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!

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Winter!

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Winter! | MyKCM

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insight report revealed that home prices have appreciated by 5.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase 

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4.8%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase in 2019.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person building that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve Hiking

We have some pretty awesome hiking locations in Whatcom County. If you love beautiful scenery, the addition of 4 miles of new trails in the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve will definitely be something you will want to check out! These trailheads are the most recent trails built for Whatcom county parkland, and are accessed adjacent to Sudden Valley. The new trails span 8,844 acres on both sides of Lake Whatcom. The land used for the trails was transferred from the state to Whatcom County in 2014. Currently, all new trails are open for use, with the exception of Cougar Ridge Trail, as crews are working on this trails completion.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 1.04.38 PM
The new trails include:

Rufus Creek Trail
Starting at the Lookout Mountain Trailhead, Rufus Creek Trail gently climbs for 4.3 miles. It goes through a variety of forest types, streams, wetlands, and has amazing views of sandstone cliffs.

Waterfall Trail
A stunning waterfall is accessed by a short loop trail near the junction of Rufus Creek Trail and the LM-2000 Road.

Baneberry Trail
This steep trail makes a large loop out of Rufus Creek Trail. Bikes travel uphill only on this trail.

Leila June Trail
This is a hiker only trail and is part of the original Lookout Mountain Loop. There are plenty of options for shorter or longer hikes with this trail!

Cougar Ridge Trail
Cougar Ridge Trail is a descending only mountain bike trail, and is more difficult with optional harder sections. This trail contains technical terrain including drops, steep sections, cliff edges, and sharp corners. Currently closed but is nearing completion.

With the new routes, there are currently over 8 miles of new trails. These new trailheads will eventually total about 98 miles when finished.  The network of larger and smaller trails allows you to decide how long (or short) of a hike you would like to take!

Parking is free, and there is a restroom at the trailhead. Dogs are allowed, as long as they are on a leash. The WTA also provides bus service to the trailhead on the 512 line.

How to get there:

The trailhead access point is at 2537 Lake Louise Road. The Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve trails connect to the mountain bike trails on Galbraith Mountain via 4000 Road. Get out there and do some exploring in our own back yard!!

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 1.09.27 PM

End of November Pending Ratios

62161203 - american craftsman home with yellow exterior paint and well kept front garden. northwest, usa

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, November 30th, the pending ratio in Bellingham was 37%. 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 23%

The Ferndale pending ratio was 32%

The Lynden pending ratio was 28%

The Sudden Valley pending ratio was 29%

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

Thinking of buying, selling or refinancing? Check Out The Current Mortgage Rates!

Thinking of buying, selling, or refinancing?  The mortgage rates are a must know! Peoples Bank Home Loan Center passed along today’s rates to us. Below is a chart of today’s rates.

Weekly Realtor Rate Flyer.indd

 

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!

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again | MyKCM

Home sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of price appreciation has slowed to more historically normal averages, and inventory is finally increasing. We are headed into a more normal housing market.

However, some are seeing these adjustments as red flags and are suggesting that we are headed back to the same challenges we experienced in 2008. Today, let’s look at one set of statistics that prove the current market is nothing like the one that preceded the housing crash last decade.

The previous bubble was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. New purchasers were putting down the minimum down payment, resulting in them having little if any equity in their homes.

Existing homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home) so they walked away which caused prices to fall even further. When this happened, even more homeowners found themselves in negative equity situations which caused them to walk away as well, and so a vicious cycle formed.

Today, the equity situation is totally different. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutionsmore than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:

“…nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value…The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.”

In addition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30.3% of homes in the country have no mortgageon them.

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again | MyKCM

Almost 50% of all homes have at least 50% equity.

If we take both numbers, the 30.3% of all homes without a mortgage and the 17.9% with at least 50% equity (25.7% of the 69.3% of homes with a mortgage), we realize that 48.2% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity.

Bottom Line

Unlike 2008, almost half of the homeowners in the country are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften. If you have any real estate questions, give The Johnson Team a call today at (888) 713-3056 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.