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      Feeling ?Stuck in Place'? You Aren't Alone? And There's Hope!

      Feeling 'Stuck in Place'? You Aren't Alone... And There's Hope! | MyKCM

      Whether you are a renter who is searching for your dream home or a homeowner who feels like your only option is to renovate, you have at least one thing in common: feeling stuck in place.

      According to data from the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the average amount of time that a family stays in their home remained at 10 years in 2017. This mark ties the highest marks set in 2014 and 2016. Back in 1985, when data was first collected on this subject, homeowners stayed in their homes for an average of only 5 years.

      There are many reasons why homeowners have decided to stay and not to sell. A recent Wall Street Journal article had this to say,

      “Americans aren’t moving in part because inventory levels have fallen near multidecade lows and home prices have risen to records. Many homeowners are choosing to stay and renovate, in turn making it more difficult for renters to enter the market.” 

      Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic, equated the lack of inventory to “not having enough oil in your car and your gears slowly [coming] to a grind.”

      Historically, a normal market (in which prices increase at the rate of inflation) requires a 6-7 month supply of inventory. There hasn’t been that much supply since August of 2012! Over the course of the last 12 months, inventory has hovered between a 3.5 to 4.4-month supply, meaning that prices have increased and buyers are still out in force!

      Challenges in the new-home construction market have “helped create a bottleneck in the market in which owners of starter homes aren’t trading up to newly built homes, which tend to be pricier, in turn creating a squeeze for millennial renters looking to get into the market.”

      “Economists said baby boomers also aren’t in a hurry to trade in the dream homes they moved into in middle age for condominiums or senior living communities because many are staying healthy longer or want to remain near their children.”

      So, what can you do if you feel stuck & want to move on?

      Don’t give up! If you are looking to move-up to an existing luxury home, there are deals to be had in the higher-priced markets. Demand is strong in the starter and trade-up home markets which means that your house will sell quickly. Let’s work together to build in contingencies that allow you more time to find your dream home; the right buyer will wait.

      Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Maintain Fast Growth

      Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Maintain Fast Growth | MyKCM

      The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price Report last week. The report revealed that severely lacking inventory across the country drained sales growth and kept home prices rising at a steady clip in nearly all metro areas. Home prices rose 5.3% over the last quarter across all metros.

      Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

      “Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had to outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

      What this means to sellers

      Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by the Washington Post in a recent article post:

      “The rise in median sales prices has made current homeowners much more willing to sell their home, and that willingness is one of the main drivers behind the inventory that does make it on to the market. While it hasn’t been enough to meet demand, it has made the situation much better, compared with even three or four years ago.”

      What this means to buyers

      In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year or next year. However, as Construction Dive reported, the amount of cash needed to purchase that home will also increase.

      “These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

      Bottom Line 

      If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.

      5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

      5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling! | MyKCM

      Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. This is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

      The 5 reasons you NEED a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam.

      1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

      Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

      2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

      There are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you achieve your dream?

      3. Are you a good negotiator?

      So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible) to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.

      4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

      It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to a study by Collateral Analytics, FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by real estate agents:

      “FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

      Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

      5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

      There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

      Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

      “When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

      Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

      Bottom Line

      You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?

      Thinking of Selling? You Should Do It TODAY!!

      Thinking of Selling? You Should Do It TODAY!! | MyKCM

      That headline might be a little aggressive; however, as August 2017’s housing market data begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY!

      In a recent article by CBS News, they explained that the number of existing home sales is shrinking, and Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:

      “There should be 3 million homes on the market right now…Yet, there are only 1.9 million.”

      And this situation will be affected greatly by recent natural disasters. Yun continued by saying:

      “Before the hurricanes I would have predicted 1.35 million in new-home construction in 2018…I’ll have to scale that down now.”

      NAR, in their August 2017 Realtors® Confidence Index, indicated that:

      “Amid sustained job creation and sustained historically low mortgage rates, REALTORS® reported…that buyer demand is stronger compared to conditions one year ago… and that fifty percent of properties were on the market for less than one month when sold.”

      The only challenge to today’s market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is only a 4.2-month supply of inventory, which is down from 4.5 months one year ago.

      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 and discuss the inventory levels in your neighborhood to determine your next steps.

      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.

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