Latest Event Updates

Inventory Challenges Continue! [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Some Highlights:

  • After a surge in March, existing home sales and new home sales slowed due to a drop in inventory available for sale in the start-up and trade-up categories.
  • Median existing home prices surged for the 62nd straight month, up 6.0% over last year to $244,800.
  • New home prices slowed as builders have started to turn their focus toward single family, smaller homes.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Inventory Shortages Are Slowing Down the Market

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The real estate market is moving more and more into a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2017 will be the year that the housing market races forward again.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the summer, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Sellers are in the driver’s seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers. Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point — and the sooner the better — price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen.”

Tom O’Grady, Pro Teck CEO

“The lack of inventory is very real and could have a severe impact on home sales in the months to come. Traditionally, a balanced market would have an MRI (Months Remaining Inventory) between six and 10 months.

This month, only eight metros we track have MRIs over 10, compared to 27 last year and 48 two years ago—illustrating that this lack of inventory is not being driven by traditionally ‘hot’ markets, but is rather a broad-based, national phenomenon.”

Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia

“Nationally, housing inventory dropped to its lowest level on record in 2017 Q1. The number of homes on the market dropped for the eighth consecutive quarter, falling 5.1% over the past year.”

Freddie Mac

“Tight housing inventory has been an important feature of the housing market at least since 2016. For-sale housing inventory, especially of starter homes, is currently at its lowest level in over ten years. If inventory continues to remain tight, home sales will likely decline from their 2016 levels. …all eyes are on housing inventory and whether or not it will meet the high demand.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strongest at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

Posted by the KCM Crew

Talk with one of our agents today to list your home!

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

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Whether you are buying or selling a home it can be quite an adventurous journey, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 reasons you NEED a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperworknecessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

There are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you achieve your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively, and correctly, price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

6 Log Cabins You’ll Want To Live In All Year Long

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Lake views framed by the Appalachian Mountains? Yes, please!

Rough around the edges? Maybe. Roughing it? Hardly. These six log cabins for sale might change your mind about what log-cabin living can be.

Wish you could swap your surroundings for towering redwoods, sparkling lakes, and black bears (from a safe distance, of course)? These six log cabins for sale on Trulia right now could allow you to do just that.

These not-so-rustic retreats balance the call of the wild with creature comforts like fully loaded kitchens, cozy fireplaces, and spacious decks. And that’s not even mentioning the stunning views, wide open spaces, and wildlife sightings

These 6 Log Cabins for Sale Bring out the Pioneer in All of Us

A one-bedroom getaway: 4475 Lower Bear Paw Road, Murphy, NC 28906

Price: $82,900

Aptly named “Bear Paw Cabin,” this quaint, one-bedroom retreat in North Carolina, sits on 1.07 acres in black bear country — that is, the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Cherokee County. Deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife make a home in the area too, and you might even spot one of the above taking a cool drink from the water’s edge at Hiwassee Lake. Technically a reservoir, the 22-mile-long, 6,090-acre body of water is about a 10-minute drive from the 1,016-square-foot cabin (hello, trout fishing and boating!). Ideal as a vacation home, the cabin is just 25 minutes from downtown Murphy, with its picturesque boutiques and historic points of interest.

A 3-bedroom lakeside log cabin: 75 Bluff Court, Tuscumbia, AL 35674

Price: $179,900

Heads up, anglers: This modern, lakefront log cabin in northwest Alabama is only 1,000 feet from the 43,100-acre Pickwick Lake, a body of water that’s renowned for its smallmouth bass and catfish. The centuries-old town of Tuscumbia, where this cabin is located, is famous for something else altogether: It was the hometown of Helen Keller. The cabin was built in 1979 and features a front porch, beamed vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, an updated kitchen with a center island and breakfast nook, and a sunroom that overlooks a portion of the property’s 0.7-acre wooded lot. With 2,178 square feet that include three bedrooms and two bathrooms, this place could certainly serve as the year-round residence for a lucky family.

A custom cabin in a national forest: 8505 S. Breezy Pine Road, Mayer, AZ 86333

Price: $409,900

This custom-built, 2,900 square foot log cabin in Prescott, AZ takes rural living to new heights. The property has been carved into a tiny corner of the 1.25 million-acre Prescott National Forest, with an elevation of 7,000 feet. Rising from a landscape of ponderosa pines, juniper, and chaparral, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom residence features custom touches. Think hand-hewn door frames, hickory cabinetry, and a river-rock fireplace. The two-story great room is completed by cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and sliding doors that lead to a wraparound deck. There, guests can take in a stunning view of the valley before heading to the ground-level hammock and pergola.

