cross the finish line first and land the home of your dreams.
  3. Know What You Are Qualified to Borrow.  When you have provided all of the essential information to get pre-approved by a local lender, you also have a better sense of your budget, what you can afford, and ultimately how much you’re eligible to borrow for your mortgage. Ultimately, you’re less apt to have your heart set on a home that may be out of your reach.

If you are preparing to purchase a home in the near future, we are happy to refer you with a highly skilled and knowledgeable loan officer to get you moving in the right direction.  The loan officer will pre-approve you based on the following criteria, also know as “The 4 C’s”:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or Cash Reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

While there are still many additional steps you’ll need to take in the home buying process, it’s clear why pre-approval is always the best place to begin. It’s your chance to gain the competitive edge you may need if you’re serious about owning a home.  Let’s get together today to make sure you’re on the fastest path to homeownership.  Call me at 775-233-0682 to get started.


Posted on February 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

3 Most Important Steps to Selling Your House

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, and want to sell it as quickly as possible at the highest price possible, we strongly recommend following these 3 Most Important Steps:

1.  Make Repairs/Maintain:  Examine every inch of your house and look for things that need to be repaired or replaced.  You may go as far as hiring a home inspector to provide a full report so you have no surprises during escrow.  Below are some of the most common repairs made when selling your house.  Here is a list of some of the most common items needing attention prior to selling:

  • Ripped/tore/bend screens. Repair/replace as needed.
  • Sticky glass slider tracks and window tracks/frames.  Lube them &/or replace parts or whole door.
  • Cracked light switches.  Replace.
  • Leaking faucets.  Repair/replace.
  • Leaking bathtub drains.  Repair/replace.
  • Dirty air filters.  Change them.
  • Broken or removed smoke detectors.  Replace.
  • Failed caulking and/or grout in shower/bath.  Remove and re-caulk.
  • Failed caulking on windows.  Check inside and out and seal as needed.
  • Broken vacuum seals on windows, they have moisture between the panes. Call glass company to take a look and replace.
  • Cracked/chipped shower pan and/or bathtub.  Repair (recommend Miracle Method in Reno)
  • Light fixtures that have failed.  Repair/replace.
  • Water in the crawl space.  Determine where it is coming from, eliminate it from entering, dry out and vent properly.  If necessary, install a gutters on the house, and improve grading or install French drain.  Under some circumstances, installing a sump pump may be necessary.
  • Failed or missing vapor barrier.  Install new vapor barrier.
  • Earth/dirt-to-wood contact… Eliminate contact.
  • Replace doorbell
  • Old door handle/lock.  May want to replace to freshen the first impression.
  • Failing paint where needed. Prep and paint, especially the front door/door frame & facia and window trim.
  • Holes and cracks in stucco.  Seal and paint with Elastomeric material.

2.  Clean It:  Make your house sparkle!  Whether you do it yourself or hire a cleaning service, this is a must!  It is best to take care of this BEFORE listing and showing your home.  Then, when you are about to close escrow, it will be easier to just do the final touches.  Don’t neglect the following:

  • Windows
  • Window Tracks and Frames
  • Window coverings
  • Walls (rub out scuffs with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or My Barkeeper’s Friend)
  • Doors and door frames (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser)
  • Baseboards (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or My Barkeeper’s Friend)
  • Corners of walls and ceilings (spider webs)
  • Light Fixtures
  • Toilets, mirrors, tubs, showers, counters
  • Inside and outside of all cabinets, cupboards and drawers (use Murphy’s Oil or The Method Almond Oil from Target)
  • Inside and outside all appliances (oven, stove, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, trash compactor… all appliances that will be visible during showings)
  • Under sinks
  • Garage (sweep it out, eliminate belongings you don’t need, and organize)

3.  Stage and Prep for Photography and Showings:  If your home is already vacant, we can bring in a range of staging pieces, from full furniture sets to essential decorative accessories.  When occupying the home while you are selling, decluttering, organizing and moving belongings around may be recommended.  This process is one of my areas of expertise, and one of the most important steps prior to professional photography by Matt Waclo Photography.  Professional photography is included in my listing services and is critical for making the best first impression possible.

For guidance regarding these essential steps for selling your home, please feel free to contact me directly at 775-233-0682 or email me at

Posted on January 29, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , , ,