Real Estate Monthly, Vol. 1, Iss. 12


DECEMBER 2, 2016


downloadIn the last several weeks mortgage interest rates have begun to rise.  I predicted this increase earlier in the year but thankfully it’s not as high as I predicted.  The current rate is similar to the rate at the beginning of 2016.  Throughout the year the rate went down perhaps giving false expectations to buyers for the remainder of the year.  Rates are still historically good but are causing a bit of shock to current home buyers.  People currently looking into purchasing need to confirm with their lenders how it affects their current buying power.  For a lot it means they may need to look at lower price ranges.  Sellers may notice that if their house is sitting in a neutral market it may soon be in a buyer’s market.  Even with a strong market some sellers may be affected as buyers fall out of their price range.  Overall, it is still a great time to sell and a great time to buy.  Homes are still affordable and their are great options still available.

Kosciusko County Market


103 ⇧ 5% Y:Y

Median Closing Price:
$161,000 ⇧ 7% Y:Y

Median Days on Market:
48 ⇩ 24% Y:Y

New Listings:
87 ⇩ 11% Y:Y

499 ⇩ 25% Y:Y

Sales / List Price:
96% ⇧ 1 Y:Y

Neutral Market

Elkhart County Market


161 ⇧ 1% Y:Y

Median Closing Price:
$130,000 ⇧ 2% Y:Y

Median Days on Market:
16 ⇩ 43% Y:Y

New Listings:
165 ⇩ 16% Y:Y

704 ⇩ 21% Y:Y

Sales / List Price:
96% — Y:Y

Sellers’ Market

The market update is the most current available due to data reporting and analytics by the state reporting board.

How to Winterize Your Home

From House Logic / Gwen Moran

  • Check roof tiles, shutters, siding, and other exterior materials to ensure they’re secure
  • Seal air leaks around the home to keep it warmer (and save energy costs)
  • Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes to prevent burst pipes
  • Trim tree branches away from your roof to prevent roof damage

High winds, ice, and moisture from winter storms can easily strip off roof tiles and gutters, exposing your home to serious damage, says home improvement expert and writer John Wilder of Jacksonville, Fla. Make sure no roof tiles are loose or missing. Do the same with your gutters and siding.  

And clean your gutters. If you don’t, you risk an ice dam.

What’s an ice dam? Ice dams occur when ice melts off the roof during the day and then re-freezes as it drips into a clogged gutter. This can force water back under the roofline and cause serious leaks, often thousands of dollars in damage.

While you’re insulating your pipes, remind yourself where all water shut-off valves are so you can turn off the water supply in case of any leaks.

Overgrown tree branches are a risk to your home, vehicles, and loved ones. But trimming and removal can be dangerous, too, so don’t attempt it on your own. Best to hire a pro.

Now you’re ready for a snow day!

Did You Know?

Tinsel was once made of real silver!  It was invented in Germany in 1610.

Make Snow Shoveling Less Miserable

From HouseLogic / Jamie Wiebe

If you’re a homeowner in a snowy climate, chances are good you rue the winter: All that snow has to go somewhere, and it’s not getting there itself.

Cue the snow shovel.

Barring a move to a snow-free state or barricading your family inside all winter, there’s no way to avoid the endless task of shoveling snow. There are, however, ways to make the process much easier. Here are three simple hacks to make the morning after a snowfall much less stressful.

1. Spray Your Shovel with Cooking Oil

Snow sticking to your shovel makes an already arduous task even more obnoxious. Avoid it with this hack: Lightly coat your shovel with non-stick cooking oil to make snow slide right off. No more time wasted removing snow from your snow remover. (You can substitute a spray lubricant like WD-40, but the downside is it’s toxic.)

2. Lay Out a Tarp Before the Snow

If you like short cuts, this technique, billed as “the laziest way imaginable” to clear snow, according to a tutorial from “Instructables,” has got your name on it. The day before an expected snowfall, lay a tarp on your walkway. When the snow finishes falling, just pull out the tarp, and voilà: an instantly cleared walkway. (Word to the wise: Make sure pedestrians won’t trip on your tarp; include a sign or use this technique in your backyard walkway if you’re concerned.)

The technique requires a tarp, firewood, and twine as well as some prep work. Pre-storm, use firewood to weigh down your tarp — you don’t want it flying away in the wind! — and tie the twine to both the tarp and to a shovel standing upright in your yard. You’ll use the shovel to pull out the snow-laden tarp.

Although this method might be faster than shoveling, it does require manpower. After all, a cubic foot of snow can weigh between 7 and 20 pounds. So don’t get too ambitious with the size of your tarp or you might not be able to pull it once it’s full of snow.

3. Make a Homemade De-icing Cocktail

De-icers make snow removal easier by cutting through the tough, icy layers that are a pain to remove with a shovel. But an easy solution should be easy on your property as well. Many commercial de-icers are pretty harsh.

Commercial ice-melting substances — magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride (salt) — all cause damage to the environment, according to the University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center. They can also damage concrete sidewalks and driveways, which mean hefty repair costs later.

A better solution: Make your own de-icer using rubbing alcohol or vinegar. You’ll save money, too. Commercial melters typically cost $8 or more. Plus, you’ll avoid the hassle of trekking to the hardware store to stock up.

Use vinegar before a storm to make ice and snow removal easier:

  • Combine 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water.
  • Spray or pour gently (you still want to avoid runoff into your landscape) before a storm.

To keep the sidewalks and steps from icing after a storm:

  • Combine 2 parts rubbing alcohol with 1 part water.
    • Apply to minimize runoff.


eho-mls If your property is currently listed for sale or lease, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.


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