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If you’ve put your dream of homeownership on hold, the second half of 2024 may be your chance to jump back in. Let’s connect to talk more about the opportunities you have in today’s market.

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There’s no arguing this past year has been difficult for homebuyers. And if you’re someone who has started the process of searching for a home, maybe you put your search on hold because the challenges in today’s market felt like too much to tackle. You’re not alone in that. A Bright MLS study found some of the top reasons buyers paused their search in late 2023 and early 2024 were:

  • They couldn’t find anything in their price range
  • They didn’t have any successful offers or had difficulty competing
  • They couldn’t find the right home

If any of these sound like why you stopped looking, here’s what you need to know. The housing market is in a transition in the second half of 2024. Here are four reasons why this may be your chance to jump back in.

1. The Supply of Homes for Sale Is Growing

One of the most significant shifts in the market this year is how the months’ supply of homes for sale has increased. If you look at data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), you’ll see how inventory has grown throughout 2024 (see graph below): No Caption Received


This graph shows the months’ supply of existing homes – homes that were previously lived in by another homeowner. The upward trend this year is clear.

This increase means you have a better chance of finding a home that suits your needs and preferences. And if the biggest reason you put off your home search was difficulty finding the right home, this is a big relief.

2. There’s More New Home Construction

And if you still don’t see an existing home you like, another big opportunity lies in the rise of new home construction. Builders have worked to increase the supply of newly built homes this year. And they’ve turned their attention to crafting smaller, more affordable homes based on what’s most needed in today’s market. This helps address the long-standing issue of housing undersupply throughout the country, and those smaller homes also offset some of the affordability challenges you’re feeling today.

According to data from the Census and NAR, one in three homes on the market is a newly built home (see graph below):No Caption Received


This means, that if you didn’t previously look at newly built homes as part of your search, you may have been cutting your pool of options by a third. Not to mention, some builders are also offering incentives like buying down mortgage rates to make it easier for buyers to get a home that fits their budget.

So, consider talking to your agent about what builders have to offer in your area. Your agent’s expertise on builder reputations, contracts, and more will help you weigh your options.

3. Less Buyer Competition

Mortgage rates are still hovering around 7%, so buyer demand isn’t as fierce as it once was. And when you combine that with more housing supply, you have a better chance of avoiding an intense bidding war. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, highlights the positive trend for the latter half of 2024, saying:

Home shoppers who persist could see better conditions in the second half of the year, which tends to be somewhat less competitive seasonally, and might be even more so since inventory is likely to reach five-year highs.”

This creates a unique opportunity for you to find a home you want to buy with less stress and at a potentially better price.

4. Home Prices Are Moderating

Speaking of prices, home prices are also showing signs of moderation – and that’s a welcome shift after the rapid appreciation seen in recent years (see graph below): No Caption Received


This moderation is mostly due to supply and demand. Supply is growing and demand is easing, so prices aren’t rising as fast. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean prices are falling – they’re just rising at a more normal pace. You can see this in the graph. The bars are still showing prices increasing, just not as dramatic as it was before.

The average forecast for home price appreciation in 2024 is for positive growth around 3% to 5%, which is more in line with historical norms. That moderation means that you are less likely to face the steep price increases we saw a few years ago.

The Opportunity in Front of You

If you’re ready and able to buy, you may find that the second half of 2024 is a bit easier to navigate. There are still challenges, but some of the biggest hurdles you’ve faced are getting better as time wears on.

On the other hand, you could choose to wait. But if you do, here’s the risk you run. As more buyers recognize the shift in the market, competition will grow again. On a similar note, if mortgage rates do come down (as forecasts say), more buyers will flood back into the market. So, making a move now helps you take advantage of the current market conditions and get ahead of those other buyers.

[created_at] => 2024-07-11T14:20:02Z [description] =>

There’s no arguing this past year has been difficult for homebuyers.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240711/20240718-Unlocking-Homebuyer-Opportunities-in-2024-original.png [id] => 56653 [kcm_ig_caption] => There’s no arguing this past year has been difficult for homebuyers. And if you’re someone who has started the process of searching for a home, maybe you put your search on hold because the challenges in today’s market felt like too much to tackle. You’re not alone in that. A Bright MLS study found some of the top reasons buyers paused their search in late 2023 and early 2024 were: • They couldn’t find anything in their price range • They didn’t have any successful offers or had difficulty competing • They couldn’t find the right home If any of these sound like why you stopped looking, here’s what you need to know. The housing market is in a transition in the second half of 2024. Here are four reasons why this may be your chance to jump back in. 1. The Supply of Homes for Sale Is Growing 2. There’s More New Home Construction 3. Less Buyer Competition 4. Home Prices Are Moderating The Opportunity in Front of You If you’re ready and able to buy, you may find that the second half of 2024 is a bit easier to navigate. On the other hand, you could choose to wait. But if you do, here’s the risk you run. As more buyers recognize the shift in the market, competition will grow again. On a similar note, if mortgage rates do come down (as forecasts say), more buyers will flood back into the market. So, making a move now helps you take advantage of the current market conditions and get ahead of those other buyers. If you’ve put your dream of homeownership on hold, the second half of 2024 may be your chance to jump back in. Let’s connect to talk more about the opportunities you have in today’s market. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => opportunity,firsttimehomebuyer,keepingcurrentmatters,, [kcm_ig_quote] => Unlocking homebuyer opportunities in 2024. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’ve put your dream of homeownership on hold, the second half of 2024 may be your chance to jump back in. Connect with a real estate agent to talk more about the opportunities you have in today’s market.

[published_at] => 2024-07-18T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => unlocking-homebuyer-opportunities-in-2024 [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Unlocking Homebuyer Opportunities in 2024 [updated_at] => 2024-07-18T10:30:07Z [url] => /2024/07/18/unlocking-homebuyer-opportunities-in-2024/ )

Unlocking Homebuyer Opportunities in 2024

There’s no arguing this past year has been difficult for homebuyers.

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The right asking price is even more important today than it’s been over the last few years. To avoid making a costly mistake, let’s work together.

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If you’re thinking about selling your house, here’s something you really need to know. Even though it’s still a seller’s market today, you can’t pick just any price for your listing.

While home prices are still appreciating in most areas, they’re climbing at a slower pace because higher mortgage rates are putting a squeeze on buyer demand. At the same time, the supply of homes for sale is growing. That means buyers have more options and your house may not stand out as much, if it’s not priced right.

Those two factors combined are why the asking price you set for your house is more important today than it has been in recent years.

And some sellers are finding that out the hard way. That’s leading to more price reductions. Mike Simonsen, Founder and President of ALTOS Research, explains:

“Looking at the price reductions data set . . . It all fits in the same pattern of increasing supply and homebuyer demand that is just exhausted by high mortgage rates. . . As home sellers are faced with less demand than they expected, more of them have to reduce their prices.”

That’s because they haven’t adjusted their expectations to today’s market. Maybe they’re not working with an agent, so they don’t know what’s happening around them. Or they’re not using an agent who prioritizes being a local market expert. Either way, they aren’t basing their pricing decision on the latest data available – and that’s a miss.

If you want to avoid making a pricing mistake that could turn away buyers and delay your sale, you need to work with an agent who really knows your local market. If you lean on the right agent, they’ll help you avoid making mistakes like:

  • Setting a Price That’s Too High: Some sellers have unrealistic expectations about how much their house is worth. That’s because they base their price on their gut or their bottom line, not the data. An agent will help you base your price on facts, not opinion, so you have a better chance of hitting the mark.
  • Not Considering What Houses Are Actually Selling for: Without an agent’s help, some sellers may use the wrong comparable sales (comps) in their area and misjudge the market value of their home. An agent has the expertise needed to find true comps. And they’ll use those to give you valuable insights into how to price your house in a way that’s competitive for you and your future buyer.
  • Overestimating Home Improvements: Sellers who have invested a significant amount of money in home improvements may overestimate how much those upgrades affect their home's value. While certain improvements can increase a home's appeal, not all upgrades are going to get a great return on their investment. An agent factors in what you’ve done and what buyers in your area actually want as they set the price.
  • Ignoring Feedback and Market Response: Some sellers may be resistant to lowering their asking price based on feedback they’re getting in open houses. An agent will remind the seller how important it is to be flexible and respond to market feedback in order to attract qualified buyers.

In the end, accurate pricing depends on current market conditions – and only an agent has all the data and information necessary to find the right price for your house. The right agent will use that expertise to develop a pricing strategy that’s based on current market conditions and designed to get your house sold. That way you don’t miss the mark.

[created_at] => 2024-06-27T14:10:18Z [description] =>

If you’re thinking about selling your house, here’s something you really need to know.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240627/20240709-Why-Your-Asking-Price-Matters-Even-More-Right-Now-original.png [id] => 55665 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re thinking about selling your house, here’s something you really need to know. Even though it’s still a seller’s market today, you can’t pick just any price for your listing. While home prices are still appreciating in most areas, they’re climbing at a slower pace because higher mortgage rates are putting a squeeze on buyer demand. At the same time, the supply of homes for sale is growing. That means buyers have more options and your house may not stand out as much, if it’s not priced right. Those two factors combined are why the asking price you set for your house is more important today than it has been in recent years. And some sellers are finding that out the hard way. That’s leading to more price reductions. That’s because they haven’t adjusted their expectations to today’s market. If you want to avoid making a pricing mistake that could turn away buyers and delay your sale, you need to work with an agent who really knows your local market. If you lean on the right agent, they’ll help you avoid making mistakes like: • Setting a Price That’s Too High. • Not Considering What Houses Are Actually Selling for. • Overestimating Home Improvements. • Ignoring Feedback and Market Response. In the end, accurate pricing depends on current market conditions – and only an agent has all the data and information necessary to find the right price for your house. The right asking price is even more important today than it’s been over the last few years. To avoid making a costly mistake, let’s work together. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why your asking price matters even more right now. [public_bottom_line] =>

The right asking price is even more important today than it’s been over the last few years. To avoid making a costly mistake, connect with a local real estate agent. 

[published_at] => 2024-07-09T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-your-asking-price-matters-even-more-right-now [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Why Your Asking Price Matters Even More Right Now [updated_at] => 2024-07-09T10:30:45Z [url] => /2024/07/09/why-your-asking-price-matters-even-more-right-now/ )

Why Your Asking Price Matters Even More Right Now

If you’re thinking about selling your house, here’s something you really need to know.

3
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Affordability is still a challenge, so if you’re looking to buy, you’re going to want to make sure you’re taking advantage of any and all resources available.

The best way to find out what’s out there is to connect with a team of real estate professionals, including a trusted lender and a local agent. 

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There's no denying it's gotten more challenging to buy a home, especially with today's mortgage rates and home price appreciation. And that may be one of the big reasons you’re eager to look into grants and assistance programs to see if there’s anything you qualify for that can help. But unfortunately, many homebuyers feel like they don’t know where to start. 

A recent Bank of America Institute study asked prospective buyers where they lack confidence in the process and need more information. And this is what topped the list:

53% said they need help understanding homebuying grant programs.

So, here’s some information that can help you close that gap.

What Is Down Payment Assistance?

As the Mortgage Reports explains:

“Down payment assistance (DPA) programs offer loans and grants that can cover part or all of a home buyer’s down payment and closing costs. More than 2,000 of these programs are available nationwide. . . DPA programs vary by location, but many home buyers could be in line for thousands of dollars in down payment assistance if they qualify.”

And here’s some more good news. On top of all of these programs, you probably don’t need to save as much for your down payment as you think. Contrary to what you may have heard, typically you don’t have to put 20% down unless it’s specified by your loan type or lender. So, you likely don’t need to save as much upfront, and there are programs designed to make your down payment more achievable. Sounds like a win-win.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

It’s also worth mentioning, that it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible for many of these programs. That means whether you’re looking to buy your first house or your fifth, there could be an option for you. As Down Payment Resource notes:

You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 39% of all [homeownership] programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”

Additional Down Payment Resources That Can Help

Here are a few of the down payment assistance programs that are helping many buyers achieve their dream of homeownership, even now:

  • Teacher Next Door is designed to help teachers, first responders, health providers, government employees, active-duty military personnel, and Veterans reach their down payment goals.
  • Fannie Mae provides down payment assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers living in majority-Latino communities.
  • Freddie Mac also has options designed specifically for homebuyers with modest credit scores and limited funds for a down payment.
  • The 3By30 program lays out actionable strategies to add 3 million new Black homeowners by 2030. These programs offer valuable resources for potential buyers, making it easier to secure down payments and realize their dream of homeownership.
  • For Native Americans, Down Payment Resource highlights 42 U.S. homebuyer assistance programs across 14 states that ease the path to homeownership by providing support with down payments and other associated costs.

