Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 7, 2020

Tips For Selling Your Home Without An Agent

Tips For Selling Your Home Without An Agent

Real Estate Agents are important to a home sale, but in some instances, homeowners choose to sell without licensed seller representation. This may be you, and that is perfectly okay! If so...we want to help you through the process. Please read our tips to consider when you choose to sell your home without agent representation:

People Involved in the Home Sale Process, including

  • The buyer, seeking the best possible deal.

  • The buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer’s best interest.

  • The buyer’s attorney 

  • The seller’s attorney

  • Home inspection companies, working for the buyer, which are likely to find some problem or the other with the house. A home inspection may include a septic inspection company ( if home as a septic system) as well as pest inspection.

  • The Buyer's lender.

  • The Title/Escrow Company.

  • The appraiser, if the home’s value needs to be assessed.

It is important that you know how each of these people interact and work together for a successful sale.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Be sure you consider the following important pre-listing tasks:

  • Decluttering.

  • Painting the rooms with a fresh coat of paint.

  • Getting necessary repairs done.

  • Getting the home floors and carpets cleaned by professionals.

  • Ensuring curb appeal of the home.

  • Replacing outdated light fixtures.

Because homes for sale by owners just have one chance to impress potential buyers, neglecting these home sale preparation tips often reduces the homeowners’ chances of selling the house, or for selling faster and for the most money possible.

Screen Potential Buyers

Do you know the difference between prequalification and preapproval? A buyer should ideally be preapproved or at least prequalified. Be sure you know what that entails and how important that is when you decide to sell and take your home off the market. If the buyer fails to qualify, you could lose time and have to re-list the home again to find a stronger buyer who can actually close the deal.

Do not allow a "potential" buyer inspect the house that is not qualified. Don't forget to consider the safety of yourself, your family and your belongings when you let unqualified strangers into your home.

Answer Buyer Inquiries Without Giving Away the Store

Handling inquiries from buyers on their listings and coordinating showings for their homes are prerequisites for making a sale. Can you handle such inquiries in a timely manner and without sharing too much information that may end up hurting your negotiation power and final sales price?

Even organizing showings might become an uphill task at times. Because these days potential buyers and their agents want quick responses to their inquiries.

Do You Understand the Concept of ‘Golden Time’?

According to this concept, homeowners get the most money for their homes in the first week of putting the property on the market. The longer FSBO homes stay on the market, the less money people will be willing to offer for them.

Selling a home FSBO and then listing with an agent could cause you to lose the important “golden time” window. This will eliminate buyers who have already viewed the home and might have made a reasonable offer — but have already moved on.

Know the Contract and the Process

The contract to purchase a home involves much more than just the price offered by the buyer. Also, real estate contracts have lots of timelines and clauses and involve several common contract contingencies, such as inspections and mortgages.

Do you have a firm understanding of such contracts and do you know what you are agreeing to or how to negotiate particular parts of the contract? Be sure you have a good handle on the contract and all the documents required in the sale.

How to Keep the Deal Together During the Inspection Process

Home inspections almost always find some issues with houses even when they are relatively newer structures. In such cases, the buyer requests problems be fixed or corrected before moving forward with the transaction.

If you owned and sold many homes, you may know the items that always show up on an inspection report and the best way to negotiate repairs. If not, then you may end up fixing more than you need to and in the end, net less money when you close. Alternatively, don't let your offer fall through because of lack of repair agreements. Knowing how to read the buyer and buyer's agent will be very important for you during this inspection phase of the sale.

Pricing Your Home to Sell Fast and for the Most Money

You must know your market. Active homes for sale are not good comparables. Appraisers give the most weight to RECENT SOLD homes in your immediate area. Do you have access to your closed home comparables? Setting the price too high will hinder your chance of closing the sale fast and for the most money possible.

Marketing Your Home for Most Exposure

Homes for sale by owners are often listed on a few websites, but there are many that don’t allow homes listed by the owner only. Thus, your home may not get the best and most exposure online. Do you have professional photos, a virtual tour and access to signage and text-for-info codes on your for sale sign?

Agents can get the property comprehensive online exposure as well as exposure in the local real estate segment of the newspaper, including many other value-added marketing ideas.

Why "For Sale by Owner" Home Sales Do Not Close

Even after an offer is accepted, many things still need to be done prior to the closing. For instance:

  • Get the inspections completed within the allotted time.

  • Ensure the attorney(s) approve contracts.

  • Ensure that instrument survey is ordered.

  • Check if the buyer has obtained written mortgage commitment.

  • Find out if title work is reviewed.

  • Learn whether abstract is redated.

We hope the tips above have helped to provide you some insight and more food for thought when considering to sell your home without an agent. Keep in mind that if you choose to hire us as your agent to list, sell, negotiate and manage the process on your behalf, there is a very good chance that we can sell your home faster and for a much higher net price (even considering commissions) than you may be able to do alone.

Although we provide our tips for free, know that we are real estate professionals and welcome an opportunity to help you through the challenging process of selling your home. 

Dec. 2, 2019

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

 

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

 

 

Are you searching for new and innovative gift ideas this holiday season? If so, check out our list of the hottest home technology offerings. We’ve selected a few of our favorites for every room in the house.

 

These smart systems and devices add comfort, convenience, and a “cool factor” that will delight your friends and family.  So think about who you know that loves the latest gadgets … or add a few of these to your own wish list!

 

 

ENTRYWAY

Ensure the safety of your loved ones with these smart security upgrades.

 

Smart Lighting

Ring, a company best known for its video doorbells, has added smart lights to its series of integrated devices. The Ring Smart Light System includes motion sensors, pathlights, spotlights, and even step lights, which can be turned on and off using voice commands when paired with an Amazon Alexa device. Users may opt to receive a notification when motion is detected on the premises, and—if integrated with Ring security cameras—access a live video stream for an added layer of security. Systems start at $69.99.

 

Video Doorbell

Video doorbells have become an increasingly popular security enhancement for homes, and for a good reason. Homeowners can detect activity at their front door while away, view visitors via video stream, and communicate without opening the door. Since Ring released its first smart doorbell in 2013, a number of competitors have entered the market. The Nest Hello Video Doorbell has some unique features—like facial recognition, package detection, and pre-recorded quick responses—that place it near the top of the pack. Retails for $229.

 

Smart Lock

Smart locks are a great way to ensure your friends and family are never left out in the cold, and the August Smart Lock Pro+ Connect is among the most highly rated. It’s one of the easiest models to install because it pairs with an existing deadbolt. The Smart Lock Pro enables a user to lock and unlock their door remotely with an app on their phone. And with the auto-lock/unlock feature, it can be set to open automatically upon approach and relock after entry. Retails for $279.

 

 

 

LIVING ROOM

These fun and functional gifts are perfect for anyone who is big on style—but short on time.

 

Automated Planter

Caring for household plants is easier than ever with the latest advancements in technology. Perfect for frequent travelers or forgetful friends, the Dewplanter uses moisture in the air to water plants without manual intervention. Now nature lovers can enjoy the beauty and health benefits of houseplants without the hassle. Plus, for each unit sold, the company pledges to plant a tree somewhere it’s needed. Retails for $69.50.

 

Smart Art

Instead of buying your favorite art lover a single painting, why not give him or her 30,000? With the Meural Canvas, you can access an extensive collection of artwork from around the world to display digitally in your own home. Meural utilizes proprietary technology to deliver an anti-glare matte display that automatically adjusts to the lighting in the room. Personal artwork and photographs can be showcased, as well. Retails for $445 with annual membership.

 

Motorized Shades

Motorized window coverings aren’t new, but a lower price point and enhanced features have helped to boost their popularity. The latest Motorized Shades from Somfy can be preprogrammed to raise or lower at certain times of day or controlled on-demand via a remote, smartphone app, or voice command when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. They can also be set to operate automatically in response to the amount of sunlight or temperature of the room. Contact a dealer for pricing.

 

 

KITCHEN

These kitchen gadgets make life a little easier and a lot more enjoyable. They’re perfect for your busiest friends and family members!

 

Pressure Cooker

Have you jumped on the multi-cooker bandwagon yet? If so, you know how fast and simple these multifunctional appliances make meal preparation. The InstantPot Duo is a pressure cooker, sauté pan, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, and yogurt maker all-in-one. It reduces cooking time and lowers energy consumption. Who wouldn’t love one of these versatile tools? With numerous cookbooks and blogs devoted to InstantPot recipes, the meal options are virtually endless. Retails for $99.95.

 

Cocktail Machine

Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the ease and convenience of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail Machine. Listed among “Oprah’s Favorite Things” for 2019, the Bartesian mixes drinks with the touch of a button. Simply fill the canisters with base spirits, choose a cocktail capsule, and the machine does the rest. Now you can mix a margarita, whiskey sour, cosmopolitan, and other favorites as easily as you brew a cup of coffee. Retails for $349.

 

Smart Refrigerator

Kitchens are often called the “heart of the home,” and a new refrigerator from Samsung aims to be the hub. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator helps busy families stay organized. Grocery shopping becomes a breeze with built-in cameras that allow owners to peek inside their fridge from anywhere. The interactive touchscreen displays pictures, notes, and reminders for family members. And the integrated SmartThings app enables users to control smart devices and appliances from a central point. Base model starts at $3,099.

 

 

BEDROOM

Almost nothing beats a good night’s sleep. Help your loved ones wake up refreshed with these smart devices for the bedroom.

 

Baby Sleep Soother

As any parent knows, when your baby isn’t getting sleep, neither are you. Help everyone in the family catch some z’s with a Bubzi Co Soothing Owl. This cuddly creature plays lullabies while projecting a starry scene on the bedroom wall to calm young children and help them drift off to sleep. And for every purchase, Bubzi Co makes a donation to Postpartum Support International. Retails for $30.95.

 

Sunrise Alarm Clock

Know someone who hates getting up in the morning? Alarm clocks that utilize light instead of a noisy alarm can provide a more peaceful transition in and out of sleep. The Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light includes customizable sunrise and sunset simulation, guided breathing exercises, and sensors that track room conditions, like temperature, humidity, noise, and light. Retails for $199.95.

 

Smart Thermostat

Temperature fluctuations during the night can disrupt sleep. The Nest Learning Thermostat uses smart technology to track a user’s preferences and build a schedule around them. Homeowners can place one of its integrated sensors in their bedroom to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the night. And Nest thermostats cut energy consumption, so they’ll rest easier knowing they’re saving the planet and money on utility bills . Retails for $249.

 

 

BATHROOM

Bathrooms don’t have to be boring. Technology can add flair to the daily routine.

 

Waterproof Speaker

Music enthusiasts and podcast fans will enjoy streaming their favorites in the shower with a wireless waterproof speaker. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is a mid-priced and versatile option that can go from the bath to the beach. It packs an impressive 13-hour battery life in a small, portable case that’s waterproof, dust-proof, and floatable. Retails for $99.99.

 

Digital Smart Scale

A scale isn’t an appropriate gift for everyone, but diet and fitness enthusiasts may appreciate the high-tech features available with the Withings Body+. It tracks weight, body water, and fat, muscle, and bone mass for up to eight users. It can also be set to display local weather and the previous day’s step count. Customized pregnancy and baby modes make this a suitable choice for a growing family, as well. Retails for $99.95.

 

Vanity TV Mirror

For a truly luxe bathroom addition, consider an integrated vanity television mirror. The Seura TV Mirror seamlessly incorporates video into a bathroom vanity. It’s vanishing glass technology makes it possible to view the television through a mirror. When turned off, the screen completely disappears. Add lighting or a custom frame to complete the look. Starts at $3,099 for a 19” display.

 

 

OUR GIFT TO YOU

Are you considering a permanent technology upgrade for your own home? Give us a call first! Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, architectural style, and neighborhood. We can help you determine how the enhancement will impact the value of your home before you make the investment.

 

 

Nov. 22, 2019

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCM

Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country.

According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index,

“Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally slow fall season began with a marked boost in buyer interest.”

Buyers clearly have the right idea, as mortgage rates have dropped over a full percentage point since the fall of 2018. They’ve hovered in a historically low range since this summer, making the overall cost of homeownership significantly more attractive and affordable.

