5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

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Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense:

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report 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, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy 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 that is needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners 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 will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple years, for fear that they would not find a home to move 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 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. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time needed to close a loan is 43 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. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that in the luxury or premium market.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage) 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 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.

 

Retrieved from: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today

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Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

  1. Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
  2. Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
  3. An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices actually appreciated:

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Bottom Line

With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Let’s get together to discuss how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.

Retrieved from: https://www.mykcm.com/2019/07/24/mid-year-housing-market-update-three-things-to-know-today/

 

Why It’s Important to Hire a Real Estate Agent

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When you’re selling your home it can be tempting to try and go it alone. Maybe you don’t want to work with a real estate agent to try and save some money, or you just think it won’t make much of a difference. There are a lot of people who do try to sell their homes on their own and when you’re watching the success stories on TV or reading them online it’s easy to think there’s nothing to it.

The truth is there’s a lot that goes into selling a house you may not have considered. Depending on your level of experience with buying and selling homes you may not even know the basics of how things work. Agents do more than just bring in potential buyers and show up to have documents signed. They know all the ins and outs of both buying and selling a house.

If you’re trying to sell your home you really do need to consider all your options to make your sale a success and that includes using a real estate agent. The reasons you need an agent to sell your home are the same no matter where you go. Having a good agent to sell your home is invaluable. Here are five things you should take into consideration when deciding to get a real estate agent to sell your home. 

1. You’re Already Busy

Selling a house can be a full-time job. You’ll have to field calls from interested buyers, work out where you want to advertise any open houses you might have and about a thousand other little things that lead up to a finalized sale. You’re already busy with your life and job, so adding in everything that comes with selling a home is a lot to ask. 

A real estate agent’s job is to deal with all of these exact things. They are not too busy to get back to interested buyers right away. They are not too busy to find the best places to advertise. They aren’t too busy to make sure people who express interest are actually qualified buyers. Basically, everything that would add more to your plate is already something a real estate agent just does.

The things that are extra for you are the day to day life activities of an agent. They do these things multiple times a day and they do them well. They already know how to sell a house, so they’re not learning how to do any of these things on the fly. If you’re already finding yourself busy with life, you definitely need a real estate agent to sell your home. 

2. Real Estate Agents Have More Experience

Unless you’re selling houses every day along with whatever your normal day job is, you don’t have as much experience as an agent. Experience can make a huge difference in getting your house sold quickly, or having to drop the price because it’s been on the market too long. Real estate agents know how to navigate the market better than anyone else out there. 

They’ve trained for this, they’ve taken and passed exams, and they’ve done this all before. More than once. Their experience is valuable and worth the costs involved. Your end goal is to get your house sold so it doesn’t become a hassle you have to deal with or lose money on. A real estate agent’s goal is the same as yours, they just know how to do it faster and better. 

When you’re considering whether or not to use an agent you really do need to consider how their experience can help you get your house sold. They’re the ones that know everything from regulations to tiny things like the best place to look for buyers. Again, this is what they do so trusting the pros, in this case, is a great idea.

3. Real Estate Agents are Professional Negotiators

This is just another fact that goes into what a real estate agent does. Selling your house can be emotional. It’s somewhere you’ve lived your day-to-day life as a family or maybe even grown into as a family. If you’ve put a lot of work into it, you can have an extra attachment because you know the amount of sweat equity involved in that work. 

An agent is removed from all of that. Their main goal is to get your house sold and if negotiations are involved they aren’t going to hold onto emotional ties that prevent them from making a good deal. They definitely aren’t going to make a deal without your approval but since they’re removed from the emotional side of things they can give you better guidance and advice.

Everyone is attached to their home in one way or another. Even if you try really hard to be objective there’s still a high likelihood that some amount of emotional attachment will creep into your negotiation skills. Having a real estate agent present to help you refocus on the bigger picture will be essential to getting your house sold without getting hung up in the negotiation phase. 

4. Real Estate Agents Understand Contracts

At one point selling a home on your own may have been an easy thing to do. There wasn’t much involved on the paperwork side of things and closings were pretty simple. Now, however, that is not the case. Closing paperwork is complicated. There are state and federal regulations that have to be gone over, and closings can get overwhelming very quickly. 

