The housing market has been going through shifts lately. That’s why it’s so important to work with an industry professional who can be your guide throughout the process.
A real estate expert uses their knowledge of what’s really happening with home prices, housing supply, expert projections, and more to give you the best advice. Someone who can provide clarity like that is critical right now. Jay Thompson, Real Estate Industry Consultant, explains:
“Housing market headlines are everywhere. Many are quite sensational, ending with exclamation points or predicting impending doom for the industry. Clickbait, the sensationalizing of headlines and content, has been an issue since the dawn of the internet, and housing news is not immune to it.”
Unfortunately, when information in the media isn’t clear, it can generate a lot of fear and uncertainty in the market. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parcl, says:
“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buying a home is a big decision, and it should be one you feel confident making. You can lean on an expert to help you separate fact from fiction and get the answers you need.
The right agent can help you understand what’s happening at the national and local levels, and they can debunk headlines using data you can trust. Experts have in-depth knowledge of the industry and can provide context, so you know how current trends compare to the normal ebbs and flows in the industry, historical data, and more.
Then, to make sure you have the full picture, an agent can tell you if your local area is following the national trend or if they’re seeing something different in your market. Together, you can use all that information to make the best possible decision.
After all, making a move is a potentially life-changing milestone. It should be something you feel ready for and excited about. And that’s where a trusted expert comes in.
For expert advice and the latest housing market insights, let’s connect.
Are you planning to buy a home this spring? Though things are more balanced than they were at the height of the pandemic, it’s still a sellers’ market. So, when you find the home you want to buy, remember these four tips to make your best offer.
Rely on an agent who can support your goals. As Bankrate notes:
“. . . select the best real estate agent for your needs. They will be a critical part of your home buying process.”
Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
Understanding your budget is especially important right now. As Sandy Higgins, Senior Wealth Advisor at Capstone Financial Advisors, puts it:
“Understand your current budget … what are your expenses, how’s your spending, would you need to make changes?”
The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. It helps you be more financially confident, and it shows sellers you’re serious. That can give you a competitive edge.
Today’s market isn’t moving at the record pace it did during the pandemic. That means you may have a bit more time to think before you need to make an offer. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“In general, you likely have more time to make an offer, although that’s certainly not a guarantee. If you’re on the fence about a home or its asking price doesn’t quite fit your budget, you might want to keep an eye on it, and if it doesn’t sell right away, you may have some room to negotiate with the seller.”
While it’s still important to stay on top of the market and be prepared to move quickly, there can be more flexibility today. Lean on the advice of your agent as you explore the options in your market.
During the pandemic, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home. Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you think through what levers to pull.
When you buy a home this spring, let’s connect so you have the guidance to make your best offer.
During the pandemic, many of us reexamined the meaning of home for ourselves and our loved ones. Today, that can be seen in the recent rise in multigenerational households. According to Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Economic Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Multi-generational buying may be a home where families live in the same home with elderly parents, children who have boomeranged back home, or other extended family members. While this is not a new concept of living, it is one which has gained recent popularity.”
And citing data from Pew Research Center, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:
“. . . multigenerational living has made a comeback in recent years, particularly after the 2008 financial crisis and during the pandemic.”
So, if buying a multigenerational home has crossed your mind, you aren’t alone. Depending on what stage of homeownership you’re in, there are different reasons it could be the right fit. The chart below shows responses to a recent survey from NAR about the reasons people have bought a multigenerational home:
Whether your motives are financial or focused on the people you’ll share your home with, a multigenerational home has distinct advantages. It can make homeownership more affordable, and it can help you best support your loved ones. As Lautz explains:
“Multi-generational home buying is a way for families to care for one another, support one another, and often buy a home that may have been previously out of reach. . . . The trend of multigenerational buying appears to be firmly established and one that could expand in the future.”
If you’re ready to buy a house, consider the opportunities of a multigenerational home. Let’s connect so you can explore your options in our area.
You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s better to rent right now than it is to own your home. But before you let that impact your decisions, you should understand what these claims are based on.
A lot of the time, these reports are assuming things that aren’t realistic for the average household. For example, the methodology behind one of those reports says that renting is the smarter financial option because of the opportunity to invest money elsewhere. It assumes renters take the money they’d spend on costs tied to buying a home and put it in an investment portfolio.
But here’s the thing – most people who rent aren’t making those investments. Ken Johnson, Co-Author of the BH&J National Price-to-Rent Index, explains:
“One of the difficulties with the rent and reinvest model is many people . . . simply rent and spend the difference. . . . That’s wealth destroying.”
The reason homeownership is one of the best investments you can make is the wealth it helps you build. That’s why there’s a significant difference between the net worth of the average homeowner and the average renter (see graph below):
So, before you renew your rental agreement, think about the opportunity to build wealth that homeownership provides.
If you’re unsure whether to continue renting or to buy a home, let’s connect to help you make the best decision.
Today’s homeowners are sitting on significant equity, even as home price appreciation has eased recently. If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a boost over the past few years thanks to rising home prices. Here’s what it means for you, even as the market moderates.
Because of the imbalance between how many homes were for sale and the number of homebuyers in the market over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially.
And while price appreciation has slowed this year, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all the equity in your home. In fact, the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic finds the average homeowner’s equity has grown by $34,300 over the past year alone.
And if you’ve been in your home longer than that, chances are you have even more equity than you realize.
While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened in your area, look at the map below from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). It shows on average how much home prices have risen over the past five years, which has been a major driver behind equity growth.
While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals, like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you’ve built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.
