How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment?

How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment? | MyKCM

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long would it take you to save for a down payment in each state?

Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent renting a 2-bedroom apartment in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Iowa can save for a down payment the quickest in just under 2 years (1.99). Below is a map created using the data for each state:

How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment? | MyKCM

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3% down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in a year or two in many states as shown in the map below.

How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment? | MyKCM


Posted on April 26, 2017 at 9:25 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Buying, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shred your sensitive documents for FREE

Free Shredding Event! May 6th, 2017

Let’s cherish our Planet by recycling more! Bring all your sensitive documents to our FREE shredding event on May 6th, 2017.

Don’t become a target for Identity Theft!

We at Windermere Bellevue Commons are happy to provide this opportunity for you to protect your identity and safely dispose of personal and confidential documents.

What you can bring:

  • All kinds of paper
  • File Folders
  • Hanging Folders
  • Notepads
  • Envelopes

– No need to remove staples, paper clips, fasteners or rubber bands.

– Limit of 2 brown bags or 2 banker boxes per person.

Address: Windermere Bellevue Commons
100 116th Ave SE/Bellevue 98004


Posted on April 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

Careful…Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap! | Keeping Current Matters

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is being able to protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that,

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”

In the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University’s 2016 State of the Nation’s Housing Report, they revealed that The number of cost-burdened households rose to 21.3 million. Even more troubling, the number with severe burdens (paying more than 50% of income for housing) jumped to a record 11.4 million. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,

“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.” “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reported that analysts at Nomura believe:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!


Posted on April 12, 2017 at 9:44 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Buying, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

King & Snohomish County Market Stats – March 2017

What’s Happening in the Market

  • Closed median price at an all-time high of $736,500, up 20% from a year ago.

 

  • Price appreciation is being driven by low supply and high demand.  Eastside month’s supply of inventory is less than three weeks (0.7 months), the lowest ever.

 

  • 737 active listings as of 3/31/17.  Down 21% from last year and 42% from the year before.

 

  • Scarcity has buyers paying above list price on 61% of the sales that closed in March.

 

  • What was the cost of waiting on year (March 2016 vs March 2017) to buy?  $120,400 more in median price. Interest rates up .51%.  $769 a month more for the same home.


Posted on April 12, 2017 at 9:18 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buying a Home this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars

Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars | MyKCM

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on buyer activity. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way, but the challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has lead to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent Bloomberg article touched on the current market conditions:

“It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in big numbers:

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in [interest] rates is over. If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

In some markets, “thirty-five percent of properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.” Homes are selling at a rapid clip in places like:

  • Denver, CO
  • Seattle, WA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Boise, ID
  • Madison, WI
  • Omaha, NE
Source: keepingcurrentmatters.com


Posted on April 5, 2017 at 8:38 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Buying, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Skagit County Tulip Festival 2017

What to Expect

There are two display gardens with more than a million bulbs in every color imaginable! Stroll through the gardens to find your favorite picture spot.

You can order bulbs, buy cut flowers and purchase gifts. The display gardens (RoozenGararde and Tulip Town) offer completely different experiences. Make sure to take in an event or activity.
Note: Drones are not allowed in the gardens or fields. Visit tulipfestival.org to see what’s scheduled during the festival and to download the official brochure.

Best Time to Visit

Tulips are expected to show early color in the first week of April and reach peak bloom in mid-April. Of course this could change depending on weather conditions. The two display gardens have several different varieties planted that will bloom throughout the season. The least crowded times are weekdays or on weekends during early morning (right at opening time) or late afternoon. The gardens are open daily in the month of April from 9am-7pm.

Getting There

The gardens are 60 miles north of Seattle. Use exits 221-231 off I-5. All of these exits have tulip brochures at nearby businesses. The festival is designed as a driving tour. Walking or biking is an option, but keep in mind that events and activities are miles apart

Admission is $7 per person at RoozenGaarde ($6 military with I.D.) and $7 per person at Tulip Town. Children 5 and under are FREE. Parking is FREE. Pets are not permitted.

 


Posted on March 29, 2017 at 4:40 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , ,

Here’s Your Spring Maintenance Checklist

Now that spring has sprung, let’s clear the cobwebs and get your home ready! Here is our quick guide to spring home maintenance:

 

Inspection top to bottom: Now that the weather is temperate you will want to check on how your home weathered the winter. Check the roof for leaks, the gutters for damage, and the siding for cracks. You will also want to inspect your basement or foundation for any shifts. Make repairs now to prevent further damage.

 

Clean out the gutters: April showers bring May flowers… so clear out the gutters to keep rain from pooling on your roof or near your foundation.

 

Pest control: Spring is mating season for eight legged critters, so sweep out cobwebs, clear debris, and check the nooks and crannies. If you live in an area prone to dangerous species like brown recluse or black widows, you may want to contact your local pest control, but otherwise household spiders do help eliminate other bugs. Check your basement and attic for signs of other infestations.

 

HVAC system: If you have an air conditioner now is the time to check to make sure it is ready before summer gets here and everyone else is clamoring for maintenance. Now is a good time to check your home air filters and replace or upgrade to keep allergens at bay.

 

Clear the clutter: Do a sweep around the house and get rid of junk that you don’t use! Take a little time each week to tackle a room. Closets, playrooms, and basements can be especially daunting, but getting rid of old stuff and refreshing your space will go a long way!

 

Deep clean: On a nice day open the windows, dust, wipe, scrub, and clean. You will get a nice work out and your home will look and feel so fresh after a winter of being cooped up.

 

Update your decor: Add a splash of color to your home with small embellishments. Add a colorful vase, a lighter throw for your sofa, pretty pastel pillows, or spring-time candles, to upgrade your living space.

 

Take it outdoors: Let your throw rugs, curtains, and other tapestries air out outside. Shake off the dust, spot clean what you can and let everything bask in the sun for an afternoon.

 

Don’t forget the back yard: It may not be time to start up the grill, yet, but you can get started on your outdoor entertaining checklist. Check your lawn, and if you have some spare spots start filling in with seed. Check your outdoor plants, prune, plant bulbs, start to replenish soil for your garden, and mow, so you are ready to start when the season allows.

Speaking of the grill – if you have a gas grill you will want to pull this out and perform a maintenance check. Clean everything up and check to make sure all the gas lines are clear, as these can get clogged after sitting idle all winter. Make sure the grill is clear of spiders too, as they can build webs in the tubes, causing damage to your grill. You can start to bring out your garden furniture too, or clean it up if you left it covered outside all winter. Because before you know it, it’ll be barbeque season!

Source: keepingcurrentmatters.com

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 8:22 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Home Sweet Home, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are You 1 of the 59 Million Planning to Buy a Home This Year?

59 Million Americans Are Planning to Buy This Year.

Are You 1 of the 59 Million Planning to Buy This Year? | MyKCM

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, one in four Americans are considering buying a home this year. If this statistic proves to be true, that means that 59 million people will be looking to enter the housing market in 2017.

The survey also revealed 3 key takeaways:

  1. Those most likely to buy are ‘Older Millennials’ (ages 27-36) or ‘Generation X’ (ages 37-52)
  2. Minorities, particularly African-Americans, were twice as likely to respond that they were considering purchasing a home this year than white respondents.
  3. Many potential buyers believe they need to put 20% down and need to have perfect credit to own and are unaware of programs that would allow them to buy now.

Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst for Bankrate.com, pointed to one big reason why many Americans are starting to consider homeownership:

“Having kids and raising a family is a primary reason why Americans take the leap into homeownership—many consider it a key component of the American dream.”


Posted on March 15, 2017 at 10:16 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

King & Snohomish County Market Stats – February 2017

What’s Happening in the Market

Home sales continue to be slightly above last year’s totals in the areas tracked in this report.  We are continuing to see double digit price increases spread out from the core of Bellevue and Seattle due to the somewhat exorbitant prices now demanded from the metro area Sellers.

Low Inventory

Inventory hit an all-time low in February which at last count was 3 weeks of inventory if nothing new came on the market.  (That’s weeks, not months!) We do expect to see an increase in listings in March and April, but Sellers are still wary of putting their home on the market with nowhere to go. Buyers and Buyers agents are having to be creative with their offers as we are seeing at least 50% of the sales occurring are done in multiple offer situations. We don’t expect this to change anytime soon!


Posted on March 9, 2017 at 10:39 am
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Market Stats, Windermere Bellevue Commons News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fun Facts About Our Presidents

Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government.

Here are some facts about two of our presidents:

16. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

• Among his favorite foods were bacon, apples and oysters.
• He was a wrestler when he was younger.
• Lincoln had a serious girlfriend named Mary. They broke up, and he later married a different woman named Mary.
• Lincoln’s desk was disorganized, but he had a stack of papers that was labeled, “When you can’t find it anywhere else, look into this.”
• Lincoln had two cats, Tabby and Dixie. His wife chastised him when he fed them from the dinner table.

1. GEORGE WASHINGTON

• He Didn’t have a middle name.
• That is his real hair. It looks white because he powdered it.
• He was made an honorary citizen of France in 1792.
• He was one of the sickest presidents in U.S. history. He suffered from: diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, dysentery, malaria, quinsy (tonsillitis), carbuncle, pneumonia, and epiglottitis—to name a few.
• He is known as the “Father of the American Foxhound,” and kept more than 30 of the dogs. According to his journals, three were named Drunkard, Tipler, and Tipsy.


Posted on February 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm
Bellevue Commons | Posted in Windermere Bellevue Commons News |