Why Buying a Home Is Becoming More Urgent

If your clients are wavering on whether to buy a home, there are several reasons they may want to get more serious about their real estate search, according to MagnifyMoney, a personal finance website. Most importantly, mortgage rates remain historically low—but that isn’t expected to last. They’ve been rising steadily, but rates for the current 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are still well below 5 percent, compared to nearly 19 percent In 1981. “The housing market has been on pretty solid footing now for a number of years, and a lot of that is due to pretty affordable mortgage rates,” says Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, a real estate professor at Columbia Business School. In a recent Reuters poll, 45 housing analysts predict that by the end of 2019, the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage likely will be above 5 percent. So buyers who lock in a rate this year likely will have lower borrowing costs.

Also, escalating home prices aren’t expected to let up anytime soon. According to the Reuters poll, home values in the 20 largest metro areas are expected to increase by another 5.7 percent before the end of the year. The National Association of REALTORS® predicts growth in home prices to continue in the coming years, but year-over-year growth likely will slow to 3 percent or 5 percent. “Homeownership is long-term prospect,” says Paul Bishop, NAR’s vice president of research. “So as long as prices continue to increase at even a modest pace over the next four, five, eight, 10 years, then that equity does build up, in some cases, to quite a substantial part of someone’s net worth.”

Home shoppers who are holding out for more inventory may need to accept that the waiting game likely won’t be successful. At the end of May, there were 1.85 million existing homes for sale, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops. That is 6.1 percent lower than a year ago, according to NAR. Construction is on the rise but new developments are only accounting for about 2 percent of the market, says Van Nieuwerburgh, adding that “we’re not building enough to alleviate those shortages.”

While there are plenty of reasons why buying makes sense now, housing analysts are quick to point out that consumers shouldn’t take the plunge if they’re not ready financially or personally for the commitment. Prospective buyers need to consider financial security, their location, and their job situation, says Bishop. “Ultimately, you need to ask yourself: Are you likely to be in a particular location long enough that homeownership makes sense?” he says.

Source: MagnifyMoney
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3 Pros, 3 Cons of Buying New Construction

Many house hunters are under the mistaken impression that new construction is flawless, a perception that may be challenging to wrestle with if a seller’s home is surrounded by brand-new development. In reality, there can be just as many inspection issues with new builds as there are with resale properties. For buyers who are interested in purchasing new, it’s important to manage expectations and know that no home—no matter what age—is perfect. On the other hand, new homes do have some advantages because they’re not worn. Here are three pros and three cons of new construction.

4 Potential Surprises When Buying a Home

No. 1: Low inventory means you have to act fast …

In many cities around the U.S., inventories are tight, meaning there are too few homes on the market for potential homebuyers. Homes in good condition that are priced appropriately sell fast. The competitive market means buyers may find a home and make a serious offer in just a few days (sometimes 24 hours!). In extremely low inventory markets like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, buyers may end up in bidding wars, paying more than the home’s asking price.

Professional real estate agents understand the unique trends in your market and can help buyers zero in on the right house and act quickly.

No. 2: … But closing takes longer than you think

According to Realtor.com, the average home sale takes approximately 50 days from the moment your offer is accepted to the time you move in, but this is contingent on a variety of things. As the days tick by during this comprehensive process of inspections and appraisals, you may find yourself impatient to move in and add Pinterest-worthy decor.

The good news? Advanced technology has helped streamline the exchange of a vast amount of paperwork. And, an experienced real estate agent will be able to set expectations and keep you informed every step of the way.

While you anxiously await the keys to your new place, you can occupy yourself by preparing your things for the move and planning an epic housewarming party.

No. 3: Home inspections leave nothing uncovered

For the benefit and protection of a new buyer, most home inspectors conduct a very thorough inspection of your new home, leaving a detailed and often intimidating list of recommended repairs and improvements. Remember, not every item on the list may need to be repaired for the home to be safe or for you to take possession. Yet again, your real estate agent will be able to walk you through this lengthy report, advising you on what you can and should ask the sellers to consider fixing.

No. 4: Closing costs may leave you asking: “I owe WHAT?”

Just when you think you know the bottom line, some additional closing costs can sneak up on you. Things like loan origination fees, prepaid property taxes, title insurance and more can add up at the end of the process. In fact, on average, closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of your home’s purchase price.

Now that you know, you can ask your agent for more details and factor this in when you prepare to buy. If you or someone you know is considering a purchase or sale, I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!

7 Things to Never, Ever Do When Buying a Home

Buying a home is exciting and terrifying. After all, this is the biggest financial move most people ever make. As such, there’s a lot of room for error, and even tiny mistakes can translate to tens of thousands of dollars.

The lesson here: Even the most intrepid home buyer should get some guidance not only on what to do, but also what not to do. Look no further than this list, which highlights the most common mistakes buyers make so you can avoid the same fate.

8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your first—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment, misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! Realtor.com asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable. Read on and beware…

In It to Win It: Land Your Dream Home by Avoiding These 7 Mistakes on Your Offer

You’ve seen every house on the market and you’ve finally found the spot you can’t wait to call home. In fact, you’ve mentally decorated it and planned your new life, down to the barbecues and block parties you’ll have with your awesome new neighbors. Sweet!

Slow down there, dear buyer. As you know, you still have one giant hurdle to overcome: You’ve got to make the offer that wins the house. And in a highly competitive housing market, that can be easier said than done. Don’t blow your chances with any of these common home offer mistakes.

Finding Time for Fun in Real Estate

When you hire a real estate professional to help buy or sell a home, they can help free up time you would otherwise spend on sorting through listings, scheduling showings, or trying to figure out paperwork. You might even have time to focus on the fun parts of moving, such as:

  1. Building a Pinterest board of décor inspiration

Don’t have a particular design style in mind? No problem. Check out the RE/MAX Pinterest page for ideas.

  1. Clearing out the clutter with a yard sale

Remember, each thing you sell is one less thing you’ll have to pack – and unpack. Here are some top yard sale tips.

  1. Planning your housewarming party

You’ll want to show off the new place – especially after you’ve made it Pinterest perfect. Put together a Facebook event and start thinking about party favors to thank friends who helped you move in.

  1. Bargain shopping for furniture

There are plenty of options for you to furnish your new nest without breaking the bank. Here are six places to find furniture within your budget.

It’s easier to find time to prepare for your move if your agent does the heavy lifting. I’ll be happy to help; contact me today!