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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, let’s chat.

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Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season. If you’re excited about getting away and having some fun in the sun, it might make sense to consider if owning your own vacation home is right for you.

An Ameriprise Financial survey sheds light on why people buy a second, or vacation, home (see below): No Caption Received


  • Vacation destination or a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life (81%) – Having a second home to use as a vacation spot can be a special place where you go to relax and take a break from your daily routines and stressors. It also means you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stay when you go there.
  • Better weather (49%) – Buying in a place where there may be nicer weather can be a great escape, especially if it’s cold or rainy where you usually live. It lets you enjoy sunny days and warm temperatures, even when it’s not so nice back home.
  • Rental income (41%) – You can rent it out to other people when you’re not using it, which can help you make some extra money.
  • Primary residence in the future (33%) – You can eventually move into the home full-time during retirement. That means you can enjoy vacations there now and have a getaway ready for your future.
  • Having a venue for gatherings with family and friends (25%) – It would be a special spot where you can have parties, regular family trips, and create fun memories.

Ways To Buy Your Vacation Home

And you don’t have to be wealthy to buy a vacation home. Bankrate shares two tips for how to make this dream more achievable for anyone who’s interested:

  • Buy with loved ones or friends: If you’re okay with sharing the vacation home, you can go in on the purchase price together and pool your resources to make it more affordable.
  • Put a savings plan in place: This will require patience and persistence but consider adding a vacation home savings plan to your budget and contributing to it monthly.

Finding Your Dream Spot with a Little Help from an Agent

If the idea of basking in the sun at your very own vacation home sounds appealing, you might want to start looking now. Summer's when everyone's trying to buy their slice of paradise, so it’s best to start early.

Your first move is to team up with a real estate agent. They know all the ins and outs of the area you want to be in, and which homes you should look at. Plus, they can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about having a second home and how it can benefit you. The same article from Bankrate says:

Buying real estate in a new area — or even one you’ve vacationed in for many years — requires expert guidance. That makes it a good idea to work with an experienced local lender who specializes in loans for vacation homes and a local real estate professional. Local lenders and Realtors will understand the required rules and specifics for the area you are buying, and a local Realtor will know what properties are available.”
[created_at] => 2024-06-17T20:34:16Z [description] =>

Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240617/20240620-Why-a-Vacation-Home-Is-the-Ultimate-Summer-Upgrade-original.png [id] => 54897 [kcm_ig_caption] => Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season. If you’re excited about getting away and having some fun in the sun, it might make sense to consider if owning your own vacation home is right for you. An Ameriprise Financial survey sheds light on why people buy a second, or vacation, home (see below): • Vacation destination or a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life (81%) • Better weather (49%) • Rental income (41%) • Primary residence in the future (33%) • Having a venue for gatherings with family and friends (25%) Ways To Buy Your Vacation Home And you don’t have to be wealthy to buy a vacation home. Bankrate shares two tips for how to make this dream more achievable for anyone who’s interested: • Buy with loved ones or friends: If you’re okay with sharing the vacation home, you can go in on the purchase price together and pool your resources to make it more affordable. • Put a savings plan in place: This will require patience and persistence but consider adding a vacation home savings plan to your budget and contributing to it monthly. Finding Your Dream Spot with a Little Help from an Agent Your first move is to team up with a real estate agent. They know all the ins and outs of the area you want to be in, and which homes you should look at. Plus, they can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about having a second home and how it can benefit you. If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, let’s chat. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => homegoals,houseshopping,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why a vacation home is the ultimate summer upgrade. [public_bottom_line] =>

If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, connect with a real estate agent.

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Why a Vacation Home Is the Ultimate Summer Upgrade

Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season.

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If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, let’s connect.

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If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings. And a big priority is making sure you’ve got a plan in place for things like your closing costs, down payment, and more.

Here are a few strategies that can help speed up that process.

Budget and Track Your Expenses: To start, create a detailed budget that tracks the money you’ve got coming in and the money going out. This’ll give you a better look at your finances as a whole.

Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending: Now that you have your budget sheet done and you know how you’re spending your money, look for any line items that aren’t absolutely essential. If you cut down on those, you can re-allocate that cash toward buying a home. Even the little things can add up. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“The majority of first-time buyers did make financial sacrifices to purchase a home. For those who did, the most common sacrifices buyers reported were cutting spending on luxury goods, entertainment, and clothes.”

Automate Your Savings: Once you know how much you want to set aside for your homebuying budget, look for ways to make it easy. If you have to transfer money manually, you may forget to do it. But getting some automatic transfers set up helps drive consistency and removes the temptation to spend it elsewhere. Realtor.com explains:

“If you’re struggling to put enough money away because of the constant temptations to blow your paycheck, consider automating the process. Ask your employer if you can have your paycheck deposited into multiple accounts—if so, instruct it to send a certain percentage of your salary directly into your savings account. Or go through your bank . . .”

Lean into Any Side Hustles You Have: Do you have a gig you do (or have done before) to net some extra cash? Taking on part-time work, freelance jobs, or picking up a side hustle can help give your savings a boost.

Put any Unexpected Cash To Good Use: If you get any sudden windfalls, like a tax refund, bonus, inheritance, or cash gift from family, put it toward your house fund.

By using these strategies and focusing on your savings over time, you can make sure you’re well on the path to having what you need to buy your first home. As Ramsey Solutions says:

“Budgeting shows your money who’s in charge (that’s you). It gives you the power to tell your money where to go instead of having to wonder where it went. It’s how you make any money goals happen—like saving for a down payment.”
[created_at] => 2024-06-04T15:21:54Z [description] =>

If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240604/20240611-Savings-Strategies-Every-First-Time-Homebuyer-Needs-To-Know-original.png [id] => 53935 [kcm_ig_caption] => If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings. And a big priority is making sure you’ve got a plan in place for things like your closing costs, down payment, and more. Here are a few strategies that can help speed up that process. Budget and Track Your Expenses: To start, create a detailed budget that tracks the money you’ve got coming in and the money going out. This’ll give you a better look at your finances as a whole. Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending: Now that you have your budget sheet done and you know how you’re spending your money, look for any line items that aren’t absolutely essential. If you cut down on those, you can re-allocate that cash toward buying a home. Even the little things can add up. Automate Your Savings: Once you know how much you want to set aside for your homebuying budget, look for ways to make it easy. If you have to transfer money manually, you may forget to do it. But getting some automatic transfers set up helps drive consistency and removes the temptation to spend it elsewhere. Lean into Any Side Hustles You Have: Do you have a gig you do (or have done before) to net some extra cash? Taking on part-time work, freelance jobs, or picking up a side hustle can help give your savings a boost. Put any Unexpected Cash To Good Use: If you get any sudden windfalls, like a tax refund, bonus, inheritance, or cash gift from family, put it toward your house fund. By using these strategies and focusing on your savings over time, you can make sure you’re well on the path to having what you need to buy your first home. If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Savings strategies every first-time homebuyer needs to know. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, connect with a local real estate professional.

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Savings Strategies Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs To Know

If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings.

3
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Right now, putting the data into context is more important than ever. While the housing market is experiencing an expected rise in foreclosures, it’s nowhere near the crisis levels seen when the housing bubble burst, and that won’t lead to a crash in home prices.

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If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve probably come across some articles saying the number of foreclosures in today’s housing market is going up. And that may leave you feeling a bit worried about what’s ahead, especially if you owned a home during the housing crash in 2008.

The reality is, while increasing, the data shows a foreclosure crisis is not where the market is headed.

Here’s the latest information stacked against the historical data to put your mind at ease.

The Headlines Make the Increase Sound Dramatic – But It’s Not

The increase the media is calling attention to is a little bit misleading. That’s because it’s comparing the most recent numbers to a time when foreclosures were at historic lows. And that lopsided comparison is making it sound like a much bigger deal than it actually is.

Back in 2020 and 2021, there was a moratorium and forbearance program that helped millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure during challenging times. That’s why numbers for just a few years ago were so low.

Now that the moratorium has come to an end, foreclosures are resuming and that means numbers are rising. But it’s an expected increase, not a surprise, and not a cause for alarm. Just because foreclosure filings are up doesn’t mean the housing market is in trouble.

To prove that to you, let’s expand the comparison out a bit more. Specifically, we’ll go all the way back to the housing crash in 2008 – since that’s what people worry may happen again.

The graph below uses research from ATTOM, a property data provider, to show foreclosure activity has been consistently lower since the crash in 2008:

 No Caption Received


What the data shows is that things now aren’t anything like they were surrounding the housing crash. The bars in red are when there were over 1 million foreclosure filings a year. In 2023, there were roughly 357,000. That’s a big difference.

A recent article from Bankrate explains one of the reasons things aren’t like they were back then:

In the years after the housing crash, millions of foreclosures flooded the housing market, depressing prices. That’s not the case now. Most homeowners have a comfortable equity cushion in their homes.”

Basically, foreclosure activity is nothing like it was during the crash. That’s because most homeowners today have enough equity to keep them from going into foreclosure. And that’s a really good thing for homeowners and for the market.

The reality is, the data shows a foreclosure crisis is not where the market is today, or where it’s headed.

[created_at] => 2024-04-23T13:13:14Z [description] =>

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve probably come across some articles saying the number of foreclosures in today’s housing market is going up.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240423/20240424-Foreclosure-Numbers-Are-Nothing-Like-the-2008-Crash.png [id] => 50128 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve probably come across some articles saying the number of foreclosures in today’s housing market is going up. The reality is, while increasing, the data shows a foreclosure crisis is not where the market is headed. The Headlines Make the Increase Sound Dramatic – But It’s Not The increase the media is calling attention to is a little bit misleading. That’s because it’s comparing the most recent numbers to a time when foreclosures were at historic lows. And that lopsided comparison is making it sound like a much bigger deal than it actually is. Back in 2020 and 2021, there was a moratorium and forbearance program that helped millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure during challenging times. That’s why numbers for just a few years ago were so low. Now that the moratorium has come to an end, foreclosures are resuming and that means numbers are rising. But it’s an expected increase, not a surprise, and not a cause for alarm. Just because foreclosure filings are up doesn’t mean the housing market is in trouble. Basically, foreclosure activity is nothing like it was during the crash. That’s because most homeowners today have enough equity to keep them from going into foreclosure. And that’s a really good thing for homeowners and for the market. The reality is, the data shows a foreclosure crisis is not where the market is today, or where it’s headed. Right now, putting the data into context is more important than ever. While the housing market is experiencing an expected rise in foreclosures, it’s nowhere near the crisis levels seen when the housing bubble burst, and that won’t lead to a crash in home prices. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestatenews,realestatemarket,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Foreclosure numbers are nothing like the 2008 crash. [public_bottom_line] =>

Right now, putting the data into context is more important than ever. While the housing market is experiencing an expected rise in foreclosures, it’s nowhere near the crisis levels seen when the housing bubble burst, and that won’t lead to a crash in home prices.

[published_at] => 2024-04-24T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => foreclosure-numbers-are-nothing-like-the-2008-crash [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Foreclosure Numbers Are Nothing Like the 2008 Crash [updated_at] => 2024-04-24T10:30:17Z [url] => /2024/04/24/foreclosure-numbers-are-nothing-like-the-2008-crash/ )

Foreclosure Numbers Are Nothing Like the 2008 Crash

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ve probably come across some articles saying the number of foreclosures in today’s housing market is going up.

4
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Have questions about what’s going on in the housing market? Let’s connect so we can take what’s happening right now and figure out what it really means for you.

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If you’re thinking about buying a home, chances are you’ve got mortgage rates on your mind. You’ve heard about how they impact how much you can afford in your monthly mortgage payment, and you want to make sure you’re factoring that in as you plan your move.

The problem is, with all the headlines in the news about rates lately, it can be a bit overwhelming to sort through. Here’s a quick rundown of what you really need to know.

