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      The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

       

       

      The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year | MyKCM

      Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many families to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

      According to Zillow:

      “In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.” 

      With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

      1. Working from Home

      Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

      “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

      If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.

      2. Virtual Schooling

      With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.

      With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.

      3. A Home Gym

      Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans explains:

      “For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”

      Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.

      4. Outdoor Space

      Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:

      “People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”

      You may, however, not have the extra square footage today to have these designated areas – indoor or out.

      Moving May Be Your Best Option

      If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your family’s changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:

      “Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

      It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.

      Bottom Line

      People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and many families’ needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, let’s connect to discuss your needs.


       

      Want to Make a Move? Homeowner Equity is Growing Year-Over-Year

      Want to Make a Move? Homeowner Equity is Growing Year-Over-Year | MyKCM

      One of the bright spots of the 2020 real estate market is the growth in equity homeowners are experiencing across the country. According to the recently released Homeowner Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, in nearly every state there was a year-over-year first-quarter equity increase, averaging out to a 6.5% overall gain.

      The report notes:

      “CoreLogic analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $590 billion since the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.5%, year over year.” (See map below):

      Want to Make a Move? Homeowner Equity is Growing Year-Over-Year | MyKCM

      This means that In the first quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,600 in equity during the past year.”

      That’s a huge win for homeowners, especially for those looking to sell their houses and make a move this summer. Having equity to re-invest in your next home is a major force that can make moving a reality, especially while buyers are expressing such a high demand for homes to purchase.

      Below, Frank Martell, President, and CEO of CoreLogic addresses the potential long-term outlook, and how homeowners will likely fare much more positively through the current recession than many did during the last one:

      “Many homeowners will experience a recession during their lifetime, and it is reasonable to compare the current recession to those in the past. But the comparison is not apples to apples — every recession is different. Primary drivers of the Great Recession were an overbuilt housing stock, risky mortgages and the collapse of home prices, creating a massive increase in negative equity that proved difficult to recover from. Today’s housing environment has low vacancy and delinquency rates and a large home equity cushion.”

      Bottom Line

      Now is a great time to consider leveraging your equity and making a move, especially while buyer interest is high. Let’s connect to explore your equity position and make your next move a reality.

       

      6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake

      6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake | MyKCM

      There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following:

      1. Your Safety Is a Priority

      During this pandemic, your family’s safety comes first. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings, but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, agents are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.

      2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer

      Recent studies have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumped to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?

      3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

      Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:

      • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
      • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
      • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
      • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

      As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.

      4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage

      Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress that’s being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment. Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was there yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.

      5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

      The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

      6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

      Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:

      “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

      The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.

      Bottom Line

      Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

      #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership: Family Wealth

       

      #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership: Family Wealth | MyKCM

      While growing up, we were taught by our parents and grandparents that owning a home is a financially savvy move. They explained how a mortgage is like a “forced savings plan.” When you pay rent, that money is lost forever. When you make a mortgage payment, much of that money accumulates as equity in the home. So, what exactly is equity? The equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on the mortgage. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe. That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. A recent study by CoreLogic explained that homeowners gained substantial equity over the last twelve months, and are essentially sitting on large sums of cash in their homes. In the study, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic explained:
      “The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a quickening of home price gains during the fourth quarter of 2019, helping to boost home equity wealth. The average family with a mortgage had a $7,300 gain in home equity during the past year, and a total of $177,000 in home equity wealth.”
      For most families, their home is their largest financial asset. This increase in equity drives the net worth, or family wealth, of the homeowner. Renters are not earning that benefit. Instead, they’re building the net worth of their landlord.

      Bottom Line

      Home price growth will moderate during the pandemic. But once a cure is available, most experts agree that home values will again begin to appreciate at levels similar to what we’ve seen over the last several years. In the long run, our family elders will be proven correct: owning a home is a savvy financial move.

      Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year?

       

      Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year? | MyKCM
       

      Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how to play your cards this year, you’re not alone.

