Is It Really Better To Rent Than To Own a Home Right Now?

March 6th, 2023

Is It Really Better To Rent Than To Own a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s better to rent right now than it is to own your home. But before you let that impact your decisions, you should understand what these claims are based on.

A lot of the time, these reports are assuming things that aren’t realistic for the average household. For example, the methodology behind one of those reports says that renting is the smarter financial option because of the opportunity to invest money elsewhere. It assumes renters take the money they’d spend on costs tied to buying a home and put it in an investment portfolio.

But here’s the thing – most people who rent aren’t making those investments. Ken Johnson, Co-Author of the BH&J National Price-to-Rent Index, explains:

“One of the difficulties with the rent and reinvest model is many people . . . simply rent and spend the difference. . . . That’s wealth destroying.”

The reason homeownership is one of the best investments you can make is the wealth it helps you build. That’s why there’s a significant difference between the net worth of the average homeowner and the average renter (see graph below):

So, before you renew your rental agreement, think about the opportunity to build wealth that homeownership provides.

Bottom Line

If you’re unsure whether to continue renting or to buy a home, let’s connect to help you make the best decision.

I want to move but do I need to sell first?

March 3rd, 2023

CLICK ⬆️ to hear more about different moving scenarios when selling my house!

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CLICK HERE for the above Freddie Mac mortgage graph to see where mortgage rates have been and where they are headed!

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Equity Gains for Today’s Homeowners

March 2nd, 2023

Equity Gains for Today’s Homeowners | MyKCM

Today’s homeowners are sitting on significant equity, even as home price appreciation has eased recently. If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a boost over the past few years thanks to rising home prices. Here’s what it means for you, even as the market moderates.

How Equity Has Grown in Recent Years 

Because of the imbalance between how many homes were for sale and the number of homebuyers in the market over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially.

And while price appreciation has slowed this year, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all the equity in your home. In fact, the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic finds the average homeowner’s equity has grown by $34,300 over the past year alone.

And if you’ve been in your home longer than that, chances are you have even more equity than you realize.

While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened in your area, look at the map below from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). It shows on average how much home prices have risen over the past five years, which has been a major driver behind equity growth.

Why This Is So Important Right Now 

While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals, like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you’ve built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling, it may be time to find out how much equity you have and how it can help fuel your next move.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is a long game, and if you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained over time can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect.

One Major Benefit of Investing in a Home

February 27th, 2023

One Major Benefit of Investing in a Home | MyKCM

One of the many reasons to buy a home is that it’s a major way to build wealth and gain financial stability. According to Freddie Mac:

“Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

With spring approaching, now’s a great time to consider if buying a home makes sense for you. The best way to figure that out is to talk with a trusted real estate professional.

The Largest Part of Most Homeowners’ Net Worth Is Their Equity

You may be surprised to learn just how much of a homeowner’s net worth actually comes from owning their home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares:

Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among families, with the median value of a primary residence worth about ten times the median value of financial assets held by families. Housing wealth (home equity or net worth) gains are built up through price appreciation and by paying off the mortgage.”

In other words, home equity does more to build the average household’s wealth than anything else. And according to data from First American, this holds true across different income levels (see graph below):

Bottom Line

One of the biggest benefits of owning a home, regardless of your income level, is that it provides financial stability and an avenue to build wealth. Let’s connect today so you can start investing in homeownership.

Why is Pre-Approval so Important?

February 24th, 2023

CLICK ⬆️ to hear more about Getting pre-approved is an important first step towards buying a home. Let’s connect so you have the right tools to buy a home in today’s market! #preapproval #mortgage #lender

CLICK HERE TO GET THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME!

CLICK HERE for the above Freddie Mac mortgage graph to see where mortgage rates have been and where they are headed!

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How To Make Your Dream of Homeownership a Reality

February 23rd, 2023

How To Make Your Dream of Homeownership a Reality | MyKCM

According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 8 in 10 Americans say buying a home is a priority, and 28 million Americans actually plan to buy within the next 12 months. Homeownership provides many financial and nonfinancial benefits, so that interest is understandable.

However, it’s unlikely all 28 million Americans will accomplish that goal in the coming year. Experts project a total of around five million homes will be sold in 2023. Why is there such a big difference? It’s partly because there can be challenges to buying a home.

In the same survey, when asked, “Which of the following are preventing you from pursuing homeownership at this time?”:

  • 34% answered, “I don’t have enough saved for a down payment
  • 30% answered, “My credit score

If you’re aiming to buy a home, here’s what you need to know to accomplish that goal.

Save for Your Down Payment

Your down payment is a big chunk of what you pay up front for your home. For most home purchases, buyers put down some amount of cash up front (a down payment) and then take out a loan (a mortgage) to pay for the rest.

It’s a longstanding myth that you need to pay 20% of the purchase price for your down payment. In reality, 20% down isn’t always required. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s median down payment is 14% for the average buyer and just 6% for a first-time buyer.

Regardless of how much money you can save for your down payment, know there’s help available. A local lender can show you options to help you get closer to your down payment goal. Plus, there are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5% for some buyers, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

Beyond assistance programs and different loan types, here are a few other tips to help you as you save for your down payment:

  • Remember to factor in closing costs. In addition to your down payment, closing costs are usually 2-5% of the home’s purchase price.
  • Maintain your savings. Your down payment shouldn’t deplete all your savings. It’s important to still have some money set aside for homeownership expenses after you move in.
  • Explore your options and lean on your trusted advisor for expert guidance. Do your research, ask questions, and look into the resources available for buyers like you.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a number that indicates how financially reliable you are to lenders. A higher credit score usually means you’ll be able to borrow more money at a better interest rate. If your credit score is preventing you from getting an affordable mortgage, there are steps you can take to improve it. Here are two:

  • Pay your bills on time. When you pay your bills on time, your credit score improves. When you’re late, it takes a hit. One way to make paying your bills on time easier? Set up automatic payments when and where you can.
  • Mix it up. From auto loans, to credit cards, to mortgages – there are several different types of credit. And having a mix of them improves your credit score.

Bottom Line

If you want to purchase a home this year, let’s connect so we can start preparing.

Wondering What’s Going on with Home Prices?

February 20th, 2023

Wondering What’s Going on with Home Prices? | MyKCM

The recent changes in home prices are top of mind for many as the housing market begins gearing up for spring. It can be hard to navigate misleading headlines and confusing data, so here’s what you should know about today’s home prices.

Local price trends still vary by market. But looking at national data, Nataliya Polkovnichenko, Ph.D., Supervisory Economist at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), explains:

U.S. house prices were largely unchanged in the last four months and remained near the peak levels reached over the summer of 2022. While higher mortgage rates have suppressed demand, low inventories of homes for sale have helped maintain relatively flat house prices.”

Month-over-month home price changes can be seen in the chart below. The data also shows that price depreciation peaked around August. Since then, any depreciation has been even milder. In other words, today’s home prices aren’t in a freefall.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you currently own your house, you may be concerned about even the smallest decline in prices. But keep in mind how much home values grew over the last few years. Compared to that growth, any declines we’re seeing nationally are likely to be minimal. Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogicshares:

“. . . while prices continued to fall from November, the rate of decline was lower than that seen in the summer and still adds up to only a 3% cumulative drop in prices since last spring’s peak.”

It’s also important to remember that every local market is different. That’s why it’s essential to lean on an expert for the latest information on the home prices in your area if you’re planning to make a move this spring.

Bottom Line

To understand what’s going on with home prices in our market and how they could impact your goals, let’s connect today.

Do you LOVE your home?

February 17th, 2023

CLICK ⬆️ to hear more about loving your home and the changes in life that can might shift that!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME!

CLICK HERE for the above Freddie Mac mortgage graph to see where mortgage rates have been and where they are headed!

CLICK TO REFER THE SMITH TEAM!

Should You Consider Buying a Newly Built Home?

February 16th, 2023

Should You Consider Buying a Newly Built Home? | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you might be focusing on previously owned ones. But with so few houses for sale today, it makes sense to consider all your options, and that includes a home that’s newly built.

The Number of Newly Built Homes Is on the Rise

While there are more houses for sale right now than there were at this time last year, there’s still a historically low number of homes available on the market. One reason for that is years of underbuilding—meaning there haven’t been enough new homes built to keep up with demand.

The graph above shows how low the production of newly constructed homes has been over the past 14 years. But it also shows another important trend: the number of new homes being built each year is on the rise. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanshares, that’s good news for buyers:

“While existing-home inventory remains limited, the silver lining for home buyers is that new-home inventory is on the rise, and a new home at the right price is a pretty good substitute.”

Builder Incentives Can Provide a Boost

While there a growing number of new homes for sale, builders are slowing that pace until they sell more of their current inventory. According to Logan Mohtashami, Lead Analyst at HousingWire:

“The builders have to work off the backlog of homes, but instead of 3%-4% mortgage rates, they’re dealing with 6% plus mortgage rates, which means they have to provide many incentives to make sure those homes sell.”

Many builders are now offering incentives to help buyers purchase these homes. Fleming also explains:

“The National Association of Home Builders reported that nearly two-thirds of builders were offering incentives, including mortgage rate buydowns, paying points for buyers and price reductions, which could entice potential home buyers.”

A builder who’s willing to pay to reduce your mortgage rate could be a game changer. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First Americanputs it this way:

“A one percentage-point decline in mortgage rates has the same impact on affordability as an 11 percent decline in house prices.”

Should You Buy a Brand-New Home?

The best way to decide what type of home to buy is to work with a trusted real estate professional who can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option. They know which homes are available in your local market, and which builders might be offering incentives that make sense for you.

Bottom Line

Even though there aren’t a lot of homes for sale today, new home inventory is on the rise, and many builders are offering incentives. Let’s connect so I can help you weigh the pros and cons of shopping for a new home versus an existing one.

Number of Homes for Sale Up from Last Year, but Below Pre-Pandemic Years

February 13th, 2023

Number of Homes for Sale Up from Last Year, but Below Pre-Pandemic Years | MyKCM

The biggest challenge in the housing market right now, and likely for years to come, is how few homes there are for sale compared to the number of people who want to buy. That’s why, if you’re thinking about selling your house, this is a great time to do so. Your house would be welcome in a market that has fewer homes for sale than it did in the years leading up to the pandemic.

According to the latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com:

“There were 65.5% more homes for sale in January compared to the same time in 2022. This means that there were 248,000 more homes available to buy this past month compared to one year ago. While the number of homes for sale is increasing, it is still 43.2% lower than it was before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019. This means that there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than there were a few years ago.”

The graph below shows how today’s inventory of homes for sale compares to recent years:

What Does This Mean for You?

Fewer homes for sale means buyers have fewer choices than they did prior to the pandemic—and that frustration is leading some to give up on the homebuying process altogether. But with mortgage rates sitting lower than they were at the peak last fall, more buyers are willing to come back into the process—they just need to find homes to buy. This is welcome activity for the spring market, especially if you’re thinking of selling your house.

With a renewed interest in buying a home for many, the New York Times (NYT) reports:

“Home buyers are edging back into the market after being sidelined last year . . .”

So, if you want to take advantage of a sweet spot in the market, this spring could be your shot.

Bottom Line

The housing market needs more homes for sale to meet the demand of today’s buyers. If you’ve thought about selling, now’s the time for us to connect and get ready for you to make a move this spring.



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