Unemployment will run deep, but it won’t be for long.

The Pain of Unemployment: It Will Be Deep, But Not for Long

The Pain of Unemployment: It Will Be Deep, But Not for Long | MyKCM

There are two crises in this country right now: a health crisis that has forced everyone into their homes and a financial crisis caused by our inability to move around as we normally would. Over 20 million people in the U.S. became instantly unemployed when it was determined that the only way to defeat this horrific virus was to shut down businesses across the nation. One second a person was gainfully employed, a switch was turned, and then the room went dark on their livelihood.

The financial pain so many families are facing right now is deep.

How deep will the pain cut?

Major institutions are forecasting unemployment rates last seen during the Great Depression. Here are a few projections:

  • Goldman Sachs – 15%
  • Merrill Lynch – 10.6%
  • Wells Fargo – 7.3%

How long will the pain last?

As horrific as those numbers are, there is some good news. The pain will be deep, but it won’t last as long as it did after previous crises. Taking the direst projection from Goldman Sachs, we can see that 15% unemployment quickly drops to 6-8% as we head into next year, continues to drop, and then returns to about 4% in 2023.

When we compare that to the length of time it took to get back to work during both the Great Recession (9 years long) and the Great Depression (12 years long), we can see how the current timetable is much more favorable.The Pain of Unemployment: It Will Be Deep, But Not for Long | MyKCM

Bottom Line

It’s devastating to think about how the financial heartache families are going through right now is adding to the uncertainty surrounding their health as well. Hopefully, we will soon have the virus contained and then we will, slowly and safely, return to work.

The Key to Selling Your Home Virtually

Keys to Selling Your House Virtually

Keys to Selling Your House Virtually | MyKCM

In a recent survey by realtor.com, people thinking about selling their homes indicated they’re generally willing to allow their agent and some potential buyers inside if done under the right conditions. They’re less comfortable, however, hosting an open house. This is understandable, given the health concerns associated with social contact these days. The question is: if you need to sell your house now, what virtual practices should you use to make sure you, your family, and potential buyers stay safe in the process?

In today’s rapidly changing market, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a digital game plan and an effective online marketing strategy when selling your house. One of the ways your agent can help with this is to make sure your listing photos and virtual tours stand out from the crowd, truly giving buyers a detailed and thorough view of your home.

So, if you’re ready to move forward, virtual practices may help you win big when you’re ready to sell. While abiding by state and local regulations is a top priority, a real estate agent can help make your sale happen. Agents know exactly what today’s buyers need, and how to put the necessary digital steps in place. For example, according to the same survey, when asked to select what technology would be most helpful when deciding on a new home, here’s what today’s homebuyers said, in order of preference:

  • Virtual tour of the home
  • Accurate and detailed listing information
  • Detailed neighborhood information
  • High-quality listing photos
  • Agent-led video chat

After leveraging technology, if you have serious buyers who still want to see your house in person, keep in mind that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are ways to proceed safely. Here are a few of the guidelines, understanding that the top priority should always be to obey state and local restrictions first:

  • Limit in-person activity
  • Require guests to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Remove shoes or cover with booties
  • Follow CDC guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings

Getting comfortable with your agent – a true trusted advisor – taking these steps under the new safety standards might be your best plan. This is especially important if you’re in a position where you need to sell your house sooner rather than later.

Nate Johnson, CMO at realtor.com ® notes:

“As real estate agents and consumers seek out ways to safely complete these transactions, we believe that technology will become an even more imperative part of how we search for, buy and sell homes moving forward.”

It sounds like some of these new practices might be here to stay.

Bottom Line

In a new era of life, things are shifting quickly, and virtual strategies for sellers may be a great option. Opening your doors up to digital approaches may be game-changing when it comes to selling your house. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional to help you safely and effectively navigate through all that’s new when it comes to making your next move.

How is COVID-19 affecting the real estate market?

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values?

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values? | MyKCM

A big challenge facing the housing industry is determining what impact the current pandemic may have on home values. Some buyers are hoping for major price reductions because the health crisis is straining the economy.

The price of any item, however, is determined by supply and demand, which is how many items are available in relation to how many consumers want to buy that item.

In residential real estate, the measurement used to decipher that ratio is called months supply of inventory. A normal market would have 6-7 months of inventory. Anything over seven months would be considered a buyers’ market, with downward pressure on prices. Anything under six months would indicate a sellers’ market, which would put upward pressure on prices.

Going into March of this year, the supply stood at three months – a strong seller’s market. While buyer demand has decreased rather dramatically during the pandemic, the number of homes on the market has also decreased. The recently released Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed we currently have 3.4 months of inventory. This means homes should maintain their value during the pandemic.

This information is consistent with the research completed by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which recently reported:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices).”

What are the experts saying?

Here’s a look at what some experts recently reported on the matter:

Ivy Zelman, President, Zelman & Associates

“Supported by our analysis of home price dynamics through cycles and other periods of economic and housing disruption, we expect home price appreciation to decelerate from current levels in 2020, though easily remain in positive territory year over year given the beneficial factors of record-low inventories & a historically-low interest rate environment.”

Freddie Mac

“The fiscal stimulus provided by the CARES Act will mute the impact that the economic shock has on house prices. Additionally, forbearance and foreclosure mitigation programs will limit the fire sale contagion effect on house prices. We forecast house prices to fall 0.5 percentage points over the next four quarters. Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand. Price growth accelerates back towards a long-run trend of between 2 and 3% per year.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American

“The housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it’s unlikely to go negative.”

Bottom Line

Even though the economy has been placed on pause, it appears home prices will remain steady throughout the pandemic.

MULTIGENERATIONAL HOMES ARE ON THE RISE

Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCM

As loved ones start to get older, we start to wonder: how long will they be able to live alone? Will they need someone there to help them with daily life? There’s a reason to ask those questions now more than ever, as the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years old! As a result, 41% of Americans in the market are searching for a home that can accommodate a multigenerational family.

The graph below shows the number of people by generation that purchased a multigenerational home because they will either be taking care of an aging parent or they just want to spend time together.Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCMOf those buyers, 26% indicated they will be taking care of an aging parent, and 14% said they want to spend time with an aging parent. These numbers do not come as a surprise. According to Pew Research Center, 64 million Americans (20% of the population) lived in a multigenerational household in 2016 (Last numbers available).Multigenerational Homes Are on the Rise | MyKCMAn increasing number of studies affirm the benefits of being part of a multigenerational household. These benefits aren’t just for the grandchildren, but for the grandparents as well. According to these two resources:

The University of Oxford

“Children who are close to their grandparents have fewer emotional and behavioral problems and are better able to cope with traumatic life events, like a divorce or bullying at school”.

Boston College

“Researchers found that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups”.

This research gives helpful insight into why 41% of Americans are in the market to buy a multigenerational home.

Bottom Line

If you have a home that could accommodate a multigenerational family and are thinking about selling, now is the perfect time to put it on the market! The number of buyers looking for this type of home will only continue to increase.

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Below are 4 steps provided by Freddie Mac to help buyers make offers, along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Determine Your Price
“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood or the condition of the house and what you can afford), your agent will help you to determine the offer that you are going to present.

Getting pre-approved will not only show home-sellers that you are serious about buying, but it will also allow you to make your offer with confidence because you’ll know that you have already been approved for a mortgage in that amount.

2. Submit an Offer
“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways in which you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market! A licensed real estate agent who is active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer.

3. Negotiate the Offer
“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller or even cancel the contract altogether.

4. Act Fast
The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as quickly as possible.

Bottom Line
Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in his or her market on your side is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dream of homeownership a reality!

The Redfin Lie?


Redfin’s advertising states that they will list your home for 1%. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? On the face, it does, considering most full service Brokerages usually charge 4-6%. But let’s take a look at what they don’t tell you.

Redfin Lies?

Redfin Lies?

First-hand, the fee a brokerage charges a home seller for the marketing, negotiating and selling of a home is made up of two parts. Using 5% as an example (by law, all commissions are negotiable), this fee is split between the listing brokerage (who represents the seller) and the brokerage representing the buyer. So the listing brokerage only gets part of the total fee.

What Redfin does in their advertising is to only tell you about the the fee that they will receive. The home seller will also have to pay the brokerage who represents the buyer of the property a fee equal to 2% to 3% of the sale price. This means the total fee that the home seller will pay is actually 3% to 4% of the sale price, not 1%.

So how does Redfin get away with this type of deceptive advertising? My guess is because of the wording of their listing contract (though I haven’t actually seen it). Most listing contracts list the total fee that the brokerage charges, and then discloses how much of that fee they will give to the brokerage representing the buyer. So the listing brokerage collects the entire fee due at closing and then cuts a check to the buyer’s brokerage in the amount they are owed. Redfin does not directly pay the buyer’s brokerage, but instead the Seller pays their fee from the proceeds they receive from the sale of their house. I’m guessing Redfin’s listing contract states their fee, and then separately states how much the Seller will have to pay the buyer’s brokerage.

So the actual fee of 3% to 4% that a seller has to pay with Redfin is still a savings over a traditional full-service brokerage, right? Yes, it is, but now let’s look at what you get for that fee.

Redfin operates differently than most real estate Brokerages. Redfin has one agent that services a particular territory, and may handle dozens of listings at a time. But once that agent does the listing paperwork, the seller may rarely see that agent again. Redfin uses different agents to do different jobs such as open houses, showings, attending inspections, etc. Once you get your home under contract you are required to hire an attorney to handle escrow deposits, drafting the purchase and sale agreement, negotiating issues, communicating with the buyer’s lender, etc., all things usually handled by the listing agent with traditional full-service Brokerages. Because the seller has the attorney handle these items, legal fees are typically higher than usual cutting into the savings of the lower listing fee. From the personal experience of myself and my REALTORS, communication with Redfin listing agents during a transaction is difficult at best. I’m not saying all Redfin listing agents are bad at communication, but this has ju been our experience.

Though they claim they claim they are full-service, Redfin does not provide the FULL service that traditional full-service Brokerages give. They don’t provide the personal, one on one service that most Independent REALTORS provide. When listing your home, you should always interview at least 2 different agents and choose the one who you feel will give you the service you are looking for, and one that you know you will be comfortable working with. You should be able to talk with the broker/owner of the company if needed. Choosing the wrong REALTOR and/or brokerage can make selling your home stressful, and more costly that it appears on the surface.

Jim Armstrong

Read Redfin reviews on Consumer Affairs website: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/housing/redfin.html

How do Redfin Agents feel about their company? Not very good according to Glassdoor.com: https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Redfin-RVW1857897.htm

 

 

 

 

 

How To Keep Your Home Spotless On A Budget When You’re A Dog Owner

Cleaning House: How To Keep Things Spotless On A Budget When You’re A Dog Owner 

Dirty Dog - Dirty Home

Photo via Pixabay by Pexels

Cleaning your home can be a challenge no matter what you have going on; you may have a busy schedule, a large family that leaves messes behind, a tight budget, or a big house that requires more time than you have to give. When you’re a pet owner, it can be even more difficult to keep things tidy. Even the most well-behaved dog can leave behind hair, dander, dirt, and saliva as he moves through the house, making your job that much harder. The good news is it doesn’t have to be a struggle to keep your home in great shape. By making a few small lifestyle changes, you can ensure that each room of your house will stay clean season after season without breaking the bank.

Some things to think about include pet grooming, lawn maintenance, and planning ahead when your dog goes outside for a walk or for an extended period of time when the weather is bad. It’s also a good idea to invest in a vacuum cleaner that includes a HEPA filter so you can keep pet hair and dander from being thrown back into the air when you clean the floors. You don’t have to spend a fortune on this essential tool; you can often find top-rated models on sale on sites like Amazon, so keep an eye on their daily Gold Box Deals.

Here are a few more things to consider when it comes to cleaning your home on a budget when you have a pet.

Get the cleaning supplies you need

Even house-trained pets can sometimes have accidents or make messes, and when this happens and you aren’t prepared with the right cleaning supplies, your home can suffer. Shop for these supplies at an already-affordable store like Target; be sure to watch out for sales and use Target in-store coupons to get the best deal on everything you need to keep your floors and furniture spotless. Having these on hand will allow you to take care of messes right away, which could mean the difference between a soiled carpet and one that just needs a bit of care.

Keep him groomed

Good grooming is essential for your pet for many reasons, one of them being that it will help you keep your home free of excess hair and damage. Well-trimmed toenails and short hair can go a long way toward making sure your floors and furniture stay in great shape, and this is often something you can do yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with cutting his nails on your own, the local pet store or your vet will do the job without breaking the bank.

Maintain your lawn

When your lawn is in good shape, it can help your pet’s feet and fur stay dry and clean. Keeping the grass cut in spring and summer, picking up waste every day, and making sure there are no muddy areas for him to roll around in will ensure that he doesn’t track in a mess on your clean floors. You can also lay out a thick-pile doormat for him to wipe his feet on (Overstock.com has lots of lovely but inexpensive options, and they offer a special discount to new customers), or keep pet wipes or a bowl of clean water by the door to give him a little foot bath before he comes in. This can be especially helpful during the rainy season.

Do a little each day

Cleaning your home can be overwhelming if you wait to do it all at once on the same day; that’s why it can be helpful to do a little bit each day. You might give everyone in the family their own section of the house to be responsible for, or write out a list of things to be done for every day of the week on a cleaning schedule. This will help break it up and make it more manageable when you don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to cleaning.

Keeping your house clean when you have pets doesn’t have to be a stressful, costly event. With some simple changes and a little planning ahead, you can ensure that your home is spotless every day of the week, no matter how many pets you have–or what your budget is.

Selling Your Home

Selling, a famous salesman once said, is essentially a transfer of feelings.

You love and cherish your home. You want the next owner to fall in love with it, too — through photos, through words, and through the experience of walking through your front door. But, perhaps most, you want to get the price you want.

This isn’t a small task. Selling a home requires work. It requires time. The journey isn’t always easy. There will be frustrations. But when you seal the deal and move on to your next chapter — wow, what a blissful, boss feeling.

At the link below, we preview and link to each step in your journey. We’ll discuss how to know what you want (and what your partner wants if you’re selling together). How to understand the market, and ways to make a plan. And most importantly? How to create relationships with experts and trust them to help you get the job done.
The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home

Copyright 2019 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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