home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: The 5 Greatest Benefits of Homeownership - 07/13/17 07:36 AM
Recently, Freddie Mac reported on the benefits of homeownership. According to their report, here are the five benefits that “should be at the top of everyone’s list.”
Homeownership can help you build equity over time. Your monthly payments will remain stable. You may have some tax benefits. You can take pride in ownership. Homeownership improves your community. Let’s expand on each of Freddie Mac’s points:
Homeownership can help you build equity over time.Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times … (4 comments)

home buying: #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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN ECONOMY & HOUSING IS SOARING - 03/30/17 11:49 AM

The success of the housing market is strongly tied to the consumer’s confidence in the overall economy. For that reason, we believe 2017 will be a great year for real estate. Here is just a touch of the news coverage on the subject.
HousingWire: “Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae.”
Bloomberg: “Americans’ confidence continued to mount last week as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate.”
Yahoo Finance: “Confidence continues to … (0 comments)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: 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)

home buying: Buying Without Breaking The Bank - 08/28/16 03:11 PM

We have all seen the tiny houses that are flooding the internet lately, but let’s be honest; do you really want to live in a space so small that you barely have room to move around in your own home?  In all likelihood we can all agree that we really want more space for less money.  Let’s take a look at a few ways to buy big without breaking the bank.
 One way that you can buy big without breaking the bank is by going in together with a family member to purchase a home.   You may not like the idea of having someone living … (2 comments)

 
Liz Freeman (RE/MAX Preferred Realty)

Liz Freeman

Greenville, NC

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RE/MAX Preferred Realty

Address: 3208 Charles Blvd, Greenville, NC, 27858

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