If you want more information on any of these, the best place to start is by contacting a trusted real estate professional.

They’ll be able to share more details about what may be available, including any other programs designed to serve specific professions or communities. And even if you don’t qualify for these types of programs, they can help see if there are any other federal, state, and local options available you should look into. 

[created_at] => 2024-06-11T15:03:10Z [description] =>

There's no denying it's gotten more challenging to buy a home, especially with today's mortgage rates and home price appreciation.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240611/20240619-What-You-Need-To-Know-About-Today-s-Down-Payment-Programs-original.png [id] => 54455 [kcm_ig_caption] => There's no denying it's gotten more challenging to buy a home, especially with today's mortgage rates and home price appreciation. And that may be one of the big reasons you’re eager to look into grants and assistance programs to see if there’s anything you qualify for that can help. But unfortunately, many homebuyers feel like they don’t know where to start. A recent Bank of America Institute study asked prospective buyers where they lack confidence in the process and need more information. And this is what topped the list: 53% said they need help understanding homebuying grant programs. So, here’s some information that can help you close that gap. What Is Down Payment Assistance? Contrary to what you may have heard, typically you don’t have to put 20% down unless it’s specified by your loan type or lender. So, you likely don’t need to save as much upfront, and there are programs designed to make your down payment more achievable. Sounds like a win-win. First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible It’s also worth mentioning, that it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible for many of these programs. That means whether you’re looking to buy your first house or your fifth, there could be an option for you. Affordability is still a challenge, so if you’re looking to buy, you’re going to want to make sure you’re taking advantage of any and all resources available. The best way to find out what’s out there is to connect with a team of real estate professionals, including a trusted lender and a local agent. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What you need to know about today’s down payment programs. [public_bottom_line] =>

Affordability is still a challenge, so if you’re looking to buy, you’re going to want to make sure you’re taking advantage of any and all resources available.

The best way to find out what’s out there is to connect with a team of real estate professionals, including a trusted lender and a local agent. 

[published_at] => 2024-06-19T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => what-you-need-to-know-about-todays-down-payment-programs [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => What You Need To Know About Today’s Down Payment Programs [updated_at] => 2024-06-19T10:30:13Z [url] => /2024/06/19/what-you-need-to-know-about-todays-down-payment-programs/ )

What You Need To Know About Today’s Down Payment Programs

There's no denying it's gotten more challenging to buy a home, especially with today's mortgage rates and home price appreciation.

4
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Remember, you can’t control what happens in the broader economy. But you can control the controllables.

Work with a trusted lender to go over the things you can do that’ll make a difference. By being strategic with these factors, you may be able to combat today’s higher rates and lock in the lowest one you can.

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Chances are you’re hearing a lot about mortgage rates right now. You may even see some headlines talking about last week’s Federal Reserve (the Fed) meeting and what it means for rates. But the Fed doesn’t determine mortgage rates, even if the headlines make it sound like they do.

The truth is, mortgage rates are impacted by a lot of factors: geo-political uncertainty, inflation and the economy, and more. And trying to pin down when all those factors will line up enough for rates to come down is tricky.

That’s why it’s generally not worth it to try to time the market. There’s too much at play that you can’t control. The best thing you can do is control the controllables.

And when it comes to rates, here’s what you can influence to make your moving plans a reality.

Your Credit Score

Credit scores can play a big role in your mortgage rate. As an article from CNET explains:

You can’t control the economic factors influencing interest rates. But you can get the best rate for your situation, and improving your credit score is the right place to start. Lenders look at your credit score to decide whether to approve you for a loan and at what interest rate. A higher credit score can help you secure a lower interest rate, maybe even better than the average.”

That’s why it’s even more important to maintain a good credit score right now. With rates where they are, you want to do what you can to get the best rate possible. If you want to focus on improving your score, your trusted loan officer can give you expert advice to help.

Your Loan Type

There are many types of loans, each offering different terms for qualified buyers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says:

There are several broad categories of mortgage loans, such as conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loans. Lenders decide which products to offer, and loan types have different eligibility requirements. Rates can be significantly different depending on what loan type you choose.”

When working with your team of real estate professionals, make sure you find out what’s available for your situation and which types of loans you may qualify for.

Your Loan Term

Another factor to consider is the term of your loan. Just like with loan types, you have options. Freddie Mac says:

When choosing the right home loan for you, it’s important to consider the loan term, which is the length of time it will take you to repay your loan before you fully own your home. Your loan term will affect your interest rate, monthly payment, and the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan.”

Depending on your situation, the length of your loan can also change your mortgage rate.

[created_at] => 2024-06-11T14:41:58Z [description] =>

Chances are you’re hearing a lot about mortgage rates right now.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240611/20240618-Worried-About-Mortgage-Rates-Control-the-Controllables-original.png [id] => 54452 [kcm_ig_caption] => Chances are you’re hearing a lot about mortgage rates right now. You may even see some headlines talking about last week’s Federal Reserve (the Fed) meeting and what it means for rates. But the Fed doesn’t determine mortgage rates, even if the headlines make it sound like they do. The truth is, mortgage rates are impacted by a lot of factors: geo-political uncertainty, inflation and the economy, and more. And trying to pin down when all those factors will line up enough for rates to come down is tricky. That’s why it’s generally not worth it to try to time the market. There’s too much at play that you can’t control. The best thing you can do is control the controllables. And when it comes to rates, here’s what you can influence to make your moving plans a reality. Your Credit Score Credit scores can play a big role in your mortgage rate. That’s why it’s even more important to maintain a good credit score right now. Your Loan Type There are many types of loans, each offering different terms for qualified buyers. When working with your team of real estate professionals, make sure you find out what’s available for your situation and which types of loans you may qualify for. Your Loan Term Another factor to consider is the term of your loan. Just like with loan types, you have options. Depending on your situation, the length of your loan can also change your mortgage rate. Remember, you can’t control what happens in the broader economy. But you can control the controllables. Work with a trusted lender to go over the things you can do that’ll make a difference. By being strategic with these factors, you may be able to combat today’s higher rates and lock in the lowest one you can. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Worried about mortgage rates? Control the controllables. [public_bottom_line] =>

Remember, you can’t control what happens in the broader economy. But you can control the controllables.

Let’s connect to go over the things you can do that’ll make a difference. By being strategic with these factors, you may be able to combat today’s higher rates and lock in the lowest one you can.

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Worried About Mortgage Rates? Control the Controllables

Chances are you’re hearing a lot about mortgage rates right now.

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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you want to find out how much equity you have and talk more about how it can make your next move possible, let’s connect.

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Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Today’s mortgage rates are higher than the one they currently have on their home, and that’s making it harder to want to sell and make a move. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

But what if there was a way to offset these higher borrowing costs? There is. And the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.

What Is Equity?

Think of equity as a simple math equation. Freddie Mac explains:

“. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.”

Your equity grows as you pay down your loan over time and as home prices climb. And thanks to the rapid home price appreciation we saw in recent years, you probably have a whole lot more of it than you realize.

The latest from the Census and ATTOM shows more than two out of three homeowners have either completely paid off their mortgages (shown in green in the chart below) or have at least 50% equity (shown in blue in the chart below):


That means the majority of homeowners have a game-changing amount of equity right now.

How Your Equity Can Help Fuel Your Move

After you sell your house, that equity can help you move without worrying as much about today’s mortgage rates. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com says:

“A consideration today's homeowners should review is what their home equity picture looks like. With the typical home listing price up 40% from just five years ago, many home sellers are sitting on a healthy equity cushion. This means they are likely to walk away from a home sale with proceeds that they can use to offset the amount of borrowing needed for their next home purchase.”

To give you some examples, here are a few ways you can use equity to buy your next home:

  • Be an all-cash buyer: If you’ve been living in your current home for a long time, you might have enough equity to buy your next home without having to take out a loan. If that’s the case, you won’t need to borrow any money or worry about mortgage rates. 
  • Make a larger down payment: Your equity could also be used toward your next down payment. It might even be enough to let you put a larger amount down, so you won’t have to borrow as much at today’s rates. 

The First Step: Determine How Much Equity You Have in Your Home

Want to find out how much equity you have? To do that, you’ll need two things:

  1. The current mortgage balance on your home
  2. The current value of your home

You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To understand the current market value of your house, you can pay hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate agent who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report (PEAR).

Once you’ve connected with a trusted local agent and run the numbers, you’re one step closer to making a move you may not have thought was realistic – all thanks to your equity.

[created_at] => 2024-05-31T17:29:00Z [description] =>

Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240531/20240606-Your-Equity-Could-Make-a-Move-Possible-original.png [id] => 53718 [kcm_ig_caption] => Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Today’s mortgage rates are higher than the one they currently have on their home, and that’s making it harder to want to sell and make a move. What Is Equity? Think of equity as a simple math equation. Your equity grows as you pay down your loan over time and as home prices climb. And thanks to the rapid home price appreciation we saw in recent years, you probably have a whole lot more of it than you realize. The latest from the Census and ATTOM shows more than two out of three homeowners have either completely paid off their mortgages. That means the majority of homeowners have a game-changing amount of equity right now. How Your Equity Can Help Fuel Your Move • Be an all-cash buyer • Make a larger down payment The First Step: Determine How Much Equity You Have in Your Home Want to find out how much equity you have? To do that, you’ll need two things: 1. The current mortgage balance on your home 2. The current value of your home You can probably find the mortgage balance on your monthly mortgage statement. To understand the current market value of your house, you can pay hundreds of dollars for an appraisal, or you can contact a local real estate agent who will be able to present to you, at no charge, a professional equity assessment report (PEAR). Once you’ve connected with a trusted local agent and run the numbers, you’re one step closer to making a move you may not have thought was realistic – all thanks to your equity. If you want to find out how much equity you have and talk more about how it can make your next move possible, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => housingmarket,makememove,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Your equity could make a move possible. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you want to find out how much equity you have and talk more about how it can make your next move possible, connect with a local real estate professional.

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Your Equity Could Make a Move Possible

Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now.

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If you’re looking to make a move this June, let’s chat so you know what to expect. We’ll come up with a plan that factors in current market conditions, but still works for you.

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June is a busy month in the housing market because a lot of people buy and sell this time of year. So, if you’ve got a move on your mind and you’re looking to make it happen this month, here’s a snapshot of what you need to know to make sure you’re ready.

If You’re Buying This June

A lot of homebuyers with children like to move after one school year ends and before the next one begins. That’s one reason why late spring into summer is a popular time for homes to change hands. And whether that’s a motivator for you or not, it’s important to realize more buyers are going to be looking right now – and that means you’ll want to be ready for a bit more competition. But there is a silver lining to a move this time of year. This is also when more sellers will list – so you should find you have more options. As an article from Bankrate says:

Late spring and early summer are the busiest and most competitive time of year for the real estate market. There’s usually more inventory listed for sale than other times of year . . . This is a double-edged sword for a buyer, as you will be met with more opportunities but [also] much more competition.”

During this busy season, it’s extra important to work with a trusted real estate agent. Your agent will help you stay on top of the latest listings, share expertise on how to make a strong offer in a competitive market, and give you insight into things like what the home is actually worth so you can make an informed decision when you buy. As Forbes says:

Approaching the market confidently, armed with good information and grounded expectations will take you far. Don't let the hustle of the market convince you to buy something that’s not in your budget, or not right for your lifestyle.”