The Latest on Mortgage Rates

Rates have been volatile – that means they’re bouncing around a bit. And, you may be wondering, why? The answer is complicated because rates are affected by so many factors.

Things like what’s happening in the broader economy and the job market, the current inflation rate, decisions made by the Federal Reserve, and a whole lot more have an impact. Lately, all of those factors have come into play, and it’s caused the volatility we’ve seen. As Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains:

“Ongoing inflation deceleration, a slowing economy and even geopolitical uncertainty can contribute to lower mortgage rates. On the other hand, data that signals upside risk to inflation may result in higher rates.”

Professionals Can Help Make Sense of it All

While you could drill down into each of those things to really understand how they impact mortgage rates, that would be a lot of work. And when you’re already busy planning a move, taking on that much reading and research may feel a little overwhelming. Instead of spending your time on that, lean on the pros.

They coach people through market conditions all the time. They’ll focus on giving you a quick summary of any broader trends up or down, what experts say lies ahead, and how all of that impacts you.

Take this chart as an example. It gives you an idea of how mortgage rates impact your monthly payment when you buy a home. Imagine being able to make a payment between $2,500 and $2,600 work for your budget (principal and interest only). The green part in the chart shows payments in that range or lower based on varying mortgage rates (see chart below):

No Caption Received


As you can see, even a small shift in rates can impact the loan amount you can afford if you want to stay within that target budget.

It’s tools and visuals like these that take everything that’s happening and show what it actually means for you. And only a pro has the knowledge and expertise needed to guide you through them.

You don’t need to be an expert on real estate or mortgage rates, you just need to have someone who is, by your side.

[created_at] => 2024-04-22T16:18:35Z [description] =>

If you’re thinking about buying a home, chances are you’ve got mortgage rates on your mind.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240422/20240423-The-Best-Way-To-Keep-Track-of-Mortgage-Rate-Trends.png [id] => 50010 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re thinking about buying a home, chances are you’ve got mortgage rates on your mind. You’ve heard about how they impact how much you can afford in your monthly mortgage payment, and you want to make sure you’re factoring that in as you plan your move. The problem is, with all the headlines in the news about rates lately, it can be a bit overwhelming to sort through. The Latest on Mortgage Rates Rates have been volatile – that means they’re bouncing around a bit. And, you may be wondering, why? The answer is complicated because rates are affected by so many factors. Things like what’s happening in the broader economy and the job market, the current inflation rate, decisions made by the Federal Reserve, and a whole lot more have an impact. Lately, all of those factors have come into play, and it’s caused the volatility we’ve seen. Professionals Can Help Make Sense of it All While you could drill down into each of those things to really understand how they impact mortgage rates, that would be a lot of work. And when you’re already busy planning a move, taking on that much reading and research may feel a little overwhelming. Instead of spending your time on that, lean on the pros. They coach people through market conditions all the time. They’ll focus on giving you a quick summary of any broader trends up or down, what experts say lies ahead, and how all of that impacts you. You don’t need to be an expert on real estate or mortgage rates, you just need to have someone who is, by your side. Have questions about what’s going on in the housing market? DM me so we can take what’s happening right now and figure out what it really means for you. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => The best way to keep track of mortgage rate trends. [public_bottom_line] =>

Have questions about what’s going on in the housing market? Connect with a real estate professional to take what’s happening right now and figure out what it really means for you. 

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The Best Way To Keep Track of Mortgage Rate Trends

If you’re thinking about buying a home, chances are you’ve got mortgage rates on your mind.

5
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If you stack these factors up, you’ll see mortgage rates are still projected to come down a bit later this year, home prices are going up at a more moderate pace, and wages are growing quicker than normal. Those trends are a good sign for your ability to afford a home.

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Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home. And while there’s no arguing affordability is still tight, there are signs it’s starting to get a bit better and may improve even more throughout the year. Elijah de la Campa, Senior Economist at Redfin, says:

We’re slowly climbing our way out of an affordability hole, but we have a long way to go. Rates have come down from their peak and are expected to fall again by the end of the year, which should make homebuying a little more affordable and incentivize buyers to come off the sidelines.”

Here’s a look at the latest data for the three biggest factors that affect home affordability: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages.

1. Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have been volatile this year – bouncing around in the upper 6% to low 7% range. That’s still quite a bit higher than where they were a couple of years ago. But there is a sliver of good news.

Despite the recent volatility, rates are still lower than they were last fall when they reached nearly 8%. On top of that, most experts still think they’ll come down some over the course of the year. A recent article from Bright MLS explains:

Expect rates to come down in the second half of 2024 but remain above 6% this year. Even a modest drop in rates will bring both more buyers and more sellers into the market.” 

Any drop in rates can make a difference for you. When rates go down, you can afford the home you really want more easily because your monthly payment would be lower.

2. Home Prices

The second big factor to think about is home prices. Most experts project they'll keep going up this year, but at a more normal pace. That’s because there are more homes on the market this year, but still not enough for everyone who wants to buy one. The graph below shows the latest 2024 home price forecasts from seven different organizations:

 No Caption Received


These forecasts are actually good news for you because it means the prices aren't likely to shoot up sky high like they did during the pandemic. That doesn’t mean they’re going to fall – they'll just rise at a slower pace.

3. Wages

One factor helping affordability right now is the fact that wages are rising. The graph below uses data from the Federal Reserve to show how wages have been growing over time:

 No Caption Received


Check out the blue dotted line. That shows how wages typically rise. If you look at the right side of the graph, you'll see wages are climbing even faster than normal right now.

Here’s how this helps you. If your income has increased, it's easier to afford a home because you don't have to spend as big of a percentage of your paycheck on your monthly mortgage payment.

[created_at] => 2024-04-16T16:01:02Z [description] =>

Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240416/20240418-Is-It-Getting-More-Affordable-To-Buy-a-Home.png [id] => 49515 [kcm_ig_caption] => Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home. And while there’s no arguing affordability is still tight, there are signs it’s starting to get a bit better and may improve even more throughout the year. 1. Mortgage Rates Despite the recent volatility, rates are still lower than they were last fall when they reached nearly 8%. On top of that, most experts still think they’ll come down some over the course of the year. Any drop in rates can make a difference for you. When rates go down, you can afford the home you really want more easily because your monthly payment would be lower. 2. Home Prices The second big factor to think about is home prices. Most experts project they'll keep going up this year, but at a more normal pace. That’s because there are more homes on the market this year, but still not enough for everyone who wants to buy one. These forecasts are actually good news for you because it means the prices aren't likely to shoot up sky high like they did during the pandemic. That doesn’t mean they’re going to fall – they'll just rise at a slower pace. 3. Wages One factor helping affordability right now is the fact that wages are rising. Here’s how this helps you. If your income has increased, it's easier to afford a home because you don't have to spend as big of a percentage of your paycheck on your monthly mortgage payment. If you stack these factors up, you’ll see mortgage rates are still projected to come down a bit later this year, home prices are going up at a more moderate pace, and wages are growing quicker than normal. Those trends are a good sign for your ability to afford a home. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestatenews,realestateagent,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Is it getting more affordable to buy a home? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you stack these factors up, you’ll see mortgage rates are still projected to come down a bit later this year, home prices are going up at a more moderate pace, and wages are growing quicker than normal. Those trends are a good sign for your ability to afford a home.

[published_at] => 2024-04-18T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => is-it-getting-more-affordable-to-buy-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home? [updated_at] => 2024-04-18T10:30:08Z [url] => /2024/04/18/is-it-getting-more-affordable-to-buy-a-home/ )

Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home?

Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home.

6
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

In today's competitive market, let’s work together to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out. 

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Are you thinking about buying a home soon? If so, you should know today’s market is competitive in many areas because the number of homes for sale is still low – and that’s leading to multiple-offer scenarios. And moving into the peak homebuying season this spring, this is only expected to ramp up more.

Remember these four tips to make your best offer.

1. Partner with a Real Estate Agent

Rely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. As PODS notes:

“Making an offer on a home without an agent is certainly possible, but having a pro by your side gives you a massive advantage in figuring out what to offer on a house.”

Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for. That advice can be game changing when you’re deciding what offer to bring to the table.

2. Understand Your Budget

Knowing your numbers is even more important right now. The best way to understand your budget is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan. Doing so helps you be more financially confident and shows sellers you’re serious. That gives you a competitive edge. As Investopedia says:

“. . . sellers have an advantage because of intense buyer demand and a limited number of homes for sale; they may be less likely to consider offers without pre-approval letters.”

3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home, especially when affordability is tight. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that’ll be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. As Realtor.com explains:

“. . . an offer price that’s significantly lower than the listing price, is often rejected by sellers who feel insulted . . . Most listing agents try to get their sellers to at least enter negotiations with buyers, to counteroffer with a number a little closer to the list price. However, if a seller is offended by a buyer or isn’t taking the buyer seriously, there’s not much you, or the real estate agent, can do.”

The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive and find a price that’s fair to you and the seller.

4. Trust Your Agent During Negotiations

After you submit your offer, the seller may decide to counter it. When negotiating, it's smart to understand what matters to the seller. Once you do, being as flexible as you can on things like moving dates or the condition of the house can make your offer more attractive.

Your real estate agent is your partner in navigating these details. Trust them to lead you through negotiations and help you figure out the best plan. As an article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

“There are many factors up for discussion in any real estate transaction—from price to repairs to possession date. A real estate professional who’s representing you will look at the transaction from your perspective, helping you negotiate a purchase agreement that meets your needs . . .” 
[created_at] => 2024-03-14T20:37:47Z [description] =>

Are you thinking about buying a home soon?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240314/20240318-Four-tips-to-make-your-strongest-offer-on-a-home.png [id] => 46566 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you thinking about buying a home soon? Remember these four tips to make your best offer. 1. Partner with a Real Estate Agent Rely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for. That advice can be game changing when you’re deciding what offer to bring to the table. 2. Understand Your Budget Knowing your numbers is even more important right now. The best way to understand your budget is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan. Doing so helps you be more financially confident and shows sellers you’re serious. That gives you a competitive edge. 3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home, especially when affordability is tight. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that’ll be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. 4. Trust Your Agent During Negotiations After you submit your offer, the seller may decide to counter it. When negotiating, it's smart to understand what matters to the seller. Once you do, being as flexible as you can on things like moving dates or the condition of the house can make your offer more attractive. Your real estate agent is your partner in navigating these details. Trust them to lead you through negotiations and help you figure out the best plan. In today's competitive market, let’s work together to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Four tips to make your strongest offer on a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

In today's competitive market, be sure to work with a local real estate agent to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out.

[published_at] => 2024-03-18T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => 4-tips-to-make-your-strongest-offer-on-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => 4 Tips To Make Your Strongest Offer on a Home [updated_at] => 2024-04-29T14:48:03Z [url] => /2024/03/18/4-tips-to-make-your-strongest-offer-on-a-home/ )

4 Tips To Make Your Strongest Offer on a Home

Are you thinking about buying a home soon?

7
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you haven’t found a home you love that’s in your budget, it may be worth thinking through all your options, including fixer-uppers. Sometimes the perfect home for you is the one you perfect after buying it. To see what’s available in our area, let’s connect.

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If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper. That’s a house that needs a little elbow grease or some updates, but has good bones. Fixer-uppers can be a really great option if you’re looking to break into the housing market or want to stretch your budget further. According to NerdWallet:

“Buying a fixer-upper can provide a path to homeownership for first-time home buyers or a way for repeat buyers to afford a larger home or a better neighborhood. With the relatively low inventory of homes for sale these days, a move-in ready home can be hard to find, especially if you’re on a budget.”

Basically, since the number of homes for sale is still so low, if you’re only willing to tour homes that have all your dream features, you may be cutting down your options too much and making it harder on yourself than necessary. It may be time to cast a wider net.

