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Date Archives: May 18th, 2020

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Spring Cleaning TasksWarmer temperatures have arrived, and it's time to get your house ready for the new season. Whether you're happy in your current space or want our real estate agents to help you find a new home, a little spring cleaning will help your home put its best foot forward. Instead of sticking to your normal spring cleaning tasks, make sure to turn your attention to items that are commonly overlooked. Here are a few tasks to put on your spring cleaning checklist. 

  1. Clean Your Mattress
    Over time, dust, dead skin, and other debris settle into your mattress. Strip your mattress of its bedding and break out the vacuum cleaner. Feel like your mattress needs a little extra deodorizing? Sprinkle a little baking soda on your mattress and let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming. This will remove any old, set-in odors. If your mattress design permits, spring is the perfect time to flip your mattress over so that it wears evenly. Should you have a pillowtop mattress, just rotate it, so the top part is at the bottom of your bed, and the bottom part is at the top part of your bed. 
  2. Sanitize Your Tech Accessories
    Your tech accessories, like your remote controls, headphones, and gaming controllers, are some of the most touched items in your household. Take a few minutes and wipe each one down with a damp sanitizing wipe. Out of wipes? Dip a cleaning cloth in equal parts rubbing alcohol and water until its damp. Use a moistened q-tip in the tight or narrow areas around buttons and indentations.
  3. Declutter Your Seldom-Used Storage Spaces
    It's easy to overlook the overflowing closets and bulging storage bins in areas that you seldom use, like your attic, garage, and guest bedrooms. However, it's important to make decluttering these spaces a priority so that you don't wind up with an overwhelming mountain of stuff. Once you get rid of some unneeded items, it's much easier to clean the space. Not sure what to get rid of? A good rule of them is to throw out, sell, or donate non-seasonal items that you haven't used in the last six months. Or, if an item doesn't fit your current lifestyle, it's okay to let it go.
  4. Spray Off Your Window Screens
    Make sure that a lovely spring breeze doesn't blow dust and allergens throughout your home by cleaning your window screens. Remove each screen from its window. Mix a little dish detergent with water and use a soft cloth or brush to clean your screens. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot the screen dry with a towel. Depending on the size of your screen and the layout of your, you can use your bathtub or an outside area and your water hose.
  5. Clear Out Your Gardens
    Don't forget to clear out your gardens! Your flower gardens are one of the first things visitors see when they arrive at your home. Dead, decaying plants will detract from the look of your healthy, blooming flowers. In addition to dead organic matter, take a few minutes to pull any weeds, grass, or plants that don't belong in the space. 

Feel like you've outgrown your current home? Contact us today to explore your options. 


Why Home Equity is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market | MyKCM

Given how we have seen more unemployment claims than ever before over the past several weeks, fear is spreading widely. Some good news, however, shows that more than 4 million initial unemployment filers have likely already found a new job, especially as industries such as health care, food and grocery stores, retail, delivery, and more increase their employment opportunities. Breaking down what unemployment means for homeownership, and understanding the significant equity Americans hold today, are important parts of seeing the picture clearly when sorting through this uncertainty.

One of the biggest questions right now is whether this historic unemployment rate will initiate a new surge of foreclosures in the market. It's a very real fear. Despite the staggering number of claims, there are actually many reasons why we won't see a significant number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash twelve years ago. The amount of equity homeowners have today is a leading differentiator in the current market.

Today, according to John Burns Consulting58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity. That number is drastically different than it was in 2008 when the housing bubble burst. The last recession was painful, and when prices dipped, many found themselves owing more on their mortgage than what their homes were worth. Homeowners simply walked away at that point. Now, 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they're owned free and clear. Those homes are not at risk for foreclosure (see graph below):

Why Home Equity is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market | MyKCM

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity mortgaged homes have today is $177,000. That's a significant amount that homeowners won't be stepping away from, even in today's economy (see chart below):

Why Home Equity is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market | MyKCM

In essence, the amount of equity homeowners have today positions them to be in a much better place than they were in 2008.

Bottom Line 

The fear and uncertainty we feel right now are very real, and this is not going to be easy. We can, however, see strength in our current market through homeowner equity that has not been there in the past. That may be a bright spark to help us make it through.

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