If You’re Selling This June

Because there are more buyers this time of year, you’re in a great spot as a seller. Many of those buyers are highly motivated to make their move happen before the next school year kicks off – so they’ll likely put in strong offers to try to make that possible. That means, if your house shows well and is listed at market value, you could see your house sell faster or for a higher price. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Warmer weather and the end of the school year encourage more people to buy and sell, respectively. Buyers are looking to move and settle before the new school year begins, contributing to increased competition and, consequently, higher prices.”

You want to be sure you’ve got a great agent on your side to help you with the contingencies on those offers and any negotiations that take place so you can pick the best offer. Make sure you go over closing dates with your agent. Buyers trying to time their move with the school year may need to delay a bit or move faster. This can depend on the school calendar where you live. As U.S. News Real Estate explains:

“ . . if your house goes under contract in early summer, the buyer may ask for a delay in closing or move-in until the school year finishes or their current home has sold. Alternatively, a buyer later in summer may be looking to close quickly and move in under a month. Remain flexible to keep the deal running smoothly, and your buyer may be willing to throw in concessions, like covering some of your closing costs or overlooking the old roof.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-29T14:45:36Z [description] =>

June is a busy month in the housing market because a lot of people buy and sell this time of year.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240529/20240604-What-To-Expect-if-You-Buy-or-Sell-a-Home-This-June.png [id] => 53485 [kcm_ig_caption] => June is a busy month in the housing market because a lot of people buy and sell this time of year. So, if you’ve got a move on your mind and you’re looking to make it happen this month, here’s a snapshot of what you need to know to make sure you’re ready. If You’re Buying This June A lot of homebuyers with children like to move after one school year ends and before the next one begins. That’s one reason why late spring into summer is a popular time for homes to change hands. And whether that’s a motivator for you or not, it’s important to realize more buyers are going to be looking right now – and that means you’ll want to be ready for a bit more competition. But there is a silver lining to a move this time of year. This is also when more sellers will list – so you should find you have more options. During this busy season, it’s extra important to work with a trusted real estate agent. If You’re Selling This June Because there are more buyers this time of year, you’re in a great spot as a seller. Many of those buyers are highly motivated to make their move happen before the next school year kicks off – so they’ll likely put in strong offers to try to make that possible. That means, if your house shows well and is listed at market value, you could see your house sell faster or for a higher price. You want to be sure you’ve got a great agent on your side to help you with the contingencies on those offers and any negotiations that take place so you can pick the best offer. If you’re looking to make a move this June, let’s chat so you know what to expect. We’ll come up with a plan that factors in current market conditions, but still works for you. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestateblog,realestatemarket,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What to expect if you buy or sell a home this June. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re looking to make a move this June, chat with a real estate agent so you know what to expect and how to plan for current market conditions.

[published_at] => 2024-06-04T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => what-to-expect-if-you-buy-or-sell-a-home-this-june [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => What To Expect if You Buy or Sell a Home This June [updated_at] => 2024-06-26T16:58:07Z [url] => /2024/06/04/what-to-expect-if-you-buy-or-sell-a-home-this-june/ )

What To Expect if You Buy or Sell a Home This June

June is a busy month in the housing market because a lot of people buy and sell this time of year.

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Mistakes can cost you time, frustration, and money. If you want to buy a home in today’s market, let’s connect so you have a pro on your side who can help you avoid these missteps.

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Buyers face challenges in any market – and today’s is no different. With higher mortgage rates and rising prices, plus the limited supply of homes for sale, there’s a lot to consider.

But, there's one way to avoid getting tripped up – and that’s leaning on a real estate agent for the best possible advice. An expert’s insights will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes homebuyers are making right now.

Putting Off Pre-approval

As part of the homebuying process, a lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you for your mortgage. This gives you a good idea of what you can borrow so you can really wrap your head around the financial side of things before you start looking at homes. While house hunting can be a lot more fun than talking about finances, you don’t want to do this out of order. Make sure you get your pre-approval first. As CNET explains:

“If you wait to get preapproved until the last minute, you might be scrambling to contact a lender and miss the opportunity to put a bid on a home.”

Holding Out for Perfection

While you may have a long list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, you need to be realistic about your home search. Even though your ideal state is you find a home that checks every box, you may need to be willing to compromise – especially since inventory is still low. Plus, a home that has everything you want may be too pricey. As Investopedia puts it:

When you expect to find the perfect home, you could prolong the homebuying process by holding out for something better. Or you could end up paying more for a home just because it meets all your needs.”

Instead, look for something that has most of your must-haves and good bones where you can add anything else you may need down the line.

Buying More House Than You Can Afford

With today’s mortgage rates and home prices, there’s no arguing it’s expensive to buy a home. And while it may be tempting to stretch your finances a bit further than you’re comfortable with to make sure you get the house, you want to avoid overextending your budget. Make sure you talk to your agent about how changing mortgage rates impact your monthly payment. Bankrate offers this advice:

“Focus on what monthly payment you can afford rather than fixating on the maximum loan amount you qualify for. Just because you can qualify for a $300,000 loan doesn’t mean you can comfortably handle the monthly payments that come with it along with your other financial obligations. Every borrower’s case is different, so factor in your whole financial profile when determining how much house you can afford.”

Not Working with a Local Real Estate Agent

This last one may be the most important of all. Buying a home is a process that involves a lot of steps, paperwork, negotiation, and more. Rather than take all of this on yourself, it’s a good idea to have a pro working with you. The right agent will reduce your stress and help the process go smoothly. As CNET explains:

Attempting to buy a home without a real estate agent makes the process more arduous than it needs to be. A real estate agent can give you professional legal guidance, market expertise and support, which will save you time, money and stress. They can also increase your chances of finding the right home so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the internet for listings.”  
[created_at] => 2024-05-22T14:06:17Z [description] =>

Buyers face challenges in any market – and today’s is no different.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240522/20240530-The-Biggest-Mistakes-Buyers-Are-Making-Today.png [id] => 52922 [kcm_ig_caption] => Buyers face challenges in any market – and today’s is no different. With higher mortgage rates and rising prices, plus the limited supply of homes for sale, there’s a lot to consider. Putting Off Pre-approval As part of the homebuying process, a lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you for your mortgage. This gives you a good idea of what you can borrow so you can really wrap your head around the financial side of things before you start looking at homes. Make sure you get your pre-approval first. Holding Out for Perfection While you may have a long list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, you need to be realistic about your home search. Even though your ideal state is you find a home that checks every box, you may need to be willing to compromise – especially since inventory is still low. Buying More House Than You Can Afford With today’s mortgage rates and home prices, there’s no arguing it’s expensive to buy a home. Make sure you talk to your agent about how changing mortgage rates impact your monthly payment. Not Working with a Local Real Estate Agent This last one may be the most important of all. Buying a home is a process that involves a lot of steps, paperwork, negotiation, and more. Rather than take all of this on yourself, it’s a good idea to have a pro working with you. The right agent will reduce your stress and help the process go smoothly. Mistakes can cost you time, frustration, and money. If you want to buy a home in today’s market, let’s connect so you have a pro on your side who can help you avoid these missteps. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => homegoals,houseshopping,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => The biggest mistakes buyers are making today. [public_bottom_line] =>

Mistakes can cost you time, frustration, and money. If you want to buy a home in today’s market, connect with a local real estate agent so you have a pro on your side who can help you avoid these missteps.

[published_at] => 2024-05-30T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => the-biggest-mistakes-buyers-are-making-today [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making Today [updated_at] => 2024-05-30T10:30:24Z [url] => /2024/05/30/the-biggest-mistakes-buyers-are-making-today/ )

The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making Today

Buyers face challenges in any market – and today’s is no different.

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If you’ve had these three questions on your mind and they’ve been holding you back from selling, hopefully, it helps to have this information now. A recent survey from Realtor.com shows more than 85% of potential sellers have been considering selling for over a year. That means there are a number of sellers like you who are on the fence.

But that same survey also talked to sellers who recently decided to take the plunge and list. And 79% of those recent sellers wish they’d sold sooner.

If you want to talk more about any of these questions or need more information, let’s connect.

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There’s no denying mortgage rates are having a big impact on today’s housing market. And that may leave you with some questions about whether it still makes sense to sell your house and make a move.

Here are three of the top questions you may be asking – and the data that helps answer them.

1. Should I Wait To Sell?

If you’re thinking about waiting to sell until after mortgage rates come down, here’s what you need to know. So are a ton of other people.

And while mortgage rates are still forecasted to come down later this year, if you wait for that to happen, you may be dealing with a lot more competition as other buyers and sellers jump back in too. As Bright MLS says:

“Even a modest drop in rates will bring both more buyers and more sellers into the market.”

That means if you wait it out, you’ll have to deal with things like prices rising faster and more multiple-offer scenarios when you buy your next home.

2. Are Buyers Still Out There?

But that doesn’t mean no one is moving right now. While some people are holding off, there are still plenty of buyers active today. And here’s the data to prove it.

The ShowingTime Showing Index is a measure of how frequently buyers are touring homes. The graph below uses that index to show buyer activity for March (the latest data available) over the past seven years:No Caption Received


You can see demand has dipped some since the ‘unicorn’ years (shown in pink). That’s in response to a lot of market factors, like higher mortgage rates, rising prices, and limited inventory. But, to really understand today’s demand, you have to compare where we are now with the last normal years in the market (2018-2019) – not the abnormal ‘unicorn’ years. 

When you focus on just the blue bars, you can get an idea of how 2024 stacks up. And that gives you a whole new perspective.

Nationally, demand is still high compared to the last normal years in the housing market (2018-2019). And that means there’s still a market for your house to sell.

3. Can I Afford To Buy My Next Home?

And if you’re worried about how you’ll afford your next move with today’s rates and prices, consider this: you probably have more equity in your current home than you realize.

Homeowners have gained record amounts of equity over the past few years. And that equity can make a big difference when you buy your next home. You may even have enough to be an all-cash buyer and avoid taking out a mortgage altogether. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“ . . . those who have earned housing equity through home price appreciation are the current winners in today's housing market. One-third of recent home buyers did not finance their home purchase last month—the highest share in a decade. For these buyers, interest rates may be less influential in their purchase decisions.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-21T13:43:53Z [description] =>

There’s no denying mortgage rates are having a big impact on today’s housing market.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240521/20240523-Questions-You-May-Have-About-Selling-Your-House.png [id] => 52818 [kcm_ig_caption] => There’s no denying mortgage rates are having a big impact on today’s housing market. And that may leave you with some questions about whether it still makes sense to sell your house and make a move. 1. Should I Wait To Sell? If you’re thinking about waiting to sell until after mortgage rates come down, here’s what you need to know. So are a ton of other people. And while mortgage rates are still forecasted to come down later this year, if you wait for that to happen, you may be dealing with a lot more competition as other buyers and sellers jump back in too. That means if you wait it out, you’ll have to deal with things like prices rising faster and more multiple-offer scenarios when you buy your next home. 2. Are Buyers Still Out There? But that doesn’t mean no one is moving right now. While some people are holding off, there are still plenty of buyers active today. Nationally, demand is still high compared to the last normal years in the housing market (2018-2019). And that means there’s still a market for your house to sell. 3. Can I Afford To Buy My Next Home? And if you’re worried about how you’ll afford your next move with today’s rates and prices, consider this: you probably have more equity in your current home than you realize. Homeowners have gained record amounts of equity over the past few years. And that equity can make a big difference when you buy your next home. If you’ve had these three questions on your mind and they’ve been holding you back from selling, hopefully, it helps to have this information now. If you want to talk more about any of these questions or need more information, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Questions you may have about selling your house. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’ve had these three questions on your mind and they’ve been holding you back from selling, hopefully, it helps to have this information now. A recent survey from Realtor.com found more than 85% of potential sellers have been considering selling for over a year. That means there are a number of sellers like you who are on the fence.

But that same survey also talked to sellers who recently decided to take the plunge and list. And 79% of those recent sellers wish they’d sold sooner.

If you want to talk more about any of these questions or need more information, contact a real estate agent.

[published_at] => 2024-05-23T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => questions-you-may-have-about-selling-your-house [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Questions You May Have About Selling Your House [updated_at] => 2024-05-23T10:30:05Z [url] => /2024/05/23/questions-you-may-have-about-selling-your-house/ )

Questions You May Have About Selling Your House

There’s no denying mortgage rates are having a big impact on today’s housing market.

