Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State

There has been a lot of talk about the falling homeownership rate in the United States. In December 2004, the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.4%, while the current rate is 62.9%. When comparing these two figures, there is some room for concern regarding the difference.However, today we want to shine some light on the issue by:Showing what historic homeownership rates have looked like over the last 130 years.Breaking down the current percentages by state.Historic Homeownership Rates:Current Homeownership Rates by State:All of the states that you see in blue on the map above have a greater homeownership rate than the national average.Bottom LineThough the homeownership rate has fallen recently, the percentage is still at a healthy rate compared to historic numbers, and most states currently have a higher percentage than the national average.

Taking the Fear out of the Mortgage Process

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need to have saved for a down payment (the average down payment on all loans was 11% last month, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income and good credit history.Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals, all of which perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests to follow:Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO Score of all closed loans in September was 731, according to Ellie Mae.Start gathering all of your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer that can help you develop a spending plan, as well as determine how much home you can afford.Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals in order to determine the type and amount of…

Buying a Home? 4 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent

Are you thinking of buying a home? Are you dreading having to walk through strangers’ houses? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of buying. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge, just like a great doctor or great accountant.You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish an average agent from a great one.Here are the top 4 demands to make of your real estate agent when buying a home:1. Tell the Truth About the PriceWhen making an offer on the home you want to buy, make sure that your agent walks you through their plan for getting both the seller – and the bank – to accept that price. Too many agents will just take the offer that you suggest and then try to ‘work’ both you and the seller in the negotiating phase later. In a competitive market, you need an agent who is going to help you make the best ‘initial offer’ so that you stand out from the crowd. Every house in today’s market must be sold twice – first to you and then to your bank.The second sale may be more difficult than the first. When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the selling price…