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Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

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by Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

December 10, 2018


by Keeping Current Matters
The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019.How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. But don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year!Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.Bottom LineBe thankful that you can still get a . . .

December 03, 2018


by Keeping Current Matters
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.1. Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.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 hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in . . .

November 26, 2018


by Keeping Current Matters
Many homebuyers think that saving for their down payment is enough to buy the house of their dreams, but what about the closing costs that are required to obtain a mortgage?By law, a homebuyer will receive a loan estimate from their lender 3 days after submitting their loan application and they should receive a closing disclosure 3 days before the scheduled closing on their home. The closing disclosure includes final details about the loan and the closing costs.But what are closing costs anyway?According to Trulia:“Closing costs are lender and third-party fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction, and they can be financed as part of the deal or be paid upfront. They range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of a home. (For those who buy a $150,000 home, for example, that would amount to between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing . . .

November 20, 2018


by Keeping Current MattersEveryone wants a place to call home; a place that gives them a sense of security. We are currently seeing major interest from females who want to achieve this dream, and the numbers are proving it!In 2018, for the second year in a row, single female buyers accounted for 18% of all buyers. In 2017, 60% of millennial women listed as the primary borrowers on mortgages were single.According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by the National Association of Realtors, one in five homebuyers in the U.S. were single females (most of them part of the baby boomer generation) as you can see in the graph below:This does not come as a surprise since 50.8% of the U.S. population is female and 15.6% of them are 65 years and over, according to the Census Bureau.What are the reasons for this demographic’s booming interest in . . .

November 13, 2018


by Keeping Current Matters
According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale this year compared to last year has increased for the last four months, all while sales of existing homes have slowed compared to last year’s numbers.For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared.NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift,“This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”Let’s take a deeper look:Interest RatesSince January, 30-year . . .

March 26, 2018



by Keeping Current Matters

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.1. Demand Is StrongThe latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.2. There Is Less Competition NowHousing inventory has declined year over year for the last 32 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as . . .

March 12, 2018



Keeping Current Matters

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage hovered close to 4.0% in 2017. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, . . .

March 06, 2018



Keeping Current Matters

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.That hasn’t happened this year.Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower . . .

February 26, 2018



KCM Blog  Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.1. Price it a LITTLE LOW This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple . . .

February 19, 2018



Keeping Current Matters

There has been tremendous volatility in certain markets over the last few weeks (for example, the stock and currency markets). When this happens, some tend to lump all of their investments together and create an almost ‘Armageddon’ scenario where everything loses value quickly and dramatically. Real estate is an investment that can get caught up in this hysteria. Does the concern about the current housing market have merit?Financial advisors have been warning us for months that the stock market was ripe for a “correction.”Experts have been questioning the value of alternative currencies for over a year.In contrast, here are the opinions of three major players in the residential housing market:Ralph DeFranco, Chief Economist, Arch Capital Services Inc.“It’s premature to worry about a housing bubble. The typical warning signs – . . .
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