Aug. 11, 2022

What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market In Connecticut

What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market In Connecticut

What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market? | MyKCM

According to a recent survey, more and more Americans are concerned about a possible recession. Those concerns were validated when the Federal Reserve met and confirmed they were strongly committed to bringing down inflation. And, in order to do so, they’d use their tools and influence to slow down the economy.

All of this brings up many fears and questions around how it might affect our lives, our jobs, and business overall. And one concern many Americans have is: how will this affect the housing market? We know how economic slowdowns have impacted home prices in the past, but how could this next slowdown affect real estate and the cost of financing a home?

According to Mortgage Specialists: 

Throughout history, during a recessionary period, interest rates go up at the beginning of the recession. But in order to come out of a recession, interest rates are lowered to stimulate the economy moving forward.”

Here’s the data to back that up. If you look back at each recession going all the way to the early 1980s, here’s what happened to mortgage rates during those times (see chart below):

What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market? | MyKCM

As the chart shows, historically, each time the economy slowed down, mortgage rates decreased. Fortune.com helps explain the trend like this:

“Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over.”

And while history doesn’t always repeat itself, we can learn from it. While an economic slowdown needs to happen to help taper inflation, it hasn’t always been a bad thing for the housing market. Typically, it has meant that the cost to finance a home has gone down, and that’s a good thing. 

Bottom Line

Concerns of a recession are rising. As the economy slows down, history tells us this would likely mean lower mortgage rates for those looking to refinance or buy a home. While no one knows exactly what the future holds, you can make the right decision for you by working with a trusted real estate professional to get expert advice on what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for your homeownership goals.

Aug. 10, 2022

What Can You Expect The Second Half of 2022 In The Housing Market In Connecticut

What Can You Expect The Second Half of 2022 In The Housing Market In Connecticut

 

Since the beginning of the year, the US economy has been cooling off. After several years of strong growth, rising inflation and energy costs are affecting US households in the buying or selling or real estate, there is confusion and fear about how the economic slowdown will affect their options.

Geroge Ratiu is a senior econmist for research with Realtor.com and in a recent article, he outlined his predictions for the second half of 2022 US Housing Market.

Mortgage Interest Rates - As the Federal Reserve continues to tighten credit flow to slow the economy and flight inflation, expect to see rising mortgage interest rates as well. Ratiu predicts interest rates as high as 6% by the end of the year.

Home Prices - Home prices will continue to rise, but not as quick;y as we've seen. There are still buyers in the market who will want to jump

Sellers Advantage- Sellers have enjoyed a strong seller's market for the past year and Ratiu expects this to continue for well-positioned homes. Homes priced reasonably and in good condition will continue to garner multiple offers through the rest of 2022.

While inflation and rising interest rates affecting the US economy, home buyers and seller should stlll expect the second half of 2022 to be a good market to make a move. The slower pace should also allow them to carefully consider offers, and make good decisions for their future.

Aug. 9, 2022

5 Yard Design Fails Homeowners Make In Connecticut

5 Yard Design Fails Homeowners Make In Connecticut

 

Warmer weather is here, and homeowners are ready to get outdoors. Over the past decade, our yards have become an extension of our living space. But as spring fever takes over living space. But as spring fever takes over avoid these mistakes that can derail the best of intentions and turn the yard into an epic failure.

5 Yard Design Fails Homeowner Make

1. Unrealistic Expectations - Expecting a picture-perfect yard at once can cause more damage than just disappointment. In a rush to get that lush look instantly, they do not allow for growth and plant too close together, ultimately strangling the plants and requiring replanting.

2. Using Indoor Items Outdoors - While it's trendy to mimic indoor living outside, such as kitchens and living spaces, one cannot simply take an item designed for indoor use and move outdoors. Big-screen TVs, indoor sofas, and wood tables are just a few examples of indoor items that will not last in an outdoor environment.

3. Not Protecting Materials - Backgrounds are not maintenance-free. Decks need to be re-stained or painted and furniture should be stored in extreme weather to increase longevity.

