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Waiting To Buy a Home Could Cost You [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If you’re thinking of buying a home but wondering if waiting a few years will save you in the long run, think again. The longer the wait, the more you’ll pay, especially when mortgage rates and home prices rise. Even the slightest change in the mortgage rate can have a big impact on your buying power no matter your price point. Don’t …

Home Sellers: There Is an Extra Way To Welcome Home Our Veterans

Some veterans are finding it difficult to obtain a home in today’s market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “Conventional conforming mortgages (mortgages that conform to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), accounted for 74% of mortgages obtained by homebuyers in May 2021, an increase from about 65% during 2018 through 2019…The share of VA-guaranteed loans has also decreased to …

4 Reasons Why the End of Forbearance Will Not Lead to a Wave of Foreclosures

With forbearance plans about to come to an end, many are concerned the housing market will experience a wave of foreclosures like what happened after the housing bubble 15 years ago. Here are four reasons why that won’t happen. 1. There are fewer homeowners in trouble this time After the last housing crash, about 9.3 million households lost their home to a foreclosure, short …

A Look at Housing Supply and What It Means for Sellers

One of the hottest topics of conversation in today’s real estate market is the shortage of available homes. Simply put, there are many more potential buyers than there are homes for sale. As a seller, you’ve likely heard that low supply is good news for you. It means your house will get more attention, and likely, more offers. But as life begins to return …

3 Hot Topics in the Housing Market Right Now

If you’re a prospective buyer or seller, it’s important to understand the current real estate market conditions and how they affect you. The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) just released its Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate report. Here are three hot topics from the list and how they impact today’s housing market. Technology Acceleration and Innovation The past year ushered in many changes to …

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights The language of buying and selling a home may sound scary at first, but knowing how key terms relate to today’s market can help you. For example, current low mortgage rates and higher wages positively impact affordability for buyers, while home price appreciation continues to grow home equity, which sellers can use to fuel a move up. Terms like appraisal (what lenders …

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market. A Shortage of Homes for Sale Earlier this year, the number …

Remote Work Has Changed Our Home Needs. Is It Time for Your Home To Change, Too?

Over the past year, many homeowners realized what they need in a home is changing, especially with the rise in remote work. If you’re longing for a dedicated home office or a change in scenery, now may be the time to find the home that addresses your evolving needs. Working from Home Isn’t a Passing Fad Before the pandemic, only 21% of individuals worked …

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the market data indicates this is nothing like 2006 for three major reasons. 1. The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans. Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index …

What You Should Do Before Interest Rates Rise

In today’s real estate market, mortgage interest rates are near record lows. If you’ve been in your current home for several years and haven’t refinanced lately, there’s a good chance you have a mortgage with an interest rate higher than today’s average. Here are some options you should consider if you want to take advantage of today’s current low rates before they rise. Sell …

Experts Agree: Options Are Improving for Buyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Buyers hoping for more homes to choose from may be in luck as housing inventory begins to rise. Many experts agree – new sellers listing their homes is great news for buyers and the overall market. Although the supply increases are modest, more homes means more options for buyers. A rise in inventory may also help slow the price gains we’ve seen …

Diving Deep into Today’s Biggest Buyer Concerns

Last week, Fannie Mae released their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). Though the survey showed 77% of respondents believe it’s a “good time to sell,” it also confirms what many are sensing: an increasing number of Americans believe it’s a “bad time to buy” a home. The percentage of those surveyed saying it’s a “bad time to buy” hit 64%, up from 56% last …

Housing Supply Is Rising. What Does That Mean for You?

An important factor in today’s market is the number of homes for sale. While inventory levels continue to sit near historic lows, there are indications we may have hit the lowest point we’ll see. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently said of our supply challenges: “It looks like inventory may have hit a bottom (we’ve seen this in the higher frequency …

Why This Isn’t Your Typical Summer Housing Market

In real estate, it’s normal to see ebbs and flows in the market. Typically, the summer months are slower-paced than the traditionally busy spring. But this isn’t a typical summer. As the economy rebounds and life is returning to normal, the real estate market is expected to have an unusually strong summer season. Here’s how this summer is stacking up against the norm and …

4 Major Incentives To Sell This Summer

While the housing market forecast for the second half of the year remains positive, there may not be a better time to sell than right now. Here are four things to consider if you’re trying to decide if now’s the right time to make a move. 1. Your House Will Likely Sell Quickly According to the most recent Realtors Confidence Index released by the …

Your Home Equity Can Take You Places [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights The amount of wealth Americans have stored in their homes has increased astronomically. On average, homeowners gained $33,400 in equity over the last 12 months, and the average equity on mortgaged homes is now $216,000. When it’s time to sell, your home equity can help accomplish your goals. Let’s connect to discuss how you can take advantage of today’s sellers’ market to …

Selling Your House? Make Sure You Price It Right.

There’s no denying we’re in a sellers’ market. With low inventory and high buyer demand, homes today are selling above the asking price at a record rate. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR): Homes typically sell within 17 days (compared to 26 days one year ago). The average home sold has five offers to pick …

The Truths Young Homebuyers Need To Hear

For many young or first-time homebuyers, purchasing a home can feel intimidating. A recent survey shows some homebuyers ages 25 to 40 may be unsure about the homebuying process and what they can afford. It found: “1 in 4 underestimated their buying potential by $150k or more” “1 in 4 underestimated the increase in value by $100k or more” “47% don’t know what a …

A Look at Home Price Appreciation Through 2025

Home prices have increased significantly over the last year, which in turn has grown the net worth of homeowners. Appreciation and home equity are directly linked – as the value of a home increases, so does a homeowner’s equity. And with these recent gains, homeowners are witnessing their financial stability and well-being grow to record levels. In more good news for homeowners, the most …

Home Builders Ramp Up Construction Based on Demand

If you’re thinking of buying a home, there really is no time like the present. With today’s low mortgage rates, you have a great opportunity to get more home for your money. The challenge is inventory. Like you, many buyers want to capitalize on these market conditions, and it’s leading to more buyer competition and bidding wars. If you’re having a hard time finding …

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Are We in a Housing Bubble? Experts Say No.

The question of whether the real estate market is a bubble ready to pop seems to be dominating a lot of conversations – and everyone has an opinion. Yet, when it comes down to it, the opinions that carry the most weight are the ones based on experience and expertise. Here are four expert opinions from professionals and organizations that have devoted their careers …

What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?

As we move into the latter half of the year, questions about what’s to come are top of mind for buyers and sellers. Near record-low mortgage rates coupled with rising home price appreciation kicked off a robust housing market in the first half of 2021, but what does the forecast tell us about what’s on the horizon? Mortgage Rates Will Likely Increase, but Remain …

What To Expect as Appraisal Gaps Grow

In today’s real estate market, low inventory and high demand are driving up home prices. As many as 54% of homes are getting offers over the listing price, based on the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser at CoreLogic, elaborates: “The frequency of buyers being willing to pay more than the market data supports is …

Save Time and Effort by Selling with an Agent

Selling a house is a time-consuming process – especially if you decide to do it on your own, known as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). From conducting market research to reviewing legal documents, handling negotiations, and more, it’s an involved and highly detailed process that requires a lot of expertise to navigate effectively. That’s one of the reasons why the percentage of people …

Homebuyers: Hang in There [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Today’s sellers’ market provides unique challenges—and benefits—for buyers. Current low interest rates won’t last forever, and home prices are forecast to rise. If you’re a homebuyer, hang in there. Homeownership improves your quality of life, and the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term challenges.

Demand for Vacation Homes Is Still Strong

The pandemic created a tremendous interest in vacation homes across the country. Throughout the last year, many people purchased second homes as a safe getaway from the challenges of the health crisis. With many professionals working from home and many students taking classes remotely, it made sense to see a migration away from cities and into counties with more vacation destinations. The 2021 Vacation …

Homeowner Wealth Increases Through Growing Equity This Year

Building financial wealth and stability remains one of the top reasons Americans choose to own a home, and as a homeowner, your wealth often grows without you even realizing it. In a recent paper published by the Urban Institute, Home Ownership is Affordable Housing, author Mike Loftin illustrates how homeowners increase their equity and their wealth simply by making monthly mortgage payments: “The principal …

Pre-Approval Makes All the Difference When Buying a Home

You may have been told that it’s important to get pre-approved at the beginning of the homebuying process, but what does that really mean, and why is it so important? Especially in today’s market, with rising home prices and high buyer competition, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget so you stand out to sellers as a serious homebuyer. Being intentional …

5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an Offer

When it comes to buying a house, you’re looking for the perfect place to call home. The problem is, in today’s market there just aren’t that many homes available to purchase. With inventory hovering near record lows and sky-high buyer demand, a multi-offer scenario is the new normal. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re ready to make an offer. 1. …

Owning a Home Has Distinct Financial Benefits Over Renting [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights When you rent, you build your landlord’s wealth, your monthly payment depends on ever-rising rents, and you don’t benefit from home price appreciation. On the other hand, when you own your home, you build your own wealth, your monthly payment is locked in, and you benefit directly from home price appreciation. If you’re feeling the challenges of a competitive market, remember that …

Housing Wealth: The Missing Piece of the Affordability Equation

The real estate market is soaring today. Residential home values are rising, and that’s a big win for homeowners. In 2020, there was a double-digit increase in home values – a trend that’s expected to head toward similar levels this year. However, skyrocketing prices are causing some to start questioning affordability in the current housing market. Many are quick to emphasize the fact that …

Don’t Wait To Sell Your House

We’re in the ultimate sellers’ market right now. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, you have a huge advantage in today’s housing market. High buyer demand paired with very few houses for sale makes this the optimal time to sell for those who are ready to do so. Whatever the move you want to make looks like, here’s an overview of what’s creating …

Hope Is on the Horizon for Today’s Housing Shortage

The major challenge in today’s housing market is that there are more buyers looking to purchase than there are homes available to buy. Simply put, supply can’t keep up with demand. A normal market has a 6-month supply of homes for sale. Anything over that indicates it’s a buyers’ market, but an inventory level below that threshold means we’re in a sellers’ market. Today’s …

The Right Expert Will Guide You Through This Unprecedented Market

In a normal market, it’s good to have an experienced guide coaching you through the process of buying or selling a home. That person can advise you on important things like pricing your home correctly or the first steps to take when you’re ready to buy. However, the market we’re in today is far from normal. As a result, an expert isn’t just good …

Have Your Day in the Sun by Moving Up This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Longer days and sunny weather mean summer is upon us, and what better conditions than right now to upgrade to the home of your dreams? If your needs have changed, it’s a great time to upgrade – there’s likely high demand for your current house, and today’s low mortgage rates can help you afford your dream home. If you’re ready to upgrade …

Why This Is Not Like 2008 Again

During the Great Recession, just over a decade ago, the financial systems the world depended on started to collapse. It created a panic that drove some large companies out of business (ex. Lehman Brothers) and many more into bankruptcy. The financial crisis that accompanied the current pandemic caused hardship to certain industries and hurt many small businesses. However, it hasn’t rattled the world economy. …

Home Price Appreciation Is as Simple as Supply and Demand

Home price appreciation continues to accelerate. Today, prices are driven by the simple concept of supply and demand. Pricing of any item is determined by how many items are available compared to how many people want to buy that item. As a result, the strong year-over-year home price appreciation is simple to explain. The demand for housing is up while the supply of homes …

In Today’s Market, Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home never really changed. A homeowner would try to estimate the market value of their house, then tack on a little extra to give themselves some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home. As …

Why You May Want To Cash in on Your Second Home

When stay-at-home mandates were enforced last year, many households realized their homes didn’t really fulfill their new lifestyle needs. An office (in some cases two), a media room, space for children to learn, a gym, and a large yard are all examples of amenities that became highly desirable almost overnight. Zelman & Associates recently reported that sales of primary residences grew by 9% in …

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3 Things To Prioritize When Selling Your House

Today’s housing market is full of unprecedented opportunities. High buyer demand paired with record-low housing inventory is creating the ultimate sellers’ market, which means it’s a fantastic time to sell your house. However, that doesn’t mean sellers are guaranteed success no matter what. There are still some key things to know so you can avoid costly mistakes and win big when you make a …

Americans Choose Real Estate as the Best Investment [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights For the eighth year in a row, real estate maintained its position as the preferred long-term investment among Americans. Real estate has been gaining ground against stocks, gold, and savings accounts over the last 11 years and now stands at its highest rating in survey history. Let’s connect if you’re ready to make real estate your best investment this year.

