Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market?

Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market? | MyKCM

As the health crisis started making its way throughout our country earlier this spring, sellers have been cautious about putting their homes on the market. This hesitation stemmed primarily from fear of the spread of the coronavirus, and understandably so. This abundant caution has greatly impacted the number of homes for sale and slowed the pace of a typically busy spring real estate season. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American notes:

“As more homeowners are reluctant to list their homes for sale amid the pandemic, the supply of homes available to potential home buyers continues to dwindle.”

With many provinces and states beginning a phased approach to reopening, virtual best practices and health and safety guidelines for the industry are in place to increase the comfort level of buyers and sellers. What we see today, though, is that sellers are still making a very calculated return to the market. In their latest Weekly Housing Trends Report, realtor.com indicates:

“New listings: On the slow path to recovery. Nationwide the size of declines held mostly steady this week, dropping 23 percent over last year, a slight increase over last week but still an improvement over the 30 percent declines in the first half of May.”

Although we’re starting to inch our way toward more homes for sale throughout the country, the number of homes on the market is still well below the demand from buyers. In the same report, Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for realtor.com shares:

“Sellers have yet to come back in full force, limiting the availability of homes for sale. Total active listings are declining from a year ago at a faster rate than observed in previous weeks, and this trend could worsen as buyers regain confidence and come back to the market before sellers.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) seems to agree:

“In the coming months, buying activity will rise as provinces and states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about homebuying in the midst of the social distancing measures.”

What we can see today is that homebuyers are more confident than the sellers, and they’re ready to make up for lost time from the traditional spring market. Summer is gearing up to be the 2020 buying season, so including your house in the mix may be your best opportunity to sell yet. Interest in your house may be higher than you think with so few sellers on the market today. As Vivas says:

“More properties will have to enter the market in June to bring the number of options for buyers back to normal levels for this time of the year, nationwide and in all large markets.”

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell your house this summer, let’s connect today. Buyers are interested and they may be looking for a house just like yours. Give me a call at 416-779-8732.

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

With more Provinces and 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.”

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

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 above, this is a combination of income generated from real estate industries, expenditures, and new home construction.With 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. Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home? Call me today. I’m available for a call or an appointment at anytime to answer anything you want to know as we move forward and emerge from Covid – 19.

National Homeownership Month

National Homeownership Month [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • National Homeownership Month is a great time to reflect on how we can each promote stronger community growth.
  • Homeownership helps families build financial freedom, find greater happiness and satisfaction, and make a positive impact on our local communities.
  • Let’s connect today if homeownership is part of your future plans.

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process | MyKCM

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals:

“The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the Canadian Dream.”

Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the barriers to homeownership – especially those related to down payments and FICO® scores – might be keeping many buyers out of the arena. The piece also reveals:

“Millennials have to navigate a lot of obstacles to be able to own a home. According to our 2020 survey, saving for a down payment is the biggest barrier for 50% of millennials.”

Millennial or not, unpacking two of the biggest myths that may be standing in the way of homeownership among all generations is a great place to start the debunking process.

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Many buyers often overestimate what they need to qualify for a home loan. According to the same article:

“A down payment of 20% for a home of that price [$210,000] would be about $42,000; only about 30% of the millennials in our survey have enough in savings to cover that, not to mention the additional closing costs.”

While many potential buyers still think they need to put at least 20% down for the home of their dreams, they often don’t realize how many assistance programs are available with as little as 3% down. With a bit of research, many renters may be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher”

In addition to down payments, buyers are also often confused about the FICO® score it takes to qualify for a mortgage, believing they need a credit score of 780 or higher.

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process | MyKCM

The Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans, shows the truth is, over 50% of approved loans were granted with a FICO® score below 750 (see graph below):Even today, many of the myths of the homebuying process are unfortunately keeping plenty of motivated buyers on the sidelines. In reality, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may have more options than you think. Let’s connect to answer your questions and help you determine your next steps.

