There are so many nuances to this market, which is constantly changing and evolving. Instead of this hurricane losing steam however, it seems to be gaining strength. Even outside forces, such as a slight uptick in interest rates, aren’t strong enough to weaken the housing market.
In a very comprehensive Wall Street Journal article sent to me by a friend, the reporter notes that while the intensity of the buying frenzy feels similar to 2006 (which was right before the bubble burst), there are no indications that things will come to a screeching stop. The difference is that people are buying homes now at high rates, despite very stringent borrowing criteria from banks and an increase in down payments required by some lenders. In 2006, unqualified buyers were beating a broken lending system. That has been fixed, and instead, strong buyers are being tested by a fortified and strict lending system to ensure successful sales-- and in the end, a path to successful homeownership. 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took a stand this week against investors by severely limiting the amount of loans they will buy from banks, if they are for secondary homes or from investors. This forced some banks that typically sell their loans to these organizations to raise rates dramatically on investors-- a full point in some cases. This move will certainly make people think twice about buying vacation homes or financing investments with traditional loans.
Close to home, the craziness continues. It's not exactly fun for buyers or their brokers--and yes, I speak from experience. Houses are going for unprecedented prices with some people bidding 10% over the asking price. In mere minutes last night, my buyers who loved a home in Dover lost out because by the time we walked out and drove out of the area, someone put in an offer that even the listing agent described as "insane.”
In Wellesley, there are 15 houses on the market versus 60 one year ago. That's not to say houses aren't coming on, they are just absorbed so quickly that there isn't time for the inventory to build. Hurray for my sellers though, who are taking advantage and doing quite well!
For all you buyers out there, if you really want a home, it could mean stepping out of you comfort zone. Take comfort, however, knowing that there's a good chance this strong market will keep going. Maybe what you paid today will feel like a deal next year.
I ended last week's newsletter on a high note with some design tips from Studio McGee. Based on the positive feedback I received, I wanted to bring some more design tips your way from interior designer (and friend of mine!), Kristen DiBella. Read below to see her latest bathroom renovation and her dos and don'ts!
Kristen's dos and don'ts of a bathroom reno:
  • Do mix metals to give the bathroom something special.
  • Don’t choose paint color without sampling.
  • Do add great storage accessories...hide the essentials and keep them organized and pretty.
  • Don’t think everything has to be expensive… these mirrors are an Amazon find!
  • Do use everyday items, like rolled towels, to make the bathroom feel spa-like.
  • Don’t use tile as a countertop.
  • Do use marble… don’t be scared!
For more inspiration and ideas, please visit Kristen's website.
I feel as though I could write all night on this week's blog, but we will end there. Until next time!