Should I Move or Refinance?

The level of equity homeowners have is at an all-time high. According to the U.S. Census, over 38% of owner-occupied homes are owned free and clear, meaning they don’t have a mortgage. Those with a mortgage are seeing their equity skyrocket too. Every time real estate values increase, homeowners get a dollar-for-dollar gain in their home equity. According to the first-quarter 2021 U.S. Home …

Sellers Are Ready To Enter the Housing Market

One of the biggest questions in real estate today is, “When will sellers return to the housing market?” An ongoing shortage of home supply has created a hyper-competitive environment for hopeful buyers, leading to the ultimate sellers’ market. However, as the economy continues to improve and more people get vaccinated, more sellers may finally be in sight. The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by …

Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert

Homebuyers are flooding the housing market right now to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Many have a sense of urgency to find a home soon since experts forecast a steady rise in both rates and home prices this year and next. As a result, buyer demand greatly outweighs the current housing supply. Here’s how the shortage of houses for sale sets yours up …

Americans See Real Estate as a Better Investment Than Stocks or Gold

Last month, in a post on the Liberty Street Economics blog, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that Americans believe buying a home is definitely or probably a better investment than buying stocks. Last week, a Gallup Poll reaffirmed those findings. In an article on the current real estate market, Gallup reports: “Gallup usually finds that Americans regard real estate as the …

Don’t Forget to Budget for Closing Costs

When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important. What Are Closing Costs? According to Trulia: “When you close on a home, a number …

When It Comes To Selling a House, Your Time Is Money [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Selling a house is no small task. If you decide to try to do it on your own, keep in mind you’ll be responsible for all the expert-level work of a real estate professional. The vital tasks an agent manages for you include listing and marketing your house, handling legal documentation, negotiating with all parties, and navigating local laws and regulations. If …

It’s Not Too Late To Apply For Forbearance

Over the past year, the pandemic made it challenging for some homeowners to make their mortgage payments. Thankfully, the government initiated a forbearance program to provide much-needed support. Unless they’re extended once again, some of these plans and the corresponding mortgage payment deferral options will expire soon. That said, there’s still time to request assistance. If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or …

Experts Say Home Prices Will Continue to Appreciate

It’s clear that consumers are concerned about how quickly home values are rising. Many people fear the speed of appreciation may lead to a crash in prices later this year. In fact, Google reports that the search for “When is the housing market going to crash?” has actually spiked 2450% over the past month. In addition, Jim Dalrymple II of Inman News notes: “One …

3 Graphs Showing Why You Should Sell Your House Now

There’s no doubt that 2021 is the year of the seller when it comes to the housing market. If you’re a homeowner thinking of moving to better suit your changing needs, now is the perfect time to do so. Low mortgage rates are in your favor when you’re ready to purchase your dream home, and high buyer demand may give you the leverage you …

The Power of Mortgage Pre-Approval [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights  Mortgage pre-approval means a lender has reviewed your finances and, based on factors like your income, debt, and credit history, determined how much you’re qualified to borrow. Being pre-approved for a loan can give you clarity while planning your homebuying budget, confidence in your ability to secure a loan, and a competitive edge in a bidding war. In today’s market, connecting with …

Why Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost You a Small Fortune

Many people are sitting on the fence trying to decide if now’s the time to buy a home. Some are renters who have a strong desire to become homeowners but are unsure if buying right now makes sense. Others may be homeowners who are realizing that their current home no longer fits their changing needs. To determine if they should buy now or wait …

Are Interest Rates Expected to Rise Over the Next Year?

So far this year, mortgage rates continue to hover around 3%, encouraging many hopeful homebuyers to enter the housing market. However, there’s a good chance rates will increase later this year and going into 2022, ultimately making it more expensive to borrow money for a home loan. Here’s a look at what several experts have to say. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com: “Our long-term …

4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now

The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that there were 410,000 fewer single-family homes for sale this March than in March of 2020. The key to continued success in the residential housing market is for more listings to come on the market. …

Americans Find the Nonfinancial Benefits of Homeownership Most Valuable

Homeownership is a foundational part of the American Dream. As we look back on more than a year of sheltering in our homes, having a place of our own is more important than ever. While financial benefits are always a key aspect of homeownership, today, homeowners rank the nonfinancial and personal benefits with even higher value. Recently, two national surveys revealed the reasons homeownership …

Should I Buy Now or Wait? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If you’re thinking that waiting a year or two to purchase a home might mean you’ll save some money, think again. Mortgage interest rates are currently very low, but experts across the board are forecasting increases in both home prices and interest rates. Buying a home now means you’ll spend less in the long run. Let’s connect to put your homebuying plans …

Is Home Price Appreciation Accelerating Again?

At the beginning of the year, industry forecasts called for home price appreciation to slow to about half of the double-digit increase we saw last year. The thinking was that inventory would increase from record-low levels and put an end to the bidding wars that have driven home prices up over the past twelve months. However, that increase in inventory has yet to materialize. …

Patience Is the Key to Buying a Home This Year

The question many homebuyers are facing this year is, “Why is it so hard to find a house?” We’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, which means real estate is ultra-competitive for buyers right now. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes homes are getting an average of 4.8 offers per sale, and that number keeps rising. Why? It’s because there are so few houses …

Will the Housing Market Maintain Its Momentum?

Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sales have dropped by 3.7% compared to the month before. This is the second consecutive month that sales have slumped. Some see this as evidence that the red-hot real estate market may be cooling. However, there could also be a simple explanation as to why existing home sales have slowed …

4 Tips to Maximize the Sale of Your House

Homeowners ready to make a move are definitely in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s fueling a steady rise in home prices. In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically …

This Isn’t a Bubble. It’s Simply Lack of Supply. [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights In a recent article, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), discussed the state of today’s housing market. When addressing whether or not today’s high buyer competition and rising home prices are evidence of a housing bubble, Yun said that this “is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply.” Today’s housing market is healthy, and rising …

Don’t Be Fooled by Remarkable Real Estate Headlines

Don’t be impressed by the headlines reporting year-over-year housing numbers for the next several months (data covering March, April, May, and June). The data will most likely show eye-popping one-year increases. While the year-over-year jumps will certainly be striking, consumers should take these numbers with a grain of salt, as the situation highlights a short-term quirk in the reporting of this data. Essentially, the …

Planning to Move? You Can Still Secure a Low Mortgage Rate on Your Next Home

This year, mortgage rates have started to slowly climb above recent record-breaking lows. Many homeowners planning to move may feel like they’ve missed the chance to score a great rate on their next mortgage. In reality, there’s still time to secure a rate far below the historic norm. Here’s why. After creeping up for seven consecutive weeks, average mortgage rates have dropped more recently …

82,338 Great Reasons to Buy a Home Today

The financial benefits of buying a home as compared to renting one are always up for debate. However, one element of the equation is often ignored – the ability to build wealth as a homeowner. Most experts are calling for home prices to continue appreciating over the next several years. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a survey of over one hundred economists, …

How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment?

One of the biggest hurdles homebuyers face is saving for a down payment. As you’re budgeting and planning for your home purchase, you’ll want to understand how much you’ll need to put down and how long it will take you to get there. The process may actually move faster than you think. Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) …

Home Is Where the Heart Is [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights There’s no doubt about it: homeowners love their homes, and that feeling has become even more important over the past year. The vast majority of homeowners say they’re emotionally attached to their home and that it has kept them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owning a home provides a sense of safety, security, and accomplishment. Let’s connect to move your homeownership goals …

Why This Is a Great Year to Sell Your Vacation Home

As vaccines are administered and travel resumes, many of us are beginning to plan for those long-awaited vacations we missed out on over the past year. Some households are focusing their efforts on buying a vacation home rather than staying in a hotel, too. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports: “Second homes (i.e., homes sold to buyers who are not going to …

93% of Americans Believe a Home Is a Better Investment Than Stocks

A recent Survey of Consumer Finances study released by the Federal Reserve reveals the net worth of homeowners is forty times greater than that of renters. If you’re wondering if homeownership is a good investment, the study clearly answers that question, and the answer is yes. Do Americans believe a home is a better investment than stocks? In a post on the Liberty Street …

Some Buyers Prefer Smaller Homes

Over the past year, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to reflect on what we consider most important in our lives. The place we call home is one of the biggest things many of us are reevaluating. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, shares: “The very nature of the pandemic, through the health implications, social distancing, and need to isolate, has really brought a central …

4 Major Reasons Households in Forbearance Won’t Lose Their Homes to Foreclosure

There has been a lot of discussion as to what will happen once the 2.3 million households currently in forbearance no longer have the protection of the program. Some assume there could potentially be millions of foreclosures ready to hit the market. However, there are four reasons that won’t happen. 1. Almost 50% Leave Forbearance Already Caught Up on Payments According to the Mortgage …

Multigenerational Housing Is Gaining Momentum [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If your house is feeling a little cramped with the addition of adult children or aging parents, it might be time to consider a move-up into a multigenerational home that better suits your changing needs. With benefits that include a combined homebuying budget and shared caregiving duties, an increasing number of households are discovering the value of a multigenerational home. With such …

Homeownership Is Full of Financial Benefits

A Fannie Mae survey recently revealed some of the most highly-rated benefits of homeownership, which continue to be key drivers in today’s power-packed housing market. Here are the top four financial benefits of owning a home according to consumer respondents: 88% – a better chance of saving for retirement 87% – the best investment plan 85% – the chance to be better off financially …

Latest Jobs Report: What Does It Mean for You & the Housing Market?

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a very encouraging jobs report. The economy gained 916,000 jobs in March – well above expert projections of 650,000 to 675,000. The unemployment rate fell again and is now at 6%. What does this mean for you? Our lives are deeply impacted by our nation’s economy. The better the economy is doing overall, the better most …

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ Market

In a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes …

Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Savings May Help You Achieve Homeownership This Year

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the process. One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is by starting with the help of your tax refund. Using data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s estimated that Americans can expect an average refund of $2,925 when filing their taxes this …

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today’s Recovering Economy?

Last year started off with a bang. Unemployment was under 4%, forecasters were giddy with their projections for the economy, and the residential housing market had the strongest January and February activity in over a decade. Then came the announcement on March 11, 2020, from the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Two days later, the White House declared it a national …

What Is the #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership?

There are many financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership, and the greatest financial one is wealth creation. Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder that leads to forming household wealth. As Freddie Mac explains: “Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over …

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home

Today’s homebuyers are faced with a strong sellers’ market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of available homes. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical stage of the homebuying process. 1. Listen to Your …

How to Be a Competitive Buyer in Today’s Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights With so few houses for sale today, it’s important to be prepared when you’re ready to buy a home. Meeting with your lender early, knowing your must-haves and nice-to-haves, preparing for a bidding war, and keeping your emotions in check are all ways to gain confidence in the homebuying process. If you’re looking for an expert guide to help you navigate today’s …

Will the Housing Market Bloom This Spring?

Spring is almost here, and many are wondering what it will bring for the housing market. Even though the pandemic continues on, it’s certain to be very different from the spring we experienced at this time last year. Here’s what a few industry experts have to say about the housing market and how it will bloom this season. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com: “Despite …

How Upset Should You Be about 3% Mortgage Rates?

