Things to Avoid after Applying for a Mortgage

Consistency is the name of the game when applying for a mortgage.  Be sure to discuss any changes in income/employment, assets or credit with your lender.  Open and honest communication with your loan officer is paramount so you don’t unintentionally jeopardize your application.  See below for some of the key activities to avoid:

Posted on January 15, 2021 at 11:21 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged ,

January 2021 Market Report

** Data in this report reflect market activity from DECEMBER 2020 compared to the previous month and year.  Information is gathered from the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors® (RSAR) for the Greater Reno-Sparks region via Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service (  Data accounts for single-family resale residences only, and excludes townhouses/condos, manufactured/modular and new construction.

  • For the second straight month, the Median Sales Price for single-family, re-sale properties in Reno and Sparks combined, held steady at $450,000.  The Median Sales Price is 14% higher compared to the same time last year when it was $394,000.

  • WOW!  LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME?  Over the last 5 years, the Median Sales Price for single family residences in just RENO alone has increased 70%, from $295,000 to $1/2 Million!

  • The Average Sold Price per Square Foot has jumped 16.5% during December 2020 compared to December 2019, and has crawled up 3% month-over-month.  This average represents properties sold over ALL price ranges.  For a breakdown of the Average Sold Price per Square Foot by Price Range, refer to the chart below.

  • Homes that sold in December 2020 under $1M averaged around $246/square foot, while the upper price ranges cashed-in at $340/square foot for the 24 homes that sold in the $1M to $1.5 M range, and $443/square foot for the 13 homes that sold over $1.5M.

  • The # of Units Sold has steadily declined over the last 4 months, a common market trend that usually begins mid-fall and runs through mid-winter.  We saw a slight increase in the number of single-family homes sold in Reno-Sparks (4% more) in December 2020 compared to December 2019.

  • See above for the price distribution of single family homes that sold in Reno-Sparks during December 2020.

  • Just when we thought the housing inventory could not get any more minimal, the Months Supply of Inventory dropped 32% month-over-month and is a staggering 74% lower than last year. MSI absorption rate represents the time it would take to completely “sell out” of the Reno-Sparks inventory at the current rate of sale if no new listings were added to the market.  We currently have about a 2-week supply of inventory.  A balanced market is around 5-6 months of supply, therefore, we are still very much in a “Seller’s Market.”

  • The Absorption Rate across all all price-points is well-below a balanced market.  The rate of sales in the high end luxury market over $1.5M is 3.1 months supply, also quick-moving in today’s fast-moving real estate market.

  • Properties across all price points are accepting offers and going into contract an average of 31 days from listing to acceptance.  Single Family Residences are receiving acceptable offers 60% more quickly than December 2019

  • The number of days from Listing to Contract varied greatly amongst all price ranges in December 2020.  Homes priced from $1M to $1.5M appeared to be a particularly attractive market to buyers this month, only spending an average of 38 days on market before accepting an offer.

  • The # of New Contracts month-over-month decreased just 8% from 431 to 397.  However, the number of New Contracts posted in December 2020 was 14% greater than last year… encouraging news!

  • The # of New Listings available during December 2020 declined 20% since November 2020.  however, 13% more New Listings hit the market this December compared to December 2019.


  • Over the last several months, the Reno-Sparks real estate market has realized an extremely high absorption rate, meaning the turnover of listings to sales is rapid.  In addition, the supply of homes for sale has shrunk drastically.  We only have about 2 weeks supply of inventory.
  • During a season when we can typically see a dip in prices, the Median Sales Prices for single family residences has held steady at $450,000 for 2 months straight. New construction, condominiums, and condos/townhouses are not included in this statistic.
  • The Average Sold Price per Square Foot is 16.5% higher than November 2019 at $260/sqft.
  • Single-family residences continue to move very quickly at an average of 31 days from listing to contract over all price ranges, 60% faster than this same month last year.
  • If you are considering selling your home to upsize, downsize or relocate, I am here to assist you with experienced, professional services to make your transition as smooth as possible.  In a market that demands a level head to navigate you through a successful purchase or sale, I’m your girl… so happy to help!  Email direct or reach me by cell at 775-233-0682.
Posted on January 14, 2021 at 5:12 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , , ,

Chances of Another Foreclosure Crisis? “About Zero Percent.”

There seems to be some concern that the 2020 economic downturn will lead to another foreclosure crisis like the one we experienced after the housing crash a little over a decade ago. However, there’s one major difference this time: a robust forbearance program.

During the housing crash of 2006-2008, many felt homeowners should be forced to pay their mortgages despite the economic hardships they were experiencing. There was no empathy for the challenges those households were facing. In a 2009 Wall Street Journal article titled Is Walking Away From Your Mortgage Immoral?, John Courson, Chief Executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association, was asked to comment on those not paying their mortgage. He famously said:

“What about the message they will send to their family and their kids?”

Courson suggested that people unable to pay their mortgage were bad parents.

What resulted from that lack of empathy? Foreclosures mounted.

This time is different. There was an immediate understanding that homeowners were faced with a challenge not of their own making. The government quickly jumped in with a mortgage forbearance program that relieved the financial burden placed on many households. The program allowed many borrowers to suspend their monthly mortgage payments until their economic condition improved. It was the right thing to do.

What happens when forbearance programs expire?

Some analysts are concerned many homeowners will not be able to make up the back payments once their forbearance plans expire. They’re concerned the situation will lead to an onslaught of foreclosures.

The banks and the government learned from the challenges the country experienced during the housing crash. They don’t want a surge of foreclosures again. For that reason, they’ve put in place alternative ways homeowners can pay back the money owed over an extended period of time.

Another major difference is that, unlike 2006-2008, today’s homeowners are sitting on a record amount of equity. That equity will enable them to sell their houses and walk away with cash instead of going through foreclosure.

Bottom Line

The differences mentioned above will be the reason we’ll avert a surge of foreclosures. As Ivy Zelman, a highly respected thought leader for housing and CEO of Zelman & Associates, said:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

Posted on November 18, 2020 at 6:55 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,

Flurry of Activity Anticipated in the Winter Housing Market

In the second half of this year, the housing market surged with activity. Today, real estate experts are looking ahead to the winter season and the forecast is anything but chilly. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:

“It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”

The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is simply not on the radar. Here’s why.

While today’s historically low mortgage rates are expected to remain low, they won’t be this low for much longer. This could be the last chance for homebuyers to secure such low rates, and they’re ready to take action. In a recent articleBankrate explained:

“If you’re looking to buy a home…expect mortgage rates to remain low into 2021. However, the possibility of rates falling to 2.5 percent or lower has faded as the U.S. economy has rebounded.”

As long as we continue to see low interest rates, we’ll see hopeful buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. Yun confirmed:

“The demand for home buying remains super strong…And we’re still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019…With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.”

The challenge, however, is the lack of homes available for sale. With that in mind, all eyes are on homeowners to see if they’ll sell this winter or wait until spring. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.comsays it’s best for sellers to capitalize on this moment sooner rather than later:

“We currently see buyers sticking around in the housing market much later than we usually do this fall. If that trend continues, we will see more buyers in the market this winter, too. So, this winter is likely to be a good time to sell.”

With buyers ready to stay active this winter, sellers who want to close a deal on the best possible terms shouldn’t wait until spring to put their homes on the market.

Bottom Line

Experts agree the winter housing market could potentially be bigger than ever. Whether you’re ready to buy or sell, let’s connect today so you can be in your dream home by the new year.

Posted on November 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,

How To Sell Your Home During COVID-19

These days, it seems as though the residential Real Estate market is starving for listings.  If you have been thinking of selling your home, now is the prime time to list, market and get top dollar.  However, you may be holding back due to COVID-19.  Through the last 8 months since stay-at-home orders initiated, Real Estate has remained an ESSENTIAL industry.  A smart combination of technological innovations and use of strict precautions and safety protocol have allowed us to safely and effectively show and sell homes through this crazy COVID time.  Here’s how:

  • COVID-19 Entry Advisory Form: All parties entering the property are asked to review the risks associated with entering properties for sale.  Visitors are also asked to not enter properties for showings if experiencing cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Safety Guidelines:  Agents and their clients continue to abide first and foremost by state and local regulations, as well as guidelines provided by the National Association of Realtors.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Signage: We at INTERO Reno provide PPE (masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes) and signage instructing removal of shoes during all showings and the elimination of unnecessary surface toughing.  Signs at the property also prohibit entrance into the home if visitors are experiencing symptoms.
  • Virtual Showings:  Walkthrough tours and high quality professional photography with video walkthrough allow potential buyers to get to know the property on the highest level before scheduling a showing appointment.
  • Virtual Marketing Materials:  Thorough property description and details of improvements are communicated to Buyers and their Agents to improve knowledge of valuable features.  Properties are marketed through social media and digital flyers.
  • Ready to make your move?  Contact me today (775-233-0682) to learn more about listing and selling your home in today’s market!  I’m here to guide you through.
Posted on November 18, 2020 at 1:23 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , , ,

November 2020 Market Report

** Data in this report reflect market activity from OCTOBER 2020 compared to the previous month and year.  Information is gathered from the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors® (RSAR) for the Greater Reno-Sparks region via Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service (  Data accounts for single-family resale residences only, and excludes townhouses/condos, manufactured/modular and new construction.

  • Median Sales Price, at $455,000 for single-family re-sale properties in Reno and Sparks jumped up again 3.4% month-over-month, and is 13.8% higher than October 2019.

  • The Average Sold Price per Square Foot held fairly steady month-over-month at $250/square foot.  This average represents properties sold over ALL price ranges.  For a breakdown of the Average Sold Price per Square Foot, refer to the chart below.  The October 2020 Average Sold Price per Square Foot is 11.7% greater than October 2019.

  • Homes that sold in October 2020 under $600,000 averaged around $235/square foot.  While the upper price ranges pulled in bigger numbers at $312/square foot for the $1M to $1.5 M range, and $414/square foot for homes that sold over $1.5M.

  • The # of Units Sold in September dropped 11.5% month-over-month from 680 to 6169.5% more properties sold in October this year compared to October 2019.  The inventory that sold in October most likely went into contract in September.

  • As seen in the graph above, much like the activity the previous month, the bulk of homes that closed escrow in October 2020 sold between $300k & $500K.  These sales accounted for 55% of the total market share.

  • The Absorption Rate in Reno/Sparks continues to plummet to only 0.6 Months Supply of Inventory. a significant 71% drop year-over-year and a 17% decrease month-over-month.  MSI absorption rate represents the time it would take to “sell out” of the Reno-Sparks inventory at the current rate of sale if no new listings were added to the market.  A balanced market is around 5-6 months of supply, therefore, we continue to experience a major “seller’s market.”

  • The Absorption Rate across all all price-points is well-below a balanced market.  Even high-end, luxury  properties priced over $1.5M saw only 2.3 months supply of inventory during October 2020.

  • Properties continue to spend a very short period of time on-market before going under contract.  Over all price-points, the average days from listing to accepted offer in October 2020 was 34 days.  Properties are moving 41% more quickly into contract than October 2019. 

  • In October 2020, the fastest moving properties were those priced between $300k and $500K, spending an average of only 18.5 days on market.

  • The # of New Contracts over the last several months has held fairly steady.  During the month of October 2020 we saw 21% more new contracts compared to October 2019.  No significant change was noted in the # of New Contracts month-over-month.  

  • The # of New Listings to come to market during October 2020 dropped another 8.5% month-over-month, while increasing 11.5% compared to October 2019.


  • While the weather in Northern Nevada has cooled, the real estate market has most certainly NOT!  Inventory remains staggeringly low at 0.6 month supply of inventory and indicates continued high buyer-demand and a rapid rate of sale.
  • Low inventory and high buyer demand continue to place heavy upward pressure on prices, as seen in another jump in the Median Sales price.  At $455,000, the Median Sales Price is 3.4% higher month-over-month and 13.5% greater year-over-year.
  • The Average Sold Price per Square Foot is 11.7% higher than October 2019.
  • Average days from List-To-Contract remains low at 34 days.
  • The # of New Contracts in October 2020 held steady month-over-month.  The New Contract count in October was 21% higher than the same time last year.
  • If you are considering selling your home to upsize, downsize or relocate, I am here to assist you with experienced, professional services to make your transition as smooth as possible.  Email direct or reach me by cell at 775-233-0682.  I am so happy to help!
  • Buying a home in Northern Nevada?  Whether it’s your first home, second or third, vacation home or investment property, I have the knowledge and highest level of skill to navigate you through the process.  Call me at 775-233-0682.
Posted on November 17, 2020 at 12:22 am
Denise Hallerbach | Category: Reno-Sparks Market Report | Tagged , , , , ,

Why Selling This Fall May Be Your Best Move

If you’re thinking about moving, selling your house this fall might be the way to go. Here are four highlights in the housing market that may make your decision to sell this fall an easy one.

1. Buyers Are Actively in the Market

ShowingTime, a leading real estate showing software and market stat service provider, just reported that buyer traffic jumped 60.7% compared to this time last year. That’s a huge increase.

It’s clear that buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase – and they’re in the market right now. In many regions of the country, multiple buyers are entering bidding wars to compete for the home they want. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market so you can sell your house in the most favorable terms.

2. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale

In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that there were only 1.49 million units available for sale. That number was down 18.6% from one year ago. This means in the majority of the country, there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Due to the health crisis, many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes earlier this year. That will change as the economy continues to recover. The choices buyers have will increase going into the new year. Don’t wait until additional sellers come to market before you decide to make a move.

3. The Process Is Going Quickly

Today’s ultra-competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to the latest Origination Insights Report from Ellie Mae, the time needed to close a loan is just 49 days.

4. There May Never Be a More Important Time to Move

You’ve likely spent much of the last six months in your current home. Perhaps you now realize how small it is, and you need more space. If you’re working from home, your children are doing virtual school, or you just need more space, your current floor plan may not work for your family’s changing needs.

Homebuilders are beginning to build houses again, so you can choose the exact floor plan to match what your family needs, and you can make sure the outdoor space is what you want too.

Bottom Line

The housing market is prime for sellers right now, so let’s connect to get the process started this fall. If the timing is right for you and your family, the market is calling your name.

Posted on October 9, 2020 at 10:21 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

Should You Buy Your Retirement Home Sooner Rather Than Later?

Every day in the U.S., roughly 10,000 people turn 65. Prior to the health crisis that swept the nation in 2020, most people had to wait until they retired to make a move to the beach, the golf course, or the senior living community they were looking to settle into for their later years in life. This year, however, the game changed.

Many of today’s workers who are nearing the end of their professional careers, but maybe aren’t quite ready to retire, have a new choice to make: should I move before I retire? If the sand and sun are calling your name and you have the opportunity to work remotely for the foreseeable future, now may be a great time to purchase that beach bungalow you’ve always dreamed of or the single-story home in the sprawling countryside that might be a little further out of town. Whether it’s a second home or a future retirement home, spending the next few years in a place that truly makes you smile every day might be the best way to round out a long and meaningful career.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home…We may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.”

According to the 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 3 out of 4 retirees (75%) own their homes, and only 23% have mortgage debt (including any equity loans or lines of credit). Since entering retirement, almost 4 in 10 retirees (38%) have moved into a new home. They’re making a profit by selling their current homes in today’s low inventory market and using their equity to purchase their future retirement homes. It’s a win-win.

Why These Homeowners Are Making Moves Now

The health crisis this year made us all more aware of the importance of our family and friends, and many of us have not seen our extended families since the pandemic started. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see in the same report that 32% of those surveyed cited the top reason they’re making a move is that they want to be closer to family and friends (See graph here):

The survey also revealed that 73% percent of retirees currently live in single-family homes. With the overall number of homes for sale today hitting a historic low, and with the buyer demand for single-family homes skyrocketing, there’s never been a more ideal time to sell a single-family home and make a move toward retirement. Today’s market has the perfect combination of driving forces to make selling optimal, especially while buyers are looking to take advantage of low interest rates.

If you’re one of the 73% of retirees with a single-family home and want to move closer to your family, now is the time to put your house on the market. With the pace homes are selling today, you could essentially wrap up your move – start to finish – before the holidays.

Bottom Line 

Whether you’re looking to fully retire or to buy a second home with the intent to use it as your retirement home in the future, the 2020 fall housing market may very well work in your favor. Let’s connect today to discuss your options in our local market.


Posted on October 9, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , ,

A Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 40x Greater Than a Renter’s

One of the best ways to build your family’s financial future is through homeownership. Recent data from the Federal Reserve indicates the net worth of a homeowner is actually over 40 times greater than that of a renter. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about buying a home, especially when interest rates are still historically low, increasing the purchase power of buyers today.

Every three years the Survey of Consumer Finances shows the breakdown of how owning a home helps build financial security. In the graph below, we see that the average net worth of homeowners continues to grow, while the net worth of renters tends to hold fairly steady and be significantly lower than that of homeowners. The gap between owning and renting just keeps getting wider over time, making homeownership more and more desirable for those who are ready.

Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth.

For many families, homeownership serves as a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you’re contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity you have in your home (See chart below):

The impact of home equity is part of why Gallup reports that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the seventh year in a row. According to this year’s survey, 35% of Americans chose real estate over stocks, savings accounts, gold, and bonds.

Today, there are great opportunities available for those planning to buy a home. The housing market has made a full recovery, and all-time low interest rates are giving homebuyers a big boost in purchasing power. If you’re ready, buying a home this fall can set you up to increase your net worth and create a safety net for your family’s future.

Bottom Line

To learn how you can use your monthly housing cost to build your family’s net worth, let’s connect so you have a trusted professional to guide you through the home-buying process.


Posted on October 9, 2020 at 9:52 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , , , ,

The Latest Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4%

Last Friday Sept 4, the Bureau for Labor Statistics released their Employment Report for August 2020. The big surprise was that the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, a full percent lower than what many analysts had forecasted earlier in the week. Though it is tough to look at this as great news when millions of Americans are still without work, the number of unemployed is currently much lower than most experts had projected it would be just a few months ago.

Not Like the Great Depression or Even the Great Recession

Jason Furman, Professor of Practice at Harvard explained:

“An unemployment rate of 8.4% is much lower than most anyone would have thought it a few months ago. It is still a bad recession but not a historically unprecedented event or one we need to go back to the Great Depression for comparison.”

During the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was over 20% for four consecutive years (1932 – 1935). This April, the rate jumped to 14.7%, but has fallen each month since.

During and after the Great Recession (2007-2009), the unemployment rate was at 9% or greater for thirty consecutive months (April 2009 – October 2011). Most economists believe the current rate will continue to fall monthly as the economy regains its strength.

What Happens Going Forward?

The outcome will be determined by how quickly we can contain the virus. In their last Economic Forecasting Survey, the Wall Street Journal reported the economists surveyed believe the annual unemployment rates will be 6.6% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. Though that will still be greater than the 3.5% rate that we saw earlier this year, it is lower than the annual rate reported in 2011 (8.5%), 2012 (7.9%), and 2013 (6.7%).

Bottom LineU

There are still millions of Americans struggling through this economic downturn. There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel. The unemployment situation did not get as bad as many had predicted, and the recovery is taking place faster than most thought would happen.

Posted on September 10, 2020 at 2:49 pm
Denise Hallerbach | Category: In-The-Know Real Estate Blog | Tagged , ,