Tag Archives: #makeyoursummertimemovewithmari

Two Reasons Why Waiting a Year To Buy Could Cost You

If you’re a renter with a desire to become a homeowner, or a homeowner who’s decided your current house no longer fits your needs, you may be hoping that waiting a year might mean better market conditions to purchase a home.

To determine if you should buy now or wait, you need to ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. What will home prices be like in 2022?
  2. Where will mortgage rates be by the end of 2022?

Let’s shed some light on the answers to both of these questions.

What will home prices be like in 2022?

Three major housing industry entities project continued home price appreciation for 2022. Here are their forecasts:

Using the average of the three projections (6.27%), a home that sells for $350,000 today would be valued at $371,945 by the end of next year. That means, if you delay, it could cost you more. As a prospective buyer, you could pay an additional $21,945 if you wait.

Where will mortgage rates be by the end of 2022?

Today, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate is hovering near historic lows. However, most experts believe rates will rise as the economy continues to recover. Here are the forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2022 by the three major entities mentioned above:

That averages out to 3.7% if you include all three forecasts, and it’s nearly a full percentage point higher than today’s rates. Any increase in mortgage rates will increase your cost.

What does it mean for you if both home values and mortgage rates rise?

You’ll pay more in mortgage payments each month if both variables increase. Let’s assume you purchase a $350,000 home this year with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 2.86% after making a 10% down payment. According to the mortgage calculator from Smart Asset, your monthly mortgage payment (including principal and interest payments, and estimated home insurance, taxes in your area, and other fees) would be approximately $1,899.

Two Reasons Why Waiting a Year To Buy Could Cost You | MyKCM

That same home could cost $371,945 by the end of 2022, and the mortgage rate could be 3.7% (based on the industry forecasts mentioned above). Your monthly mortgage payment, after putting down 10%, would increase to $2,166.

The difference in your monthly mortgage payment would be $267. That’s $3,204 more per year and $96,120 over the life of the loan.

If you consider that purchasing now will also let you take advantage of the equity you’ll build up over the next calendar year, which is approximately $22,000 for a house with a similar value, then the total net worth increase you could gain from buying this year is over $118,000.

Sound intriguing?? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Helping our clients make the best decisions for their individual situations has been our full time job for 22 years. We’d be happy to answer your questions.


We’re in Dallas this week attending the Tom Ferry Success Summit 2021. Ferry is the leading real estate coach and trainer in the country and we’ve been involved with his organization for many years. The event has been virtual the last two years, so we’re looking forward to re-connecting with agent friends from around the country and the world, as well as making new contacts. This is a great opportunity to learn about trends and new directions in the housing market from the people directly involved.

We’ll share with you what we learned in upcoming posts.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

It’s Not a Housing Bubble

We hear occasionally from potential buyers or sellers, who say that they’re going to make their move “after the bubble bursts.”

Many of us have memories — usually bad ones — of 2006-2008. Some younger investors are being given advice about what they should do by good old Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate” and remembers his own bad experience from back then.

Talking head housing experts on your favorite cable news network — who get paid to say controversial things — are also suggesting the worst might be yet to come.

But, here’s why today is not an example of history repeating itself.

The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130.

Homeowners aren’t using their homes as ATMs this time.

During the housing bubble, as prices skyrocketed, people were refinancing their homes and pulling out large sums of cash. As prices began to fall, that caused many to spiral into a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of the house).

Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Yet, the percentage of cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006.

This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 housing bubble and drove up buyer demand. Back then, housing supply more than kept up as many homeowners put their houses on the market, as evidenced by the over seven months’ supply of existing housing inventory available for sale in 2006. Today, that number is barely two months nation-wide.

Builders also overbuilt during the bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade.

To put it simply, there’s simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand.

On Cape Cod, despite a general trend towards an increase in the amount of single family homes coming onto the market, June 2021 saw the lowest number of new listings for a June in 18 years.

Condominium sales are on the rise

However, condominium sales are showing signs of real life. Year to date, pending sales are up 31%; closed sales are up 26%, and median sales price is up 15%.  These strong numbers are probably fueled by the lack of single-family inventory and rising single-family home prices as well.

BTW…Mari was quoted last week in an article in Banker and Tradesman, a leading publication for the financial services and real estate professions. The article is linked here.

As always, we’re available to assist you in reviewing your options. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.

Enjoy today’s sun…

Mari and Hank


What Concerns Buyers?

Last week, Fannie Mae released their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The survey showed 77% of respondents believe it’s a “good time to sell.”

But, it also confirms what many are sensing: an increasing number of Americans believe it’s a “bad time to buy” a home. The percentage of those surveyed saying that hit 64%, up from 56% last month and 38% last July.

The reason? Affordability, especially among first time homebuyers. Even the number of renters who say they are planning to buy within the next few years has declined.

So, let’s look closely at the market conditions that impact home affordability.

A mortgage payment is determined by the price of the home and the mortgage rate on the loan used to purchase it. Lately, monthly mortgage payments have gone up for two key reasons:

  1. Mortgage rates have increased from 2.65% this past January to 2.9%.
  2. Home prices have increased by 15.4% over the last 12 months.

Based on these rising factors, a home may be less affordable today, but it doesn’t mean it’s not affordable.

Three weeks ago, ATTOM Data released their second-quarter 2021 U.S. Home Affordability Report which explained that the major ownership costs on the typical home as a percent of the average national wage had increased from 22.2% in the second quarter of 2020 to 25.2% in the second quarter of this year. But this is still below the standard 28% of income that lenders say homeowners should pend on mortgage, insurance and property taxes.

What does this mean for buyers?

As a buyer, while you may not get the deal someone you know got before the virus crisis, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still buy a home. Here are your alternatives to buying and the trade-offs you’ll have with each.

Alternative 1: I’ll rent instead.

Some may consider renting as the better option. However, the monthly cost of renting a home is skyrocketing. According to the July National Rent Report from Apartment List: rental prices have grown a staggering 9.2% this year! In previous years, growth from January to June is usually 2-3%.

We know that here on Cape Cod, the monthly cost of rent is as high as a mortgage payment, if not higher.

If you continue to rent, chances are your payment will keep increasing at a fast pace. That means you could end up spending significantly more of your income on your rental as time goes on, which could make it even harder to save for a home.

Alternative 2: I’ll wait it out.

Others may consider waiting for another year and hoping that purchasing a home will be less expensive then. Let’s look at that possibility.

We’ve already established that a monthly mortgage payment is determined by the price of the home and the mortgage rate. A lower monthly payment would require one of those two elements to decrease over the next year. However, experts are forecasting the exact opposite:

  • The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) projects mortgage rates will be at 4.2% by the end of next year.
  • The Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES), a survey of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, calls for home prices to increase by 5.12% in 2022.

We have also talked to potential buyers, who are waiting for those who took advantage of mortgage forbearance to be forced to sell their homes. What this strategy ignores is that the average American homeowner has more than $200,000 in equity in their home. As people return to work and can afford the monthly mortgage payment, refinancing will eliminate any past due amount.

As we’ve noted in previous posts, the Cape market has calmed down over the last several weeks. Open Houses are generally not as busy; offers are not as numerous, and total dollar amounts — while still at or above asking price — are not as what-are they- thinking high. (But there are still exceptions.)

Interest in negotiating incentives — like waiving home inspections — also seems to be fading.

What is clear is that whether you’re a seller or a buyer continuing to sit on the fence waiting to make your move may not be the best strategy.

As always, we’re happy to help you review your options. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or mennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks.

Mari and Hank

The Real Estate Market Is Calming Down

In last week’s post we wondered if the real estate market on Cape Cod was shifting. We only had anecdotal evidence based on our own experience and that of our colleagues to suggest that there seemed to be a change.

Now, we have the official stats from the Cape Cod and Island Association of Realtors that suggests something may be going on.

The biggest evidence is a drop of $30,000 in median sales price for a single family home from May ($630,000) to June ($600,000) across Barnstable County. So, while the final sale price as a percentage of list has remained steady (104%), the actual dollar amount decreased.

It’s important to note that a year to date comparison from 2020 to 2021 shows a nearly 35% increase in median sales price overall. ($447,500 vs. $603,000.)

Inventory increased last month (502) from the previous (448). While this is still less than what a usual supply of single family homes needs to be, it’s trending in a positive direction. The Cape now has 1.2 month supply of available homes. At least three months is needed to be considered even reasonably healthy.

So what does this mean?

For buyers — particularly those who dropped out of the market after being frustrated with long lines at open houses and price competitions that they couldn’t win — this could be a good sign. If you were among the discouraged, it might be time to re-start your search.

For sellers — as we’ve been suggesting for weeks now — your return on investment is potentially shrinking. While we’re continuing to see most offers come in above list price, they’re generally not at the numbers or mind boggling levels that we saw just a few months ago. The time for you to act is now, as competition is increasing with more homes coming on the market.

If you’re wondering about where you will move if you sell, the larger inventory is also a positive for you.

Is this a temporary slowdown because of buyer fatigue and distractions due to weddings, graduations, and vacation planning? Or is something else at work? Time will tell, but smart real estate investors — sellers or buyers — should take note.

As always, we’re happy to help you review your options. We’ve been helping our clients make the best decisions for themselves for more than 20 years.

We’re honored that so many have turned to us this year. Through the first six months of 2021, we rank second out of Today Real Estate’s 100 agents in terms of closed purchases. (Arguably, we’re first, as #1 is a team of six that has led the Today roster for years.)

So, let’s connect soon at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

The Market Is Settling Down

In last week’s post we wondered if the real estate market on Cape Cod was changing. We only had anecdotal evidence based on our own experience and that of our colleagues to suggest that there seemed to be a shift.

Now, we have the official stats from the Cape Cod and Island Association of Realtors that suggests something may be happening.

The biggest evidence is a drop of $30,000 in median sales price for a single family home from May ($630,000) to June ($600,000) across Barnstable County. So, while the final sale price as a percentage of list has remained steady (104%), the actual dollar amount has decreased.

In Sandwich, the median price dropped from $590,000 in May to $539,000 in June — a not insignificant decrease of more than $50,000.

It’s important to note that a year to date comparison from 2020 to 2021 shows a nearly 31% increase in median sales price in Town overall. ($420,000 vs. $550,000.)

Inventory across the Cape increased last month (502) from the previous (448). In Town, it jumped from 25 to 34 homes. New listings nearly doubled from 28 to 50, while days on market increased from 14 to 24.

The Cape now has 1.2 month supply of available single family homes. At least three months is needed to be considered even reasonably healthy.

So what does this mean?

For buyers — particularly those who dropped out of the market after being frustrated with long lines at open houses and price competitions that they couldn’t win — this could be a good sign. If you were among the discouraged, it might be time to re-start your search.

For sellers — as we’ve been suggesting for weeks now — your return on investment is potentially shrinking. While we’re continuing to see most offers come in above list price, they’re generally not at the volume or mind boggling levels that we saw just a few months ago. (In Sandwich, the percentage over list dropped from 105.6% to 103.1%)

The time for sellers to act is now, as competition is increasing with more homes coming on the market.

If you’re wondering where you can move if you sell, the larger inventory is also a positive for you.

Is this a temporary slowdown because of buyer fatigue and distractions due to graduations, weddings, and vacation planning? Or is something else at work? Time will tell, but smart real estate investors — sellers or buyers — should take note.

As always, we’re happy to assist you in reviewing your options . We’ve been helping our clients make the best decisions for themselves for more than 20 years.

Please reach out at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. Talk soon…

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Has the Market Shifted?

We won’t have official numbers from the Cape Cod and Island Board of Realtors for at least a week, but anecdotally — based on what we’ve seen and our colleagues are saying — there seems to have been a shift in the area’s real estate market.

The Open House frenzy of March and April seems to have calmed. While there are always exceptions, there are no longer lines of buyers waiting to see a property. What we used to describe as a “busy” Open House has returned.

Multiple offers are still the norm, but not in the numbers of a few months ago. Bids are still over asking price, but there aren’t as many head scratchers, because of the large amounts involved.

What hasn’t changed is that list price is now the starting point. The days of bidding low are a thing of the past — at least for now.

Why the change? There are several potential reasons.

May and June can be some of the slower months in the housing industry as people focus on weddings, graduations, summer plans, etc.

But, national housing industry publications are also talking about “buyer fatigue.” Too many lines to see properties that became out of reach, because competition pushed the prices beyond what many could afford. (Or thought was reasonable.)

At the same time, the number of listings has crept up. While inventory is still nowhere near what it needs to be, the increase in available property is a good sign.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been on more successful listing appointments than we have in several months.

It has also taken less time to find buyers new homes. Last week, a client closed on a property that he purchased for list price after we were the only ones to attend the Open House.

Finally, with so many getting vaccinated, the urgency to move to areas like Cape Cod for the open space, recreational activities, etc. has lessened. Health clubs are open again. The kids can swim in the condo pool. Favorite restaurants and bars are now providing indoor and outdoor dining.

You also have to wonder if the “work-at-home” thing has fizzled a little. Morning traffic reports for Boston are starting to look vaguely similar to those of pre-virus days.

Is this a temporary lull or another example of a return to normalcy? We should have a definite answer by the end of summer.

In the short -term, what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

For buyers — especially those who stepped out — it’s time to get back in.

For sellers, who have been sitting on the sidelines, you may have lost money. While offers are still coming in for over asking prices, they are not as high as they typically were just a few months ago. (But there are still exceptions.) While no one expects prices to drop, potential return on investment is shrinking.

As always, we’re available to answer your questions or help you review your options. We’ve been helping our clients make the best decisions for themselves for over 20 years. Just contact us at 508–568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.


If you haven’t, please visit Mari’s Facebook group Cape Cod Dining at Home (and anywhere else.)

Began early in the virus crisis to exchange recipe ideas during the lockdown and support local restaurants, it has grown to 4,200 members from across the country.

Don’t wish for it; go for it!

Mari and Hank

Has the Market Changed?

We won’t have official numbers from the Cape Cod and Island Board of Realtors for at least a week, but anecdotally — based on what we’ve seen and our colleagues are saying — there seems to have been a shift in the area’s real estate market.

The Open House frenzy of March and April seems to have calmed. While there are always exceptions, there are no longer lines of buyers waiting to see a property. What we used to describe as a “busy” Open House has returned.

Multiple offers are still the norm, but not in the numbers of a few months ago. Bids are still over asking price, but there aren’t as many head scratchers, because of the large amounts involved.

What hasn’t changed is that list price is now the starting point. The days of bidding low are a thing of the past — at least for now.

Why the change? There are several potential reasons.

May and June can be some of the slower months in the housing industry as people focus on weddings, graduations, summer plans, etc.

But, national housing industry publications are also talking about “buyer fatigue.” Too many lines to see properties that became out of reach, because competition pushed prices beyond what many could afford. (Or thought was reasonable.)

At the same time, the number of listings has crept up. While inventory is still nowhere near what it needs to be, the increase in available property is a good sign.

Finally, with so many getting vaccinated, the urgency to move to areas like Cape Cod for the open space, recreational activities, etc. has lessened. Health clubs are open again. The kids can swim in the condo pool. Favorite restaurants and bars are now providing indoor and outdoor dining.

You also have to wonder if the “work-at-home” thing has started to fizzle. As example, Boston traffic reports are starting to sound very similar to those of pre-virus days.

Is this a temporary lull or another example of a return to normalcy? We should have a definite answer by the end of summer.

In the short -term, what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

For buyers — especially those who stepped out — it’s time to get back in.

For sellers, who have been sitting on the sidelines, you may have lost money. While offers are still coming in for over asking prices, they are not as high as they typically were just a few months ago. (But there are still exceptions.) While no one expects prices to drop, potential return on investment is shrinking.

As always, we’re available to answer your questions or help you review your options. Please contact us at 508–568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.

Mari and Hank

Demand for Vacation Homes Remains Strong

Lost in all the chatter about urban dwellers permanently relocating to places like Cape Cod in response to the virus crisis is the fact that vacation or second homes remain very popular.

The 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows an increase in vacation home sales continuing in 2021. The report examines sales in counties where “vacant seasonal, occasional, or recreational use housing account for at least 20% of the housing stock” and compares that data to the overall residential market.

Here are some stats:

Vacation home sales rose by 16.4% to 310,600 in 2020, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales.

Vacation home sales are up 57.2% year-over-year during January-April 2021 compared to the 20% year-over-year change in total existing-home sales.

Home prices rose more in vacation home counties – the median existing price rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.

In the New England, properties in vacation home counties typically sold 24 days faster compared to non-vacation home counties.

The NAR report coincides with data released by Zelman & Associates on the increase in sales of second homes throughout the country last year.

As the data above shows, there is still high demand for second getaway homes in 2021 even as the pandemic winds down. While we may see a rise in second-home sellers as life returns to normal, ongoing low supply and high demand will continue to provide those sellers with a good return on their investment.

Vacation home owners decide to sell for a variety of reasons from the kids getting older and being more interested in spending time with friends and not vacationing with parents to the prohibitive cost of maintaining two residences.

If you’re one of the many people who purchased a vacation home during the pandemic, you’re likely wondering what this means for you. If you’re considering selling that home as life returns to normal, you have options as there are still plenty of buyers in the market.

Curious about the possibilities? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’d be happy to help you review your options.


We’re excited to share with you a new TV commercial that Today Real Estate (TRE) will be running on some of your favorite cable channels.

This is just another example of TRE providing its professionals — and by extension our clients — with the most up-to-date tools available to effective in today’s competitive marketplace.

You can preview the commercial here. Thanks for watching it.

Stay cool…

Mari and Hank

Demand for Vacation Homes Is Still Strong

Lost in all the chatter about urban dwellers permanently relocating to places like Cape Cod in response to the virus crisis is the fact that vacation or second homes remain very popular.

The 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows an increase in vacation home sales continuing in 2021. The report examines sales in counties where “vacant seasonal, occasional, or recreational use housing account for at least 20% of the housing stock” and compares that data to the overall residential market.

Here are some stats:

Vacation home sales rose by 16.4% to 310,600 in 2020, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales.

Vacation home sales are up 57.2% year-over-year during January-April 2021 compared to the 20% year-over-year change in total existing-home sales.

Home prices rose more in vacation home counties – the median existing price rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.

In the New England, properties in vacation home counties typically sold 24 days faster compared to non-vacation home counties.

The NAR report coincides with data released by Zelman & Associates on the increase in sales of second homes throughout the country last year.

As the data above shows, there is still high demand for second getaway homes in 2021 even as the pandemic winds down. While we may see a rise in second-home sellers as life returns to normal, ongoing low supply and high demand will continue to provide those sellers with a good return on their investment.

Vacation home owners decide to sell for a variety of reasons from the kids getting older and being more interested in spending time with friends and not vacationing with parents to the prohibitive cost of maintaining two residences.

If you’re one of the many people who purchased a vacation home during the virus crisis, you’re likely wondering what this means for you. If you’re now considering selling that home as life returns to normal, you have options as there are still plenty of buyers in the market.

Curious about the possibilities? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

Stay cool…

Mari and Hank