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If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, let’s chat.

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Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season. If you’re excited about getting away and having some fun in the sun, it might make sense to consider if owning your own vacation home is right for you.

An Ameriprise Financial survey sheds light on why people buy a second, or vacation, home (see below): No Caption Received


  • Vacation destination or a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life (81%) – Having a second home to use as a vacation spot can be a special place where you go to relax and take a break from your daily routines and stressors. It also means you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stay when you go there.
  • Better weather (49%) – Buying in a place where there may be nicer weather can be a great escape, especially if it’s cold or rainy where you usually live. It lets you enjoy sunny days and warm temperatures, even when it’s not so nice back home.
  • Rental income (41%) – You can rent it out to other people when you’re not using it, which can help you make some extra money.
  • Primary residence in the future (33%) – You can eventually move into the home full-time during retirement. That means you can enjoy vacations there now and have a getaway ready for your future.
  • Having a venue for gatherings with family and friends (25%) – It would be a special spot where you can have parties, regular family trips, and create fun memories.

Ways To Buy Your Vacation Home

And you don’t have to be wealthy to buy a vacation home. Bankrate shares two tips for how to make this dream more achievable for anyone who’s interested:

  • Buy with loved ones or friends: If you’re okay with sharing the vacation home, you can go in on the purchase price together and pool your resources to make it more affordable.
  • Put a savings plan in place: This will require patience and persistence but consider adding a vacation home savings plan to your budget and contributing to it monthly.

Finding Your Dream Spot with a Little Help from an Agent

If the idea of basking in the sun at your very own vacation home sounds appealing, you might want to start looking now. Summer's when everyone's trying to buy their slice of paradise, so it’s best to start early.

Your first move is to team up with a real estate agent. They know all the ins and outs of the area you want to be in, and which homes you should look at. Plus, they can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about having a second home and how it can benefit you. The same article from Bankrate says:

Buying real estate in a new area — or even one you’ve vacationed in for many years — requires expert guidance. That makes it a good idea to work with an experienced local lender who specializes in loans for vacation homes and a local real estate professional. Local lenders and Realtors will understand the required rules and specifics for the area you are buying, and a local Realtor will know what properties are available.”
[created_at] => 2024-06-17T20:34:16Z [description] =>

Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240617/20240620-Why-a-Vacation-Home-Is-the-Ultimate-Summer-Upgrade-original.png [id] => 54897 [kcm_ig_caption] => Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season. If you’re excited about getting away and having some fun in the sun, it might make sense to consider if owning your own vacation home is right for you. An Ameriprise Financial survey sheds light on why people buy a second, or vacation, home (see below): • Vacation destination or a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life (81%) • Better weather (49%) • Rental income (41%) • Primary residence in the future (33%) • Having a venue for gatherings with family and friends (25%) Ways To Buy Your Vacation Home And you don’t have to be wealthy to buy a vacation home. Bankrate shares two tips for how to make this dream more achievable for anyone who’s interested: • Buy with loved ones or friends: If you’re okay with sharing the vacation home, you can go in on the purchase price together and pool your resources to make it more affordable. • Put a savings plan in place: This will require patience and persistence but consider adding a vacation home savings plan to your budget and contributing to it monthly. Finding Your Dream Spot with a Little Help from an Agent Your first move is to team up with a real estate agent. They know all the ins and outs of the area you want to be in, and which homes you should look at. Plus, they can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about having a second home and how it can benefit you. If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, let’s chat. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => homegoals,houseshopping,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why a vacation home is the ultimate summer upgrade. [public_bottom_line] =>

If the idea of owning your own vacation home appeals to you, connect with a real estate agent.

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Why a Vacation Home Is the Ultimate Summer Upgrade

Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season.

2
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, let’s connect.

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If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings. And a big priority is making sure you’ve got a plan in place for things like your closing costs, down payment, and more.

Here are a few strategies that can help speed up that process.

Budget and Track Your Expenses: To start, create a detailed budget that tracks the money you’ve got coming in and the money going out. This’ll give you a better look at your finances as a whole.

Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending: Now that you have your budget sheet done and you know how you’re spending your money, look for any line items that aren’t absolutely essential. If you cut down on those, you can re-allocate that cash toward buying a home. Even the little things can add up. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“The majority of first-time buyers did make financial sacrifices to purchase a home. For those who did, the most common sacrifices buyers reported were cutting spending on luxury goods, entertainment, and clothes.”

Automate Your Savings: Once you know how much you want to set aside for your homebuying budget, look for ways to make it easy. If you have to transfer money manually, you may forget to do it. But getting some automatic transfers set up helps drive consistency and removes the temptation to spend it elsewhere. Realtor.com explains:

“If you’re struggling to put enough money away because of the constant temptations to blow your paycheck, consider automating the process. Ask your employer if you can have your paycheck deposited into multiple accounts—if so, instruct it to send a certain percentage of your salary directly into your savings account. Or go through your bank . . .”

Lean into Any Side Hustles You Have: Do you have a gig you do (or have done before) to net some extra cash? Taking on part-time work, freelance jobs, or picking up a side hustle can help give your savings a boost.

Put any Unexpected Cash To Good Use: If you get any sudden windfalls, like a tax refund, bonus, inheritance, or cash gift from family, put it toward your house fund.

By using these strategies and focusing on your savings over time, you can make sure you’re well on the path to having what you need to buy your first home. As Ramsey Solutions says:

“Budgeting shows your money who’s in charge (that’s you). It gives you the power to tell your money where to go instead of having to wonder where it went. It’s how you make any money goals happen—like saving for a down payment.”
[created_at] => 2024-06-04T15:21:54Z [description] =>

If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240604/20240611-Savings-Strategies-Every-First-Time-Homebuyer-Needs-To-Know-original.png [id] => 53935 [kcm_ig_caption] => If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings. And a big priority is making sure you’ve got a plan in place for things like your closing costs, down payment, and more. Here are a few strategies that can help speed up that process. Budget and Track Your Expenses: To start, create a detailed budget that tracks the money you’ve got coming in and the money going out. This’ll give you a better look at your finances as a whole. Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending: Now that you have your budget sheet done and you know how you’re spending your money, look for any line items that aren’t absolutely essential. If you cut down on those, you can re-allocate that cash toward buying a home. Even the little things can add up. Automate Your Savings: Once you know how much you want to set aside for your homebuying budget, look for ways to make it easy. If you have to transfer money manually, you may forget to do it. But getting some automatic transfers set up helps drive consistency and removes the temptation to spend it elsewhere. Lean into Any Side Hustles You Have: Do you have a gig you do (or have done before) to net some extra cash? Taking on part-time work, freelance jobs, or picking up a side hustle can help give your savings a boost. Put any Unexpected Cash To Good Use: If you get any sudden windfalls, like a tax refund, bonus, inheritance, or cash gift from family, put it toward your house fund. By using these strategies and focusing on your savings over time, you can make sure you’re well on the path to having what you need to buy your first home. If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, DM me. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Savings strategies every first-time homebuyer needs to know. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you need more strategies for getting ready to buy, connect with a local real estate professional.

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Savings Strategies Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs To Know

If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings.

3
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Selling a house on your own can cost you a lot of time and stress. Let’s connect so you have help with all the finer details, including setting the right price, handling all the paperwork, and so much more. That way we can take that stress off of your plate.

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If you’re considering selling your house on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), you want to think about if it’s really worth the extra stress. Going this route means shouldering a lot of responsibilities by yourself – and, if you’re not an expert, that opens the door for mistakes to happen and can quickly become overwhelming.

A report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows two key areas where people who sold their own house struggled the most: pricing and paperwork.

Here are just a few of the ways an agent makes those tasks a whole lot easier.

Getting the Price Right

Setting the right price for your house is important. And, if you’re selling your house on your own, two common issues can happen. You might ask for too much money (overpricing). Or you might not ask for enough (underpricing). Either can make it hard to sell your house. According to NerdWallet:

“When selling a home, first impressions matter. Your house’s market debut is your first chance to attract a buyer and it’s important to get the pricing right. If your home is overpriced, you run the risk of buyers not seeing the listing.
 . . . But price your house too low and you could end up leaving some serious money on the table. A bargain-basement price could also turn some buyers away, as they may wonder if there are any underlying problems with the house.”

To avoid these problems, team up with a real estate agent. Agents know how to figure out the perfect price because they have a deep understanding of the local housing market. And they’ll use that expertise to set a price that matches what buyers are willing to pay, giving your house the best chance to impress from the start.

Understanding and Performing Paperwork

Selling a house involves a bunch of paperwork and legal documentation that has to be just right. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow, and that makes it a bit tricky for homeowners to manage everything on their own. Without a pro by your side, you could end up facing liability risks and legal complications.

Real estate agents are experts in all the contracts and paperwork needed for selling a house. They know the rules and can guide you through it all, reducing the chance of mistakes that might lead to legal problems or delays. As an article from First American explains:

“To buy or sell a home you need to accurately complete a lot of forms, disclosures, and legal documents. A real estate agent ensures you cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ to help you avoid having a transaction fall through and/or prevent a costly mistake.”

So, instead of dealing with the growing pile of documents on your own, team up with an agent who can be your advisor, helping you avoid any legal bumps in the road.

[created_at] => 2024-06-04T15:02:11Z [description] =>

If you’re considering selling your house on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), you want to think about if it’s really worth the extra stress.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240604/20240610-Selling-Smart-Why-a-Real-Estate-Agent-Makes-All-the-Difference-original.png [id] => 53933 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re considering selling your house on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), you want to think about if it’s really worth the extra stress. Getting the Price Right Setting the right price for your house is important. And, if you’re selling your house on your own, two common issues can happen. You might ask for too much money (overpricing). Or you might not ask for enough (underpricing). Either can make it hard to sell your house. To avoid these problems, team up with a real estate agent. Agents know how to figure out the perfect price because they have a deep understanding of the local housing market. Understanding and Performing Paperwork Selling a house involves a bunch of paperwork and legal documentation that has to be just right. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow, and that makes it a bit tricky for homeowners to manage everything on their own. Without a pro by your side, you could end up facing liability risks and legal complications. Real estate agents are experts in all the contracts and paperwork needed for selling a house. They know the rules and can guide you through it all, reducing the chance of mistakes that might lead to legal problems or delays. So, instead of dealing with the growing pile of documents on your own, team up with an agent who can be your advisor, helping you avoid any legal bumps in the road. Selling a house on your own can cost you a lot of time and stress. DM me so you have help with all the finer details, including setting the right price, handling all the paperwork, and so much more. That way we can take that stress off of your plate. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,realestateagent,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Why a real estate agent makes all the difference. [public_bottom_line] =>

Selling a house on your own can cost you a lot of time and stress. Connect with a local real estate agent so you have help with all the finer details, including setting the right price, handling all the paperwork, and so much more. That way you can take that stress off of your plate.

[published_at] => 2024-06-10T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => selling-smart-why-a-real-estate-agent-makes-all-the-difference [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Selling Smart: Why a Real Estate Agent Makes All the Difference [updated_at] => 2024-06-10T14:30:35Z [url] => /2024/06/10/selling-smart-why-a-real-estate-agent-makes-all-the-difference/ )

Selling Smart: Why a Real Estate Agent Makes All the Difference

If you’re considering selling your house on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), you want to think about if it’s really worth the extra stress.

4
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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.

[published_at] => 2024-06-06T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => your-equity-could-make-a-move-possible [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Your Equity Could Make a Move Possible [updated_at] => 2024-06-06T10:30:10Z [url] => /2024/06/06/your-equity-could-make-a-move-possible/ )

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.

5
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

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.

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The Biggest Mistakes Buyers Are Making Today

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

6
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Owning a home is the American Dream. Veterans give a lot to protect our country, and one way to honor them is by making sure they know about VA home loans.

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For over 80 years, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans have helped millions of veterans buy their own homes. If you or someone you know has served in the military, it's important to learn about this program and its benefits.

Here are some key things to know about VA loans before buying a home.

Top Benefits of VA Home Loans

VA home loans make it easier for veterans to buy a home, and they're a great perk for those who qualify. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, some benefits include:

  • Options for No Down Payment: Qualified borrowers can often purchase a home with no down payment. That’s a huge weight lifted when you’re trying to save for a home. The Associated Press says:
“. . . about 90% of VA loans are used to purchase a home with no money down.”
  • Don’t Require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Many other loans with down payments under 20% require PMI. VA loans do not, which means veterans can save on their monthly housing costs.
  • Limited Closing Costs: There are limits on the types of closing costs you pay when you qualify for a VA home loan. So, more money stays in your pocket when it’s time to seal the deal.

An article from Veterans United sums up how remarkable this loan can be:

“For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans represent the most powerful lending program on the market. These flexible, $0-down payment mortgages have helped more than 24 million service members become homeowners since 1944.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-21T17:54:10Z [description] =>

For over 80 years, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans have helped millions of veterans buy their own homes.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240521/20240527-How-VA-Loans-Can-Help-You-Buy-a-Home.png [id] => 52857 [kcm_ig_caption] => For over 80 years, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans have helped millions of veterans buy their own homes. If you or someone you know has served in the military, it's important to learn about this program and its benefits. Here are some key things to know about VA loans before buying a home. Top Benefits of VA Home Loans VA home loans make it easier for veterans to buy a home, and they're a great perk for those who qualify. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, some benefits include: • Options for No Down Payment: Qualified borrowers can often purchase a home with no down payment. That’s a huge weight lifted when you’re trying to save for a home. The Associated Press says: “. . . about 90% of VA loans are used to purchase a home with no money down.” • Don’t Require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Many other loans with down payments under 20% require PMI. VA loans do not, which means veterans can save on their monthly housing costs. • Limited Closing Costs: There are limits on the types of closing costs you pay when you qualify for a VA home loan. So, more money stays in your pocket when it’s time to seal the deal. An article from Veterans United sums up how remarkable this loan can be: “For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans represent the most powerful lending program on the market. These flexible, $0-down payment mortgages have helped more than 24 million service members become homeowners since 1944.” Owning a home is the American Dream. Veterans give a lot to protect our country, and one way to honor them is by making sure they know about VA home loans. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => housegoals,makememove,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => How VA loans can help you buy a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

Owning a home is the American Dream. Veterans give a lot to protect our country, and one way to honor them is by making sure they know about VA home loans.

[published_at] => 2024-05-27T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => how-va-loans-can-help-you-buy-a-home [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => How VA Loans Can Help You Buy a Home [updated_at] => 2024-05-27T10:30:21Z [url] => /2024/05/27/how-va-loans-can-help-you-buy-a-home/ )

How VA Loans Can Help You Buy a Home

For over 80 years, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans have helped millions of veterans buy their own homes.

7
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Real estate professionals have expertise on what’s working for other buyers like you. Lean on them for tips and advice along the way. As Directors Mortgage says, with that support you can make it happen:

 

The path to homeownership may not be a straightforward one for Gen Z, but it’s undoubtedly within reach. By adopting the right strategies, like exploring down payment assistance programs and sharing living costs with relatives, you can bring your dream of owning a home closer to reality.”

 

Let’s connect to get you set up for long-term success.

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If you’re a member of a younger generation, like Gen Z, you may be asking the question: will I ever be able to buy a home? And chances are, you’re worried that’s not going to be in the cards with inflation, rising home prices, mortgage rates, and more seemingly stacked against you.

While there’s no arguing this housing market is challenging for first-time homebuyers, it is still achievable, especially if you have professionals on your side.

Here are some helpful tips you may get from a pro.

1. Explore Your Options for a Down Payment

If a down payment is your #1 hurdle, you may have options to give your savings a boost. There are over 2,000 down payment assistance programs designed to make homeownership more achievable. And, that’s not the only place you may be able to get a helping hand. While it may not be an option for everyone, 49% of Gen Z homebuyers got money from loved ones that they used toward a down payment, according to LendingTree.

And chances are you won’t need to put 20% down (unless specified by your loan type or lender). So be sure to work with a trusted mortgage professional to explore your options, find out how much you’ll really need, and learn about any guidelines on getting a gift from loved ones.

2. Live with Loved Ones To Boost Your Savings

Another thing a number of Gen Z buyers are doing is ditching their rental and moving back in with friends or family. This can help cut down your housing costs so you can build your savings a whole lot faster. As Bankrate explains:

“. . . many have opted to stop renting and live with family in order to boost their savings. Thirty percent of Gen Z homebuyers move directly from their family member’s home to a home of their own, according to NAR.”

