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      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCM

      Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country.

      According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index,

      “Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally slow fall season began with a marked boost in buyer interest.”

      Buyers clearly have the right idea, as mortgage rates have dropped over a full percentage point since the fall of 2018. They’ve hovered in a historically low range since this summer, making the overall cost of homeownership significantly more attractive and affordable.

      Here’s the breakdown of how ShowingTime reports current buyer traffic patterns across the country:

      “The West Region, which until August had experienced 18 consecutive months of flagging home buyer traffic, lead the four regions in year-over-year improvement with an 8.9 percent increase in buyer activity.

      The South followed with a 6.4 percent increase, the largest such improvement in the region since April 2018, with the Northeast Region’s 5.6 percent increase the next largest among the four regions.

      The Midwest’s more modest 0.8 percent year-over-year growth rounded out the nation’s promising month.”

      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCMWith ShowingTime reporting “nationwide growth for the second consecutive month, a first since December 2017 – January 2018”, it’s one more reason why selling your house this winter is the way to go. List while buyers are on the market before the competition with other sellers pops up in your neighborhood.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking of waiting until spring to sell, think again! Let’s get together to discuss listing your house now while buyer traffic is actively surging throughout the country.

      Millennials: Here's Why the Process is Well Worth It.

      Millennials: Heres Why the Process is Well Worth It. | MyKCM

      Millennials have waited longer than any other generation to become homeowners, but the wait for this cohort is just about over.

      According to National Mortgage News,

       “Millennials, those young adults now aged 23 to 38, are now entering their peak household formation and homebuying years.

      If you’re a Millennial, you’re already well aware that you’re among a generation of those who favor fast-paced, real-time answers – and results. When you’re ready to make a decision, it’s go-time, and you probably want the latest technology at your fingertips to make it happen.

      National Mortgage News agrees, stating,

      “Millennials are different than previous generations—not only in their delayed homebuying but also in how they approach interactions with financial institutions, including mortgage lenders. Taking a picture of a check on their phone and depositing it without visiting a branch is not novel, it’s the way Millennials learned to do banking. They expect real-time access to account and transaction data and are frustrated when it’s not available.”

      Here’s the catch – the overall speed of the homebuying process can take some time, and it might feel like it is slowing you down. When you’re ready to buy, you can make an offer and go under contract quickly, but the rest of the process might take a little longer. The same article explains why:

      “When Millennials apply for a loan, the mortgage lender must qualify the borrower and determine who owns the property, how much the property is worth, and the property’s risk profile. Traditionally, this has been one of the most time-consuming and fragmented parts of the mortgage process…There are many moving pieces, each data point being sourced from a different provider, which can ultimately lead to a lengthy or delayed process.

       What has historically been accepted as the process norm does not align with the expectations of the most prominent generation in the home buying market today. Millennials have come to expect rapid, digital workflows in their daily purchase decisions, and in their mind, the home buying process shouldn’t be any different.”

      So, where do you go from here?

       If you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, that will help speed things up. But the steps it takes and the time to finalize a loan with most traditional lenders may feel like an eternity to you and your generational peers. Don’t worry, though – it’s well worth the wait when you finally get the keys to your new castle!

      The financial benefits of homeownership, like increasing your net worth by building equity, and the non-financial benefits, like being able to customize and improve your space, will ultimately set you on the course to happiness, success, overall satisfaction, and much, much more.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re feeling like it’s go-time, let’s get together and get the process moving to determine if homeownership is your next best step.

       

       

      The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

      Buying a home can be SCARY…Until you know the FACTS

      Buying a home can be SCARYUntil you know the FACTS [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      Many potential homebuyers believe they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score to qualify to buy a home. This stops many people from even trying to jump into homeownership! Here are some facts to help take the fear out of the process:

      • 71% of buyers who purchased homes have put down less than 20%.
      • 78.1% of loan applications were approved last month.
      • In September, the average credit score for approved loans was 737.

      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 rising

      CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report shows that home prices have appreciated by 3.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.8% 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 Next Year

      The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have recently hovered just above 3.5%. This is great news for buyers in the market right now, because low-interest rates increase your purchasing power – but don’t wait! Most experts predict 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 needed to buy your next home.

      3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage 

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

      As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home 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 costs 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 both are on the rise.

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

      Look at the actual reason you’re 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 custom renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

      Bottom Line

      Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Let’s get together to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you and your family this fall.

       

      Compass Contemplations for Friday

      DID YOU KNOW? Construction on U.S. new houses fell more than 9% in September, but a recent surge in permits suggests the decline in so-called housing starts is just a brief pause in a real estate market reinvigorated by lower mortgage rates. Housing starts slid to an annual rate of 1.26 million last month from a revised 1.39 million in August. (Marketwatch)

      DID YOU KNOW? Of the 618,000 “millennial millionaires” - those currently aged 23 - 37 years old with a net worth of over $1 million - in the USA, 44% are concentrated in California. California also has the highest percentage of business owners (23%) and the highest percentage of real estate investors. New York ranks No. 2, home to 14% of the millennial millionaire population. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Hedge funder Ray Dalio - speaking at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings - said the global business cycle is in a “great sag” and the world’s economy holds at least two parallels to the 1930s. Here are some of his thoughts: 
      * Monetary policy, and especially interest rate reductions, were unlikely to offer much stimulus.
      * The world was also experiencing the biggest wealth gap since the 1930s and that was creating political stress. In the USA the top one-tenth of 1% of the population has a net worth that is approximately equal to the bottom 90%.
      * Like the 1930s, we have a rising power challenging an existing world power in the form of China-U.S. challenges.
      * There were four types of wars to watch for — trade, technology, currency and geopolitical.  (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Total national real estate website visits - not unique visitors - in the month of September looked like this: 
      Zillow:                  179 million
      Redfin:                 46,5 million
      Compass:             3,543 million
      Coldwell Banker:  2,9 million
      Sothebys Realty:  2,773 million
      Corcoran:             922,151
      Elliman:                390,000
      Thanks to Jeremy Schwartz from Compass SEO Analytics who provided this information.

      Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth

      Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | MyKCM

      Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth,

      “The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below):

      Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | MyKCM

      This does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help you to increase your family’s wealth. This study reinforces that idea,

       “Net worth is an important indicator of economic well-being and provides insights into a household’s economic health.”

      Having equity in your home can help your family move in that direction, building toward substantial financial growth. According to the report noted above, people are not only creating net worth in the homes they live in, but many are also earning equity in rental property investments. (see below):

      :Homeownership is the Top Contributor to Your Net Worth | MyKCM

      John Paulson said it well,

      If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home.”

      Bottom Line

      There are financial and non-financial benefits of owning a home. If you would like to increase your net worth, let’s get together so you can learn all the benefits of becoming a homeowner.

      What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

      While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think.

      With today’s low-interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation often hold qualified and motivated buyers back from taking the leap into homeownership.

      According to the same CNBC article,

      “For the first time, the average national credit score has reached 706, according to FICO®, the developer of one of the most commonly used scores by lenders.”

      This is great news, as it means Americans are improving their credit scores and building toward a stronger financial future, especially after the market tumbled during the previous decade. With today’s strong economy and increasing wages, many Americans have had the opportunity to improve their credit over the past few years, driving this national average up.

      Since Americans with stronger credit are now entering the housing market, we are seeing an increase in the FICO® Score Distribution of Closed Loans (see graph below):

       

      :What FICO� Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? | MyKCM

      But hang on – don’t forget that this does not mean you need a FICO® score over 700 to qualify for a mortgage. Here’s what Experian, the global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

      FHA Loan: “FHA loans are ideal for those who have less-than-perfect credit and may not be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan. The size of your required down payment for an FHA loan depends on the state of your credit score: If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you must put 10% down. If your credit score is 580 or above, you can put as little as 3.5% down (but you can put down more if you want to).”

      Conventional Loan: “It’s possible to get approved for a conforming conventional loan with a credit score as low as 620, although some lenders may look for a score of 660 or better.”

      USDA Loan“While the USDA doesn’t have a set credit score requirementmost lenders offering USDA-guaranteed mortgages require a score of at least 640.”

      VA Loan: “As with income levels, lenders set their own minimum credit requirements for VA loan borrowers. Lenders are likely to check credit scores as part of their screening process, and most will set a minimum score, or cutoff, that loan applicants must exceed to be considered.”

      Bottom Line

      As you can see, plenty of loans are granted to buyers with a FICO® score that is lower than the national average. If you’d like to understand the next steps to take when determining your credit score, let’s get together so you can learn more.

       

       

      What Is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy? [INFOGRAPHIC]

      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 necessary to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
      • Freddie Mac forecasts interest rates will rise to 3.8% by Q4 2020.
      • CoreLogic predicts home prices will appreciate by 5.4% over the next 12 months.
      • If you’re ready and willing to buy your dream home, now is a great time to buy.

      4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

      4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • Buyers are active in the market and often competing with one another for available listings.
      • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply found in a normal housing market.
      • Homes are still selling relatively quickly, averaging 31 days on the market.

      Compass Contemplations for Sunday

       

      DID YOU KNOW? According to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, 19% of American adults live in “upper-income households.” The median income of that group was $187,872 in 2016. The share of U.S. adults considered upper-class varies depending on where you live, Pew noted: In affluent metropolitan areas, it’s much higher than 19%. The metropolitan areas with the largest shares of adults in upper-income households are mostly in the coastal areas of the Northeast and California and tend to be in high-tech corridors, such as Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, or in financial and commercial centers, such as Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT. The metro with the highest share was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, where 32% of adults were considered upper-income. (CNBC)

       

      "Narratives that can periodically surge into epidemics are capable of changing the economy’s direction or of turning small booms and recessions into big ones. The probability that a recession will come soon — or be severe when it does — depends in part on the state of ever-changing popular narratives about the economy. These are stories that provide a framework for piecing together the seemingly random bits of information that one picks up from friends, the news or social media." - Robert Schiller, NYT 

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Here are some interesting stats from the NAPLES, Florida area via NABOR (Naples Area Board of Realtors) (Thanks to Yasmin Saad).

      * Collier County Florida 2017 Population: 372,880

      * # of licensed brokers/agents who are members:  Brokers: 689, Agents: 6,375

      * 96% of users logged in at least once to the SunshineMLS in the last 12 months.

      * # of homes sold in the last 12 months (buyer or seller side):  6,574 Single Family homes closed had a Naples agent on the Listing Side

      914 Land sales closed that had a Naples agent on the Listing Side

      * The total number of sales in the last 12 months: 14,130 closed.

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