Tag Archives: #kcmcrew

Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008

With another uptick in mortgage interest rates and all the media talk about a shift in the housing market, you might be thinking we’ve entered a housing bubble. But the good news is, that there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s Still a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to almost 15 years of underbuilding.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.2-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

On Cape Cod, there is a little over a two month’s supply of homes. While this is certainly an increase over past months, it’s not would be considered a normal market. So, with demand still strong and inventory tight, prices will remain steady. Decreases will come on a house-by-house basis determined by the initial asking price, condition, competition, buyer interest, etc.

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed Back Then

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home.

Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. (Mari recalls going to closings where buyers signed paperwork for three loans!)

Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies.

The graph below uses Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In that index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is. In the latest report, the index fell by 5.4%, indicating standards are tightening.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

This graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. Tighter lending standards over the past 14 years have helped prevent a scenario that would lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

Another difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help paint the picture of how different things are this time:

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

Not to mention, homeowners today have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Today, many homeowners are equity rich. That equity comes, in large part, from the way home prices have appreciated over time. According to CoreLogic: “the total average equity per borrowers has now reached almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.”

Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Dataexplains the impact this has: “very few of the properties entering the foreclosure process have reverted to the lender at the end of the foreclosure. We believe that this may be an indication that borrowers are leveraging their equity and selling their homes rather than risking the loss of their equity in a foreclosure auction.”

This shows that homeowners are in a completely different position this time. For those facing challenges today, many have the option to use their equity to sell their house and avoid the foreclosure process.

Bottom Line

So, if you’re concerned that the same decisions that led to the last housing crash are being made again, this information should help alleviate your fears. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.

If you have questions and concerns, please let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re in touch with experts not only on Cape, but across the country. We’ll give you honest answers and help guide you to the best decisions for you and your family.

Please be careful tonight as trick or treaters will be out at the same time as many of us are coming home work. They’re not always easy to see, so please be careful, especially on dark streets.

Let’s make it a Happy Halloween.

Mari and Hank

What’s Next for Home Prices

Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, you’re probably wondering: will home prices fall this year? So, let’s take a look at what the real experts are saying and why this matters for your homeownership goals.

Last Year’s Rapid Home Price Growth Wasn’t the Norm

In 2021, home prices appreciated quickly. One reason is because record-low mortgage rates motivated more buyers to enter the market. As a result, there were more people looking to make purchases than there were homes available for sale. That led to competitive bidding wars which drove prices up. CoreLogic helps explain how unusual last year’s appreciation was: “Price appreciation averaged 15% 2021, up from the 2020 average of 6%”

In other words, the pace of appreciation in 2021 far surpassed what the market saw in 2020. And even that appreciation was greater than the pre-pandemic norm which was typically around 3.8%. This shows that 2021 was an anomaly in the housing market spurred by more buyers than homes for sale.

Home Price Appreciation Is Moderating

Home price appreciation is now slowing (or decelerating) from the feverish pace the market saw over the past two years. According to the latest forecasts, experts say on average, nationwide, prices will still appreciate by roughly 10% in 2022 (see graph below):

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | MyKCM

On Cape Cod, the median sales price for a single family home was up 14.3% this July when compared to last. Year-to-date the median price is up 14.9% over 2021. That’s on the high end of what’s predicted, but within range of what the experts are saying.

Why do all of these experts agree prices will continue to rise? It’s simple. Even though housing supply is growing today, it’s still low overall thanks to several factors, including a long period of underbuilding homes. And experts say that’s going to help keep upward pressure on home prices this year. Additionally, since mortgage rates are higher this year than they were last year, buyer demand has slowed.

As the market undergoes this change, this year’s true price appreciation won’t match the feverish pace in 2021. But the rapid appreciation the market saw last year wasn’t sustainable anyway.

What Does That Mean for You?

Today, the market is beginning to move back toward pre-pandemic levels. But even the forecast for 10% home price growth in 2022 is well beyond the 3.8% that’s more typical for a normal market.

So, despite what you may have heard on your favorite cable TV news channel or from your mother’s cousin Gretchen, who had her real estate license 20 year ago , the actual experts say home prices won’t fall in most markets. They’ll just appreciate more moderately.

If you’re worried that the house you’re trying to sell or the home that you want to buy will decrease in value, you should know the experts aren’t calling for depreciation in most markets, just deceleration. That means your home should still grow in value, just not as fast as it did last year. Real estate remains one of the best long term financial investments available.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say nationally, prices will continue to appreciate this year, just at a more moderate pace.

Still on the fence about selling? With the market cooling, you’ve arguably lost money by waiting. You’ll still receive a very nice price for your home, but possibly not what your neighbor received eight months ago when there were bidding wars.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you the latest market data, as well as our experience this spring as sellers and buyers.

Finally, please be patient with our local merchants and their employees. Many businesses remain understaffed and are doing the best they can to serve you as efficiently as possible. Being told at a restaurant that there’s a 30 minute wait when you see open tables simply means they don’t have the staff to properly serve you. It’s better to not seat you, than have you sitting at a table getting frustrated over the “lousy service” and posting negative comments on social media. 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

But Where Will I Go?

That’s a question we frequently hear from homeowners who are sitting on the fence about selling.

The answer: wherever you want.

That’s because today’s market is undergoing a shift, and the supply of homes for sale is slowly increasing as a result. That means you may have a better chance of finding a home that will meet your current need, whether upsizing, downsizing or moving to that “someday” community. Here are some options to consider.

Buying an Existing Home Can Give You That Lived-in Charm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of existing homes nationally has steadily increased since the beginning of the year. The graph below indicates inventory levels are rising, and that’s largely due to more homes coming onto the market and the pace of sales slowing:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, if you’re looking for a home with lived-in charm, supply is rising, and that’s great news for you.

There are several benefits to buying an existing home. Many buyers want to purchase a home with history, and the character of older houses is hard to reproduce. Existing homes can often be part of an established neighborhood featuring mature landscaping that can give you additional privacy and boost your curb appeal.

Plus, timing can be a consideration as well. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers, rather than building a new home and waiting for construction to finish. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later.

Just remember, while more sellers are listing their homes, supply is still low overall. That means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home, but you’ll still need to be prepared for a fast-moving market.

Purchasing a Newly Built or Under Construction Home Means Brand New Everything

Census data shows there’s an increasing number of new homes available for sale. It includes homes that are under construction, soon to be completed, and fully built. As the graph below highlights, the supply of new homes for sale has also grown this year:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

When building a new home, you can create your perfect living space and customize it to your lifestyle. That could mean everything from requesting energy efficient options to specific design features. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of all new appliances, windows, roofing, and more. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time.

The lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great advantage. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. And with new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

But, keep in mind purchasing a new home could mean waiting a considerable amount of time before you can move. That’s an important factor when making your decision and depends on your personal time line.

Anecdotally, the number of homes available for sale on Cape appears to be increasing based on the time spent at our office and company-wide meetings discussing new listings. We’re also receiving more emails announcing price reduction announcements. Sometimes they involve properties where homeowners waited too long to sell and, as a result, the sale price that a neighbor received six months ago — that the seller wants today — isn’t realistic.

So, is it finally time to make your move? We put our Sandwich home under contract at the end of April and last month moved to an area in Mashpee that we had been thinking about for years. You can do it, too!. (And we received no special consideration from anyone, because we’re realtors.)

We’re happy to answer your questions about the current housing market. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date marketing data, as well as our thoughts based on our experience as sellers and buyers. Talk soon…

Please continue to be careful in the warm weather and pay attention to the kids and adults, who are not familiar with water. Thanks…

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

Is the Boom Over?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may be leaving you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that just wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction.

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Based on our own experience and that of our colleagues we can say that not every Open House has lines of potential buyers stretching down the driveway, as was the case not that long ago. Appropriately priced homes still attract a crowd, but buyers have become a bit more discerning. Houses whose asking price aren’t realistic because of condition or location are getting less attention when they might have a year ago.

What we are seeing — and again, this is anecdotally — are some homes becoming available to see if they will sell at some crazy price, because buyers are thought to still be “desperate.” But, there’s not much interest.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

The headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters here, as well. Let’s look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this: “…today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time…”

Housing sales statistics for May have just been released by the Cape Cod and the Islands Board of Realtors and show that YTD the median sales price for a single family home is $690,000.00. (The YTD number one year ago was $607,000.00) New listings YTD are 1,613 compared to 1,836 in 2021.

New listings in May numbered 468. Last May there were 511. Months of housing supply in May is 1.4. In January it was 0.7 meaning more homes are coming on the market. This trend is expected to continue, but we have a long way to go to reach the more than five months supply we had pre-pandemic when good houses were available for sale for more than 100 days.

If recent headlines are concerning you and you’re thinking about buying, selling or both, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the correct information before making a decision.

…and remember, we just sold our house of 28 years and moved to a smaller property. So, we get it.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

What Does the Rest of 2022 Hold for the Housing Market?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point where timing can be crucial. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com: “The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue…This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in your best offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you’re also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Here on Cape, there has been a very modest, but steady increase in new listings this year. In January, there were 209. In April, there were 375. For some perspective, there were 629 new listings in April 2019 and we had 5.8 months of housing inventory.

Commenting on social media last week, Ryan Castle, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape and Island Association of Realtors, reported that “162 of 223 properties that became available over the last two weeks are still for sale.”

Cumulative days on the market before sale (YTD) is 36 seeming to indicate that not every property is selling in a day. Just a few years ago, days on market for well-maintained and appropriately priced homes could number in the months.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays: “…ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even high in the months to come.”

  • As a buyer, work with reputable lenders, so you can learn how rising the mortgage rate environment impacts your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you’re ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you’re planning to buy your next home, talk to us and we can give you some advice on timing your move based on our own experience.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Increase

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see prices decline, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.”

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it’ll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, you can take advantage of our experience to find the best way to strike the right balance for both selling your house and buying your next one. (We just did that!)

On Cape, the median sales price for a single family home (TYD) is up 12.5% to $675,000.00. In April 2019, it was $420,000.00.

But, the percentage of original list price received (YTD) is 101.1% suggesting that the days of head scratching offers may be fading. (Although there will always be exceptions.) In 2019, percentage of list was 92.9%. Back then asking price was the best you could hope for, not the starting point as it often is today.

Thinking about making your move? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the most accurate information to make the best decision for you.


…and speaking of making your move, today (Monday) is moving day for us. We closed on our new condo this past Wednesday and have used the last several days to finish packing up our house where we have lived for the last 28 years and bringing in painters, etc. to our new place. We close on our “old” home this coming Wednesday,

We’ve been chronicling what we’ve been doing in a series called “Mari Makes the Move” that you can find on our YouTube channel Mari Sennott Plus and on many of our social media platforms.

We’ll let you know next week how it all went…

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

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