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!  

May 10, 2022

Will Home Prices in Boerne Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say.

Will Home Prices Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say | MyKCM

Many people are wondering: will home prices fall this year? Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, the answer to this question matters for you. Let’s break down what’s happening with home prices, where experts say they’re headed, and how this impacts your homeownership goals.

What’s Happening with Home Prices? 

Home prices have seen 121 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. CoreLogic says:

Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021, up from the 2020 full year average of 6%.”

So why are prices climbing so much? It’s because there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. This imbalance is expected to maintain that upward pressure on home prices because homes for sale are a hot commodity in today’s low-inventory housing market.

Where Do Experts Say Prices Will Go from Here?

Experts say the housing market isn’t set up for a price decline due to that ongoing imbalance between supply and demand. In the latest home price forecasts for 2022, they’re calling for ongoing appreciation throughout the year (see graph below):

Will Home Prices Fall This Year? Here’s What Experts Say | MyKCM

While the experts are forecasting more moderate price appreciation, the 2022 projections show price gains will remain strong throughout this year. First American explains it like this:

While house price growth is expected to moderate from the rapid pace of 2021, strong home buyer demand against a backdrop of historically tight inventory of homes for sale will likely keep appreciation positive in the coming year.”

What Does That Mean for You?

The biggest takeaway is that none of the experts are projecting depreciation. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, the higher price appreciation over the last two years has been great for your home’s value, but it’s also something you should factor in when planning your next steps. If you’ll also be buying a home after selling your current house, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Waiting will only cost you more in the long run because climbing mortgage rates and rising home prices will have an impact on your next home purchase. Freddie Mac says:

“If you’re thinking about waiting until next year and that maybe rates are higher, but you’ll get a deal on prices – well that’s risky. It may be more advantageous to purchase this year relative to waiting until 2023 at this time.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling to move up, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say prices will continue to appreciate this year. That means, if you’re ready, buying your next home before prices climb further may make the most financial sense. Let’s connect to begin the process of selling your current home and looking for your next one before prices rise higher.

May 9, 2022

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Boerne Texas Home Purchase

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase | MyKCM

If you’re planning to buy a home in Boerne Texas, it’s critical to understand the relationship between mortgage rates and your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy that’s within your financial reach. Mortgage rates directly impact the monthly payment you’ll have on the Boerne home you purchase. So, when rates rise, so does the monthly payment you’re able to lock in on your home loan. In a rising-rate environment like we’re in today, that could limit your future purchasing power of a home in the Boerne area.

Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is above 5%, and in the near term, experts say that’ll likely go up in the months ahead. You have the opportunity to get ahead of that increase if you buy now in the Boerne area before that impacts your purchasing power.

Mortgage Rates Play a Large Role in Your Home Search

The chart below can help you understand the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment within a range of loan amounts. Let’s say your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment in the $2,100-$2,200 range. The green in the chart indicates a payment within that range, while the red is a payment that exceeds it (see chart below):

How Today’s Mortgage Rates Impact Your Home Purchase | MyKCM

As the chart shows, you’re more likely to exceed your target payment range as mortgage rates increase unless you pursue a lower home loan amount. If you’re ready to buy a home, use this as your motivation to purchase now so you can get ahead of rising rates before you have to make the decision to decrease what you borrow in order to stay comfortably within your budget.

Work with Trusted Advisors To Know Your Budget and Make a Plan

It’s critical to keep your budget top of mind as you’re searching for a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, puts it best, advising that buyers should:

Get preapproved with where rates are today, but also consider what would happen if rates were to go up, say another quarter of a point, . . . Know what that would do to your monthly costs and how comfortable you are with that, so that if rates do move higher, you already know how you need to adjust in response.”

No matter what, the best strategy is to work with your real estate advisor and a trusted lender to create a plan that takes rising mortgage rates into consideration. Together, you can look at your budget based on where rates are today and craft a strategy so you’re ready to adjust as rates change.

