Monday, September 26, 2016

The Rent Trap

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap! | MyKCM
There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at, reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that,
“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”
In the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University's 2015 Report on Rental Housing, they reported that 49% of rental households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,
“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”
 “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reported that analysts at Nomura believe:
"It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.
 It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)
Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let’s get together to determine if you could qualify for a mortgage now!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If I Had a Hammer...

If you are planning on selling your home over the next two years, now may be the time to act. Demand is high, supply is low and many homeowners are benefiting from an almost auction atmosphere with several buyers fighting for their house in the current multi-bid environment. Higher prices and less stringent contingencies are making it easier for the seller and their family.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why Rates Matter

 Even a small increase in interest rates drastically impacts your budget.
 Securing a mortgage now while rates are still low means you can get more house for your money.  Spend your money on your dream home, not on interest.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


At the same time, Tim Rood, chairman of the business advisory firm The Collingwood Group, explained that real estate is:

 “…one of the last legitimate wealth creation opportunities…The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates. It's phenomenal."

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Extracting Teasures from the "Trash" of Home Rennovations's "Ask Umbra" column provides some great suggestions for re-cycling the byproducts of home renovations:
....But if you don’t have a new home for it, someone else probably does (especially if you slap a “vintage” label on it). Renovators may be able to sell their old pieces on eBay or Craigslist to other thrifty builders – so if your neighbors have some particularly cool trash, it’s worth a shot.
 An even better option might be donating their unwanted tubs, lights, and flooring, though: This helps support worthy causes and may translate into a hefty tax write-off.
The biggie here is ReStore, Habitat for Humanity’s nationwide chain of resale shops for building materials, furniture, and the like. These outlets accept donations of all kinds of stuff, either for drop-off or pickup, as long as it’s in good shape.  Other local organizations or secondhand outfits might also accept the salvage from remodeling projects, so it’s worthwhile to ask around.
Bonus: Keeping supplies in circulation means other builders have access to local goodies, reducing shipping and transport costs for their projects. Yet another one of my favorite things! This robust secondhand market underscores why it’s important to do your home makeovers carefully, by the way. Smashing cabinets with a sledgehammer might sound like fun for a few minutes, I suppose, but carefully removing them for resale yields years of d├ęcor satisfaction for someone else. This practice even has a name: deconstruction, as opposed to demolition, and it can be applied to everything from counters to plumbing fixtures to roofing to molding. You can hire professionals who specialize in just this kind of mindful renovation (and local ReStore outlets can often hook you up with their own deconstruction crews).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lenders Lowering Mortgage Hurdles

There has been a lot of discussion about how difficult it is to get a home mortgage in this market. There is no doubt that the process is not as easy as it was eight to ten years ago and that’s probably good news. However, it does appear that availability to mortgage money is increasing with each passing day.

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association publishes the Mortgage Credit Availability Index(MCAI). According to their site the index is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time”. As we can see from the graph below, mortgage availability has been increasing dramatically over the last six months.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The True Cost of Sprawl

Two new studies demonstrate the true costs of sprawl, and attempt to show that if new development was built at higher densities and with proper public transit, billions of dollars could be saved. Read more at

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tiny Houses Evolving into Bed and Breakfast Biz

Breaking news from the rapidly growing movement towards tiny houses is this custom built house from Nashville. The 185 square ft. home uses a restored trailer, and the windows were sourced from the local Habitat Restore.

The owners reportedly built this small home as a way to generate extra income (they are currently renting it out on AirBnB), but plan to live in it in the future.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Serious Investors Still Flip for Flipping

Despite steadily rising rents, experienced investors still prefer fixing and flipping houses as opposed to buying a house for the purpose of renting it out, according a new report from

 The results come courtesy of’s February 2015 Real Estate Investor Activity Report, a nationwide survey of real estate investors bidding on properties offered for auction during the period.

According to’s survey, 57.3% of respondents who identified as full-time “real estate investors” are looking to flip a property, compared to 41.5% that are buying to rent.

On the other hand, survey respondents who said that they were just making a “one-time purchase” were much more likely to be buying to rent (64.5%) than buying to flip (34.6%).
More details via Housingwire:

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Understanding Points In A Home Mortgage Loan - When Is It Best To Use Them?

When determining the best interest rate option to choose, when doing a refinance or buying a new home, there are essentially 3 options that one should consider in order to come up with the best strategy for your loan situation.

Dan White has given us a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario.