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      Blog :: 04-2019

      Make Every Day, Earth Day!

       

      Earth (EVERY) Day

      Yesterday was EARTH DAY another great way of reminding all in the world just how important our awareness has to be in improving our environment and minimizing the negative effects we humans have on it. While I love these days of awareness, I thought I would write about it today - a day later - to emphasize how doing something for one day pales in comparrison to the effect we can have when we are aware of something - and do something about it - EVERY day of the year. So here are some simple suggestions - primarily focused on our real estate world - on how all of us can contribute to improving our planet for future generations:

      1.  Avoid Plastic wherever possible. It is extremely toxic. There is enough science behind what plastic does to the environment, so even if you don't care about that landfill 'over there' know that microscopic - and not-so-microscopic - plastic particles are finding their way into our food. And you don't want to be eating plastic! Avoid plastic water bottles. They are toxic for you and the planet.

      2.  Take public transportation, or try never to be alone in a car.  Not easy in out profession at all! So when you cannot do this, try to be driving a car that burns as little fossil fuel as possible, or an electric car. Shared rides and cars help too. Walking and cycling is good for you as long as you aren't completely distracted by your tech!

      3.  Encourage green energy sources by subscribing to them personally and encouraging builders and homeowners to install geo-thermal, solar and other non-carbon energy into their homes.

      4.  Use LED light bulbs. There are many now that emulate almost the exact light quality of an incandescent bulb and they dim well. Use 2,700K temperature bulbs. We don't have to look ugly to be responsible. Turn off lights when not needed, even in your office. Use natural light wherever possible.

      5.  Avoid clothing made of fibers that aren't bio-degradable. Much of what is in your closet could possibly take decades to biodegrade. And chances are those un-natural high-tech fibers are not good for the environment.

      6.  Take a look at what you throw away and cut it by half. We waste SO MUCH! Try to re-cycle everything. Compost.

      7.  Try to eliminate as much unnecessary paper mail. Yes, we are agents and need to do mailings to market ourselves and our properties, but be aware of what this does to our environment. Plastic-wrapped mailings are not good for our planet.... Pay bills online.

      8.  Eat local, organic food that has not been subjected to pesticides and chemicals/antibiotics. This will encourage less use of these products that are known to be ultra-harmful, especially when they make their way into our drinking water. Transporting food long distances is not great for the environment.

      9.  Love that super-green lawn?  Use organic fertilizers and soils. Yes, those chemical-infused additives are very effective, but are also very harmful. Maybe plant a small vegetable or herb garden.

      10.  Conserve water, especially in areas that are prone to drought. It may be as simple as not running your water non-stop while brushing your teeth! Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Collect rainwater.

      11.  Insulate, insulate, insulate. Most homes are energy-inefficient because of poor sealing and inadequate insulation. Use programmable thermostats to increase efficiency.

      12.  Clean your air at home with house plants. Plant trees. Eliminate artificial, toxic odors. PS: many candles emit toxins into the air.... There are organic alternatives.

      13.  Buy energy-efficient appliances and use them with efficiency in mind.

      14.  Buy used/existing products to avoid unnecessary waste. Used furniture is a good example.

      15.  A shared living environment is GREAT for the planet, ie: apartments. Renovating an old house - and retro-fitting it for energy efficiency - is far better for the environment than tearing it down and replacing it with a new home.

      Imagine if we ALL did these things EVERY day, or as much as possible!.....Let's love our planet and do our share to keep her alive!

       

      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.”

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      DID YOU KNOW? About 85 million families own a pet, up 50% from 1980. Are homes being engineered better to accommodate pets? Are building and neighborhood pet policies/amenities adapting to this?  (Inman)

      DID YOU KNOW?  US News' list of the 10 Best places to live in the USA just came out:

      1. Austin 

      2. Denver 

      3. Colorado Springs 

      4. Fayetteville, AR 

      5. Des Moines 

      6. Minneapolis-St. Paul 

      7. San Francisco 

      8. Portland 

      9. Seattle 

      10. Raleigh-Durham

       

      DID YOU KNOW? 2 million people fall asleep in a stranger’s home EVERY NIGHT through an Airbnb rental in 81,000 cities/towns and 191 countries. Since 2008, there have been over 400 million guest arrivals. The fastest growing Airbnb demographic?  Seniors! 60% of reservations are for an entire home. 54% of users are female and 46% male.

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Canada remains the largest foreign real estate investor in the USA, sinking $20 billion into U.S. real estate last year, followed by Singapore, France, China, and Germany.

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Fort Worth's Crescent Real Estate LLC with Starwood Capital Group and High Street Real Estate Partners has announced plans for a 721-room hotel project next to Nashville's convention center. Starting in the next few months they will build two hotel towers joined by a 4-story lobby and conference center building on 1.3 acres next to Nashville's new $ 625 million 2.1M s.f. Music City Center convention complex. The development will include a 30-story Embassy Suites by Hilton and an 18-story 1 Hotel tower, the new Starwood Capital brand. Nashville draws more than 15 million visitors a year and is one of the country's top hotel markets. (Dallas News)

      Your Home's Spring Maintenance Checklist

      Your Homes Spring Maintenance Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • Every spring, your home needs some extra TLC!
      • Whether you plan on selling your home this spring or not, conducting this maintenance will help ensure your home functions well for the rest of the year.
      • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

      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.

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