Bottom Line

Even small increases in mortgage rates can impact your purchasing power. If you’re in the process of buying a home, it’s more important than ever to have a strong plan. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate advisor and a lender on your side who can help you strategize to achieve your dream of homeownership this season.

Posted in Market Updates
May 6, 2022

2022 Housing Market Forecast INFOGRAPHIC

2022 Housing Market Forecast [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

Posted in Market Updates
May 5, 2022

Three Tips for First-Time Boerne Homebuyer

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | MyKCM

Buying your first home in Boerne or Fair Oaks Ranch is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you're looking to purchase your first home in the Boerne area, you may be wondering what's happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low

Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale in Boerne. When that happens, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes can be an excellent way to increase your choices. According to Bankrate:

“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”

In another article, Bankrate also says:

“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”

Condos and townhomes are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.  There just aren't that many in Boerne is one problem, though.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from NAR shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | MyKCM

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought to buy a home for sale in Boerne.

There are also down payment assistance programs available for many buyers. Not to mention, some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options.  To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that’s available, talk with a professional.

3. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Advisor Throughout the Process

Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional.

If you’re just starting out, they can help you with the initial steps, like educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved. Once you’re ready to begin your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Knowledge is key to succeeding on your homebuying journey. Knowing market trends, what you need for a down payment, and what options you have as a buyer today can give you the confidence you need to buy a home. Let’s connect so you have an expert on your side who can help you navigate the homebuying process.

May 4, 2022

Simple Projects To Increase the Value of Your Boerne Home

Since the pandemic began, our homes have become an even larger part of our lives. Many now work from their bedrooms, attend social events over Zoom from their living rooms, and have taken up domestic hobbies like knitting and baking. Home improvement projects should reflect this increasing importance.

If you're looking to sell your home, it's important to consider what buyers will want. Even if you aren't looking to sell, starting projects early can make future improvements easier and make your home a more welcoming place to live. Be sure to save receipts and take before and after pictures to track your home improvements. A few simple projects can greatly increase the value of your property. Here are some tips and resources to get you started, courtesy of My Boerne Home.

Hire Professionals for Structural Projects

You can do many projects yourself, but there are a few things that should be handled by an expert. Plumbing, wiring, and heating can be dangerous to work on without proper training. The foundation of your home can seriously affect any DIY projects you undertake and is also best left to those with experience. The first step to a DIY home remodel may be to hire someone to ensure that the foundations and wiring of your home are in good shape. There are many online resources to help you find professionals.

Freshen Up Fixtures and Walls

Grimy or outdated walls and fixtures can make your home feel old. Luckily, these are also some of the most accessible ways to improve your home's value and appearance. First, try customizable wallpaper for your walls to add some style. Next, switchplates, curtain rods, and light fixtures are quick and affordable to upgrade, along with your kitchen taps. If you're willing to learn a few simple woodworking skills, you can even install your own crown molding.

Go Green

Access to healthy green spaces can improve mental and physical health. A beautiful garden will boost your mood and impress potential buyers. Many homebuyers in New Zealand are also interested in protecting the environment. Installing smart technology to monitor your energy usage can improve your home's value, lower utility fees, and save energy at a relatively low cost.

Enhance the Exterior

First impressions matter, and there are plenty of ways to “wow” guests and buyers before they even set foot in your house. A stone veneer adds a classy, natural look to your exterior and can be done professionally or DIY. If rock work is out of your budget, consider a bright coat of paint or new siding. A deck addition doesn't require any specialized electrical knowledge, and it can greatly improve your home's value and give you a place to enjoy some fresh air. You can also replace doors and windows for a cleaner look both inside and outside your home.

Focus on Value

Home improvement projects don't have to be flashy or wasteful. By focusing on structure, attractive details, green space, and a fresh exterior, you can easily make your home look and feel beautiful.

 

My Boerne Home is here to help San Antonio and Boerne area families buy and sell their properties. Nothing makes us feel more rewarded than when a client tells us that it was “way easier than they ever thought it would be!” We’d love to hear from you!

May 3, 2022

Things That Could Help You Win a Bidding War on a Home in Boerne for sale or in Fair Oaks Ranch

Things That Could Help You Win a Bidding War on a Home | MyKCM

With a limited number of homes for sale in Boerne today and so many buyers looking to make a purchase in Fair Oaks Ranch too before mortgage rates rise further, bidding wars are common. According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nationwide, homes are getting an average of 4.8 offers per sale. Here’s a look at how that breaks down state-by-state (see map below):

Things That Could Help You Win a Bidding War on a Home | MyKCM

The same report from NAR shows the average buyer made two offers before getting their third offer accepted. In this type of competitive housing market, it’s important to know what levers you can pull to help you beat the competition for Boerne homes for sale. While a real estate professional is your ultimate guide to presenting a strong offer, here are a few things you could consider.

Offering over Asking Price

When you think of sweetening the deal for sellers, the first thought you likely have is around the price of the home. In today’s housing market, it’s true more homes are selling for over asking price because there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. You just want to make sure your offer is still within your budget and realistic for the market value in your area – that’s where a local real estate professional can help you through the process. Bankrate says:

Simply put, being willing to pay more money than other buyers is one of the best ways to get your offer accepted. You may not have to increase it by a lot — it’ll depend on the area and other factors — so look to your real estate agent for guidance.”

Putting Down a Bigger Earnest Money Deposit

You could also consider putting down a larger deposit up front. An earnest money deposit is a check you write to go along with your offer. If your offer is accepted, this deposit is credited toward your home purchase. NerdWallet explains how it works:

A typical earnest money deposit is 1% to 2% of the home’s purchase price, but the amount varies by location. A higher earnest money deposit may catch a seller’s attention in a hot housing market.”

That’s because it shows the seller you’re seriously interested in their house and have already set aside money that you’re ready to put toward the purchase. Talk to a professional to see if this is something you can do in your area. 

Making a Higher Down Payment 

Another option is increasing how much of a down payment you’re going to make. The benefit of a higher down payment is you won’t have to finance as much. This helps the seller feel like there’s less risk of the deal or the financing falling through. And if other buyers put less down, it could be what helps your offer stand out from the crowd.

Non-Financial Options To Make a Strong Offer

Realtor.com points out that while increasing these financial portions of the deal can help, they’re not your only options:

. . . Price is not the only factor sellers weigh when they look at offers. The buyer’s terms and contingencies are also taken into account, as well as pre-approval letters, appraisal requirements, and the closing time the buyer is asking for.”

When it’s time to make an offer, partner with a trusted professional. They have insight into what sellers are looking for in your local market and can give you expert advice on what levers you may or may not want to pull when it’s time to write an offer.

From a non-financial perspective, this can include things like flexible move-in dates or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). For example, you could make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your current home. Just remember, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to forego, like your home inspection. Ultimately, the options you have can vary state-to-state, so it’s best to lean on an expert real estate professional for guidance.

Bottom Line

In today’s hot housing market, you need a partner who can serve as your guide, especially when it comes to making a strong offer. Let’s connect so you have a trusted resource and coach on how to make the strongest offer possible for your specific situation.

May 2, 2022

Today’s Home Price Appreciation Is Great News for Existing Boerne Homeowners

Today’s Home Price Appreciation Is Great News for Existing Homeowners | MyKCM

If you’re planning to sell your home in Boerne or Fair Oaks Ranch Texas this season, rising prices are great news for you. But it’s important to understand why prices are rising to begin with. One major factor is supply and demand.

In any industry, when there are more buyers for an item than there are of that item available, prices naturally rise. In those situations, buyers are willing to pay more to get the product or service they’re looking for when options are scarce. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the current Boerne real estate market.

Selma Hepp, Executive, Research & Insights and Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, puts it like this:

With so few homes, buyers are once again left with fierce competition that’s driving the share of homes that sold over the listing price up to 66% . . . With the continued imbalance between supply and demand, home prices are likely to have another year of strong gains and are expected to average about 10% growth for the year.”

Because it will take some time for housing supply to increase, experts believe prices will continue rising in the Boerne area. The latest Home Price Expectations Survey forecasts what will happen with home prices over the next 5 years. As the graph below shows, while the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years, prices will continue rising through 2026:

Today’s Home Price Appreciation Is Great News for Existing Homeowners | MyKCM

What This Means When You Sell Your House

If you’re a homeowner, the projection for continued price appreciation this year opens up an opportunity to move. That’s because it may give your equity a major boost. Equity is the difference between what you owe on your house and its market value. The amount of equity you have increases as you make your monthly payments and as rising home prices drive up the market value for your home.

Growing equity is a powerful tool for homeowners. When you sell your house, the equity you’ve built comes back to you in the sale. That money could be enough to cover some (if not all) of your down payment on your next home.

Of course, if you want to know how much equity you have in your current house, it’s crucial to work with a real estate professional. They follow current market trends and can help you understand your home’s value when you’re ready to sell.

What This Means for Your Next Purchase

But today’s rising home values aren’t just good news if you’re ready to sell. Because price appreciation is forecast to continue in the years ahead, you can rest assured your next home will be an investment that should grow in value with time. That’s one of several reasons why real estate has been rated the best investment in a recent Gallup poll.

Bottom Line

If you’re weighing whether or not you should sell your house this season, know rising home values may be opening up an opportunity to use equity to fuel your move. Let’s connect so you can find out how much your home is worth and to learn more about all the benefits you have in today’s market.

April 28, 2022

What Boerne Home Sellers Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers’ Market

What You Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

Even if you haven’t been following Boerne real estate news, you’ve likely heard about the current sellers’ market. That’s because there’s a lot of talk about how strong market conditions are for people who want to sell their houses in Boerne and Fair Oaks Ranch Texas. But if you’re thinking about listing your house, you probably want to know: what does being in a sellers’ market really mean?

What Is a Sellers’ Market?

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still very low. There’s a 2-month supply of homes at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a normal or neutral market where there are enough homes available for active buyers. That puts today deep in sellers’ market territory (see graph below):

What You Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

What Does This Mean for You When You Sell?

When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. That creates increased competition among purchasers which can lead to more bidding wars. And if buyers know they may be entering a bidding war, they’re going to do their best to submit a very attractive offer upfront. This could drive the final price of your house up.

And because mortgage rates and home prices are climbing, serious buyers are motivated to make their purchase soon, before those two things rise further. That means, if you put your house on the market while supply is still low, it will likely get a lot of attention from competitive buyers.

Bottom Line

The current real estate market has incredible opportunities for homeowners looking to make a move. Listing your house this season means you’ll be in front of serious buyers who are ready to buy. Let’s connect so you can jumpstart the selling process.

April 27, 2022

Common Stressors Seniors Face as They Age (and How to Manage Them)

While stress is a part of life, the challenges seniors face as they age can be somewhat unique. Thankfully, by learning about typical struggles and how to address them, it’s possible to reduce the impact of many concerns. Here’s a look at common stressors seniors face as they age and how to manage them.

Money

Financial instability is a top concern among aging Americans, causing more mental strife than the prospect of dying or the loss of a spouse. Money worries can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Often, these kinds of woes cloud daily living, leading to long-term health concerns, including mental health struggles.

Up to 20 percent of older adults may suffer from anxiety, though it’s often undiagnosed. Additionally, over 2 million Americans over the age of 64 have some form of depression. While those aren’t all related to money worries, financial instability can certainly worsen those conditions.

Often, the best way to overcome financial instability is planning. Creating a budget, finding opportunities to save, setting more money aside for retirement, and taking similar actions can make a difference.

One way to free up cash is to sell your home and downsize into something smaller. When you’re ready to sell your San Antonio-area home, reach out to experienced and knowledgeable realtors Charley and Alisa Wasson. 210-478-8555

Health Conditions

Approximately 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic medical condition. Additionally, 50 percent have two or more chronic health conditions.

A chronic health condition impacts daily life in a number of ways. Along with potentially being a source of fear and anxiety, some medical issues may limit mobility or require those with it to restrict their activities. For example, they might have to follow strict diets, avoid becoming overly excited, or stay near bathrooms at all times.