Your buyer may have a real estate agent there with them during the closing, but that agent is going to be focused on the buyer’s best interests. You’re going to need someone on your side, too. Sometimes last minute things come up right as someone is about to sign on that dotted line. For someone that doesn’t deal with closings often these can be deal breaker situations. 

A real estate agent helping you sell your house is going to know about contracts and closings. They’re going to know what needs to be disclosed and what to do if something comes up as paperwork is being signed. 

Contracts and disclosures are not always easy things to understand, especially if you haven’t gone through the process more than once or twice. Having an agent there to navigate the closing contract signing situations is a huge key to the successful sale of your home.

5. Real Estate Agents Can Give You Pricing Advice

Much like the negotiating, pricing your home can be something that’s hard to separate emotion from. You already know how hard you worked to get your home ready for sale, or the work you’ve put in during the past years you’ve owned the house. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind entirely while coming up with a price to list your home at. 

Agents can help you because they know the neighborhoods, they know the market, and they know comparable housing prices. All of these things factor into making sure you’re pricing your home effectively. You still have the final say, and a real estate agent can’t force you to list at a certain price but their experience and knowledge should be given proper credit. 

An agent can help talk through what you would like to sell the home for, and show you what other homes are selling for right now. If there’s a huge gap in what you want and what the real estate agent thinks is attainable it’s something you can talk about. There might be something you don’t know, or there might be something the agent hasn’t considered for your pricing. 

As a team, you can come up with a price together. Again, this gives you someone removed from the situation emotionally that’s still on your side. They still want you to make money on the sale but they are going to have a realistic way of looking at things that you might not have if you’re very attached to your house. This is an invaluable resource to have when trying to make a sale.

Bottom Line:

Selling your house is not as easy as you might initially think it will be. There are a lot of reasons you’ll want to have a real estate agent on your side. From negotiation to fielding interested buyers there’s just a lot to consider and this is what they do day in and day out. 

Hiring an agent to sell your home is likely to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders, and may even get your home listed and sold more quickly potentially being the best decision you make during the entire process.

Retrieved from: https://www.mckissock.com/blog/real-estate/why-its-important-to-hire-a-real-estate-agent/

10 things to put on your summer home maintenance checklist

There are a lot of things you need to do for your home throughout the year, and summer is the time when a lot of those efforts need a little extra attention. Consequently, putting together a checklist to follow for the rest of July and August is a great way to avoid unexpected issues.

Here are 10 things around the home you can’t afford to ignore this summer:

1) Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway, but if you haven’t done it in a while, now is definitely the time, according to Insurance Hub. Test every one and, if they don’t beep, replace the batteries. It doesn’t take much effort but it’s vital to protecting your loved ones and your home itself.

2) Dust the fans

Whether you have ceiling fans or the box version you pull out of the attic or basement every summer, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re free of dust and other debris before putting them into heavy use over the next few months. Making sure the blades and other components are cleared off is good for not spreading dust around a room, but also because it keeps the fan balanced and in good working order.

3) Inspect your air conditioners

The same is true of your AC units – whether you have a central system or install individual units in windows – because a lot more debris can build up around them. Due to how much power they use, an inefficient air conditioner can be quite costly, and there can also be some fire risk if the unit is in particularly bad shape. In that case, it might be better to get it repaired or replaced.

4) Give the grill a once-over

If you plan to do any grilling this summer, you will have to check that all components of it are in good working order, according to The Nest. First, you should clean it thoroughly, whether it’s gas or charcoal. However, if you have a gas grill, there’s plenty more to consider to make sure everyone is safe, including the propane tank and hookups.

5) Make sure the porch, deck or patio is in good shape

If you’re going to be spending plenty of pleasant hours hosting company or just reading a book alone in an outdoor space, you need to make sure all the masonry or wood is in good shape. If not, there may be plenty of steps you can take to fix them, but doing so sooner than later is vital to ensuring everyone avoids slipping or tripping – and potentially injuring themselves – when they come over.

6) Get to work on the appliances

There are plenty of appliances you should look over in the summer, from cleaning all the collected dust and debris off the back of the refrigerator to clearing out the exhaust fan above the stove, according to Better Homes and Gardens. You should also be sure to clear out all the lint that can build up around your washer and dryer, and inspect the dishwasher for leaks.