      This spring in the 2020 NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been tracking the behavior changes of homebuyers and sellers. In a reaction to their most recent survey, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted the beginnings of a turn in the market:

      “After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy…Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

      What does the survey indicate about sellers?

      Sellers are positioning themselves to make moves this year. More than 3 in 4 potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders are lifted and they feel more confident, which means more homes will start to be available for interested buyers.Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year? | MyKCM

      Just this week, Zillow also reported an uptick in listings, which is great news for the health of the market:

      “The number of new for-sale listings overall has shown improvement, up 5.9% last week from the previous week. New listings of the most-expensive homes…are now seeing the biggest resurgence, up 8%. The uptick is likely a sign sellers are feeling more confident because of improving buyer demand, as newly pending sales have also jumped up during the same period.”

      What does the survey note about buyers?

      The recent pandemic has clearly impacted buyer preferences, showing:

      • 5% of the respondents said buyers are shifting their focus from urban to suburban areas.
      • 1 in 8 Realtors report changes in desired home features, with home offices, bigger yards, and more space for their families becoming increasingly important.
      • Only 17% said buyers stopped looking due to concerns about their employment or loss of a job.

      As we’ve mentioned before, buyer demand is strong right now, and many are simply waiting for more inventory to become available so they can make a move, especially as the country begins to reopen.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, let’s connect today. There’s a good chance an eager buyer is looking for a home just like yours.

      How Technology is Helping Buyers Navigate the Home Search Process

      How Technology is Helping Buyers Navigate the Home Search Process [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • A recent realtor.com survey revealed that buyers are still considering moving forward with the homebuying process, even if they can’t see the home in-person.
      • While they still prefer to physically see a home, virtual home tours and accurate listing information top the list of tech specs buyers find most helpful in today’s process.
      • Let’s connect today to determine how technology can help power your home search.

      How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World

      How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World | MyKCM

      It’s hard to listen to today’s news without hearing about the uncertainty surrounding global markets, the spread of the coronavirus, and tensions in the Middle East, just to name a few. These concerns have caused some to question their investment plans going forward. As an example, in Vanguard’s Global Outlook for 2020, the fund explains,

      “Slowing global growth and elevated uncertainty create a fragile backdrop for markets in 2020 and beyond.”

      Is there a silver lining to this cloud of doubt?

      Some worry this could cause concern for the U.S. housing market. The uncertainty, however, may actually mean good news for real estate.

      Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, discussed the situation in a recent report,

      “Global events and uncertainty…impact the U.S. economy, and more specifically, the U.S. housing market…U.S. bonds, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, are widely considered the safest investments in the world. When global investors sense increased uncertainty, there is a ‘flight to safety’ in U.S. Treasury bonds, which causes their price to go up, and their yield to go down.”

      Last week, in a HousingWire article, Kathleen Howley reaffirmed Fleming’s point,

      “The death toll from the coronavirus already has passed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, that bruised the world’s economy in 2003…That’s making investors around the world anxious, and when they get anxious, they tend to sell off stocks and seek the safe haven of U.S. bonds. An increase in competition for bonds means investors, including the people who buy mortgage-backed bonds, have to take lower yields. That translates into lower mortgage rates.”

      The yield from treasury bonds is the rate investors receive when they purchase the bond. Historically, when the treasury rate moves up or down, the 30-year mortgage rate follows. Here’s a powerful graph showing the relationship between the two over the last 48 years:

      Popular Perspective Delivers Gift to U.S. Housing Market | MyKCM

      How might concerns about global challenges impact the housing market in 2020? Fleming explains,

      “Even a small change in the 10-year Treasury due to increased uncertainty, let’s say a slight drop to 1.6 percent, would imply a 30-year, fixed mortgage rate as low as 3.3 percent. Assuming no change in household income, that would mean a house-buying power gain of $21,000, a five percent increase.”

      Bottom Line

      For a multitude of reasons, 2020 could be a challenging year. It seems, however, real estate will do just fine. As Fleming concluded in his report:

      “Amid uncertainty, the house-buying power of U.S. consumers can benefit significantly.”

      Should I Sell My House This Year?

      Should I Sell My House This Year? | MyKCM

      If one of the questions you’re asking yourself today is, “Should I sell my house this year?” the current Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) should boost your confidence as it relates to the current selling sentiment in the housing market. Even with all the information overload in the media circling around talk of a possible recession, the upcoming 2020 election, and more, Americans feel good about selling a house now. That’s some news to get excited about!

      As the graph below shows, as of Q4 2019, 75% of people surveyed indicate they believe now is a good time to sell a home:Should I Sell My House This Year? | MyKCM 

      In the case of those with a yearly salary of $100,000 or more, the results jumped even higher, coming in at an 82% positive sentiment.

      When the study divided the outcomes by region, the results still consistently showed Americans feeling good about selling:

      • Northeast: 71% positive
      • Midwest: 76% positive
      • South: 72% positive
      • West: 81% positive

      In addition to looking at income and region, the report also divided the results by generation, as shown in the graph below:Should I Sell My House This Year? | MyKCM 

      As you can see, many believe that, despite everything going on in the world, it is still a good time to sell a home.

      According to NAR, the unsold inventory available today “sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace,” which is down from a 3.7-month supply in November. The current inventory is half of what we need for a normal or neutral housing market, which should have a 6.0-month supply of unsold inventory. This is good news for sellers, as Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, says:

      “Home sellers are positioned well, but prospective buyers aren’t as fortunate. Low inventory remains a problem, with first-time buyers affected the most.”

      Bottom Line

      If you’re ready to list your home, you can feel good about the current sentiment in the market. Let’s get together today to determine the best next step when it comes to selling your house this year.

       

       

      2020 Home Buying Checklist

      2020 Homebuying Checklist | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval.
      • Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step.
      • Make sure to work with a trusted real estate professional along the way, to help guide you through the homebuying steps specific to your area.

       

      2020 Luxury Market Forecast

      2020 Luxury Market Forecast | MyKCM

      By the end of last year, many homeowners found themselves with more equity than they realized, and at the same time, their wages were increasing. When those two factors unite, it can spark homeowners to think about making a move to a larger or more expensive home in the luxury space. That said, now is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the forecast for the 2020 luxury market.

      Three Things to Think About in the 2020 Luxury Housing Market

      1. Prices

      The U.S. economy is strong today, with buying opportunities throughout the luxury end of the market. Thomas Veraguth, Strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management, says in Barrons.com,

      “There’s a good link between luxury real estate prices and [economic] growth.”

      Available inventory is a key element that can impact home prices. In the upper range, the inventory is greater in comparison to the entry-level market, making moving up to a luxury home a growing reality for many buyers right now.

      2. Activity in the Market

      With more buying opportunities at the higher end, we should start to see an increase in activity. The same article states,

      “Affluent homebuyers will start to come out of the woodwork as they find rising luxury rents less appealing and sellers get even more negotiable on price.”

      Buyers looking in the luxury market are taking the opportunity to negotiate on price in a segment where there are more choices, too. According to the Luxury Market Report, homes sold for an average of 96.94% of the list price in December.

      Buyers are also getting more for their money with greater purchasing power due to the current low-interest rates.

      3. Buyers Are Coming Back

      Keep in mind, buyers are often sellers too, especially those looking to move up. Homeowners with an entry-level home can take advantage of the inventory shortage at the lower end of the market, thus driving higher sales prices for their current homes. Combined with growing equity in the homes they’re listing, it’s a great time for those who are ready to make a luxury move.

      The extra equity and greater purchasing power are bringing many buyers back to the market. The same article mentioned that,

      “We’ve already seen buyers who’ve been on the sidelines for two years tread back into the market.”

      Bottom Line

      If you’re considering entering the luxury market, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for those who are ready to make that move. Let’s get together to set your real estate plan for the year.

       

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