Here’s the breakdown of how ShowingTime reports current buyer traffic patterns across the country:

“The West Region, which until August had experienced 18 consecutive months of flagging home buyer traffic, lead the four regions in year-over-year improvement with an 8.9 percent increase in buyer activity.

The South followed with a 6.4 percent increase, the largest such improvement in the region since April 2018, with the Northeast Region’s 5.6 percent increase the next largest among the four regions.

The Midwest’s more modest 0.8 percent year-over-year growth rounded out the nation’s promising month.”

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCMWith ShowingTime reporting “nationwide growth for the second consecutive month, a first since December 2017 – January 2018”, it’s one more reason why selling your house this winter is the way to go. List while buyers are on the market, before competition with other sellers pops up in your neighborhood.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of waiting until spring to sell, think again! Let’s get together to discuss listing your house now while buyer traffic is actively surging throughout the country.

Nov. 20, 2019

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCM

In a recent article, First American shared how millennials are not really any different from previous generations when it comes to the goal of homeownership; it is still a huge part of their American Dream. The piece, however, also reveals,

 “Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles faced by first-time home buyers. Dispelling the 20 percent down payment myth could open the path to homeownership for many more.”

 Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate how much they need to qualify for a home loan. According to the same article:

“Americans still overestimate the qualifications needed to get a mortgage, resulting in qualified potential buyers not even considering homeownership. Indeed, the Urban Institute report revealed that 16 percent of consumers believed that the minimum down payment required by lenders is 20 percent or more, and another 40 percent didn’t know at all.”

While many potential buyers still think they need to put at least 20% down for the home of their dreams, they often don’t realize how many assistance programs are available with as little as 3% down. With a little research, many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher”

In addition to down payments, buyers are also often confused about the FICO® score it takes to qualify for a mortgage, believing a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | MyKCMAs indicated in the chart above, 50.23% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 500-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Believe it or not – your dream home may already be within your reach.

Nov. 11, 2019

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. | MyKCM

Home buying activity (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogic increased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months.

The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysis that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, and wages from January through August of this year. Here are their findings:

Home Prices

“In January 2019, a family with the median household income in the U.S. could afford to buy a $373,900 house. By August, that home had appreciated to $395,000, an increase of $21,100.”

Mortgage Interest Rates

“The 0.85 percentage point drop in mortgage rates from January 2019 through August 2019 increased affordability by 9.7%. That translates to a $40,200 improvement in house-buying power in just eight months.”

Wage Growth

“As rates have fallen in 2019, the economy has continued to perform well also, resulting in a tight labor market and wage growth. Wage growth pushes household incomes upward, which were 1.5% higher in August compared with January. The growth in household income increased consumer house-buying power by 1.5%, pushing house-buying power up an additional $5,600.”

When all three market factors are combined, purchasing power increased by $24,500, thus making home buying more affordable, not less affordable. Here is a table that simply shows the data:Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. |  MyKCM

Bottom Line

In the article, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best:

“Focusing on nominal house price changes alone as an indication of changing affordability, or even the relationship between nominal house price growth and income growth, overlooks what matters more to potential buyers – surging house-buying power driven by the dynamic duo of mortgage rates and income growth. And, we all know from experience, you buy what you can afford to pay per month.”

 

Nov. 8, 2019

Tips for Relocating Your Elderly Parents

Tips for Relocating Your Elderly Parents — The tables have turned and now it’s time for you to help your parents move into the next stage of their life. Maybe they’ve realized they want to downsize from their forever house and find a single-level home, or you’ve noticed they need the kind of additional help provided in a retirement community. Whatever your parents’ situation, the keys to staying calm while navigating this challenging time are careful planning and understanding, with a healthy dose of patience.

DON’T ASSUME EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE

This can often be a tension-wrought time for you and the entire family. Plan to have an honest, open discussion with your siblings and parents about what the right next step is. There are many reasons for elderly parents to relocate, from financial to medical. If you’ll be helping relocate both parents, it’s important to consider that they may not agree about what to do next — or they may require different levels of care. Either way, it can be an upsetting conversation if not handled thoughtfully. Research housing options based on the level of care each person needs, the costs involved, and how it will be paid for. That way, when you bring it up to your parents, you’re ready with some informed answers to help make the discussion and decisions less stressful.

ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME

Sometimes these decisions have to be made on a fast timeline, particularly when there’s a medical situation. However, if it’s not an emergency try not to rush your parents into a decision. Let them adjust to the idea of finding a new place to live, then help them see how it will benefit them, whether in terms of finances, safety, being closer to family, and having an easier way of life. The key is helping your parents feel more in charge of the process and less like a burden to you or other family members involved. PLAN FOR HEALTHCARE If your parents are moving to a new state or city it’s important to have their healthcare set up right away. Check to see what doctors will be in-network for them or how far the drive will be from their current doctor. Also take into account how far their new place will be from a pharmacy and consider setting up mail-order prescriptions to save time and money. SORT,

ORGANIZE AND DOWNSIZE

Once the decision about their next home has been made it’s time to start preparing for the move. Dealing with decades of belongings and family mementos can be overwhelming. Most likely your parents will be downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, or even a room in an assisted care facility. Another possibility is that they are planning to move in with you, which will most likely require downsizing their belongings, not to mention a big shift in your family dynamic. Keep your conversations open and make sure each member of the family has a voice. Involve your parents in the process of organizing their items, asking them what they want to have in their new place, versus what they may want to keep in storage. If you have a parent experiencing memory loss, consider doing the organizing yourself and be sure to pack items that will immediately be familiar to them, such as important family photos, a favorite armchair, one place setting of a cherished dishware set. Then, have an estate sale or contact a consignment company for anything the family doesn’t want to keep.

RESEARCH MOVING OPTIONS

When researching movers for your elderly parent, make sure the company is licensed and bonded. Fraudulent moving companies are an increasing issue and the government has recently tried to crack down on the growth of moving company scams. Many of them even appear to have a location on Google maps when you’re researching. This is why finding a licensed and bonded company is crucial. Look at Yelp and Angie’s List for reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations. The level of moving service you need will depend on the distance of the move and the number of items your loved one will be taking with them for this next phase of life. A traditional moving service might be too costly or stressful when you’re downsizing into a smaller space given their rigid schedules and the risk of damage. A portable moving container offers more flexibility, time, and control over the process — something that will be highly valued by you and your elderly parent – plus you have the option of hiring professionals to assist with packing and loading.

MAKE THE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Remember that traveling is more difficult when you’re older! Plan their trip in ways that will minimize stress, like picking nonstop flights and scheduling for the time of day they’re usually feeling their best. If they’ll need special assistance for mobility, you can arrange for the airport to provide a wheelchair for easy maneuvering. Make sure there’s someone available to drive them to the airport and pick them up when they arrive at their new destination. This can be an emotional time for elderly parents and for you. Consider having someone from the family travel with them to help with the trip, whether it’s a cross-country flight or a few hours on the road. Then, once you get to their new place, it’s a good idea to have someone stay for a few days to assist with unpacking and getting them settled. Relocating your elderly parents can seem like a daunting task, but it can give everyone involved greater peace of mind. Your parents can benefit financially, receive better medical care, live in a safer home, or be closer to family – maybe even all of the above. With some careful planning and communication, you’ll be able to help your parents make the transition to their next chapter of life with more confidence and peace of mind.

 

As always Jim and Noel Kennedy are here to help you along the way! Call or text 732-620-0940 for more info and help.

 

 

COUPON FOR PODS

Nov. 4, 2019

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCM

Many sellers believe spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. What they don’t realize is if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that’s when they’ll have the most competition.

So, what’s the #1 reason to list your house in the winter? Less competition.

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCMAs you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January). 

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCMIn 2018, listings increased from December to May. Don’t wait for these listings and the competition that comes with them to come to the market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

 Bottom Line

If you’ve been debating whether or not to sell your house and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to determine the best time to list your house.

Oct. 28, 2019

Depending on the Price, You’re Going to Need Advice

Depending on the Price, You’re Going to Need Advice

Depending on the Price, You’re Going to Need Advice | MyKCM

To understand today’s complex real estate market, it is critical to have a local, trusted advisor on your side – for more reasons than you may think.

In real estate today, there are essentially three different price points in the market: the starter-home market, the middle-home market, and the premium or luxury market. Each one is unique, and depending on the city, the price point in these categories will vary. For example, a starter or lower-end home in San Francisco, California is much more expensive than almost any other part of the country. Let’s explore what you need to know about each of these tiers.

Starter-Home Market: This market varies by price, and these homes are typically purchased by first-time home buyers or investors looking to flip them for a profit. Across the country, homes in this space currently have less than 6 months of inventory for sale. That means there aren’t enough homes on the lower end of the market for the number of people who want to buy them. A low supply like this generally increases competition, drives bidding wars, and sets up an environment where homes sell above the listing price. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on realtor.com,

“The desire for affordability continues to push down the inventory for homes listed for less than $200,000.00.”

Middle-Home Market: This segment is often thought of as the move-up market. Typically, the buyer in this market is moving up to a larger, more custom home with more features, all coming at a higher price. Across the country, this market is looking more balanced than the lower end of the market, meaning it has closer to a 6-month supply of inventory for sale. This market is more neutral, but leaning towards a seller’s market.

Premium & Luxury Home Market: This is the top end of the market with larger homes that have even more custom features and upgrades. Nationwide, this market is growing in the number of homes for sale. In the same realtor.com article, we can see that year-over-year inventory of homes in this tier has grown by 4.7%. Today, there are more homes available in the premium and luxury space, leading to more of a buyer’s market at this end.

Bottom Line

Depending on the segment of the market and the price point you’re looking at, you’re going to need the advice of a true local market expert. Let's get together to help you navigate the home-buying or selling process in your market.

Oct. 23, 2019

5 Reasons to Consider Living in a Multigenerational Home

5 Reasons to Consider Living in a Multigenerational Home

5 Reasons to Consider Living in a Multigenerational Home | MyKCM

Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans currently live in a multigenerational household?

According to Generations United, the number of multigenerational households rose from 42.4 million in 2000 to 64 million in 2016. The 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors shows that 12% of all buyers have a multigenerational household.

Why Are Many Americans Choosing to Live in a Multigenerational Household?

The benefits to multigenerational living are significant. According to Toll Brothers,

“In recent years, there’s been a steady rise in the number of multigenerational homes in America. Homeowners and their families are discovering new ways to get the most out of home with choices that fit the many facets of their lives.”

The piece continues to explain the top 5 benefits of multigenerational living. Here is the list, and a small excerpt from their article:

1. Shared Expenses

“…Maintaining two households is undeniably costlier and more rigorous than sharing the responsibilities of one. By bringing family members and resources together under one roof, families can collectively address their expenses and allocate finances accordingly.”

2. Shared Responsibilities

“Distributing chores and age-appropriate responsibilities amongst family members is a tremendous way of ensuring that everyone does their part. For younger, more able-bodied members, physical work such as mowing the lawn or moving furniture is a nice trade-off so that the older generation can focus on less physically demanding tasks.”

3. Strengthened Family Bond

“While most families come together on special occasions, multigenerational families have the luxury of seeing each other every day. By living under one roof, these families develop a high level of attachment and closeness.”

4. Ensured Family Safety

“With multiple generations under one roof, a home is rarely ever left unoccupied for long, and living with other family members increases the chances that someone is present to assist elderly family members should they have an accident.”

5. Privacy

“One of the primary trepidations families face when shifting their lifestyle is the fear of losing privacy. With so many heads under one roof, it can feel like there’s no place to turn for solitude. Yet, these floor plans are designed to ensure that every family member can have quiet time… [and] allow for complete separation between the generations within the household.”

Bottom Line

The trend of multigenerational living is growing, and the benefits to families who choose this option are significant. If you’re considering a multigenerational home, let’s get together to discuss the options available in our area.

Oct. 21, 2019

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search | MyKCM

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article“How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind.”

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as ‘must-haves’‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help you stay focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood Where You Want to Live

Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code doesn’t mean you need to tour every listing in that vicinity. An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.