Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

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Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week! This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this spring! Freddie Mac had this to say, “Mortgage interest rates have been steadily declining since the start of 2019. These lower mortgage interest rates combined with a strong labor market should attract prospective homebuyers this spring and could help the housing sector regain its momentum later in the year.” To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019. Bottom Line If you plan on buying a home this year, let’s get together to start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

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Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Index as a part of their Realtors Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is reflected when broken down by state. Only 11 states have a stable level of seller traffic compared to the remainder of the country, which came in with a weak rating. As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year is half of what the rate was in the 1980s. This does not come as a surprise, as tenure length (the number of years someone owns a home before moving again) among existing homeowners has increased. It has risen from an average of 6 years from 1985 to 2008, up to 9.5 years over the last few years. This is shown in the graph below: As we can see, there is a pent-up seller demand! What led to this change in behavior? Falling prices during the housing crisis led to many homeowners having negative equity in their home, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. Others were able to secure a low interest rate on their mortgage and have not […]

3 Questions You Need To Ask Before Buying A Home

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If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Ask yourself the following three questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market. 1. Why am I buying a home in the first place? This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money. For example, a study by realtor.com found that “73% said buying in a good school district was “important” in their search.” This report supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. The actual reasons are: A good place to raise children and provide them with a good education A place where you and your family feel safe More space for you and your family Control of that space What […]

Slaying the Largest Homebuying Myths Today

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Some Highlights: The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%! Mortgage interest rates have been on the decline since November! Hop in now to lock in a low rate! 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months! The average credit score on approved loans continues to fall across many loan types!

Home Value Appreciation Stops Falling, Begins to Stabilize

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The percentage of home price appreciation on a year-over-year basis has decreased each month for over a year. The question was how far annual appreciation would fall. It seems we may now have the answer. In a recent post on the National Association of Realtors’ Economists’ Outlook Blog, it was revealed that Realtors are starting to sense that home values are beginning to stabilize and that we may see appreciation beginning to accelerate again: “About 3,000 REALTORS® who responded to NAR’s February 2019 REALTORS Confidence Index Survey had more optimistic— although modest— home price growth expectations over the next 12 months. Respondents expect home prices to typically increase by 1.9 percent nationally, up from 1.4 percent in the January survey.” The thinking that home appreciation has bottomed-out was also confirmed in two additional housing reports recently released: CoreLogic Home Price Index – The analysts at CoreLogic increased their projection for home appreciation for the next twelve months to 4.7% as compared to the 4.6% they projected in their previous report. The Home Price Expectation Survey – In the 2019 first quarter survey, the nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists increased their projection for home value growth in […]

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

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There has been a lot written about millennials and their preference to live in city centers above their favorite pizza place. Some have even gone so far as to say that millennials are a “Renter-Generation”. And while this might be true for some millennials, more and more research has surfaced that shows for the vast majority, owning a home is a major part of their American Dream! New research shows that 66% of millennials who currently rent are determined to buy a home! Seventy-three percent of those surveyed by Pulsenomics plan to buy a home in the next five years, with 40% planning to do so within the next two years! “Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at Meyers Research says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.” Bottom Line Are you one of the millions of renters who are ready and willing to buy a home? Let’s get together to determine your ability to buy now!

Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand

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One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers, rather than alienating the 68% of American households that have a pet! If you are one of the many homeowners looking to list your home for sale, how do you stand out to the millions of pet parents searching for their dream home? Whether a dog person, a cat person, or someone who prefers the company of another pet species, 99% of pet owners say that they consider their animal to be family. When finding a home, 95% of animal owners believe it is important that a housing community allows animals. A study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there are many aspects of the home buying, selling and owning experience that have been greatly impacted by our love for our pets. This should come as no surprise, as $72 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2018. NAR’s PresidentWilliam E. Brown shed some light on the impact of pet owners and their home search. “It is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal […]

What to Consider When Choosing Your Home To Retire In

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As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether they should sell their homes and move has become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement. According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home. 1.Affordability “It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.” Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement? 2. Equity “If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity […]

Your Home’s Spring Maintenance Checklist

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Some Highlights: Every spring, your home needs some extra TLC! Whether you plan on selling your home this spring or not, conducting this maintenance will help ensure your home functions well for the rest of the year. 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 help!

Looking to Upgrade Your Current Home? Now’s the Time to Move-Up!

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In every area of the country, homes that are priced at the top 25% of the price range for that area are considered to be Premium Homes. In today’s real estate market there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners who want to upgrade from their current house and move-up to a premium home. Much of the demand for housing over the past couple years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home, which means that many of the more expensive homes that have been listed for sale have not seen as much interest. This mismatch in demand and inventory has created a Buyer’s Market in the luxury and premium home markets according to the ILHM’s latest Luxury Report. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home is defined as one that costs $1 million or more. “A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.” The authors of the report were quick to point out that the current conditions at […]