Western Colorado Real Estate and Community News

Feb. 15, 2023

buying and selling

Both buying and selling a home are equally stressful, but what about when you are trying to coordinate both at the same time? There are a lot of moving parts, and the agents involved work together to insure the smoothest possible transactions for our clients. If you are selling your home and want to close on a new home purchase at the same time, here are some things to think about to make your move as smooth as possible.

Truly simultaneous closings are rare these days, especially when financing is involved. Regulations put in place to protect consumers have made simultaneous, or double, closings very difficult to pull off. Concurrent closings occur when a party is selling and buying properties at about the same time, usually within a couple of days of each other. If you wish to close on the sale of your home and the purchase of a new home back-to-back, the best scenario is to work with the same title company and escrow company for both transactions. Usually the sale of your home is closed first, your mortgage is paid off, then the purchase of your new home is closed.

Selling your home ahead of buying is the most risk-free alternative, as neither transaction is contingent on the other. However, this requires your family to make an extra move and have a place to live while you wait to close on a new home, so in terms of convenience and expense, it’s not always the best scenario. If you have the ability to secure a short-term rental, or to put your belongings in storage and stay with family, then you can enjoy the luxury of taking your time to look for and close on your new home. One option that sometimes works out is to rent your home back from your buyers while you wait to close on your purchase. This works well when the buyers are not in a hurry to move in themselves and you can agree on a timeframe for you to remain in the home.

Buying ahead of selling is a dream in terms of convenience. You can take your time moving, and maybe do some renovations or decorating before you move in. But will you qualify for a new mortgage without a contingency on selling your existing home? If you can swing the mortgage, or are paying cash, it may be a great option for you. Remember to realistically consider how long you can afford to maintain two properties– with maintenance costs– in case it should take you longer than expected to find a buyer for your present home. In this scenario, you may want to rent your new purchase back to the sellers, or list it as a short-term rental, while you wait to close on the sale of your existing home.

Consider your buyers and sellers carefully when trying to coordinate a sale and purchase within a short amount of time. The last thing you need is a seller or buyer who is displaying signs of being uncommitted to the deal. While no deal is guaranteed until all the closing documents have been signed, when you need a purchase or sale to coincide with your schedule, you should carefully evaluate who you sign a contract with.  A contract with contingencies on other deals going through, a lender expressing doubt about final financing approval, a low good faith deposit, buyers asking for unreasonable repairs or allowances, or sellers whose moving plans are questionable are red flags that your deal could fall apart.

Posted in For Buyers, For Sellers
Jan. 25, 2023

Mortgage Process

Feeling lost in the mortgage process? You’re not alone.

My clients often come to me feeling overwhelmed by the process of getting a mortgage. They tell me they’re confused and don’t know where to start. That’s why I make sure to guide them through the process step by step, so they can feel confident and secure in their decision to buy a home.

And I’m here to do the same for you.

Are you ready to take control of the mortgage process and move closer to your dream home? Let’s do this!

1) Determine your budget. Consider your income, debts, and down payment. Remember to be realistic. The last thing you want is more house than you can afford.

2) Get pre-approved so you’ll be ready to make an offer when you find a home you love.

3) Choose a lender and mortgage with terms that work for you. Don’t be shy - shop around!

4) Submit a mortgage application and wait for underwriting to review it. If approved, you’ll receive more paperwork outlining the terms of the loan.

5) Attend closing to sign the mortgage documents and pay closing costs.

6) Start making those monthly mortgage payments!

Don’t let the mortgage process intimidate you. Bookmark this guide for later so you can refer back to it when you’re ready. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m here to help!

Mortgage help? Click here

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 25, 2023

Ready to Buy?

Things to Know

Are you financially prepared?

Prepared to put down roots?

How's your job security?

Your readiness to buy a home

Year-over-year home price increases slowing

Higher mortgage rates

Click for Advice

 

 

Posted in For Buyers
Jan. 18, 2023

Rock Bottom

Have Home Values Hit Bottom?

Have Home Values Hit Bottom? | MyKCM

Whether you’re already a homeowner or you’re looking to become one, the recent headlines about home prices may leave you with more questions than answers. News stories are talking about home prices falling, and that’s raising concerns about a repeat of what happened to prices in the crash in 2008.

One of the questions that’s on many minds, based on those headlines, is: how much will home prices decline? But what you may not realize is expert forecasters aren’t calling for a free fall in prices. In fact, if you look at the latest data, there’s a case to be made that the biggest portion of month-over-month price depreciation nationally may already behind us – and even those numbers weren’t significant declines on the national level. Instead of how far will they drop, the question becomes: have home values hit bottom?

Let’s take a look at the latest data from several reputable industry sources (see chart below):

Have Home Values Hit Bottom? | MyKCM

The chart above provides a look at the most recent reports from Case-Shiller, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Black Knight, and CoreLogic. It shows how, on a national scale, home values have changed month-over-month since January 2022. November and December numbers have yet to come out.

Let’s focus in on what the red numbers tell us. The red numbers are the change in home values over the last four months that have been published. And if we isolate the last four months, what the data shows is, in each case, home price depreciation peaked in August.

While that doesn’t guarantee home price depreciation has hit bottom, it confirms prices aren’t in a free fall, and it may be an early signal that the worst is already behind us. As the numbers for November and December are released, data will be able to further validate this national trend.

Bottom Line

Home prices month-over-month have depreciated for the past four months on record, but there’s a strong case to be made that the worst may be behind us. If you have questions about what’s happening with home prices in our local market, let’s connect.

Posted in For Buyers
Jan. 12, 2023

Time to Sell?

Is It Time To Sell Your Second Home?

Is It Time To Sell Your Second Home? | MyKCM

During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent articleInvestopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.

A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:

“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards remote work since the pandemic is an historic development that will continue to fuel second home demand for many years to come.”

But what if you bought a second home that you no longer use? If you’re now shifting back into the office or are seeing your priorities and needs change, you may find you’re not utilizing your second home as much. If so, it may be time to sell it.

And if you own what’s considered a luxury home, buyer demand for it may be even greater. In another report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing explains:

“. . . the last few years have left their legacy for the luxury market. While it might only represent a small percentage of the overall real estate market, luxury homeownership’s influence is growing. Not only has the purchase of homes valued over $1 million (a figure considered by the National Association of Realtors to be a benchmark for luxury) tripled from 2.6% to 6.5% since 2018, but demand for multiple luxury properties has soared over the last two years.

This phenomenal increase has been driven by a growing affluent demographic who consider owning a luxury property a necessity in their asset portfolio. All indications are that this trend is here to stay, albeit that demand is set to return to a more sustainable level.”

If you own a luxury second home that isn’t being used as much anymore, now’s the time to sell. There are still buyers in the market who are looking for a home like yours today.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to explore the benefits of selling your second home this year.

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 12, 2023

Keeping Current Matters

Posted in
Jan. 11, 2023

Their Growing Up

Buyer Interest Is Growing among Younger Generations

Buyer Interest Is Growing among Younger Generations | MyKCM

The demand for homes this year is extraordinary as record-breaking numbers of hopeful buyers continue to shop for homes. In a normal year, the peak homebuying season comes to a close by early fall. However, 2020 is anything but a normal year, and the housing market is no exception. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we normally see during this season…I would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater flexibility to work from home.”

What’s drawing so many buyers to the market?

As Yun mentioned, record-low interest rates are key. Today’s rates are strengthening purchasing power for buyers, too. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macemphasizes:

“Mortgage rates today are on average more than a full percentage point lower than rates over the last five years.”

If you’re a homebuyer right now, there’s no question that you want to take advantage of this opportunity – and you’re not alone. Competition among buyers is definitely increasing as more buyers enter the market and mortgage interest rates remain so low.

Who’s planning to buy a home right now?

Today’s affordability is appealing to all generations and seems to be especially attractive to younger buyers who want to begin growing their wealth through homeownership. There’s a distinct increase this year in the percentage of those in younger generations searching for homes. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes:

“Between the third quarters of 2019 and 2020, the share of Gen Z adults planning a home purchase rose three points to 14%. Millennials, however, are the generation most likely to be considering buying a home (22%).”

Here’s a graph showing the year-over-year increase in homebuying interest by generation:Buyer Interest Is Growing among Younger Generations | MyKCMAccording to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, millennials are reaching their prime home-buying years, a likely driver in this increase:

“Record low mortgage rates and millennials continuing to age into their prime home-buying years has boosted demand, but a lack of housing supply remains a challenge.”

What’s the biggest challenge for today’s buyers?

Finding a home, however, as Fleming notes above, is clearly a challenge today. Yun also explains:

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

With so many buyers actively searching for homes this year and so few houses for sale, it’s more important than ever to work with a trusted real estate professional to navigate today’s market. From pre-approval to bidding wars and guidance on down payment assistance resources, having an agent by your side might make the difference in your ability to land your dream home.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect if you’re ready to buy a home. More buyers mean more competition, so you need an expert guide to help you stand out from the crowd.

Posted in Demographics
Jan. 11, 2023

Today's Housing Market

Today’s Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago

Today’s Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago | MyKCM

There’s no doubt today’s housing market is very different than the frenzied one from the past couple of years. In the second half of 2022, there was a dramatic shift in real estate, and it caused many people to make comparisons to the 2008 housing crisis. While there may be a few similarities, when looking at key variables now compared to the last housing cycle, there are significant differences.

