Monthly Archives February 2018

It’s Tax Season… Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,840 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $2,895, last year. Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals; for anyone looking to buy a home in 2018, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment! The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state. (The refunds received for the 2017 tax year should continue to reflect these
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Is Now a Good Time to Rent?

People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home, but nobody ever asks when it’s a good time to rent. Regardless, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent. The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 fourth quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today: As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether or not you should renew your lease, you might be pleasantly surprised
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Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report. REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January. The map
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The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%. You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit. Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.
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Mortgage Rates on FIRE! Home Prices Up in Smoke?

Mortgage interest rates have already risen by over a quarter of a percentage point in 2018. Many are projecting that rates could increase to 5% by the end of the year. What impact will rising rates have on house values? Many quickly jump to the conclusion that an increase in mortgage rates will have a detrimental impact on real estate prices as fewer buyers will be able to qualify for a loan. This seems logical; if there is less demand for housing then prices will drop. However, in a good economy, rising mortgage rates increase demand as many prospective purchasers
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80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

According to the latest Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of surveyed renters desire to own a home in the future, with 80% believing homeownership is a big part of achieving their American Dream. The profile went on to state that 50% of millennials believe that their rent will increase, with 20% believing that an increase in rent will be the catalyst that pushes them to consider buying a home vs. renewing their lease. So, what is holding renters back? What would make renters take the plunge? NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun believes that,
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2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible. 1. Price it a LITTLE LOW  This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below). Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’
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Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

Whether you are buying or selling a home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ‘FSBO.’ The 5 reasons you NEED a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. 1. What do you do with all
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Should I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? Or Buy Now? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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 2019. CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.3% over the next 12 months. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!
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Calm Down! The Real Estate Market is NOT Falling Apart

There has been tremendous volatility in certain markets over the last few weeks (for example, the stock and currency markets). When this happens, some tend to lump all of their investments together and create an almost ‘Armageddon’ scenario where everything loses value quickly and dramatically. Real estate is an investment that can get caught up in this hysteria. Does the concern about the current housing market have merit? Financial advisors have been warning us for months that the stock market was ripe for a “correction.” Experts have been questioning the value of alternative currencies for over a year. In contrast,
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