Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / August 28, 2019Comment
According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more.
Recently, the 2019 Moving with Kids Report from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) studied “the different purchasing habits as well as seller preferences during the home buying and selling process.” This is what they found:
When Purchasing a Home
The major difference between the homebuyers who have children and those who do not is the importance of the neighborhood. In fact, 53% said the quality of the school district is an important factor when purchasing a home, and 50% select neighborhoods by the convenience to the schools.
In real estate, it’s so vital that you work with a great lender. Not just any lender—a great lender.
Your lender will either help you make the home buying process easy or make you hate the process altogether. If your lender doesn’t communicate with you or can’t get the job done, you’re going to get frustrated. You could even potentially lose a house.
A great lender will do the work on the front end by asking you a lot of questions and requesting certain documents so that everything is smooth and done on the back end. A lender who only asks for basic information over the phone, provides a pre-qualification, and then stops communicating with you will have you chasing them for information.
"Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”
To give proper recognition, we’re going to look at some senior-related data in the housing industry.
“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.”
Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / August 14, 2019Comment
Over the last couple of years, we’ve heard quite a bit about rising home prices. Today, expert projections still forecast continued growth, just at a slower pace. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising home prices is the positive impact they have on home equity. Let’s break down three ways this is a win for homeowners.
1. Move-Up Opportunity
With the rise in prices, homeowners naturally experience an increase in home equity. According to the Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic,
“In the first quarter of 2019, the average homeowner gained approximately $6,400 in equity during the past year.”
This increase in profit means if homeowners decide to sell, they’ll be able to put their equity to work for them as they make plans to move up into their next home.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / August 6, 2019Comment
Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today.
1. How much do you really need for a down payment?
There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Maeshows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 - 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.There are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / August 5, 2019Comment
On his personal website, self-made millionaire David Bach makes a striking statement:
“Not prioritizing homeownership is the single biggest mistake millennials are making.”
He further stated, “Buying a home is an escalator to wealth.”
“Young adults in particular aren’t hopping on this escalator, and it’s a costly mistake…If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none.”
He then elaborates on the game of homeownership:
“Start by crunching the numbers…actually do the math...This way, you’re really clear on your goals and you won’t just say to yourself, ‘I’ll never afford this!'
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your total monthly housing payment doesn’t consume more than 30 percent of your take-home pay.”
Bach concludes by saying,
“Oftentimes, buying your first home means you’re not buying your...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / July 25, 2019Comment
Whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to move up to the home of your dreams, now is a great time to purchase a home. Here are three major reasons to buy today.
Many people focus solely on price when talking about home affordability. Since home prices have appreciated throughout the past year, they assume homes are less affordable. However, affordability is determined by three components:
Mortgage Interest Rate
Prices are up, but so are wages - and interest rates have recently dropped dramatically (see #2 below). As a result, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Affordability Index report revealed that homes are MORE affordable throughout the country today than they were a year ago.
“All four regions saw an increase in affordability from a year ago. The South had the biggest gain in affordability of 6.9%, followed by the West with a gain of 6.0%. The Midwest had an increase of 5.8%, followed by the Northeast with the smallest gain of 1.8%.”
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, July 22, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / July 22, 2019Comment
If you’re currently renting and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, homeownership may be closer than you realize.
Ralph McLaughlin, CoreLogic’s Deputy Chief Economist and author of the report, explained his findings at the recent National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Austin:
“Investor buying activity in the U.S. is at record highs. And our records go back confidently, about 20 years…
What’s going on and why? Well, it turns out, it’s not the big institutional guys that are leading the increase in home buying. It’s actually the smaller guys. It’s those that have bought between one and ten properties over this 20-year period, they’re the...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / July 16, 2019Comment
With the recent lower interest rates, many homeowners are wondering if they should refinance.
To decide if refinancing is the best option for your family, start by asking yourself these questions:
Why do you want to refinance?
There are many reasons to refinance, but here are three of the most common ones:
Lower your interest rate and payment – This is the most popular reason. If you have a 5% interest rate or higher, it might be worth seeing if you can take advantage of the current lower interest rates, hovering below 4%, to reduce your monthly payment and overall cost of the loan.
Shorten the term of your loan – If you have a 30-year loan, it may be advantageous to change it to a 15 or 20-year loan to pay off your mortgage sooner.
Cash-out refinance – With home prices increasing, you might have enough equity to cash out and invest in something else, like your children’s education, a vacation home, or a new business.
Once you know why you might want to refinance, ask yourself the next question:
How much is it going to cost?
There are fees and closing costs involved in refinancing, and Lenders Network...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / July 11, 2019Comment
The Federal Reserve Bank (The Fed) recently released their 2019 Survey of Consumer Expectations Housing Survey. The survey reported that 65% of Americans believe homeownership is a good financial investment. Since 2014, the percentage has increased by over nine percent.The Fed’s survey also showed that when the results are broken down by age, education, income, or region of the country, more than 55% of Americans in each category see homeownership as a good investment.
“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”
Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:
1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available
Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.
Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / July 8, 2019Comment
Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered "premium homes." In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.
Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.
According to ILHM’s Luxury Report, this mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was 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 current conditions at the higher end of the market are...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / June 27, 2019Comment
So you made an offer and it was accepted. Now, your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents oftentimes make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.
This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or in some cases, to walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
How to Choose an Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTVrecommends that you consider the following five areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report...
Posted by Dan Bennett on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / June 26, 2019Comment
In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the "man cave" of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?
The first step in your home buying process should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
Posted by Dan Bennett on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / June 24, 2019Comment
In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.
Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.
Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
Posted by Dan Bennett on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 7:00 AMBy Dan Bennett / June 20, 2019Comment
Young buyers (Millennials & Gen Z) have waited longer than previous generations to enter the housing market for their first home. However, this hasn’t stopped them from dreaming about the home they will eventually buy. Many spend hours searching listings and building Pinterest boards of their favorite home features.
According to a survey from Open Listings, 70% of single renters are more likely to spend their Sunday nights swiping through house listings than dating profiles.
All that time window shopping has led 45% of millennials to expect the first home they buy to be their “dream home”! They are willing to wait longer, save more for a larger down payment, and are pickier about the listings they want to tour and the features that...