What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about the Appraisal Gap

It’s economy 101 – when supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally rise. That is the simple principle that accounts for today’s housing market. Home prices are appreciating at near-historic rates, and that’s creating some challenges when it comes to home appraisals.

In recent months, it’s become increasingly common for an appraisal to come in below the contract price on the house. Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser for CoreLogic, explains it like this:

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

Recently, we observed buyers paying prices above listing price and higher than the market data available to appraisers can support. This difference is known as ‘the appraisal gap . . . ’”

Why does an appraisal gap happen?

Basically, with the heightened buyer demand, purchasers are often willing to pay over asking to secure the home of their dreams. If you’ve ever toured a house you’ve fallen in love with, you understand. Once you start to picture yourself and your furniture in the rooms, you want to do everything you can to land the property, including putting in a high offer to try to beat out other would-be buyers.

When the appraiser comes in, they look at things a bit more objectively. Their job is to assess the inherent value of the home, so they’re going to study the facts. Dustin Harris, Appraiser Coach, drives this point home:

It’s important for everyone to understand that the appraiser’s job in the end is to remain that unbiased third party, to truly tell the client what that home is worth in the current market, regardless of what decisions have been made on the price side of things.”

In simple terms, while homebuyers may be willing to pay more, appraisers are there to assess the market value of the home. Their goal is to make sure the lender isn’t loaning more money than the home is worth. It’s objective, rather than emotional.

In a highly competitive market like today’s, having a discrepancy between the two numbers isn’t unusual. Here’s a look at the increasing rate of appraisal gaps, according to data from  CoreLogic (see graph below):

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

What does this mean for you?

Ultimately, knowledge is power. The best thing you can do is understand appraisal gaps may impact your transaction if you’re buying or selling. If you do encounter an appraisal below your contract price, know that in today’s sellers’ market, the most common approach is for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference in price. Buyers, be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

Above all else, lean on your real estate agent. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your trusted advisor is your ally if you come up against an appraisal gap. We’ll help you understand your options and handle any additional negotiations that need to happen.

Bottom Line

In today’s real estate market, it’s important to stay informed on the latest trends. Let’s connect so you have an ally to help you navigate an appraisal gap to get the best possible outcome.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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How Upset Should you be about 3% Mortgage Rates?

Last Thursday, Freddie Mac announced that their 30-year fixed mortgage rate was over 3% (3.02%) for the first time since last July. That news dominated real estate headlines that day and the next. Articles talked about the “negative impact” it may have on the housing market. However, we should realize two things:

1. The bump-up in rate should not have surprised anyone. Many had already projected that rates would rise slightly as we proceeded through the year.

2. Freddie Mac’s comments about the rate increase were not alarming:

“The rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”

A “muted” rise in rates will not sink the real estate market, and most experts agree that it will be a strong spring sales season.”

What does this mean for you?

How Upset Should You Be about 3% Mortgage Rates? | MyKCM

Obviously, any buyer would rather mortgage rates not rise at all, as any upward movement increases their monthly mortgage payment. However, let’s put a 3.02% rate into perspective. Here are the Freddie Mac annual mortgage rates for the last five years:

  • 2016: 3.65%
  • 2017: 3.99%
  • 2018: 4.54%
  • 2019: 3.94%
  • 2020: 3.11%

Though 3.02% is not as great as the sub-3% rates we saw over the previous seven weeks, it’s still very close to the all-time low (2.66% in December 2020).

And, if we expand our look at mortgage rates to consider the last 50 years, we can see that today’s rate is truly outstanding. Here are the rates over the last five decades:

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.7%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 2010s: 4.09%

Being upset that you missed the “best mortgage rate ever” is understandable. However, buying now still makes more sense than waiting, especially if rates continue to bump up this year.

Bottom Line

It’s true that you may not get the same rate you would have five weeks ago. However, you will get a better rate than what was possible at almost any other point in history. Let’s connect today so we can plan your home search and allow you to lock in a great rate while they remain this low.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today?

Whether you’re buying your first home or selling your current house, if your needs are changing and you think it could be time for a move, the decision can definitely feel complicated (and overwhelming).. You need to take personal and professional considerations into account, and only you can judge what impact those factors should have on your desire to move.

However, there’s one category that does provide a simple answer. When deciding to buy now or wait until next year, the financial aspect of the purchase is easy to evaluate. You just need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do I think home values will be higher a year from now?
  2. Do I think mortgage rates will be higher a year from now?
How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today? | MyKCM

From a purely financial standpoint, if the answer is ‘yes’ to either question, you should strongly consider buying now. If the answer to both questions is ‘yes,’ you should definitely buy now.

Nobody can guarantee what home values or mortgage rates will be by the end of this year. The experts, however, seem certain the answer to both questions above is a resounding ‘yes.’ Mortgage rates are expected to rise and home values are expected to appreciate rather nicely.

What does this mean to you?

Let’s look at how waiting would impact your financial situation. Here are the assumptions made for this example:

  • The experts are right – mortgage rates will be 3.18% at the end of the year
  • The experts are right – home values will appreciate by 5.9%
  • You want to buy a home valued at $350,000 today
  • You decide on a 10% down payment
How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today? | MyKCM

Here’s the financial impact of waiting:

  • You pay an extra $20,650 for the house
  • You need an additional $2,065 for a down payment
  • You pay an extra $116/month in your mortgage payment ($1,392 additional per year)
  • You don’t gain the $20,650 increase in wealth through equity build-up

Bottom Line

There are many things to consider when buying a home. However, when simplifying to a purely financial question, if you find a home that meets your needs, buying now makes much more sense than buying next year. Please reach feel free to reach out by e-mail jen.mcmorran@gmail.com, call/text 508-930-5259, or message me below. I am always happy to be a resource to you or anyone you may know that may be in need of some experienced real estate guidance. Hope all is well!!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Why (and How) to Price a Home Right!

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today

Even in today’s sellers’ market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do. According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase by 4.5% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing next year. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“We expect price gains to ease somewhat in 2021 and end 5.7% above 2020 levels, decelerating steadily through the spring and summer, and then gradually reaccelerating toward the end of the year.”

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

How to Price Your House

When it comes to setting the right price for your house, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

As a seller in today’s market, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers.

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

Right now, even when there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running if it isn’t priced just right from the very beginning.It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process. When you price it competitively from the start, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer. Instead, you’ll likely have multiple buyers competing for the house, potentially increasing the final sale price.

The key is to make sure your house is priced to sell immediately. This way, it will be seen by the greatest number of buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and it will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to price your house correctly from the start so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | MyKCM

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.

Due to the undersupply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | MyKCM

There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:

I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?

Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.

Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.

Note the same principle also apply if you are thinking about building a new home. New construction sales prices will continue to rise as the prices of lumber and materials continue to increase under the same circumstances of high demand and low supply.

Bottom Line

Though many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. We instead experienced quite the opposite – prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values continue to rise higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Another Beautiful Duplex Under Construction… don’t wait!

Have you been searching for New Construction that is an incredible value and offers awesome living space? Then you’ll love what New England Builds has under construction right now!

Building on the success we had in selling two beautiful units this past Fall in a nearby Attleboro neighborhood, NE Builds has another new duplex under construction at 41 Horton Street in Attleboro. Two townhouse style units will be available and each will feature:

  • almost 2000sf of living
  • three levels of living,
  • 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms,
  • an awesome open floor plan on the first floor,
  • 3 bedrooms, a full bath, and a laundry room on the second level,
  • a huge third floor master suite with private bath and walk-in closet,
  • full basement ready awesome for storage or future living space
  • great yard space
  • super convenient location near shopping, restaurants, Attleboro MBTA commuter rail, Rt 95, Rt 495, and more!

Check out the below photos of a finished unit at 74 Orange Street in Attleboro. SOLD for $375,000. These lucky homeowners selected their granite, cabinetry, lighting, flooring, and upgrades in appliances to create a home that was truly “theirs”.

New England Builds and I would love to work with you on creating a home that reflects your style at our current new construction project on Horton Street in Attleboro. Be home for the holidays if you act now… reach out any time for details!! (Anticipating completion for mid-December delivery.)

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Boston – Attleboro – Providence – Cape Cod … and the Communities in between.

Homes are More Affordable Right Now than they have been in Years.

Homes Are More Affordable Right Now
Than They Have Been in Years

Homes Are More Affordable Right Now Than They Have Been in Years | MyKCM

Today, home prices are appreciating. When we hear prices are going up, it’s normal to think a home will cost more as the trend continues. The way the housing market is positioned today, however, low mortgage rates are actually making homes more affordable, even as prices rise. Here’s why.

According to the Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight:

“While home prices have risen for 97 consecutive months, July’s record-low mortgage rates have made purchasing the average-priced home the most affordable it’s been since 2016.

How is that possible?

Black Knight continues to explain:

“As of mid-July, it required 19.8% of the median monthly income to make the mortgage payment on the average-priced home purchase, assuming a 20% down payment and a 30-year mortgage. That was more than 5% below the average of 25% from 1995-2003.

This means it currently requires a $1,071 monthly payment to purchase the average-priced home, which is down 6% from the same time last year, despite the average home increasing in value by more than $12,000 during that same time period.

In fact, buying power is now up 10% year-over-year, meaning the average home buyer can afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could at the same time last year, while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

This is great news for the many buyers who were unable to purchase last year, or earlier in the spring due to the slowdown from the pandemic. By waiting a little longer, they can now afford 10% more home than they could have a year ago while keeping their monthly mortgage payment unchanged.

With mortgage rates hitting all-time lows eight times this year, it’s now less expensive to borrow money, making homes significantly more affordable over the lifetime of your loan. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, shares what low mortgage rates mean for affordability:

“In July, house-buying power got a big boost as the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate made history by moving below three percent. That drop in the mortgage rate from 3.23 percent in May to 2.98 percent in July increased house-buying power by nearly $15,000.”

The map below shows the last time homes were this affordable by state:Homes Are More Affordable Right Now Than They Have Been in Years | MyKCMIn six states – Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and West Virginia – homes have not been this affordable in more than 25 years.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, now is a great time to take advantage of the affordability that comes with such low mortgage rates. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing your first home or moving into a new one and securing a significantly lower mortgage rate than you may have on your current house, let’s connect today to determine your next steps in the process.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island & Cape Cod. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities all around.

Like New and Ready for You!

| Featured Listing |

1284 County Street, Unit 26
Attleboro, MA
Mill Stream Village

Offered at $359,900

DSC_0678Have you been searching for a newer, move-in condition, quality built Townhouse in an established Attleboro community with easy access to Rt 95 and two MBTA train stations?

Are you looking for a home that is tucked away in a prime Mill Stream Village location with private outdoor space, and an affordable condo fee?

Then look what just hit the market… 1284 County Street, Unit 16 in Attleboro offers all of that and more!

This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath beautiful Townhome was built in 2009 by WB Construction, Attleboro’s premier builder, and 10 years later still shows like new!  Local homeowners and real estate agents all know WB Construction is a name you can trust when it comes to quality high-end new construction and Mill Stream Village is no exception.

You don’t want to miss out on this turn-key Townhouse with garage & full basement! The eat-in kitchen features stainless appliances and granite island with tons of storage. The spacious living room boasts hardwood floors, gas fireplace, and awesome light from the picture window overlooking the patio & green space. Upstairs the master suite features a spacious walk-in closet and private bath plus you’ll love the laundry, extra storage, two additional great sized bedrooms and main bath.

The next lucky homeowner will enjoy a prime private location tucked away in the back of sought after Mill Stream Village and easy access to both Attleboro commuter rail stations, Rt 95, the New England Sports Village, Capron Park Zoo, Stone E Lea Golf Course, restaurants, shopping, and more!

Energy efficient gas heat, CAir, city water/sewer, beautiful landscaping, carefree condo living, and interest rates at all time lows – can it get any better?

Listed at $359,900, this unit won’t last long in today’s market!  Give a call 508-930-5259 with questions about this home or any of your real estate needs!!

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Bidding Wars – Buyers be Ready!

Are you ready to enter on this real estate market?

I have been on the listing side and the buyers’ side of multiple offer situations countless times and believe me, neither are fun.   My recent listing at 53 Turnstone Dr in Attleboro had 40 showing requests in less than 24 hours of being on the market.  One day of showings produced 15 offers from ready and willing buyers by 11:00am the next morning.

It took hours to go through each offer individually as we evaluated the:

  • offer price
  • dates 
  • deposits
  • contingencies
  • personal letters to the seller
  • escalation clauses
  • and mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification letters.

When sellers review offers, know that the highest offer price does not always “win”.   All of the terms of the offer and buyers’ qualifications must be considered both when writing up a contract as a buyer and when reviewing an offer contract as a seller.

Want to know the three best ways to position yourself as a strong, sought after buyer amidst a sea of buyers and very few listings?

 1. Work with a full-time, experienced, and respected agent who will have the knowledge and reputation to present an offer and “you” in a way that the sellers and sellers’ agent will take seriously.  You want the sellers’ side to feel confident that you are the right buyer.

Buyers need to be prepared

2.  Get pre-approved now!  Do not wait until you find a home to contact a mortgage officer.  Experienced listing agents know the difference between a pre-approval that has been vetted with buyer documentation and a pre-qualification letter that is just based on a phone conversation with a lender.  Good listing agents will always call mortgage officers to make sure the buyers are solid.  It is always in your best interest to use a full time, experienced, and respected mortgage officer and company as well.  Let me know if I can send you some names!!

3.  If you own a home and your home purchase is going to be contingent upon it selling, you need to list your home NOW.  In almost all cases, sellers will move your offer to the bottom of the pile as soon as they see a “contingent upon the sale of buyer’s house”.  Some will consider you if you have a signed P&S on your home, but some will still see that as a risk since they have to worry about you as a buyer and your buyer.  As a back up plan, it may be worth checking with your mortgage officer to see if could purchase your next home without selling your current one first.  If a down-payment is tied up in the equity of your current home, a cash-out refinance may be an option for you.  (FYI – a refinance must be completed before listing your current home or moving forward on a loan application for a new home.)  Best plan… contact your mortgage officer and a contact qualified experienced real estate agent. 

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
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Serving clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Boston – Attleboro – Providence and the communities in between.

Home Buyers Guide

Despite so many uncertainties as we learn to live with Covid-19, there oddly hasn’t been a better time to buy a home in recent history with mortgage interest rates hovering at all time lows. For a Home Buying Guide packed with information, please click below then give me a call or send me a message and let’s set up time to connect and get you started on right path to homeownership.

As a committed full-time real estate agent, I have helped hundreds of buyers and sellers… it would be a pleasure to help you too.

Whether you have tons of questions or don’t even know the questions to ask, I am ready to work with you through the entire process.


It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

SUBMIT

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real people. real estate. 

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Serving clients throughout
Massachusetts & Rhode Island.
Boston – Attleboro – Providence
and the communities in between.