Feb. 12, 2024

Home Equity Can Be a Game Changer When You Sell

Home Equity Can Be a Game Changer When You Sell

Are you on the fence about selling your house? While affordability is improving this year, it’s still tight. And that may be on your mind. But understanding your home equity could be the key to making your decision easier. An article from Bankrate explains:

Home equity is the difference between your home's value and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. It represents the paid-off portion of your home.
You'll start off with a certain level of equity when you make your down payment to buy the home, then continue to build equity as you pay down your mortgage. You'll also build equity over time as your home's value increases.”

Think of equity as a simple math equation. It's the value of your home now minus what you owe on your mortgage. And guess what? Recently, your equity has probably grown more than you think.

In the past few years, home prices skyrocketed, which means your home's value – and your equity – likely shot up, too. So, you may have more equity than you realize.

How To Make the Most of Your Home Equity Right Now

If you're thinking about moving, the equity you have in your home could be a big help. According to CoreLogic:

“. . . the average U.S. homeowner with a mortgage still has more than $300,000 in equity . . .”

Clearly, homeowners have a lot of equity right now. And the latest data from the Census and ATTOM shows over two-thirds of homeowners have either completely paid off their mortgages (shown in green in the chart below) or have at least 50% equity (shown in blue in the chart below):



That means roughly 70% have a tremendous amount of equity right now.

After you sell your house, you can use your equity to help you buy your next home. Here’s how:

  • Be an all-cash buyer: If you’ve been living in your current home for a long time, you might have enough equity to buy your next home without having to take out a loan. If that’s the case, you won’t need to borrow any money or worry about mortgage ratesInvestopedia states:
“You may want to pay cash for your home if you're shopping in a competitive housing market, or if you'd like to save money on mortgage interest. It could help you close a deal and beat out other buyers.
  • Make a larger down payment: Your equity could also be used toward your next down payment. It might even be enough to let you put a larger amount down, so you won’t have to borrow as much money. The Mortgage Reports explains:
Borrowers who put down more money typically receive better interest rates from lenders. This is due to the fact that a larger down payment lowers the lender’s risk because the borrower has more equity in the home from the beginning.”

The Easy Way To Find Out How Much Equity You Have

To find out how much equity you have in your home, ask a real estate agent you trust for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR). 

Bottom Line

Planning a move? Your home equity can really help you out. Let’s connect to see how much equity you have and how it can help with your next home.

Feb. 12, 2024

HUGE Price Adjustment! Now $499,900

40 Moore Avenue, Merritt Island, FL

Price Reduced

4 BEDROOMS 3 BATHROOMS 0.34 sqft Lot

Large, SOLAR POWERED Merritt Island Pool Home on over a THIRD of an ACRE! Four bedrooms, 3 Full Baths and 2143 SFL under air.  *2019 Metal Roof* *2018 HVAC System* Updated Kitchen, Baths, Flooring and MORE! No HOA!  Average electric bill is only $140 per month.  Oversized, in-ground, solar heated screened pool with huge patio, ideal for year-round entertaining and fun in the Florida sun.  Fenced backyard with lovely landscaping, two sheds and loads of privacy.  Private Boat/RV parking area, roomy 2 Car Garage and tons of storage space. Designer touches throughout! Exceptional Island Location - Close to Indian & Banana Rivers, Cocoa Beach, World Famous Ron Jons, Port Canaveral, Charming Cocoa Village shops/restaurants and all area conveniences.  Watch Space X launches from your own backyard!  This is the Space Coast home you've been searching for! Contact Stacey Buchanan, 2nd Generation Broker-Owner, Melbourne Realty, Inc. at 321-508-5224 for more info.

Jan. 25, 2024

Historic Home in Downtown Melbourne

501 E Melbourne Ave, Melbourne, FL

Just Listed

2 BEDROOMS 2 BATHROOMS 0.38 acres Lot

Step back through time to a bygone era of opulence and attention to detail in this circa 1925 Melbourne Ave historic home. With a little elbow grease and ambition, this property could be an absolute showplace within walking distance to all things Downtown Melbourne. Versatile floor plan currently configured as a 2 Bedroom plus a den with one full bath and two half baths. Gorgeous period woodworking, hardwood floors, door knobs, windows and touches throughout. Full stand up attic with dormer windows offers additional possibilities. Sun room, rear screened porch and multiple outdoor patios for enjoying the year round sunshine. Five minute drive to the Intracoastal Waterway and beaches of the Atlantic. If you have always dreamt of owning a charming, story-telling historic home, this is the one. Light in breakfast nook does not convey. Some furnishings negotiable.

