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Archive | January, 2011

Does It Make Sense To Buy a Home?

The financial turmoil we have experienced over the last five years has definitely taken it’s toll. It has especially been a difficult time for real estate. Nationally, values have fallen over 25% and there may be more softening in prices to come. We realize that this has caused difficulty, and in some cases, heartbreak for many families. People unable to make their mortgage payments have been forced to sell or, even worse, have faced foreclosure.

However, the thing that has continued to amaze us is the country’s steadfast belief in the benefits of homeownership even in these most difficult of times. The vast majority of Americans still realize that the value of a family owning a home goes far beyond just the financial considerations.

There have been three major surveys done in the last 75 days delving into Americans’ current belief in the value of owning a home:

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Where Are Housing Prices Headed?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been reporting great news recently. Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report and yesterday’s Pending Sales Report both showed consecutive months of increases in the number of homes sold. Finally, buyers are jumping off the fence and taking advantage of one of the most opportune times to purchase a home in America’s real estate history. With an increase in demand, price appreciation can’t be far behind, can it?

Actually, the answer is NO! Prices are not determined by demand alone but in the relationship of demand to available supply. The inventory of homes for sale is still too high and about to surge higher. Along with the news of increased demand yesterday, RealtyTrac released their 2010 Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report. The report showed that distressed properties across the country are on the rise:

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What The Crystal Ball Says About Rates

Predicting what will happen with interest rates is risky for a person’s credibility. Last year at this time, I (and the KCM Crew) believed rates would climb after June and for very logical reasons: the end of the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) and the end of the Tax Credit. What we didn’t anticipate was the collapse of the Greek economy.

That being said, I firmly believe that my opinion on the topic has some value. So, here’s my opinion (which assumes the governments of Ireland, Spain and Portugal stay solvent and no other major geo-political event occurs- like a war or terrorist activity).

The Fed and the federal government have publically stated their desire to get the American Economy back on track. Their goals:

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Does Health Care Bill Contain 3.8% Home Sales Tax?

As the states and the new Congress renew the debate about the Administration’s Health Care Bill, we are again getting many questions about a possible 3.8% tax on home sales that some claim is in the bill. To answer these questions, we have decided to re-run a blog post we did last year. – The KCM Crew

We have received many questions about a possible 3.8% tax which will be put on home sales beginning in 2013. We want to do our best to clarify this situation for everyone. We are not accountants and give you this information just as a simple answer to the misconception. Understand that, when it comes to IRS regulations, you should check with your accountant for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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The Real American Idol – HOMEOWNERSHIP!

Simon Cowell would have to be considered congenial compared to the critics of real estate in the last few years. But like the popular TV show, where the ultimate winner is not chosen by a select few but instead by the vote of the nation, homeownership again has proven to be the choice of the people. There have been numerous survey’s and polls done in the past 90 days that confirm this.

American Attitudes About Homeownership is a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors. The findings of this survey combined with the findings of Fannie Mae’s November National Housing Survey and last week’s Gallup Poll paint a clear picture that the majority of Americans still value homeownership and believe in its benefits. In the latest survey, America’s belief in owning a home came through loud and clear.

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