Tag Archives: #hometeamadvantage

A Bit of What We Learned in Dallas

Like many of you, we were dodging the downpours last week. Only we were in Dallas where the torrential rains flooded parts of the downtown stranding people in their cars with many needing to be rescued by first responders.

We were attending our seventh Success Summit, sponsored by the Tom Ferry organization. Ferry is consistently voted the leading trainer in our profession. He’s also an FOM. (Friend of Mari)

With us were about 25,00 of our colleagues from the States and around the world. (About 6,000 in person; the rest on live stream.)

We had an opportunity to network with other professionals and learn about where they work and what has been successful for them in helping their buyer and seller clients.

The conference itself provided a wealth of information about the status of the market and its somewhat confusing behavior. Bad memories of 2008, worse advice from inernet “experts” and relatives who know “a few things about real estate,” and the charged political atmosphere with the mid-terms looming have many concerned about a possible crash.

But, one of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places; 1.current homeowners putting their homes up for sale; 2. newly built homes coming onto the market, and 3.distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures)

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly national data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, as builders are actually slowing down their production. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes: “It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

But, with not enough new homes being built over the last several years, builder caution is not helping to increase supply as much as needed.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So for those of you looking for a deal, your wait could be a long one.

The forbearance program during the height of the pandemic was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

With the real experts agreeing that, in general, prices will moderate, but not decrease, is it time to make your move? As many of you know, we did earlier this year selling our home of 28 years and moving to something that makes more sense for our current needs and lifestyle. You can, too!

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’d be happy to share our experience as sellers and buyers, as well as more of what we learned in Dallas and how it can apply to your personal situation. Let’s talk soon.

With school beginning in many of our communities this week, please be aware of kids walking to school and waiting for the bus. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

Why People Are Making Their Move

Many were surprised when during the height of the pandemic, the housing market remained strong. In fact, it’s credited with getting the country’s economic engine moving again.

You also may remember that many so called experts, well-meaning observers, and not so well-intentioned TV talking heads were predicting disaster. But, the people who were truly familiar with the housing market were urging calm and saying that things would be fine.

Just like now.

“Those who know” are once again looking at the current economic situation and raising doubt about today’s shifting market and questioning what it means for consumers.

While mortgage rates are higher than they were at the start of the year and home prices are rising, you shouldn’t put your plans on hold based solely on market factors. Instead, it’s necessary to consider why you want to move and how important those reasons are to you. Here are two of the biggest personal motivators driving people to buy homes today.

A Need for More Space

Moving.com looked at migration patterns to determine why people moved to specific areas. One trend that emerged was the need for additional space, both indoors and outdoors. (Something that Cape Cod can certainly provide.)

Outgrowing your home isn’t new. If you need office space, crave a large yard, more room to entertain, or just need additional storage areas or bedrooms overall, having the physical space you need for your desired lifestyle may be reason enough to make a change.

A Desire To Be Closer to Loved Ones

Moving and storage company United Van Lines surveys customers each year to get a better sense of why they move. Their latest survey finds that nearly 32% did so to be closer to loved ones.

A similar company, Pods, also highlights this as a top motivator for why people move. They note that an increase in flexible work options has helped many homeowners make a move closer to the people they care about most.

According to Pods: “a shifting of priorities has also affected why people are moving. Many companies have moved to permanent remote working policies, giving employees the option to move freely around the country, and people are taking advantage of the perk.”

If you can move to another location because of remote work, retirement, or any other reason, you could leverage that flexibility to be closer to the most important people in your life. Being nearby for caregiving and or just seeing those who are important to you on a regular basis could be exactly what you’re looking for.

What Does This Mean for You?

As a seller, especially if you need to downsize, there is a strong demand for your property. Open Houses for typical three bedroom, two bath “family” homes continue to be popular and often result in multiple offers.

If you’re a buyer, sitting on the fence waiting for prices to go down or the market to crash is no more than wishful thinking that is costing you money. Reputable experts — not the alleged ones posting on Facebook — say that prices will moderate, but not drop.

Selling and buying a home is a very personal decision. (We just did both.) But, if there’s one universal lesson from the pandemic it is that life does indeed go on. In the face of genuine tragedy and not insignificant logistical challenges, people nonetheless decided to make their move, whether for work, finances, or personal situations.

Is this your time? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to review your options. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date market data, as well as share our own experience as recent sellers and buyers.

We hope that you continue to be safe during the heatwave. Please pay special attention to those kids (and adults) who may not be familiar with the water, but will jump in stay cool. Thanks.

Best regards,

Mari and Hank

Should You Buy a Home Right Now?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, there’s one question that you’re no doubt asking yourself: should I buy right now, or should I wait?  While no one can answer that question for you, here’s some information that could help you make your decision.

The Future of Home Price Appreciation

Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists to compile projections for the future of home price appreciation. The output is the Home Price Expectation Survey. In the latest release, it forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years as the market shifts away from the unsustainable pace it saw during the pandemic. After this year, experts project home price appreciation will continue, but at levels that are more typical for the market. 

As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “People should not anticipate another double-digit price appreciation. Those days are over…We may return to a more normal price appreciation of 4-5% a year.”

For you, ongoing appreciation should give you peace of mind that your investment in homeownership is worthwhile, because you’re buying an asset that’s projected to grow in value in the years ahead.

What Does That Mean for You?

To give you an idea of how this could impact your net worth, here’s how a typical home could grow in value over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the Pulsenomics survey mentioned above (see graph below):

Should I Buy a Home Right Now? | MyKCM

As the graph conveys, even at a more typical pace of appreciation, you still stand to make significant equity gains as your home grows in value. That’s what’s at stake if you delay your plans.

As of June 20, the median sales price for a single family home on Cape Cod is $694,250.00. While that is certainly higher than just a few years ago, it’s still less than Boston ($800,000) and many surrounding communities. Plus, the Cape also offers much more in terms of quality school systems, recreational and outdoor activities, etc.

So, if you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as your home’s value (and your own net worth) is projected to grow with ongoing price appreciation.

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 and msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. We’re happy to answer your questons.

…and remember last month we sold our home of 28 years and downsized to an area that we had been thinking about for years.

Stay safe this week and please keep an eye on the kids and adults, who are not familiar with the water. Thanks…

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

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

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

How to Get Top Dollar for Your House

When you’re selling any item, you want to get the greatest profit possible. That happens when there’s a strong demand and a limited supply. In the real estate market, that time is right now. If you’re thinking of selling your house this year, here are two reasons why now’s the time to do so.

1. Demand Is Very Strong This Winter

recent article in Inman News notes: “Spring, the hottest time of year for homebuyers and sellers, has started early according to economists.”

And they aren’t the only ones saying buyers are already out in full force. That claim is backed up with data released last week by ShowingTime.

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the average number of monthly buyer showings on active residential properties, which is a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future trends for buyer demand. The latest index reveals this December was the most active December in five years (see graph below):

Want Top Dollar for Your House? Now’s the Time To List It. | MyKCM

As the data indicates, buyers have been very busy this winter. December 2021 saw even more showings than December of 2020, which was already a stronger-than-usual winter. We know this from personal experience and that of many of our colleagues.

2. Housing Supply Is Extremely Low

Each month, realtor.com releases data on the number of active residential real estate listings (listings currently for sale). Their most recent report reveals the latest monthly number nationally is the lowest we’ve seen in any January since 2017 (see graph below):

Want Top Dollar for Your House? Now’s the Time To List It. | MyKCM

One statistic to track available listings is by calculating the current month’s supply of inventory. A months supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.

On Cape Cod, the monthly supply at the end of January was 0.7! That’s 231 homes for sale as compared to 519 a year ago.

For condos, the calculated monthly supply is 1.0. That’s available 90 units this January versus 206 in 2021.

The ratio of buyers to sellers favors homeowners right now to a greater degree than at any other time in history. Buyer demand is high and supply is low. That gives sellers an incredible opportunity.

But, buyers shouldn’t be discouraged as still record low interest rates will help them afford the homes that they’re seeking.

Curious about your options as either a buyer or seller? 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.

Mari and Hank

Why Is the Housing Supply Still So Low?

The one question that’s top of mind for homebuyers as we start the new year is: why is it still so hard to find a house to buy? The truth is, we’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, so real estate is ultra-competitive  right now. The number of buyers searching for a home greatly outweighs how many homes are available for sale.

While low inventory in the housing market isn’t new, it’s a challenge that continues to grow over time. Here’s a look at two reasons why today’s supply is low and what that means if you’re looking to buy.

1. New Home Construction Has Fallen Behind Demand

The graph below shows new home construction for single-family homes over the past five decades, including the long-term average for housing units completed. Builders exceeded that average during the housing bubble (shown in red on the graph). The result was an oversupply of homes on the market, so home values declined. That was one of the factors that led to the housing crash back in 2008.

Since then, the level of new home construction has fallen off. For the last 13 straight years, builders haven’t been able to construct enough homes to meet the historical average (as illustrated in green on the graph). That underbuilding left us with a multi-year inventory deficit before the pandemic started.

Buyers Want To Know: Why Is Housing Supply Still So Low? | MyKCM

2. The Pandemic’s Impact on the Housing Market

The pandemic fueled a renewed appreciation and focus on the meaning of home. Having a safe space to live, work, learn, and exercise became even more important for Americans throughout the country. So, as mortgage rates dropped to at or below 3%, buyers eagerly entered the market looking to capitalize on those low rates and secure a home that would fulfill their changing needs. But, at the same time, sellers hesitated to put their houses on the market as concerns about the pandemic mounted.

The result? The number of homes available for sale dropped even further. On Cape Cod, the supply of available homes last month was 53% less than it was at the same time in 2020.

We ended the year with 14.7% fewer single family home sales in 2021 than 2020. (4,192 vs. 4,915). Median sales prices were up 26.6% over the same period. ($510,000 vs. 619,950).

Condominiums saw an 8.2% drop in sales (1,202 vs 1,104) and a 10.1% increase in median sales price. ($345,000 vs. $380,000).

What Does All of This Mean for You?

Buyers need to remember that low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. If you want to find the home of your dreams, be sure that you’re pre-approved, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and have your home on the market if you need to sell it. (You just won’t be able to compete with buyers who are offering large down payments or paying cash, if you home isn’t even being marketed.)

There is also some good news. Experts are projecting more homes will become available thanks to sellers re-entering the market to take advantage of high returns on their investment or finally deciding that it’s time to get on with their lives.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, shares this hope, but offers perspective: “For buyers, the market is likely to continue to move fast. If you see a home you like, be right to jump on it right away.”

Today’s market is favoring sellers. If you have questions, we’d be happy to provide answers. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options. You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week.

Mari and Hank

The Right Time to Sell Your Home

When Is the Right Time To Sell [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • If you’re trying to decide when to list your house, the time is now. There are plenty of buyers eagerly waiting for your home to hit the market. Just this morning, one of our colleagues at our office team meeting reported 120 buyers attending her weekend open houses!
  • The latest data indicates home showings are rising after a holiday lull. There are more buyers than homes for sale right now. That means you’ll likely receive multiple offers, and your home won’t be on the market long. But, as of now, those over asking price offers don’t seem to be as head scratching as they were back in the summer.

For more information about the market here on Cape, please check out this video that we posted at the end of last week on our YouTube channel, Mari Sennott Plus.

Today’s market favors sellers. If you have questions, we’d be happy to provide answers. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discus your options. You need the right information to make an educated and informed decision about buying or selling in the year ahead.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank