Tag Archives: realestate

What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team

What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team | MyKCM

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help you make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market.

As 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.”

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals whom they have used in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them with helping you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to a Consumer Housing Trends Study, millennials have already started to prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:

“While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”

Look for someone to invest in your family’s future with you. You want an agent who isn’t focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it.

Buying A Home? Do You Know The Difference Between Cost & Price?

Buying A Home? Do You Know The Difference Between Cost & Price? | Keeping Current Matters

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by about three-quarters of a percentage point over the next twelve months.

According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact an interest rate increase would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today if home prices appreciate by the 5.2% predicted by CoreLogic over the next twelve months:

Cost of Waiting | Keeping Current Matters

Foreclosure Inventory Drops As Economy Improves [INFOGRAPHIC]

Foreclosure Inventory Drops As Economy Improves [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Foreclosure Inventory has dropped year-over-year for the last 4 years (48 months).
  • Only 3.4% of US homes are in serious delinquency.
  • 29 states have a foreclosure inventory rate lower than the national average.
  • For more information you can download the full report here

Home Prices: Past, Present & Future

Home Prices: Past, Present and Future | Keeping Current Matters

CoreLogic released their most current Home Price Index last week. In the report, they revealed home appreciation in three categories: percentage appreciation over the last year, over the last month and projected over the next twelve months.

Here are state maps for each category:

The Past – home appreciation over the last 12 months

Home Prices Past | Keeping Current Matters

The Present – home appreciation over the last month

Home Prices Present | Keeping Current Matters

The Future – home appreciation projected over the next 12 months

Home Prices Future | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line:

Homes across the country are appreciating at different rates. If you plan on relocating to another state and are waiting for your home to appreciate more, you need to know that the home you will buy in another state may be appreciating even faster.

Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you determine your next steps.

What You Really Need To Qualify For A Mortgage

What You Really Need To Qualify For A Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 5% or less.

Below are the results of a Digital Risk survey done on Millennials who recently purchased a home.

Millennials & Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The Ipsos survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

Below are the numbers from the latest Ellie Mae report.

Average FICO Score | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able,’ sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.

NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter

NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter | Keeping Current Matters

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 3.9% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 14 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, expects demand to remain stable through the final two months of the year, and “forecasts existing-home sales to finish 2015 at a pace of 5.30 million – the highest since 2006.” 

Takeaway: Demand for housing will continue throughout the end of 2015 and into 2016. The seasonal slowdown often felt in the winter months hasn’t started and shows little signs of being near.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory decreased 2.3% to 2.14 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 4.5% lower than a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

1. “New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing).

2. “Unless sizeable supply gains occur for new and existing homes, prices and rents will continue to exceed wages into next year and hamstring a large pool of potential buyers trying to buy a home.” As rents and prices increase, potential buyers will not able to save as much for a down payment and many may become priced out of the market.

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6 months needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a ‘sizeable’ supply does not enter the market. Take advantage of the ready willing and able buyers that are still out looking for your house.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time.

Do You Know The Difference Your Interest Rate Makes? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do You Know The Difference Your Interest Rate Makes? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates have come a long way in the last 30 years.
  • The interest rate you secure directly impacts your monthly payment and the amount of house that you can afford.
  • Experts predict that rates will increase by 3/4 a percent over the next 12 months.
  • Secure a low rate now to get the most house for your money.

The Residential Rental Market Heading into 2016

The Residential Rental Market Heading into 2016 | Keeping Current Matters

Below are quotes from experts as well as industry reports & articles that cover the residential rental market in the U.S.

The experts…

Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell:

“Make no mistake: Despite this recent slowdown in rental appreciation, the rental affordability crisis we’ve been enduring for the past few years shows no signs of easing, especially as income growth remains weak. It will take a lot more supply, and a lot more renters-turned-homeowners, to fully reverse this.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors

“Rents and home prices are expected to exceed income growth into next year because of the insufficient creation of new home construction and the detrimental impact its inadequacy continues to have on housing costs in several markets.”

David Brickman, Executive Vice President of Freddie Mac Multifamily

“We know rents are rising faster than incomes, and now we have data to show that many renters don’t have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items.”

The reports and articles…

Zillow’s 2016 Housing Market Predictions

“Rising rents won’t let up in 2016, and will continue to set new records. The next year will bring the least affordable median rents ever.”

2015 rent.com Rental Market Report

“68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%”

CNBC

“The primary reasons cited for the latest rises were increasing demand and low inventory. Vacancy rates for rental housing nationally dropped to a 20-year low of 6.8 percent in the second quarter…Rents and occupancies are currently hovering at historic highs as supply isn’t keeping up with demand.”

 Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters debating a home purchase, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can show you your options, before your rent goes up!

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You're Paying A Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

There are some people that have not 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 your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

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.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting with home values and interest rates projected to climb.

Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The annual adjusted sales are currently at a 5.36 million pace.
  • 14,684 homes sell every day in the United States.
  • October marked the 44th consecutive month of price gains.

The "Kee" To Your Next Home!

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