Sometimes the perfect home is the one you perfect after buying it.

Here’s some information that can help you pinpoint what you truly need so you can be strategic in your home search. First, make a list of all the features you want in a home. From there, work to break those features into categories like this:

  • Must-Haves - If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle.
  • Nice-To-Haves - These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender.
  • Dream State - This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner.


Once you’ve sorted your list in a way that works for you, share it with your real estate agent. They’ll help you find homes that deliver on your top needs right now and have the potential to be your dream home with a little bit of sweat equity. Lean on their expertise as you think through what’s possible, what features are easy to change or add, and how to make it happen. According to Progressive:

“Many real estate agents specialize in finding fixer-uppers and have a network of inspectors, contractors, electricians, and the like.”

Your agent can also offer advice on which upgrades and renovations will set you up to get the greatest return on your investment if you ever decide to sell down the line.

[created_at] => 2024-03-08T14:48:51Z [description] =>

If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240308/Header-Image-202302-SG.png [id] => 45937 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper. Sometimes the perfect home is the one you perfect after buying it. Here’s some information that can help you pinpoint what you truly need so you can be strategic in your home search. First, make a list of all the features you want in a home. From there, work to break those features into categories like this: • Must-Haves - If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle. • Nice-To-Haves - These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender. • Dream State - This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner. Your agent can also offer advice on which upgrades and renovations will set you up to get the greatest return on your investment if you ever decide to sell down the line. Lean on their expertise as you think through what’s possible, what features are easy to change or add, and how to make it happen. If you haven’t found a home you love that’s in your budget, it may be worth thinking through all your options, including fixer-uppers. Sometimes the perfect home for you is the one you perfect after buying it. To see what’s available in our area, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Finding your perfect home in a fixer upper. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you haven’t found a home you love that’s in your budget, it may be worth thinking through all your options, including fixer-uppers. Sometimes the perfect home for you is the one you perfect after buying it. To see what’s available in your area, connect with a local real estate agent.

[published_at] => 2024-03-11T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => finding-your-perfect-home-in-a-fixer-upper [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Finding Your Perfect Home in a Fixer Upper [updated_at] => 2024-04-11T20:11:45Z [url] => /2024/03/11/finding-your-perfect-home-in-a-fixer-upper/ )

Finding Your Perfect Home in a Fixer Upper

If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper.

8
stdClass Object
(
    [agents_bottom_line] => 

When it comes to selling your house, you want to be sure to get as much buyer activity as you can. Let’s connect to talk about which level of access helps make that possible.

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If you’re gearing up to sell your house this spring, one of the early conversations you’ll have with your agent is about how much access you want to give buyers. And you may not realize just how important it is to make your house easy to tour.

Spring is the peak homebuying season, so opening up your house to as many showings as possible can really help you capitalize on all the extra buyer activity we see at this time of year.

Since buyer competition ramps up in the spring, buyers are going to want to move fast to see your house once they find your listing. And, if they see it and fall in love with it at a time they know they’re competing with other buyers, you may be more likely to get the offer you’re looking for on your home.

It’s understandable you want to keep the disruptions to your own schedule to a minimum, and you may be stressed about having to keep it clean, but it’s worth it. As an article from Investopedia explains:

If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate them, even if it inconveniences you. Clean and tidy the house before every single visit. A buyer won’t know or care if your house was clean last week. It’s a lot of work, but stay focused on the prize.”

To figure out what’s best for you, your agent will walk you through options like the ones below. This list breaks things down, starting with what’s most convenient for buyers and getting less buyer-focused as the list goes on:

  • Lockbox on the Door – A key is available via a lockbox, which makes it easy for agents to show the home to potential buyers. This gives the most flexibility because the key is on-site and convenient.
  • Providing a Key to the Home – An agent would have to stop by an office to pick up the key with this option. This is still pretty convenient for showings, but not quite as simple.
  • Open Access with a Phone Call – You allow a showing with just a phone call’s notice, which can be great for someone who sees your house while driving by.
  • By Appointment Only – This gives you a more advanced warning so you can get the house tidied up and be sure you have somewhere else you can go in the meantime. But it’s also a bit more restrictive.
  • Limited Access – You might go this route if you only want to have your house available on specific days or at certain times of day. But realize this is the most difficult and least flexible of the choices.

As an article from U.S. News Real Estate says:

“Buyers like to see homes on their schedule, which often means evenings and weekends. Plus, they want to be able to tour a home soon after they find it online, especially if they're competing with other buyers. If your home can be shown with little or no notice, more prospective buyers will see it. If you require 24 hours’ notice, they may choose to skip your home altogether.”

Your agent is going to help you find the right path forward based on your schedule and what’s working for other sellers in your area. And if you’ve got a hardline on granting buyers more access or have interested out of town buyers that just can’t be there in person, your agent will get creative and help you explore other options like video tours, virtual showings, and more.

[created_at] => 2024-02-29T20:07:11Z [description] =>

If you’re gearing up to sell your house this spring, one of the early conversations you’ll have with your agent is about how much access you want to give buyers.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240229/20240306-Why-Access-Is-So-Important-When-Selling-Your-House.png [id] => 45132 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re gearing up to sell your house this spring, one of the early conversations you’ll have with your agent is about how much access you want to give buyers. And you may not realize just how important it is to make your house easy to tour. To figure out what’s best for you, your agent will walk you through options like the ones below. • Lockbox on the Door – A key is available via a lockbox, which makes it easy for agents to show the home to potential buyers. This gives the most flexibility because the key is on-site and convenient. • Providing a Key to the Home – An agent would have to stop by an office to pick up the key with this option. This is still pretty convenient for showings, but not quite as simple. • Open Access with a Phone Call – You allow a showing with just a phone call’s notice, which can be great for someone who sees your house while driving by. • By Appointment Only – This gives you a more advanced warning so you can get the house tidied up and be sure you have somewhere else you can go in the meantime. But it’s also a bit more restrictive. • Limited Access – You might go this route if you only want to have your house available on specific days or at certain times of day. But realize this is the most difficult and least flexible of the choices. Your agent is going to help you find the right path forward based on your schedule and what’s working for other sellers in your area. When it comes to selling your house, you want to be sure to get as much buyer activity as you can. DM me to talk about which level of access helps make that possible. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,dreamhome,realestate,homeownership,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why access is so important when selling your house. [public_bottom_line] =>

When it comes to selling your house, you want to be sure to get as much buyer activity as you can. Connect with a local real estate agent to talk about which level of access helps make that possible.

[published_at] => 2024-03-06T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-access-is-so-important-when-selling-your-house [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Why Access Is So Important When Selling Your House [updated_at] => 2024-04-11T20:11:58Z [url] => /2024/03/06/why-access-is-so-important-when-selling-your-house/ )

Why Access Is So Important When Selling Your House

If you’re gearing up to sell your house this spring, one of the early conversations you’ll have with your agent is about how much access you want to give buyers.

9
stdClass Object
(
    [agents_bottom_line] => 

At first, experts believed home prices would only go up a little this year. But now, they've changed their minds and forecast prices will grow even more than they originally thought. Let’s connect so you know what to expect with prices in our area.

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Over the past few months, experts have revised their 2024 home price forecasts based on the latest data and market signals, and they’re even more confident prices will rise, not fall.

So, let’s see exactly how experts’ thinking has shifted – and what’s caused the change.

2024 Home Price Forecasts: Then and Now

The chart below shows what seven expert organizations think will happen to home prices in 2024. It compares their first 2024 home price forecasts (made at the end of 2023) with their newest projections:

 a blue and white graph with text


The middle column shows that, at first, these experts thought home prices would only go up a little this year. But if you look at the column on the right, you'll see they've all updated their forecasts and now think prices will go up more than they originally thought. And some of the differences are major.

There are two big factors keeping such strong upward pressure on home prices. The first is how few homes are for sale right now. According to Business Insider:

Low home inventory is a chronic problem in the US. This has generally kept home prices up . . .”

A lack of housing inventory has been pushing prices up for a long time now – and that’s not expected to change dramatically this year. But what has changed a bit is mortgage rates.

Late last year when most housing market experts were calling for home prices to rise only a little bit in 2024, mortgage rates were up and buyer demand was more moderate.

Now that rates have come down from their peak last October, and with further declines expected over the course of the year, buyer demand has picked up. That increase in demand, along with an ongoing lack of inventory, is what’s caused the experts to feel the upward pressure on prices will be stronger than they expected a couple months ago.

A Look Forward To Get Ahead of the Next Forecast Revisions

Real estate experts regularly revise their home price forecasts as the housing market shifts. It’s a normal part of their job that ensures their projections are always up-to-date and factor in the latest changes in the housing market.

That means they’ll continue to revise their projections as the housing market changes, just as they’ve always done. How those forecasts change next is anyone’s guess, but pay attention to mortgage rates.

If they trend down as the year goes on, as they’re expected to do, that could lead to more buyer demand and even higher home price forecasts.

Basically, it’s all about supply and demand. With supply still so limited, anything that causes demand to go up will likely cause prices to go up, too.

[created_at] => 2024-02-20T15:36:41Z [description] =>

Over the past few months, experts have revised their 2024 home price forecasts based on the latest data and market signals, and they’re even more confident prices will rise, not fall.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240220/Header-Image-20220524-Blog.png [id] => 43913 [kcm_ig_caption] => Over the past few months, experts have revised their 2024 home price forecasts based on the latest data and market signals, and they’re even more confident prices will rise, not fall. 2024 Home Price Forecasts: Then and Now There are two big factors keeping such strong upward pressure on home prices. The first is how few homes are for sale right now. According to Business Insider: “Low home inventory is a chronic problem in the US. This has generally kept home prices up . . .” A lack of housing inventory has been pushing prices up for a long time now – and that’s not expected to change dramatically this year. But what has changed a bit is mortgage rates. Late last year when most housing market experts were calling for home prices to rise only a little bit in 2024, mortgage rates were up and buyer demand was more moderate. Now that rates have come down from their peak last October, and with further declines expected over the course of the year, buyer demand has picked up. A Look Forward To Get Ahead of the Next Forecast Revisions That means they’ll continue to revise their projections as the housing market changes, just as they’ve always done. How those forecasts change next is anyone’s guess, but pay attention to mortgage rates. Basically, it’s all about supply and demand. With supply still so limited, anything that causes demand to go up will likely cause prices to go up, too. At first, experts believed home prices would only go up a little this year. But now, they've changed their minds and forecast prices will grow even more than they originally thought. DM me so you know what to expect with prices in our area. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Expert home price forecasts for 2024 are revised up. [public_bottom_line] =>

At first, experts believed home prices would only go up a little this year. But now, they've changed their minds and forecast prices will grow even more than they originally thought. Connect with a local real estate agent so you know what to expect with prices in your area.

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Expert Home Price Forecasts for 2024 Revised Up

Over the past few months, experts have revised their 2024 home price forecasts based on the latest data and market signals, and they’re even more confident prices will rise, not fall.

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By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, let’s connect.

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Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life. As a first-time homebuyer, it's a dream you can make come true, but there are some hurdles you'll need to overcome in today’s housing market – specifically the limited supply of homes for sale and ongoing affordability challenges.

So, if you're ready, willing, and able to buy your first home, here are three tips to help you turn your dream into a reality.

Save Money with First-Time Homebuyer Programs                                       

Paying the initial costs of homeownership, like your down payment and closing costs, can feel a bit daunting. But there are many assistance programs for first-time homebuyers that can help you get a loan with little or no money upfront. According to Bankrate:

“. . . you might qualify for a first-time homebuyer loan or assistance. First-time buyer loans typically have more flexible requirements, such as a lower down payment and credit score. Many help buyers with closing costs and the down payment through grants and low-interest loans.

