Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Whether you’re buying or selling – today’s housing market has plenty of good news to go around.
  • Buyers can take advantage of today’s mortgage rates to escape rising rents and keep monthly payments affordable. Sellers can reap the benefits of multiple offers and a fast sale.
  • If this sounds like good news to you, let’s connect today so you can capitalize on the unique opportunity you have in today’s market.

5 Reasons Today’s Housing Market is Anything but Normal

5 Reasons Today's Housing Market Is Anything but Normal | MyKCM

There are many headlines out there that claim we’re reverting to a more normal real estate market. That would indicate the housing market is returning to the pre-pandemic numbers we saw from 2015-2019. But that’s not happening. The market is still extremely vibrant as demand is still strong even while housing supply is slowly returning.

Here’s the definition of normal from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.

Using this definition, here are five housing industry metrics that prove we’re nowhere near normal.

1. Mortgage Rates

If we look at the 30-year mortgage rate chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade:

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.7%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 2010s: 4.09%

Today, the average mortgage rate stands at 2.87%, which is very close to the historic low.

Currently, mortgage rates are anything but usual, typical, or routine.

2. Home Price Appreciation

According to Black Knight, a housing data and analytics company, the average annual appreciation on residential real estate prices since 1995 has been 4.14%.

According to the latest forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home price appreciation will hit 14.1% this year, which will be greater than any year since Black Knight began collecting this data.

Currently, home price appreciation is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

3. Months’ Supply of Inventory (Homes for Sale)

According to NAR:

“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. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly.”

As of the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from NAR, the current months’ supply of inventory stands at 2.6. That’s less than half of a normal supply.

Currently, the supply of homes for sale is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

4. Days It Takes To Sell a Home

The days-on-market metric gives an indication of how hot a market is and how quickly homes are selling. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the average days on market stood at 35, according to NAR. Today, that number is cut in half and is now at 17 days.

Currently, the days-on-market metric is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

5. Number of Offers per Listing

According to NAR, the number of offers per listing stood at 2.2 in 2019. Today, that number is double at 4.5.

Currently, the number of offers per listing is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

Bottom Line

When…

  1. Mortgage rates are near historic lows
  2. Price appreciation is at historic highs
  3. Housing inventory is less than half of the normal amount
  4. The time it takes to sell a home is cut in half, and
  5. There are twice as many offers on each house

…it’s hard to say we’re in a normal market.

So, I Sold My Home… Now What?!

So, you made the decision to put your home for sale. You’ve worked with an agent, had photos taken and a listing published, had showings and finally accepted an offer. Now what?

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To be quite honest, this is just the beginning! After coming to a mutually accepted offer with buyers there is still much more to be done before the sale is complete. No need to worry though, you will have some time to get it all straightened out. A typical home sale takes 30-45 days to close and you will have until then to complete the tasks and move out of your home. We have sold three homes in the last six years so you could say we have a good amount of experience with it! I’ve laid out the basics for you to reference here.

Purge

Now is the time to get rid of or sell items that you did not remove prior to listing. This can be done through a garage sale, listing for sale on Facebook, donating to charity, etc or a mix of the methods. 

Deep Clean

Once you have packed up everything you will be taking with you upon moving and sold or donated everything else, it’s important to deep clean for the new owners. I have personally done all of it myself one time and hired a professional cleaner to help the last two times. Depending on your abilities, availability and stage of life, determine what is best for you. I find it to be much less stressful to hire help if you can. You will be so busy packing and organizing that it is a huge relief having someone help you. I usually do the basic cleaning such as vacuum bedrooms myself to minimize the cost a bit but bring in the professionals to deep clean bathrooms and kitchen especially. The refrigerator and range can be incredibly time consuming and the professionals know how to get them looking their best.

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Switch Utilities

Removing your name from the utilities is one of the last tasks to complete but it is an important step. Be sure to call the companies that provide you water, sewer, electric, gas, cable, internet, and garbage, etc so that they stop charging you for the services one you have signed the home over to the new owners. Request that you make the home sale closing date your final day for charges and provide them with your forwarding address if requested. Oftentimes the billing system runs behind usage so don’t be surprised if you see one last bill a few weeks or a month later.

