Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay?

Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay? | MyKCM

Over the past few years, two trends have emerged in the housing market:

  1. Home renovations have shot up
  2. Inventory of homes available for sale on the market has dropped

A ‘normal’ housing market is defined by having a 6-month supply of homes for sale. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, we are currently at a 4.4-month supply.

This low inventory environment has many current homeowners worried that they would be unable to find a home to buy if they were to list and sell their current houses, which is causing many homeowners to instead renovate their homes in an attempt to fit their needs.

According to Home Advisorhomeowners spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements over the last 12 months. If that number seems high, it also includes homeowners who recently bought fixer-uppers.

A new study from Zillow asked the question,

“Given a choice between spending a fixed amount of money on a down payment for a new home or fixing up their current home, what would you do?”

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said that they would rather renovate their current homes than move. The results are broken down by generation below.

 

Are Homeowners Renovating to Sell or to Stay? | MyKCM

More and more studies are coming out about the intention that many Americans have to ‘age in place’ (or retire in the area in which they live). Among retirees, 91% would prefer to renovate than spend their available funds on a down payment on a new home.

If their current house fits their needs as far as space and accessibility are concerned, then a renovation could make sense. But if renovations will end up changing the identity of the home and impacting resale value, then the renovations may end up costing them more in the long run.

With home prices increasing steadily for the last 6.5 years, homeowners have naturally gained equity that they may not even be aware of. Listing your house for sale in this low-competition environment could net you more money than your renovations otherwise would.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is thinking about remodeling instead of selling, let’s get together to help you make the right decision for you based on the demand for your house in today’s market.

Posted on November 13, 2018 at 10:55 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year?

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year? | MyKCM

There are many questions about where home sales are headed next year. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer this question. Here are our sources:

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Freddie Mac – An organization which provides liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets.

Here are their projections:

How Will Home Sales Measure Up Next Year? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Every source sees home sales growing next year. Let’s get together to chat about what’s going on in our neighborhood.

Posted on November 7, 2018 at 10:27 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

November American Lifestyle Issue

Hello Everyone!

My Digital edition of American Lifestyle magazine is out for the month of November! Check it out below…

http://digital.remindermedia.com/diane-terry/issue-92-vol-2/1/

Posted on November 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years?

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | MyKCM

There are many questions about where home prices will be next year as well as where they may be headed over the next several years to come. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer these questions:

The Home Price Expectation Survey – A survey of over 100 market analysts, real estate experts, and economists conducted by Pulsenomics each quarter.

Zelman & Associates – The firm leverages unparalleled housing market expertise, extensive surveys of industry executives, and rigorous financial analysis to deliver proprietary research and advice to leading global institutional investors and senior-level company executives.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.

Freddie Mac – An organization whose mission is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets always.

Here are their projections of prices going forward:

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Every source sees home prices continuing to appreciate – just at lower percentages as we move through the next several years.

Posted on October 30, 2018 at 2:38 pm
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Fall

20 Tips For Preparing Your House For Sale | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Let’s get together to discuss a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market & potential local contractors who can help!
Posted on October 29, 2018 at 11:19 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Fall Guide to Buying a Home

The process of buying a home can be overwhelming at times, but you don’t need to go through it alone. This free eGuide will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home!

CLICK HERE

Posted on October 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move?

Baby Boomers are Downsizing, Are You Ready to Move? | MyKCM

For a while now baby boomers have been blamed for a portion of the housing market’s current lack of housing inventory, but should they really be getting the blame?

Here’s what some of the experts have to say on the subject:

Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow, says that “Boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations, which means they aren’t yet ready to sell their homes.

According to a study by Realtor.com85% of baby boomers indicated they were not planning to sell their homes.

It is true that baby boomers are healthier and are thus working and living longer, but are they also refusing to sell their homes? 

Last month, Trulia looked at the housing situation of seniors (aged 65+) today compared to that of a decade ago. Trulia’s study revealed that:

Although seniors appear to be delaying downsizinguntil later in life, as a group, households 65 and over are still downsizing at roughly the same rate as in years past.”