Jan. 20, 2024

One Third of an Acre Homesite - $44,900

657 Banyan St SW, Palm Bay, FL

0.3 acres Lot

*CORNER LOT* *CUL-DE-SAC LOCALE* Rural feel yet only 6 Minutes to Bayside Lakes amenities! No issue with getting electric service to your new build since there is already a home next door. Corner lot offers versatility with exterior elevation and cul-de-sac locale offers safety and privacy. Oversized third of an acre home site! If you are looking for a quiet locale where you can still enjoy nature and the outdoors yet be close to everything, this is the ideal location for your dream home! Contact Stacey Buchanan, 2nd Generation Broker-Owner of Melbourne Realty, Inc. at 321-508-5224 for more info.

Sept. 20, 2023

Instant Update - Melbourne Pool Home

2803 Cameron St, Melbourne, FL

Click here to Get Directions


3 Beds - 2 Baths - 0.28 acres Lot

Perfection Has An Address! This impeccably maintained and beautifully upgraded property offers high quality, upscale finishes throughout. Three Bedroom, Two Bath Downtown Melbourne/Florida Tech Area Pool Home. Metal Roof, Impact Doors, Remodeled Kitchen with 2021 Appliances, Fireplace, New Flooring, 200 Amp Electrical, Recent Paint Inside & Out and SO MUCH MORE. Lovely screened patio overlooking privacy fenced backyard oasis. Inground, heated pool with low maintenance salt system, pavered deck, lush tropical landscaping and shed with power. Secure Boat/RV parking with RV hookup. (Hookup can also be used for a portable generator!) Oversized lot. No HOA! Sidewalk safe neighborhood - Close to everything. Do Not Miss This One!

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Sept. 12, 2023

Just Listed in Indialantic!

146 Harris Boulevard, Indialantic, FL

4 BEDROOMS 2 BATHROOMS 0.21 acres Lot

Only 1,417 (Flip Flop Covered) Feet to the Beach! Massive AirBnB Potential in Unincorporated Locale! This Updated 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Indialantic Home Offers The Beach Lifestyle You've Dreamed About! Updates include impact windows, 2021 HVAC, imported Italian tile, all new kitchen, remodeled baths, barn doors and more! Enjoy sea breezes from the outdoor sundeck overlooking large lot with mature trees - plenty of room for a pool! Convenient, sidewalk safe community with private beach access. No HOA! Watch rocket launches from your front yard. Walk or bike to local amenities. A short drive to the mainland conveniences, US1, I-95 and all points North & South. The perfect dose of Vitamin Sea! Contact Stacey Buchanan, 2nd Generation Broker-Owner, Melbourne Realty at 321-508-5224.

April 27, 2020

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values?

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values?

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values? | MyKCM

A big challenge facing the housing industry is determining what impact the current pandemic may have on home values. Some buyers are hoping for major price reductions because the health crisis is straining the economy.

The price of any item, however, is determined by supply and demand, which is how many items are available in relation to how many consumers want to buy that item.

In residential real estate, the measurement used to decipher that ratio is called months supply of inventory. A normal market would have 6-7 months of inventory. Anything over seven months would be considered a buyers’ market, with downward pressure on prices. Anything under six months would indicate a sellers’ market, which would put upward pressure on prices.

Going into March of this year, the supply stood at three months – a strong seller’s market. While buyer demand has decreased rather dramatically during the pandemic, the number of homes on the market has also decreased. The recently released Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed we currently have 3.4 months of inventory. This means homes should maintain their value during the pandemic.

This information is consistent with the research completed by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which recently reported:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices).”

What are the experts saying?

Here’s a look at what some experts recently reported on the matter:

Ivy Zelman, President, Zelman & Associates

“Supported by our analysis of home price dynamics through cycles and other periods of economic and housing disruption, we expect home price appreciation to decelerate from current levels in 2020, though easily remain in positive territory year over year given the beneficial factors of record-low inventories & a historically-low interest rate environment.”

Freddie Mac

“The fiscal stimulus provided by the CARES Act will mute the impact that the economic shock has on house prices. Additionally, forbearance and foreclosure mitigation programs will limit the fire sale contagion effect on house prices. We forecast house prices to fall 0.5 percentage points over the next four quarters. Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand. Price growth accelerates back towards a long-run trend of between 2 and 3% per year.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American

“The housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it’s unlikely to go negative.”

Bottom Line

Even though the economy has been placed on pause, it appears home prices will remain steady throughout the pandemic.

Posted in COVID, Market Updates
April 21, 2020

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever | MyKCM

For years, we’ve all heard about the most desirable home features buyers are looking for, from upgraded kitchens to remodeled bathrooms, master suites, and more. The latest on the hotlist, however, might surprise you: home offices.

In a recent article by George RatiuSenior Economist with realtor.com, he notes how listings with an office are selling quickly:

“As more companies have been embracing remote work, buyers are driving demand for houses with home offices higher. Homes featuring the term ‘office’ are selling 9 days faster than the overall housing inventory.”

Today, more and more people are working remotely, and that’s not just because the current pandemic is prompting businesses to operate virtually. According to the same piece and the most recent data available, the number of employees working at home was fairly steady from 1997 – 2004 but has been climbing ever since (see graph below):Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever | MyKCMClearly, the work-from-home population is growing, and technology is making it possible. Just last month, according to an article on Think Google, searches for telecommuting hit an all-time high, and that’s certainly no surprise given our current situation.

People all over the U.S. are looking for answers on how to be most effective at home, and it’s making the ideal workspace more and more desirable. In fact, best practices from seasoned work-from-home professionals, like Chris Anderson, Senior Account Executive at HousingWire, tout that having a dedicated space is a must for productivity.

With today’s increasing demand for home offices, it’s a great feature to highlight within your listing if you’re selling a house that may meet this growing need. From bright natural light with large windows to built-in bookshelves or a quiet and secluded atmosphere, whatever makes your office space shine is worth mentioning to buyers when you’re ready to list your house.

Ratiu concludes:

“For housing, the continued increase in the share of remote workers implies that demand for homes with offices or dedicated work spaces will continue to increase. The current coronavirus pandemic offers a dramatic indication of the fact that companies and employees will have to develop plans and clearer policies for remote work beyond the current crisis.”

Bottom Line

Remote work may become more widely accepted as this current crisis teaches businesses throughout the country what it takes to function virtually. So, what seems like a business challenge today may be more of the norm tomorrow. With that in mind, if you have a home office, your house may be more desirable to buyers than you think.

Posted in COVID, Home Life
March 24, 2020

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s minds today, it’s important to take an objective look at what has transpired over the years and how the housing market has successfully weathered these storms.

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008

We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, if there is a recession:

"It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow. I would expect this to be milder. There's no dysfunction in the banking system, we don't have many households who are overleveraged with their mortgage payments and are potentially in trouble."

In addition, the Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast released this week indicates that although there is no growth anticipated immediately, gains are forecasted heading into the second half of this year and getting even stronger in early 2021.Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCMBoth of these expert sources indicate this is a momentary event in time, not a collapse of the financial industry. It is a drop that will rebound quickly, a stark difference to the crash of 2008 that failed to get back to a sense of normal for almost four years. Although it poses plenty of near-term financial challenges, a potential recession this year is not a repeat of the long-term housing market crash we remember all too well.

2. A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Next, take a look at the past five recessions in U.S. history. Home values actually appreciated in three of them. It is true that they sank by almost 20% during the last recession, but as we’ve identified above, 2008 presented different circumstances. In the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6% (see below):Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

3. We Can Be Confident About What We Know

Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

According to Bloomberg,

“Several economists made clear that the extent of the economic wreckage will depend on factors such as how long the virus lasts, whether governments will loosen fiscal policy enough and can markets avoid freezing up.”

That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.

Bottom Line

Concerns about a recession are real, but housing isn’t the driver. If you have questions about what it means for your family’s homebuying or selling plans, let’s connect to discuss your needs.

March 24, 2020

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis, and this will not be a repeat of 2008.