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  Provided to you Exclusively by Lillian Wong
Lillian Wong
Lillian Wong
Sr. Loan Officer
NMLS ID 630337
Lillian Wong & Associates
Commerce Home Mortgage
Office: 480-650-5412
Email: lillian@lillianwong.com
Website: www.lillianwong.net
  Lillian Wong & Associates<br>Commerce Home Mortgage
For the Month of February 2019 --- Vol. 13, Issue 15
  In This Issue...  

"If you aren't in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty or back to pain and regret." -- Jim Carrey

Stability seems to be the name of the game with the housing market in 2019, with experts predicting relatively flat sales. We'll dive into this prediction in further detail as well as:

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family or co-workers who may find it helpful.

  An Expert's Guide to the 2019 Housing Market  

Every year, several experts take a look at the housing market to determine whether sales will rise or fall. Last year, insiders expected that the updated tax code would cause home sales to slow, but so far, this prediction hasn't come to pass. While the housing market was dampened somewhat in 2018, the culprit was an increase in mortgage rates and housing prices, not the new tax law.

Home sales have been somewhat flat so far in 2019 as well, for several different reasons, such as global trading conflicts and volatility in the stock market. While it's too soon to tell whether these economic conditions will continue to interfere with home sales, experts are starting to make some predictions for the housing market in 2019.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the housing market in 2019 should be relatively stable, especially when considering home values. While the price of homes will still appreciate, a lack of inventory is an issue that may flatten the rate of home sales. The fear is the lack of new home inventory, particularly when taking into account job and population growth in certain markets.

Some experts are actually predicting a decrease in home sales. The reason that home sales may decline mostly has to do with affordability. As home prices and mortgage rates increase, buying a home becomes less affordable. Unless a big economic change occurs in the future, Realtor.com predicts that it will remain a seller's market for at least the next five years.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is also somewhat pessimistic for the housing market in 2019, mostly due to a sharp drop in home builder confidence at the end of last year. The NAHB predicts that several factors could impact home sales in the coming year.

First, the market faces a shortage of labor and lots suitable for building, which translates to less construction of new homes. Second, strict building regulations and building practices may also reduce successful home sales. Finally, costs for lumber and other supplies have increased for many home builders because of tariffs. As a result of these different factors, the NAHB predicts that sales for new homes should be about the same as last year, although the group also expects construction of single-family homes to increase slightly.

Source: The Washington Post

If you have any questions regarding home loan rates or products, give me a call. I'm always happy to help.

  What to Watch: The Federal Government Shutdown and Home Sales  

The housing market is always subject to fluctuations and can be impacted by several factors. In this first month of 2019, one of the biggest issues impacting home sales is the ongoing federal government shutdown. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently surveyed a portion of its members and found that the federal government shutdown was having some influence on home sales, but the extent of the impact is still not certain.

To determine whether the federal government shutdown was affecting the housing market, the NAR surveyed 2,211 of its members, according to MarketWatch. While 75 percent surveyed said they had not noticed an impact from the federal government shutdown, 22 percent reported that they did see an influence, with 11 percent stating current clients were impacted and 11 percent claiming that potential clients were influenced.

The survey revealed that the federal government shutdown was causing an impact in sales involving both nongovernment employees and federal government workers. One-quarter of agents who reported an impact revealed that some nongovernment buyers were backing out of sales due to uncertainty in the government. The study also found that 9 percent of Realtors who experienced an impact because of the federal government shutdown stated that it was because a government employee decided not to buy a home.

While the federal government shutdown offers some indication of its related interference with home sales, it is not the only issue at play. In the same NAR study, agents revealed that they were having difficulty closing sales because of issues with FHA loans, USDA loans, and income verification from the IRS. Additionally, the housing market has been slow for more than a year, with both sales and price appreciation consistently down. Although Realtors should pay attention to the situation, multiple factors may make home sales more difficult.

Source: MarketWatch

I'll continue to monitor economic reports closely, but if you have any immediate questions, please call or email today.

  Tips for Retiling Your Floor  

Retiling your kitchen or bathroom floors can seem like a big project, but it doesn't have to be. Discover a few simple tips that will make your next retiling project a breeze.

When retiling your floor, first make sure you have correct measurements. Before you get started on your retiling projects, you should measure at least twice so that you can be certain you won't have any trouble during your project. Measure both the dimensions of the room you're tiling and the tile itself so that you'll know that everything matches.

When you're planning to lay tile in your home, make sure you have a strong, flat foundation. Tile is very inflexible, and you'll need a completely flat base if you want to install your tile correctly. Remove your old flooring and the underlayer so that you can get a good look at the subfloor. If you spot any damage or soft spots in the subfloor, these areas will need to be repaired before you can start laying your tile. Don't ignore this step: Trying to install your tile on an uneven floor can be disastrous and may require expensive future repairs.

Finally, but most importantly, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for the project before you begin installing your tile. Gathering your tools before you begin will keep your project on track and will help you avoid an unexpected trip to the hardware store. Make sure that you have a tile saw in case you need to do any cutting during the project. You should also invest in tools such as a utility knife, buckets for mixing your mortar and grout, and a trowel with notches.

Source: Just Short of Crazy blog

  Q&A: All About Flooring -- Hardwood, Carpeting, Tiling, Laminate  

QUESTION: I'm thinking about installing new flooring in my home. What are some of the pros and cons of the most popular flooring types?

ANSWER: Choosing the flooring in your home is an important decision, but since several flooring types exist, making a decision can be difficult. Hardwood flooring is both highly attractive and durable. However, hardwood flooring needs frequent maintenance and can possibly warp.

Carpet is a great flooring option if you want something inexpensive that feels great underfoot. However, carpet floorings are also vulnerable to stains and wear out fairly quickly compared to other floors.

Tile is beneficial because it has a long lifespan, is available in several styles, and is simple to clean. Tile floors can be more difficult to install, can break over time, and require regular grout cleaning.

Laminate floors offer a low-cost, easy installation and standard prefinish. However, these floors are vulnerable to moisture damage and can't be refinished.

Stay tuned for more updates on the housing market, consumer behavior, and the latest mortgage news you need for your portfolio.

Source: U.S. News & World Report Real Estate


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