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The travel industry is one of the major sectors that’s been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it’s hard to know how long it will take for summer travelers to be back in action and for the industry to fully recover. Homeowners who rent their secondary properties on their own or through programs like Airbnb, which has over 660,000 listings in the U.S. alone, have been impacted in this challenging time. Some of these homeowners are considering selling their vacation homes, and understandably so.

A recent CNN article indicated:

“With global travel screeching to a halt during the pandemic, a number of Airbnb hosts are planning to sell their properties…These desperate moves come as hosts face the possibility of losing thousands of dollars a month in canceled bookings while bills, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments pile up.”

If you’re one of the property owners in this position, you too may be feeling the pain of decreased travel, especially as we prepare for the typical busy summer vacation season. A recent survey notes that 48% of Americans have already canceled summer travel plans due to the current health crisis. In addition, 36% indicated they don’t have vacation plans, and only 16% said they did not cancel their summer travel.

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The same survey also asked, “How long will you wait before traveling again?” Not surprisingly, only 29% of respondents are planning to travel within the next 6 months. That means 71% are putting their plans on hold for at least 6 months, or are still unsure about future travel. That can continue to add to the significant income loss that many property renters felt this spring.If you’re considering selling your rental property, know that there are two key factors indicating that selling your vacation home now may be your best move as a homeowner.

1. Inventory Shortage

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The inventory of overall homes for sale is well below the demand from potential buyers, so many eyes may be searching for a home like yours. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), total housing inventory, meaning homes available to purchase, is down 19.7% from one year ago (see graph below):Inventory across the country continues to be a challenge, with only a 4.1-month supply of listings available at the current sales pace. For a balanced market, where there are enough homes available for interested buyers to purchase, that number would need to bump up to a 6-month supply. This means we don’t have enough inventory for the number of buyers looking for homes, so selling in this scenario is ideal. Buyers are looking now, and some vacation homes make a great primary residence or second home for those eager to escape from more populated urban areas.

2. Home Prices

The lack of inventory is also keeping homes from depreciating in value. Today, prices are holding strong and experts forecast home price appreciation to continue throughout this year. Selling your home while prices are holding steady is a sound business move. You’ll likely have equity you’ve earned working for you as well. If your home has been vacant for the past few months, the forced savings you have built in your equity may help balance out possible rental income loss due to the slowdown in the travel industry.

Bottom Line

We don’t know exactly when heightened summer travel will return or what it will look like when it does. If you’re considering selling your vacation home, let’s connect today to determine your options in the current market.

Seasonal Sunlight Patterns

You may not notice it immediately, but the sun’s path across the sky begins to shorten everyday, in terms of both height and duration. As a result, your home’s exposure to daylight will not only diminish slowly until winter, but the trajectory of direct sunlight into your home will also change, as the angle of the sun changes almost imperceptibly from day to day.

This is a golden opportunity to make note of how sunlight strikes your home’s interior and exterior garden or balcony, so you can compare it to the lighting in the coming seasons. This can help you decide where to place various furnishings, plants and decor to make the most of your living spaces.

For example, drapery can help suppress sunlight exposure in the summer, while interior mirrors can help maximize it in the winter. Tracking and adjusting your space for sunlight year-round could help you save energy by reducing your need for air conditioning, heating, and/or lighting.

Furthermore, you could help prevent fabric-covered furnishings, carpets and hanging artwork from fading over time simply by rearranging them twice a year.

*Morris Marketing*

How to Get Front-of-the-Line Access to Desirable Homes for Sale.

Click Here to Join the Club and Become a Nosey Neighbour

As you’ve probably noticed, credit card companies regularly offer bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. For example, one such card company offers opportunities to buy tickets to concerts and other events ahead of everyone else. It’s their “front of the line” service.

When you’re searching for a new home, wouldn’t it be great if you could get to the front of the line on desirable properties – before other buyers get the chance?

