Showing posts from December, 2011

Considering Selling Your Home?

by The KCM Crew

The First Question You Should Ask Your Listing Agent

What is the most important thing a seller should look for when hiring a real estate agent to sell their house? We are often asked this question. Is it the size of the company they are licensed with? Is it their marketing program? Their years experience in the business? Should you choose the agent who suggests the highest listing price?

There are many things that should be taken into consideration when hiring someone and giving them the responsibility for selling your home. In our opinion, the most important question you can ask a potential listing agent is a simple one:

Do you truly believe that now is a good time to buy a home?
Why should this matter when hiring someone to SELL your home? Buyers are nervous about purchasing right now. They want to know they are making an intelligent choice. We believe, especially in today’s market, you need to hire someone who realizes that this is one of the best times in American real …

Real Estate: Today’s Golden Opportunity

by The KCM Crew

Everyone wants to comment on the current real estate market. They want to talk about how now is not the time to buy a home. Some even argue owning a house has never been a great investment. Most say it will be a long time before real estate again begins to appreciate. It all sounds so familiar to us. It was just a decade ago that many made the same arguments about gold as an investment.

Gold had dropped from over $400 an ounce to $250 an ounce (a 40% decline) from February 1996 to August 1999. People ran from gold as though it was a plague.

Lord William Rees-Mogg, the current Chairman of The Zurich Club, in 1997 said:

“No investment has been so thoroughly exploded as gold; most people think that there will no more be another gold boom than there will be another boom in tulip futures in The Netherlands.”

Two years later in 1999, Don Wolanchuk author of the Wolanchuk Report explained:

“Everybody hates gold. You can’t have a bottom until everybody is out. And everybody is out o…

Mortgage rates fall to record lows

By Les Christie @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mortgage rates sunk to record lows again this week.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94%, matching the all-time low hit in early October, according to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a new record low of 3.21%, surpassing the record set on October 6.

Five-year adjustable rate mortgages also plumbed new depths, hitting 2.86% for the week.

"We've been hanging around record lows for a few months now and we finally hit another one," said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a provider of mortgage data.

Low-interest mortgages will be available at least through mid-2012, according to Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft.

Where homes are affordable

The low rates can translate into big savings for home buyers. Five years ago, a home buyer would have been lucky to land a 5% rate on a 15-year loan. On a $200,000 mortgage, that would have meant the borro…

Colorado Springs Ranked as One of the Most Secure Large Cities!

Colorado Springs is one of the most secure large cities to live, according to a new study by the Farmer's Insurance Group.

The study rates cities based on a variety of factors: crime statistics, car accidents, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, environmental hazards, housing depreciation, terrorist threats, foreclosures, air quality, life expectancy, job loss, and mortality rates from cancer.

Cities considered "large" were those with a metropolitan area of 500,000 or more. Colorado Springs was ranked 17th out of 114 cities.

Top 20 Most Secure Cities:

1. Pittsburgh, Penn.
2. Rochester, N.Y.
3. El Paso, Texas
4. Syracuse, N.Y.
5. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Md.
6. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
7. Wichita, Kan.
8. Omaha-Neb.-Council Bluffs, Iowa
9. Denver-Aurora, Colo.
10. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
11. Bridgeport-Stanford-Norwalk, Conn.
12. Albany-Schnectady-Troy, N.Y.
13. McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission, Texas
14. Nassau-Suffolk counties, N.Y.
15. Honolulu, Hawaii
16. Madison, Wis.
17. C…

Where Are the Generation Y Home Buyers?

by The KCM Crew

Many buyers are delaying a decision to purchase a home because of the volatility of the real estate market. There is no larger category exhibiting this behavior than those of Generation Y. To define this segment of the population, we go to Wikipedia:

Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (or Millennials), Generation Next, Net Generation, or Echo Boomers, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the Millennial generation starts and ends, and commentators have used birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s.

Does this generation wish to own a home?
Yes. A recent survey completed by Trulia shows people between the ages of 18-34 still believe in the concept of home ownership. 65% of those surveyed said “their American Dream includes owning a home”.

Where are these adults living?
Recent research form John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows the number of adults living with their parents ha…

Real Estate as a Hedge against Inflation

by The KCM Crew

We haven’t heard a lot about inflation recently. However, prices have started to creep upward over the last year. As examples, here are a few categories that increased from November 2010 to November 2011:

-Food at home – up 6.2%
-Housing fuels and utilities – up 3.5%
-Transportation – up 9.2%

Today, we want to address the issue of inflation and the advantages of owning real estate. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) took an historic look at the impact of inflation. Here are some inflation numbers over the past 30 years:

We can see that real estate has fared very well. The most important number is the $0 increase in mortgage amount. The study assumed that the homeowner took a 30 year fixed rate mortgage thereby locking in the housing expense for the thirty years.

NAR then looked at inflation moving forward over the next thirty years. Obviously, if it remained the same as the last thirty years the percentage increase would be the same. They looked at a low inflation sce…