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Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

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by Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

August 21, 2017



According to the recently released Modern Homebuyer Survey from ValueInsured, 58 percent of homeowners think there will be a “housing bubble and price correction” within the next 2 years. After what transpired just ten years ago, we can understand the concern Americans have about the current increase in home prices. However, this market has very little in common with what happened last decade. The two major causes of the housing crash were: A vast oversupply of housing inventory caused by home builders building at a pace that far exceeded historical norms.Lending standards that were so relaxed that unqualified buyers could easily obtain financing thus enabling them to purchase a home. Today, housing inventory is at a 20-year low with new construction starts well below historic norms and financing a home is anything but simple in the current mortgage environment. The . . .

August 14, 2017



KCM Blog, Keeping Current Matters
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).  The latest survey data, covering 2014-2016 will be released later this year. In the meantime, Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist estimates that the gap has widened even further, to 45 times greater ($225,000 vs. $5,000)!  Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your . . .

August 07, 2017

How Long Do Most Families Stay in Their Home?
KCM Blog, Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home, meaning how long a family stays in a home prior to moving. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years – an increase of almost 50%.
Why the dramatic increase? The reasons for this change are plentiful! The fall in home prices during the housing crisis left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property). Also, the uncertainty of the economy made some homeowners much more fiscally conservative about . . .

July 31, 2017

 KCM Blog, Keeping Current Matters

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?” The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only three states had a ‘stable’ 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, 21 states report a ‘weak’ . . .

July 24, 2017




Every summer, families across the country decide if this will be the year they sell their current house and move into their dream home. Mortgage rates have hovered around 4% for all of 2017, forcing buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year. Trulia reported that “U.S. home inventory has tumbled 8.9% over the past year and has now fallen for nine consecutive quarters.” There is now 20% less inventory than there was five years ago. Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

Bottom Line Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the perfect . . .

July 17, 2017


KCMblog.com 7-17-2017    

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market. 1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?  This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money. For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say, “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.” This survey supports a study by the Joint . . .

July 10, 2017



In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes 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 16% 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 homes they actually purchased? 51% on the internet34% from a Real Estate Agent8% from a yard sign1% 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 . . .

July 03, 2017



We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report. REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that home-buying demand continued to outpace supply in May. The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger the demand is there). In addition to revealing high demand, the index also mentioned that “compared to . . .

June 30, 2017

by The KCM Crew on June 20, 2017 in For Buyers, For Sellers, Move-Up Buyers
CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 91,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2017. This is great news for the country, as 48.2 million of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation. Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains: “One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.” Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2017 as well, as he had this to say: “Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014. The rising cushion of home equity . . .

June 30, 2017

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released the findings of their Q2 Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The report covers core topics like, “if now is a good time to buy or sell a home, the perception of home price changes, perceived ability to qualify for a mortgage, and [an] outlook on the U.S. economy.”The survey revealed that 75% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, compared to 70% last quarter. This is a considerable increase from more than a year ago when 66% agreed.Even though homeowners believe that now is a good time to sell, many have not taken the step to list their homes, as inventory shortages still exist across the country. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where . . .

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