Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.

TRY IT NO THANKS
  • Boston Condos
+ Advanced Search

      condo

      What Do Experts Say About Today's Mortgage Rates?

      Mortgage rates are hovering near record lows, and that’s good news for today’s homebuyers. The graph below shows mortgage rates dating back to 2016 and where today falls by comparison.

      What Do Experts Say About Todays Mortgage Rates? | MyKCM 

      Generally speaking, when rates are low, you can afford more home for your money. That’s why experts across the industry agree – today’s low rates present buyers with an incredible opportunity. Here’s what they have to say:

      Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macpoints out the historic nature of today’s rates:

      “As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, and the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time.”

      Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americantalks about how rates impact a buyer’s bottom line:

      “Mortgage rates are generally the same across the country, so a decline in mortgage rates boosts affordability equally in each market.”

      Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes the significance of today’s low rates and urges buyers to carefully consider their timing:

      Those who haven’t yet taken advantage of low rates to buy a home or refinance still have the opportunity to do so this summer.”

      Hale goes on to say that buyers who don’t act soon could see higher rates in the coming months, negatively impacting their purchasing power:

      “We expect mortgage rates to fluctuate near historic lows through the summer before beginning to climb this fall.”

      And while mortgage rates are still low today, the data from Freddie Mac indicates rates are fluctuating ever so slightly right now, as they moved up one week before inching slightly back down in their latest release. It’s important to keep in mind the influence rates have on your monthly mortgage payment.

      Even small increases can have a big impact on what you pay each month. Trust the experts. Today’s rates give you opportunity and flexibility in what you can afford. Don’t wait on the sidelines and hope for a better rate to come along; the rates we’re seeing today are worth capitalizing on.

      Bottom Line

      Mortgage rates hover near record lows today, but experts forecast they’ll rise in the coming months. Waiting could prove costly when that happens. Let’s connect today to discuss today’s rates and determine if now’s the time for you to buy.

      Looking for a Place To Call Home? Consider a Condominium

      Looking for a Place To Call Home? Consider a Condominium. | MyKCM
       

      It’s no secret that one of the top stories in today’s real estate market is low housing supply and high buyer demand. If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a starter home or are someone who’s interested in downsizing, it may be worth considering a condominium (condo) as a worthwhile option.

      In fact, trends indicate condos are gaining popularity among buyers. In the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the data shows condo sales rising throughout the first half of this year (see graph below):

      Looking for a Place To Call Home? Consider a Condominium. | MyKCM 

      There are a few reasons more and more people are opting to buy condos – the benefits of condo life can be quite compelling. Let’s explore the main perks to find out if a condo is a good fit for you.

      Affordability

      According to the NAR report, the median sales price of a condo is roughly $59,000 less than the median price of a single-family detached home (see graph below). This makes condos a great option for first-time homebuyers, those with limited down payment savings, or those looking to save money by downsizing.Looking for a Place To Call Home? Consider a Condominium. | MyKCM

      Maintenance

      A recent article from BankRate adds low maintenance as another perk of a condo lifestyle. Generally, exterior maintenance for condos is handled by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). This can include things like landscaping and upholding a certain standard of cleanliness and condition for walkways, siding, and roofs. If you’re looking for a lower-maintenance option or see the appeal in being hands-off with upkeep, condos may be a good choice for you. With exterior maintenance off your plate, you’ll have more time for yourself and your hobbies.

      Amenities

      You can use that free time to enjoy some of the value-adding features your condo community may have, which could include dog parks, pools, a rentable clubhouse and grilling area for events, and more. If being able to host or attend community social outings is important to you, condos may give you more opportunities to enjoy the company of your neighbors. As a bonus, some condos even have gyms and on-site security teams.

