4 Reasons to Sell This Winter [INFOGRAPHIC]

4 Reasons to Sell This Winter [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale which means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed to sustain a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | MyKCM

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median amount of time a home spent on the market hit an all-time low of only three weeks in 2017.

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The time needed to sell a home has dropped substantially since its highest mark of 11 weeks in 2012.

The chart below shows the median weeks on the market from 1987 to today.

Time on the Market Drops to New Low in 2017 | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Let’s get together to discuss exactly what’s going on in our area, today!

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial | MyKCM

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving that “dream.” In a market where some people may be unsure about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home, it is important that we remember this.

Homeownership is NOT just about the money. In fact, some of the major benefits are non-financial. Here are a few of those benefits as per the National Association of Realtors:

  • Consistent findings show that homeownership does make a significant positive impact on educational achievement.
  • Several researchers have found that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters.
  • Early studies of homeownership and health outcomes found that homeowners and children of homeowners are generally happier and healthier than non-owners, even after controlling for factors such as income and education levels that are also associated with positive health outcomes and positively correlated with homeownership.

Bottom Line

Homeownership means something more to people and their families than just the financial considerations.

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | MyKCM

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | MyKCM

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

Buying or Selling in 2018? 5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying or Selling in 2018? 5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Pro [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • As we usher in the new year, one thing is for certain… if you plan to buy or sell a house this year, you need a real estate professional on your team!
  • There are many benefits to using a local professional!
  • Pick a professional who knows your local market and can help you achieve your dreams!

5 Things You Must Do If You’ve Given up on Fitness Before

  — By Kirsten Nunez
Riding the fitness “bandwagon” isn’t always a smooth ride. Sometimes, the bumps are so strong that they throw you off. What now? Is it possible to try and catch up? One side of you knows that it’s worth a shot, but the other might not even know where to start.

Don’t let that bump in the road be the end of your journey—know that you’re not alone in the “fell off” club. We all know the fitness bandwagon is the place to be, but like most habits, maintaining a life-long routine takes hard work.

Why Do People Quit?

There are countless reasons why people quit exercise after pushing themselves for weeks, months or even years. According to Karen Katz, trainer and Pilates instructor in New York City, it’s common to feel discouraged if you’re not seeing (fast) results. “[However], a new job, schedule, baby, pet, or even a significant other can change someone’s habits and priorities,” she explains.

Katz mentions that moving, injury and travel can also get in the way. These real-life situations are major and normal, but they can also mess with your flow.

Trainer Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness adds that boredom is another roadblock. “Or [maybe you] pushed too much too fast, that you quickly burnt out or got injured.” Sound familiar? It’s a common newbie mistake, but you’re only human.

Before scolding yourself, look at this fall as a teaching moment. You’ve started once (or maybe even twice) before, so who says you can’t do it again? This time around, you’ll have the chance to fuel the routine in a new and different way.

“Missing a few days from the gym is no biggie,” reassures Justin Ochoa, personal trainer and owner of PACE Fitness Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Even missing a week can be a good opportunity to recharge. But if you’re physically inactive for months or years, [it] can leave you with an uphill battle when trying to get back into it.”

That’s why it’s vital to start slow, just like the first time. A game plan will save the day—whether you’ve skipped out your workouts for a month or a year.

The Dangers of Starting Where You Left Off

Jumping right back into an exercise routine, expecting to pick up right where you left off, is a recipe for disaster. No matter how enthusiastic you are, restarting a routine will have its downfalls so going in with the same mindset as you had before increases the risk of repeating the same mistakes. Give yourself time to adjust to a new approach or mindset, whatever that might be. Habits need time to change.

Most importantly, going hard is a setup to getting hurt. Katz, Taylor and Ochoa all agreed that potential injury is the number one risk of pushing yourself too fast.

“I see it way too often,” says Taylor. “People push full force. However, coming from a de-conditioned state, your heart rate will elevate a lot quicker. Your body will respond—and reject—the load.”

Ochoa echoed similar concerns: “After stopping a training program for an extended period of time, an individual can become detrained. [It’s] a loss of physical and psychological adaptations from previous training experiences.”

The bottom line? Take it easy. “Go at your own speed and listen to your body,” advises Katz. “It’s great to be eager about jumping back into a fitness routine, but going too hard too fast can result in injury and burnout.”

The Action Plan

The decision and process of terminating a fitness routine look different for everyone. As such, every comeback will be just as different. But with these general steps, you can strategize a triumphant return in a way that works for you.

1. Review and Reflect

Be honest with yourself. Take a step back and look at what really went wrong. In order to jump a hurdle, you need to know where it materialized in the first place.

What did you like about your routine before? Dislike? Write down your thoughts and see if you notice any patterns or red flags that can be avoided in the future. Reflect on the benefits when you were active, and remember how you felt. For some, this can be enough to fire up a new layer of dedication.

Of course, in the situation of a new job or injury, there are other factors. In those cases, focus on the new aspects of your current lifestyle, because they’ll come in handy when it’s time to plan.

2. Find What Can Be Changed

After reflecting, look for pockets of change. Again, this will be extremely different for every situation and person. It may include expectations, distractions or lack of motivational factors.

In the case of an injury, the actual exercise might need to be gentler to accommodate your current physical strength. And you know what? That’s okay.

