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Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018? | MyKCM

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? | MyKCM

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line 

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

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.
Posted on February 13, 2018 at 8:42 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:

Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, and 30% believe lenders expect a 20% down payment.”

These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners; 39% of non-owners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment and 30% of homeowners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment.

While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, they do not realize that programs are available that allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

Similar to the down payment, many either don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

As you can see in the chart above, 53.5% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

Posted on February 6, 2018 at 8:35 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

U.S. Housing Inventory Crunch Continues

U.S. Housing Inventory Crunch Continues… List Your House Today! | MyKCM

Every winter, families across the country decide if this will be the year that they sell their current houses and move into their dream homes.

Mortgage rates hovered around 4% for all of 2017 which forced many buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!

At the same time, however, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Trulia reported that “in Q4 2017, U.S. home inventory decreased by 10.5%. That is the biggest drop we’ve seen since Q2 2013.”

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

U.S. Housing Inventory Crunch Continues… List Your House Today! | MyKCM

The largest drop in inventory was in the starter home category which saw a 19% dip in listings.

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 2018, now may be the perfect time.

Posted on January 29, 2018 at 11:27 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

Why You Need a Professional on Your Team When Buying a Home

Why You Need a Professional on Your Team When Buying a Home | MyKCM

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream homes or if they should first try to go through the buying process on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide If You Are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with landmines; you need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and is ready for you to move into can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in order to secure your dream home. 

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating his or her commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal. 

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

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.

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Posted on January 23, 2018 at 11:23 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values?

Every month, CoreLogic releases its Home Price Insights Report. In that report, they forecast where they believe residential real estate prices will be in twelve months.

Below is a map, broken down by state, reflecting how home values are forecasted to change by the end of 2018 using data from the most recent report.

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | MyKCM

As we can see, CoreLogic projects an increase in home values in 49 of 50 states, and Washington, DC (there was insufficient data for HI). Nationwide, they see home prices increasing by 4.2%.

How might the new tax code impact these numbers?

Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted their own analysis to determine the impact the new tax code may have on home values. NAR’s analysis:

“…estimated how home prices will change in the upcoming year for each state, considering the impact of the new tax law and the momentum of jobs and housing inventory.”

Here is a map based on NAR’s analysis:

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

According to NAR, the new tax code will have an impact on home values across the country. However, the effect will be much less significant than what some originally thought.

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 8:03 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family, others might think they are too young, and still, others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first-time buyer:

Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s meet to determine if your dream home is within your grasp.

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.
Posted on January 2, 2018 at 8:08 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You’re Paying Someone’s Mortgage

Renting or Buying?Either Way, You're Paying Someone's Mortgage | MyKCM

There are some people who have not purchased homes yet 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 yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explainedin their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich,”

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization 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’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 3.94% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

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.
Posted on December 18, 2017 at 8:12 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

List of SD County’s Holiday Lights and Glittering Festivities

San Diego Family presents the county’s most comprehensive list of holiday light shows and glittering festivities

6646-elegant-tern-pl-noco

Download San Diego Family’s Map of Christmas light displays and take it with you

 

North County Inland

CARMEL MOUNTAIN RANCH, 92128
Fairway Village, east and west sides of Stoney Gate Pl. 80 homes decorated in “Holiday Magic”. Dec. 10-Jan.1, 5:30-10:30 pm.

ESCONDIDO, 92027
2609 Meadowlark Ln. An inflatable world for Christmas with over 35 inflatables and 1,000 lights. Candy canes for kids on Fri. & Sat., 6-9 pm. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-10 pm. Dec. 24-26, 9am-10pm.

POWAY, 92064
12631 Stoutwood St. Off Twin Peaks Rd. & Deerwood St. Nicknamed “The Griswolds.” Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5:30-10 pm weekdays, 11 pm weekends.

Hickory Ct./Hickory St., 12659 Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct. All off Twin Peaks Rd. & Silverset St. named “Candy Cane Courts.” Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up. Dec. 10-24, 6-9 pm.

RAMONA, 92065
23542 Bassett Way. “Happy Lights Ramona” with 30,000+ lights animated to music on 106.9 FM using 996 computer channels to control the lights. Nov. 24-Jan. 1; Sun-Th, 5:30-10 pm; and Fri & Sat, 5:30-11 pm.

RANCHO PEÑASQUITOS, 92129
Oviedo St. Off Black Mountain Rd. “Christmas Card Lane.” Also enter off Twin Trails Dr. & Carmel Mountain Rd. Dec. 9-31, dusk-10 pm.

