93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks

93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks

A recent Survey of Consumer Finances study released by the Federal Reserve reveals the net worth of homeowners is forty times greater than that of renters. If you’re wondering if homeownership is a good investment, the study clearly answers that question, and the answer is yes.

Do Americans believe a home is a better investment than stocks?

In a post on the Liberty Street Economics blog, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York notes that 93.3% of Americans believe buying a home is definitely or probably a better investment than buying stocks.

93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks | MyKCM
93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks | MyKCM

Here’s how the results break down:The survey also shows a wide range of reasons why Americans feel that way (respondents were able to pick more than one answer):

Bottom Line

The data show how strongly Americans believe in homeownership as an investment. That belief is warranted. The Liberty Street Economics blog put it best by saying:

“Housing represents the largest asset owned by most households and is a major means of wealth accumulation, particularly for the middle class.”

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Your Home Pathway This Spring

Signs of spring are all around. In the Willamette Valley, you can begin to experience the wonderfully delicate Trillium plant blooming among the ferns and clovers beginning to emerge. This may signal to us the need for starting anew and being more open to possibilities. When it comes to buying or selling a home, it may feel a bit overwhelming at first. At BST Realty LLC, we are here to help alleviate any stresses you may have. That way, your experience is more enjoyable. Especially, when it comes to something as important as a home. Let’s figure out your home pathway this spring!

Your Home Pathway This Spring
Spring is a time to open up to possibilities in homeownership! Just like this lovely Trillium greeting you on the trail.

Simply the Best Service

At BST Realty LLC, we have experienced agents who are ready to serve you. We provide simply the best service for your and your family. When it comes to being a Buyer, that may mean connecting you with the resources you may need to determine what type of home is best suitable for your budget. If you’re a Seller, that may mean connecting you with resources that will showcase your home’s unique features. The world of real estate may feel complex, but that’s why we are here to help make it more enjoyable. That way, you may focus on other matters like determining if the style of home is right for you, job responsibilities, and more.

We are here for the long run. We believe in maintaining long-lasting relationships. That’s because we value our community. When our clients flourish, we flourish. And we are here to help support you at every point in your homeownership pathway. Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, let’s talk. Let’s explore what is possible for you and your family. From there, we can devise a plan that best suits your wants and needs, and checks all the boxes. Give us a call, and let’s make your real estate dreams a reality!

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Double the Win

We are proud to announce that BST Realty LLC has way more than doubled in its sales within the last two years. Now, that’s something to celebrate. When our business flourishes, so do our clients. It’s a win-win for everyone involved! We believe in community, and it’s been wonderful to be able to help our community thrive. We think of it as double the win. Especially, during the last year of such change. Of course, being successful at real estate means being adaptable to change. After all, it makes sense since a home is usually a central part of life. And, as we all know, life serves up changes from time to time. At BST Realty LLC, we are all about providing simply the best service to our clients.

Double the Win

Here to Serve You and Your Family

We truly value our expert team of agents who are working hard each year to make wonderful things happen. Our agents are here to help serve you and your family get to where you want to be. They are expert negotiators ready to help guide you through the real estate process. If you’re a Buyer who is nervous about buying your first home, we’ve got you covered. Our agents are here to be resources and help guide you in unfamiliar territory. If you’re a Seller, our agents are also savvy at showcasing your home’s best attributes and skilled at negotiation.

Let’s Win Together!

At BST Realty LLC, we are so happy to be able to serve our community. We genuinely care about our client’s well-being and building long-term relationships. Spring is a great time to begin thinking about real estate. You may have noticed more homes coming on the market. If you’re interested in viewing homes or potentially putting your home on the market, we are here to help make your real estate dreams come true. Give us a call, and let’s get started on this journey together!

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Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCM

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the process. One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is by starting with the help of your tax refund.

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCM

Using data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s estimated that Americans can expect an average refund of $2,925 when filing their taxes this year. The map below shows the average anticipated tax refund by state:Thanks to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. In addition, Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to put 0% down. You may have heard the common myth that you need to put 20% down when you buy a home, but thankfully for most homebuyers, a 20% down payment isn’t actually required. It’s important to work with your real estate professional and your lender to understand all of your options.

How can your tax refund help?

If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you realize.

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year | MyKCM

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average anticipated tax refund:The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership when you qualify for one of the low down payment programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward the down payment on a home.

Not enough money from your tax return? 

A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that, of the households that received a stimulus check last year, “One third report that they primarily saved the stimulus money.” If you had the opportunity to save your Economic Impact Payments, you may consider putting that money toward your down payment or closing costs as well. Your trusted real estate professional can also advise you on the down payment assistance programs available in your area.

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. This year, your tax refund and your stimulus savings could add up big when it comes to reaching your homeownership goals.

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What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage?

Navigating Your Credit Score

According to data from the most recent Origination Insight Report by Ellie Mae, the average FICO® score on closed loans reached 753 in February. As lending standards have tightened recently, many are concerned over whether or not their credit score is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. While stricter lending standards could be a challenge for some, many buyers may be surprised by the options that are still available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

What Credit Score Do You Need for a Mortgage? | MyKCM

The fact that the average American has seen their credit score go up in recent years is a great sign of financial health. As someone’s score rises, they’re building toward a stronger financial future. As more Americans with strong credit enter the housing market, we see a natural increase in the FICO® score distribution of closed loans, as shown in the graph below:If your credit score is below 750, it’s easy to see this data and fear that you may not be able to qualify for a mortgage. However, that’s not always the case. While the majority of borrowers right now do have a score above 750, there’s more to qualifying for a mortgage than just the credit score, and there are still options that allow people with lower credit scores to buy their dream home. Here’s what Experian, a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans: “With a 3.5% down payment, homebuyers may be able to get an FHA loan with a 580 credit score or higher. If you can manage a 10% down payment, though, that minimum goes as low as 500.”
  • Conventional loans: “The most popular loan type typically comes with a 620 minimum credit score.”
  • S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans: “In general, lenders require a minimum credit score of 640 for a USDA loan, though some may go as low as 580.”
  • S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans: VA loans don’t technically have a minimum credit score, but lenders will typically require between 580 and 620.”

There’s no doubt a higher credit score will give you more options and better terms when applying for a mortgage, especially when lending is tight like it is right now. When planning to buy a home, speaking to an expert about steps you can take to improve your credit score is essential so you’re in the best position possible. However, don’t rule yourself out if your score is less than perfect – today’s market is still full of opportunity.

Bottom Line

Don’t let assumptions about whether your credit score is strong enough put a premature end to your homeownership goals. Let’s connect today to discuss the options that are best for you.

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Real Estate and our Economic Well Being

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy?

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy? | MyKCM
Real estate is the foundation of wealth

Real Estate and our Economic Well Being. Last year started off with a bang. Unemployment was under 4%, forecasters were giddy with their projections for the economy, and the residential housing market had the strongest January and February activity in over a decade.

Then came the announcement on March 11, 2020, from the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Two days later, the White House declared it a national emergency. Businesses and schools were forced to close, shelter-in-place mandates were enacted, and the economy came to a screeching halt. As a result, unemployment in this country skyrocketed to 14.9%.

A year later, the economy is recovering, and the U.S. has regained more than half of the jobs that were originally lost. However, some businesses are still closed, and many schools are still struggling to reopen. Despite the past and current challenges, there is one industry that’s proven to be a tailwind helping to counter all of these headwinds to our economy. That industry is housing. Remarkably, the residential real estate market (including existing homes and new construction) has flourished over the last twelve months. Sales are up, prices are appreciating, and more new homes are being built. The housing market has been a pillar of strength in an otherwise slowly recovering economy.

How does the real estate market help the economy?

At the beginning of the pandemic, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report that explained:

“Real estate has been, and remains, the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services, and income for millions of Americans. Accounting for nearly 18% of the GDP, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy.”

The report calculated the total economic impact of real estate-related industries on the economy as well as the expenditures that resulted from a single home sale. At a national level, their research revealed that a single newly constructed home had an economic impact of $88,416.

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy? | MyKCM
Here’s how it breaks down:The map below shows the impact by state:The impact of an existing home sale is approximately $40,000.
What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy? | MyKCM

Real estate has done more for our economic well being than virtually any other industry over the last year. It’s been a beacon of light during a very challenging time in our nation’s history.

Need more information? Contact one of our Agents.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying a newly constructed home or one that already exists, you’re making a positive economic impact in your local community – and it’s a step toward your homeownership goals as well. We are ready to assist you in making your dreams a reality. Let’s get started today. Contact us

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How Much Leverage Do Today’s House Sellers Have?

How Much Leverage Do Today's House Sellers Have? | MyKCM

The housing market has been scorching hot over the last twelve months. Buyers and their high demand have far outnumbered sellers and a short supply of houses. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales are up 23.7% from the same time last year while the inventory of homes available for sale is down 25.7%. There are 360,000 fewer single-family homes for sale today than there were at this time last year. This increase in demand coupled with such limited supply is leading to more bidding wars throughout the country.

Rose Quint, Assistant Vice President for Survey Research with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), recently reported:

“The number one reason long-time searchers haven’t made a home purchase is not because of their inability to find an affordably-priced home, but because they continue to get outbid by other offers.”

A survey in the NAHB report showed that 40% of buyers have been outbid for a home they wanted to purchase. This is more than twice the percentage in 2019, which was 19%.

What does this mean for sellers today?

It means sellers have tremendous leverage when negotiating with buyers.

In negotiations, leverage is the power that one side may have to influence the other side while moving closer to their negotiating position. A party’s leverage is based on its ability to award benefits or eliminate costs on the other side.

In today’s market, a buyer wants three things:

  1. To buy a home
  2. To buy now before prices continue to appreciate
  3. To buy now and take advantage of historically low mortgage rates while they last

These three buyer needs give the homeowner tremendous leverage when selling their house. Most realize this leverage enables the seller to sell at a good price. However, there may be another need the seller has that can be satisfied by using this leverage.

Here’s an example:

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently identified a situation in which many sellers are finding themselves today:

“As mortgage rates are expected to remain near 3%, millennials continue to form households and more existing homeowners tap their equity for the purchase of a better home…Many homeowners may want to upgrade, but do not for fear that they will be unable to find a home to buy.”

She then offers a possible solution:

“While the fear of not being able to find something to buy will not disappear in a limited supply environment, new housing supply can incentivize existing homeowners to move.”

There’s no doubt many sellers would love to build a new home to perfectly fit their changing wants and needs. However, most builders require that they sell their house first. If the seller sells their home, where would they live while their new home is being constructed?

Going back to the concept of leverage:

As mentioned, buyers have compelling reasons to purchase a home now, and many homeowners have challenges to address if they want to sell. Perhaps they can make a deal to satisfy each party’s needs. But how?

The seller may decide to sell their home to the buyer at today’s price, which will enable the purchaser to take advantage of current mortgage rates. In return, the buyer might lease the house back to the seller for a pre-determined length of time while the seller’s new home is being built. A true win-win negotiation.

Not every buyer will agree to such a deal – but you only need one.

That’s just one example of how a seller might be able to overcome a challenge because of the leverage they have in today’s market. Maybe you feel a need to make certain repairs before selling. Perhaps you need time to get permits or approvals for certain upgrades you made to the house. Whatever the challenge, you may be able to work it out.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering selling your house now but worry a huge obstacle stands in your way, let’s connect. Maybe with the leverage you currently have, you can negotiate a deal that will allow you to make the move of your dreams.

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Write Home About Deer Friends

The Willamette Valley has so much to offer, especially some interesting neighbors. In Silverton, there’s a deer herd that likes to make its way around town. To the point that it makes for a natural stopping of traffic. Kids “ooooh,” and “ah,” while adults might be tapping their thumb on the steering wheel. And, still, other adults also have big smiles on their faces at capturing a beautiful moment when nature intersects into their daily routine. Perhaps it’s a little perk when you drive home and find some deer smack dab in the middle of your yard…looking up cautiously and wondering what the lights and fuss are about from your vehicle. You may want to write home about deer friends!

Write Home to Deer Friends
Sometimes the deer are just happily tasting the new grass in the front yard when you pull up. Photo by: Michael Kemry

Deer Sightings in Your Neighborhood?

Have you ever noticed a cute little furry creature munching on some of your lovely roses? Sometimes people think they are a nuisance, while others adore these creatures and find them a fun addition to the neighborhood. When has there been a time you’ve spotted a deer near your home? Or, out and about on errands? These little sights from nature are just one of the many things that add to the character of our gorgeous state. We’d love to see your photos of deer! Just @BSTRealtyLLC on Instagram for a chance to show your neighborhood deer off…perhaps they’ll become even more famous!

If you’re looking to deter deer from your home, then choosing plants they don’t think are very tasty is a good start. Or, possibly getting a fence that is higher than a deer can jump. There are also scented sprays that deer smell and don’t like too much. If you’re looking to attract deer, then putting out a few apples would most likely do the trick, however, who knows what your neighbors will think! There’s plenty of vegetation for deer to eat anyway in the lush Willamette Valley.

Whether you’re a fan or perhaps would like the deer to mosey on through elsewhere, your neighborhood is a special place to observe the wondrous wildlife of the Willamette Valley. If you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s more deer-friendly or one that may be a little less teaming with wildlife, give us a ring. Let’s figure out the perfect type of home for you and your family.

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Wondrous Views

If you’re a first time Home Buyer, the thought of buying a home may seem mind-boggling. It may feel like making the first step to climbing a mountain. At BST Realty LLC, we are here to help make your experience as smooth as possible. We get that our clients may need a bit of education when it comes to buying a home, especially your first home. We also understand that making the decision to buy a home is a big. It’s life-changing. And, we’re here to help you make the change you’ve been thinking about with your family. It doesn’t have to seem like trudging up a mountain, but my…you may have wondrous views once you reach your goal.

Crater Lake, one of the many great views that Oregon has to offer.

Taking the First Step

Perhaps you have been renting for a while, and you realize you’d rather put your money in a mortgage rather than toward rent every month. Maybe you and your partner have been saving up a bit, so that way you have enough to make a down payment. Whatever the reason is, we’re here to support you. Anything that’s your first time can feel a bit intimidating at first. It’s because things seem a bit more uncertain because you don’t know what to expect. We are here to make the steps to buying a home have more clarity. We are here to make sure you aware of each step.

From making an offer to closing on a home, each step can be exciting. There are many ways to make the offer the best of the bunch. And, right now, we are experiencing lots of times where multiple offers are being made on homes. Don’t let that get you down though. We are experienced at making offers that will put yours at the top, and also keep your needs and wants at the top, too. If you’re thinking of buying your first home, we’d love to talk. We are here to support you at every point in the journey and get to those wondrous views you have been waiting for. After all, it’s a once in a lifetime experience, and we are honored to be a part of it.

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Owning a Home Is Still More Affordable Than Renting One

Owning a Home Is Still More Affordable Than Renting One | MyKCM

If spending more time at home over the past year is making you really think hard about buying a home instead of renting one, you’re not alone. There are many reasons people consider buying a home. You may be wondering, however, if the dollars and cents add up in your favor as home prices continue to rise. According to the experts, in many cases, it’s still more affordable to buy a home than rent one. Here’s why.

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released the 2021 Rental Affordability Report, which states:

Owning a median-priced three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 572, or 63 percent of the 915 U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

That has happened even though median home prices have increased more than average rents over the past year in 83 percent of those counties and have risen more than wages in almost two-thirds of the nation.”

How is this possible?

The answer: historically low mortgage interest rates. Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, explains:

“Home-prices are rising faster than rents and wages in a majority of the country. Yet, home ownership is still more affordable, as amazingly low mortgage rates that dropped below 3 percent are helping to keep the cost of rising home prices in check.

In 2020, mortgage rates reached all-time lows 16 times, and so far, they’re continuing to hover in low territory this year. These low rates are a big factor in driving affordability. Teta also notes:

“It’s startling to see that kind of trend. But it shows how both the cost of renting has been relatively high compared to the cost of ownership and how declining interest rates are having a notable impact on the housing market and home ownership. The coming year is totally uncertain, amid so many questions connected to the Coronavirus pandemic and the broader economy. But right now, owning a home still appears to be a financially-sound choice for those who can afford it.”

Bottom Line

If you’re considering buying a home this year, let’s connect today to discuss the options that match your budget while affordability is in your favor.

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