Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 17, 2022

What’s the Best Use of My Remodeling Dollars?


When it comes to remodeling, some changes that you make to your home are going to net you a big return on your investment. Sometimes this return comes in the form of an increase to the overall value of your property, while sometimes the return is more in the form of your enjoyment and the overall usefulness that your home has for you. Either way, there’s a definite positive side to your remodeling project that you’ll reap the rewards from for years to come. With some other projects, though… well, let’s just say that they seemed like a good idea at the time.

If you’re considering remodeling your home, it’s important that you think about what you want to do before you start. This will help you avoid projects that just waste money or leave things worse off than they started. So how do you know if a project is going to be worthwhile? Here are a few suggestions that might help.

Improving the Look

One of the best remodeling projects that you can undertake with respect to average cost versus average increase in resale value is adding or replacing garage doors. Homeowners who undertake this sort of a project typically recoup around 94 percent of their cost in their home’s resale value even when it’s just a change for cosmetic reasons. Replacing siding with manufactured stone veneer has a similar cost-to-resale-increase relationship, with around 92 percent of the cost being recouped. This says a lot about how big changes to the look of your home can positively affect your home’s resale value.

While not every remodeling project is going to make your home’s resale value skyrocket, in most cases you’ll recoup most of your money if you’re making improvements to the overall look of your home. Replacing siding, replacing old windows, or replacing your front door or entryway can all make your home look more like you want it to without causing you to lose a ton of cash value in the process. Just make sure that the project is well thought out before you dive in since you want to make sure that your improvements match other details of your home.

Functionality Improvements

Another big thing to consider when thinking about remodeling is how it will change the functionality of your home. A big example here is remodeling your kitchen; not only will you be able to change the look of your kitchen, but your remodel also gives you a chance to make some changes to how it functions as well. Adding or updating appliances, moving things around, and opening up that kitchen floor plan a bit can not only make the kitchen look better but can make it easier to use as well. The same goes for some other rooms in the home as well, where remodeling can create a big change in functionality.

Depending on the size and type of remodel you do for functionality changes, you can see a nice improvement in your home’s value as well. Going back to that kitchen remodel, minor functionality updates can get you around a 72 percent return on investment. Even more expensive major remodels can still get you around 57 percent of your money back in your home’s asking price. Bathroom remodels are similar, netting you 70 to 60 percent or more of your costs in home value.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 16, 2022

How Remote Work Impacts Your Home Search [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Remote Work Impacts Your Home Search [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • If your workplace is delaying its return to office plans or is allowing permanent work from home options, that may open up new possibilities for your home search.
  • Ongoing remote work could give you the chance for a change in scenery, a move to an area with a lower cost of living, or finding a home with more home office space.
  • If you want to learn more about how remote work can give you more options, let’s connect to discuss your situation and priorities for your home search.

 

Posted in DFW Lifestyles
Feb. 10, 2022

Home Insurance Advice for First Time Homebuyers


If you are a first-time homebuyer who's looking to buy a house and start shopping around homeowners insurance the most important thing you need to do is make sure you have the right type of policy. A lot of people a lot of times people just look at the paper and they look at what the numbers are exactly and then they look at the number at the bottom of the page. Oftentimes, they don't know what they're looking at and so because of it. They just choose the page that has the lowest number on the bottom and go with it. More often than not, people 
honestly don't understand the insurance policy, and a lot of people are embarrassed to say that they don't understand the homeowner's insurance, as best as they possibly should, This is why you need a guy like Abel from Goosehead Insurance so you can make informed decisions on how to get every extra warranty when you buy a home. 

 Now, is there such thing as too much insurance? 

The stark answer is no. There's no such thing as too much insurance because it's all about how comfortable you are with what you have. A good insurance agent like Abel will explain exactly what it is that you're going to be covered for and if there are things that you'd like to add on, you will absolutely know about it. At the end of the day, your insurance agent wants to make sure that you are both working towards the same objective. Your insurance agent will need to understand you as the buyer and so they will ask you questions such as, “Is price the most important thing? Is it going to be covered? Or is it a little mix of both? Or what is the best coverage for the least amount of money? Most people answer with the third because most people want to make sure they're protected. Based on your answer, the insurance agent will then make suggestions and then let you customize it according to what it is you want. One of the things most common practice in the insurance industry is people will send you a quote and that’s it. You then have to figure it all out by yourself. The real benefit of using Goosehead insurance isn't just that they can find you not only the best the cheapest policy, but also the best policy that fits you well. A lot of times clients find out that they can either have a lower payment or keep the same payment and still have way better coverage. 

 

I know how overwhelming buying a home is. A lot of time, there are so many things coming to your

mind that are going to hit you such as ensuring that you have the right electricity utility set up. You’ll get preoccupied with other things such as the home warranty. A lot of things can happen during the closing process which can take typically around 20 days. If you're going to buy a home in 30 days, make sure to have someone like Abel on your side who can do the shopping for you. 

Posted in Buying Tips
Feb. 9, 2022

What Causes Ice Inside Windows?

When temperatures drop in winter, it’s not uncommon to see ice and snow outside and maybe even a little bit of frost on the outside of your windows and storm doors. Occasionally, though, you might notice a bit of ice building up on the inside of your windows as well. It’s easy to overlook this as just a sign that the temperature has really dropped outside, but that can be a mistake.

Ice appearing on the inside of your windows is usually a sign that there is something going wrong in or around your windows. At best this can drive up your heating costs during the winter, sometimes significantly. At worst, you might be looking at leaks or other damage that could lead to significant repairs down the road. So if you notice ice on the inside of your windows, it’s important that you take action sooner rather than later.

Ice Inside Your Windows

When ice appears on your window interior, it’s typically a sign that moisture is condensing on the glass and then freezing as a result of cold air making it through the window barrier. This can occur in a few ways, including cracks or gaps in the window frame or damage to the window itself. The cold air cools down the window glass, making it cold enough for the water in the air to condense and freeze on the glass surface.

This can be problematic if the air leak is a result of cracks in the glass or window frame, as ice can build up within the crack as well. As the ice expands, the crack itself can widen. Multiple freezes over the course of the winter can cause increasingly worse damage, resulting in larger cracks or leaks by the time that spring rolls around.

Addressing the Root Cause

There are a few different ways that you can treat the problems that cause ice to appear on the inside of your windows. If you can’t find any signs of damage on or around your windows, it’s possible that the icy buildup is simply a result of your home’s humidity being too high and the windows themselves not being sufficient to keep all the cold air out. If this is the case, you can usually get rid of the ice by using a dehumidifier to reduce your home’s humidity or using home exhaust fans to circulate humid air out of the home. This will prevent ice from building up and potentially causing problems in the future.

If you do find potential gaps or cracks on or around the window, try sealing them with caulk to keep cold air from making its way inside. The caulk can be removed once warmer temperatures come around so that the window will be functional. Applying thermal plastic sheeting or other barriers over the windows may also help to control your icing issue since it will keep humid air in the hose from coming in contact with the cold glass of your window. Other solutions such as putting towels or other cloth barriers in place over potential cracks or placing a small space heater near windows that have icing problems may also work. It’s worth noting that none of these are permanent solutions, though they may help you to avoid damage until better solutions can be enacted.

Posted in Home Keppr
Feb. 8, 2022

The Top Indicator if You Want To Know Where Mortgage Rates Are Heading

The Top Indicator if You Want To Know Where Mortgage Rates Are Heading | MyKCM

Mortgage rates have increased significantly since the beginning of the year. Each Thursday, Freddie Mac releases its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. According to the latest survey, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen from 3.22% at the start of the year to 3.55% as of last week. This is important to note because any increase in mortgage rates changes what a purchaser can afford. To give you an idea of how rising mortgage rates impact your purchasing power, see the table below:

The Top Indicator if You Want To Know Where Mortgage Rates Are Heading | MyKCM

How Can You Know Where Mortgage Rates Are Headed?

While it’s always difficult to know exactly where mortgage rates will go, a great indicator of where they may head is by looking at the 50-year history of the 10-year treasury yield, and then following its path. Understanding the mechanics of the treasury yield isn’t as important as knowing that there’s a correlation between how it moves and how mortgage rates follow. Here’s a graph showing that relationship over the last 50 years:

The Top Indicator if You Want To Know Where Mortgage Rates Are Heading | MyKCM

This correlation has continued into the new year. The treasury yield has started to climb, and that’s driven rates up. As of last Thursday, the treasury yield was 1.81%. That’s 1.74% below the mortgage rate reported the same day (3.55%) and is very close to the average spread we see between the two numbers (average spread is 1.7).

Where Will the Treasury Yield Head in the Future?

With this information in mind, a 10-year treasury-yield forecast would be a good indicator of where mortgage rates may be headed. The Wall Street Journal just surveyed a panel of over 75 academic, business, and financial economists asking them to forecast the treasury yield over the next few years. The consensus was that experts project the treasury yield will climb to 2.84% by the end of 2024. Based on the 50-year history of following this yield, that would likely put mortgage rates at about 4.5% in three years.

While the correlation between the 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the 10-year treasury yield is clear in the data shown above for the past 50 years, it shouldn’t be used as an exact indicator. They’re both hard to forecast, especially in this unprecedented economic time driven by a global pandemic. Yet understanding the relationship can help you get an idea of where rates may be going. It appears, based on the information we have now, that mortgage rates will continue to rise over the next few years. If that’s the case, your best bet may be to purchase a home sooner rather than later, if you’re able.

Bottom Line

Forecasting mortgage rates is very difficult. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American once said:

“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”

However, if you’re either a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner thinking of moving into a home that better fits your changing needs, understanding what’s happening with the 10-year treasury yield and mortgage rates can help you make an informed decision on the timing of your purchase.

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 4, 2022

How do you buy a home with Confidence?

As you know, the market is crazy that is why you have to be decisive about what you really want in a home. Buying a home is a huge life-altering decision that's going to change and shape your future and you got to do it the right way without feeling pressured. 

 

How do you buy a home with ease and confidence without feeling like you’re being scammed?

  1. Get a solid understanding of what you really want.
    You need to understand what you want, where you want it, and when you want to get home. Having clarity of your homebuying needs helps you narrow down your choices and focus on these needs. 

  2. Select your team.

Buying a home with confidence also starts with the people that you're working with. Make sure you're working with a really good real estate agent. Aside from that, you will need a good lender and a home inspector as well. You need to be well-equipped with a good, knowledgeable team around you that's going to help you figure this whole thing out. The last thing you want to do is be out there trying to buy a home and you don't have a good squad around you and you're not even sure what you want. So make sure you have a good understanding of where you want to be when you want to buy a home.

  1. Increase your knowledge. 

This is connected again to my second point about selecting a good team, which is really important. Aside from that, you need to really have a good understanding of the home buying process. So if you're about to buy a house in the next six months, start looking for houses now. Do your research and make sure you understand the home buying process. You need to be knowledgeable about the option period when you can get into and out of the contract and you understand what that's all going to entail. the last thing you want to do is try to go through this whole process, not understanding each step, and try to learn on the fly when you have to make split-second decisions. Your team is going to really help you with that. A good Real Estate Agent is going to educate you on the home buying process and ensure you understand how the comps are working in your area. A good realtor makes you well-informed about the market value for the home versus the appraisal value. Your good home inspector is going to educate you on the fact whether you are buying a home that has problems or not. A word of the wise, if you feel like you're getting pushed impression by your agent, you need to bounce. Go get somebody else.

  1. Understand your equity position.
    You need to make sure that you're buying a good investment. The home is just not about living, it's a good investment. Ask yourself this question, are you buying a good investment? Are you purchasing your equity right now? And how long will it take for you to get that back? A lot of people are buying that equity. So understand that it's not like it's not uncommon because the house is worth X and you paid Y and you're paying Y because you're trying to win. The truth is, home values here in DFW are not coming down. For those who are waiting on the bubble to pop, you're gonna be waiting a very very long time. And guess what? You might not be able to buy the house by that time. 