Last Thursday, Freddie Mac announced that their 30-year fixed mortgage rate was over 3% (3.02%) for the first time since last July. That news dominated real estate headlines that day and the next. Articles talked about the “negative impact” it may have on the housing market. However, we should realize two things: 1. The bump-up in rate should not have surprised anyone. Many had …

6 Simple Graphs Proving This Is Nothing Like Last Time

Last March, many involved in the residential housing industry feared the market would be crushed under the pressure of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Instead, real estate had one of its best years ever. Home sales and prices were both up substantially over the year before. 2020 was so strong that many now fear the market’s exuberance mirrors that of the last housing boom and, as …

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

When selling a house, most homeowners hope for a quick and profitable transaction that puts them in a position to make a great move. If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring. Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready. 1. There’s high …

How to Prepare Your House for a Winning Sale This Spring [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights With so few homes available to buy today, houses are in high demand, and they’re selling fast. That means it’s a great time to sell if you’re ready to make a move. Let’s connect to make sure your house is ready for a top-dollar sale this spring. It may be closer than you think!

Is It a Good Time to Sell My House?

Last year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell. Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist …

Home Prices: What Happened in 2020? What Will Happen This Year?

The real estate market was on fire during the second half of 2020. Buyer demand was way up, and the supply of homes available for sale hit record lows. The price of anything is determined by the supply and demand ratio, so home prices skyrocketed last year. Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Division of Research and Statistics, …

What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. While there are plenty of lower down payment options available for qualified buyers who don’t want to put 20% down, it’s important to understand how …

How Smart Is It to Buy a Home Today?

Whether you’re buying your first home or selling your current house, if your needs are changing and you think you need to move, the decision can be complicated. You may have to take personal or professional considerations into account, and only you can judge what impact those factors should have on your desire to move. However, there’s one category that provides a simple answer. …

It’s a Sellers’ Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Over the past year, homeowners have gained an unprecedented opportunity to sell with great success while buyer demand is soaring. With homes selling twice as fast as they did last year at this time, getting multiple offers, and rising in price, homeowners are in the driver’s seat. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to learn about the leverage you have as a …

Are There Going to Be More Homes to Buy This Year?

If you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of available homes for sale is at an all-time low …

How Much Leverage Do Today’s House Sellers Have?

The housing market has been scorching hot over the last twelve months. Buyers and their high demand have far outnumbered sellers and a short supply of houses. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales are up 23.7% from the same time last year while the inventory of homes available for sale is down 25.7%. There …

Where Have All the Houses Gone?

In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and purchase a home, housing inventory dropped even …

The Reason Mortgage Rates Are Projected to Increase and What It Means for You

We’re currently experiencing historically low mortgage rates. Over the last fifty years, the average on a Freddie Mac 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been 7.76%. Today, that rate is 2.81%. Flocks of homebuyers have been taking advantage of these remarkably low rates over the last twelve months. However, there’s no guarantee rates will remain this low much longer. Whenever we try to forecast mortgage rates, …

Home Mortgage Rates by Decade [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Mortgage interest rates have dropped considerably over the past year, and compared to what we’ve seen in recent decades, it’s a great time to buy a home. Locking in a low rate today could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your home loan, but these low rates may not last forever. If you’re in a position to buy a …

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021?

With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows so many times recently, some are wondering if we’ll see low rates continue throughout 2021, or if they’ll start to rise. Recently, Freddie Mac released their quarterly forecast, noting: “The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low over a dozen times in 2020 and the low interest rate environment is projected to continue through this year. …

3 Ways Home Equity Can Have a Major Impact on Your Life

There have been a lot of headlines reporting on how homeowner equity (the difference between the current market value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage) has dramatically increased over the past few years. CoreLogic indicated that equity increased for the average homeowner by $17,000 in the last year alone. ATTOM Data Solutions, in their latest U.S. Home Equity Report, …

Millennials: Is It Time to Buy a Bigger Home?

In today’s housing market, all eyes are on millennials. Not only are millennials the largest generation, but they’re also currently between 25 and 40 years old. These are often considered prime homebuying years when many people begin to form their own households and invest in real estate. If you’re like many millennials who are spending much more time at home these days, you may …

3 Ways You’ll Win When You Buy a Home This Year

There are so many great reasons to purchase a home, and over the past year, we’ve realized more of them than we ever thought possible. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, having a home of your own can give you a greater sense of security and accomplishment in a time that’s largely uncertain. If you’re a repeat buyer looking for your dream home, making a …

Why It’s Easy to Fall in Love with Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Homeownership provides comfort, stability, and security, and it makes you feel more connected to your community. Your home is something to be proud of and is uniquely yours, so you can customize it to your heart’s desire. If you’re ready to fall in love with a home of your own, let’s connect to get you started on the path to homeownership.

47% of New Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today

Headlines matter. Right now, it’s hard to read about real estate without seeing a headline that suggests homes have become unaffordable for most Americans. In reality, there’s hard evidence that shows how owning a home is more affordable than renting in most parts of the country, as record-low interest rates are keeping monthly mortgage payments about 23% lower than the typical payment of 20 …

The Luxury Market Is Attracting Buyers in 2021

As more people continue to identify their changing needs this year, some are turning to the upscale housing sector for more space or finer features. In their most recent Luxury Market Report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) shares: “In a snapshot of 2020, despite the devasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the luxury real estate market has seen one of its strongest …

3 Reasons We’re Definitely Not in a Housing Bubble

Home values appreciated by about ten percent in 2020, and they’re forecast to appreciate by about five percent this year. This has some voicing concern that we may be in another housing bubble like the one we experienced a little over a decade ago. Here are three reasons why this market is totally different. 1. This time, housing supply is extremely limited The price …

6 Foundational Benefits of Homeownership Today

Over the past year, our homes have become an integral part of our lives more than ever. They’re much more than the houses we live in. They’re our workplaces, virtual schools, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.8% of Americans are fortunate enough to call their homes their own. As we continue to think about …

Thinking about Building a New Home? Your Agent Is Critical. [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights A real estate professional is an expert who can advocate on your behalf throughout the process when building a home. Agents help you understand key steps, like choosing upgrades and managing negotiations, while staying within your budget from start to finish. If building is the right option for you, let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional who can help …

Why Owning a Home Is a Powerful Financial Decision

In today’s housing market, there are clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, the chance to build your net worth, and appreciating home values, just to name a few. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to think about how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing …

Do I Really Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home?

Is the idea of saving for a down payment holding you back from buying a home right now? You may be eager to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates, but the thought of needing a large down payment might make you want to pump the brakes. Today, there’s still a common myth that you have to come up with 20% of the total …

Want to Build Wealth? Buy a Home This Year.

Every year, households across the country make the decision to rent for another year or take the leap into homeownership. They look at their earnings and savings and then decide what makes the most financial sense. That equation will most likely take into consideration monthly housing costs, tax advantages, and other incremental expenses. Using these measurements, recent studies show that it’s still more affordable …

Turn to an Expert for the Best Advice, Not Perfect Advice

As we approach the anniversary of the hardships we’ve faced through this pandemic and the subsequent recession, it’s normal to reflect on everything that’s changed and wonder what’s ahead for 2021. While there are signs of economic recovery as vaccines are being issued, we still have a long way to go. It’s at times like these we want exact information about anything we’re doing. …

Is Right Now the Right Time to Sell? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If you’re on the fence about selling your house, now is a great time to take advantage of sky-high demand, low supply, and fierce buyer competition. With buyer demand rising and historically low inventory for sale, if you’re in a position to move, your house may really stand out from the crowd. Let’s connect today to get your listing process underway.

What Record-Low Housing Inventory Means for You

The real estate market is expected to do very well in 2021, with mortgage rates that are hovering at historic lows and forecasted by experts to remain favorable throughout the year. One challenge to the housing industry, however, is the lack of homes available for sale today. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report, which shows that …

What Happens When Homeowners Leave Their Forbearance Plans?

According to the latest report from Black Knight, Inc., a well-respected provider of data and analytics for mortgage companies, 6.48 million households have entered a forbearance plan as a result of financial concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s where these homeowners stand right now: 2,543,000 (39%) are current on their payments and have left the program 625,000 (9%) have paid off their …

What’s the Difference between an Appraisal and a Home Inspection?

If you’re planning to buy a home, an appraisal is an important step in the process. It’s a professional evaluation of the market value of the home you’d like to buy. In most cases, an appraisal is ordered by the lender to confirm or verify the value of the home prior to lending a buyer money for the purchase. It’s also a different step …

Why Moving May Be Just the Boost You Need

As we look back over the past year, we’ve certainly lived through one of the most stressful periods in recent history. After spending so much more time at home throughout the health crisis, some are wondering if they should move to improve their mental health and well-being. This is no surprise since the U.S. Census Bureau reported an increase in the percentage of adults …

Financial Fundamentals for Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights When you’re thinking about buying a home, there are a few key steps to take before you even start to look at houses. From saving for your down payment to getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll want to make sure you keep your financial plan on track from the beginning. Let’s connect today to make sure you have an introduction to a …

What Experts Are Saying about the 2021 Job Market

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their most recent Jobs Report. The report revealed that the economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. That’s a devastating number and dramatically impacts those households that lost a source of income. However, we need to give it some context. Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), explains: “The economy is …

Owning a Home Is Still More Affordable Than Renting One

If spending more time at home over the past year is making you really think hard about buying a home instead of renting one, you’re not alone. You may be wondering, however, if the dollars and cents add up in your favor as home prices continue to rise. According to the experts, in many cases, it’s still more affordable to buy a home than …

Should I Wait for Lower Mortgage Interest Rates?

Historically low mortgage rates are a big motivator for homebuyers right now. In 2020 alone, rates hit new record-lows 16 times, and the trend continued into the early part of this year. Many hopeful homebuyers are now wondering if they should put their plans on hold and wait for the lowest rates imaginable. However, the reality is, acting sooner rather than later may be …

How to Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality This Year

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a powerful movement with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Through his passion and determination, he sparked interest, ambition, and courage in his audience. Today, reflecting on his message encourages many of us to think about our own dreams, goals, beliefs, and aspirations. For many Americans, one of those common goals is owning a home: a …

Things to Avoid after Applying for a Mortgage [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights There are a few key things to make sure you avoid after applying for a mortgage to help make sure you still qualify for your loan at the closing table. Along the way, be sure to discuss any changes in income, assets, or credit with your lender, so you don’t unintentionally jeopardize your application. The best plan is to fully disclose your …

Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

The housing market made an incredible recovery in 2020 and is now positioned for an even stronger year in 2021. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. That’s not the case, however, on the …

With Home Values Surging, Is it Still Affordable to Buy Right Now?

Housing inventory is at an all-time low. Realtor.com just reported that there are 39% fewer homes for sale today than there were last year. At the same time, buyer demand remains strong. In a recent newsletter, research analyst Ivy Zelman explained: “Although the headwind of severe supply constraints in most markets has contributed to slight moderation in seasonally-adjusted and year-over-year new pending contract growth …

Knowledge Is Power on the Path to Homeownership

Homeownership is on the goal list for many young adults, but sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to get there. From understanding the homebuying process to pre-approval and down payment assistance options, uncertainty along the way can ultimately hold some buyers back. Today, there are over 75 million Millennials and 67 million Gen Z’ers in the U.S., making up a significant number of …

5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer

Today’s real estate market has high buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of homes, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are five keys to success for this important stage in the homebuying process. 1. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent A recent …

Key Terms to Know in the Homebuying Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process. To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear along the way. The best way to ensure your homebuying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you …

Your House May Be High on the Buyer Wish List This Holiday Season

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to sell 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 selling your house now, or keeping it on the market this season, is the best choice you can make. This year, buyers want to …

Is Buying a Home Today a Good Financial Move?

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year. A global pandemic coupled with an economic recession has caused heartache for many. However, it has also prompted more Americans to reconsider the meaning of “home.” This quest for a place better equipped to fulfill our needs, along with record-low mortgage rates, has skyrocketed the demand for home purchases. This increase in demand, on top …

Don’t Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home

This year’s record-low mortgage rates sparked high demand among homebuyers. Current homeowners, however, haven’t put their houses on the market so quickly. This makes finding a home to buy today challenging for many potential buyers. With an obstacle like this, those searching for their dream homes may be pressing pause on their searches as we approach the end of the year, but that could …

It Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Today, it’s more important than ever to have an expert you trust to guide you as you sell your house. From your safety throughout the process to the complexity of negotiating the deal, you need a professional on your side. Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house on your own, let’s connect to discuss your options.

Will Mortgage Rates Remain Low Next Year?

In 2020, buyers got a big boost in the housing market as mortgage rates dropped throughout the year. According to Freddie Mac, rates hit all-time lows 12 times this year, dipping below 3% for the first time ever while making buying a home more and more attractive as the year progressed (See graph below): When you continually hear how rates are hitting record lows, …

Chances of Another Foreclosure Crisis? “About Zero Percent.”

There seems to be some concern that the 2020 economic downturn will lead to another foreclosure crisis like the one we experienced after the housing crash a little over a decade ago. However, there’s one major difference this time: a robust forbearance program. During the housing crash of 2006-2008, many felt homeowners should be forced to pay their mortgages despite the economic hardships they …

Homes for Sale Are Rapidly Disappearing

Through all the challenges of 2020, the real estate market has done very well, and purchasers are continuing to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. Realtor Magazine just explained: “While winter may be typically a slow season in real estate, economists predict it isn’t likely to happen this year…Low inventories combined with high demand due to record-low mortgage rates is sending buyers to …

Why Working from Home May Spark Your Next Move

If you’ve been working from home this year, chances are you’ve been at it a little longer than you initially expected. Businesses all over the country have figured out how to operate remotely to keep their employees healthy, safe, and productive. For many, it may be carrying into next year, and possibly beyond. While the pandemic continues, Americans are re-evaluating their homes, floorplans, locations, …

Tips to Sell Your House Safely Right Now [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Your agent now has over 6 months of experience selling houses during the pandemic and can make the process easier and safer for you today. COVID-19 protocols and technology usage recommendations from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are making it possible to sell houses right now, while agents continue to abide first and foremost by state and local regulations. Let’s connect …

Winter Will Bring a Flurry of Activity to the Housing Market

In the second half of this year, the housing market surged with activity. Today, real estate experts are looking ahead to the winter season and the forecast is anything but chilly. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes: “It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.” The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is …

VA Home Loans: Helping Heroes Find a Home

Today, on Veterans Day, we honor those who have served our country and thank them for their continued dedication to our nation. In the United States, there are many valuable benefits available to Veterans, including VA home loans. For over 75 years, VA home loans have provided millions of Veterans and their families the opportunity to purchase their own homes. As we consider the …

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

For years, real estate has been considered the best investment you can make. A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner: “…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.” …

Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now?

In today’s real estate market, the buzz is all about how it’s a great time to sell your house. Buyer demand is high, and there simply aren’t enough homes available to buy to meet that growing need. This means now is the time to make a move so you can close the deal on your ideal terms. Even in today’s strong sellers’ market, there …

Making a Home for the Brave Possible [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights VA Home Loans provide unique opportunities for Veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families in recognition of their service to our Nation. For eligible individuals, options associated with VA Loans can help make the dream of homeownership a reality. If you or someone you know may benefit from a VA Loan, let’s connect to answer your questions today.

Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis

As the current forbearance mortgage relief options come to an end, many are wondering if we’ll face a foreclosure crisis next year. This is understandable, especially for those who remember the housing crisis that began in 2008. The reality is, plans have been put in place through forbearance to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself. This year, homeowners are able to request 180 days of …

Real Estate Is a Driving Force in the Economy

As the economy recovers from this year’s health crisis, the housing market is playing a leading role in the turnaround. It’s safe to say that what we call “home” is taking on a new meaning, causing many of us to consider buying or selling sooner rather than later. Housing, therefore, has thrived in an otherwise down year. Today’s high buyer demand combined with low …

Rent vs. Buy: How to Decide What’s Best for You

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median rent continues to rise. With today’s low mortgage rates, there’s great opportunity for current renters to make a move into homeownership that stretches each dollar a little bit further. While the best timeline to buy a home is different for everyone, the question remains: Should I continue renting or is it time for me to buy? The …

4 Reasons Why the Election Won’t Dampen the Housing Market

Tomorrow, Americans will decide our President for the next four years. That decision will have a major impact on many aspects of life in this country, but the residential real estate market will not be one of them. Analysts will try to measure the impact feasible changes in regulations might have on housing, the effect of a possible first-time buyer program, and any number …

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights In today’s hyper-competitive market, buyers are often willing to overlook cosmetic or minor repair needs if it means snagging a home in their price range. With so few houses available for sale today, you may be able to skip the bigger renovations before you sell and cash in on the current demand for your house. If you’re ready to move, let’s connect …

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.” When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners …

Buyer Interest Is Growing among Younger Generations

The demand for homes this year is extraordinary as record-breaking numbers of hopeful buyers continue to shop for homes. In a normal year, the peak homebuying season comes to a close by early fall. However, 2020 is anything but a normal year, and the housing market is no exception. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains: “Home sales traditionally …

How Down Payment Assistance Opens the Door to Homeownership

Many people are eager to buy a home right now while affordability continues to be a highlight of the current housing market. However, a recent survey by Sparks Research shows that 20% of first-time homebuyers cite a lack of financial education as a barrier to homeownership. This is definitely understandable. If you don’t feel comfortable with the financial process of buying a home, it’s …

Two Important Impacts of Home Equity

Equity continues to rise, helping American homeowners secure a much more stable financial future. According to the most recent data from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained $9,800 in equity over the past year. In addition, experts project 2020 home prices to continue rising. With prices going up, equity gains will also keep accelerating. Black Knight just reported: “The annual percent change in the overall …

Selling Your House Is the Right Move, Right Now [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Demand from homebuyers has skyrocketed this year, which means today’s sellers are poised to win big. This ideal moment in time to sell your house won’t last forever, though. With more sellers coming to the market in the spring, waiting until next year means buyers will have more choices, so your home may not stand out from the crowd. Let’s connect today …

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising

As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some of us wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come. Due to the undersupply of homes on the market …

Why Today’s Options Will Save Homeowners from Foreclosure

Many housing experts originally voiced concern that the mortgage forbearance program (which allows families impacted financially by COVID to delay mortgage payments to a later date) could lead to an increase in foreclosures when forbearances end. Some originally forecasted that up to 30% of homeowners would choose to enter forbearance. Less than 10% actually did, and that percentage has been dropping steadily. Black Knight …

Americans Are Gaining Confidence in the Economy

The September Jobs Report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.9%. Though that percentage is well below what experts projected earlier this year, it still means millions of people are without work. There’s no way to minimize the tremendous impact this pandemic-induced recession continues to have on many Americans. However, the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index …

Real Estate Continues to Show Unprecedented Strength This Year

The 2020 housing market has surpassed all expectations and continues to drive the nation’s economic recovery. The question is, will this positive trend continue throughout the rest of the year, especially given the uncertainty around the current health crisis, the upcoming election, and more? Here’s a look at what several industry-leading experts have to say. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors “Home …

How to Prepare for a Bidding War [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights With so few houses available on the market today, being ready for a bidding war is essential for prospective homebuyers. From pre-approval to making your best offer, here are three tips to make sure you can act quickly and confidently when you find the perfect home. Let’s connect today to be sure you have the guidance you need as the competition for …

Do You Need to Know More about Forbearance and Mortgage Relief Options?

Earlier this year when the nation pressed pause on the economy and unemployment rates jumped up significantly, many homeowners were immediately concerned about being able to pay their mortgages, and understandably so. To assist in this challenging time, two protection plans were put into place to help support those in need. First, there was a pause placed on initiating foreclosures for government-backed loans. This …

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale

Many industries have been devastated by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus. Real estate is not one of them. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, just reported: “Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a …

Do You Have Enough Money Saved for a Down Payment?

One of the biggest misconceptions for first-time homebuyers is how much you’ll need to save for a down payment. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to put 20% down to buy a house. Here’s how it breaks down. A recent survey by Point2Homes mentions that 74% of millennials (ages 25-40) say they’re interested in purchasing a home over the next 12 months. …

6 Reasons You’ll Win by Selling with a Real Estate Agent This Fall

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times, like what we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert you trust to help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), it’s critical to consider the following: …

Thinking of Moving? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If you’re ready to sell your house but you’re worried about finding one to move into, why not invest in a brand-new home built just for you? New construction is on the rise, so it’s a great time to think about a custom home to fit your family’s changing needs. Let’s connect today to discuss how to sell your house while buyer …

Should You Buy a Retirement Home Sooner Rather than Later?

Every day in the U.S., roughly 10,000 people turn 65. Prior to the health crisis that swept the nation in 2020, most people had to wait until they retired to make a move to the beach, the golf course, or the senior living community they were looking to settle into for their later years in life. This year, however, the game changed. Many of …

A Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 40x Greater Than a Renter’s

One of the best ways to build your family’s financial future is through homeownership. Recent data from the Federal Reserve indicates the net worth of a homeowner is actually over 40 times greater than that of a renter. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about buying a home, especially when they’re so affordable in today’s market. Every three years the Survey of Consumer Finances …

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?

Once the kids have left the nest, you may be wondering what to do with all of the extra space in your home. Chances are, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and it may be a great time to sell your house and downsize, maybe even into a single-story home. You’ve likely gained significant equity if you’ve lived in your home for a while, …

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do. According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low …

Rising Home Equity Can Power Your Next Move [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights According to CoreLogic, homeowners across the country are gaining significant equity. Over the past year, the average homeowner gained $9,800 in equity, growing their overall net worth. If you’re ready to sell your house and begin looking for your dream home, let’s connect to plan how your equity can make that possible.

Buyers Are Finding More Space in the Luxury Home Market

A year ago, additional space and extra amenities had a very different feel for homebuyers. Today, the health crisis has brought to light how valuable more square footage and carefully designed floorplans can be. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and theaters are becoming more popular, and some families are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the luxury market. The Institute for …

Why Selling this Fall May Be Your Best Move

If you’re thinking about moving, selling your house this fall might be the way to go. Here are four highlights in the housing market that may make your decision to sell this fall an easy one. 1. Buyers Are Actively in the Market ShowingTime, a leading real estate showing software and market stat service provider, just reported that buyer traffic jumped 60.7% compared to …

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 12 Months?

As shelter-in-place orders were implemented earlier this year, many questioned what the shutdown would mean to the real estate market. Specifically, there was concern about home values. After years of rising home prices, would 2020 be the year this appreciation trend would come to a screeching halt? Even worse, would home values begin to depreciate? Original forecasts modeled this uncertainty, and they ranged anywhere …

Housing Market on Track to Beat Last Year’s Success

Back in March, as the nation’s economy was shut down because of the coronavirus, many were predicting the real estate market would face a major collapse. Some forecasts called for a 15-20% decline in transactions. However, six months later, it seems as though the housing market has fully recovered. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, announced last week: “Since hitting a low point …

Why Pricing Your Home Right Matters This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights As a seller today, you may think pricing your home on the high end will result in a higher final sale price, but the opposite is actually true. To sell your home quickly and for the best possible price, you should eliminate buyer concerns by pricing your home competitively right from the start. Let’s connect today to make sure you have the …

Home Equity Gives Sellers Options in Today’s Market

Homeownership is one of the best ways to invest in your financial future, especially as your home equity grows. Home equity is a form of forced savings that can work to your advantage as the value of your home appreciates. Across the country, home equity was increasing before the health crisis swept our nation, and it continues to grow throughout the year, giving sellers …

Home Equity Give Sellers Options in Today’s Market

Homeownership is one of the best ways to invest in your financial future, especially as your home equity grows. Home equity is a form of forced savings that can work to your advantage as the value of your home appreciates. Across the country, home equity was increasing before the health crisis swept our nation, and it continues to grow throughout the year, giving sellers …

Home Builder Confidence Hits All-Time Record

Last week, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported their Housing Market Index (HMI) hit an all-time high in the 35-year history of the series with a score of 83. The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sale expectations for the next six months, as well as the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes. As the following chart …

The Cost of a Home Is Far More Important than the Price

Housing inventory is at an all-time low. There are 39% fewer homes for sale today than at this time last year, and buyer demand continues to set records. Zillow recently reported: “Newly pending sales are up 25.5% compared to the same week last year, the highest year-over-year increase in the weekly Zillow database.” Whenever there is a shortage in supply of an item that’s …

Is the Economic Recovery Beating All Projections?

