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Why do we consider moving?

by Cindy DiCianni

The obvious reasons for moving for many folks is job transfers!  But what is really surprising, that many are looking for better weather!! WOW! Now isn't that interesting! So are Kansas City homeowners committed to living in Kansas City because we love our weather, our baseball team (KC Royals - World Series Winners 2015), professional sports or the quality of life?  I bet the answer you get is:  ALL of the above - well maybe 3 out of 4!  LOL  (snow days - ugg!)

Seriously considering selling?  Click for a Free Home Value Report!

 

Why Do Americans Consider Moving? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Is it Time to Downsize Your Home?

by Cindy DiCianni

Is it Time to Downsize your Home?

 

A recent study by Edelman Berland revealed that of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future 33% plan to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why that would make sense to many Americans.

There are many advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs.  Dave Ramsey 

1.     A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep!

2.     Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.

3.     Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

We suggest you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”   Many homeowners are taking the profit from the sale of their current home and splitting it to put down payments on a smaller home in their current location and a vacation/retirement home where they plan to live when they retire. This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values. This makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

 

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”   A recent study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actually, 69% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build a life you have always dreamt about.

 

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let us know - we're happy to help guide you through the process!   So if you have been contemplating downsizing, buying a townhouse or patio home or selling your Johnson County home, let us know!  We can offer you a variety of information that will help educate you on our market conditions for buying and selling your Johnson County Home so that you can make the best decision! 

 


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Getting Ready for College...

by Cindy DiCianni

Get Ready for College...

 

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One of the important things as a parent is to plan for their children’s education. Let’s look at two different approaches: a savings account or investing in rental real estate. 

 

Assuming your child is five years old and you start putting $250 a month in a savings account earning 2%, in 13 years you’d have $44,497.41 to pay for their college. Anticipating that isn’t going to be enough, you’d have to save $500 a month to end up with $88,995.

Another way would be to make a lump sum contribution of $20,000 today in a mutual fund earning 5% that would be worth $37,713 in 13 years. You’d have to make a $47,196 initial contribution to end up with the same $88,995.

An alternative to savings would be to invest in a $100,000 home in a good area. Assuming a three percent appreciation and rent of $1,000 a month, an initial investment of $23,500 could have a future wealth position of $83,838 at the end of 13 years.

Obviously, this is just an example of why rental homes are the Great investment providing Income, Depreciation, Equity build-up, Appreciation and Leverage. While rentals certainly have more risk and management than a savings account, they do provide an opportunity for a higher rate of return. 

I have several clients who are doing the investment properties approach.  They are using it as a way for the children to help with the investments.  Having them get involved in the process between tenants. Learning about the responsiblity and using it as a part time job - for saving for college and more!  It's a unique approach for college savings!! 

If you’re concerned about paying for college tuition in the future, it is certainly worth investigating the possibility of investing in rental homes today.

 

Homes for sale new on market in the last 7 days. 

Foreclosure/REO Homes for sale

It's easy to save one of the above searches so that you can get regular update or create a home search with your own criteria!  The Cindy D Team is always willing to help and will always respect your privacy!  We're here to help educate you so that you can make a good decision!  Contact us with any of your real estate questions about homes in the Johnson County area!  We also can help you put together a strategy or discuss the pro's and con's of investment properties!  Call us today!

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Wait a Year to Purchase Your Next Home in Johnson County?

by Cindy DiCianni

Wait a Year...Will it Matter When

Purchasing Your Next Home

 

There is a frequently quoted expression “more money has been lost from indecision than was ever lost from making a bad decision.” Regardless of the extent of its accuracy, most people can recall when procrastination has cost them money.

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Here in Johnson County KS there is short of inventory that buyers have become frustrated after losing bids for several homes and have decided to wait until more homes come on the market. In the meantime, the shortage of homes is driving the prices up more by the month.

There are buyers who can’t find what they want for the price they want to pay and think that waiting will somehow change things. In some cases, what they want just keeps moving farther and farther away from them.  It doesn't seem like the inventories amounts are really making any big increases! 

The other dynamic in play is, of course, the mortgage rates. While they’ve remained low for several years, most experts agree that they’re going to rise; it’s just a matter of when. If you look at what positive increases in both of these would do, it becomes apparent that waiting will matter.

A $250,000 home purchased today on a FHA loan at 4% for 30 years will have a principal and interest payment of $1,151.76. If a buyer were to wait a year and the price increased 5% and the rate went up by 1%, the payment would increase by over $200 a month. In a seven year period, the increased payment alone would cost the buyer over $17,000.

Use the Cost of Waiting to Buy calculator to see how much it will matter based on the home you want to buy and what you think the prices and rates will do in the next year.  

 

Whether you are looking for a more traditional, something unique, your first home, home on acreage for a home for sale in Johnson County, we have plenty of them in all price ranges!  Whether you are looking for your first home, your move up home or down sizing.  You can search and view homes by cities, by specific price ranges, by homes listed within the last 7 days, you can search and view homes with acreage and dozens of other customized searches. The sky is the limit to the type of search for your criteria!

Here are a few of example links:

It's easy to save one of the above searches so that you can get regular update or create a home search with your own criteria!  The Cindy D Team is always willing to help and will always respect your privacy!  We're here to help educate you so that you can make a good decision!  Contact us with any of your real estate questions about homes in the Johnson County area!

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What's Stopping You From Owning Your Own Johnson County Home??

by Cindy DiCianni

What's Stopping You?  

The majority of tenants say they’d like to own a home but continue to pay rent and missing out on financial and emotional advantages. There seems to still be a lot of misinformation in the marketplace.  Many don't know where to start! 

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There are a number of programs for low or no down payment options. Veterans can get into a home with no down payment or closing costs. In qualifying areas, USDA has zero down payment programs. FHA requires 3.5% down payment and there are conventional programs for as little as 3% and 5% down.

People with credit issues need expert opinions about their specific situation. Borrowers with bankruptcies or foreclosures may be eligible to purchase again after certain periods of time. There are short-term fixes for some types of credit problems. There is an extended list of individual issues that a skilled mortgage professional may be able to overcome.

Most tenants realize considerably lower cost of housing by owning once the appreciation, amortization and tax savings are considered. The savings in the first year alone could easily be more than the down payment required.

Plug in your own numbers in a Rent vs. Own to see what your real cost of housing may be. Contact us for a recommendation of a mortgage professional who can give you accurate information about your situation.

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Whether you are looking for a more traditional, something unique, your first home, home on acreage for a home for sale in Johnson County, we have plenty of them in all price ranges!  Whether you are looking for your first home, your move up home or down sizing.  You can search and view homes by cities, by specific price ranges, by homes listed within the last 7 days, you can search and view homes with acreage and dozens of other customized searches. The sky is the limit to the type of search for your criteria!

Here are a few of example links:

It's easy to save one of the above searches so that you can get regular update or create a home search with your own criteria!  The Cindy D Team is always willing to help and will always respect your privacy!  We're here to help educate you so that you can make a good decision!  Contact us with any of your real estate questions about homes in the Johnson County area!

Overland Park Kansas and Cindy DiCianni on Facebook    Cindy DiCianni on Twitter    Cindy DiCianni on LinkedIn    Overland Park Homes and Cindy DiCianni on YouTube    Cindy DiCianni Google Plus

Homeownership - What are the costs

by Cindy DiCianni

Three M's of Homeownership

Among the many reasons people have to own home, they include having a place of their own, to raise a family and to share with friends. Additional benefits include security, investment, peace, pride and enjoyment.

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Together with the benefits come the responsibility to take care of the home for its livability and viability as a sound decision. A homeowner’s concerns can be broken down into three areas.

  • Maintenance

The maintenance on the property is something that every homeowner deals with. Changing filters are easy to handle yourself. Other things might like repairing wood rot, updating a kitchen, or doing annual service checks,  require a skilled professional but identifying the “right” one can be challenging.

  • Minimizing expenses

Minimizing expenses can reduce the cost of living in the home. It’s good to recognize when a repair is appropriate compared to a replacement. Reputable and reasonable service providers are key to keeping expense low.

  • Managing debt

Managing debt and risk becomes the financial side of the effort. Taking advantage of low interest rates or shorter terms for refinancing, making additional principal contributions are just a few ways to manage debt. Home warranty programs and homeowner insurance tips can reduce risk.a 

We sincerely want to be a resource for you not only when you buy or sell but all of the years in between.  We have a quick checklist of some of the routine maintenance items. Let us know if you would like a copy.  Feel free to call or send us an email to explore your options and home value!  We're here to help you! 

 

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Mortgage Insurance - Can I Eliminate it?

by Cindy DiCianni

Mortgage Insurance - Can I Eliminate it?

Why would you consider refinancing if your mortgage is only two or three years old and the rate is not considerably higher than what is currently available on new loans? Because you may be able to eliminate the mortgage insurance and have significant monthly savings.

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Many Johnson County homes have seen their values rise in the past few years. The current loan-to-value ratio may be low enough to no longer require mortgage insurance. In some cases, a homeowner might actually pay a little higher rate than they currently have but lower their monthly payment dramatically because the mortgage insurance isn’t required.

A rough rule of thumb is that mortgage insurance is not needed on loans at or less than 80% of value. There could be programs available that would allow a higher LTV than 80%.

Careful consideration should also be given to the fees required to refinance. Lenders differ in not only the rates they charge but also the fees associated with the loans and the process. If you’d like a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional, we’d be happy to make a recommendation.  Feel free to call or send us an email to explore your options and home value!  We're here to help you! 

 

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Downsizing - Home Now to Large in Johnson County

by Cindy DiCianni

Home Too Big? Considering Downsizing?

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Are you an Empty Nester in Johnson County? Once the kids are grown, have careers, relationships and get a place of their own,  many tiems parents find that they may not need their “big” home like they did before. Their lifestyle may have changed and the house just doesn’t “fit” anymore.

Benefits of a smaller home:

  • Easier to maintain 
  • Lower utilities
  • Potentially lower property taxes 
  • Potentially lower insurance
  • More convenient location
  • Convenience of a ranch or reverse 1 1/2 story floorplan
  • Possibly newer
  • Possibly more energy efficient
  • Possibly lower maintenance or a maintenance provided

Moving from a larger Johnson County home frees equity, time and stuff from our lives!  The funds from the previous home that can be invested for retirement income, purchase a second home, travel, education or just to have a  larger nest egg.  The profit on the home, in most cases,  currently will be tax-free up to the exclusion limits set by IRS.

There will be expenses involved in selling a home as well as the purchase of a new home.  These will lower the amount of net proceeds available to invest in the new home.

Like any other big change in life, it is recommended that you take your time to consider the possible alternatives and outcomes.  We can provide information that can be valuable in the discernment process such as what your home is worth, what you will net from a sale as well as alternative properties for your next stage in life. 

So if you have been contemplating downsizing, buying a townhouse or patio home or selling your Johnson County home, let us know!  We can offer you a variety of information that will help educate you on our market conditions so that you can make the best decision! 

 

 

 

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Selecting a Lender who will help you

by Cindy DiCianni

Selecting a Lender

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Finding a mortgage lender is not a problem. Selecting someone who will help you find the best loan product for your situation even if it means sending you to another lender is paramount. 

There is a huge advantage to be able to sit across the table from someone you’re doing business with and look them straight in the eye. It’s difficult to make an informed decision based on a website and a phone call.  Find a lender that will discuss all the details and give you the pro's and con's to each of the loan programs.  There are an abundant different programs available. But that does't mean it's right for you!  Make sure you have a lender that you can talk with, feel comfortable with them, know that they are truly working to help you!  

