lake county real estate. and then some…

selling homes…a family tradition


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Did you know that unmarried couples purchase their first home an average of 3 years before a married couple does?

Are You Wondering What It Takes To Buy Your First Home? | Keeping Current Matters

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

First-Time Homebuyer Statistics | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Meet with a local real estate professional today who can help determine if your dream home is within your grasp.


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Do you believe that “owing a place of your own” is one of the most appealing aspects of homeownership?

You aren’t along. Twenty-six percent of US households agree with you. What’s the number one reason…  
 

The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their first issue of the Housing Opportunities & Market Experience Survey (HOME). In the report, NAR revealed what Americans believe to be the most appealing aspects of homeownership.

Here is a graph showing the results:

The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership | Keeping Current Matters

It is interesting to see that the two most appealing aspects had nothing to do with money, but instead, addressed the non-financial benefits of homeownership.

 


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If you are thinking that 2016 is your year to move…

listing your home sooner than later may put you at a selling advantage. Last January, housing was off to a slow start due to the bitterly cold weather. This year, a lack of inventory is the driving force in slow sales. 
 

Lack-Of-InveLack of Listings Slowing Down the Housing Market | Keeping Current Matters

The housing crisis is finally in the rear view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2016 will be the year that the housing market again races forward.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout this winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

Calculated Risk:

“Low inventory is probably holding down sales in many areas.”

Capital Economics:

“A lack of housing inventory continues to drive developments in the market. As demand has slowly recovered, low inventory levels have weighed on home sales.”

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic:

“Many markets have experienced a low inventory of homes for sale along with strong buyer demand… These conditions are likely to persist as we enter 2016.”

Doug Duncan,Chief Economist at Fannie Mae:

“Several factors point to constrained housing affordability in 2016, particularly for first-time home buyers, including slow single-family supply response and limited inventory of starter homes on the market.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Sparse inventory and affordability issues continue to impede a large pool of buyers’ ability to buy, which is holding back sales.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

 


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Thinking about signing a lease? You may want to think again…

The median asking rent is at its’ highest point since 1988. 

 

 When Is It A Good Time To Rent? NOT Now! | Keeping Current Matters People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau recently released their third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Median Asking Rents | Keeping Current Matters

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that rents rose “faster last year than at any time since 2007, a boon for landlords but one that has stoked concerns about housing affordability for renters.”

 The article also cited results from a recent Reis Inc report which revealed that average effective rents rose 4.6% in 2015, the biggest gain since before the recession. Over the past 15 years, rents have risen at a rate of 2.7% annually.

Where are rents headed?

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com recently warned that:

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.” 

Bottom Line

According to the WSJ article:

“In general, the higher rents go, the more difficult it will be for young people to save for down payments, making them likely to rent even longer.”

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, meet with a local real estate professional who can help determine if you are able to today!




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Buying a home in 2016?

As we head into the spring, the time of year when most buyers will begin their home search, here are 3 good questions to ask yourself… 
Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Answering the following 3 questions will help you determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait till next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately three-quarters of a percent over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.


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Selling your home in 2016?

Here are just some of the areas that I can provide assist in… 
5-Reasons-to-Resolve-KCMHere are just some of the areas that I can provide assist in… 


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I want to buy a home. But I can’t because…

Most renters want to buy a home, however they are reluctant to begin the buying process due to their concerns over lack of a down payment, poor credit scores or a debt ratio that may be too high. The reality of those concerns, is that many of them can be resolved.

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real? | Keeping Current Matters

Yesterday, we discussed the belief Americans have in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream. We also discussed some of the obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that many of the obstacles mentioned are perceived, not real.

A recent study by Fannie Mae, What Do Consumers Know About The Mortgage Qualification Criteria?, revealed that many consumers are either unsure or misinformed regarding the minimum requirements necessary to obtain a mortgage. Let’s break down three such challenges.

Down Payment

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate down payment is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 40% of all renters don’t know what down payment is required
  • 15% think you need at least 20% down
  • An additional 4% think you need at least 10% down

The Reality

There are programs offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA that require as little as 3-3.5% down. VA and USDA loans offer 0% down programs. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for a first time buyer is 6%.

Credit Score

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate credit score is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 54% of all renters don’t know what credit score is required
  • 5% think you need at least a 740 credit score

The Reality

Many mortgages are granted to purchasers with a credit score of less than 700. According to Ellie Mae, the average credit score on a closed FHA purchase is 687 and the average credit score on all loans is 722.

Back End Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that they carry too much debt which is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 59% of all renters don’t know what DTI is acceptable
  • 25% think you need at under 25%
  • 7% think you need under 39%

The Reality

Lenders like to see a back-end ratio that does not exceed 36%. Fannie Mae’s maximum total DTI ratio is 36% of the borrower’s stable monthly income. The maximum can be exceeded up to 45% based on credit score and other requirements.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of knowledge or misinformation keep your family from buying a home this year. Meet with a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to buy now!


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Owning a home has always been considered to be a big part of “living the American Dream”…

According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, Americans still believe in home ownership.  
 
 Homeownership Still Part of the American Dream | Keeping Current MattersThe National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released the first edition of their Housing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey (H.O.M.E.). NAR explained that the report covers:

“…core topics that will be tracked on a monthly basis such as views on housing as a good financial investment, whether homeownership is part of the American Dream…”

The current survey confirmed two long standing beliefs regarding homeownership:

1. Americans at every income level believe homeownership is part of the American Dream

Homeownership is a Part of the American Dream | Keeping Current Matters

2.)  Americans at every age believe that homeownership is a good financial decision

Homeownership is a Good Financial Decision | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Americans in all age groups and income levels believe in homeownership as a piece of their American Dream. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you determine if you are able to.


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Yes. Real estate had some rocky years recently. But…

Did you know that real estate was one of the top investments in 2015?  Maybe it is time to stop renting…

 

Real Estate Shines as an Investment in 2015 | Keeping Current Matters

A survey by The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that when a family is buying a home they consider the financial benefits of homeownership along with the social benefits. The survey mentions things like:

  • Paying rent does not make sense
  • Homeownership provides a good financial opportunity
  • Owning a home helps you building family wealth
  • Buying a home is investing in your retirement
  • Home equity gives you something to borrow against

So how did homeownership match up against other investments in 2015? Here is a chart that compares its return on investment against precious metals and the stock market last year:

2015 Return on Investment | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Not only did homeownership offer all its social benefits. It also was a great investment financially.