Earlier this year, many economists and market analysts were predicting an apocalyptic financial downturn that would potentially rattle the U.S. economy for years to come. They immediately started to compare it to the Great Depression of a century ago. Six months later, the economy is still trying to stabilize, but it is evident that the country will not face the total devastation projected by …

Homes Across the Country Are Selling Fast [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes at a record-breaking pace. According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in July, 68% of homes were on the market for less than a month. With homes moving from listing day to pending sale in an average of just 22 days, it’s a great time to sell a house. …

How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall

Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale. Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet …

The Surging Real Estate Market Continues to Climb

Earlier this year, realtor.com announced the release of the Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry by tracking each of the following: Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity Home Price – Growth in asking prices Housing Supply – …

Is Now a Good Time to Move?

How long have you lived in your current home? If it’s been a while, you may be thinking about moving. According to the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2019, homeowners were living in their homes for an average of 10 years. That’s a long time to time to be in one place, considering the …

Two New Surveys Indicate Urban to Suburban Lean

There has been much talk around the possibility that Americans are feeling less enamored with the benefits of living in a large city and now may be longing for the open spaces that suburban and rural areas provide. In a recent Realtor Magazine article, they discussed the issue and addressed comments made by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR): …

Virtual School Is Changing Homebuyer Needs [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights With remote learning sweeping the nation this academic year, organized spaces with enough room for kids to learn effectively are high on buyer wish lists. If you’re trying to make room for your family’s growing needs, multi-purpose rooms and dedicated workspaces may be features to consider in your next home. Let’s connect today so you can find a home where your kids …

Homebuyer Traffic Is on the Rise

One of the biggest surprises of 2020 is the resilience of the residential real estate market. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is now forecasting that more homes will sell this year than last year. He’s also predicting home sales to increase by 8-12% next year. There’s strong evidence that he will be right. ShowingTime, a leading showing software …

The Latest Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4%

Last Friday, the Bureau for Labor Statistics released their Employment Report for August 2020. The big surprise was that the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, a full percent lower than what many analysts had forecasted earlier in the week. Though it is tough to look at this as great news when millions of Americans are still without work, the number of unemployed is currently …

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

The year 2020 will certainly be one to remember, with new realities and norms that changed the way we live. This year’s real estate market is certainly no exception to that shift, with historic highlights continuing to break records and challenge what many thought possible in the housing market. Here’s a look at four key areas that are fundamentally defining the market this year. …

Thank You, Essential Workers

To all essential workers on this Labor Day, thank you.

The 2020 Homebuyer Wish List [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights The word “home” is taking on a whole new meaning this year, and buyers are starting to look for new features as they re-think their needs and what’s truly possible. From more outdoor space to virtual classrooms for their children, buyers have a growing list of what they’d like to see in their homes. Let’s connect today if your needs have changed …

Homebuyer Demand Is Far Above Last Year’s Pace

Homebuying has been on the rise over the past few months, with record-breaking sales powering through the market in June and July. Buyers are actively purchasing homes, and the momentum is continuing into the fall. It is, however, becoming harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. If you’ve been thinking about selling your house, the coming weeks might just be the timing you’ve …

How Will the Presidential Election Impact Real Estate?

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than …

It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home

When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now than …

Three Ways to Win in a Bidding War

With so few houses for sale today and low mortgage rates driving buyer activity, bidding wars are becoming more common. Multiple-offer scenarios are heating up, so it’s important to get pre-approved before you start your search. This way, you can put your best foot forward – quickly and efficiently – if you’re planning to buy a home this season. Javier Vivas, Director of Economic …

Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process?

You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and …

Should You Buy an Existing Home or New Construction?

Finding the right home to purchase today is one of the biggest challenges for potential buyers. With so few homes for sale and construction of newly built homes ramping up, you may be wondering if you should consider new construction in your search process. It’s a great question to ask, and one to look at from the pros and cons of what it means …

Builders & Realtors Agree: Real Estate Is Back

When shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt earlier this year, many believed the residential housing market would follow suit. Countless analysts predicted buyer demand would disappear and home values would depreciate for the first time in almost a decade. That, however, didn’t happen. It appears the opposite is taking place. After the bottom fell out of the real estate market immediately …

The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many families to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home. According to Zillow: “In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting …

Ask a Pro About Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights According to trending data, searches for key real estate topics are skyrocketing online. Clearly, lots of people have questions about buying a home, and other topics related to the process. Working with a trusted real estate professional will help you create the most personalized and helpful experience. Let’s connect so you have the guidance you need along the way.

Forbearance Numbers Are Lower than Expected

Originally, some housing industry analysts were concerned that the mortgage forbearance program (which allows families to delay payments to a later date) could lead to an increase in foreclosures when forbearances end. Some even worried that we might relive the 2006-2008 housing crash all over again. Once you examine the data, however, that seems unlikely. As reported by Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for …

Just How Strong Is the Housing Recovery?

The residential real estate market has definitely been the shining light in this country’s current economic situation. All-time low mortgage rates coupled with a new appreciation of what a home truly means has caused the housing market to push forward through this major health crisis. Let’s look at two measures that explain the resilience of the real estate market. Purchase Mortgages The number of …

Sellers Are Returning to the Housing Market

In today’s housing market, it can be a big challenge for buyers to find homes to purchase, as the number of houses for sale is far below the current demand. Now, however, we’re seeing sellers slowly starting to come back into the market, a bright spark for potential buyers. Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com, explains: “Seller confidence has been improving gradually …

The Beginning of an Economic Recovery

The news these days seems to have a mix of highs and lows. We may hear that an economic recovery is starting, but we’ve also seen some of the worst economic data in the history of our country. The challenge today is to understand exactly what’s going on and what it means relative to the road ahead. We’ve talked before about what experts expect …

Mortgage Rates & Payments by Decade [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Sometimes it helps to see the dollars and cents you’ll save when you purchase a home while mortgage rates are low. Today’s low rates mean it’s less expensive to borrow money, so the savings over the life of your loan is significant. Let’s connect to determine the best way to position your family for a financially-savvy move in today’s market.

Homes Are More Affordable Right Now Than They Have Been in Years

Today, home prices are appreciating. When we hear prices are going up, it’s normal to think a home will cost more as the trend continues. The way the housing market is positioned today, however, low mortgage rates are actually making homes more affordable, even as prices rise. Here’s why. According to the Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight: “While home prices have risen for …

Why Foreclosures Won’t Crush the Housing Market Next Year

With the strength of the current housing market growing every day and more Americans returning to work, a faster-than-expected recovery in the housing sector is already well underway. Regardless, many are still asking the question: will we see a wave of foreclosures as a result of the current crisis? Thankfully, research shows the number of foreclosures is expected to be much lower than what …

Current Buyer & Seller Perks in the Housing Market

Today’s housing market is making a truly impressive turnaround, and it’s also setting up some outstanding opportunities for buyers and sellers. Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a home this year, there are perks today that are rarely available, and definitely worth looking into. Here are the top two. The Biggest Perk for Buyers: Low Mortgage Rates The most impressive buyer incentive today …

The Latest Unemployment Report: Slow and Steady Improvement

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest Employment Situation Summary. Going into the release, the expert consensus was for 1.58 million jobs to be added in July, and for the unemployment rate to fall to 10.5%. When the official report came out, it revealed that 1.8 million jobs were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2% (from 11.1% last …

2020 Homebuyer Preferences [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights A recent study from HarrisX shows the current health crisis isn’t slowing down today’s homebuyers. Many buyers are accelerating their timelines to take advantage of low mortgage rates, and staying home has enabled some to save more money to put toward a down payment. Let’s connect today if your needs have recently changed and you’re ready to make a move this year.

How Is Remote Work Changing Homebuyer Needs?

With more companies figuring out how to efficiently and effectively enable their employees to work remotely (and for longer than most of us initially expected), homeowners throughout the country are re-evaluating their needs. Do I still need to live close to my company’s office building? Do I need a larger home with more office space? Would making a move to the suburbs make more …

Why Homeowners Have Great Selling Power Today

We’re sitting in an optimal moment in time for homeowners who are ready to sell their houses and make a move this year. Today’s homeowners are, on average, staying in their homes longer than they used to, and this is one factor driving increased homeowner equity. When equity grows, selling a house becomes increasingly desirable. Here’s a breakdown of why it’s a great time …

Today’s Buyers Are Serious about Purchasing a Home

Today’s homebuyers are not just talking about their plans, they’re actively engaged in the buying process – and they’re serious about it. A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicates: “…. Of American adults considering a future home purchase in the second quarter of 2020, about half (49%) are not simply planning it, they are actively engaged in the process …

Experts Weigh-In on the Remarkable Strength of the Housing Market

America has faced its share of challenges in 2020. A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, a financial crisis leaving millions still unemployed, and an upcoming presidential election that may prove to be one of the most contentious in our nation’s history all continue to test this country in unimaginable ways. Even with all of that uncertainty, the residential real estate market continues to show great resilience. Here’s …

Where Is the Housing Market Headed for the Rest of 2020? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The housing market is forecasted to finish the year with growing strength. Historically low mortgage rates are creating great potential for homebuyers, and home sales are on the rise. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home this year, let’s connect to maximize your opportunity today.

Will We See a Surge of Homebuyers Moving to the Suburbs?

As remote work continues on for many businesses and Americans weigh the risks of being in densely populated areas, will more people start to move out of bigger cities? Spending extra time at home and dreaming of more indoor and outdoor space is certainly sparking some interest among homebuyers. Early data shows an initial trend in this direction of moving from urban to suburban …

Homeownership Rate Continues to Rise in 2020

So far, it’s been quite a ride this year, and our nation has truly seen its fair share of hurdles. From COVID-19 to record unemployment and then the resulting recession, just to name a few, the second quarter of 2020 has had more than a few challenges. Amidst the many roadblocks, however, the U.S. homeownership rate rose again, signaling great strength in the recovery …

Guidance and Support Are Key When Buying Your First Home

In June, the number of first-time homebuyers accounted for 35% of the existing homes sold, a trend that’s been building steadily throughout the year. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “The share of first-time buyers increased in March through June—right into the heart of the pandemic period and the surge in unemployment—and is now trending higher than the 29% to 32% average …

Three of the Latest Reports Show Housing Market Is Strong

The residential real estate market is remaining resilient as the country still struggles to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. Three separate reports recently revealed how the housing market is still showing growth. Here’s a look at each one. 1. Ivy Zelman’s Real Estate Broker Survey The survey explains that purchaser demand remains strong: “This month’s overall homebuyer demand rating…was easily the strongest sequential gain in …

A Real Estate Pro Is More Helpful Now than Ever [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights A recent study shared by NAR notes that both buyers and sellers think an agent is more helpful than ever during the current health crisis. Expertise and professionalism are highly valued and can save buyers and sellers time and effort along the way. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home this year, let’s connect to be sure you have a …

Home Sales Hit a Record-Setting Rebound

With a worldwide health crisis that drove a pause in the economy this year, the housing market was greatly impacted. Many have been eagerly awaiting some bright signs of a recovery. Based on the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), June hit a much-anticipated record-setting rebound to ignite that spark. According to NAR, home sales jumped 20.7% from …

Two Reasons We Won’t See a Rush of Foreclosures This Fall

The health crisis we face as a country has led businesses all over the nation to reduce or discontinue their services altogether. This pause in the economy has greatly impacted the workforce and as a result, many people have been laid off or furloughed. Naturally, that would lead many to believe we might see a rush of foreclosures like we saw in 2008. The …

A Remarkable Recovery for the Housing Market

For months now the vast majority of Americans have been asking the same question: When will the economy turn around? Many experts have been saying the housing market will lead the way to a recovery, and today we’re seeing signs of that coming to light. With record-low mortgage rates driving high demand from potential buyers, homes are being purchased at an accelerating pace, and …

Thinking of Selling Your House? Now May be the Right Time

Inventory is arguably the biggest challenge for buyers in today’s housing market. There are simply more buyers actively looking for homes to purchase than there are sellers selling them, so the scale is tipped in favor of the sellers. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), total housing inventory is down 18.8% from one year ago. …

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 3% [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Mortgage rates hit another all-time low, falling below 3% this week. If you’re ready to buy a home, now is a great time to truly get more for your money at this historic moment. Let’s connect today to determine your best next steps toward homeownership.

