Monthly Archives: May 2022

Mortgage Rates Pushing Buyers Off the Fence

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’re no doubt aware that mortgage rates are rising and you’re probably wondering what that means for you. Since mortgage rates have increased over two percentage points this year, it’s natural to think about how this will impact your homeownership plans.

Buyers are reacting in one of two ways: they’re either making the decision to buy now before rates climb higher or they’re waiting it out in hopes rates will fall. Here’s some context that can help you understand why so many buyers are making their move and taking action instead of waiting.

How the Current Mortgage Rate Compares to Historical Data

One factor that could help you make your decision to buy now is how today’s mortgage rates compare to historical data. While higher than the average 30-year fixed rate in recent years, the latest rates are still comparatively low when you look at the bigger picture of where rates have been since 1971 (see graph below):

Why Rising Mortgage Rates Push Buyers off the Fence | MyKCM

If you’re deciding whether to buy now or wait, this is important context to have. Today’s mortgage rate still gives you a window of opportunity to lock in a number that’s significantly lower than decades past.

Not every lender is offering the same rate right now. The differences can be 1% or more. So, be sure to compare. We work with several reputable lenders and are happy to pass along their contact information.

We remember when interest rates were at their highest. We had a rate of 14%! But people still bought homes, because they understood that real estate has always been the safest investment and that waiting was, well, just waiting.

A Look Ahead: What Happens if Rates Climb Further

The buyers who are springing into action now are motivated to make their move because they know rates have risen steadily this year, and they’re eager to get ahead of any further increases.

Why? When mortgage rates climb, they impact the monthly mortgage payment you’ll have on the home you’re buying. Basically, it’ll likely cost you more to buy if you wait.

Experts say mortgage rates will rise (although more moderately) in the months ahead. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americanexplains: “…ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even higher in the months to come.”

So, if you’re ready and financially able to buy now, it may make more sense to get off the fence and make your purchase sooner rather than later.

That’s what we’ve done. We’ve sold our home where we’ve lived for the past 28 years and are purchasing a ranch style condo. We have an mortgage interest rate that would have been laughed off as fantasy when we were younger.

At the end of the day, there is no perfect advice on when to buy a home. What you should do depends on your goals, your finances, and your personal situation.

Please use this information to make an informed decision about what’s best for you. And let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re be happy to answer your questions.

Happy Memorial Day. Never forget…

Mari and Hank

What Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. That’s the one thing that every homeowner today needs to know. Everywhere you look, experts are warning we could be heading toward a recession. If true, an economic slowdown doesn’t mean homes will lose value.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession this way: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in expansion.”

To illustrate that home prices don’t fall every time there’s a recession, let’s take a look at the historical data. There have been six recessions in this country over the past four decades.

As the graph below shows, looking at the recessions going all the way back to the 1980s, home prices appreciated four times and depreciated only two times. So, historically, there’s proof that when the economy slows down, it doesn’t mean home values will fall or depreciate.

The One Thing Every Homeowner Needs To Know About a Recession | MyKCM

The first occasion on the graph when home values depreciated was in the early 1990s when home prices dropped by less than 2%. It happened again during the housing crisis in 2008 when home values declined by almost 20%.

Most people vividly remember the housing crisis in 2008 and think if we were to fall into a recession that we’ll repeat what happened then. But this housing market isn’t a bubble that’s about to burst. The fundamentals are very different today than they were in 2008. So, we shouldn’t assume we’re heading down the same path.

The housing crisis in 2008 was caused by too many homeowners being over-leveraged and having little or no equity in their properties. They found themselves “under-water” when their balloon mortgage payments exploded. That’s simply not the case today. According to ATTOM Data Services 41.9% of all mortgaged homes have at least 50% equity.

As long as inventory remains tight and demand strong, prices will continue to be high. They may level off, but are not expected to decrease in any significant way.

For buyers your bottom line is this: you’re paying somebody’s mortgage. It can either be yours or your landlords.

For potential sellers don’t wring your hands and ask “But, where can we go?” Ask yourself what we’ve always asked ourselves when we decided to make a move: “Where do I want to go?”

That’s what we did and we’re closing on the sale of our home and buying a new one within the next few weeks.

Curious about your options? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

It’s important you have the correct information to make the best decisions.

Mari and Hank

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think

When we decided earlier this year to sell our home and downsize, we faced the immediate decision about how much work needed to be done to get the place market ready.

While no one would accuse us of being “house people,” we’ve taken pretty good care of our home over the years. Mari re-designed the kitchen three years ago. Last year, when our service technician told us that he wasn’t going to waste our money or his time and declined to do annual maintenance, we replaced our furnace and water heater. The roof has been an on-going project for us. The oldest sections are 10 years old.

Those are probably the three big items on a buyer’s check list, so that left smaller projects to complete. As a result, we had our home ready to sell in about a month, typical of most recent sellers.

According to a survey from realtor.com: “With many homeowners expecting a quick sale, and in many cases a lack of contingencies, the preparation process took less than a month for over 50% of home sellers…with 20% completing it in less than two weeks.”

Of course, each situation is different, and knowing what repairs or updates your house needs to stand out is critical.

In today’s market an older furnace or roof is not necessarily a draw back. But, if a home inspection discovers a tag on your furnace from your service technician that says “needs to be replaced,” you can probably expect your potential buyer to ask for money off the final purchase price.

Your House Could Be Closer to List-Ready Than You Think | MyKCM

To see some of what we did, please check out this episode from our series “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube channel. (Our home quickly went under contract after two busy Open Houses.)

Curious about your options, but maybe a little worried about the time it’ll take to get your home ready? Let’s connect to 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re more than happy to answer your questions.

Remember: we’re selling and buying, too.

Have a great week!

Mari and Hank

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. These days, if you’re looking to purchase your first home, you’re probably concerned about what’s happening in the housing market, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three tips to help you confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options Because Inventory Is Low

As we all know, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. So, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums and townhouses can be an excellent way to increase your choices.

According to Bankrate: “Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single family homes.”

Condos and townhouses are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.

You might also consider expanding your area of interest. A few miles could make a difference in price and homes to choose from.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Acccording to Bankrate: “One of the biggest misconceptions among consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | MyKCM

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.

Some loan options require as little as 3.5% down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options. 

3. This Isn’t the Time to Take Uncle Harry’s Advice

Finally, no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a professional.

Well meaning relatives like Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate,” or family and friends, who bought houses a decade or more ago, are not your best sources of information and advice about today’s housing market.

(They might be the ones telling you that you need 20% for a downpayment!)

If you’re just starting out, a real estate professional can help you with the initial steps, including educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved.

Once you’re ready to begin your search, we can help you understand the market where you’re interested and search for available homes.

And when it’s time to make an offer, we can advise you on what the current trends and expectations are and help your offer stand out above the rest.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss what’s possible. It’s important to have the correct information to make an informed decision.

…and remember. We know of what we speak. We’re selling and buying now, too. Check out our series “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube Channel, Mari Sennott Plus. We’ll be posting new episodes soon.


Thanks to everyone who came by the Sandwich Office of Today Real Estate on Saturday to have their valuable documents shredded by Great White Shred. Our goal was 100 “boxes” and we reached 93, even though the weather didn’t exactly cooperate. We plan on doing it again late summer/early fall.

Thanks as well to Kristy Sassone from First Home Mortgage for the assist with coffee and donuts and our raffle prize sponsors Jason Goldstein Photography, JDs Burgers and Sushi, Tomatillos, and Penguins Ice Cream.

Enjoy your week.

Mari and Hank

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

If you follow the news, you know about inflation. You’re also likely feeling its impact in day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These rising consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to be sure that they’re still worthwhile.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you’re probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here’s how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.

Homeownership Offers Stability and Security

Investopedia explains that during a period of high inflation, prices rise across the board. That’s true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, even housing. Both rental prices and home prices are on the rise. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from increasing costs? The answer lies in homeownership.

Buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years.

James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, says that a fixed rate mortgage allows you to maintain what is probably your largest monthly expense at the same level. While property taxes will rise and other expenses related to your home will creep up, your monthly housing payment will remain the same.

In other words, no calls from the landlord telling you that your rent is going up – again.

Use Home Price Appreciation to Your Benefit

While it’s true rising mortgage rates and home prices mean buying a house today costs more than it did a year ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. Buying now lets you lock in at today’s rates and prices before both climb higher.

In inflationary times, it’s especially important to invest your money in an asset that traditionally holds or grows in value. The graph below shows how home price appreciation outperformed inflation in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation | MyKCM

So, what does that mean for you?

Experts are saying home prices will continue to go up thanks to the ongoing imbalance in supply and demand. Once you buy a house, any home price appreciation that does occur will be good for your equity and your net worth. And since homes are typically assets that grow in value (even in inflationary times), you have peace of mind that history shows your investment is a strong one.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review a plan for you to buy and/or sell.

…and remember. We know of what we speak. We’re selling and buying now, too. Check out our series “Mari Makes the Move” on our YouTube Channel, Mari Sennott Plus.


We hope to see you this Saturday from 9am to Noon at the Today Real Estate parking lot at 299 Cotuit Road in Sandwich, where you can safely dispose of your important documents. Great White Shred will be there to shred your valuable paperwork that contain personal information.

Stephanie (Viva) in the Morning from 102.3FM will be there spinning your favorites and we’re joining with Kristi Sassone from First Home Mortgage to provide Cape Cod Coffee and donuts.

Limit of ten boxes of material to be shredded, please.

See you there!

Mari and Hank