first time home buyers: Rents Are on the Rise: Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap! - 12/19/17 11:24 AM
There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents, by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.
Don’t Become Trapped A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:
“Rents are up 2.7% year-over-year at the national level. Year-over-year growth continues to fall between the 2.1% rate from this time last year and the 3.4% growth rate from October 2015.”
The article continues explaining that:
“Despite the seasonal slowdown, rents are still up year-over-year in 89 of the 100 Largest cities.
Additionally, the Urban Institute revealed that,
“Over a quarter of renters, or 11.1 million households, are severely cost burdened, spending at least half their income on … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage? - 11/22/17 06:29 AM
There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:
More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower More low-down-payment programs have been introduced This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced … (2 comments)

first time home buyers: The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know - 10/06/17 12:49 PM
Some Highlights: Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%. You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit. Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford. By: KCM Crew
Courtesy of Greenville NC Real Estate Expert Liz Freeman.
(1 comments)

first time home buyers: Happily Ever Homeowner - 09/14/17 06:08 AM
Married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.
Many couples are deciding to use what would otherwise be their wedding fund as a down payment on their first home, as unmarried couples made up 8% of all first-time buyers last year. If you’re single, don’t fret; you can still buy your dream home! Single women made up 17% of … (2 comments)

first time home buyers: Millennial Homeownership Rate Increases - 08/03/17 06:05 AM
Recent headlines exclaimed the homeownership rate, as reported by the Census Bureau, rose again in the second quarter of 2017. What didn’t get much attention in the reports is that the homeownership rate for American households under the age of 35 increased a full percentage point from last quarter’s 34.3% to 35.3%. Millennials proved to have the highest increase of any age group.
This came as a surprise to some considering Millennials have come to be known as the “renter” generation. However, a new study by First American, 6 Trends Poised to Reshape Homeownership Demand, revealed reasons why homeownership numbers will continue to increase for Millennials.
Millennials are … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: 84% of Americans Believe Buying a Home is a Good Financial Decision - 07/20/17 08:44 AM
According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, 84% of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. This is the highest percentage since 2007 – before the housing crisis. Those surveyed pointed out five major reasons why they believe homeownership is a good financial decision:
Homeownership means the money you spend on housing goes towards building equity, rather than to a landlord Homeownership creates the opportunity to pay off a mortgage and own your home by the time you retire Homeownership is an investment opportunity that builds long-term wealth and increases net worth Homeownership … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: #1 ANSWER TO THE HOUSING SHORTAGE: NEW CONSTRUCTION - 05/18/17 06:49 AM
The biggest challenge to today’s housing market is the shortage of housing inventory for sale. A normal market would see a six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, that number is below four months. This is the major reason home prices have continued to appreciate at higher levels than historic averages.
The good news is that builders are now starting to build more homes in lower price ranges.
Builder Confidence is UpThe Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)reveals that builder confidence increased last month. HousingWire quoted NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz about the reason for the increase in confidence amongst builders.
“The HMI measure of … (2 comments)

first time home buyers: FINANCIAL PLANNING: 4 REASONS TO BUY A HOUSE TODAY - 05/04/17 07:50 AM
Homeownership will always be a part of the American Dream. There are advantages to owning your own home (educational, health, social) that far transcend any economic impact. However, we want to look at several of the financial advantages of homeownership in today’s post.
1. Buying is Cheaper Than RentingThe results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The report reveals that:
“Interest rates have remained low, and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation…Nationally, rates … (1 comments)

first time home buyers: YOUR TAX RETURN: BRING IT HOME - 04/27/17 10:16 AM
This time of year, many people eagerly check their mailboxes looking for their tax return check from the IRS. But, what do most people plan to do with the money? GO Banking Rates recently surveyed Americans and asked the question - “What do you plan on doing with your tax refund?”
The results of the survey were interesting. Here is what they plan to do with their money:
41% - Put it into savings 38% - Pay off debt 11% - Go on a vacation 5% - Make a major purchase (car, home, etc.) 5% - Splurge on a purchase Upon seeing the research, The National Association of … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help - 04/20/17 10:03 AM
Many Americans got some depressing news last week; either their tax return was not as large as they had hoped or, in some cases, they were told they owed additional money to either the Federal or State government or both. One way to save on taxes is to own your own home.
According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen's guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” - there are several tax advantages to homeownership.
Here are four items, and a quote on each, from the Briefing Book:
1. Mortgage Interest Deduction“Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: HOME MORTGAGES: RATES UP, REQUIREMENTS EASING - 04/13/17 11:59 AM
The media has extensively covered the rise in mortgage interest rates since last fall (from 3.42% last September to the current 4.1% according to Freddie Mac). However, a less covered aspect of the mortgage market is that requirements to get a mortgage have eased while rates have risen.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) quantifies the availability of mortgage credit each month with their Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to the MBA, the MCAI is:
“A summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”
The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. Here is a chart showing the MCAI over the last several months … (1 comments)