Does Your Home Have What Buyers Are Looking For?

There’s great opportunity for today’s homeowners to sell their houses and make a move, yet due to the impact of the ongoing health crisis, some sellers are taking their time coming back to the market. According to Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.com: “Sellers continue returning to the market at a cautious pace and further improvement could be constrained by lingering coronavirus …

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows for Three Consecutive Weeks

Over the past several weeks, Freddie Mac has reported the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to record lows, all the way down to 3.03%. Last week’s reported rate reached the lowest point in the history of the survey, which dates back to 1971 (See graph below): What does this mean for buyers? This is huge for homebuyers. Those currently taking advantage of the …

What Are Experts Saying about Home Prices?

Last week, a very well-respected real estate analytics firm surprised many with their home price projection for the next twelve months. CoreLogic, in their latest Home Price Index said: “The economic downturn that started in March 2020 is predicted to cause a 6.6% drop in the HPI by May 2021, which would be the first decrease in annual home prices in over 9 years.” …

Buyers: Are You Ready for a Bidding War?

With businesses reopening throughout the country and some experts indicating early signs of a much-anticipated economic recovery, more homebuyers are actively entering the housing market this summer. Today, housing is truly driving the U.S. economy forward. With so many buyers looking for homes to purchase and so few houses for sale right now, there’s a disconnect between supply and demand. This imbalance is pushing …

Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 7 Years Running [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Real estate has outranked stocks, savings accounts, and gold as the best long-term investment among Americans for the past 7 years. The belief in the stability of housing as a long-term investment remains strong, despite the many challenges our economy faces today. Of the four listed, real estate is also the only investment you can also live in. That’s a big win!  

Not All Agents Are Created Equal

In today’s fast-paced world where answers are just a Google search away, there are some who may question the benefits of hiring a real estate professional when selling a house. The reality is, the addition of more information can lead to more confusion. A real estate agent can be your essential guide, but truth be told, not all agents are created equal. Finding the …

Best Time to Sell? When Competition Is at an All-Time Low

In a recent survey of home sellers by Qualtrics, 87% of respondents said they were concerned their home won’t sell because of the pandemic and resulting economic recession. Of the respondents, 51% said they are “seriously worried.” That concern seems reasonable considering the current condition of the economy. The data, however, is showing that home purchasers are still very active despite the disruptions American …

Taking Advantage of Homebuying Affordability in Today’s Market

Everyone is ready to buy a home at a different time in their lives, and a health crisis or not, today is no exception. Understanding how affordability works and the main market factors that impact it may help those who are ready to buy a home narrow down their optimal window of time to make a purchase. There are three main factors that go …

Latest Unemployment Report: Great News…for the Most Part

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest Employment Situation Summary last Thursday, and it again beat analysts’ expectations in a big way. The consensus was for 3,074,000 jobs to be added in June. The report revealed that 4,800,000 jobs were added. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% last month. Again, excellent news as the unemployment rate fell for the second …

America Is Another Name for Opportunity [INFOGRAPHIC]

Is the Health Crisis Driving Buyers Out of Urban Areas?

The pandemic has caused consumers to re-examine the components that make up the “perfect home.” Many families are no longer comfortable with the locations and layouts of their existing homes. The allure of city life (more congested) seems to be giving way to either suburban or rural life (less congested). The fascination with an open floor plan seems to be fading as people are …

A Historic Rebound for the Housing Market

Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in January 2001. So, what exactly are pending home sales, and why is this rebound so important? According to NAR, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHS) is: “A leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, …

Are New Homes Going to Be Available to Buy This Year?

In today’s economy, everyone seems to be searching for signs that a recovery is coming soon. Many experts agree that it may actually already be in motion or will be starting by the 3rd quarter of this year. With the housing market positioned to lead the way out of this recession, builder confidence might be a bright spark that gets the recovery fire started. …

What Are Experts Saying About the Rest of 2020?

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds these days is: What’s going to happen to the housing market in the second half of the year? Based on recent data on the economy, unemployment, real estate, and more, many economists are revising their forecasts for the remainder of 2020 – and the outlook is extremely encouraging. Here’s a look at what some experts have to …

Think You Should For Sale By Owner? Think Again [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights  For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is the process of selling real estate without the representation of a real estate broker or real estate agent. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, 35% of homeowners who decided to FSBO last year did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. But, homes sold with an agent net 6% more than …

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate

Earlier this month, realtor.com announced the release of their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following: Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity Home Price – Growth in asking prices Housing Supply – …

Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently?

The New York Times recently ran an article regarding unemployment titled: Don’t Cheer Too Soon. Keep an Eye on the Core Jobless Rate. The piece suggests we should look at unemployment numbers somewhat differently. The author of the article, Jed Kolko, is a well-respected economist who is currently the Chief Economist at Indeed, the world’s largest online jobs site. Previously, he was Chief Economist …

What Are the Experts Saying About Future Home Prices?

A worldwide pandemic and an economic recession have had a tremendous effect on the nation. The uncertainty brought about by both has made predicting consumer behavior nearly impossible. For that reason, forecasting home prices has become extremely difficult. Normally, there’s a simple formula to determine the future price of any item: calculate the supply of that item in ratio to the demand for that …

Homebuyers Are in the Mood to Buy Today

According to the latest FreddieMac Quarterly Forecast, mortgage interest rates have fallen to historically low levels this spring and they’re projected to remain low. This means there’s a huge incentive for buyers who are ready to purchase. And homeowners looking for eager buyers can take advantage of this opportune time to sell as well. There’s a very positive outlook on interest rates going forward, …

7 Strategies for a 2020 Open House [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Buyer interest is high right now, so this summer is a great time to sell your house. Here are 7 strategies to help make your house showing a safe and effective one. Let’s connect today to get your house on the market while buying is hot.

Want to Make a Move? Homeowner Equity is Growing Year-Over-Year

One of the bright spots of the 2020 real estate market is the growth in equity homeowners are experiencing across the country. According to the recently released Homeowner Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, in nearly every state there was a year-over-year first-quarter equity increase, averaging out to a 6.5% overall gain. The report notes: “CoreLogic analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of …

Is the Economic Recovery Already Underway?

The Wall Street Journal just released their latest monthly Survey of Economists. In an article on the findings, they reported: “The U.S. economy will be in recovery by the third quarter of this year, economists said in a survey that also concluded the labor market will fare better than previously expected following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” Clearly, the latest jobs report from …

Three Reasons Homebuyers Are Ready to Purchase This Year

A recent survey by Lending Tree tapped into behaviors of over 1,000 prospective buyers. The results indicated 53% of all homebuyers are more likely to buy a home in the next year, even amid the current health crisis. The survey further revealed why, naming several reasons buyers are more likely to move this year (see graph below):Let’s break down why these are a few …

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 7th Year Running

Every year, Gallup conducts a survey of Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are asked to select real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds. For the seventh year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment. Gallup explained: “Real estate remains the most favored investment to Americans, as has been …

Summer is the New Spring for Real Estate [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights The health crisis slowed the market this spring, so buyers are jumping back into the market to make their moves this summer. Check these 10 items off your to-do list so your house is ready to sell while buying is hot! Let’s connect today to prepare your house for the sizzling summer market.

Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market?

As the health crisis started making its way throughout our country earlier this spring, sellers have been cautious about putting their homes on the market. This hesitation stemmed primarily from fear of the spread of the coronavirus, and understandably so. This abundant caution has greatly impacted the number of homes for sale and slowed the pace of a typically busy spring real estate season. …

Is a Recession Here? Yes. Does that Mean a Housing Crash? No.

On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession. This did not come as a surprise to many, as the Bureau defines a recession this way: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches …

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery

With more U.S. states reopening for business this summer, and as people start to return to work, we can expect the economy to begin improving. Most expert forecasts indicate this economic recovery will start to happen in the second half of this year. As we get back to work and the financial landscape of the country begins to turn around, many experts also agree …

The Shocking News in the Unemployment Report

Last Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their May Employment Situation Summary. Leading up to the release, most experts predicted the unemployment rate would jump up to approximately 20% from the 14.7% rate announced last month. The experts were shocked. The Wall Street Journal put it this way: “The May U.S. jobless rate fell to 13.3% and employers added 2.5 million jobs, …

National Homeownership Month [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights National Homeownership Month is a great time to reflect on how we can each promote stronger community growth. Homeownership helps families build financial freedom, find greater happiness and satisfaction, and make a positive impact on our local communities. Let’s connect today if homeownership is part of your future plans.

Three Things to Understand About Unemployment Statistics

Tomorrow morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest Employment Situation Summary, which will include the most current unemployment rate. It will be a horrific number. Many analysts believe unemployment could be greater than 20%. These numbers represent families across the nation that are not sure when (or if) they will return to work. The emotional impact on these households is devastating. …

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?

The travel industry is one of the major sectors that’s been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it’s hard to know how long it will take for summer travelers to be back in action and for the industry to fully recover. Homeowners who rent their secondary properties on their own or through programs like Airbnb, which has over 660,000 listings in the …

Home Prices: It’s All About Supply and Demand

As we enter the summer months and work through the challenges associated with the current health crisis, many are wondering what impact the economic slowdown will have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what’s to come. Making our way through the month of June and entering the second half of the year, …

The Benefits of Homeownership May Reach Further Than You Think

More than ever, our homes have become an integral part of our lives. Today they are much more than the houses we live in. They’re evolving into our workplaces, schools for our children, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection for our families through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.3% of Americans are able to call their homes their own, a rate …

Top Reasons to Own Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home. If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year. Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Economists Forecast Recovery to Begin in the Second Half of 2020

With the U.S. economy on everyone’s minds right now, questions about the country’s financial outlook continue to come up daily. The one that seems to keep rising to the top is: when will the economy begin to recover? While no one knows exactly how a rebound will play out, expert economists around the country are becoming more aligned on when the recovery will begin. …

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season

With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift throughout parts of the country, data indicates homebuyers are jumping back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate. Joel Kan, Economist at The …

Buying or Selling a Home? You Need an Expert Kind of Guide

In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate through the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much …

We Remember & Honor Those Who Gave All

We remember, today and always.

Interest Rates Hover Near Historic All-Time Lows [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Mortgage interest rates have dropped considerably this spring and are hovering at a historically low level. Locking in at a low rate today could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your home loan. Let’s connect to determine the best way to position yourself for a move in today’s market.

