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      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!


      If You're Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

      If You're Considering Selling, ACT NOW!! | MyKCM

      Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!

      How did we finish 2017?

      1. New-home sales were at their highest level in a decade.
      2. Sales of previously owned homes were at their highest level in more than a decade.
      3. Starts of single-family homes were their strongest in a decade and applications to build such properties advanced to the fastest pace since August 2007.

      And Bloomberg Business just reported:

      “America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.”

      And the National Association of Realtors revealed that buyer traffic is stronger this winter than it was during the spring buying season last year.

      The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 9.7% from the same time last year.

      Bottom Line

      With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together to see whether that is the case in your neighborhood.


      3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC]


      3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • Realtor.com shared their “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy a Home.”
      • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking a lot about it.
      • Living within a budget will not only help you save money for down payments but will help you pay down other debts that might be holding you back.

      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.

      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!

      58% of Homeowners See a Drop in Home Values Coming

      58% of Homeowners See a Drop in Home Values Coming | MyKCM

      According to the recently released Modern Homebuyer Survey from ValueInsured58 percent of homeowners think there will be a “housing bubble and price correction” within the next 2 years.

      After what transpired just ten years ago, we can understand the concern Americans have about the current increase in home prices. However, this market has very little in common with what happened last decade.

      The two major causes of the housing crash were:

      1. A vast oversupply of housing inventory caused by home builders building at a pace that far exceeded historical norms.
      2. Lending standards that were so relaxed that unqualified buyers could easily obtain financing thus enabling them to purchase a home.

      Today, housing inventory is at a 20-year low with new construction starts well below historic norms and financing a home is anything but simple in the current mortgage environment. The elements that precipitated the housing crash a decade ago do not exist in today’s real estate market.

      The current increase in home prices is the result of a standard economic equation: when demand is high and supply is low, prices rise.

      If you are one of the 58% of homeowners who are concerned about home values depreciating over the next two years and are hesitant to move up to the home of your dreams, take comfort in the latest Home Price Expectation Survey.

      Once a quarter, a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists are surveyed and asked to project home values over the next five years. The experts predicted that houses would continue to appreciate through the balance of this year and in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. They do expect lower levels of appreciation during these years than we have experienced over the last five years but do not call for a decrease in values (depreciation) in any of the years mentioned.

      Bottom Line

      If you currently own a home and are thinking of moving-up to the home your family dreams about, don’t let the fear of another housing bubble get in the way as this housing market in no way resembles the market of a decade ago.

      Housing Inventory Hits 30-Year Low

      Housing Inventory Hits 30-Year Low

      Spring is traditionally the busiest season for real estate. Buyers, experiencing cabin fever all winter, emerge like flowers through the snow in search of their dream home. Homeowners, in preparation for the increased demand, are enticed to list their house for sale and move on to the home that will better fit their needs.

      New data from CoreLogic shows that even though buyers came out in force, as predicted, homeowners did not make the jump to list their home in the second quarter of this year. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic had this to say,

      “The growth in sales is slowing down, and this is not due to lack of affordability, but rather a lack of inventory. As of Q2 2017, the unsold inventory as a share of all households is 1.9 percent, which is the lowest Q2 reading in over 30 years.”

      CoreLogic’s President & CEO, Frank Martell added,

      “Home prices are marching ever higher, up almost 50 percent since the trough in March 2011.

      While low mortgage rates are keeping the market affordable from a monthly payment perspective, affordability will likely become a much bigger challenge in the years ahead until the industry resolves the housing supply challenge.”

      Overall inventory across the United States is down for the 25th consecutive month according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors and now stands at a 4.3-month supply.

      Real estate is local.

      Market conditions in the starter and trade-up home markets are in line with the median US figures, but conditions in the luxury and premium markets are following an opposite path. Premium homes are staying on the market longer with ample inventory to suggest a buyer’s market.

      Bottom Line

      Buyers are out in force, and there has never been a better time to move-up to a premium or luxury home. If you are considering selling your starter or trade-up home and moving up this year, let’s get together to discuss the exact conditions in our area.

      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!

      Buying Is Now 33.1% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

      Buying Is Now 33.1% Cheaper Than Renting in the US | MyKCM

      The results of the latest Rent VS Buy Report from Trulia show that Homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

      The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide!

      Other interesting findings in the report include:

      • Interest rates have remained low and, even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
      • With rents & home values moving in tandem, shifts in the ‘rent vs. buy’ decision are largely driven by changes in mortgage interest rates.
      • Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

      Bottom Line

      Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let's get together to find your dream home.


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