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      Time for Your Dream Home, Gen X!

      Time for Your Dream Home, Gen X! | MyKCM

      During the housing market crash, Gen X homeowners lost more wealth than other generations. However, things are changing now! A strong economy, increasing home prices, and the recovery of the housing market are helping this generation to regain their lost wealth.

      According to Pew Research Center,

      Their fortunes have rebounded more than those of other generations during the post-recession economic expansion and as home and stock prices have risen. Since 2010, the median net worth of Gen X households has risen 115%. In fact, in 2016, the most recent year with available data, the net worth of a typical Gen X household had surpassed what it was in 2007 ($84,200 vs. $63,400)”.

      The same report also mentioned,

      15% of Gen X’s homeowners were ‘underwater’ on their homes in 2010 (meaning they owed more than they owned). By 2016 only 3% were underwater.

      As a result of homes regaining market value and their increasing net worth, many Gen Xers are presented with the opportunity of selling their current home in order to move up to the house they always dreamed of!

      According to the 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report by the National Associations of Realtors, in 2018 Gen Xers made up the second largest share of home buyers by generation at 24%.

      The report also provided some highlights about their purchase:

      • Greatest share that purchased a multi-generational home (16%).
      • Largest share that purchased a detached single-family home (88%).
      • Highest median household income ($111,100).
      • Bought the most expensive homes of all the generations.
      • Job-related relocation was identified as the primary reason to buy.

      But this generation is not only buying- they are selling too!

      • The largest share of home sellers (25%).
      • Highest median household income among sellers ($123,600).
      • Tenure in the previous home was a median of 9 years.
      • House too small was indicated as the primary reason to sell.
      • 91% sold the home using a real estate professional.

      Bottom Line

      If you are a Gen Xer who would like to know exactly how much your house is worth today so you can move up to the home of your dreams, let’s get together to analyze your current circumstances.

       

      The Death of the Vacant Listing?

       

      The Death Of The Vacant Listing?

      About fifteen years ago after attempting to sell a vacant, unfurnished loft, we broke down and took a trip to IKEA to buy a basic set of furniture to stage the property. Style-wise we kept everything mostly white with some black accents, simply to help prospective buyers visually 'scale' the home.

       

      We created an appealing living room and dining area, added some cowhide rugs and bought a Le Corbusier chaise to 'up' the look a bit. It worked! The loft sold rather swiftly after that. Later we added staging 'artwork' - framed blown-up photos that I'd personally taken that were abstracted enough to potentially be 'real' art - as we found so many blank white walls looked cold and uninspired. We re-used that suite of staging items dozens of times afterward with great success. Flash forward and today, I cannot even imagine showing an unfurnished home ever again. It would be marketing suicide, especially on the high end. Professional staging has elevated this from my IKEA-fueled days to an entirely new level where buyers (even at the $20m+ level) are askiing to buy the staged homes fully furnished.

       

      I recall meeting with Rob Lehman about two years ago. He asked me what the one cost-distracting item was that was most critical to what we do and of course I answered STAGING. If we could stage all our listings, and offset the cost for the seller, I thought we'd have a winner.  At the time I envisioned a warehouse full of furniture, but of course that would have been unmanageable.  Of all the value-adds that we bring to the table, I truly believe that COMPASS CONCIERGE's role in providing us the ability to stage by financing the up-front cost is a game-changer for our industry. Anything that makes our role easier and takes away the stress of our clients is a certain winner.

       

      Furnishings not only help buyers scale a property: now, professional staging creates an aspiration lifestyle too. Competing against a staged property with an unfurnished property is almost a waste of time unless deep discounting or a super-hot sellers market is a consideration.

       

      #CompassComingSoon

      #CompassComingSoon

      What is it exactly about Compass COMING SOON listings that is important for you as an agent individually, as well as for all of us at Compass collectively - agents and staff - in every region of the USA? Here are my TOP 10 reasons:       

      1.  Human Beings are by their very nature attracted to having knowledge first, even more so in to-days day and age where there is so much information out there.   

       2.   Like a movie, who wouldn't want to see a movie before the crowds see it? While we like to get information first, we also like the excitement and exclusivity of knowing we were there first. As marketers creating some sense of excitement and energy has a great value and fuels energy behind a marketing campaign. It adds an additional marketing moment of substantive value. 

      3.  COMING SOON listings - if they appear on compass.com first - drive traffic to compass.com. We are all beneficiaries when there are more eyeballs focused on our website.                 

      4.  COMING SOON listings are not exclusionary of other agents within Compass or at competing brokerages. We encourage ALL agents to see our coming soon listings, show them and sell them! All agents benefit by this. They are NOT off-market listings at all.             

