Another year has rocketed past and we find ourselves in reflection of 2017 and great anticipation of 2018. From a real estate perspective it was another fantastic year of continued home value increases, driven by another 12 months of listing shortages which equates to a frustrating market for home buyers. Interest rates remain very good and all indicators tell me that we will experience another year of low listing inventory. Even though new construction is up, the price per square foot is sky high given the fact that those homes do not include window treatments, landscaping, patios/decks, finished basements and in many cases even sprinklers or sod/grass seed in the entire yard. Adding up those additional costs can tack a large sum on your home purchase. Ranch home sales are being driven by Baby Boomers who want to eliminate stairs and have everything on the ground level. Those Boomers are paying cash in many instances or a conventional mortgage with a huge down payment, so young buyers/families trying to buy that type of home is challenging especially if they are purchasing with an FHA loan (small down payment). Those are just a few examples of the things driving this market and in a nut shell, it is likely to continue through 2018. They keys for Sellers: make that home “show ready” in as many ways as possible getting a real estate professional’s opinion early. For Buyers: get a STRONG pre-approval or full approval letter from a reputable mortgage lender and be ready to act FAST. Many of our homes have sold in a day or two and for multiple offers which will likely continue in 2018.