First-Time Home Buyers Continue to Put Down Less Than 6%!

According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% in 2017. Many potential homebuyers believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying, but in March, 71% of first-time buyers and 54% of all buyers put less than 20% down. Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist and Founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, recently shed light on why buyer demand has remained strong, “The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renters households fell … [Read more...]

House-Buying Power at Near-Historic Levels

We keep hearing that home affordability is approaching crisis levels. While this may be true in a few metros across the country, housing affordability is not a challenge in the clear majority of the country. In their most recent Real House Price Index, First American reported that consumer “house-buying power” is at “near-historic levels.” Their index is based on three components: Median Household Income Mortgage Interest Rates Home Prices The report explains: “Changing incomes and interest rates either increase or decrease consumer house-buying power or affordability. When incomes rise and/or mortgage rates fall, consumer house-buying power … [Read more...]

You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that the main reason why non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them. This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today. 1. Down Payment A recent survey by Laurel Road, the National Online Lender and FDIC-Insured Bank, revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home … [Read more...]

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision. Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.8%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.1%), the choice becomes obvious. Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year! Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

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 is that simple. In real estate, … [Read more...]

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 in the report … [Read more...]

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. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly 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 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 in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if 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 … [Read more...]

Boomerang Buyers: Most Qualify for Financing in 2-3 Years

According to a new study from Lending Tree, Americans who have filed for bankruptcy may be able to rebuild enough credit to qualify for a home loan in as little as 2-3 years. This is in stark contrast to the belief that many have that they need to wait 7-10 years for their bankruptcies to clear from their credit reports before attempting to apply for either a mortgage or a personal or auto loan. The study analyzed over one million loan applications for mortgages, personal, and auto loans and compared borrowers who had a bankruptcy on their credit report vs. those who did not to find out the “Cost of Bankruptcy.” The study found that 43.2% of … [Read more...]

NOT Owning Your Home Can Cost You a Lot of Money!

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed. Realtor.com recently reported that: “Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option… as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.” What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting? 1. In a previous blog we highlighted the top 5 financial … [Read more...]