Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Parents Say Kids’ Opinions Matter Big When Buying a Home




A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and released by SunTrust Mortgage found that “55% of homeowners with a child under the age of 18 at the time when they purchased their home said that the opinion of their offspring played a major role in their home buying decision.”
When the results were broken down by the parent’s age, millennials (those 18-36) led the way with 74% of homeowners saying that their child’s opinion was a factor in choosing which home to buy. Eighty-three percent of renters believe that their child’s opinion would be a deciding factor when looking to purchase a home.

So what features in a home are most important to kids?

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Coming in at 57%, it should come as no surprise that gaining their own bedrooms was the top most-desirable feature of any home for kids, followed by a large back yard to play in at 34%.
Todd Chamberlain, Head of Mortgage Banking at SunTrust explained the reasoning behind the survey,
“As a parent of two kids, I know from experience that including children in the home buying process is not only fun for the whole family, but also educational for our homebuyers of tomorrow.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, make sure to highlight all the kid-friendly features your home has to offer so that you can sway the real decision makers.

Let The McLeod Group Network help you find the perfect home for your family! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Monday, June 11, 2018

Days on The Market Drops to New Low in April

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median number of days that a home spent on the market hit a new low of 26 days in April, as 57% of homes were on the market for under a month.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say,

“What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace. Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.”

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract.

The chart below shows the median days on the market from April 2017 to April 2018:

Bottom Line
If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Let’s get together to discuss exactly what’s going on in our area, today! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

6 Lawn Care Secrets for a Yard That'll Make the Neighbors Green With Envy

There's a reason so many landscape painters seem to focus on rolling, emerald-hued hillsides: That lush, green look can seem magical.
Which is probably why we, as homeowners, try to re-create the magic in our own yards. But going from "Hey, I have a yard" to "I have a yard that will knock your socks off" takes some hard work. It goes beyond mere maintenance and mowing. It requires a bit of landscape and garden design know-how and a heavy dose of patience. It even requires some science.
Luckily, we have some insider secrets to get it done. These six landscaping and lawn care tips promise to transform your own personal patch of dirt into a lush, verdant lawn that'll make your neighbors green with envy.

1. Scratch the thatch

Over time, your yard accumulates a layer of dead or decomposing stems, roots, and other detritus near the surface. This is called "thatch." If you care about having your neighborhood's No. 1 lawn, it needs to go.
Picture your yard like a city grid. Each clump of grass is an individual building, and any bare soil is the city's streets. Thatch is the trash accumulating on the sidewalks—and your city can't thrive until someone cleans up the muck.
"Removing this allows the grass to grow better by allowing nutrients and water to more easily get to the grass roots," says Susan Brandt, who runs gardening service Blooming Secrets.
To remove the thatch, first mow your lawn to half its usual height, then use either a dethatching rake or a dethatcher (both available to buy or rent at home improvement stores) to clear out the dead layer. This is best done in spring or fall. Once you've finished, fertilize and water your yard to help your grass recover.

2. Feed your grass

You wouldn't expect your pups to go without dinner—why would you demand the same of your yard?
"Fertilization is a cornerstone of having a great lawn," says Mike Ricke, the owner of AAA Lawn Service, in Burnsville, MN. "A great fertilizer should supply your lawn with a series of micronutrients that help it to grow and get green."
But what makes a great fertilizer? It depends (surprise!) on your specific lawn. Get your soil tested to determine its levels of the three major nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Tests can also show if your soil needs lime. Talk to a garden store specialist to determine the best fertilizer for your particular soil.
Then, make sure to fertilize your lawn when it's growing. For cool-season grasses (e.g., Kentucky bluegrass), that's early spring and early fall. Warm-season grasses (e.g., Bermuda or St. Augustine) need fertilizer regularly throughout the summer.

3. Maintain year-round gardens

Create curb appeal with a year-round garden.
Create curb appeal with a year-round garden.
Solidago/iStock
Think about the yards you most envy: They always seem to have color, even in the dead of winter. Jealous? You don't have to be. Creating the same look doesn't have to be difficult.
"Add living curb appeal with an evergreen garden space to ensure that it looks like there is life year-round," says Kevin Guzior, a vice president of Pioneer Landscape Centers.
For spring and summer, flowers and seasonal shrubs provide a bright burst of unmistakable color to offset your lawn. For fall and winter, plant evergreen trees and foliage, along with some hardy pops of color—such as the red flowering quincehellebore (sometimes referred to as Christmas roses), or winter jasmine.
Or for a beautiful, low-maintenance yard that will last year-round, consider xeriscaping.

4. Trim your trimming

No, you can't skip the lawnmower. But you should carefully consider the height of your blades. Trimming your grass too close to the soil hinders lawn growth and makes your yard look less lush.
If you're angling to be the envy of the street, here's Brandt's rule of thumb: "Be sure you're not taking off more than one-third of the grass blade when you mow."
Here's another pro tip: Leave those clippings in the yard. Not only do they smell wonderful (OK, unless you're allergic to grass), they also serve as cheap lawn food.

5. Create a path

Garden path
Garden path
LeeYiuTung/iStock
Sleek pathways can be the difference between a blah yard and one with some serious va-va-voom.
Imagine how much the yellow brick road pops out against the wide emerald fields. That could be your yard. Minus the poisonous poppies. And the dangerous witches.
"Use gravel or other smaller decorative rocks for a pop of color," Guzior suggests.
Want to add some extra oomph? Guzior recommends bordering pathways with landscape edging, pavers, or riprap—large, decorative rocks such as those found on lakeshores—"for a more stunning appearance."
Bonus: Pathways encourage visitors to stay off your growing baby grass.

6. Become a regional expert

Here's the difference between you and your neighbors: You're willing to do the research needed to perfect your lawn. Every region is different, and lawn tips you picked up living with your parents in the Northeast might be wildly inappropriate for the Southwest.
"Do some research on how often lawns in your region should be watered," Ricke says. "It's different all around the world and even in different parts of the country. You may be doing just as much damage by overwatering your lawn as you could be by underwatering."
Look for your state's master gardeners. These experts can tell you exactly how often to soak your grass—and they'll have tips on creating your evergreen garden, too. In the end, you'll have a yard that promises to be the envy of the block.
Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.
By and photo credits: Realtor.com, Jamie Wiebe

Monday, June 4, 2018

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

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 Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.
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 increased by half a percentage point already in 2018 to around 4.5%. 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 nearly a full percentage point 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 the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Let’s talk about your options! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Millennials Are Skipping Starter Homes for Their Dream Homes

A new trend has begun to emerge. With home prices skyrocketing in the starter home category, many first-time homebuyers are skipping the traditional starter homes and moving right into their dream homes.

What’s a Starter Home?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), simply put, a starter home is a one or two-bedroom home (sometimes even a small, three bedroom). “Prices vary widely by market but starters on average cost $150,000 to $250,000 while trade-up and premium homes cost upwards of $300,000.”

Finding Their Forever Homes Now

A recent CNBC article revealed that there are many factors that delayed older millennials (ages 25-35) from buying a home earlier in their lives. The aftereffects of the Great Recession teaming up with larger education costs forced many to either remain living in their parent’s homes or to rent.
With the economy continuing to improve, many millennials have been able to break into better-paying jobs which has helped spur down payment savings. As the dream of homeownership comes closer to reality, many millennials are saving for their forever homes.
According to the latest statistics from NAR, 30% of millennials bought homes for $300,000 or more this year (up from 14% in 2013). Diane Swonk, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton weighed in saying, “They rented for longer. Now they’re going to where they want to stay.”
More and more millennials are settling down, getting married, and starting families, which is a huge factor driving them to look for larger homes.
Increased competition in the starter home market has also been a driving force in waiting to afford their dream homes. Inventory in the starter home market is down 14.2% from last year, according to research from Trulia. This has driven prices up and has led to bidding wars.
Many first-time buyers who were originally looking for starter homes are realizing that for just a little bit more of an investment, they could afford trade-up or premium homes instead.

Bottom Line

If you plan on purchasing your first home this year, let’s get together to determine how much house you can afford. You may be pleasantly surprised. 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Summer!

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.
1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition Now
Housing inventory has declined year-over-year for the last 35 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.
Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 41 days.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!
Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.
5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
That is what is truly important.
Want to know how much your home is worth? Contact The McLeod Group Network today! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.
By: KCM Crew

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Exploring Salem Oregon: Keeler Estate Vineyard - Memorial Day Weekend Open House

Friday, May 25 - Sunday, May 27 - 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

You are invited to a Garden Party in our open-air tasting room!  Sip our carefully crafted, certified Biodynamic wines while exploring our vineyard, ponds and natural areas.  Picnics welcome!

Featured wine selections:
2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling (NEW Release)
2017 Skin Contact Pinot Gris (DEBUT “Orange” wine)
2016 Concrete Dolia Pinot Gris (91 pts, Wine Enthusiast)
2015 Pinot Noir (92 pts, Wine & Spirits)
2014 Reserve Pinot Noir (90 pts, Wine Enthusiast)


We are pleased to welcome Michelle from Eugene’s RumbleDollhouse on Saturday and Sunday with her beautiful Flower Crowns and Gemstone Jewelry. We will also have live Renaissance music from Figs and Thistles on Saturday from 1 to 4 pm.

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: keelerestatevineyard.com