To find out more, talk to your state's housing authority or check out websites like Down Payment Resource.

Expand Your Options by Looking at Condos and Townhomes

Right now, there aren’t enough homes for sale for everyone who wants to buy one. That’s pushing home prices up and making affordability tight for buyers. One way to deal with that issue and find a home right now is to consider condos and townhomes. Realtor.com explains:

For many newbies, it might just be a matter of making a shift toward something they can better afford—like a condo or townhome. These lower-cost homes have historically been a stepping stone for buyers looking for a less expensive alternative to a single-family home.”

One reason why they may be more affordable is because they’re often smaller. But they still give you the chance to get your foot in the door and achieve your goal of owning a home and building equity. And that equity can help fuel your move into a larger home later on if you decide you need something bigger in the future. Hannah Jones, Senior Economic Analyst at Realtor.com, says:

Condos can help prospective homebuyers who perhaps have a smaller budget, but who are really determined to get a foothold in the market and start to accumulate some equity. It can be a really great entry point.”

Consider Pooling Your Resources To Buy a Multi-Generational Home

Another way to break into the market is by purchasing a home with friends or loved ones. That way you can split the cost of things like the mortgage and bills, to make it easier to afford a home. According to Money.com:

“Buying a home with another person has some obvious advantages in the mortgage department. With two incomes in the mix, buyers can likely qualify for a larger mortgage — a big help in today’s high-cost market.
[created_at] => 2024-02-15T17:31:41Z [description] =>

Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240215/20240220-Strategic-Tips-for-Buying-Your-First-Home.png [id] => 43498 [kcm_ig_caption] => Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life. As a first-time homebuyer, it's a dream you can make come true, but there are some hurdles you'll need to overcome in today’s housing market. Save Money with First-Time Homebuyer Programs Paying the initial costs of homeownership, like your down payment and closing costs, can feel a bit daunting. But there are many assistance programs for first-time homebuyers that can help you get a loan with little or no money upfront. To find out more, talk to your state's housing authority or check out websites like Down Payment Resource. Expand Your Options by Looking at Condos and Townhomes Right now, there aren’t enough homes for sale for everyone who wants to buy one. That’s pushing home prices up and making affordability tight for buyers. One way to deal with that issue and find a home right now is to consider condos and townhomes. One reason why they may be more affordable is because they’re often smaller. But they still give you the chance to get your foot in the door and achieve your goal of owning a home and building equity. And that equity can help fuel your move into a larger home later on if you decide you need something bigger in the future. Consider Pooling Your Resources To Buy a Multi-Generational Home Another way to break into the market is by purchasing a home with friends or loved ones. That way you can split the cost of things like the mortgage and bills, to make it easier to afford a home. By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Strategic tips for buying your first home. [public_bottom_line] =>

By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, connect with a local real estate agent.

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Strategic Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life.

11
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Let’s connect if you have any questions about what you’re reading or hearing about the housing market.

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Are you feeling a bit unsure about what’s really happening with mortgage rates? That might be because you’ve heard someone say they’re coming down. But then you read somewhere else that they’re up again. And that may leave you scratching your head and wondering what’s true.

The simplest answer is: that what you read or hear will vary based on the time frame they’re looking at. Here’s some information that can help clear up the confusion.

Mortgage Rates Are Volatile by Nature

Mortgage rates don’t move in a straight line. There are too many factors at play for that to happen. Instead, rates bounce around because they’re impacted by things like economic conditions, decisions from the Federal Reserve, and so much more. That means they might be up one day and down the next depending on what’s going on in the economy and the world as a whole.

Take a look at the graph below. It uses data from Mortgage News Daily to show the ebbs and flows in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate since last October:

 


If you look at the graph, you’ll see a lot of peaks and valleys – some bigger than others. And when you use data like this to explain what’s happening, the story can be different based on which two points in the graph you’re comparing.

For example, if you’re only looking at the beginning of this month through now, you may think mortgage rates are on the way back up. But, if you look at the latest data point and compare it to the peak in October, rates have trended down. So, what’s the right way to look at it?

The Big Picture

Mortgage rates are always going to bounce around. It’s just how they work. So, you shouldn’t focus too much on the small, daily changes. Instead, to really understand the overall trend, zoom out and look at the big picture.

When you look at the highest point (October) compared to where rates are now, you can see they’ve come down compared to last year. And if you’re looking to buy a home, this is big news. Don’t let the little blips distract you. The experts agree, overall, that the larger downward trend could continue this year

[created_at] => 2024-02-09T16:22:34Z [description] =>

Are you feeling a bit unsure about what’s really happening with mortgage rates?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240209/20240212-Whats-really-happening-with-mortgage-rates.png [id] => 42867 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you feeling a bit unsure about what’s really happening with mortgage rates? That might be because you’ve heard someone say they’re coming down. But then you read somewhere else that they’re up again. And that may leave you scratching your head and wondering what’s true. The simplest answer is: that what you read or hear will vary based on the time frame they’re looking at. Here’s some information that can help clear up the confusion. Mortgage Rates Are Volatile by Nature Mortgage rates don’t move in a straight line. There are too many factors at play for that to happen. Instead, rates bounce around because they’re impacted by things like economic conditions, decisions from the Federal Reserve, and so much more. That means they might be up one day and down the next depending on what’s going on in the economy and the world as a whole. The Big Picture Mortgage rates are always going to bounce around. It’s just how they work. So, you shouldn’t focus too much on the small, daily changes. Instead, to really understand the overall trend, zoom out and look at the big picture. When you look at the highest point (October) compared to where rates are now, you can see they’ve come down compared to last year. And if you’re looking to buy a home, this is big news. Don’t let the little blips distract you. The experts agree, overall, that the larger downward trend could continue this year. DM me if you have any questions about what you’re reading or hearing about the housing market. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What’s really happening with mortgage rates? [public_bottom_line] =>

Connect with a professional if you have any questions about what you’re reading or hearing about the housing market.

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What’s Really Happening with Mortgage Rates?

Are you feeling a bit unsure about what’s really happening with mortgage rates?

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If you’re considering selling your house, let’s connect so you have help navigating the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

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If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

A great way to balance those emotions and make sure you’re confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind when you’re ready to sell.

1. Price Your Home Right

The housing market shifted in 2023 as mortgage rates rose and home price appreciation started to normalize once again. As a seller, you still need to recognize how important it is to price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Hannah Jones, Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com, explains:

“Sellers need to become familiar with their local market and work closely with a local agent to make sure their listing is attractive to buyers. Buyers feeling the pressure of affordability are likely to be pickier, so a well-priced, well-maintained home is the ticket to drumming up big demand.”

If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be, so your house moves quickly and for top dollar.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are staying in their houses longer than they used to. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 6 to 10 years (see graph below):


This is much more than what used to be the norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even tougher to separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations and the best pricing strategy along the way. Trust the professionals who have your best interests in mind.

3. Stage Your Home Properly

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your house over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your vibe. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you focus on your home’s first impression, so it appeals to as many buyers as possible.

Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the home. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, says:

“Buyers want to easily envision themselves within a new home and home staging is a way to showcase the property in its best light.”

A real estate professional can help you with expertise on getting your house ready to sell.

[created_at] => 2024-01-18T19:28:04Z [description] =>

If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240118/20240122-3-Must-Do-s-When-Selling-Your-House-in-2024.png [id] => 39819 [kcm_ig_caption] => If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home. Keep these three best practices in mind when you’re ready to sell. 1. Price Your Home Right If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be, so your house moves quickly and for top dollar. 2. Keep Your Emotions in Check Today, homeowners are staying in their houses longer than they used to. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 6 to 10 years. This is much more than what used to be the norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations and the best pricing strategy along the way. Trust the professionals who have your best interests in mind. 3. Stage Your Home Properly While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your house over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your vibe. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, says: “Buyers want to easily envision themselves within a new home and home staging is a way to showcase the property in its best light.” If you’re considering selling your house, DM me so you have help navigating the process while prioritizing these must-do’s. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,dreamhome,realestate,homeownership,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => 3 must-do’s when selling your house in 2024. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re considering selling your house, reach out to a local real estate professional to help you navigate the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

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3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House in 2024

If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

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If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the main factors impacting affordability are improving. To get the latest updates on each, let's connect.

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Over the past year, a lot of people have been talking about housing affordability and how tight it’s gotten. But just recently, there’s been a little bit of relief on that front. Mortgage rates have gone down since their most recent peak in October. But there’s more to being able to afford a home than just mortgage rates.

To really understand home affordability, you need to look at the combination of three important factors: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. Let’s dive into the latest data on each one to see why affordability is improving.

1. Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have come down in recent months. And looking forward, most experts expect them to decline further over the course of the year. Jiayi Xu, an economist at Realtor.com, explains:

“While there could be some fluctuations in the path forward … the general expectation is that mortgage rates will continue to trend downward, as long as the economy continues to see progress on inflation.”

And even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your purchasing power, making it easier for you to afford the home you want by reducing your monthly mortgage payment.

2. Home Prices

The second important factor is home prices. After going up at a relatively normal pace last year, they’re expected to continue rising moderately in 2024. That’s because even with inventory projected to grow slightly this year, there still aren’t enough homes for sale for all the people who want to buy them. According to Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS:

“More inventory will be generally offset by more buyers in the market. As a result, it is expected that, overall, the median home price in the U.S. will grow modestly . . .”

That’s great news for you because it means prices aren’t likely to skyrocket like they did during the pandemic. But it also means it’ll probably cost you more to wait. So, if you’re ready, willing, and able to buy, and you can find the right home, purchasing before more buyers enter the market and prices rise further might be in your best interest.

3. Wages

Another positive factor in affordability right now is rising income. The graph below uses data from the Federal Reserve to show how wages have grown over time: 


If you look at the blue dotted trendline, you can see the rate at which wages typically rise. But on the right side of the graph, wages are above the trend line today, meaning they’re going up at a higher rate than normal.

Higher wages improve affordability because they reduce the percentage of your income it takes to pay your mortgage. That’s because you don’t have to put as much of your paycheck toward your monthly housing cost.

What This Means for You

Home affordability depends on three things: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. The good news is, they’re moving in a positive direction for buyers overall.

[created_at] => 2024-01-16T20:37:08Z [description] =>

Over the past year, a lot of people have been talking about housing affordability and how tight it’s gotten.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240116/202401183-Key-Factors-Affecting-Home-Affordability.png [id] => 39503 [kcm_ig_caption] => To really understand home affordability, you need to look at the combination of three important factors: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. 1. Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates have come down in recent months. And looking forward, most experts expect them to decline further over the course of the year. Even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your purchasing power, making it easier for you to afford the home you want by reducing your monthly mortgage payment. 2. Home Prices The second important factor is home prices. After going up at a relatively normal pace last year, they’re expected to continue rising moderately in 2024. That’s great news for you because it means prices aren’t likely to skyrocket like they did during the pandemic. But it also means it’ll probably cost you more to wait. So, if you’re ready, willing, and able to buy, and you can find the right home, purchasing before more buyers enter the market and prices rise further might be in your best interest. 3. Wages Another positive factor in affordability right now is rising income. Higher wages improve affordability because they reduce the percentage of your income it takes to pay your mortgage. That’s because you don’t have to put as much of your paycheck toward your monthly housing cost. What This Means for You Home affordability depends on three things: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. The good news is, they’re moving in a positive direction for buyers overall. If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the main factors impacting affordability are improving. To get the latest updates on each, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Here’s 3 key factors affecting home affordability. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the main factors impacting affordability are improving. To get the latest updates on each, connect with a trusted real estate agent.

[published_at] => 2024-01-18T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => 3-key-factors-affecting-home-affordability [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => 3 Key Factors Affecting Home Affordability [updated_at] => 2024-04-11T20:16:03Z [url] => /2024/01/18/3-key-factors-affecting-home-affordability/ )

3 Key Factors Affecting Home Affordability

Over the past year, a lot of people have been talking about housing affordability and how tight it’s gotten.