SAN MARCOS, 92069, 92078
1639 Knob Hill. Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr.; 29th year of decorating. 100,000+ lights plus themed displays. Nov. 24-Dec. 30, 5-9 pm. See Santa Dec. 14-23, 6:30-8 pm. www.ChristmasOnKnobHill.com

North County Coastal

CARLSBAD, 92009, 92011
7607 Romeria St. Nicknamed “The Carlsbad Christmas House”. Walk up to see the animated window display, swimming penguins, surfing Santa, Snoopy skating and three snow machines. Food drive donations accepted. Dec. 4-31, 5-9 pm.

6646 Elegant Tern Pl. Real Santa’s mailbox for the kids and treats nightly. Santa writes back a free personalized letter to each child. Free community event Dec. 17 with cotton candy, crafts, bubbles and a special guest. Dec. 3-25, 5-10 pm.

6646-elegant-tern-pl-noco

OCEANSIDE, 92056, 92057
1615 Quiet Hills Dr. Lights synchronized to over 10 songs on 87.9 FM. http://ChristmasOnQuietHills.com

2329 Snead Dr. Lights, lights, lights, Santa arrives by hot air balloon, nativity scene, animated elves and Santa village light display. Walk up to see a Christmas scene in the garage. Dec. 5-31, 5:30-9 pm.

1562 Peacock Blvd. Rudolph, Christmas trees and lights. Dec. 10-Jan. 5. 5:30-10 pm.

1562 Peacock Blvd. – Oceanside

Holidays at LEGOLAND, California. Enjoy live entertainment, twinkling lights, festive holiday songs and dancing with LEGO Friends Live, snow flurries, nightly fireworks Dec. 26-31, and the annual Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31. Nov. 25-Jan. 1. 760-918-5346. www.LEGOLAND.com

legoland Christmas Lights

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights. Boats decorated in holiday lights circle Oceanside Harbor. Dec. 10, 7 pm. 760-722-5751. www.oceansideyc.net

San Diego Botanic Garden “Garden of Lights”. 125,000+ lights illuminating the Garden. Horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, holiday crafts, visits with Santa and marshmallow roasting. Dec. 3-23 and 26-30, 5-9 pm. Adults, $15-$20, children 3-12, $5. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. 760-436-3036. www.SDBGarden.org

South Bay

CHULA VISTA, 91910, 91911, 91914, 91915
Whitney St./Mankato. Circle between First and Second Ave. off H St. & 1st Ave. “Christmas Circle.” 59th year of decorating 55+ homes. Dec. 10-26, 5-10 pm.

PARADISE HILLS, 92139
2160 Reo Dr. 14th year of decorating. Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 7pm-midnight. On Dec. 17, free cookies and cocoa, 6:30-9 pm and Santa will be there from 6:30-8 pm.

CORONADO, 92118
Hotel del Coronado. Hotel del Coronado Celebrate the magic of the holidays as America’s beachfront legend transforms into a winter wonderland of ice and lights, sparkles and snowflakes. With its magnificent outdoor ice skating rink and DELights, The Del is celebrating all things shiny and bright. Join friends and family for lavish feasts, Victorian teas, festive parties and holiday traditions. 1500 Orange Ave. 619-522-8490. www.hoteldel.com

Downtown San Diego

Luminaria. Trees, lamp posts, roofs and courtyards all decorated with lights. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape to Beech. Nov.27-Jan. 1. www.SouthParkScene.com

The Forward House in Bankers Hill. Experience the sight and sounds of the season at 108 Ivy St. (1st & Ivy). Built in 1905 for Mayor John Forward Sr, adorned with lights every season since 1998. Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 5–10 pm. 619-533-7904. www.amsecmortgage.net

the Forward House Christmas Lights

San Diego Central

BALBOA PARK
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. Celebration of Lights and Carol of the Jungle Bells light experiences, Twinkle Light Trolley and live entertainment. Dec. 10-Jan. 2, 9 am-8 pm (til 5 pm Dec. 24). 619-231-1515. www.sandiegozoo.org

CLAIREMONT, 92117
Lana Dr. & Jamar. Off Mt. Abernathy Ave. Circular street. “Clairemont Christmas Park”. 40+ homes decorated. Dec. 1-24.

5404 Mt. Burnham Dr. Features a 96-channel animated light display to 98.5 FM. North Pole village display, train and animated figures display in garage. Dec. 12-31, 6-10 pm.

EL CERRITO, 92115
4210 E Overlook Dr. Nicely decorated home includes 4-ft snowmen, lights, an English phone booth, nutcrackers, life-size sleigh and non-toxic falling snow. Dec. 5-Jan. 5, dusk to 10 pm.