3. Cast a Broad Net for Your Search

When you’ve saved up enough, here’s how a pro will help you approach your search. Since the supply of homes for sale is still low and affordability is tight, they’ll give you strategies and avenues you may not have considered to open up your pool of options.

For example, it’s usually more affordable if you consider a rural or suburban area versus an urban one. So, while the city may be livelier and more energetic, the cost of living may be reason enough to look at something further out. And if you consider smaller homes and condos or townhouses, you’ll give yourself even more ways to break into the market. As Colby Stout, Research Analyst at Bright MLS, explains:

“Being flexible on the types of home (e.g., a condo or townhome versus a single-family home) and exploring more affordable neighborhoods is important for first-time buyers.”

4. Take a Close Look at Your Wants and Needs

And lastly, an agent can help you really think about your must-have’s and nice-to-have’s. Remember, your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home. You just need to get your foot in the door to start building equity. If you want to buy, you may find making some compromises is worth it. As Chase says:

“An open-minded approach to house-hunting may be one way for Gen Z homebuyers to maintain some edge. This could mean buying in areas that are less expensive. Differentiating needs vs. wants may help in this area as well.”

An agent will help you prioritize your list of home features and find houses that can deliver on the top ones. And they’ll be able to explain how equity can benefit you in the long run and make it possible to move into that dream home down the line.

[created_at] => 2024-05-03T14:26:52Z [description] =>

If you’re a member of a younger generation, like Gen Z, you may be asking the question: will I ever be able to buy a home?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240503/20240507-Tips-for-Younger-Homebuyers-How-To-Make-Your-Dream-a-Reality.png [id] => 51379 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re a member of a younger generation, like Gen Z, you may be asking the question: will I ever be able to buy a home? Here are some helpful tips you may get from a pro. 1. Explore Your Options for a Down Payment If a down payment is your #1 hurdle, you may have options to give your savings a boost. There are over 2,000 down payment assistance programs designed to make homeownership more achievable. And chances are you won’t need to put 20% down (unless specified by your loan type or lender). 2. Live with Loved Ones To Boost Your Savings Another thing a number of Gen Z buyers are doing is ditching their rental and moving back in with friends or family. This can help cut down your housing costs so you can build your savings a whole lot faster. 3. Cast a Broad Net for Your Search When you’ve saved up enough, here’s how a pro will help you approach your search. Since the supply of homes for sale is still low and affordability is tight, they’ll give you strategies and avenues you may not have considered to open up your pool of options. 4. Take a Close Look at Your Wants and Needs And lastly, an agent can help you really think about your must-have’s and nice-to-have’s. Remember, your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home. You just need to get your foot in the door to start building equity. If you want to buy, you may find making some compromises is worth it. Real estate professionals have expertise on what’s working for other buyers like you. Lean on them for tips and advice along the way. Let’s connect to get you set up for long-term success. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Tips for younger homebuyers: how to make your dream a reality. [public_bottom_line] =>

Real estate professionals have expertise on what’s working for other buyers like you. Lean on them for tips and advice on ways you can get ready to buy. As Directors Mortgage says, with that support you can make it happen:

 

The path to homeownership may not be a straightforward one for Gen Z, but it’s undoubtedly within reach. By adopting the right strategies, like exploring down payment assistance programs and sharing living costs with relatives, you can bring your dream of owning a home closer to reality.”
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Tips for Younger Homebuyers: How To Make Your Dream a Reality

If you’re a member of a younger generation, like Gen Z, you may be asking the question: will I ever be able to buy a home?

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If you're thinking about selling your house, there’s probably a good reason for it. Let’s talk so you have help making the right move to reach your goals this year.

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Thinking about selling your house? As you make your decision, consider what's pushing you to think about moving. A recent survey from Realtor.com looked into why people want to sell their homes this year. Here are the top two reasons (see graphic below):

No Caption Received


Let's take a closer look and see if they’re motivating you to make a change too.

1. To Make a Profit

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind. Well, here's some good news – the latest data shows most sellers get a great return on their investment when they sell. ATTOM, a property data provider, explains:

“. . . home sellers made a $121,000 profit on the typical sale in 2023, generating a 56.5 percent return on investment.”

That’s significant. And here’s one contributing factor. During the pandemic, home prices skyrocketed. There was way more buyer demand than homes available for sale and that combination pushed prices up.

Now, home prices are still rising, just not as fast. That ongoing appreciation is good news for your bottom line. Any profit you make can help offset some of today’s affordability challenges when you buy your next home.

If you want to know how much your house is worth now and what's going on with prices in your area, talk to a local real estate agent.

2. For Family Reasons

Maybe you want to be near relatives to help take care of older family members or to have more support nearby. Or maybe you’re just eager to spend time together on special occasions like birthdays and holidays.

Selling a house and moving closer to the people who matter the most to you helps keep you connected. If the distance is making you miss out on some big milestones in their lives, it might be time to talk to a local real estate agent to find a place close by. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-02T17:17:30Z [description] =>

Thinking about selling your house?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240502/240506-What-s-Motivating-Your-Move.png [id] => 51269 [kcm_ig_caption] => Thinking about selling your house? As you make your decision, consider what's pushing you to think about moving. A recent survey from Realtor.com looked into why people want to sell their homes this year. Here are the top two reasons. 1. To Make a Profit If you’re thinking about selling your house, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind. Well, here's some good news – the latest data shows most sellers get a great return on their investment when they sell. That’s significant. And here’s one contributing factor. During the pandemic, home prices skyrocketed. There was way more buyer demand than homes available for sale and that combination pushed prices up. Now, home prices are still rising, just not as fast. That ongoing appreciation is good news for your bottom line. Any profit you make can help offset some of today’s affordability challenges when you buy your next home. 2. For Family Reasons Maybe you want to be near relatives to help take care of older family members or to have more support nearby. Or maybe you’re just eager to spend time together on special occasions like birthdays and holidays. Selling a house and moving closer to the people who matter the most to you helps keep you connected. If the distance is making you miss out on some big milestones in their lives, it might be time to talk to a local real estate agent to find a place close by. If you're thinking about selling your house, there’s probably a good reason for it. Let’s talk so you have help making the right move to reach your goals this year. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,realestatetips,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What's motivating your move? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you're thinking about selling your house, there’s probably a good reason for it. Why not talk to a local real estate agent? They can help you make the right move to reach your goals this year.

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What's Motivating Your Move?

Thinking about selling your house?

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If you have questions about what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for you, let’s connect.

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You may have heard mortgage rates are going to stay a bit higher for longer than originally expected. And if you’re wondering why, the answer lies in the latest economic data. Here’s a quick overview of what’s happening with mortgage rates and what experts say is ahead.

Economic Factors That Impact Mortgage Rates

When it comes to mortgage rates, things like the job market, the pace of inflation, consumer spending, geopolitical uncertainty, and more all have an impact. Another factor at play is the Federal Reserve (the Fed) and its decisions on monetary policy. And that’s what you may be hearing a lot about right now. Here’s why.

The Fed decided to start raising the Federal Funds Rate to try to slow down the economy (and inflation) in early 2022. That rate impacts how much it costs banks to borrow money from each other. It doesn't determine mortgage rates, but mortgage rates do respond when this happens. And that’s when mortgage rates started to really climb.

And while there’s been a ton of headway seeing inflation come down since then, it still isn’t back to where the Fed wants it to be (2%). The graph below shows inflation since the spike in early 2022, and where we are now compared to their target rate:

No Caption Received


As the graph shows, we’re much closer to their goal of 2% inflation than we were in 2022 – but we’re not there yet. It's even inched up a hair over the last 3 months – and that’s having an impact on the Fed’s plans. As Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explains:

“Strong incoming economic and inflation data has caused the market to re-evaluate the path of monetary policy, leading to higher mortgage rates.”

Basically, long story short, inflation and its impact on the broader economy are going to be key moving forward. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says:

It’s the longer-term outlook for economic growth and inflation that have the greatest bearing on the level and direction of mortgage rates. Inflation, inflation, inflation — that’s really the hub on the wheel.”

When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down?

Based on current market data, experts think inflation will be more under control and we still may see the Fed lower the Federal Funds Rate this year. It’ll just be later than originally expected. As Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said in response to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision yesterday:

“The FOMC did not change the federal funds target at its May meeting, as incoming data regarding the strength of the economy and stubbornly high inflation have resulted in a shift in the timing of a first rate cut. We expect mortgage rates to drop later this year, but not as far or as fast as we previously had predicted.

In the simplest sense, what this says is that mortgage rates should still come down later this year. But timing can shift as new employment and economic data come in, geopolitical uncertainty remains, and more. This is one of the reasons it’s usually not a good strategy to try to time the market. An article in Bankrate gives buyers this advice:

“ . . . trying to time the market is generally a bad idea. If buying a house is the right move for you now, don’t stress about trends or economic outlooks.”
[created_at] => 2024-05-01T20:29:16Z [description] =>

You may have heard mortgage rates are going to stay a bit higher for longer than originally expected.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240501/20240502-What-s-Going-on-with-Mortgage-Rates.png [id] => 51182 [kcm_ig_caption] => You may have heard mortgage rates are going to stay a bit higher for longer than originally expected. And if you’re wondering why, the answer lies in the latest economic data. Economic Factors That Impact Mortgage Rates When it comes to mortgage rates, things like the job market, the pace of inflation, consumer spending, geopolitical uncertainty, and more all have an impact. Another factor at play is the Federal Reserve (the Fed) and its decisions on monetary policy. And that’s what you may be hearing a lot about right now. Basically, long story short, inflation and its impact on the broader economy are going to be key moving forward. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, says: “It’s the longer-term outlook for economic growth and inflation that have the greatest bearing on the level and direction of mortgage rates. Inflation, inflation, inflation — that’s really the hub on the wheel.” When Will Mortgage Rates Come Down? Based on current market data, experts think inflation will be more under control and we still may see the Fed lower the Federal Funds Rate this year. It’ll just be later than originally expected. In the simplest sense, what this says is that mortgage rates should still come down later this year. But timing can shift as new employment and economic data come in, geopolitical uncertainty remains, and more. This is one of the reasons it’s usually not a good strategy to try to time the market. If you have questions about what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for you, let’s connect. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => stayinformed,staycurrent,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => What’s going on with mortgage rates? [public_bottom_line] =>

If you have questions about what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for you, connect with a trusted real estate professional.

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What Is Going on with Mortgage Rates?

You may have heard mortgage rates are going to stay a bit higher for longer than originally expected.

10
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you're tired of your rent going up and want to explore the many benefits of homeownership, let’s talk to explore your options.

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Thinking about buying a home? While today’s mortgage rates might seem a bit intimidating, here are two solid reasons why, if you’re ready and able, it could still be a smart move to get your own place.

1. Home Values Typically Go Up Over Time

There’s been some confusion over the past year or so about which way home prices are headed. Make no mistake, nationally they’re still going up. In fact, over the long-term, home prices almost always go up (see graph below):

No Caption Received


Using data from the Federal Reserve (the Fed), you can see the overall trend is home prices have climbed steadily for the past 60 years. There was an exception during the 2008 housing crash when prices didn't follow the normal pattern, but generally, home values kept rising.

This is a big reason why buying a home can be better than renting. As prices go up and you pay down your mortgage, you build equity. Over time, this growing equity can really increase your net worth. The Urban Institute says:

“Homeownership is critical for wealth building and financial stability.”

2. Rent Keeps Rising in the Long Run

Here’s another reason you may want to think about buying a home instead of renting – rent just keeps going up over the years. Sure, it might be cheaper to rent right now in some areas, but every time you renew your lease or sign a new one, you’re likely to feel the squeeze of your rent getting higher. According to data from iProperty Management, rent has been going up pretty consistently for the last 60 years, too (see graph below):

No Caption Received


So how do you escape the cycle of rising rents? Buying a home with a fixed-rate mortgage helps you stabilize your housing costs and say goodbye to those annoying rent increases. That kind of stability is a big deal.

Your housing payments are like an investment, and you've got a decision to make. Do you want to invest in yourself or keep paying your landlord?

When you own your home, you're investing in your own future. And even when renting is cheaper, that money you pay every month is gone for good.

As Dr. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and VP of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“If a homebuyer is financially stable, able to manage monthly mortgage costs and can handle the associated household maintenance expenses, then it makes sense to purchase a home.”
[created_at] => 2024-04-29T20:21:06Z [description] =>

Thinking about buying a home?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240429/20240501-The-Perks-of-Buying-over-Renting.png [id] => 50922 [kcm_ig_caption] => Thinking about buying a home? While today’s mortgage rates might seem a bit intimidating, here are two solid reasons why, if you’re ready and able, it could still be a smart move to get your own place. 1. Home Values Typically Go Up Over Time There’s been some confusion over the past year or so about which way home prices are headed. Make no mistake, nationally they’re still going up. In fact, over the long-term, home prices almost always go up. This is a big reason why buying a home can be better than renting. As prices go up and you pay down your mortgage, you build equity. Over time, this growing equity can really increase your net worth. The Urban Institute says: “Homeownership is critical for wealth building and financial stability.” 2. Rent Keeps Rising in the Long Run Rent just keeps going up over the years. Sure, it might be cheaper to rent right now in some areas, but every time you renew your lease or sign a new one, you’re likely to feel the squeeze of your rent getting higher. So how do you escape the cycle of rising rents? Buying a home with a fixed-rate mortgage helps you stabilize your housing costs and say goodbye to those annoying rent increases. That kind of stability is a big deal. Your housing payments are like an investment, and you've got a decision to make. Do you want to invest in yourself or keep paying your landlord? When you own your home, you're investing in your own future. And even when renting is cheaper, that money you pay every month is gone for good. If you're tired of your rent going up and want to explore the many benefits of homeownership, let’s talk to explore your options. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => The perks of buying over renting. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you're tired of your rent going up and want to explore the many benefits of homeownership, talk to a local real estate agent to explore your options.

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The Perks of Buying over Renting

Thinking about buying a home?

11
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

Whether you're looking to save money or want to take care of your loved ones, buying a multi-generational home might be a good idea for you. If you want to find out more, let’s talk.

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Ever thought about living in the same house with your grandparents, parents, or other loved ones? You're not alone. A lot of people are choosing to buy multi-generational homes where everyone can live together. Let's check out why they think it’s a good idea to see if it might be a good fit for you, too.

Why People Are Choosing Multi-Generational Living

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), here are just a few key reasons buyers opted for multi-generational homes over the past year (see graph below):

 No Caption Received


Two of the top reasons had to do with aging parents. 27% of buyers chose multi-generational homes so they could take care of their parents more easily. And 19% did it to spend more time with them. A lot of older adults want to age in place, and living in a home with loved ones can help them do just that. If your parents are hoping to do the same, but need a bit of help, a multi-generational home may be worth considering.

But buying a multi-generational home isn’t just about being close or taking care of the people you love—it can save you money, too. 22% of buyers say they picked a multi-generational home to cut down on costs, and 11% needed a bigger house multiple incomes could afford together.

Sharing costs like the mortgage and utilities can make owning a home more affordable. This is especially helpful for first-time homebuyers who might find it challenging to buy a place on their own in today's market.

As Axios explains:

“Financial concerns and caregiving needs are two of the major reasons people live with their parents (and parents’ parents).”

How an Agent Is Key in Finding the Right Home for You

Looking for the perfect multi-generational home is a bit trickier than finding a regular house. You've got more people, which means more opinions and needs to think about. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle where all the pieces need to fit perfectly.

If you're into the idea of living with loved ones and want all the benefits that come with it, team up with a local real estate agent who can help you out.

[created_at] => 2024-04-23T17:25:25Z [description] =>

Ever thought about living in the same house with your grandparents, parents, or other loved ones?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240423/20240425-Is-a-Multi-Generational-Home-Right-for-You.png [id] => 50196 [kcm_ig_caption] => Ever thought about living in the same house with your grandparents, parents, or other loved ones? You're not alone. A lot of people are choosing to buy multi-generational homes where everyone can live together. Let's check out why they think it’s a good idea to see if it might be a good fit for you, too. Why People Are Choosing Multi-Generational Living Sharing costs like the mortgage and utilities can make owning a home more affordable. This is especially helpful for first-time homebuyers who might find it challenging to buy a place on their own in today's market. As Axios explains: “Financial concerns and caregiving needs are two of the major reasons people live with their parents (and parents’ parents).” How an Agent Is Key in Finding the Right Home for You Looking for the perfect multi-generational home is a bit trickier than finding a regular house. You've got more people, which means more opinions and needs to think about. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle where all the pieces need to fit perfectly. If you're into the idea of living with loved ones and want all the benefits that come with it, team up with a local real estate agent who can help you out. Whether you're looking to save money or want to take care of your loved ones, buying a multi-generational home might be a good idea for you. If you want to find out more, let’s talk. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => makememove,homegoals,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Is a multi-generational home right for you? [public_bottom_line] =>

Whether you're looking to save money or want to take care of your loved ones, buying a multi-generational home might be a good idea for you. If you want to find out more, talk to a local real estate agent.

[published_at] => 2024-04-25T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => is-a-multi-generational-home-right-for-you [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => Is a Multi-Generational Home Right for You? [updated_at] => 2024-04-25T10:30:17Z [url] => /2024/04/25/is-a-multi-generational-home-right-for-you/ )

Is a Multi-Generational Home Right for You?

Ever thought about living in the same house with your grandparents, parents, or other loved ones?

12
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

When it comes down to it, buying a home gives you a benefit renting just can’t provide – and that’s the chance to gain equity. If you want to take advantage of long-term home price appreciation, let’s go over your options.

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You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. And while that may be true in some markets if you just look at typical monthly payments, there’s one thing that the numbers aren’t factoring in: and that’s home equity. Here’s a look at how big of an impact equity can have and why it’s worth considering as you make your decision.

What the Headlines Are Based on

The graph below uses national data on the median rental payment from Realtor.com and median mortgage payment from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to compare the two options. As the graph shows, especially if you’re not looking for a lot of space, it can be more affordable on a monthly basis to rent:

 No Caption Received


But if you’re looking for something with 2 bedrooms, the gap between the median rent and the median mortgage payment starts to shrink to a difference that may be more doable. The median monthly mortgage payment is $2,040. The median monthly rent for 2 bedrooms is $1,889. That’s a difference of about $151 a month. But here’s what happens when you factor in equity too.

How Equity Changes the Game

If you rent, your monthly rental payments only go toward covering your housing costs and your landlord’s expenses. So other than saving a bit more per month and maybe getting your rental deposit back when you move, the money you spent on housing each month is gone – forever.

When you buy, your monthly mortgage payment pays for your shelter, but it also acts as an investment. That investment grows in the form of equity as you make your mortgage payment each month and chip away at what you owe on your home loan. Your equity gets an extra boost as home values climb – which they typically do.

To give you a clearer idea of how equity can really stack up fast, here’s some data for you. Each quarter, Fannie Mae and Pulsenomics publish the results of the Home Price Expectations Survey (HPES). It asks more than 100 economists, real estate professionals, and investment and market strategists what they think will happen with home prices. In the latest release, those experts say home prices are going to keep going up over the next five years.

Here's an example of how equity builds based on the projections from the HPES (see graph below):

No Caption Received


Imagine you purchased a home for $400,000 at the start of this year. Chances are, since you bought, you plan to stay put for a while. Based on the HPES projections, if you live there for 5 years, you could end up gaining over $83,000 in household wealth as your home grows in value.

Here’s how that stacks up compared to renting, using the overall median rent from above:

 No Caption Received


While you may save a bit on your monthly payments if you rent right now, you’ll also miss out on gaining equity.

So, what’s the big takeaway? Whether it makes more sense to rent or buy is going to vary based on your personal finances. It’s not a good idea to buy if the numbers truly don’t work for you. But, if you’re ready and able, adding equity as the final puzzle piece may be enough to help you realize buying is a better move in the long run.

[created_at] => 2024-04-15T18:31:01Z [description] =>

You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. 

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240415/20240417-Is-It-Better-To-Rent-Than-Buy-a-Home-Right-Now.png [id] => 49408 [kcm_ig_caption] => You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. How Equity Changes the Game If you rent, your monthly rental payments only go toward covering your housing costs and your landlord’s expenses. So other than saving a bit more per month and maybe getting your rental deposit back when you move, the money you spent on housing each month is gone – forever. When you buy, your monthly mortgage payment pays for your shelter, but it also acts as an investment. That investment grows in the form of equity as you make your mortgage payment each month and chip away at what you owe on your home loan. Your equity gets an extra boost as home values climb – which they typically do. Imagine you purchased a home for $400,000 at the start of this year. Chances are, since you bought, you plan to stay put for a while. Based on the HPES projections, if you live there for 5 years, you could end up gaining over $83,000 in household wealth as your home grows in value. While you may save a bit on your monthly payments if you rent right now, you’ll also miss out on gaining equity. So, what’s the big takeaway? Whether it makes more sense to rent or buy is going to vary based on your personal finances. It’s not a good idea to buy if the numbers truly don’t work for you. But, if you’re ready and able, adding equity as the final puzzle piece may be enough to help you realize buying is a better move in the long run. If you want to take advantage of long-term home price appreciation, let’s go over your options. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => firsttimehomebuyer,opportunity,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Is it better to rent than buy a home right now? [public_bottom_line] =>

When it comes down to it, buying a home gives you a benefit renting just can’t provide – and that’s the chance to gain equity. If you want to take advantage of long-term home price appreciation, talk to a local real estate agent to go over your options.

[published_at] => 2024-04-17T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => is-it-better-to-rent-than-buy-a-home-right-now-1 [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Is It Better To Rent Than Buy a Home Right Now? [updated_at] => 2024-04-17T10:30:08Z [url] => /2024/04/17/is-it-better-to-rent-than-buy-a-home-right-now-1/ )

Is It Better To Rent Than Buy a Home Right Now?

You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. 

13
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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?

14
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

If you’re struggling to find a home to buy, or with today’s affordability challenges, let’s connect to see if newly built homes could be the solution you’re looking for.

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Buying a home this spring? You’re probably navigating today’s affordability challenges and dealing with the limited number of homes for sale. But, what if there was a solution that could help with both?

If you’re having a hard time finding a home you love, and mortgage rates are putting pressure on your budget, it may be time to look at newly built homes. Here’s why.

New Home Construction Is an Inventory Bright Spot

When looking for a home, you can choose between existing homes (those that are already built and previously owned) and newly constructed ones. While the number of existing homes for sale has increased this year, there are still fewer available than there were in more typical years in the housing market, like back in 2018 or 2019.

So, if you’re looking to expand your pool of options even more, turning to newly built homes can help. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, explains:

“The shortage of existing homes For Sale has opened up the possibility of new-home construction to more buyers who may not have once considered it.”

And the good news is, there are more newly built homes to pick from right now. The graphs below use data from the Census to show how new home construction is ramping up in two key areas (see most recent spike in green):

 a graph of a number of homes for sale


Starts, or homes where builders just broke ground, have seen a big increase lately. And completions, homes that builders just finished, are also up significantly. So, if you want a new, move-in ready home or you want to get in early and customize your build along the way, you have more options right now.

Builders Are Offering Incentives To Help with Affordability

And to sweeten the pot, builders are offering things like mortgage rate buy-downs and other perks for homebuyers right now. This can help offset today’s affordability challenges while also getting you into your dream home. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains why you may find builders have more wiggle room to offer more for you than the typical homeowner:

“Builders aren't rate locked-in. They would love to sell you the home because they're not living in it. It costs money not to sell the home. And many of the public home builders have said in their earnings calls that they are not going to be pulling back on incentives, especially the mortgage rate buydown, so that will help the new-home market continue to perform well in the spring home-buying season.”

An article from HousingWire also says this about what builders are offering right now:

 ". . . the use of sales incentives still shows some momentum as 60% of respondents reported using them, up from 58% in February. "

Just remember, buying from a builder is different from buying from a home seller, so it’s important to partner with a local real estate agent. Builder contracts can be complex. A trusted agent will be your advocate throughout the process.

They’ll be your go-to resource for advice on construction quality and builder reputation, reviewing and negotiating contracts to get you the best deal, helping you decide on which customizations and upgrades are most worthwhile, and a whole lot more.

