Friday, December 29, 2017

Exploring Salem Oregon: Family-Friendly New Years Eve!

Bar not really your scene? These events pack in all of the New Year's Eve fun and are family-friendly!  
Salem on Ice NYE PartyBring in the new year while ice skating to a DJ, with complimentary sparkling cider toast, games in the party area, beer, cider and wine for purchase culminating with a midnight balloon drop. 
When: 10 p.m. to midnight 
Where: Riverfront Park, Salem. 
Cost:
 $25 and $20 for children.
Noon-Year Eve CelebrationIf your kids can't stay up until midnight to ring in the new year, celebrate at noon with crafts and activities, a photo booth and a balloon drop. 
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Where: Gilbert House Children's Museum, 116 Marion St. NE Salem. 
Cost: Free with museum admission, $8 for ages 3 to 59, $4 for ages 1 to 2, $6 for 60 and older, free for those younger than 1 and Gilbert House members.
All-Ages Improv Comedy New Years CelebrationLaugh your way into 2018 with Capitol City improvisers. 
When: 8 p.m. 
Where: Capitol City Theater, 210 Liberty St. SE No. 150, Salem. 
Cost: $13 at tickets.vendini.com, $15 at the door.
NYE at Northgate: A ticket to this party includes unlimited bowling, nachos and soft drinks, plus prizes throughout the night and a toast at midnight. The theme is fantasy/medieval, and it is encouraged to dress up. 
When: 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. 
Where: 
Northgate Bowling, 2380 Northgate Ave. NE, Salem. 
Cost: $25

Thursday, December 28, 2017

There’s More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices

What truly causes a housing bubble and the inevitable crash? For the best explanation, let’s go to a person who correctly called the last housing bubble – a year before it happened.

“A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation…Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the ‘bubble’ bursts.

I have taken to calling the housing market a ‘bubble’.”
– Bill McBride of Calculated Risk calling the bubble back in April 2005

Where do we stand today regarding speculation?
There are two measurements that are used to determine the speculation in a housing market:
  1. The number of homes purchased by an investor and
  2. The number of homes being flipped (resold within a twelve-month period)
As compared to 2005, investor purchases are down dramatically (from 23% to 13%) and so is flipping (from 8.2% to 5.7%). McBride explains:
“There is currently some flipping activity, but this is more the normal type of flipping (buy, improve and then sell). Back in 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation.”

What are the experts saying about speculation in today’s market?
DSNews recently ran an article which asked two economists to compare the speculation in today’s market to that in 2005-2007. Here is what they said:

Dr. Eddie SeilerChief Housing Economist at Summit Consulting:
“The speculative ‘flipping mania’ of 2006 is absent from most metro areas.”

Tian LiuChief Economist of Genworth Mortgage Insurance:
“The nature of housing demand is different as well, with more potential homeowners and far fewer speculators in the housing market compared to the 2005-2007 period.”

And what does McBride, who called the last housing bubble, think about today’s real estate market?
Sixty days ago, he explained:
“In 2005, people were just buying homes and letting them sit vacant – and then selling without significant improvements. Classic speculation. And even more dangerous during the bubble was the excessive use of leverage (all those poor-quality loans). Currently lending standards are decent, and loan quality is excellent…

I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble – and I don’t expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

Bottom Line
Speculation is a major element of the housing bubble formula. Right now, there are not elevated percentages of investors and house flippers. Therefore, there is not an elevated rate of speculation.

Let The McLeod Group Network assist you with all your home buying and home selling questions. 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Exploring Salem Oregon: Christmas Eve Dinner at FairWay

There is no better place to be with the ones you love than in the cozy gracious dining room at FairWay. We have decorated with 15 trees, the fireplaces will be glowing, and Chef Zack has a delicious three-course menu planned for everyone. Make reservations soon. $45 per person.
FairWay Restaurant at the Salem Golf Club
2025 Golf Course Rd. S
Salem, OR 97302
503-385-8855

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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


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 Report from 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! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Winter!

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 7.0% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% 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 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 get together - 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Friday, December 15, 2017

Exploring Salem Oregon: Enlightened Theatrics: A Charles Dickens Christmas

This Enlightened Theatrics’ presentation tells the story of the Christmas before the Carol. A Charles Dickens Christmas is a highly original take on A Christmas Carol that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the holiday classic. $20-$30 admission.

Salem's Historic Grand Theatre
187 High St. NE Ste 300
Salem, OR 97301

503-585-3427


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?
If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for 2018, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

Let’s get together - 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.
By: KCM Crew

Monday, December 11, 2017

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number 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. Let’s get together - 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com

By: KCM Crew