Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, revealed in a recent article that:

“The biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy and getting it successfully under contract. That’s because the supply of homes for sale is at an all-time low, and yet demand is strong and getting stronger.”

Smoke goes on to say:

“We started the year with the lowest inventory of homes available for sale that we’ve ever seen on realtor.com. While we did see inventory grow 2% in February, total inventory was down 11% over last year.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.


Posted on April 21, 2017 at 10:41 am
Marni Jimenez | Posted in selling |

It’s a Seller’s Market! Should I Downsize Now?

 

It's a Seller's Market! Should I Downsize Now? | MyKCM

A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in an article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latestEquity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let’s meet up to help guide you through the process.


Posted on March 21, 2017 at 10:45 am
Marni Jimenez | Posted in selling |

March Home Maintenance

We have made it to March! Spring is on its way, and the weather is already showing it. If you feel like you’re starting to get the spring cleaning itch early, this is for you! This is the perfect time to do some home maintenance as the weather is beginning to warm up, but also before April showers hit.  Below I have a few  maintenance tasks that are perfect to do in the month of March, especially if you live in Southern California like me. Check them out below:

Clean the Gutters: This is one task that nobody likes to do, but it is very important to maintain. Remove leaves and other debris that have accumulated throughout the winter, so you are all ready for those April showers. Overflowing gutters and blocked downspouts can damage siding and foundations.

Tip: Install gutter guards—screens, foam inserts, surface tension covers—which help to keep debris out of gutters.

 

Clean your A/C condenser: This one also sounds like a dirty task, but it is crucial that it is cleaned so it works properly. Especially if the temperatures are on the rise in your area. Remove all the dust and debris around the outside of the condenser.

Tip: Hook up a garden hose and spray the outside of the condenser. The water will melt away the gunk.

 

Prep your yard: Start bringing your yard back to life now, before temperatures warm up for real.

Tip: Remove large stones, branches that have fallen or that have littered your yard. Get out the lawnmower cut your grass. Nothing looks better in a front yard than freshly cut green grass. Prune all flowers and shrubs. Get rid of all dying blooms, that way they wont affect any others.

Clean the siding: This is one thing that often gets forgotten, or even unnoticed by homeowners. However, those who will notice it are those that will be visiting you in the Spring and Summer for outdoor BBQ’s. Get rid of dirt and grime that can cause mildew and shorten the life of your siding.

Tip: A bucket of warm soapy water and a long handles brush are all you really need. Rinse off with your garden house when finished. No fancy cleaning solutions will really make a difference. With a little elbow grease, your home will look like new.

Inspect the Roof: Our roofs take a beating in the winter with all the rain, or snow for those who get it. Take a close look at your roof for any loose or broken tiles. Also check for missing shingles, worn and rusted flashing, and cracked boots around vent pipes. These may not seem like a big deal now, but delaying repair can cause problems later on.

Tip: To save you from a potential accident, make it easy on yourself by checking your roof with a pair of binoculars while standing firmly—and safely—on the ground.

 

Doing these few simple tasks will make a big difference in your home. Make use of this beautiful March weather!

 


Posted on March 2, 2017 at 11:25 am
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Home maintenance |

Buyer Demand Is Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale

 

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

Buyer Demand Is Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | MyKCM

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only six states had a weak demand level.

Seller Supply

The Index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.

Buyer Demand Is Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!


Posted on February 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Buying, selling |

Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner

Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner | MyKCM

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 51% on the internet
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together and discuss the options available in your market today.


Posted on January 13, 2017 at 12:55 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Uncategorized |

Cheap Home Improvements That Make A Big Difference

If you own a home, it is likely that you have looked into remodeling but the cost of it just makes you sick! A major living room, bathroom or kitchen remodel can be around $60,000. Not many people have that kind of money laying around. However, there are small improvements that you can make that can help transform your place and add some value to your home. Here are a few of the tips and tricks below:

Image result for crown molding

Crown Molding: At around $3 a foot, crown molding is an inexpensive feature that adds a dramatic impact and helps draw your eye up making the ceiling look higher, also making it look clean.

Image result for front door

Front Door: Adding a pop of color to your front door can really make the house stand out and it really adds a “cute-factor”. A small can of paint is all you really need, which ends up being around $20.

Image result for modern lighting

Modern Light: Upgrading older light fixtures can really make your home look modern and add a nice clean look. You can find some nice fixtures for a good deal.

Image result for switch plate

Switch Plate Upgrade: You can find decorative plate covers for pretty cheap in stores. However, if you can’t find one you really like, you can decorate your own with a fabric or wallpaper that you love. This adds a nice look rather then plain white or brass.

Image result for kitchen faucets

Kitchen Faucet: Adding a nice metal or upgraded faucet can really make the kitchen look updated. Paying for a new faucet is also way less expensive then paying for new counters or cabinets.

Image result for cabinet handles

Cabinet Hardware: Updating knobs on your cabinets can also make your home look updated. Brass was all the rage years ago, but now it just dates the home. Putting some new ones on will really make the home look nice.

 

Simple changes can really make a difference if you do not have a large budget for it.


Posted on January 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Uncategorized |

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years | MyKCM

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.24% per year on average and to grow by 21.4% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years | MyKCM

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.0% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained over $10,000 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by over $43,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, let’s get together to find out if you are able to, today!


Posted on December 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Buying |

The #1 Reason to Sell Now… Not Next Spring

The #1 Reason to Sell Now… Not Next Spring | MyKCM

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2016:

The #1 Reason to Sell Now… Not Next Spring | MyKCM

Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.


Posted on December 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in selling, Uncategorized |

5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment

5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment | MyKCM

According to a recent report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 37.7%.” That may have some thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension, but does that make sense from a financial perspective?

In the report, Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist explains:

“Owning a home is one of the most common ways households build long-term wealth, as it acts like a forced savings account. Instead of paying your landlord, you can pay yourself in the long run through paying down a mortgage on a house.”

The report listed five reasons why owning a home makes financial sense:

  1. Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
  2. Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
  3. You can build wealth without paying capital gains.
  4. A mortgage can act as a forced savings account.
  5. Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters.

Bottom Line

Before you sign another lease, let’s get together and discuss all your options.


Posted on December 13, 2016 at 11:51 am
Marni Jimenez | Posted in Buying, Uncategorized |

Why Waiting Until After the Holidays to Sell Isn’t a Smart Decision

Why Waiting Until After the Holidays to Sell Isn’t a Smart Decision | MyKCM

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays. Here are six great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Companies are not concerned with holiday time and if the buyers have kids, they want them to get into school after the holidays. 
  1. Purchasers that are looking for a home during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy.
  1. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  1. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays. 
  1. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

Why Waiting Until After the Holidays to Sell Isn’t a Smart Decision | MyKCM

  1. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2017, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.


Posted on November 16, 2016 at 2:29 pm
Marni Jimenez | Posted in selling |