Is Student Loan Debt A Threat to Homeownership? No!

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Over the course of the last thirty years, a shift has happened. An entire generation has been raised to believe that a college education is their key to unlocking opportunities that were not available to their parent’s or grandparent’s generations. Due to this, student loan debt has soared to $1.5 trillion and represents the largest category of debt, surpassing credit card and auto loan debt in 2010 and never looking back. As more and more Americans continue their education amongst rising tuition costs, this number will no doubt increase. Many housing experts have blamed student loans for a drop in the homeownership rate for young families, and to an extent, they’ve been right. Increased debt at the time of graduation has no doubt limited young people from being able to afford a home at the same rate as their parents or grandparents did at the same age. In a recent Forbes article, the author explained that “in just the class of 2017, the average student has about $40,000 in debt — almost enough for a 20% down payment on a median-priced home.” The Federal Reserve set out to determine exactly how much impact student loan debt has had on the homeownership rate of those 18-34 […]

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

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The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018: Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense. Bottom Line Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

Think You Should For Sale By Owner? Think Again!

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Some Highlights: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is the process of selling real estate without the representation of a real estate broker or real estate agent. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, 36% of homeowners who decided to FSBO last year did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. But, homes sold with an agent net 6% more than those sold as a FSBO according to Collateral Analytics! Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together to discuss the advantages of having an agent on your side.

3 Things You Need to Know in a Shifting Real Estate Market

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Whether you are thinking of selling your house or buying a home, today’s real estate headlines can be confusing – perhaps even concerning. What is actually happening with mortgage rates? Are home values dropping or are they just rising at a slower pace? What impact will the economy have on the housing market? If you are either a buyer or seller (or both), you need to know what it will mean to your family if you go ahead with the move. You need to understand three things: 1. What is happening in the housing market right now? Consumers must get past those fear-mongering headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening. How strong is buyer demand right now? How much competition do listings have today compared to what they will have in the spring? People want to make an educated decision on what is probably their family’s greatest financial asset. 2. Why is it happening? Understanding the individual pieces that impact the sale or purchase of real estate is important. Understanding how those pieces impact each other is critical. How does the amount of a down payment impact the mortgage rate a buyer will be offered? Can […]

The Importance of Homeownership to the American Dream

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For centuries, people in this country have seen homeownership as part of the American Dream. Whether they were born here or immigrated from another country, they wanted to own a piece of America. With so many prominent societal changes over the last few decades, it is fair to ask if people in America still feel the same way about owning a home. The answer was made abundantly clear in two separate reports released earlier this month. In their market trends report, As Housing Trends Shift, So Does Renter, Buyer and Seller Sentiment, Trulia revealed that: “After two years of no change, the share of Americans who say that homeownership is part of their personal “American Dream” ticked up from 72 percent to 73 percent of Americans.” At the same time, the National Association of Realtors released their Aspiring Home Buyers Profile. As the report explained: “For both homeowners and non-homeowners alike, homeownership is strongly considered a part of the American Dream. For non-owners, roughly 75 percent reported that homeownership is part of their American Dream. For owners, nine in 10 believe it is part of their American Dream.” Bottom Line The belief among the vast majority of Americans, whether they rent or own, is that purchasing a […]

Do You Prefer the Charm of an Existing Home?

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When homebuyers begin their research, they want to see all their available options! In many cases, they will include both new construction and existing homes in their search; but is a new construction home really the house of their dreams? According to a recent survey by Zillow, of the 38% of total buyers that added new construction to their list, only 11% ultimately purchased a newly constructed home! They added that 71% of these buyers are repeat buyers who are financially secure, with 45% using the money from the sale of their previous homes to make a purchase. Below are some reasons why buyers are interested in purchasing a new build: Everything in the house is new/never used (49%) To be close to family (41%) The home is the best value for their money (37%) Appealing home features (34%) Desirable location (34%) So, then why did most of the buyers surveyed choose not to purchase a new home? 1) Location Buyers could not find new construction in the desired neighborhood, and some felt that new construction is not established (e.g., landscaping, community, neighbors). 2) Timing Buyers face the end of a lease or sale of their previous property and could not wait for a house to […]

The Difference Having a Professional on Your Side Makes

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In today’s fast-paced world, where answers are a Google search away, there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The truth is, with the addition of more information, comes more confusion. Shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper and the dozens more on HGTV have given many a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home. Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying and/or selling a home is definitely not something you want to DIY (Do It Yourself)! Here are just some of the reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner: There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online! There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream? You Need a Skilled Negotiator In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each […]

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

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Some Highlights: The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time. Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by the end of 2019. CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Last Chance! Homes are a Bargain Compared to Historic Norms

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A loaf of bread used to be a nickel. A movie ticket was a dime.  Not anymore. Houses were also much less expensive than they are now. Inflation raised the price of all three of those items, along with the price of almost every other item we purchase. The reason we can still afford to consume is that our wages have also risen over time. The better measure of whether an item is more expensive than it was before is what percentage of our income it takes to purchase that item today compared to earlier. Let’s look at purchasing a home. The COST of a home is determined by three major components: price, mortgage interest rate, and wages. The big question? Are we paying a greater percentage of our income toward our monthly mortgage payment today than previous generations? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Historically, Americans have paid just over 21% of their income toward their monthly mortgage payment. Though home prices are higher than before, wages have risen as well. And, the most important component in the cost equation – the mortgage rate – is dramatically lower than it was in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Today, according […]

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

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If you’ve ever watched “The Price is Right,” you know that the only way to win is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item you want without going over! That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price. In today’s shifting real estate market, where more inventory is coming to market and home values are projected to appreciate at lower rates, homeowners will not be able to price their homes as aggressively as they were able to just last year. They will have to employ the same strategy: be the closest without going over! As we have explained before, pricing your home at or slightly below market value actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search! Over the last six months, more inventory has come to market while the months’ supply of inventory available has dropped. This means that the demand for homes to buy is still very strong throughout the country! Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the homes when in reality nothing was wrong, the […]