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Date Archives: June 2022

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June
28

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group congratulates Realtor® Nicki Johnson on achieving her Associate Broker License!

Nicki is consistently a top real estate producer in our region, ranking in the Top 3% of the Savannah Area Board of Realtors®. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors®, the Georgia Association of Realtors®, the Savannah Board of Realtors®, Chairman's Gold Circle and the Distinguished Sales Society. She has received the Savannah Women's Council of Realtors Rising Star Award and was featured in the Savannah Real Producers magazine.

"We extend our sincere congratulations to Nicki on this milestone achievement and are excited to see what she accomplishes next," says Bay Street Realty Group Broker, Will Thurman.

Nicki assures the highest level of professional real estate consultation in the greater Savannah area and specializes in representing both buyers and sellers in residential, income-producing, investment, historic, waterfront, and luxury properties. Having spent 17 years in Pharmaceutical Sales, Nicki now utilizes her passion for sales and unmatched customer service experience to further her real estate career. 

June
25

Why an Agent Is Essential When Pricing Your House [INFOGRAPHIC]

Why an Agent Is Essential When Pricing Your House [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • When it comes to pricing your house, there's a lot to consider. The only way to ensure you price it right is by partnering with a local real estate professional.
  • To find the best price, your agent balances current market demand, the values of homes in your neighborhood, where prices are headed, and your home's condition.
  • Don't pick just any price for your house. If you're ready to sell, let's connect to find the perfect price for your house.
June
24

Homeownership Is a Great Hedge Against the Impact of Rising Inflation

Homeownership Is a Great Hedge Against the Impact of Rising Inflation | MyKCM

If you're following along with the news today, you've heard about rising inflation. Today, inflation is at a 40-year high. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

"Consumer prices accelerated again in May as shelter, energy and food prices continued to surge at the fastest pace in decades. This marked the third straight month for inflation above an 8% rate and was the largest year-over-year gain since December 1981."

With inflation rising, you're likely feeling it impact your day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These climbing consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to ensure they're still worthwhile.

If you've been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you're probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes more sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here's how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.

Homeownership Helps You Stabilize One of Your Biggest Monthly Expenses

Investopedia explains that during a period of high inflation, prices rise across the board. That's true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, even housing. Both rental prices and home prices are on the rise. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from increasing costs? The answer lies in homeownership.

Buying a home allows you to stabilize what's typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost. When you have a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, says:

"A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same. That's certainly not the case if you're renting."

So even if other prices increase, your housing payment will be a reliable amount that can help keep your budget in check. If you rent, you don't have that same benefit, and you won't be protected from rising housing costs.

Investing in an Asset That Historically Outperforms Inflation

While it's true rising home prices and higher mortgage rates mean that buying a house today costs more than it did even a few months ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. That's because, in inflationary times, you want to be invested in an asset that outperforms inflation and typically holds or grows in value.

The graph below shows how the average home price appreciation outperformed the average inflation rate in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):

Homeownership Is a Great Hedge Against the Impact of Rising Inflation | MyKCM

So, what does that mean for you? Today, experts forecast home prices will only go up from here thanks to the ongoing imbalance of supply and demand. Once you buy a house, any home price appreciation that does occur will grow your equity and your net worth. And since homes are typically assets that grow in value, you have peace of mind that history shows your investment is a strong one.

That means, if you're ready and able, it makes sense to buy today before prices rise further.

Bottom Line

If you've been thinking about buying a home this year, it makes sense to act soon, even with inflation rising. That way you can stabilize your monthly housing cost and invest in an asset that historically outperforms inflation. If you're ready to get started, let's connect so you have expert advice on your specific situation when you're ready to buy a home.

June
22

Things To Avoid After Applying for a Home Loan

Things To Avoid After Applying for a Home Loan | MyKCM

Once you've applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are some key things to keep in mind. While it's exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating, be careful when it comes to making any big purchases. Here are a few things you may not realize you need to avoid after applying for your home loan.

Don't Deposit Large Sums of Cash

Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn't easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

Don't Make Any Large Purchases

It's not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgage. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.

Don't Co-Sign Loans for Anyone

When you co-sign for a loan, you're making yourself accountable for that loan's success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won't be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.

Don't Switch Bank Accounts

Lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there's consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.

