Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals: “The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the American Dream.” Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the barriers to homeownership – especially those related to down payments and FICO® scores – might be keeping many buyers out of the arena. The piece also reveals: “Millennials have to navigate a lot of obstacles to be able to own a home. According to our 2020 survey, saving for a down payment is the biggest barrier for … [Read more...]

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2020, have you thought about putting your tax refund toward a down payment? Homeownership may be one step closer than you think if you spend your dollars wisely this year. Based on data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,962 when filing their taxes this year. The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state:According to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. Truth be told, a 20% down payment is not always … [Read more...]

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a short-lived mirage as buyers came back into the market and more than erased the inventory gains. As a natural reaction, the recent slowdown in home values looks like it’s set to reverse back.” CoreLogic, in their January 2020 Market Pulse Report, agrees with Olsen, projecting … [Read more...]

How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World

It’s hard to listen to today’s news without hearing about the uncertainty surrounding global markets, the spread of the coronavirus, and tensions in the Middle East, just to name a few. These concerns have caused some to question their investment plans going forward. As an example, in Vanguard’s Global Outlook for 2020, the fund explains, “Slowing global growth and elevated uncertainty create a fragile backdrop for markets in 2020 and beyond.” Is there a silver lining to this cloud of doubt? Some worry this could cause concern for the U.S. housing market. The uncertainty, however, may actually mean good news for real estate. Mark Fleming, … [Read more...]

Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable

There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years. It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters. Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year. The National … [Read more...]

Buying a home can be SCARY…Until you know the FACTS [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Many potential homebuyers believe they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score to qualify to buy a home. This stops many people from even trying to jump into homeownership! Here are some facts to help take the fear out of the process: 71% of buyers who purchased homes have put down less than 20%. 78.1% of loan applications were approved last month. In September, the average credit score for approved loans was 737. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

It’s common knowledge that your FICO® score plays an important role in the homebuying process. However, many buyers have misconceptions regarding what exactly is required to get the loans they need. While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think. With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of … [Read more...]

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

Contrary to common misconception, a down payment is often much less than many believe. According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report’ conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market: “More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.” When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say, “The truth: 32% of current U.S. … [Read more...]

Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much.

When people talk about homeownership and the American Dream, much of the conversation revolves around the financial benefits of owning a home. However, two recent studies show that the non-financial benefits might be even more valuable. In a recent survey, Bank of America asked homeowners: “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?” 93% of the respondents answered yes, while only 7% said no. The survey also revealed: More than 80% said they wouldn’t go back to renting 88% agreed that buying a home is the “best decision they have ever made” 79% believed owning a home has changed them for the better Those surveyed talked about the … [Read more...]

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate?

According to a new study from realtor.com, the week of September 22 is the best time of year to buy a home, making it ‘Black Friday’ for homebuyers. Every year, ‘Black Friday’ is a highly anticipated event for eager shoppers. Some people prepare for weeks, crafting and refining a strategic shopping agenda, determining exactly when to arrive at each store, and capturing a wish list of discounted must-have items to purchase. But what about buying a home? Is there a ‘Black Friday’ for the home-buying process? Believe it or not, there is. According to a new study from realtor.com, the week of September 22 is the best time of year to buy a home, … [Read more...]