2016 Year End Statistics Are In!

Here are some highlights: This year we have seen an increase in mobile traffic and website visitors! Our inventory is down from last year, as well as the average days on the market. Average sales prices are above average.

Home Sales Accelerate During The “Dog Days of Summer” [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Existing home sales have accelerated to the highest pace since February 2007 at an annual pace of 5.57 million.
  • Inventory of homes for sale remains below the historically normal 6-month mark at a 4.6-month supply, down 5.8% year-over-year.
  • Median home sales prices rose to $247,700, 4.8% higher than a year ago and replaced the previous peak in May of $238,900.

Posted by The KCM Crew

4 Reasons to Buy This Summer!

Summer is here! The temperature isn’t the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market in many areas of the country! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 5.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.3% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & theNational Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home. 

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Posted by The KCM Crew

Decorating with the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year

In 2016, Pantone decided to change it up by offering two stand out colors of the year. According to Pantone, the two colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity “demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness, as well as, a soothing sense of order and peace.” Pantone explains that a direct correlation between consumers seeking mindfulness, reassurance and security were the reasons for selecting two colors to represent 2016. Specifically, these two colors together are being used interchangeably by the genders represented in fashion trends. Using a soft rose and sky blue to denote gender equality is yet another reason for supporting the blend of these two colors. 

Because of the subtle nature of the colors Rose Quartz and Serenity, decorating can easily be paired with a myriad of colors like grays, taupes, greens, teals and more to create a soothing effect on the feeling within your home. Maybe these colors are too pale and feel like they belong in a baby’s room, but if you let your mind open to the potential of these colors you can extend these colors throughout your home.  Their easy nature and classic feel can also include a sense of calm in a house that may have a lot of activity. Their classic nature can enhance a room by adding an elegance to a living room or sitting area. Or using the whimsy aspect of these colors can add some lightness or fun to a room that might be too stark.  For more inspiration, we curated these photos to help you get inspired to use the 2016 Pantone colors, Rose Quartz and Serenity, in your home.

Posted by HomeZada

Our Economist’s Top Tips for Selling a Home in 2016

DreamPictures/Getty Images

If you’re planning to sell your house this year, well, you’re in luck.

“The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory, and fierce competition between buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®.

But you could still make missteps on the way to the bank. Yes, your house will likely sell, but when? Remember, time is money.

“For sellers, it’s about understanding the ins and outs of their local market so they can optimize the price of their home and close quickly,” Smoke says.

Smoke and his team analyzed market trends to distill their best advice for homeowners looking to sell in 2016. Follow these tips to get the most out of your home sale.

Price your home to the market

“What Realtors® tell me over and over again, and from the analysis that I’ve seen historically, the most important thing is getting the price right,” Smoke says.

In 2016, prices are expected to increase nationally 3% year over year. Local price changes are anticipated to be more dramatic, with markets such as Stockton, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, expected to increase by 10%. But that doesn’t mean those stats are true of your town, or your neighborhood.

“Making the error of going for a price that’s well above the market price is a recipe for being let down and potentially not selling the home at all,” he adds. A home that sits on the market eventually will turn off buyers, who will suspect that something is wrong with it.

Sellers who work with a local Realtor to optimize the price of their home based on its unique features and surrounding neighborhood are often able to receive the highest price for their market and sell more quickly.

List during peak season

Unlike buyers, who want to minimize competition, sellers benefit from demand. Prime home-buying season begins in April and reaches its peak in June, according to realtor.com analysis of home sales. Sellers who list their home during the prime spring and summer months benefit from a larger population of buyers and potential bidding wars, which often result in higher prices and faster closings.

Offer incentives

This one seems counterintuitive, given what we’ve said about a seller’s market, but hear us out. Last year—the best for U.S. home sales in nearly a decade—37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.

“The nature of this market is that you’re going to have more first-time buyers, who are more dependent on financing,” Smoke says. Getting a loan is one thing; coming up with a chunk of cash for closing costs, on top of the down payment, is another.

“If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer some money toward closing costs, you’re actually making it easier on that buyer, and they might be more willing to give you the full asking price,” Smoke explains. You could end up with a faster sale and more profit.

Best place to sell a home: California

This isn’t really actionable advice since if you don’t already own a home there you won’t be selling one, but FYI: California markets are accelerating past the already strong national averages and showing extremely favorable conditions for sellers.

Robust job growth, increasing prices, and limited inventory have sellers ready for big gains in the greater metro areas of Stockton, Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose. Once you’ve sold, though, you may not be able to afford to buy again in the area—we’d suggest looking in the Midwest or South.

Check out the full realtor.com 2016 housing forecast.

Posted by Cicely Wedgeworth on realtor.com

Top Home Design Trends for 2016

Discover the looks that will make your place ultra chic (and which ones have worn out their welcome).

Today, Zillow Digs announced the top home design trends for 2016, along with the three soon-to-be forgotten fads of 2015. Results were based on a survey of leading interior design experts and trending photos on Zillow Digs.

So what will be 2016’s hottest design trends? Check out the surprising results below.

2016’s top home design trends

1. Art deco-inspired patterns and shapes

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Art deco will make a bold new comeback in 2016. Look for the style’s trademark geometric patterns and honeycomb shapes to weave their way into everything from wallpaper to artwork, adding elegance and dimension to any space. Experts also predict gold statement lighting fixtures will become more popular.

2. Nubby wool rugs

Nubby wool or other natural fibers will be the go-to texture for 2016, especially for area rugs. Their neutral hues create the perfect indoor/outdoor vibe, while softening bolder colors and dramatic statement pieces.

3. Encaustic tiles

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

These intricate patterned tiles get their coloring from different types of clay rather than glaze, and can be used to create a beautiful, natural-looking focal point. Expect to see encaustic tiles pop up in a variety of rooms throughout the house in 2016, including kitchen backsplashes, bathroom shower tiles, accent walls and even fireplace mantles.

4. Artisan accent pieces

Travel souvenirs, unique artisan pieces and flea market finds will take center stage in home design as more homeowners gravitate toward decorating with unique art pieces that tell a story. Look for a rise in partnerships between big box stores and global artisans to accommodate the increased demand for one-of-a-kind or handmade items.

3 fads to ditch from 2015

1. Mason jars

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

The mason jar trend is exhausted, and will finally make its exit in 2016. After using them to invoke a rustic chic feeling everywhere from wedding decor to restaurants, experts and homeowners alike are finally ready to move on.

2. Chalkboard paint

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Chalkboards smudge easily, and unless decorated with perfect handwriting, are usually not the best way to label household items. This trend is not built to last in 2016.

3. Burlap details

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Burlap is too harsh for indoor use, and is far overplayed for another year in the spotlight. Instead, homeowners will gravitate toward softer natural fibers that are more suitable for throw blankets, pillows and rugs.

Want to learn more about 2016’s hottest home design trends? Check out more photos of the top trends on Zillow Digs!

Posted by Zillow Team