9
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Big investors aren’t buying all the homes out there. If you've got questions about what you're hearing about the housing market, let's chat. I can help you understand what's really going on.

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Are big investors really buying up all the homes today?

If you’re trying to find a house to buy, this may be something you’re wondering about. Maybe you’ve read about it or seen reels on social media saying investors buying all the homes is making it even harder to find what the average buyer is looking for. But spoiler alert – there’s a lot of misinformation out there. To clear things up, here's the scoop on what's really happening. A lot of the big investor activity is actually in the rearview mirror already.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) explains:

“Investors of all sizes spent billions of dollars buying homes during the pandemic. At the 2022 peak, they bought more than one in every four single-family homes sold, though more recently their activity has slowed as interest rates rose and supply became tighter.”

The key here is investor activity has slowed significantly, and even during the peak of investor buying, 3 out of every 4 single-family homes purchased were by regular, everyday buyers – not investors. And of the investors who bought over the past few years, most weren’t the big investors you may be hearing about. The vast majority were small mom-and-pop investors – people like your neighbors who own only a couple of homes, maybe even just their main residence and a vacation home.

But let’s focus on the giant, mega-investor firms since that's what is being talked about so frequently on social media right now. Mega investors are those who own 1,000+ properties. You may be surprised to see that, according to the Wall Street Journal, they don’t buy all that many homes (see graph below):

No Caption Received


This graph tells us two things. First, institutional investors were never buying a large percentage of available homes. During the peak in 2022, they bought about 2% of available single-family homes. Second, that percentage has gotten even smaller recently (so small the number rounds down to 0%).

In an effort to understand why that percentage is trending down, private lender RCN Capital asked investors about the challenges they’re facing. Here’s what Jeffrey Tesch, CEO of RCN Capital, found out:

“Investors are already facing many challenges in today’s housing market – rising prices, limited inventory, and higher financing costs.”

Understanding these challenges is important because they show big, mega investors aren’t taking over the housing market.

So, don't fall for everything you hear. They aren't snatching up all the homes and making it impossible for regular people to buy

[created_at] => 2024-05-20T17:48:14Z [description] =>

Are big investors really buying up all the homes today?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240520/20240522-How-Many-Homes-Are-Investors-Actually-Buying.png [id] => 52768 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are big investors really buying up all the homes today? If you’re trying to find a house to buy, this may be something you’re wondering about. To clear things up, here's the scoop on what's really happening. A lot of the big investor activity is actually in the rearview mirror already. The key here is investor activity has slowed significantly, and even during the peak of investor buying, 3 out of every 4 single-family homes purchased were by regular, everyday buyers – not investors. And of the investors who bought over the past few years, most weren’t the big investors you may be hearing about. The vast majority were small mom-and-pop investors – people like your neighbors who own only a couple of homes, maybe even just their main residence and a vacation home. But let’s focus on the giant, mega-investor firms since that's what is being talked about so frequently on social media right now. Mega investors are those who own 1,000+ properties. You may be surprised to see that, according to the Wall Street Journal, they don’t buy all that many homes. First, institutional investors were never buying a large percentage of available homes. During the peak in 2022, they bought about 2% of available single-family homes. Second, that percentage has gotten even smaller recently (so small the number rounds down to 0%). So, don't fall for everything you hear. They aren't snatching up all the homes and making it impossible for regular people to buy. Big investors aren’t buying all the homes out there. If you've got questions about what you're hearing about the housing market, let's chat. I can help you understand what's really going on. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestatenews,realestateagent,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => How many homes are investors actually buying? [public_bottom_line] =>

Big investors aren’t buying all the homes out there. If you've got questions about what you're hearing about the housing market, chat with a local real estate agent. They can help you understand what's really going on.

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How Many Homes Are Investors Actually Buying?

Are big investors really buying up all the homes today?

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Whether you choose a newly built or an existing home, you may be able to ease some of your concerns over maintenance with a home warranty. To weigh your options and go over what’s the top priority for you, talk to the professionals.

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If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is because you’re worried about the upkeep, here’s some information you may find interesting on both new home construction and existing homes (a home that’s been lived in by a previous owner).

Newly Built Homes Need Less Upfront Maintenance

If you can afford it, you may find a newly built home could help ease your worries about maintenance costs. Think about it, if everything in the house is brand new, it won’t have the wear and tear you may see in an existing home – and that means it’s less likely to need repairs. As LendingTree says:

“Since the systems, appliances, roof and foundation are new, you’re less likely to pay for major or minor repairs within the first few years of homeownership. That can make a big difference for first-time homebuyers who are adjusting to owning rather than renting.”

Plus, many builders also have warranties on their homes that would cover some of the more major expenses that could pop up. As First American explains:

The new systems in your home, like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, are typically covered for one to two years by your builder’s warranty. When something happens to these systems, you contact the builder or their warranty company.”

Existing Homes Can Still Have Great Perks

But it’s worth mentioning, that it’s not just newly built homes that can have warranties. It’s an option for existing homes too.

Your agent may be able to help you negotiate with the seller to add one as a concession on your contract. But you should know that not all sellers will be willing to do that. If they won’t, you could purchase one yourself, if you’d like to. An article from Forbes explains:

During a real estate transaction, a home warranty policy can be purchased by the buyer or the seller.”

And there are benefits for both parties when it comes to a home warranty. According to MarketWatch:

“A buyer’s home warranty benefits both buyers and sellers, as it helps the seller close the deal while providing the future homeowner with peace of mind that they’ll be covered if a system or appliance breaks down . . . Sometimes, a seller will pay for the first year of the home buyer’s warranty to sweeten the deal, but it depends on the real estate market.”

If you’re interested in a home warranty for peace of mind, lean on your agent. They’ll negotiate on your behalf to see if a seller would be willing to cover one for you. Just remember, the likelihood of a seller throwing one in depends on conditions in your local market.

So, Should I Buy New or Existing?

While the need for less upfront maintenance is a great perk for new construction, there are some things a newly built home can’t provide that an existing home can.

For example, existing homes have a lot of character and charm that’s difficult to reproduce. The quirks that come with an older home may make it feel more homey. And, existing homes usually have more developed landscaping and a well-established sense of community. So, it can feel more inviting than something that’s a blank slate, like new construction often is. Not to mention, if you go with new construction, you may have to wait for the home to finish being built based on where it is in the process. It all depends on what’s most important to you.

[created_at] => 2024-05-20T14:28:21Z [description] =>

If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is because you’re worried about the upkeep, here’s some information you may find interesting on both new home construction and existing homes.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240520/20240521-Worried-about-home-maintenance-costs-Consider-this..png [id] => 52689 [kcm_ig_caption] => If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is because you’re worried about the upkeep, here’s some information you may find interesting on both new home construction and existing homes (a home that’s been lived in by a previous owner). Newly Built Homes Need Less Upfront Maintenance If you can afford it, you may find a newly built home could help ease your worries about maintenance costs. Think about it, if everything in the house is brand new, it won’t have the wear and tear you may see in an existing home – and that means it’s less likely to need repairs. Plus, many builders also have warranties on their homes that would cover some of the more major expenses that could pop up. Existing Homes Can Still Have Great Perks But it’s worth mentioning, that it’s not just newly built homes that can have warranties. It’s an option for existing homes too. Your agent may be able to help you negotiate with the seller to add one as a concession on your contract. But you should know that not all sellers will be willing to do that. If they won’t, you could purchase one yourself, if you’d like to If you’re interested in a home warranty for peace of mind, lean on your agent. So, Should I Buy New or Existing? While the need for less upfront maintenance is a great perk for new construction, there are some things a newly built home can’t provide that an existing home can. Whether you choose a newly built or an existing home, you may be able to ease some of your concerns over maintenance with a home warranty. To weigh your options and go over what’s the top priority for you, talk to the professionals. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => makememove,homegoals,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Worried about home maintenance costs? Consider this. [public_bottom_line] =>

Whether you choose a newly built or an existing home, you may be able to ease some of your concerns over maintenance with a home warranty. To weigh your options and go over what’s the top priority for you, talk to the professionals.

[published_at] => 2024-05-21T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => worried-about-home-maintenance-costs-consider-this [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Worried About Home Maintenance Costs? Consider This [updated_at] => 2024-05-21T15:18:48Z [url] => /2024/05/21/worried-about-home-maintenance-costs-consider-this/ )

Worried About Home Maintenance Costs? Consider This

If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is because you’re worried about the upkeep, here’s some information you may find interesting on both new home construction and existing homes.

11
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Let’s connect to make sure you have the latest information available on home prices and mortgage rate expectations. Together we’ll go over what the experts are saying so you can make an informed decision on your move.

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If you’re thinking of making a move this year, there are two housing market factors that are probably on your mind: home prices and mortgage rates. You’re wondering what’s going to happen next. And if it’s worth it to move now, or better to wait it out.

The only thing you can really do is make the best decision you can based on the latest information available. So, here’s what experts are saying about both prices and rates.

1. What’s Next for Home Prices?

One reliable place you can turn to for information on home price forecasts is the Home Price Expectations Survey from Fannie Mae – a survey of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists.

According to the most recent release, experts are projecting home prices will continue to rise at least through 2028 (see the graph below):

No Caption Received


While the percent of appreciation varies year-to-year, this survey says we’ll see prices rise (not fall) for at least the next 5 years, and at a much more normal pace.

What does that mean for your move? If you buy now, your home will likely grow in value and you should gain equity in the years ahead. But, based on these forecasts, if you wait and prices continue to climb, the price of a home will only be higher later on. 

2. When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down?

This is the million-dollar question in the industry. And there’s no easy way to answer it. That’s because there are a number of factors that are contributing to the volatile mortgage rate environment we’re in. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains:

“Every month brings a new set of inflation and labor data that can influence the direction of mortgage rates. Ongoing inflation deceleration, a slowing economy and even geopolitical uncertainty can contribute to lower mortgage rates. On the other hand, data that signals upside risk to inflation may result in higher rates.”

What happens next will depend on where each of those factors goes from here. Experts are optimistic rates should still come down later this year, but acknowledge changing economic indicators will continue to have an impact. As a CNET article says:

“Though mortgage rates could still go down later in the year, housing market predictions change regularly in response to economic data, geopolitical events and more.”

So, if you’re ready, willing, and able to afford a home right now, partner with a trusted real estate advisor to weigh your options and decide what’s right for you. 

[created_at] => 2024-05-14T18:17:34Z [description] =>

If you’re thinking of making a move this year, there are two housing market factors that are probably on your mind: home prices and mortgage rates.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240514/20240520-What-s-Next-for-Home-Prices-and-Mortgage-Rates.png [featured_image_meta] => [id] => 52301 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re thinking of making a move this year, there are two housing market factors that are probably on your mind: home prices and mortgage rates. 1. What’s Next for Home Prices? One reliable place you can turn to for information on home price forecasts is the Home Price Expectations Survey from Fannie Mae – a survey of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. According to the most recent release, experts are projecting home prices will continue to rise at least through 2028. While the percent of appreciation varies year-to-year, this survey says we’ll see prices rise (not fall) for at least the next 5 years, and at a much more normal pace. 2. When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down? This is the million-dollar question in the industry. And there’s no easy way to answer it. That’s because there are a number of factors that are contributing to the volatile mortgage rate environment we’re in. What happens next will depend on where each of those factors goes from here. Experts are optimistic rates should still come down later this year, but acknowledge changing economic indicators will continue to have an impact. So, if you’re ready, willing, and able to afford a home right now, partner with a trusted real estate advisor to weigh your options and decide what’s right for you. DM me to make sure you have the latest information available on home prices and mortgage rate expectations. Together we’ll go over what the experts are saying so you can make an informed decision on your move. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => housingmarket,househunting,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What’s next for home prices and mortgage rates? [public_bottom_line] =>

Connect with a trusted real estate agent to make sure you have the latest information available on home prices and mortgage rate expectations. Together you’ll go over what the experts are saying so you can make an informed decision on your move.

