Existing Home Sales Surge Forward Through Fall

Existing Home Sales Surge Forward Through Fall [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.
  • First-time homebuyers made up 33% of all sales in October.
  • Homes are selling quickly with 43% of homes on the market for less than a month.
  • A limited supply continues to drive up prices for the 56th consecutive month.

It’s Not Always Marriage Before Mortgage

It’s Not Always Marriage Before Mortgage | MyKCM

This is always a question we are asked as lenders – “Do I have to be married to cosign?”There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still, others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting statistics on the first-time buyer:

It’s Not Always Marriage Before Mortgage | MyKCM

Unmarried couples jumped up to the third spot, right after their married counterparts and single women. Many couples are buying a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding.

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is within your grasp.

What to Expect When Home Inspecting

What to Expect When Home Inspecting | MyKCM

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. More often than not, your agent may have made your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. Realtor.com suggests that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection & if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients that you can call to ask about their experience.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Often membership in one of these organizations means that there is continued training and education provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s ok for you to tag along during the inspection. That way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof, crawling around in the attic, and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace & chimney, the foundation and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money in a home of your own. Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.

Buying a Home is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting.

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US | MyKCM

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL), and 37.7% nationwide!

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
  • Home prices would have to appreciate by a range of over 23% in Honolulu (HI), up to over 45% in Ventura County (CA), to reach the tipping point of renting being less expensive than buying.
  • Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 145% increase over today’s average of 3.7%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together to help you find your dream home.

The Real Estate Market is Back!

7 Graphs That Show the Real Estate Market is Back! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Distressed property sales fell to its lowest number since NAR began tracking it in 2008.
  • As you can see, with less distressed properties, sales are up in all price ranges except the $0 – $100K price range.
  • Interest rates are still at historic lows, signifying that now is the right time to buy!

Historically Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power

How Historically Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 3.47%. Rates have remained at or below 3.5% each of the last 16 weeks, marking a historic low.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows what impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range, and planned to keep your principal and interest payments at or about $1,100 a month.

How Historically Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5%, (in this example, $6,250). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 4% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard earned money.

Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today

Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The interest rate you secure for your mortgage greatly influences your monthly housing costs.
  • In the 1980s, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged in the high 12s making the monthly principal and interest payment over $2,000.
  • Interest rates are still at historic lows; this is a great time lock in your housing cost and protect yourself from increasing rents, or refinance your current mortgage.

A SPECIAL REPORT ON US INTEREST RATES

 

Clinton & Trump

Long term interest rates: mortgages and auto loans

When you take out a home mortgage or auto loan, the lender normally sells your loan into the bond market (see illustration below).  This allows lenders to continuously replenish their available funds and loan out more money.  This also gives investors in the bond market the ability to buy safe investments (bonds) that produce a predictable source of income from the interest payments that you make each month.

In the financial market, bonds are generally considered to be a safer bet than stocks.  When the financial markets are fearful, or when there is negative economic news, investors tend to buy bonds.  This drives up the demand for bonds.  The bond investor is willing to accept a lower rate from the lender, and the lender can charge you a lower rate on your loan.

On the other hand, when the financial markets are optimistic, or when there is positive economic news, investors tend to sell bonds.  This drives down the demand for bonds.  The bond investor demands a higher rate from the lender, and the lender charges you a higher rate on your loan.

How will the Presidential election impact long term interest rates?

The financial market believes that a Donald Trump presidency would be more unpredictable than a Hillary Clinton presidency.  This means that if Donald Trump wins the election, demand for bonds is likely to increase, and interest rates could go down in the near term.  On the other hand, if Hillary Clinton wins the election, demand for bonds is likely to decrease, and interest rates could go up in the near term.

The financial market doesn’t like uncertainty.  If the election results are contested, or if the market finds any other reason to be fearful, interest rates could go down.

Short-term interest rates: credit cards, business loans, home equity lines of credit

Short-term interest rates are not really impacted by the bond market.  Instead, they are impacted by the Federal Reserve. Most economists believe that the Fed will start increasing short-term interest rates again in December, 2016.  This means that interest rates on credit cards, business loans and home equity lines of credit could start going up at that time.

This means that if you have other debts, this may be a great time to consider a debt consolidation loan.

2 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR HOME IMPROVEMENT RECEIPTS

home-improvement-receipt.jpg

If you take out a mortgage for home improvement purposes, the IRS may ask you to prove the project was a “substantial improvement” that:

  1. Adds to the value of the home,
  2. Prolongs the home’s useful life, or
  3. Adapts the home to new uses.  For example, painting a room may not qualify, but an addition or new kitchen may qualify.

 

Keeping the receipts from your home improvement project would go a long way toward proving this. Also, keep in mind that the IRS gives you 24 months to reimburse yourself for improvements made in the past, or 12 months to complete future improvements. For more details, please reference IRS Publication 936, and see my article called, Three Things You Should Know About Pulling Cash Out for Home Improvement.

2: Ability to Reduce Your Capital Gains Tax:

Capital Gain is calculated by taking your sales price, minus your costs of selling the house, minus your “tax basis” (see illustration).  Tax basis is the total cost of buying, building or improving your house.  When you make a “substantial improvement”, the cost of the home improvement is added to your tax basis.  This reduces your capital gain when you sell the house, and it could save you quite a bit of money on capital gains taxes.  That’s another reason why it’s important to keep your home improvement receipts.

Please see a CPA for further details on the deductibility of mortgage interest or the capital gains tax in your specific scenario.  Contact me for further information on your mortgage options.

1: Ability to Deduct Your Mortgage Interest:

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices | MyKCM

CoreLogic released their most current Home Price Index last week. In the report, they revealed home appreciation in three categories: percentage appreciation over the last year, over the last month and projected over the next twelve months.

Here are state maps for each category: 

The Past – home appreciation over the last 12 months

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices | MyKCM

The Present – home appreciation over the last month

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices | MyKCM

The Future – home appreciation projected over the next 12 months

The Past, Present & Future of Home Prices | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Homes across the country are appreciating at different rates. If you plan on relocating to another state and are waiting for your home to appreciate more, you need to know that the home you will buy in another state may be appreciating even faster.