Real Estate News & Market Trends - Rutherford Co.

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 14, 2019

3 Things to Know about the Market Today

3 Things to Know in the Housing Market Today!

3 Things to Know in the Housing Market Today! | MyKCM

A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.

The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.

1. Interest Rates

One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. In our recent post we posed the question, “Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.3 Things to Know in the Housing Market Today! | MyKCM

2. Building Materials

Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.

3. Economic Slowdown

In a prior blog post on this topic, we began the year with many economic leaders thinking we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, we reported that economists had started to push that projection past 2020.  Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.3 Things to Know in the Housing Market Today! | MyKCM

Bottom Line

We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months.  Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it’s a great time to be in the market.

Posted in Market Updates
May 27, 2018

Offer Below Asking Price?

When Should You Make An Offer Below Asking Price?

Homes are expensive, and getting more so every day.  (Also, water is wet and the sky is blue!)  Making an offer over asking price - sometimes by absurd amounts - has become a harrowing norm for today's buyers.

But even as the market rockets upward, there are always those buyers.  You know the type: You visit their new home for a dinner party, and halfway through the meal, they lean over to whisper in your ear, "We got a killer deal," they say.  "Under list price."

But getting an awesome deal on a house isn't impossible, even in a hot market.  If you learn to read the signals, you just might find sellers who are amenable to an offer below asking price.

To be clear: Real estate pros warn against extremely lowball offers (typically more than 15% below listing price) because you might offend the sellers - even if the home's been on the market for months.  Strategize with your agent to determine both how far under listing price you're comfortable going, and what you think the sellers might respond to.

These five signs will help you determine when the time is right for a low offer.

1. When the seller wants out

Not every seller wants to wait for an over-the-top, so-much-money-it-takes-your-breath-away offer.  Some homeowners want to sell quickly and they're willing to accept lower offers to do so.

2. When the home is blatantly, obnoxiously overpriced

Just because a home is expensive doesn't mean it's overpriced-it might be worth every penny.  But sellers do often get an inflated sense of their home's value.  And those homes can languish on the market.  Work with your agent to look at the comps for your area, and find out what other homes are selling for.  If there's one that makes you say, 'they're out of their minds,' it might be ripe for a low offer.

3.  When you're not picky

Maybe you have a flexible wish list.  Two bedrooms, three bedrooms - more space is great but you really only need one, right?  Perhaps you care only about how your house looks on the inside.  Or maybe you're planning a full renovation no matter what you buy.

If all you care about is price, don't feel bad throwing below-asking offers left and right.

4.  When the home has hopped on and off the market

Keep your eyes peeled for a home that's been on the market, then off, then on again.  This home might be a prime candidate for your low offer.  After all, imagine the seller's irritation: Listing a home can be an arduous process, filled with open houses, surprise showings, and negotiations - only to have the buyer back out at the last minute.  But before you make an offer, see if your agent can get some intel: It's possible there's another reason the sellers are listing and relisting their house-such as they don't actually want to sell.

5.  When the home is outdated

Elizabeth Gigler, and agent in Naperville, IL, has three requirements for going in low: First, the home must have been on the market for more than 60 days.  Second, the home must have old mechanicals.  (Updating a vintage HVAC system could cost thousands of dollars-meaning that a low offer is entirely justified.)  Third, the home is completely outdated.

That '70's era burn orange shag carpeting isn't anyone's style these days.  The sellers might presume they'll get full asking price without swapping in something more neutral; however, they might change their tune after a few months on the market without any offers. 

That's when you swoop in with a low offer - and get yourself a killer deal to brag about at your next dinner party!


Credit: Jamie Wiebe - blog

Posted in For Buyers
April 12, 2018

It's Risky Pricing High

Sellers: It's Risky Pricing High to 'See What Happens'

Every seller wants to get the best deal for their house - especially when you consider that as much as $500,000 in profit can be earned tax-free.  So why not just price your house to the moon?  After all, you can just bring it down later, right?

Well, there are a few problems with that.  If you price high and then slowly start bringing it down...and down...and down...buyers are going to notice.  It makes that home start to seem like it's in a bargain bin.  You want your home to appear like a deal, not cheapened goods.  When it sits on the market for an extended time because of overpricing, buyers are going to wonder why.  Would you feel urgency as a buyer if you read that a property was listed 180 days ago?  Probably not.

To set a realistic price, consider these tips:

--Do your due diligence.  What have houses like yours sold for when the deal was made in a reasonable time?  What were the original prices of those homes?

--Have an honest discussion with your real estate agent.  He or she knows the area, and wants to sell your home as quickly as possible for the most competitive price.  What does he or she think is reasonable?

--Be an assertive seller, but don't overplay your hand.  Remember, the little extra money you hold out for may not be worth the six months or year of mortgage payments you're stuck paying in the meantime!

Call me at 615-337-3989 and let's talk about pricing your house to sell!


Posted in For Sellers
Feb. 28, 2018

Multiple Offers

How to Decide Between Multiple Offers

What a splendid dilemma!  You've received several offers on your property.  Which one should you choose?  It's not always the highest one.

Here are just some of the areas your agent could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you're weighing the options.

1.  Do the math - This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices.  Before you do that, be sure to do all the math.  Subtract things like closing costs, fees and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.

2.  Consider the financing - Can the buyer provide proof from the bank that there are funds to back the offer?  Your agent can help verify this and help you understand the terms of the buyer's financing.

3.  Motivation - Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood?  A new job just around the corner?  Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal.  Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home.  These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.

4.  Timeline - Note the closing date each offer proposes.  You'll want a closing date that best meets your needs.  You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn't quite meet your timeline.

Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky.  An experienced RE/MAX Agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you.  Contact me today at 615-337-3989 for a more information.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Feb. 8, 2018

7 Home Superstitions from Around the World

7 Home Superstitions from Around the World

Moving to a new home?  Here are a few traditions from around the world to bring luck and cast out bad energy.  Here are a few.

1.  Make a clean sweep - According to U.S. superstition, your old broom can carry all the negative energy from your former dwelling place to the new one.  Leave it behind for a fresh start.

2.  The door to success - According to old Irish tradition, the first time you leave your new home you should exit through the same door you entered to ensure good luck.  After your initial departure you're free to leave through whichever door you'd like.

3.  Ward off evil (and stale smells) - Native Americans traditionally burn dried sage and wave the smoke around the corners of a room to clear out negative energy.  If you're allergic to ragweed, you might want to skip this one as sage is in the same family.

4.  Let your pot overflow - Indian tradition holds that boiling mild and rice in a pot until it overflows helps bring purity and long life to the homeowners.  Another Indian tradition is to bring a cow into your new home and wrap a flower garland around its neck-a bit more logistically challenging than the rice!

5.  Set the tone - Tibetan moving rituals include ringing a "space-clearing" bell in each room of a new home to clear away old, dying chi (life force energy).

6.  Bread and salt - According to Jewish tradition, bread and salt should be the first items brought into a new home.  The loaf of bread ensures that the homeowners never know hunger.  The salt will bring a life that's always full of flavor.

7.  Lightning insurance? - The ancient Norse believed that putting an acorn on a windowsill protected the home from lightning strikes.  Blind-pulls shaped like acorns remain popular today!

You don't need magic trick or superstitions to find the right home.  An experienced Agent can work wonders!  Call me and let's find your next home.  615-337-3989

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Jan. 11, 2018

Applying for a Mortgage

Top 10 DONT'S When Applying for a Mortgage

  1. DON'T change jobs or become self-employed

  2. DON'T buy a car, truck or van unless you plan to live in it
  3. DON'T use credit cards or let your payments fall behind
  4. DON'T spend the money saved for your down payment
  5. DON'T buy furniture before you buy your house
  6. DON'T originate any new inquiries on your credit report
  7. DON'T make any large deposits into your bank account
  8. DON'T change bank accounts
  9. DON'T co-sign for anyone
  10. DON'T purchase ANYTHING until after closing!

Doing any of these could adversely affect your ability to buy your home.  There's nothing worse than getting to the closing table ready to sign the paperwork and then the lender says you no longer qualify for a mortgage.  You see, the lender will probably review your credit a couple of days before closing just to make sure you still qualify.  So, even though you may need new furniture, or your car breaks down, wait until after you sign the paperwork to do those things. 

Bottom Line Is This...

Once you decide to buy a home and have been pre-approved for a mortgage, just don't spend any money or obligate yourself to any payments. 

If you have additional questions or want clarification on any of these DON'TS, just give me a call at 615-337-3989 and we can discuss it.  If you're looking for a high octane Realtor to help you find your next home, I'd be happy to help. 


Dec. 21, 2017

It's Moving Day

7 Things to Keep In Mind for Moving Day

After months of touring homes, playing phone tag with your mortgage lender and researching school districts, you’ve finally closed on a house. Congratulations!

Now the hard part begins.

