If you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of available homes for sale is at an all-time low – the lowest point recorded since NAR began tracking this metric in 1982. There are, however, more homes expected to hit the market later this year. Let’s break down the three key places they’ll likely come from as 2021 continues on.
1. Homeowners Who Didn’t Sell Last Year
In 2020, many sellers decided to pause their moving plans for a number of different reasons. From health concerns about the pandemic to financial uncertainty, plenty of homeowners decided not to move last year.
Now that vaccines are being distributed and there’s a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it should bring some peace of mind to many potential sellers. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:
“Fortunately for would-be homebuyers, we expect sellers to return to the market as we see improvement in the economy and progress against the coronavirus.”
Many of the homeowners who decided not to sell in 2020 will enter the market later this year as they begin to feel more comfortable showing their house in person, understanding their financial situation, and simply having more security in life.
2. More New Homes Will Be Built
Last year was a strong year for home builders, and according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 2021 is expected to be even better:
“For 2021, NAHB expects ongoing growth for single-family construction. It will be the first year for which total single-family construction will exceed 1 million starts since the Great Recession.”
With more houses being built in many markets around the country, homeowners looking for new houses that meet their changing needs will be able to move into their dream homes. When they sell their current houses, this will create opportunities for those looking to find a home that’s already built to do so. It sets a simple chain reaction in motion for hopeful buyers.
3. Those Impacted Financially by the Economic Crisis
Many experts don’t anticipate a large wave of foreclosures coming to the market, given the forbearance options afforded to current homeowners throughout the pandemic. Some homeowners who have been impacted economically will, however, need to move this year. There are also homeowners who didn’t take advantage of the forbearance option or were already in a foreclosure situation before the pandemic began. In those cases, homeowners may decide to sell their houses instead of going into the foreclosure process, especially given the equity in homes today. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains:
“Given the huge price gains recently, I don't think many homes will have to go to foreclosure…I think homes will just be sold, and there will be cash left over for the seller, even in a distressed situation. So that's a bit of a silver lining in that we don't expect a massive sale of distressed properties.”
As we can see, it looks like we’re going to have an increase in the number of homes for sale in 2021. With fears of the pandemic starting to ease, new homes being built, and more listings coming to the market prior to foreclosure, there’s hope if you’re planning to buy this year. And if you’re thinking of selling and making a move, doing so while demand for your house is high might create an outstanding move-up option for you.
Housing demand is high and supply is low, so if you’re thinking of moving, it’s a great time to do so. There are likely many buyers who are looking for a home just like yours, and there are options coming for you to find a new house too. Let’s connect today to see how you can benefit from the opportunities available in our local market.
What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are formed by continual thawing and refreezing of melting snow. Large masses of ice develop as snow on the upper part of the roof melts. The water runs under the snow and refreezes at the edge of the roof.
Additional snow melts and forms pools against the dam, gradually causing water to back up on the roof where it often gets under the shingles and eventually into the house. Causes other than heat escaping from the home include:
- Bright sunshine melting the snow;
- Insufficient attic insulation allowing the heated air of the attic to reach the roof deck and melt the snow, which could happen anywhere on the roof surface;
- Naturally occurring ice accumulation due to various weather conditions;
- Poorly placed gutters preventing snow and ice from sliding off the roof;
- Inadequate attic ventilation.
The latent damage from ice dams may not be immediately evident. For example, insulation could be getting wet and over time will lose its ability to perform properly. In addition, mold may begin to grow in the moist attic environment. Although ice dams are more prevalent at the eaves, they can (and do) occur anywhere on the roof, especially where there is a change in roof surface temperatures.
Can This Be Avoided?
Wisconsin weather is challenging to say the least and, as we all know, there is only so much you can do to avoid its impact. But, having said that, there are some things you can do to minimize the risks of developing ice dams on your roof.
- If you have a large deposit of snow, particularly in bad areas like a valley running into a wall or a saddle area, removing the snow is your best option. Any large deposits at the eaves, especially on the north side, should be removed as well.
- Install a leak barrier such as StormGuard® or WeatherWatch® Leak Barrier. These impermeable membranes prevent water from entering through the roof deck.
- Improve attic insulation in order to keep the attic space cool, thereby reducing the amount of melting snow.
- Improve attic ventilation to ensure that the attic remains cool.
- Make sure that your gutters or eavestroughing are lower than the slope of the roof, allowing snow and ice to glide off.
What Kind of Salt Can You Put on Your Roof for Ice Dams?
By Jason Thompson Icicles hanging from your eaves may look pretty but signify a real problem.
Ice dams occur when the warm air in your attic melts the snow on your roof, causing it to run down the roof toward the ground. When it hits the eaves and breaks contact with the warm attic roof, the frigid air refreezes the water. As new melt hits the ice, it also freezes, building up the dam and can even be forced back up under your shingles and into your roof and attic, causing water damage, ruining your insulation and creating ideal conditions for mildew growth. Though salt may seem like the best melting solution, several salts can cause other damage to your roof or gutters.
Rock salt is common for de-icing driveways and paths. It should be no surprise then that it is the first thing many people think of to remove ice dams. However, rock salt is a form of sodium chloride, which corrodes metal, including the metal nails holding your shingles in place. Rock salt can also leave permanent stains on your roof and walls. It also does not work well below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For these reasons, rock salt is not a good choice when it comes to getting rid of ice dams.
Some people use table salt for de-icing instead of rock salt. However, this is no better, as chemically they are the same substance. Table salt is just rock salt broken down into smaller crystals. It will corrode and stain just like rock salt does. Breaking the ice up with tools is also a bad idea, as that can easily damage your roof even worse than the rock salt could.
Magnesium and Potassium Chlorides
Magnesium and potassium chlorides also both melt ice. However, magnesium chloride is only effective if temperatures stay above 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Potassium chloride loses effectiveness below 12 degrees.
Calcium chloride is the best salt to use on ice dams, according to handyman Glenn Haege. It is not as likely to stain or cause corrosion as sodium chloride, but it can damage wooden gutters. It melts ice faster than sodium chloride does, works at lower temperatures than sodium chloride and also melts larger volumes of ice. It works at lower temperatures than either magnesium or potassium chloride.
Using Calcium Chloride
However, simply scattering calcium chloride across your entire ice dam, hoping to melt it, is not likely to work well. Plus, this would be an inefficient use of salt even if it does work. An ice dam can easily be made of hundreds of gallons of water, so melting it all requires a lot of salt. Instead, fill old pantyhose with the calcium chloride and lay it across the dam. This will melt a channel to allow water to safely run off your roof and break up the dam for manual removal.
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