Housing Market on Track to Beat Last Year’s Success

Housing Market on Track to Beat Last Year’s Success | MyKCM

Back in March, as the nation’s economy was shut down because of the coronavirus, many were predicting the real estate market would face a major collapse. Some forecasts called for a 15-20% decline in transactions. However, six months later, it seems as though the housing market has fully recovered.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanannounced last week:

“Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a strong V-shaped recovery and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

The Economic & Strategic Research Group at Fannie Mae upgraded its forecast for home sales last week:

“Housing data over the past month continued to show a strong V-shape rebound, helping drive the broader economy. Existing home sales jumped to a pace not seen since 2006…We have substantially upgraded our forecasts for both new and existing home sales. For 2020, total home sales are now expected to be 1.3% higher than in 2019.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) agrees. In their last Pending Sales Report, NAR shared projections from Chief Economist Lawrence Yun:

“Yun forecasts existing-home sales to ramp up to 5.8 million in the second half. That expected rebound would bring the full-year level of existing-home sales to 5.4 million, a 1.1% gain compared to 2019.”

Yun’s forecast for 2021 was even more optimistic, stating, “Home sales will ramp up again next year, increasing between 8% – 12%.”

Bottom Line

The housing market has come roaring back and looks as though it may even surpass last year’s success.

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, hit the nail on the head when he said“On an aggregated level, the housing economy remains rock solid despite the shock and awe of the pandemic.”

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The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying a Home

The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median-priced home today is declining, while that for renting is on the rise.
  • This is making buying a home an increasingly attractive option for many people, especially with low mortgage rates driving purchasing power.
  • Let’s connect if you’d like expert guidance on exploring your homebuying options while affordability is high.
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The 2020 Homebuyer Wish List

The 2020 Homebuyer Wish List [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The word “home” is taking on a whole new meaning this year, and buyers are starting to look for new features as they re-think their needs and what’s truly possible.
  • From more outdoor space to virtual classrooms for their children, buyers have a growing list of what they’d like to see in their homes.
  • Let’s connect today if your needs have changed and your wish list is expanding too.
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Virtual School Is Changing Homebuyer Needs

Virtual School Is Changing Homebuyer Needs [INFOGRAPHIC] | My KCM

Some Highlights

  • With remote learning sweeping the nation this academic year, organized spaces with enough room for kids to learn effectively are high on buyer wish lists.
  • If you’re trying to make room for your family’s growing needs, multi-purpose rooms and dedicated workspaces may be features to consider in your next home.
  • Let’s connect today so you can find a home where your kids feel confident and comfortable too.
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Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks You’ll Love

With families spending more time at home, kitchens are getting a workout, making it more essential than ever to keep them clean and functional without spending a lot of time doing so.

You may get a little help from these proven time-saving kitchen hacks:

  • Tame frozen ice cream. Ice cream too hard or frozen to the scoop is a pain when every minute counts. Put the carton in the microwave for 15 seconds and it’s ready to serve with ease. 
  • Have ripe fruit at the ready. Green bananas or rock-hard peaches are no fun to eat—and neither are mushy, over-ripe ones. Buy a few ready-to-eat and a few less ripe, which you can keep in the fridge until you need them. Then ripen them fast by placing them in a brown paper bag for just a day or two.
  • Open a stubborn jar. There’s a little more frustration than trying to get the best of a jar that doesn’t want to open. Wedge a spoon underneath the lip of the lid and push up until you hear a pop. The jar will open instantly, so if there’s liquid in it, perform the operation over the sink to avoid a mess on the floor or countertop.
  • Clean a grungy cutting board. Few things are less appealing when preparing food than a sticky, scratched-up cutting board. Make it look like new again by sprinkling it with coarse salt, running a halved lemon over the surface then rinsing it with clear water and letting it air dry. 
  • Trap a bit of eggshell. It’s annoying and time-consuming when a tiny scrap of eggshell falls into the bowl, and slips and slides when you try to get it out. Ditch the grief and use the broken shell to scoop it out in a flash.
  • Stop boil-overs. Water boiling over leaves a mess to clean up. Avoid the boil-over altogether, or stop one mid-boil, by putting a wooden spoon into the pot.Cook bacon in the waffle iron. Save a pan and reduce clean-up time by cooking bacon strips in the waffle iron. The bacon will crisp up nicely, and waffles cooked in the left-behind fat will have that lovely bacon-y taste.
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5 Ways to Clear Your Mind and Be More Productive

Highly productive individuals often have habits that contribute to their productivity, and many of them point to a clear mind, which allows them to heighten their focus. If you’re interested in getting more done during the day, consider the following habits:

Do something you love. It may seem counterintuitive, but stopping your work to do something you adore can actually make you more productive. Take 15 minutes to play with your pets or kids or do a crossword puzzle. Grab coffee with a friend. Take an afternoon off to see a movie or go to an art exhibit. Freeing your mind from the struggle of daily work will clear space to focus later on.

Get outside. Fresh air (and, if you’re interested, exercise) can improve your mood and your focus. Take a break from work to go for a stroll, read a book on a bench or take a hike with your dog or your family.

Meditate. Those with a meditation practice have long touted its benefits on focus and overall productivity, so if you find mediation appealing, it may be time to start. If you’re not interested in meditating, you can still glean some of its benefits by taking five minutes to focus on deep breathing exercises. Try it before you start your work, or take a break in the middle of the day.

Be creative. You don’t have to be artistically gifted to reap the benefits of creativity. Allowing yourself space to try something creative can improve your mood, overall well-being, problem-solving and ability to focus. Of course, not all creativity has to be time-consuming or strenuous, like writing a novel. Puzzles are creative, as are coloring books, poetry or simple sketches.

Stretch. Similar to meditation, taking a five- to 10-minute stretch break during the day can reground you, make room for heightened focus, improve circulation and build flexibility and strength. You’ll return to your work with a clear mind, and a looser body.

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6 Tips for Late Retirement Planners

Americans need to have more than $1 million saved in order to retire comfortably at age 65, according to many estimates. That’s a lot of money. It also underscores the need for people to begin planning for retirement as early as possible in their careers. If you’ve put off saving for your golden years, though, the good news is that it’s still possible for late starters to build a comfortable retirement fund.

American Consumer Credit Counseling, a national nonprofit, offers the following six tips for consumers who are late to the game:

1. Have a realistic target. One of the reasons consumers are unprepared for retirement is not having a realistic estimate of how much money is needed to live comfortably for that period of their lives. Having a financial target will help consumers figure out a retirement savings plan. Consumers can use this plan to figure out how much money they need to save each month to reach their desired goal.

2. Take advantage of tax breaks. Consumers can benefit from tax deferred accounts. If consumers don’t have access to a 401(k) offered by employers, they should consider opening an individual retirement account (IRA). Having these accounts will allow consumers to save the income tax on anything that they put into the account.

3. Know your limits. Each type of retirement account has different limits on how much money consumers can contribute to them per year. Consumers should know the guidelines set by the IRS to ensure that they’re taking full advantage of their plan.

4. Make catch-up contributions. Catch-up contributions allow consumers that are over 50 years old to add more than the standard contribution limit to their retirement funds, depending on the type of account that they hold. Consumers should check their eligibility for an opportunity to save additional amounts.

5. Start minimizing expenses. Consumers should start cutting costs in order to increase savings. Those extra savings can give consumers more financial freedom during their retirement. Consumers should take a look at their monthly spending and see where they can cut back.

6. Talk to a financial advisor. It might be helpful for consumers to speak to a financial advisor. Financial advisors can help late starters develop an effective retirement plan.

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