What do 84% of Americans Believe??

 

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Still renting??

Let’s take a look at your current situation and see if you are ready for home ownership!
Owning your own home can create a safe, secure and stable environment and many potential buyers are more financially ready to pursue it than they know….
Let’s talk and take advantage of this market together – you’re always paying someone’s mortgage – why not your own!
— I’ll lead you through every step hassle-free with no worries – check recommendations and more at: ToriDentonRealtor.com 413.301.4614 tedenton109@gmail.com

84% of Americans Believe Buying a Home is a Good Financial Decision | MyKCM

According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey84% of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. This is the highest percentage since 2007 – before the housing crisis. Those surveyed pointed out five major reasons why they believe home ownership is a good financial decision:

  1. Homeownership means the money you spend on housing goes towards building equity, rather than to a landlord
  2. Homeownership creates the opportunity to pay off a mortgage and own your home by the time you retire
  3. Homeownership is an investment opportunity that builds long-term wealth and increases net worth
  4. Homeownership means a stable and predictable monthly mortgage payment
  5. Homeownership allows for various deductions on federal, state, and local income taxes

The survey also revealed that the majority of Americans strongly agree that homeownership helps create safe, secure, and stable environments.

Bottom Line

Home ownership has always been and still is a crucial part of the American Dream.

 

Tori Denton, PSA, Realtor®

Keeping the American Dream alive one HOME at a time!

Do You Know What to do with the Equity in Your Home?

BOTTOM LINE:

If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2017! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation!

That’s what I did with Rodney and Sara – they used the equity in their first home to purchase a new, bigger home that fits the WHOLE family- dogs, toys and all!

Smart move – they went to the closing table owing NOTHING!

WOW! You could do the same…  Let’s talk about your next dream home!

My website

Email: tedenton109@gmail.com

Call or text – 413.301.4614 –

You may not sell a house every week, but I kind of do 🙂

                              Let me give you a hand!

The FACTS:

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? | MyKCM

 

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 91,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2017. This is great news for the country, as 48.2 million of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.”

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2017 as well, as he had this to say:

Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014. The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. Since home equity is the largest source of homeowner wealth, the increase in home equity also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy.”

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

According to the Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), more homeowners are beginning to realize that they may have more equity than they first thought.

This is only the second time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time to sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy.

78.8% of homeowners have significant equity (more than 20%) in their homes today!

This means that many Americans with a mortgage have an opportunity to take advantage of today’s seller’s market. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs (moving to a larger home or downsizing).

Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue:

“High home prices have led many consumers to give us the first clear indication we’ve seen in the National Housing Survey’s seven-year history that they think it’s now a seller’s market. However, we continue to see a lack of housing supply as many potential sellers are unwilling or unable to put their homes on the market…” 

 

Why Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference

Why Working with a Local Real Estate Professional Makes All the Difference | MyKCM

 

If you’ve entered the real estate market, as a buyer or a seller, you’ve inevitably heard the real estate mantra, “location, location, location” in reference to how identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to where they’re located.

Well, a new survey shows that when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, the millennial generation’s mantra is, “local, local, local.”

CentSai, a financial wellness online community, recently surveyed over 2,000 millennials (ages 18-34) and found that 75% of respondents would use a local real estate agent over an online agent, and 71% would choose a local lender.

Survey respondents cited many reasons for their choice to go local, “including personal touch & handholding, longstanding relationships, local knowledge, and amount of hassle.”

Doria Lavagnino, Cofounder & President of CentSai had this to say:

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“We were surprised to learn that online providers are not yet as big a disruptor in this sector as we first thought, despite purported cost savings. We found that millennials place a high value on the personal touch and knowledge of a local agent. Buying a home for the first time is daunting, and working with a local agent—particularly an agent referred by a parent or friend—could provide peace of mind.”

The findings of the CentSai survey are consistent with the Consumer Housing Trends Study, which found that millennials prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:

“While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, Millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”

When it comes to choosing an agent, millennials and other generations share their top priority: the sense that an agent is trustworthy and responsive to their needs.

That said, technology still plays a huge role in the real estate process. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of home buyers look for prospective homes and neighborhoods online, and 91% also said they would use an online site or mobile app to research homes they might consider purchasing.

Bottom Line happysold

Many wondered if this tech-savvy generation would prefer to work with an online agent or lender, but more and more studies show that when it comes to real estate, millennials want someone they can trust, someone who knows the neighborhood they want to move into, leading them through the entire experience.

