Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth

Homeowners who purchase their homes before the age of 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60, according to a new Urban Institute study. The organization surveyed adults who turned 60 or 61 between 2003 and 2015 for their data set. “Today’s older adults became homeowners at a younger age than today’s young adults. Half the older adults in our sample bought their first house when they were between 25 and 34 years old, and 27 percent bought their first home before age 25.” The full breakdown is in the chart below: The study goes on to show the impact of purchasing a home at an early age. Those who purchased their first homes when they were younger than 25 had an average of $10,000 left on their mortgage at age 60. The 50% of buyers who purchased in their mid-twenties and early-30s had close to $50,000 left, but traditionally had purchased more expensive homes. Many housing experts are concerned that the homeownership rate amongst millennials, those 18-34, is much lower than previous generations in the same age range. The study results gave a great reason why this generation should consider buying instead of signing a renewal on their lease: “As people age into retirement, they rely more heavily on their wealth rather than their income to support their lifestyles. Today’s young adults are failing to build housing wealth, the largest single source of wealth, at the same rate as previous generations. While people make the choice to own…

Buying a House This Year? This Should Be Your 1st Step!

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website: “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.” One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow: Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash Collateral: The home, or type of…

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years. Rates are projected to climb to 5.0% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac. The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant! Lock in a low rate now while you can!

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed consistently throughout 2018 until the middle of November. After that point, rates returned to levels that we saw in August to close out the year at 4.55%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. After the first week of 2019, rates have continued their downward trend. As Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater notes, this is great news for homebuyers. He states, “Mortgage rates declined to start the new year with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping to 4.51 percent. Low mortgage rates combined with decelerating home price growth should get prospective homebuyers excited to buy.” In some areas of the country, the combination of rising interest rates and rising home prices had made some first-time buyers push pause on their home searches. But with more inventory coming to market, continued price growth, and interest rates slowing, this is a great time to get back in the market! Will This Trend Continue? According to the latest forecasts from Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates will increase over the course of 2019, but not at the same pace they did in 2018. You can see the forecasts broken down by quarter below. Bottom Line Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home in 2019 is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to find out if you are able…

Belief in Homeownership as an Investment is Far from Dead

Following last year’s real estate market was like riding a rollercoaster. The market started off strong in 2018 and then softened before finishing with a mild flurry. However, one thing that did not waiver was America’s belief that owning a home makes sense from a financial standpoint. An end-of-the-year survey by the Federal Reserve Bank’s Center for Microeconomic Data revealed that: “The majority of households continue to view housing as a good financial investment.” And that percentage has increased over the last three years. Bottom Line Though there is some uncertainty as to how the real estate market will perform over the next twelve months, one thing remains very certain: America’s belief in homeownership.

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch

As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: interest rates & inventory. Interest Rates Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019. 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 to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month. With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by…

Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes! Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic. All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market

This year started strong for real estate, but then the market began to soften. Home inventory in the starter and move-up categories dwindled to almost nothing, mortgage rates were projected to rise, and home sales had decreased for several months in a row. To many, the outlook heading into 2019 appeared dim… at best. Then, in a 24-hour window last week, things seemed to change. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) revealed in their Existing Homes Sales Report that home sales had INCREASED for the second consecutive month. The next day, NAR’s economic research team announced that the percentage of first-time buyers in the market was higher than last month and even higher than a year ago. What happened to turn around the downward momentum in the market?  You only needed to wait a few hours to find out. On the heels of NAR’s revelations, Zillow released their November Real Estate Market Report that explained: “After nearly four years of annual declines in inventory, the number of homes for sale has now increased year-over-year for three straight months…” Ending 2018, we now know two things: Listing inventory increased over the last three months Home sales increased over the last two months Maybe a lack of inventory was the major challenge all along. But, what about those pesky interest rates? Last Thursday (the day after all of the above news), Freddie Mac announced that mortgage rates did not increase but instead decreased…again. From their release: “The response to the recent decline in mortgage rates is already being felt in…

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage

One of the most common loans you can get to buy a home is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. If the thought of paying for your home over the course of 30-years seems daunting, here are some easy ways to shorten that term which will actually end up saving you money over the life of your loan. Any additional payments to the principal amount (the original sum of money borrowed in a loan), helps to cut down the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of your loan and can also help to shave years off the loan as well. When you make ‘extra’ payments toward your loan, the key is to let your lender/bank know that you want the extra funds to go toward your principal balance as they will not automatically do this for you. You don’t have to double your mortgage payment to make a big difference either! If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you’ll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment. Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone! Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big 1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month Benefit: In the example above, adding $111.84 to your monthly mortgage payment might not seem like a lot, but each year you will have paid one extra month’s worth…

What Makes a House a Home For You?

We frequently talk about why it makes sense to buy a home financially, but more often than not the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling ones. No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of a home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. 1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase. 2. There’s no place like home Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day! 3. You have more space for you and your family Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home! 4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally…