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...]

The 2020 Real Estate Projections That May Surprise You

This will be an interesting year for residential real estate. With a presidential election taking place this fall and talk of a possible recession occurring before the end of the year, predicting what will happen in the 2020 U.S. housing market can be challenging. As a result, taking a look at the combined projections from the most trusted entities in the industry when it comes to mortgage rates, home sales, and home prices is incredibly valuable – and they may surprise you. Mortgage Rates Projections from the experts at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac all … [Read more...]

2020 Forecast Shows Continued Home Price Appreciation

Questions continue to rise around where home prices will head in 2020. The latest forecast from CoreLogic shows continued appreciation at 5.4% over the next year:Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. Based on the most recent results, 32 of the 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) had a minimal probability of lowering by 2021. Bottom Line Experts forecast home price appreciation to continue at a moderate rate as we move through 2020 and beyond. With appreciation growing, let’s get … [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...]

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Home buying activity (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogic increased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months. The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysis that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, … [Read more...]

How to Determine If You Can Afford to Buy a Home

The gap between the increase in personal income and residential real estate prices has been used to defend the concept that we are experiencing an affordability crisis in housing today. It is true that home prices and wages are two key elements in any affordability equation. There is, however, an extremely important third component to that equation: mortgage interest rates. Mortgage interest rates have fallen by more than a full percentage point from this time last year. Today’s rate is 3.75%; it was 4.86% at this time last year. This has dramatically increased a purchaser’s ability to afford a home. Here are three reports validating that … [Read more...]

Think Prices Have Skyrocketed? Look at Rents.

Much has been written about how residential real estate values have increased since the housing market started its recovery in 2012. However, little has been shared about what has taken place with residential rental prices. Let’s shed a little light on this subject. In the most recent Apartment Rent Report, RentCafe explains how rents have continued to increase over the last twelve months because of a large demand and a limited supply.  “Continued interest in rental apartments and slowing construction keeps the national average rent on a strong upward trend.” Zillow, in its latest Rent Index, agreed that rents are continuing on an “upward … [Read more...]

Depending on the Price, You’re Going to Need Advice

To understand today’s complex real estate market, it is critical to have a local, trusted advisor on your side – for more reasons than you may think. In real estate today, there are essentially three different price points in the market: the starter-home market, the middle-home market, and the premium or luxury market. Each one is unique, and depending on the city, the price point in these categories will vary. For example, a starter or lower-end home in San Francisco, California is much more expensive than almost any other part of the country. Let’s explore what you need to know about each of these tiers. Starter-Home Market: This market … [Read more...]

3 Signs the Housing Market Is on the Rebound

The residential real estate market has been plodding along for most of the year. However, three recent reports show the market may be on the verge of a rebound. The residential real estate market has been plodding along for most of the year. However, three recent reports show the market may be on the verge of a rebound: 1. Existing Home Sales (closed sales) are up, marking two consecutive months of growth. 2. Pending Home Sales (contracts signed) are up with each of the four major regions reporting both month-over-month growth and year-over-year gains in contract activity. Here is the month-over-month growth: The Northeast rose 0.7% 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...]