[created_at] => 2024-03-27T18:04:54Z [description] =>

Buying a home this spring?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240327/20240403-Newly-Built-Homes-Could-Be-a-Game-Changer-This-Spring.png [id] => 47687 [kcm_ig_caption] => Buying a home this spring? If you’re having a hard time finding a home you love, and mortgage rates are putting pressure on your budget, it may be time to look at newly built homes. Here’s why. New Home Construction Is an Inventory Bright Spot When looking for a home, you can choose between existing homes (those that are already built and previously owned) and newly constructed ones. While the number of existing homes for sale has increased this year, there are still fewer available than there were in more typical years in the housing market, like back in 2018 or 2019. So, if you’re looking to expand your pool of options even more, turning to newly built homes can help. And the good news is, there are more newly built homes to pick from right now. Builders Are Offering Incentives To Help with Affordability And to sweeten the pot, builders are offering things like mortgage rate buy-downs and other perks for homebuyers right now. This can help offset today’s affordability challenges while also getting you into your dream home. Just remember, buying from a builder is different from buying from a home seller, so it’s important to partner with a local real estate agent. Builder contracts can be complex. A trusted agent will be your advocate throughout the process. They’ll be your go-to resource for advice on construction quality and builder reputation, reviewing and negotiating contracts to get you the best deal, helping you decide on which customizations and upgrades are most worthwhile, and a whole lot more. If you’re struggling to find a home to buy, or with today’s affordability challenges, DM me to see if newly built homes could be the solution you’re looking for. [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] => Newly built homes could be a game changer this spring. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re struggling to find a home to buy, or with today’s affordability challenges, connect with a local real estate agent to see if newly built homes could be the solution you’re looking for.

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Newly Built Homes Could Be a Game Changer This Spring

Buying a home this spring?

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a man sitting at a desk using a laptop

[created_at] => 2024-03-20T15:40:56Z [description] =>

Trying to buy your first home? If you’re worried about affordability today or the limited number of homes for sale, these tips can help.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240320/20240322-3-Helpful-Tips-for-First-Time-Homebuyers-KCM-Share.png [id] => 47045 [kcm_ig_caption] => Trying to buy your first home? If you’re worried about affordability today or the limited number of homes for sale, these tips can help. Look into homebuyer programs, expand your search area, and consider a multi-generational home. DM me so you have an expert on your side to help you make your dream a reality. [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] => 3 helpful tips for first-time homebuyers. [public_bottom_line] => [published_at] => 2024-03-22T10:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => 3-helpful-tips-for-first-time-homebuyers-infographic [status] => published [tags] => Array ( ) [title] => 3 Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC] [updated_at] => 2024-04-11T20:07:24Z [url] => /2024/03/22/3-helpful-tips-for-first-time-homebuyers-infographic/ )

3 Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Trying to buy your first home? If you’re worried about affordability today or the limited number of homes for sale, these tips can help.

16
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No matter what you're planning, let’s team up to confidently navigate the busy spring housing market.

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If you’re planning to move soon, you might be wondering if there'll be more homes to choose from, where prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how to navigate today’s market. If so, here's what the professionals are saying about what’s in store for this season.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American:

“. . . it seems our general expectation for the spring is that we will see a pickup in inventory. In fact, that already seems to be happening. But it won’t necessarily be enough to satiate demand.”

Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist, Bright MLS:

There is still strong demand, as the large millennial population remains in the prime first-time homebuying range.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, Realtor.com:

“Where we are right now is the best of both worlds. Price increases are slowing, which is good for buyers, and prices are still relatively high, which is good for sellers.

Skylar Olsen, Chief Economist, Zillow:

“There are slightly more homes for sale than this time last year, and there is still plenty of competition for well-priced houses. Buyers should prep their credit scores and sellers should prep their properties now, attractive listings are going pending in less than a month, and time on market will shrink in the weeks ahead.

Jiayi Xu, Economist, Realtor.com:

“While mortgage rates remain elevated, home shoppers who are looking to buy this spring could find more affordable homes on the market than they saw at the same time last year. Specifically, there were 20.6% more homes available for sale ranging between $200,000 and $350,000 in February 2024 than a year ago, surpassing growth in other price ranges.”

If you’re looking to sell, this spring might be your sweet spot because there just aren’t many homes on the market. Sure, inventory is rising, but it’s nowhere near enough to meet today’s buyer demand. That’s why they’re still selling so quickly.

If you’re looking to buy, the growing number of homes for sale this spring means you’ll have more choices than this time last year. But be prepared to move quickly since there’ll be plenty of competition with other buyers.

[created_at] => 2024-03-20T15:03:05Z [description] =>

If you’re planning to move soon, you might be wondering if there'll be more homes to choose from, where prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how to navigate today’s market.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240320/20240321-What-Are-Experts-Saying-About-the-Spring-Housing-Market.png [id] => 47036 [kcm_ig_caption] => Here’s what the professionals are saying about what’s in store for this season. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American: “. . . it seems our general expectation for the spring is that we will see a pickup in inventory. In fact, that already seems to be happening. But it won’t necessarily be enough to satiate demand.” Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist, Bright MLS: “There is still strong demand, as the large millennial population remains in the prime first-time homebuying range.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, Realtor.com: “Where we are right now is the best of both worlds. Price increases are slowing, which is good for buyers, and prices are still relatively high, which is good for sellers.” Skylar Olsen, Chief Economist, Zillow: “There are slightly more homes for sale than this time last year, and there is still plenty of competition for well-priced houses. Buyers should prep their credit scores and sellers should prep their properties now, attractive listings are going pending in less than a month, and time on market will shrink in the weeks ahead.” If you’re looking to sell, this spring might be your sweet spot because there just aren’t many homes on the market. Sure, inventory is rising, but it’s nowhere near enough to meet today’s buyer demand. That’s why they’re still selling so quickly. If you’re looking to buy, the growing number of homes for sale this spring means you’ll have more choices than this time last year. But be prepared to move quickly since there’ll be plenty of competition with other buyers. No matter what you're planning, let’s team up to confidently navigate the busy spring housing market. [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 are experts saying about the spring housing market? [public_bottom_line] =>

No matter what you're planning, team up with a local real estate agent to confidently navigate the busy spring housing market.

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What Are Experts Saying About the Spring Housing Market?

If you’re planning to move soon, you might be wondering if there'll be more homes to choose from, where prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how to navigate today’s market.

17
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In today's competitive market, let’s work together to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out. 

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Are you thinking about buying a home soon? If so, you should know today’s market is competitive in many areas because the number of homes for sale is still low – and that’s leading to multiple-offer scenarios. And moving into the peak homebuying season this spring, this is only expected to ramp up more.

Remember these four tips to make your best offer.

1. Partner with a Real Estate Agent

Rely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. As PODS notes:

“Making an offer on a home without an agent is certainly possible, but having a pro by your side gives you a massive advantage in figuring out what to offer on a house.”

Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for. That advice can be game changing when you’re deciding what offer to bring to the table.

2. Understand Your Budget

Knowing your numbers is even more important right now. The best way to understand your budget is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan. Doing so helps you be more financially confident and shows sellers you’re serious. That gives you a competitive edge. As Investopedia says:

“. . . sellers have an advantage because of intense buyer demand and a limited number of homes for sale; they may be less likely to consider offers without pre-approval letters.”

3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home, especially when affordability is tight. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that’ll be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. As Realtor.com explains:

“. . . an offer price that’s significantly lower than the listing price, is often rejected by sellers who feel insulted . . . Most listing agents try to get their sellers to at least enter negotiations with buyers, to counteroffer with a number a little closer to the list price. However, if a seller is offended by a buyer or isn’t taking the buyer seriously, there’s not much you, or the real estate agent, can do.”

The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive and find a price that’s fair to you and the seller.

4. Trust Your Agent During Negotiations

After you submit your offer, the seller may decide to counter it. When negotiating, it's smart to understand what matters to the seller. Once you do, being as flexible as you can on things like moving dates or the condition of the house can make your offer more attractive.

