J. Kent Erickson, Broker Associate
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How to Determine If You Can Afford to Buy a Home

Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in Buying a Home, Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

The gap between the increase in personal income and residential real estate prices has been used to defend the concept that we are experiencing an affordability crisis in housing today. It is true that home prices and wages are two key elements in any affordability equation. There is, however, an extremely important third component to that equation: mortgage interest rates. Mortgage interest rates have fallen by more than a full percentage point from this time last year. Today’s rate is 3.75%; it was 4.86% at this time last year. This has dramatically increased a purchaser’s ability to afford a home. Here are three reports validating that purchasing a home is in fact more affordable today than it was a year ago: CoreLogic’s Typical Mortgage Payment “Falling mortgage rates and slower home-price growth mean that many buyers this year are...

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Think Prices Have Skyrocketed? Look at Rents.

Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 in Real Estate Market | 0 comments

Much has been written about how residential real estate values have increased since the housing market started its recovery in 2012. However, little has been shared about what has taken place with residential rental prices. Let’s shed a little light on this subject. In the most recent Apartment Rent Report, RentCafe explains how rents have continued to increase over the last twelve months because of a large demand and a limited supply.  “Continued interest in rental apartments and slowing construction keeps the national average rent on a strong upward trend.” Zillow, in its latest Rent Index, agreed that rents are continuing on an “upward trend” across most of the country, and that the trend is accelerating: “The median U.S. rent grew 2% year-over-year, to $1,595 per month. National rent growth is faster than a year ago, and while 46 of the...

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Depending on the Price, You’re Going to Need Advice

Posted by on Nov 15, 2019 in Buying a Home, Real Estate Market | 0 comments

To understand today’s complex real estate market, it is critical to have a local, trusted advisor on your side – for more reasons than you may think. In real estate today, there are essentially three different price points in the market: the starter-home market, the middle-home market, and the premium or luxury market. Each one is unique, and depending on the city, the price point in these categories will vary. For example, a starter or lower-end home in San Francisco, California is much more expensive than almost any other part of the country. Let’s explore what you need to know about each of these tiers. Starter-Home Market: This market varies by price, and these homes are typically purchased by first-time home buyers or investors looking to flip them for a profit. Across the country, homes in this space currently have less than 6 months of inventory for sale. That...

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5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in Buying a Home | 0 comments

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind.” 1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range. 2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’ Do you really need that...

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3 Reasons This is NOT the 2008 Real Estate Market

Posted by on Nov 11, 2019 in Real Estate Market | 0 comments

No one knows for sure when the next recession will occur. What is known, however, is that the upcoming economic slowdown will not be caused by a housing market crash, as was the case in 2008. There are those who disagree and are comparing today’s real estate market to the market in 2005-2006, which preceded the crash. In many ways, however, the market is very different now. Here are three suppositions being put forward by some, and why they don’t hold up. SUPPOSITION #1 A critical warning sign last time was the surging gap between the growth in home prices and household income. Today, home values have also outpaced wage gains. As in 2006, a lack of affordability will kill the market. Counterpoint The “gap” between wages and home price growth has existed since 2012. If that is a...

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