first time home buyers: THE ‘REAL’ NEWS ABOUT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY - 04/06/17 09:24 AM
Some industry experts are claiming that the housing market may be headed for a slowdown as we proceed through 2017, based on rising home prices and a potential jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Here is how NAR defines the index:
“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”
Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: WHICH HOMES HAVE APPRECIATED THE MOST? - 03/16/17 11:57 AM
Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing-home price at 7.1%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Insights Report, reveals that national home prices have increased by 6.9% year-over-year.
The CoreLogic report broke down appreciation even further into four different price categories:
Lower Priced Homes: priced at 75% or less of the median Low-to-Middle Priced Homes: priced between 75-100% of the median Middle-to-Moderate Priced Homes: priced between 100-125% of the median High Price Homes: priced greater than 125% of the median Here is how each category did in … (1 comments)

first time home buyers: Where Did Americans Move in 2016? - 03/03/17 12:43 PM
Some Highlights: For the 5th year in a row, the Northeast saw a concentration of “High Outbound” activity. For the first time ever, South Dakota held the top spot for “High Inbound” states. Much of America’s outbound activity can be attributed to Boomers relocating to warmer climates after retiring. by The KCM Crew
Courtesy of Greenville NC Real Estate Expert Liz Freeman.   
(1 comments)

first time home buyers: MORTGAGE RATES IMPACT ON 2017 HOME VALUES - 03/02/17 07:06 AM
There is no doubt that historically low mortgage interest rates were a major impetus to housing recovery over the last several years. However, many industry experts are showing concern about the possible effect that the rising rates will have moving forward.
The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are all projecting that mortgage interest rates will move upward in 2017. Increasing interest rates will definitely impact purchasers and may stifle demand.
In a recent study of industry experts, “rising mortgage interest rates, and their impact on mortgage affordability” was named by 56% as the force they think will have the most significant impact on … (1 comments)

first time home buyers: The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement - 02/16/17 11:00 AM
The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled 'Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:
“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”
Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the civic participation of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the … (1 comments)

first time home buyers: HOW LOW INTEREST RATES INCREASE YOUR PURCHASING POWER - 01/24/17 12:25 PM
According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.09%, which is still very low in comparison to recent history!
The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.
Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.
The chart below shows what impact rising interest … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: STUDENT LOANS = HIGHER CREDIT SCORES - 12/21/16 07:51 AM
According to a recent analysis by CoreLogic, Millennial renters (aged 20-34) who have student loan debt also have higher credit scores than those who do not have student loans.
This may come as a surprise, as there is so much talk about student loans burdening Millennials and holding them back from many milestones that previous generations have been able to achieve (i.e. homeownership, investing for retirement).
CoreLogic used the information provided on rental applications and the applicants’ credit history from credit bureaus to determine if there was a correlation between student loan debt and credit scores.
The analysis concluded that:
“Student loan debt did not prevent millennials from access … (0 comments)

first time home buyers: THE FED FINALLY ACTS: YUP, MORTGAGE RATES WILL BE GOING UP - 12/16/16 05:55 AM
After months of anticipation, the Federal Reserve announced it will be raising its key interest rate for the first time this year and just the second time since the housing bubble burst. That quarter-of-a-point hike is expected to result in higher mortgage rates—making it even more expensive to buy a home.
“If you’re planning on buying next year, act sooner rather than later, because the financing costs are only going to go up,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of realtor.com®. “We likely have a window of time between now and early 2017 before rates move dramatically higher again.”
Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.19% on … (2 comments)

first time home buyers: http://www.lizfreeman.com/blog/selling-in-the-winter-attracts-serious-buyers.html - 12/07/16 10:29 AM
A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.
It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!
“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings … (1 comments)

 
Liz Freeman (RE/MAX Preferred Realty)

Liz Freeman

Greenville, NC

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