7) See if the trees and bushes are healthy

Not only are dead and dying trees or shrubbery around your home not good for the other plants in your yard, they’re also a potential risk. In the summer and into early fall, weather events like thunderstorms, tornados and hurricanes can threaten your property depending upon where you live, and in those cases, big overhanging limbs or the entire plant can put people and other objects in your yard in harm’s way. Pruning the vegetation back as necessary, or having them removed altogether, is usually a good idea for this reason.

8) Vacuum all the vents

Similar to clearing all the dust off your fans, tuning up your air conditioner and cleaning your appliances, you might want to ensure all vents in your home is clear of dust and other debris, according to Home Advisor. In the course of your regular vacuuming, making sure to get every vent you encounter – whether intake or exhaust – can help your HVAC system run more effectively. That’s true not only in the summer, when the A/C is often on full blast, but also the winter when you have the heat going.

9) Look at the roof

As mentioned, summer can bring with it some storms that pack heavy rains and winds, and even a little damage to your roof could lead to major problems for your entire home. Water damage that starts at the roof can have a very real (and literal) trickle-down effect that cost thousands or more to repair. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to get up on the roof when the weather is good to make sure there are no missing shingles or tiles and everything is as it should be. If not, it’s time to repair the issues immediately.

10) Clear the gutters regularly

Along similar lines, there’s plenty of stuff that can get stuck in your gutters over the course of the year, and if you’re not making sure to clear them off regularly, you’re significantly increasing your risk of having a backup that causes water damage. As such, taking a few hours to make sure there are no leaves, pine needles sticks and other debris clogging up your gutters and spouts is going to be time well spent when heavy rains come. It can also be a good idea to make sure where the gutters empty out either has a rain barrel collecting the excess water or is properly designed to make it flow away from your foundation.

Bottom Line:

Every home has its own unique needs that owners must take into account when putting together a to-do list – the list of necessary maintenance tasks expands quickly if you have a pool, for instance. In general, common sense should dictate many of the steps you take to make sure your home is protected not only during these next few months of summer, but all year long.

Retrieved from: https://www.hmsnational.com/real-estate-professional/blog/10-things-to-put-on-your-summer-home-maintenance-checklist

 

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Buying A Home Come True

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Buying A Home Come True [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking too much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

    Credit: Keeping Current Matters, Inc http://bit.ly/2T8HhGR

Millionaire To Millennials: Don’t Get Stuck Renting A Home… Buy One!

Millionaire To Millennials: Don’t Get Stuck Renting A Home… Buy One! | MyKCM

In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “The biggest mistake millennials are making is not buying their first home.” He goes on to say that, “If you want to build real financial security, real wealth for your lifetime, then you need to buy a home.”

Bach went on to explain:

“Homeowners are worth 40 times more than renters. Now, that first home doesn’t need to be a dream home, it can be a very small home. You might literally have to buy a small studio apartment, but that’s how you get started.”

Then he explains the secret to buying that home!

“Don’t do a 30-year mortgage. You want to take that 30-year mortgage and instead pay it off early, do a 15-year mortgage. What happens if you do a 15-year mortgage? Well, one, you pay the mortgage off 15-years sooner, that means you’ll be able to retire in your fifties. Number two, you’ll save a fortune (on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments).”

What will it cost to pay your mortgage in fifteen years? He explains further:

“For fifteen years, you got to brownbag your lunch. Think about that! Brownbag your lunch literally for fifteen years. You can retire ten years sooner than your friends. You’ll have real wealth, because you bought a home – you’re not a renter. And you’ll be financially secure for life.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. He has also been profiled in many major publications, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.

Credit: Keeping Current Matters Inc, http://bit.ly/2SUJmWX

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability | MyKCM

Headlines spotlight the fact that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in more than a decade. Those headlines are accurate.

Understandably, buying a home is more expensive now than immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history. Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many that this lowered the prices of non-distressed homes in the same neighborhoods. As a result, mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Prices have since recovered. Mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has impacted housing affordability. However, it’s necessary to give historical context to the subject of affordability.