      Ultimately, the choice is yours. Condos are great options that often come with various features and benefits that may be important for your lifestyle. Fannie Mae sums up the appeal nicely:

      Condominiums, or condos, can be great alternatives to detached homes. City dwellers, singles, couples, seniors, and many others may find condos that suit their needs and budgets. Others may simply prefer low-maintenance living. Buyers who feel ‘priced out’ of homes may discover condos offer an affordable homeownership alternative.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re looking for a home, it may be time to consider a condo as an option. Let’s connect to explore if one would be a good fit for your homeownership needs.

      Today's Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

      Todays Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM
       

      As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

      A Shortage of Homes for Sale

      Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:

      “In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.”

      This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we’re experiencing small gains in the number of available homes for sale, inventory remains a challenge in most states. That’s why it’s still a sellers’ market, giving homeowners immense leverage when they decide to make a move.

      Buyer Competition and Bidding Wars

      Today’s ongoing low supply, coupled with high demand, creates a market characterized by high buyer competition and bidding wars. Buyers are going above and beyond to make sure their offer stands out from the crowd by offering over the asking price, all cash, or waiving some contingencies. The number of offers on the average house for sale broke records this year – and that’s great news for sellers.The latest Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average home for sale receives five offers (seTodays Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM 

      For buyers, the best way to put a compelling offer together is by working with a local real estate professional. That agent can act as your trusted advisor on what terms are best for you and what’s most appealing to the seller.

      Home Price Appreciation

      The competition among buyers is driving prices up. Over the past year, we’ve seen home price appreciation rise across the country. According to the most recent Home Price Index (HPI) from CoreLogic, national home prices increased 15.4% year-over-year in May:

      “The May 2021 HPI gain was up from the May 2020 gain of 4.2% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2005. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices.”

      Rising home values are a big part of why real estate remains one of the top sought-after investments for Americans. For potential sellers, it also means it’s a great time to list your house to maximize the return on your investment.

      A Rise in Home Values and Equity

      The equity in a home doesn’t just grow when a homeowner pays their mortgage – it also grows as the home’s value appreciates. Thanks to the jump in price appreciation, homeowners across the country are seeing record-breaking gains in home equity. CoreLogic recently reported:

      “…homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.”

      That’s a major perk for households to leverage. Homeowners can use that equity to accomplish major life goals or move into their dream homes.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there’s no time like the present. Let’s connect to talk about how you can take advantage of the conditions we’re seeing today to meet your homeownership goals.

      How to Buy a Home Even Though Your Credit Stinks

      If you’ve always imagined owning a home but don’t think you have the necessary credit history to pull it off, you’re not alone. Owning a home has long been a part of the fabled American dream, but in recent years, the prospect of homeownership has become increasingly out of reach for many Americans. Between problems with the housing market and the nation’s overall economy, financial struggles have resulted in low credit scores and little savings. Fortunately, there are ways to buy a home even if your credit isn’t the greatest.

      Person Holding Black Ceramic Teapot  Image source: Pexels

      Face Your Credit Demons 

      When you don’t have an excellent financial history, checking your credit report is often the last thing you want to do. Reviewing one negative item after another can make anyone feel depressed, overwhelmed, and hopeless. However, your best bet is to just take a deep breath and jump in — you’ll feel proud of yourself once you do! Carefully review your report to find out what’s dragging your score down. If it’s been a while, you may be surprised that some things have dropped off your report due to the seven-year reporting limit. Doing what you can to start repairing your credit now will pay off in the future. 

      Get To Know Your Local Market

      The first step in any housing search is getting familiar with your local housing market. Do some online searches and check out some real estate sites to get an idea of what housing prices are like in your area and understand what you can afford. Consider a variety of neighborhoods and be honest with yourself about your wants versus needs in a future home.

      Understand Your Mortgage Options

      Specific mortgage terms vary from lender to lender, but there are a few major types of mortgage loans that you should be aware of. Conventional mortgages, which are not backed by the government, tend to require the highest credit scores and down payment amounts of all the mortgage types. Government-insured loans, such as FHA and VA loans, typically have a lower credit threshold and require a much lower down payment. Depending on your circumstances,
      you may also qualify for a first-time buyer program or down payment assistance resources.