Don't Apply for New Credit

It doesn't matter whether it's a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your mortgage interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.

Don't Close Any Accounts

Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn't true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those aspects of your score.

In Short, Consult an Expert

To sum it up, be upfront about any changes when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it's best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.

Bottom Line

You want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who's qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.

June
21

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

If you own a home, your net worth likely just got a big boost thanks to rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. And today, based on recent home price appreciation, you're building that equity far faster than you may expect – here's how it works.

Because there's an ongoing imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase, home prices are on the rise. That means your home is worth more in today's market because it's in high demand. As Patrick Dodd, President and CEO of CoreLogic, explains:

"Price growth is the key ingredient for the creation of home equity wealth. . . . This has led to the largest one-year gain in average home equity wealth for owners. . . ."

Basically, because your home value has likely climbed so much, your equity has increased too. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic, the average homeowner's equity has grown by $64,000 over the last 12 months.

While that's the nationwide number, if you want to know what's happening in your area, look at the map below. It breaks down the average year-over-year equity growth for each state using the data from CoreLogic.

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

The Opportunity Your Rising Home Equity Provides

In addition to building your overall net worth, equity can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale. In a market where homeowners are gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

So, if you've been holding off on selling or you're worried about being priced out of your next home because of today's ongoing home price appreciation, rest assured your equity can help fuel your move.

Bottom Line

If you're planning to make a move, the equity you've gained can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let's connect so you can get a professional equity assessment report on your house.

June
20

More Listings Are Coming onto the Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

More Listings Are Coming onto the Market [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • Worried you won't be able to find your next home after you sell? You should know data from realtor.com shows more listings are coming onto the market each month this year.
  • Having additional options can make the search for your next home easier. But inventory is still low overall, which means your house should still stand out when you sell.
  • If your biggest question is where you'll go if you sell, take this as encouraging news. Let's connect to start the process today.
June
17

5 (Reasonably) Painless Ways to Reduce Living Costs

As millions of Americans do their best to cope with the soaring cost of living, money-saving experts suggest some of the least painful ways to cut back on spending, bring in extra cash and strategize to balance the family budget.

  • Stretch the Food Budget – Plan meals ahead based on what's on sale at the supermarket each week. 

    • Make a Meal, Do Double Duty. Last night's roast chicken can become the basis for today's taco dinner and maybe even for tomorrow's chicken salad. 
    • Go Vegetarian at Least One Night Each Week. Hearty vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, anyone? Spinach quiche or cheese-filled manicotti? 
    • Use Coupons. Check Sunday's newspaper. Take advantage of your market's loyalty coupons. Go to coupons.com for a wide variety of printable coupons.
    • Buy Generic. You may be surprised to find little noticeable difference between branded and store-labeled products
  • Pay Off Debt – Monthly payments and rising interest rates eat heavily into available cash. Make every effort possible to pull in your belt and pay off balances in order to save money and free up cash. 

  • Get a Side Hustl– Can you mow lawns? Walk dogs? Write resumes? Bake beautiful breads or cakes? Social media makes it easy to 'advertise' your services, and a little extra income can make a big difference in how far your money stretches each month.

  • Cut Energy Costs – Set the thermostat a few degrees higher or lower and learn to live with indoor temperatures a little warmer or cooler than you'd like. Replace old weatherstripping to block drafts, and close the curtains to block hot sun. It will add up to a difference in your bills.

  • Call an Insurance Broker – If you've had the same auto and/or home insurance policies for a while, ask a broker how much you can save by increasing deductibles, requesting senior, good driver, or other available discounts, or even by switching carriers altogether.
June
16

Make Buyers Fall In Love With Your Home With These 5 Tips

When you're selling your home, first impressions are everything. Typically, each home buyer is looking for something different in the house they buy. However, there are common problems that will make them walk — and, maybe, even run — out of your home if they see them. The good news is there are several things you can do to make buyers fall in love with your home.

  1. Boost Your Curb Appeal
    Start with your yard. You won't believe the difference mowing your lawn, trimming hedges, picking up toys, adding fresh mulch, and raking leaves make. Best of all, improving the visual appearance of your yard doesn't cost you much. Just remember, once you're committed to selling your home, you'll need to stay on top of lawn work until the property has sold and is no longer your responsibility.

    If you have a plain yard, you should consider adding one or two flower beds or planting an ornamental tree to spruce things up.

  2. Tweak the Interior
    Take a look at the interior of your home. Is the paint chipped, streaked, or just tired looking? Do the fixtures and door handles match? Are the outlet covers and light switches working properly?

    The odds are good that when you look at the interior of your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer, you'll realize that things are a bit dated. Now that you're selling your home, it's time to change that. A quick run to the hardware store for updated door fixtures, outlet covers, and paint won't cost too much. With a weekend's worth of work, you'll have given the inside of your home a facelift and made it more appealing to buyers.

    When choosing fixtures and, more importantly, paint, stick to neutral options.

  3. Upgrade the Kitchen
    Buyers have said that the kitchen was what made them decide to place an offer on a home.

    If you're on a shoestring budget, you'll want to devote your funds to:

    - Ensuring the plumbing works perfectly,
    - Repairing and/or replacing damaged cabinet doors,
    - Making sure the kitchen is well lit,
    - Repainting,
    - Relining the shelves/drawers,
    - Refinishing hardwood floors,
    - Cleaning grout and re-grouting any damaged/crumbling grout.

    If you have more money to devote to upgrading the kitchen, consider:

    - Replacing older countertops with new granite countertops,
    - Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances.

  4. Ceilings
    If your home was built prior to the 1980s and has a popcorn-finished ceiling will want to have it tested for asbestos. If the test is positive, you'll want to replace the ceiling before speaking to a real estate agent. Now that buyers understand the potential health risks connected to asbestos, they won't consider a home with the material.

    Even if the test comes back negative, you should still consider having the ceilings replaced. Not only does the popcorn finish give the house a dated feel, but it's also extremely difficult to keep clean or paint, which serves as a turn-off for any prospective buyers.

  5. Remove the Clutter
    It's difficult for prospective buyers to fully appreciate the full potential of your home if it's full of clutter, so after deciding to sell your home, put any items you can temporarily live without into storage.

With these tactics and fixes, there's no doubt buyers will fall in love with your home. Ask your real estate agent for more tips on how to get the most out of your sale.

June
15

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group is excited to announce the recent addition of Realtor® Amanda Thompson to their South Carolina sales team. 

It has always been a dream of Amanda's to live in a coastal town in the state in which she was born. Eager to trade in their big city and snow shovels for a small town with beaches, Amanda and her family moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to the beautiful city of Beaufort, South Carolina just over two years ago. 

With her masters degree in education, Amanda spent the first ten years of her career as an elementary school teacher. After a decade of teaching, Amanda's fervor for learning and desire to be challenged propelled her to look outside the classroom for her next career move. Having always been passionate about design, she spent the next several years working as an interior designer and helping her clients to design entire houses, simple one room refreshes, and everything in between. 

As a Realtor®, Amanda now uses her design background to help her clients see beyond the wallpaper when searching for their dream home. Her propensity for building long lasting, client relationships has served her well as she works to grow her real estate footprint throughout the lowcountry. With prior experience in helping her clients' visions become reality, Amanda is uniquely positioned to help buyers find their forever home. 

While Amanda's time in the classroom may be over, her passion for education has never faltered. Knowing from personal experience how important it is for teachers to have a voice, Amanda now serves as a board member at the Lowcountry Montessori School. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for local committees and exploring the beauty of the lowcountry with her family. Bay Street Realty Group is excited to bring her tenacity, dedication and attention to detail to their award-winning team! 

June
15

A Majority of Consumers Say It's a Good Time To Sell Your House

A Majority of Consumers Say It's a Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

If you're a homeowner thinking about selling your house, you're probably looking for the best time to make your move. That means you're likely balancing a number of factors, like your changing needs, where you'll go when you sell, and today's mortgage rates in order to time it just right.

According to recent data, that sweet spot could already be here. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae finds that 76% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell.

The graph below shows the percentage of survey respondents who say it's a good time to sell a house. The big dip in March and April of 2020 reflects how consumer sentiment dropped at the beginning of the pandemic as uncertainty about the health crisis grew. Since then, the percentage has grown consistently as more people feel confident it's a good time to sell.

In fact, survey respondents think it's an even better time to sell a house today than they did in 2019, which was a strong year for the housing market. The latest survey results indicate one of the strongest peaks in seller sentiment in nearly three years (see graph below):

A Majority of Consumers Say It's a Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

What Makes Today a Good Time To Sell?

One reason so many people think it's a good time to sell is because there are still more buyers in today's market than there are homes for sale. That's driving home prices up, making it a good time to sell your house.

And if you're on the fence about whether or not to sell because you don't know where you'll go once you do, know that you might have more options today than in previous months. That's because the number of homes coming onto the market has grown each month since the start of the year. When more homes come onto the market, it gives you more opportunities to find one that meets your changing needs.

Bottom Line

While the number of homes available for sale is growing and giving you more options for your move, inventory is still low overall. That could mean it's a great time for you to sell. If you're ready to address your changing needs and take advantage of today's favorable conditions, let's connect.

June
14

Is the Housing Market Correcting?

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

If you're following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may leave you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here's what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren't enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that wasn't going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction. As realtor.com says:

"The housing market is at a turning point. . . . We're starting to see signs of a new direction, . . ."

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It's a good indication of buyer demand. Here's a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn't crashing – it's just at a turning point that's moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

Headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters. Here's a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It's important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this:

". . . today's housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time."

Bottom Line

If recent headlines are generating any concerns, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It's just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels. Let's connect if you have any questions about our local market and what it means for you when you buy or sell this year.

June
13

Luxury Homes Are in High Demand

Luxury Homes Are in High Demand | MyKCM

As people realize their needs are changing, some are turning to luxury housing to find their dream home. Investopedia helps define what pushes a home into this category. In a recent article, they point out that a luxury home isn't only defined by its price. Location is also an important factor. It could be a condo at a desirable city address, a spacious home on the water, or one with access to luxury activities like arts and entertainment, high-end shopping and dining, and more. The home itself will also boast some of the finest features available.

According to the Luxury Market Report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, there's been a substantial increase in how many buyers are purchasing luxury homes over the past two years. It says:

". . . North America recorded the fastest growth of demand during the first year of the pandemic. Also, demand has . . . consistently increased, and even in April 2022, we saw a higher volume of sales compared to 2021."

If you own a luxury home, it could be a great time to list your house today while demand is so high. But first, let's understand where the demand is coming from.

What's Driving the Heightened Buyer Demand for High-End Homes?

The same report says more people have reached a certain net-worth threshold, and that's contributing to the increased interest in luxury housing:

"In 2020, we saw a 2.2% growth in the number of individuals with wealth of over $5 million in net value, but in 2021 that number grew by an outstanding 19.8%.

This total increase has resulted in the introduction of over 660,000 new individuals into the high net-worth bracket, which, combined with the existing affluent looking to both diversify and add new properties to their portfolio, provides a true insight into why the demand for luxury properties skyrocketed during 2021 and into 2022."

So, if you're looking to make changes to your real estate portfolio or are looking to sell your current house, it may be a great time to list and benefit from the high demand for luxury homes today.

Bottom Line

If you own a luxury home and want to know how strong demand is in your area, let's connect so you can capitalize on current market conditions while buyer demand for upscale homes is so high.

June
8

What Are the Best Options for Today's First-Time Homebuyers?

What Are the Best Options for Today's First-Time Homebuyers? | MyKCM

If you're looking to buy your first home, you're likely balancing several factors. Because both mortgage rates and home prices have risen this year, it costs more to buy a home than it did even just a few months ago. But that doesn't mean you have to put your plans on hold.

If you partner with a trusted real estate advisor and hone your strategy, you can navigate today's market and find the home you're looking for. Here are two tips to help you get started.

Work with a Professional To Prioritize Your Wish List

If you're having trouble finding a home in your budget that checks all the boxes, it may be worth taking another look at your lists of what you want and what you really need. According to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report from NerdWallet, your wish list can have as much impact on your search as your finances:

"Your budget isn't all that you need to be concerned about; your wish list and desired location may carry just as much weight."

It's all about prioritization. If you're serious about purchasing your first home soon, be flexible in what you're looking for to open up your pool of options. Partner with a local real estate professional to better understand what's available in today's market and reprioritize your wish list. Remember, making a concession now doesn't mean you'll never have everything on your list. After you've moved in, you can always add certain features to make the home your own.

Increase Your Search Radius To Consider More Locations

Some areas may have more homes within your target price range than others, but it may require you to be flexible on your location. For example, if you're a remote worker, you may be able to expand your search radius. As Fannie Mae explains:

". . . continued remote work flexibility is likely giving many the ability to live farther away in more affordable areas."

The decision to search in places with a lower cost of living could help you find a home that fits your budget and checks the most boxes off your wish list.

Bottom Line

If you're serious about purchasing your first home this year, revisiting your wish list and desired location can help. Let's connect to explore all the options in our local market – and beyond – so you can achieve your homeownership dreams.

June
7

Sellers: How To Have A Stress-Free Move

If you've ever moved and had a stressful experience, or you've heard horror stories from your friends or family when they sold and moved houses, you may wonder if a stress-free move is even possible. The answer is: "You Bet!"

Buying a house is a huge deal. If you've just started house hunting or are already under contract, moving is the next giant step in this process. Moving can be stressful and chaotic. The good news is packing and moving can be relatively effortless with some planning and organization. Use these simple steps to get started:

  • Get Organized
    Having a plan is critical if you are going to make your move stress-free. Begin by making a list of everything you need to do and divide it into weeks. Allow yourself enough time to complete all the tasks.

  • Start Packing Well in Advance
    Time is not always our friend. If you can, start packing at least eight weeks ahead of time. (If you have more time — even better.)

  • Don't Move it All
    Instead of trying to figure out how you are going to do it all, first determine if you really even need it. Inventory all of your belongings and decide what to donate, sell or toss and what will actually be moved. Decluttering and simplifying your life can actually help lessen the load, and moving into a new home is a great time to do it.

  • Label Your Boxes
    While tossing everything into boxes and sorting it once you move seems like a great idea, organized packing will pay off in the long run. Label each box with detailed descriptions. Color-coding boxes by room make it easier when it comes time to unpack.

  • Make a Survival Kit
    Just like anyone going on a great journey, it's important to pack a survival kit. In it should be the basic necessities that you and your family will need at some point during the day, the things you just can't make it through a day without. In your kit should be things like:
    • Toiletries
    • Water
    • Snacks
    • Phone chargers

  • Get Familiar with Your New Digs
    Familiarize yourself with your new home and community before moving day. Spend some time driving around, determining where grocery stores, shopping areas, and restaurants are located. When moving day comes, you won't waste time searching for hardware stores or places to eat. Spending time in your new home can also help you better envision where your belongings should be placed.

  • Hire a Professional Mover
    Perhaps the most stressful part of packing and moving is the actual process. It's true that doing all the heavy lifting will save on your bottom line, but it's going to cost you in terms of a sore back and added stress. Letting a professional mover handle everything takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process for you and ensures that moving day will go as smoothly as possible.

No matter how you decide to de-stress your moving day, it's important you keep everything in perspective. Don't decide that all your boxes need to be unpacked in one day. Make sure you take time for yourself on moving day to relax and reflect on what you've accomplished.

June
6

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group is pleased to announce Realtor® Mosia Whitfield has joined their South Carolina sales team. 

Originally from St. Mary Parish, Jamaica, Mosia moved to the U.S. to expand her career opportunities after graduating with a degree in hospitality management. Upon relocating to the Southern U.S., she spent over 20 years working in the hospitality and food and beverage industry before transitioning to real estate. As a realtor®, Mosia acts as an advocate for clients, representing both buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions.

Mosia's past experience in the hospitality industry has given her an unmatched level of customer service, and the scarce talent of working quickly without missing a detail. She approaches each transaction with a positive attitude, intrinsic knowledge, and a passion to help her clients find their forever home. Having previously worked as a realtor® for Keller Williams Realty, Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties, and Coastal Real Estate Solutions, Mosia knows how to get the job done with speed and accuracy. 

June
6

History Proves Recession Doesn't Equal a Housing Crisis [INFOGRAPHIC]

History Proves Recession Doesn't Equal a Housing Crisis [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • It's important to understand history proves an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis.
  • In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated. Home prices only fell twice – minimally in the early 90s and then by nearly 20% during the housing crash in 2008.
  • If you have questions, let's connect to discuss why today's housing market is nothing like 2008.
June
3

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for the Housing Market?

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for the Housing Market? | MyKCM

If you're thinking of buying or selling a house, you're at an exciting decision point. And anytime you make a big decision like that, one thing you should always consider is timing. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here's what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

"The gap between this year's homes for sale and last year's is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue, . . . This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they've had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal."

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in your best offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you're also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, says:

"… ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even higher in the months to come."  

  • As a buyer, work with trusted real estate professionals, including your lender, so you can learn how rising mortgage rate environments impact your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you're ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you're planning to buy your next home, talk to a trusted real estate advisor to decide how to time your move.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Climb

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won't fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

"Prices throughout the country have surged for the better part of two years, including in the first quarter of 2022. . . Given the extremely low inventory, we're unlikely to see price declines, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it'll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, lean on a professional to strike the right balance of the best conditions possible for both selling your house and buying your next one.

Bottom Line

Whether you're a homebuyer or seller, you need to know what's happening in the housing market, so you can make the most informed decision possible. Let's connect to discuss your goals and what lies ahead, so you can pick your best time to make a move.

June
3

BEAUFORT, SC -- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group recently announced Annette Bryant has been awarded as a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' esteemed Chairman's Circle – Diamond Level Realtor for 2021 and, in addition, she was recognized in the Top 25 Networks Agents within the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' brand.

The Chairman's Circle-Diamond Level is awarded to the top one-half of one percent of the network's sales professionals based on gross commission income or closed units. Annette was the 24th highest network agent for residential units sold in 2021. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices global network is one of the world's fastest growing residential real estate brokerage franchise networks, with more than 50,000 real estate professionals and more than 1,500 offices throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Europe and the Middle East. Needless to say, this is an incredible honor. 

"This is such an unbelievable distinction. Annette works tirelessly to connect people with the places they love. She continues to produce at record levels in our competitive industry and unique market, and this award is a wonderful demonstration of her hard work. Annette is beyond deserving of this honor," said Ken Willis, Broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group.

As a former real estate developer and home builder she has a passion for working with New Homes and Land Developments and remodeling projects. She loves to assist her clients in practical decision making to make the most of their Lowcountry living experience. She works hand in hand with Forino Homes selling the new-build community lifestyle in Beaufort and Jasper Counties. 

Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Bay Street Realty Group is excited to congratulate Annette as an award-winning Realtor!

June
2

How Homeownership Impacts You

New Homeowners

June is National Homeownership Month, and it's the perfect time to reflect on how impactful owning a home can truly be. When you purchase a house, it becomes more than just a space you occupy. It's your stake in the community, an investment, and a place you can put your stamp on.

If you're thinking about buying a home this year, here are some of the benefits you'll experience when you do.

The Emotional Benefits of Homeownership

Because it's a place that's uniquely yours, owning a home can give you a sense of pride and happiness in several ways.

Your Home Can Reflect Your Tastes and Personality

Investopedia puts it like this:

"One often-cited benefit of homeownership is the knowledge that you own your little corner of the world."

That knowledge can lead to a powerful, emotional connection to the place where you live. But so can the realization that your home will grow with you. Because it's yours, you have the freedom to make updates to it as your needs and tastes change. As Logan Mohtashami, Lead Analyst for HousingWire, says:

"The psychology is that this is yours and you're going to make it as good as possible because you're in for a long time, . . . "

And that can create a greater sense of ownership, pride, and connection with your home and your community.

It Can Enhance Your Neighborhood and Civic Engagement

Homeownership can lead you to get even more involved with your local area. After all, you're putting your roots down in a location and will want to do what you can to help improve it, much like your home. In a recent report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

"Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates and [sic] obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in said community."

The Financial Benefits of Homeownership

When you choose to become a homeowner, you're making a financial decision as well. That's because your home is also an investment.

It Can Help You Feel Financially Stable

Homeownership is truly one of the best ways to improve your long-term financial position. Not only will you have a predictable monthly housing expense that can benefit your budget in the short term, but you'll also gain equity as your home appreciates in value and you make your monthly mortgage payment. As Freddie Mac says:

"Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability."

It Can Grow Your Wealth

Because of your growing equity, you can build your net worth as a homeowner. And when you compare the difference in net worth between a renter and a homeowner, it's clear that owning a home truly offers a great way to build your long-term financial position.

According to the latest data from NAR, the median household net worth of a homeowner is roughly $300,000, while the median net worth of renters is only about $8,000. That means a homeowner's net worth is nearly 40 times that of a renter.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is truly a way to find greater satisfaction and happiness and to build financial freedom. If National Homeownership Month has you dreaming about purchasing a home, then let's connect to begin the process today.

June
1

Business in the front, party in the back! That seems to be the motto for Savannah's newest one-stop shop for coffee, cocktails, breakfast and burritos. (Yes, you read that right.) 'Java Burrito' is now open at 420 E Broughton Street and is serving up all the above.

If you were to ask any Savannah local what they like best about the Hostess City, one of the most likely answers would be the ever growing "foodie" scene. Locals and tourists alike are constantly on the lookout for the next best place to gather over shared food and drinks.

While 'Java Burrito' is new to Savannah, they've been around for about a decade on Hilton Head Island. What began as a coffee shop that served tacos and burritos, quickly expanded into a go-to coffee spot, farm to fork favorite, reliable caterer, and happy hour haven. Thanks to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' Bay Street Realty Group's own Graham Sadler, 'Java Burrito' has found a new place to call home on our side of the Savannah River. However, the transition from long-time favorite mexican restaurant, 'Juarez', to 'Java Burrito' didn't come together overnight.

Java Burrito Company

"We were actually planning on breaking ground on a location in Bluffton, SC shortly before the COVID lockdown. When that happened, everything was put on pause," said Java Burrito owner, Frederika Fekete. "I have always loved Savannah, so when our Bluffton project was placed on a hiatus, we began poking around across the bridge." Fekete and her husband, Michael, identified downtown or the 'Starland' district as their target areas. Thus, the hunt for the perfect location began.

"When I called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' Bay Street Realty Group, I was directed to Graham. We spent about an hour on the phone talking about restaurants and COVID, the impact on the industry, and the buildings changing hands during this time," said Fekete. "I let him know that we were open to taking on a building downtown, if the opportunity presented itself."

Sadler searched high and low, sending them possible restaurant spaces both for sale and for lease. This included 420 E. Broughton, which was not on the market, but was owned by a client (Gaslight Group) who were making changes to their business operations as a result of COVID.

"About a month after our initial phone call, the 420 E. Broughton Street location arrived in my inbox. I looked at Michael and said…should we go check it out?! The rest is history!" Fekete exclaimed.

Negotiations on the Broughton Street space began in late 2020, and the building was put under contract in early 2021. After some protracted negotiations in which Sadler was able to assist, the sale was to include the restaurant space, some furniture, fixtures and equipment, and an upstairs residence/apartment.

Due to unforeseen complications during the inspection process, the project was placed on hold while engineers looked at load bearing walls and environmental testing was carried out. The costs of testing had to be negotiated between the parties, in which Sadler happily facilitated, and the closing was delayed until September of 2021. While the renovation proved to be more complicated than originally assessed, 'Java Burrito' finally opened its doors in April 2022.

"I enjoyed working with Michael & Frederika - they have good vision and attention to detail. I also enjoyed working with the Seller, who was able to open another 5-Spot location in Sandfly," says Sadler.

Inside Java Burrito Company

As they say, good things come to those who wait. The renovation of the space is beautiful. It's bright, modern, and welcoming to folks of all ages. 'Java Burrito' provides a fast, fresh, casual dining experience, coupled with a priority on customer service. Their philosophy promotes positive change within the sustainable farming initiative, supporting farms and individuals with like standards.

"Hands down, my favorite part about working with Graham is how available he is. If I ever had any questions/concerns he was always a quick text or email away. knowing he had a handle on the things I was inquiring about made my job a lot easier," said Fekete.

The Team at Java Burrito Company

"We are in our 5th week…so far it has been incredible! The neighborhood has been so nice, and the students and locals are so welcoming and friendly. We could not have asked for a better start," said Fekete.

With Summer well on its way, 'Java Burrito' is destined to become a favorite for locals and tourists alike seeking refuge from the heat. Whether you're craving a coffee, burrito, or even an espresso milkshake, 'Java Burrito' has you covered!

Bar at Java Burrito Company

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