Experts Predict Economic Recovery Should Begin in the Second Half of the Year

One of the biggest questions we all seem to be asking these days is: When are we going to start to see an economic recovery? As the country begins to slowly reopen, moving forward in strategic phases, business activity will help bring our nation back to life. Many economists indicate a recovery should begin to happen in the second half of this year. Here’s …

6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following: 1. Your Safety …

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary. Some may question that assertion as they look back …

#1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership: Family Wealth

While growing up, we were taught by our parents and grandparents that owning a home is a financially savvy move. They explained how a mortgage is like a “forced savings plan.” When you pay rent, that money is lost forever. When you make a mortgage payment, much of that money accumulates as equity in the home. So, what exactly is equity? The equity in …

2020 Homeowner Wish List [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights In a recent study by realtor.com, homeowners noted some of the main things they would change about their homes to make them more livable. Not surprisingly, more space, an updated kitchen, and a home gym rose to the top of the list. If you’re thinking of selling this year, having these items in your listing might make your house more desirable than …

Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year?

Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen …

A Surprising Shift to the ‘Burbs May Be on the Rise

While many people across the U.S. have traditionally enjoyed the perks of an urban lifestyle, some who live in more populated city limits today are beginning to rethink their current neighborhoods. Being in close proximity to everything from the grocery store to local entertainment is definitely a perk, especially if you can also walk to some of these hot spots and have a short …

Unemployment Report: No Need to Be Terrified

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest jobs report. It revealed that the economic shutdown made necessary by COVID-19 caused the unemployment rate to jump to 14.7%. Many anticipate that next month the percentage could be even higher. These numbers represent the extreme hardship so many families are experiencing right now. That pain should not be understated. However, the long-term …

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?

With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home values will be impacted. The price of any item is determined by supply as well as the market’s demand for that item. Each month the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for …

A Day When Americans Can Return to Work [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Taking a moment to reflect upon what we’ve heard from historical leaders can teach us a lot about getting through the many challenges we face today. We’re all eager for the day when every American can safely return to work. That day is coming. Timing is everything. Patience is essential. Our courage, strength, and unparalleled resilience will get us there.

Unemployment: Hope on the Horizon

Tomorrow, the unemployment rate for April 2020 will be released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It will hit a peak this country has never seen before, with data representing real families and lives affected by this economic slowdown. The numbers will alarm us. There will be headlines and doomsday scenarios in the media. There is hope, though, that as businesses reopen, most …

Why Home Equity Is a Bright Spark in the Housing Market

Given how we have seen more unemployment claims than ever before over the past several weeks, fear is spreading widely. Some good news, however, shows that more than 4 million initial unemployment filers have likely already found a new job, especially as industries such as health care, food and grocery stores, retail, delivery, and more increase their employment opportunities. Breaking down what unemployment means …

Confused About the Economic Recovery? Here’s Why.

As we continue to work through the health crisis that plagues this country, more and more conversations are turning to economic recovery. While we look for signs that we’ve reached a plateau in cases of COVID-19, the concern and fear of what will happen as businesses open up again is on all of our minds. This causes confusion about what an economic recovery will …

U.S. Homeownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in 8 Years

For nearly two months, most of us have been following strict stay-at-home orders from our state and local governments. It is a whole new way of life that has put our daily lives on pause. On the other hand, many of us have also found a sense of comfort by slowing down and spending time at home, highlighting the feeling of security that comes …

How to Test-Drive a Neighborhood While Sheltering in Place [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Staying at home doesn’t mean your search for a new place needs to come to a standstill. Check out these tips on how to explore other neighborhoods virtually in the homebuying process. You may find a spot that better suits your needs without ever leaving your living room! Let’s connect today so you have help with all of the additional steps along …

Why the Housing Market Is a Powerful Economic Driver

With businesses starting to slowly open back up again in some parts of the country, it’s important to understand how housing can have a major impact on the recovery of the U.S. economy. As we’ve mentioned before, buying a home is a driving financial force in this process. Today, many analysts believe one of the first things we’ll be able to safely bring back …

Buying a Home Right Now: Easy? No. Smart? Yes.

Through all the volatility in the economy right now, some have put their search for a home on hold, yet others have not. According to ShowingTime, the real estate industry’s leading showing management technology provider, buyers have started to reappear over the last several weeks. In the latest report, they revealed: “The March ShowingTime Showing Index® recorded the first nationwide drop in showing traffic …

Rise to the Top of the Pool by Selling Your House Today

With the release of the latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), results show that people selling their houses today are holding strong on price. According to the most recent data, 74% of real estate agents noted that sellers are not dropping listing prices to attract more buyers. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted:  “The housing market faced …

What Impact Might COVID-19 Have on Home Values?

A big challenge facing the housing industry is determining what impact the current pandemic may have on home values. Some buyers are hoping for major price reductions because the health crisis is straining the economy. The price of any item, however, is determined by supply and demand, which is how many items are available in relation to how many consumers want to buy that …

Today’s Expert Insight on the Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, home prices are forecasted to rise. Results from the Existing Home Sales Report note that home sales declined in March due to the coronavirus, but prices are still strong. Let’s connect so you can better understand your home’s value today.

Uncertainty Abounds in the Search for Economic Recovery Timetable

Earlier this week, we discussed how most projections from financial institutions are calling for a quick V-shaped recovery from this economic downturn, and there’s research on previous post-pandemic recoveries to support that expectation. In addition, we noted how there are some in the business community who believe we may instead be headed for a U-shaped recovery, where the return to previous levels of economic …

Keys to Selling Your House Virtually

In a recent survey by realtor.com, people thinking about selling their homes indicated they’re generally willing to allow their agent and some potential buyers inside if done under the right conditions. They’re less comfortable, however, hosting an open house. This is understandable, given the health concerns associated with social contact these days. The question is, if you need to sell your house now, what …

Will This Economic Crisis Have a V, U, or L-Shaped Recovery?

Many American businesses have been put on hold as the country deals with the worst pandemic in over one hundred years. As the states are deciding on the best strategy to slowly and safely reopen, the big question is: how long will it take the economy to fully recover? Let’s look at the possibilities. Here are the three types of recoveries that follow most …

The Pain of Unemployment: It Will Be Deep, But Not for Long

There are two crises in this country right now: a health crisis that has forced everyone into their homes and a financial crisis caused by our inability to move around as we normally would. Over 20 million people in the U.S. became instantly unemployed when it was determined that the only way to defeat this horrific virus was to shut down businesses across the …

How Technology is Helping Buyers Navigate the Home Search Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: A recent realtor.com survey revealed that buyers are still considering moving forward with the homebuying process, even if they can’t see the home in-person. While they still prefer to physically see a home, virtual home tours and accurate listing information top the list of tech specs buyers find most helpful in today’s process. Let’s connect today to determine how technology can help …

Today’s Homebuyers Want Lower Prices. Sellers Disagree.

The uncertainty the world faces today due to the COVID-19 pandemic is causing so many things to change. The way we interact, the way we do business, even the way we buy and sell real estate is changing. This is a moment in time that’s even sparking some buyers to search for a better deal on a home. Sellers, however, aren’t offering a discount …

Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again.

With all of the unanswered questions caused by COVID-19 and the economic slowdown we’re experiencing across the country today, many are asking if the housing market is in trouble. For those who remember 2008, it’s logical to ask that question. Many of us experienced financial hardships, lost homes, and were out of work during the Great Recession – the recession that started with a …

What If I Need to Sell My Home Now? What Can I Do?

Every day that passes, people have a need to buy and sell homes. That doesn’t stop during the current pandemic. If you’ve had a major life change recently, whether with your job or your family situation, you may be in a position where you need to sell your home – and fast. While you probably feel like timing with the current pandemic isn’t on …

Recession? Yes. Housing Crash? No.

With over 90% of Americans now under a shelter-in-place order, many experts are warning that the American economy is heading toward a recession, if it’s not in one already. What does that mean to the residential real estate market? What is a recession? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, …

What You Can Do to Get Your House Ready to Sell [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Believe it or not, there are lots of things you can do to prep your house for a sale without even going to the store. Your real estate plans don’t have to be completely on hold even while we’ve hit the pause button on other parts of daily life. Tackling small projects from cleaning the corners you may normally skip to tidying …

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever

For years, we’ve all heard about the most desirable home features buyers are looking for, from upgraded kitchens to remodeled bathrooms, master suites, and more. The latest on the hotlist, however, might surprise you: home offices. In a recent article by George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com, he notes how listings with an office are selling quickly: “As more companies have been embracing remote …

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

Today’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes we’re adapting to is the revisions to the common …

How to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent

There’s a ton of real estate information available in the news today and on the Internet. It can be extremely confusing, especially in times of uncertainty like we’re facing right now. If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year, you need an agent who can help you: Make sense of this rapidly evolving housing market Navigate everything from virtual showings to new online …

Will Surging Unemployment Crush Home Sales?

Ten million Americans lost their jobs over the last two weeks. The next announced unemployment rate on May 8th is expected to be in the double digits. Because the health crisis brought the economy to a screeching halt, many are feeling a personal financial crisis. James Bullard, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, explained that the government is trying to find …

The Housing Market Is Positioned to Help the Economy Recover [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Expert insights are painting a bright future for housing when the economy bounces back – and it will. We may be facing challenging economic times today, but the housing market is poised to help the economy recover, not drag it down. Let’s connect to make sure you’re informed and ready when it’s time to make your move.

Looking to the Future: What the Experts Are Saying

As our lives, our businesses, and the world we live in change day by day, we’re all left wondering how long this will last. How long will we feel the effects of the coronavirus? How deep will the impact go? The human toll may forever change families, but the economic impact will rebound with a cycle of downturn followed by economic expansion like we’ve …

The #1 Thing You Can Do Now to Position Yourself to Buy a Home This Year

The last few weeks and months have caused a major health crisis throughout the world, leading to a pause in the U.S. economy as businesses and consumers work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus has been compared to prior pandemics and outbreaks not seen in many years. It also has consumers remembering the economic slowdown of 2008 …

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

We’re in a changing real estate market, and life, in general, is changing too – from how we grocery shop and meal prep to the ways we can interact with our friends and neighbors. Even practices for engaging with agents, lenders, and all of the players involved in a real estate transaction are changing to a virtual format. What isn’t changing, however, is one …

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

The angst caused by the coronavirus has most people on edge regarding both their health and financial situations. It’s at times like these when we want exact information about anything we’re doing – even the correct protocol for grocery shopping. That information brings knowledge, and this gives us a sense of relief and comfort. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home today, …

What You Can Do to Keep Your Dream of Homeownership Moving Forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Don’t put your homeownership plans on hold just because you’re stuck inside. There are several things you can do right now to keep your home search moving forward. Connect with an agent, learn about resource programs for things like down payments, and get pre-approved today.

Don’t Let Frightening Headlines Scare You

There’s a lot of anxiety right now regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The health situation must be addressed quickly, and many are concerned about the impact on the economy as well. Amidst all this anxiety, anyone with a megaphone – from the main street media to a lone blogger – has realized that bad news sells. Unfortunately, we will continue to see a rash of …

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

With interest rates hitting all-time lows over the past few weeks, many homeowners are opting to refinance. To decide if refinancing your home is the best option for you and your family, start by asking yourself these questions: Why do you want to refinance? There are many reasons to refinance, but here are three of the most common ones: 1. Lower Your Interest Rate …

Why the Stock Market Correction Probably Won’t Impact Home Values

With the housing crash of 2006-2008 still visible in the rear-view mirror, many are concerned the current correction in the stock market is a sign that home values are also about to tumble. What’s taking place today, however, is nothing like what happened the last time. The S&P 500 did fall by over fifty percent from October 2007 to March 2009, and home values …

Economic Slowdown: What the Experts Are Saying

More and more economists are predicting a recession is imminent as the result of the pullback in the economy caused by COVID-19. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” Bill McBride, …

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Some Highlights The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown. The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th. All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis, and this will not be a repeat of 2008.

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures?