In the latest Real Estate Forecast Summit, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), drew the comparisons below between today’s housing market and the previous cycle:

Today’s Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago | MyKCM

Looking at the facts, it’s clear: today is very different than the housing market of 15 years ago.

There’s Opportunity in Real Estate Today

And in today’s market, with inventory rising and less competition from other buyers, there’s opportunity right now. According to David Stevens, former Assistant Secretary of Housing:

“So be advised…this may be the one and only window for the next few years to get into a buyer’s market. And remember…as the Federal Reserve data shows…home prices only go up and always recover from recessions no matter how mild or severe. Long term homeowners should view this market…right now…as a unique buying opportunity.”

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market is nothing like the real estate market 15 years ago. If you’re a buyer right now, this may be the chance you’ve been waiting for.

Posted in For Sellers
Jan. 10, 2023

Truth about Home Equity

The Truth About Negative Home Equity Headlines

The Truth About Negative Home Equity Headlines | MyKCM

Home equity has been a hot topic in real estate news lately. And if you’ve been following along, you may have heard there’s a growing number of homeowners with negative equityBut don’t let those headlines scare you.

In truth, the headlines don’t give you all the information you really need to understand what’s happening and at what scale. Let’s break down one of the big equity stories you may be seeing in the news, and what’s actually taking place. That way, you’ll have the context you need to understand the big picture.

Headlines Focus on Short-Term Equity Numbers and Fail To Convey the Long-Term View

One piece of news circulating focuses on the percentage of homes purchased in 2022 that are currently underwater. The term underwater refers to a scenario where the homeowner owes more on the loan than the house is worth. This was a huge issue when the housing market crashed in 2008, but it's much less significant today.

Media coverage right now is based loosely on a report from Black Knight, Inc. The actual report from that source says this:

Of all homes purchased with a mortgage in 2022, 8% are now at least marginally underwater and nearly 40% have less than 10% equity stakes in their home, . . .”

Let’s unpack that for a moment and provide the bigger picture. The data-bound report from Black Knight is talking specifically about homes purchased in 2022, but media headlines don’t always mention that timeframe or provide the surrounding context about how unusual of a year 2022 was for the housing market. In 2022, home price appreciation soared, and it reached its max around March-April. Since then, the rate of appreciation has been slowing down.

Homeowners who bought their house last year right at the peak or those who paid more than market value in the months that followed are more likely to fall into the category of being marginally underwater. The qualifier marginally is another key piece of the puzzle the media isn’t necessarily including in their coverage.

So, what does that mean for those who purchased a home in 2022? It’s important to remember, owning a home is a long-term investment, not a short-term play. When headlines focus on the short-term view, they’re not necessarily providing the full context.

Typically speaking, the longer you stay in your home, the more equity you gain as you pay down your loan and as home prices appreciate. With recent market conditions, you may not have gained significant equity right away if you owned the home for just a few months. But it’s also true that many homeowners who recently bought their house are unlikely to be looking to sell quite yet.

Bottom Line

As with everything, knowing the context is important. If you have questions about real estate headlines or about how much equity you have in your home, let’s connect.

Posted in For Sellers
Jan. 9, 2023

Expert Opinion on 2023 Housing Market

What Experts Are Saying About the 2023 Housing Market

What Experts Are Saying About the 2023 Housing Market | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home soon, you probably want to know what you can expect from the housing market this year. In 2022, the market underwent a major shift as economic uncertainty and higher mortgage rates reduced buyer demand, slowed the pace of home sales, and moderated home prices. But what about 2023?

An article from HousingWire offers this perspective:

“The red-hot housing market of the past 2 ½ years was characterized by sub-three percent mortgage rates, fast-paced bidding wars and record-low inventory. But more recently, market conditions have done an about-face. . . . now is the opportunity for everyone to become re-educated about what a ‘typical’ housing market looks like.”

This year, experts agree we may see the return of greater stability and predictability in the housing market if inflation continues to ease and mortgage rates stabilize. Here’s what they have to say.

The 2023 forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

While 2022 may be remembered as a year of housing volatility, 2023 likely will become a year of long-lost normalcy returning to the market, . . . mortgage rates are expected to stabilize while home sales and prices moderate after recent highs, . . .”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comadds:

“. . . buyers will not face the extreme competition that was commonplace over the past few years.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains home prices will vary by local area, but will net neutral nationwide as the market continues to adjust:

After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:

“The housing market, once adjusted to the new normal of higher mortgage rates, will benefit from continued strong demographic-driven demand relative to an overall, long-run shortage of supply.” 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, the best way to ensure you’re up to date on the latest market insights is to partner with a trusted real estate advisor. Let’s connect.

Posted in For Sellers