Monthly Archives: April 2022

How To Approach Rising Mortgage Rates as a Buyer

Rising interest rates was one of the topics at our company staff meeting this morning.

You’ve probably noticed that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac has inched up to 5%. While that news may have you questioning the timing of your home search, the truth is, timing has never been more important. Even though you may be tempted to put your plans on hold in hopes that rates will fall, waiting will only cost you more. Mortgage rates are forecast to continue rising in the year ahead.

We heard stories this morning of potential buyers losing out on purchases, because rising interest rates made the property unaffordable for them. One colleague reported having three sales fall apart for the same moderately priced home because of the increase in rates.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can succeed even as mortgage rates rise.

How Rising Mortgage Rates Impact You

Mortgage rates play a significant role in your home search. As rates go up, they impact how much you’ll pay in your monthly mortgage payment, which directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. Here’s an example of how even a quarter-point increase can have a big impact on your monthly payment (see chart below):

How To Approach Rising Mortgage Rates as a Buyer | MyKCM

With mortgage rates on the rise, you’ve likely seen your purchasing power impacted already. Instead of delaying your plans, today’s rates should motivate you to purchase now before rates increase more. Use that motivation to energize your search and plan your next steps accordingly.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com so you can better understand your budget and be prepared to buy your next home before rates climb higher.

It’s important to have the correct information to make an informed decision.


In some personal news, after 28 years we’ve decided to sell our two story Cape and downsize for many of the reasons we have written about in this blog. The house is too big; we don’t use every room. Stairs are starting to become a bit of an issue. We’re depending on landscapers, plumbers, painters and others to tend to basic maintenance.

Because we have been neither buyers or sellers in quite some time, we’ve started a series of videos called “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube channel to share our experiences and hopefully offer you some helpful tips. Please subscribe to the channel to follow our journey. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

How Buyers and Sellers Can Use Tax Refunds

Getting a tax refund for 2021? As a potential buyer or seller the money you receive can help you achieve your goals.

SmartAsset estimates the average American will receive a $2,897 tax refund this year. In Massachusetts that number is about the same at $2,834.00.

So, if you are getting a refund this year, here are a few tips to help with your home purchase or sale.

How Buyers Can Use Their Tax Refund

According to American Financing, there are multiple ways your refund check can help you as a homebuyer. A few include:

Growing your down payment fund – If you haven’t started saving for your down payment, let your tax refund kick off the process. And if you have a fund already, the money you get could put you closer to your goal.

Paying for your home inspection – Your home inspection can save you a lot of headaches down the road by helping determine the condition of the house. As a buyer, you’re responsible for paying for your inspection, and it’s definitely worth the investment.

Saving for closing costs – Closing costs are additional expenses you’ll need to pay once it’s time to close. They average  between 2-5% of the purchase price of your home.

This list is a great start, but it isn’t exhaustive of all the costs you may encounter as you set out on your homebuying journey. The best way to prepare is to be sure you understand what’s to come in the process.

How Sellers Can Use Their Tax Refund

If you own a home and are planning to sell this spring, your tax refund can help you make sure your home is ready to list. Here are a few ways current homeowners can put their tax refund to good use:

Making small upgrades – NerdWallet provides a list of great ways to use your tax refund, including tackling small projects or boosting your curb appeal to help your home stand out.

Making repairs – If there’s anything in your house that needs to be fixed, American Financing notes that completing repairs is another great use of that money. But, before doing any work, please check with us. We can tell you what improvements will be worth your investment and which ones aren’t worth the money.

Buying your next home – Whether you’re selling to move up or downsize, you can use your refund to help pay for any costs for the purchase of your next home.

Funding your home purchase or sale can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Your tax refund can help you reach your goals. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate to discuss how you can start your journey.

It’s important that you have the right information to make educated and informed decisions.

If your children or grandchildren are home for school vacation, we hope you enjoy the time with them!

Mari and Hank

Balancing Wants vs. Needs

Since the number of homes for sale is low today, it can feel challenging to find one that checks all your boxes. But if you know which features are absolutely essential in your next home and which ones are just nice bonuses, you can land a home that fits your needs.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this:

“Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.”

So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how you’ll craft your list. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s too far out of reach.

Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list all the features of a home you would like. Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, garage, etc.).
  • Dream State– This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, review it with trusted real estate advisors like Mari Sennott Plus, who live and work on Cape Cod. Engaging your uncle’s best friend’s son who lives north of Boston and just got his license is not necessarily the best move.

As local realtors, we’ll be able to help you refine your list further based on our market; coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home on Cape that meets your needs.

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com so we can get started.


With spring cleaning comes a stack of important documents that you probably shouldn’t put in the trash or recycle. But, what to to? We have the answer.

We’ll have a truck from Great White Shred available from 9:00am to Noon in the parking lot of Today Real Estate, 299 Cotuit Rd., on Saturday, May 7, for you to safely dispose of your important documents. With identity theft being a major concern, please take advantage of this opportunity.

We hope the Easter Bunny is good to you!

Mari and Hank

The Best Week to List Your House Is Almost Here

Are you thinking about selling your house? If so, you may want to make it a priority to start the process soon.

According to realtor.com, the sweet spot for sellers is just around the corner. In a recent study, experts analyzed housing market trends by looking at data from the past several years (excluding 2020, since it was an atypical year). When applied to the current market, experts determined the ideal week to list a house this year. The research says:

“Home sellers on the fence waiting for that perfect moment to sell should start preparations, because the best time to list a home in 2022 is approaching quickly. The week of April 10-16 is expected to have the ideal balance of housing market conditions that favor home sellers, more so than any other week in the year.”

If you’ve been putting your move on the back burner waiting for the ideal time to sell, you should know your golden window of opportunity is coming up. If you’re able to get your house ready quickly, here’s what you can expect from that week.

You Should See More Buyer Activity

The article expects higher buyer demand based on what’s happened in previous years. This could result in increased competition among buyers and ultimately a bidding war over your house. And since mortgage rates recently ticked up over 4%, chances are good that analysis is right. When rates rise, experts say buyers often hurry to make their purchase before rates climb higher.

In addition, the week of April 10-16 includes Easter Weekend. We know this is a busy time on Cape with many families here visiting relatives.

Your House Should Sell Quickly

Additionally, the realtor.com analysis shows houses sell even faster during this week of the year, likely due to the heightened buyer demand. If you work with a trusted real estate professional to price your house right, it should sell quickly. With homes already selling in just 18 days according to NAR, that could set you up for a big win.

Your House Will Be in the Spotlight

Since the beginning of the year, the number of homes available for sale has been at or near record lows. According to the realtor.com study, the typical trend for this week of the year is that there will be even fewer sellers on the market. If you list when inventory is low, your house will be the center of attention for eager buyers craving options.

If you’re ready to move fast, you may want to shoot for April 10th-16th as your target goal. Just remember, even if you’re not ready to list within the next couple of weeks, rest assured this is still a hot sellers’ market. If you list later in April, you’ll still be in the driver’s seat.

Bottom Line

Thinking that now’s the time? Ready to get the ball rolling? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to schedule a time to go over your next steps.

In the meantime, make a checklist of things you need to tackle to get your house ready. When we get together, we can prioritize your to-do list and get you on the road to success.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank