Don’t wait any longer, new homes may have the incentive you’re looking for today!

New Homes May Have the Incentives You’re Looking for Today

Approximately 13% of buyers decided that building a new home was their preferred option in 2020, compared with 87% who bought an existing home, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2020 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this year, builders are on pace to complete more than a million new homes in this country. If you’ve had trouble finding a home to buy over the past year, it may be time to work with your trusted agent to consider a new build and the incentives that come with it. Here’s why.

Is The Supply of Newly Built Homes Is Rising in Kalamazoo?

With the 49 homes for sale in Kalamazoo, which one do you think is the best option? 

When looking for a home, you can choose between existing homes (those that are already built and previously owned) and newly constructed ones. While the inventory of existing homes is on the rise today, it’s still in tight supply, meaning it can be challenging to find just the right one.

The inventory of newly built homes, however, is also rising. And with more options available than there have been in years, a new home may be just the answer you’re looking for. The graph below shows just how much the supply of newly built homes has grown this year.

And here’s the thing – builders are also keeping a close eye on current market trends. With mortgage rates rising this year and, as a result, buyer demand softening, builders are slowing their pace of new construction. That’s because they learned their lesson in the housing crash of 2008 and want to avoid over-building and having too much inventory in their pipeline.

Basically, while there are more newly built homes on the market today than there have been in years, many builders want to sell their current inventory before adding much more – and that’s where you can really benefit. Today, builders may be more willing to work with buyers. According to a recent survey83% of builders have reduced their prices over the last three months.

The Costs of Building Vs. Buying a home in Kalamazoo

Many home buyers wonder whether it is more cost-effective to construct or buy a house. Some buyers think that purchasing a newly constructed residence is more expensive than buying a home that is preexisting, but the difference between the median prices of new and used houses soon befell over the years. The median new home price in July 2021 was approximately $359,900, according to the National Association of Realtors, while the median sales price of a new home that same month was $390,500, according to the Census Bureau. Typically, newly-built homes are about 15% more expensive than existing homes, according to Builder magazine.

 

Where to Go From Here

The current supply of newly built homes for sale coupled with the fact that data shows the majority of builders are doing price reductions are both great news for you. It means you may have more options and possibly some much-needed relief if you consider newly built homes in your search.

If you’re ready to buy, it may be time to look for a newly built home. 

Allen Edwin homes is working on lowering their pricing after the huge boom last year. Many of their communities are providing incentives and for what seems like the first time in years you may be able to get a home for less than the aksing price with select builders!
 



Kalamazoo Home Buyers are Benefiting from More Favorable Negotiating Conditions

Buyers Are Regaining Some of Their Negotiation Power in Today’s Housing Market

If you’re thinking about buying a home today, there’s welcome news. Even though it’s still a sellers’ market, it’s a more moderate sellers’ market than last year. And the days of feeling like you may need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.

Today, you should have less competition and more negotiating power as a buyer. That’s because the intensity of buyer demand and bidding wars is easing this year. So, if bidding wars were the biggest factor that had you sitting on the sidelines, here are two trends that may be just what you need to re-enter the market.

Buyers that are getting FHA, VA, and Rural Development Loans are able to get their offers accepted again. Some buyers are getting houses for less than asking price but other buyers are still finding themselves in bidding wars. It’s not exactly a sellers or buyers market at this point as good houses will still go for over asking but some houses that need work or are overpriced will either sit on the market for a long time or sell for far below list price.

1. The Return of Contingencies

Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win a bidding war. But now, fewer people are waiving the inspection and appraisal.

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection and appraisal is declining. And a recent survey from realtor.com confirms more sellers are accepting offers that include these conditions today. According to their August study:

  • 95% of sellers reported buyers requested a home inspection
  • 67% of sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs as a result of the inspection findings

This goes to show buyers are more able to include these conditions in their offers today and negotiate as needed based on the outcome of the inspection.

 

2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs

Generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the purchase price for the home. Before the pandemic, it was a common negotiation tactic for sellers to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.

 

Today, as the market shifts and demand slows, data from realtor.com suggests this is making a comeback. A recent article shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be a negotiation tool you’ll see as you go to purchase a home. Just keep in mind, limits on closing cost credits are set by your lender and can vary by state and loan type. Work closely with your loan advisor to understand how much a seller can contribute to closing costs in your area.

Buyers Start Looking Again

Regardless of the extremely competitive housing market of the past several years, today’s data suggests negotiations are starting to come back on the table. This is good news if you’re planning to enter the housing market

How to Build Your Net Worth in Kalamazoo

How Owning a Home Builds Your Net Worth

Owning a home is a major financial milestone and an achievement to take pride in. One major reason: the equity you build as a homeowner gives your net worth a big boost. And with high inflation right now, the link between owning your home and building your wealth is especially important.

If you’re looking to increase your financial security, here’s why now could be a good time to start on your journey toward homeownership.

Owning a Home Is a Key Ingredient for Financial Success​​

In 2020, the median property value in Kalamazoo, MI was $113,700, and the homeownership rate was 44%. 

report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) details several homeownership trends, including a significant gap in net worth between homeowners and rentersIt finds:

“. . . the net worth of a homeowner was about $300,000 while that of a renter’s was $8,000 in 2021.”

To put that into perspective, the average homeowner’s net worth is roughly 40 times that of a renter’s. This difference shows owning a home is a key step in achieving financial success.

Homeownership and Wealth

Homeownership is one of the best investments that you can make for your family. Not only does it provide a place to live, but it also builds your family’s net worth.

According to the 2018  Housing Wealth Gains Report Kalamazoo-Portage MI DISC, In 2016, homeowners’ median net worth was $231,400, or 45 times the median net worth of renters. Housing was the largest source of wealth: the average net housing wealth was $197,500 — 85 percent of median homeowners’ net worth.

In addition to building your net worth, homeownership also has other benefits. It provides stability for your family, and it can be a source of income if you rent out part of your home.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, don’t wait!

Equity Gains Can Substantially Boost a Homeowner’s Net Worth

The net worth gap between owners and renters exists in large part because homeowners build equity. As a homeowner, your equity grows as your home appreciates and you make mortgage payments. Over time, this can result in a significant increase in net worth.

For renters, on the other hand, there is no opportunity to build equity. Each month, they pay their landlord for the privilege of living in their home. While renting may be cheaper in the short-term, it is not an effective way to build long-term wealth.

A recent article from CNET explains:

But on top of that, your home equity grows even more as your home appreciates in value over time. That has a major impact on the wealth you build, as a recent article from Bankrate notes:

“Building home equity can help you increase your wealth over time, . . . A home is one of the only assets that have the potential to appreciate in value as you pay it down.”

In other words, when you own your home, you have the advantage of your mortgage payment acting as a contribution to a forced savings account that grows in value as your home does. And when you sell, any equity you’ve built up comes back to you. As a renter, you’ll never see a return on the money you pay out in rent every month.

Where to Go From Here

Owning a home is an important part of building your net worth.

Take my friend Jacob who took my advice as an example. He bought. duplex and he’s currently been on a 15 year mortgage and has paid it down to almost pay off $100,000 of debt by utilizing the downstairs rent to pay off his loan

Know What’s Happening with Mortgage Rates in Kalamazoo

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates 

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, you may have been watching what’s happened with mortgage rates over the past year. It’s true they’ve risen dramatically, but where will they go from here, especially as the market continues to slow?

Mortgage rates have nearly doubled to around 6.5% from the beginning of this year, but they may not have peaked, putting pressure on affordability for homebuyers. 

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.35% in early January, according to Freddie Mac. By mid-March, it had jumped to 4.46%. And by the end of May, it had reached 6.07%. Rates have climbed even higher in recent weeks, hitting a recent high of 6.49%, according to Mortgage News Daily. 

The jump in rates has been driven by a variety of factors, including rising inflation and bond yields as the economy continues to improve. The Federal Reserve has also hinted that it may start scaling back its stimulus efforts later this year, which could cause rates to rise even further.

The same effect is being felt in the Real Estate industry in Kalamazoo. 

Todays Mortgage Rates in Kalamazoo

Today’s mortgage rates in Kalamazoo, MI are 6.891% for a 30-year fixed, 6.125% for a 15-year fixed, and 5.570% for a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

 As you think about your homeownership goals and decide if now’s the time to make your move, the best place to turn to for that information is the professionals. Here’s a summary of the latest mortgage rate forecasts from housing market experts.