Moving is always a pain in the neck (and back), but if you plan ahead and stay organized you can certainly reduce your stress level. Here are some tips and reminders:

1. Book furniture donations weeks in advance…
Although many donation companies will happily pick up furniture, many require you to schedule an appointment, and they can be backed up for weeks at a time.

2….as well as your friends.
Your friends are there for you for the good times and moving day, but no one is going to cancel their plans last minute for the opportunity to haul furniture, even if you promise beer and pizza.

3. Avoid mystery boxes.
Label everything – and be specific! In the first few days of unpacking, you won’t want to sort through boxes of heirloom china when all you need is a spoon.

4. Rethink categorization.
Box things up according to what, not where, they are. For example, you’ll likely rearrange furniture before putting away any décor. Keep artwork together so you aren’t stumbling over a box of decorative vases while reassembling your bookcase.

5. Have the essentials ready.
Pack these basics together so you can be somewhat civilized while putting everything away at your new place: Trashcan, dishtowels, toilet paper, hand soap, shower curtain and bathroom rug. 

6. Be conscious about weight.
Don’t pile everything into one box that will be impossible to lift. It’s much easier to make several trips with light boxes than to carry a bulkier item between two people.

7. Yes, you need a dolly!
If you have the option to rent a dolly, do it! It will make your life 100 percent easier.

Moving is difficult enough – finding your dream home shouldn’t be!  Call me at 615-337-3989 and let's begin the search!

Courtesy of

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Dec. 14, 2017

Caring for Poinsettias

The Right Way to Keep Your Poinsettias Happy This Season

They hate cold.  Really hate it.

Poinsettia is the brilliant Christmas plant that, with a little love, will bloom long after the ho-ho-hos have faded.

And if you want it to re-bloom for next year, we've got tips for that, too (but fair warning: that's a lot harder to do).  Here's how to care for poinsettias during the season and beyond:

First, Buy a Healthy Poinsettia

Inspect poinsettias carefully before you buy a plant.  A healthy plant looks like this:

- Dark green foliage before color develops.

- Bracts (colored leaves) completely colored without green perimeters.

- Lush and filled with leaves, not yellow and sparsely covered.

- Balanced from all sides.

- Displayed naked without plastic sleeves that can cause plants to droop.  Cover the plant only when transporting in temperatures below 50 degrees

- 2.5 times taller than its diameter.

Be Careful Taking It Home (Poinsettias Hate Cold)

Poinsettias originated in Mexico and don't like the cold, even for a few minutes.  So make sure you wrap the plant before driving it home, and then keep it away from hot and cold drafts, such as heating registers and drafty windows, which can make leaves drop.

Follow These 4 Tips to Care for Poinsettias at Home

1.  Display your poinsettia in indirect light for about 6 hours per day.

2.  High temperatures will shorten the poinsettia's life.  Keep room temperatures at 60 to 70 degrees during the day; around 55 degrees in the evening.  You might have to move the plant around to expose it to optimal temperatures, like keeping it in the kitchen by day and in the mudroom by night.

3.  Water when the soil is dry to the touch.  If you keep the plant in foil, puncture the bottom to allow water to drain and prevent root rot.  Empty drip trays after watering.  Be careful not to over-water, which can cause wilting and leaf loss.

4.  Feed blooming poinsettias every 2 to 3 weeks with a water-soluble plant food; water monthly after blooming.

Follow These Steps to Make It Re-Bloom

Coaxing a poinsettia to re-bloom each year is an exhausting process.  Each month from January to December you have to snip or repot; move to the dark or move to the light; water or not water - you'll get a migraine just thinking about it!

Since a new 6-inch poinsettia costs a ten-spot, you're better off buying a new crop each year and spending your time and energy on other gardening delights.

But if you're a waste-not person, here's a look at what you can do to coax your poinsettia to bloom again next year.

January - May: Give your plant plenty of sun and enough water to stay moist, but not soggy.  Fertilize every 2 weeks.  In early April, prune to 6-8 inches tall.

June: Repot with fresh soil and move your poinsettia outdoors where it can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.  Fertilize weekly until early fall.  If you put the plant on a patio, give it shade during the hottest part of the day.  If you place the pot in a flower garden, lift and turn it weekly so roots don't grow into the ground and become shocked when you return the plant indoors in September.

Late July: Pinch off the top of the plant and 2-3 leaves on each stem to prevent the poinsettia from getting leggy.

September: Bring the poinsettia indoors when nighttime temps fall into the 50s.  Place in a sunny window, and water when dry to the touch.  Fertilize weekly.