Set Up Mail Forwarding

Setting up mail forwarding is quick and easy. If you are living in the US, simply go to your local Post Office to request the form or go online to the USPS website here and provide them with your information. It will cost $1.05 to verify your identity with the online submission (as of August 2021).

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Closing Day: Sign at the Title Company

Typically sellers will sign closing documents at the title company on the same day that they will be required to be completely out of the house but this can change on a case by case basis. The closing documents finalize the sale with a notary present. You will need your Drivers License or other government issued ID with you to verify your identity. This generally takes 30 minutes to a hour and a half but is typically quicker for sellers and longer for the buyers.

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Cancel Homeowners Insurance

Once your home is officially sold and out of your name you will want to be sure to contact your agent to stop your homeowners insurance. This way you will stop getting charged for the insurance costs going forward. Usually a quick email or phone call will do the trick.

Keep Settlement Documents

These documents will be needed at tax time so be sure to hang on to them!

So I just BOUGHT a home…now what?!

Very similar steps apply for those buying a home. You will still want to keep settlement documents from the title company, switch over your mail, utilities and homeowners insurance. Depending on how the seller left the home you may not have to do a deep clean as most will have already had that done for you though another round of cleaning never hurts, especially if weeks have passed since the seller moved out. You’d be surprised how quickly dust and bugs can show up.

Hopefully you thought ahead when packing because now it is time to unpack. I like to start with the clothes, shoes and toiletries that are used often, if not daily. Be sure to know where medications and first aid equipment, flashlights, phone chargers, etc are the first day. Basic kitchen items such as plates, silverware, and drinking glasses should be a priority as well. It can be easy with all of the excitement of finally being in your new home to get carried away and focus on decorating but it will be far less stressful for you getting the basics out of the way first.

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Be prepared to get rid of more items too. No matter how much you got rid of prior to moving there is a good chance you will feel differently about a number of items after unpacking them, especially if they have been stored for a while. Once you are done unpacking, take the boxes to your local recycling center or post on Facebook or Craigslist to see if someone else can use them. The last thing you need is a pile of cardboard boxes in your way for weeks.

Have you moved recently or have any tips to add? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

This post was written in partnership with The Jerry Blankers Team and is published at www.jerryblankers.com/blog. All opinions are my own. If you are in need of a realtor in Whatcom County, WA, we used them for our most recent land purchase and home sale and I highly recommend them! You can give them a call at 360-410-1297 or email jerry@jerryblankers.com or Kassi@muljatgroupnorth.com. Instagram: @blankersrealestate

A Surprising Shift Favors Homeowners

Surprising Shift Favors Homeowners: Buyers Now Prefer Existing Homes | MyKCM

In April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) posted an article, Home Buyers’ Preferences Shift Towards New Construction, which reported:

60% of people who were looking to buy a home in 2020 said they’d prefer new construction to an existing home.

However, it seems buyers are now shifting their preferences back to existing homes.

The latest Consumer Confidence Survey reveals the percentage of Americans planning to buy a home in the next six months is virtually the same as it was back in March. However, the percentage that plan to buy a newly constructed home is lower for that same period.

Surprising Shift Favors Homeowners: Buyers Now Prefer Existing Homes | MyKCM

NAHB confirms this sentiment in their latest Housing Trends Report. The organization explains that existing homes are now the top preference among today’s buyers. Here’s a breakdown of those findings:

Why the shift?

There are several reasons why buyer preference is shifting. Here are two that impact purchasers looking to move in now:

  • The process may move faster. Builders may not be able to guarantee when the house will be complete and ready for move-in due to supply chain challenges with materials like lumber and appliances. If you buy an existing home, not only is it ready, it also likely has a refrigerator, range, and other necessary home appliances already.
  • There are no unexpected costs during the buying process. With the price of land, labor, and lumber being so volatile, many builders are including an escalation clause in the price negotiation to cover rising expenses. With an existing home, the final price you will pay is negotiated upfront.

Bottom Line

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, your house is more attractive to a greater number of buyers as compared to earlier in the year. This might be the time for us to connect to discuss the possibility.

Sellers: Make Today’s Home Price Appreciation Work for You

Sellers: Make Today’s Home Price Appreciation Work for You | MyKCM

Home prices continue to rise as we move through the summer, and that’s good news for sellers who are looking to maximize their home’s potential. If you’re on the fence about whether to list your house now or later, the question you should really ask is: will this price appreciation last?

Here’s what three leading industry experts have to say about what lies ahead:

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year.”

Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist, CoreLogic:

“The imbalance between robust demand and dismal availability of for-sale homes has led to a continual bidding over asking prices, which reached record levels in recent months . . . . Nevertheless, with more new listings and new home construction, home price acceleration that has built momentum, and continues to reach new highs, will likely slow later this summer but remain in double digits.”

George Ratiu, Chief Economist, realtor.com:

Many sellers are going to take advantage of higher prices. This summer is going to signal the move to the next chapter, and this will very much be the year they’re going to put their home on the market.”

What It Means for You:

The experts agree that the summer months give sellers a great opportunity to capitalize on today’s home prices. And while prices aren’t expected to depreciate, the rise in prices is forecast to moderate over the next few years. That means selling your house today could set you up for a bigger win.

Bottom Line

Listen to the experts. If you’re ready to make a move, let’s connect to discuss selling your house sooner rather than later so you can take advantage of today’s home price appreciation before it moderates.

Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost You

Waiting To Buy a Home Could Cost You [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • If you’re thinking of buying a home but wondering if waiting a few years will save you in the long run, think again.
  • The longer the wait, the more you’ll pay, especially when mortgage rates and home prices rise. Even the slightest change in the mortgage rate can have a big impact on your buying power no matter your price point.
  • Don’t assume waiting will save you money. Let’s connect to set the ball into motion today while mortgage rates are hovering near historic lows.

Planning a Move? Tips & Tricks for a Seamless Transition

We just sold our third home and are now pending on home #4 (surprise)! I can’t wait to share the details and what I’m most looking forward to about this home, but I’ll save that for another day! Having had three homes, two of which were custom builds and required us to move in (and out) with family between each build, it’s needless to say we have a lot of experience with moving in the past 10 years. It can be incredibly exhausting and frustrating but along the way we have found ways to make the packing, loading and transitioning stages easier. Picture Picture Before You Begin Packing Before you can even begin to start thinking about packing I highly recommend you look around and see what you can get rid of. This is great to do before even listing your home for sale. The less clutter you can have on your countertops and in cabinets and closets, the better it will show and the easier it is for potential buyers to envision your home as theirs. Plus the less you have to pack, the less headache and expense it will be. Go through your clothes, shoes, kid’s toys, home decor, holiday decorations, tools and more to see what you can do without going forward (or easily replace after moving into your new home). When it comes to getting rid of items I prefer to take my family’s clothes and shoes to a local second hand store or I send them to ThredUP. Though you don’t get the highest payout with ThredUP, it is incredibly easy and saves me so much time. You request a bag, they deliver it to your door, you fill it and then schedule a time for USPS to pick it back up off of your doorstep; shipping is free for you! You can claim a $10 off coupon to shop at ThredUP with the link HERE. I have had great success selling our household items on Facebook Marketplace and if you have a lot of various items, garage sales are still a great option. Advertise them on your personal Facebook pages, group selling pages, Craigslist, in your local newspaper and/or with signs. We just did a last minute garage sale with only Facebook advertising about a month ago and just about everything sold! Packing Tips When packing, I like to start as soon as possible to limit my last minute chaos and stress. I prefer to do a little bit here and there as time allows until it is crunch time at the end. I always pack less frequently used items, things we can do without for a month or two, first so that they can easily be out of my way and will not be missed by us in the last weeks/months. This includes items such as: formal dinnerware, holiday decor, family photo albums, the kid’s baby books, paintings and home decor, extra bedding and linens, clothes and shoes that are out of season and won’t be needed until in the new home, etc. Another benefit of packing over time and eliminating the less frequently used items first is that it leaves the items you use daily or a couple of times a week for last so that they can all be packed close, if not together, and easy to access first once you are unpacking at your new location. I usually leave our coffee pot, silverware, toaster and personal items like body wash, shampoo, etc to pack at the last minute. Picture Picture I like to get creative and pack our items in nontraditional ways to save money and space in the moving truck or storage box. For example, if you are bringing suitcases with you to your new home, pack items into the suitcases to make the best use of your space. Pack spices inside of your crockpot, etc. and don’t forget to use your towels/blankets as packing materials to prevent items from rubbing against each other and getting scratched or broken. I used our beach towels to wrap around our fragile home decor when packing into boxes this time. I needed to pack the towels anyway and saved space and money by using them instead of purchasing bubble wrap. When loading a moving truck or storage container we find it best to pack all boxes and other more linear shaped items such as dressers first. We have found that we make the best use of our space by doing so and saving odd shaped items such as exercise equipment and bikes for last. Be sure to stack the boxes all the way to the top and start with heavy boxes on the bottom and lighter as it gets to the top to avoid heavy items falling off of the top and breaking. Picture Label, Label, Label! You may think it will be easy to remember what you packed where but after all of the stress and chaos involved in moving and selling/purchasing/renting homes these details can escape your mind. Trust me! I like to boldly label a box with what room it is for (ex. KITCHEN, KIDS BATHROOM, etc) then in smaller font underneath include a few of the key items inside of that box (ex. silverware, crockpot, wine glasses, etc) to make it easier to get to the items that I need and want first upon arrival in the new home.  Picture Additional Tips & Reminders •Keep clothes on hangers; pack sections into garbage bags
​•Label breakables in large bold writing: FRAGILE!
•Use paper/styrofoam plates, that you may already have on hand, between your plates/dishes vs. purchasing packing material
•Check grocery and liquor stores for free boxes (I do prefer purchasing boxes that are all the same size, making packing a truck or storage container much easier, but I know many that do this, especially for close moves!)
•Set up/make appts for utilities, cable, internet, etc
•Make sure bedding is easily accessible One last thing: be sure to keep track of your moving expenses! Save receipts; some of your expenses may be tax-deductible which can be a huge benefit and save you money when completing your annual taxes! Have you moved recently? Any tips that you would add to the list?

Follow us on Instagram @blankersrealestate and Facebook Jerry Blankers-Muljat Group North

Post compiled by Haley Parker // haleyparkerstyle.com@haleyparkerstyle

A Look at Home Price Appreciation Through 2025

A Look at Home Price Appreciation Through 2025 | MyKCM

Home prices have increased significantly over the last year, which in turn has grown the net worth of homeowners. Appreciation and home equity are directly linked – as the value of a home increases, so does a homeowner’s equity. And with these recent gains, homeowners are witnessing their financial stability and well-being grow to record levels.

A Look at Home Price Appreciation Through 2025 | MyKCM

In more good news for homeowners, the most recent Home Price Expectations Survey – a survey of a national panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists – forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years, adding to the record amount of equity homeowners have already gained over the past year. Below are the expected year-over-year rates of home price appreciation from the report:

What Does This Mean for Homeowners?

A Look at Home Price Appreciation Through 2025 | MyKCM

Home prices are climbing today, and the data in the survey indicates they’ll continue to increase, but at rates that approach a more normal pace. Even still, the amount of household wealth a homeowner stands to earn going forward is substantial. This truly becomes clear when we consider a scenario using a median-priced home purchased in January of 2021 and the projected rate of appreciation on that home over the next five years. As the graph below illustrates, a homeowner could increase their net worth by a significant amount – over $93,000 dollars by 2026.

Home Price Appreciation and Home Equity

CoreLogic recently released their quarterly Homeowner Equity Insights Report, which tracks the year-over-year increases in equity. It shows an average annual gain of $33,400 per borrower over the past 12 months. In the report, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, further explains:

Double-digit home price growth in the past year has bolstered home equity to a record amount. The national CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded an 11.4% rise in the year through March 2021, leading to a $216,000 increase in the average amount of equity held by homeowners with a mortgage.”

The expected, sustained growth of home prices means homeowners can continue to build on the past year’s record levels of home equity – and their financial prosperity. It also presents today’s homeowners with a unique opportunity: using their growing equity for a home upgrade. With so few homes available to purchase and strong buyer demand, there may not be a better time to sell your current house and move into one that better meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Home prices are expected to continue appreciating over the next five years, and the associated equity gains are the quickest way homeowners can build household wealth. If you’re a current homeowner who’s ready to take advantage of your built-up equity, let’s connect today to discuss your options.

10 Ways to Upgrade Your Home on a Budget

Transforming your house into a home can be so fun and rewarding, but it can also become incredibly expensive! Adding character and charm, color or unique pieces can quickly blow your budget. If you are looking to customize or update your space but have limited funds to do so, here are a few ideas of changes you can make that will beautifully change your space on a budget. More details and tutorials can be found for each of these by searching Pinterest or YouTube!

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1. Frame Your TV

This is easy to do and is a quick way to change the look of any room. Purchase a frame large enough to go around your TV or build your own to instantly dress up the space.

2. Widen Your Baseboards

Wide baseboards make a statement but tearing out all of your old baseboards and purchasing new to replace it can be very costly and time consuming. Instead add a thin piece of molding an inch above your baseboards, fill in with caulk, and paint it all one color to give a cohesive look. 

3. Paint Your Front Door

If you are looking to add a pop of color to your home this is the perfect space to do so without feeling like it’s too much. Black is also a popular front door color at the moment and don’t forget about your options to stain too (if the door is wood)!

4. Add/Update Kitchen Backsplash

Kitchen backsplash is something you can do yourself and save thousands of dollars on. If you currently have backsplash and have to tear it out prior to installing new then there will of course be more labor and costs involved but either way there are many affordable options to replace/add to your space. We have purchased affordable backsplash for multiple homes and have always been happy with it. An even more affordable option is the trending peel and stick backsplash that is easier to install.

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5. Replace Light Fixtures

Many homes come with outdated light fixtures or something generic. Through time spent walking through local stores and/or searching online you are bound to find something you love that can change the entire look and feel of your space. I highly recommend doing this in your entry way, kitchen, living space or other areas that guests and yourself frequent the most. Lighting can get expensive but try waiting for a sale or finding something similar to a more expensive piece that gives off the same overall look you love.

6. Add Floating Shelves

These are many DIY styles for floating shelves that are easy and inexpensive. I found this particular triangular style on Amazon for a very affordable price and the black metal mixed with the brown/gray wood matches the black fixtures while adding in a cozy comfort to our white powder bathroom.

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7. Replace Cabinet Hardware

There are so many colors and styles of cabinet hardware that this small change can go a long way! If you want to take the easiest route be sure to choose the same size pull/knob style so that you don’t have to drill any new holes or patch existing holes. 

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8. Replace Door Handles

Another easy change just like the cabinet pulls is changing out door handles. As long as you stick with the same size it’s a project that will take little time and equipment while delivering nice results.

9. Upgrade Bathroom Mirrors

Just like framing your TV, you can frame your bathroom mirror by finding a pre-made frame that fits the dimensions or by building one yourself. You can also remove and fully replace your mirrors with a framed option, easily found online or in local home decor stores.

10. Install an Electric Fireplace

This entails a bit more cost than some of our other options but still a great way to upgrade your space without the large cost of adding in a traditional fireplace. Electric inserts can be found on Amazon, come in various sizes and colors, and give a similar look as a traditional gas fireplace while still giving off heat too.

Have you done any budget friendly home upgrades? Comment your experiences; I’d love to hear!

Follow us on Instagram @blankersrealestate and Facebook Jerry Blankers-Muljat Group North

Post compiled by Haley Parker // haleyparkerstyle.com@haleyparkerstyle