A view in California’s gold country: 1601 Tai Pan Drive, Placerville, CA 95667

Price: $500,000

With its wraparound deck and Sierra Nevada-setting, scenery is paramount at this 1,920-square-foot cabin in Placerville. The panorama of treetops is met by the sound of rushing water from nearby Granite Creek, which snakes through the property’s private 7 acres (horse-lovers take note). Inside the cabin, residents can kick back beside the wood stove, gather around the massive island in the modern kitchen, or take a catnap in one of the three bedrooms. There’s no shortage of things to do out and about in El Dorado County, nicknamed the “Mother Lode” due to its role in the California gold rush. Explore historic gold mines, visit a winery or orchard, take a day trip to Lake Tahoe (it’s about a two-hour drive), or have brunch at Sweetie Pies, one of many restaurants in downtown Placerville.

Luxury log cabin in Tennessee: 107 Peek Over Knoll, Butler, TN 37640

Price: $839,680

Just wait until you see the water views offered by this 3,349-square-foot, heavy-timber luxury log home in Butler, a small town on the northern shore of Watauga Lake in northeast Tennessee. The 10-square-mile man-made lake framed by the Appalachian Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest can be seen from nearly every room in the 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom custom-built home, but it’s simply spectacular from the cathedral-ceilinged great room. Still, the best views of the lake can be found out on the rear deck, where the natural scenery serves as a gorgeous backdrop. The cabin is about 1 mile from the local marina and downtown Butler (stop by The Butler Museum to learn how it earned the nickname “the town that wouldn’t drown”).

An oasis on the San Francisco Peninsula: 13890 Skyline Blvd., Woodside, CA 94062

Price: $1.749 million

Sandwiched between the 4,711-acre Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve and 900-acre Purisima Park, this contemporary cabin on the San Francisco Peninsula promises peace. The 2,160-square-foot cabin’s wood- and rock-adorned exterior give it a Zen-like aesthetic, especially when fog hangs low over the lush, 3-acre property. The meditative vibe continues inside, thanks in part to clean lines, a river-rock fireplace, planked ceilings and walls, and plenty of skylights. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a modern kitchen, and a short 6-mile distance to the Pacific Ocean, this place has “rental income” written all over it. That is, if you can bring yourself to leave.

Posted by Julie Davis on Trulia

 

Is 2017 the Year to Move Up to Your Dream Home? If So, Do It Early!

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If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:

Freddie Mac

While full employment and rising inflation are signs of a strong economy, they also have the potential to push mortgage rates and house prices up. The higher rates and higher prices create significant affordability concerns, which may continue to characterize the housing market for the rest of 2017.”

Lynn Fisher, Vice President of Research & Economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association

By the time we get to the fourth quarter of this year, we will still be under 5 percent – we are thinking 4.7 percent…Something north of 5 percent by the time we get to 2018, and by the time we get to 2019, we show fourth-quarter rates hitting 5.5 percent.”

Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist

Despite some regional disparities, title agents and real estate professionals do not expect increasing mortgage rates to have a significant impact on the housing market this spring. Continued good economic news, increasing Millennial demand and confidence that buyers will remain in the market even if rates exceed 5 percent bode well for 2017 real estate.

Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac

We will probably see rates higher at the end of year, around 4.5%.”

Bottom Line

If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Utility Bill Busters – 11 Unique Things Homeowners Can To Today To Save Money!

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There are some things that can be done to reduce your utility bills and also extend the life of some of your home’s equipment. These tips can even help create better cooling and heating in your home. With the average annual yearly spend of over $3,500, wouldn’t it be nice to reduce some of this spend and still have a comfortable home? Many folks think they cannot do anything to manage their utility bill. Or they think they know exactly what to do but may not have thought of these additional tips. 

Landscaping can Make a Difference

Managing your landscape can actually effect your utility bill. Try trimming back bushes around your HVAC equipment. Or resetting your sprinklers for a more focused watering approach. By resetting your sprinklers to run for shorter periods of time you can reduce your water consumption and your utility bill.

Standard Home Maintenance can Help

Regularly checking your HVAC equipment and checking windows around your home for any broken seals can help manage your energy consumption. If your equipment is not working properly than you need to resolve it to manage your bills. If you have broken seals, your air conditioning unit will work harder by cooling the outside where these areas are exposed.

Read on for more tips on how to reduce your consumption and therefore lower your utility bills to save money!

 

Posted on HomeZada

Get All the Facts about PMI

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When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

What is PMI?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 6%, while repeat buyers put down 14% (no doubt aided by the sale of their home). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:

The larger the down payment you can make, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac urges you to remember:

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew