A New Frontier for the American West, in the Far East

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Welcome to “Hometown America,” as Jackson Hole is called in Chinese, a mammoth real-estate venture that is an exacting pastiche of an American frontier town, albeit one with a wine-tasting pavilion, a New Age spa and security guards dressed as park rangers, who salute every passing car.

Modest entry-level homes sell for $625,000. Larger abodes — described by Jackson Hole’s developers as castles — have an attached vineyard and fetch nearly $8 million. The developer, Ju Yi International, says that more than 90 percent of the 1,500 homes have already been sold. Occupying more than a square mile of arid land in northeast Hebei Province, Jackson Hole has plenty of room to expand.

This New York Times article is “mind-blowing” and amazing. Read more about it here:

Start Spreading the News!

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I just returned from a trip to New York City and like any good Realtor, I love looking at the fabulous condominiums and co-ops in the City. I would love to sell one but even more, I would love to live in one.

What an amazing City! My favorite vacation destination!

 

Equity Matters A LOT… Just Ask Freddie Mac

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There are many reasons, both financial and non-financial, that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that it helps build family wealth. Recently, Freddie Mac wrote about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10% ($15K), resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance). The chart below demonstrates the home equity built after 7 years of making mortgage payments and assuming the historic national average of 3% per year home appreciation:Home-Equity.jpg

And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home.

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Merrill Lynch published the report above that shows equity attained by age.

Bottom Line

Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:

“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you’d have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”

Put your housing cost to work for you and your family. Call me or let’s meet to explore your options.

Where are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Winter? Next Year?

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The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s October 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

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How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.4% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.7% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth.

Call me to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home. Don’t wait or hesitate – it’s time to get a move on! Linda Hutchinson 407-925-7721 Cell or Text

Home Shopping

A shop of one’s own; digital storefronts – using your home to feature your product:

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“We like to use our beach house as a showcase for our products,” says Hampshire. “We always say, if we can’t live with our designs, we shouldn’t produce them. Our benchmark is always: would we have this in our own home?” On their Instagram feed you can see their wallpapers, fabrics and other objects in domestic settings, as well as the occasional snap of the Dungeness coastline.

Rural aesthetic: Fforest General Stores.
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 Rural aesthetic: Fforest General Stores. Photograph: James Gardiner

Personal investment and a strong sense of identity are what characterise this new category of online retailer. “They don’t attempt to compete with bigger brands, who can buy in bulk, but instead do their own thing and create inspiring online ‘destinations’ with loyal communities of customers,” says Ellie Tennant. “By sharing photos of their products in their homes on Instagram and Twitter, they offer their customers much more than a bigger high-street brand ever can. Part of their strength is that they are genuine – living, creative lifestyles.”

More information at:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/01/digital-shopfronts-run-from-home

52% of Americans Plan to Buy A Home in Next Five Years.


According to the recently released BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also had other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy

74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult a real estate agent

59% said they will visit online real estate websites

37% will seek recommendations from friends and family

78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

Those Who Already Own

75% of current home owners set a budget before looking for a home. 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.

63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.

8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those that purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why are More People not Planning their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? A recent article by Fannie Mae may give us that answer, there is evidence that a large numbers of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Perhaps it is time to sit with a real estate professional to determine the actual equity you have in your house and take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.