  2. Listen to your home inspection.

Make sure you're buying a healthy home. I understand it's a limited amount of homes out there but that doesn't mean you have to buy a piece of junk. Because once you sign on the dotted line, It is your home. So make sure you do your research and get an understanding of how a home is looking before you just say oh, this is the one. And that home has foundation problems or whatever else. Your agent can help you with that understanding as well, but make sure you definitely listen to your home inspector. If he's saying the big five is messed up: Roofing, Plumbing, Electrical, AC, and Foundation, you're buying a problem. If not, you're probably buying a pretty healthy home. But you need to have that conversation with your home inspection. There's no such thing as a perfect home even it's a brand new construction home. Houses have problems and it's part of homeownership. You need to understand that and be ready to take care of it. But don't buy a $50,000 problem. 

  1. The cost of waiting

You need to understand the cost of waiting and the cost of renting. Two different things for the people out there saying we're waiting for the market to pop, it's all going to fall apart. You need to understand your market. You need to understand your area here in DFW. We have jobs, good lord and it is not about to slow down as long as people keep coming here for jobs, guess what? Home values don't keep going up. If your pay increase is 2-3% every year and here in DFW, we've been seeing a 6% increase every year and then the last year. we saw a  13 increase in home values pretty soon. You can't buy the house that you want. It's not affordable so what do you do? You buy the house that you can afford, that you're comfortable with. Right now you let that house sit, you earn some equity on their house, you turn around and you sell it two or three years from now. And you make a lot of money on it to get the house you don't have to get the house on your first home. I see so many people who are trying to do that. They're trying to get the house. So make sure you understand all of these things when you are looking at buying a house.

 

You can be decisive right now without feeling pressured. But you do need to be knowledgeable, and educated. You need to have a good squad around you, and you need to listen to the people who are educating you in the home buying process so you can truly understand what you're buying.

Posted in Buying Tips
Feb. 3, 2022

Why Your Home Inspection Matters [INFOGRAPHIC]

Why Your Home Inspection Matters [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Buying a home and wondering if your inspection is necessary? While some buyers may decide to waive their inspection, it’s risky decision.
  • Your home inspection is a crucial step in the homebuying process. It assesses the condition of the home you plan to purchase, so you can avoid costly surprises down the road.
  • Let’s connect so you have expert advice and a trusted professional who will keep your interests top of mind.
Posted in Buying Tips
Feb. 2, 2022

New Construction Home Walk-Through: Gehan Homes | Hickory Floor Plan

Check out this new construction home from Gehan Homes! 

 

Today, we will feature the Hickory Floor Plan Model which is packed with rich amenities. This 2-story, 2487 square foot home features 5 bedrooms with storage, 4 Bathrooms, a home office, a Media Room, an owner’s shower seat, and so much more. You’ll fall in love with the cozy and spacious open floor plan of the kitchen, the breakfast area, and the spacious living area. The kitchen is equipped with modern appliances and granite countertops that give a huge impression to your guests. Each bathroom comes with its own bathrooms and walk-in closets. 

 

The Hickory Floor Plan is ideal for huge families who want to get together and bond over movies and family game time. Families can chill over coffee as they catch up on life in the beautiful covered patios. The huge backyard is perfect for a weekend barbecue chill with friends and family. What’s more, you have the option to customize your new construction home according to your family’s dynamics. 

 

What do you think of this new construction home? Could this be your family’s permanent home?

Feb. 1, 2022

Is This the Year You’ll Add a Home Gym?

Winter and early spring are typically great times for construction projects around the house. Not only do materials tend to be a bit cheaper due to reduced overall demand, but some labor costs may be reduced as well. Because of this, some homeowners tend to start looking for add-on projects or major remodels to undertake so that they can take advantage of lower prices and faster project starts.

One popular home project in recent years is adding a home gym, often converting a largely unused basement or garage space into an area for a wide range of workouts. It’s possible that you’ve considered adding a home gym yourself, either as a room conversion or in an exterior building or add-on. Let’s look at this project a little more closely to determine whether this is the year you should let those home gym dreams come true.

Home Gym Basics

When you think of a home gym, you might think of some big elaborate space with big, bulky equipment and mirrors hanging everywhere. Sounds intimidating, right? Not only is something like that probably more than you need, but having such an over-the-top gym area in your home could actually make it harder to sell since it’s such a specialized room. This is why most home gyms are generally much simpler affairs, and really only require a few things to make them truly functional.

The basic things that you’ll need for your home gym are floor space (obviously), good ventilation, some storage areas, and access to electricity. In a pinch, you can even make do with a small shed or room corner that has some storage totes and some foam padding on the floor. Even when you go for a full-room conversion, these basics will generally remain the same.

Designing the Gym

If you want to convert a room into a home gym, start with adding some impact-absorbing foam panels or something similar on the floor where you’ll be doing a lot of your workouts. Plan out where you’re going to place treadmills or any other equipment that you’ll need to plug in and see if there are outlets nearby; if not, you’ll need to bring in an electrician to add some. You’ll also need an area to store exercise equipment, either in cabinets or totes, and possibly a laundry basket for dirty towels to keep the sweat contained. For ventilation, you’ll either want the room to connect to your heat and air system or to have fans and windows that you can leverage to circulate the air around.

If you want something smaller, take these same basics and scale them down. Instead of plotting a full-room floor plan, arrange your storage solutions along the walls leading into a corner. A small TV in the corner can also help you to access exercise videos and other content to help you with your workouts. A standing fan can help with ventilation, and so long as you make use of your storage you should be largely good to go. Even with minimal changes to the house, it should still be an effective workout area.

Building Your Home Gym

A home gym project can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Even if your plans are relatively minor, though, you may still need to make a few changes to your environment or bring in a decorator to help you arrange things in a small space. Fortunately, HomeKeepr is here to help you find the pro that you need for your home gym design no matter how big or small the project is.

Posted in DFW Lifestyles
Jan. 31, 2022

Are You a Homeowner Thinking About Climate Change?

Are You a Homeowner Thinking About Climate Change? | MyKCM

Americans are more aware than ever of the effects climate change and natural disasters can have on their homes. According to a report from realtor.com:

More than 3 in 4 recent buyers, 78%, took [natural disasters] into account when choosing the locations of their homes, . . .”

The study also found that many existing homeowners (34%) have already considered selling their houses and moving to a new location because of the changing climate. If you’re like those homeowners and are weighing your options about what to do next, here’s some information to keep in mind as you begin the process of selling your existing house and searching for your new home.

Do Your Research and Work with a Real Estate Advisor To Find a Home That Meets Your Needs

As a homeowner, it’s impossible to control what types of weather events your home is exposed to. As Maiclaire Bolton Smith, Senior Leader of Research and Content Strategy for CoreLogicsays:

“You can’t necessarily remove the location from around you, but there are things you can do to mitigate damage that can happen.”

The first step is understanding how to navigate your home sale and purchase with these specific issues in mind. While that can seem like a difficult undertaking at first, with the appropriate resources and experts on your side, you can simplify the process.

The Mortgage Reports provides some tips for purchasing your next house, including, but not limited to:

  • Vetting the location before you buy
  • Researching Climate Action Plans and learning if the city or state has one
  • Working with professionals for additional assessments on the home’s ability to withstand natural disasters

Ultimately, your best resource throughout the process is a trusted real estate professional. An agent will help you navigate the sale and required disclosures for your existing home, be your expert advisor on local guidelines and information and keep your goals and concerns top of mind. Even if your advisor doesn’t have the answers to all your questions about how your next home will stand up to natural disasters, they can help connect you with experts and resources who will.

Bottom Line

If you’re becoming more mindful about the effects of climate change and you’re ready to make a move, you’re not alone. Let’s connect so you have a trusted advisor on your side to help you navigate the sale of your current house and find the perfect spot for your next home.

Posted in Home Maintenance