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...]

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

  Some Highlights: A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices! Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool. Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise! Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

The COST of Your Next Home Will Be LESS Than Your Parents’ Home Was

There is no doubt that the price of a home in most regions of the country is greater now than at any time in history. However, when we look at the cost of a home, it is cheaper to own today than it has been historically. The Difference Between PRICE and COST The price of a home is the dollar amount you and the seller agree to at the time of purchase. The cost of a home is the monthly expense you pay for your mortgage payment. To accurately compare costs in different time periods, we must look at home prices, mortgage rates, and wages during each period. Home prices were less expensive years ago, but paychecks were also smaller and mortgage … [Read more...]

Mortgage Interest Rates Have Begun to Level Off

Whether you are a buyer searching for your first home, or a homeowner looking to move up to your next home, you should pay attention to where mortgage interest rates are heading. Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates have increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April. At first glance, the difference between these numbers in such a short amount of time could be concerning, but if we look at the graph below, we’ll see that rates have already started to level off and return to the mark set in February. This is great news for anyone looking to buy a home … [Read more...]

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). What is PMI? Freddie Mac defines PMI as: “An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%. Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you … [Read more...]

US Housing Market Still In ‘Buy Territory’!

According to the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the U.S. housing market has continued to move deeper into buy territory, supporting the belief that housing markets across the country remain a sound investment. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question: In today’s housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home? The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison. The researchers “measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a … [Read more...]

VA Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Since the creation of the VA Home Loans Program, 22 million veterans have been able to achieve the American Dream of homeownership. In 2017, $188 billion was loaned to veterans and their families through the program. VA Purchase Loans are on the rise in 46 out of 50 states and Washington, DC. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

What Should You Look for In Your Real Estate Team?

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender? The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market. As the financial guru Dave Ramsey advises: “When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” Do your … [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...]

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying Today [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 (28.9%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.7%), 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...]