Check back often for all our latest blog posts!

Dec. 15, 2017

Why Getting Pre-Approved in CT Should Be Your First Step

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step | MyKCM

The number of buyers searching for their dream homes in CT greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream CT home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a real estate professional from Dave Jones Realty is that we have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” 

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show CT home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential CT home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well. Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist you with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
Dec. 14, 2017

3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home in CT a Reality

3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking a lot about it.
  • Living within a budget will not only help you save money for down payments but will help you pay down other debts that might be holding you back.

Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist you with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
Dec. 7, 2017

7 Reasons to List Your Connecticut Home This Holiday Season

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 seven great reasons CT Sellers should not wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. 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:

7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season | MyKCM

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. 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 2018, 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 in Home Owner Tips
Dec. 1, 2017

Low Interest Rates in CT Have a High Impact on Your Buying Power

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, CT interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 3.92%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!

The interest rate you secure when buying a CT 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 to 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 CT home within the national median price range, and planned to keep your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

Low Interest Rates Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the CT home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

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

Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
Nov. 30, 2017

The Cost of NOT Owning Your Home in CT

The Cost of NOT Owning Your Home | MyKCM

Owning a CT home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Zillow recently reported that:

“In reality, buying or renting a home is an intensely personal decision, with emotional and even financial considerations that go beyond whether to invest in this one (admittedly large) asset. Looking strictly at housing market numbers, there is a concrete point at which buying a home makes more financial sense than renting it.”

What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?

1. We recently highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of CT homeownership:

  • CT homeownership is a form of forced savings.
  • CT homeownership provides tax savings.
  • CT homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
  • Buying a CT home is cheaper than renting.
  • No other investment lets you live inside of it.

2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

3. A family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2017 could build more than $48,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment– along with a profit margin!!

Bottom Line

Owning a CT home has always been, and will always be, better from a financial standpoint than renting. Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
Nov. 29, 2017

Existing CT Home Sales Slowed by a Lack of Listings

Existing Home Sales Slowed by a Lack of Listings [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The inventory of existing CT homes for sale has dropped year-over-year for the last 29 consecutive months and is now at a 3.9-month supply.
  • Existing CT home sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.48 million, the highest pace since June of this year, but down 0.9% from October 2016.
  • NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say: “While the CT housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.

Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in Market Activity
Nov. 28, 2017

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage in CT?

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today in CT than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:

  • More CT buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home
  • The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower
  • More low-down-payment programs have been introduced

This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some of that concern.

The graph below shows the MCAI going back to the boom years of 2004-2005. The higher the graph line, the easier it was to get a mortgage.

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

As you can see, lending standards were much more lenient from 2004 to 2007. Though it has gradually become easier to get a mortgage since 2011, we are nowhere near the lenient standards during the boom.

The Urban Institute also publishes a Home Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Institute, the HCAI:

“Measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates … it is easier to get a loan.”

Here is a graph showing their findings:

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? | MyKCM

Again, today’s lending standards are nowhere near the levels of the boom years. As a matter of fact, they are more stringent than they were even before the boom.

Bottom Line

It is getting easier to gain financing for a CT home purchase. However, we are not seeing the irresponsible lending that caused the housing crisis. Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in Market Activity
Nov. 27, 2017

Access is an Important Factor in Getting Your CT Home SOLD

Access is an Important Factor in Getting Your House SOLD! | MyKCM

So, you’ve decided to sell your CT house. You’ve hired a real estate professional from Dave Jones Realty to help you with the entire process, and we have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide so that we can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to CT buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all. Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in Home Owner Tips
Nov. 24, 2017

CT Homeowners: Your Home Has To Be Sold TWICE

Homeowners: Your House Must Be Sold TWICE | MyKCM

In today’s CT housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5%+ over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a CT homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth, and an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home.

Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges anyone looking to buy or sell in today’s CT market to remember the impact of this challenge:

“Based on the HPPI, it appears the prices are rising faster than normal and are continuing to underestimate just how quickly home values are rising, so the average appraisal is higher than homeowner estimate.

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.

Homeowners: Your House Must Be Sold TWICE | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Every house on the CT market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the CT housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise. Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in Home Owner Tips
Nov. 23, 2017

Top 4 CT Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your CT home, just purchased your first home, or are a CT homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most “Return On Investment” (ROI).
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value

Contact a Real Estate professional from Dave Jones Realty who can assist you with any of your Real Estate needs!

Posted in Market Activity