Doing business with a full-time professional who specializes in residential loans like you’re trying to get is important. You want the loan officer to be familiar with local conditions, values and practices.

It’s to your benefit to have a loan officer who has the experience to put the unusual transaction together even if yours is not. You want them to be a problem solver not an order taker. 

Here are a few questions that will be helpful in selecting the right loan officer.

  1. What percentage of your business are FHA & VA compared to conventional mortgages and how long have you been doing them?
  2. What percentage of your loans close on time according to the sales contracts?
  3. How will my credit score affect my interest rate?
  4. Will you help me select the best loan product for me regardless of your commission?
  5. Are there prepayment penalties on any of the loans we’re considering?
  6. Are there any restrictions on refinancing any of the loans we’re considering?
  7. If there is PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) approximately when will it drop off?
  8. When is my loan rate locked-in? Is there a charge for that?
  9. Is your loan underwriting in-house?

A real estate professional can be your best source of information and can recommend a trusted lender. If you have any questions as to what kind of answers you should expect, please give me a call or email me 

Whether you are looking for a more traditional, something unique, home on the golf course, home on acreage for a home for sale in Johnson County, we have plenty of them in all price ranges!  Whether you are looking for your first home, your move up home or down sizing.  You can search and view homes by cities, by specific price ranges, by homes listed within the last 7 days, you can search and view homes with acreage and dozens of other customized searches. The sky is the limit to the type of search for your criteria!

Here are a few of example links:

It's easy to save one of the above searches so that you can get regular update or create a home search with your own criteria!  The Cindy D Team is always willing to help and will always respect your privacy!  Contact us when you're ready to buy or sell a home in the Johnson County area!

Overland Park Kansas and Cindy DiCianni on Facebook    Cindy DiCianni on Twitter    Cindy DiCianni on LinkedIn    Overland Park Homes and Cindy DiCianni on YouTube    Cindy DiCianni Google Plus

 

Automated Home Values - Are they Accurate

by Cindy DiCianni

You Home Value Fast and Easy - But is it Accurate?

 

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Today - there are sites all over the web that offer to tell you what your home is worth.  Simply plug in your address and email and you’ll get a value.  It’s fast; it’s easy but is it accurate?

The value is determined by what is called an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) that analyzes public record data, tax records with computer decision logic.  Square footage, age, number of bedrooms and location are easily definable objective data.  The challenge is identifying, measuring and comparing the subjective data to each home!  

An AVM cannot identify how unique features might add or detract from the value, if the market is declining or why the comparable sales apply or don’t apply to the subject property.  Is a home worth more because it is near shopping or less because it is across the street from a high-traffic commercially zoned property?

That is why it is important to contact an experienced real estate agent which is more likely to make proper adjustments for condition, market appeal and positive, negative influences. Plus the experienced real estate agent will know the market conditions - to help advise you! 

Imagine that you’re going out for dinner and you consult HamburgerAVM.com to tell you how much a hamburger is worth.  It might be accurate based on condiments, vegetables and weight but can it address things like taste, quality, cleanliness, service, convenience or atmosphere.  You certainly couldn’t present the printout to the waiter to negotiate a lower price.

An AVM can be a tool that a homeowner, prospective buyer, mortgage officer, appraiser or real estate agent can use to get a quick idea of price but there are inherent limitations that can only be considered by personal examination balanced with experience in the market place.

Experience and understanding of the subject property and the marketplace are critical to having confidence that a value is accurate.  Any person could go through the same steps to arrive at a value but an experienced, well-trained professional is far more likely to assess all of the variables more accurately.

So if you have been contemplating buying a home or selling your Johnson County home, let us know!  We can offer you a variety of information that will help educate you on our market conditions so that you can make the best decision! 

 

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Contact Information

Photo of The Cindy D Team Real Estate
The Cindy D Team
RE/MAX State Line
11251 Nall Ave
Leawood KS 66211
913-312-3614
913-256-5006
Fax: 913-652-5614