Monthly Archives: November 2021

Don’t Believe Everything You Read About the Housing Market

Many potential buyers and sellers have questions right now regarding the real estate market as we head into 2022. The forbearance program is coming to an end and mortgage rates are beginning to rise.

With this uncertainty, anyone with a megaphone – from the talking heads on your favorite cable news network to a lone blogger – understands that bad news is good for their business. So, we’ll be seeing a rash of troublesome and frequently uninformed headlines over the next few months.

Here are two recent ones you may have seen.

1. Foreclosures Are Spiking Today

There are a number of stories circulating that highlight the rising rate of foreclosures. Those stories focus on an overly narrow view on that topic: the current volume of foreclosures as compared to 2020. They emphasize that we’re seeing far more foreclosures this year compared to last.

That seems rather daunting. However, though it’s true foreclosures have been up over the 2020 numbers, it’s important to realize that there were virtually no foreclosures last year because of the forbearance plan. If we compare this September to September of 2019 (the last normal year), foreclosures were down 70% according to ATTOM.

Even Rick Sharga, an Executive Vice President of the firm that issued the report referenced in the above article, says: “As expected now that the moratorium has been over for three months, foreclosure activity continues to increase. But, it’s increasing at a slower rate, and it appears that mot of the activity is primarily on vacant and abandoned properties, or loans in foreclosure prior to the pandemic.”

2. Rising Mortgage Rates Will Slow the Housing Market

Another topic that’s generating headlines is the rise in mortgage rates.

Some people are expressing concern that rising rates will negatively impact the housing market by causing home sales to dramatically decline. The resulting headlines are raising unneeded alarm bells. To counteract those headlines, we need to take a look at what history tells us. Looking at data over the last 20 years, there’s no evidence that an increase in rates dramatically forces sales to come to a halt. Nor does home price appreciation come to a screeching stop.

Let’s look at home sales first: The last three times rates increased sales remained rather consistent. It’s true that sales fell rather dramatically from 2007 through 2010, but mortgage rates were also falling at the time.

We can also look at home price appreciation (see graph below). Again, we see that a rise in rates didn’t cause prices to depreciate. Outside of the years following the crash, prices continued to appreciate, just at a slower rate.

Don't Believe Everything You Read: The Truth Many Headlines Overlook | MyKCM

As we head towards the end of the year, there will no doubt be more misinformation as so called experts make their predictions for 2022.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 508-568-8191or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to be sure you have the correction information.


After a hiatus due to the virus crisis, we were able to resume our Client Appreciation Thanksgiving Pie Social on the Sunday before the holiday.

Our thanks to all our clients/friends who attended the event held at JDs Burger and Sushi in Sandwich. Always hospitable hosts, they kept the hors d’oeuvres coming as strangers became friends. One of the aspects of this event that we enjoy most is seeing people who didn’t know each other make plans to meet for dinner or visit at a later date.

We also donated any extra pies to the Sandwich Food Pantry, one of our favorite local non-profits.

We hope you enjoyed the holiday.

Mari and Hank


Retirement May Be Changing What You Need in a Home

The past 18 months have brought about significant life changes for many of us. For some, it meant entering retirement earlier than expected. According to the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, 2021 saw a retirement boom: “At least 1.7 million more older workers than expected retired due to the pandemic.”

If you’ve recently retired, your home may not fit your new lifestyle. The good news is, you’ve likely built-up significant equity that can fuel your next move. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogichomeowners gained more than $50,000 in equity over the past 12 months alone. That, plus today’s sellers’ market, presents a great opportunity to sell your house and address your evolving needs.

The 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides a look at the reasons people buy homes. For those reaching retirement age, the number one reason to buy is the opportunity to be closer to loved ones, friends, or relatives.

The decision is often influenced by living in a home that’s just too big. With the kids grown and gone, rooms — or even a whole floor — are closed off. If someone is living on their own because a partner has passed away, the amount of unused space can be even larger.

But, these homes are very attractive to those working at home who need the office space and places for their children to learn remotely, if needed.

You Can Find the Right Home for Your Needs

Not only can your equity help power a move to a new location, it can also help you purchase the right size home. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, says many homebuyers 55 and older choose to downsize – or buy a smaller home – when they make a purchase.

If you’ve recently retired and your needs are changing, you’re not alone. We’d happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate. com. so you can get a better sense of how to find a home that will match your situation and effectively market the one you currently own.

We hope everyone has a happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Mari and Hank


Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way

There are several reasons why potential buyers tell us that they are waiting to make their move.

One theory is that with forbearance plans coming to an end, there will be a wave of foreclosures similar to what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. These buyers are figuring that they will then swoop in and purchase a home at a discounted price.

Here are a few reasons why that won’t happen.

There are significantly fewer homeowners in trouble this time

After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their homes to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they simply gave it back to the bank.

As stay-at-home orders were issued early last year, the fear was the pandemic would impact the housing industry in a similar way. Many projected up to 30% of all mortgage holders would enter the forbearance program. In reality, only 8.5% actually did, and that number is now down to 2.2%.

As of about two weeks ago, the total number of mortgages still in forbearance stood at  1,221,000. That’s far fewer than the 9.3 million households that lost their homes just over a decade ago.

Most of the mortgages in forbearance have enough equity to sell their homes

Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, of 1.22 million homeowners currently in forbearance, 93% have at least 10% equity in their homes. This 10% equity is important because it enables homeowners to sell their homes and pay the related expenses instead of facing the hit on their credit that a foreclosure or short sale would create.

The remaining 7% might not have the option to sell, but if the entire 7% of those 1.22 million homes went into foreclosure, that would total about 85,400 mortgages. To give that number context, here are the annual foreclosure numbers for the three years leading up to the pandemic:

  • 2017: 314,220
  • 2018: 279,040
  • 2019: 277,520

The probable number of foreclosures coming out of the forbearance program is nowhere near the number of foreclosures that impacted the housing crash 15 years ago. It’s actually less than one-third of any of the three years prior to the pandemic.

The current market can absorb listings coming to the market

When foreclosures hit the market back in 2008, there was an oversupply of houses for sale. It’s exactly the opposite today. In 2008, there was over a nine-month supply of listings on the market. Today, that number is less than a three-month supply. Here’s a graph showing the difference between the two markets.

Why a Wave of Foreclosures Is Not on the Way | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The data indicates why Ivy Zelman, founder of the major housing market analytical firm Zelman and Associates, was on point when she stated: “The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With housing prices continuing to rise and mortgage interest rates inching up, waiting to make your move is simply not a solid financial strategy.

Curious about your options? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


We’re often asked about whether it’s a good idea to market your home during the holidays. As part of her 30 Days, 30 Questions series, Mari explained why it’s not such a bad idea.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

We met a young couple at our favorite watering hole Saturday evening, who started asking us about the housing market when they learned that we were real estate agents. (Funny, how that always happens…)

When the discussion turned to interest rates, they were truly shocked when we told them that the mortgage rate we paid for our first home was about 14% and how thrilled we were when the rate finally dropped to 7%!

Mortgage rates are one of several factors that impact how much you can afford if you’re buying a home. When rates are low, they help you get more house for your money. Within the last year, mortgage rates hit the lowest point ever recorded, and they’ve hovered in this historic-low territory. But even over the past few weeks, rates have started to rise. This past week, the average 30-year fixed rate was 3.14%.

What does this mean if you’re thinking about making a move?  Simply put, waiting until next year will cost you more in the long run. Here’s a look at what several experts project for mortgage rates going into 2022.

Experts Project Mortgage Rates Will Continue To Rise in 2022 | MyKCM

So, whether you’re thinking about buying your first home, moving up to your dream home, or downsizing because your needs have changed, purchasing before mortgage rates rise even higher will help you take advantage of today’s homebuying affordability.

While no one is predicting that rates will be as high as when we bought our first home, if rates rise even a half-point percentage over the next year, it will impact what you pay each month over the life of your loan – and that can really add up. So, the reality is, as prices and mortgage rates rise, it will cost more to purchase a home.

Want to know more about how mortgage rates impact how much of a house you can afford? We’re available to answer this and any question about the housing market. You can connect with us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.


Mari is continuing her 30 Days; 30 Questions series. Here’s one from last week about staging your home when selling.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank

Does Your House Have What Buyers Want?

The rise in remote work is changing what countless Americans want in their homes. Many companies are choosing to delay reopening or go remote full-time, so today’s buyers are looking for homes with more space to support their work needs.

As a seller, if you no longer need the extra room that you have in your home, rest assured there are buyers who do.

Remote Work Is Here To Stay

Remote work remains a reality for many Americans. A recent poll from Garter, Inc. shows many organizations have not yet returned their offices: “..66% of organizations are delaying re-opening their offices due to Covid 19.”

And it’s not just companies that are choosing to remain remote for the time being – workers are seeking more flexibility. Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that nearly one-fifth of employees want to be fully remote in the future.

The study also discovered that many people are leaving their jobs to seek out remote work opportunities. According to the report, among employees looking for new jobs “nearly one 10 says it’s because they moved away from the office while working remotely and don’t want to go back on site.”

That’s leading today’s buyers to prioritize finding homes with more space, so they can comfortably work from home.

The 2021 Home Design Trends Survey from the American Institute of Architects finds that 69% of surveyed individuals still want at least one office at home. But, it also shows that more people are looking for multiple spaces in their home for remote work and virtual meetings.

What Does This Mean for You?

If your house has extra space that you no longer need, buyers are interested, and now may be the perfect time to sell. Maybe the kids are grown and have moved away or you find yourself alone and using only a few rooms following the passing of a spouse or partner.

Bottom Line

With the continued rise in remote work, more buyers are looking for homes that can support multiple home offices. If you have extra room you’re no longer using, consider selling. Let’s connect today at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss the unique features in your house and how you can capitalize on any extra space to appeal to today’s buyers. We’re happy to help.


By now, we hope everyone has their power back. We couldn’t have gotten through the storm without the tireless work of utility crews, public safety personnel and others. Please check out the video linked below.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/_UdNRXApKEs

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank