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      Blog :: 10-2020

      Compass Contemplations For Monday

      DID YOU KNOW? Weekly Gallup polls in the U.S. found 91% of respondents said they had worn a mask in the past 7 days in September, compared with 80% in May. In France, which is experiencing a MASSIVE Covid surge, 72% of people said they were avoiding gatherings and face-to-face meetings as of mid-May, right after the country’s lockdown ended. But by Sept. 23rd, that figure had fallen to 32%. In the same time frame, the percentage who said they greeted others without shaking hands or embracing fell from 88% to 69%. Covid-discipline-fatigue is real and is causing massive new case spikes and deaths in the US and Europe. This is a marathon, not a sprint:  please remain disciplined about keeping distance, wear masks, keep rooms well ventilated and wash hands. (WSJ)


      DID YOU KNOW? According to a survey commissioned by optical retailer Vision Direct, people’s average daily screen time has ballooned to more than 19 hours a day when accounting for viewing multiple devices at once (you know who you are). If this pace continues, a newborn with an average life expectancy will spend nearly 58 years bathed in the glow of laptops, smartphones, televisions and whatever screens 2048 brings. Want to know where the consumers' eyes are: now you know..... (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Zoom use jumped from 10 million a day in December 2019 to more than 300 million a day by late March. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? American households watched 4 billion more hours of television in 2020 versus 2019.

      DID YOU KNOW?  Disruption is not a new thing at all..... This past weekend in 1861 Western Union completed the first transcontinental telegraph line across the US, making nearly instantaneous cross-country communication possible for the first time. Previously, it took 10 days for a letter to be sent from Missouri to California via the Pony Express.....two days later the Pony Express shut down operations.

      Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?


      Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

      Once the kids have left the nest, you may be wondering what to do with all of the extra space in your home. Chances are, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and it may be a great time to sell your house and downsize, maybe even into a single-story home. You’ve likely gained significant equity if you’ve lived in your home for a while, so making a move while demand for your current house is high could be your best step forward toward the retirement goals you set out to achieve several years ago.

      The dilemma, though, is where to go next. A big concern for many homeowners who are ready to sell is finding a home to move into, given today’s lack of houses available for sale. There is, however, some good news: the number of single-family 1-story homes being built today is on the rise, improving your odds of finding the right home for your changing needs. In a recent article, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explains:

      “Nationwide, the share of new homes with two or more stories fell from 53% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, while the share of new homes with one story grew from 47% to 48%.”

      Here’s a map showing the breakdown of newly constructed homes being built by region, and the percentage of 1-story and 2-story homes in that mix:Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

      What are the benefits of buying a one-story home?

      Still not sure about buying a single-story home? An article from Home Talk covers several advantages of switching from two floors to one:

      1. Energy Efficient

      “It is easier to heat and cool a single-story house [than] it would be to regulate the temperatures of a multi-story house.”

      Most single-story homes only need one heating or cooling unit, and they typically stay cooler than a two-story home, both of which can lead to significant savings.

      2. Easier to Maintain

      “Doing a general cleaning in a single story requires less effort and you will be able to see all areas that need cleaning and the areas are easily accessible.”

      Cleaning and maintenance of a single-story home can take less time and effort, and better upkeep helps improve the overall value of the home.

      3. Accessible for Everyone

      “A single-story house can be accessed by anyone, whether they are young children or the senior citizens.”

      If you’re looking for a house that provides a safe and easily accessible environment at any age, a single-story home may be optimal.

      4. Good Resell Potential

      “When buying a single-story house, you should consider the resale value should you think of reselling it in case of a circumstance that can happen. Look at the growth rate of that area. Due to the high demand of these types of houses it is [easy] to resell them and depending on the growth rate of an area, it increases in value significantly.”

      Single-story homes have a lot of benefits and are often in higher demand. This bodes well for future resale opportunities.

      Bottom Line

      There are many benefits to downsizing into a one-story home. Doing so while demand for your current house is high might make it easier than ever to make a move. Let’s connect if you’re ready to purchase the single-story home you need while homes are so affordable today.



      Buying a Home During a Pandemic

      Buying a home is likely one of the largest investments many of us will make in our lifetime. After
      years of saving, planning, and budgeting, you may feel prepared and even excited to begin your
      first home-buying process. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the overwhelming
      effect that it has had on economies across the world, the real estate market has been inevitably
      impacted as well. That said, you may be wondering how this will affect your home purchase.
      Unexpectedly, while several industries have been declining from the pandemic, the real estate
      industry has managed to stay afloat and in some cases, grow during the pandemic. So the
      question is; as a buyer, what benefits will you gain from purchasing your home now?


      Less Competition

      As you may have already found out, house hunting in large cities and popular suburban areas is
      not always a walk in the park because of the intense competition that many homebuyers face.
      Finding your ‘perfect’ home may have been more of a dream than reality after comparing prices
      and battling offers with other prospective buyers. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has
      actually driven less competition within the market in certain areas.


      Consumer Reports recommends thinking outside of the box when it comes to your house search
      locations. In some cases, you are able to find the gem that matches your needs in a location
      where you weren’t expecting to look initially. These areas often drive less competition because
      so many homebuyers are naturally feeling uncertainty from the pandemic, so they are less likely
      to take a risk when buying a home and expand outside of their range of comfort.

      In a general sense, social distancing mandates and limited travel have caused many to
      postpone their house hunt, making it one of the best times to jump in.


      Virtual and Online Capabilities

      Many prospective buyers have even postponed their house search because of the assumption
      that they will not be able to tour houses or do walk-through inspections. As we know, this limited
      in-person contact is to ensure the safety of everyone. However, it shouldn’t be a reason to stop
      the search. There are many technology-based options that work to make the buying process as
      comfortable as possible even during a pandemic.


      The housing market overall had already begun its transition to technology-based services in
      recent years and tech has become a necessity for the survival of the market this year. Home
      buying transactions like mortgage preapprovals, loan financing, and closing on a home can all
      be conducted through digital lenders and virtual services. Even if you already own a home,
      refinancing with no-closing-cost can be achieved more efficiently through digital lenders.

      Especially with the industry being forced into virtual services, digital lenders are more likely to
      introduce automation into their processes to provide more efficiency. Automation systems like
      robotic process automation (RPA) help to make significant operational improvements in lending
      which in return, produces fast, quality processing for you as a buyer.
      Lower Interest Rates & Housing Prices


      One of the most attractive parts of the real estate market currently is the low-interest rates on
      mortgages. In the early part of this year, interest rates actually dropped below 3% for the first
      time in 50 years. While these rates are expected to fluctuate in the coming months, it can still be
      a good idea to take advantage of them while they are here.


      However, while the interest rates are decreasing, housing prices are still rising. Instinctively,
      most of us see this as a deterrent from buying a home. However, before making that
      assumption it’s recommended to conduct more research on the trends of the market. Why? With
      less competition, some might argue that the market prices will increase in the coming months as
      quarantine mandates are lifted and a vaccine is publicly distributed. Prospective buyers who
      postponed their house hunt will rejoin the market, causing a greater demand and inevitably
      higher market prices. So before completely shying away from purchasing your home during the
      pandemic, be sure to keep an eye on the market and how prices are changing over time to be
      sure you are making effective financial decisions.


      Navigating such a challenging yet rewarding stage of life through a pandemic can take an
      immense amount of strategy and patience. Be sure to keep in mind these benefits of continuing
      your search through the pandemic and take advantage of them where you can. By investing
      time and research into these tips, you can leverage the best components of your local housing
      market during such an uncertain time.

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