      Lock-In a Low-Interest Rate

      Whichever type of mortgage you choose, it’s important to secure the lowest possible interest rate to keep your monthly payments — and overall amount due —as low as you can. Unfortunately, the lower your credit score, the higher risk you pose to a lender, which usually means a higher interest rate.

      To reduce your interest rate despite your credit history, you could offer larger cash down payment, or ask a relative with good credit to co-sign the loan with you. If those aren’t options, you may consider paying for mortgage points. When you buy mortgage points, you pay the mortgage lender a certain amount upfront in exchange for a lower interest rate. Many factors go into determining whether mortgage points are worth the cost. A mortgage points calculator may
      help you figure out if buying mortgage points is a wise choice in your particular circumstances. Be prepared for your journey to homeownership to take some time. Continue improving your credit score and saving what you can, and don’t rush into a bad deal that will only hurt your credit further. With patience, research, and planning, you can realize your dream of buying a home.

      If you’re ready to take the first steps towards purchasing a home, the Lyons Group can help you navigate the process. Contact one of our experienced agents at 617-901-4500 or lyonsgroup@compass.com today.

      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.

       

       

      2020 Home Buying Checklist

      2020 Homebuying Checklist | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval.
      • Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step.
      • Make sure to work with a trusted real estate professional along the way, to help guide you through the homebuying steps specific to your area.

       

      The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

      The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home | MyKCM

      There are great advantages to owning a home, yet many people continue to rent. The financial benefits are just some of the reasons why homeownership has been a part of the long-standing American dream.

      Realtor.com reported that:

      “Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option…as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

      Why is owning a home financially better than renting?

      Here are the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

      1. Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
      2. Homeownership provides tax savings.
      3. Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
      4. Buying a home is less expensive than renting.
      5. No other investment lets you live inside of it.

      Studies have also shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

      A family that purchased a median-priced home at the start of 2019 would build more than
      $37,750 in family wealth over the next five years with projected price appreciation alone.

      Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin!

      Bottom Line

      Owning a home has many social and financial benefits that cannot be achieved by renting. Let’s connect to determine if buying a home is your best move.

       

       

      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.

      Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

      Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home | MyKCM

      Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner, and Real Estate Investor has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of owning real estate:

      1. Real estate diversifies your income

      “While it is certainly important to be properly diversified with your investments, it is even more important to be diversified with your income. This is because the largest financial risk for most of you is the loss of your primary source of income, which is typically in the form of a day job.”

      The article highlights how having multiple sources of income, such as those derived from real estate investments, can eventually lead to relying less and less on a day job. Sound dreamy? It can be. When done well, real estate investments may eventually open up your time and the financial freedom to explore other things, like travel and other aspirations you may have for the future, particularly in the golden years of retirement.

      2. Real estate produces near-immediate results

      “You can achieve and feel the results almost immediately. Property improvements are visible and tangible. You can cash, spend, and invest rent payments. Today! Not 30 years in the future.”

      Currently, home prices are appreciating in all price ranges, and just last week CoreLogic announced their 12-month home value projection at 5.6%, an increase from 4.5% noted earlier this summer. With that in mind, real estate today is definitely driving immediate results!

      3. Passive income can help you become financially independent sooner

      “If you need $40,000 a year to live, you could alternatively invest in assets that generate an 8% cash-on-cash return. This is a very reasonable assumption. And it means you would only need to save a total of $500,000 (instead of $1 million). Yet, your investments would still meet your annual household living needs.

      While returns, taxes, and inflation can, of course, affect your timeline, cash-flowing real-estate is a clear asset.”

      Homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you’re contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home, bringing you one step closer to true financial independence.

      Bottom Line

      If you want to increase your savings and overall net worth, real estate is a great way to go. To learn how you can make it happen, let’s get together to discuss the process.

      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.

      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.
      sign up RECEIVE THE LATEST LISTINGS & SAVE SEARCHES Already a member? Sign in here