Columbia SC home prices were largely unaffected by the 16 day government shutdown.
Aside from asking prices, the housing market remains uncomfortably tied to Washington and its budget mess, such as the shutdown's effect on mortgage processing for home purchases and the potential effect of a default on the housing market and economy.
Other Factors Affect Columbia SC Home Prices
It's difficult to figure out how the shutdown may or may not have hurt Columbia SC home prices when there's a whole host of other factors – including seasonal changes, rising interest rates and a (slowly) improving job market – to contend with.
Nationally, asking home prices are up 1.0% between September and the first half of October, seasonally adjusted. This partial month-over-month increase is roughly in line with the month-over-month increases over the past few months. Before the shutdown started, several factors were already cooling down price gains, including expanding inventory, higher mortgage rates, and declining investor activity. Therefore, comparing how much Columbia SC home prices have risen or fallen in October with previous months can't, by itself, show whether the shutdown has directly affected Columbia SC home prices one way or the other.
But the nationwide housing recovery still depends on what the federal government will do in the coming months about Fed tapering, new budget negotiations, and the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
We'll be keeping a close eye on what Washington does (or doesn't do) in the coming days, weeks and months ahead, and let you know right here how we see it all affecting Columbia SC home prices, and the Columbia SC housing recovery in general.
There is a downside to Columbia SC home prices rising. With improved equity comes higher costs for property taxes and insurance.
Rising Columbia SC Home Prices Could Mean Higher Bills
Rising Columbia SC home prices means you can finally breathe a sigh of relief — especially if you're hoping to sell. But there is a cloud behind that silver lining.
Rising Columbia SC home prices might mean higher bills for you in the coming year because:
- Your property taxes will rise unless your tax rate falls.
- You'll need higher limits on your homeowners insurance coverage to compensate for your higher home value.
Fortunately, you have time do a few things now to reduce your tax bite next year, keep your insurance costs as low as possible, and continue your sigh of relief.
You pay your property taxes based on a formula that generally uses your home's assessed value multiplied by the tax rate. When you home value rises, if the tax rate doesn't fall, your taxes rise. In some locales, tax rates are only adjusted every few years, so your increase might or might not be eminent next year.
However, considering that most local and state government budgets are scraping every penny they can, don't count on the past dictating the future as far as re-assessments go.
If you think your taxes have gone up because Columbia SC home prices have gone up, consider filing an appeal.
Homeowners Insurance Discounts
When your homeowners insurance renewal comes in the mail, call your insurance agent and ask if you can earn a discount for:
- Increasing your deductible.
- Installing a security system.
- Membership in an affinity group like AARP or because of where you work.
- Adding features that protect your home during natural disasters (like hurricane-proofing your roof).
If those cost-cutting measures don't work, focus on the silver lining instead of the cloud. An extra couple hundred a year in property taxes and insurance isn't much in exchange for gaining thousands of dollars in home equity that you can use to finance your child's education, start a business, fund your retirement, or just put in your pocket when you sell.
Get more insurance and tax information by clicking the Columbia SC Insurance link or the link to Taxes to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.
If you have your Columbia SC home for sale, or are thinking of putting it up for sale soon, there are some things you can and should do to shorten the time it takes to find a buyer.
Most buyers want a 'move in ready' home, not one where they have to do a lot of work to make it livable. Before the first prospect darkens your doorstep, consider these options for making your Columbia SC home for sale one of the best on their list.
Making Your Columbia SC Home For Sale Shine
Clear the Clutter
Clear your kitchen counters of just about everything. Clean your closets by packing up little-used items like out-of-season clothes and old toys. Install closet organizers to maximize space. Put at least one-third of your furniture in storage, especially large pieces, such as entertainment centers and big televisions. Pack up family photos, knickknacks, and wall hangings to depersonalize your home. Store the items you've packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement.
Clean Up and Out
Wash your windows and if weather permits, leave them open to air out your rooms. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Clean light fixtures and baseboards, mop and wax floors, and give your stove and refrigerator a thorough cleaning.
Clean fingerprints off of light switch plates, clean inside the cabinets, and polish doorknobs. Don't forget to clean your garage. A cluttered garage is a turn-off, even if you are taking all that junk and clutter with you when you move.
Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection
Before you put that Columbia SC home for sale sign in the yard or ad in the paper, arrange for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will alert you to any trouble that may be lurking that potential buyers may see. Repair items found in the inspection before ever putting your home on the market.
Get Repair Estimates
If your home inspection reveals items like your roof, or carpeting, need to be replaced or repaired, get estimates for the work. If you can't afford to make the repairs yourself, at least you can provide prospects with a list of known repairs that need to be done, and approximately how much it will cost to make the repairs. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home and the repairs.
Locate any and all warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for your furnace, heat pump, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items you expect to remain with the house. Prospects will appreciate seeing these items.
Spruce up Outside Too
Stand outside your home and look at everything from a buyer's perspective. Does the paint look worn? If so, paint. Are plants and flowers dying or gone dormant? If so, replace with current flowers to make things look inviting.
Following these tips will help you with your Columbia SC home for sale.
Visit the Columbia SC Home Selling Tips section of our website to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories for even more tips.
Whether you're buying a Columbia SC home, or just shopping for a new car, most every lender you apply to for a mortgage or loan will want to see your credit report and your FICO score. What most people don't realize is, the FICO score your lender pulls and the one you may have paid for are not always the same. In fact, in most cases, they are quite different.
This is why we say, "Do Not Buy Your FICO Score", because you're most likely not seeing what your lender sees.
To learn more and stay current on buying a Columbia SC home, and how your FICO score can play into your approval or denial of a mortgage, as well as tips and information on mortgages in general, check out our other articles by clicking on the Columbia SC Mortgage Info link to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.