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What’s Next for Home Prices and Mortgage Rates?

If you’re thinking of making a move this year, there are two housing market factors that are probably on your mind: home prices and mortgage rates.

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Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through this before, a great listing agent is the key to your success. Let’s connect so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process.

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Selling your house is a big decision. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ve probably ever made, and it’s a place where you’ve created countless memories. That combo means there’s going to be a lot of emotions involved. You want someone who understands your perspective, knows what it feels like, and is an expert at helping homeowners just like you navigate the process of selling a home.

That’s where a good listing agent, also known as a seller's agent, comes in. Here are just a few skills you’ll want your agent to have.

The Ability To Turn Something Complex into Something Simple

Some agents are going to use big, fancy real estate terms to try and impress you. But you shouldn’t have to know all the industry jargon in order to understand what they’re saying. If anything, it's an agent’s job to keep it simple, so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused.

A great agent is going to be someone who is very good at explaining what’s happening in the housing market in a way that’s easy to understand. But they’ll take it one step further than that. They’ll explain what’s going on and, specifically, what that means for you. That way you’re always in the loop and it's a lot easier to feel confident when you’re making a big decision. As Business Insider explains:

“Maybe you have a better rapport with one of the agents you're considering, or you just feel like they're easier to approach. You're going to be working closely with this person, so it's important to choose an agent you're comfortable with.”

A Data-Based Approach on How To Price Your House

While it may be tempting to pick the agent who suggests the highest asking price for your house, that strategy may cost you. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you see a bigger number, but overpricing your house can have consequences. It could mean your house will sit on the market longer because the higher price is actually turning away buyers.

Instead, partner with an agent who’s going to have an open conversation about how they recommend you should price your house. They won't throw out a number just to win your listing. A great agent will back up their number with solid data, explain their pricing strategy, and make sure you're both on the same page. As NerdWallet explains:

“An agent who recommends the highest price isn't always the best choice. Choose an agent who backs up the recommendation with market knowledge.”

A Fair, but Objective Negotiator

The home-selling process can be emotional, especially if you’ve been in your house for a long time. But that sentimental tie can make it harder to be objective during negotiations. That’s where a trusted professional can really make a difference.

They’re skilled negotiators who know how to stay calm under pressure. You can count on them to handle the back-and-forth and have your best interests at heart throughout the process. Not to mention, they’ll be able to rely on their market expertise and what they’re seeing work in other transactions to offer the best advice possible. As Rocket Mortgage explains:

“Whether this is your first or third time selling a house, listing agents work to help make the home selling process smoother and less stressful. These real estate professionals know the ins and outs of the industry and can help you secure the best deal.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-08T17:09:16Z [description] =>

Selling your house is a big decision.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240508/20240514-Thinking-of-Selling-You-Want-an-Agent-with-These-Skills.png [id] => 51779 [kcm_ig_caption] => Selling your house is a big decision. That’s where a good listing agent, also known as a seller's agent, comes in. Here are just a few skills you’ll want your agent to have. The Ability To Turn Something Complex into Something Simple Some agents are going to use big, fancy real estate terms to try and impress you. But you shouldn’t have to know all the industry jargon in order to understand what they’re saying. If anything, it's an agent’s job to keep it simple, so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused. A great agent is going to be someone who is very good at explaining what’s happening in the housing market in a way that’s easy to understand. A Data-Based Approach on How To Price Your House While it may be tempting to pick the agent who suggests the highest asking price for your house, that strategy may cost you. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement when you see a bigger number, but overpricing your house can have consequences. It could mean your house will sit on the market longer because the higher price is actually turning away buyers. A Fair, but Objective Negotiator The home-selling process can be emotional, especially if you’ve been in your house for a long time. But that sentimental tie can make it harder to be objective during negotiations. That’s where a trusted professional can really make a difference. Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through this before, a great listing agent is the key to your success. Let’s connect so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Thinking of selling? You want an agent with these skills. [public_bottom_line] =>

Whether you're a first-time seller or you’ve been through this before, a great listing agent is the key to your success. Connect with a real estate professional so you have a skilled local expert by your side to guide you through every step of the process.

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Thinking of Selling? You Want an Agent with These Skills

Selling your house is a big decision.

13
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If you want to find out what builders are doing in our area, let’s connect and check it out together. And if you’re willing to cast a wider net to open up your options even more, we can talk about broadening your search to include other towns nearby.

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When you’re planning a move, it’s normal to wonder where you’ll end up and what your future home is going to look like. Maybe you’ve got a specific picture of that house in your mind. But unless you came into this process knowing you want to buy a newly built home, you may not have pictured new home construction.

A trusted real estate agent can help walk you through these two reasons you may want to reconsider that.

1. Adding Newly Built Homes Could Give You More Options

There are two types of homes on the market: new and existing. A newly built home refers to a house that was just built or is under construction. An existing home is one a previous homeowner has already lived in. Right now, the inventory of existing homes is tight. But there may be options for you on the new home side of things.

Data from the Census and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that newly built homes are a bigger part of today’s housing inventory than the norm (see graph below):

No Caption Received


From 1983 to 2019 (the last normal year in the market), newly built homes made up only 13% of the total inventory of homes for sale. But today that number has climbed to over 33%.

Rest assured, after over a decade of underbuilding, builders aren’t overdoing it today. Even with an increase in new construction today, there’s still a significant housing shortage overall. But for you, the uptick in new builds can be a game changer because it gives you more options for your search.

2. Newly Built Homes May Be More Affordable Than You’d Think

You may still be wondering if a new build could really be an option for you. If you’ve previously written them off because you thought they would be out of your budget, consider this. The price gap between a newly built home and an existing house is shrinking. Here's why.

Builders are going to build what’s in demand. And they know people need more options right now, especially ones that are smaller and potentially more affordable. So, they’re focusing on building smaller homes at lower price points. The graph below shows the price difference between new and existing homes is shrinking as that happens:

 No Caption Received


As LendingTree explains:

In the past, newly built homes have been much more expensive than existing homes — but that gap has been getting smaller recently. In some places today, you may find that the cost to build versus buy is roughly the same.”

And an article from CNBC says:

“While new builds are still sold for slightly more than existing homes, the price gap has significantly narrowed . . .”

Not to mention, some builders are even offering price cuts and mortgage rate buy-downs right now to sweeten the deal. Today there are many reasons new builds may be worth considering. Other buyers sure seem to think so. As Freddie Mac says:

"As the supply of existing homes for sale remains low and home prices continue to rise, more buyers are choosing to purchase new homes than in previous years."

Just know that buying a newly built home isn’t the same as buying an existing one. Builder contracts have different fine print. So, partner with a local agent who knows the market, builder reputations, and what to look for in those contracts so you have an expert on your side to help you explore this option.

[created_at] => 2024-05-06T20:14:01Z [description] =>

When you’re planning a move, it’s normal to wonder where you’ll end up and what your future home is going to look like.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240506/20240509-The-Top-2-Reasons-To-Consider-a-Newly-Built-Home.png [id] => 51561 [kcm_ig_caption] => When you’re planning a move, it’s normal to wonder where you’ll end up and what your future home is going to look like. But unless you came into this process knowing you want to buy a newly built home, you may not have pictured new home construction. 1. Adding Newly Built Homes Could Give You More Options There are two types of homes on the market: new and existing. A newly built home refers to a house that was just built or is under construction. An existing home is one a previous homeowner has already lived in. Right now, the inventory of existing homes is tight. But there may be options for you on the new home side of things. 2. Newly Built Homes May Be More Affordable Than You’d Think You may still be wondering if a new build could really be an option for you. If you’ve previously written them off because you thought they would be out of your budget, consider this. The price gap between a newly built home and an existing house is shrinking. Just know that buying a newly built home isn’t the same as buying an existing one. Builder contracts have different fine print. So, partner with a local agent who knows the market, builder reputations, and what to look for in those contracts so you have an expert on your side to help you explore this option. If you want to find out what builders are doing in our area, DM me and check it out together. And if you’re willing to cast a wider net to open up your options even more, we can talk about broadening your search to include other towns nearby. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,starterhome,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => The top 2 reasons to consider a newly built home. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you want to find out what builders are doing in your area, connect with a real estate agent. And if you’re willing to cast a wider net to open up your options even more, that agent can talk to you about broadening your search to include other towns nearby.

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The Top 2 Reasons To Consider a Newly Built Home

When you’re planning a move, it’s normal to wonder where you’ll end up and what your future home is going to look like.

14
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  • When it comes to the current housing market, there are some myths circling around right now.
  • Some of the more common ones are that it’s better to wait for mortgage rates to fall or prices to crash. But there are others about the supply of homes for sale and down payments. 
  • Let’s connect so you have an expert to help separate fact from fiction in today’s housing market.
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No Caption Received

[created_at] => 2024-04-16T17:11:13Z [description] =>

When it comes to the current housing market, there are some myths circling around right now. 

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240416/Myths-About-the-2024-Housing-Market-KCM-Share.png [id] => 49537 [kcm_ig_caption] => When it comes to the current housing market, there are some myths circling around right now. Some of the more common ones are that it’s better to wait for mortgage rates to fall or prices to crash. But there are others about the supply of homes for sale and down payments. Let’s connect so you have an expert to help separate fact from fiction in today’s housing market. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Here's some myths about the 2024 housing market. [public_bottom_line] =>
  • When it comes to the current housing market, there are some myths circling around right now.
  • Some of the more common ones are that it’s better to wait for mortgage rates to fall or prices to crash. But there are others about the supply of homes for sale and down payments. 
  • Lean on a real estate professional to help separate fact from fiction in today’s housing market.
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Myths About the 2024 Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

When it comes to the current housing market, there are some myths circling around right now. 

15
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Your tax refund can help you reach your savings goal for buying a home. Let’s talk about what you’re looking for, because your home may be more within reach than you think.

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Have you been saving up to buy a home this year? If so, you know there are a number of expenses involved – from your down payment to closing costs. But did you also know your tax refund can help you pay for some of these expenses? As Credit Karma explains:

“If one of your goals is to stop renting and buy a home, you’ll need to save up for closing costs and a down payment on the mortgage. A tax refund can give you a start on the road to homeownership. If you’ve already started to save, your tax refund could move you down the road faster.”

While how much money you may get in a tax refund is going to vary, it can be encouraging to have a general idea of what’s possible. Here’s what CNET has to say about the average increase people are seeing this year:

The average refund size is up by 6.1%, from $2,903 for 2023's tax season through March 24, to $3,081 for this season through March 22.”

Sounds great, right? Remember, your number is going to be different. But if you do get a refund, here are a few examples of how you can use it when buying a home. According to Freddie Mac:

  • Saving for a down payment – One of the biggest barriers to homeownership is setting aside enough money for a down payment. You could reach your savings goal even faster by using your tax refund to help.
  • Paying for closing costs – Closing costs cover some of the payments you’ll make at closing. They’re generally between 2% and 5% of the total purchase price of the home. You could direct your tax refund toward these closing costs.
  • Lowering your mortgage rate – Your lender might give you the option to buy down your mortgage rate. If affordability is tight for you at today’s rates and home prices, this option may be worth exploring. If you qualify for this option, you could pay upfront to have a lower rate on your mortgage.

The best way to get ready to buy a home is to work with a team of trusted real estate professionals who understand the process and what you’ll need to do to be ready to buy.

[created_at] => 2024-04-11T14:21:30Z [description] =>

Have you been saving up to buy a home this year?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240411/20240415-Ways-To-Use-Your-Tax-Refund-If-You-Want-To-Buy-a-Home.png [id] => 49099 [kcm_ig_caption] => Have you been saving up to buy a home this year? If so, you know there are a number of expenses involved – from your down payment to closing costs. But did you also know your tax refund can help you pay for some of these expenses? While how much money you may get in a tax refund is going to vary, it can be encouraging to have a general idea of what’s possible. But if you do get a refund, here are a few examples of how you can use it when buying a home. According to Freddie Mac: • Saving for a down payment – One of the biggest barriers to homeownership is setting aside enough money for a down payment. You could reach your savings goal even faster by using your tax refund to help. • Paying for closing costs – Closing costs cover some of the payments you’ll make at closing. They’re generally between 2% and 5% of the total purchase price of the home. You could direct your tax refund toward these closing costs. • Lowering your mortgage rate – Your lender might give you the option to buy down your mortgage rate. If affordability is tight for you at today’s rates and home prices, this option may be worth exploring. If you qualify for this option, you could pay upfront to have a lower rate on your mortgage. The best way to get ready to buy a home is to work with a team of trusted real estate professionals who understand the process and what you’ll need to do to be ready to buy. Your tax refund can help you reach your savings goal for buying a home. Let’s talk about what you’re looking for, because your home may be more within reach than you think. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => housegoals,starterhome,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Ways to use your tax refund if you want to buy a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

Your tax refund can help you reach your savings goal for buying a home. Connect with a local real estate professional about what you’re looking for, because your home may be more within reach than you think.