Two weeks ago, CoreLogic reported on what they call the “typical mortgage payment”. As they explain:

“One way to measure the impact of inflation, mortgage rates and home prices on affordability over time is to use what we call the ‘typical mortgage payment.’ It’s a mortgage-rate-adjusted monthly payment based on each month’s U.S. median home sale price. It is calculated using Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment…

The typical mortgage payment is a good proxy for affordability because it shows the monthly amount that a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to buy the median-priced U.S. home…

When adjusted for inflation, the typical mortgage payment puts homebuyers’ current costs in the proper historical context.”

Here is a graph showing the results of CoreLogic’s research:

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability | MyKCM

As the graph indicates, the most recent calculation remained 28% below the all-time peak of $1,275 in June 2006. That’s because the average mortgage rate at that time was 6.68%. As seen in the graph, both today’s typical payment and CoreLogic’s projection for the end of the year are less than it was in January 2000.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are appreciating at a slower rate, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is an unattainable goal in most markets. It is still less expensive today than it was prior to the housing bubble and crash.

Credit: Keeping Current Matters, Inc. http://bit.ly/2DnAgqS

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw the Best Super Bowl Parties! [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw the Best Super Bowl Parties! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Highlights:

  • Watching the big game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
  • There’s more room to entertain a large crowd, and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
  • The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!

    Credit: Keeping Current Matters, Inc. http://bit.ly/2S4ssEE

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market | MyKCM

Whether you are thinking of selling your house or buying a home, today’s real estate headlines can be confusing – perhaps even concerning. What is actually happening with mortgage rates? Are home values dropping or are they just rising at a slower pace? What impact will the economy have on the housing market?

If you are either a buyer or seller (or both), you need to know what it will mean to your family if you go ahead with the move. You need to understand three things:

1. What is happening in the housing market right now?

Consumers must get past those fear-mongering headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening. How strong is buyer demand right now? How much competition do listings have today compared to what they will have in the spring? People want to make an educated decision on what is probably their family’s greatest financial asset.

2. Why is it happening?

Understanding the individual pieces that impact the sale or purchase of real estate is important. Understanding how those pieces impact each other is critical. How does the amount of a down payment impact the mortgage rate a buyer will be offered? Can you still price your house a ‘little ahead’ of the market and still be sure it will sell?

3. How do the first two affect your local market?

Basically, you want an understanding of the overall housing market and a simple and effective explanation of how it will impact your personal real estate goals.

Bottom Line

The best way to get all three is to work with a professional who understands this shifting real estate market and can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals. Let’s get together to discuss what today’s market means for you.

Members: Download your copy of How to Succeed in a Shifting Real Estate Market” on the eGuides page to learn more about ways you can navigate today’s market!

Credit: Keeping Current Matters, Inc. http://bit.ly/2Dyb7vh

Last Chance! Homes are a Bargain Compared to Historic Norms

Last Chance! Homes are a Bargain Compared to Historic Norms | MyKCM

A loaf of bread used to be a nickel. A movie ticket was a dime.  Not anymore. Houses were also much less expensive than they are now. Inflation raised the price of all three of those items, along with the price of almost every other item we purchase.

The reason we can still afford to consume is that our wages have also risen over time. The better measure of whether an item is more expensive than it was before is what percentage of our income it takes to purchase that item today compared to earlier. Let’s look at purchasing a home.

The COST of a home is determined by three major components: price, mortgage interest rate, and wages. The big question? Are we paying a greater percentage of our income toward our monthly mortgage payment today than previous generations? Surprisingly, the answer is no.

Historically, Americans have paid just over 21% of their income toward their monthly mortgage payment.

Though home prices are higher than before, wages have risen as well. And, the most important component in the cost equation – the mortgage rate – is dramatically lower than it was in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Today, according to the latest Home Affordability Index just released by the National Association of Realtors, Americans are paying 17.4% of their income toward their mortgage payment. That is much lower than the 21% average previous generations have paid.

Last Chance! Homes are a Bargain Compared to Historic Norms | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The cost of purchasing a home today is a bargain compared to previous generations when we look at it from a percentage of income basis. However, with mortgage rates expected to increase and home prices continuing to appreciate, that will not always be the case. Whether you are buying your first home or looking to move-up to a more expensive home, purchasing sooner rather than later probably makes sense.

Credit: Keeping Current Matters, Inc. http://bit.ly/2U0iOQ6