Mortgage Rate Projections in Kalamazoo

kalamazoo mortgage rate projections for 2022 and 2023

As predicted by our favorite lenders at GVC mortgage, rates in Kalamazoo, Michigan could reach 8% by the end of the year. While this may seem like a large increase, it is important to remember that rates are still historically average This jump is not unexpected, and is actually in line with what was seen in previous years, and is being used to slow down some of the hyper inflation that was felt in home prices over the past several years. GVC mortgage is still predicting that rates will remain relatively stable throughout the rest of the year.

While mortgage rates continue to fluctuate due to ongoing inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, experts project they’ll start to stabilize in the months ahead. According to the latest projections, mortgage rates are expected to hover in the low to mid 5% range initially, and then potentially dip into the high 4% range by later next year.

How Rates Affect Kalamazoo Real Estate

That could bring you some welcome relief. So far this year, mortgage rates have climbed over two percentage points due to the Federal Reserve’s response to inflation, and that’s made it more expensive to buy a home. And wondering if the rise in rates will continue is keeping some prospective buyers on the sidelines.

The market is still increasing in price – there’s still a lot of uncertainty but so far rent prices are still outpacing the cost of owning so it makes financial sense that more people are going to be purchasing. We also have a lot of appreciation in home prices due to the growth that Pfizer and Stryker have had over the pandemic. 

But now that experts say mortgage rates should stabilize, this gives you a bit more certainty about what they think the future holds, and that may help you feel more confident about your decision to buy a home.

Where to Go From Here

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, move up to a larger home, or even downsize, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market so you can make the most informed decision possible. Based off of the data that we’re seeing in the market it makes the most sense to buy if you’re currently looking for more space, less space, or need to move for a job. It’s not the same as making the move in early 2020 with 2.5% interest rates but you’re still able to get a more affordable payment than with renting.

Best Micro Breweries in Kalamazoo

Micro Breweries in Kalamazoo MI

Our Favorite MicroBrew Locations

Being born at Bronson Hospital in downtown Kalamazoo, MI I’ve grown up in an ever growing city. I’ve seen places come and go but overall there’s a fantastic amount of small breweries. Whether you’re looking for a crisp IPA, tasty stout, or willing to venture into unique sours Kalamazoo, MI has a microbrewery that’s going to be perfect for you!

Kalamazoo has around 11 unique microbreweries (this number changes frequently) and this is a list of my favorite Kalamazoo, MI Micro Breweries as a local resident and someone who really loves stouts and porters. While I tend to stick to these beers – I drink just about anything so here’s the places I would go to, to explore the best beers in Kalamazoo!

1. One Well Brewing

Variety of Beers | Great Food | Board Games | Arcade Games

Favorite Beer: Only Gose to Show (Kettle Sour)

Super Fun Fan Favorites: Xalapa (Jalapeno Blonde *Spicy*)

In the heart of Milwood in Kalamazoo, MI – One Well brewing is a fun place to try out new beers, enjoy a board game, and some unique food. Overall, there’s a beer here for everyone which is why it’s going to the be the best place to go to on our list. 

The “Only Gose to Show” is my favorite because it’s incredibly refreshing for a beer and has a very good flavor profile to it. While some sours make you pucker, this one to me is a light porch sipping drink that could be drank all day. There’s also a tequilla barrel version that’s a bit stronger on the ABV but overall is just a quality beer. 

One of their beers (Xalapa listed above) is incredibly spicy and is perfect for someone looking for a unique craft beer to try. Although it’s not very refreshing the beer itself is one of a kind and has a strangely wheaty undertone – when you get past all the spice. 

One Well Brewing also has a ton of great food, some of my favorites on their rotating menu are the nachos, chicken wings, and burritos. A lot of people love the personal pizzas there as well and I’ve never been with someone who doesn’t find something that they enjoyed!

If you only have 1 night in Kalamazoo this may be the best place to try out. 

Xalapa Jalepeno Beer One Well Brewing

2. Brewery Outre

Variety of Beers | Food Trucks | Shared Food Area

Favorite Beers: Blanc Slate (Sauv Blanc IPA), Glampfire Stout (Smoked Stout), Mimosa Sour (Muscat Sour)

IPA in Kalamazoo Micro Brewery

While this is a newer brewery the owner (Ted) has been brewing beer for a long time. He’s an engineer turned brewer and the best part about this Micro Brewery, in my opinion, is that the beers are consistent.

If you’re a fan of IPA’s I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t enjoy some of the Blanc Slate IPA including myself. It’s got a very refreshing flavor, despite having high IBUs. Additionally it’s at a whopping 7.7% ABV!