If you dreaded your Wednesday yoga class every single week, it might be a sign that you didn’t enjoy how it made your body feel or the energy in the studio just wasn’t quite right. If you found yourself feeling pumped up when you exercised with your neighbor but struggled to motivated yourself alone, you might have been pushing yourself into the wrong kinds of workout environments. Look at all aspects of your previous plan and work to determine where things started to unravel.

If time was an issue, tackle time management first. Yes, we’re all busy, but know that physical activity doesn’t have to be a whole day affair. Viewing time as a roadblock really means that you don’t consider fitness a priority, says Ochoa.

3. Plan the Change

Now that you know what needs to be changed, it’s time to figure out how to change it.

This time around, don’t be afraid to try things differently. “Find a form of exercise that you like that inspires you,” says Taylor, even if that means trying out something new. Katz also suggests grabbing a friend you can count on, whether it’s at home or at the gym. Having a workout buddy is a game changer for motivation.

The same goes for making breakfast the night before or setting out your clothes. These little habits will set you up for success.

Working a tight schedule? Remember, two or three 10-minute walks each day totally counts and those little bursts of activity pay off in a major way. So would a two-minute session of yoga, according to a preliminary 2017 study in “Frontiers of Psychology.” Recognize that “fitness routine” doesn’t have a single definition, so you’re in control of how and when exercise fits into your schedule and lifestyle.

4. Set Mini Goals

To execute the plan, it helps to set goals. Whatever you do, though, remember to start small.

According to Taylor, it starts with coming to terms with the fact that your body is in a different place for now. “Set attainable goals that you know you can accomplish,” she recommends. It’s a must for avoiding the feeling of defeat and feeling empowered, instead. Little victories will fuel motivation and momentum.

Taylor mentions that she has clients make a goal sheet. She asks them, “What do you want to accomplish in the next six weeks? Three months? Six months? One year? We then break it down from there.” As you work through the goals, check in with yourself to make sure the right changes are being made. This sort of mindfulness is key.

5. Don’t Overestimate

While you’re reaching for those goals, avoid overestimating. Sure, being an overachiever might work in other parts of life, but not when you’re trying to safely jump on the bandwagon.

Your strength and speed are not the same. While you might have been able to run three miles without stopping before your break, your endurance is likely not the same, so it’s important to start slowly. The same goes for weightlifting, yoga or any other activity. You don’t necessarily have to start from the very beginning, but do set yourself up for a routine that is gentle on your body as it adjusts to sweating again. Take it down a notch and be kind to yourself. “Try to avoid the shortcuts,” advises Ochoa. “Stay focused on progression at an appropriate rate.”

Jumping back on isn’t an easy feat. But as you move through the motions, you’re doing yourself (and your future self) a favor. As Ochoa put it, “Fitness is about longevity and living a happier, healthy lifestyle. Do the work and embrace the journey.”

Original Post on SparkPeople.com

There’s More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices

There's More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices | MyKCM

What truly causes a housing bubble and the inevitable crash? For the best explanation, let’s go to a person who correctly called the last housing bubble – a year before it happened.

“A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation…Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the ‘bubble’ bursts.

I have taken to calling the housing market a ‘bubble’.”

– Bill McBride of Calculated Risk calling the bubble back in April 2005

Where do we stand today regarding speculation?

There are two measurements that are used to determine the speculation in a housing market:

  1. The number of homes purchased by an investor and
  2. The number of homes being flipped (resold within a twelve-month period)

As compared to 2005, investor purchases are down dramatically (from 23% to 13%) and so is flipping (from 8.2% to 5.7%). McBride explains:

“There is currently some flipping activity, but this is more the normal type of flipping (buy, improve and then sell). Back in 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation.”

What are the experts saying about speculation in today’s market?

DSNews recently ran an article which asked two economists to compare the speculation in today’s market to that in 2005-2007. Here is what they said:

Dr. Eddie Seiler, Chief Housing Economist at Summit Consulting:

“The speculative ‘flipping mania’ of 2006 is absent from most metro areas.”

Tian Liu, Chief Economist of Genworth Mortgage Insurance:

“The nature of housing demand is different as well, with more potential homeowners and far fewer speculators in the housing market compared to the 2005-2007 period.”

And what does McBride, who called the last housing bubble, think about today’s real estate market?

Sixty days ago, he explained:

“In 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation. And even more dangerous during the bubble was the excessive use of leverage (all those poor-quality loans). Currently lending standards are decent, and loan quality is excellent…

I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble – and I don’t expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

Bottom Line

Speculation is a major element of the housing bubble formula. Right now, there are not elevated percentages of investors and house flippers. Therefore, there is not an elevated rate of speculation.

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home | MyKCM

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling reasons.

No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones.

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day!

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take this all into consideration when buying your dream home!

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash

As home values continue to increase at levels greater than historic norms, some are concerned that we are heading for another crash like the one we experienced ten years ago. We recently explained that the lenient lending standards of the previous decade (which created false demand) no longer exist. But what about prices?

Are prices appreciating at the same rate that they were prior to the crash of 2006-2008? Let’s look at the numbers as reported by Freddie Mac:

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash | MyKCM

The levels of appreciation we have experienced over the last four years aren’t anywhere near the levels that were reached in the four years prior to last decade’s crash.

We must also realize that, to a degree, the current run-up in prices is the market trying to catch up after a crash that dramatically dropped prices for five years.

Bottom Line

Prices are appreciating at levels greater than historic norms. However, we are not at the levels that led to the housing bubble and bust.