Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Norman’s First Black Homeowners Reflect On Five Decades Of Culture Shock And Progress | University of Oklahoma | Normantranscript.com

I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Henderson speak last year, and then chatted with him for about 10 minutes. On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day this is a great story for people of Norman to remember.

-Grady

Norman’s first black homeowners reflect on five decades of culture shock and progress

When George and Barbara Henderson moved from Detroit to Norman with seven children and Barbara’s mother nearly 50 years ago, they were embarking on an uncertain journey, one that many of their colleagues and friends encouraged them not to make.

Norman was a white town and the Hendersons were a black family. Their friends feared for them.

After some soul searching and labored consideration, they made the move anyway. In 1967, the Henderson family became the first black family to buy a house in Norman, a town that still had sundown laws that prohibited blacks from public life after dark.

The University of Oklahoma had offered George a job as an educational sociologist. He ultimately accepted the position on the condition that he could find adequate housing for his large family. Realtor Sam Matthews, whose name would later grace the Xenia Institute’s humanitarian award, sold them the house at 2616 Osborne Drive.

The Hendersons still call it home to this day. Now, they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, but when they first moved, they weren’t joining the black community in Norman, they were it.

“You have to understand, we lived in an all-black neighborhood,” George said. “We were part of Detroit society. So, we were integrated into that community. And at that time, Detroit was roughly 75 percent white and 25 percent black. There was no way for us to be prepared for this … I should have listened to my mentor. They said don’t do it. Don’t go there.”

The Hendersons were plugged into the community in Detroit. Oklahoma would prove to be a fresh start with a predictably sour taste. Though gradual attitude shifts occurred over time, and some Normanites did welcome them with open arms, George and Barbara said their initial arrival was met with an unfair share of dirty looks and racist whispers.

Barbara said they knew immediately that they were not wanted by some of their neighbors. It took many forms: Rude phone calls, trash in the yard, hateful messages passed between acquaintances and even threats to their daughters. Their son became the first black player to win a varsity letter in basketball at Norman High, but despite his talent, he still faced an uphill battle. George said that his son’s coach, the late Max Marquardt, told them straight up: “Norman isn’t ready for a black starter.”

George said that may have cost his son an opportunity to vie for an opportunity in the college ranks. Despite those setbacks, he said his children were strong.

“We had never lived this experience,” George said. “I taught it. I even fantasized about it from time to time but I never had a chance to live it. My children did. They were living it. But they didn’t come looking for the negatives. They came looking for the positives and they found them. We were fortunate that their was a university school here. And many of the faculty and staff had their children in that school. Some of the most liberal and progressive people in Norman had their children their.”

When George made the move, he said he was embracing a chance to study the sociological perspective of racism and culture first hand. He was involved in civil rights activities in Detroit, so he considered the move to be “just another challenge.”

He became a stranger in a strange land, an embedded scholar in a hypocritical environment that dominated the cultural landscape of the South during the 60s and beyond.

As time went on, George said things improved, but there was no definitive moment. Eventually, even Marquardt would apologize to their son for lacking the courage to start him.

“It was like Dickens. It was the best of times and the worst of times, but in reverse. The worst of times became the best of times.”

Barbara said it happened because they were working for it. They were unapologetically living their lives here. They were making friends and claiming Norman as their own in spite of it all. Their home became a beacon for guests of the university who had nowhere else to go. When world-famous poet Maya Angelou came to Norman, she visited the Henderson house. When 11-time NBA Champion Bill Russell came to Norman, he visited the Henderson house. He shot baskets with neighborhood kids in the Henderson driveway. The only kids in the neighborhood who got left out were those whose parents had forbidden them to play with the Henderson kids. George said those moments revealed the ridiculous nature of those prejudices.

“What’s interesting to me,” George said, “is that most of the people who didn’t like us just avoided us, or moved out of the neighborhood.”

Barbara said their children were crucial to that issue. She said as they grew, they made connections to other children that would ingrain the Hendersons in the Norman landscape.

When they were faced with slurs and condescension, Barbara said their friends would counter back.

“Or (my children) would,” Barbara said. “They knew who they were. They didn’t have any complexes about being lesser human beings.”

While his family helped change racial attitudes in Norman, George went on to a storied career with the university. The son of Alabama sharecroppers founded OU’s human relations program. He was inducted into the Oklahoma African American Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame and his work garnered him awards like the Walter Nuestadt Award, The Xenia Institute Sam Matthews Humanitarian Award, the Distinguished Service Award from OU, the White Buffalo Mask Award and many more.

After a lifetime in Oklahoma, George said things have changed, but the change he has seen over the decades may only go skin deep. Beneath the facade of social equality there’s still much work to be done.

“Racism hasn’t gone away,” Barbara said. “The face of it’s just changed.”

George said he still sees it.

When he enters the elevator, he sees it.

When he waves hello and gets the cold shoulder, he feels it.

“People are politically correct now,” George said. “You can think it. You can say it privately, but publicly it’s not kosher. It hasn’t gone away. Its death was greatly exaggerated. It still happens on a regular basis.”

Still, George said he isn’t angry. He wasn’t angry when he saw the video of OU students chanting racial slurs on a party bus.

He wasn’t angry when racist vandalism popped up in Norman last year. He believes the path to a brighter future is born of understanding, not judgement.

“The university asked me, and I agreed, to offer diversity training to the students that remained. All of the students who were not expelled spent a Saturday morning with me. I felt that I had to get to know them. They were shocked at first. Here they were going to have to spend a Saturday morning with a black professor …”

Barbara said those students probably expected the worst. What they got instead was George.

“What they got instead was someone who was just curious,” he said. “I felt like I needed to get to know them. I asked them to tell me about themselves, what’s happening to you, for you, about you. And I shared my regret that they indeed had to suffer through some of these things. What they shared with me was that for the first time, they understood what it was like to be a minority and singled out. They were demonized and people didn’t even know them.”

George said those students didn’t just wake up and decide to create that chant. It had to be taught to them. It’s a matter of ritual, the kind that takes time to create, and time to dismantle.

“They will think now,” George said. “It will stay with them for a long time. They got a chance to see the other side. I guess it was good for them to see that (I) could have extracted a morning of pain and that wasn’t the purpose. It was a teachable moment.”

Those are the kinds of moments that George said will make the difference. He’s still combating racism, one class at a time.

“Their children will not be taught the way they were taught,” he said. “They are more accepting. I see the hope in the next generation and the one after that, if I can just reach them.”

He said change is slow, but in a way, inevitable. As younger generations supplant older generations, they supplant old ideas. And though he said it’s absurd to ignore our differences, he said he looks forward to a future where our diversity as Americans and Normanites is celebrated.

“If we were all the same,” George said, “what kind of world would this be? I see the future I want every semester I teach.”

Source: Norman’s first black homeowners reflect on five decades of culture shock and progress | University of Oklahoma | normantranscript.com

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place | The Daily Oklahoman

*You might have to press pause on the video just below if you want to read everything before you watch it, it seems to be playing automatically.

A quick note before the video/article:

Early in 2017 I found myself in the middle of a transaction that had a very strong thread for all parties involved, aging family members. My sellers were helping their mother sell their childhood home, which needless to say had to be emotionally impactful. Not long after the house went on the market I was approached by a lady saying that her daughter lived a few doors down from the house, and they thought it would be nice to live closer to one another. I later discovered that this very witty and charming person was in the earlier stages of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Long story short they purchased the home after a few bumps in the road, and she and her daughter renovated the home – and it is immaculate…

I’m currently writing this with tears in my eyes next to my grandfather who is on his deathbed. In the last few years I lived for a while with my grandparents as they were getting settled into their final residence. We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time, and in the middle of taking care of him for his final stage of life I saw this article pop up in The Daily Oklahoman, telling the wonderful story of some of my newfound friends, Deb and Amy on one side and Larry and Sue on the other. I’m so grateful for everyone involved. Being a part of their story makes me appreciate my own even more, and I’m pretty much bursting at the seems already with love and appreciation for my own family.

-Grady

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place

By Dyrinda Tyson For The Oklahoman dyrinda@gmail.com  


NORMAN — Amy Brewer wanted her mother closer, especially when memory issues began to surface. But it took several years and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for things to come to a head.

“In April, she got lost for five hours,” she said. “That’s when I decided that she needed to move.”

Her mother, Deborah Brewer, raised a finger.

“Now I have a different story,” she interjected. She offered her explanation, mostly off the record, possibly tongue-in-cheek. “So I knew where I was,” she concluded with a nod.

Still, her daughter saw it as a call to action. Interstate 35 and major chunk of Norman lay between them. And as unpredictable as Alzheimer’s disease can be, the one thing for sure is it doesn’t retreat.

“I decided I’d put this off long enough,” Amy Brewer said. “For five years, I knew we needed to do something. And I’d been floating the idea and floating the idea.”

Her mother, though, was reluctant, at least until Amy played her trump card: “I finally said, ‘There’s going to come a time when I’m going to have to take your car away, and you’re still going to want to see your grandkids. So you need to be right by us. And, she said, ‘I understand.’ ”

The perfect bungalow came on the market that weekend, just two doors down from Amy’s house in central Norman. Things bogged down, however, as she grappled with the logistics of selling one house while buying another.

The bungalow was still on the market when they finally laid a plan in place. They gave the go-ahead to their Realtor, Grady Carter, of Metro Brokers in Norman. But they worried about trust issues on the seller’s side.

“He must have done some magic on his end, though,” Amy Brewer recalled. “I was in San Francisco about to board a flight to New Zealand.”

That meant many hours in the air cut off from communications, so she laid it out in a phone call to Carter. “I said ‘I’m going to land in 13 hours, Grady. Whatever they need us to pay, we’ll pay. Whatever earnest money, we’ll do cash.’ ”

That did the trick. By the time Amy Brewer came home from her extended trip, the deal was done. Friends had pitched in during her absence to ensure Deborah Brewer made it to closing, then helped her move out of her old home and into her daughter’s house to await remodeling on her new digs.

Oh, yes, the remodeling.

“I was really focused on securing this house, which took a long time,” Amy Brewer said. “And after we purchased the house, I realized I had plans to do a complete remodel and no plans to do a complete remodel. I guess someone who knew what they were doing would’ve had that lined up before they closed. A week or two went by, and I realized I had no idea what I was doing.”

Smooth transition

So she did what almost everyone does in this day and age, namely take her plight to social media. And social media gave back, leading her to Kendra Orcutt and her Home Mods By Therapists team. Orcutt channels her experience as an occupational therapist into designing spaces to accommodate people’s physical challenges.

Orcutt and her team opened up the space inside by getting rid of hallways, allowing the bedrooms and bathrooms to open directly up into the main part of the house.

They widened hallways, repurposed space lost to a heater closet to enlarge the laundry room and installed a sliding barn door on the master bathroom, adding not only a trendy touch but one that saves space and is easier for a person on a walker or cane to open.

Even the color scheme in the kitchen was designed with a purpose. The gray-and-black floor tiles are low-contrast, which is easier to navigate with impaired vision or balance.

“By making this house accessible to memory loss, she doesn’t ever have to move,” Orcutt said. “She won’t have to relearn another space. She knows her daughter is down the street. All of those things are important. So what I did was I made things easier to live in.”

Easier to live in, but not institutional. It’s often just a matter of style. What appears to be a towel rack by the bathtub, for example, is actually a grab bar. Its brushed silver surface matches the faucet and, frankly, it could function just fine as a towel rack.

And that’s the point, Orcutt said. “Everything we did in the house, someone else could live in.”

That was a major consideration as Amy Brewer worked to persuade her mother to trade her four-bedroom home for the bungalow.

“She had a great big house, and I didn’t want her to feel like she was having to give up anything,” she said.

Deborah Brewer finally moved into her revamped home in late November. She gave up two bedrooms and a lot of square feet in the move, but may have gained so much more in return.

Amy Brewer smiled as her tween daughter, Harper Sterr, wrapped her arms around her grandmother. “These two are best friends,” she said.

Deborah Brewer held out a hand to compare their heights. “And she’s almost as tall as me.”

Source: Remodeled space for aging in place | NewsOK.com

Campus Open House, Sunday 8/13 from 2:00 to 4:00 – 636 E. Boyd

What are you doing this weekend?! If you are going to be around Norman in the afternoon you should stop by and see me at 636 E. Boyd Street between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. This house is beautiful, and ready for someone to come and love on it. Who do you know who might want to live by campus in Norman? Well feel free to share this with them 🙂

 

Walk Through Tour – 636 E Boyd

New Listing Alert!!!

636 E Boyd Street, Norman, OK

Check out more pictures here —–> https://goo.gl/osR47t
And see the full listing here ——-> https://goo.gl/wdMnAw

Who is looking for an amazing campus home in Norman, Oklahoma?! Just an arrow's flight from The Mont Restaurant and The University of Oklahoma this amazing historical home has tons of character! It boasts: a split plan with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 living/flex spaces, and a recently updated kitchen. The kitchen looks out over a fantastic covered patio just waiting to entertain before a game, or to sit on while a rain storm rolls through town. And don't miss the wonderful newly added Pella windows. And if you love older homes you will love these original hardwood floors. There is plenty about the house to tell you about, but I highly recommend that you just come and see it for yourself. Call your Realtor to set up an appointment today!

Grady Carter
Metro Brokers of OK
(405) 474-2905
https://goo.gl/mDdLE3

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, July 27, 2017

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour, 837 Carol Ann Place

Well, here is a new listing in Moore, Oklahoma that I really love!

837 Carol Ann Place – Walk Through Tour

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

*837 Carol Ann Place, Moore, OK 73160*
This awesome home has: 4 Beds, 2 Baths, a 3 Car Garage, an Office and a whole lot more! I'm happy to tell you more about this house, but you can just come on in for yourself by watching our walk through tour. Do you know anyone who might be looking for a house like this? Be their buddy and send them this video, or tag them in the comments. This home is looking for another great group to take care of it next! 🙂

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of OK
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
www.HomeBoyOK.com

Norman Board of Realtors, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS®

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, March 2, 2017

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

Planner Shares System For Managing Money – Business Insider

Being a real estate agent is often a lot like being a party planner. There are several people and issues that need to be kept up with, and consistently held to account. Part of making sure that the party goes off without a hitch when working with a homebuyer is making sure that they have a financial plan to execute the purchase. Most people like to keep their finances rather private, so it’s important that people know that making that plan can be done in private. I often recommend that people use a few different free services to monitor their finances and credit: Mint.com, and Credit Karma. They both run ads, but if you can just ignore those you can be a step ahead. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about either one of those services. Now, read this article and if you don’t have these basic financial tools in place start setting them up. You can do it – now let’s make a plan and throw that party!

If you are seriously wanting to get your financial house in order you might reach out to an accountant/cpa and maybe even a financial planner to look at how you can use your money to best fit you life and goals. And you might also talk to an estate planner in case you are worried about what will happen to your assets in the case of you passing away. My sister Claire is actually an estate planner and you are more than welcome to call her to ask about what that looks like, just tell her that I sent you. 🙂

Claire Bailey,  Bailey and Poarch: (405) 329-6600

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

 

“A few years ago, I put in place a ‘Money Flow’ system to help my family track our spending.”