14
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

In the face of today’s affordability challenges, both of these strategies offer more attainable paths to homeownership, especially for younger buyers. If you want to discuss these options and see how they might play out for you in our local market, let’s connect.

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Does the rising cost of just about everything these days make your dream of owning your own home feel less within reach? According to Bankrate, many people are seeking additional income through side hustles, possibly to cope with those increasing expenses and save for a home. This trend is particularly popular with younger individuals who may be dealing with student loan debt (see graph below):

 


Here are two strategies that can not only make homeownership more affordable in the short term, but turn it into a lucrative side hustle that can pay off down the road.

Transforming the Challenge of a Fixer-Upper into an Opportunity

One thing you could do to help you break into homeownership is consider purchasing a fixer-upper. That’s a home that may be a bit less appealing and as a result has lingered on the market longer than normal. According to a recent article from U.S. News:

“The current state of the housing market may have you expanding your options to try to find a home that you can afford. A fixer-upper that needs some updating and a little love can feel like a welcome alternative to move-in ready houses that go off the market before you can even take a tour.

By opting for a home that requires some work, you may see two big benefits. For starters, you may find it’s easier to find a home because you’re not looking for that perfect option. Plus, it may also help you enter the housing market at a lower price point. This strategy provides a more affordable way to become a homeowner while also offering the potential for future profits.

Yes, the home may need a little elbow grease, but investing time and effort into gradually enhancing your house not only makes it a home but also increases its future market value. So, while you enjoy the satisfaction of turning a house into a home, you're also building equity that can be unlocked when it's time to sell.

Renting Out a Portion of Your Home To Make It More Affordable

Another savvy strategy is to purchase a home with the upfront intention of renting out a portion of it. According to a recent press release from Zillow, renting out a part of their home is already very important for most young homebuyers (see graph below):

 


This approach serves a strong purpose. As Manny Garcia, Senior Population Scientist at Zillow, says:

“For those first-time buyers navigating the ‘side hustle culture,’ where a regular 9-to-5 might not quite cut it for homeownership dreams, rental income can step in to help . . .”

Basically, it can help you afford your monthly mortgage payments. So if you’re open to it, renting out a portion of your home not only helps with affordability, but it also positions you as an investor and turns your home into a source of income.

[created_at] => 2023-12-04T19:18:37Z [description] =>

Does the rising cost of just about everything these days make your dream of owning your own home feel less within reach?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20231204/20231206-How-to-Turn-Homeownership-into-a-Side-Hustle.png [id] => 35672 [kcm_ig_caption] => Does the rising cost of just about everything these days make your dream of owning your own home feel less within reach? According to Bankrate, many people are seeking additional income through side hustles, possibly to cope with those increasing expenses and save for a home. Here are two strategies that can not only make homeownership more affordable in the short term, but turn it into a lucrative side hustle that can pay off down the road. Transforming the Challenge of a Fixer-Upper into an Opportunity By opting for a home that requires some work, you may see two big benefits. For starters, you may find it’s easier to find a home because you’re not looking for that perfect option. Plus, it may also help you enter the housing market at a lower price point. This strategy provides a more affordable way to become a homeowner while also offering the potential for future profits. So, while you enjoy the satisfaction of turning a house into a home, you're also building equity that can be unlocked when it's time to sell. Renting Out a Portion of Your Home To Make It More Affordable Basically, it can help you afford your monthly mortgage payments. So if you’re open to it, renting out a portion of your home not only helps with affordability, but it also positions you as an investor and turns your home into a source of income. In the face of today’s affordability challenges, both of these strategies offer more attainable paths to homeownership, especially for younger buyers. If you want to discuss these options and see how they might play out for you in our local market, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => How to turn homeownership into a side hustle. [public_bottom_line] =>

In the face of today’s affordability challenges, both of these strategies offer more attainable paths to homeownership, especially for younger buyers. If you want to discuss these options and see how they might play out for you in your local market, connect with a trusted real estate agent.

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How To Turn Homeownership into a Side Hustle

Does the rising cost of just about everything these days make your dream of owning your own home feel less within reach?

15
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If you have questions about the options in our area, let’s discuss what's available and what's right for you. That way you’ll be ready to make your next move with confidence.

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If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard the supply of homes for sale is still low, and that means your house should stand out to buyers who are craving more options. But you may also be wondering, once you sell, how does the current supply impact your own move? And, will you be able to find a home you want to buy with inventory this low?

One thing that can help you find your next home is exploring all your options, including both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. Let’s look at the benefits of each one.

The Pros of Newly Built Homes

First, let’s look at the advantages of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new home, you’ll be able to:

  1. Create your perfect home. If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more.
  2. Cash-in on energy efficiency. When building a home, you can choose energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
  3. Minimize the need for repairs. Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little projects to tackle.
  4. Have brand new everything. Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.


The Pros of Existing Homes

Now, let’s compare that to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:

  1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans. With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.
  2. Join an established neighborhood. Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit.
  3. Enjoy mature trees and landscaping. Established neighborhoods also have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal.
  4. Appreciate that lived-in charm. The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home.


The choice is yours. When you start your search for the perfect home, remember that you can go either route – you just need to decide which features and benefits are most important to you. As an article from The Mortgage Reports says:

“When building, you gain more freedom to tailor the design, materials, and features, but it demands more time and involvement. Conversely, buying an established home offers immediate occupancy . . . yet may require compromises. Your choice should align with your budget, timeline, customization preferences, and the local real estate landscape.”

Either way, working with a local real estate agent throughout the process is mission-critical to your success. They'll help you explore all of your options based on what matters most to you in your next home. Together, you can find the home that’s right for you.

[created_at] => 2023-11-28T19:37:52Z [description] =>

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard the supply of homes for sale is still low, and that means your house should stand out to buyers who are craving more options.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20231128/20231204-When-You-Sell-Your-House-Where-Do-You-Plan-To-Go.png [id] => 35111 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard the supply of homes for sale is still low, and that means your house should stand out to buyers who are craving more options. But you may also be wondering, once you sell, how does the current supply impact your own move? And, will you be able to find a home you want to buy with inventory this low? One thing that can help you find your next home is exploring all your options, including both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. Let’s look at the benefits of each one. The Pros of Newly Built Homes First, let’s look at the advantages of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new home, you’ll be able to: 1. Create your perfect home. 2. Cash-in on energy efficiency. 3. Minimize the need for repairs. 4. Have brand new everything. The Pros of Existing Homes Now, let’s compare that to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can: 1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans. 2. Join an established neighborhood. 3. Enjoy mature trees and landscaping. 4. Appreciate that lived-in charm. Either way, working with a local real estate agent throughout the process is mission-critical to your success. They'll help you explore all of your options based on what matters most to you in your next home. Together, you can find the home that’s right for you. If you have questions about the options in our area, let’s discuss what's available and what's right for you. That way you’ll be ready to make your next move with confidence. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => When you sell your house, where do you plan to go? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you have questions about the options in your area, connect with a local real estate agent to discuss what's available and what's right for you. That way you’ll be ready to make your next move with confidence.

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When You Sell Your House, Where Do You Plan To Go?

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard the supply of homes for sale is still low, and that means your house should stand out to buyers who are craving more options.

16
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There are plenty of good reasons to put your house on the market during the holiday season. Let's chat and see if it's the right time for you to sell.

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This time every year, homeowners who are planning to move have a decision to make: sell now or wait until after the holidays? Some sellers with homes already on the market may even remove their listing until the new year.

But the truth is, many buyers want to purchase a home for the holidays, and your house might be just what they’re looking for. As an article from Fortune Builders explains:

“ . . . while a majority of people take a step back from the real estate market during the holiday months, you may find when the temperature drops, your potential for a great real estate deal starts to rise.”

To help prove that point, here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to sell your house.

1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. While a few buyers might opt to delay their moving plans until January, others may need to move now because something in their life has changed. The buyers who look for homes at this time of year are usually motivated to make their move happen and are eager to buy. A recent article from Investopedia says:

“Anyone shopping for a new home between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is likely going to be a serious buyer. Putting your home on the market at this time of year and attracting a serious buyer can often result in a quicker sale.”

2. While the supply of homes for sale has increased a little bit lately, overall inventory is still lower than it was before the pandemic. What does that mean for you? If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, it could still sell quickly because today’s buyers are craving more options – and your home may be exactly what they’re searching for.

3. You can determine the days and times that are most convenient for you for home showings. That can help you minimize disruptions to your own schedule, which can be especially important during this busy time of year. Plus, you may find buyers are more flexible on when they’ll tour a house this time of year because they have more time off from work around the holidays.

4. And finally, homes decorated for the holidays appeal to many buyers. For those buyers, it’s easy to picture gathering with their loved ones in the home and making memories of their own. An article on selling at this time of year offers this advice:

“If you’re selling around a holiday and have decorations up, make sure they accent—not overpower—a room. Less is more.
[created_at] => 2023-11-14T21:56:04Z [description] =>

This time every year, homeowners who are planning to move have a decision to make: sell now or wait until after the holidays?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20231114/20231120-Is-Your-House-the-Top-Thing-on-a-Buyers-wish-list-this-holiday-season.jpg [id] => 34008 [kcm_ig_caption] => This time every year, homeowners who are planning to move have a decision to make: sell now or wait until after the holidays? Some sellers with homes already on the market may even remove their listing until the new year. But the truth is, many buyers want to purchase a home for the holidays, and your house might be just what they’re looking for. To help prove that point, here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to sell your house. 1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. A recent article from Investopedia says: “Anyone shopping for a new home between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is likely going to be a serious buyer. Putting your home on the market at this time of year and attracting a serious buyer can often result in a quicker sale.” 2. While the supply of homes for sale has increased a little bit lately, overall inventory is still lower than it was before the pandemic. What does that mean for you? If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, it could still sell quickly because today’s buyers are craving more options. 3. You can determine the days and times that are most convenient for you for home showings. That can help you minimize disruptions to your own schedule, which can be especially important during this busy time of year. 4. And finally, homes decorated for the holidays appeal to many buyers. An article on selling at this time of year offers this advice: “If you’re selling around a holiday and have decorations up, make sure they accent—not overpower—a room. Less is more." There are plenty of good reasons to put your house on the market during the holiday season. DM me and see if it's the right time for you to sell. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Is your house the top thing on a buyer’s wish list this holiday season? [public_bottom_line] =>

There are plenty of good reasons to put your house on the market during the holiday season. Connect with a real estate agent and see if it's the right time for you to sell.

[published_at] => 2023-11-20T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => is-your-house-the-top-thing-on-a-buyers-wish-list-this-holiday-season [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Is Your House the Top Thing on a Buyer’s Wish List this Holiday Season? [updated_at] => 2023-11-20T11:30:50Z [url] => /2023/11/20/is-your-house-the-top-thing-on-a-buyers-wish-list-this-holiday-season/ )

Is Your House the Top Thing on a Buyer’s Wish List this Holiday Season?

This time every year, homeowners who are planning to move have a decision to make: sell now or wait until after the holidays?

17
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If you’re still thinking about using your 401(k)-retirement savings for a home down payment, consider all your options and work with a financial professional before you make any decisions.

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Are you dreaming of buying your own home and wondering about how you’ll save for a down payment? You're not alone. Some people think about tapping into their 401(k) savings to make it happen. But before you decide to dip into your retirement to buy a home, be sure to consider all possible alternatives and talk with a financial expert. Here’s why.

The Numbers May Make It Tempting

The data shows many Americans have saved a considerable amount for retirement (see chart below):

 


It can be really tempting when you have a lot of money saved up in your 401(k) and you see your dream home on the horizon. But remember, dipping into your retirement savings for a home could cost you a penalty and affect your finances later on. That's why it's important to explore all your options when it comes to saving for a down payment and buying a home. As Experian says:

“It’s possible to use funds from your 401(k) to buy a house, but whether you should depends on several factors, including taxes and penalties, how much you’ve already saved and your unique financial circumstances.”

Alternative Ways To Buy a Home

Using your 401(k) is one way to finance a home, but it's not the only option. Before you decide, consider a couple of other methods, courtesy of Experian:

  • FHA Loan: FHA loans allow qualified buyers to put down as little as 3.5% of the home's price, depending on their credit scores.
  • Down Payment Assistance Programs: There are many national and local programs that can help first-time and repeat homebuyers come up with the necessary down payment.

Above All Else, Have a Plan

No matter what route you take to purchase a home, be sure to talk with a financial expert before you do anything. Working with a team of experts to develop a concrete plan prior to starting your journey to homeownership is the key to success. Kelly Palmer, Founder of The Wealthy Parent, says:

“I have seen parents pausing contributions to their retirement plans in favor of affording a larger home often with the hope they can refinance in the future… As long as there is a tangible plan in place to get back to saving for their retirement goals, I encourage families to consider all their options.
[created_at] => 2023-11-07T14:10:38Z [description] =>

Are you dreaming of buying your own home and wondering about how you’ll save for a down payment? You're not alone.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20231107/20231108-Thinking-About-Using-Your-401k-to-buy-a-house.png [id] => 16465 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you dreaming of buying your own home and wondering about how you’ll save for a down payment? You're not alone. Some people think about tapping into their 401(k) savings to make it happen. But before you decide to dip into your retirement to buy a home, be sure to consider all possible alternatives and talk with a financial expert. Here’s why. The Numbers May Make It Tempting It can be really tempting when you have a lot of money saved up in your 401(k) and you see your dream home on the horizon. But remember, dipping into your retirement savings for a home could cost you a penalty and affect your finances later on. That's why it's important to explore all your options when it comes to saving for a down payment and buying a home. Alternative Ways To Buy a Home Using your 401(k) is one way to finance a home, but it's not the only option. Before you decide, consider a couple of other methods, courtesy of Experian: • FHA Loan: FHA loans allow qualified buyers to put down as little as 3.5% of the home's price, depending on their credit scores. • Down Payment Assistance Programs: There are many national and local programs that can help first-time and repeat homebuyers come up with the necessary down payment. Above All Else, Have a Plan No matter what route you take to purchase a home, be sure to talk with a financial expert before you do anything. Working with a team of experts to develop a concrete plan prior to starting your journey to homeownership is the key to success. If you’re still thinking about using your 401(k)-retirement savings for a home down payment, consider all your options and work with a financial professional before you make any decisions. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Thinking about using your 401(k) to buy a home? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re still thinking about using your 401(k)-retirement savings for a home down payment, consider all your options and work with a financial professional before you make any decisions.

[published_at] => 2023-11-08T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => thinking-about-using-your-401k-to-buy-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Thinking About Using Your 401(k) To Buy a Home? [updated_at] => 2023-11-08T11:30:41Z [url] => /2023/11/08/thinking-about-using-your-401k-to-buy-a-home/ )

Thinking About Using Your 401(k) To Buy a Home?

Are you dreaming of buying your own home and wondering about how you’ll save for a down payment? You're not alone.

18
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The best advice for your move is: don’t try to control what you can’t control – especially mortgage rates. Even the experts can’t say for certain where they’ll go from here. Instead, focus on building a team of trusted professionals who can keep you informed. When you’re ready to get the process started, let’s connect.

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Mortgage rates have been back on the rise recently and that’s getting a lot of attention from the press. If you’ve been following the headlines, you may have even seen rates recently reached their highest level in over two decades (see graph below):  


That can feel like a little bit of a gut punch if you’re thinking about making a move. If you’re wondering whether or not you should delay your plans, here’s what you really need to know.   

How Higher Mortgage Rates Impact You  

There’s no denying mortgage rates are higher right now than they were in recent years. And, when rates are up, that affects overall home affordability. It works like this. The higher the rate, the more expensive it is to borrow money when you buy a home. That’s because, as rates trend up, your monthly mortgage payment for your future home loan also increases.  

Urban Institute explains how this is impacting buyers and sellers right now: 

When mortgage rates go up, monthly housing payments on new purchases also increase. For potential buyers, increased monthly payments can reduce the share of available affordable homes . . . Additionally, higher interest rates mean fewer homes on the market, as existing homeowners have an incentive to hold on to their home to keep their low interest rate.” 

 Basically, some people are deciding to put their plans on hold because of where mortgage rates are right now. But what you want to know is: is that a good strategy

Where Will Mortgage Rates Go from Here? 

 If you’re eager for mortgage rates to drop, you’re not alone. A lot of people are waiting for that to happen. But here’s the thing. No one knows when it will. Even the experts can’t say with certainty what’s going to happen next.  

Forecasts project rates will fall in the months ahead, but what the latest data says is that rates have been climbing lately. This disconnect shows just how tricky mortgage rates are to project.  

The best advice for your move is this: don’t try to control what you can’t control. This includes trying to time the market or guess what the future holds for mortgage rates. As CBS News states

“If you're in the market for a new home, experts typically recommend focusing your search on the right home purchase — not the interest rate environment.” 

Instead, work on building a team of skilled professionals, including a trusted lender and real estate agent, who can explain what’s happening in the market and what it means for you. If you need to move because you’re changing jobs, want to be closer to family, or are in the middle of another big life change, the right team can help you achieve your goal, even now. 

[created_at] => 2023-10-12T19:14:25Z [description] =>

Mortgage rates have been back on the rise recently and that’s getting a lot of attention from the press.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20231012/20231016-Are-Higher-Mortgage-Rates-Here-To-Stay.png [id] => 15640 [kcm_ig_caption] => Mortgage rates have been back on the rise recently and that’s getting a lot of attention from the press. If you’ve been following the headlines, you may have even seen rates recently reached their highest level in over two decades. That can feel like a little bit of a gut punch if you’re thinking about making a move. If you’re wondering whether or not you should delay your plans, here’s what you really need to know. How Higher Mortgage Rates Impact You There’s no denying mortgage rates are higher right now than they were in recent years. Basically, some people are deciding to put their plans on hold because of where mortgage rates are right now. But what you want to know is: is that a good strategy? Where Will Mortgage Rates Go from Here? If you’re eager for mortgage rates to drop, you’re not alone. A lot of people are waiting for that to happen. But here’s the thing. No one knows when it will. Even the experts can’t say with certainty what’s going to happen next. Forecasts project rates will fall in the months ahead, but what the latest data says is that rates have been climbing lately. This disconnect shows just how tricky mortgage rates are to project. The best advice for your move is: don’t try to control what you can’t control – especially mortgage rates. Even the experts can’t say for certain where they’ll go from here. Instead, focus on building a team of trusted professionals who can keep you informed. When you’re ready to get the process started, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Are higher mortgage rates here to stay? [public_bottom_line] =>

The best advice for your move is: don’t try to control what you can’t control – especially mortgage rates. Even the experts can’t say for certain where they’ll go from here. Instead, focus on building a team of trusted professionals who can keep you informed. When you’re ready to get the process started, connect with a local real estate agent.

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Are Higher Mortgage Rates Here To Stay?

Mortgage rates have been back on the rise recently and that’s getting a lot of attention from the press.

19
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Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through selling a house before, a great listing agent is the key to success. Let’s connect so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process.

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Selling your house is a big decision. And that can make it feel both exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking. But the key to a successful sale is finding the perfect listing agent to work with you throughout the process. A listing agent, also known as a seller's agent, helps market and sell your house while advocating for you every step of the way.

But, how do you know you've found the perfect match in an agent? Here are three key skills you’ll want your listing agent to have.

They Price Your House Based on the Latest Data

While it may be tempting to pick the agent who suggests the highest asking price for your house, that strategy may cost you. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you see a bigger number, but overpricing your house can have consequences. It could mean it’ll sit on the market longer because the higher price is actually deterring buyers.

Instead, you want to pick an agent who’s going to have an open conversation about how they think you should price your house and why. A great agent will base their pricing strategy on solid data. They won't throw out a number just to win your listing. Instead, they'll show you the facts, explain their pricing strategy, and make sure you're on the same page. As NerdWallet explains:

“An agent who recommends the highest price isn't always the best choice. Choose an agent who backs up the recommendation with market knowledge.”

They’re a Great Negotiator

The home-selling process can be emotional, especially if you’ve been in your house for a long time. You’re connected to it and have a lot of memories there. This can make the negotiation process harder. That’s where a trusted professional comes in.

A skilled listing agent will be calm under pressure and will be your point-person in all of those conversations. Their experience in handling the back-and-forth gives you with the peace of mind that you've got someone on your side who’s got your best interests in mind throughout this journey.

They’re a Skilled Problem Solver

At the heart of it all, a listing agent's main priority is to get your house sold. A great agent never loses sight of that goal and will help you prioritize your needs above all else. If they identify any necessary steps you need to take, they’ll be open with you about it. Their commitment to your success means they'll work with you to address any potential roadblocks and find creative solutions to anything that pops up along the way.

BankRate explains it like this:

“Just as important as the knowledge and experience agents bring is their ability to guide you smoothly through the process. Above all, go with an agent you trust and will feel comfortable with. . .”
[created_at] => 2023-10-05T17:27:06Z [description] =>

Selling your house is a big decision.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20231005/20231009-Key-skills-you-need-your-listing-agent-to-have.png [id] => 15596 [kcm_ig_caption] => Selling your house is a big decision. And that can make it feel both exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking. But the key to a successful sale is finding the perfect listing agent to work with you throughout the process. A listing agent, also known as a seller's agent, helps market and sell your house while advocating for you every step of the way. But, how do you know you've found the perfect match in an agent? Here are three key skills you’ll want your listing agent to have. They Price Your House Based on the Latest Data While it may be tempting to pick the agent who suggests the highest asking price for your house, that strategy may cost you. As NerdWallet explains: “An agent who recommends the highest price isn't always the best choice. Choose an agent who backs up the recommendation with market knowledge.” They’re a Great Negotiator A skilled listing agent will be calm under pressure and will be your point-person in all of those conversations. Their experience in handling the back-and-forth gives you with the peace of mind that you've got someone on your side who’s got your best interests in mind throughout this journey. They’re a Skilled Problem Solver BankRate explains it like this: “Just as important as the knowledge and experience agents bring is their ability to guide you smoothly through the process. Above all, go with an agent you trust and will feel comfortable with. . .” Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through selling a house before, a great listing agent is the key to success. DM me so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Key skills you need your listing agent to have. [public_bottom_line] =>

Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through selling a house before, a great listing agent is the key to success. Connect with a real estate professional so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process.

[published_at] => 2023-10-09T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => key-skills-you-need-your-listing-agent-to-have [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Key Skills You Need Your Listing Agent To Have [updated_at] => 2023-10-09T10:30:21Z [url] => /2023/10/09/key-skills-you-need-your-listing-agent-to-have/ )

Key Skills You Need Your Listing Agent To Have

Selling your house is a big decision.

20
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

It’s natural to feel disappointed when your listing has expired and your house didn’t sell. Let’s connect to figure out what happened and what to reconsider or change if you want to get your house back on the market.

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If your listing expired and your house didn’t sell, you’re likely feeling a little frustrated. Not to mention, you're also probably wondering what went wrong. Here are three questions to think about as you figure out what to do next.

Did You Limit Access to Your House?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling your house is restricting the days and times when potential buyers can tour it. Being flexible with your schedule is important when you're selling your house, even though it might feel a bit stressful to drop everything and leave when buyers want to see it. After all, minimal access means minimal exposure to buyers. ShowingTime advises:

“. . . do your best to be as flexible as possible when granting access to your house for showings.”

