Middle class now feeling the affordability crisis – Part Two

Three of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Charlotte NC, Salt Lake City and Columbus Ohio, (certainly not coastal cities) have become too expensive for more potential owners/renters than they already have. Charlotte is short some 34,000 affordable housing units as its booming job market has attracted 100,000 new households since 2000. Salt Lake City is currently short some 54,000 units at a time when it has been a leader in home building. Its housing costs are higher than both Phoenix and Las Vegas. And the Columbus housing market, now cooling slightly, has simply exhausted its too-many buyers with ever-higher home prices.

According to a report by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the median price of a single-family home outgrew increases in median household incomes by 390% between 1986 – 2017. The Center for American Progress has reported that the creeping cost of housing is pinching a middle class already struggling with flat wages, rising child-care costs and skyrocketing price tags for 4-year higher education.

Berkadia, a Berkshire Hathaway company, has reported that the lower-middle income bracket ($35,000-$49,999) has been hit hard with 6%-8% rent growth in the last seven years. Cities like Tulsa and Omaha are showing that more than 40% of their respective families are identifying as rent-burdened.


Posted on August 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Middle class now feeling the affordability crisis –  Part One


New research by both the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program and the National Low Income Housing Coalition tells us that the nation’s affordability crisis is beginning to metastasize and impact the middle class.

The NLIHC indicates that 8M renters pay +50% of their income for rent and that the nation as a whole is short some 7.2M housing units.

Jenny Schuetz, a housing policy fellow with the Brookings Institute, found that severe affordability issues are affecting both lower and middle class. These issues are forcing both homeowners and renters to make “traditional trade-offs, sacrificing a combination of cost, commute time and home size for any proximity to big city job markets. Everyone everywhere, not just in California but in Cleveland, is having to spend more than they have in order to have a place to live.”

Three of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Charlotte NC, Salt Lake City and Columbus Ohio, have become too expensive for more potential owners/renters than they already have. Charlotte is short some 34,000 affordable housing units as its booming job market has attracted 100,000 new households since 2000. Salt Lake City is currently short some 54,000 units at a time when it has been a leader in home building. Its housing costs are higher than both Phoenix and Las Vegas. Columbus housing market, now cooling slightly, has simply exhausted its too-many buyers with ever-higher home prices.  timandjulieharris.com


Posted on August 15, 2019 at 9:31 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

What is a 1031 Exchange?

A 1031 Exchange is the swap of one investment property for another like kind investment property.  This allows taxpayers to defer Capital Gains taxes associated with the sale of their investment property if replaced with another like kind investment property.  If you meet all the IRS requirements, you’ll have no taxes or limited taxes due.  Like kind includes all forms of real property (residential, commercial, land, etc.). A CPA or tax attorney opinion can be most helpful. If you would like a complete brochure on the 1031 exchange process, let me know and I will send it to you in a PDF attachment. Information provided by Land Title Guarantee Company.

Posted on August 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Keep Your House Cool in the Summer – Part 3


Power Down Appliances

You’ll save money and reduce heat output by turning off appliances you’re not using, particularly your computer and television. Powering down multiple appliances is easier if you connect them to the same power strip.

Don’t use heat- and steam-generating appliances — ranges, ovens, washers, dryers — during the hottest part of the day. In fact, take advantage of the heat by drying clothes outside on a line.

Plant Trees and Vines

These green house-coolers shade your home’s exterior and keep sunlight out of windows. Plant them by west-facing walls, where the sun is strongest.

Deciduous trees, which leaf out in spring and drop leaves in fall, are best because they provide shade in summer, then let in sun when temperatures drop in autumn. Select trees that are native to your area, which have a better chance of surviving. When planting, determine the height, canopy width, and root spread of the mature tree and plant accordingly.

Climbing vines, such as ivy and Virginia creeper, also are good outside insulators. To prevent vine rootlets or tendrils from compromising your siding, grow them on trellises or wires about 6 inches away from the house.

Want more tips for staying cool this summer? Substitute CFL and LED bulbs for hotter incandescent lights.

Also, try insulating your garage door to prevent heat buildup.

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: August 18, 2016

National Association of Realtors

Posted on August 1, 2019 at 3:34 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Keep Your House Cool This Summer – Part 2

Open Those Windows

Be sure to open windows when the outside temperature is lower than the inside. Cool air helps lower the temps of everything — walls, floors, furniture — that will absorb heat as temps rise, helping inside air say cooler longer.

To create cross-ventilation, open windows on opposite sides of the house. Good ventilation helps reduce VOCs and prevents mold.

Fire Up Fans

Portable fans: At night, place fans in open windows to move cool air. In the day, put fans where you feel their cooling breezes (moving air evaporates perspiration and lowers your body temperature). To get extra cool, place glasses or bowls of ice water in front of fans, which will chill the moving air.

Ceiling fans: For maximum cooling effect, make sure ceiling fans spin in the direction that pushes air down, rather than sucks it up. Be sure to turn off fans when you’re not in the room, because fan motors give off heat, too.

Whole house fans: A whole-house fan ($1,000 to $1,600, including install) exhausts hot inside air out through roof vents. Make sure your windows are open when you run a whole-house fan.

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: August 18, 2016

National Association of Realtors


Posted on July 25, 2019 at 7:31 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Buying with a friend?

Buying with a friend?


Whether buying a residential or investment property with a friend, encourage your clients (and you as well) to consider talking about these questions and their answers with your friend BEFORE buying. Why? Before is easier than after even when such conversations can be difficult and before is cheaper both financially and emotionally than after.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), buying properties together among friends and unmarried partners is a growing segment of the housing market. NAR indicates that 15% of all Millennial buyers are in unmarried, friend relationships/partnerships and 8% of ALL buyers are in unmarried, friend relationships/partnerships.

That this segment of the market is growing makes sense…most first-time buyers simply cannot afford a down payment on a home and/or a home mortgage on their own. In the last decade alone, according to the New York Times, median home prices have increased +27.5% and home prices are predicted to increase at twice the rate of inflation and wage growth.

Here are some questions and conversation topics to discuss BEFORE buying residential and/or investment property with a friend/partner.

  1. How will you divide ownership and equity? Who will hold the mortgage and title?
    1. Sometimes, friends/partners have significantly different incomes.
      1. Will you divide your financial responsibilities evenly in a co-ownership arrangement?
      2. Will you split the costs based upon your different income ratios?
      3. Will one person pay for the entire down payment?
      4. Will one person loan the other person(s) half of or a portion of the down payment?
    2. How will you handle repairs, upgrades and labor?
      1. This question/conversation involves some of the same elements as #1.
        1. Who pays, how much does each pay, etc. based upon, perhaps, different incomes?
        2. When one friend/partner does the labor, does that person get reimbursed for time, materials, etc.?
      2. This question/conversation also involves aesthetic considerations. Who decides on paint colors and/or decorations?
      3. This question/conversation also involves how long family members and/or houseguests are welcome?
    3. What happens when one person dies or if the relationship or friendship ends?
      1. Decide BEFORE the purchase who inherits the dead person’s portion of the property in the deed, will or written agreement.
      2. Once friends/partners begin to co-mingle funds and share assets, a court/judge can regard the friends/partners being in a common law domestic partnership regardless of a co-ownership agreement. You must check specific state laws on this point.
    4. How formal/informal do you want your co-ownership agreement to be?
      1. Some people want an informal, verbal, hand written agreement that all parties sign.
      2. Some want to work with a mediator.
      3. Some people want a formal agreement where each party hires their own attorney, similar to a prenuptial agreement
        1. Tiffany Elkins, an Oregon lawyer specializing in real estate litigation, told the New York Times,If you don’t do it right and you have to clean it up later (after you buy), you’re spending ten times the amount of money that you would have spent if you’d hired an attorney before you purchased.”
        2. Frederick Hertz, a lawyer and mediator specializing in creating housing agreements, told the New York Times,“The difference is that the rules of relationships are dramatically different if you’re married or unmarried…if you fail to have a legally binding agreement, the law will impose a very different set of rules.”

Thanks to timandjulieharris.com


Posted on July 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Gen Z Says “Not So Fast” to iBuyers

Who would have thought that nine out of ten digitally native Gen Z homebuyers would prefer to work with a real estate agent rather than an iBuyer when ready to purchase a home? Certainly not David Mele, president of Homes.com. His company recently surveyed more than 1,000 young adults ages 18 to 24-years-old on their buyer preferences.