A Financial Planner Shares Her Personal System For Managing Money

family walking beach winter

The author’s family is not pictured.Flickr / James Brown

Part of the reason we accumulate debt is that there are so many distractions in our lives – things we want to buy but don’t need.

But we also ring up debt because we simply don’t understand the flow of our income and expenses, so we can’t accurately estimate how much money we have available to spend.

I’ve struggled with this myself. A few years ago, I put in place a “Money Flow” system to help my family track our spending.

You may have heard of a system like this before, but follow along on this tour, because it really works.

Putting the pieces in place

1. Set up two free checking accounts:

  • One to pay fixed expenses (such as the mortgage, car payments and utility bills).
  • One to pay variable expenses (groceries, gas, clothing and so on).

2. Set up a high-yield online savings account.

We call this our “curveball” account. It’s an emergency fund for use when life throws us curveballs – large medical bills, a job loss or reduction in income, major home repairs, that kind of thing.

3. Make a plan for big-ticket items.

My husband and I agreed that we would use one family credit card for large purchases, such as airline tickets and hotel stays. We still have our separate credit cards – it’s wise to keep your own credit cards to maintain your credit score and credit history. Using them once or twice a year should be sufficient. And don’t close those cards because it will affect your overall credit score.

Implementing the system

1. Draw up a budget for fixed and variable expenses.

Add up how much you need in each category. This will be your guideline for how much should be in each of your checking accounts.

Fixed expenses might include:

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.)
  • Home, auto and umbrella insurance
  • Life, disability and long-term-care insurance premiums
  • Health insurance premiums (if not taken out of your paycheck)
  • Cable TV, Internet, phone and cellphone
  • Gym or yoga memberships
  • Debt payments (credit cards, student loans, car loans, personal loans, etc.)
  • Savings (yes, this is an expense – pay yourself first!)

Variable expenses might include:

  • Groceries
  • Eating out
  • Gas
  • Clothing/shoes
  • Personal services (haircuts, doctor visit copays, etc.)
  • Entertainment

2. Distribute money to the accounts.

When your paycheck comes in, allocate the designated amounts into each checking account based on the budget you created. The sum earmarked for the curveball account can go there directly.

3. Pay fixed costs directly.

All bills are paid automatically from our fixed-expenses account. We do not have to write any checks, and no debit card is necessary. This account has a cushion of a few hundred extra dollars in case a bill shows up unexpectedly or before we have a chance to replenish the account.

4. Pay variable expenses from the second account.

This account should have a debit card, which you can use for purchases.

5. Link the curveball account to either checking account.

If an emergency arises, you can transfer funds within 24 to 48 hours. You can then access the money with a check or debit card.

Realizing the benefits

Once I implemented this system, the process of tracking expenses wasn’t so cumbersome anymore. Separating expenses into fixed and variable categories meant I didn’t have to worry constantly about checking account balances. Having fewer transactions in each account also made it easier to see the bigger picture of our spending.

The chart below depicts the flow of money.

Money Flow Chart2

* After taxes and pre-tax retirement plan contributions.Chart courtesy of MainStreet Financial Planning

Every family’s finances are different, of course. Feel free to customize my system as necessary. The point is to get – and keep – a grasp on the flow of your money. If you know exactly what’s coming in and going out, you can’t be surprised by debt.

Source: Planner shares system for managing money – Business Insider

The Brave New World of Robots and Lost Jobs – The Washington Post

As an American citizen who relies on a stable and healthy housing market and overall economy I thought that this article was worth sharing. I would appreciate it if people would refrain from ranting about ideology too much. The point of posting this article is that we have big problems to solve in our country, and it’s time that we start calling them by name rather than just pick teams. Right after I graduated from college I worked for a few months for an organization called No Labels, whose primary function was (and still is) to help find common causes. Well, it’s time we address the robotic elephant in the room in regards to jobs. I’ll leave you with this chart below that represents changes in wages over the course of the technological revolution. I hope that you enjoy this post, and if you don’t feel free to send me a message telling me what concerns you have with it.

-Grady

ib388-figurea.jpg

“Automation is more of a threat to job security than trade deals or immigration”

The brave new world of robots and lost jobs

Job insecurity is a central theme of the 2016 campaign, fueling popular anger about trade deals and immigration. But economists warn that much bigger job losses are ahead in the United States — driven not by foreign competition but by advancing technology.

A look at the numbers suggests that the country is having the wrong economic debate this year. Employment security won’t come from renegotiating trade deals, as Donald Trump said in a speech Monday in Detroit, or rebuilding infrastructure, as Hillary Clinton argued in Warren, Mich., on Thursday. These are palliatives.

The deeper problem facing the United States is how to provide meaningful work and good wages for the tens of millions of truck drivers, accountants, factory workers and office clerks whose jobs will disappear in coming years because of robots, driverless vehicles and “machine learning” systems.

The political debate needs to engage the taboo topic of guaranteeing economic security to families — through a universal basic income, or a greatly expanded earned-income tax credit, or a 1930s-style plan for public-works employment. Ranting about bad trade deals won’t begin to address the problem.

