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      5 Tips to Help You Find the Accessible Home of Your Dreams

      Having trouble finding a home that fits your accessibility needs? You’re not alone. Homebuyers searching for accessible homes often find the process difficult and frustrating. However, these helpful home-buying tips can make locating your ideal home so much easier. Here’s where you should start when it comes to finding and buying a mobility-friendly home.

       

      Plan Your New-Home Checklist Now

       

      Searching for and buying a new home can be a hectic process. To keep essential tasks from getting lost in the shuffle, come up with a list of projects you need to complete to feel safe and comfortable in your new home. Be sure to put changing your locks at the top of that checklist so your new property will be secured from the start. Research top-quality locksmiths in and around your area. You can also use online resources to take care of other tasks around the home, such as hiring house cleaners or setting up necessary utilities.

       

      Make Organizing Finances a Top Priority

       

      Your new-home checklist should also include making financial accommodations to help you purchase your new home. This is a good time to meet with your financial advisor to go over any essential information that will be needed during the home-buying process. This is a step many buyers skip, but financial advisors can provide practical solutions to help you make the most of your home purchase. What’s more, advisors can often make securing home financing as stress-free as possible. That includes accounting for any additional expenses you may incur later, such as costs of accessibility renovations or other upgrades to your home.

       

      Start Your Search with a Real Estate Pro

       

      Many home-buying articles will advise you to begin your home search online, but this is another area where it pays to work with the pros. While that may work in many cases, homebuyers who are looking for specialty or luxury features in a home are better off contacting an experienced real estate professional. This is especially true when those specialty features include accommodations for accessibility. Finding a home with those features can be complicated, but a real estate company with experience in your desired area will be able to anticipate those complications and prepare solutions to offset them.

       

      Look for Stylish, But Safe, Accessibility Upgrades

       

      Your home should be safe and accessible, but that does not mean you have to sacrifice style and luxury. There are so many beautiful ways to incorporate accessibility into a home without those features being overtly obvious. French doors, for example, are a lovely option for wider doorways, while open floor plans can make moving around much easier. For larger homes with multiple floors, a custom elevator can improve your quality of life and add a touch of luxury as well. Your realtor can help you search for available local properties with these small touches so you can find a home that fits your needs and dreams.

       

      Wait Before Making Accessibility Changes on Your Own

       

      Once you and your realtor have put together a list of accommodations you need in a new home, your search should be much easier. However, you still may have trouble finding a property that completely fits with your needs. As you look at potential properties, keep in mind that you can always make renovations once you move in. Living in your home for a bit before you plan extensive upgrades will give you a better idea of what projects you need to make your home more comfortable. Plus, you can plan to employ a contractor to complete multiple jobs at once, rather than spacing them out over time.

       

      Mobility issues do not have to prevent you from finding the home of your dreams. There are plenty of homes with accessibility features on the market — you just need to know where to start to make finding a home that fits you a simple task. Consult an experienced realtor and use the tips above to take the guesswork out of finding an accessible home in your area. 

      The Death of the Vacant Listing?

       

      The Death Of The Vacant Listing?

      About fifteen years ago after attempting to sell a vacant, unfurnished loft, we broke down and took a trip to IKEA to buy a basic set of furniture to stage the property. Style-wise we kept everything mostly white with some black accents, simply to help prospective buyers visually 'scale' the home.

       

      We created an appealing living room and dining area, added some cowhide rugs and bought a Le Corbusier chaise to 'up' the look a bit. It worked! The loft sold rather swiftly after that. Later we added staging 'artwork' - framed blown-up photos that I'd personally taken that were abstracted enough to potentially be 'real' art - as we found so many blank white walls looked cold and uninspired. We re-used that suite of staging items dozens of times afterward with great success. Flash forward and today, I cannot even imagine showing an unfurnished home ever again. It would be marketing suicide, especially on the high end. Professional staging has elevated this from my IKEA-fueled days to an entirely new level where buyers (even at the $20m+ level) are askiing to buy the staged homes fully furnished.

       

      I recall meeting with Rob Lehman about two years ago. He asked me what the one cost-distracting item was that was most critical to what we do and of course I answered STAGING. If we could stage all our listings, and offset the cost for the seller, I thought we'd have a winner.  At the time I envisioned a warehouse full of furniture, but of course that would have been unmanageable.  Of all the value-adds that we bring to the table, I truly believe that COMPASS CONCIERGE's role in providing us the ability to stage by financing the up-front cost is a game-changer for our industry. Anything that makes our role easier and takes away the stress of our clients is a certain winner.

       

      Furnishings not only help buyers scale a property: now, professional staging creates an aspiration lifestyle too. Competing against a staged property with an unfurnished property is almost a waste of time unless deep discounting or a super-hot sellers market is a consideration.

       

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

      Last fall, some predicted that the 2019 residential real estate market would be a disaster. There was even the belief that we might experience a housing crash like the one that occurred during the last decade.

      However, according to two separate reports*, buyer demand dramatically increased over the last three months, leading into this spring buyers’ market (the March data is not yet available).

      Both the ShowingTime Showing Index and the National Association of REALTORS Buyer Traffic Index show that buyer demand has increased in each of the last three months.

      Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins | MyKCM

      Why the increase in demand? Increased buying power.

      According to the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, purchasing a home has become more affordable, which has led to increased demand.

      “Due to the combination of falling home prices and mortgage rates, the income needed to make an affordable mortgage payment (mortgage no more than 25% of income) on a median-priced home with 10% down payment and 30-year fixed rate mortgage decreased from $60,425 in June 2018 to $53,783 as of February 2019, and the difference of $6,642 represents a gain in buying power because one can afford a home purchase at a lower level of income.”

      Bottom Line

      It appears the spring buyers’ market is going to be much stronger than many had projected. Whether you are selling or buying, this is important news.

       

      *The methodology behind the indices:

      The ShowingTime Showing Index

      “The ShowingTime Showing Index® tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends.”

      The National Association of REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index

      “In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, NAR asks respondents ‘Compared to the same month last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?’ NAR compiles the responses into an index, where an index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” traffic than “weaker” traffic.”

      5 Reasons To Sell Your House This Spring!

      5 Reasons To Sell Your House This Spring! | MyKCM

      Here are five compelling reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.

      1. Demand Is Strong

      The latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.

      Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

      2. There Is Less Competition Now

      Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

      Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners are granted the freedom to move.

      Many homeowners were reluctant to list their home over the last couple of years for fear that they would not find a home to move in to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you to decide to sell.

      3. The Process Will Be Quicker

      Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. Buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 47 days.

      4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

      If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, it will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

      According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 4.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

      5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

      Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

      Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

      That is what is truly important.

      Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

      Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right! | MyKCM

      If you’ve ever watched “The Price is Right,” you know that the only way to win is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item you want without going over! That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

      In today’s shifting real estate market, where more inventory is coming to market and home values are projected to appreciate at lower rates, homeowners will not be able to price their homes as aggressively as they were able to just last year.

      They will have to employ the same strategy: be the closest without going over!

      As we have explained before, pricing your home at or slightly below market value actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search!

      Over the last six months, more inventory has come to market while the months’ supply of inventory available has dropped. This means that the demand for homes to buy is still very strong throughout the country!

      Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the homes when in reality nothing was wrong, the price was just too high!

      Bottom Line

      If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, let’s get together to properly price your home from the start!

      Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House

      Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, here are the top four home improvement projects that will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI).
      • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
      • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th best renovations for returns on investment.

      Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019?

      Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes!
      • Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic.
      • All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

      Today is ELECTION DAY:  Don't forget to GO OUT AND VOTE!

      DID YOU KNOW? Since 1946, there have been 18 midterm elections. Stocks were higher 12 months after every single one. Every single one. That’s 18 for 18. Even though we’ve had every possible political combination in the past 72 years. Republican president years with Democratic Congress. A democratic president with Republican Congress. A Republican president and Congress. Democratic president and Congress. Since 1946, stocks have risen an average of 17% in the year after a midterm. (Marketwatch)


      "You're gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week." - Elon Musk

      DID YOU KNOW?  It is now rumored that Amazon will split its 'second headquarters' into TWO centers creating 25,000 jobs in each.....stay tuned. What is Amazon looking for? Skilled labor, housing, public transportation and infrastructure......and a few tax break perhaps? Amazon employs 45,000 people in Seattle alone. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Digital Real Estate is News Corp’s fastest-growing segment, contributing 44% of the total company (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, & Amortization) EBITDA, almost 4X those of the company’s other segments individually largely due to the relatively low-cost nature of the business. Digital Real Estate accounts for around 45% of the company’s value, especially notable since the segment only accounts for about 14% of its total revenues. News Corp owns a 61.6% interest in the REA Group (Australia and Asia) and an 80% interest in Move Inc. (realtor.com in the U.S.). (Forbes)

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here is Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Heres Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner | MyKCM

      With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional.

      Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

      Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

      • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
      • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
      • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
      • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
      • The termite company if there are challenges
      • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
      • The appraiser if there is a question of value
      • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
      • The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
      • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

      Bottom Line

      The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process easier for you.

      Upgrade Utopia...A Great Time to Act!

       

      While many buyers in the luxury real estate markets can freeze into a 'wait-and-see' mode when pricing and sales volume drop, those willing to upgrade could experience the ultimate buying opportunity. Here is why:


      1.  Imagine you live in a $4 million home, and the market is down 20%. You'd have to sell that home for around $3,2 million, a loss of around $800,000.  Assuming you are buying a $10 million home that is also down 20%, that home should cost $2 million less, a substantive savings of around $1.2 million net.

      2.  Assume you live in a $4 million home and the markets rise 20% allowing you to sell your home for $4.8 million. Unfortunately, if the market is up 20% across the board, that $10 million home you wish to upgrade to will now cost $12 million.....it will cost you $1.2 million MORE.

      Applying BALANCE SHEET MENTALITY to your real estate needs is always wisest. Your lifetime real estate is mostly not about a single transaction. While we await election results, equity market and rising interest rates clarification, trade-war results, price-cuts, equity market roller-coasters, extreme media sensationalism 24-7 and the true results of the tax bill, opportunity always exists. Always!

       

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