Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting

The latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia shows that homeownership is still cheaper than renting in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together to find you your dream home.

Give The Johnson Team a call today and let’s discuss your real estate options! (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make your home owner dreams come true!

Newest Whatcom County Pending Ratios

35896987 - home for sale real estate sign in front of beautiful new house.

If you have been following the local real estate market you know it’s active and inventory is low. If you are thinking of selling now is the time!

The number of real estate signs you see in yards can be deceiving as to the number of homes actually for sale WITHOUT offers on them. If you are seeing new signs around your neighborhood and curious if any of those homes already have offers on them, we have your answers!

Every week we keep track of how many homes are for sale around Bellingham and Whatcom County and how many of those homes have pending offers on them. Pending is the time frame between when an offer has been mutual accepted between the buyer’s and the seller’s of the home and when the title actually transfers hands. This give the buyer’s time to get the financing, do inspection, review the title reports and more.

As of Friday, August 17th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 40%. Click the links to view a report of how many homes are for sale in each area by price range and how many of them are pending showing just how active certain sectors of the market are.

The Birch Bay Pending ratio was 25%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 39%

The Lynden pending ratio was 40%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 49%

If you are thinking of selling your home or property, Johnson Team Real Estate would love to help! We are here to help you will all your real estate needs! You can reach us toll free at 1-888-713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice ‘Must-Haves’ in Favor of Good School Districts

Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice ‘Must-Haves’ in Favor of Good School Districts | MyKCM

It should come as no surprise that buying a home in a good school district is important to homebuyers. According to a report from Realtor.com, 86% of 18-34 year-olds and 84% of those aged 35-54 indicated that their home search areas were defined by school district boundaries.

What is surprising, however, is that 78% of recent homebuyers sacrificed features from their “must-have” lists in order to find homes within their dream school districts.

The top feature sacrificed was a garage at 19%, followed closely by a large backyard, an updated kitchen, the desired number of bedrooms, and an outdoor living area. The full results are shown in the graph below.

Homebuyers Willing to Sacrifice ‘Must-Haves’ in Favor of Good School Districts | MyKCM

Buyers are attracted to schools with high test scores, accelerated academic programs, art and music programs, diversity, and before and after-school programs.

With a limited number of homes available to buy in today’s real estate market, competition is fierce for homes in good school districts. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, explained further,

“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list, but our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise.

For many buyers and not just buyers with children, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.’” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

For buyers across the country, the quality of their children’s (or future children’s) education ranks highest on their must-have lists. Before you start the search for your next home, let’s get together to discuss the market conditions in our area. For more information, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Today’s Mortgage Rates!

Thinking of buying, selling or refinancing? The mortgage rates are a must know! People’s Bank Home Loan Center passed along today’s rates to us. Below is a chart showing the rates as of yesterday, August 16th!

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Thank you Sidney Stonecypher at People’s Bank Home Loan Center for the rates. If you have mortgage questions you can reach her at 360-650-5365!

Housing Market: Another Gigantic Difference Between 2008 and 2018

Housing Market: Another Gigantic Difference Between 2008 and 2018 | MyKCM

Some are attempting to compare the current housing market to the market leading up to the “boom and bust” that we experienced a decade ago. They look at price appreciation and conclude that we are on a similar trajectory, speeding toward another housing crisis.

However, there is a major difference between the two markets. Last decade, while demand was being artificially created by extremely loose lending standards, a tremendous amount of inventory was coming to the market to satisfy that demand. Below is a graph of the inventory of homes available for sale leading up to the 2008 crash.

Housing Market: Another Gigantic Difference Between 2008 and 2018 | MyKCM

A normal market should have approximately 6 months supply of housing inventory. As we can see, that number jumped to over 11 months supply leading up to the housing crisis. When questionable mortgage practices ceased, and demand dried up, there was a glut of inventory on the market which caused prices to drop as there was too much supply and not enough demand.

Today is radically different!

There are those who believe that low mortgage rates have created an artificial demand in the current market. They fear that if mortgage rates continue to rise, some of the current demand will dry up (which is a possibility).

However, if we look at supply again, we can see that the current supply of homes is well below the norm of 6 months.

Housing Market: Another Gigantic Difference Between 2008 and 2018 | MyKCM

Bottom Line

We will not have a glut of inventory like we did back in 2008 and home values won’t come tumbling down. Instead, if demand weakens, we will return to a normal market (approximately a 6-month supply) with historic levels of appreciation (3.6% annually). If you want to know what these numbers mean for you, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

The Johnson Team Partners with The Whatcom County Humane Society

WHS Dog Days Poster 07.2018 (1)

Stop in The Whatcom Humane Society Sunday August 26th from 10am – 3pm for the biggest and best festival for both dogs and humans! There will be pet themed vendors, a kids area, an animal caricaturist, K9 games, contests and activites, a food court, and more!

The Johnson Team moving truck will be used for this great event! Remember The Johnson Team Moving Truck is available FREE of charge to community organizations, non-profits and our clients.

Your referrals let us provide help to Whatcom County non-profit organizations who benefit our community. Please think of us when a friend of relative talks about moving- and tell your favorite non-profit to give us a call when they need a truck.

To schedule the truck call 360-303-2734 or contact us via email at Info@JohhnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Have You Outgrown Your Starter Home?

Have You Outgrown Your Starter Home? | MyKCM

For many Americans, buying their first home is their first taste of achieving part of the American Dream. There is a sense of pride that comes along with owning your own home and building your family’s wealth through your monthly mortgage payment.

It may seem hard to imagine that the first home you purchased (which made your dreams come true) might not be the home that will allow you to achieve the rest of your dreams. The good news is that it’s ok to admit that your home no longer fits your needs!

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices in the starter home market have appreciated faster than any other category over the last year, at 9.4%. At the same time, inventory in this category has dropped 14.2%.

Have You Outgrown Your Starter Home? | MyKCM

These two stats are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a starter home and are looking to move up to a larger home as the equity in your home has risen as prices have gone up. Even better is the fact that there is a large pool of buyers out there searching for your starter home to help them achieve their American Dream!

Bottom Line

If you have outgrown your starter home, contact a local real estate professional who can explain the market conditions in your area and help you find your next home! Contact The Johnson Team today for any real estate questions! Call us at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Existing Home Sales Cooling Off This Summer

Existing Home Sales Cooling Off This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Existing Home Sales Report, sales in June were down 2.2% from last year.
  • Inventory of homes for sale showed a modest improvement of 0.5% over last year’s figures, but still remains under the 6-month supply needed for a normal market.
  • NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining. The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market.”
  • Contact The Johnson Team today with any real estate questions! Call us at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Don’t Miss Out on The Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden!

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Today is the first day of The Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden! Fair gates are open 9am – 10pm today August 13th through Saturday August 18th.

Every day brings something NEW at the Fair. Animals, BRAND NEW carnival rides and games, food and entertainment are waiting for you. See a budget-friendly Grandstand show, spin yourself silly at the carnival, and enjoy free music and entertainment around the fair. Pick up a program at the gate for your daily schedule. See you at the Fair!

For more information, visit their website. 

Millionaire to Millennials: Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner!

Millionaire to Millennials: Owning Your Home Can Help You Retire Sooner! | MyKCM

In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “Buying a home is the escalator to wealth in America. Homeownership can also help you retire early, that is, if you pay your mortgage off.

Bach suggests that homebuyers should, “Take out a 30-year mortgage, but with the intention of paying it off in 25, 20 or ideally, 15 years.”

How does he suggest you do this? Here’s the secret:

“…If you were paying $1,000 a month, now you’re going to make $1,100 payments every month. Inform the bank that you are doing this and that you want the extra $100 a month to be applied to the principal (not the interest).”

What will happen to your mortgage?

Bach explains that, “If you keep this up, you’ll wind up paying off your 30-year mortgage in about 25 years. Increase your monthly payment by 20 percent, and you’ll have that mortgage retired in about 22 years.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – buy a home and pay off your mortgage early so that you can retire sooner with the money you will have saved!

Who is David Bach?

Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.

He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. He has also been profiled in many major publications, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, People, Reader’s Digest, Time, Financial Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Working Woman, Glamour, Family Circle, Redbook, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investors’ Business Daily, and Forbes.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a house, contact The Johnson Team today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstae.com.