The “automation bomb” could destroy 45 percent of the work activities currently performed in the United States, representing about $2 trillion in annual wages, according to a study last year by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. We’ve seen only the beginning of this change, they warned. Currently, only 5 percent of occupations can be entirely automated, but 60 percent of occupations could soon see machines doing 30 percent or more of the work.

The McKinsey analysts sharpened their argument in a paper released last month. Their estimates, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data covering more than 800 occupations, draw a shocking picture of the future. In manufacturing, 59 percent of activities could be automated, and that includes “90 percent of what welders, cutters, solderers and brazers do.” In food service and accommodations, 73 percent of the work could be performed by machines. In retailing, 53 percent of current jobs could be lost.

White-collar workers may imagine that they’re safe, but that’s wishful thinking. If computers can be programmed to understand speech as well as humans do, 66 percent of jobs in finance and insurance could be replaced, the most recent report says.

Robots are replacing workers around the world. The density of robots per 10,000 workers is actually higher in Japan and Germany than in the United States, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. In the “Economic Report of the President,” released in February, they cited research noting that “middle-skill” employees, such as bookkeepers, clerks and assembly-line workers, have been replaced first, but that “big data and machine learning will make it possible to automate many tasks that were difficult to automate in the past.”

Workers are already reeling from the job implosion we’ve seen so far. A study released last week by Bruce Stokes of the Pew Research Center found that 89 percent of Americans surveyed thought that “the loss of U.S. jobs to China” was a serious issue. That anxiety translates into growing skepticism about free trade. As of March, 51 percent of Americans still thought free trade deals were a good thing, but that was down from 59 percent two years ago.

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Pew data show that the people most likely to oppose trade deals are older white men, the people whose former job security has probably been most affected by the modern, global economy. Free trade agreements are supported by 54 percent of women; 55 percent of blacks; 67 percent of young adults between 18 and 29; and 72 percent of Hispanics. Young, diverse Americans seem to accept the disruptions that are part of the global, high-tech economy.

This campaign has distilled the populist rage at elites who are seen to have benefited from globalization while some blue-collar workers have suffered. This anti-elitism is only likely to grow as vast new sectors of the economy are transformed by the Silicon Valley technologies that have created a new class of American billionaires. People shouldn’t hate the future, or the technologists who are building it, but this anger could become a polarizing fixture of the national mood.

Politicians need to begin thinking boldly, now, about a world in which driverless vehicles replace most truck drivers’ jobs, and where factories are populated by robots, not human beings. The best way to cushion this future is to start planning for how Americans will be able to take care of their families — and find meaningful work — in a world where most traditional jobs have vanished.

Source: The brave new world of robots and lost jobs – The Washington Post

 

5 Predictions for the Housing Market in 2016 – NerdWallet

One thing that seems more and more clear to me is that so goes millennials so goes the nation in next decade. If millennials decide not to buy houses there is going to be a large wealth shift – we will become even more of a renter society. So, a stable housing market that young people want to participate in matters. A lot of people are outraged by our nation, and world’s growing wealth gap (and in many ways rightfully so), but not participating in ownership of housing could be one of the greatest factors in the next great wealth shift. A lot of numbers show that young people do want to own their own stuff, and have a more self-sustaining lifestyle in a lot of ways. I’m just very curious which direction my peers and I are going to trend towards in regards to housing.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

5 Predictions for the Housing Market in 2016

  February 5, 2016  Home Search, Mortgages

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5-predictions-for-housing-market-in-2016

A New Year brings new opportunities, and that’s certainly true if you’re looking to sell or buy a home in 2016. What exactly does the year ahead have in store for housing?

Industry experts point to a lot of promising signs — moderate increases in prices and sales, the creation of more households, and an improving job market — for the national housing picture in 2016. But the gains won’t look like they have over the past two years, and we’ll see more local housing markets stabilizing in the near future. And that’s a good thing.

After the deluge of damaging foreclosures and short sales that flooded U.S. cities during the downturn, a number of housing markets have recovered in a big way in recent years, to the relief of homeowners and economic analysts alike. In 2013, there were 5.09 million existing-home sales nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2014, sales dropped by 3.1% to 4.93 million. Although final figures for 2015 are not yet available, NAR predicted existing-home sales would close out the year at 5.3 million — nearly 7% higher than the previous year.

With NAR forecasting existing-home sales to rise by 3% to 5.45 million in 2016, experts say we’ll start seeing more balance return to the housing market in the near future.

Here’s a closer look at five key housing predictions for 2016:

1. Rising rates will squeeze first-time homebuyers most

The Fed’s move to increase interest rates in December reflects the major strides the U.S. economy has made as it emerges from the Great Recession. Higher rates (though they haven’t happened yet), along with rising prices and limited supply, will make it harder for some to afford a new home. The good news: Long-term mortgage rates will see only a gradual increase this year and will remain relatively low compared with what they were before the downturn.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged under 4% for most of 2015, will average 4.4% this year, according to Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, housing data firm CoreLogic, in its latest U.S. Economic Outlook report, predicts mortgage rates will increase roughly half a percentage point in 2016 over 2015.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or you earn a lower income and haven’t had a raise lately, the rate increase might make it harder for you to afford a home. For the most part, though, a slight rate bump isn’t cause for panic and is unlikely to sideline most potential homebuyers, says Christian Redfearn, an associate professor of real estate at the University of Southern California.

