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NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money! Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed. Realtor.com recently reported that: “Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option… as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.” What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting? 1. In a previous blog we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership: Homeownership is a form of forced savings. Homeownership provides tax savings. Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost. Buying a home is cheaper than renting. No other investment lets you live inside of it. 2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. 3. Just a few months ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $44,000 in family wealth over the next five years. 4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment– along with a profit margin!! Bottom Line Owning a home has always been, and will always be, better from a financial standpoint than...

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The Cost of Renting vs. Buying Today

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying Today [INFOGRAPHIC] Some Highlights: Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision. Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.9%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.7%), the choice becomes obvious. Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this...

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99% of Experts Agree: Home Prices Will Increase

Posted by on Apr 22, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

99% of Experts Agree: Home Prices Will Increase Some believe that the combined effects of the new tax code and rising mortgage rates will have an adverse impact on residential real estate prices in 2018. However, the clear majority of recently surveyed housing experts believe that home values will continue to rise this year. What is the Home Price Expectation Survey? Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists. Those surveyed include experts such as: Daniel Bachman, Senior Manager, U.S. Economics at Deloitte Services, LP Kathy Bostjancic, Head of U.S. Macro Investors Service at Oxford Economics David Downs, Real Estate Finance Professor at VCU Edward Pinto, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute Albert Saiz, Director at MIT Center for Real Estate Where do these experts see home values headed in 2018? Here is a breakdown of where they see home values twelve months from now: 21.6% believe prices will appreciate by 6% or more 71.6% believe prices will appreciate between 3 and 5.99% 5.7% believe prices will appreciate between 0 and 2.99% Only 1.1% believe prices will depreciate Bottom Line Almost ninety-nine percent of the top experts studying residential real estate believe that prices will appreciate this year, and over 93% believe home values will appreciate by at least...

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Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate!

Posted by on Apr 20, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate! Interest rates hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, which gave many buyers relief from rising home prices and helped with affordability. In the first quarter of 2018, rates have increased from 3.95% up to 4.45% and experts predict that rates will increase even more by the end of the year. The rate you secure greatly impacts your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you will ultimately pay for your home. Don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year. Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.   Bottom Line Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years...

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5 Reasons Why to Sell This Spring!

Posted by on Apr 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Spring! Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market. 2. There Is Less Competition Now Housing inventory has declined year over year for the last 32 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon. Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell. 3. The Process Will Be Quicker Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 45 days. 4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own! Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. 5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire....

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Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index. Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand). Buyer Demand The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?” The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only four states had a ‘stable’ demand level. Seller Supply The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?” As you can see from the map below, 25 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 21 states reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, 3 states and Washington D.C. reported ‘strong’ seller traffic, and only 1 state reported ‘very strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes. Bottom Line Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market...

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20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring

Posted by on Apr 14, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC] Highlights: When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible! There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens! Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can...

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Freddie Mac: Rising Mortgage Rates DO NOT Lead to Falling Home Prices

Posted by on Apr 12, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Freddie Mac: Rising Mortgage Rates DO NOT Lead to Falling Home Prices Recently, Freddie Mac published an Insight Report titled Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing. The report focused on the impact the projected rise in mortgage rates might have on the housing market this year. Many believe that an increase in mortgage rates will cause a slowdown in purchases which would, in turn, lead to a fall in house values. Ultimately, however, prices are determined by supply and demand and while rising mortgage rates may slow demand, they also affect supply. From the report:  “For current homeowners, the decision to buy a new home is typically linked to their decision to sell their current home… Because of this link, the financing costs of the existing mortgage are part of the homeowner’s decision of whether and when to move. Once financing costs for a new mortgage rise above the rate borrowers are paying for their current mortgage, borrowers would have to give up below-market financing to sell their home. Instead, they may choose to delay both the sale of their existing home and the purchase of a new home to maintain the advantageous financing.” The Freddie Mac report, in acknowledging this situation, concluded that prices are not adversely impacted by higher mortgage rates. They explained: “While there is a drop in the demand for homes, there is an associated drop in the supply of homes from the link between the selling and buying decisions. As both supply and demand move together in this way they have offsetting effects on price—lower demand decreases price and lower supply increases price. They went on to reveal that the Freddie Mac National House Price Index is… “…unresponsive to movements in interest rates. In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.” The following graph, based on data from the report, reveals what happened to home prices the last six times mortgage rates rose by at least 1%. Bottom Line Whether you are a move-up buyer or first-time buyer, waiting to purchase your next home based on the belief that prices will fall because of rising mortgage rates makes no...

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Is a Major Home Renovation Worth It in the Long Run?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  Is a Major Home Renovation Worth It in the Long Run? Last week, we shared “7 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Home To Retire In.” For some homeowners, these seven factors can be taken into account with a home renovation, but is it worth it to remodel or change floor plans? Let’s look at this example. Let’s say you have a 4-bedroom colonial style home in a great school district. The neighborhood is amazing, and you are very comfortable there, but your kids are all grown up and the original benefits of the home no longer apply. You’ve always wanted a huge master suite and are considering merging 3 of the smaller bedrooms on the second floor to achieve this dream. In the short term, you are over the moon excited about your newly renovated oasis. In the long term, when you go to sell your home down the road, you’ve now taken a 4-bedroom home in a great school district and turned it into a 2-bedroom home. Your pool of potential buyers has shrunk significantly and so has the value of your home (unless you are able to find someone who has the exact needs you have today!). Why not consider listing your 4-bedroom home now and moving into a gorgeous 2-bedroom with a master suite? Your house can become a home for the next family looking for that perfect neighborhood with a great school district to raise their kids in! You may even be able to achieve your dream in the same area you love, without having to give up your favorite restaurants and grocery stores. Bottom Line If you are debating a major renovation that would change the layout of your home, before you pick up that sledgehammer, let’s get together and discuss the available listings in our area that might meet your needs...

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Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

Posted by on Apr 8, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 675,000 US homeowners regained positive equity in their homes in 2017. This is great news for the country, as 95.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation. “U.S homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all the properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of $908.4 billion since the fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 12.2%, year over year.” Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains: “Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation. The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.2 percent during 2017. The largest calendar-year increase since 2013. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years.” He also believes this is a great sign for the market in 2018, saying: “Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years.”   This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed? A study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their homes as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 4.9% of homes are in that position (down from 6.3% in Q4 2016). The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%) when in actuality, 83% do! This means that 46% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a house (either larger or smaller) that better meets their current needs. Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report: “Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.” Bottom Line If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your...

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