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What If I Need to Sell My Home Now? What Can I Do?

What If I Need to Sell My Home Now? What Can I Do?

What If I Need to Sell My Home Now? What Can I Do? | MyKCM

Every day that passes, people have a need to buy and sell homes. That doesn’t stop during the current pandemic. If you’ve had a major life change recently, whether with your job or your family situation, you may be in a position where you need to sell your home – and fast. While you probably feel like timing with the current pandemic isn’t on your side, making a move is still possible. Rest assured, with technology at your side and fewer sellers on the market in most areas, you can list your house and make it happen safely and effectively, especially when following the current COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You may have a new baby, a new employment situation, a parent who moved in with you, you just built a home that’s finally ready to move into, or some other major part of your life that has changed in recent weeks. Buyers have those needs too, so rest assured that someone is likely looking for a home just like yours.

According to the NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse taken April 5 – 6, real estate agents indicate, not surprisingly, that there’s a noticeable decline in current homebuyer interest. That said, 10% of agents said in the same survey that they saw no change or even an increase in buyer activity. So, while buyer interest is low compared to normal spring markets, there are still buyers in the market. Don’t forget, you only need one buyer – the right one for your home.

Here’s the other thing – people are spending a lot of time on the Internet right now, given the stay-at-home orders implemented across the country. Buyers are actively looking at homes for sale online. Some of them are reaching out to real estate professionals for virtual tours and getting ready to make offers too. Homes are being sold in many markets.

There Is Less Competition Right Now

The same survey indicates that 56% of NAR members said sellers are removing their homes from the market right now. This can definitely work in your favor. If other sellers are removing their listings, your home has a better chance of rising to the top of a buyer’s search list and being seen. Keep in mind, listings will pick up again soon, as 57% of the respondents note that sellers are only planning to delay the process by a couple of months. If you need to sell right now, don’t wait for the competition to get back into the market again.

This year, delayed listings from the typically busy spring season will push into the summer months, so more competition will be coming to the market as the pandemic passes. Getting ahead of that wave now might be your biggest opportunity.

Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor Can Help

Real estate agents are working hard every single day under untraditional circumstances, utilizing technology to help both buyers and sellers who need to continue with their plans. We’re using virtual tours to show homes currently on the market, staying connected with the buyers and sellers through video chats, and leveraging resources to complete transactions electronically. We’re making sure the families we support remain safe and can keep their real estate needs on track, especially as life is changing so rapidly.

Bottom Line

Homes are still being bought and sold in the midst of this pandemic. If you need to sell your house and would like to know the current status in our local market, let’s work together to create a safe and effective plan that works for you and your family.

 

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

The Covid-19 Pandemic And The Real Estate Market

5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time

5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCM

With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview:

“With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.”

There are many reasons, however, indicating this real estate market is nothing like 2008. Here are five visuals to show the dramatic differences.

1. Mortgage standards are nothing like they were back then.

During the housing bubble, it was difficult NOT to get a mortgage. Today, it is tough to qualify. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases a Mortgage Credit Availability Index which is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.” The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. As shown below, during the housing bubble, the index skyrocketed. Currently, the index shows how getting a mortgage is even more difficult than it was before the bubble.5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCM

2. Prices are not soaring out of control.

Below is a graph showing annual house appreciation over the past six years, compared to the six years leading up to the height of the housing bubble. Though price appreciation has been quite strong recently, it is nowhere near the rise in prices that preceded the crash.5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCMThere’s a stark difference between these two periods of time. Normal appreciation is 3.6%, so while current appreciation is higher than the historic norm, it’s certainly not accelerating beyond control as it did in the early 2000s.

3. We don’t have a surplus of homes on the market. We have a shortage.

The months’ supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale in 2007, and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory which is causing an acceleration in home values.5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCM

4. Houses became too expensive to buy.

The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, the wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Fourteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased and the mortgage rate is about 3.5%. That means the average family pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then. Here’s a graph showing that difference:5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCM

5. People are equity rich, not tapped out.

In the run-up to the housing bubble, homeowners were using their homes as a personal ATM machine. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up, and they learned their lesson in the process. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over fifty percent of homes in the country having greater than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time. Here is a table comparing the equity withdrawal over the last three years compared to 2005, 2006, and 2007. Homeowners have cashed out over $500 billion dollars less than before:5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time | MyKCMDuring the crash, home values began to fall, and sellers found themselves in a negative equity situation (where the amount of the mortgage they owned was greater than the value of their home). Some decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area. That can’t happen today.

Bottom Line

If you’re concerned we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, take a look at the charts and graphs above to help alleviate your fears.

 

Source: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

2019 Housing Market Outlook

Although it’s impossible to predict the future, current trends and statistics create a picture of the market’s health. Read on for where the market is now,  three things to watch for in 2019 and the market outlook.

The National Market as we begin 2019

Home prices are up 4.6 percent and the average home value is $264,800.1   Sales may be down, but prices will continue to rise. This is good news for sellers, but may keep buyers on the sidelines in high-price markets.

Home sales are down 1.5 percent from a year ago.Experts say that many buyers are priced out of the market or they’re waiting until more homes within their price range are available.

Homes are selling fast. Homes are on the market for an average of only 29 days, with 52 percent of homes on the market for less than a month.Some experts indicate the 2019 market time will be longer as the inventory increases taking up to 6 months to sell.

Inventory is tight. People are staying in their homes longer and housing starts are at an all-time low.However, housing permits are up 8.4 percent over last year, which means more inventory to come.3

Competition is high. First-time buyers made up 31 percent of home purchasers.For those in the market to buy, get preapproved for a mortgage to stay competitive. If you need a lender, we can refer you to a great one in our network.

Competition is high. First-time buyers made up 31 percent of home purchasers.For those in the market to buy, get preapproved for a mortgage to stay competitive. If you need a lender, we can refer you to a great one in our network.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019

1.  INTEREST RATES:Experts predict the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates two times in 2019.However, increases are expected to be gradual.

2. INFLATION: Inflation is expected to increase slightly in 2019, due in part to a strengthening labor market and tariffs.

3. STRENGTH OF ECONOMY: The economy continues to grow and strengthen, a trend that is expected to endure in 2019.

Will we see a Market Correction?5

Recently, you may have seen news headlines predicting the next recession. The economy has been growing since 2009, the longest stretch in U.S. history.Since the economy is cyclical, it’s only natural to wonder when the economy will begin to retract.

Causes of a downturn. Recessions are often caused by unforeseen events or circumstances that shock the market. Sixty-two percent of experts say an overheating economy will lead to the Fed tightening it’s belt.5  Others say a financial meltdown may be caused by an asset bubble, fiscal crisis or international trade disruptions.5

Reasons to be optimistic. Housing isn’t likely to play a large role in the next recession.Although affordability remains a concern in many areas of the country, experts say that housing is unlikely to cause another recession.5

Take headlines with a grain of salt. Experts predicted recessions in 2011 and 2016, and neither transpired. It is important to remember that growth doesn’t last, so a downturn would be considered natural. Over the next year, economists predict the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will continue to grow and unemployment rates will fall further. The risk of recession in the next year is only about 15 percent, and the changes to the tax code effective this year are expected to drive business investment spending.

Sources:

  1. National Association of REALTORS
  2. CNN Money
  3. National Association of Home Builders
  4. HousingWire
  5. Wall Street Journal

Benefits of Recuded Debt

Benefits of Reduced Debt

If you’ve set a goal to pay down your debt this year, you’re not alone. Strategically reducing or paying off debt benefits your finances tremendously, but can positively impact other areas of your life as well.

Reduce stress.

According to a recent study, more than 85% of Americans intermittently feel stressed by their finances and 30% feel stressed constanly.*  By making a commitment to pay off your debt, you’re also making a commitment to your overall health and well-being by minimizing a large cause of your stress.

Improve your credit score.

Although credit cards and lines of credit may help establish your score, maintaining low balances positively impacts it overall. Additionally, if you plan to finance large purchases, such as a car or home, keeping your outstanding balances low may classify you as a lower credit risk and qualify you for reduced rates.

Easily pay an unexpected bill.

If your debts are low, you’ll be able to save more in an emergency fund to handle financial surprises, such as an unexpected home repair bill.

Increase your disposable income.

Many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck; their hard-earned money is already earmarked to pay off debts and bills before it’s even deposited in a bank account. However, the less debt you are in, the more disposable income you will have available to enjoy now or save for later.

Boost your retirement income.

If you want to maintain your lifestyle long after retirement, the time to save is now. Unfortunately, one of the biggest impediments to building a retirement nest egg is existing debt. The good news is, when you pay down or pay off your debt, you can choose to contribute additional funds to existing retirement accounts for enjoyment of your golden years.

Model good financial habits for others.

If you want others to cultivate good financial habits, be the example they can follow. People, especially children, mimic the behaviors they see. Explain how to cultivate good financial habits and why it is important to do so. Additionally, provide reasons why it is best to avoid unnecessary debt.

Become more generous. 

The less debt we have, the more generous we may feel with our money. Whether it’s tithing more, donating to a local school or sports programs or giving money to a cause dear to us, we may feel like we can give more.

 

Harness the benefits of compound interest

Whether you’re paying down debt or are debt-free, transfer a percentage of your earnings each paycheck to an interest-bearing account. The intent is to make a portion of your earnings work for you.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”                                                                                                              -Albert Einstein

 

 

3 Ways to earn extra money

Looking for ways to earn more money? Whether you want to pay down debt, build emergency savings or invest, consider these options.

  1. Get side hustle. Do you have a hobby or skill that could net more money on the side? Whether it’s photography, web design or crafting, consider sharing your skills to earn extra cash.
  2. If you have extra room in your home or an in-law apartment, consider renting it through Airbnb. Be sure to check the regulations in your area to ensure you’re in compliance with municipal codes or homeowner’s association rules.
  3. Clear the clutter. Sort through your stuff and set aside items that you don’t use, are in good condition and others would enjoy. Consider selling them online, at a consignment shop or in a garage sale.

 

Sources: *CNBC, March 20, 2018; Buffini & Company

Waiting to Buy a Home?

Waiting to Buy a Home?

You May Miss out on Low Interest Rates

In December, the Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate by a quarter-point to range of 0.25% to 0.5%, the first rate increase in nearly a decade. While some experts expect the Fed to raise rates gradually this year, some economists expect rates to increase three or four more times this year.Increases are anticipated to amount to a quarter-point each time, and when they do occur are subject to impact mortgage rates.2 What’s a homebuyer to do?

NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

While a quarter-point increase in interest  rates doesn’t seem like much, it could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars a month in your mortgage payment. This will depend on the price of your home, your interest rate, how much you are borrowing and the size of your down payment. This is money you could use to renovate, go on vacation or save for retirement.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?

  • Get pre-qualified for a mortgage if you haven’t done so already. Getting pre-qualified means you can spring into action when you find the home you want to buy. We work with great lenders in our area. If you’re looking for a lender you can trust, let us know and we’ll be happy to connect you with someone from our network.
  • Narrow down your search criteria. What neighborhoods do you have your eye on? Do you want three or four bedrroms? Do you want a big yard or no yard at all? The list goes on and on. While buying a home is a process of selection, the more you know what you want, the better prepared you are to make the right decision.
  • Get hunting. If you’ve been passively house hunting online, now is the time to ramp up your search. Let us know what you are looking for and we’ll work with you to find a great home that meets your criteria.

 

 

 

Sources:
Buffini & Company
1. CNN Money, December 16, 2015
2. The Guardian,  January  6, 2016
3. Bankrate Mortgage Payment Calculator

It’s Tax Time!

Take the stress out of tax time this year

 

Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.” Luckily, tax preparers and DIY tax software take much of the mystery out of the process. Whether you prepare your taxes yourself or send them to a professional, it’s still important to collect and sort your information, including any changes in status or economics that occurred during the year.

The information below is intended to prepare you for tax time. Page one provides a list of financial details you may need to gather ahead of time to make the process easier, as well as some tips to help you get your refund faster. Page two outlines steps to take to help you protect your identity from thieves who wish to gain access to your information.

Tax season doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of preparation, the process becomes a breeze.

 

** Source: Buffini & Company

What’s in Store for the Housing Market in 2018?

What will the year hold for the real estate market? Will the market favor buyers or sellers? Will home prices continue to rise?

While it’s impossible to predict the future, experts rely on current market trends to forecast what may happen this year, if present trends continue. This information outlines several predictions experts have made about the national housing market in 2018, as well as a few predictions about mortgages. How do these trends stack up to trends we’ve seen in our local housing market? If you are thinking of buying or selling, or you just want more information about our local market, give us a call!

 

*Source – Buffini & Company

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Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale

As we are about to bring in the New Year, families across the country will be deciding if this is the year that they will sell their current house and move into their dream home. Many will decide that it is smarter to wait until the spring “buyer’s market” to list their house. In the past, that might have made sense. However, this winter is not like recent years.

The recent jump in mortgage rates has forced buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the time.

*Source: Keeping Current Matters, Inc., 2017 Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale

High Demand for Home Sales, 5 Reasons You Should Sell Now

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5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

School is back in session, the holidays are right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house. But with inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

Here are five reasons why you should consider selling your house this fall: 

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this fall.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. 

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

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. 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.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

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 the questions above. 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.

If you want a current market value for your property, call or email us today. 

*Source: Keeping Current Matters, Inc., 2016 5 Reasons to Sell this Fall