Olympia and Thurston County Washington
Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from national market statistics to greater Olympia area home value trends and Thurston County happenings. That’s because we care about the community we serve and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all or have a question or situation we can bring clarity to, and maybe it will end up being an article to help everyone!

Search our blog for helpful videos and articles.

June 9, 2021

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand | MyKCM

Home price appreciation continues to accelerate. Today, prices are driven by the simple concept of supply and demand. Pricing of any item is determined by how many items are available compared to how many people want to buy that item. As a result, the strong year-over-year home price appreciation is simple to explain. The demand for housing is up while the supply of homes for sale hovers at historic lows.

Let’s use three maps to show how this theory continues to affect the residential real estate market.

Map #1 – State-by-state price appreciation reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020:

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand | MyKCM

the map shows, certain states (colored in red) have appreciated well above the national average of 12.6%.

 

Map #2 – The change in state-by-state inventory levels year-over-year reported by realtor.com:

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand | MyKCM

Comparing the two maps shows a correlation between change in listing inventory and price appreciation in many states. The best examples are Idaho, Utah, and Arizona. Though the correlation is not as easy to see in every state, the overall picture is one of causation.

The reason prices continue to accelerate is that housing inventory is still at all-time lows while demand remains high. However, this may be changing.

Is there relief around the corner?

The report by realtor.com also shows the monthly change in inventory for each state.

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand | MyKCM

As the map indicates, 39 of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) saw increases in inventory over the last month. This may be evidence that homeowners who have been afraid to let buyers in their homes during the pandemic are now putting their houses on the market.

We’ll know for certain as we move through the rest of the year.

Bottom Line

Some are concerned by the rapid price appreciation we’ve experienced over the last year. The maps above show that the increases were warranted based on great demand and limited supply. Going forward, if the number of homes for sale better aligns with demand, price appreciation will moderate to more historical levels.

May 26, 2021

Buying a Home Is Still Affordable

Buying a Home Is Still Affordable | MyKCMThe last year has put emphasis on the importance of one’s home. As a result, some renters are making the jump into homeownership while some homeowners are re-evaluating their current house and considering a move to one that better fits their current lifestyle. Understanding how housing affordability works and the main market factors that impact it may help those who are ready to buy a home narrow down the optimal window of time in which to make a purchase.

 

There are three main factors that go into determining how affordable homes are for buyers:

  1. Mortgage Rates
  2. Mortgage Payments as a Percentage of Income
  3. Home Prices

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) produces a Housing Affordability Index. It takes these three factors into account and determines an overall affordability score for housing. According to NAR, the index:

 

“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”

 

Their methodology states:

 

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

 

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here’s a graph of the index going back to 1990:

Buying a Home Is Still Affordable | MyKCMThe blue bar represents today’s affordability. We can see that homes are more affordable now than they’ve been at any point since the housing crash when distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dominated the market. Those properties were sold at large discounts not seen before in the housing market for almost one hundred years.

 

Why are homes so affordable today?

Although there are three factors that drive the overall equation, the one that’s playing the largest part in today’s homebuying affordability is historically low mortgage rates. Based on this primary factor, we can see that it’s more affordable to buy a home today than at any time in the last eight years.

 

If you’re considering purchasing your first home or moving up to the one you’ve always hoped for, it’s important to understand how affordability plays into the overall cost of your home. With that in mind, buying while mortgage rates are as low as they are now may save you quite a bit of money over the life of your home loan.

 

Bottom Line

If you feel ready to buy, purchasing a home this summer may save you a significant amount of money over time based on historical affordability trends. Let’s connect today to determine if now is the right time for you to make your move.

March 19, 2021

Eviction Moratorium Extended

Governor Inslee Extends Eviction Moratorium

 

In case you missed it in the news, Governor Inslee extended the eviction moratorium. It was set to expire on March 31st, but has been extended through June 30th.

 

What does this mean for you, as an owner? You cannot move a tenant out, even if they do not pay rent. You cannot change terms to your lease, like raising rent, etc. You cannot charge late fees or any other fees - including if a tenant moves out prior to their lease expiring. If a tenant does not pay rent, we can still communicate with them, as usual. We can provide a worksheet to help make a repayment plan. Just because they don't pay rent and we can't evict, doesn't relieve them of the debt.

 

The only ways (at the time of this posting) to move a tenant out of your property is 1) as the owner, you can give a 60-day notice to move back into the property as your PRIMARY residence or 2) you can give a 60-day notice that you intend to sell the home. If you find yourself in this situation, we can help you through that process. 

 

Many of our owners are wondering when they will be able to raise rents to keep up with the rise in their own expenses. We understand and we are watching the changes as they come and will keep you posted!

 

Links for more information:

https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-announces-extension-eviction-moratorium-expansion-vaccine-eligibility-long-term

https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-extension-of-eviction-moratorium-expansion-of-vaccine-eligibility-long-term-635b34eb0ca

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/eviction-moratorium-extended-through-june-30-washington-coronavirus/281-77606e0f-8164-4f34-9fa0-77657d38ff92

Posted in Rent
March 18, 2021

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home

Today’s homebuyers are faced with a strong sellers’ market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of available homes. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical stage of the homebuying process.

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Advisor

An article from Freddie Mac gives direction on making an offer on a home. From the start, it emphasizes how trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things, especially at times when this process can get emotional for buyers:

“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

A real estate professional should be the expert guide you lean on for advice when you’re ready to make an offer.

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. Doing so make it clear to sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer, and it can give you a competitive edge in a bidding war.

3. Be Prepared to Move Quickly

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sold today receives 3.7 offers and is on the market for just 21 days. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and alert in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.”

5. Stay Flexible in Negotiations

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. You can strengthen your position with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Freddie Mac explains that there are, however, certain contingencies you don’t want to forego:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

Bottom Line

Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Reach out to your local real estate professional to make sure you rise to the top along the way.

Feb. 23, 2021

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You | MyKCM

We’re currently experiencing historically low mortgage rates. Over the last fifty years, the average on a Freddie Mac 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been 7.76%. Today, that rate is 2.81%. Flocks of homebuyers have been taking advantage of these remarkably low rates over the last twelve months. However, there’s no guarantee rates will remain this low much longer.

Whenever we try to forecast mortgage rates, we should consider the advice of Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:

“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and/or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”

Many things impact mortgage rates. The economy, inflation, and Fed policy, just to name a few. That makes forecasting rates difficult. However, there’s one metric that has held up over the last fifty years – the relationship between mortgage rates and the 10-year treasury rate. Here’s a graph detailing this relationship since Freddie Mac started keeping mortgage rate records in 1972:

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You | MyKCM

There’s no denying the close relationship between the two. Over the last five decades, there’s been an average 1.7-point spread between these two rates. It’s this long-term relationship that has some forecasters projecting an increase in mortgage rates as we move throughout the year. This is based on the recent surge in the 10-year treasury rate shown here:

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You | MyKCM

The spread between the two is now 1.53, indicating mortgage rates could rise. Actually, a bump-up in rate has already begun. As Joel Kan, Associate VP of Economic Forecasting for the Mortgage Bankers Association, reveals:

“Expectations of faster economic growth and inflation continue to push Treasury yields & mortgage rates higher. Since hitting a survey low in December, the 30-year fixed rate has slowly risen, & last week climbed to its highest level since Nov 2020.”

How high might they go in 2021?

No one knows for sure. Sam Khater, Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, recently suggested:

“While there are multiple temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to rates remaining in the low 3% range for the year.”

What does this mean for you?

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve purchased a home before, even an increase of half a point in mortgage rate (2.81 to 3.31%) makes a big difference. On a $300,000 mortgage, that difference (including principal and interest) is $82 a month, $984 a year, or a total of $29,520 over the life of the home loan.

Bottom Line

Based on the 50-year symbiotic relationship between treasury rates and mortgage rates, it appears mortgage rates could be headed up this year. It may make sense to buy now rather than wait.

Feb. 19, 2021

100 Days to Greatness

EXCITING NEWS

MVP's CEO and Certified Mentor, Matthew Plummer, is going to be facilitating 100 Days to Greatness and we want you to consider taking it!

This is the most comprehensive, step-by-step training program ever created for the real estate industry. Developed and taught by industry legend, Brian Buffini, the course will guide you through proven systems to launch your real estate career. You’ll receive weekly action steps to generate a steady stream of leads, gain the skills needed to close sales and learn how to leverage your time, money and energy to be successful in your career in just 100 days!

Hurry! Space if very limited in order to maintain social distancing. Masks will be required to attend.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Real-world role plays, dialogues and strategies to help you build strong client relationships.
  • Professionally-designed marketing materials to provide valuable information to your database.
  • A content-packed Online Resource Center with weekly action steps to help you launch your real estate career.
  • Complimentary access to Referral Maker®CRM designed to maximize your results.

CLASS INFORMATION

Facilitator: Matthew Plummer

Start Date: 3/1/2021 | 10:00 AM

Location: 1219 11th Ave SE Olympia WA 98501

INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE TODAY!

Cost: $495* + S&H/Tax

*Only $195 for Buffini & Company Members

*Special discounts and current sale pricing will be reflected at check out. Includes your materials for the 100 Days to Greatness course.

Please note that in order to be included in my class you will need to register by clicking our personalized registration link below. We hope you will join us for 100 Days to Greatness!

This is the same business model MVP Realty Group’s business of nearly two decades is built upon. Come learn how we do it! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Feb. 18, 2021

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021?

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021? | MyKCM

With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows so many times recently, some are wondering if we’ll see low rates continue throughout 2021, or if they’ll start to rise. Recently, Freddie Mac released their quarterly forecast, noting:

“The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low over a dozen times in 2020 and the low interest rate environment is projected to continue through this year. We expect interest rates to average below 3% through the end of 2021. While this is a modest rise from 2020 averages, the recent vote by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates anchored near zero should keep rates low.”

As shown in the graph below, Freddie Mac is projecting low rates going forward with a modest rise that’s expected to continue through 2022.Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021?

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021? | MyKCM

Mac isn’t the only authority forecasting low rates with a slight rise. Fannie Mae, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) also anticipate low rates with a small increase as 2021 continues on. Here’s the quarterly breakdown of their projections and how they’re expected to play out over the next year.Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021? | MyKCM

It’s important to note that, while a small change in interest rates can have a substantial impact on monthly mortgage payments, these rates are still incredibly low compared to where they were just a couple of years ago.

What does this mean for buyers?

Low mortgage rates are creating an outstanding opportunity for current homebuyers to get more for their money while staying within their budget. As the economy gets stronger and we recover from the challenges of 2020, it’s natural for rates to potentially rise in response to a healthier economy. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, reminds us:

“Rising interest rates reduce house-buying power and affordability, but are often a sign of a strong economy, which increases home buyer demand. By any historic standard, today’s mortgage rates remain historically low and will continue to boost house-buying power and keep purchase demand robust.”

With low rates fueling activity among hopeful buyers, there are a lot of people who are highly motivated and looking for homes to purchase right now. In this environment, it can be challenging to find a home to buy, so a local real estate agent will be key to your success if you’re thinking of buying too. Working with a trusted real estate professional to navigate the process while rates are in your favor might be the best move you can make.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to buy a home, it may be wise to make your move before mortgage rates begin to rise. Let’s connect to discuss how today’s low rates can create more opportunities for you this year.

Feb. 16, 2021

Property Performance vs. Cash-flow

Homes on Cash

Invest in Real Estate with little or no money! Get rich fast with Real Estate investments! How to invest in Real Estate with no money down and no previous experience! 

If you've heard these hot button statements about making quick money in the Real Estate market, you're not alone. One of MVP's most frequently asked is "How do I get started in Real Estate investing?" Investing in real estate property can be a great way to build wealth, but it's not for everyone and there are lots of options for investing responsibly. First, let's go back to the basics and learn about the importance of cash flow vs. property performance. The factors that determine whether a property is a good investment for you. 

Calculating Property Performance

A property's investment potential can be calculated regardless of having an investor attached to the numbers. There are 3 factors to consider - property price, gross income and expenses. These 3 factors are what we have to play with when trying to make the numbers work. 

Let's look at an example. A duplex multi-family home comes on the market listed for $450,000. The rent rate per unit is $1500 giving you a total of $3000 gross monthly income and $36,000 annual gross income. The general rule for investing in Real Estate is that between taxes, insurance, repairs, vacancy turnovers etc... 25% of that income is gone to expenses, leaving 75% income as your take home or Net Operating Income (NOI).  If we break it down:

Duplex Price: $450,000

Rental Income per Unit: $1500

Total Monthly Rent Income: $3000

Annual Gross Income: $36,000

Gross Income($36k) x 75% = NOI of $27,000

Lastly, you want to look at the Capitalization Rate (CAP Rate). This is the return on your investment on an annual basis and to get this number you take your NOI divided by the purchase price of the property. The average capitalization rate changes based upon market location and characteristics. Current average is around 5% and 6+% is really healthy.

$27,000/$450,000 = CAP Rate of 6%

The Art of Cash Flow 

Cash flow is the monthly profit you bring in after all expenses are paid, including the mortgage. A couple hundred in monthly cash flow is great to see, allowing for a portion to be set aside as a maintenance and emergency fund, but it's not strictly necessary. If you already have outside funds set aside for unforeseen repairs than it can still be a good fit to find an investment property with little to no cash flow. It's situational and based on the right fit for your financials and schedule. If you have more questions about investing in Real Estate, give us a call at 360-915-9123.

Feb. 15, 2021

Renovate 2 Elevate

If you need to sell but the property is not in show-ready condition, here are some ways we can take the lead and turn your STRESS into SUCCESS!

Option 1: Investor Cash Out

When you just want to walk away and not deal with the hassle of repairs and buyers picking apart your home in inspection, MVP may be able to line up an investor to cash you out with an as-is sale! Just take the items you want from the home and WALK AWAY! We'll do the rest!

Carol - May 2017

Carol had a couple properties to sell after her husband passed away. It was an overwhelming process. She didn't want to deal with repairs necessary to bring this old rental into a condition that could be financed by a potential buyer. Minimum items necessary for financing included - kitchen appliances, new flooring throughout, drywall repair, addressing soft spots in the floor of the dining room and bathroom, rotten boards, blown window seals, mold-remediation in bedroom, replacing wall heaters in bedrooms, cabinet repair, and so much more! MVP purchased the property as-is, with cash to close quickly. She didn't have to clean out left over items or lift another finger (except to sign paperwork and cash her proceeds)!

BEFORE:

  

AFTER:

  

Option 2: Investment Partnership

If you have the time and money, we can be your guide to plan and connect you with great resources to make the updates you need to achieve TOP DOLLAR when you put your home on the market! Some clients want the best possible outcome but don't have the cash for improvements. Let MVP Partner with you!

We can examine the market, the needs of the home, and the equity available. MVP could be your investment partner - paying cash for the improvements UP FRONT, making it more likely to get HIGHER profits in your sale! MVP can help coordinate repairs, renovations, and may even invest in the up-front costs*! In partnership together, you'll receive more at the closing table than in an as-is sale.  

Zach and Daniela - Dec 2020

For Zach and Daniela, we were able to do just that! A quick assessment of the home revealed a need for all new flooring throughout. With no cash on hand, MVP helped with the initial investment, researched the inventory for top price and prepared the home for market. With the home in top shape, we were able to get the owner $25,000 above asking price! Something that wouldn't have been possible with damaged flooring, even in a strong seller's market.

   

Dave - June 2020

One of our top referring clients, Andrea Huff with Lifetime Legal, connected us with Dave who needed to sell his mom's home and move her in with him - half way across the United States! He was overwhelmed at how to accomplish this, until he met with MVP.

BEFORE:

   

Dave packed up his mom and only a small trailer of the belongings she wanted to keep and dropped his keys with MVP. First step - empty home! Next came a complete interior paint job, all new carpet, refinish hardwood floors, DEEP CLEANING, leak repair, new roof, and new landscaping all around - ALL overseen and coordinated by MVP.

AFTER:

   

The results were absolutely beautiful! We had the home professionally photographed, researched the local market, and listed it for top market price and it sold in just 15 days! 

What might have been a $380,000 home, MVP turned into a half million dollar home! 

Jennifer - Oct 2020

Wanting the most profit out of her sale, we helped Jennifer with plans for improvements. We examined which updates would get the best return on investment and which ones could be skipped in this particular market. We helped coordinate hardwood floor refinishing, interior and exterior paint, new carpets, plumber, electrician, cleaning company, and a brand new roof! With the home looking sparkly and new again, we were able to sell the home that would have been under $400k for top dollar at $460,000!

   

MVP can help you maximize the return on your investment! Call to learn how we can help with your unique situation - 360-915-9123. 

Feb. 15, 2021

3 Ways You’ll Win When You Buy a Home This Year

3 Ways You’ll Win When You Buy a Home This Year | MyKCM

There are so many great reasons to purchase a home, and over the past year, we’ve realized more of them than we ever thought possible. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, having a home of your own can give you a greater sense of security and accomplishment in a time that’s largely uncertain. If you’re a repeat buyer looking for your dream home, making a move might give you the space or features you need to find greater success and happiness in a new normal way of life. Whatever your motivations are, here are three reasons why becoming a homeowner now may help you win big in the long run.

1. Buying a Home Is a Great Investment

Several recent reports indicate that real estate is still a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps you build equity, a type of forced savings that grows your net worth. According to the latest Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions:

“The count of equity-rich properties in the fourth quarter of 2020 represented 30.2 percent, or about one in three, of the 59 million mortgaged homes in the United States. That was up from 28.3 percent in the third quarter of 2020, 27.5 percent in the second quarter and 26.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, despite the ongoing economic damage caused by the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.”

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Low

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have fallen since November 2018 when they hit 4.94%. In their latest forecast, Freddie Mac expects rates to remain low, leveling out to an average of 2.9% in 2021.

When you purchase a home at a low mortgage rate, it will impact your monthly mortgage payment, giving you the opportunity to likely get more house for your money.

3. Investing in Your Future Pays Off

There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. What many renters don’t realize, though, is the financial power of equity.

As a homeowner, your monthly mortgage payment becomes a form of ‘forced savings’ you can reinvest later in life as you see fit. You can use it in a variety of ways, like to fund a loved one’s education, move up to a bigger home, or start your own business. As a renter, you’re actually growing your landlord’s equity instead of your own.

If you’re ready to put your monthly payments to work for you and take steps toward those dreams and goals, purchasing a home may be the way to go, especially as rental prices continue to rise.

Bottom Line

Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings and long-term financial growth. Let’s connect to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you this year.