4210 E Overlook christmas lights

MIRA MESA, 92126
8866 Cassioepia Way. Decorated house with a Disney theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

10780 Foxwood Rd. Decorated house with a Scooby Doo theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

11505 Elbert Ct. Decorated house with a PAW Patrol theme. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

SCRIPPS RANCH, 92131
Stonebridge Parkway and Merritage Ct. Nicknamed “Merry-tage Court”, entire street lit up with fun themes. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

merry Tage Court

TIERRASANTA, 92124
5306 Belardo Dr. Off Via Valarta at Via Playa De Cortes. 100,000 lights and decorations all sequenced and animated to music at 106.1 FM. Nov. 26-Dec. 26, 6-10 pm. www.belardolights.com

10927 Baroque Lane. A Winter wonderland with shooting star display, animated ski village, miniature village, snowmen and more. Dec. 9-28, 6-10 pm.

10927 Baroque Lane – Tierrasanta

San Diego Coastal

POINT LOMA, 92106
Garrison St. & Chatsworth. Off Rosecrans. “Garrison Street Lights”. Dec. 1-31. dusk-10 pm.

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights. Over 100 vessels. Begins on Quivira Basin. Dec. 10, starts at 7 pm. 858-488-0501. www.mbyc.org

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. 45th Anniversary. “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years” theme. Dec. 11 & 18, 5 pm. Starts off Shelter Island, goes through the harbor and ends at the Ferry Landing, Coronado. www.sdparadeoflights.org

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld is decked out with more than a million holiday lights, a 40-ft. tree with an animated light show and the all-new Rudolph’s Christmastown. Also visit Snow Hill with real snow (Dec. 17-Jan. 1 only). SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration runs Nov. 19-Jan. 1. www.seaworldsandiego.com

seaworld Christmas Lights

Sights and Sounds of Christmas. Walk the Temple grounds and enjoy more than 130,000 lights and nativity scenes. Free. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-11 pm. San Diego Temple, 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC.

sights and sounds of Christmas

East County

EL CAJON, 92020, 92021
Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 7-26, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.

11456 Pegeen Pl. “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, complete with Jack, Sally, Zero, the Mayor & Oogie Boogie. Santa may make a surprise visit. Dec. 5-Jan. 1, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm and Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.

1838 El Pico Dr. Off Hacienda Dr. 53rd year decorating the 20-ft. star that’s 100 ft. up. Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Also see a 55-ft. train. Dec. 8-31, dusk-10 pm.

9777 Valley Ranch Rd. Cul-de-sac of lights programmed to 89.1 FM/87.9 FM. Giant dazzling trees, twinkling stars and a Winter Wonderland of computerized light and music shows. Nov. 28-Dec. 31, 5-10:30 pm.

9777 Valley Ranch christmas lights

1552 Cajon Greens Pl. Light-o-rama with a 20-ft. tree, thousands of lights, leaping arches, yard decorations, roof slopes of lights and video projector. Nov. 25-Jan. 2, Sun-Th, dusk-10 pm and Fri-Sat, dusk-midnight.
LAKESIDE, 92040
10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. 20+ houses nicknamed “Tinsel Town.” Dec. 5-25, 5:30-9 pm.

13518 Appaloosa Dr. 48 channels of lights dancing to 88.1 FM. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-10 pm.

LA MESA, 91941, 91942
6266 De Camp Dr. 22-ft tree of light and more. Lights dance to Christmas songs. Dec. 1- 25, 5-9 pm.

6266 de camp dr

9367 Urban Dr. Decorated with lots of lights and inflatables. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.

9367 Urban Dr. christmas lights

7817 Quince St. House lit up. Donations for Humane Society accepted. Dec. 6-31, dusk-10 pm.

8045 Stadler St. Inflatables matched with traditional illuminations. Dec. 1-24, dusk-10 pm.

LEMON GROVE/LOMITA, 91945
689 Meadowbrook Dr. Off Jamacha Rd. South of Lemon Grove. Occasional sightings of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, dusk-10 pm.

2618 Sheri Lane. Cul-de-sac turns into Santa Claus Lane. Light show at 6:30 pm and every 30 minutes on 89.9 FM. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-9:30 pm.

SANTEE, 92071
Starlight Circle/Sunburst Santee. Tomel Court, off Magnolia. Many homes lit up. Dec. 17-26, dusk-10 pm.

9325 Pebble Beach Dr. Displays on house and yard set to music. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.

9435 Saint Andrews Dr. Santee’s gingerbread house with over 12,000 lights. Nov. 28-Jan. 1, dusk-10pm.

9435 Saint Andrews christmas lights

9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm. www.DBChristmas.com
SPRING VALLEY, 91977
4037 N. Bonita St. Lots of lights, music and decorations. Dec. 15-Jan. 5, dusk-11 pm.

