homebuyers: 93% Believe Homeownership Is Important in Attaining the American Dream - 01/11/18 07:30 AM
Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:
“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”
When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”
18% of those surveyed said it was the most important part 53% of those surveyed said it was very important 22% of those surveyed said it was somewhat important HOMEOWNERSHIP AND FINANCIAL STABILITYThe survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press … (0 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: Housing and the Senate Tax Plan: What Now? - 12/07/17 09:53 AM
Members of the real estate industry are responding to the passage of the Senate tax plan, which chiefly includes a 20 percent corporate tax rate—down from 35 percent—and reduced rates for families and individuals over the next seven years. The development follows the House passage of its own plan in November.
Both bills challenge homeownership, industry members say. The bills extend the capital gains exclusion eligibility requirement that home sellers reside in the home from two of the last five years to five of the last eight. (The House plan, however, includes an income phaseout provision.) Both also raise the standard deduction, which has the … (0 comments)

homebuyers: The Real Reason Home Prices are Increasing - 11/30/17 10:20 AM
There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.
However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase.
It is that simple. … (0 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: Your Friends Are Crazy Wrong If They’re Telling You Not to Buy - 11/16/17 08:38 AM
The current narrative is that home prices have risen so much so that it is no longer a smart idea to purchase a home. Your family and friends might suggest that buying a home right now (whether a first-time home or a move-up home) makes absolutely no sense from an affordability standpoint. They are wrong!
Homes are more affordable right now than at almost any time in our country’s history except for the foreclosure years (2009-2015) when homes sold at major discounts. As an example, below is a graph from the latest Black Knight Mortgage Monitor showing the percentage of median income needed to buy a … (1 comments)

homebuyers: A Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO! - 11/09/17 08:18 AM
With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.
Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.
Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X: “We’re definitely not in a bubble.”
“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”
Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics: “There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”
“Steady as she goes. Prices … (1 comments)

homebuyers: How to Save on a Mortgage Payment Whether Buying or Selling - 10/26/17 07:04 AM
In Trulia’s recent report, Rent vs. Buy: Roommate Edition, they examined the impact that renting with a roommate has in determining whether it is more expensive to rent or buy. The study explains:
“Since we started keeping track in 2012, it’s been a better deal to buy than rent in America’s largest housing markets – and for much of that time it hasn’t been close.”
It then goes on to ask the question:
“But does the equation change for renters who share their rent with a roommate?”
The report reveals:“While the standard rent vs. buy analysis reveals buying is cheaper than renting in all of the nation’s 100 largest metros, … (0 comments)

homebuyers: Net Worth of Homeowners 44X Greater than Renters - 10/12/17 07:47 AM
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data, covering 2013-2016 was released two weeks ago.
The study revealed that the 2016 median net worth of homeowners was $231,400 - a 15% increasesince 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).
These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.
Owning a home is a great way to build family wealthAs we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced … (0 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: Why Are So Few Homes for Sale? - 09/21/17 09:06 AM
There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”
First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.
The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:
47% – existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy 5% … (2 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: A ‘Buyer’ in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush - 07/27/17 08:35 AM
In today’s highly competitive seller’s market where there are more buyers than there are homes for them to buy, some sellers may feel like the ball is in their court.
And they would be right when it comes to choosing which offer to accept, the closing date, or even which improvements they are willing to make to their house prior to selling.
One thing to remember though, is that there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
Interest rates can change, financing might not go through, the appraisal might not come back at the price that you have agreed to. These are all opportunities … (0 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

homebuyers: THE IMPORTANCE OF HOME EQUITY IN RETIREMENT PLANNING - 06/22/17 08:57 AM
We often discuss the difference in family wealth between homeowner households and renter households. Much of that difference is the result of the equity buildup that homeowners experience over the time that they own their home. In a report recently released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), they reveal how valuable equity can be in retirement planning.
Craig Copeland, Senior Research Associate at EBRI, recently authored a report, Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth, in which he reveals:
“Individual account retirement plan assets, plus home equity, represent almost all of what families have to use for retirement expenses outside of Social Security and traditional pensions. Those … (0 comments)

homebuyers: Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? - 06/15/17 09:41 AM
As home values continue to rise, some are questioning whether we are approaching another housing bubble. Zillow just reported that:
“National home values have surpassed the peak hit during the housing bubble and are at their highest value in more than a decade.”
Though that statement is correct, we must realize that just catching prices of a decade ago does not mean we are at bubble numbers. Here is a graph of median prices as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
We can see that prices rose during the early 2000s, fell during the crash and have risen since 2013.
However, let’s assume there was no housing bubble and … (1 comments)

homebuyers: #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)

homebuyers: 3 REASONS THE HOUSING MARKET IS NOT IN A BUBBLE - 05/11/17 07:27 AM
With housing prices appreciating at levels that far exceed historical norms, some are fearful that the market is heading for another bubble. To alleviate that fear, we just need to look back at the reasons that caused the bubble ten years ago.
Last decade, demand for housing was artificially propped up because mortgage lending standards were way too lenient. People that were not qualified to purchase were able to attain a mortgage anyway. Prices began to skyrocket. This increase in demand caused homebuilders in many markets to overbuild.
Eventually, the excess in new construction and the flooding of the market with distressed properties … (2 comments)

homebuyers: 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)

 
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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