Whether you’re a millennial or not, your best choice is your local Realtor®

 

Got questions? I’ve got answers – Let’s talk! 413.301.4614 qr code 4133014614

Tori Denton, PSA, Realtor®

Helping you make the right MOVE – one HOME at a time!

 

Here’s WHY You Should BUY

Real Estate Mogul: Here’s Why You Should Buy | MyKCM

Real Estate mogul, Sean Conlon, host of The Deed: Chicago on CNBC, was recently asked the question, should you buy? Or should you rent a house?

 

Conlon responded:

“I am a true believer that you save every penny and you buy your first house… and that is still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”

Conlon went on to suggest that first-time buyers put down 10-20% “if they can make it work,” and to remain in their home at least 4-5 years to see a return on their investment.

Who is Sean Conlon, and why should you listen to his advice?

Within a few years of working in the real estate industry, Conlon had established himself as one of the leading agents in the United States and has founded 3 billion-dollar brokerages dealing in residential, commercial and investment sales. Since immigrating to America from the United Kingdom in 1990, he believes very strongly in the American Dream and the role that homeownership plays in achieving it. Conlon is quoted on his website as saying:

“I treat people the way I would like to be treated if I went in to buy a house and I work harder than anybody I know. I think if you do that in America, you will always succeed.”

Bottom Line

Homeownership is an investment you can leverage against in the future that not only provides shelter and safety but also helps you build your family’s wealth. If you are debating whether or not to purchase a home this year, let’s get together to discuss the opportunities available in today’s market!

Shining the Light on Solar

Before you get involved in Solar energy – please do your homework. Whether you are the buyer or seller in this transaction, there are important things to consider when it comes to the transfer of ownership of your home.

 

Do you Lease or Own the panels?

OWNED PANELS: If the panels are owned by the seller, then they should be factored into the price of your home just as any other asset would be. This can usually be accomplished by searching comparable homes with owned solar panels.

A Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC): An SREC is created for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a solar generator. SRECs allow a seller with a solar array to use electricity that is produced by the panels and then separately sell the SREC to a utility company. You should factor in an SREC when valuing the asset.

Some solar owners use SREC brokers to handle the sale, so if you are a seller who is part of a ten-year SREC program you may want to consider selling your future credits through such a broker. If a seller does this, they would then value their solar panels based on the energy savings that they provide.

Buyers need to ask sellers if they are part of an SREC program and whether the SRECs will be transferred with the panels. If they are, a buyer would also want to know what the average annual output of the panels has been so that they can properly value them.

Leased Panels: If the panels are leased, it can be a bit more complicated. When a seller has leased solar panels, it is recommend that the seller contact the leasing company right away to let them know that they are planning to sell the home. In fact, some solar companies have set up departments specifically to work on lease transfers.

What’s a UCC-1: The solar company may reference a UCC-1 (Uniform Commercial Code – 1) that has been recorded with the property. A UCC-1 is a legal form that acts as a lien against the solar equipment on the property and is used by the solar companies to protect their interest in the leased panels. These finds should be recorded at your local registry of deeds. It is important to know whether or not a UCC-1 has been recorded with the property, because some lenders may have concerns that the UCC-1 will take priority over the mortgage in the event of a bankruptcy. Some companies will remove the UCC-1 filing and then replace it when the new mortgage is recorded.

Home Buyers: Buyers who are interested in a home with leased solar panels may want to remember to factor the monthly lease cost when determining whether or not you can afford the home. Your lender will most likely consider this when making a determination on your loan. Also, buyers should review your credit scores because the solar leasing companies are going to ensure that the buyer can assume the costs of the lease before they approve a transfer.

LEASED PANELS:  A seller client has three options when dealing with leased solar panels:

1. They can buy out the lease;

2. Transfer the lease to the new buyer; or

3. Attempt to transfer the panels to their new home, although this option may only be available in rare occasions.

As you can see Solar panels can at the very least complicate the purchase and sale of a house, and at the most stop the transfer all together if the item is not handled properly from the get-go! Please use caution when buying or selling a house with solar panels.

Got questions? I’ve got answers – please feel free to contact with your house Purchase and Sale concerns!

Tori Denton, PSA, Realtor®

413.301.4614

tedenton109@gmail.com

Need more information?

The Attorney General published the following helpful informational sheet on solar panels:

http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2016/advice-to-homeowners-considering-solar-panels.html

Source: Shining the Light on Solar BY MAR LEGAL STAFF July/August 2016

The Big Down Payment Myth

different-types-of-home-loansHaving the spare capital to put 20 percent down on a home purchase is great, but it’s certainly not the norm. Still, many people think it is and that belief may be holding some would-be home buyers back, particularly young adults.

Indeed, 39 percent of non-owners say they believe they need more than 20 percent for a down payment on a home purchase. Twenty-six percent believe they need to put down 15 to 20 percent, and 22 percent say they need a down payment of 10 percent to 14 percent to buy, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile report.

But now for the reality: The average down payment on a purchase mortgage was just 11 percent in 2016. And that’s just the average; often times down ppuzzleayments are much lower. For borrowers under the age of 35, the average down payment was just under 8 percent, according to NAR’s survey.

As such, “aspiring first-time buyers think it takes twice as much to buy a home than it really does,” writes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, in his latest column.

How much a person truly needs for a down payment depends on their situation. Their financial circumstances, home location, and the price of the home are important factors.

But there are many mortgage options that offer the opportunity to make low or even no down payments. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer no-money down loans to those who are eligible. In 2016, 16 percent of buyers under the age of 35 put no money down on their home purchase.

Further, the largest share of loans for buyers under age 35 last year were for people putting down less than 5 percent on a home purchase (or about $3,500). The 3 percent down payment programs backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the 3.5 percent FHA mortgage that primarily targets first-time buyers, are both helpful programs to consider. These loan programs don’t require unblemished credit either. The average FICO score was 713, but realtor.com® notes borrowers with a 639 were still getting approved.fico by loan

As such, Smoke says the millennial dreaming about homeownership needs to get this message: They need a FICO score of at least 639 and enough for a 5 percent down payment (that is, if they don’t qualify for the other programs with lower payment options). In that case, they’ll need to save about $3,500 to buy in the typical American town.

Source: “Attention First-Time Buyers: Here’s the Key Stuff You Don’t Know About Mortgages,” realtor.com® (Feb. 9, 2017)

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years?

My clients make good decisions because they are well-educated… the transaction is well-executed, and the CLOSING is well-delivered! Here’s a sample of the information I provide to my clients (short & sweet, just the meat – no fillers):
Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why I like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 4.0% over the course of 2017, 3.2% in 2018 and 3.0% the next three years (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.24% over the next 5 years.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

The prediction for cumulative appreciation ticked up from 18.7% to 21.4% by 2021. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.2%.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | MyKCM

In A Nutshell

Individual opinions make headlines but I believe this survey is a fairer depiction of future values. Who wouldn’t want to make an average of 21% on a 5 year investment?

The market is still appreciating. That means it’s good to be a buyer OR a seller at this time… If you are a seller your house has appreciated and you have significant equity in your house allowing you to MOVE UP to your dream home. If you are a buyer, you still have plenty of appreciation left in a new home and if purchasing your first home (at historically LOW interest rates) you are STILL making a great INVESTMENT!

Got questions?? I’ve got answers – let me add some value to your financial knowledge database! My clients make good decisions because they are well-educated, the transaction is well-executed, and the CLOSING is well-delivered!

Contact me today to learn more! 413.301.4614 OR tedenton109@gmail.com

Rethinking Your Christmas List This Year

This article comes courtesy of Realtor.com

Getting a Down Payment as a Gift? Why NOT??

Why not give a gift that will KEEP on giving for years to come?!?

The first time I talked with a mortgage broker about buying a home, he suggested I just ask my parents for help coming up with the down payment.

“It’ll be easy,” he assured me. “You just get it as a gift. Lots of first-time buyers do it.”

In some ways, he was right. Many people do get help from their parents—after all, many of us are dealing with crippling student debt or other financial burdens that make it difficult to amass the cash needed for a down payment.

But he was wrong about one big thing: It ain’t easy.

Getting down payment help from the parents (or anyone else) isn’t as simple as just asking and then receiving when the money rolls in. If you’re going to do it, you’d better do it right. Avoid some of the big mistakes I made with an eye toward these tips.

1. The down payment must be a gift

What my mortgage broker should have told me is that the money has to be a gift. If a lender suspects the money might be a loan, repaying said loan will be factored into your mortgage approval amount and you’ll qualify for less than you might have wanted.

In order to prove it’s a gift, you’ll have to get a gift letter from the person who gave it to you—your parents (or the gifters) will need to swear on paper they don’t plan on asking for the money back. Thankfully, my wise parents had already put up a down payment for my sister and they knew this drill. But if yours don’t, get them up to speed quickly.

“The gift letter is very serious,” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.”

“While it is doubtful that a lender would ever audit a file after the fact to see if the recipient is paying the donor back, if the transaction goes bad, you might very well find yourself with a subpoena in your hand.” (True story—it’s a felony to lie on a mortgage application.)