Increasing mortgage rates will clamp down on refinancing activity as fewer homeowners will have enough incentives to refinance their current mortgages, according to CoreLogic. As a result, the firm is forecasting refinance originations to decrease by one-third this year.

2. Sales will rise, but modestly

Even though mortgage rates are rising, home sales will still be up about 3% this year as existing homeowners jump into the selling pool, according to a forecast from the National Association of Realtors.

After years of depressed prices, many homeowners have regained much of the equity they lost in the downturn, so they may seek to cash in on that value and sell in 2016 to move up to their next home, NAR President Tom Salomone says. In some markets, though, prices have increased too quickly, causing a bumpy recovery that’s priced out some potential homebuyers, he says.

“We don’t want these big peaks and valleys we’ve seen since the downturn,” Salomone says. “Steady, sustainable growth is what we’re after.”

As the economy continues to grow and more jobs are added, potential homebuyers with strong credit will be more willing to jump into the market too, Salomone says.

3. House prices will increase, too, but not at 2015 levels

Another trend that sellers in particular will appreciate: Home prices will rise again this year by 4% to 5% as demand increases faster than supply, according to CoreLogic. Although the increase in home prices will outpace inflation, it’s less than the 6% increase seen in 2015.

The more measured growth of home sales and prices is good news for the millions of younger Americans who are on the cusp of homeownership. However, experts agree that a shortage of housing inventory and new construction, which leads to bidding wars and competitive market conditions, will fuel higher home prices until more sellers enter the market or more homes are built.

“We haven’t built enough housing for a long time,” Redfearn says.

4. Housing demand will be up

The improving job market has been a boon for new household formations, a term that refers to configurations of people who live together under one roof, be it you and a few roommates, a married couple, a nuclear family of four, or just you. This increase will continue in 2016, with more than 1.25 million new households expected to be formed.

Millennials — all 83.1 million of them — now outnumber baby boomers and comprise more than a quarter of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau. Many of them are moving out of their parents’ homes, getting married or having children. As they do, these young Americans will create higher housing demand, particularly for rental homes.

This new surge in demand is expected to spur more construction of single-family homes and multifamily apartment buildings, but not at the pace needed to keep up with new households. NAR forecasts 1.3 million single-family housing starts this year, but the country needs 1.5 million to keep pace with demand.

Freddie Mac predicts total housing starts will increase 16% from 2015 to 2016, but it’s still not enough. That’s why more people are turning to the rental market, which is faced with a similar crunch.

5. Rents will also rise

Construction of multifamily homes will increase this year, but there’s still a shortage of rental homes for the millions who need them. Rental vacancy rates are at or near their lowest level in 30 years, according to the CoreLogic report. Accordingly, rents in 2016 will continue to rise faster than inflation, CoreLogic predicts.

With rents climbing, it’s no wonder so many millennials struggle to afford a down payment. For starters, 41% of them are saddled with student loans that frequently run into the tens of thousands, according to NAR. Plus, wages are growing slowly or not at all as rents and other living costs get steeper. It’s a combination of challenges that makes it hard to save for a down payment on a home, experts say.

Homeownership rates will dip slightly again this year as the number of new households that rent exceeds the number of new homebuyers. However, 94% of renters under 34 surveyed by NAR say they still want to buy a home in the future, and that bodes well for a more balanced market in the years to come, Salomone says.

The bottom line

The housing market has come a long way since the Great Recession, but the recovery has been uneven, and some areas still have a long way to go.

A sustainable housing market, Salomone says, is one that’s fair for both buyers and sellers. All the signs we’ve mentioned point to a more balanced road ahead for housing, but it’ll take a little more time to get there.

Where 15 Can Beat 30 – What Kind of Loan Should I Get?

With rates changing (if you don’t know about this it’s ok, but they are…) have you wondered how that might affect the loan that you should consider taking out for your home? Well, here is a very wonky article that can help you dive into this under discussed, and very important topic. It might be a good idea to play around with a mortgage calculator to see what the difference might be for you.

-Grady

 

The Federal Reserve Board is on track to raise interest rates as soon as today. It’s a move that will mean higher mortgage rates, higher monthly payments, and reduced purchasing power for new borrowers. Homebuyers, who haven’t seen an interest rate increase in nearly 10 years, may be tempted by lower-rate 15-year mortgages.

Where 15 Can Beat 30

A 15-year mortgage is a smart choice for households in housing markets where price increases have been modest, but a tougher call for households in hotter markets.

The Federal Reserve Board is on track to raise interest rates as soon as today. It’s a move that will mean higher mortgage rates, higher monthly payments, and reduced purchasing power for new borrowers. Homebuyers, who haven’t seen an interest rate increase in nearly 10 years, may be tempted by lower-rate 15-year mortgages. But do the advantages of a 15-year mortgage outweigh the costs? The answer depends partly on where you live.

