You Need an Agent Who Will Put You First

You Need an Agent Who Will Put You First | Simplifying The Market

When it comes to buying a home, whether you are a rookie homebuyer or have gone through the process many times, having a local real estate expert who is well versed in the neighborhood you are looking to move into, as well as the trends of that area, should be your goal.

One great example of an agent who is in your corner and is always looking out for your best interests is one of the main characters on ABC’s Modern Family, Phil Dunphy.

For those who aren’t familiar, the character Phil is a Realtor with a huge heart who always strives to do his best for his family and his clients.

In one recent episode, Phil even shared the oath that he created and holds himself accountable to:

“On my honor, I promise to aid in man’s quest for shelter, to recognize I’m not just in the business of houses — I’m in the business of dreams in the shape of houses. To disclose all illegal additions, shoddy construction, murders, and ghosts. And to put my clients’ needs before my own.” 

While this might seem silly, and it was definitely written with humor in mind, the themes of helping someone achieve the American Dream and putting a client’s needs above your own are not to be taken lightly. 

Bottom Line

When you make the decision to enter the housing market, as either a buyer or a seller, make sure you look for an agent who exemplifies these values and will help you through every step of the process.

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Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than A Renter’s

Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s | Simplifying The Market

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that by the end of 2016, the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater.

The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:

Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s | Simplifying The Market

Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You

As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments:

“Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Bottom Line

If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you by purchasing a home, let’s get together and evaluate your ability to buy today!

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Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • November’s Existing Home Sales report revealed that sales are now at an annual pace of 5.61 million which is “now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4% higher than a year ago (4.86 million).”
  • Total housing inventory (or the inventory of homes for sale) fell 8.0% from last month and is now 9.3% lower than November 2015.
  • Inventory has dropped year-over-year for the last 18 months.
  • The median price for all home sales in November was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

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The Fed Raised Rates: What Does that Mean for Housing?

The Fed Raised Rates: What Does that Mean for Housing? | Simplifying The Market

You may have heard that the Federal Reserve raised rates last week… But what does that mean if you are looking to buy a home in the near future?

Many in the housing industry have predicted that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, would vote to raise the federal fund’s target rate at their December meeting. For only the second time in a decade, this is exactly what happened.

There were many factors that contributed to the 0.25 point increase (from 0.50 to 0.75), but many are pointing to the latest jobs report and low unemployment rate (4.6%) as the main reason.

Tim Manni, Mortgage Expert at Nerd Wallet, had this to say,

“Homebuyers shouldn’t be particularly concerned with [last week’s] Fed move. Even with rates hovering over 4 percent, they’re still historically low. Most market observers are expecting a gradual rise in home loan rates in the near term, anticipating mortgage rates to stay under 5 percent through 2017.”

Bottom Line

Only time will tell what the long-term impact of the rate hike will be, but in the short term, there should be no reason for alarm.

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Student Loans = Higher Credit Scores

Student Loans = Higher Credit Scores | Simplifying The Market

According to a recent analysis by CoreLogic, Millennial renters (aged 20-34) who have student loan debt also have higher credit scores than those who do not have student loans.

This may come as a surprise, as there is so much talk about student loans burdening Millennials and holding them back from many milestones that previous generations have been able to achieve (i.e. homeownership, investing for retirement).

CoreLogic used the information provided on rental applications and the applicants’ credit history from credit bureaus to determine if there was a correlation between student loan debt and credit scores.

The analysis concluded that:

“Student loan debt did not prevent millennials from access to credit even though it may delay their homebuying decisions.”

In fact, those with a higher amount of debt actually had higher credit scores.

“Renters with student loan debt have higher average credit scores than those without; and those with higher debt amounts have higher average credit scores than those with lower student loan debt amounts.”

Bottom Line

Millennials are on pace to become the most educated generation in our nation’s history, with that comes a pretty big bill for education. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel:

“Despite the fact that student loan debt has grown into the nation’s second largest consumer debt, following mortgage, and has created a significant financial burden for millennials, it does not appear to prevent millennials from accessing credit.”

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Whether You Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage

Whether You Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage | Simplifying The Market

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

Bottom Line

This holiday season, why not give yourself the gift of homeownership? Lock in your housing costs for the next 30 years and guarantee you are the one building wealth.

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The Impact Your Interest Rate Has on Your Buying Power [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Impact Your Interest Rate Has on Your Buying Power [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Your monthly housing cost is directly tied to the price of the home you purchase and the interest rate you secure for your mortgage.
  • Over the last 30 years, interest rates have fluctuated greatly with rates in the double digits in the 1980s, all the way down to the near 4% we are experiencing now.
  • Your purchasing power is greatly impacted by the interest rate you secure. Act now before rates go up!

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Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years | Simplifying The Market

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.24% per year on average and to grow by 21.4% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

Building Your Family’s Wealth Over the Next 5 Years | Simplifying The Market

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.0% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained over $10,000 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by over $43,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, let’s get together to find out if you are able to, today!

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Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years?

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 4.0% over the course of 2017, 3.2% in 2018 and 3.0% the next three years (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.24% over the next 5 years.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

The prediction for cumulative appreciation ticked up from 18.7% to 21.4% by 2021. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.2%.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe this survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

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Americans Are on The Move [INFOGRAPHIC]

Americans Are on The Move [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • For the 4th year in a row, the Northeast saw a concentration of High Outbound activity.
  • Oregon held on to the top stop of High Inbound states for the 3rd year in a row.
  • Much of this Outbound activity can be attributed to Boomers relocating to warmer climates after retiring.

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