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      Michael Lyons

      What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

      What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
      • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by the end of 2019.
      • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.
      • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

      Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

      Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right! | MyKCM

      If you’ve ever watched “The Price is Right,” you know that the only way to win is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item you want without going over! That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

      In today’s shifting real estate market, where more inventory is coming to market and home values are projected to appreciate at lower rates, homeowners will not be able to price their homes as aggressively as they were able to just last year.

      They will have to employ the same strategy: be the closest without going over!

      As we have explained before, pricing your home at or slightly below market value actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search!

      Over the last six months, more inventory has come to market while the months’ supply of inventory available has dropped. This means that the demand for homes to buy is still very strong throughout the country!

      Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the homes when in reality nothing was wrong, the price was just too high!

      Bottom Line

      If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, let’s get together to properly price your home from the start!

      Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

      Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

      Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed consistently throughout 2018 until the middle of November. After that point, rates returned to levels that we saw in August to close out the year at 4.55%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

      After the first week of 2019, rates have continued their downward trend. As Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater notes, this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

      “Mortgage rates declined to start the new year with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping to 4.51 percent. Low mortgage rates combined with decelerating home price growth should get prospective homebuyers excited to buy.”

      In some areas of the country, the combination of rising interest rates and rising home prices had made some first-time buyers push pause on their home searches. But with more inventory coming to market, continued price growth, and interest rates slowing, this is a great time to get back in the market!

      Will This Trend Continue?

      According to the latest forecasts from Fannie Maethe Mortgage Bankers Associationand the National Association of Realtorsmortgage rates will increase over the course of 2019, but not at the same pace they did in 2018. You can see the forecasts broken down by quarter below.

      Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

      Bottom Line

      Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home in 2019 is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to find out if you are able to today.

      Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House

      Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, here are the top four home improvement projects that will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI).
      • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
      • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th best renovations for returns on investment.

      Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019?

      Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes!
      • Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic.
      • All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

      Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!

      The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!

      Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

       

      As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February). 

      Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

      In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.

      Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

      At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

      Bottom Line

      If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.

      The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home

      The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
      • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.4%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.5%), the choice becomes obvious.
      • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.

      How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.

      According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index, wages have increased in every region of the country:

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.

      The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      Bottom Line

      If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, let’s get together to determine if that is still true.

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here is Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Heres Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner | MyKCM

      With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional.

      Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

      Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

      • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
      • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
      • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
      • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
      • The termite company if there are challenges
      • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
      • The appraiser if there is a question of value
      • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
      • The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
      • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

      Bottom Line

      The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process easier for you.

      Taking Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

      Taking Fear Out of the Mortgage Process | MyKCM

      A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainties about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

      For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

      In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need a down payment (the average down payment on all loans last year was 5%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income, and good credit history.

      Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals who will all perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.

      Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests to follow:

      1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score® of all closed loans in September was 731, according to Ellie Mae.
      2. Start gathering all of your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
      3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer who can help you develop a spending plan, as well as help you determine how much of a home you can afford.
      4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
      5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change) and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

      Bottom Line

      Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure that you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

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