2. You’ll want the down payment in advance

When you’re getting help, you have two options: 1) Take the money from Mom and Dad now, during the early planning stages, and save yourself some headache (and paperwork) later on, or 2) wait until you’re ready to buy and have your parents send the money just before you walk into your mortgage broker’s office.

Both will work, but if you have any say in the matter, get the money as early as possible.

“If the funds are ‘seasoned’—meaning that they’ve been in the account long enough so that the last two bank statements don’t show the deposit—the gift does not have to be addressed,” Fleming says.

My parents opted for a last-minute donation, and I was more than happy to have the help however they chose to give it. But it was tricky getting a lender to take it on faith that I’m going to get a big influx of cash once I find a home to buy.

3. There’s a limit to what can be gifted (tax-free)

The timing isn’t the only thing that’s tricky. There’s also a limit to how much someone can fork over to you—tax-free, at least. Under the current rules, any gift of $14,000 and up will incur a tax bill. So your parents will have to gift you less than that, or pay a tax penalty at the end of the year.

Of course, there is a (perfectly legal) loophole of sorts.

“It is $14,000 per year per donor, so a couple could give $28,000 ($14,000 from each) to their child,” Fleming says.

4. Gifted down payment funds will have to be verified

So you did your due diligence and you got a gift letter. Good for you! But guess what? That gift letter might not be enough for your lender to verify the funds. To do that, your parents are going to have to provide a paper trail.

Bank statements should do it, Fleming says, but be ready for this to feel a little … invasive.

Most lenders will require two months of statements from the gifter’s account, including all pages from each statement. Those bank statements will need to include all relevant information, meaning your lender is going to see your parents’ bank account number and personal information.

That felt weird to my parents, who worried about the security risk of faxing that information to a virtual stranger. But really—it happens all the time, so don’t let them freak out over it.

5. Your parents can’t go broke trying to help you

We both know your parents aren’t going to give away all of their money for the sake of your down payment, but your lender has to know that, too. That’s why your folks will have to prove with bank statements that they can comfortably afford the gifted down payment—and have sufficient funds left over.

If your parents are going to use a separate account for the down payment, or they split their money over several accounts, make sure your lender knows what’s going on and have your parents provide extra proof that they can afford to help you.

Just be sure to also provide your parents with extra proof of your gratitude. And invite them over for dinner once in a while, eh?

—————

| Nov 28, 2016
Angela Colley lives in New Orleans, where she writes about buying, selling, and renting news for realtor.com. Her passions include animal rescue, photography, historic homes, and Southern architecture..

Thoughts on Multi-generational Living…

Multi-generational homes are coming back in a big way!

In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the number of multi-generational homes dropped to as low as 12% in 1980 but has shot back up to 19%, roughly 60.6 million people, as recently as 2014.

Multi-generational households typically occur when adult children (over the age of 25) either choose to, or need to, remain living in their parent’s home, and then have children of their own. These households also occur when grandparents join their adult children and grandchildren in their home.

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Large Farmhouse – Westfield (Wyben), MA

12 beautifully updated rooms!

6 bedrooms, eat-in country kitchen, formal dining room, living room, heated 4-season room, sitting room, 1st floor laundry, garage, mountain views – on just over 1 acre!

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 11% of home buyers purchased multi-generational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:

  • To take care of aging parents (19%)
  • Cost savings (18%, up from 15% last year)
  • Children over the age of 18 moving back home (14%, up from 11% last year)

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Multi-family Home in Historic District – Granville, MA

3 Bedrooms, 2 livingrooms, 2 kitchens… private or interior entrance, decks, porches, balcony.

Walk to town green, on over 3 acres!

Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United, points out that,

“As the face of America is changing, so are family structures. It shouldn’t be a taboo or looked down upon if grown children are living with their families or older adults are living with their grown children.”

For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multi-generational Living,” says, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

ONE good reason is basic economics… you can buy more house with more people, split the utilities and food… and if it’s going to take a village to raise your children, why not have your village all under one roof!

Carmen Multhauf, co-author of the book “Generational Housing: Myth or Mastery for Real Estate,” brings to light the fact that rents and home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that, “The younger generations have not been able to save,” and often struggle to get good-paying jobs.

In light of this – it makes really good sense for some family units to explore the multi-generational alternative!

The two homes pictured in this blog are for sale and offer the convenience  of location, space and personal areas as well as shared areas! Contact me today to discuss this article, tour these houses, or learn more about the multi-generational living option!

cell/text: 413.301.4614 or tedenton109@gmail.com

Bottom Line

Multi-generational households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these households might be the answer that many families are looking for as home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory.

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