There are strategies for coping with a chronic health condition. For example, medication adherence, learning more about the condition, and taking ownership of your care can help. Additionally, building a support system and reaching out for help when it’s needed can make a difference.

Access to Healthcare

In a similar vein, securing reliable access to healthcare can be a concern for aging adults. Having insurance coverage that makes treatment affordable isn’t as easy once you stop working, which is stressful for many people.

Signing up for Medicare Advantage could be an excellent option for Medicare beneficiaries to ensure they have the healthcare access they need to feel confident moving forward. Medicare Advantage has additional benefits for vision, dental, and prescriptions.

A Lack of Companionship

For many seniors, isolation is a significant concern. The loss of a spouse or the death of friends can be hard to shoulder, having a substantial impact on the social aspects of their life. Additionally, family members may not be readily available. Even if they live nearby, they may be struggling with work-life balance, leaving little time for visiting other family members.

Depending on where a person lives, there may be some reasonable ways to find new companions. For example, community senior centers can be an asset. Some community colleges have lifelong learner programs, allowing older adults to take enrichment classes at little or no cost.

Additionally, connecting with family members online could help. With video calls, everyone can catch up face-to-face. As a result, it can help seniors feel less isolated even if everyone can’t gather in person.

 

 

Seniors battle stress as they get older, but they don’t have to go it alone. The resources above can reduce those stressors and help them find joy and peace of mind once again.

This guest article was written by Jim Vogel who can be contacted at jim@elderaction.org

 

Posted in lifestyle
April 27, 2022

The Dream of Homeownership in Boerne Texas Is Worth the Effort

The Dream of Homeownership Is Worth the Effort | MyKCM

If you’re in the market to buy a home this season, stick with it. Homebuyers face challenges in any market, and today’s is no exception. But if you persevere, your decision to purchase a home will be worth the effort in the end. In fact, a recent survey from Bankrate shows homeownership is so powerful that:

Nearly three in four homeowners say they would still buy their current home if they had it to do [sic] all over again.”

That means the results – owning a home and the benefits that come with it – outweigh the effort needed to achieve their goal. If you’re a homebuyer, let that provide you with the confidence to know the work you’re putting in today will pay off for years to come. Here are a few reasons to stick with your search and focus on the outcome.

Homeownership Contributes Significantly to Your Financial Well-Being

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) lists several motivations to consider if you’re thinking about buying a home. One of the top financial reasons is the equity you build. As NAR says:

“Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity . . . Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan.”

Your equity is a powerful tool you can leverage in a number of ways. And with recent home price appreciation, homeowners are seeing record levels of equity today. That may be one reason why so many people view owning a home as a great investment and a top indicator of financial well-being. As the survey from Bankrate mentioned above shows:

“. . . Americans place a higher value on homeownership than on any other indicator of economic stability, . . .”

Owning a home ranks above other major accomplishments like retirement, having a successful career, and getting a college degree. That indicates just how impactful the financial benefits of homeownership truly are.

The Emotional Benefits of Owning a Home Are Powerful

Of course, homeownership is more than an investment. In their list of top reasons to buy a home, NAR also highlights some of the powerful, non-financial aspects of homeownership. Among them is the opportunity to customize your home to reflect your personality and needs. As they say:

“The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.”

Another benefit homeowners enjoy is the stability it provides. Homeowners typically stay put longer than renters. According to NAR, when you remain in one place longer than a few years, you can grow closer to your community. And that can enhance your sense of pride and lead to better relationships.

What Does That Mean for You?

The benefits of homeownership are powerful, as Leslie Rouda Smith, President of NAR, says:

"From building personal wealth and fostering communities, to strengthening social stability and driving the national economy, the value of homeownership is indisputable.”

Even if you face challenges in today’s market, the payoff when you succeed and purchase a home will be worth it.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, there are incredible benefits waiting for you at the end of your journey. Let’s connect to discuss everything homeownership has to offer.