Well, in a way, you can.

The first thing you need to do is create a profile for the specific type of home you’re looking to buy. That profile will need to include the basics, such as type of home (e.g. detached), size and rooms (e.g. 2000-2,500 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths), and your target neighbourhoods. You’ll also want to add any additional features you’re looking for, such as a finished basement or in-ground pool.

Next, you want to work with a real estate agent like me who understands the local market and can arrange for you to receive immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria. It’s not uncommon for homes to become available for sale before the listing information gets published on the MLS. In fact, in some circumstances, it could take a couple of days before such listings become available online.

So, if you get an alert soon after a listing comes on the market, you get a head-start on seeing that home and making an offer. And, you don’t need to apply for a special credit card to make that happen!

Just give me a call. I can help you find the right home for you.

(416) 779-8732

Click Here to Join the Club and Become a Nosey Neighbour

*Morris Marketing*

The Psychology of Choosing House Paint.

Whether you’re painting your home to prepare it for sale, or simply to make it more attractive for your own enjoyment, choosing the right colour is important. A colour isn’t just a matter of taste, it’s also, to a large extent, about the emotions it elicits.

If you’re painting your foyer, for example, you may want it to seem bright and welcoming. So, light orange tones might be appropriate as that colour is often interpreted as friendly.

In your living room, you may want to create an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. In that case, consider shades of greens or grays as those colours communicate peacefulness and calm. Want the rec room to look vibrant and energetic? Purples and reds communicate those emotions.

Where do you find more information about colour psychology? There are plenty of charts available online. Just Google “colour psychology charts”. They can help you select just the right colour to convey the feeling you want for a room. Of course, if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with soft beiges, especially when selling your home. Neutral colours are often interpreted as reliable.

Have questions about painting and other fix-ups that will help sell your home faster and for the best price? Call me today. (416) 779-8732

*Morris Marketing*

Home Office Considerations

Today’s portable technology has created a “work from anywhere” mentality, which has made a home office seem unnecessary to aspiring business people and serious students. But health and efficiency experts agree that people who want to be most effective while working from home should consider how their environment can influence productivity. That’s why setting up a designated workspace is so essential.

For example, avoiding family traffic areas is a must. If you can’t dedicate a room as an office, at least create a space you can isolate, even if it means simply converting a sizable closet into an alcove with a small desk.

Maintaining a functional workspace is also important. Ensure you have good lighting, an adequately clear desktop, an ergonomic chair, and handy storage for files and support materials. Once you have the essentials, spend a little time embellishing your area with creature comforts that help you relax, such as photos of loved ones, a vacation postcard, art and amusement pieces.

If you have a big enough space and budget, consider an invigorating colour scheme, and functional furnishings such as an adjustable-height desk that lets you sit or stand, a meeting table, and a guest chair or lounger that complements your décor.

*Morris Marketing*

Storage Tips for Your Garage

Whether you are sprucing up your property for resale, or simply making the most of your real estate space, organizing a garage area can be a surprisingly simple way to add to a home’s appeal or functionality. Like any room in the house, the most effective makeover starts with removing clutter and getting organized.

First, determine the minimum floor area necessary to access your vehicle(s) and power equipment. This will allow you to determine the space available for a work bench, boot rack, tool shelving, storage bins or cabinets.

Next, look for underutilized wall space to install pegboards and broom holders, as well as overhead space for hanging bicycles, rafter racks for scrap lumber or paneling, or suspended netting for lighter items such as tarps, patio cushions, rain gear and sporting goods. If you have exposed stud walls, you can install horizontal blocks to create storage ledges between the verticals.

Alternatively, you can span the stud gaps with cable or wood strips and stand taller objects between them. You can also nail empty plastic jar lids (top side up) to the underside of any accessible ledge, cabinet or shelf, then twist the clear jars on for storing loose screws, nails and various hardware accessories.

*Morris Marketing*