What If I Wait A Year to Buy a Home?

What If I Wait A Year to Buy a Home? | MyKCM

National home prices have increased by 5.4% since this time last year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained near historic lows which has allowed many buyers to enter the market and lock in low rates.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Insights Reporthome prices will appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.8% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What If I Wait Until 2019 To Buy A Home? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan. If you have any real estate questions, give us a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Price Reduction on 4660 Raptor Lane

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Just Reduced to $835,000!!!

Bellingham Bay, the Islands, Chuckanut Mtn, Lookout Mtns & everything in between, it’s there from the windows & deck of 4660 Raptor Ln. Add some fog, a bit of mist, a setting sun & you then have the lifestyle everyone dreams about but too often slips by. Inside is a gorgeous custom home with beautiful hardwood floors, a kitchen to inspire cook & guests alike & a large master bedroom with elegant bath. Outside is a gardeners dream with sun, plantings, water feature, secret paths & privacy.

For more information, take a look at our virtual tour. 

51% of Homeowners Love Their Forever Homes …Do You?

Studies show that over 50% of homeowners love their homes and have no plans to sell. What’s holding you back from finding your forever home? Let’s get together so we can find you your dream home today! Give The Johnson Team a call at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Home Maintenance You Should Do Monthly

Monthly Home Maintenance

As a homeowner, do you worry about costly repairs? There is one thing you can do to avoid the chances of these repairs being necessary; Weekly/Monthly maintenance! Some of this list could/should happen more often, but some of the items on this list isn’t needed very often!

  1. Clean your drains and disposal. Pouring boiling water down a drain is a quick way to clean out sludge. If the drain is still moving sluggishly, baking soda and vinegar can help break up obstructions. Tossing some ice cubes into your disposal will both sharpen the blades and help flush out debris.
  2. Check vents and filters. Clogged-up filters and vents can increase utility costs, as well as present a safety hazard in some instances. You may not necessarily need to replace HVAC filters monthly but keeping an eye on them will help you spot when they do need to be changed.
  3. Demineralize faucets. Faucets and shower heads can build up mineral deposits slowly or quickly depending on how hard your tap water is. Hard water buildup can reduce water flow and even cause faucets to spray water in all the wrong directions. Soaking the faucet filter in vinegar is a quick and easy way to remove mineral deposits.
  4. Check up on safety devices. Your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher can only save your life if they’re functional! Be sure to replace smoke alarm and CO2 detector batteries every year, and double check that your fire extinguisher is up-to-date.

If you can stay up to date on these items and some other maintenance, you will most likely avoid some repair bills! Thanks to Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank for these tips!

If you have any questions about if your house may be ready to sell, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again?

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again? | MyKCM

Over the last six years, we have experienced strong price appreciation which has increased home equity levels dramatically. As the number of “cash-out” refinances begins to approach numbers last seen during the crash, some are afraid that we may be repeating last decade’s mistake.

However, a closer look at the numbers shows that homeowners are being much more responsible with their home equity this time around.

What happened then…

When real estate values began to surge last decade, people started using their homes as personal ATMs. Homeowners would refinance their houses and convert their equity into instant cash (known as “cash-out” refinances). Because homes were appreciating so rapidly, many homeowners tapped into their equity multiple times.

This left homeowners with little-or-no equity left in their homes, so when prices started to fall many homeowners found their houses in a negative equity situation (where the mortgage amount was greater than the value of the home). When some of these homeowners saw that there was no value left in their houses, they just stopped paying their mortgages altogether.

Banks eventually foreclosed on those homes and the foreclosures drove prices down even further and put more homes in the negative equity category. This cycle continued, leading to the worst housing crash in almost one hundred years.

What’s happening now…

Again, Americans are seeing their home equity grow. Today, over 48% of all single-family homes in the country have over 50% equity, and yes, some families are tapping into that equity. However, this time around, homeowners are not making irresponsible decisions. According to the latest information from Freddie Mac, the total equity being “cashed out” is a fraction of what it was leading up to the crash. Here are the numbers:

2008 vs. Now: Are Owners Using Their Homes as ATMs Again? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The recklessness that accompanied the build-up in equity prior to the last crash does not exist today. That makes this housing market much more secure than the one we had heading into 2008. If you have any questions about the housing market, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019?

Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019? | MyKCM

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019? | MyKCM

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. But don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year!

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago. If you have any question on the interest rates or the real estate market, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Do You Know What To Do When An Earthquake Strikes?

Do You Know What To Do If An Earthquake Strikes_

Washington State is in earthquake country. After the recent big earthquake in Alaska, here are some important reminders about ways to be prepared if an earthquake strikes. Make sure you know what to do depending on your location.

  1. Indoors

    Drop onto your hands and knees, Cover your head and neck, and Hold on under something sturdy until shaking stops. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Do not go outside during shaking! One of the most dangerous places to be is near an exterior wall of a building.

  2. In A Classroom

    Drop, Cover, and Hold on. Keep in mind that laboratories and other settings may require special safety considerations.

  3. In A Wheelchair/With A Walker

    Lock your wheels, Cover your head and neck, and hold on until the shaking stops.

  4. In a High-rise

    Drop, Cover, and Hold on. Once the shaking stops, if you evacuate the building, use stairs instead of elevators.

  5. In A Store

    Drop away from shelves, Cover next to a shopping cart or beneath clothing racks if possible, and Hold on.

  6. Near A Shoreline

    As soon as shaking reduces such that you are able to stand, walk quickly to high ground or inland.

  7. Driving

    Pull over, stop, and set the parking brake — avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until shaking stops.

  8. Outdoors

    Move to a clear area if you can safely do so (away from buildings, power lines, trees, signs, vehicles, and other hazards), then Drop, Cover, and Hold on.

  9. In Bed

    Lie face down, Cover your head and neck with a pillow, and hold on with both hands.

Source  – Emergency Management Division of Washington

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. Their latest survey data covers responses from 2013-2016.

The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).

These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.

There are many who see that statistic and point toward how broad the range of respondents are for the Federal Reserve survey. Their study includes all economic and social groups and also includes all age groups. The argument is that older respondents have a higher likelihood of being homeowners, while the homeownership rate among younger survey takers is much lower.

Recently, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University focused on homeowners and renters over the age of 65. Their study revealed that the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters at this age group was actually 47.5 times greater!

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Homeowners over the age of 65 are much more financially prepared for retirement and often own their homes outright if they were fortunate enough to purchase their homes before the age of 36. Their 30 years of mortgage payments have paid off as they gained equity through their monthly payments and as home values appreciated.

It is no surprise that lifelong-renters have had a hard time accruing net worth as the latest Census report shows that the Median Asking Rent has been climbing consistently over the last 30 years.

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Bottom Line

As a homeowner you put your monthly mortgage payment to work for you, building your net worth with every payment. If you have any questions, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Testimony Tuesday!

_I've had the privilege having Rich take care of purchases and sales of my homes in Whatcom County for the last 14 years. His consummate professionalism and great demeanor made every encounter a pleasTestimonial Tuesday is here!

Rich Johnson just received this great review from a past seller of his. Debi, thank you for taking the time to leave Rich a review. We appreciate you and all our clients.

If you have any real estate needs, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time at 1-888-713-3056 or email at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com today!

Sunday December 9th Open House in Lynden

Dark Gray House Just Sold Postcard (6)

Join Rich Johnson for an open house this Sunday from 1pm – 3pm at 226 W King Tut Road in Lynden. Stop into this breathtaking home and see the high end touches that make you want to call this place home.

An iron entry gate, a winding blacktop driveway, a stable in the center of a green pasture with a white-railed fence, beautifully landscaped gardens featuring a delightful tunneled grape arbor walkway, several outdoor patios, a play area to include a life-sized dollhouse, a miniature “Red Barn” potting shed, a glorious Mt Baker & Twin Sister view & finally a completely remodeled Country Home with designer finishes throughout along with a huge wraparound deck & veranda is all waiting to be yours.

For more information, visit our virtual tour!