“These results were a surprise,” said Mele. “Gen-Zers have never known a world without digital connectivity, have all the information at their fingertips and they are saying that the quality of a real estate agent and their ability to understand what they want are more important…” than technical tools.

Such results fly in the face of assumptions that young adults will buy homes with technically powered services or go it along. This demographic group points to specific agent qualities as being most important:

  • 1% – understanding what I want
  • 1% – expertise about the local market
  • 1% – excellent negotiating skills

Another surprising statistic from this Homes.com study indicates that 86% of Gen-Zers want to own a home before turning 35 years old rather than being foot loose and fancy free as a mobile nomad.

Gen-Zers see the top barriers to home homeownership as being making enough money to buy a home (42%), saving enough to make a down payment (21%) and student loan debt (20%). The vast majority of Gen-Zers (64%) believe they will have to pay 11% or more of the purchase price of a home as a down payment while 25% anticipate having to save for a down payment of 20%.

According to Mele, the average first-time buyer puts down 6%-7% and the average down payment across all buyers equals 5.3% of the purchase price.

Thanks to News from timandjulieharris.com

Posted on July 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Smaller utility bills come with these improvements

Do you and/or your clients want to have smaller utility bills?

First thing, according to a recent article in CNBC, do a home energy assessment to actually know what is and what is not working most efficiently in your house. A home energy assessment costs approximately $100 but such an assessment could save you some 20% – 35% in energy usage, assuming you make the improvements the assessment may indicate.

According to the former acting deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the US Department of Energy, consumers can save an average of $105 – $627 annually. The Energy Department says that consumers will not only save money in the long term, their house will be more comfortable and the air quality in their house will be healthier.

The Energy Department suggests the following:

  1. Temperature control: Make sure the HVAC system in the house is appropriate to and for the house.
    1. If the HVAC system is too large, the AC pumps too much cold air into the house, which could lead to too much moisture, condensation and mold.
    2. Those living in colder climates ought to have proper insulation installed throughout the house, including the attic.
    3. Seal up any leakage in the HVAC ducts and crawl spaces.
  2. Lighting:
    1. Switch to LED lighting.
    2. Efficiency can be increased by 85% with LED lighting.
  3. Appliance upgrades:
    1. Look for Energy Star labels for any and all appliance upgrades
    2. Go to the Energy Star website for additional information.
  4. Water heater
    1. Check the age and functionality of the current water heater.
    2. A new water heater could provide 3-4 times more efficiency.
  5. Check out the website DSIRE to search for policies and incentives provided for energy efficiency by state.

Thanks to Tim and Julie Harris at timandjulieharris.com


Posted on July 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Declining Mortgage Rates

Declining mortgage rates are currently leading to spikes in refinance loans. During the week of June 7, 2019, the Market Composite Index jumped a staggering 26.8%.

CNBC put together a list of specifics on mortgage activities during mid-May. Take a look:

  • The Refinance Index spike +47% from the week of June 1 to June 7, 2019.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to a whopping 49.8% from a week earlier when that index was 42.2%.
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased +10% from the week before, June 1 to June 7.
  • The adjustable rate mortgage sector of mortgage activity increased to 7.9% of total mortgage applications.
  • The share of FHA mortgage applications fell from 9.5% to 8.9% of all mortgage activity.

Thanks to news@Harrisandharris.com

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |

Some variables affecting mortgage rates

Some variables affecting mortgage rates

Lenders consider several items when pricing your interest rate. Here are some of the more important ones:

Credit score.   The higher your score, the less risk you pose to a lender, so you’ll receive lower rates. FHA guidelines won’t allow a loan with a credit score below 580. 760 and above gets the best rate.

Down payment.   20% down eliminates private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Property location.    This can affect rates. Is the property in an appreciating area or depreciating area? Is it too close to commercial properties? A highway?

Loan amount/closing costs.  If you ask a lender to roll your closing costs and other borrowing fees into your loan, your rate may increase.

Loan type. The type of mortgage you choose, Fixed or Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), will have a different rate. Surprisingly, an ARM starts at a lower rate, but in the long term, those rates could increase.

The lender you choose.    Different lenders may have different rates, however, not all lenders are created equal. Sometimes the lowest interest rate may not necessarily be the best lender. Get references. Choose wisely.

Premier Mortgage Group Boulder CO

Posted on June 19, 2019 at 6:35 pm
Kevin MacInness | Posted in Uncategorized |