I'll be using this space for updates, notes of interest and other things that catch my interest, that I feel may catch your interest too!  Spend some time looking around the page, and sign up for an email list.  You can get market updates, search for homes around Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch and the San Antonio metro.  Let me know if I can do something for you anytime.  Just call or text me at 210-478-8555 or feel free to email me!  

Jan. 25, 2023

How many homes are in foreclosure

How many homes are in foreclosure?

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Today’s Foreclosure Headlines | MyKCM

If you’ve seen recent headlines about foreclosures surging in the housing market, you’re certainly not alone. There’s no doubt, the stories in the media can be pretty confusing right now. They may even make you think twice about buying a home for fear that prices could crash. The reality is, the data shows a foreclosure crisis is not where the market is headed, and understanding what that really means is mission critical if you want to know the truth about what’s happening today. Here’s a deeper look.

According to the Year-End 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from ATTOMforeclosure filings are up 115% from 2021, but down 34% from 2019. As media headlines grab onto this 115% increase, it’s more important than ever to put that percentage into context.

While the number of foreclosure filings did more than double last year, we need to remember why that happened and how it compares to more normal, pre-pandemic years in the market. Thanks to the forbearance program and other relief options for homeowners, foreclosure filings were down to record-low levels in 2020 and 2021, so any increase last year is — no surprise — a jump up. Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM, notes:

“Eighteen months after the end of the government’s foreclosure moratorium, and with less than five percent of the 8.4 million borrowers who entered the CARES Act forbearance program remaining, foreclosure activity remains significantly lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems clear that government and mortgage industry efforts during the pandemic, coupled with a strong economy, have helped prevent millions of unnecessary foreclosures.”

Clearly, these options meant millions of homeowners could stay in their homes, allowing them to get back on their feet during a very challenging period. With home values rising at the same time, many homeowners who may have found themselves facing foreclosure under other circumstances were able to leverage their equity and sell their houses rather than face foreclosure, and that trend continues today.

And remember, as the graph below shows, foreclosures today are far below the record-high 2.9 million that were reported in 2010 when the housing market crashed.

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Today’s Foreclosure Headlines | MyKCM

So, while foreclosures are rising, keeping perspective in mind is key. As Bill McBride, Founder and Author of Calculated Risknoted just last week:

“The bottom line is there will be an increase in foreclosures over the next year (from record low levels), but there will not be a huge wave of distressed sales as happened following the housing bubble. The distressed sales during the housing bust led to cascading price declines, and that will not happen this time.”

Bottom Line

Right now, putting the data into context is more important than ever. While the housing market is experiencing an expected rise in foreclosures, it’s nowhere near the crisis levels seen when the housing bubble burst, and that won’t lead to a crash in home prices.

 

Other blogs you may enjoy include:

Jan. 23, 2023

How to sell your home quickly? Price It Right.

How to sell your home quickly? Price It Right.

Want To Sell Your House? Price It Right. | MyKCM

Last year, the housing market slowed down in response to higher mortgage rates, and that had an impact on home prices. If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, that means you’ll want to adjust your expectations accordingly. As realtor.com explains:

“. . . some of the more prominent pandemic trends have changed, so sellers might wish to adjust accordingly to get the best deal possible.”

In a more moderate market, how you price your house will make a big difference to not only your bottom line, but to how quickly your house could sell. And the reality is, homes priced right are still selling in today’s market.

Why Pricing Your House Appropriately Matters

Especially today, your asking price sends a message to potential buyers.

If it’s priced too low, you may leave money on the table or discourage buyers who may see a lower-than-expected price tag and wonder if that means something is wrong with the home.

If it’s priced too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. When that happens, you may have to lower the price to try to reignite interest in your house when it sits on the market for a while. But be aware that a price drop can be seen as a red flag by some buyers who will wonder what that means about the home.

To avoid either headache, price it right from the start. A real estate professional knows how to determine that ideal asking price. They balance the value of homes in your neighborhood, current market trends, buyer demand, the condition of your house, and more to find the right price. This helps lead to stronger offers and a greater likelihood your house will sell quickly.

The visual below helps summarize the impact your asking price can have:

Want To Sell Your House? Price It Right. | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Homes that are priced at current market value are still selling. To make sure you price your house appropriately, maximize your sales potential, and minimize your hassle, let’s connect.

Jan. 23, 2023

What’s Really Happening with Home Prices

What’s Really Happening with Home Prices? [INFOGRAPHIC]

What’s Really Happening with Home Prices? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • If you’re thinking about selling your house, recent headlines about home prices falling month-over-month may have you second guessing your decision—but perspective matters.
  • While home prices are down slightly month-over-month in some markets, home values are still up almost 10% nationally on a year-over-year basis. A nearly 10% gain is still dramatic compared to the more normal level of appreciation, which is 3-4%.
  • Let’s connect to find out how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase.

Other blogs you may enjoy include:

Jan. 20, 2023

Is the housing market turning?

@CharleyWasson discusses some of the interesting stories he's seen regarding real estate.  Including, how builder sentiment is unexpectedly UP, where's the best place for First Time Homebuyers, and what design trends are gaining traction and popularity.  Questions?  Leave them in the comments, and feel free to reach out to charley through his social channels posted above in the banner. (Laughy Hilger Group) 210-478-8555

 

Turning point for housing market?

 

We just saw unexpected surprise in builder sentiment in the single-family housing market. In January, the number rose for the first time in 12 months, even after economists had predicted a slight decline. Both builders and consumers are likely responding to the recent drop in mortgage rates. 

“While NAHB is forecasting a decline for single-family starts this year compared to 2022, it appears a turning point for housing lies ahead,” said Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist. “In the coming quarters, single-family home building will rise off of cycle lows as mortgage rates are expected to trend lower and boost housing affordability.”

Our take

This is great news and more reassurance that this year is starting in the right direction. Share this news with your clients. If builders are shifting, then that affects the whole market and we'll all see that momentum soon!

 

Best markets for first-time homebuyers in 2023

 

Realtor.com released its 2023 National Housing Forecast which ranks the Top 10 cities for first-time home buyers. The rankings were measured by affordability, job opportunities, the share of residents aged 25-34, amenities in each area, and forecasted home and price growth. 

Here’s the Top 10 cities for first-time homebuyers:

1. Portsmouth, VA

2. DeForest, WI

3. Windsor Locks, CT

4. Gloucester City, NJ

5. Moore, OK

6. Magna, UT

7. Eggertsville, NY

8. Watervliet, NY

9. Mattydale, NY

10. Somersworth, NH

Our take

There’s a lot of pressure on first-time home buyers, so lists like this can really help a hesitant client. Focus on what they measured and why. We agree that buyers coming into the market this year will be younger, so understand what is important to them. Remember, you want to help your client make the right decision, even if the final decision is not to buy.

5 Home Improvement Trends to Watch, According to Handyman Pros

The remodeling boom continues. Here are some popular house projects that handyman professionals are increasingly being called upon to help.

January 16, 2023

Remodeling, Design Trends

A handyman can help with a range of home remodeling projects. Derek Christian, owner of the Handyman Connection in Blue Ash, Ohio, offers some of the trends he’s noticing with remodels:

1. Airbnb-friendly spaces

“We are seeing a big trend toward consumers, especially younger first-time home buyers, creating a second rentable space in their home,” Christian says. These projects may include creating a second lavish owner’s suite, sometimes with its own separate entrance. Also, homeowners are looking to add accessory dwelling units as another rental possibility or turn a basement into a rental apartment, Christian notes.

2. Composite decks

These have been growing in popularity for several years. “With the price of wood tripling during the pandemic, composite decks went from being more expensive to now less expensive than traditional wood decks,” Christian says. “The price of plywood has come down since the pandemic, but we have not had a single request for a new wood deck since 2020.”

3. Lighting upgrades

“There are so many choices of dramatic accent lights now, from pendants to Edison bulbs and LEDs,” Christian says. “These enable all kinds of unique shapes. Consumers are adding dramatic accent lights throughout their home.”

4. Free-standing soaker tubs

“We’re getting more requests to add these in to replace the built-in tubs,” Christian says. Often, he says, the free-standing soaker tub will have a chandelier above it to help create a more luxurious, spa-like bathroom. 

5. Smart-home tech

“The smart home is not here all the way yet, but we are seeing many smaller changes taking hold on that front,” Christian says. “Nearly every remodel we do comes with the request for at least a few sockets with built-in USB charging ports.” Also, in the bathroom for fan/light replacements, consumers increasingly are selecting ones with built-in LED lights that change color as well as have Bluetooth-enabled speakers.

 

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Jan. 19, 2023

Pre-Approval in 2023: What You Need To Know

Pre-Approval in 2023: What You Need To Know

Pre-Approval in 2023: What You Need To Know | MyKCM

One of the first steps in your homebuying journey is getting pre-approved. To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to understand what pre-approval is and what it does for you. Business Insider explains:

“In a preapproval [sic], the lender tells you which types of loans you may be eligible to take out, how much you may be approved to borrow, and what your rate could be.”

Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the homebuying process that’ll help you understand your options and what you may be able to borrow.

How does it work? As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes because you’ll know your overall numbers. And with higher mortgage rates impacting affordability for many buyers today, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.

Pre-Approval Helps Show You’re a Serious Buyer

Another added benefit is pre-approval can help a seller feel more confident in your offer because it shows you’re serious about buying their house. A recent article from Forbes notes:

“From the seller’s perspective, a preapproval [sic] letter from a reputable local lender often can make the difference between accepting and rejecting an offer.”

This goes to show, even though you may not face the intense bidding wars you saw if you tried to buy during the pandemic, pre-approval is still an important part of making a strong offer. In fact, Christy Bieber, Personal Finance Writer at The Motley Fool explains it may be the most important part of making an offer:

“Pre-approval maximizes the chances you’ll be able to actually close the deal – and sellers want to see that.

The fact that a pre-approval gives you a better chance of getting your offer accepted is undoubtedly the most important reason to complete this step . . .”

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved is an important first step towards buying a home. It lets you know what you can borrow and shows sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Connect with a local real estate professional and a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to purchase a home in today’s market.

Other blogs you may enjoy include:

Jan. 17, 2023

Think Twice Before Waiting for 3% Mortgage Rates

Think Twice Before Waiting for 3% Mortgage Rates



Last year, the Federal Reserve took action to try to bring down inflation. In response to those efforts, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, peaking at just over 7% last October. Hopeful buyers experienced a hit to their purchasing power as a result, and some decided to press pause on their plans.

Today, the rate of inflation is starting to drop. And as a result, mortgage rates have dipped below last year’s peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macshares:

“While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.”

That’s potentially great news if you’re a buyer aiming to jump back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates helps boost your purchasing power by bringing down your expected monthly mortgage payment. This means the lower mortgage rates experts forecast this year could be just what you need to reignite your homebuying goals.

While this opens up a window of opportunity for you, remember: you shouldn’t expect rates to drop back down to record lows like we saw in 2021. Experts agree that’s not the range buyers should bank on. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year. But we’re not going back to 3 percent anytime soon, because inflation is not going back to 2 percent anytime soon.

It’s important to have a realistic vision for what you can expect this year, and that’s where the advice of expert real estate advisors is critical. You may be surprised by the impact even a mild drop in mortgage rates has on your budget. If you’re ready to buy a home now, today’s market presents the opportunity to get a more affordable mortgage rate, find your dream home, and face less competition from other buyers.

Bottom Line

The recent pullback in mortgage rates is great news – but if you’re ready to buy now, holding out for 3% is a mistake. Work with a local lender to learn how today’s rates impact your goals, and let’s connect to explore your options in our area.

Other blogs you may enjoy include:

 

Jan. 13, 2023

Key Terms To Know When Buying a Home

Key Terms To Know When Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Key Terms To Know When Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

 

Key terms to know when buying a home:

Appraisal: a report highlighting the estimated value of the property completed by a qualified third party. Lenders rely on an appraisal to validate a home's worth and ensure they are not lending more than a home is worth.

Closing fees: the fees required to complete the real estate transaction and paid at closing. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items, including points, taxes, title, insurance, and more.

Credit score: a number ranging from 300 to 850 that’s based on an analysis of your credit history. This helps Landers determine the likelihood you’ll repay future debts.

Down payment: down payments are typically 3.5% to 20% of the purchase price of the home. So I’m 0% down programs are also available. Ask your lender for more information about what you may qualify for.

Mortgage rate: the interest rate you pay to borrow money when buying a home. As mortgage rates fluctuate consult a lender, so you know how it can impact your monthly mortgage payment.

Preapproval letter: a letter from your lender, that shows what they’re willing to lend you for your home loan. This, plus an understanding of your savings can help you decide on your target price range.

Inspection contingency: in Texas, often referred to as your option period. A provision in the contract, that allows an inspection to be completed. This essential step gives you information on the home's condition and potential repairs.

Affordability: a measure of whether someone earns enough to qualify for a loan on a typical home, based on the most recent price, income, and mortgage rate data.

Equity: the value of your home above the total amount of liens against your home. Many homeowners realize they have more equity than they thought and use it to move. This equity is a result of increased property value and the fact that they have paid down their mortgage overtime with monthly payments.

If you have questions about any of these terms, give me a call I’m here to help! 210-478-8555

Some Highlights

  • Buying a home is a major transaction that can seem even more complex when you don’t understand the terms used throughout the process.
  • If you’re looking to become a homeowner this year, it’s important to know these housing terms and how they relate to the current market so you feel confident throughout the homebuying process.
  • Let’s connect so you have expert answers for any questions as they come up.

Other blogs you may enjoy include:

Jan. 12, 2023

Is It Time To Sell Your Second Home?

Is It Time To Sell Your Second Home?



During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent articleInvestopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.

A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:

“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards remote work since the pandemic is an historic development that will continue to fuel second home demand for many years to come.”

But what if you bought a second home that you no longer use? If you’re now shifting back into the office or are seeing your priorities and needs change, you may find you’re not utilizing your second home as much. If so, it may be time to sell it.

And if you own what’s considered a luxury home, buyer demand for it may be even greater. In another report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing explains:

“. . . the last few years have left their legacy for the luxury market. While it might only represent a small percentage of the overall real estate market, luxury homeownership’s influence is growing. Not only has the purchase of homes valued over $1 million (a figure considered by the National Association of Realtors to be a benchmark for luxury) tripled from 2.6% to 6.5% since 2018, but demand for multiple luxury properties has soared over the last two years.

This phenomenal increase has been driven by a growing affluent demographic who consider owning a luxury property a necessity in their asset portfolio. All indications are that this trend is here to stay, albeit that demand is set to return to a more sustainable level.”

If you own a luxury second home that isn’t being used as much anymore, now’s the time to sell. There are still buyers in the market who are looking for a home like yours today.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to explore the benefits of selling your second home this year. Let's get started!  Call or text 210-478-8555

Other blog posts you may enjoy include:

Jan. 11, 2023

Today’s Boerne Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago

Today’s Boerne Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago



There’s no doubt today’s housing market in Boerne is very different than the frenzied one from the past couple of years. In the second half of 2022, there was a dramatic shift in real estate, and it caused many people to make comparisons to the 2008 housing crisis. While there may be a few similarities, when looking at key variables now compared to the last housing cycle, there are significant differences.

In the latest Real Estate Forecast Summit, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), drew the comparisons below between today’s housing market and the previous cycle:

Today’s Housing Market Is Nothing Like 15 Years Ago | MyKCM

Looking at the facts, it’s clear: today is very different than the housing market of 15 years ago.

There’s Opportunity in Real Estate Today

And in today’s market, with inventory rising and less competition from other buyers, there’s opportunity right now. According to David Stevens, former Assistant Secretary of Housing:

“So be advised…this may be the one and only window for the next few years to get into a buyer’s market. And remember…as the Federal Reserve data shows…home prices only go up and always recover from recessions no matter how mild or severe. Long term homeowners should view this market…right now…as a unique buying opportunity.”

Bottom Line

Today’s Boerne housing market is nothing like the real estate market 15 years ago. If you’re a buyer right now, this may be the chance you’ve been waiting for. Ready to start?  Text me at 210-478-8555

Jan. 9, 2023

What Experts Are Saying About the 2023 San Antonio area Housing Market

What Experts Are Saying About the 2023 San Antonio area Housing Market



If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home soon in the greater San Antonio metro, including Boerne, and Fair Oaks Ranch, you probably want to know what you can expect from the housing market this year. In 2022, the market underwent a major shift as economic uncertainty and higher mortgage rates reduced buyer demand, slowed the pace of home sales, and moderated home prices. But what about 2023?

An article from HousingWire offers this perspective:

“The red-hot housing market of the past 2 ½ years was characterized by sub-three percent mortgage rates, fast-paced bidding wars and record-low inventory. But more recently, market conditions have done an about-face. . . . now is the opportunity for everyone to become re-educated about what a ‘typical’ housing market looks like.”

This year, experts agree we may see the return of greater stability and predictability in the housing market if inflation continues to ease and mortgage rates stabilize. Here’s what they have to say.

The 2023 forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

While 2022 may be remembered as a year of housing volatility, 2023 likely will become a year of long-lost normalcy returning to the market, . . . mortgage rates are expected to stabilize while home sales and prices moderate after recent highs, . . .”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comadds:

“. . . buyers will not face the extreme competition that was commonplace over the past few years.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains home prices will vary by local area, but will net neutral nationwide as the market continues to adjust:

After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:

“The housing market, once adjusted to the new normal of higher mortgage rates, will benefit from continued strong demographic-driven demand relative to an overall, long-run shortage of supply.” 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, the best way to ensure you’re up to date on the latest market insights is to partner with a trusted real estate advisor. Let’s connect.