Leadership

Risky Business: How Trust Can Offset Angst Buying A New Home

For new-home buyers – especially those experiencing the rite of passage into homeownership for the first time – trust and risk are entangled in a present full of uncertainty and volatility.

Together with

Leadership

Risky Business: How Trust Can Offset Angst Buying A New Home

For new-home buyers – especially those experiencing the rite of passage into homeownership for the first time – trust and risk are entangled in a present full of uncertainty and volatility.

Together with
June 5th, 2024
Risky Business: How Trust Can Offset Angst Buying A New Home
SHARE:
SHARE:

Our English word Trust has its origins circa 1200 via a daisy chain of language roots meaning "reliance on the veracity, integrity, or other virtues of someone or something."

Much newer in its origins is the term "risk," which is said to have emerged in the 1660s from the French word "risque," suggesting hazard, danger, peril, exposure to mischance or harm.

Today, for new-home buyers – especially those experiencing the rite of passage into homeownership for the first time – the two terms have become entangled in a present full of uncertainty and volatility.

The reasons for volatility and a visceral feeling of risk would-be homebuyers' experience as they pursue homeownership opportunities are now a familiar cast of moving-target menaces, ranging from financial to environmental to psychological.

Among them:

  • Mortgage Rate volatility
  • Average Selling Price volatility
  • Natural Hazards volatility

Mortgage Rate volatility

The potential volatility only increases as we'll get several top tier economic reports. Apart from Thursday, every day of the week has a scheduled report with the power to move markets by at least as much as any of this past week's data. Friday's jobs report is particularly potent, even if not quite in the same league as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) these days." – Mortgage News Daily
Digital Banners - Westwood Article Ad

As residential real estate and neighborhood development pros know, fluctuations in 30-year fixed rates cause real-time, material stress and strain on at least some homebuyers' ability to cross the settlement finish line. Those gyrations can impact borderline debt-to-income qualification levels, downpayment requirements, monthly payment plans, etc., and add a nerve-racking dimension to the homebuyer's experience if they're not recognized, addressed, and resolved early on in the journey.

Amidst an onslaught of headlines about projected Fed movement and its impact on mortgage rates – including adjustments to home builder starts and closing projection numbers – all that uncertainty about the economy doesn't diminish the fact that people still need homes and the need for more affordable homes is vast," says Tom Kriby, Vice President of Client Development and Partnerships at Westwood Insurance Agency. "There's more transparency among home builders, making things more affordable. If a builder is buying rates down, the customer won’t know where that rate is going to be in three months or six months. What does help is having certainty and insight into the insurance part, which remains a key piece for the closing transaction."

Average Selling Price volatility

In a growing number of markets, existing home sellers – after a historical run in both the duration and trajectory of home selling prices – have begun to drop their asking prices to activate buyers. Despite an ongoing shortage of available homes in many markets, increases in resale listings are a harbinger of price shifts to come and a swing in momentum from a sellers' to a buyers' market.

That supply-demand imbalance is starting to correct, which could mean you start seeing lower prices as soon as this summer,” [Brian Nick, senior investment strategist at Macro Institute] said. – Fortune

Lower prices tend to beget lower prices. This sets in motion a musical chairs mentality among potential new-home customers who might begin to gain more leverage on terms, concessions, incentives, and discounts in a backdrop of price drops on the existing home front. Psychologically, a fear of overpaying at a moment prices may be at their peak creates a heightened sense of risk that can stall some buyers in their tracks along the homebuyers' journey.

Timing, and the heightened sense that one's decision to purchase can come at either the wrong or the right time, means that a digital shopping and purchase experience needs to function seamlessly for today's younger-adult buyers to feel comfortable and confident in the process.

We may have a first-time homebuyer who’s been sitting on the sideline for a while. They may be older, more experienced, more sophisticated," Kriby notes. "They still want to have the information at their fingertips. Our product works with the builder with technology out of sight and out of mind so that a buyer doesn't have to worry. It's already delivered, allowing them to move ahead with a digital experience that's quick and simple. Still, for any need to address questions, that's where the relationship with both a builder and any of their financial service providers including insurance, makes a difference. Age and experience don't mean you fully understand the process. You need that relationship and the warm handoff. A builder knows how to build homes but may not know how to answer the questions on insurance, and if they can provide that warm handoff, that's a benefit passed through the entire transaction."

Natural Hazards volatility

New York Times analysis shows the real-world spread of a phenomenon that is no longer a hidden factor in homeownership costs:

Homeowners insurance was unprofitable in 18 states last year, up from eight in 2013. Most of those states are in the interior of the country, hit by severe storms and hail in the Midwest and Southeast, and wildfires in much of the West. In response to those losses, insurers have raised premiums, narrowed coverage and dropped customers, and even entirely withdrawn from some states.
A shaky insurance market threatens the entire economy. Without insurance, banks won’t issue a mortgage; without a mortgage, most people can’t buy a home. With fewer buyers, real estate values are likely to decline, along with property tax revenues, leaving communities with less money for schools, police, and other basic services." – The New York Times

A ride-along effect of those higher premiums and the idea that an insurer might withdraw from a market – including some of the past several years' most active new-home development and construction markets in the U.S. Smile States – is an intensified feeling of risk, especially among people who are newcomers to homeownership.

Some markets out there are particularly challenging," Kriby says. "The insurance environment gets trickier when one or two carriers pull out and create a seeming domino effect. First-time homebuyers need to have somebody they can trust to build a quality product and assure the buyer throughout the financial journey and transaction by simplifying an already complex or confusing topic like insurance."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

MORE IN Leadership

Why Focus On Excellence? Why Now? Please Come To Austin In October

Co-hosting our summit, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems' annual Build Smarter conference will provide operational management attendees with the latest industry insights, data, product innovations, and technical knowledge.


CX Investments Now Will Pay Long-Term Business Dividends

It takes people, trusted partners, training, data, information technology, and plain-old care to take pain out of a new-home purchase. Here’s why it’s worth it.


How A Homebuilder Stands Out In Florida's Fierce Competitive Arena

"Investing in your brand doesn't give you a direct return on investment immediately. It takes a long time, but over time, branding successfully does increase financial value." -- Alex Akel, President, Akel Homes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

MORE IN Leadership

Why Focus On Excellence? Why Now? Please Come To Austin In October

Co-hosting our summit, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems' annual Build Smarter conference will provide operational management attendees with the latest industry insights, data, product innovations, and technical knowledge.


CX Investments Now Will Pay Long-Term Business Dividends

It takes people, trusted partners, training, data, information technology, and plain-old care to take pain out of a new-home purchase. Here’s why it’s worth it.


How A Homebuilder Stands Out In Florida's Fierce Competitive Arena

"Investing in your brand doesn't give you a direct return on investment immediately. It takes a long time, but over time, branding successfully does increase financial value." -- Alex Akel, President, Akel Homes