With all of the havoc being caused by COVID-19, many are concerned we may see a new wave of foreclosures. Restaurants, airlines, hotels, and many other industries are furloughing workers or dramatically cutting their hours. Without a job, many homeowners are wondering how they’ll be able to afford their mortgage payments. In spite of this, there are actually many reasons we won’t see a …

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s …

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals: “The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the American Dream.” Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the barriers to homeownership – especially those related to down …

5 Simple Graphs Proving This Is NOT Like the Last Time

With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview: “With people having PTSD from the …

Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

The residential real estate market has come roaring out of the gates in 2020. Compared to this time last year, the number of buyers looking for a home is up 20%, and the number of home sales is up almost 10%. The increase in purchasing activity has caused home price appreciation to begin reaccelerating. Many analysts have boosted their projections for price appreciation this …

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great information out there to help you feel more confident as you learn about the process. For those in younger generations who aspire to buy, here are three things to consider sooner rather than later in your journey: 1. Understand What it Takes to Purchase a Home Overall, Millennials make up the …

Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

Rising home prices have been in the news a lot lately, and much of the focus is on whether they’re accelerating too quickly and how sustainable the growth in prices really is. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising prices, however, is the impact they have on a homeowner’s equity position. Home equity is defined as the difference between a home’s fair market value …

New Homes Coming to the Housing Market This Year

The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will begin to come to market over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Construction Report, the number of building permits issued in January was 1,551,000. This is a 9.2% increase from December. How will this impact buyers? …

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 AM EST in observance of Daylight Saving Time, unless you’re a resident of Arizona or Hawaii! Every hour in the United States, 568 homes are sold and median home values rise by $1.92. As we “spring forward” this year, let’s get together to see how you can take advantage of …

Impact of the Coronavirus on the U.S. Housing Market

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused massive global uncertainty, including a U.S. stock market correction no one could have seen coming. While much of the news has been about the effect on various markets, let’s also acknowledge the true impact it continues to have on lives and families around the world. With all this uncertainty, how do you make powerful and confident decisions in regard …

Real Estate Is Soaring, But Not Like 2008

Unlike last year, the residential real estate market kicked off 2020 with a bang! In their latest Monthly Mortgage Monitor, Black Knight proclaimed: “The housing market is heating entering 2020 and recent rate declines could continue that trend, a sharp contrast to the strong cooling that was seen at this same time last year.” Zillow revealed they’re also seeing a robust beginning to the …

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments

Spring is right around the corner, so flowers are starting to bloom, and many potential homebuyers are getting ready to step into the market. If you’re thinking of buying this season, here’s how mortgage interest rates are working in your favor. Freddie Mac explains: “If you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost …

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2020, have you thought about putting your tax refund toward a down payment? Homeownership may be one step closer than you think if you spend your dollars wisely this year. Based on data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,962 when filing their taxes this year. The map below shows the average tax …

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you’re thinking of buying a home and you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Here’s a guide with 10 simple steps to follow in the homebuying process. Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional to find out the specifics of what to do in your local area.

How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade?

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership. Below are three graphs depicting the most important data revealed in the study. How much have home prices increased? One of the first measures …

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time.

The housing market has started off much stronger this year than it did last year. Lower mortgage interest rates have been a driving factor in that change. The average 30-year rate in 2019, according to Freddie Mac, was 3.94%. Today that rate is closer to 3.5%. The Census Bureau also just reported the highest homeownership rate since 2014 for people under 35. This is …

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat

One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020. Why is this good news for the homeowners? When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, those planning to sell this year, especially in the …

Opportunity in the Luxury Market This Year

Homes priced in the top 25% of a price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” At the start of last year, many of the more expensive homes listed for sale hadn’t seen as much interest, since much of the demand for housing over the past few years has come from first-time buyers looking for starter homes. It looks like …

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five-decade low. The impact your interest rate has on your monthly mortgage payment is significant. An increase of just $20 dollars in your monthly …

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a short-lived mirage as buyers came …

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

There’s comfort in being around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, it helps to be around people who not only understand what we’re saying but actually feel the …

How Trusted Professionals Make Homebuying Easier to Understand

In the spring, many excited buyers get ready to enter the housing market. Others continue dreaming about the homes they’d like to buy. The truth is, many potential buyers continue to dream longer than they need to, simply because they’re confused about the homebuying process. Thankfully, working with a trusted real estate professional can help ease those concerns and make the process to homeownership …

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of …

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: There are many benefits to love about homeownership, and they’re not all financial. Being a part of a neighborhood, driving academic achievement, and improving mental health are just a few of these advantages. Let’s get together today to determine if you’re ready to embrace the rewards of owning your own home.

How the Housing Market Benefits with Uncertainty in the World

It’s hard to listen to today’s news without hearing about the uncertainty surrounding global markets, the spread of the coronavirus, and tensions in the Middle East, just to name a few. These concerns have caused some to question their investment plans going forward. As an example, in Vanguard’s Global Outlook for 2020, the fund explains, “Slowing global growth and elevated uncertainty create a fragile …

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

The success of the U.S. residential real estate market, like any other market, is determined by supply and demand. This means we need to look at how many potential purchasers are in the market versus the number of houses that are available to buy. With early 2020 housing data now rolling in, it’s quite evident there are two big stories impacting this year’s residential …

Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High

Regardless of the lack of inventory on the market, the U.S. homeownership rate has climbed to a 6-year high. The United States Census Bureau reported that it increased to 65.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing the highest level in the past six years. See the graph below:This increase does not come as a surprise. According to realtor.com, “The largest cohort of the …

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale. If you’ve ever watched the show “The Price Is Right,” you know the only way to …

The Top States Americans Moved to Last Year [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Americans are on the move, and the most recent Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Survey tracked the 2019 traffic flow from state-to-state. Idaho held on to the top spot of ‘high inbound’ states for the second time since 2017, followed by Washington State. New York was the country’s outbound move leader in 2019, a designation it most recently held in 2014.

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Rents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a great opportunity for renters to save more of their current income to put toward the purchase of a …

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

A desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means, “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.” There is no doubt about it – there’s a comfort in staying in a home you’ve …

How to Avoid a Gender Gap When Investing in the Housing Market

When buying a home, we all want to feel like we’re making the right decision, paying a fair price, and making the best investment of our lives. According to a recent gender-based study, men and women can unknowingly walk away with very different financial outcomes when the deal closes. Thankfully, if you follow some simple ways to arm yourself with the information you need …

Three Reasons Why Pre-Approval Is the First Step in the 2020 Homebuying Journey

When the number of buyers in the housing market outnumbers the number of homes for sale, it’s called a “seller’s market.” The advantage tips toward the seller as low inventory heats up the competition among those searching for a place to call their own. This can create multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars, making it tough for buyers to land their dream homes – unless …

5 Reasons Homeowners Throw Better Parties During the Big Game [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: There’s more room to entertain a large crowd. The kitchen is big enough to whip up endless appetizers – yum! You don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord when the cheering kicks in!

Strength of the Economy Is Surprising the Experts

We’re currently in the longest economic recovery in U.S. history. That has caused some to ask experts to project when the next economic slowdown (recession) could occur. Two years ago, 67% of the economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for the Economic Forecasting Survey predicted we would have a recession no later than the end of this year (2020). The same study …

Where Have All the Houses Disappeared To?

If you’re following what’s happening in the current housing market, you’ve seen how the lack of newly constructed homes is a major reason there’s a shortage of housing inventory available to today’s buyers. Another reason is that the inventory of existing homes for sale is shrinking. According to the most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales are …

Should I Sell My House This Year?

If one of the questions you’re asking yourself today is, “Should I sell my house this year?” the current Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) should boost your confidence as it relates to the current selling sentiment in the housing market. Even with all the information overload in the media circling around talk of a possible …

First-Time Buyers Are Searching for Existing Homes This Year

In the latest Housing Trends Report, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) measured the share of adults planning to buy a home over the next 12 months. The report indicates the percentage of all buyers that will be first-time buyers looking to purchase a home grew from 58% in Q4 2018 to 63% in Q4 2019. The results revealed, “Millennials are the most likely …

2020 Homebuying Checklist

Some Highlights: If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval. Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step. Make sure to work with a trusted real estate professional along the way, to help guide you through the homebuying steps specific to your area.

The #1 Reason It Is Difficult to Find Your Dream Home

The headlines in real estate today all revolve around one major point: there is a shortage of homes available for sale. Price appreciation is accelerating again because there is a shortage of homes available for sale. First-time buyers are taking longer to purchase a home because there is a shortage of homes available for sale in the lower price points. Boomers are staying in …

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home. Here’s some more good news: mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2020 at an average of 3.8% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. …

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

In a market where current inventory is low, it’s normal to think buyers might be willing to give up a few desirable features in their home search in order to make finding a house a little easier. Don’t be fooled, though – there’s still an interest in the market for some key upgrades. Here’s a look at the two surprising things buyers seem to …

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality in 2020

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. led and inspired a powerful movement with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Through his passion and determination, he sparked interest, ambition, and courage in his audience. Today, reflecting on his message encourages many of us to think about our own dreams, goals, beliefs, and aspirations. For many Americans, one of those common goals is owning a …

Where Homebuyers Are Heading By Generation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Whether capitalizing on job opportunities, affordability, or warm-weather places to retire, Americans are making moves to these top cities to take advantage of the strength in the current housing market. A strong economy and lower mortgage rates have made it easier for many would-be buyers to get into the market. According to realtor.com, it just depends on which market. To find the …

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You?

The real estate market is expected to do very well this year as mortgage rates remain at historic lows. One challenge to the housing industry is the lack of homes available for sale. Last week, move.com released a report showing that 2020 is beginning with the lowest available housing inventory in two years. The report explains: “Last month saw the largest year-over-year decline of …

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 …

2020 Luxury Market Forecast

By the end of last year, many homeowners found themselves with more equity than they realized, and at the same time their wages were increasing. When those two factors unite, it can spark homeowners to think about making a move to a larger or more expensive home in the luxury space. That said, now is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the …

Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future Wealth

According to an Urban Institute study, homeowners who purchase a house before age 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60. The good news is, our younger generations are strong believers in homeownership. According to a Freddie Mac survey, “The dream of homeownership is alive and well within “Generation Z,” the demographic cohort following Millennials. Our survey…finds that Gen Z views homeownership as an important …

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: On January 10th of each year, “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day” encourages consumers to reduce their overall energy costs by improving home efficiency. According to Freddie Mac, a typical U.S. family spends $2,200 per year on energy bills. By making energy efficient upgrades, you could reduce your energy bills by up to 30%. To assess the energy efficiency of your home …

There’s a Long Line of Buyers Waiting for Your House

If you’re following what’s happening in the housing market right now, you know that many people believe the winter months aren’t a good time to sell a home. As realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu recently noted, “Sellers tend to be more reluctant to list during the colder time of year when the market typically makes a seasonal slowdown.” However, a recent report by ShowingTime …

The New Spring Real Estate Market is Here. Are You Ready?

Which month do you think most people who are considering buying a home actually start their search? If you’re like most of us, you probably think the surge happens in the spring, likely in April. Not anymore. According to new research, January 2019 was only 1% behind February for the most monthly views per listing on realtor.com. So, what does that mean? The busiest …

Big Demand for Small Homes

Movies, tv shows, and celebrities often have us dreaming of owning large homes, but the reality for most people is quite different. Since 2015, the square footage of newly built houses has been shrinking, according to Yahoo Finances. This is not projected to change as we continue into the beginning of the year. “We expect this downsizing trend to continue in 2020, driven by …

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting. 1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment Several reports indicate that real estate is a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps build …

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you’re planning on selling your house in 2020, these are the top renovations that will give you the highest Return on your Investment. Regardless of how long you’re planning on staying in your current home, it’s smart to be aware of which home renovations add the most value. The exterior of a house is the first thing buyers see when searching …