October 1 to Thanksgiving: To force the bracts to color, the plant must be kept in uninterrupted darkness from 5 pm to about 8 am, and then returned to bright sun for the rest of the day.  There should be a 7-10 degree difference between the dark and light environments; optimally, 65-70 degrees at night, and 70-80 degrees in the day.  Fertilize weekly.

Thanksgiving: When the bracts begin to color, suspend the dark-light routine, and keep the plant moist and in a sunny spot for 6-8 hours daily.  After full color has been achieved (congratulations!), stop fertilizing and move the poinsettia to wherever it will be admired most.


Posted in Homeowner Tips
Dec. 7, 2017

Free Home Buyer's Guide

The Home Buying Process: An Overview

When you want to buy a home, you are faced with many decisions.  The first is whether you are actually ready to buy a house.  Finding the right home is not always easy, and getting a mortgage loan can be complicated and time consuming.  However, once you have made the decision to put forth the effort necessary to obtain your home purchasing goal, the rewards are undeniable.

Where Do I Start?

The first step to buying a home is to first ask yourself why you want to buy a home:  To stop paying rent?  To start building equity?  To have a place of your own?  To raise a family?  To entertain business associates?  To move up to a bigger house?  Next, list what kind of home you'd like and where you would like to be.  Be specific.  Separate the "must haves" from the "want to haves".  

Think of yourself as zeroing in on a target, going from the general to the specific.  Consider area (city, suburban neighborhood, country); community (north, south, east, west); neighborhood (older and settled or sparkling new); a particular school zone; recreational facilities; and other community services such as transportation, daycare, library, stores, entertainment.  Ask yourself how many minutes you are willing to commute to work.

Think about home styles.  How much space do you need?  Does your situation require a one-level home, or are stairs acceptable?  Consider size and kind of property.  Do you want a newer home, or maybe an older one to fix up?  Someday your heirs will want to sell.  Consider how long you expect to live in this particular home.

Once you have addressed these needs, the first step in the purchasing process is to get pre-qualified with a mortgage company.  This can be done over the phone in a matter of minutes.  Call us and we will refer you to a mortgage professional who has an excellent reputation and track record for successfully acquiring loan approval for their clients.  Once you've been pre-qualified and know what price range you want to stay in, call us back and we will set up an appointment for you to come into the office to re-examine your needs, determine which properties fit these needs and schedule showings to view the homes.

There is much more to consider, too!

There is much more to this Buyer's Guide as well.  Such as, Is PreQualification Really Necessary, How Can A Realtor Help Me, and best practices for beginning the home search.  There's also a section that explains the written offer, counter offers, the loan process, and lots of other information.

If you'd like a FREE copy of the complete Home Buyer's Guide, contact us today and I'll email you the PDF version of the entire guide.

Just click the "Contact Us" button above and request your FREE Home Buyer's Guide.

Posted in Home Buyer's Guide
Nov. 30, 2017

Fireplace Safety Tips

Curling up in front of the fireplace with a book can be the quintessence of coziness on a cold winter's day, but it can also be dangerous if you don't maintain your fireplace correctly.  Here are a few safety tips when using your fireplace this winter.

1. Go with a pro
The National Fire Protection Association suggests you hire a certified chimney cleaner to inspect your fireplace and chimney at least once a year. They probably won’t sing catchy songs in a Cockney accent like in “Mary Poppins,” but they will remove dangerous clogs and buildup.
2. Put a lid on it
Ever chase a squirrel around your house with a broom? Exciting, but not fun. Prevent critters, birds and debris from coming down your chimney by installing a wire mesh cap on top of your chimney.
3. Play defense
Spark guards, the mesh screens that can be placed in front of your fire, prevent flying embers from launching into your living room and starting trouble. When you leave the room (or fall asleep) it’s especially important to use one.
4. Be wood wise
Burn seasoned hardwood that has been dried for at least six months. Green, unseasoned or soft woods such as pine emit more creosote — that’s the flammable stuff that can build up in your chimney.
5. Check your equipment
Test your smoke detectors every month, change your batteries every year and replace devices every 10 years.
6. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand
Have one. And be sure you know how to use it.
7. Seal it up
When not using your fireplace, close the damper to prevent warm air, and the money you spend to heat your house, from being lost straight up your chimney.
Is a fireplace one of the top features on your “must-have” list for a new home? The right agent can help you find neighborhoods that allow wood burning fires, and a home with just the right hearth.  Find your next home with a fireplace here:!

Posted in Homeowner Tips