I also genuinely love the Glampfire Stout which is sweet, smoky, and delicious. It’s a very balanced stout and lets a lot of different flavors come through while not allowing one bold flavor to be overpowering. 

If you’re looking for more of a sipper the Mimosa Sour lives up to its name and tastes like a beer mimosa. Even my wife who normally doesn’t love beer enjoys drinking this, which is great for someone who doesn’t necessarily love beer. 

While Brewery Outre doesn’t have any food inside yet they regularly have food truck events and have a cafe next door that serves food. I love the ambiance inside the brewery and the mixture of hard, modern surfaces mixed with the comfort of their sitting area makes you feel more at home than out in a bar. 

This is a perfect place to go if you’re looking to try some well crafted beers while you’re near downtown Kalamazoo!

3. Wax Wings

Sour Beer Champs | Very Affordable | Near Great Food

Favorite Beer: Condor Valley (Fruited Sour)

While it’s a little off the beaten path, it’s definitely worth the trip to try some of their beer. What I love about wax wings is that they have a very different flavor profile than most of the other beers in Kalamazoo. They offer some very unique sours and occasionally have food (Covid has been tough for their business). 

The Condor Valley Beer has come in different flavors as well which is a really fun way to put a twist on one product. I know in 2021 I was able to get a cherry, blackberry, and orange flavored sour that were all offshoots of the original Condor Valley

Overall it’s a great place to visit and there’s plenty of food on gull road, including the restaraunt in the same strip, Mi Pueblo

4. Latitude 42

Variety of Beers | Great Food | Cocktails | Outdoor Dining

Favorite Beers: Michigan Honey Amber (American Amber), Beach Cruiser (Hefeweizen), Saskatoon Berry Cider (Apfelwein)

Micro Breweries Beer Flight Kalamazoo MI

Latitude 42 is a cool atmosphere and conveniently located off the highway in Kalamazoo. The Oshtemo location is actually the second location and they do also have their first location in Portage (in case that one is closer to where you are at). 

Latitude is a great place for someone who is looking for more high-end bar food, different drinks, and a fun ambiance. There’s lots of diferent beers, ciders, and even liquors that Latitude produces that are all incredible. 

If you’re going getting a flight is probably the best way to find exactly what you like there since there are so many options. 

The Michigan Honey Amber is my favorite because there’s very few breweries around Kalamazoo that are producing great tasting red ales. It has a really refreshing flavor but also the right amount of hops that come through, all while being made with locally sourced wildflower honey amber. 

If I’m in a mood where I want a crisp drink the Beach Cruiser is a perfect sipping drink. Of course, if you’re more of a cider person I loved the Saskatoon Berry Cider because it had the right amount of tartness to sweetness and it’s just a fun berry name. 

This location also has a really cool outside patio area, they serve tons of elevated bar foods such as truffle fries, burgers, and pizzas. They do try out new beers from time to time and it’s always a great place to go to if you want to have a higher end experience. 

5. Brite Eyes

Local BBQ | Affordable | Close to Downtown

Favorite Beer: Dagwood's Wife (Blonde Ale)

The best part about Brite eyes is the slow cooked BBQ. One of my favorite items on their menu are the BBQ fries with their brisket, which are arguably better than HopCat’s crack fries (yes they will always be crack fries to me). This is just one of the many things that they offer on their extensive BBQ menu. 

Every time that I’ve been there’s been new beers and ciders which is always a perk when you’re looking for new beers to try in Kalamazoo. Overall, the Dagwood’s Wife beer is my favorite because it’s easy to drink, slightly hoppy, and pairs well with the heaviness of the BBQ. 

If you’re looking for something a little sweeter the Black N’ Blue cider is one of my favorite local ciders. Unlike some other ciders, this one actually has some blackberry flavor and you don’t just get an overwhelming apple flavor. If you’re looking for a quiet microbrewery to have some great beer/cider and even better BBQ you should definitely head to Brite Eyes!

Other MicroBreweries in Kalamazoo

While these are my personal favorites there’s plenty of other places to go to get some great beer in Kalamazoo. Here’s a list of some of the places that you can check out besides the ones listed above – and if you want to have your favorites reviewed share this with some friends on social!

Also due to the high traffic Bells Brewery has and the fact that they serve beers all across the USA I’ve opted to not promote them in this post that’s more unique to people traveling to Kalamazoo.