Home ownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream

Home ownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream

Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream | MyKCM

On Labor Day we celebrate the hard work that helps us achieve the American Dream.

Growing up, many of us thought about our future lives with great ambition. We drew pictures of what jobs we wanted to have and where we would live as a representation of a secure life for ourselves and our families. Today we celebrate the workers that make this country a place where those dreams can become a reality.

According to Wikipedia,

Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country.”

The hard work that happens every day across this country allows so many to achieve the American Dream. The 2019 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says,

“Approximately 75% of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while 9 in 10 current homeowners said the same.”

Looking at the number of non-owners, you may wonder, ‘If they believe in homeownership, why haven’t they bought a home yet?’. Well, increasing home prices and low inventory can be part of the reason why some haven’t jumped in, but that does not mean there is a lack of interest. The same report shows the increase in the desire to buy in the last year (as shown in the graph below):Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream | MyKCMAs we can see, there are more and more people each quarter who want to buy a home. The good news is, as more inventory comes to the market, more non-homeowners will be able to fulfill their dreams. Finally, they’ll be able to move into that home they drew when they were little kids!

Bottom Line

If you’re a homeowner considering selling, this fall might be the right time, as there are buyers in the market ready to buy. Let’s get together to determine how you can benefit from the pent-up housing demand.

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments? | MyKCM

Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today.

1. How much do you really need for a down payment?

There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Mae shows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 – 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.How Much Do You Know About Down Payments? | MyKCMThere are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that provide 0% down payment options too.

We’ve mentioned recently that you don’t need to come up with a 20% down payment to buy, and we’ve also shared how quickly you can save for a 3% or 10% down payment, depending on where you live. If you’re planning to put down just 3%, the research shows it may be possible in most states to have enough saved for a down payment in less than a year. That puts homeownership in a much closer reach for many potential buyers, maybe even you!

2. How can I get help with my down payment?

Regardless of the loans available, many buyers still need assistance with a down payment. The great news is, there are a lot of ways to tap into down payment assistance options. Here are just a couple of them:

Assistance from Family Members

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said, “a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members.” They also mentioned, “the average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800…They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.

That means one of the ways to find help with a down payment is to accept a gift from a family member. If this is an option for you, make sure you talk to your loan officer before you accept the money, to ensure you document the process the way it is required by your loan. This way, it will be received properly and you can still potentially qualify.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

The reality is, not everyone has a loved one or a family member who can provide help with a down payment. There are, however, more than 2,500 down payment assistance programs available (by local areas like city, county, or neighborhood), and some of them are even specifically for first-time buyers.

The gap, as mentioned in the same survey, is “only 23% of consumers are familiar with low down payment programs.”

That’s why it is so important to get familiar with these options by doing your homework before you plan to buy a home. Determine what is available in the area where you ultimately want to live, so you have all the details you need to take advantage of the down payment assistance option that is best for your family.

Bottom Line

If buying a home is one of your long-term goals, you may be able to get there sooner than you think by tapping into one of the many down payment assistance programs available.

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today | MyKCM

Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

  1. Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
  2. Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
  3. An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices actually appreciated:Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today | MyKCM

Bottom Line

With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Let’s get together to discuss how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.

Supreme Court Ruling on Private Property Rights…

The Supreme Court issued it’s ruling on Friday June 25,2019 in the case of Knick vs. Township of Scott.

The Supreme Court struck down the precedent today, a hard-fought victory for property rights advocates.

In a 5-4 opinion(link is external), the justices sided with Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick on a property rights issue likely to have ripple effects on land use and environmental regulations.

We now conclude that the state-litigation requirement imposes an unjustifiable burden on takings plaintiffs, conflicts with the rest of our takings jurisprudence, and must be overruled,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority, which included the rest of the court’s conservatives.

Roberts reasoned that landowners have a claim under the Fifth Amendment — which bars the government from taking property without compensation — as soon as the taking occurs and therefore have access to federal court right away.

Experts expect the ruling to have ramifications for similar challenges to local governments’ environmental regulations or land use plans — helping landowners get to federal court swiftly.

An important caveat is that the decision does not alter the substantive standard for evaluating regulatory takings claims, and such claims remain hard to win, but it ensures more landowners get their day in court.

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Index as a part of their Realtors Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is reflected when broken down by state. Only 11 states have a stable level of seller traffic compared to the remainder of the country, which came in with a weak rating.

As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year is half of what the rate was in the 1980s.

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

This does not come as a surprise, as tenure length (the number of years someone owns a home before moving again) among existing homeowners has increased. It has risen from an average of 6 years from 1985 to 2008, up to 9.5 years over the last few years. This is shown in the graph below:

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

As we can see, there is a pent-up seller demand!

What led to this change in behavior? Falling prices during the housing crisis led to many homeowners having negative equity in their home, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. Others were able to secure a low interest rate on their mortgage and have not been quick to obtain a new mortgage with a higher rate.

Will this trend continue?

Recently NAR reported that “69% of people believe now is a good time to sell a home.”

With a strong economy, low interest rates, and wages continuing to rise, some homeowners will be ready to put their house on the market and move up to the home of their dreams!

Bottom Line

There is a great opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the current real estate market before new inventory comes to market. If you are considering selling your house or would like to know your options, let’s get together today to help you understand the possibilities available to you!

Monmouth County and New Jersey Housing Trend

Home Sales Showing Signs of Price Fatigue
The concept of ‘price fatigue’, which occurs when the cost of housing increases at a faster pace than wages.which occurs when the cost of housing increases at a faster pace than wages. The most common causes for such increases are rising interest rates and home prices.
The interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has risen over the past year from 3.92% to 4.54%. Given the 9:1 ratio of mortgage rates to purchaser power, this increase is the equivalent of a 5.6% home price increase. Adding this to the 5.2% increase in New Jersey home prices over the past year indicates that the cost of home ownership has risen by 10.8% for the same house.
On the income side of the equation, total wages and salaries have increased by only 3.5% over the past year. Therefore, the 10.8% rise in home-ownership costs has been more than double the rise in wages.
This tells us that the cost of home-ownership is rising faster than the public’s ability to afford that increase. During the month of June, however, purchase contracts contracted by 1% in comparison to the prior year. While this is partially attributable to an under-supply of housing inventory, the affordability gap is also a significant factor.
Contract activity for luxury priced homes over $2.5-Million has increased by an impressive 20% (170 in 2017 vs. 204 today)
Inventory remains restricted, which is limiting choices for home buyers. The number of homes being offered for sale today in New Jersey has fallen to its lowest point since 2005,
Monmouth county has fewer than 4 months of supply.
Commitment rates for the 30-year fixed rate loan have remained relatively stable throughout the month of July, averaging 4.53%, down from a 4.57% average in the month of June.
According to Freddie Mac, affordability pressures are an increasing concern in many markets, as the combination of home price gains coupled with higher mortgage interest rates seem to be giving more prospective buyers a pause. As a result, new and existing-home sales at the national level have slowed and unsold inventory has risen, despite the healthy economy and labor market.
info from Otteau

Living by and between the Boxes

Did you know the old adage, "Location, Location, Location" has new twists on what that means. Data shows that having a Starbucks in your neighborhood has a positive impact on home values.

How about the big box retailer? Realty Trac found some  compelling data that the proximity to a Walmart or Target does impact property values.

It turns out that living near a Target may empty your wallet, and it could boost the value of your home.

While living near a Walmart saw an increase in value the homes appreciated at a lower rate than the national average.

Among homeowners who sold in 2015 in the same zip code as that of Target saw a 27% increase in home prices since they purchased their home. That's about 5% higher than the national average which is 22%.

Meanwhile those homes within the same Walmart zip code saw only a 16% price gain falling short of the national average.

So when looking to sell or buy a house you can boast that not only living near a Target is convenient it may actually mean price appreciation down the road.



While forecasting methods and tools are improving year after year, people are still at great risk to tropical storms and hurricanes because they continue to build along the coastline. The following is a list of helpful hints that you can use before hurricane season, when a watch or warning is issued, before, during, and after a tropical storm, or hurricane strikes your area.


  • Enter the season prepared. 
  •  Know all evacuation routes if you live close to the coast. 
  •  Make sure your home meets building codes for withstanding hurricanes, and they have storm shutters. 
  •  Have proper tools, supplies, and a first aid kit.
  • Have plenty of batteries and flashlights ü Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand.


  • Leave low lying areas. 
  •  Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters. 
  •  Secure outside objects. ü Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. 
  •  Have several days supply of food and water for each family member.
  •  If called to evacuate, do so immediately.


  • Be ready to put your plan and preparation into action.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
  • Have house boarded up, or have storm shutters in place.
  •  Have plenty of food and water.
  • Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit available for use. 
  •  Have a secure room available.


  • Stay in Secure Room.
  • Stay away from windows. 
  •  Do not use the phone, or candles.
  • Monitor Weather and Public Safety alerts on regular and NOAA radios.
  • Have supplies on hand.
  • Remain indoors when the eye moves over your area because the storm will resume shortly.


  • Make sure that all is definitely clear outside, and the storm has completely passed before going out.
  • Report downed power lines, and stay away from them.
  • Use stored water and food.
  • Be patient. Things will take a while before they get back to normal.



Did you know?

The Affordable Housing Alliance, 59 Broad Street, Eatontown, is now providing Post-Purchase Workshop and Foreclosure Counseling, Budgeting, Mortgage Delinquency Counseling, and Money Management. For information, call 732-389-2958.

Did you Know?

BPO Elks Lodge 742, Long Branch (150 Garfield Ave.) offers Friday night dinners the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, featuring a salad bar and new specials menu.
The third Friday of every month spaghetti dinner features homemade meatballs, chicken parm, baked ziti, sausage, peppers and onions and much more. All you can eat $7. 6-7:30 p.m.

Eatontown Elks Lodge #2402, 216 Broad Street, Eatontown holds monthly dinners the first and third Friday of each month, from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $7. First Friday dinner is Roast Beef, third Friday meal varies. Free delivery for Senior Housings in Eaton-town and Oceanport area. For takeout orders, call 732-542-9735 the day of the dinner, as early as 2 p.m.
Oakhurst VFW 2226, 212 Norwood Ave., Ocean Township, holds Monday Night Dinners on the first and third Monday of each month, at 6 p.m. $7 per person; RSVP by the Saturday before, 732-531-7795. They also hold Sunday Breakfast on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, 9 a.m.-noon. $6.
Christ the King parish at Star of the Sea Church, in the rear of the chapel on Chelsea Avenue, Long Branch, has a clothing room which is open on Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. and offers free slightly used men, women, and children's seasonal clothing. Shoes, ties, belts, and accessories are also available. All of these items are free and those in need are welcome to take whatever they need.
Kensington Court holds a free support group for families of assisted living, Alzheimer's unit residents and members of adult day care, the second Wednesday of each month, 7-8:30pm at 864 Shrewsbury Ave., Tinton Falls. For more info, call 732-784-2406.

Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 992 Broadway, West Long Branch, has a Community Clothes Closet that is open the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 8:30-10:30 a.m. They offer clothing, shoes, accessories, and more in sizes infant to adult for men and women. All who are in need are welcome to view the collection of new and clean gently used clothing. Take what you need for you and your immediate family at no cost whatsoever.

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