So, if you’ve been holding off on selling, it may be time to find out how much equity you have and how it can help fuel your next move.
Homeownership is a long game, and if you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained over time can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect.
After steadily falling over the winter, mortgage rates have started to rise in recent weeks. This is concerning to some potential homebuyers as the combination of higher mortgage rates and higher prices have made homes less affordable. So, if you’re planning to purchase a home this year, you too may be wondering if now’s the right time to buy or if you should hold off on your search until rates come back down.
The recent uptick in rates has been driven by what’s happening with inflation. Joel Kan, Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains:
“Mortgage rates increased across the board last week, pushed higher by market expectations that inflation will persist, thus requiring the Federal Reserve to keep monetary policy restrictive for a longer time.”
The most recent weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reported by Freddie Mac is 6.5%. It’s the third week in a row that rates have increased and puts them at the highest point they’ve been this year (see graph below):
If you’re thinking about pausing your home search because rates have started to go up again, you may want to reconsider. This could actually be an opportunity to buy the home you’ve been searching for. According to the MBA, mortgage applications declined by 13.3% in just one week, so it appears the rise in mortgage rates is leading some potential homebuyers to pull back on their search for a new home.
So, what does that mean for you? If you stay the course, you’ll likely face less competition among other buyers when you’re looking for a home. This is welcome relief in a market that has so few homes for sale.
Over the last few weeks, mortgage rates have risen. But that doesn’t mean you should delay your plans to buy a home. In fact, it could mean the opposite if you want to take advantage of less buyer competition. Let’s connect today to explore the options in our local market.
One of the many reasons to buy a home is that it’s a major way to build wealth and gain financial stability. According to Freddie Mac:
“Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”
With spring approaching, now’s a great time to consider if buying a home makes sense for you. The best way to figure that out is to talk with a trusted real estate professional.
You may be surprised to learn just how much of a homeowner’s net worth actually comes from owning their home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares:
“Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among families, with the median value of a primary residence worth about ten times the median value of financial assets held by families. Housing wealth (home equity or net worth) gains are built up through price appreciation and by paying off the mortgage.”
In other words, home equity does more to build the average household’s wealth than anything else. And according to data from First American, this holds true across different income levels (see graph below):
One of the biggest benefits of owning a home, regardless of your income level, is that it provides financial stability and an avenue to build wealth. Let’s connect today so you can start investing in homeownership.
According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 8 in 10 Americans say buying a home is a priority, and 28 million Americans actually plan to buy within the next 12 months. Homeownership provides many financial and nonfinancial benefits, so that interest is understandable.
However, it’s unlikely all 28 million Americans will accomplish that goal in the coming year. Experts project a total of around five million homes will be sold in 2023. Why is there such a big difference? It’s partly because there can be challenges to buying a home.
In the same survey, when asked, “Which of the following are preventing you from pursuing homeownership at this time?”:
If you’re aiming to buy a home, here’s what you need to know to accomplish that goal.
Your down payment is a big chunk of what you pay up front for your home. For most home purchases, buyers put down some amount of cash up front (a down payment) and then take out a loan (a mortgage) to pay for the rest.
It’s a longstanding myth that you need to pay 20% of the purchase price for your down payment. In reality, 20% down isn’t always required. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s median down payment is 14% for the average buyer and just 6% for a first-time buyer.
Regardless of how much money you can save for your down payment, know there’s help available. A local lender can show you options to help you get closer to your down payment goal. Plus, there are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5% for some buyers, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.
Beyond assistance programs and different loan types, here are a few other tips to help you as you save for your down payment:
Your credit score is a number that indicates how financially reliable you are to lenders. A higher credit score usually means you’ll be able to borrow more money at a better interest rate. If your credit score is preventing you from getting an affordable mortgage, there are steps you can take to improve it. Here are two:
If you want to purchase a home this year, let’s connect so we can start preparing.
Many people are reaching the point in their lives when they need to decide where they want to live when they retire. If you’re a homeowner approaching this stage, you have several options to explore. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“As we see the transition of the large Baby Boomer generation age into retirement, it will be interesting to see if they move in with their Millennial and Gen Z children or if they stay put in their own homes.”
Lautz lists two options: move into a multigenerational home with loved ones, or stay in your current house. Multigenerational living is rising in popularity, but it isn’t an option for everyone. And staying put may fit fewer and fewer of your needs. There’s a third option though, and for some, it’s the best one: downsizing.
When you sell your house and purchase a smaller one, it’s known as downsizing. Sometimes smaller homes are more suited to your changing needs, and moving means you can also land in your ideal location.
In addition to the personal benefits, downsizing might be more cost effective, too. The New York Times (NYT) shares:
“Many downsizers expect to improve their retirement income stream if their new home costs less than what their old house sells for. Lower utility costs, insurance and property taxes — as well as investment returns on the proceeds — can also improve the bottom line.”
Being in a strong financial position is one of the most important parts of retirement, and downsizing can make a big difference.
A key part of why downsizing is still cost effective today, even when mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, is the record-high level of equity homeowners have. Leveraging your equity when you downsize can lower or maybe even eliminate the mortgage payment on your next home.
So, not only is the upkeep of a smaller home likely more affordable, but leveraging your home equity could make a big difference too. Your local real estate advisor is the best resource to help you understand how much equity you may have in your current home and what options it can provide for your next move.
If you’re a homeowner getting ready for retirement, part of that transition likely includes deciding where you’ll live. Let’s connect so you can understand your options and explore your downsizing opportunities.
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