Urban to Suburban Lean

Congratulations Dave and Gulmira! After 14 years in Cleveland Park, DC it was time for more space and a sprawling yard. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, three rejected offers, a rent back and a short time rental they ended up with the perfect house and location for them. Thank you for trusting me to facilitate listing one home and buying the next.

Cleveland Park, DC to Kensington, MD – view listings

Two New Surveys Indicate Urban to Suburban Lean

There has been much talk around the possibility that Americans are feeling less enamored with the benefits of living in a large city and now may be longing for the open spaces that suburban and rural areas provide.

In a recent Realtor Magazine article, they discussed the issue and addressed comments made by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“While migration trends were toward urban centers before the pandemic, real estate thought leaders have predicted a suburban resurgence as home buyers seek more space for social distancing. Now the data is supporting that theory. Coronavirus and work-from-home flexibility is sparking the trend reversal, Yun said. More first-time home buyers and minorities have also been looking to the suburbs for affordability, he added.”

NAR surveyed agents across the country asking them to best describe the locations where their clients are looking for homes (they could check multiple answers). Here are the results of the survey:

  • 47% suburban/subdivision
  • 39% rural area
  • 25% small town
  • 14% urban area/central city
  • 13% resort community/recreational area

According to real estate agents, there’s a strong preference for less populated locations such as suburban and rural areas.

Real Estate Brokers and Owners Agree

Two New Surveys Indicate Urban to Suburban Lean | MyKCM

Zelman & Associates surveys brokers and owners of real estate firms for their monthly Real Estate Brokers Report. The last report revealed that 68% see either a ‘moderate’ or ‘significant’ shift to more suburban locations. Here are the results of the survey:

Bottom Line

No one knows if this will be a short-term trend or an industry game-changer. For now, there appears to be a migration to more open environments.


Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? | MyKCM

The year 2020 will certainly be one to remember, with new realities and norms that changed the way we live. This year’s real estate market is certainly no exception to that shift, with historic highlights continuing to break records and challenge what many thought possible in the housing market. Here’s a look at four key areas that are fundamentally defining the market this year.

Housing Market Recovery

The economy was intentionally put on pause this spring in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Many aspects of the common real estate transaction were placed on hold at the same time. Thankfully, technology and innovation helped the industry power forward, and business gradually ramped back up as shelter-in-place orders were lifted.

The result? Total transformation of the market from rock-bottom lows to exceptional highs. Today, the housing recovery is being called truly remarkable by many experts and is far exceeding expectations. From pending home sales to purchase applications, buyers are back in business and homes are selling – fast.

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? | MyKCM

According to the Housing Market Recovery Index by realtor.com, the market has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and has regained the strength we remember from February of this year (See graph below):

Record-Breaking Mortgage Rates

Historically low mortgage rates are another 2020 game-changer. Today’s low rate is one of the big motivating factors bringing buyers back into the market. The average rate reached an all-time low on multiple occasions this year, and it continues to hover in record-low territory.

When rates are this low, buyers have a huge opportunity to get more for their money when purchasing a home, something many are eager to find while continuing to spend more time than expected at home this year, and likely beyond.

Continued Home Price Appreciation

One of the key drivers of home price appreciation this year is historically low inventory. Inventory was low going into the pandemic, and it is still sitting well below the level needed for a normal market. Although sellers are slowly making their way back into the game, buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re coming up for sale.

This is a classic supply and demand scenario, forcing home prices to rise. Selling something when there is a higher demand for what is available naturally bumps up the price. If you’re ready to sell your house today, this may be the optimal time to make your move. As Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loansnotes:

“The pandemic has not stopped the consistent home price growth we have witnessed in recent years.” 

Increasing Affordability

Even as home prices continue to rise, affordability is working in favor of today’s homebuyers. According to many experts, rates this low are off-setting rising home prices, which increases buyer purchasing power – an opportunity not to be missed, especially if your family’s needs have changed. If you now need space for a home office, gym, virtual classroom, and more, it may be time to reconsider your current house.

According to Mortgage News Daily:

“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power.

Bottom Line

With mortgage rates hitting historic lows, home prices appreciating, affordability rising, and the market recovering like no other, 2020 has been quite a year for real estate – perhaps one we’ve never seen before and may never see again. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to take advantage of this year’s record-breaking opportunities.


Does It Make Sense to Continue Renting? When You Can Lock In An Unprecedented Low Interest Rate For 30 Years

The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying a Home

The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median-priced home today is declining, while that for renting is on the rise.
  • This is making buying a home an increasingly attractive option for many people, especially with low mortgage rates driving purchasing power.
  • Let’s connect if you’d like expert guidance on exploring your home buying options while affordability is high.

Builders & Realtors Agree: Real Estate Is Back

Builders & Realtors Agree: Real Estate Is Back | MyKCM

When shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt earlier this year, many believed the residential housing market would follow suit. Countless analysts predicted buyer demand would disappear and home values would depreciate for the first time in almost a decade. That, however, didn’t happen. It appears the opposite is taking place.

After the bottom fell out of the real estate market immediately following the shutdown, it has come roaring back – and seems to still be gaining steam. Here’s a look at two recent reports – one from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and one from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – showing this growing strength.

Builder Confidence Hits All-Time High

Last week, it was reported that applications for new home purchases with home builders were 39% higher than in July of 2019. That has builder confidence soaring.

Each month, NAHB releases its Housing Market Index, a survey of NAHB members who rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time and over the next six months, as well as prospective buyer traffic for new homes.

This month, they reported that builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased to the highest reading in the 35-year history of the series. NAHB Chairman, Chuck Fowke, explained:

“The demand for new single-family homes continues to be strong, as low interest rates and a focus on the importance of housing has stoked buyer traffic to all-time highs…Housing has clearly been a bright spot during the pandemic and the sharp rebound in builder confidence over the summer has led NAHB to upgrade its forecast for single-family starts, which are now projected to show only a slight decline for 2020.”

The number of newly constructed homes being built will be almost at the same level as last year, even though the economic shutdown crushed home building earlier in the year.

Existing Homes Are Also Selling Like Hotcakes

Last Friday, NAR released its Existing Home Sales Report. The report revealed that month-over-month sales increased by 24.7%, setting another record for the category. The Wall Street Journal reported that the increase crushed expert forecasts:

“Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 14.2% monthly increase in sales of previously-owned homes, which make up most of the housing market.”

Home sales increased by 8.7% year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, explained how the resale market is just as hot as the new construction market:

“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days. With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

In addition, the Housing Market Recovery Index, which is released monthly by realtor.com, also showed the market is recovering nicely. The latest index reading was 104.8, which means the housing market is doing better than it was in January and February of this year. As a reference, the highest point in the index was a 106.5 in early March, just prior to the health crisis setting in.

Bottom Line

Both the newly constructed and existing home sale markets are posting numbers greater than a year ago. Real estate is back. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have the expert counsel you need along the way.


It’s All About RE|lationships

It’s our goal as agents but we don’t always get too many opportunities to work with people more than once. I am so glad that Sam and Ben were some of those clients. It’s been so rewarding watching their progress and their success come to fruition.

One of the best benefits of working with first time home buyers is that I get to watch how their lives unfold.
I first met Sam and Ben in 2016. What a great starter home!

“Laurel is not only an amazing realtor but our friend for life. We met her when we were looking to buy our first home and she walked us through each step in the process, she was kind and patient. We felt like we could take our time finding the right fit. We called Laurel again, as our family grew and realized we needed something bigger, our forever home. This was at the beginning of COVID and we were anxious about the challenges that may come with selling and buying at this time. Laurel again, walked us through the process and was there for us when we had questions. She helped ease our fears and frustrations. She helped us sell our home quickly while ensuring we got the best deal possible, and was able to help us find our forever home in which we needed a very short time to close. Laurel was honest each step of the way and spoke honestly about the pros and cons of each home we looked at to ensure we found the right home for our needs. Laurel is not only knowledgeable but also trustworthy and personable. She made a journey that can sometimes be painful, fun and easy. The only downside to finding our forever home is not being able to work with her again!”

– Sam and Ben

Four years later, plus one little one, a masters degree and a whole lot of hard work and success, they bought their forever home.


It’s About Lifestyle

Home buyers were out in droves nationwide in June resulting in the second consecutive month of surging home showing activity, with agents seeing 50 percent more showings per listing according to data from the ShowingTime Showing Index.

The ShowingTime Showing Index, the first of its kind in the residential real estate industry, is compiled using data from property showings scheduled across the country on listings using ShowingTime products and services, providing a benchmark to track buyer demand.

Congratulations Sally! Armed with the desire to spend more quality time with family, a vision and patience, she now owns a second home with a one in a million view.
#CalvertCountyRealEstate


How To Prepare For A Sellers Market

Getting a house market ready is a step by step process. It takes active participation from agent and owner(s). One of the most valuable insights an agent should bring to a seller is what to expect . Have you debated about selling? Take it one step at a time.

For Sale:
Less than 24 hours on the market, 20+ showings and counting with an owner occupied home.


3938 9th Road S, Arlington VA | #ArlingtonRealEstate
Link To Listing | Virtual Tour
Bedrooms: 3 | Full Bath: 3.5 | Sq. Feet: 1632


Real Estate Persists Being About People And The RElationships Built.

Four years ago Jacob and Amanda relocated to the DMV area for a work opportunity with every intention of going back to their home state of Michigan. Despite not knowing their timeline as to when they could go home, they knew it was better to buy versus rent. To be a a small part in their larger plan, a facilitator to the purchase of their home and now selling it, has been rewarding. Their hard work and careful planning is paying off. They are on their way home. With only three day on the market, they received an offer over list price and stand to walk away with a return on their investment.

Under Contract: 20432 Summersong Lane Germantown, MD 20874
​Link to listing | Virtual Tour Link
Bedrooms: ​2​ | Full Bath: ​3.5​ | Sq. Feet: ​1594


Pending Home Sales Notch Record-Setting 44.3% Monthly Increase in May

A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market

A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market | MyKCM

Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important?

According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is:

“A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops. Because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing-Home Sales by a month or two.”

In real estate, pending home sales is a key indicator in determining the strength of the housing market. As mentioned before, it measures how many existing homes went into contract in a specific month. When a buyer goes through the steps to purchase a home, the final one is the closing. On average, that happens about two months after the contract is signed, depending on how fast or slow the process takes in each state.

Why is this rebound important?

A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market | MyKCM

With the COVID-19 pandemic and a shutdown of the economy, we saw a steep two-month decline in the number of houses that went into contract. In May, however, that number increased dramatically (See graph below):This jump means buyers are back in the market and purchasing homes right now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR mentioned:

“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership…This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.”

But in order to continue with this trend, we need more houses for sale on the market. Yun continues to say:

“More listings are continuously appearing as the economy reopens, helping with inventory choices…Still, more home construction is needed to counter the persistent underproduction of homes over the past decade.”

A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market | MyKCM

As we move through the year, we’ll see an increase in the number of houses being built. This will help combat a small portion of the inventory deficit. The lack of overall inventory, however, is still a challenge, and it is creating an opportunity for homeowners who are ready to sell. As the graph below shows, during the last 12 months, the supply of homes for sale has been decreasing year-over-year and is not keeping up with the demand from homebuyers.

Bottom Line

If you decided not to sell this spring due to the health crisis, maybe it’s time to jump back into the market while buyers are actively looking for homes. Let’s connect today to determine your best move forward.


DC Metro Area Real Estate Trends | 2020 Summer

Have you noticed that as soon as a property goes on the market, it seems that within days they’re under contract? All indicators point to a strong summer real estate market.

  • New pending sales up 25.5% ( Zillow June Report)
  • New listings taken up 19.3% month -over -month ( Zillow June Report)
  • Demand for housing is out pacing supply = competitive market for buyers, excellent time to be a seller ( DC Metro area months supply is 1.4)
  • Our area is above average when it comes to exposure to low risk jobs by market. Meaning, there are more DC metro area residents who remain working in sectors including federal, state and local government, information technology, military and utilities.


#LMRE Most Current Under Contract or Sold Properties

Under Contract in 6 days
3601 38th Street NW #202
Washington, DC 20016
Under Contract in 2 days
Closed in 21 days

13305 Burnt Woods Place
Germantown, MD 20874
Didn’t make it one day on the market.
Shown once.
8101 Connecticut Ave C505
Chevy Chase, MD 20815