Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 22, 2020

Should I Spend Money on Staging My Home?

 

Sellers end up spending money and time to stage their home before putting it up for sale. It’s a hard decision whether to pay a professional, try and stage your home yourself, or just not do it at all. What are the benefits of staging? Is it really worth the extra effort and money?

Photo from realtor.com

First, here are some statistics.

 

1. Staged homes spend 73% less time on the market than non-staged homes.

 

2. Staged homes sell for up to 17% more than non-staged homes.

 

3. 95% of home buyers search online for pictures of new potential houses.

 

4. 77% of buyers’ agents say home staging makes visualizing a future home easier for buyers.

 

5. 58% of sellers’ realtors believe buyers offer more for staged homes.

 

These numbers can almost speak for themselves! There are so many advantages that come with staging your home. But what story do these numbers actually tell?

 

Staged homes spend 73% less time on the market than non-staged homes.

In essence, staging a home is like dressing it up just enough to make it look nice, but not distracting. It is meant to bring personality to a home, while making it easy to visualize living in for potential buyers. Industry analysis has continued to show that staged homes sell faster and for more money. Since a buyer can imagine what a future would look like in that home, they could be inclined to make an offer faster in order to secure it.

 

Staged homes sell for up to 17% more than non-staged homes.

Since the staged furniture makes the house look more like a home, buyers are more likely to spend more money in order to make it their home. Staging dresses up a house to a point that can increase its value in some instances. Who knows, maybe a buyer will even ask to buy the furniture if it looks good enough!

 

95% of home buyers search online for pictures of new potential houses.

With so much technology at our fingertips, this fact shouldn’t be much of a surprise. There are more and more resources for looking at and purchasing houses online. Without great staging for photos, the home will not be super appealing for those looking at your home online.

 

77% of buyers’ agents say home staging makes visualizing a future home easier for buyers.

Putting furniture in a home lets the buyer imagine what a life could look like living there. In addition, great staging could hide potential flaws in a home. Awkward spaces can be hidden, and the best features can be highlighted. It’s the perfect way to make a good first impression!

 

58% of sellers’ realtors believe buyers offer more for staged homes.

How is this possible? It is the same home whether it’s staged or not, so why would buyers pay more? Put simply, a well-staged home has potential to bring more people. The aesthetic of a home is something buyers pay attention to. If there are a lot of people wanting to purchase your home, buyers will increase their offer. 

 

The bottom line is that the money spent on staging could easily be paid back through a higher offer, or selling your home quickly! All homes and situations are different, but consider how much staging can improve your experience. We love staging homes, so reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

 

 

Facts from:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/052815/professional-home-staging-worth-cost.asp#what-is-staging

http://www.premierhomestaging.net/staging-benefits

Sept. 18, 2020

Tips for a Happy Work (from Home) Day

 

Working from home seems to be the new way to go. It’s more flexible, there is no commute, and you are in the comfort of your home. However, this does not mean it doesn’t have any challenges. Whether you’re just starting out or have been working from home for years, check out these tips on how to improve your work experience!

 

SET YOUR HOURS IN ADVANCE

There are countless studies about how beneficial a daily routine is. A set schedule is a great way to instill good habits, be more efficient, and decrease stress levels. If you know you are going to be sitting down to work at 9am, you are less likely to start late and waste time. Similarly, if you know you need to wrap up around 4pm, you’re less likely to stress your whole evening about continuing to work.

 

KEEP OFFICE SPACE SEPARATE AND TIDY

Having an established office or workspace will separate you from the other things going on in the house. Having an environment that takes you out of your normal life will improve focus and efficiency. However, if that space is cluttered, it can increase stress. Decrease paper build up by scanning important documents and keeping them digitally. Keep a microfiber cloth to remove smudges and dust that builds up. Use command hooks to hang up wires that get in the way. The little things will improve productivity and state of mind!

 

ESTABLISH RULES WITH PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE

If you’re a mom, you know if you’re in the house your kids will think you are readily available to them. In order to avoid distraction, it could be a good idea to set rules with people in the house to let them know when you are available. You can explain that when you are working, it’s like if you were to actually be at your office instead of at home. By setting rules, people in the home will also be aware of what they’re allowed vs. not allowed to do while you are working.

 

TAKE BREAKS! WALK OUTSIDE.

Breaks are also shown to improve productivity. Taking a break throughout the work day can spark creativity, produce better decision making, and improve long term projects. Just like the average US employee gets a lunch break, allow yourself to have one! It’s also not a bad day to step outside of the house once or twice to get a breath of fresh air.

 

GET FAMILIAR WITH ZOOM

Most schools and companies are beginning to incorporate Zoom meetings in order to avoid meeting in person. There can be a lot of kinks to work out when first getting familiar with Zoom, so be sure to research those. Make sure your computer has compatible audio and video so you can fully participate in the meeting. Consider holding a practice run with a couple family members to get used to the features. Zoom can be your new best friend if you know how to use it to its full potential!

 

LOOK FOR TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Since everything is online, it will be easy to miss out on the usual training opportunities that are held in person. It’s also difficult for companies to keep track of everyone online. For these reasons, be proactive! Make sure you are on lists to be involved in different classes or training to continue developing your skill. Register for online classes and participate.

 

COMMUNICATION IS KEY!

Being online is an inconvenience as far as communication. In order to maintain up to date information with your colleagues, try to over communicate! Make sure everyone knows when you are available. Make sure to report everything that gets done in order to not lose track of everything. Check emails and messages frequently. Staying in touch with coworkers will help the work environment run smoothly.

 

MEAL AND SNACK PREP

How often do you get started on a project and realize around 2pm that you are hungry? Getting up to take extra time to cook could cut into work time. It’s important to take food breaks, but by preparing meals and snacks beforehand, these times are a lot more efficient. Plus, it’s one less thing to stress about during your work day.

 

GET TO KNOW COWORKERS

Working from behind a computer all day can get tedious and lonely. Try to interact with the people you work with! Get together with them or just meet them over Zoom. Having a friendly work environment will produce much better results than a bunch of strangers collaborating.

 

TAKE EXTRA CARE TO BE POSITIVE

Work is hard! And that is okay! Embrace the advantages of being at home and working. Try to sound upbeat in messages or over the phone. You will be surprised at how much these little things can improve your day.

 

 

As always, we are here to help with anything you need! If you need any extra help with how to adjust to working from home, please let us know or leave a comment. Happy Friday!

 

https://www.pcmag.com/news/get-organized-20-tips-for-working-from-home

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347479

Posted in Misc
Sept. 15, 2020

Four Upsides of Real Estate in 2020

Housing Market Recovery

Many parts of the economy took a toll with the coronavirus. This was fully expected for real estate as well. And while the housing market did struggle for a while, the recovery has been monumental. Let’s take a look at just the DFW area. In the month of August alone, Collin County recorded 1855 closings. Denton County had 1761, and Dallas County had 2411.

 

The use of technology has been an instrumental piece of helping this industry power through. We have seen appointments happening virtually, homes being sold over the Internet, and many agents working with clients in creative ways.

This graphic demonstrates the activity in the market since February. The baseline beginning February 1st begins at 100. We can see there was a serious decline in March and April, however the market in DFW is quickly coming back and should surpass previous levels. (Graphic from Realtor.com)

 

Record-Breaking Mortgage Rates

The mortgage rates being recorded throughout the country right now are a huge attraction for buyers. The highest rate of a 30 year mortgage was 18.63% in the early 1980’s. Now, records are being broken with a rate of 3.03%.

 

With this incredible opportunity to save money on monthly payments, 2020 is becoming more and more promising. 

Continued Home Price Appreciation

While low mortgage rates are helpful to home buyers, home appreciation in the market definitely favors sellers. With not as many people selling their homes, demand is high. Buyers are willing to pay more for a new home, which allows sellers to pocket more from the sale.

 

To be more specific to the Dallas area, there were 4256 homes listed in Dallas County in August. While this is a substantial number, the DFW area is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Many families are on the move towards Dallas and are willing to pick up on the limited supply of homes. 

 

These homes are selling fast as well. Homes in the DFW area average 39 days on the market, with many selling even quicker than that. Now is definitely the time to sell if you are looking into making that move!

 

“The pandemic has not stopped the consistent

 home price growth we have seen in recent years”

Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans

 

Increasing Affordability

While there are not enough homes for sale to keep prices extremely low, the mortgage rates still provide plenty of opportunities for buyers. Over the course of a 30 year mortgage rate, up to $32,000 can be saved on a home. This extra money gives buyers options!

 

A buyer could use this money towards a pool during the hot Texas summers, an extra office space for working from home, or upgrading a kitchen. The bottom line is buyers have much more flexibility with homes! Now is the time to consider taking advantage of these opportunities. (Photo from Dallas Business Journal)

 

 

There is so much to be excited about in the market! The trends are showing promise, and are expected to continue skyrocketing. If you have any questions or need to know how to get started, let us know! We would love to meet you!

Facts from: Keeping Current Matters, Fair Texas Title

Sept. 11, 2020

Frisco: An Ideal Home

Frisco, Texas, has been ranked as the number one fastest growing city in America multiple times. But what is the reason behind all the excitement? Here you will find some basic information about Frisco. You can learn about the city’s history, some interesting facts, and what being a resident might look like.


Timeline

 

1845: Texas is admitted into the United States of America.

 

1860: Many families came up the Preston Trail (known today as Preston Road) from Austin to migrate cattle into the markets. The settlers created a community called Lebanon.

 

1902: The St. Louis San Francisco Railway began to build through the town. The growth and prosperity in the community brought more settlers.

 

1904: The name “Frisco” was proposed to name the town in honor of the San Francisco Railway.

 

1990: Frisco’s location, leadership and quality of life brought a major influx of people. It was named the fastest growing city in the nation.

 

Today: As of 2018, the Frisco population was recorded around 180,000 residents.

 

Market Facts

 

Median house price: $335,900

 

74% of Frisco residents own their home instead of renting.

 

Average amount of time a home is on the market: 43 days


Other Interesting Facts

 

Frisco is known as a shopping destination in the metroplex.

 

There are SIX major sports teams in the DFW area.

 

Frisco Independent School District is home to 42 elementary schools, 17 middle schools and 10 high schools.

 

Would you like to know any additional facts about Frisco? Let us know! We would be happy to help you learn more about the area and why it is such a great place to settle. 

 

Facts from: Fair Texas Title, visitfrisco.com, quickenloans.com, friscoisd.org

 

Posted in Local
Sept. 8, 2020

Ten Basic Real Estate Terms to Know

Let’s be honest, talking real estate is like talking in a foreign language. There are many terms and phrases that are important to the business! Here are ten of the most popular terms to help you get more familiar with real estate and how it works.

1. ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE (ARM)

A mortgage with an interest rate that has the ability to change throughout the period of time the loan is due.

 

Why is this helpful? If there is a period of low interest rates, it could be helpful to have an ARM so the interest rate can continue to be adjusted instead of being stuck in one spot.

2. AMORTIZATION

The process of paying off debt over the course of time. This usually refers to the payment which includes the principal and interest.

 

Why is this helpful? Instead of a buyer having to pay an enormous amount of money to buy a property, this process allows for the home to be paid off in portions in order to be more affordable.

3. APPRAISAL

A process that determines the value of a particular property.

 

Why is this helpful? When trying to sell a home, an appraisal helps give an idea of how much the home is worth to get the selling process started at a reasonable price.

4. BROKER

A real estate agent that continues to get their education to a real estate broker license. They are able to work independently or hire other agents to work for them.

 

Why is this helpful? A broker has advanced knowledge of the real estate business, and is able to hire others that have similar expertise. They have all the tips and tricks for how to be successful in buying or selling a home.

5. REAL ESTATE AGENT

Someone who gains a professional license in real estate that helps people who are buying or selling a home. They are able to guide through the process and transactions.

 

Why is this helpful? Real estate agents are helpful for both buyers and sellers! They can find potential homes for buyers, and attempt to close quickly and effectively for sellers.

6. CLOSING

A final step in the buying process where the final sale of the property occurs. The ownership officially goes from the seller to the buyer.

 

Why is this helpful? A formal closing allows for minimal confusion of transaction processes. Both parties are able to sign agreements and make final decisions.

7. CONTINGENCY

An action or demand that must be fulfilled before a real estate contract can become official. Examples usually include improvements that need to be performed in a home before selling.

 

Why is this helpful? Contingencies in a contract can guarantee that a buyer will get their home in the state requested. Satisfaction levels are met more easily through this method.

8. EQUITY

The value of an asset after any remaining liabilities. For example, if your home is worth $300,000, but you still owe $250,000 for your mortgage, the equity would be $50,000.

 

Why is this helpful? Essentially, equity is the remaining money that someone has. This money can be used for different projects or financing different things if used responsibly.

9. FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE

A mortgage with an interest rate that stays the same throughout the course of time the loan is paid off.

 

Why is this helpful? This type of mortgage could be beneficial for someone who desires a consistent charge every month. The interest rate won’t change how much they are paying throughout the life of the mortgage.

10. PRE-APPROVAL

A statement from a lender that shows a buyer is able to purchase a home, and how much the lender is willing to give them. The lender will take factors like credit, debt, and financial obligations into account.

 

Why is this helpful? Getting pre-approved in the buying process gives buyers the “leg up” when purchasing a home. It shows the seller that they are able to finance a home and are serious about their purchase.

 

 

If you have any questions about any of these terms or need any other specific words defined, let us know! We are happy to help in your journey to purchase a new home.



Sept. 4, 2020

THREE DIY HOME DECOR IDEAS (IN ONE HOUR)

Quarantine, social distancing, working from home…

All of these can leave us a lot of extra free time. So why not use this new extra time to add some new decor to your living room?


Here are 3 “hip” and easy ideas that are cheap, and can be done within an hour to add something new to your home.

 

1. PHOTO LUMINARIES (By Hometalk on Pinterest)

 

 

Materials: Lantern, paint and brushes, double sided tape, flameless tea light, photos

 

Step 1: Prepare the lantern

Take the glass door out of the front part of the lantern.

Step 2: Paint

Paint the lantern the color that best matches your room or wall.

Step 3: Tape

Put double sided tape on the top and bottom of the glass door.

Step 4: Get the picture

Print out a picture the size of the door and shape it. Tape it on with the double sided tape.

Step 5: Replace

Put the photo and glass back in the lantern when the paint is dry.

Step 6: Add light!

Put an electric/flameless tea inside.

 

2. HULA HOOP SHELVES (By Hometalk on Pinterest)

 

 

 

Materials: 2 Hula Hoops, spray paint, 1 inch screws, washers, stain, 2 wooden boards (cut to fit hula hoop), sandpaper, glue, power drill, 2 dowels

 

Step 1: Paint!

Spray paint the hula hoops with the color of your choice. (Lay down on some plastic or newspaper to avoid messy floors)

Step 2: Get the wood together

Make sure they are measured to the size of the hula hoops, sanded down, and then stain all sides. Results are best if the stain compliments the hula hoop paint color.

Step 3: Add shelves

Attach board to hoops. Drill a hole into the precise area of the hoop and the board, attach washers to the screws, and drill the hula hoop in place on top of the wooden board. Repeat this for all screws.

Step 4: Dowels

Spray paint the 2 dowels and glue them to the bottom to avoid the shelves from rolling.

Step 5: Decorate the shelves!

Use plants, store small items, or whatever works best with your living room.

 

3. RUSTIC MASON JAR WALL DECORATIONS (By Amanda Formaro on Pinterest)

 

 

Materials: Two 4” x 12” wood sections, two mason jars, paintbrushes, relic paint, sandpaper, ruler/pencil, black decorative hooks, hanging hardware, frosted glass spray paint, masking tape, twine (two 20” and two 48”), faux florals, twinkle lights

 

Step 1: Get the boards ready

Sand down and paint the wooden boards with the relic paint.

Step 2: Distress paint

Distress the paint on the wood with sandpaper (gives a rustic look).

Step 3: Attach hanging hardware

Add hanging hardware about 2 inches down from the top of the board on the back side.

Step 4: Add hook 

Attach black decorative hook to the top center of the wooden board on the front side.

Step 5: Spray paint the jar

Add tape around the neck of the mason jar, and spray the jar with the frosted spray paint. Remove the tape.

Step 6: Short twine

Place the shorter piece of twine over the top opening of the jar.

Step 7: Longer twine

Wrap longer pieces of twine around the neck of the jar a couple times to cover the tails of the short piece.

Step 8: Create hanging rope

Tie the ends of the short piece together to create a hanging rope.

Step 9: Finishing touches

Place twinkle lights and flowers into the mason jar and hang it on the hook. Attach the board to the wall.

 

HAPPY DECORATING!

 

 

 

Posted in Misc
Sept. 1, 2020

What Should We Expect For the Rest of 2020?

It’s no secret that with the corona virus still making headlines around the world that it is affecting our lives every day. But what does this mean for buying or selling a home? Is it a smart move to buy a new house with all that’s going on?

 

 

The short answer is: YES!! There has never been a better time to buy a home and make it your own.

(Graphic from Keeping Current Matters)

 

This graphic shows the interest rate throughout the past several decades. With today’s interest rate at an all time low of 2.99%, there is a fantastic opportunity for homebuyers. 

 

Looking Forward

“The real estate market is forecasted to finish 2020 with growing strength.” 

Even with all of the chaos and hurdles in the country right now, homeownership rates have actually risen. Despite Covid-19, the housing market is continuing to improve as Americans work towards buying and selling homes.

 

Along with that, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the MBA all predict home sales to increase significantly as 2021 approaches.

 

There may be many different challenges for all of us with the pandemic, but homeownership doesn’t have to be! We can have confidence in the real estate market throughout the rest of this difficult year.

 

It’s always hip to buy a new home! Get started today!

Posted in Market Updates
June 10, 2020

Leading the Economic Recovery

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

With more U.S. states reopening for business this summer, and as people start to return to work, we can expect the economy to begin improving. Most expert forecasts indicate this economic recovery will start to happen in the second half of this year. As we get back to work and the financial landscape of the country begins to turn around, many experts also agree that real estate has the potential to lead the way in the recovery process.

According to Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates:

 “Housing will fare better than expected during this severe downturn.”

In addition, CNBC notes:

“Mortgage demand from home buyers shows unexpectedly strong and quick recovery…The quick recovery has surprised most forecasters.”

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says:

“Overall, the data lend evidence to the NAHB forecast that housing will be a leading sector in an eventual economic recovery.”

One of the big reasons why housing has the potential to be such a driving force is the significant impact it has on the local economy. This impact is particularly strong when a newly constructed home is built and sold. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average new home sale has a total economic impact of $88,416. As outlined in the graphic below, this is a combination of income generated from real estate industries, expenditures, and new home construction.Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCMWith so many unknowns today, especially in the wake of a worldwide pandemic, one known factor is the bright spark the housing market can play in local and national recovery. Buying and selling a home goes well beyond personal growth and satisfaction – it supports our economy as a whole.

Bottom Line

According to experts, the economy will begin to recover in the second half of this year. With real estate as a driver, that recovery may start sooner than we think.

Posted in Market Updates
June 9, 2020

Understanding Unemployment Statistics

Three Things to Understand About Unemployment Statistics

Three Things to Understand About Unemployment Statistics | MyKCM

Tomorrow morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest Employment Situation Summary, which will include the most current unemployment rate. It will be a horrific number. Many analysts believe unemployment could be greater than 20%. These numbers represent families across the nation that are not sure when (or if) they will return to work. The emotional impact on these households is devastating.

There are, however, some small rays of light shining through on this issue. Here are three:

1. The actual number of unemployed is less than many are reporting

The number of people unemployed is sometimes over-exaggerated. It seems that every newscaster talks about the 40+ million people “currently” unemployed. It is true that, over the last ten weeks, over 40.7 million people have applied for unemployment. It is also true, however, that many of those people have already returned to work or gotten a new job. The actual number of people currently unemployed is 21.1 million. This is still a horrible number, but about half of what is often being reported.Three Things to Understand About Unemployment Statistics | MyKCM

2. Of those still unemployed, most are temporary layoffs

Last month’s unemployment report showed that 90% of those unemployed believe their status is temporary. Friday’s report will probably show a decline in that percentage as the original number was somewhat optimistic. However, a recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank showed that employers believe over 75% of job losses are temporary layoffs and furloughs. This means 3 out of 4 people should be returning to work as the economy continues to recover.

3. Those on unemployment are receiving assistance

According to a recent study from the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago, 68% of those who are eligible for unemployment insurance receive benefits that exceed lost earnings, with 20% receiving benefits at least twice as large as their lost earnings.

Bottom Line

Tomorrow’s report will be difficult to digest. However, as the nation continues to reopen, many of those families who are impacted will be able to return to work.

Posted in Market Updates
June 9, 2020

It’s All About Supply and Demand

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand | MyKCM

As we enter the summer months and work through the challenges associated with the current health crisis, many are wondering what impact the economic slowdown will have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what’s to come.

Making our way through the month of June and entering the second half of the year, we face an undersupply of homes on the market. Keep in mind, this undersupply is going to vary by location and by price point. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, we currently have a 4.1 months supply of homes on the market. Historically, 6 months of supply is considered a balanced market. Anything over 6 months is a buyer’s market, meaning prices will depreciate. Anything below 6 months is a seller’s market, where prices appreciate. The graph below shows inventory across the country since 2010 in months supply of homes for sale.Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand | MyKCMRobert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) says:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt. Estimates vary, but based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Given the undersupply of homes on the market today, there is upward pressure on prices. Looking at simple economics, when there is less of an item for sale and the demand is high, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. The undersupply is also prompting bidding wars, which can drive price points higher in the home sale process. According to a recent MarketWatch article:

 “As buyers return to the market as the country rebounds from the pandemic, a limited inventory of homes for sale could fuel bidding wars and push prices higher.”

In addition, experts forecasting home prices have updated their projections given the impact of the pandemic. The major institutions expect home prices to appreciate through 2022. The chart below, updated as of earlier this week, notes these forecasts. As the year progresses, we may see these projections revised in a continued upward trend, given the lack of homes on the market. This could drive home prices even higher.Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Many may think home prices will depreciate due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, but experts disagree. As we approach the second half of this year, we may actually see home prices rise even higher given the lack of homes for sale.

Posted in Market Updates