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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.

      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.

       

      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

       

      2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

      2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

      In Realtor.com’s recent article, “Home Buyers’ Top Mortgage Fears: Which One Scares You?” they mention that “46% of potential home buyers fear they won’t qualify for a mortgage to the point that they don’t even try.”

      Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

      Buyers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the First Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) from Down Payment Resource, saving for a down payment was the barrier that kept 70% of renters from buying.

      Rob Chrane, CEO of Down Payment Resource had this to say,

      There are many mortgage-ready renters today, but they don’t know it. Often, homebuyers remain sidelined for years due to the down payment.

      Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, but programs are available that allow buyers put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

      Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

      The survey revealed that 59% of Americans either don’t know (54%) or are misinformed (5%) about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

      Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

      To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

      2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

      As you can see in the chart above, 53.2% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

      Bottom Line

      Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

      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.

       

      The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate

      The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate | MyKCM

      In a blog post published last Friday, CNBC’s Diana Olnick reported on the latest results of the FAU Buy vs. Rent Index. The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at FAU use a “‘horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar-quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”

      Having read both the index and the blog post, we would like to clear up any confusion that may exist. There are three major points that we would like to counter:

      1. The Title

      The CNBC blog post was titled, “Don’t put your money in a house, says a new report.” The title of the press release about the report on FAU’s website was “FAU Buy vs. Rent Index Shows Rising Prices and Mortgage Rates Moving Housing Markets in the Direction of Renting.”

      Now, we all know headlines can attract readers and the stronger the headline the more readership you can attract, but after dissecting the report, this headline may have gone too far. The FAU report notes that rising home prices and the threat of increasing mortgage rates could make the decision of whether to rent or to buy a harder one in three metros, but does not say not to buy a home.

      2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Rising

      According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates reached their lowest mark of 2017 last week at 3.89%. Interest rates have hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, giving many buyers relief from rising home prices and helping with affordability.

      While experts predict that rates will increase by the end of 2017, the latest projections have softened, with Freddie Mac predicting that rates will rise to 4.3% in Q4.

      3. “Renting may be a better option than buying, according to the report.”

      Of the 23 metros that the study reports on, 11 of them are firmly in buy territory, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and more. This means that in nearly half of all the major cities in the US, it makes more financial sense to buy a home than to continue renting one.

      In 9 of the remaining metros, the decision as to whether to rent or buy is closer to a toss-up right now. This means that all things being equal, the cost to rent or buy is nearly the same. That leaves the decision up to the individual or family as to whether they want to renew their lease or buy a home of their own.

      The 3 remaining metros Dallas, Denver and Houston, have experienced high levels of price appreciation and have been reported to be in rent territory for well over a year now, so that’s not news…

      Beer & Cookies

      One of the three authors of the study, Dr. Ken Johnson has long reported on homeownership and the decision between renting and buying a home. The methodology behind the report goes on to explain that even in a market where a renter would be able to spend less on housing, they would have to be disciplined enough to reinvest their remaining income in stocks/bonds/other investments for renting a home to be a more attractive alternative to buying.

      Johnson himself has said:

      “However, in perhaps a more realistic setting where renters can spend on consumption (beer, cookies, education, healthcare, etc.), ownership is the clear winner in wealth accumulation. Said another way, homeownership is a self-imposed savings plan on the part of those that choose to own.” 

      Bottom Line

      In the end, you and your family are the only ones who can decide if homeownership is the right path to go down. Real estate is local and every market is different. Let’s get together to discuss what’s really going on in your area and how we can help you make the best, most informed decision for you and your family.

      69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

      69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

      According to a recent survey conducted by Genworth Financial Inc. at the Annual Mortgage Bankers’ Association Secondary Market Conference, 69% of mortgage professionals say that first-time buyers still believe a 20% down payment is necessary to buy in today’s market.

      Nearly 40% of mortgage industry professionals surveyed believe that a lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is keeping potential buyers on the sidelines. Saving for a down payment is often cited as a huge barrier for first-time homebuyers to make the leap into homeownership.

      If homeowners believe that they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also believe that they will have to wait years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes.

      The greatest source of confusion cited in the survey results centered around down payments. The results are broken down in the chart below:

      69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

      Rohit Gupta, CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance had this to say,

      "While first-time homebuyers continue to drive the purchase market, we believe many are staying on the sidelines due to the misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to secure a mortgage.

      There are various low down payment options available today that allow prospective homebuyers to reach their dreams of homeownership sooner. It is crucial that, as an industry, we proactively educate eligible borrowers about solutions that will enable them to buy a home when they're ready."

      Bottom Line

      Don’t let a lack of understanding of the home-buying process keep you and your family out of the housing market. Let’s get together to discuss your options!

      More Americans Chose to Own a Home Than Rent in Q1

       

      More Americans Chose to Own a Home Than Rent in Q1 | MyKCM

      According to the latest report from the US Census Bureau, more Americans chose purchasing a home over signing a lease to rent in the first quarter of 2017. This marks the first time since 2006 that the number of new homeowner households outpaced the number of new renter households.

      Of the 1.22 million new households that were formed in the first quarter, 854,000 were new-owner households making the jump straight to homeownership rather than renting first.

      That means that the homeownership rate amongst new households was 70%!

      This is huge news as the national homeownership rate is currently 63.6% and has only ever come close to this figure in the second quarter of 2004 when the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.2%.

      A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed to the uptick in first-time homebuyers coming to market as a reason for the jump:

      “The return of first-time buyers is accelerating. In all they have accounted for 42% of buyers this year, up from 38% in 2015 and 31% at the lowest point during the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to Fannie Mae, which defines first-time buyers as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.”

      Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist, had this to say about what a bump in new homeowner households could mean for the housing market:

      “Strong renter household formation is one of the reasons why the homeownership rate has continued to drop since the onset of the housing crisis, so any sign this trend is reversing is something to take note of. We look forward to future releases of these data to determine whether this is a statistical blip or a trend.”

      Bottom Line

      As more and more potential first-time buyers realize their ability to buy a home without having to rent first, not only will the homeownership rate benefit, but so will the overall economy.

      Inventory Shortages Are Slowing Down the Market

      Inventory Shortages Are Slowing Down the Market | MyKCM

      The real estate market is moving more and more into a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2017 will be the year that the housing market races forward again.

      However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the summer, supply is not keeping up.

      Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

      Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

      "Sellers are in the driver's seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers. Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point — and the sooner the better — price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen."

      Tom O’Grady, Pro Teck CEO

      “The lack of inventory is very real and could have a severe impact on home sales in the months to come. Traditionally, a balanced market would have an MRI (Months Remaining Inventory) between six and 10 months.

      This month, only eight metros we track have MRIs over 10, compared to 27 last year and 48 two years ago—illustrating that this lack of inventory is not being driven by traditionally ‘hot’ markets, but is rather a broad-based, national phenomenon.”

      Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia

      “Nationally, housing inventory dropped to its lowest level on record in 2017 Q1. The number of homes on the market dropped for the eighth consecutive quarter, falling 5.1% over the past year.”

      Freddie Mac

      “Tight housing inventory has been an important feature of the housing market at least since 2016. For-sale housing inventory, especially of starter homes, is currently at its lowest level in over ten years. If inventory continues to remain tight, home sales will likely decline from their 2016 levels. …all eyes are on housing inventory and whether or not it will meet the high demand.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strongest at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

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