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      Home Sales Expected to Increase Nicely in 2018

      Home Sales Expected to Increase Nicely in 2018 | MyKCM

      Freddie MacFannie Mae, and The Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting that home sales will increase in 2018. Here is a chart showing what each entity is projecting in sales for the remainder of this year and the next.

      Home Sales Expected to Increase Nicely in 2018 | MyKCM

      As we can see, each entity is projecting sizable increases in home sales next year. If you have considered selling your house recently, now may be the time to put it on the market.

      4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall!

      4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall! | MyKCM

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

      1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

      CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% 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.

      2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

      Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. 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 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.

      3. 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?

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

      How Your Home's Value Grows Your Family's Wealth

      How Your Home’s Value Grows Your Family’s Wealth | MyKCM

      Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.64% per year on average and to grow by 18.4% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

      So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

      As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

      How Your Home’s Value Grows Your Family’s Wealth | MyKCM

      Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained $12,500 in equity in just one year.

      Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $49,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

      Bottom Line

      Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

      5 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Boston

      For every Bostonian hopeful planning to pack their bags and head northeast, there are plenty of reasons to go forward with the big move. With over a quarter million college students, Boston reaps all the benefits of a youthful population brimming with innovation and enterprise. Boston even beats out both New York and Los Angeles as a top city for venture-capital investment, creating the perfect cradle for the young entrepreneur looking to delve into the startup industry. Before loading the moving truck, consider the following before you take off and don’t forget to pack your snow shovel.

      Boston loves Sports

      The Patriots. The Red Sox. The Bruins. The Celtics. You may not be a sports fan, but it is absolutely necessary to consider that many Bostonians are. For the non-sports fans considering a move the The Hub, keeping track of game schedules will prove to be immensely helpful when mapping out travel time through and around the city. The influx of sports fans from around the city and surrounding area will affect your commute, it would be wise to keep note of who plays who even if you won’t be tracking the scoreboard.

      Techies

      Over recent years, Boston and its neighboring cities, Charles River and Cambridge have developed an attractive corporate culture laying host to big pharma and tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Boston has positioned itself to become a hotbed for hundreds of tech startups given the city’s proximity to some of America’s leading universities. In particular, Cambridge’s Kendall Square, neighboring MIT, demonstrates a thriving startup scene home to eager students and recent graduates.

      College Town, USA

      Boston and its surrounding suburbs boast some of America’s most elite universities including a host of Ivy’s and exceptionally prestigious institutions like Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, Boston College, Boston University, Emerson College, Northeastern University, Dartmouth, Brown, and Yale to name a few. With over 30 colleges and universities within Boston’s greater metropolitan area, it’s safe to say that Boston is truly a college city and enjoys a multitude of benefits through university partnerships.

      Quick Getaways

      A staycation in Boston warrants a trip to one of the city’s many craft breweries. Although beer brewing has always been a Boston staple, the industry has seen impressive jumps with over one hundred different breweries now calling Boston home. Many breweries offer tours including Harpoon Brewery and of course, Samuel Adams. Keep in mind that while most bars around the city shutdown at 2 AM, the metro system stops running generally between 12:30 AM and 1:00 AM.

      If you find yourself looking for an escape outside the city limits, quiet destination spots like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are within reach of a reasonable drive for a day trip or weekend vacation during the warmer months. Even without a car, many nearby vacation spots are accessible by bus, train, or ferry ride. Many Boston residents seek outdoor excursions enjoying the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

      Massachusetts winters are sometimes harsh. It’s not uncommon for Boston to receive several feet of snow during relatively frequent snowstorms. In general, wintertime temperatures dip down to the high teens and low twenties. During the cooler seasons, consider hitting a ski lodge. Even without the slopes, what better way to enjoy below freezing temps than posted fireside inside a rustic New England cabin

      The T

      The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority or “The T” is at the heart of a Bostonian’s everyday commute. If you’re uninterested in paying additional fees for street parking, prefer to sidestep paying to park in a garage, and often find yourself forgetting to check your parking meter, then embracing public transportation may be the best option for you. It would be wise to consider selecting a home or apartment by a stop on the same color line you need to take to get to work. By reducing the number of transfer stops, your commute time will significantly decrease as opposed to having to jump trains every morning. Although living within walking distance from a T station would be ideal, expect to pay a hefty fee. These locations are sought after and typically expensive locations.

      Triple Deckers

      Apartment shopping in Boston means scouring the depths of Craigslist for apartment listings. Most available apartments are known as “triple deckers” or “three deckers” depending on who you ask. These buildings are owner-occupied two to three family houses rented to tenants for a lease on the second and third floor. These homes are unique to New England and are generally held as a staple experience to living in Boston. Triple deckers are often older homes, individually managed, and come with less luxuries than new apartment buildings, specifically in-unit laundry hookups. Considering that the average Boston renter pays roughly one-thousand dollars a month, settling for an in-building laundry facility in one of these homes will have a trade off for substantially cheaper rent.

      Just before you unload the moving van, think about reserving your very own moving permit online through Boston City Hall. Most apartments within the city are accompanied by a September 1st move in date to accommodate (for better or worse) all of the many college students moving back to campus in the fall. Imagine the entire city is moving in on the same day and prepare to plan accordingly. If you are considering moving in at any other time of the year, subletting an apartment would be a solid option.