Trulia also explains that, 

5.5% of households 65 and over moved, pretty evenly split between moves to single family (2.7%) and multifamily (2.4%) homes. In 2005these percentages were virtually the same, with 5.5% of senior households moving, including 2.5% into single family and 2.5% into multifamily homes.”

So, if these percentages are the same, what is the challenge?

Recent reports tell us that the older population grew from 3 million in 1900 to 47.8 million in 2017.

In addition, the Census recently revised the numbers from their National Population Projections:

The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history…By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.

Bottom Line

If you are a baby boomer who is not sure whether you should downsize or move to a warmer climate (other people are doing it, why not you?), let’s get together so we can help you evaluate your options today!

Posted on October 23, 2018 at 10:11 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

SANDWICHED BETWEEN ELDERLY PARENTS AND GROWING KIDS? 6 WAYS TO STRETCH YOUR DOLLAR

Have to pay for both an aging parent and a growing kid at the same time? If you do, you’re probably part of the sandwich generation. Don’t worry, we’re with you.

It’s hard to imagine having to take care of your parents — and your kids — until it becomes a reality.

A lot of us don’t think about it, but not having a plan for your parents can affect more than just your heart: It can affect your wallet, too.

“Because these are emotionally charged topics with the involvement of money, the tendency of people is to avoid the conversation,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. “That is a recipe for a bad outcome.”

Senior care is expensive. If your parents don’t have sufficient savings or health insurance or long-term care  — you could be paying out of pocket to help them.

Researchers at the Center for Retirement Research estimated that if you take care of them yourself, you’ll likely spend 77 hours per month, which equates to an (unpaid) part-time job. Either way, it’s a doozy: The average hourly cost of home care is $21, which means it could cost more than $5,000 per month for daily 9-to-5 care.

Long-term care insurance prices vary, but you can count on the fact that they rise with age: If you wait to purchase, long-term care goes from an average of $2,978 for a couple at age 55 to $3,770 for a couple at age 60, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

And what if you have to pay for both an aging parent and a growing kid at the same time? If you do, you’re probably part of the sandwich generation (the group of us who are responsible for caring for both those younger than us and those older). According to Hamrick, they could both cost about the same — which is to say, they both cost a lot.

“It’s not unusual these days for a private university to cost $60,000 a year,” said Hamrick. “When you think about a nursing home costing several thousand dollars a month, we’re sort of in comparable territories there.”

Yikes. Ouch. Yeah. What do we do about this? I’m wondering the same thing.

Don’t worry, there are ways to prepare and get secured. We’re with you. These six steps can help:

ASSESS YOUR ASSETS AND LEVEL OF CARE NEEDED

If your parents are still healthy enough to take care of themselves, it’s important to sit down with them to review a full list of assets, accounts and incomes. Ask what they have saved for their retirement, where they want to live and what needs to be done in a medical emergency.

If they’re already in need of care, figure out what assets they have and what care is actually needed. You don’t want to pay for assisted living now, when they might only need occasional visits from an in-home care professional.

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE

The best way to plan for your parents’ retirement, your kids’ college and your retirement, too, is by saving aggressively. Budgets are the best way to squirrel away some money, but once-in-a-while things like holiday bonuses can be used to save, too.

“People should keep these kinds of costs in mind when making their saving plans, realizing that there is a large probability that they may need to spend resources, time or money on elderly parents,” said Gal Wettstein, a research economist for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

LOOK INTO LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE, NOW

long-term care insurance policy helps cover the costs of that care when you have a chronic medical condition, a disability or a disorder like Alzheimer’s disease. Most policies will reimburse you for care given in places like your home or a nursing home. You never know if you or your parents will need it, but just like any other kind of insurance, it can be a godsend in case something unexpected happens. Though this kind of insurance has gotten more expensive in recent years, it’s worth looking into when you or your parents are nearing 50.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX AND GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

Take full advantage of different accounts and programs that are available to you. If you’re qualified, you can open a health savings account for a parent, which allows you to put money aside tax-free for health costs — including the costs of premiums on policies like long-term care insurance.

For your children,  529 plans have huge tax education savings benefits: All withdrawals are tax-free and all gains are tax-deferred when used for expenses related to education. Same thing goes for Coverdell education savings accounts. One key difference is that Coverdells have a $2,000 yearly contribution limit, whereas 529 plans have limits in the hundreds of thousands (it varies by state).  Another thing to keep in mind is that with Coverdells, once the student hits 18, the student controls the account. 529 plans may be a better option for your family if your child is known to overspend and you’d like to control the funds.

INVEST IN YOUR OWN RETIREMENT (SO YOUR KIDS DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOU IN THE FUTURE)

Alice Zulkarnain, another research economist for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said that adults who take care of elderly parents tend to retire earlier, “before they intend to.”

“That missed labor income adds up to a large effect,” she added. In other words, that’s a lot of income they’ve lost out on — and, if they have primarily saved for retirement though 401(k)s, that’s money lost for their retirements, too.

That’s all the more reason to make sure your retirement savings are good to go. If your company matches on 401(k) contributions, take full advantage. You can also open a Roth IRA if your company doesn’t have a 401(k) option — or if you feel like saving a little more. Roth IRAs are great: You pay taxes upfront, which means the money you withdraw in old age is tax-free, so if you know you’ll retire in a higher tax bracket, they make great sense taxwise.

No matter what your finances look like during this time, it’s hard. We get it. And so do so many other ladies, especially those in the Working Daughter Facebook support group. If you need a little extra support, turning to women who will understand you is never a bad call. And remember, we’re here for you, too. Join the HerMoney Facebook group of like-minded ladies looking for more control and less chaos.

Posted on October 19, 2018 at 10:21 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice ‘Must-Haves’ in Favor of Good School Districts

It should come as no surprise that buying a home in a good school district is important to homebuyers. According to a report from Realtor.com, 86% of 18-34 year-olds and 84% of those aged 35-54 indicated that their home search areas were defined by school district boundaries.

What is surprising, however, is that 78% of recent homebuyers sacrificed features from their “must-have” lists in order to find homes within their dream school districts.

The top feature sacrificed was a garage at 19%, followed closely by a large backyard, an updated kitchen, the desired number of bedrooms, and an outdoor living area. The full results are shown in the graph below.

 

Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice ‘Must-Haves’ in Favor of Good School Districts | MyKCM

Buyers are attracted to schools with high test scores, accelerated academic programs, art and music programs, diversity, and before and after-school programs.

With a limited number of homes available to buy in today’s real estate market, competition is fierce for homes in good school districts. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, explained further,

“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list, but our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise.

For many buyers and not just buyers with children, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.’” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

For buyers across the country, the quality of their children’s (or future children’s) education ranks highest on their must-have lists. Before you start the search for your next home, let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area.

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 11:18 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized

11 Insider Secrets From Real Estate Agents

Answers to the questions you’ve been too afraid to ask.

Whether you’re casually browsing or currently trapped in the midst of a bidding war, no matter what stage of the home-buying or home-selling process you’re in, there will always be things you wished you had known beforehand. For any homeowner, the post-stress of buying or selling real estate comes down to the should haves, could haves, and would haves. Could I have put in a lower bid? Should I have considered other brokers? Wonder no more.

If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the mind of a real estate agent, now is your chance. From the do’s and don’ts of selling to how to negotiate like a pro, to what to know before you browse, we took some of your most pressing housing questions to the experts at Manhattan-based real estate firm Warburg Realty. Read on for everything they want you to know.

Stage Your Home, Just Do It

You love your stuff. And while we’re all for showing off your most precious possessions, that doesn’t mean the potential buyers coming to tour your space will feel the same. For sellers, staging your home can mean a lot of things, but it ultimately means creating a blank slate for future residents.

“It’s important to make the apartment look and feel as neutral as possible but give that sense that it feels like it can be lived in, even move-in ready if possible. Painting a fresh neutral color is a quick thing on the cheaper side that can always help,” Gannon Forrester, an agent at Warburg Realty, tells Domino.

Need help finding a suitable neutral paint? Here are our top 10 choices.

“While buyers may not decide to purchase a home within moments of entering, they most certainly decide not to buy it in those crucial first few minutes,” reveals Lisa Larson. “Staging to me means not just editing an overly cluttered apartment. It also means painting (which I consider the least expensive facelift you can give an apartment), removing and storing furniture, and bringing in new furniture and accessories.”

Greedy Sellers Come in Last

We get that you want the most bang for your buck, but don’t be unrealistic. Overpricing almost always discourages traffic and bids, and it’s one of the biggest reasons a beautiful home will sit on the market and go stale.

“For properties to sell in this market the price needs to be priced right from the beginning. After the initial burst of activity in the first two weeks or so, viewing request start to wane and at times there will be weeks without a call. If your home has not sold in the first few weeks, sellers should consider a meaningful price drop or risk the property languishing on the market for months,” suggests Larson.

The same sentiment rings true about getting a great offer right away. “The thing about sellers is if they get a great offer too soon, then they think it was underpriced. Before listing your property, calculate the net worth and make sure you are comfortable with the asking price,” explains listing agent Brandon Major.

Do Your Shopping in the Summer (or Over the Holidays!)

Some agents will tell you that there isn’t necessarily a golden month or season to buy a home. And while it all really depends on where you live, there are certain times of the year when competition is low and those selling are more motivated to negotiate.

“The thing about sellers is if they get a great offer too soon, then they think it was underpriced.”

“Sellers who list in the summer are generally serious sellers and thus willing to consider all deals,” notes Larson. “School is set to begin in August or September and so no major life changes to cause a family to move are on the horizon. Therefore, summer is also a terrific time to shop.”

Do Your Shopping in the Summer (or Over the Holidays!)

Some agents will tell you that there isn’t necessarily a golden month or season to buy a home. And while it all really depends on where you live, there are certain times of the year when competition is low and those selling are more motivated to negotiate.

“The thing about sellers is if they get a great offer too soon, then they think it was underpriced.”

“Sellers who list in the summer are generally serious sellers and thus willing to consider all deals,” notes Larson. “School is set to begin in August or September and so no major life changes to cause a family to move are on the horizon. Therefore, summer is also a terrific time to shop.”

cozy fireplace
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CODY GUILFOYLE

Likewise, you might be more likely to snag your dream home for your dream price come the holidays. “I’ve done a lot of deals in December when everyone thinks it’s slow,” says Forrester. “Yes, there’s less inventory, but the apartments that are listed usually know what kind of market they are in and will be more willing to negotiate.”

“Sellers who list in the summer are generally serious sellers and thus willing to consider all deals.”

Always Bid an Odd Number

“By doing this, your bid likely won’t match the bid of another party,” says Warburg agent Susan Abrams of one strong money strategy. Her other bidding tip? Make things personal!

image
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON BENGOCHEA

Good Negotiation Comes Down to Knowledge

If negotiating was as simple as calling up Drew Scott from the Property Brothersand having him handle all the haggling on your behalf, we’d all be doing it. Considering very few of us will ever have the chance to turn our HGTV dreams into a reality, we have to put in the extra elbow grease.

“Try to find out when the seller wants to close and accommodate their closing date. Writing a personal letter about your family and why you would be perfect for their home and your genuine appreciation of their home can sway a seller.”img

“Do your homework. Know the comparables for the property you are considering. Also, it’s important to understand the seller’s degree of motivation. Are they moving out of town for a new job or are they just testing the market? Assuming you’re dealing with a serious seller, make a bid that is not insulting, but based on real market data,” Larson tells Domino.

image
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON BENGOCHEA

Don’t Put a Time Limit on an Offer

Really want to hurt your chances of negotiation? Putting an expiration date on an offer or counteroffer might seem like a solid strategy to get your seller to come down, but it often has the opposite effect.

“Buyers generally never walk away after the expiration date passes and sellers typically get annoyed by such a demand,” says Larson. “Sometimes just letting an offer sit says more than jumping in and demanding a response. A day or two of silence can work wonders.”

Case in point: Don’t play head games.

“Sometimes just letting an offer sit says more than jumping in and demanding a response. A day or two of silence can work wonders.”img

budget
ILLUSTRATION BY PHUONG NGUYEN

Give the Full Price With No Contingencies

There might come a day when you’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of a bidding war. Want to come out on top? If you’re really looking to go all in, you might want to consider waiving your mortgage contingency, suggests Major. “Sellers love non-contingent offers, so waive that and your offer is as good as all cash, essentially,” he says.

Let the seller know that you’re serious about wanting the property. To avoid getting trapped in a back-and-forth bidding war be early, explains Larson. “Being the first to make a solid offer can give you an edge. And be thorough: A well-prepared offering package can be a leg up for buyers.”

Always Have a Walkaway Price

If you’re the type of shopper who tends to go over budget no matter what you’re buying (shoes, groceries, a car, etc.), it’s important to give yourself parameters. “Ask yourself: What is the number I’m willing to go up to and be able to sleep at night knowing you would not have raised your bid even $10 higher?” says Larson.

new york city
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FREDDIE MARRIAGE VIA UNSPLASH

City Dwellers Have to Come Prepared

Not to burst your bubble, but if you live in a city like New York, you’re going to have to put in a whole lot more effort to get your dream place. Before you even think about putting in an offer on a place, make sure you have all of your funding lined up, have an attorney, and get pre-approval for your mortgage.

“Being prepared also means having an understanding of the market. Many buyers will act on something based on the most recent article they read. A real estate market like NYC is a micro-market and many times people read about macro-trends. Nothing is worse than making a low ball offer based on old information and then losing out on the apartment you wanted,” shares Forrester.

Consider Taking the First Offer

Let’s get back to not being greedy. While it might feel tempting to decline an offer at full asking price that comes in right away, you can never be sure that another equally-great (or even better) offer is a guarantee.

“A client always wants an agent to sell the apartment as fast as possible, but when an offer comes in right away, this weird paradox occurs,” explains Forrester. “Instead of being happy many clients will start second-guessing things.  Clients think that if one buyer comes along that quick, there will be several others just as interested, maybe even more interested. Months go by and when it sells, it was for a lower price than that first offer.”

budgeting
ILLUSTRATION BY PHUONG NGUYEN

Interview 2-3 Brokers Before You Browse

Sure, you might only be casually looking now. But before you get serious about buying a home, you need to get serious about your broker.

“Meet for coffee and interview two to three buyer’s brokers and decide who you want to collaborate with on your home purchase,” suggests Abrams. “Properties featured online can be very deceptive and searching through all the online property options is time-consuming. A buyer’s broker can help you understand the options and make sure you don’t waste your time looking at the wrong homes for your needs.”

image
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUKE STACKPOOLE VIA UNSPLASH.

The View Should Be Higher on Your Must-Have List

While a stellar view might not be a priority for every home buyer, it should rank higher on your must-have list or nice-to-have list than it currently does. Location, location, location, has as much to do with how close you are to the office and to shops and restaurants as it does with noisy streets and poor views. Two red flags you need to pay attention to when touring a space? The curtains are drawn and there’s music playing.

“Make sure the views and light are acceptable and that the music isn’t masking neighborhood noise. In general, look past the furniture and study the bones of the house. Come prepared with your list of must-haves but allow yourself to be open to some flaws. No house will check every single box,” shares Larson.

Posted on October 10, 2018 at 9:45 am
Diane Terry | Category: Uncategorized