Monthly Archives: April 2021

Not Everyone Is Looking for a Bigger Home

Over the past year, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to reflect on what we consider important in our lives. For more than a few, where we call home has been the subject of some serious thought. According to George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com:

“The very nature of the pandemic, through the health implications, social distancing, and need to isolate, has really brought a central focus on the importance of home for most Americans…In a sense, it has elevated real estate markets as a centerpiece of our lives.”

This has spurred an interest by many in making a move to a home that better suits changing needs. In a recent study on today’s homebuyer preferences, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported:

“When asked more specifically how the pandemic may have impacted their preference for home size21% or about 1 out of every 5 buyers, do want a larger home now as a direct result of the health crisis, while another segment – 12% – would prefer a smaller one instead.”

While you might expect more time at home to lead to a need for more space, it’s interesting that a significant portion of homeowners actually want less. For those who currently own larger homes and have a desire to move, today’s housing market is full of opportunities as Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explained:

“In a real estate market that is tipped in the favor of sellers, boomers and older homeowners are really the ones holding the cards…Those who are selling homes can use the profits to help them buy new ones.”

Today’s homeowners likely have equity that can be put toward the purchase of their next home. With the equity growing over the past year, you may have more than you think, which can help you significantly make a move into your next home. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $66,000 more than they purchased it. Sellers 22 to 30 years gained the least at $33,400 in equity compared to sellers 66 to 74 years gained $100,000 in equity as they likely had lived in their homes for a longer period of time.”

Despite the benefits of growing home equity, some homeowners remain hesitant to move and could be considering remodeling or making changes to their current space. However, if you’ve thought about aging in place rather than downsizing, you may want to reconsider. The U.S. Census Bureau points out:

Of the nation’s 115 million housing units, only 10% are ready to accommodate older populations.”

If your house is no longer the best fit for your evolving needs, it may be time to put your equity to work for you and downsize to the home you really want.

Today’s housing market favors homeowners, who are ready to sell and make a move. If you’re thinking about downsizing this year, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options.

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In response to industry regulatory changes, we’ve rebranded our team name to “Mari Sennott Plus.”

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing references to “Mari Sennott and Associates” on our website, email, etc. replaced with our new team name.

While we were very happy with the old name, the new “Mari Sennott Plus” reflects our commitment to always going the extra mile for our clients, as well as a hoped for expansion of our team later this year.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank


Why This Is a Great Year to Sell Your Vacation Home

As more Americans become vaccinated and travel resumes, many people are planning for those long-awaited vacations that they missed out on over the past year. Some households are even focusing their efforts on buying a vacation home at get away locations like Cape Cod rather than renting or staying in a hotel. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports:

Second homes (i.e., homes sold to buyers who are not going to occupy the home year-round, but use it as a vacation home, investment property, etc.) account for 15 percent of new single-family home sales.”

It’s not surprising that there’s an increase in demand for vacation homes. The majority of Americans are realizing they prefer to be around small groups, as shown in a recent survey from The Harris Poll:

“Social distancing taught consumers new things about how they like to socialize; (75%) said, ‘during COVID social distancing I realized I preferred smaller social gatherings at home or at friends’ place.’”

With more Americans being given the option to continue working remotely or retire earlier than expected, vacation style homes are even becoming year-round options. The NAHB explains:

“Remote work arrangements have made it possible for… Americans to move to alternate locations that are not just small, suburban shifts from within their current metro area.  More fundamentally, second home demand may also be benefitting by an acceleration of retirement plans, as well as stock market gains.”

If you own a home on Cape and have been thinking about selling, now is a great time to take advantage of today’s very full buyer pool. Buyers should know that the process generally takes approximately 45 days from accepted offer to close; perfect timing for vacation to start!

Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for more than 20 years. Let’s talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Homeownership Is Worth it

When you’re getting ready to buy your first home, there’s always a well intentioned family member or friend whispering in your ear telling you that it’s not worth it.

“Just rent,” they say. “You don’t need the aggravation.”

“A house is a money pit. There’s always something.”

“Think about all you’ll save by not paying property taxes.”

But, respondents to a recent Fannie Mae  consumer survey beg to differ. According to them, the top four financial benefits of owning a home are:

  • 88% – a better chance of saving for retirement
  • 87% – the best investment plan
  • 85% – the chance to be better off financially
  • 85% – the chance to build up wealth

Additional financial advantages of homeownership mentioned in the survey are having the best overall tax situation and being able to live within your budget.

Does homeownership actually give you a better chance to build wealth?

No one can question a person’s unique feelings about the importance of homeownership. However, it’s fair to ask if the numbers justify homeownership as a financial asset.

Last fall, the Federal Reserve released the Survey of Consumer Finances, a report done every three years, with the latest edition covering through 2019. Their findings confirmed that homeownership is a clear financial benefit. The survey found that homeowners have forty times higher net worth than renters ($255,000 for homeowners compared to $6,300 for renters).

Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits | MyKCM

The difference in net worth between homeowners and renters has continued to grow. Here’s a graph showing the results of the last four Fed surveys:The above graph only includes data through 2019, but according to CoreLogic, the equity held by homeowners grew by $26,300 over the last twelve months alone. That means the gap between the net worth of homeowners and renters has probably widened even further over the last year.

Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits | MyKCM

Some might argue the difference in net worth may be due to homeowners normally having larger incomes than renters and therefore the ability to save more money. However, a study by First American shows homeowners have greater net worth than renters regardless of their income level. Here are the findings :Others may think homeowners are older and that’s why they have a greater net worth. However, a Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report on homeowners and renters over the age of 65 reveals:

Homeowners 65 and older have 47.6 times greater net worth than renters.

“The ability to build equity puts homeowners far ahead of renters in terms of household wealth…the median owner age 65 and over had home equity of $143,500 and net wealth of $319,200. By comparison, the net wealth of the same-age renter was just $6,700.”

Clearly homeownership is worth the “aggravation” as it is a direct way to build your net worth.

So, thank well meaning family and friends for their concern. Then let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. Helping our clients — including many first time homebuyers — make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for more than 20 years. Let’s talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Bottom Line

Real Estate and Food

We hope you were able to participate in and enjoy all the recent holidays in whatever manner you chose to celebrate them.

There are a lot of misconceptions about buying and/or selling a home today, making it challenging to know exactly how to navigate the current real estate landscape. Here’s a little clarity when it comes to five common myths about the 2021 housing market.

2021 Real Estate Myth Buster [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Whether you’re buying or selling, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your needs. We can help you decipher fact from fiction in the Cape Cod market. Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time job for more than 20 years. Let’s talk soon…

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A little more than a year ago, Mari started a Facebook group called “Cape Cod Dining at Home (any anywhere else). She hoped to find a few new recipes, as well as support local restaurants that were trying to stay open by offering takeout. The group has grown to over 3,000 members from as far away as Michigan and Florida.

If you haven’t joined, you can do so by clicking on this link. In the meantime, please enjoy this highlight reel featuring just a few of the dishes that have been shared by group members over the past year.


Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank