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Feb 26, 2018

Low Inventory Drives Median Price of R.I. Home Sales Up

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Low Inventory Drives Median Price of R.I. Home Sales Up

Warwick, RI – February 22, 2018 -- A diminishing supply of homes for sale continues to push prices upward in Rhode Island’s single-family home market. At $244,900, January’s median sales price was nine percent higher than that seen a year earlier.

Last month’s closing activity dropped 8.8 percent from a year ago and pending sales – those under contract but not closed – dropped 33 percent year-over-year.

With just 2497 single-family homes on the market last month, Rhode Island had less than a three-month supply of listings in January, resulting in a single-family home market that significantly favored sellers. The diminishing supply is clearly hindering sales activity.

“People who have been thinking about selling should give it serious consideration right now. The lack of competition in the marketplace is hiking prices so sellers are realizing more profit. And, when buying their next home, those same sellers have been able to take advantage of low interest rates that are boosting affordability.

“With historically low inventory and interest rates that are just beginning to climb slightly, it’s a great time to sell, but you must be prepared to move quickly when competing for your next home.  There are still great buys out there, but buyers don’t have the luxury of time. Preparation and quick decisions are a must,” said Joe Luca, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Median price rose 20 percent to $225,000 in the multifamily property sector and closing activity rose 3.6 percent year-over-year. Pending sales dropped 18 percent from 12 months earlier.

Among condominium sales, the median sales price of units sold last month rose 15.6 percent from January of 2017, to $215,000. Sales activity climbed 11.5 percent while pending sales decreased 7.7 percent.

Infographic: http://bit.ly/2EXfSN2

Jan 30, 2018

New Record in Rhode Island Home Sales in 2017

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Realtors Report New Record in Rhode Island Home Sales in 2017

Number of Single-Family Home Sales Hit an All-Time High

Warwick, R.I. – January 18, 2018 – Rhode Island’s housing market continued to gain strength in 2017 according to the latest report from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and its subsidiary, State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. For the fifth consecutive year, the number of single-family homes sold rose year-over-year, eclipsing previous records. The data reveals that 11,282 single-family homes were sold in the Ocean State last year, up from 11,066 in 2016. The median price of those sales climbed 6.3 percent to $255,000.

“The housing market was hot last year. Our biggest problem was lack of inventory, particularly in the starter home market. It seemed like properties were being sold just as soon as they were listed which made it extremely tough for buyers, particularly in some areas more than others,” said Joseph Luca, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Condo Sales Soared in 2017

Condominium sales saw a significant increase last year, rising 12.4 percent from the prior year. The median sales price of condominiums sold in 2017 rose 7.6 percent to $215,000.

“In the face of fewer choices among single-family homes, condominiums became a good alternative for many consumers. Less restrictive financing terms and lower price points allowed first-time buyers entry into the market which may not have been available to them otherwise,” Luca explained.

Median Price of Multifamily Property Sales Hit 11-Year High

Sales in the multifamily home market rose nearly 15 percent in volume and median price, indicating that housing has regained a reputation as a favorable investment. The 2017 median multifamily home sales price was the highest since 2007 when it reached $255,000. At $209,000, last year’s median price was 132 percent above the low seen during the crux of the housing downturn in 2009 of $90,000.

“Thankfully there were many adjustments made to the tax reform package which preserved benefits to property ownership. The continued maintenance of 1031 exchange rules as they apply to real estate for example, will help keep our investment market moving,” said Luca.

RI Realtors also released fourth quarter sales statistics which indicate that single-family sales held their own during the latter part of the year even in the face of the uncertainty caused by the impending tax reforms. Sales volume increased 2.7 percent and median price rose 7.5 percent compared to October through December of 2016.  Despite sales volume growing overall however, nearly half of Rhode Island’s municipalities saw a decline in single-family home sales. The condo and multifamily property markets also saw end-of-year increases in sales volume and median sales price.

“There’s no doubt about it, the market is strong. However, changes to the tax code, rising interest rates and the lack of adequate supply could cause the market to moderate in 2018, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. We don’t want to get to a point where affordability issues are creating havoc with the market again,” commented Luca.

The statistics reported by RI Realtors represent Realtor-assisted sales throughout Rhode Island. The median sales price represents the point at which half the home s sold for more and half sold for less. Whereas average sales price can skew results toward outliers, the median price indicates the types of homes sold during a given time period, luxury homes versus starter homes for example, and is not representative of individual property appreciation or depreciation. For more information about home sales statistics, including infographics and a heat map showing the inventory of homes for sale by zip code, visit riliving.com/pressreleases.



View Full Infographic 

Housing Statistics Archives

Months Supply: Click here for interactive display


Jan 19, 2018

7 Budgeting Tips To Help You Buy Your First Home in 2018

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

So you’ve decided to purchase your first home in 2017. Congratulations! Purchasing a home is a huge decision, and it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of your life.

But purchasing a home requires capital, and if your savings account is looking a little trim as we wrap up 2016, it means that you will have to do some budgeting in the upcoming year to make your dream of being a homeowner a reality.

Here are 7 budgeting tips to help you buy your first home in 2017:

1. Track Everything You Spend

You will not be able to make any major changes to your budget if you don’t have a firm understanding of how your money is being spent. Tracking everything you spend for a month will show you exactly how much you’re spending, where you’re spending it, how much of your budget is going towards necessities and how much of your budget is going towards luxuries.

You can keep track of all of your expenses in a spreadsheet, but a better strategy is to use a spending tracker like Mint or Prosper Daily (formerly BillGuard). These apps link to all of your accounts and will track and categorize your spending, making it easy to visualize where your money is going.

2. Identify Areas To Cut Back

Once you know where your money is going, it’s time to identify the areas where you can cut back and save additional funds to put towards your down payment. Every household will be different, but when you’re saving for a house, anything that’s not a necessity (like rent or medical insurance) should be considered an area where you can cut back.

Things like eating out, daily Starbucks and an expensive gym membership are great, but they can quickly eat into your budget. Cutting back on extra spending is a great way to build your savings and get you into your new home faster.

3. Create A Budget

Creating a budget – and sticking to it – is one of the best things you can do for your finances as you’re gearing up to buy your first home. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a savings goal and consistently falling short each month because of thoughtless spending. Having a firm budget (and holding everyone in your household accountable to it) helps you stay on track towards your savings goal.

Create a budget that includes all of your set expenses (like rent), the amount of money you will put into your savings account each month and allowances for categories like food, entertainment and gas. Then, stick to the budget no matter what.

Having a set amount for how much you can spend on things will make you think twice before pulling out your wallet.

4. Get Your Score Up

One of the most important factors in the home buying process is your credit score. Your credit score (and the credit score of your spouse, partner or co-buyer) will directly affect the interest rates on your mortgage, and a good credit score can save you thousands of dollars a month.

If you can, work to bring up your credit score as much as possible before you apply for your mortgage. Pay down any outstanding credit card debt, check your credit report for inconsistencies and always pay your bills on time.

5. Practice Paying Your Mortgage

When you create your budget, you should have an idea of how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage payment when you buy a home. But you shouldn’t wait to buy a home to start making that payment, particularly if it’s higher than what you’re currently paying in rent.

Practicing your mortgage payment will give you real life experience of what it will be like to make that payment each month. Take the difference between your current rent payment and your projected mortgage payment and immediately put it into savings at the beginning of the month.

You might find that you overshot how much you can afford and your projected mortgage payment puts you under too much financial strain. Or you might find that you actually have more wiggle room in your budget than you anticipated and can afford a higher mortgage. Either way, that’s information you want to know before you lock in a 15 or 30 year payment.

6. Pay For Everything In Cash

It’s easy to lose track of how much money you’re spending when you put everything on a debit or credit card. With just a quick swipe, you have everything you need. But paying for things in cash can make the purchase feel more real and can help you get a better handle on your spending.

At the beginning of the week, take out all of your spending money in cash. Then, make a commitment to only use the cash in your wallet to cover your expenses. If you run out of cash, that’s it.

Seeing your cash dwindle as the week goes on will help you visualize how much money you have left for the week and can help curb needless spending.

7. Reward Yourself

There’s no way around it – saving money is tough. It’s important that you reward yourself for your successes and for moving towards your savings goals.

Set milestones for your savings goals (like saving $1000 or paying off an outstanding credit card balance), and treat yourself when you hit that goal. The reward will give incentive to keep going when things get challenging.

One trap you’ll want to avoid is rewarding yourself with something large, extravagant and expensive. Rewarding yourself for saving money by spending money isn’t a recipe for success! Your reward should be something low cost (or free) that still feels like an indulgence, like a picnic day at the park with your family.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to signing those closing papers, getting your keys and making 2017 the year you purchased your first home.

Jan 15, 2018

COVENTRY RI: Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

It is common knowledge that a great number of homes in Coventry, RI sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller in Coventry, RI. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time | MyKCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.

That number spiked to 1,970,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home in Coventry, RI today.

Jan 8, 2018


Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Dec 19, 2017

Rents Are on the Rise: Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents, by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped 

A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:

“Rents are up 2.7% year-over-year at the national level.Year-over-year growth continues to fall between the 2.1% rate from this time last year and the 3.4% growth rate from October 2015.”

The article continues explaining that:

“Despite the seasonal slowdown, rents are still up year-over-year in 89 of the 100 Largest cities.

Additionally, the Urban Institute revealed that,

Over a quarter of renters, or 11.1 million households, are severely cost burdened, spending at least half their income on rental housing.

These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent 

As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Reportfrom Trulia shows that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 6.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 57% less expensive in Detroit (MI) and 37.4% nationwide!

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. A nationwide survey of about 24,000 renters found that 80% of millennial renters plan to eventually buy a house, but 72% cite affordability as their primary obstacle. Aside from affordability, one in three millennial renters have concerns about their credit scores, and another 53% said that a down payment is an obstacle.

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream homes. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap that so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let’s get together to determine if you can qualify for a mortgage now!

Dec 8, 2017


Posted by: Sandra Deignan

I can’t take credit for this blog—it’s totally stolen from the Today Show Rossen Reports, but contained great info.

Avoid bursting pipes (and costly repairs) this winter with these simple tips




According to the insurance company Chubb, homeowners are more likely to experience water damage during the winter than any other time of year.

"In the wintertime, the water in the pipes gets cold; it freezes," Jim Magliaro, Risk Consulting Technical Leader at Chubb, told TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "Water goes everywhere."

How can you prevent damages that could potentially run to thousands of dollars? At the Paul Davis Commercial and Home Restoration “flood house” in Jacksonville, Florida, Magliaro shared some simple tips:


How to avoid bursting pipes, flooding and costly repairs this winter


How to avoid bursting pipes, flooding and costly repairs this winter



Insulate your pipes. You can buy simple insulation for about 25 cents a foot.

Replace rubber hoses. Check your washing machine to make sure the hoses aren't rubber. Steel-braided hoses are inexpensive, costing about $10 each.

Know how to shut off the valve under your sink. "Once a week, you look under the sink and you look for any puddles of water and move your hand along the pipes to see if there are any leaks," Magliaro said. If there are, shut off the valve.

Check for puddles behind your refrigerator. Many refrigerator leaks are due to the water line that feeds the refrigerator. Magliaro suggests you pull your refrigerator out once a month and look for puddles behind it.

Know how to shut off your water main. With the holidays approaching, many of us are leaving for vacation or visiting family. Experts say if you're heading out of town, you should shut off your water main. It's an easy way to prevent major leaks or bursts while you're away.

The main water shutoff valve is usually located at the point where the main water line enters the home. In homes with basements, it is usually in the basement. In homes that are on a crawl space or slab, it can be in the garage (if one exists), in a first-floor utility closet, or, in many Southern climates, outside of the home.

The two types of shutoff valve to a water main: gate valve (left) and ball valve.

There are typically two types of shutoff valves to a water main: a gate valve (shown left above) and a ball valve (right above). Either is still used today, but the ball valve is becoming more popular. A ball valve is easier to use and shuts off water a little more quickly. With the ball valve, if the handle is in line with the pipe, it is in the “on” position; if perpendicular to the pipe, it is off.


When to replace a toilet supply line and PVC pipe


When to replace a toilet supply line and PVC pipe



Nov 8, 2017

It’s Time to Winter-Proof Your Home

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Homeowners who neglect routine maintenance heading into the colder months may find themselves faced with an expensive repair bill. For example, forgetting to clean the gutters could cause ice to build up and damage your roof. Windows and doors not properly sealed could cause your heating bills to surge.

Examine the exterior. Walk around the house to check for any cracks in the siding or peeling paint. Look up at the roof. Also, after it rains, walk around the house to spot any signs that water isn’t draining away from the house properly or for signs of damaged gutters.The New York Times recently highlighted a few maintenance chores for homeowners to do before the weather gets chilly, including:

Clean out the gutters. Home maintenance professionals call this chore one of the most important. Gutters direct water away from your siding and roof. A clogged gutter can lead to roof leaks or ice dams in colder weather. Make sure the gutters are cleaned of any leaves and other debris.

Check the windows and doors. Add weather stripping or caulk where cold air is seeping in from around windows or doors. This could make a big difference in utility bills.

Evaluate the heater. Contact a plumber or furnace repair company to prepare the boiler or furnace before the weather turns cold. They’ll clean the equipment and ensure it is working properly.  

Check the chimney. A dirty chimney can affect the air quality in a home and even pose a potential fire hazard. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having a chimney inspected annually, cleaning it as needed.

Tend to the pipes. Drain exterior faucets and shut them off before the first freeze. On cold nights, maintenance experts also recommend opening cabinets beneath the sinks to let warm air in and prevent frozen pipes. Also, let a slow drip of water run through them. Pipes must be kept warm.

Source: “Getting the House Ready for Winter,” The New York Times (Nov. 3, 2017)

Oct 16, 2017

No More Renting!!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

What comes to mind when you picture your ideal home? A pool? Tennis courts? So many rooms that people FaceTime from opposite ends of the house instead of meeting in the middle? That all sounds great―but before you can live like Beyoncé, you have to start somewhere. We sat down with Trenton Hoggard, a CENTURY 21 agent at Wright-Pace Real Estate in Jonesboro, AR, to get the inside scoop on buying and owning a starter home.


Ah, renting. Landlords, roommates, the neighbors who seem to either loudly argue or purposely park in your driveway―it can get old pretty quickly. Here’s the good news, the difference between renting and buying a home may seem huge―especially when you factor things like student loans into the picture―but in reality, the costs are more similar than you would think. Having student debt is “not going to be a deal breaker” when it comes to buying a house, says Hoggard. In fact, Hoggard adds that the “majority of people that are making enough money to be considering buying a house have student debt.” So, if you’re tired of that weird smell that’s always coming from apartment 1B, know that you are likely more capable of getting out of there and into a starter home than you may think.


Unsurprisingly, a starter home is just what it sounds like―it’s the first house, apartment, condo, etc. that you actually buy instead of rent. However, just because this is your first home and you will likely upgrade to a larger “forever home” at some point, you shouldn’t rush into this purchase. You’re buying a home, not avocado toast. Hoggard notes that “There are different versions of first-time home buyers,” but in general he recommends thinking about living in your starter home for around five years. This means figuring out where you want to live, what type of home and mortgage you can afford, and how long you anticipate staying there.Having student debt is not going to be a deal breaker


The most important items on your starter home checklist are determining where you’d like to live and how much you can afford. When it comes to beginning the search, consider if you’d be okay living for a few years in a suburban area, where you might be able to find something more affordable.1 Also, don’t discount an apartment, condo or townhouse in an up-and-coming area. On the financial side, Hoggard explains that “getting clients the right lender” is his first step in helping someone search for a starter home. “There are people who can help home buyers feel comfortable throughout the whole process. They all know what we’re shooting for in making them feel cared for and in the loop the whole time,” says Hoggard. “When I start the showing process, people are so much slower to move because they’re working through their fears when they’re looking at properties. When buyers tackle their fears proactively, the process is both simpler, and faster.”


Now we know that it’s important to address your home buying fears, but what exactly is the best way to do that? Hoggard’s main strategy is to relate the monthly home payment very closely to the first-time home buyer’s rent expense. “They’re not thinking of the $150,000-$200,000. They’re thinking $1,000 a month, or $1,300 a month. They’re thinking in terms of monthly fees, like Spotify, and Netflix,” he notes. Comparing the monthly fees of a home and a rental property is helpful in alleviating buyers’ fears, but Hoggard sometimes even goes the extra mile and takes his clients to rental properties that would require the same monthly payment as their home. “When they see the difference, that makes a difference,” he says. Lastly, don’t discount down payments. This step can be nerve-racking, but don’t worry. Hoggard suggests using an agent’s expertise to help negotiate a fair and realistic down payment with the seller.

So, taking the steps toward buying your starter home doesn’t have to be scary. As long as you confront your fears as soon as possible, take the time to do research, trust the people you are working with, and you will be well on your way to kissing your neighbors’ loud noises and weird smells goodbye.


Don’t rush into the purchase

Know what you want

Find the right lender

Acknowledge and discuss home-buying concerns

Oct 3, 2017

CREDIT SCORE FUNDAMENTALS How to build and maintain a good score

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

A credit score may only be three digits, but that number is a big deal—it can sometimes determine the course of your life. From a lender’s perspective, your credit score indicates how likely you are to repay debts in a timely manner. We spoke to Farnoosh Torabi, host of the popular financial podcast So Money, for valuable tips on getting ahead of the game and establishing and preserving good credit.


Your credit score is a major personal financial indicator that ranges anywhere between 300 points (the lowest) and 850 points (the highest). Torabi suggests aiming for a score in the mid-700s and up. Higher credit scores will earn you the best interest rates on loans. Additionally, you should pay close attention to the major factors that can harm your credit score:

  • Paying bills late
  • Racking up too much debt
  • Applying for several credit cards within a short period of time

It’s important to monitor your credit score regularly. It’s an urban legend that requesting to see your score can harm it. “A so-called ‘hard inquiry’ from a bank or credit issuer can potentially ding your score, but only if there are multiple hard inquiries on your credit. Checking your score yourself is totally fine and I highly encourage it at least once a year,” Torabi adds. “And for what it’s worth, a new survey from Chase Slate1 finds that Millennials are the best at reviewing their scores regularly, more so than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.”"Checking your score yourself is totally fine and I highly encourage it at least once a year"


Every financial journey begins somewhere. Consider applying for a credit card to start building credit. “Just know that if you’re a credit newbie, you probably won’t qualify for a card with a very high credit limit. Banks and credit issuers want to be sure you can handle it, so they’ll probably start you off with a smaller limit,” says Torabi. She suggests applying for a card at your local credit union, where it may be easier for someone with little to no credit history to get approved. “No matter what card you open, it’s critical that you maintain a low debt balance and pay your balance off in full each month,” Torabi advises. Missing a payment heavily impacts your score—it can set you back 50-100 points, depending on how delinquent you are. Don’t let this scare you too much though. Time does heal all wounds (or at least some). Torabi explains, “If you’re 30 days past due, that’s not as severe as being several months past due and in collections, but it’s still going to take some time and regularly paying off your bills in full and on time to repair your credit.”

There are several other ways to build credit, too. Aside from credit cards, you can also establish credit with student loans, a car loan, and even a mortgage.


Staying on top of your credit score is equally important as building one. Torabi recommends a couple steps for sustaining a good credit history without stress.

  • Pay your bills on time. Automate to avoid the stress of meeting payment deadlines. You can link your checking account to your credit card account, automatically paying off the balance each month. Torabi says, “This requires that you don’t overspend on the credit card and maintain enough cash in your checking account to cover the monthly expenses.”
  • Keep your debt balance to no more than 30% of your available credit limit. This is extremely important to keep in mind, as this ratio is the second greatest factor in determining your credit score. If the sum of all your credit card limits is $10,000, aim to keep your total balance to $3,000 or less at all times. Maxing out your cards signals that you might be overspending and having financial troubles and your credit score can suffer, as a result.

Most credit cards and banks have mobile apps, which make it extremely convenient to check your balance regularly and on the go. Some may even offer to let you review your credit score once a month. Take advantage of all the tools and resources available to you. Proactively monitoring your finances and your credit is a smart way to manage your money and will ultimately be helpful when making a larger purchase, like a home. It’s important to remember that missteps, like late or missed payments, can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. Your credit history follows you around, and in the financial world, your credit score is one of the most important numbers attached to your name.


Aim for a credit score in the mid-700s and higher

Be clear on what impacts your score so that you avoid missteps

Pay your debt off in full and on time

Keep an eye on your credit card balance

Sep 23, 2017

Property Prices Climb in August While Inventory Remains Tight According to RI Association of Realtors

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Warwick, RI – September 20, 2017… According to statistics released by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, Rhode Island’s single-family home sales rose four percent in August and the median price of those sales increased 6.1 percent to $260,000.  Data from the State-Wide Multiple Listing Service, an association subsidiary, indicates that the inventory of homes for sale declined 14.4 percent compared to August 2016, continuing an 18-month trend of diminishing year-over-year inventory.

“While sales activity has been up and down following last year’s record-breaking year, prices have been consistently on the rise.  The year-over-year median sales price has risen every month since February, hitting levels that we haven’t seen since 2007,” said Brenda L. Marchwicki, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

The median price reflects the mid-point of all sales, where half of the sales sold for less and half sold for more.

The condo market also fared well in August with sales up 11.4 percent compared to 12 months earlier. The median price of condos sold last month rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier while inventory decreased 5.9 percent.

The multifamily home sector experienced an increase in August sales of 6.8 percent accompanied by a rise in median price of 11.3 percent. Like the single-family home and condominium markets, the supply of multifamily properties for sale decreased, falling 24 percent from August 2016.

There was just over a 4.2-month supply of single-family homes on the market, a 5-month supply of listed condominiums and a 3.7-month inventory of multifamily properties in August. A 6-month supply typically indicates a market balanced between buyers and sellers. All three property types are currently experiencing a sellers’ market.

Sep 22, 2017

Why are so few homes for sale?

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”

First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.

The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:

  • 47% - existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
  • 5% - first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
  • 3% - existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
  • 6% - insufficient or negative equity in the home
  • 6% - foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes

As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).

Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?

The report on the survey explains:

“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory."

That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.

Bottom Line

While many homeowners are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their houses at a peak selling time.

Sep 12, 2017

Happy Chocolate MilkShake Day (Sept 12th)

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

September 12 is Chocolate Milkshake Day. So, what are you waiting for? Take out that blender and make yourself a glass of yummy chocolate milkshake.

Popular flavors of milkshakes include vanilla, strawberry and of course, chocolate. Chocolate milkshake is made by blending chocolate syrup or cocoa powder with milk or ice cream.Also known as thick shake, a milkshake is a cold beverage made by blending together milk or ice cream with some sweetening agents and flavorings.

Fries on the Side

It is believed that the original milkshakes were alcoholic, though in its present day form milkshakes are generally associated with wholesome family meals. In many parts of the world, burgers, fries and milkshakes are considered to be a good food and beverage pairing.

In some parts of Boston, a milkshake is also called a frappe.

How to Celebrate?

This unofficial holiday is the prefect excuse to indulge in a tall glass of chocolate milkshake. Here are some more ways you can celebrate this delicious holiday:

  • Have chocolate milkshake for all your meals. Add healthy chia seeds to your chocolate milkshake for breakfast, and make it extra special for dinner by adding a dash of rum, whiskey or irish cream.
  • Experiment with flavors. Add a bit of orange essence or mint to your chocolate milkshake. Or what about making a oreo or brownie batter chocolate milkshake?
  • Instead of making dark or milk chocolate milkshakes, why not make white chocolate milkshakes? Add a bunch of raspberries or hazelnuts to the shake when blending.
  • Go out to your favorite shake shop for their milkshakes. Many restaurants offer free chocolate shakes on this day.

Did You Know...

…that the popular candy, Milky Way, is actually named after a milkshake? Created in 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the candy was created to taste like a malted milkshake.


Sep 11, 2017

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

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 Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% 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%. 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 by this time next year.

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 a home 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 have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with 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 purchasing a home for you and your family is the right thing for you to do this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Aug 30, 2017

Don't Disqualify Yourself As a HomeBuyer

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | MyKCM

The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.

One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:

About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…

The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:

“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

So, what credit score is necessary?

Below is a breakdown of the FICO® Score distribution of all closed (approved) loans in July from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report.

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | MyKCM

Over 52% of all approved loans had a FICO® Score under 750. Many potential home buyers believe that they need a score over 780 to qualify.

Bottom Line

If owning a home of your own has always been your dream and you are ready and willing to buy, or if you are a homeowner who wants to move up, find out if you are able to! Let’s get together to determine if your dreams can become a reality sooner than you thought!

Aug 24, 2017

RI Home Sales Dip in July

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Warwick, RI, August 23, 2017…Single-family home sales dropped 4.2 percent in July from 12 months prior, while the median price of those sales showed a modest increase of 2.9 percent, according to a report released today by RI Realtors. July’s median price of $270,000 was $5000 below that seen in June, but the second highest monthly median sales price of single-family home sales since 2007. The slowdown in July sales occurred just one month after year-over-year, double-digit increases were seen in both sales and median price.

July had the fewest number of single-family homes for sale at the start of the third quarter since 2004. Last month, Rhode Island’s inventory was 15.6 percent below that of July, 2016.

“Clearly Rhode Island continues to struggle with maintaining an adequate supply of homes for sale. Until we turn the corner on that issue, prices will continue to rise. The fact that the median sales price only rose less than three percent last month could be construed as a good sign however. With the exception of last month, prices haven’t skyrocketed this year. They have shown moderate but steady growth which is just what we want to see,” said Brenda L. Marchwicki, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Condominium sales saw a 9.9 percent jump since July of 2016 and an 11.2 percent hike in median sales price, to $221,250. With 862 listings on the market in July, inventory remained 5.6 percent below that of the previous year.

Closing activity in the multifamily home market showed a healthy 8.4 percent gain and the sector saw the most appreciation of all housing types in median sales price last month. At $227,950, July’s median price was 20 percent higher than that realized in July of last year.  The number of multifamily properties on the market fell by 21.4 percent since July of last year.

“The multifamily market is seeing a great deal of investor activity. With rents rising rapidly, real estate is being recognized once again as a sound investment,” explained Marchwicki.


Brenda L. Marchwicki

2017 President, 
RI Association of REALTORS®

Aug 22, 2017

7 Creative and Quick Dining Room Updates

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

With so many dining rooms being converted into part of the living room or kitchen these days, dining room design has kind of fallen by the wayside. But if you’re one of the lucky homeowners to have hung on to a formal dining space, you’ve got an opportunity to make some amazing modern updates. Here are 7 affordable ways to breathe new life into an old dining room:

#1 Perk things up with paint.
Are your dining room walls still the same color they were when you moved into your house 10 years ago? If so, there’s a good chance the color’s a little past its prime. In fact, it may also be doing an injustice to your furniture and the updates you’ve made in adjoining rooms as well. Refresh the walls with a paint shade that makes you feel comfortable and cozy. The room will reflect that feeling.

#2 Modernize the lighting.
Are outdated chandeliers and lamps gathering dust in your dining room? Consider sending them packing and installing some recessed lighting and pendants in their place. Pendant lights, in particular, come in a wide variety of styles and colors sure to add some new pizzazz to your space.

#3 Repurpose another room.
If your dining room is located in an undesirable space — a cramped corner of the house away from the kitchen, for example — pick a new place for your table and chairs. Put them in the kitchen, if you have the the space. Or, place the dining table somewhere right in your living room, where there’s easy access to the TV and stereo. You should always feel comfortable during a meal, and being confined to an area you don’t enjoy doesn’t contribute to that feeling.

#4 Add some visual appeal.
Visual appeal doesn’t stop at paint and lighting. It’s also important to consider how wall decor may increase the interest and comfort of the room. Blank walls may make it easy to zone out and focus on your meals, but your guests will surely enjoy looking at something a little more interesting. Depending on your budget and the size of your dining room, consider hanging potted plants and colorful pieces of art. Just be sure to balance wall decor with other elements in the room so your space doesn’t feel like it’s cluttered with stuff.

#5 Throw in a rug.
One of the worst sounds to hear is a chair scratching against the floor as you go to get up from the dining table. So fix the issue. Add a rug underneath the table and chairs to make things soft and cozy. Choose a rug that isn’t too thick with fibers. Otherwise, your chairs can get stuck and twisted. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that the style and color of your rug complement the rest of the room.

#6 Use dividers.
Many newer homes combine kitchen and dining spaces. If you want to create a dedicated dining space, think about incorporating a room divider. It’s much cheaper than installing a wall — and you can add shelves, plants or a sliding door to further divide the two spaces. Plus, the flexibility of the divider allows to revert back to the bigger space any time you like.

#7 Build in.
How’s your dining room designed? Do you have a table that sits in the middle with four chairs around it? If you want to make the room more functional — and create more storage in the process — think about ditching the clunky furniture and opting instead for built-ins like bench seating, china cabinets and buffets. A professional can create custom built-ins to suit any style.

Aug 10, 2017

Best Schools in RI 2018 (Elementary, Middle & High School)

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Just in time for the school year, Niche.com is out with its latest rankings of Rhode Island's best public high schools.

As the 2017-18 school year kicks off, parents and students heading to their first day of school can see how their high school stacks up against others in the state as Niche.com has released its annual rankings of best public high schools in the country.

The 2018 rankings released this month rank elementary, middle and high schools. We put lists together for each. You can see the Best Elementary Schools and Best Middle Schools in Rhode Island here.

To arrive at these rankings, Niche looked at data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, college data and ratings collected from Niche users. The methodology for each category of ranking varied. (Click here for more information on how Niche calculates its rankings.)

Niche assigns a standardized score for each factor, which is then weighted before an overall score is calculated for each school district. The overall scores are again standardized and some districts are disqualified from receiving a final letter grade if there isn’t enough data. School districts are then ranked numerically and assigned grades.

According to Niche, these are the best public high schools in Rhode Island (You can see the full list here.):

  1. Barrington
  2. East Greenwich
  3. Classical (Providence)
  4. Portsmouth
  5. South Kingstown
  6. Narragansett
  7. Exeter-West Greenwich Regional
  8. North Kingstown
  9. Blackstone Academy Charter School (Pawtucket)
  10. Block Island (New Shoreham)
  11. Lincoln
  12. Beacon Charter School (Woonsocket)
  13. North Providence
  14. Cranston High East
  15. Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing & Visual Arts (Pawtucket)
  16. North Smitfield
  17. Westerly
  18. Middletown
  19. Smithfield
  20. Ponaganset (Foster-Glocester Regional District)
  21. Times2 Academy (Providence)
  22. Metropolitan Career Tech Center (Providence)
  23. Mt. Hope (Bristol Warren Regional District)
  24. Johnston
  25. The Greene School (West Greenwich)

Niche ranked the Solon City School District in Solon, Ohio the best school district in the country. With an overall Niche grade of A+, the district received a grade of A+ in academics, teachers, clubs and activities, college prep and health and safety. In the category of diversity, Niche awarded the school district an A-.

Niche’s data for its K-12 school district rankings comes from various sources including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Civil Rights Data Collection. The rankings also rely on data that is self-reported by Niche users and schools. (Click here to learn more about where Niche’s data comes from.)


By Updated August 10, 2017


Jul 25, 2017

Home Sales Dip as Buyers Get ‘Tripped Up’

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Low inventory slowed down home sales last month, as buyers faced fewer options and record-high real estate prices, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Monday.


Total existing-home sales, which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, fell 1.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million. Nevertheless, the pace of sales rose a modest 0.7 percent compared to a year ago.

“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in affordable price ranges continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Here’s a closer look at some of the top housing indicators in June from NAR’s latest report:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. It’s now the highest median price on record.

Inventories: The supply of existing homes available for sale dropped 0.5 percent to 1.96 million units. That’s 7.1 percent lower than a year ago; unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Days on the market: Fifty-four percent of sold homes were on the market less than a month. Properties took an average of 28 days to sell, down from a timeline of 34 days a year ago. Short sales spent the longest amount of time on the market at 102 days, foreclosures sold in 57 days, and nondistressed homes took a median of 27 days to sell.

All-cash sales: Cash transactions made up 18 percent of home sales, the lowest figure since 2009. Individual investors accounted for the biggest bulk of cash sales—13 percent—unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales, which matches the lowest share recorded last September since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. Foreclosures comprised 3 percent of sales, while short sales made up 1 percent. 

First-time buyers: First-timers accounted for 32 percent of sales, down from 33 percent a year ago. “It’s shaping up to be another year of below-average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” Yun says. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”  

Regional Snapshot

Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared across the country in June:

  • Northeast: Dropped 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $296,300, up 4.1 percent from a year ago.
  • Midwest: Increased 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million. Median price: $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.
  • South: Fell 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million. Median price: $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Dropped 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million but are still 2.5 percent above a year ago. Median price: $378,100, up 7.4 percent from a year ago. 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®  

Original article: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/07/24/home-sales-dip-buyers-get-tripped-up?tp=i-H43-Bb-OU-JtUu-1p-EKbn-1c-JsVx-1NemN9&om_rid=4741568%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=1518


Jul 20, 2017

7 Signs That You’ve Picked the Right Real Estate Agent

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience. There can be a lot of moving parts involved that may come as a surprise to people who have never been through the process before. This is why having a great real estate agent is critical.

Picking the right agent isn’t always easy, but you’ll definitely know if you’ve picked the right one for you. Here are seven signs that you’ve made a great decision in picking your real estate agent:

1. You like being around them

You don’t have to be head over heels in love with your real estate agent, but you need to at least enjoy being around him or her. You will spend a lot of time communicating with your agent, so the relationship needs to be a good one to help make the experience as painless as possible. There’s nothing worse than dealing with a person who you don’t like being around, especially if the going gets rough. If you don’t cringe at the sound of your agent’s voice then you might have found the right one.

2. They’re responsive and available

This point is non-negotiable. A good real estate agent will make themselves available to you and won’t leave you hanging when you’re waiting for a response. If your agent is leaving you feeling like a spurned date, they’re doing something wrong. The right agent understands how important and serious a real estate transaction is, and will always make sure to make your needs a priority.

3. They’ve asked you to get pre-approved

If you’re a buyer and you haven’t spoken with a mortgage professional before going out and looking at houses, a good real estate agent will ask you to. It might be frustrating if you don’t understand the reasons why, but a good agent knows that it’s for your own benefit just as much as theirs. There are a number of important things you might find out by going through the pre-approval process, many of which you should know before spending any of your time searching for a home. A good agent knows this, and wants you to know as well.

4. They’re proactive and not just reactive

This is one indicator that will set the right agent apart from everyone else. The right agent will not just go through the motions and take orders, they will be proactive in helping you identify and find the right solutions. For instance, instead of just sitting back and waiting for you to send properties you might have come across, a great agent is always on the hunt for the ideal property for you, and will communicate and suggest things that you might never have considered before. Being proactive is a mark of a true real estate professional.

5. They’re honest with you, even when it hurts

Just like honesty is important in a romantic relationship, so is honesty in a real estate relationship. The right agent will tell you the truth when you need to hear it, even if it’s inconvenient for them. It takes a lot of guts to be honest with someone when it might cost you money, but it’s also an ethical imperative, and a great agent will always put their own character, honesty, and integrity ahead of making a buck. And if they have to tell you the harsh truth that what you’re looking for is impossible, the right agent will do that too.

6. They don’t give up easily

A real estate transaction rarely goes off without a hitch these days, and sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring to keep you from buying or selling a home. But it’s much easier to throw your hands in the air and say “I give up,” or “Someone else can figure this out,” than it is to buckle down and come up with a solution. The right agent doesn’t give up, and will uncover a way to keep things moving, even it takes some creativity. The right agent fights for you, and doesn’t throw in the towel after getting jabbed.

7. They want to build a relationship

One of the best signs that you’ve picked the right agent actually occurs either before or after you work with them on a deal. Even though real estate is transactional, the best agents look to build a relationship with their clients instead of just working with them on a deal and then disappearing. If your agent stays in touch, presents themselves as a constant resource, and is in it with you for the long-haul, then you’ve definitely found the right one for you.


author By Lighter Side Staff  (http://lightersideofrealestate.com/real-estate-life/7-signs-youve-picked-right-real-estate-agent)




Jul 11, 2017

10 Facts About the White House

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

There are so many interesting, seemingly unknown, facts about one of the nations’ most important buildings, The White House. In honor of Presidents’ Day, here are some facts about the famous building.

George Washington never lived there: Washington passed away in late 1799, before the White House was completed. John Adams became the first president to live there, one year later. (Yahoo News)

The basement: The White House basement doesn’t just have meeting rooms. It’s lined with rooms including a bowling alley, a flower shop, and even a dentist’s office. (SuperCompressor.com)

The “temporary” West Wing: The famous room known as the West Wing was never meant to be. It started out as a temporary office for President Theodore Roosevelt, but it expanded into a permanent residence under President Taft and President Franklin Roosevelt. Taft moved the Oval Office to the West Wing and the rest is history! (Yahoo News)

It wasn’t always called the White House: Can you imagine calling The White House by any other name? Well, before Teddy Roosevelt, it was called many other things. The famous home was once called “The President’s House”, “The President’s Palace” and “The Executive Mansion.” It officially became “The White House” in 1901. (WhiteHouse.gov)

The White House was rebuilt after the War of 1812: The British set fire to The White House in 1814. Before escaping the burning White House, Dolley Madison insisted on saving a portrait of George Washington. It is said that she thought someone was taking too long rescuing the painting so she broke the wood and took out the canvas. The painting that she rescued was actually a copy of the famous portrait by Gilbert Stuart. The piece has a book with the title, “Constitution and Laws of The United States.” The typo isn’t a mistake – it was intentionally done to show that the painting is a copy of the famous original. (The Atlantic)

Gallons of Paint: 570 gallons of white paint are required to cover the outside surface of the White House… That is a lot of paint and many trips to the hardware store! (Visual.ly)

Lots of rooms and doors: Aside from 132 rooms and 412 doors, the White House also has 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators. It also has six floors—two for the public, two for the First Family, and two basements. (FactMonster.com)

Press Pool Room: There is an indoor pool underneath the press briefing room. It was installed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as therapy for his polio. The pool was put out of use during the Nixon administration when the press briefing room was built on top of it. (The White House Museum)

Chefs and Guests: The White House kitchen is home to five chefs who can serve dinner to at least 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000 people at a time! (Visual.ly)

The East Room: The East Room is the largest room in the house. Abigail Adams would hang clean laundry in The East Room! (The White House)

Now that you have a briefing sheet on The White House, go impress your friends and family with your knowledge!

Jul 2, 2017

How to Stay Safe over the Fourth of July

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals.

The long holiday weekend is just ahead and many of you will take to the highway, fire up the grill or enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks. The American Red Cross has steps you can follow to safely enjoy your holiday.


HIGHWAY SAFETY Experts say millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross reminds everyone to buckle up, observe speed limits and to not drink and drive. Be well rested and alert and give your full attention to the road. Don’t use your cell phone. Five more tips you should remember include:

1. Use caution in work zones.

2. Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.

3. Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

4. Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.

5. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.


FIREWORKS SAFETY The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, here are five safety steps you should follow:

1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.

2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.

4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."

5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.


GRILLING SAFETY What better way to celebrate the holiday than to fire up the grill and cook delicious goodies for family and friends. Every year people in this country are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these five steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

2. Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.

3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.


FIRST AID APP While you’re enjoying the holiday, accidents can happen. Download the free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.


Jun 27, 2017

Pre-Approval Should Always Be Your First Step

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Pre-Approval Should Always Be Your First Step | MyKCM

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” 

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.

Jun 22, 2017

5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

You probably have a laundry list of projects you’ve been meaning to complete around your home. Luckily, there are tips to help you complete some of these tasks in ten minutes or less. Your home can feel more organized (almost) instantly.

Organize your kitchen pantry: Start by sorting out expired items. Now organize your shelves by function. Separate snacks, baking necessities, spices, and more. Take inspiration from your favorite grocery stores. This ten minute task can save you time when you’re cooking your favorite recipes or making a quick midnight snack. As an added bonus, it reduces the chance of adding salt instead of sugar or vice versa.

Make natural cleaning products: Skip the store. Make your own cleaning products using things you probably already have on hand. You can save money, have a clean home, and be more environmentally friendly. Get started by making these natural cleaning solutions.

Organize your closet: Set a timer and organize your closet for ten minutes. We recommend organizing by color, type, or function. For example, hang all shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, and dresses with each other. You will probably end up saving time in the long run, because it will be easier to find what you’re looking for.

Peeling wallpaper: Put a drop of wallpaper paste on a sheet of paper, rub the paper on the underside of the exposed wall, then press the peeling wallpaper against the glue. Smooth any bubbles out with a clean cloth and the wall can look as good as new!

Sliding glass doors or windows: If your glass fixtures are not sliding as smoothly as they should, spray a cloth with silicone lubricant and wipe it along the tracks. It’ll make it easier to get some fresh air.

Get off your computer, turn off the TV, and get started!

Jun 21, 2017

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory?

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? | MyKCM

As home values continue to rise, some are questioning whether we are approaching another housing bubble. Zillow just reported that:

“National home values have surpassed the peak hit during the housing bubble and are at their highest value in more than a decade.”

Though that statement is correct, we must realize that just catching prices of a decade ago does not mean we are at bubble numbers. Here is a graph of median prices as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? | MyKCM

We can see that prices rose during the early 2000s, fell during the crash and have risen since 2013.

However, let’s assume there was no housing bubble and crash and that home prices appreciated at normal historic levels (3.6% annually) over the last ten years.

Here is a graph comparing actual price appreciation (tan bars) with what prices would have been with normal appreciation (blue bars).

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

As we can see, had there not been a boom and bust, home values would essentially be where they are right now.

Jun 14, 2017

The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate

Posted by: Sandra Deignan


The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate | MyKCM

In a blog post published last Friday, CNBC’s Diana Olnick reported on the latest results of the FAU Buy vs. Rent Index. The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at FAU use a “‘horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar-quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”

Having read both the index and the blog post, we would like to clear up any confusion that may exist. There are three major points that we would like to counter:

1. The Title

The CNBC blog post was titled, “Don’t put your money in a house, says a new report.” The title of the press release about the report on FAU’s website was “FAU Buy vs. Rent Index Shows Rising Prices and Mortgage Rates Moving Housing Markets in the Direction of Renting.”

Now, we all know headlines can attract readers and the stronger the headline the more readership you can attract, but after dissecting the report, this headline may have gone too far. The FAU report notes that rising home prices and the threat of increasing mortgage rates could make the decision of whether to rent or to buy a harder one in three metros, but does not say not to buy a home.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Rising

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates reached their lowest mark of 2017 last week at 3.89%. Interest rates have hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, giving many buyers relief from rising home prices and helping with affordability.

While experts predict that rates will increase by the end of 2017, the latest projections have softened, with Freddie Mac predicting that rates will rise to 4.3% in Q4.

3. “Renting may be a better option than buying, according to the report.”

Of the 23 metros that the study reports on, 11 of them are firmly in buy territory, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and more. This means that in nearly half of all the major cities in the US, it makes more financial sense to buy a home than to continue renting one.

In 9 of the remaining metros, the decision as to whether to rent or buy is closer to a toss-up right now. This means that all things being equal, the cost to rent or buy is nearly the same. That leaves the decision up to the individual or family as to whether they want to renew their lease or buy a home of their own.

The 3 remaining metros Dallas, Denver and Houston, have experienced high levels of price appreciation and have been reported to be in rent territory for well over a year now, so that’s not news…

Beer & Cookies

One of the three authors of the study, Dr. Ken Johnson has long reported on homeownership and the decision between renting and buying a home. The methodology behind the report goes on to explain that even in a market where a renter would be able to spend less on housing, they would have to be disciplined enough to reinvest their remaining income in stocks/bonds/other investments for renting a home to be a more attractive alternative to buying.

Johnson himself has said:

“However, in perhaps a more realistic setting where renters can spend on consumption (beer, cookies, education, healthcare, etc.), ownership is the clear winner in wealth accumulation. Said another way, homeownership is a self-imposed savings plan on the part of those that choose to own.” 

Bottom Line

In the end, you and your family are the only ones who can decide if homeownership is the right path to go down. Real estate is local and every market is different. Let’s get together to discuss what’s really going on in your area and how we can help you make the best, most informed decision for you and your family.

Jun 13, 2017

Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment! | MyKCM

According to a recent report by Trulia“buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 33.1%.” The report may have some people thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension, but does that make sense from a financial perspective?

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist explains:

“Owning a home is one of the most common ways households build long-term wealth, as it acts like a forced savings account. Instead of paying your landlord, you can pay yourself in the long run through paying down a mortgage on a house.”

The article listed five reasons why owning a home makes financial sense:

  1. Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
  2. Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
  3. You can build wealth without paying capital gains.
  4. A mortgage can act as a forced savings account.
  5. Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters.

Bottom Line

Before you sign another lease, let’s get together and discuss all your options.

Jun 7, 2017

If Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet… Definitely Check the Price!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

The residential housing market has been hot. Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their fourth highest pace over the past year. Demand has remained strong ­throughout spring as many real estate professionals are reporting bidding wars with many homes selling above listing price. What about your house?

If your house hasn’t sold, it could be the price.

If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prosp­­ective buyers that will even see your house. See chart below.

If Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet… Definitely Check the Price! | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The housing market is hot. If you are not seeing the results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation.


May 25, 2017

5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

You probably have a laundry list of projects you’ve been meaning to complete around your home. Luckily, there are tips to help you complete some of these tasks in ten minutes or less. Your home can feel more organized (almost) instantly.

Organize your kitchen pantry: Start by sorting out expired items. Now organize your shelves by function. Separate snacks, baking necessities, spices, and more. Take inspiration from your favorite grocery stores. This ten minute task can save you time when you’re cooking your favorite recipes or making a quick midnight snack. As an added bonus, it reduces the chance of adding salt instead of sugar or vice versa.

Make natural cleaning products: Skip the store. Make your own cleaning products using things you probably already have on hand. You can save money, have a clean home, and be more environmentally friendly. Get started by making these natural cleaning solutions.

Organize your closet: Set a timer and organize your closet for ten minutes. We recommend organizing by color, type, or function. For example, hang all shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, and dresses with each other. You will probably end up saving time in the long run, because it will be easier to find what you’re looking for.

Peeling wallpaper: Put a drop of wallpaper paste on a sheet of paper, rub the paper on the underside of the exposed wall, then press the peeling wallpaper against the glue. Smooth any bubbles out with a clean cloth and the wall can look as good as new!

Sliding glass doors or windows: If your glass fixtures are not sliding as smoothly as they should, spray a cloth with silicone lubricant and wipe it along the tracks. It’ll make it easier to get some fresh air.

Get off your computer, turn off the TV, and get started!

May 19, 2017

Episode 4: Placing the offer

Posted by: Sandra Deignan



May 17, 2017

4 Tips for Effectively Making an Offer

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

4 Tips for Effectively Making an Offer | MyKCM

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective.Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.

As we’ve mentioned before, getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” 

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes for sale is currently at a 3.7-month supply; this is well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It's likely that you'll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you'll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.

Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home." If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.

Bottom Line 

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, having a local professional on your side who is an expert in their market is your best bet in making sure the process goes smoothly. Happy House Hunting!

May 15, 2017

Financial Planning: 4 Reasons to Buy a House Today

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Financial Planning: 4 Reasons to Buy a House Today

Financial Planning: 4 Reasons to Buy a House Today | MyKCM

Homeownership will always be a part of the American Dream. There are advantages to owning your own home (educationalhealthsocial) that far transcend any economic impact. However, we want to look at several of the financial advantages of homeownership in today’s post.

1. Buying is Cheaper Than Renting

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The report reveals that:

“Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation…Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.”

2. Homeownership “Forces” You to Save

According to SavingAdvice.com, homeownership is a great way to save. Their advice is quite simple:

“Homeownership is a “forced” savings account because you own the home, you have no choice – that monthly housing cost has got to be paid no matter what…Homeownership can be an outstanding way to force yourself to be more frugal in the rest of your spending so that you can save and build equity in your home.”

3. Homeownership Offers Several Tax Deductions

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen's guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” - there are several tax advantages to homeownership. Here are three:

  1. Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by deducting any interest paid on a home mortgage.
  2. Homeowners who itemize deductions may also reduce their taxable income by deducting property taxes they pay on their homes.
  3. Taxpayers who sell assets must generally pay capital gains tax on any profits made on the sale.

4. Experts Expect Home Price Appreciation to Continue

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

Bottom Line

Some are afraid that home values may have already peaked. However, we believe that purchasing a home now will prove to be a sound financial decision for years to come. As Warren Buffet said, “When others are greedy, be fearful. When others are fearful, be 

May 13, 2017

For Buyers: The Search--How to!!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Call Me, Text Me, InBox Me, Email Me Click here for a contact form if you need help buying a new house

May 10, 2017

Mortgage Lending 101

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Call, Text, email, InBox, Messenger Me for the names of some great local Mortgage Lenders

May 8, 2017

Freaky Friday House Superstitions Debunked

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Beware of the black cat! Whether you call them superstitions, old wives’ tales, or tall tales, there are so many spooky superstitions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

There are some common superstitions that can strike no matter where you are — for example, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, and black cats, can all cause bad luck. Did you know that there are also common superstitions that occur inside a home? Don’t worry, here are some helpful tips.

1. Don’t move an old broom: If you’re moving into a new house, it is said to never bring your old broom with you. It’s believed that all of your bad luck will come with you into the new home. Out with the old, in with the new. Buy a new broom for your new home. (House Logic)

2. Say no to sharp objects: Don’t give or receive knives and other sharp objects as gifts. According to Apartment Guide’s Courtney Craig, “It symbolizes a cutting of your friendship – in other words, your friend will soon become an enemy, according to Italian folklore. If you must accept it, pay the giver a penny, which will reverse the curse.” We know what we won’t be bringing to housewarming parties! (Apartment Guide)

3. No shoes on the table: Never put shoes on a table because it will bring you bad luck. It’s also unsanitary, this is a good rule to follow whether you believe in superstitions or not. (RealEstate.com)

4. Beware of multiples of three: It’s important to stay away from staircases that have steps in multiples of three. If you can, stay away from all odd number stairs, since multiples of three are said to be the number one cause of bad luck. It’s best to have even numbers all around your home, especially on your stairs. (Apartment Guide)

5. Carry rice into your home: If you’re moving into a new home, congratulations! Carry a full container of rice the first time you walk through the threshold. Rice is said to bring prosperity and peace, which is why people throw rice at weddings. Bringing uncooked rice into your home can be a recipe for happiness (and risotto). (Apartment Guide)

6. Paint your front porch blue: Legend says that if you paint your front porch blue, it will keep ghosts away. According to the superstition, ghosts can’t cross water. The blue paint will confuse the ghosts into thinking your porch is a body of water and they’ll stay away. You may want to quit your day job in favor of painting porches and ghost busting. (House Logic)

7. Scatter coins in your living room: Scattering coins in your living room is good luck. On the first day of living in your new home, throw some coins on the floor and prosperity may come to you. (Apartment Guide)


Follow these tips and you might get lucky in your new home.

May 3, 2017


Posted by: Sandra Deignan


Warwick, R.I., May 3, 2017…Despite diminishing inventory, single-family home sales broke all records in the first quarter, rising an additional two percent from the past record set in the first quarter of 2016. The median selling price of homes sold also increased to $230,000, a 2.2 percent gain.

Condominium sales rose 21.2 percent from the prior year, also reaching new heights since the Rhode Island Association began publishing quarterly condominium sales in 2007. There were 394 condos sold in Rhode Island from January to March with a median sales price of $195,000, a two percent gain compared to the first three months of last year.

Likewise, multifamily property sales increased substantially, rising 10.6 percent year-over-year. The median sales price rose 9.7 percent to $181,000.

“Strong demand buoyed by enhanced financial health and increased consumer confidence is moving homes off the market quickly, particularly in the category of homes coveted by first-time buyers and downsizing empty nesters. Buyers are facing a lot of competition so they need to begin their home search prepared.  By the same token, sellers need to be ready to move quickly,” said Brenda L. Marchwicki, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.

Realtor statistics show that the number of days properties stayed on the market in the first quarter fell by double digits among all three sectors from a year ago, falling more than 13 percent in the single-family home market, and nearly 20 percent in the condominium and multifamily home markets.

“We may see sales start to temper a little bit as we move further down the road due to the low supply of homes for sale,” cautioned Marchwicki. “While the quarter started off with strong sales in January, that activity began to wane in February and March.  There simply aren’t enough properties on the market to keep up with demand.”

Housing Statistics Archives

Apr 28, 2017

Home Sellers Are Pocketing More Money

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Home Sellers Are Pocketing More Money

Homeowners who sold in the first quarter realized an average price gain of $44,000 since purchase. That represents an average 24 percent of return on the purchase price, which is the highest average price gain for home sellers in terms of both dollars and percent returns since the third quarter of 2007, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ First Quarter 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report.

Read moreIs This the Best Seller's Market Ever?

“The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “This counterintuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time home buyers.”

Homeowners who sold in the first quarter had owned their home for an average of 7.97 years, the report showed. Between the first quarter of 2000 and third quarter of 2007, before the Great Recession, average homeownership tenure was 4.26 years.

Still, “there are some early signs this inventory logjam may be loosening up in some markets, with the average homeownership tenure down from a year ago in nine of the 66 markets we analyzed, including Memphis, Dallas, Boston, Portland [Ore.], and Tampa,” Blomquist says. “Sky-high potential price gains may be finally prompting more homeowners to sell.”

Among 97 metro areas with at least 1,000 home sales in the first quarter that ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed, the following had the highest average price gain since purchase that was realized by home sellers:

  1. San Jose, Calif.: $356,500 average price gain
  2. San Francisco.: $276,750
  3. Los Angeles: $187,000
  4. Honolulu: $161,110
  5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.: $160,000

California markets still dominated the list when looking at the metro areas with the highest return by percentage on the previous purchase price. The top five markets were:

  1. San Jose, Calif.: 71% average ROI
  2. San Francisco: 65%
  3. Seattle: 56%
  4. Portland, Ore.: 52%
  5. Modesto, Calif.: 51%

Source: RealtyTrac

Apr 26, 2017

4 Things You Should Buy for Your New Home as Soon as You Move In

Posted by: Sandra Deignan


Apr 18, 2017

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, revealed in a recent article that:

“The biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy and getting it successfully under contract. That’s because the supply of homes for sale is at an all-time low, and yet demand is strong and getting stronger.”

Smoke goes on to say:

“We started the year with the lowest inventory of homes available for sale that we’ve ever seen on realtor.com. While we did see inventory grow 2% in February, total inventory was down 11% over last year.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.


For More Informative Blogs http://sandydeignanrealtor.com/

Mar 30, 2017

Thinking of Moving to a Luxury Home..Do it Now!!!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time!

Looking to Move-Up to a Luxury Home? Now’s the Time! | MyKCM

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! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study 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 those 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 your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming 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.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

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 are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

Mar 26, 2017

We currently have a low supply of homes for sale. See how that impacts our market...

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

How Low Supply & High Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Low Supply & High Demand Impacts the Real Estate Market [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The concept of Supply & Demand is a simple one. The best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low & the demand for that item is high!
  • Anything under a 6-month supply is a Seller’s Market!
  • There has not been a 6-months inventory supply since August 2012!
  • Buyer Demand continues to outpace Seller Supply!

Mar 20, 2017

Bidding Wars to Heat Up This Spring

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Bidding Wars to Heat Up This Spring

Likely to be a hallmark of this year’s spring homeselling season: Bidding wars. As home listings are scarcer and buyer demand remains high, home shoppers are finding a lot more competition this spring, particularly in hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver, and Boston.

Read moreUp Your Odds of Winning a Bidding War

“Home buyers are going to find this spring that, in a lot of markets, the inventory of homes priced and sized at price levels they were hoping for will be very limited,” Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist who’s now a housing consultant in Leesburg, Va., told Bloomberg. Even “unlikely places are getting significantly tighter.”

An improving job market, growing consumer confidence, and the threat of rising mortgage rates have Americans flocking to housing. But many markets remain tight for listings. Housing starts remain well below levels prior to the recession and are geared more toward the higher end of the market. Homeowners also are reluctant to sell their existing home because they’re unsure of where they’d move to with the dearth of listings.

Homes are selling at a rapid clip in places like Denver; Seattle; Oakland, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Boise, Idaho; Madison, Wis.; and Omaha, Neb., according to the real estate brokerage Redfin. 

Grand Rapids has seen a 27 percent decrease in the number of homes for sale over the past year. One listing alone reportedly attracted 40 bids.

“People need to get their houses on the market, but they’re gun-shy,” Tanya Craig, an associate broker with the Katie K team at Keller Williams, told Bloomberg. “Unless they know where they want to go, everyone is hesitant.”

Home buyers certainly aren’t being hesitant, if they can find a home they want. They’re in a rush for financing too. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen by more than half a percentage point since November 2016. The Federal Reserve last week voted to increase its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point and strongly hinted it would do so two more times this year.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to increase to 4.7 percent by the end of 2017 and could reach 5.5 percent next year, according to Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. 

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in rates is over,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

Source: “Homebuyers Face Bidding Wars on Scarcer-Than-Ever U.S. Listings,” Bloomberg (March 17, 2017)

Mar 17, 2017

Don't Let Your Luck Run Out-Interest Rates Won't Be This Low For Long!

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out [INFOGRAPHIC]

Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • The “Cost of Waiting to Buy” is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts that interest rates will increase to 4.8% by this time next year, while home prices are predicted to appreciate by 4.8% according to CoreLogic.
  • Waiting until next year to buy could cost you thousands of dollars a year for the life of your mortgage!

Mar 14, 2017


Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Real Estate This Spring: The Early Bird Wins

Entering real estate’s traditionally busiest time of year, the housing market is being buoyed by a stronger economy and consumer confidence. Job creation is 30 percent stronger this year compared to a year ago, unemployment is near a 9-year low, and wages and incomes are growing at the largest levels in about eight years, notes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist.

Read moreGet Ahead of the Spring Buying Season

Some buyers are in more of a hurry this season too. In the last two weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose by nearly a quarter of a point. The Federal Reserve also has given strong indication that it plans to raise short-term rates later this week (even though mortgage rates aren’t directly tied to short-term rates, they do tend to have an influence). Smoke predicts three to four major increases in mortgage rates this year. He expects rates to rise by from 10 to 25 basis points in one- to two-week spurts, followed by some holding patterns.

“The upside of higher rates is that it is getting easier to get a mortgage,” Smoke says. Mortgage credit access has increased 6.5 percent since September, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

“Arguably the biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy and getting it successfully under contract,” Smoke says. “That’s because the supply of homes for sale is at an all-time low, and yet demand is strong and getting stronger.”

In January, the nation saw the lowest inventory of homes available for sale ever at realtor.com®. Inventory did manage a 2 percent increase in February, but it's still down 11 percent compared to last year.

With lower inventories and higher demand, homes are selling faster. Twenty-seven percent of listings sold in less than 30 days in February, according to realtor.com®’s data.

“The early birds who decided to buy in the winter faced less competition and enjoyed lower rates than we are seeing now,” Smoke says. “It gets more expensive and more competitive going forward, but the early-ish buyer, at this point, is still likely to come out on top, when you consider that prices and rates are likely to be much higher later in the year.”

Source: “Forget the Snow: Spring Has Sprung in the Nation’s Housing Markets,” realtor.com® (March 13, 2017)

Mar 14, 2017

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home | MyKCM

Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In reality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for their house (see chart below).

How to Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home | MyKCM

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive, as the seller likely believes that he or she will net more money if they don’t have to pay a real estate commission. With that being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Mar 10, 2017

Where did Americans Move in 2016?

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Where Did Americans Move in 2016?

Where Did Americans Move in 2016? | Simplifying The Market


Some Highlights:

  • For the 5th year in a row, the Northeast saw a concentration of “High Outbound” activity.
  • For the first time ever, South Dakota held the top spot for “High Inbound” states.
  • Much of America’s outbound activity can be attributed to Boomers relocating to warmer climates after retiring.

Mar 1, 2017


Posted by: Sandra Deignan

Today is the first day of Lent. We have a challenge for you!

Each day of Lent, remove one item from your house that you no longer wear, use or need and put it in a trash bag. At the end of forty days, donate these items to a Salvation Army Store. They will be shared with those in need who can really use them! 

Donate today

All stores are happy and waiting to accept your donations of new or gently-used clothing, furniture and household goods. 

What’s more, getting rid of your old stuff will lessen your debt to Uncle Sam. All donations are tax-deductible, with write-offs ranging from $2 for a shirt, to $1,000 for a complete bedroom set, and everything in between. View our complete tax valuation guide and list of acceptable donations.

The Salvation Army even accepts donated cars. To learn more, call 612-332-5855.

Feb 27, 2017


Posted by: Sandra Deignan

FEB 28, 2017 11:30am – 7:00pm

Krakow Deli Bakery Smokehouse

855 Social Street, Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895


Warm Up Your Cold Winter Days With All You Can Eat Baked Kielbasa Day !!! Baked Kielbasa Will Be Served With Fried Cabbage And Polish Rye Bread For Only $6.99 !!!


For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/250680302053266/



Feb 17, 2017

How to Turn Your Yard into a Home Soccer Field

Posted by: Sandra Deignan

How to Turn Your Yard into a Home Soccer Field

Excited to spend summer days outside with your family? Upgrade your fun in the sun with a home soccer field right in your backyard. As the official real estate company of U.S. Soccer, Century 21® Real Estate knows that the sport has the ability to unify communities. Give your family the best experience possible with their own place to practice with these four easy steps.

Prep Your Yard

Understandably, you might not have a backyard capable of fitting a full-sized field at 75-by-120 yards. Instead, create a rectangular field with smaller dimensions such as 15-by-20 yards or 40-by-50 yards. Remove any debris, then mow your lawn to create an even, trim field.

Level the Ground

Unexpected ditches or holes in your yard can be dangerous to those running around. If you find any low spots in your yard, fill them in with a mixture of two parts topsoil, two parts sand, and one part compost. Pack this filler into holes and add water to make sure it’s compact. Wait at least one week before walking on it to make sure that it has properly settled. Then, continue to perfect your green field by planting grass on the top layer of the newly leveled area.

Mark the Field

Use stakes to mark off the four corners of your soccer field. You may find it helpful to use a tape measure to ensure the lengths are symmetrical to one another. Tie a string from one stake to another and pull it taut. Double check that the shape you’ve created with the string and stakes is a rectangle with four 90 degree angles. Once you’re sure, spray paint over the string to create the field. Remember to add a midline in the center.

Add Goals

Depending on you and your family’s needs, you can choose between various sized goals made from different materials. A four by six-foot goal is optimal for children as young as six years old, with larger sized goals increasing with age. In terms of materials, plastic is recommended for low-impact play, since it is lightweight and portable. However, if your family is more serious about the sport, metal frames prove to be more durable. Whichever one you choose, make sure to anchor it into the ground properly.

Get started today and give your family a fun space to play one of their favorite sports all summer long. Who knows, you may have a professional soccer player in the making!