4. Ignoring Planting Guidance - Magazine and Pinterest photographs offer a multitude of pictures to inspire new gardeners, but these may not work for every yard. Planting sun-loving plants in the shade or vice versa is a recipe for disaster and will not create the beautiful garden desire.

5. Ignoring HOA Rules - Before spending time and money on plants or trees, it's worth reading the fine print in HOA or community rules. These rules can be enforced and no one wants to pay to remove landscaping that's non-compliant.

 

Everyone wants the perfect yard. With the arrival of warmer weather, every yard can offer fresh air living options if these design mistakes are avoided.

 

 

 

Aug. 8, 2022

Are Buyers Avoiding Your Listing? Strategies to Revive A Stale Listing In Connecticut

Are Buyers Avoiding Your Listing? Strategies to Revive a Stale Listing In Connecticut

 

It may seem like every listing sells the frist weekend these days, but as the market begins to slow down, more sellers are facing the dilemma of an aging listing. If your are listing has been on the market for a while, buyers naturally assume that there is something wrong with the home and avoid viewing the home. Fortunately, there are strategies to renew the listing and re-engage buyers'

If your listing is losing steam, the first step is to understand why. Typically if a home is not getting offers, it's priced too high. Even homes in terrible condition will sell quickly for the right price. In a market where homes are selling quickly for the right price. In a market where homes are selling quickly, it's common for sellers to assume they can push their listing price even higher, but savvy buyers and agents will reject overpriced homes.

Another strategy is to put the home on hold and make a few updates. In most cases, simply adding a fresh coat of paint and new carpet can offer a more appealing look to buyers. In other cases, to garner a top price, sellers may need to replace appliances or more. Always weigh the cost in dollars and time before making significant updates.

Finally, some Multiple Listing Services (MLS) allow an agent to refresh the listing by temporarily taking it off the market for a few days and then placing it back on "active" status (with seller authorization). This triggers new alerts to both buyers and agents who are looking for a comparable property. If your listing is not getting the attention it deserves, speak to your agent about your options.

 

Aug. 5, 2022

Is Homeownership Still the American Dream In Connecticut

Is Homeownership Still the American Dream In Connecticut

Is Homeownership Still the American Dream? | MyKCM

Defining the American dream is personal, and no one individual will have the same definition as another. But the feelings it brings about – success, freedom, and a sense of prosperity – are universal. That’s why, for many people, homeownership remains a key part of the American dream. Your home is your stake in the community, a strong financial investment, and an achievement to be proud of.

A recent survey from Bankrate asked respondents to rank achievements as indicators of financial success, and the responses prove that owning a home is still important to so many Americans today (see graph below):

Is Homeownership Still the American Dream? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, homeownership ranks above other significant milestones, including retirement, having a successful career, and earning a college degree.

That could be because owning a home is a significant wealth-building tool and provides meaningful financial stability. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

Homeownership builds financial security. With 65.5% of Americans owning homes, the net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner.”

There are other ways your home acts as more than just a roof over your head, too. The Mortgage Reports highlights a few of the many benefits homeowners enjoy, including:

  • Your equity (and wealth) grows through home price appreciation.
  • Your housing costs are fixed – and that can help combat rising costs from inflation.
  • You’ll have greater privacy and the opportunity to customize your living space.

Plus, homeowners tend to be more active in their community. Like NAR says:

“Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates and [sic] obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in said community.”

What Does That Mean for You?

If your definition of the American Dream involves greater freedom and prosperity, then homeownership could play a major role in helping you achieve that dream. When you set out to buy, know there are incredible benefits waiting for you at the end of your journey. You’ll have a place you can call your own, feel most comfortable, and grow your wealth.

First American puts it best, saying:

Homeownership remains central to the pursuit of the American Dream. It is a critical driver of economic mobility, delivering financial and social advantages. . . .”

