housing affordability: More Than a House: The Emotional Benefits of Homeownership - 06/03/24 01:42 PM
With all the headlines and talk about housing affordability, it can be tempting to get lost in the financial side of buying a home. That’s only natural as you think about the dollars and cents of it all.
And while you ultimately need to be able to afford a home you buy, don’t lose sight of why homeownership was so important to you in the first place. That’s because buying a home is so much more than just a financial transaction. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:
“The benefits of purchasing and owning your place of residence are both … (2 comments)

housing affordability: What’s Next for Home Prices and Mortgage Rates? - 05/20/24 07:27 AM
If you’re thinking of making a move this year, there are two housing market factors that are probably on your mind: home prices and mortgage rates. You’re wondering what’s going to happen next. And if it’s worth it to move now, or better to wait it out.
The only thing you can really do is make the best decision you can based on the latest information available. So, here’s what experts are saying about both prices and rates.
1. What’s Next for Home Prices?One reliable place you can turn to for information on home price forecasts is the Home Price Expectations Survey from … (3 comments)

housing affordability: Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home? - 04/18/24 08:56 AM
Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home. And while there’s no arguing affordability is still tight, there are signs it’s starting to get a bit better and may improve even more throughout the year. Elijah de la Campa, Senior Economist at Redfin, says:
“We’re slowly climbing our way out of an affordability hole, but we have a long way to go. Rates have come down from their peak and are expected to fall again by the end of the year, which should make homebuying a little more … (1 comments)

housing affordability: Ways To Use Your Tax Refund If You Want To Buy a Home - 04/15/24 08:28 AM
Have you been saving up to buy a home this year? If so, you know there are a number of expenses involved – from your down payment to closing costs. But did you also know your tax refund can help you pay for some of these expenses? As Credit Karma explains:
“If one of your goals is to stop renting and buy a home, you’ll need to save up for closing costs and a down payment on the mortgage. A tax refund can give you a start on the road to homeownership. If you’ve already started to save, your tax refund … (3 comments)

housing affordability: Builders Are Building Smaller Homes - 04/11/24 06:27 AM
There’s no arguing it, affordability is still tight. And if you’re trying to buy a home, that may mean you need to look at smaller houses to find one that’s still in your budget. But there is a silver lining: builders are focused on building these smaller homes right now and they’re offering incentives. And that can help give you more options that fit the bill.
Newly Built Homes Are Trending SmallerDuring the pandemic, homebuyers wanted (and could afford) larger homes – and builders delivered. They focused on homes that were bigger, so people had more space for things like working from … (5 comments)

housing affordability: How Changing Mortgage Rates Impact You - 02/23/24 07:06 AM
Some Highlights If you’re looking to buy a home, it’s important to know how mortgage rates impact what you can afford and how much you’ll pay each month. That’s because even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your purchasing power. The best way to navigate changing mortgage rates and make an informed buying decision is to rely on the expertise of a local real estate professional and mortgage lender.  
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The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. The author does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or … (2 comments)

housing affordability: Get Ready To Buy a Home by Improving Your Credit Score - 12/26/23 08:06 AM
As the new year approaches, the idea of buying a home might be on your mind. It’s an exciting goal to set, and it's never too early to start laying the groundwork. One crucial step to prepare for homeownership is building a solid credit score.
Lenders review your credit to assess your ability to make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. It’s also a factor that helps determine your mortgage rate. An article from CNBC explains:
“When it comes to mortgages, a higher credit score can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. This is because your credit … (4 comments)

housing affordability: Unpacking the Long-Term Benefits of Homeownership - 10/02/23 07:55 AM
If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and ongoing affordability concerns may make you wonder if it still makes sense to buy a home right now. While those market factors are important, there's more to consider. You should think about the long-term benefits of homeownership too.
Think about this: if you know people who bought a home 5, 10, or even 30 years ago, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding someone who regrets their decision. Why is that? The reason is tied to how home values grow with time and how, by … (3 comments)

housing affordability: Get Ready for Smaller, More Affordable Homes - 09/07/23 01:15 PM
Have you been trying to buy a home, but higher mortgage rates and home prices are limiting your options? If so, here’s some good news – based on what Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, has to say – smaller, more affordable homes are on the way:
“Buyers should expect that over the next 12 to 24 months there will be a notable increase in the number of entry-level homes available.”In some ways, smaller homes are already here. When the pandemic hit, the meaning of home changed. People needed the space their home provided not only as a place to live, but … (5 comments)

housing affordability: How Inflation Affects Mortgage Rates - 08/03/23 06:44 AM
When you read about the housing market in the news, you might see something about a recent decision made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how does this decision affect you and your plans to buy a home? Here's what you need to know.
The Fed is trying hard to reduce inflation. And even though there’s been 12 straight months where inflation has cooled (see graph below), the most recent data shows it’s still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%: 
While you may have been hoping the Fed would stop their hikes since they’re making progress on their goal of bringing … (8 comments)

housing affordability: Don’t Fall for the Next Shocking Headlines About Home Prices - 07/25/23 07:32 AM
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, one of the biggest questions you have right now is probably: what’s happening with home prices? And it’s no surprise you don’t have the clarity you need on that topic. Part of the issue is how headlines are talking about prices.
They’re basing their negative news by comparing current stats to the last few years. But you can’t compare this year to the ‘unicorn’ years (when home prices reached record highs that were unsustainable). And as prices begin to normalize now, they’re talking about it like it’s a bad thing and making people … (2 comments)

housing affordability: Evaluating Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Matters More Today. - 07/08/23 08:56 AM
When it comes to buying a home, especially with today’s affordability challenges, you’ll want to be strategic. Mortgage rates impact how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. And, to help offset the higher borrowing costs today, some homebuyers are taking a close look at their wish list and re-evaluating what features they really need in their next home to avoid overextending. As a recent NerdWallet article says:
“A pool, for example, may be nice to have, but it may not provide as much day-to-day value as a garage or a space for a home office . . … (4 comments)

housing affordability: What Homebuyers Need To Know About Credit Scores - 06/22/23 02:37 PM
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you should know your credit score’s a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a home loan. Lenders review your credit to assess your ability to make payments on time, to pay back debts, and more. It’s also a factor that helps determine your mortgage rate. An article from Bankrate explains:
 “Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. Not just to qualify for the loan itself, but for the conditions: Typically, the higher your score, the lower the interest … (3 comments)

housing affordability: The Power of Pre-Approval - 04/24/23 06:47 AM
 
If you’re buying a home this spring, today’s housing market can feel like a challenge. With so few homes on the market right now, plus higher mortgage rates, it’s essential to have a firm grasp on your homebuying budget. You’ll also need a sense of determination to find the right house and act quickly when you go to put in an offer. One thing you can do to help you prepare is to get pre-approved.
To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to know what pre-approval is. As part of the process, a lender looks at your … (2 comments)

housing affordability: The 3 Factors That Affect Home Affordability - 01/24/23 07:54 AM
If you’ve been following the housing market over the last couple of years, you’ve likely heard about growing affordability challenges. But according to experts, the key factors that determine housing affordability are projected to improve this year. Selma Hepp, Executive, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, shares:
“. . . with slowly improving affordability and a more optimistic economic outlook than previously believed, the housing market could show resilience in 2023.”
The three measures used to establish home affordability are home prices, mortgage rates, and wages. Here’s a closer look at each one.
1. Mortgage RatesMortgage rates shot up to over 7% last year, causing … (1 comments)

housing affordability: Should You Still Buy a Home with the Latest News About Inflation? - 10/19/22 05:24 AM
While the Federal Reserve is working hard to bring down inflation, the latest data shows the inflation rate is still high, remaining around 8%. This news impacted the stock market and added fuel to the fire for conversations about a recession.
You’re likely feeling the impact in your day-to-day life as you watch the cost of goods and services climb. The pinch it’s creating on your wallet and the looming economic uncertainty may leave you wondering: “should I still buy a home right now?” If that question is top of mind for you, here’s what you need to know.
Homeownership Is … (8 comments)

housing affordability: Saving for a Down Payment? Here’s What You Should Know. - 10/10/22 05:48 AM
As you set out to buy a home, saving for a down payment is likely top of mind. But you may still have questions about the process, including how much to save and where to start.
If that sounds like you, your down payment could be more in reach than you originally thought. Here’s why.
The 20% Down Payment MythIf you believe you have to put 20% down on a home, you may have based your goal on a common misconception. Freddie Mac explains:
“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to … (6 comments)

housing affordability: The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down - 10/04/22 06:30 AM
Mortgage rates have increased significantly in recent weeks. And that may mean you have questions about what this means for you if you’re planning to buy a home. Here’s some information that can help you make an informed decision when you set your homebuying plans.
The Impact of Rising Mortgage RatesAs mortgage rates rise, they impact your purchasing power by raising the cost of buying a home and limiting how much you can comfortably afford. Here’s how it works.
Let’s assume you want to buy a $400,000 home (the median-priced home according to the National Association of Realtors is $389,500). If you’re trying … (2 comments)