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During this trying time, it’s not surprising that so many homeowners are anxious and exhausted. Perhaps you’ve been feeling the same way. If so, keep in mind that the COVID-19 outbreak will eventually wind down and, hopefully, things will be back to normal soon.

We’re all in this together – and we’ll get through it.

As you probably already know, a key to getting through challenges like this one is to remember to reach out for help when you need it. That’s why we’re fully available to those who have real estate questions or need advice and help.

As real estate professionals, we have access to the latest data and information, and can give you a clear picture of what’s going on locally in the real estate scene. We can offer you some clarity, which is so important in a time of so much uncertainty.

So, please, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.

JAX MARKET INDICATORS (APRIL 2020)

Source: Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

While the stock market recovered significantly in March, the effects of COVID-19 to the economy continue to build. In just the last four weeks, more than 20 million people filed initial unemployment claims according to the United States Department of Labor, fueled by stay at home orders and a slowdown of economic activity across the country. Added to the unemployment claims from March, more than 30 million people have become unemployed since COVID-19 has become widespread in the U.S. In the face of these challenging times, real estate activity in April slowed significantly.  

  • New Listings in the Northeast Florida region decreased 22.4 percent to 3,107.
  • Pending Sales were down 27.0 percent to 2,339.
  • Inventory levels fell 14.2 percent to 8,545 units.
  • Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 11.1 percent to $250,000.
  • Days on Market remained flat at 67 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 17.9 percent to 3.2 months.

While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is expected that social distancing, higher unemployment, and lower overall economic activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term. At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.

HEALTHY LIGHTING FOR YOUR HOME

Living room with window and natural light

RECENTLY, RESEARCHERS DISCOVERED THAT THE LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME CAN HAVE A MUCH GREATER IMPACT ON YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. BETTER LIGHTING CAN BOOST YOUR ENERGY, HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER, AND EVEN ENHANCE HEALING.

So, it pays to make sure the lighting in your home has a positive impact on the health of your family.

Start by enhancing sources of natural light, such as windows and skylights. Study each room of your home and replace as much of the artificial light as possible with sunlight. For example, reposition a favorite reading chair next to a window.

Consider dimming the lighting in your home during the evenings. If your home is very bright when it’s dark outside, it can affect your body’s natural rhythms, resulting in disturbed sleep.

Avoid over-lighting, which is common in rooms where there are few windows. Over time, excessive light can cause headaches and even mood changes. Lighting that is sufficient to see everything clearly is all you need.

HOW TO QUICKLY IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Exterior door opening to outside air

THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY THE AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME MAY NOT BE AT ITS BEST. A FAULTY FURNACE OR AN AGED CARPET ARE JUST TWO POTENTIAL CULPRITS. UNTIL YOU GET THOSE ISSUES ADDRESSED, HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR INDOOR AIR HEALTHIER – TODAY?

Here are some ideas:

Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.

Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odor in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least once a season.

Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odor, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture. Mold is the worst of these pollutants. Professionals recommend you keep your bathroom fan on for at least 30 minutes after a shower.

Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular and easiest way to freshen the air, and it works.

ESTIMATING YOUR SELLING COSTS

Person using calculator and tablet

WHEN THE TIME COMES TO SELL YOUR HOUSE, YOU’LL WANT TO DETERMINE ROUGHLY HOW MUCH YOU CAN EXPECT TO NET AFTER THE SALE. TO FIGURE THAT OUT, YOU’LL NOT ONLY NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOUR HOUSE WILL LIKELY SELL FOR, BUT ALSO THE SELLING COSTS YOU ARE LIKELY TO INCUR IN THE PROCESS.

The costs of selling vary depending on a number of factors. Here’s a general rundown of what to consider:

  • Repairs. You will want your house to look its best to buyers. That may require you to get any needed repairs done before listing. You don’t want a buyer to see a dent in the wall or a dripping faucet.
  • Renovations. It might make sense to get a few improvements done to make the house more attractive. For example, you may want to replace old and worn kitchen countertops.
  • Title Company fees. Selling a house requires a lot of legal work. You’ll need a good real estate lawyer or title company to take care of that for you.
  • Commissions. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price.
  • Moving costs. Once you sell, you’ll obviously need to move! So, factoring in this expense is a smart idea.

Although this may seem like a long list, selling costs are fairly easy to estimate. Once you have that number, it’s easy to calculate how much money you’ll have available to put towards your next home.

NOTABLE, QUOTABLE, QUOTES!

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
Napoleon Hill

 
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Albert Einstein

 
“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
Dwight Eisenhower