We’ve crunched the numbers for the largest U.S. metros, and found that:

  • With the median US household income, a 30-year mortgage allows homebuyers to purchase 46% more house, but a 15-year mortgage provides triple the paid equity in just 5 years.
  • Homebuyers in areas where prices have a history of rising will benefit greatly from faster equity-building with a 15-year mortgage.
  • Buyers in areas with historically slow growing to flat housing prices will benefit less from shorter-term mortgages and potentially more from the borrowing power of a 30-year loan.

The Tradeoffs Between 30- and 15-year Mortgages

In general, 30-year mortgages have three advantages:

  • Monthly payments are lower
  • Borrowing power is higher
  • Tax benefits are greater

The primary advantage of a 30-year mortgage is lower monthly payments. On the median valued U.S. home, a 30-year mortgage comes with a payment that is $320, or 27%, lower than a 15-year mortgage. Lower payments also mean that a borrower’s debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is lower than a 15–year loan. This allows middle class buyers (a household earning the U.S. median income) to borrow $77,000, or 46%, more with a 30-year mortgage than a 15-year. Last, borrowers with a 30-year mortgage can write off nearly $68,000 more than a 15-year mortgage via the mortgage-interest deduction on their federal income taxes.

Trulia 15v30

A 15-year mortgage has three advantages over a 30-year mortgage:

  • Equity builds faster
  • Interest rates are lower
  • Loan term is shorter

The primary advantage of a 15-year mortgage is that a larger share of each monthly payment goes towards paying off the loan principal. After five years (the number of years the average young household moves), equity gained from paying off the loan balance is more than $39,000, or three-times greater with a 15-year mortgage on the median value home. In addition, the 15-year rate is 3.36%, compared with 4.12% for a 30-year note. And over the loan term, borrowers with 15-year mortgages pay just under $40,000 in interest with a 15-year compared to over $107,000 with a 30-year on the median value home.

In Bargain Markets, 15-year Mortgages Are A Homebuyer’s Best Bet For Equity

Home equity can come from three sources: down payment, principal reduction, and home value appreciation. This means that in markets with slow appreciation, a larger share of equity will come from homeowners paying down the loan balance when compared to home value appreciation. In such markets, 15-year loans offer a relatively faster route to building equity.

Trulia_15yrmortgage_LineGraph

We’ve identified the 10 markets in the country where, after five years of ownership, homeowners will have the most equity from principal reduction relative to home price appreciation. At the top of the list are markets exclusively in the Bargain Belt (Midwest and Southeast). In each of these markets, 15-year mortgages can provide over twice the equity relative to home price appreciation. For example, homeowners in Dayton, Ohio, can earn $22,018 in equity from mortgage payments with a 15-year mortgage, which is 2.37-times greater than the $9,295 gained from price appreciation. With a 30-year mortgage, payments would net households just $7,393. Clearly, household in these markets would gain much more equity by paying down their mortgage principle with a 15-year loan than from home value appreciation.

Markets where Principal Repayment is Key to Equity Growth
# U.S. Metro 5-year Equity from Principal Repayment, 15-year 5-year Equity from Principal Repayment, 30-Year 5-year Equity from Home Value Appreciation 5-year Principal Repayment Relative to Appreciation, 15-year* 5-year Principal Repayment Relative to Appreciation, 30-year
1 Dayton, OH $22,018 $7,393 $9,295 2.37 0.80
2 Cleveland, OH $26,906 $9,034 $11,960 2.25 0.76
3 Toledo, OH $21,193 $7,116 $9,667 2.19 0.74
4 Akron, OH $26,993 $9,063 $12,420 2.17 0.73
5 Rochester, NY $27,704 $9,302 $12,862 2.15 0.72
6 Detroit, MI $13,171 $4,422 $6,180 2.13 0.72
7 Greensboro-High Point, NC $24,924 $8,369 $11,778 2.12 0.71
8 Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI $43,508 $14,608 $20,620 2.11 0.71
9 Memphis, TN $23,289 $7,819 $11,093 2.10 0.70
10 Winston-Salem, NC $26,544 $8,912 $12,668 2.10 0.70

In Pricey Markets, 15-year Mortgages Are A Tougher Call

In markets with strong home price appreciation, deciding between a 15-year and 30-year mortgage is a tougher call. Like bargain markets, 15-year loans provide more equity from principal repayment than from appreciation. The difference, however, is much smaller. In pricey San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., 15-year mortgages provide just 1.35 times more equity from principal payoff than appreciation. Still, the difference in equity from principal repayment is great between a 30-year and a 15-year mortgage. For example, households in Orange County would stand to gain nearly $100,000 more in equity after 5 years by choosing a 15-year mortgage.

