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      7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

      7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In | MyKCM

      As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

      According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

      1. Affordability

      “It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.

      Would a move to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

      2. Equity

      “If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

      The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.

      3. Maintenance

      “As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

      As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

      4. Security

      “Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

      As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you will always add to peace of mind.

      5. Pets

      “Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

      Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

      6. Mobility

      “No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

      Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

      7. Convenience

      “Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

      How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

      Bottom Line

      When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

      Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now's the Time!

      Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now's the Time! | MyKCM

      If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

      The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

      Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

      The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

      But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

      A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

      “A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”

      Bottom Line

      The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

      4 Reasons Spring is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

      4 Reasons Spring is a Great Time to Buy a Home! | MyKCM

      Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

      Prices Will Continue to Rise

      CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.

      The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

      Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

      Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage hovered close to 4.0% in 2017. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by this time next year.

      An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

      Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

      There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

      As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

      Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

      It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

      The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

      But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

      Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

      If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

      My New Company

      I have recently moved my business to be affiliated with COMPASS.  They are a new hybrid of real estate company that is part proprietary technology company and part traditional real estate firm.  The proprietary technology puts our group light years ahead of those that are relegated to the past, while also providing outstanding personal service to the customer.  This is the combination that I was looking for as my own company's sales vehicle, as I am totally on-board with excellent communication and customer service.  COMPASS provides every high tech sales tool that we were sorely lacking as independent Brokers.  We are proud to be a part of this company and I intend to pass every advantage that we have gained on to our customers.  Welcome to a new era in Boston real estate!

      Are Home Values Really Overinflated?

      Are Home Values Really Overinflated? | MyKCM

      Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their most recent Existing Home Sales Report. According to the report:

      “The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $240,500, up 5.8 percent from January 2017 ($227,300). January’s price increase marks the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.”

      Seventy-one consecutive months of price increases may have some concerned that current home values may be overinflated.

      However, at the same time, Zillow issued a press release which revealed:

      “If the housing bubble and bust had not happened, and home values had instead appreciated at a steady pace, the median home value would be higher than its current value.”

      Here are two graphs that help show why home prices are exactly where they should be.

      The first graph shows actual median home sales prices from 2000 through 2017.

      Are Home Values Really Overinflated? | MyKCM

      By itself, this graph could heighten concerns as it shows home values rose in the early 2000s, came tumbling down and are now headed up again. It gives the feel of a rollercoaster ride that is about to take another turn downward.

      However, if we also include where prices would naturally be, had there not been a boom & bust, we see a different story.

      Are Home Values Really Overinflated? | MyKCM

      The blue bars on this graph represent were prices would be if they had increased by the normal annual appreciation rate (3.6%). By adding 3.6% to the actual 2000 price and repeating that for each subsequent year, we can see that prices were overvalued during the boom, undervalued during the bust, and a little bit LOWER than where they should be right now.

      Bottom Line

      Based on historic appreciation levels, we should be very comfortable that current home values are not overinflated.

      Is Now a Good Time to Rent?

      Is Now a Good Time to Rent? | MyKCM

      People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home, but nobody ever asks when it’s a good time to rent. Regardless, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

      The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 fourth quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

      Is Now a Good Time to Rent? | MyKCM

      As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether or not you should renew your lease, you might be pleasantly surprised at your ability to buy a home of your own instead.

      Bottom Line

      One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, let’s meet to determine if you are able to today!


      Calm Down! The Real Estate Market is NOT Falling Apart


      Calm Down! The Real Estate Market is NOT Falling Apart | MyKCM

      There has been tremendous volatility in certain markets over the last few weeks (for example, the stock and currency markets). When this happens, some tend to lump all of their investments together and create an almost ‘Armageddon’ scenario where everything loses value quickly and dramatically. Real estate is an investment that can get caught up in this hysteria. Does the concern about the current housing market have merit?

      Financial advisors have been warning us for months that the stock market was ripe for a “correction.”

      Experts have been questioning the value of alternative currencies for over a year.

      In contrast, here are the opinions of three major players in the residential housing market:

      Ralph DeFranco, Chief Economist, Arch Capital Services Inc.

      “It’s premature to worry about a housing bubble. The typical warning signs – excessive debt levels, poor quality loans, exponentially increasing home prices, rising vacancy rates and/or poor affordability compared to the past, and a high number of internet searches on house flipping – are not present.”

      Liu-Down, Genworth Chief Economist

      “My thoughts on many recent discussions of ‘housing bubble’ – the bar for a housing bubble is higher than just prices being above some fundamental value. There must be widespread behavior change as well such as higher levels of fraud and speculation.”

      Fitch Report

      “US home prices are on track for a 5% nominal gain for the 4th consecutive year, returning national prices to their highest level since 2007. The growth has been driven by historically low mortgage rates and unemployment plus solid population and personal income growth rates…a meaningful correction should only be triggered by an unexpected economic shock.”

      Bottom Line

      Speculation has driven certain markets over the last year. However, it has not been speculation, but instead people’s desire for homeownership, that has driven the real estate market.


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      Which Comes First? Marriage or Mortgage?


      Which Comes First... Marriage or Mortgage? | MyKCM

      According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

      But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 16% of all first-time buyers last year.

      If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2017, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers. A recent report pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their own homes rather than rent someone else’s.

      Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2017 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

      Which Comes First... Marriage or Mortgage? | MyKCM

      Bottom Line

      You may not be that much different than those who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is already within your grasp!


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