Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 17, 2023

Demystifying Mortgage Rate Buy-Down Program

Demystifying Mortgage Rate Buy-Down Programs: A Guide for Homebuyers


When purchasing a home, securing a favorable mortgage rate can make a significant difference in your financial outlook. One way to achieve this is through a mortgage rate buy-down program. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of mortgage rate buy-downs, how they work, and whether they're right for you.


Understanding Mortgage Rate Buy-Down Programs: A mortgage rate buy-down program is a financial arrangement where the homebuyer pays an upfront fee to lower their mortgage interest rate for a specific period. By doing so, borrowers can potentially save a substantial amount of money over the life of their loan. The buy-down fee is typically calculated as a percentage of the loan amount.


How Does It Work? In a mortgage rate buy-down program, the homebuyer can choose to lower the interest rate by a certain number of points. Each point typically corresponds to a reduction of 0.25% in the interest rate. For example, if the current rate is 4.5%, a borrower may opt to pay upfront to reduce the rate to 4.25% by purchasing one point.


Cost vs. Savings: To decide whether a mortgage rate buy-down program is worthwhile, it's essential to weigh the upfront costs against the potential long-term savings. The cost of buying down the rate can vary based on market conditions, loan amount, and desired interest rate reduction. It's crucial to carefully calculate how long it will take to recoup the upfront fee through lower monthly mortgage payments.


Short-term vs. Long-term Benefits: Mortgage rate buy-down programs can be particularly advantageous for borrowers who plan to stay in their homes for an extended period. If you anticipate living in your home for many years, the long-term savings gained from a reduced interest rate can significantly outweigh the upfront costs. On the other hand, if you expect to move or refinance within a few years, it may be more beneficial to stick with the prevailing interest rates.


Consulting with Mortgage Professionals: When considering a mortgage rate buy-down program, it's crucial to consult with mortgage professionals such as lenders or mortgage brokers. They can provide valuable insights into the current market conditions, projected interest rate trends, and help you evaluate whether a buy-down program aligns with your financial goals and situation.

Factors to Consider: Before committing to a mortgage rate buy-down program, consider the following factors:

  1. Upfront Costs: Calculate the cost of buying down the rate and ensure it aligns with your budget and overall financial plans.
  2. Length of Stay: Evaluate how long you plan to stay in the home to determine whether the long-term savings justify the upfront expense.
  3. Interest Rate Projections: Discuss market conditions with professionals to gauge whether interest rates are expected to rise or fall in the near future.
  4. Affordability: Consider how the reduced interest rate will affect your monthly mortgage payments and overall affordability.


How a 2-1 Buydown works


Let’s take a look at an example of how this would work with a 2-1 Buydown. 


Let’s say you find a home and agree to a purchase price of $500,000, and you pay 20% in down payment. Your loan would be $400,000. For the sake of this example, let’s say you qualify for a mortgage rate of 6.875%.


Effective rate

Monthly payment**

Monthly contribution

Yearly contribution
















*Monthly payment includes principal and interest, not taxes, insurance or other expenses. Sample loan scenarios do not include advertised rates, are provided for illustration purposes only and are not intended to provide mortgage or other financial advice specific to the circumstances of any individual and should not be relied upon in that regard. Guaranteed Rate cannot predict where rates will be in the future.


The total buydown contribution that the seller or the builder would offer is $9,269.52 in this example.



Mortgage rate buy-down programs offer homebuyers an opportunity to lower their interest rates and potentially save money over the life of their loans. While they can be beneficial, it's essential to weigh the upfront costs against the long-term savings and consider your individual circumstances. Working with mortgage professionals can provide valuable guidance in determining whether a mortgage rate buy-down program is the right choice for you. Remember, informed decision-making is key when it comes to securing the best mortgage terms for your dream home.


May 1, 2023

The Importance of Staging When Selling Your Home



Selling a home is a major decision that requires careful planning and preparation. One of the most important aspects of selling a home is staging, which refers to the process of decorating and arranging a home to showcase its best features and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Here's why staging is so important when selling your home:


1.   Helps to Create a Good First Impression


The first impression is everything when it comes to selling a home. Potential buyers will form an opinion about your home within seconds of walking through the door. Staging can help create a positive first impression by making your home look more welcoming and attractive.


2.   Highlights Your Home's Best Features


Staging can also help highlight your home's best features, such as a beautiful fireplace or an open-concept living area. By showcasing these features, you can make your home stand out from other properties on the market.


3.   Makes Your Home Look Bigger


Staging can also make your home look bigger and more spacious. By removing clutter and rearranging furniture, you can create a more open and airy feel, which is very appealing to potential buyers.


4.   Helps Potential Buyers Visualize Themselves Living in Your Home


By staging your home, you can help potential buyers visualize themselves living there. This can make it easier for them to imagine themselves in your home and can increase the chances of them making an offer.


5.   Increases Your Home's Sale Price


Staging your home can also increase its sale price. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell for an average of 17% more than non-staged homes.


Staging is an important part of the home-selling process. By creating a good first impression, highlighting your home's best features, making it look bigger, helping potential buyers visualize themselves living there, and increasing your home's sale price, staging can help you sell your home more quickly and for a higher price. If you're thinking of selling your home, be sure to talk to your real estate agent about the benefits of staging.



April 11, 2023

Upgrade Your Home on a Budget: Tips and Tricks

Upgrade Your Home on a Budget: Tips and Tricks

Upgrading your home can be an exciting and rewarding process, but it can also be expensive. However, there are several ways to improve your home on a budget. In this blog, we will explore some tips for upgrading your home without breaking the bank.

1.     Paint: Painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to update your home. A fresh coat of paint can transform a room, making it feel brighter, cleaner, and more modern. Stick to light, neutral colors for a timeless look.

2.     Lighting: Lighting can dramatically change the ambiance of a room. Consider updating your light fixtures or adding new lamps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

3.     Kitchen upgrades: You don't have to completely renovate your kitchen to give it a fresh look. Upgrading the cabinet hardware, replacing the faucet, and painting or resurfacing cabinets can make a big difference.

4.     Curb appeal: First impressions are everything, so spruce up the exterior of your home. Add potted plants or flowers, paint your front door, and clean up the landscaping.

5.     Flooring: Replacing old, worn out flooring can make a significant impact on the look of your home. Consider affordable options like vinyl planks or laminate flooring, which can mimic the look of hardwood or tile.

6.     Decor: Add some new decor to your home to make it feel fresh and updated. Consider adding new throw pillows, curtains, or a rug to a room to add a pop of color and style.

Upgrading your home doesn't have to be expensive. With these budget-friendly tips, you can make your home feel new and refreshed without breaking the bank.


April 3, 2023

Why Buying a Home Is a Sound Decision


Why Buying a Home Is a Sound Decision


Why Buying a Home Is a Sound Decision

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you want to know the decision will be a good one. And for many, that means thinking about what home prices are projected to do in the coming years and how that could impact your investment.

This year, we aren’t seeing home prices fall dramatically. As the year goes on, however, some markets may go up in value while others may lose value. That’s why it’s helpful to keep the long-term view in mind. Experts project a return to a steadier rate of price appreciation in the years that follow.

Home Price Appreciation in the Years Ahead

Over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts were polled by Pulsenomics in their latest quarterly Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES). The report indicates what they believe will happen with home prices over the next five years. As the graph below shows, after mild depreciation this year, these experts forecast home prices will return to more normal levels of appreciation through 2027.

The big takeaway is experts aren’t forecasting a drastic fall in home prices nationally, even though some markets will see home price appreciation while others may depreciate. And when they look further out, they see steady price appreciation in the long run. That’s a great example of why homeownership wins over time.

What Does This Mean for You?

Once you buy a home, price appreciation raises your home’s value, and that grows your household wealth. Here’s how a typical home’s value could change over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the survey mentioned above (see graph below):

In this example, if you bought a $400,000 home at the beginning of this year and factor in the forecast from the HPES, you could accumulate over $54,000 in household wealth over the next five years. So, if you’re wondering if buying a home is a sound decision, keep in mind what a strong wealth-building tool it is long term.

Bottom Line

According to the experts, while we may see slight depreciation this year, home prices are expected to grow over the next five years. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as home values (and your own net worth) are projected to grow. Partner with a local real estate agent to begin the homebuying process today.

March 16, 2023

How 3 Recent Bank Failures Could Impact Housing Market

How 3 Recent Bank Failures Could Impact Housing Market

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and others may drive mortgage rates lower, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

The demise of three banks last week has been sending shockwaves through an already fragile economy. Could it have an impact on real estate, too?

“The Silicon Valley Bank failure, along with a few other banks, means that the Federal Reserve cannot be so aggressive in raising its short-term interest rates,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®. “Therefore, mortgage rates will decline.”

Mortgage rates had been steadily rising in recent weeks, with the 30-year fixed-rate loan averaging 6.73% last week, according to Freddie Mac. The Fed has been making a series of aggressive rate increases, which may indirectly influence mortgage rates, over the last few months. Home buyers have been up against affordability woes, as mortgage rates are nearly double what they were just a year ago.

But as of Monday, mortgage rates had fallen about 50 basis points lower than last week. Yun says that when there is a panic in the financial market, investors often shift money toward safer assets, which tends to be U.S. Treasury notes and bonds. Mortgage rates lately have tended to follow the movement of Treasury yields, which are falling.

“So, a panic in a sense leads to an automatic stimulus to the economy from lower interest rates,” Yun says in public comments on LinkedIn. “The housing sector nearly always responds to falling mortgage rates, especially when there are job additions to the economy.” And if rates do head lower, more home buyers undoubtedly would still enter the housing market in response, he adds.

Bank Failures Spark Panic

Last Friday, the shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank became the second largest bank failure in U.S. history and the largest since the 2008 financial crisis. The bank was known as a large supporter of tech startups. About 15% of the loans in Silicon Valley Bank’s portfolio were residential and commercial mortgages, The Real Deal reported. Signature Bank and Silvergate Capital, both big lenders in the cryptocurrency space, also shuttered their doors.

To help avoid mass panic, the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Treasury Department created an emergency program to backstop all deposits using the Fed’s emergency lending authority. That granted depositors full access to their funds as of Monday, and the agencies vowed to make all depositors whole. Usually, banks only insure up to $250,000 per account ownership category through the FDIC, an agency that was created in 1933 after thousands of bank failures. In this case, the federal government’s move to backstop uninsured money has been viewed as an unusual step.

President Joe Biden has been offering assurance to Americans that banks are safe. He vowed on Monday to “strengthen oversight and regulations of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.”

Meanwhile, the bank failures may be a sign of trouble ahead for the tech industry. “Some businesses reliant on funding from Silicon Valley Bank [and others] may lack capital to continue its business or have to cut back,” Yun says. There could be some job losses ahead as a result, especially among some California tech companies, he adds. Local housing markets may be hampered by those job losses. But “broadly across the country,” Yun says, “more home buyers will enter the market [because of] lower mortgage rates.”
Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 27, 2023

Investing in a Home

One Major Benefit of Investing in a Home

One Major Benefit of Investing in a Home | MyKCM

One of the many reasons to buy a home is that it’s a major way to build wealth and gain financial stability. According to Freddie Mac:

“Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

With spring approaching, now’s a great time to consider if buying a home makes sense for you. The best way to figure that out is to talk with a trusted real estate professional.

The Largest Part of Most Homeowners’ Net Worth Is Their Equity

You may be surprised to learn just how much of a homeowner’s net worth actually comes from owning their home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares:

Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among families, with the median value of a primary residence worth about ten times the median value of financial assets held by families. Housing wealth (home equity or net worth) gains are built up through price appreciation and by paying off the mortgage.”

In other words, home equity does more to build the average household’s wealth than anything else. And according to data from First American, this holds true across different income levels (see graph below):

Bottom Line

One of the biggest benefits of owning a home, regardless of your income level, is that it provides financial stability and an avenue to build wealth. Let’s connect today so you can start investing in homeownership.

Posted in Buying