      5.  COMING SOON listings take away from 'days on market'. For those of you lucky enough to be in super-fast moving markets, this may not matter to you....yet. Having a COMING SOON listing out for 10 days without the clock starting has value in a world where many search engines automatically list properties in priority of newest.           

      6.  Most Broadway productions are tested in smaller markets before coming to Broadway. Like a Broadway Show, a COMING SOON listing allows you to test the market too. Should you lower or raise the price? Did several agents point out a flaw or feature you may not have noticed or focused as much attention on?                                               

      7.  Clients and Sellers love creative marketers. A COMING SOON listing demonstrates agent innovation and adds to your marketing arsenal. It demonstrates additional value agents bring to the table.       

      8.  In a world where aggregators and technology entities continue to make every effort to minimize or eliminate the human agent, COMING SOON re-captures our essential role in the brokerage equation. It is something these antagonists do not have and may break the consumer's addiction to them. We have evidence it's doing so already.   

      9.  Social Media requires many impressions to have an effect. Many consumers search for newness via social media. COMING SOON affords your followers a reason to follow you more closely....and add followers! In New York a disclaimer is essential, so be sure to check your area what the local MLS rules require: "All listings are simultaneously syndicated to the REBNY RLS. Compass is a licensed real estate broker. All material herein is for informational purposes only, was compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Compass makes no representation or guarantees that Coming Soon properties are available in your region, or that its use will result in the benefits described herein. This is not intended to solicit properties already listed. Equal Housing Opportunity."                 

      10.  In markets where there is a growing inventory, a COMING SOON campaign can draw attention to your new listing in a crowded sea of options. Slower markets are finding the exhausted buyer who has seen everything to be the most inclined to pounce on the newest. In fast-moving markets with limited options, a time advantage is always a plus.                                                                       

      Have a wonderful day and MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. Drive carefully if you are driving and please take care!     

       
       

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      DID YOU KNOW? Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.19 million rate in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was 0.4% lower than March and 4.4% lower than a year ago. The median selling price in April was $267,300, a 3.6% annual increase. First-time buyers made up 32% of transactions in April, while individual investors accounted for 16% of buyers. (Marketwatch)


      DID YOU KNOW? Those living in Minnesota have an average score of 713. South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts round out the top 5 US states with the highest average credit scores for 2018. The lowest score, 652, belonged to those living in Mississippi. Louisiana, Nevada, Georgia, and Texas are all in the bottom of Experian’s ranking as well, with scores of 659 or below. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Over the past year, 22% of respondents in a survey of 2,200 US adults say the average credit card balance they carried was between $100 - $500, while about 10% of people say they had a balance over $5,000. At close to 18% interest.

      DID YOU KNOW?  Over 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Use subtitles and text. Make the visuals SING!  (INMAN)                                                                                           

      DID YOU KNOW? 25% of American jobs - belonging to about 36 million people - are at risk of being replaced by automation or artificial intelligence over the next 20 years, according to a Brookings Institution report issued in January.

      DID YOU KNOW? New York City’s economy grew 3% from January through March 2019, a bit more than the 2.7% jump in gross city product recorded in the first quarter of 2018. (Crain’s)  

      Compass Contemplations for Tuesday

      DID YOU KNOW? Is Madison Avenue retail rebounding? Since January 17 new stores have opened on this corridor that 4 years ago commanded rents up to $1,600/sf. Now, this number is closer to $1,000/sf. There is a growth in wellness, beauty, sustainability, and brands that have prices reaching broader markets. One thing missing from the Avenue that has helped drive retail traffic in other parts? More food. Stores are collaborating with one another. What is the biggest trend worth watching?  Several brands are BUYING their buildings or retail spaces. By doing so they remove the risk of future rent escalations beyond their control. (WWD)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? The homeownership rate among households headed by someone under 35 was 35.4% as of the first quarter of 2019, according to the Census Bureau. In 1999 that level was about 40%.  WHY?

      * The Great Recession caused the Millennial unemployment rate of those aged 20 - 24 to go as high as 17% in 2010. It would have been even higher if more young people hadn’t opted to continue schooling instead of joining the labor force or simply stopped looking for work.

      * This delayed entry into the workforce is taking them longer to develop the financial wherewithal to buy a home. 

      * Many are saddled with higher levels of student debt than previous generations, making mortgage approvals more daunting. 

       * The tough labor market they faced early in their careers may have delayed other life events that often coincide with the decision to own a home: Millennials have been getting married/having children later.