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a powerful decision and a key part of the American Dream. And if homeownership is part of your personal dreams this year, let’s connect and start the process today.

Posted in CT Buyer Tips
Aug. 3, 2022

If Your're Selling Your House This Summer, Hiring a Pro Is Critical In Connecticut

If You’re Selling Your House This Summer, Hiring a Pro Is Critical In Connecticut

If You’re Selling Your House This Summer, Hiring a Pro Is Critical | MyKCM

It can be tempting, especially with how hot the housing market has been over the past two years, to consider selling your home on your own. But today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional.

Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.

Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.

1. A Professional Follows the Latest Market Trends

With higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a growing number of homes for sale, today’s housing market is showing signs of a shift back toward more pre-pandemic levels. When conditions change, following the trends and staying on top of new information is crucial when you sell.

That makes working with an expert real estate advisor critical today. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.

2. A Professional Helps Maximize Your Pool of Buyers

Your agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:

“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”

3. A Professional Understands the Fine Print

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:

“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

4. A Professional Is a Trained Negotiator

If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
  • The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

5. A Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your House

If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. NAR explains it like this:

“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”

Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you'll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone. If you plan to sell, let’s connect so you have an expert on your side.

Aug. 3, 2022

Real Estate Consistentyl Voted Best Investment In Connecticut

Real Estate Consistently Voted Best Investment In Connecticut [INFOGRAPHIC]

Real Estate Consistently Voted Best Investment [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Based on a recent Gallup poll, real estate has been rated the best long-term investment for nine years in a row.
  • Owning real estate is more than just a place to call home. It’s also an investment in your future. That’s because it’s typically a stable and secure asset that can grow in value over time.
  • If you’re ready to buy a home and invest in your future, let’s connect.
Aug. 2, 2022

Homeownership Could Be in Reach with Down Payment Assistance Programs In Connecticut

Homeownership Could Be in Reach with Down Payment Assistance Programs

Homeownership Could Be in Reach with Down Payment Assistance Programs | MyKCM

A recent survey from Bankrate asks prospective buyers to identify the biggest obstacles in their homebuying journey. It found that 36% of those polled said saving for a down payment is one of their primary hurdles to buying a home.

If you feel the same way, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your homeownership goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here’s some information that can help you.

You Can Qualify Even if You’ve Purchased a Home Before

There are several misconceptions about down payment assistance programs. For starters, many people believe there’s only assistance available for first-time homebuyers. While first-time buyers have many options to explore, repeat buyers have some, too. According to the latest Homeownership Program Index from downpaymentresource.com:

“It is a common misconception that homebuyer assistance is only available to first-time homebuyers, however, 38% of homebuyer assistance programs in Q1 2022 did not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.

That means repeat buyers could qualify for over one-third of the assistance programs available. And if you’re a repeat buyer, you may still be able to take advantage of some first-time homebuyer programs, depending on your personal situation. That’s because downpaymentresource.com also notes many of the first-time homebuyer programs use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of a first-time homebuyer. Under their definition, you could qualify as a first-time buyer if you’re:

  • Someone who hasn’t owned a primary residence in 3 years.
  • A single parent who’s only ever owned a home with a former spouse.

That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.

You May Be Eligible for Programs Based on Your Location or Profession

In addition to broader options available for repeat and first-time homebuyers, there are other types of down payment assistance programs that you could qualify for based on your location. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”

Plus, there are programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans.

Ultimately, that means there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional and your lender to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Bottom Line

Down payment assistance programs have helped many homebuyers achieve their dreams, and if you qualify, they could help you too. Let’s connect today so you can begin exploring your options.

Aug. 1, 2022

A Key Opportunity for Homebuyers In Connecituct

A Key Opportunity for Homebuyers In Connecticut

A Key Opportunity for Homebuyers | MyKCM

There’s no denying the housing market has delivered a fair share of challenges to homebuyers over the past two years. Two of the biggest hurdles homebuyers faced during the pandemic were the limited number of homes for sale and the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. But those two things have reached a turning point.