[published_at] => 2024-04-15T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => ways-to-use-your-tax-refund-if-you-want-to-buy-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Ways To Use Your Tax Refund If You Want To Buy a Home [updated_at] => 2024-04-15T10:30:21Z [url] => /2024/04/15/ways-to-use-your-tax-refund-if-you-want-to-buy-a-home/ )

Ways To Use Your Tax Refund If You Want To Buy a Home

Have you been saving up to buy a home this year?

16
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Planning for the fees and payments you'll need to cover when you're closing on your home is important. Partnering with a local real estate professional can give you the guidance and confidence you need throughout the process.

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Before making the decision to buy a home, it's important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for. While you're busy saving for the down payment, don't forget you’ll want to prep for closing costs too.

Here’s some helpful information on what those costs are and how much you should budget for them.

What Are Closing Costs?

A recent article from Bankrate explains:

Closing costs are the fees and expenses you must pay before becoming the legal owner of a house, condo or townhome . . . Closing costs vary depending on the purchase price of the home and how it’s being financed . . .”

Simply put, your closing costs are the additional fees and payments you have to make at closing. According to Freddie Mac, while they can vary by location and situation, closing costs typically include:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting Fees

How Much Are Closing Costs?

According to the same Freddie Mac article mentioned above, they’re typically between 2% and 5% of the total purchase price of your home. With that in mind, here’s how you can get an idea of what you’ll need to budget.

Let’s say you find a home you want to purchase at today’s median price of $384,500. Based on the 2-5% Freddie Mac estimate, your closing fees could be between roughly $7,690 and $19,225.

But keep in mind, if you’re in the market for a home above or below this price range, your closing costs will be higher or lower.

Make Sure You’re Prepared To Close

Freddie Mac provides great advice for homebuyers, saying:

“As you start your homebuying journey, take the time to get a sense of all costs involved – from your down payment to closing costs.”

The best way to do that is by partnering with a team of trusted real estate professionals. That gives you a group of experts to help you understand how much you’ll need to save and what you’ll want to be prepped for. It also means you have go-to resources for any questions that pop up along the way.

[created_at] => 2024-03-21T17:23:32Z [description] =>

Before making the decision to buy a home, it's important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240321/20240325-What-Every-Homebuyer-Should-Know-About-Closing-Costs.png [id] => 47166 [kcm_ig_caption] => Before making the decision to buy a home, it's important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for. What Are Closing Costs? A recent article from Bankrate explains: “Closing costs are the fees and expenses you must pay before becoming the legal owner of a house, condo or townhome . . . Closing costs vary depending on the purchase price of the home and how it’s being financed . . .” Simply put, your closing costs are the additional fees and payments you have to make at closing. How Much Are Closing Costs? According to Freddie Mac, they’re typically between 2% and 5% of the total purchase price of your home. With that in mind, here’s how you can get an idea of what you’ll need to budget. Let’s say you find a home you want to purchase at today’s median price of $384,500. Based on the 2-5% Freddie Mac estimate, your closing fees could be between roughly $7,690 and $19,225. But keep in mind, if you’re in the market for a home above or below this price range, your closing costs will be higher or lower. Make Sure You’re Prepared To Close Freddie Mac provides great advice for homebuyers, saying: “As you start your homebuying journey, take the time to get a sense of all costs involved – from your down payment to closing costs.” Planning for the fees and payments you'll need to cover when you're closing on your home is important. Partnering with a local real estate professional can give you the guidance and confidence you need throughout the process. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What every homebuyer should know about closing costs. [public_bottom_line] =>

Planning for the fees and payments you'll need to cover when you're closing on your home is important. Partnering with a local real estate professional can give you the guidance and confidence you need throughout the process.

[published_at] => 2024-03-25T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => what-every-homebuyer-should-know-about-closing-costs [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Closing Costs [updated_at] => 2024-03-25T10:30:07Z [url] => /2024/03/25/what-every-homebuyer-should-know-about-closing-costs/ )

What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Closing Costs

Before making the decision to buy a home, it's important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for.

17
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you’re a homeowner facing hardship, lean on a real estate professional to explore your options or see if you can sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

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Even with the latest data coming in, the experts agree there’s no chance of a large-scale foreclosure crisis like the one we saw back in 2008. While headlines may be calling attention to a slight uptick in foreclosure filings recently, the bigger picture is that we’re still well below the number we’d see in a more normal year for the housing market. As a report from BlackKnight explains:

“The prospect of any kind of near-term surge in foreclosure activity remains low, with start volumes still nearly 40% below pre-pandemic levels.”

That’s good news. It means the number of homeowners at risk is very low compared to the norm.

But, there’s a small percentage who may be coming face to face with foreclosure as a possibility. That’s because some homeowners may have an unexpected hardship in their life, which unfortunately can happen in any market.

For those homeowners, there are still options that could help them avoid having to go through the foreclosure process. If you’re facing difficulties yourself, an article from Bankrate breaks down some things to explore:

  • Look into Forbearance Programs: If you have a loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be able to apply for this type of program. 
  • Ask for a loan modification: Your lender may be willing to adjust your loan terms to help bring down your monthly payment to something more achievable.
  • Get a repayment plan in place: A lender may be able to set up a deferral or a payment plan if you’re not in a place where you’re able to make your payment.

 

And there’s something else you may want to consider. That’s whether you have enough equity in your home to sell it and protect your investment.

You May Be Able To Use Your Equity To Sell Your House

In today’s real estate market, many homeowners have far more equity in their homes than they realize due to the rapid home price appreciation we’ve seen over the past few years. That means, if you’ve lived in your house for a while, chances are your home’s value has gone up. Plus, the mortgage payments you’ve made during that time have chipped away at the balance of your loan. That combo may have given your equity a boost. And if your home’s current value is higher than what you still owe on your loan, you may be able to use that increase to your advantage. Freddie Mac explains how this can help:

“If you have enough equity, you can use the proceeds from the sale of your home to pay off your remaining mortgage debt, including any missed mortgage payments or other debts secured by your home.”  

Lean on Experts To Explore Your Options

To find out how much equity you have, partner with a local real estate agent. They can give you an estimate of what your house could sell for based on recent sales of similar homes in your area. You may be able to sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

[created_at] => 2024-03-12T17:22:27Z [description] =>

Even with the latest data coming in, the experts agree there’s no chance of a large-scale foreclosure crisis like the one we saw back in 2008.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240312/20240319-Homeowners-Today-Have-Options-To-Avoid-Foreclosure.png [id] => 46227 [kcm_ig_caption] => Even with the latest data coming in, the experts agree there’s no chance of a large-scale foreclosure crisis like the one we saw back in 2008. That’s good news. It means the number of homeowners at risk is very low compared to the norm. But, there’s a small percentage who may be coming face to face with foreclosure as a possibility. If you’re facing difficulties yourself, an article from Bankrate breaks down some things to explore: • Look into Forbearance Programs • Ask for a loan modification • Get a repayment plan in place And there’s something else you may want to consider. That’s whether you have enough equity in your home to sell it and protect your investment. You May Be Able To Use Your Equity To Sell Your House Freddie Mac explains how this can help: “If you have enough equity, you can use the proceeds from the sale of your home to pay off your remaining mortgage debt, including any missed mortgage payments or other debts secured by your home.” Lean on Experts To Explore Your Options To find out how much equity you have, partner with a local real estate agent. They can give you an estimate of what your house could sell for based on recent sales of similar homes in your area. You may be able to sell your house to avoid foreclosure. If you’re a homeowner facing hardship, lean on a real estate professional to explore your options or see if you can sell your house to avoid foreclosure. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Homeowners today have options to avoid foreclosure. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re a homeowner facing hardship, lean on a real estate professional to explore your options or see if you can sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

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Homeowners Today Have Options To Avoid Foreclosure

Even with the latest data coming in, the experts agree there’s no chance of a large-scale foreclosure crisis like the one we saw back in 2008.

18
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Finding ways to make your credit score better could help you get a lower mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, talk to a trusted lender.

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If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders review your credit to see if you typically make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. Your credit score can also help determine your mortgage rate. An article from US Bank explains:

“A credit score isn’t the only deciding factor on your mortgage application, but it’s a significant one. So, when you’re house shopping, it’s important to know where your credit stands and how to use it to get the best mortgage rate possible.”

That means your credit score may feel even more important to your homebuying plans right now since mortgage rates are a key factor in affordability. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the median credit score in the U.S. for those taking out a mortgage is 770. But that doesn’t mean your credit score has to be perfect. The same article from US Bank explains:

“Your credit score (commonly called a FICO Score) can range from 300 at the low end to 850 at the high end. A score of 740 or above is generally considered very good, but you don’t need that score or above to buy a home.”

Working with a trusted lender is the best way to get more information on how your credit score could factor into your home loan and the mortgage rate you’re able to get. As FICO says:

“While many lenders use credit scores like FICO Scores to help them make lending decisions, each lender has its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable. There is no single “cutoff score” used by all lenders and there are many additional factors that lenders may use to determine your actual interest rates.”

If you’re looking for ways to improve your score, Experian highlights some things you may want to focus on:

  • Your Payment History: Late payments can have a negative impact by dropping your score. Focus on making payments on time and paying any existing late charges quickly.
  • Your Debt Amount (relative to your credit limits): When it comes to your available credit amount, the less you’re using, the better. Focus on keeping this number as low as possible.
  • Credit Applications: If you’re looking to buy something, don’t apply for additional credit. When you apply for new credit, it could result in a hard inquiry on your credit that drops your score.
[created_at] => 2024-02-29T15:26:03Z [description] =>

If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240229/20240304-What-To-Know-About-Credit-Scores-Before-Buying-a-Home.png [id] => 45056 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders review your credit to see if you typically make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. Your credit score can also help determine your mortgage rate. That means your credit score may feel even more important to your homebuying plans right now since mortgage rates are a key factor in affordability. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the median credit score in the U.S. for those taking out a mortgage is 770. But that doesn’t mean your credit score has to be perfect. Working with a trusted lender is the best way to get more information on how your credit score could factor into your home loan and the mortgage rate you’re able to get. If you’re looking for ways to improve your score, Experian highlights some things you may want to focus on: • Your Payment History: Late payments can have a negative impact by dropping your score. Focus on making payments on time and paying any existing late charges quickly. • Your Debt Amount (relative to your credit limits): When it comes to your available credit amount, the less you’re using, the better. Focus on keeping this number as low as possible. • Credit Applications: If you’re looking to buy something, don’t apply for additional credit. When you apply for new credit, it could result in a hard inquiry on your credit that drops your score. Finding ways to make your credit score better could help you get a lower mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, talk to a trusted lender. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What to know about credit scores before buying a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

Finding ways to make your credit score better could help you get a lower mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, talk to a trusted lender.

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What To Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home

If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage.

19
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If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you want an expert on your side to help you each step of the way. Let’s connect so you have advice you can count on.

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No matter how you slice it, buying or selling a home is a big decision. And when you’re going through any change in your life and you need some guidance, what do you do? You get advice from people who know what they’re talking about.

Moving is no exception. You need insights from the pros to help you feel confident in your decision. Freddie Mac explains it like this:

“As you set out to find the right home for your family, be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls.”

And while perfect advice isn’t possible – not even from the experts, what you can get is the very best advice out there.

The Power of Expert Advice

For example, let’s say you need an attorney. You start off by finding an expert in the type of law required for your case. Once you do, they won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end, or how the judge or jury will rule. But what a good attorney can do is walk you through the most effective strategies based on their experience and help you put a plan together. They’ll even use their knowledge to adjust that plan as new information becomes available.

The job of a real estate agent is similar. Just like you can’t find a lawyer to give you perfect advice, you won’t find a real estate professional who can either. That’s because it’s impossible to know everything that’s going to happen throughout your transaction. Their role is to give you the best advice they can.

To do that, an agent will draw on their experience, industry knowledge, and market data. They know the latest trends, the ins and outs of the homebuying and selling processes, and what’s worked for other people in the same situation as you.

With that expertise, a real estate advisor can anticipate what could happen next and work with you to put together a solid plan. Then, they’ll guide you through the process, helping you make decisions along the way. That’s the very definition of getting the best – not perfect – advice. And that’s the power of working with a real estate advisor.

[created_at] => 2024-02-20T17:24:15Z [description] =>

No matter how you slice it, buying or selling a home is a big decision.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240220/20240228-Why-You-Want-an-Agent-s-Advice-for-Your-Move.png [featured_image_meta] => [id] => 43935 [kcm_ig_caption] => No matter how you slice it, buying or selling a home is a big decision. And when you’re going through any change in your life and you need some guidance, what do you do? You get advice from people who know what they’re talking about. Moving is no exception. You need insights from the pros to help you feel confident in your decision. Freddie Mac explains it like this: “As you set out to find the right home for your family, be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls.” And while perfect advice isn’t possible – not even from the experts, what you can get is the very best advice out there. The Power of Expert Advice Just like you can’t find a lawyer to give you perfect advice, you won’t find a real estate professional who can either. That’s because it’s impossible to know everything that’s going to happen throughout your transaction. Their role is to give you the best advice they can. With that expertise, a real estate advisor can anticipate what could happen next and work with you to put together a solid plan. Then, they’ll guide you through the process, helping you make decisions along the way. That’s the very definition of getting the best – not perfect – advice. And that’s the power of working with a real estate advisor. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you want an expert on your side to help you each step of the way. DM me so you have advice you can count on. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why you want an agent’s advice for your move. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you want an expert on your side to help you each step of the way. Connect with a real estate professional so you have advice you can count on.

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Why You Want an Agent’s Advice for Your Move

No matter how you slice it, buying or selling a home is a big decision.

20
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Keep in mind that you don't always need a 20% down payment to buy a home. If you're looking to make a move this year, let’s connect to start the conversation about your homebuying goals.

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If you’re planning to buy your first home, saving up for all the costs involved can feel daunting, especially when it comes to the down payment. That might be because you’ve heard you need to save 20% of the home’s price to put down. Well, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. That means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize.

As The Mortgage Reports says:

“Although putting down 20% to avoid mortgage insurance is wise if affordable, it’s a myth that this is always necessary. In fact, most people opt for a much lower down payment.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, for all homebuyers today it’s only 15%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 8% (see graph below):

a graph of a number of blue squares


The big takeaway? You may not need to save as much as you originally thought.

Learn About Resources That Can Help You Toward Your Goal

According to Down Payment Resource, there are also over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and many of them are intended to help with down payments.

Plus, there are loan options that can help too. For example, FHA loans offer down payments as low as 3.5%, while VA and USDA loans have no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

With so many resources available to help with your down payment, the best way to find what you qualify for is by consulting with your loan officer or broker. They know about local grants and loan programs that may help you out.

Don’t let the misconception that you have to have 20% saved up hold you back. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, lean on the professionals to find resources that can help you make your dreams a reality. If you put your plans on hold until you’ve saved up 20%, it may actually cost you in the long run. According to U.S. Bank:

“. . . there are plenty of reasons why it might not be possible. For some, waiting to save up 20% for a down payment may “cost” too much time. While you’re saving for your down payment and paying rent, the price of your future home may go up.”

Home prices are expected to keep appreciating over the next 5 years – meaning your future home will likely go up in price the longer you wait. If you’re able to use these resources to buy now, that future price growth will help you build equity, rather than cost you more.

[created_at] => 2024-02-22T19:13:41Z [description] =>

If you’re planning to buy your first home, saving up for all the costs involved can feel daunting, especially when it comes to the down payment.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240222/20240226-The-Truth-About-Down-Payments.png [id] => 44337 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re planning to buy your first home, saving up for all the costs involved can feel daunting, especially when it comes to the down payment. That might be because you’ve heard you need to save 20% of the home’s price to put down. Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. That means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, for all homebuyers today it’s only 15%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 8%. The big takeaway? You may not need to save as much as you originally thought. Learn About Resources That Can Help You Toward Your Goal According to Down Payment Resource, there are also over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and many of them are intended to help with down payments. With so many resources available to help with your down payment, the best way to find what you qualify for is by consulting with your loan officer or broker. They know about local grants and loan programs that may help you out. Don’t let the misconception that you have to have 20% saved up hold you back. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, lean on the professionals to find resources that can help you make your dreams a reality. Keep in mind that you don't always need a 20% down payment to buy a home. If you're looking to make a move this year, DM me to start the conversation about your homebuying goals. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => The truth about down payments. [public_bottom_line] =>

Keep in mind that you don't always need a 20% down payment to buy a home. If you're looking to make a move this year, reach out to a trusted real estate professional to start the conversation about your homebuying goals.

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The Truth About Down Payments

If you’re planning to buy your first home, saving up for all the costs involved can feel daunting, especially when it comes to the down payment.

21
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If you’re looking to buy a home in 2024, know that getting pre-approved is going to be a key piece of the puzzle. With lower mortgage rates bringing more buyers back into the market, this can help you make a strong offer that stands out from the crowd.

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On the road to becoming a homeowner? If so, you may have heard the term pre-approval get tossed around. Let’s break down what it is and why it’s important if you’re looking to buy a home in 2024.

What Pre-Approval Is

As part of the homebuying process, your lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you. According to Investopedia, this includes things like your W-2, tax returns, credit score, bank statements, and more.

From there, they’ll give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. Freddie Mac explains it like this:

A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.”

Now, that last piece is especially important. While home affordability is getting better, it’s still tight. So, getting a good idea of what you can borrow can help you really wrap your head around the financial side of things. It doesn’t mean you should borrow the full amount. It just tells you what you can borrow from that lender.

This sets you up to make an informed decision about your numbers. That way you’re able to tailor your home search to what you’re actually comfortable with budget-wise and can act fast when you find a home you love.

Why Pre-Approval Is So Important in 2024

If you want to buy a home this year, there’s another reason you’re going to want to be sure you’re working with a trusted lender to make this a priority.

While more homes are being listed for sale, the overall number of available homes is still below the norm. At the same time, the recent downward trend in mortgage rates compared to last year is bringing more buyers back into the market. That imbalance of more demand than supply creates a bit of a tug-of-war for you.

It means you’ll likely find you have more competition from other buyers as more and more people who were sitting on the sidelines when mortgage rates were higher decide to jump back in. But pre-approval can help with that too.

Pre-approval shows sellers you mean business because you’ve already undergone a credit and financial check. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says:

“Preapproval carries more weight because it means lenders have actually done more than a cursory review of your credit and your finances, but have instead reviewed your pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. A preapproval means you’ve cleared the hurdles necessary to be approved for a mortgage up to a certain dollar amount.”

Sellers love that because that makes it more likely the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or issues. And if you may be competing with another buyer to land your dream home, why wouldn’t you do this to help stack the deck in your favor?

[created_at] => 2024-02-06T17:55:55Z [description] =>

On the road to becoming a homeowner? If so, you may have heard the term pre-approval get tossed around.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240206/20240207-Why-Pre-Approval-Is-Even-More-Important-This-Year.png [id] => 42376 [kcm_ig_caption] => On the road to becoming a homeowner? If so, you may have heard the term pre-approval get tossed around. Let’s break down what it is and why it’s important if you’re looking to buy a home in 2024. What Pre-Approval Is As part of the homebuying process, your lender will look at your finances to figure out what they’re willing to loan you. According to Investopedia, this includes things like your W-2, tax returns, credit score, bank statements, and more. From there, they’ll give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. This sets you up to make an informed decision about your numbers. That way you’re able to tailor your home search to what you’re actually comfortable with budget-wise and can act fast when you find a home you love. Why Pre-Approval Is So Important in 2024 If you want to buy a home this year, there’s another reason you’re going to want to be sure you’re working with a trusted lender to make this a priority. It means you’ll likely find you have more competition from other buyers as more and more people who were sitting on the sidelines when mortgage rates were higher decide to jump back in. But pre-approval can help with that too. Pre-approval shows sellers you mean business because you’ve already undergone a credit and financial check. Sellers love that because that makes it more likely the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or issues. If you’re looking to buy a home in 2024, know that getting pre-approved is going to be a key piece of the puzzle. With lower mortgage rates bringing more buyers back into the market, this can help you make a strong offer that stands out from the crowd. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why Pre-Approval is even more important this year. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2024, know that getting pre-approved is going to be a key piece of the puzzle. With lower mortgage rates bringing more buyers back into the market, this can help you make a strong offer that stands out from the crowd.

[published_at] => 2024-02-07T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-pre-approval-is-even-more-important-this-year [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Why Pre-Approval Is Even More Important This Year [updated_at] => 2024-02-07T11:30:07Z [url] => /2024/02/07/why-pre-approval-is-even-more-important-this-year/ )

Why Pre-Approval Is Even More Important This Year

On the road to becoming a homeowner? If so, you may have heard the term pre-approval get tossed around.

22
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If you want to know how much equity you have in your home, let’s connect. That way you have someone who can do a professional equity assessment report on how much you’ve built up over time. Then let’s talk through how you can use it to help you reach your goals.

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If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity. If you’re not familiar with that term, Freddie Mac defines it like this:

“. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.”

That means your equity grows as you pay down your home loan over time and as home values climb. While it’s true home prices dipped slightly last year, they rebounded and have been climbing in many areas since then. Here’s why that price growth is good news for you.

In the latest Equity Insights Report, Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:

With price gains continuing to help homeowners build wealth, equity has reached a new high and regained losses that resulted from declines last year. And while the average U.S. homeowner gained over $20,000 in additional equity compared with the third quarter of 2022, some markets are seeing larger increases as price growth catches up.”

And that figure is just for the last year. To help you really understand how that number can add up over time, the report also says the average homeowner with a mortgage has more than $300,000 in equity. That much equity can have a big impact.

Here are a few examples of how you can put your home equity to work for you.

1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs

If your current space no longer meets your needs, it might be time to think about moving to a bigger home. And if you’ve got too much space, downsizing to a smaller one could be just right. Either way, you can put your equity toward a down payment on something that fits your changing lifestyle.

2. Reinvest in Your Current Home

And, if you’re not ready to move just yet, you can use the equity you have to improve your current home. But it’s important to consider the long-term benefits certain upgrades can bring to your home’s value. A real estate agent is a great resource on which projects to prioritize to get the greatest return on your investment when you sell later on.

3. Pursue Personal Ambitions

Home equity can also serve as a catalyst for realizing your life-long dreams. That could mean investing in a new business venture, retirement, or funding an education. While you shouldn’t use your equity for unnecessary spending, using it responsibly for something meaningful and impactful can really make a difference in your life.

4. Understand Your Options to Avoid Foreclosure

While the number of foreclosure filings remains below the norm, there are still some homeowners who go into foreclosure each year. If you’re in a tough spot financially, having a clear understanding of your options can help. Equity can act as a cushion if you’re not able to make your mortgage payments on time.