Your real estate agent is your partner in navigating these details. Trust them to lead you through negotiations and help you figure out the best plan. As an article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

“There are many factors up for discussion in any real estate transaction—from price to repairs to possession date. A real estate professional who’s representing you will look at the transaction from your perspective, helping you negotiate a purchase agreement that meets your needs . . .” 
[created_at] => 2024-03-14T20:37:47Z [description] =>

Are you thinking about buying a home soon?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240314/20240318-Four-tips-to-make-your-strongest-offer-on-a-home.png [id] => 46566 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you thinking about buying a home soon? Remember these four tips to make your best offer. 1. Partner with a Real Estate Agent Rely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for. That advice can be game changing when you’re deciding what offer to bring to the table. 2. Understand Your Budget Knowing your numbers is even more important right now. The best way to understand your budget is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a home loan. Doing so helps you be more financially confident and shows sellers you’re serious. That gives you a competitive edge. 3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home, especially when affordability is tight. However, submitting an offer that’s too low does have some risks. You don’t want to make an offer that’ll be tossed out as soon as it’s received just to see if it sticks. 4. Trust Your Agent During Negotiations After you submit your offer, the seller may decide to counter it. When negotiating, it's smart to understand what matters to the seller. Once you do, being as flexible as you can on things like moving dates or the condition of the house can make your offer more attractive. Your real estate agent is your partner in navigating these details. Trust them to lead you through negotiations and help you figure out the best plan. In today's competitive market, let’s work together to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out. [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] => Four tips to make your strongest offer on a home. [public_bottom_line] =>

In today's competitive market, be sure to work with a local real estate agent to find you a home you love and craft a strong offer that stands out.

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4 Tips To Make Your Strongest Offer on a Home

Are you thinking about buying a home soon?

18
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Want to save money in retirement? Consider downsizing – it could really help you out. When you’re ready, let’s connect about your goals in the housing market this year.

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If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. One long-standing, popular way to do that is by downsizing to a smaller home.

When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:

“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.”

That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve built up a considerable amount of equity. And that equity is something you can use to help you buy a home that better fits your needs today. Daniel Hunt, CFA at Morgan Stanley, explains:

Home equity can be a significant source of wealth for retirees, often representing a large portion of their net worth. . . . Retirement planning can be complex, but your home equity shouldn't be overlooked.”

And when you’re ready to use that equity to fuel your next move, your real estate agent will be your guide through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your current house when you sell, finding the home that best fits your evolving needs, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.

What This Means for You

If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
  • Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
  • What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?

Then, meet with a real estate agent to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local real estate agent can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize.

[created_at] => 2024-03-04T15:57:58Z [description] =>

If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240304/20240307-The-Benefits-of-Downsizing-When-You-Retire.jpg [id] => 45413 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. One long-standing, popular way to do that is by downsizing to a smaller home. When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares: “A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.” That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve built up a considerable amount of equity. And that equity is something you can use to help you buy a home that better fits your needs today. What This Means for You If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions: • Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then? • Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit? • What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing? Then, meet with a real estate agent to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local real estate agent can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize. Want to save money in retirement? Consider downsizing – it could really help you out. When you’re ready, DM me about your goals in the housing market this year. [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] => Here’s the benefits of downsizing when you retire. [public_bottom_line] =>

Want to save money in retirement? Consider downsizing – it could really help you out. When you’re ready, connect with a local real estate agent about your goals in the housing market this year.

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The Benefits of Downsizing When You Retire

If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal.

19
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, let’s connect.

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Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life. As a first-time homebuyer, it's a dream you can make come true, but there are some hurdles you'll need to overcome in today’s housing market – specifically the limited supply of homes for sale and ongoing affordability challenges.

So, if you're ready, willing, and able to buy your first home, here are three tips to help you turn your dream into a reality.

Save Money with First-Time Homebuyer Programs                                       

Paying the initial costs of homeownership, like your down payment and closing costs, can feel a bit daunting. But there are many assistance programs for first-time homebuyers that can help you get a loan with little or no money upfront. According to Bankrate:

“. . . you might qualify for a first-time homebuyer loan or assistance. First-time buyer loans typically have more flexible requirements, such as a lower down payment and credit score. Many help buyers with closing costs and the down payment through grants and low-interest loans.

To find out more, talk to your state's housing authority or check out websites like Down Payment Resource.

Expand Your Options by Looking at Condos and Townhomes

Right now, there aren’t enough homes for sale for everyone who wants to buy one. That’s pushing home prices up and making affordability tight for buyers. One way to deal with that issue and find a home right now is to consider condos and townhomes. Realtor.com explains:

For many newbies, it might just be a matter of making a shift toward something they can better afford—like a condo or townhome. These lower-cost homes have historically been a stepping stone for buyers looking for a less expensive alternative to a single-family home.”

One reason why they may be more affordable is because they’re often smaller. But they still give you the chance to get your foot in the door and achieve your goal of owning a home and building equity. And that equity can help fuel your move into a larger home later on if you decide you need something bigger in the future. Hannah Jones, Senior Economic Analyst at Realtor.com, says:

Condos can help prospective homebuyers who perhaps have a smaller budget, but who are really determined to get a foothold in the market and start to accumulate some equity. It can be a really great entry point.”

Consider Pooling Your Resources To Buy a Multi-Generational Home

Another way to break into the market is by purchasing a home with friends or loved ones. That way you can split the cost of things like the mortgage and bills, to make it easier to afford a home. According to Money.com:

“Buying a home with another person has some obvious advantages in the mortgage department. With two incomes in the mix, buyers can likely qualify for a larger mortgage — a big help in today’s high-cost market.
[created_at] => 2024-02-15T17:31:41Z [description] =>

Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240215/20240220-Strategic-Tips-for-Buying-Your-First-Home.png [id] => 43498 [kcm_ig_caption] => Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life. As a first-time homebuyer, it's a dream you can make come true, but there are some hurdles you'll need to overcome in today’s housing market. Save Money with First-Time Homebuyer Programs Paying the initial costs of homeownership, like your down payment and closing costs, can feel a bit daunting. But there are many assistance programs for first-time homebuyers that can help you get a loan with little or no money upfront. To find out more, talk to your state's housing authority or check out websites like Down Payment Resource. Expand Your Options by Looking at Condos and Townhomes Right now, there aren’t enough homes for sale for everyone who wants to buy one. That’s pushing home prices up and making affordability tight for buyers. One way to deal with that issue and find a home right now is to consider condos and townhomes. One reason why they may be more affordable is because they’re often smaller. But they still give you the chance to get your foot in the door and achieve your goal of owning a home and building equity. And that equity can help fuel your move into a larger home later on if you decide you need something bigger in the future. Consider Pooling Your Resources To Buy a Multi-Generational Home Another way to break into the market is by purchasing a home with friends or loved ones. That way you can split the cost of things like the mortgage and bills, to make it easier to afford a home. By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, DM me. [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] => Strategic tips for buying your first home. [public_bottom_line] =>

By exploring first-time homebuyer assistance, condos, townhomes, and multi-generational living, it can be easier to find and buy your first home. When you’re ready, connect with a local real estate agent.

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Strategic Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big, exciting step and a major milestone that has the power to improve your life.

20
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    [agents_bottom_line] => 

By decluttering, deep cleaning, and tidying up your house, you can create a welcoming environment that resonates with buyers and increases your chances of a successful sale. Let’s connect on what you need to do to get your house ready to sell this spring.

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If you're thinking of selling your house this spring, now is the perfect time to start getting it ready. With the market gearing up for its busiest time of year, it'll be important to make sure your house shines bright among the competition.

Here are some valuable tips you can use to get your house market-ready.

Declutter and Organize

First impressions matter, and if your house is a mess, that can easily turn off potential buyers. Before listing, take the time to declutter and organize each room. Decluttering is about more than just tidying up – it's about creating a sense of space and openness that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home. According to Moving.com:

Decluttering and organizing your space will go a long way in appealing to potential buyers. . . .decluttering will help the buyers see themselves living in your home. Less clutter inside a home also helps a place appear larger and cleaner, which should attract more buyers.”

Deep Clean Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms are focal points for many buyers, and often influence their overall opinion of the house. Ensure these spaces dazzle by giving them a thorough deep cleaning. Pay attention to details like scrubbing grout lines, polishing fixtures, and decluttering countertops. A sparkling kitchen and bathroom can leave a lasting positive impression on potential buyers.

Maintain Your Yard

Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see, so it’s important to make a good impression from the moment they arrive. A well-maintained yard not only enhances curb appeal, but also shows buyers the home has been well taken care of.

Take the time to spruce up your yard by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and clearing away any debris or dead plants. Remember, the goal is to create a welcoming environment that entices buyers to step inside and imagine themselves living there. U.S. News says:

“A beautifully landscaped front yard can elevate an ordinary house into a charming home and will help homes sell faster and for more money.”

