Thursday, May 25, 2023 / by Kenneth Brands
Feeling the pinch of inflation? You're not alone. From groceries to gas, prices are on the rise, and if you're a renter, you're likely feeling the sting as your monthly payments continue to climb. Amid escalating costs and potential recession fears, you might be questioning whether buying a home in the current economic climate is a wise move. The answer, quite simply, is yes. Here's why. Owning a home can act as a buffer against the escalating costs brought on by inflation. As Freddie Mac points out, "Buying a home today not only starts you on the path to building equity, but securing a fixed-rate mortgage can also lock in your monthly housing costs long-term, even as other living expenses continue to increase – a trend we've been seeing over the past few years."
Unlike rental costs, which typically increase over time, a fixed-rate mortgage payment remains constant throughout the mortgage term (usually 15 to 30 years). In an environment where prices are generally rising, maintm ...
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Thursday, May 11, 2023 / by Kenneth Brands
There’s been some concern lately that the housing market is headed for a crash. And given some of the affordability challenges in the housing market, along with a lot of recession talk in the media, it’s easy enough to understand why that worry has come up.
But the data clearly shows today’s market is very different than it was before the housing crash in 2008. Rest assured, this isn’t a repeat of what happened back then. Here’s why.
It’s Harder To Get a Loan Now
It was much easier to get a home loan during the lead-up to the 2008 housing crisis than it is today. Back then, banks had different lending standards, making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance an existing one. As a result, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices.
Things are different today as purchasers face increasingly higher . ...
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Tuesday, May 9, 2023 / by Kenneth Brands
If you’re a homeowner thinking about making a move, you may wonder if it’s still a good time to sell your house. Here’s the good news. Even with higher mortgage rates, buyer traffic is actually picking up speed.
Data from the latest ShowingTime Showing Index, which is a measure of buyers actively touring homes, helps paint the picture of how much buyer demand has increased in recent months (see graph below):
As the graph shows, the first two months of 2023 saw a noticeable increase in buyer traffic. That’s likely because the limited number of homes for sale kept shoppers looking for homes even during colder months.
To help tell the story of why the latest report is significant, let’s compare foot traffic this February with each February for the last six years (see graph below). It shows this was one of the best Februarys for buyer activity we’ve seen in recent memory.
In the last six years, we saw the most February buyer traffic in 2021 . ...
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Friday, April 14, 2023 / by Kenneth Brands
Over the last year, the housing market has gone through a significant change. While it’s still a sellers’ market, homes that are priced right are selling, and they get the most attention from buyers right now. If you’re thinking of selling your house this spring, it’s important to lean on your expert real estate advisor when it comes to setting a list price. As Realtor.com explains:
“Move-in-ready homes with curb appeal and in desirable areas—and that are priced to sell—are especially likely to move quickly this spring.”
In today’s market, how you price your house will not only make a big difference to your bottom line, but to how quickly your house will sell.
Why Pricing Your House Right Matters
Your asking price sends a message to potential buyers, especially today. If it’s priced too low, you may leave money on the table or discourage buyers who may see a lower-than-expected price tag and wonder if that means som! ...
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Monday, April 10, 2023 / by Kenneth Brands
The spring season appears to be warming up in housing as more and more buyers enter the market. And after rising mortgage rates sidelined so many buyers last year, that’s a good sign for sellers. Realtor.com has the latest:
“Spring is officially here, and like green shoots emerging from the bleak winter, new data suggests that more buyers are back in the market, although more subdued compared to a year ago.”
We know buyer activity is trending up because of mortgage purchase application data. According to Investopedia:
“A mortgage application is a document submitted to a lender when you apply for a mortgage to purchase real estate.”
That means the number of mortgage applications shows how many buyers are applying for mortgages. Put another way, an increase in mortgage applications means an increase in buyer demand – and as Joel Kan, VP and Deputy Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains, application activity sta. ...
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