Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp?

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

I want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

Typical First Time Home Buyer | MyKCM

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Let’s get together to see if your dream of homeownership can become a reality!

Now Is Not The Time To Rent

Now Is Not The Time To Rent

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their first quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

When Is It A Good Time To Rent? Definitely NOT NOW! | Simplifying The Market

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that rents rose “faster last year than at any time since 2007, a boon for landlords but one that has stoked concerns about housing affordability for renters.”

The article also cited results from a recent Reis Inc. report which revealed that average effective rents rose 4.6% in 2015, the biggest gain since before the recession. Over the past 15 years, rents have risen at a rate of 2.7% annually. 

Where are rents headed?

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at recently warned that:

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”  

Bottom Line

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say in the latest Existing Home Sales Report:

 “With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.”

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, let’s meet up to determine if you are able to today!

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Yesterday, I discussed the reasons why homeownership makes sense financially. Today I wanted to touch on the emotional or ‘real’ reasons that many of us strive to become homeowners. After all, home is where the heart is!

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase. 

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list. 

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents: 

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future? 

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home. In other words: how do you feel about where you live, and what more do you want?

Staying Motivated During the Holidays

Staying Motivated During the Holidays

by Travis Rougier

Blogging for Tahoe Regional Young Professionals


As you may or may not know I am a member of a local organization called TRYP. Not only am I a member but I am also on the marketing committee, and just recently took on the role of being in charge of their blog! So now I will have some accountability with blogging and the plan is to be getting some more writing done on here as well.

I wrote a piece for them about staying motivated during the holiday season and I think it works for my main blog too. If you want to see it on TRYP’s site you can find it here: TRYP Staying Motivated During the Holidays. Otherwise it is below:

Staying Motivated During the Holidays

Wow. December has been busy! There have been Christmas parties galore, cookie making, shopping, threats from the “Storm of the Decade”, cookie eating, decorating, and more cookie eating. None of this has anything to do with work, but for me this is somehow an incredibly productive time of year, even though my work and my career aren’t my main focus.


I wish I was eating one right now…

Holidays are the time of year we like to spend with family, or to simply not be at work anymore. Many of us are burnt out. I understand, and feel very much the same way. There are some ways I have found to remain successful though:

  • Take some time off, get away, and get yourself into a place where you are relaxed and able to make sound decisions. Often our family and business life can suffer when we are stressed and making hasty choices. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home often. If it is at all possible I highly recommend it, especially at this time of year.
  • Once you have relaxed and shed the daily stress, it is time to evaluate. Look at your workload (without stressing!) and prioritize it. What has to be done by when? Once you’ve finished doing that for your job, do one for your personal life as well.
  • Now that you have a prioritized list you can address them in the correct order and stay focused on them until they are done. Make a schedule that is realistic and leaves you plenty of time to spend with family or doing what you WANT to do at this time of year. Try not to multitask. Multitasking kills your creativity, causes stress, and in the long run actually lowers your productivity. Get your work done, get some personal goals met, and stick to that schedule.
  • Here’s something you may not know: I love cookies. Chances are your coworkers do too. Sharing food with workmates is a great way to take a break, relieve holiday anxiety, and create trust. Recent studies have suggested that 57% of employees said that food-based perks make them feel more valued and appreciated. 50% said that food-perks would make them feel more satisfied with their employers. Never underestimate the power of a cookie again.
I wish I was also eating these right now...

I wish I was also eating these right now…


Before you know it you’ll have crossed off most of your list. You’ll be a bit more relaxed and you’ll have potentially cultivated better work relationships. Now when it is time to actually get back to the grind after the holidays you will already be set up for success. In fact, now would probably be a good idea to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions…


Benefits of Owning a Home For Your Children

Benefits of Owning a Home For Your Children

by Travis Rougier

Home Ownership

I came across this information the other day and thought I’d look at it a little bit more deeply. While I’d heard similar things before and sort of self-acknowledged it myself, I never expected the results to be so skewed in favor of home ownership.


I promise that below you will find links to the various studies and articles that these conclusions I provide come from. In my searches I found data that supported all the claims on the infographic, and a declaration from a study in 1997 that claimed, “Home ownership compared to renting leads to a 13 to 23 percent higher-quality home environment”. The study goes on to describe in extreme detail what that home environment consists of and what higher-quality is defined as. I also found that daughters of homeowners have a 27% lower probability of having children of their own as teenagers than children of renters. Furthermore, while the high school and college graduation rates are fantastic, they only begin to tell of the benefits that follow of having completed those milestones. We all have seen THOSE studies on how economically better off people are with education under their belt.

Some of the studies had theories on why these positive benefits occur. The theories include the belief that homeowners are more likely to make improvements to their homes. Improvements to create better play areas, reduce any hazards, put in more quality lighting, and provide more intellectual stimuli such as magazine subscriptions. Other studies conclude that the experience of hiring tradespeople and laborers, as well as budgeting for various home repairs can help homeowners to develop management skills which can also be used to improve their parenting. Another theory suggested that owning a home simply creates a more stable environment by proxy, since homeowners typically move less frequently than renters.

Ask Questions, Become Informed

Some interesting data and theories. I did find some studies that attempted to refute the data, but their conclusions were muddled at best. In the end the suggestions of these other studies was that we need to improve schools and communities to mimic the benefits of home ownership. In the words of LeVar Burton “but you don’t have to take my word for it.” My sources are below and as usual I urge you to learn more. Let me know what you think of this information in the comments.

Sources This is the 1997 study that kicked off the modern-day theorizing of this topic.