Markets where Appreciation Drives Equity Growth
# U.S. Metro 5-year Equity from Principal Repayment, 15-year 5-year Equity from Principal Repayment, 30-Year 5-year Equity from Home Value Appreciation 5-year Principal Repayment Relative to Appreciation, 15-year 5-year Principal Repayment Relative to Appreciation, 30-year
1 San Francisco, CA $247,382 $83,061 $184,397 1.34 0.45
2 San Jose, CA $203,060 $68,179 $150,088 1.35 0.45
3 Orange County, CA $139,362 $46,792 $96,300 1.45 0.49
4 Los Angeles, CA $112,946 $37,922 $76,446 1.48 0.50
5 Oakland, CA $136,768 $45,921 $92,323 1.48 0.50
6 San Diego, CA $106,895 $35,891 $72,083 1.48 0.50
7 Ventura County, CA $111,904 $37,573 $73,109 1.53 0.51
8 Boston, MA $90,176 $30,277 $58,567 1.54 0.52
9 Austin, TX $50,860 $17,077 $32,778 1.55 0.52
10 Charleston, SC $44,599 $14,975 $28,684 1.55 0.52

Even though 15-year mortgages provide more equity through loan repayment than appreciation, they also come at the expense of borrowing power. In high-priced markets, the difference in nominal terms can be substantial. For example, middle class families in San Francisco (households making the median income of $104,000 per year) could purchase a $628,000 home with a 30-year mortgage but only a $430,000 home with a 15-year. This makes house hunting hard when the median priced home costs more than $1 million. As a results, this could be the difference between buying their dream-home or a starter for some households.

To show why households in expensive housing markets have a much tougher decision, we’ve put together a scatterplot of median home values for each of the 100 largest U.S. metros and matched it with the relative amount of equity a household can gain from payments on a 15-year mortgage. As you can see, households in cheaper markets (bottom axis) stand to gain relatively more equity (left axis) from paying down their mortgage with a 15-year note than through home value appreciation when compared to pricier markets. For example, households in affordable Cleveland, which has a median home value of $123,000, can reap 2.25 times the equity from loan repayment than appreciation. In San Francisco, the land of million dollar homes, the added value is only 1.34 times the equity.

Trulia scatter 30v15

The takeaway: 15-year mortgages are a great option for those wanting to build equity, regardless of how expensive or how fast growing a market is. However, in places with historically low appreciation, 15-year mortgages are a much better deal for building equity because it’s about the only way to do so though paying of the loan balance. On the other hand, in areas with historically high price appreciation that also happen to be expensive, households need to consider the tradeoffs between the borrowing power of 30-year mortgages, expected equity from home price appreciation, and whether or not they will use equity from their existing home as a down payment on their next one.

Methodology

To compare 30- and 15-year mortgages, we estimate the amount of equity a household would gain from both appreciation and from paying off the principal after 5-years of homeownership of the median valued home. We estimate this separately for each of the 100 largest U.S. metros, and use an annualized 20-year Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) house price growth rate to project home values 5 years into the future. Last, we compare the nominal and relative amount of equity a household would gain by choosing either a 30- or 15-year mortgage and comparing that to the expected gain in equity from home value appreciation.

Source: Where 15 Can Beat 30 – Trulia’s Blog

 

If you have questions of concerns please feel free to reach out to me:

Beautiful New Listing in Norman!!! – 308 Tecumseh Meadows

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LISTING

 

Well hello again,

I got into real estate originally by flipping houses with my family, and we always loved finding the dirty houses to see just how much we could change them. Over the last few years I’ve really come to appreciate a wonderful home that has been extremely well taken care of. Well, this house is truly immaculate! If you or someone you know would be interested in seeing it in person don’t be shy, call and ask whatever questions you might have, or even schedule a showing today!

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LISTING

If you’d like to submit feedback, or request more information please feel free to contact me with the form below (this is not spam, and will not subscribe you to any unwanted emails).

Just Listed: Gorgeous Golf Course Home in Norman!!!

Click Here To See The Listing

Well hello there!

In Real Estate  every transaction is unique. Sometimes hearing that a property is unique can be problematic, but sometimes it is a great thing! In the case of my newest listing in Norman located at 4601 Augusta Drive being unique is fantastic! Located just a few minutes south of the University of Oklahoma campus it manages to feel like a getaway outside of town. Backing up to the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course (which is currently being managed by, and soon to be owned by The University), and having several upgrades and amenities this house was designed to entertain. You’ll honestly just have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it. My personal favorite part is the amazing back porch that has a TV case, wet bar, fire pit, and multiple sitting areas. So go ahead, grab your agent (and if you don’t have one feel free to give me a call), and schedule an appointment to see this beautiful home!

$350,000

Active
Description:

This fantastic split bedroom home was built for getting away, and entertaining! It is located on the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course, and has a grand outdoor entertainment area equipped with: a partial kitchen, fire pit, and 3 sitting areas that back up to the golf course! The owners have taken great care of it and upgraded a litany of items, including: huge patio (with a TV, cooking area, extra lighting, and wet bar), extra large driveway, sprinkler system, water softener & water purifier, invisible pet fence, mosquito system, attic decking+shelving, and landscaping. The master suite is large with a very big walk-in closet and bathroom. If you are looking for a place to get away in town, we’ve got a deal for you! The home just appraised for $350,000, and the seller is simply asking for the appraised value, so come and take a look for yourself!

HOA includes: Golf Course, Pool, Club House, and Maintenance for Neighborhood Entry.