If you know of any beautiful Christmas light displays in San Diego County that aren’t listed, contact us to be included next year: 619-685-6970; family@sandiegofamily.com

Updated: December 2016

Posted on December 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

How to Prepare Your Home for Colder Weather

How to Prepare Your Home for Colder Weather

 

Do you make a checklist of home maintenance and repair tasks before summer arrives? You should, and you should make a similar to-do list ahead of winter. An afternoon of maintenance in the fall can save time and money when the cold hits. Here are several areas to check and inspect before the cold arrives:

 

Gutters — Clean them out before and after the leaves fall. To make the occasional cleanup job even quicker, install gutter guards, which help prevent leaves from clogging up gutters.

 

Roof — While you have the ladder out, take a look at the roof. Check for damaged or torn shingles and replace them, or give your trusted roofer a call. Next inspect the flashing around skylights, the chimney and any roof vents. Replace bad flashing before a winter storm tests it for you. Also, screen over any gable vents to the attic. A warm, dry place is exactly what pests are looking for on a cold night.

 

Windows — After the heat of summer, the seals around windows can expand and contract, and the rubber can become brittle. Check for air leaks around your home, including around window frames. If you find gaps, re-caulk as necessary.

 

Chimney — Over time, soot and creosote can build up in chimneys, which can become dangerous. You can clean out the ashes yourself, but if you use your fireplace often, schedule a more advanced cleaning with a chimney sweep each year.

 

Furnace — Annual furnace maintenance is an important task to leave to a professional who can make sure the system is safely able to keep you warm throughout the winter. What can homeowners do? Change the air filter regularly to ensure proper and efficient airflow.

 

Detectors — Fall is a good time to replace the batteries in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Use daylight saving time as a reminder, and make the battery change right after you set back the clocks in your home.

 

Yard — Fall is no time to skimp on yard maintenance. Make sure to keep the leaves raked or mulched, as leaves can hold moisture in the soil and cause a variety of lawn diseases. Fall is also the perfect time to aerate the lawn.

Posted on September 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized

Don’t Lose Faith, Would-Be Home Buyers: It Will Get Better

The housing recovery is good news for the U.S. economy and homeowners, but would-be buyers may feel priced out. But fear not: Relief is on the way, according to an article posted on July 23, 2015 by Realtor.com.

It’s been a seller’s market in residential real estate for more than a year now. That’s fantastic for homeowners, and for the U.S. economy overall, but let’s get real: It creates a challenging environment for people who are trying to buy their first home. Fear not, first-time home buyers! Things are going to get better—soon.

The main reason we’ve seen above-average price appreciation is limited inventory. And that leads to bidding wars. Thankfully, higher prices ultimately help solve this problem by encouraging more owners to put their homes up for sale.

So the market is clearly shifting toward more of a balance in the second half of the year. Combined with a temporary reprieve from rising mortgage rates and slightly easier access to credit, buyers should find it easier to purchase a home in the months ahead.

Listings have grown an average of 4.5% over the past three months. New construction is also finally stepping up to relieve pressure as well, with single-family permits up 9% year to date over last year.

And prospective buyers are noticing the difference. From our daily surveys of visitors to realtor.com® who are looking to buy a home, the No. 1 reported obstacle to making a purchase in June remained “I have not yet found a home that meets my needs.” However, the percentage of respondents reporting this problem declined from 42% in January to 37% in June.

 

 

For first-time buyers, the fact that they’re “just starting to explore” became their No. 1 obstacle in June, bumping the issue of finding a suitable home for the first time this year.

Don’t get me wrong—supply is still tight. But we are moving in the right direction. We should see the median age of inventory—the number of days a house sits on the market—plateau and even increase in the months ahead as a result of supply expanding. This will be a clear sign that the market is moving toward more of a balance.

Access to credit has been holding back many potential sellers and buyers from participating in this market. That, too, is slowly changing for the better. Mortgage credit availability was 5% higher in June than in June 2014, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Meanwhile, even though mortgage rates are now well off their lows, with the average 30-year fixed-rate firmly above 4%, rates have retreated more than 10 basis points from their recent highs. “Lock” and “float-down” are two moves to put in your dance arsenal this summer and autumn if the direction of rates is unnerving you.

Finally, the upcoming change of season should favor you first-time buyers, assuming you are flexible about timing and can find a home that fits your needs. Families with school-age children are far less likely to compete for homes on the market after the beginning of the school year, which for many is in August. While inventory levels will also be lower due to the season in most areas of the country, the fall could turn into a great time to buy.

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 10:23 am
Kara Brem | Category: Uncategorized