Sometimes, the most determined buyers might come from far away. Since they're traveling to see your house, they may not be able to change their plans easily if you only offer limited times for showings. So, try to make your house available as much as you can to accommodate them. It’s simple. If no one’s able to look at it, how’s it going to sell?

Did You Make Your House Stand Out?

When selling your house, the old saying matters: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Putting in the work to make the exterior of your home look nice is just as important as how you stage it inside. Freshen up your landscaping to improve your home’s curb appeal so you can make an impact upfront. As an article from U.S. News says:

“After all, if people drive by, but aren’t interested enough to walk through the front door, you’ll never sell your house.”

But don’t let that impact stop at the front door. By removing personal items and reducing clutter inside, you give buyers more freedom to picture themselves in the home. Additionally, a new coat of paint or cleaning the floors can go a long way to freshening up a room.

Did You Price Your House Compellingly?

Setting the right price is extremely important when you're selling your house. Even though it might feel tempting to push the price higher to maximize your profit, overpricing can scare away buyers and make it hard to sell quickly. Business Insider notes:

“. . . the biggest mistake sellers make is overpricing their home.”

If your house is priced higher than others like it, it could make buyers lose interest. Pay attention to the feedback people give your agent during open houses and showings. If lots of people are saying the same thing, it might be a good idea to think about lowering the price.

For all these insights and more, rely on a trusted real estate agent. A great agent will offer expert advice on relisting your house with effective strategies to get it sold.

[created_at] => 2023-09-27T18:05:11Z [description] =>

If your listing expired and your house didn’t sell, you’re likely feeling a little frustrated.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230927/20230928-Why-your-house-didn-t-sell.png [id] => 15567 [kcm_ig_caption] => If your listing expired and your house didn’t sell, you’re likely feeling a little frustrated. Not to mention, you're also probably wondering what went wrong. Here are three questions to think about as you figure out what to do next. Did You Limit Access to Your House? One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling your house is restricting the days and times when potential buyers can tour it. ShowingTime advises: “. . . do your best to be as flexible as possible when granting access to your house for showings.” It’s simple. If no one’s able to look at it, how’s it going to sell? Did You Make Your House Stand Out? When selling your house, the old saying matters: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Putting in the work to make the exterior of your home look nice is just as important as how you stage it inside. As an article from U.S. News says: “After all, if people drive by, but aren’t interested enough to walk through the front door, you’ll never sell your house.” Did You Price Your House Compellingly? Business Insider notes: “. . . the biggest mistake sellers make is overpricing their home.” If your house is priced higher than others like it, it could make buyers lose interest. Pay attention to the feedback people give your agent during open houses and showings. If lots of people are saying the same thing, it might be a good idea to think about lowering the price. It’s natural to feel disappointed when your listing has expired and your house didn’t sell. DM me to figure out what happened and what to reconsider or change if you want to get your house back on the market. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,dreamhome,realestate,homeownership,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why your house didn’t sell. [public_bottom_line] =>

It’s natural to feel disappointed when your listing has expired and your house didn’t sell. Talk to a trusted real estate agent to figure out what happened and what to reconsider or change if you want to get your house back on the market.

[published_at] => 2023-09-28T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-your-house-didnt-sell [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Why Your House Didn’t Sell [updated_at] => 2023-09-28T10:30:15Z [url] => /2023/09/28/why-your-house-didnt-sell/ )

Why Your House Didn’t Sell

If your listing expired and your house didn’t sell, you’re likely feeling a little frustrated.

21
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The market doesn’t have enough available homes for a repeat of the 2008 housing crisis – and there’s nothing that suggests that will change anytime soon. That’s why housing inventory tells us there’s no crash on the horizon.

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You might remember the housing crash in 2008, even if you didn't own a home at the time. If you’re worried there’s going to be a repeat of what happened back then, there's good news – the housing market now is different from 2008.

One important reason is there aren't enough homes for sale. That means there’s an undersupply, not an oversupply like the last time. For the market to crash, there would have to be too many houses for sale, but the data doesn't show that happening.

Housing supply comes from three main sources:

  • Homeowners deciding to sell their houses
  • Newly built homes
  • Distressed properties (foreclosures or short sales)

Here’s a closer look at today's housing inventory to understand why this isn’t like 2008.

Homeowners Deciding To Sell Their Houses

Although housing supply did grow compared to last year, it’s still low. The current months’ supply is below the norm. The graph below shows this more clearly. If you look at the latest data (shown in green), compared to 2008 (shown in red), there’s only about a third of that available inventory today.

So, what does this mean? There just aren't enough homes available to make home values drop. To have a repeat of 2008, there’d need to be a lot more people selling their houses with very few buyers, and that's not happening right now.

Newly Built Homes

People are also talking a lot about what's going on with newly built houses these days, and that might make you wonder if homebuilders are overdoing it. The graph below shows the number of new houses built over the last 52 years:

The 14 years of underbuilding (shown in red) is a big part of the reason why inventory is so low today. Basically, builders haven’t been building enough homes for years now and that’s created a significant deficit in supply.

While the final blue bar on the graph shows that’s ramping up and is on pace to hit the long-term average again, it won’t suddenly create an oversupply. That’s because there’s too much of a gap to make up. Plus, builders are being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

Distressed Properties (Foreclosures and Short Sales)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back during the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to get a home loan they couldn’t truly afford.

Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from the Federal Reserve to show how things have changed since the housing crash:

This graph illustrates, as lending standards got tighter and buyers were more qualified, the number of foreclosures started to go down. And in 2020 and 2021, the combination of a moratorium on foreclosures and the forbearance program helped prevent a repeat of the wave of foreclosures we saw back around 2008.

The forbearance program was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

What This Means for You

Inventory levels aren’t anywhere near where they’d need to be for prices to drop significantly and the housing market to crash. According to Bankrate, that isn’t going to change anytime soon, especially considering buyer demand is still strong:

“This ongoing lack of inventory explains why many buyers still have little choice but to bid up prices. And it also indicates that the supply-and-demand equation simply won’t allow a price crash in the near future.”
[created_at] => 2023-09-26T16:00:02Z [description] =>

You might remember the housing crash in 2008, even if you didn't own a home at the time.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230926/20230927-Why-Today-s-Housing-Inventory-Shows-a-Crash-Isn-t-on-the-Horizon-KCM.png [id] => 15559 [kcm_ig_caption] => You might remember the housing crash in 2008, even if you didn't own a home at the time. If you’re worried there’s going to be a repeat of what happened back then, there's good news – the housing market now is different from 2008. Here’s a closer look at today's housing inventory to understand why this isn’t like 2008. Homeowners Deciding To Sell Their Houses Although housing supply did grow compared to last year, it’s still low. The current months’ supply is below the norm. There’s only about a third of that available inventory today. Newly Built Homes People are also talking a lot about what's going on with newly built houses these days, and that might make you wonder if homebuilders are overdoing it. The 14 years of underbuilding is a big part of the reason why inventory is so low today. Basically, builders haven’t been building enough homes for years now and that’s created a significant deficit in supply. Distressed Properties (Foreclosures and Short Sales) Back during the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to get a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. What This Means for You Inventory levels aren’t anywhere near where they’d need to be for prices to drop significantly and the housing market to crash. The market doesn’t have enough available homes for a repeat of the 2008 housing crisis – and there’s nothing that suggests that will change anytime soon. That’s why housing inventory tells us there’s no crash on the horizon. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why today’s housing inventory shows a crash isn’t on the horizon. [public_bottom_line] =>

The market doesn’t have enough available homes for a repeat of the 2008 housing crisis – and there’s nothing that suggests that will change anytime soon. That’s why housing inventory tells us there’s no crash on the horizon.

[published_at] => 2023-09-27T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-todays-housing-inventory-shows-a-crash-isnt-on-the-horizon [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Why Today’s Housing Inventory Shows a Crash Isn’t on the Horizon [updated_at] => 2023-09-27T10:30:14Z [url] => /2023/09/27/why-todays-housing-inventory-shows-a-crash-isnt-on-the-horizon/ )

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Shows a Crash Isn’t on the Horizon

You might remember the housing crash in 2008, even if you didn't own a home at the time.

22
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Owning your home can make your life better by giving you a sense of accomplishment, pride, stability, and connectedness. If you're thinking about becoming a homeowner and want to learn more, let’s connect.

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Buying and owning your own home can have a big impact on your life. While there are financial reasons to become a homeowner, it's essential to think about the non-financial benefits that make a home more than just a place to live.

Here are some of the top non-financial reasons to buy a home.

According to Fannie Mae, 94% of survey respondents say “Having Control Over What You Do with Your Living Space” is a top reason to own.

Your home is truly your own space. If you own a home, unless there are specific homeowner association requirements, you can decorate and change it the way you like. That means you can make small changes or even do big renovations to make your home perfect for you. Your home is uniquely yours and by buying, you give yourself the freedom to tailor it to your individual style. Investopedia explains:

“One often-cited benefit of homeownership is the knowledge that you own your little corner of the world. You can customize your house, remodel, paint, and decorate without the need to get permission from a landlord.

When you rent, you might not be able to make your place really feel like it’s yours. And if you do make any modifications, you might have to change them back before you leave. But if you own your home, you can make it just the way you want it. That level of customization can give you a sense of pride in where you live and make you feel more connected to it.

Fannie Mae also finds 90% say “Having a Good Place for Your Family To Raise Your Children” tops their list of why it’s better to buy a home.

Another important factor to think about is what stage of life you’re in. U.S. News breaks it down:

“For those with young children, buying a home and putting down roots is a major driver. . . . You don’t want the upheaval of a massive rent increase or a non-renewed lease to impact your sense of stability.”

No matter which of life’s milestones you’re in, stability and predictability are important. That’s because the one constant in life is that things will change. And, as life changes around you, having a familiar home and not worrying about moving regularly helps you and those who matter most feel more secure and more comfortable.

Lastly, Fannie Mae says 82% list “Feeling Engaged in Your Community” as another key motivator to own.

Owning your home also helps you feel even more connected to your neighborhood. People who own homes usually live in them for an average of nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As that time passes, it’s natural to make friends and build strong ties in the community. As Gary Acosta, CEO and Co-Founder at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), points out:

“Homeowners also tend to be more active in their local communities . . .”

When you care deeply about the people you live near, you’ll do what you can to contribute to your local area.

[created_at] => 2023-09-14T19:03:48Z [description] =>

Buying and owning your own home can have a big impact on your life.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230914/20230921-The-Many-Non-Financial-benefits-of-Homeownership.png [id] => 15527 [kcm_ig_caption] => Buying and owning your own home can have a big impact on your life. While there are financial reasons to become a homeowner, it's essential to think about the non-financial benefits that make a home more than just a place to live. Here are some of the top non-financial reasons to buy a home. According to Fannie Mae, 94% of survey respondents say “Having Control Over What You Do with Your Living Space” is a top reason to own. Your home is truly your own space. If you own a home, unless there are specific homeowner association requirements, you can decorate and change it the way you like. Fannie Mae also finds 90% say “Having a Good Place for Your Family To Raise Your Children” tops their list of why it’s better to buy a home. Another important factor to think about is what stage of life you’re in. U.S. News breaks it down: “For those with young children, buying a home and putting down roots is a major driver. . . . You don’t want the upheaval of a massive rent increase or a non-renewed lease to impact your sense of stability.” Lastly, Fannie Mae says 82% list “Feeling Engaged in Your Community” as another key motivator to own. People who own homes usually live in them for an average of nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As that time passes, it’s natural to make friends and build strong ties in the community. When you care deeply about the people you live near, you’ll do what you can to contribute to your local area. Owning your home can make your life better by giving you a sense of accomplishment, pride, stability, and connectedness. If you're thinking about becoming a homeowner and want to learn more, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => There are many non-financial benefits of homeownership. [public_bottom_line] =>

Owning your home can make your life better by giving you a sense of accomplishment, pride, stability, and connectedness. If you're thinking about becoming a homeowner and want to learn more, reach out to a local real estate agent today.

