June 11, 2019

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth | MyKCM

There are many financial benefits to homeownership, but probably none more important than its ability to create family wealth.

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is an online resource for research and information on how homeownership contributes to individual and community success.

Their article, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, explains the importance of homeownership to a family’s financial health. In that article, they simply stated:

“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.”

To this point, National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed in a recent post:

“Housing wealth contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition, because home equity can be tapped for expenditures such as investing in another property (which can generate rental income), home renovation (which further increases the home value), a child’s college education, emergency or major life events, or expenses in retirement…

Housing wealth (or net worth or equity) is built up over time via the home price appreciation and the principal payments that the homeowner makes on the loan.”

Here is a graph showing the build-up of wealth over time:How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth | MyKCMJust last month, NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, explained that even though home appreciation has slowed, homeowners are still building wealth:

“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year.”

Later in life, this wealth is crucial…

This wealth is important to a family’s retirement plans. In a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University titled, Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, they revealed that a renter 65 years old or older has a net worth of $6,710. Meanwhile, a homeowner 65+ years old has a net worth of $319,200. That huge difference will allow for a dramatic upgrade in one’s lifestyle during your retirement years.

Bottom Line

Homeownership builds wealth. This, in turn, allows families to have more and better options when it comes to their children and their life in retirement.

Posted in Buying a home
June 5, 2019

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home | MyKCM

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful and compelling ones.

No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, that feeling of safety and security you gain from owning your own home is simultaneously one of the greatest and most difficult to describe.

Frederick Peters, a contributor for Forbesrecently wrote about that feeling, and the pride that comes from owning your own home.

“As homeowners discover, living in an owned home feels different from living in a rented home. It’s not just that an owner can personalize the space; it touches a chord even more fundamental than that.

Homeownership enhances the longing for self-determination at the heart of the American Dream. First-time homeowners, young or old, radiate not only pride but also a sense of arrival, a sense of being where they belong. It cannot be duplicated by owning a 99-year lease.”

Bottom Line

Owning a home brings a sense of accomplishment and confidence that cannot be achieved through renting. If you are debating renewing your lease, let’s get together before you do to answer any questions you may have about what your next steps should be, and what is required in today’s market!

Posted in Buying a home
May 28, 2019

Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here Are 5 Tips!

Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here Are 5 Tips!

Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here Are 5 Tips! | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.

In a realtor.com article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In

Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.

An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.

Posted in Buying a home
May 21, 2019

Are Older Generations Really Not Selling Their Homes?

Are Older Generations Really Not Selling Their Homes?

Are Older Generations Really Not Selling their Homes? | MyKCM

Many studies suggest one of the main reasons for the inventory shortage in today’s market of homes for sale is that older generations have chosen to “age in place” over moving.

The 2019 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trend Report by NAR clarifies this point!

NAR’s findings show that Baby Boomers (43%) and the Silent Generation (12%) made up 56% of sellers in 2018! This means the majority of sellers last year were over the age of 54. This also shows these generations ARE moving!

The report also shared the reasons why they chose to move. According to the research, the top reason was a desire to be closer to friends and family. Below is a full breakdown:

Are Older Generations Really Not Selling their Homes? | MyKCM

As we can see, they have plenty of reasons to sell their current home! But what type of homes are they trading in?Are Older Generations Really Not Selling their Homes? | MyKCM

Once again, the report demonstrated that older generations are not keeping that 3-bedroom, 2-bath colonial home. Instead, they are putting it on the market and moving on with their lives!

Bottom Line

If you are living in a house that no longer fits your needs, let’s get together to help you find a home that will!

Posted in Market Update
May 16, 2019

Save Money, Cut the Cord

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When you move, you have a lot on your mind, but getting cable service transferred over doesn’t need to be one of them. For most people, when it comes to cable TV, they feel like they pay a lot and get a bunch of channels they never watch. An alternative, then, is to pay for what you want and ditch the cable packages. With these ideas, you can simplify and save money just by replacing your paid TV subscriptions with free or cheaper alternatives.

Cutting the cord is a great option to save money! If you’re thinking about a move and want to find a great value on a new home – I’m here to help. Give me a call, text or reply to this email to talk about your move. 

 

Posted in Home Improvement
Jan. 17, 2019

Do You Have a Resolution For Your Home?

Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful holiday season. Now it’s resolution season; have you created your goals for 2019? Many of us have vowed to start using the gym more often or start saving more money, but it’s also a great time to think about how you want to improve your home this year. Need a little inspiration for a home resolution for 2019? Here’s a checklist of project ideas, ranging from small to large, to get your wheels turning.

​If you’re considering buying a new home this year rather than fixing up your current house, please reach out; I’d love to help you start this process.

Posted in Home Improvement
Oct. 18, 2018

4 Apps to Save You Money

 

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the middle of October already. Before we know it, the holidays will be here and the shopping season will be in full swing. Whether you’re gearing up for holiday shopping or just looking for some ways to cut down on spending, I wanted to share some apps that can help. Two will help you replenish your savings, and the other two help you save when you shop and eat.

Digit is an app that makes it painless to save money.

You link it to your bank account and it will analyze your spending and determine the perfect amount to automatically set aside each day. It aims to divert an amount small enough that you won’t even notice it, but over time, the savings can add up drastically.

This nifty app allows you to roll your spare change into an investment account that has the potential to grow much faster than a savings account.

You can link it to your debit card, and when you spend less than a whole dollar amount, it will round up and automatically reinvest the remainder into your account (for example, if you spend $4.75, it would invest 25 cents). You can also add money on a one-off basis.

This trusty shopping app offers promo codes and discounts to save you money at some of the most popular stores and eateries around the country.

It offers both in-store coupons and online promo codes. There’s an option to turn on location services, which allows you to view deals at shops, malls, and restaurants near you.

Never pay full price on clothes or shoes again with this app.

You’ll save big bucks by buying pre-owned (sometimes brand new) items from other users. On top of that, you can sell your own gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories like jewelry and sunglasses to make some extra bucks. 

These are just a few ways to save money this holiday season. If a new home is on your shopping list, I’d be happy to help you. Please give me a call at your convenience.

 

Have a great day!

Posted in Saving Money
Sept. 21, 2018

Should I buy or sell a home in the Fall?

Silver medal. Runner-up. Fall. These are all considered to be the second choice, but there are so many benefits to buying or selling a home in fall that we can’t help but push back on any thoughts that the season should be dismissed as subpar. After all, vanilla is the top-selling brand of ice cream, but does that make it better than other frozen treats? We think not! Consider these seven reasons to buy or sell this fall.

Reasons to Sell Your Home in the Fall

Spring may have higher demand, but it also comes with higher inventory. Your home listing in the fall means less “competition” for you and possibly a better offer. Make sure you have done a great job of addressing curb appeal, staging, and cleaning to help your home really shine.

Buyers who are shopping for a new home in the fall or even in the winter usually have a strong reason to do so. Their motivations could include a recent job transfer, a desire to have their kids in a new school prior to mid-year breaks (or, if it’s early enough in the season, before school starts), or wanting to celebrate the holidays in a new space.

With more families wanting and needing multi-generational living spaces (think of the sandwich generation with both teens and aging parents sharing a home), the search for a home could be a longer process, pushing the process beyond spring’s peak.

Reasons to Buy Your Home in the Fall

Often times, sellers will be encouraged to pull their home off the market for the winter holidays. This means inventory will drop and then surge again in the spring. Shopping for a home in the fall will allow you to see houses before the flood of showings after the holidays.

Sellers who keep their listings active in the fall usually have a motivating factor behind their decision, which can benefit you. While it isn’t fully a buyer’s market, because they likely have less showings, they may be more open to accepting your offer.

Buying a home in the fall has several time-sensitive benefits. Your first mortgage payment won’t likely hit until the new year, and you may celebrate the winter holidays in your new space. 

In an analysis of over 30 million home sales spanning 15 years, RealtyTrac(r), found that home buyers who purchased in October paid nearly 3% less than in other months. You can also get into your new home right in time for the end-of-year sales on appliances and electronics - bonus!

If summer was for home repairs and vacations and you are now ready to buy or sell, give me a call for a market analysis and information to get moving this fall!

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Posted in Selling your home
Aug. 17, 2018

3 DIY Projects To Do Before Fall

Home improvement projects can be fun and add value, whether you’re making your home space more usable, more attractive, or more comfortable. Here are three projects to get your creativity flowing based on your skillset.

Painting your front door can increase your curb appeal and give a feeling of newness to your entryway. Choose your color in a glossy exterior paint – a quart should be enough. You may want to test a few colors in various lighting before you make your final decision.


Be sure you paint on a dry day with moderate temperature so the paint can dry and not blister. Start by either removing the door and any hardware or by taping off the areas that aren’t receiving paint. Scrape off any chipping paint, sanding the door if needed. Brush off any dust, dirt, or debris and apply paint with primer, or prime first and then paint it once dry.


Other ideas: freshen up the look of a room with a new paint color, accent wall, or cleanly painted trim.

Pavers come in all shapes and sizes and can create a flat parking space for an RV, more design and aesthetic to your entry, or even a whimsical path to outdoor space. Quickly spruce up an area, such as a garden, with a border. Or, dig a 5” deep trench set with compacted class V gravel and sand to create a long-lasting foundation for decorative pavers.


Other ideas: consider adding outdoor lighting along your new path or end it with a patio. An outdoor fireplace and seating area will make the space perfect for entertaining.

Kitchen and bathrooms are where we spend most of our time, and a mini-makeover can create a more beautiful or usable space. Replace hardware, add a tile backsplash, or install a new counter or sink to instantly transform your space. Install drawer roll-outs to increase storage and reduce clutter.

 

Local hardware stores and online tutorials are sure to inspire and instruct you on your makeover. And all these projects can be completed over a weekend.


Other ideas: consider installing shelving and/or organizers in a closet, laundry, or mudroom.

Don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself? Contact me about in-home services from a great handyman, plumber, or electrician.

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Posted in Home Improvement
Aug. 8, 2018

2018 Mid-Year Market Update

 
 

Mid Year Market Update 

This year has been a great year in real estate. Both sales and prices have seen some modest increases. One thing that we do have to worry about though is an upcoming recession as most experts believe is on the horizon. 

 

Watch the video to see the details.

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Posted in Market Update