       

      Don't Disqualify Yourself? 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

      Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | MyKCM

      The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.

      One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

      A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:

      About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…

      The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.

      Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:

      “Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

      So, what credit score is necessary?

      Below is a breakdown of the FICO® Score distribution of all closed (approved) loans in July from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report.

      Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | MyKCM

      Over 52% of all approved loans had a FICO® Score under 750. Many potential home buyers believe that they need a score over 780 to qualify.

      Bottom Line

      If owning a home of your own has always been your dream and you are ready and willing to buy, or if you are a homeowner who wants to move up, find out if you are able to! Let’s get together to determine if your dreams can become a reality sooner than you thought!

      Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

       

      Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
      • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
      • Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more!
      • Alaska & West Virginia were the only states where home prices are lower than they were last year.

      5 Essentials When Buying Real Estate

      Problems and misunderstandings in the buying process lead to unhappy homeowners. A common one is buying close to their pre-approval and then they are stretched financially. It may seem like a great purchase at the time but will lead to frustration over time.   How do we limit these mistakes?

      Homebuyers remember these five strategies when making your next real estate purchase.

      #1 Stay Consistent: Real estate values tend to rise over time. If you give up on looking at properties, you will never find the home you are looking for. The key is to learn why you are losing out on your offers.

      #2 Be Creative: Personalize your offer. A video or letter will be unique and may draw attention to your offer. It will stand out from the others. Make the video short and entertaining or the letter short and sweet. Your agent can use this to introduce your offer to purchase.

      #3 Location: As months pass when you continue to look, the market may change. You may need to look in nearby towns and explore other options.

      #4: Rely on Documents Not Verbal: Written documentation is very important in real estate. If the seller says they will leave a refrigerator, make sure it is documented. Read through your offer letters and purchase and sale. Read through the clauses and make sure you understand what they are saying. Speak with your lawyer if unsure about a clause or phrase.

      #5 After Offer Accepted. The Real Work Begins: After accepted, the house is still the sellers until close. This can be between 30-60 days on average. The seller is responsible for insuring the property and keeping it in condition when the offer was accepted. You can schedule an inspection and renegotiate will the seller. You will review the purchase and sale. You will need a financing commitment from your lender.

      Hopefully, these 5 essential tips are helpful! Until you get the keys, the process is not officially over. If you found this article helpful, please share with a friend!

      Blog courtesy of Steve Bracero

       

      Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better!

      Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better! | MyKCM

      Forbes.com recently released the latest results of their American Dream Index, in which they measure “the prosperity of the middle class, and…examine which states best support the American Dream.”

      The monthly index measures several different economic factors, including goods-producing employment, personal and commercial bankruptcies, building permits, startup activity, unemployment insurance claims, labor force participation, and layoffs.

      The national index score was rounded out to 100.0 in January as a baseline for comparison and it rose the fourth straight month in a row to 101.8.

      Alaska, coming in at 89.4, represented the lowest score on the index due in part to the recent collapse in oil prices. In contrast, Wyoming came in with the highest score at 115.1. The full results can be seen in the map below.

      Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better! | MyKCM

      Forbes Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen explained why many states saw a boost in the index last month:

      “The American Dream Index rose for the fourth straight month to 101.8 propelled by gains in goods-producing jobs and building permits, as well as declines in unemployment claims and mass layoffs.

      Goods-producing jobs (manufacturing, mining, construction and agriculture) were up for the ninth straight month in May…Building permits rose for the fourth straight month compared to the prior year.”

      Bottom Line

      The American Dream, for many, includes being able to own a home of one’s own. With the economy improving in many areas of the country, that dream can finally become a reality.

      Buyer's Market Helps Premium Home Sales Soar

      Buyer's Market Helps Premium Home Sales Soar | MyKCM

      We previously reported how a shortage of inventory in the starter and trade-up home markets is driving prices up and causing bidding wars, creating a true seller’s market. At the same time, in the premium home market, an over-abundance of inventory has started to see prices come down and put buyers in the driver’s seat, creating the beginning of a buyer’s market.

      Last week, the National Association of Realtors released their Existing Home Sales Report which shed some additional light on the impact of inventory levels on sales in each price range.

      The chart below shows the year-over-year difference in sales at each price range.

      Buyer's Market Helps Premium Home Sales Soar | MyKCM

      The under $100K range has shown declines in recent years due to the shortage of distressed homes available for sale (just 5% of sales this past month, compared to 35% in January 2012). Sales in the next two price ranges are no doubt being hindered by low inventory as buyers compete for the same home.

      NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, explained:

      "Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher."

      The biggest surprise? This is the first time in years where the $1M and up price range had the highest jump in sales when compared to last year and to all other price ranges (29.1%)! The two price ranges right underneath the $1M range were a close second and third. As the price went up, so did the sales!

      With additional inventory available in the higher price ranges, and the economy improving, many luxury buyers are finding it easier to find their dream homes. Yun commented,

      “The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are one of the many homeowners who is looking to sell your starter or trade up home and move up to a luxury home, now is the time!

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