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The Many Non-Financial Benefits of Homeownership

Buying and owning your own home can have a big impact on your life.

23
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If you're a baby boomer who’s wondering whether you should buy or rent your next home, let’s connect. With rents going up and homeownership providing so many benefits, it may make sense to consider buying your next home.

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Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change? If you’re thinking about selling your house, you have a lot to consider. Will you move to a different state or stay nearby? Is it time to downsize or do you want more space to accommodate your loved ones? But maybe the biggest consideration boils down to this – will you buy your next home or choose to rent instead?

That decision ultimately depends on your current situation and your future plans. Here are two important factors to help you decide what’s right for you.

Expect Rents to Keep Going Up

The graph below uses data from the Census to show how rents have been climbing steadily since 1988:Rents have been going up consistently over the long run. If you choose to rent, there’s a risk your rental payment will go up each time you renew your lease. Having a higher rental expense may not be something you want to deal with every year.

When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, it helps stabilize your monthly housing payment. This allows you to lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your home loan. That keeps your payments steady and predictable for the long haul. Freddie Mac sums it up like this:

“. . . homeowners with fixed-rate loans will see little to no change to their monthly housing cost over the life of their loan. You can be confident in knowing that your mortgage payments won’t change much in the long term, even when life’s other costs do.”

Owning Your Home Comes with Unique Benefits

According to AARP, buying your next home is a better long-term strategy than renting:

“Though each option has pros and cons, buying provides more pros, with a broader range of benefits.”

To help you choose what you’ll do after you sell, here are just a few of the benefits of homeownership that article covers:

  • Owning your home can help you save money for the future. Your home, and the equity you build as a homeowner, can provide generational wealth that could be passed on to loved ones, giving them a better life.
  • You might not have to pay a monthly mortgage payment at all. If you have enough equity to buy your next home outright, you wouldn’t have a monthly mortgage payment. While you might still need to cover property taxes or maintenance fees, not having to worry about a monthly mortgage payment could be a big relief.
  • Aging in place can be simpler. If your needs change, owning your home gives you the freedom to make renovations and updates that can make everyday life easier.
[created_at] => 2023-09-12T14:26:00Z [description] =>

Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230912/20230913-Should-Baby-Boomers-Buy-or-Rent-After-Selling-Their-Houses.png [id] => 15513 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change? If you’re thinking about selling your house, you have a lot to consider. Will you move to a different state or stay nearby? Is it time to downsize or do you want more space to accommodate your loved ones? But maybe the biggest consideration boils down to this – will you buy your next home or choose to rent instead? That decision ultimately depends on your current situation and your future plans. Here are two important factors to help you decide what’s right for you. Expect Rents to Keep Going Up Rents have been going up consistently over the long run. If you choose to rent, there’s a risk your rental payment will go up each time you renew your lease. Having a higher rental expense may not be something you want to deal with every year. Freddie Mac sums it up like this: “. . . homeowners with fixed-rate loans will see little to no change to their monthly housing cost over the life of their loan. You can be confident in knowing that your mortgage payments won’t change much in the long term, even when life’s other costs do.” Owning Your Home Comes with Unique Benefits According to AARP, buying your next home is a better long-term strategy than renting: “Though each option has pros and cons, buying provides more pros, with a broader range of benefits.” If you're a baby boomer who’s wondering whether you should buy or rent your next home, DM me. With rents going up and homeownership providing so many benefits, it may make sense to consider buying your next home. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Should baby boomers buy or rent after selling their houses? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you're a baby boomer who’s wondering whether you should buy or rent your next home, talk to a reliable real estate agent for advice. With rents going up and homeownership providing so many benefits, it may make sense to consider buying your next home.

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Should Baby Boomers Buy or Rent After Selling Their Houses?

Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change?

24
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Lots of people are still moving today. If you want help navigating today’s inventory or affordability challenges, and expert advice to help you find your ideal home, let's connect.

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Plenty of people are still moving these days. And if you’re thinking of making a move yourself, you may be considering the inventory and affordability challenges in the housing market and wondering what you can do to help offset those. A new report from Gravy Analytics provides insight into where people are searching for homes and what they’re prioritizing most right now. That information could help you plan your own move.

1. People Are Moving to Cities with Lower Housing Costs

One big factor motivating where buyers are going is affordability and that’s no big surprise. People are relocating to areas that have less expensive housing options. As a result, small cities are thriving. Hannah Jones, Economics Data Analyst at Realtor.com, summarizes why:

“Affordability is still very much front and center . . . a lot of what’s available is outside of the price range of many buyers. . . . so they look elsewhere for a little more bang for the buck.”

The takeaway for you? If you’re having trouble finding a home that fits your budget, it may help to browse other, more affordable locations nearby.

2. People Want to Live Where They Vacation

And, if you’re already expanding your search radius, you may be able to include a location that features your favorite type of destination, like a suburb near the beach or a mountain town. Data shows many other homeowners are making that type of move a priority today. According to the same report from Gravy Analytics:

“Whether it’s the opportunity to enjoy more weekend hikes in the mountains or to wake up to a lakeside sunrise, people are moving to areas that were once thought of as vacation spots.”

Even with today’s home prices and mortgage rates, here’s why a move like this could be possible for you. If you’re already a homeowner, the equity you’ll get when you sell your current house can help fuel that move and give you the down payment you’d need for your dream home.

3. People Who Work Remotely Are Taking Advantage of that Flexibility

Ongoing remote work is another major factor in where people are moving. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute says this about recent movement patterns:

“Many of these moves happened because employees untethered from their daily commutes began to care less about how far they lived from the office.”

If you’re a remote or hybrid worker, you don’t have to live in the same city, or sometimes even the same state, as your job. That means you can prioritize other things, like being closer to loved ones, when buying a home.

In fact, the same McKinsey Global Institute report notes for people who moved during the pandemic, 55% reported moving farther from the office. And since remote work is still a popular choice today, homebuyers will likely continue to take advantage of that flexibility.

[created_at] => 2023-08-09T17:56:48Z [description] =>

Plenty of people are still moving these days.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230809/20230814-Where-are-people-moving-today-and-why.jpg [id] => 15436 [kcm_ig_caption] => Plenty of people are still moving these days. And if you’re thinking of making a move yourself, you may be considering the inventory and affordability challenges in the housing market and wondering what you can do to help offset those. 1. People Are Moving to Cities with Lower Housing Costs One big factor motivating where buyers are going is affordability and that’s no big surprise. People are relocating to areas that have less expensive housing options. As a result, small cities are thriving. The takeaway for you? If you’re having trouble finding a home that fits your budget, it may help to browse other, more affordable locations nearby. 2. People Want to Live Where They Vacation According to a report from Gravy Analytics: “Whether it’s the opportunity to enjoy more weekend hikes in the mountains or to wake up to a lakeside sunrise, people are moving to areas that were once thought of as vacation spots.” Even with today’s home prices and mortgage rates, here’s why a move like this could be possible for you. If you’re already a homeowner, the equity you’ll get when you sell your current house can help fuel that move and give you the down payment you’d need for your dream home. 3. People Who Work Remotely Are Taking Advantage of that Flexibility If you’re a remote or hybrid worker, you don’t have to live in the same city, or sometimes even the same state, as your job. That means you can prioritize other things, like being closer to loved ones, when buying a home. Lots of people are still moving today. If you want help navigating today’s inventory or affordability challenges, and expert advice to help you find your ideal home, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Where are people moving today and why? [public_bottom_line] =>

Lots of people are still moving today. If you want help navigating today’s inventory or affordability challenges, and expert advice to help you find your ideal home, connect with a trusted real estate agent.

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Where Are People Moving Today and Why?

Plenty of people are still moving these days.

25
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When you buy a home this summer, let’s connect so you have an expert on your side who can help you make your best offer.

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While the wild ride that was the ‘unicorn’ years of housing is behind us, today’s market is still competitive in many areas because the supply of homes for sale is still low. If you’re looking to buy a home this season, know that the peak frenzy of bidding wars is in the rearview mirror, but you may still come up against some multiple-offer scenarios.

Here are a few things to consider to help you put your best foot forward when making an offer on a home.

1. Lean on a Real Estate Professional

Rely on an agent who can support your goals and help you understand what’s happening in today’s housing market. Agents are experts in the local market and on the national trends too. They’ll use both of those areas of expertise to make sure you have all the information you need to move with confidence.

Plus, they know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out. As an article from Forbes says:

"Getting to know a local realtor where you’re hoping to buy can also potentially give you a crucial edge in a tight housing market."

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

Having a clear budget in mind is especially important right now given the current affordability challenges. The best way to get a clear picture of what you can borrow is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan.

That’ll help you be more financially confident because you’ll have a better understanding of your numbers. It shows sellers you’re serious, too. And that can give you a competitive edge if you do get into a multiple-offer scenario.

3. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. As Realtor.com explains:

“. . . an offer price that’s significantly lower than the listing price, is often rejected by sellers who feel insulted . . . Most listing agents try to get their sellers to at least enter negotiations with buyers, to counteroffer with a number a little closer to the list price. However, if a seller is offended by a buyer or isn’t taking the buyer seriously, there’s not much you, or the real estate agent, can do.”

The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive and find a price that’s fair to you and the seller.

4. Trust Your Agent’s Expertise Throughout Negotiations

During the ‘unicorn’ years of housing, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home. An article from Bankrate explains this isn’t happening as often today, and that’s good news:

“While the market has largely calmed down since then, sellers are still very much in the driver’s seat in this era of scarce housing inventory. It’s not as common for buyers to waive inspections anymore, but it does still happen. . . . It’s in the buyer’s best interest to have a home inspected . . . Inspections alert you to existing or potential problems with the home, giving you not just an early heads up but also a useful negotiating tactic.”

Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you think through what levers to pull and which ones you may not want to compromise on.

[created_at] => 2023-07-18T18:37:50Z [description] =>

While the wild ride that was the ‘unicorn’ years of housing is behind us, today’s market is still competitive in many areas because the supply of homes for sale is still low.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/content/images/20230718/20230726-Tips-for-making-your-best-offer-on-a-home.jpg [featured_image_meta] => [id] => 15379 [kcm_ig_caption] => While the wild ride that was the ‘unicorn’ years of housing is behind us, today’s market is still competitive in many areas because the supply of homes for sale is still low. Here are a few things to consider to help you put your best foot forward when making an offer on a home. 1. Lean on a Real Estate Professional Rely on an agent who can support your goals and help you understand what’s happening in today’s housing market. Agents are experts in the local market and on the national trends too. Plus, they know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. 2. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan Having a clear budget in mind is especially important right now given the current affordability challenges. The best way to get a clear picture of what you can borrow is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan. 3. Make a Fair Offer It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. 4. Trust Your Agent’s Expertise Throughout Negotiations During the ‘unicorn’ years of housing, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home. Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. When you buy a home this summer, DM me so you have an expert on your side who can help you make your best offer. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Here are some tips for making your best offer on a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

When you buy a home this summer, be sure to work with a real estate advisor to make your best offer.

[published_at] => 2023-07-26T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => tips-for-making-your-best-offer-on-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Tips for Making Your Best Offer on a Home [updated_at] => 2023-07-26T10:30:59Z [url] => /2023/07/26/tips-for-making-your-best-offer-on-a-home/ )

Tips for Making Your Best Offer on a Home

While the wild ride that was the ‘unicorn’ years of housing is behind us, today’s market is still competitive in many areas because the supply of homes for sale is still low.