      * The 2017 tax cuts reduced financial incentives for homeownership. 

      * Banks have become more risk-averse since the crisis, more eager to extend pricey mortgages to wealthier clients than to lend to those seeking smaller home loans, as do many first-time buyers.

      * A greater share of millennials live in the central city of a metropolitan area with a population of 500,000+ than did Generation X at the same age...where buying a home is less affordable.

      * Fewer urban millennials have decamped to the suburbs in their 30s than previous generations.  (WSJ)

      A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing Market

      A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing Market | MyKCM

      The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest point in years. The market will continue to strengthen in 2019.

      However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory! Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but supply has not kept up.

      Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

      Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors

      “Further increases in inventory are highly desirable to keep home prices in check, the sustained steady gains in home sales can occur when home price appreciation grows at roughly the same pace as wage growth.”

      Jessica Lautz, Vice President of NAR

      “There’s a supply-demand mismatch… More inventory is needed at the lower end and a price reduction may be needed at the upper end.”

      Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

      “Heading into spring, U.S. prices are expected to continue to rise and inventory is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than we’ve seen the last few months as fewer sellers want to contend with this year’s more challenging conditions… A buyer’s experience will vary notably depending on the market and price point they’re targeting.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time! Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price!

       

      « A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

       

      The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

      Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

      Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership! | MyKCM

      When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research process prior to making our decision. We ask our friends and family members who have made similar purchases about their experience, we get opinions and insights, and we read reviews online. There’s no difference when considering a home purchase!

      Most home buyers start by listening to the news to hear what is being said about the real estate market. They check with family and friends about their experience. They spend time online reading reviews about their desired neighborhood.

      The challenge is that comments from the news and those closest to us can contradict the data and reports. One source says one thing, while another source says something completely different.

      There is a group of homebuyers that are not allowing comments about an upcoming recession to interfere with their decision to buy a home. According to a survey by realtor.com®,

      Nearly 70 percent of home shoppers this spring think the U.S. will enter a recession in the next three years, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to close on a home…Despite the fact that they foresee an economic downturn, they generally expressed confidence that a future recession will be better than 2008 for the housing market.”

      The report provides more insights from the survey:

      • Nearly 30% of the active home shoppers* surveyed expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020.
      • 56% of shoppers believe home prices have hit their peak.
      • 41% believe housing will fare better than in 2008.
      • 45% of home shoppers feel at least slightly more optimistic about homeownership.
      • 33% reported no impact on their feelings about homeownership.

      Homebuyers are aware and making decisions with their eyes wide-open. As the report mentioned,

      “The fact that some [36%] home shoppers expect the next recession to be harder on the housing market than the last recession suggests that they are buying homes with eyes wide-open and very sober, if not slightly pessimistic, views of the housing market.

      This is a stark contrast to the years leading up to the last recession when ‘irrational exuberance’ was more common and yet another reason to expect that the next downturn will be very different for the housing market than the last.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are considering buying a home, let’s get together to help you understand our local market and determine if buying a home is the right choice for you now.

      *Active home shoppers are those consumers who responded that they plan to purchase their next home in 1 year or less.

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      Good morning,

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Small business confidence ticked up and remains at a high level for the second quarter. The CNBC|Survey Monkey Small Business Confidence Index reading of 59 (up from 58 in the first quarter 2019) indicates that small business owners are optimistic about the direction of their business over the next 12 months. 77% of 50+ person small businesses described business conditions as good and only 1% said conditions are bad.

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Japan’s bullet trains can reach nearly 200 mph and date to the 1960s. They have moved more than 9 billion people without a single passenger causality. America's ACELA is the fastest and averages 65 mph between NYC and Boston because its lines (created in the late 1900's) were never designed for high-speed systems. China built 19,000 miles of high-speed rail all in the past 10 years. The USA virtually abandoned rail-served infrastructure with highway-served infrastructure mostly dedicated to the automobile. (CNBC)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Sellers who sold their homes in June - meaning June was the sale date on the deed of the house, so they likely put the home on the market in spring -  got 9.2% more than what their home was valued at, according to data released this month from real estate analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions. Sellers got a premium in other spring and summer months too: May (7.4%); July (7.3%); April (6.4 %); March (6.1%); August (5.8%); meanwhile December, January and October sellers got less than a 4% premium. Demand is much higher in spring and summer in part because school is out and winter is over so people are out and about. (Marketwatch)

      Make Every Day, Earth Day!

       

      Earth (EVERY) Day

      Yesterday was EARTH DAY another great way of reminding all in the world just how important our awareness has to be in improving our environment and minimizing the negative effects we humans have on it. While I love these days of awareness, I thought I would write about it today - a day later - to emphasize how doing something for one day pales in comparrison to the effect we can have when we are aware of something - and do something about it - EVERY day of the year. So here are some simple suggestions - primarily focused on our real estate world - on how all of us can contribute to improving our planet for future generations:

      1.  Avoid Plastic wherever possible. It is extremely toxic. There is enough science behind what plastic does to the environment, so even if you don't care about that landfill 'over there' know that microscopic - and not-so-microscopic - plastic particles are finding their way into our food. And you don't want to be eating plastic! Avoid plastic water bottles. They are toxic for you and the planet.

      2.  Take public transportation, or try never to be alone in a car.  Not easy in out profession at all! So when you cannot do this, try to be driving a car that burns as little fossil fuel as possible, or an electric car. Shared rides and cars help too. Walking and cycling is good for you as long as you aren't completely distracted by your tech!

      3.  Encourage green energy sources by subscribing to them personally and encouraging builders and homeowners to install geo-thermal, solar and other non-carbon energy into their homes.

      4.  Use LED light bulbs. There are many now that emulate almost the exact light quality of an incandescent bulb and they dim well. Use 2,700K temperature bulbs. We don't have to look ugly to be responsible. Turn off lights when not needed, even in your office. Use natural light wherever possible.

      5.  Avoid clothing made of fibers that aren't bio-degradable. Much of what is in your closet could possibly take decades to biodegrade. And chances are those un-natural high-tech fibers are not good for the environment.

      6.  Take a look at what you throw away and cut it by half. We waste SO MUCH! Try to re-cycle everything. Compost.

      7.  Try to eliminate as much unnecessary paper mail. Yes, we are agents and need to do mailings to market ourselves and our properties, but be aware of what this does to our environment. Plastic-wrapped mailings are not good for our planet.... Pay bills online.

      8.  Eat local, organic food that has not been subjected to pesticides and chemicals/antibiotics. This will encourage less use of these products that are known to be ultra-harmful, especially when they make their way into our drinking water. Transporting food long distances is not great for the environment.

      9.  Love that super-green lawn?  Use organic fertilizers and soils. Yes, those chemical-infused additives are very effective, but are also very harmful. Maybe plant a small vegetable or herb garden.

      10.  Conserve water, especially in areas that are prone to drought. It may be as simple as not running your water non-stop while brushing your teeth! Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Collect rainwater.

      11.  Insulate, insulate, insulate. Most homes are energy-inefficient because of poor sealing and inadequate insulation. Use programmable thermostats to increase efficiency.

      12.  Clean your air at home with house plants. Plant trees. Eliminate artificial, toxic odors. PS: many candles emit toxins into the air.... There are organic alternatives.

      13.  Buy energy-efficient appliances and use them with efficiency in mind.

      14.  Buy used/existing products to avoid unnecessary waste. Used furniture is a good example.

      15.  A shared living environment is GREAT for the planet, ie: apartments. Renovating an old house - and retro-fitting it for energy efficiency - is far better for the environment than tearing it down and replacing it with a new home.

      Imagine if we ALL did these things EVERY day, or as much as possible!.....Let's love our planet and do our share to keep her alive!

       

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

      Last fall, some predicted that the 2019 residential real estate market would be a disaster. There was even the belief that we might experience a housing crash like the one that occurred during the last decade.

      However, according to two separate reports*, buyer demand dramatically increased over the last three months, leading into this spring buyers’ market (the March data is not yet available).

      Both the ShowingTime Showing Index and the National Association of REALTORS Buyer Traffic Index show that buyer demand has increased in each of the last three months.

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

      Why the increase in demand? Increased buying power.

      According to the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, purchasing a home has become more affordable, which has led to increased demand.

      “Due to the combination of falling home prices and mortgage rates, the income needed to make an affordable mortgage payment (mortgage no more than 25% of income) on a median-priced home with 10% down payment and 30-year fixed rate mortgage decreased from $60,425 in June 2018 to $53,783 as of February 2019, and the difference of $6,642 represents a gain in buying power because one can afford a home purchase at a lower level of income.”

      Bottom Line

      It appears the spring buyers’ market is going to be much stronger than many had projected. Whether you are selling or buying, this is important news.

       

      *The methodology behind the indices:

      The ShowingTime Showing Index

      “The ShowingTime Showing Index® tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends.”

      The National Association of REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index

      “In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, NAR asks respondents ‘Compared to the same month last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?’ NAR compiles the responses into an index, where an index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” traffic than “weaker” traffic.”

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