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Is Housing Still Affordable?

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today | MyKCM

You can’t read an article about residential real estate without the author mentioning the affordability challenges that today’s buyers face. There’s no doubt homes are less affordable today than they were over the last two years, but that doesn’t mean homes are now unaffordable.

There are three measures used to establish home affordability: home prices, mortgage rates, and wages. Let’s look closely at each of these components.

1. Home Prices

The most recent Home Price Insights report by CoreLogic shows home values have increased by 19.1% from last January to this January. That was one reason affordability declined over the past year.

2. Mortgage Rates

While the current global uncertainty makes it difficult to project mortgage rates, we do know current rates are almost one full percentage point higher than they were last year. According to Freddie Mac, the average monthly rate for last February was 2.81%. This February it was 3.76%. That increase in the mortgage rate also contributes to homes being less affordable than they were last year.

3. Wages

The one big, positive component in the affordability equation is an increase in American wages. In a recent article by RealtyTrac, Peter Miller addresses that point:

“Prices are up, but what about wages? ADP reports that job holder incomes increased 5.9% last year but rose 8.0% for those who switched employers. In effect, some of the higher cost to buy a home has been offset by more cash income.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also recently released information that looks at income and affordability. The NAR data provides a comparison of the current median family income versus the qualifying income for a median-priced home in each region of the country. Here’s a graph of their findings:

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today | MyKCM

As the graph shows, the median family income (shown in blue on the graph) is greater than the qualifying income needed to buy a median-priced home (shown in green on the graph) in all four regions of the country. While those figures may vary in certain locations within each region, it’s important to note that, in most of the country, homes are still affordable.

So, when you think about affordability, remember that the picture includes more than just home prices and mortgage rates. When prices rise and rates rise, it does impact affordability, and experts project both of those things will climb in the months ahead. That’s why it’s less affordable to buy a home than it was over the past two years when prices and rates were lower than they are today. But wages need to be factored into affordability as well. Because wages have been rising, they’re a big reason that, while less affordable, homes are not unaffordable today.

Bottom Line

To find out more about affordability in our local area, let’s discuss where home prices are locally, what’s happening with mortgage rates, and get you in contact with a lender so you can make an informed financial decision. Remember, while less affordable, homes are not unaffordable, which still gives you an opportunity to buy today.

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Own Home

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home | MyKCM

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful and compelling ones.

No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, that feeling of safety and security you gain from owning your own home is simultaneously one of the greatest and most difficult to describe.

Frederick Peters, a contributor for Forbesrecently wrote about that feeling, and the pride that comes from owning your own home.

“As homeowners discover, living in an owned home feels different from living in a rented home. It’s not just that an owner can personalize the space; it touches a chord even more fundamental than that.

Homeownership enhances the longing for self-determination at the heart of the American Dream. First-time homeowners, young or old, radiate not only pride but also a sense of arrival, a sense of being where they belong. It cannot be duplicated by owning a 99-year lease.”

Bottom Line

Owning a home brings a sense of accomplishment and confidence that cannot be achieved through renting. If you are debating renewing your lease, let’s get together before you do to answer any questions you may have about what your next steps should be, and what is required in today’s market!

welcome ms gulf coast

Why would anyone really want to live on the MS Gulf Coast?

 

Have you ever asked or heard someone else ask “Why would anyone really want to live on the MS Gulf Coast?” I have heard some ask this question and it got me thinking of all the reasons why; but the answer became very clear after staying home (or close to home) on the MS Gulf Coast, during my kids’ spring break! Let me tell you all the great things we did to fill our spring break, and the best part… all of them were either on the MS Gulf Coast or less than 2 hours away from it; and this is just a small portion of what the MS Gulf Coast has to offer.

 

  1. WE STAYED HOME: We started out our spring break right here at home, in GuEli at the poollfport, with lunch at Captain Al’s Steak and Shrimp. We were able to fish in the lake right in our own backyard. We had crawfish and fellowship on our neighbors back porch, overlooking the lake. We swam in the neighborhood pool, played on the playground and walked on some nature trails. My boys got a hair cut, @ Southern Gents for Easter and even got Snow Boogers (If you haven’t had Snow Boogers yet, you must put it on your to do list!) since they were set up for Southern Gents grand opening. This was all on Friday and Saturday before Easter!
  2. CHURCH AND OAK CREST MANSION : For Easter we celebrated the resuoak crest bunny (2)rrection of Christ at Campground Baptist Church, one of the many wonderful churches all along our coast. After enjoying the morning, we changed our traditional Easter family lunch gathering at home and decided to go enjoy the delicious and beautiful brunch offered by Oak Crest Mansion. It was amazing and the grounds are beautiful. This is operated as a bed and breakfast as well, and they often hosts other events such as weddings, murder mystery dinners, tea parties and more.
  3. GULF SHORES, AL: Our home is just under 2 hours to our destination in Gulf Shores, AL. (Side note: we are also only approx. an hour away from New Orleans and Hattkaleigh on beachiesburg, and about 45 minutes from Mobile and Slidell). It was a fun 3 day get away, without a long drive. We were able to hang out on the beach, and spend hours at Lulu’s on the same day that we drove back home. We enjoyed paddle boarding, fishing, splashing in the waves and great food at places like The Hangout.
  4. EXPLORE THE MS GULF COAST: We were exhausted when we got home, but we still had a couple days left of spring break! We slept late the next day and then went fishing, swimming Noah fishing (2)and playing right here in our neighborhood… again! The next day was Saturday, so one of the boys had a basketball game. They play sports in the awesome Upward Sports League. The basketball game was great, and when we left, we headed to the always fabulous Pass Christian Art Festival! We have done this for, I believe, the last 4 or 5 years now. I would go into detail, but that deserves a blog post all of its own! It’s great. The event hosts so many local artists and some that travel from other states. Saturday, you have access to Celebrate the Gulf Marine Educational Festival, that is held concurrently with the art festival. It offers so many displays, activities and demonstrations where the kids learn and explore all kinds of great things about our Gulf, rivers and more! After leaving the festival, we went to check out this cool little hiking trail. A friendly woman that was working the Department of Marine Resources booth at the Marine Educational Festival told us about it. It’s part of the Coastal Preserves program. As soon as she mentioned that we could make it to the Wolf River, so my son had to do it!                                                                                                                    And of course…. no spring break (or weekend, party) is complete without a visit from the  nostalgic Little Blue Truck and Mrs. Charlie! The Little Blue Truck does appearances for parties, click the picture for more info!

charlie and boys

It was a fun-filled and busy week and this was just a VERY small sampling of what the MS Gulf Coast has to offer if you decide to call it home! We’re proud to raise our kids here and would love to help you find a place to raise yours; or just enjoy retirement. We got to do so many things and didn’t have to be stuck in the car for a long drive. I’ve lived here 34+ years, been a Realtor here for almost 10, but still discover new things all the time. That’s what is so great about the MS Gulf Coast. There is always something to do or something to discover! You are a short drive to so many places: New Orleans, Slidell, Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola and so many more. Couple that with the low prices on homes in MS, and my question is why not consider the MS Gulf Coast for your NextHome!

ryder and noah (2)If you are considering moving to the #MSGulfCoast, download our Free Home Search App and start the search for your NextHome!