[created_at] => 2024-01-04T15:23:17Z [description] =>

If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240104/20240109-Ways-Your-Home-Equity-Can-Help-You-Reach-Your-Goals.png [id] => 37885 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity. If you’re not familiar with that term, Freddie Mac defines it like this: “. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.” That means your equity grows as you pay down your home loan over time and as home values climb. Here are a few examples of how you can put your home equity to work for you. 1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs If your current space no longer meets your needs, you can put your equity toward a down payment on something that fits your changing lifestyle. 2. Reinvest in Your Current Home A real estate agent is a great resource on which projects to prioritize to get the greatest return on your investment when you sell later on. 3. Pursue Personal Ambitions While you shouldn’t use your equity for unnecessary spending, using it responsibly for something meaningful and impactful can really make a difference in your life. 4. Understand Your Options to Avoid Foreclosure While the number of foreclosure filings remains below the norm, there are still some homeowners who go into foreclosure each year. Equity can act as a cushion if you’re not able to make your mortgage payments on time. If you want to know how much equity you have in your home, DM me. That way you have someone who can do a professional equity assessment report on how much you’ve built up over time. Then let’s talk through how you can use it to help you reach your goals. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => expertanswers,stayinformed,staycurrent,powerfuldecisions,confidentdecisions,realestate,homevalues,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Ways your home equity can help you reach your goals. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you want to know how much equity you have in your home, connect with a local real estate agent. They can do a professional equity assessment report on how much you’ve built up over time and talk you through how you can use it to help you reach your goals.

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Ways Your Home Equity Can Help You Reach Your Goals

If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity.

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[created_at] => 2024-01-04T18:06:28Z [description] =>

Planning to buy a home in 2024? Here’s what to focus on.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240104/Achieving-Your-Homebuying-Dreams-in-2024-KCM-Share.png [gif] => https://videos.mykcm.com/videos/gifs/865925710954.gif [hashtags] => homegoals,buyingahome,realestategoals [id] => 37919 [kcm_ig_caption] => Planning to buy a home in 2024? Here’s what to focus on. Improve your credit score, plan for your down payment, get pre-approved, and decide what’s most important to you. Let’s connect so you have expert advice on how to achieve your homebuying goals this year. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => How to achieve your homebuying dreams in 2024. [public_bottom_line] => [published_at] => 2024-01-05T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => achieving-your-homebuying-dreams-in-2024-infographic [sources] => [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [thumbnail_timestamp] => 4500 [title] => Achieving Your Homebuying Dreams in 2024 [INFOGRAPHIC] [updated_at] => 2024-01-05T11:30:41Z [url] => /2024/01/05/achieving-your-homebuying-dreams-in-2024-infographic/ )

Achieving Your Homebuying Dreams in 2024 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Planning to buy a home in 2024? Here’s what to focus on.

24
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So, before you start mentally arranging furniture in your dream home, work with a trusted lender to get your pre-approval set. It’ll save you time, stress, and a lot of headaches that could come up along the way without it. The reality is, the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to land the home you’re longing for.

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If you’re thinking about buying a home, pre-approval is a crucial part of the process you definitely don’t want to skip. So, before you start picturing yourself in your new living room or dining on your future all-season patio, be sure you’re working with a trusted lender to prioritize this essential step. Here’s why.

While home price growth is moderating and mortgage rates have been coming down in recent weeks, affordability is still tight.  At the same time, there’s a limited number of homes for sale right now, and that means ongoing competition among hopeful buyers. But, if you’re strategic, there are ways to navigate these waters – and pre-approval is the game changer.

What Pre-Approval Does for You

To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to know more about pre-approval. As part of the homebuying process, a lender looks at your finances to determine what they’re willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. Freddie Mac explains it like this:

A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.”

Getting pre-approved starts to put you in the mindset of seeing the bigger financial picture, one step at a time. And the key is actually more than just getting a pre-approval letter from your lender. The combination of pre-approval and strategic budgeting is your golden ticket to understanding what you can actually afford. It saves you from painful heartaches down the road so you don’t fall in love with a house that might be out of reach.

Pre-Approval Helps Show Sellers You’re a Serious Buyer

But that's just the beginning. Let’s face it, there are more people looking to buy than there are homes available for sale, and that creates competition among homebuyers. That means you could see yourself in a multiple-offer scenario when you get ready to make your move. But getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you stand out from other buyers.

In today's fast-moving housing market, having that pre-approval in your back pocket can be your secret weapon. When sellers see you're pre-approved, it tells them you're a strategic and serious buyer. In a world of multiple offers, that's a big deal. As an article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:

If you plan to use a mortgage for your home purchase, preapproval should be among the first steps in your search process. Not only can getting preapproved help you zero in on the right price range, but it can give you a leg up on other buyers, too.”

Pre-approval shows sellers you’re more than just a window shopper. You’re a buyer who’s already undergone a credit and financial check, making it more likely that the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or issues. Sellers love that because they see your offer as a reliable one. A win-win, right?

[created_at] => 2023-12-20T20:29:49Z [description] =>

If you’re thinking about buying a home, pre-approval is a crucial part of the process you definitely don’t want to skip.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20231220/20240103-Why-Pre-Approval-Is-Your-Homebuying-Game-Changer.png [id] => 37134 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re thinking about buying a home, pre-approval is a crucial part of the process you definitely don’t want to skip. So, before you start picturing yourself in your new living room or dining on your future all-season patio, be sure you’re working with a trusted lender to prioritize this essential step. Here’s why. Affordability is tight with today’s mortgage rates and rising home prices. At the same time, there’s a limited number of homes for sale right now, and that means ongoing competition among hopeful buyers. But, if you’re strategic, there are ways to navigate these waters – and pre-approval is the game changer. What Pre-Approval Does for You To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to know more about pre-approval. As part of the homebuying process, a lender looks at your finances to determine what they’re willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. Freddie Mac explains it like this: “A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. . . . Keep in mind that the loan amount in the pre-approval letter is the lender’s maximum offer. Ultimately, you should only borrow an amount you are comfortable repaying.” Getting pre-approved starts to put you in the mindset of seeing the bigger financial picture, one step at a time. And the key is actually more than just getting a pre-approval letter from your lender. The combination of pre-approval and strategic budgeting is your golden ticket to understanding what you can actually afford. It saves you from painful heartaches down the road so you don’t fall in love with a house that might be out of reach. Pre-Approval Helps Show Sellers You’re a Serious Buyer But that's just the beginning. Let’s face it, there are more people looking to buy than there are homes available for sale, and that creates competition among homebuyers. That means you could see yourself in a multiple-offer scenario when you get ready to make your move. But getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you stand out from other buyers. In today's fast-moving housing market, having that pre-approval in your back pocket can be your secret weapon. When sellers see you're pre-approved, it tells them you're a strategic and serious buyer. In a world of multiple offers, that's a big deal. As an article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says: “If you plan to use a mortgage for your home purchase, preapproval should be among the first steps in your search process. Not only can getting preapproved help you zero in on the right price range, but it can give you a leg up on other buyers, too.” Pre-approval shows sellers you’re more than just a window shopper. You’re a buyer who’s already undergone a credit and financial check, making it more likely that the sale will move forward without unexpected delays or issues. Sellers love that because they see your offer as a reliable one. A win-win, right? So, before you start mentally arranging furniture in your dream home, work with a trusted lender to get your pre-approval set. It’ll save you time, stress, and a lot of headaches that could come up along the way without it. The reality is, the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to land the home you’re longing for. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,housingmarket,househunting,makememove,homegoals,houseshopping,housegoals,investmentproperty,emptynest,downsizing,locationlocationlocation,newlisting,homeforsale,renovated,starterhome,dreamhome,curbappeal,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why pre-approval is your homebuying game changer. [public_bottom_line] =>

So, before you start mentally arranging furniture in your dream home, let’s connect to get your pre-approval set. It’ll save you time, stress, and a lot of headaches that could come up along the way without it. The reality is, the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to land the home you’re longing for.

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Why Pre-Approval Is Your Homebuying Game Changer

If you’re thinking about buying a home, pre-approval is a crucial part of the process you definitely don’t want to skip.

25
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When buying a home, being informed about what to save for is key. Let’s connect so you’ll have an expert on your side to answer any questions you have along the way.

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If you’re planning to buy a home, knowing what to budget for and how to save may sound intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be. One way to ease those concerns is to make sure you understand some of the costs you may encounter up front. And to do that, always turn to trusted real estate professionals. They can help you set a plan and take a strategic look at your budget and your process before you even get started.

Here are just a few things experts say you should be thinking about.

1. Down Payment

Saving for your down payment is likely top of mind as you set out to buy a home. But do you know how much you’ll need? While every buyer’s situation is different, there’s a common misconception that putting 20% of the purchase price down is required. An article from the Mortgage Reports explains why that’s not always the case:

“The idea that you have to put 20% down on a house is a myth. . . . The right amount depends on your current savings and your home buying goals.”

To understand your options, partner with trusted real estate professionals to go over the various loan types, down payment assistance programs, and what each one requires. The more you know ahead of time, the easier the process will be.

2. Closing Costs

Make sure you also budget for closing costs, which are a collection of fees and payments made to the various parties involved in your transaction. Bankrate explains:

Closing costs are the fees you pay when finalizing a real estate transaction, whether you’re refinancing a mortgage or buying a new home. These costs can amount to 2 to 5 percent of the mortgage so it’s important to be financially prepared for this expense.”

The best way to understand what you’ll need at the closing table is to work with a trusted lender. They can provide you with answers to the questions you might have.

3. Earnest Money Deposit

If you want to cover all your bases, you can also consider saving for an earnest money deposit (EMD). An EMD is money you pay as a show of good faith when you make an offer on a house. According to Realtor.com, it’s usually between 1% and 2% of the total home price.

This deposit works like a credit. It’s not an added expense – it’s paying a portion of your costs upfront. You’re using some of the money you’ve already saved for your purchase to show the seller you’re committed and serious about buying their house. Realtor.com describes how it works as part of your sale:

It tells the real estate seller you’re in earnest as a buyer . . . Assuming that all goes well and the buyer’s good-faith offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money funds go toward the down payment and closing costs. In effect, earnest money is just paying more of the down payment and closing costs upfront.”

Keep in mind, an EMD isn’t required, and it doesn’t guarantee your offer will be accepted. It’s important to work with a real estate advisor to understand what’s best for your situation and any specific requirements in your local area. They’ll advise you on what moves you should make so you can make the best possible decisions throughout the buying process.

[created_at] => 2023-12-20T18:23:35Z [description] =>

If you’re planning to buy a home, knowing what to budget for and how to save may sound intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20231220/20231228-What-You-Need-To-Know-About-Saving-for-a-Home-in-2024.png [featured_image_meta] => [id] => 37112 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re planning to buy a home, knowing what to budget for and how to save may sound intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are just a few things experts say you should be thinking about. 1. Down Payment Saving for your down payment is likely top of mind as you set out to buy a home. But do you know how much you’ll need? While every buyer’s situation is different, there’s a common misconception that putting 20% of the purchase price down is required. To understand your options, partner with trusted real estate professionals to go over the various loan types, down payment assistance programs, and what each one requires. 2. Closing Costs Bankrate explains: “Closing costs are the fees you pay when finalizing a real estate transaction, whether you’re refinancing a mortgage or buying a new home. These costs can amount to 2 to 5 percent of the mortgage so it’s important to be financially prepared for this expense.” 3. Earnest Money Deposit Realtor.com describes how it works as part of your sale: “It tells the real estate seller you’re in earnest as a buyer . . . Assuming that all goes well and the buyer’s good-faith offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money funds go toward the down payment and closing costs. In effect, earnest money is just paying more of the down payment and closing costs upfront.” It’s important to work with a real estate advisor to understand what’s best for your situation and any specific requirements in your local area. When buying a home, being informed about what to save for is key. DM me so you’ll have an expert on your side to answer any questions you have along the way. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => realestate,homeownership,homebuying,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,realestateagents,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What you need to know about saving for a home in 2024. [public_bottom_line] =>

When buying a home, being informed about what to save for is key. Partner with a local real estate advisor so you’ll have an expert on your side to answer any questions you have along the way.

[published_at] => 2023-12-28T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => what-you-need-to-know-about-saving-for-a-home-in-2024 [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => What You Need To Know About Saving for a Home in 2024 [updated_at] => 2023-12-28T11:30:35Z [url] => /2023/12/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-saving-for-a-home-in-2024/ )

What You Need To Know About Saving for a Home in 2024

If you’re planning to buy a home, knowing what to budget for and how to save may sound intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be.