Monthly Archives April 2018

Why Home Prices Are Increasing

There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion. However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It
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Existing Home Sales Grow Despite Low Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales grew 1.1% in March to an annual pace of 5.60 million. This is the strongest pace since November of 2017. Inventory levels dropped year-over-year for the 34th consecutive month and are now 7.2% lower than March 2017 levels, representing a 3.6-month supply.
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“Short of a war or stock market crash…”

This month, Arch Mortgage Insurance released their spring Housing and Mortgage Market Review. The report explained that an increase in mortgage rates and/or home prices would impact monthly payments this way: A 5% increase in home prices increases payments by roughly 5% A 1% rise in interest rates increases payments by roughly 13% or 14% That begs the question… What if both rates and prices increase as predicted? The report revealed: “If interest rates and home prices rise by year-end in the ballpark of what most analysts are forecasting, monthly mortgage payments on a new home purchase could increase another
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New Study Shows ‘Best States for Millennials’

A new study by WalletHub used “30 key metrics, ranging from share of millennials to millennial unemployment rate to millennial voter-turnout rate” to find out which states are the ‘Best States for Millennials.’ The Top 5 Best States for Millennials are: Washington, D.C. (also ranks highest in percentage of millennials already living there!) North Dakota (lowest unemployment rate) Minnesota (highest millennial homeownership rate) Massachusetts (highest percentage of millennials with health insurance coverage) Iowa (ranked #1 in lowest housing cost for millennials) Below is a map with the rankings for each of the 50 states: We recently reported on a study
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Thinking of Selling Your Home? Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional. Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families. Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO: The buyer who
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Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting in the Majority of the US

The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report. The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income. The least affordable market for renting was Marin County, CA, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, where renters spend a staggering 79.5% of average wages on rent, while the most affordable market was Madison County, AL where 22.3% of average wages went to rent. Other interesting findings
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Home Buying Myths Slayed [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%! Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers. 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months! The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.
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Is Family Mortgage Debt Out of Control?

Some homeowners have recently done a “cash out” refinance and have taken a portion of their increased equity from their house. Others have sold their homes and purchased more expensive homes with larger mortgages. At the same time, first-time buyers have become homeowners and now have mortgage payments for the first time. These developments have caused concern that families might be reaching unsustainable levels of mortgage debt. Some are worried that we may be repeating a behavior that helped precipitate the housing crash ten years ago. Today, we want to assure everyone that this is not the case. Here is
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How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State?

It’s no mystery that cost of living varies drastically depending on where you live, so a new study by GOBankingRates set out to find out what minimum salary you would need to make in order to buy a median-priced home in each of the 50 states, and Washington, D.C. States in the Midwest came out on top as most affordable, requiring the smallest salaries in order to buy a median-priced home. States with large metropolitan areas saw a bump in the average salary needed to buy with California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii edging out all others with the highest salaries
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Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position? As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home this January. If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years? Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained
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