Tag Archives: #equity

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

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

Millennials: Looking for More Space?

If you’re a millennial, buying a home might be top of mind for you right now. Your generation is the largest group of homebuyers in the market today and has been since 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While other millennials are looking to buy for the first time, you may be one of the many, who are discovering you’ve already outgrown your first house.

If that’s the case, you’re not alone. The past two years brought about significant changes for many people. Today, many homeowners are reevaluating what they truly need in a house. As a recent report from the Wall Street Journal states: “The pandemic and the emergence of remote work accelerated millennial home-buying trends already under way…Millennials who already owned homes traded up for more space.”

So, if you’re now working remotely or simply have a growing need for additional space, it may be time to move. Even if you purchased your current home over the last few years, you can still move into a different one that has the space and features you’re looking for. That’s because there’s a good chance you have more equity than you realize.

As Diana Olick, Real Estate Correspondent for CNBCnotes: “The stunning jump in home values over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic has given U.S. homeowners record amounts of housing wealth. About 42% of homeowners were considered equity-rich at the end of last year, meaning their mortgages were half or less than half of the value of their home!

Growing equity can be the key you need to fuel your next move, especially if you’re looking to purchase a larger home. When you sell your current house, the equity that comes back to you in the sale can be used toward the down payment on your next home.

Equity plus low mortgage interest rates would make what might appear to be the “unaffordable” actually affordable.

Your purchasing power may be greater than you realize, making a move to a larger home a realistic option. 

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

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

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank