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

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
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:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Get One While You Can: New-Home Prices Have Fallen to a 12-Month Low

For years, all home buyers have heard is that prices are going up, up, and away. But the cost of buying a newly constructed abode has fallen to its lowest price point of the last 12 months. So if you've been wanting to buy a home that's never been touched by another owner, we give you permission do a happy dance.
The median price of a new home dropped nearly 6.9% from March to April to reach $312,400, according to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That was only up 0.4% from April 2017, less than inflation.

"This could be a sign that builders are trying to build at lower price points," says® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. That would be a boon to the many would-be homeowners, particularly first-time buyers or those on a tight budget, who are being priced out of the market. "The largest share of home buyers and home shoppers in the market are looking to buy entry-level homes."
Hale pointed out that 5% of new-home sales were for abodes priced under $150,000. That may not sound like much, but it's the largest share we've seen at that super-desirable price point since August 2016.
However, new homes were still about 24.8% more expensive than the $250,400 median cost of an existing home (one that has previously been lived in), according to the most recent data available from the National Association of Realtors®.
That's because new homes have pricier finishes and appliances, with no wear and tear on anything. Plus, land, labor, and building materials costs have been on the rise.
Meanwhile, the number of new homes sold and for sale dipped 1.5% from the previous month to about 662,000, according to the report. They rose, however, 11.6% from the same month a year earlier.
(® looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report. These have been smoothed out over 12 months to compensante for ups and downs at certain times of year.)
The Midwest saw the biggest annual bump in the number of homes sold or for sale in April.  About 91,000 home hit the market or were closed on in April, rising a whopping 26.4% from the same month a year earlier, but remaining flat from the previous month.
The West came in second, with a 18.9% year-over-year rise. But the 176,000 abodes for sale or sold were down 7.9% from March.
In the South, the 355,000 homes on the market or changing hands were up 6% annually and increased 0.3% from the previous month. In the Northeast, the number was up 5.3% year-over-year and 11.1% month-over-month, with 40,000 new homes.
"The absolute level of [new-home] sales remains quite low compared to current demand levels and the overall population. But you can’t sell what hasn’t been built," Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said in a statement. "As long as single-family home construction remains at a low level, so too will new home sales."

Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs. 971.208.5093 or

By: and Clare Trapasso

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Moving Up to Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait!

Mortgage interest rates have risen by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year, and many assume that if mortgage rates rise, home values will fall. History, however, has shown this not to be true.

Where are home values today compared to the beginning of the year?

While rates have been rising, so have home values. Here are the most recent monthly price increases reported in the Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic:
·         January: Prices were up 0.5% over the month before.
·         February: Prices were up 1% over the month before.
·         March: Prices were up 1.4% over the month before.
Not only did prices continue to appreciate, the level of appreciation accelerated over the first quarter. CoreLogic believes that home prices will increase by 5.2% over the next twelve months.

How can prices rise while mortgage rates increase?

Freddie Mac explained in a recent Insight Report:
“In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about moving up to your dream home, waiting until later this year and hoping for prices to fall may not be a good strategy. Let’s get together and discuss your options - 971.208.5093 or
By: KCM Crew

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

482 Goldenleaf Court: Santiam Canyon Home with Open Floor Plan!

Salem-Keizer OR Home For Sale
482 Goldenleaf Court, Lyons, OR  97358

A hidden gem in the beautiful Santiam Canyon! The finest in one level living awaits in this open floor plan at 482 Goldenleaf Court loaded with tasteful amenities and upgrades….4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, easy care flooring, high ceilings, and neutral paint colors. Your first stop on this impressive home tour is the sun filled living room with an elegant and comfortable atmosphere that flows right into the eat in kitchen for easy entertaining and function.  Tons of cabinet space, a center island, bar seating and a spacious dining area with sliders to the deck highlight this space. The carpeted family room adds so much bonus living space with so many options! A soothing master suite comes complete with lots of closet space and a private bath with dual vanity. There are two ample sized bedrooms and a shared bath. Keep things organized in the laundry room with sink and cabinetry. The separate studio apartment with kitchenette, full bath and outside entry is ideal for an in-law suite, long term guests or a growing family. This private backyard is a sweet treat offering a large covered deck for grilling and chilling, impeccable landscaping, a firepit to toast s’mores and tons of room to roam on 0.67 acres. The 24x36 shop, garden shed and a triple carport are perfect for all your storage needs. There is truly something for everyone is this lovely Lyons OR home!
The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!
We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Homeownership: “A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House”

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%.

Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context:
“The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter households has fallen for four consecutive quarters. Owner-occupied households grew by 1.345 million from a year ago, while the number of renters actually fell by 286,000 households.
The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renter households fell is a strong sign households are making a switch from renting to buying. This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.”
In a separate article comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, also concluded that the gap is now shrinking:
“The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households, the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined from the same quarter a year earlier. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades.”
America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a survey conducted by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”

The results:
  • 43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

Bottom Line

Homeownership has been, is, and always will be a crucial part of the American Dream.

Contact The McLeod Group Network today to find your dream home! 971.208.5093 or
By: KCM Crew

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Renting Out an In-Law Unit: Pros and Cons for Homeowners Hoping to Turn a Profit

An in-law unit can be a major selling point when you're buying a house. It's the perfect guesthouse for short-term visits (your adult children coming for Christmas) or long-term stays (Grandma moving in with you). But what can you do with your in-law unit while it's sitting empty? Some homeowners opt to rent it out.
Nothing sounds sweeter than extra monthly cash flow, but is it really that simple? Let's dive into the pros and cons of renting out your in-law unit and what you can expect to deal with as a property manager.

What is an in-law unit?

To qualify as an in-law unit, this part of the house should have its own entrance, bathroom, and kitchen or kitchenette, says Stephanie Trevizo, a real estate agent and landlord in Los Angeles.
If your home listing says it comes with an in-law unit, you should make sure it legally qualifies as one in your municipality.
"This can usually be done by calling your local housing authority or city," Trevizo says.

Benefits of renting out an in-law unit

As Trevizo points out, homeowners stand to make extra income with a space they're not already using, and they can do so with relatively little intrusion on their everyday lives. Because of their separate entrance, in-law units offer homeowners privacy and a sense of distance from their renters, something that wouldn't happen if you were renting out a room in your home.
In-law units are also attractive to renters, which can make it easier for you to find a tenant. Because an in-law unit is part of a home, it's likely located in a community largely made up of single-family homes.
"Some [renters] choose these types of units to get into certain school districts," Trevizo notes. "The landlords tend to be more flexible than a management company at an apartment complex."
What's more, if you've already furnished your in-law unit for visits from your guests, you have the advantage of being able to list it as a furnished unit for short-term rental on sites such as Airbnb or HomeAway.
Then again, the separate entrance and all-in-one amenities (e.g., private bathroom and kitchen) make most in-law units great for extended-stay rentals as well, says Rob Stephens, co-founder and general manager of Avalara MyLodgeTax, a company that provides lodging tax compliance solutions for property managers.
If you know the unit will sit vacant for a while, an in-law unit can be turned into a more traditional rental, with long-term monthly or even yearly leases.

Disadvantages of in-law unit rentals

Before renting out your in-law unit, you must ask yourself if you're ready to deal with a tenant in your personal space. Separate entrance and bathroom aside, the tenant will still be living on your property, so you're both certainly going to have some personal interaction at some point.
There are also a few other questions to consider, says Kimberly Smith, a broker with AvenueWest Global Franchise, in Denver. For example, will the tenants' noise bother you or your noise bother them? Will you feel safe? Are you comfortable renting to someone with a pet? Do you have enough room for them to park their car, or will that require daily communication?
Because renting out an in-law unit is legally equivalent to renting out any other piece of property, you do need to follow the laws of your local municipality, Stephens says. In the case of a short-term rental such as an Airbnb, you may be required to collect occupancy taxes, register guests, and sometimes obtain a license from your local authorities.
"Requirements to register and the occupancy tax rate that needs to be collected vary by city, county, and state across the U.S.," Stephens says. "In some areas, you may only need to complete one registration form and remit taxes to one tax agency. In other markets, there are usually three to four different registrations that need to be completed, which include some form of licensing with the separate city, county, and state agencies. In about half the markets across the U.S., you will need some form of business or rental license. In other markets, you simply need to register and pay the occupancy taxes, not obtain a license."
In other words, you'll need to check with the city, county, and state where your home is located before you decide to become a landlord, even if it's for the short term.
Renting out your in-law unit could also have an effect on your homeowner insurance policy, so it's important to call your insurance agent before you put up that rental ad. Because renting is defined as a business activity, your typical homeowner policy will not cover losses related to your rental, Stephens warns.
One final consideration, and this is a big one: the responsibility that comes with maintaining a property.
"This could mean late-night phone calls about problems the tenants are having with the home," Trevizo warns.
As the property manager, you'll be on the hook for a number of things, including collecting rent, setting lease terms, handling repairs and emergencies, dealing with security deposits, and filing taxes on the property.
"There is always the risk that you may have to evict a tenant, which could be costly and time-consuming," Trevizo says.
Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or
By and photo credit:, Jeanne Sager