Monthly Archives: February 2021

Is It Time to Make Your Move?

It’s pretty clear that people who were planning on making their move in 2021 are pumping the breaks. What else can explain the limited inventory on Cape Cod and elsewhere, even though demand is at record levels? There are lines at open houses and multiple offers seem to be more the norm than exception.

Potential sellers may be concerned about the effects of the virus crisis. Or unemployment rates. Or wondering where they can move after selling their property. Or maybe the timing just doesn’t feel right.

But the question is: are they missing out on a great opportunity?

In today’s housing market, all eyes are on millennials. Not only are millennials the largest generation, they’re also currently between 25 and 40 years old. These are often considered prime home buying years when many people begin to form their own households and invest in real estate. Many millennials, who are spending more time at home these days, have also discovered a need for more space or upgraded features, making moving more desirable than ever.

For millennials, who already own a home, there’s a great opportunity to move up in 2021. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains:

“Older millennials will be trade-up buyers with many having owned their first homes long enough to see substantial equity gains.”

We recently worked with a couple, who fits this description. They bought their first home from Mari 10 years ago. (Pictured above.) A three bedroom. two bath Cape on a quiet cul de sac close to highway access to Boston and Providence, it was a perfect first home for them and the young couple who purchased it. We also helped Taylor and Brittany find a new, larger house with more land that better fit their lifestyle and business needs.

Even if you bought a home during the last few years, you may have more equity than you realize, and that’s a big factor to consider when you’re thinking about moving. According to the Homeowner Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic:

“In the third quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $17,000 in equity during the past year. This marks the largest average equity gain since the first quarter of 2014.”

Whether you’re looking to upsize, downsize or move to that someday neighborhood, the growing equity you have in your current home can be the driver you’re looking for to fund your next move.

If you’ve put your plans on hold for whatever the reason, let’s connect to shed light on the equity you have in your current home and the opportunities it can create.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Luxury Market is Attracting Buyers

As more people continue to identify their changing needs this year, some are turning to the upscale housing sector on Cape Cod and elsewhere for more space or finer features.

According to the most recent Luxury Market Report, from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM):

“In a snapshot of 2020, despite the devasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the luxury real estate market has seen one of its strongest years since 2008. In comparison to experts’ predictions in early 2020, it is remarkable how significant demands for property type, location, and amenity preferences have changed amid the pandemic.”

With more opportunities to work from home and a growing interest in having extra space for things like virtual school, working out, and cooking, the desire to own a house that can meet these needs continues to increase. Additionally, record-low mortgage rates are creating opportunities for buyers to stretch their legs into higher price points or even expand their real estate portfolios. The ILHM report also says:

Experts believe that the demand for exclusive residential properties outside the metropolitan areas will continue well into 2021; even with the introduction of vaccines, the pandemic is far from over.

For those who have moved to the suburbs and beyond, moving back to the city full time is unlikely while the work from home trend remains. Many of these affluent homeowners are now making their secondary properties their primary residences for the foreseeable future.”

If you’re interested in buying a home this year, it appears that some higher-priced areas may have more homes to choose from than those at lower price points. Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.comnotes:

“Interestingly, markets, where new supply is improving the fastest, tend to be higher priced than those that have yet to see improvement, suggesting sellers are more active in the more expensive markets.”

This increased interest creates opportunities for homeowners in the higher priced category, who may have been concerned that there wouldn’t be sufficient demand for their property, because of current economic conditions. As noted above, historically low mortgage interest rates have opened new possibilities for buyers at price points they may not have considered in the past.

We continue to work with buyers from metropolitan areas — like Manhattan, for example — who do not view Cape prices, taxes and fees as out-of-bounds, as more local clients might.

As evidence of this increased interest in luxury homes, real estate companies are abandoning their “Million Dollar Clubs” created years ago to salute agents, who sold property at that price point and beyond. Our company, Today Real Estate, recently replaced the “Million Dollar Club,” with a “Two Million Dollar Club,” at least in part due to the number of recent one million dollar sales

With inventory continuing to be limited, this is a great time to market your Cape Cod home, no matter the price point. Interest remains strong. Buyers are lining up before Open Houses even begin. We helped a colleague at an Open House last weekend that generated 30 offers!

Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for 21 years, not a part-time hobby. If you’re interested in reviewing your options, let’s connect at 508=568-8191 or msennott@today

Remember: someday isn’t a day of the week. Talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

The 20% Myth

You’ve been saving for a down payment to buy a home. You know this is the time to take advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates. But, with escalating prices and bidding wars for the limited number of properties currently available, you may be worried that you just don’t have enough money to make a successful offer.

But, hold the phone.

That 20% down payment your Uncle Harry, “who knows a little something about real estate,” has been telling you about????

It hasn’t been true for years!

The reality is — whether you’re looking for your first home or you’ve purchased one before — you most likely don’t need to put 20% down.

Data in the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicates that the median down payment actually hasn’t been over 20% since 2005, and even then, that was for repeat buyers, not first-timers. As the image below shows, today’s median down payment is clearly less than 20%.

Do I Really Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home? | MyKCM

What does this mean for home buyers?

The median down payment was lowest for first-time buyers with the 2020 percentage coming in at 7%. If you’re a first-time buyer and putting down 7% still seems high, understand that there are programs that allow qualified buyers to purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3.5%. There are even options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

While it’s likely that you won’t need to put down 20% of the purchase price, you do need to do your homework. Meet with a qualified and reputable lender to review your options before starting your search.

Don’t let the 20% down payment myth keep you from hitting your home ownership goals. If you’re hoping to buy a home this year, let’s connect to review the possibilities. If you don’t know a qualified lender, we can offer some suggestions.

Let’s talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank – 508-568-8191

What the Record Low Housing Inventory Means for You

We’re sure that by now you’re keenly aware that the number of homes available for sale on Cape Cod is at a record low.

But, it’s not just here. It’s a national phenomenon. In fact, inventory has been steadily dropping across the country as buyers — inspired at least in part by the virus crisis — have decided that the time to make their move is now.

As buyers snapped up homes and condos in 2020, often for over asking price and without home inspections, a sufficient number of properties did not come on line to meet continuing demand.

Right now on Cape, there are around 500 homes available for purchase. Typically, there’s three times that amount!

So what does this mean?

Thinking of buying?

If you’re a buyer, remember low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. Be patient during your search, as It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage; be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and know that a shortage in inventory could mean you’ll enter a bidding war. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home.

Thinking of selling?

In some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of anything at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate the best possible terms. Whether it’s price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to request more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple offers. But, don’t be unreasonable or seen as greedy. Interested buyers will walk away.

Is the current economic and/or health situation keeping you on the sidelines? Please check out the latest edition of Hank’s video series “Let’s Meet for Coffee,” where he responds to some of those concerns. You can also review some of our recent posts that delve into this subject.

Any questions? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or We’ll be happy to help you review your options. This is not the time to go it alone, or simply take the advice of a relative or good friend who “knows a little something” about the housing market.

Demand will remain strong throughout 2021. It’s important that you know what that means for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank