Catch The Wave.......

 

"We donate a portion of EVERY commission to the Children’s Miracle Network, our LOCAL chapter that benefits McLeod Children’s Hospital right here in OUR community.  Help us help sick and injured children by making YOUR home, whether buying or selling, a MIRACLE home!!"   

Eddie & Julie Boyd

 

"We are proud supporters of the Children's Miracle Network & McLeod Children's Hospital"

Eddie & Julie Boyd

           

 

 

 

April 9, 2018

Paw-sitive Reinforcement: 5 Ways to Help Pets Adjust After a Move

Paw-sitive Reinforcement: 5 Ways to Help Pets Adjust After a Move

 

Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.

Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you're in your new home.

1. A little help from the vet
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on easing the transition. If your pet is generally anxious or high-strung, it might be worth asking your vet whether a mild calming medication might help during the transition period. It's also not uncommon for vets to prescribe gentle stress relief for during travel.

2. Time to explore
Upon moving in, give your pet time to explore the house gradually, rather than letting it loose to roam at will. Limit it to one area – perhaps the kitchen – for a few hours until it calms down. Show the pet where you've placed its familiar items like the food dish, water bowl and bed. You might want to keep a dog on a leash for an initial home tour. If you have a yard, avoid letting pets out unsupervised for several days until you're sure they can't climb or dig out from under the fence.

3. A walk in the park
Help release anxiety and pent-up energy by take your dog for a walk and sniff through the neighborhood. While people learn about a new place primarily by visual cues, dogs depend on their noses.

4. Helping the feline in your life
Territorial by nature, cats often experience more issues with moving than their canine counterparts. Keep your cat safe in its carrier upon arrival, placing it in a quiet area. When the hubbub dies down, let it out in an enclosed room away from main traffic areas. Provide your cat with familiar objects, such as a bed, litter box and toys. Encourage it to explore the room, perhaps by strategically placing cat treats.

5. Update pet IDs
Amid the hustle and bustle of the move itself, don't forget to update your pet's identification information before you move. This way, if Fluffy or Fido slip out the door, anyone who finds them can easily return them to their new home. Also, some municipalities require licensing within a certain time frame of moving. If your pets are microchipped, contact the registration company and give them the new information.

Looking for a place that's perfect for you AND your pets? RE/MAX can help guide you there.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 8, 2018

Closing the gap on the real estate closing process

losing the gap on the real estate closing process

Time for a tech upgrade?

April 6, 2018

 

 

Today, homebuyers can tour homes, see the neighborhood, and research the history of a property all from the comfort of their couch. Technology has streamlined the front end of the purchase process, but the actual closing remains largely stuck in the past.  Research from the National Association of Realtors shows that nearly 40% of home buyers rank understanding the closing process and the related paperwork as the top challenge.  Tech savvy consumers who have looked at homes and even virtually furnished them with a smartphone are confronted with a mass of old-school paperwork and disconnected procedures when it is time to buy.

15 Degrees of Separation

In a typical real estate transaction, there are approximately 15 different players, including an appraiser, a title examiner, a home inspector, a buyer, a seller, buyer’s and seller’s agents, a lender (which includes the loan officer, processor, and underwriter), a seller’s attorney, and a closing attorney (including paralegals). With such a large line-up, it can be hard for buyers and sellers to keep the roles straight let alone understand all of the intricacies of the close. Further, the communication between these various parties typically took place at best via email and sometimes still through fax! To an ever-connected society, this can feel like a painful experiment in time travel.

In an industry that is designed to help consumers participate in the American dream, the closing process is a nightmare.

Painful, Intense, Taxing and Inefficient

As a long-time closing attorney in Massachusetts, we suffered the same pains as many in the industry. Consumers were confused and we were buried in tedious inefficient closing functions performed on multiple platforms. For example, we ordered a title abstract by email and then received the abstract from the examiner by PDF attachment or written report in the mail which had to be scanned into our server.

We had to draft a separate form to order a tax certificate from the municipality.  We used real estate software to draft the title commitment, then used the title company’s system to obtain a required Closing Protection Letter (“CPL”). 

An intern or junior admin copied the property’s existing legal description by typing up a new Word document.  To obtain seller documents and schedule the closing, we emailed the seller’s attorney or paralegal and attachments were sent to us by email.  Any personal and private information (e.g., borrower authorizations for mortgage payoffs) would have to be faxed.  We separately emailed buyers to confirm spelling of their names, schedule closings, and deliver documents.  Additionally, we emailed realtors to obtain their commissions, receive transactional forms (e.g., condominium documents and financials) and schedule closings.

The Software Setback

Software programs did little to solve the root problem. As the escrow agent, we used separate software to manage all funds.  Each vendor and fee had to be entered into our real estate software or in the lender’s software platform to generate a Settlement Statement.  Separately, each payee was entered into the ledger utilizing a different funding software.  To denote the recording information, we transcribed the Book and Page by hand into our file, and manually entered it in our real estate software.  Electronic recordings were done by separate software.  When funding, we would track letters and packages through the FedEx website.  If it all sounds slow and painful, it was.

That’s how we used to do it and from my conversations with others, that’s still how many in our industry continue to operate. Given those inefficiencies we sought out technology that would both streamline our process as well as provide us comfort that our processes would continue to be compliant with the litany of security and privacy rules we are required to follow.

Evicting Inefficiency

Today, we coordinate our closings on a single platform.  We conducted our due diligence on a variety of technology solutions, most of them solved a single task. Ultimately, we decided to use Qualia to provide us with a unified, collaborative, and compliant system.  With Qualia, the closing is a much more coordinated process. The title examiner drops the title abstract into our platform.  The tax certificate, CPL and title commitment letters are all generated internally from the platform.  The existing legal description is scanned and copied in our platform.  We are able to automatically send out requests to buyers for contact information and to realtors for commission statements from the platform. We have a shared calendar to schedule and memorialize closings with all parties right in Qualia.  These are huge time-savers. 

In order to comply with numerous state and federal laws, our office is required to safeguard our client’s nonpublic personal information.  We are now able to utilize a “Connect” feature that allows all parties to upload documents and email on a secure platform.  This is especially helpful when cybercrimes and unauthorized access to computer systems are on the rise. 

Additionally, my entire staff can view a memorialized record of all transaction correspondence.  I can enter a note on a file that all members of my team can view.  We can share condominium documents, deeds, and settlement statements with the intended parties.  Seller’s attorneys can securely upload their clients’ payoff information and wiring instructions. Further, we have our funding software built into the platform, which also is a major benefit.  All deed and mortgage recordings are synced into our system, and all letters and closing packages sent by registered mail service are automatically entered in the platform.

It’s Time to Unify the Closing Process

My firm’s operational change highlighted that our industry, which relies on precedent, was reluctant to change. We believe these roadblocks can be overcome to improve our daily practices as well as our clients’ experiences with us. Collaborative software allows all parties in a real estate transaction to work toward the same goal expediently and efficiently.

 

April 3, 2018

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money!

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money!

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money! | MyKCM

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Realtor.com recently reported that:

Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option… as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”

What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?

1. In a previous blog we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:

  • Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
  • Homeownership provides tax savings.
  • Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
  • Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
  • No other investment lets you live inside of it.

2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.

3. Just a few months ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $44,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment– along with a profit margin!!

Bottom Line

Owning a home has always been, and will always be, better from a financial standpoint than renting.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 30, 2018

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying Today

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying Today [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 29, 2018

99% of Experts Agree: Home Prices Will Increase

99% of Experts Agree: Home Prices Will Increase

 

Some believe that the combined effects of the new tax code and rising mortgage rates will have an adverse impact on residential real estate prices in 2018. However, the clear majority of recently surveyed housing experts believe that home values will continue to rise this year.

What is the Home Price Expectation Survey?

Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists. Those surveyed include experts such as:

  • Daniel Bachman, Senior Manager, U.S. Economics at Deloitte Services, LP
  • Kathy Bostjancic, Head of U.S. Macro Investors Service at Oxford Economics
  • David Downs, Real Estate Finance Professor at VCU
  • Edward Pinto, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
  • Albert Saiz, Director at MIT Center for Real Estate

Where do these experts see home values headed in 2018?

Here is a breakdown of where they see home values twelve months from now:

  • 21.6% believe prices will appreciate by 6% or more
  • 71.6% believe prices will appreciate between 3 and 5.99%
  • 5.7% believe prices will appreciate between 0 and 2.99%
  • Only 1.1% believe prices will depreciate

Bottom Line

Almost ninety-nine percent of the top experts studying residential real estate believe that prices will appreciate this year, and over 93% believe home values will appreciate by at least 3%.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 26, 2018

20 Tips For Preparing Your House For Sale

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 26, 2018

5 Reasons Why To Sell This Spring

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Spring!

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Spring! | MyKCM

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year over year for the last 32 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 45 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

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

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 19, 2018

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

March 19, 2018

Should I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? Or Buy Now? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Should I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? Or Buy Now? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Should I Wait until next Year to Buy? Or Buy Now? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Posted in Real Estate News
March 19, 2018

Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

 Dreaming of a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Posted in Real Estate News