“Short of a war or stock market crash…”

This month, Arch Mortgage Insurance released their spring Housing and Mortgage Market Review. The report explained that an increase in mortgage rates and/or home prices would impact monthly payments this way: A 5% increase in home prices increases payments by roughly 5% A 1% rise in interest rates increases payments by roughly 13% or 14% That begs the question… What if both rates and prices increase as predicted? The report revealed: “If interest rates and home prices rise by year-end in the ballpark of what most analysts are forecasting, monthly mortgage payments on a new home purchase could increase another 10–15%. That would make 2018 one … [Read more...]

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional. Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families. Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO: The buyer who wants the best deal possible The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the … [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...]

Is Family Mortgage Debt Out of Control?

Some homeowners have recently done a “cash out” refinance and have taken a portion of their increased equity from their house. Others have sold their homes and purchased more expensive homes with larger mortgages. At the same time, first-time buyers have become homeowners and now have mortgage payments for the first time. These developments have caused concern that families might be reaching unsustainable levels of mortgage debt. Some are worried that we may be repeating a behavior that helped precipitate the housing crash ten years ago. Today, we want to assure everyone that this is not the case. Here is a graph created from data released by … [Read more...]

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State?

It’s no mystery that cost of living varies drastically depending on where you live, so a new study by GOBankingRates set out to find out what minimum salary you would need to make in order to buy a median-priced home in each of the 50 states, and Washington, D.C. States in the Midwest came out on top as most affordable, requiring the smallest salaries in order to buy a median-priced home. States with large metropolitan areas saw a bump in the average salary needed to buy with California, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii edging out all others with the highest salaries required. Below is a map with the full results of the study: GoBankingRates … [Read more...]

Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position? As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home this January. If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years? Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $12,500 in equity in just one year. Over a five-year … [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...]

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...]