As you may have already heard, the number of homes for sale has increased this year, and even more so this spring. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.comexplains:

New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up 6% above one year ago. Home sellers in many markets across the country continue to benefit from rising home prices and fast-selling homes. That’s prompted a growing number of homeowners to sell homes this year compared to last, giving home shoppers much needed options.”

This is encouraging news. More homes coming onto the market give you a greater chance of finding one that checks all your boxes.

Buyer Competition Moderating Helps Inventory Grow Even More

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americansays inventory growth is happening not just because there’s an increase in the number of listings coming onto the market, but also because buyer demand has moderated some in light of higher mortgage rates and other economic factors:

There has been a pickup in the inventory that we've seen recently, but it's not from a big increase in new listings . . . but rather a slowdown in the pace of sales. And remember that months’ supply measures the inventory of sale relative to the pace of sales. Same inventory, fewer sales, means more months’ supply.”

Basically, the market is shifting away from the frenzy of buyer competition seen during the pandemic, and that’s helping available inventory grow. In their latest forecastrealtor.com also mentions the moderation of demand as a key factor and projects the inventory growth should continue:

As rising inflation and mortgage rates bring U.S. housing demand back from the 2021 frenzy, . . . inventory will grow double-digits over 2021 and offer buyers a better-than-expected chance to find a home.”

How This Impacts You

The combination of more homes coming onto the market and a slower pace of home sales means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home. That’s great news if you’ve been searching for a while with little to no luck. Just remember, there isn’t a sudden surplus of inventory, just more homes to choose from than even a few months ago. So, you’ll still want to be decisive and move fast when you find the right home for you.

And when you do, you may be faced with less competition from other buyers too. If you’ve been waiting to jump into the market because the intensity of the bidding wars was intimidating or if you’ve been outbid on several homes, this moderation could help make the homebuying process a bit smoother. It’s not that it’ll be easy or that bidding wars are a thing of the past – that’s not the case. But it won’t feel nearly as impossible.

Bottom Line

As the housing market begins its shift back toward pre-pandemic levels, you could have a unique opportunity in front of you. With moderating levels of buyer competition and more homes actively for sale, your home search may have gotten a bit less challenging. Let’s connect to begin the process today.

Aug. 1, 2022

5 Reasons People Are Moving To Morris, CT

Are you thinking of moving to Morris, Connecticut, but aren’t sure what to expect? In this episode of CT Life, I’m going to share the top five reasons why everybody loves living here in Morris. We’ll look at everything from peace and quiet to commute times to give you a good idea of what life is like here.

Quiet Country Living

There are reasons why more and more people are moving here to Morris, Connecticut—starting with quiet, quiet, quiet. With a current population of just under 2,200 people, you will have plenty of peace and quiet. Second, Morris has a low mill rate.

Reason number three is nature. Nature enthusiasts love it here, as there are plenty of trails, beaches, parks, and wildlife. Anything you could want with nature is here in Morris, Connecticut.

Community And Commute Times

The fourth reason people are moving to Morris, Connecticut is the close-knit community. With such a small population, you will be a member of a close-knit community that really knows each other. The community gathers in the Town Center for parades, seasonal events, and concerts on the green. It's an awesome atmosphere that you’re sure to love.

Lastly, Morris offers short commute times. It's very convenient to Route 8 just down the road, and you can hop on the highway and be connected to 84. This allows you to get anywhere you need in or out of Connecticut very quickly.

Make Morris Your Home

Now that you have the information you need about Morris, all you need to do is set up your housing search. If you're looking for a great realtor, we would be happy to put you in touch with somebody. My team of agents definitely would love to help you. We know all the ins and outs of Litchfield County and are here to help.

If you’d like to make Morris your home, please feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to connect. We’d love to get you into Morris, Litchfield County, or anywhere in Connecticut. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of CT Life, and feel free to comment and let us know where you’d like us to feature next.