Holiday Gifts Are Not the Only Hot Things Right Now

Black Friday is behind us and holiday gifts are flying off the shelves in stores and online. Unlike last year, however, there’s another type of buyer that is very active this winter – the homebuyer. Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index, which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The latest index revealed: “Traffic was more active once again compared to 2018, as the nation saw its third straight month of higher year-over-year showing activity…The 5.5% increase in showings nationwide was the largest jump in activity during the now three-month streak of year-over-year increases vs. … [Read more...]

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home. The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs. According to the latest Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, prices have appreciated 3.5% year-over-year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports inventory has dropped 4.3% from one year ago.These two statistics are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up. This is great news if you own a home … [Read more...]

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today’s low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here’s a look at three of them: Refinance: If you already own a home, you may want to decide if you’re going to refinance. It’s one way to lock in a lower monthly payment and save substantially over time, but it also means paying upfront closing costs too. You have to answer the question: Should I refinance my home? Move-up or Downsize: Another option is to consider moving into a new home, putting the equity you’ve likely gained in your current house … [Read more...]

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it’s not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that’s important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage. What Are Closing Costs? According to Trulia, “When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.” For those who buy a $250,000 home, for example, that amount could be between $5,000 and $12,500 in closing fees. Keep in mind, if you’re in the … [Read more...]

Millennials Are on the Move as First-Time Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time homebuyers is 32. With more millennials entering a homebuying phase of life, they are driving a large portion of the buyer appetite in the market, keeping buyer activity strong. More and more “old millennials” (ages 25-36) are realizing that homeownership is now within their grasp, and they’re actively dominating the first-time homebuyer market! Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

What is the Best Investment for Americans?

Some are reporting that there is trepidation regarding the real estate market in the United States. Apparently, the American people are quite comfortable. Porch.com, a major network helping homeowners with their renovation projects, recently conducted a survey which asked Americans: “What do you believe is the safest investment over the next 10 years?” U.S. housing came in at number one, beating out other investments such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Here is a graph showing the top five investments Americans selected:The findings of the Porch.com survey also coincide with two previous surveys done earlier this year: The Federal … [Read more...]

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

Did you know that each year in the United States, we celebrate “National Roof Over Your Head Day” on December 3rd? As noted on the National Calendar, it was “created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head. There are many things that we have that we take for granted and do not stop to appreciate how fortunate we are for having them.” From bungalows to cottages, and farmhouses to treehouses, today we show our appreciation and gratitude for the places we call home. Owning the roof that shelters us is something many renters still aspire to, knowing there are so many financial and non-financial benefits to … [Read more...]

Buyers Are Looking For Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Existing Home Sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.46 million. The inventory of existing homes for sale remains below the 6 months needed for a normal market and is now at a 3.9-month supply. Inventory remains low due to high demand from buyers who are still looking for a house to buy! Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to list their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why listing your house now or keeping it on the market this winter may be the best choice you can make. Here are seven great reasons not to wait: Relocation buyers are out there now. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays, and they need their new employees to start as soon as possible. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now. You can … [Read more...]

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor, has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of owning real estate: 1. Real estate diversifies your income “While it is certainly important to be properly diversified with your investments, it is even more important to be diversified with your income. This is because the largest financial risk for most of you is the loss of your primary source of income, which is typically in the form of a day job.” The article highlights how … [Read more...]