Find a Listing Agent

A skilled listing agent is your partner in minimizing stress when selling your home. Lean on your agent for advice on decluttering, staging, and enhancing your home's appeal to potential buyers. Their insights into market trends and recommendations for reliable contractors and stagers are invaluable. As Realtor.com says:

“A good listing agent will help you price your home . . . recommend a photographer and stager to make it look its best, and put your home on the multiple listing service.”
[created_at] => 2024-02-14T17:25:37Z [description] =>

If you're thinking of selling your house this spring, now is the perfect time to start getting it ready.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240214/20240219-It-s-Time-To-Prepare-Your-House-for-a-Spring-Listing.png [id] => 43360 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you're thinking of selling your house this spring, now is the perfect time to start getting it ready. Declutter and Organize First impressions matter, and if your house is a mess, that can easily turn off potential buyers. According to Moving.com: “Decluttering and organizing your space will go a long way in appealing to potential buyers. . . .decluttering will help the buyers see themselves living in your home. Less clutter inside a home also helps a place appear larger and cleaner, which should attract more buyers.” Deep Clean Your Kitchen and Bathrooms The kitchen and bathrooms are focal points for many buyers, and often influence their overall opinion of the house. Ensure these spaces dazzle by giving them a thorough deep cleaning. Maintain Your Yard Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see, so it’s important to make a good impression from the moment they arrive. U.S. News says: “A beautifully landscaped front yard can elevate an ordinary house into a charming home and will help homes sell faster and for more money.” Find a Listing Agent A skilled listing agent is your partner in minimizing stress when selling your home. Realtor.com says: “A good listing agent will help you price your home . . . recommend a photographer and stager to make it look its best, and put your home on the multiple listing service.” By decluttering, deep cleaning, and tidying up your house, you can create a welcoming environment that resonates with buyers and increases your chances of a successful sale. DM me on what you need to do to get your house ready to sell this spring. [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] => It’s time to prepare your house for a spring listing. [public_bottom_line] =>

By decluttering, deep cleaning, and tidying up your house, you can create a welcoming environment that resonates with buyers and increases your chances of a successful sale. Connect with a trusted real estate agent for advice on what you need to do to get your house ready to sell this spring.

[published_at] => 2024-02-19T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => its-time-to-prepare-your-house-for-a-spring-listing [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => It’s Time To Prepare Your House for a Spring Listing [updated_at] => 2024-02-19T11:30:03Z [url] => /2024/02/19/its-time-to-prepare-your-house-for-a-spring-listing/ )

It’s Time To Prepare Your House for a Spring Listing

If you're thinking of selling your house this spring, now is the perfect time to start getting it ready.

21
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A home is a place that reflects who you are, a safe space for the ones you love the most, and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished. Let’s connect if you’re ready to break up with your rental and buy a home.

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Chances are at some point in your life you’ve heard the phrase, home is where the heart is. There’s a reason that’s said so often. Becoming a homeowner is emotional.

So, if you’re trying to decide if you want to keep on renting or if you’re ready to buy a home this year, here’s why it’s so easy to fall in love with homeownership.

Customizing to Your Heart’s Desire

Your house should be a space that’s uniquely you. And, if you’re a renter, that can be hard to achieve. When you rent, the paint colors are usually the standard shade of white, you don’t have much control over the upgrades, and you’ve got to be careful how many holes you put in the walls. But when you’re a homeowner, you have a lot more freedom. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.”

Whether you want to paint the walls a cheery bright color or go for a dark moody tone, you can match your interior to your vibe. Imagine how it would feel to come home at the end of the day and walk into a space that feels like you.

Greater Stability for the Ones You Love Most

One of the hardest things about renting is the uncertainty of what happens at the end of your lease. Does your payment go up so much that you have to move? What if your landlord decides to sell the property? It’s like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jeff Ostrowski, a business journalist covering real estate and the economy, explains how homeownership can give you more peace of mind in a Money Geek article:

“Homeownership means you are the boss and have the biggest say in your lifestyle and family decisions. Suppose your kids are in public school and you don't want to risk having them change schools because your landlord doesn't renew your lease. Owning a home would remove much of the risk of having to move.”

A Feeling of Belonging

You may also find you feel much more at home in the community once you own a house. That’s because, when you buy a home, you’re staking a claim and saying, I’m a part of this community. You’ll have neighbors, block parties, and more. And that’ll give you the feeling of being a part of something bigger. As the International Housing Association explains:

“. . . homeowning households are more socially involved in community affairs than their renting counterparts. This is due to both the fact that homeowners expect to remain in the community for a longer period of time and that homeowners have an ownership stake in the neighborhood.”

The Emotional High of Achieving Your Dream

Becoming a homeowner is a journey – and it may have been a long road to get to the point where you’re ready to take the plunge. If you’re seriously considering leaving behind your rental and making this commitment, you should know the emotions that come with this owning a home are powerful. You’ll be able to walk up to your front door every day and have that sense of accomplishment welcome you home. 

[created_at] => 2024-02-12T15:47:07Z [description] =>

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve heard the phrase, home is where the heart is.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240212/20240214-Why-So-Many-People-Fall-in-Love-with-Homeownership.png [id] => 43073 [kcm_ig_caption] => Chances are at some point in your life you’ve heard the phrase, home is where the heart is. If you’re trying to decide if you want to keep on renting or if you’re ready to buy a home this year, here’s why it’s so easy to fall in love with homeownership. Customizing to Your Heart’s Desire Your house should be a space that’s uniquely you. And, if you’re a renter, that can be hard to achieve. But when you’re a homeowner, you have a lot more freedom. Greater Stability for the Ones You Love Most One of the hardest things about renting is the uncertainty of what happens at the end of your lease. Does your payment go up so much that you have to move? What if your landlord decides to sell the property? It’s like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. A Feeling of Belonging You may also find you feel much more at home in the community once you own a house. That’s because, when you buy a home, you’re staking a claim and saying, I’m a part of this community. You’ll have neighbors, block parties, and more. And that’ll give you the feeling of being a part of something bigger. The Emotional High of Achieving Your Dream Becoming a homeowner is a journey – and it may have been a long road to get to the point where you’re ready to take the plunge. If you’re seriously considering leaving behind your rental and making this commitment, you should know the emotions that come with this owning a home are powerful. A home is a place that reflects who you are, a safe space for the ones you love the most, and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished. DM me if you’re ready to break up with your rental and buy a home. [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 so many people fall in love with homeownership. [public_bottom_line] =>

A home is a place that reflects who you are, a safe space for the ones you love the most, and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished. Connect with a local real estate professional if you’re ready to break up with your rental and buy a home.

[published_at] => 2024-02-14T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => why-so-many-people-fall-in-love-with-homeownership [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Why So Many People Fall in Love with Homeownership [updated_at] => 2024-02-14T11:30:13Z [url] => /2024/02/14/why-so-many-people-fall-in-love-with-homeownership/ )

Why So Many People Fall in Love with Homeownership

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve heard the phrase, home is where the heart is.

22
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Planning a move? Your home equity can really help you out. Let’s connect to see how much equity you have and how it can help with your next home.

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Are you on the fence about selling your house? While affordability is improving this year, it’s still tight. And that may be on your mind. But understanding your home equity could be the key to making your decision easier. An article from Bankrate explains:

Home equity is the difference between your home's value and the amount you still owe on your mortgage. It represents the paid-off portion of your home.
You'll start off with a certain level of equity when you make your down payment to buy the home, then continue to build equity as you pay down your mortgage. You'll also build equity over time as your home's value increases.”

Think of equity as a simple math equation. It's the value of your home now minus what you owe on your mortgage. And guess what? Recently, your equity has probably grown more than you think.

In the past few years, home prices skyrocketed, which means your home's value – and your equity – likely shot up, too. So, you may have more equity than you realize.

How To Make the Most of Your Home Equity Right Now

If you're thinking about moving, the equity you have in your home could be a big help. According to CoreLogic:

“. . . the average U.S. homeowner with a mortgage still has more than $300,000 in equity . . .”

Clearly, homeowners have a lot of equity right now. And the latest data from the Census and ATTOM shows over two-thirds of 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 roughly 70% have a tremendous amount of equity right now.

After you sell your house, you can use your equity to help you buy your next home. Here’s how:

  • 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. Investopedia states:
“You may want to pay cash for your home if you're shopping in a competitive housing market, or if you'd like to save money on mortgage interest. It could help you close a deal and beat out other buyers.
  • 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 money. The Mortgage Reports explains:
Borrowers who put down more money typically receive better interest rates from lenders. This is due to the fact that a larger down payment lowers the lender’s risk because the borrower has more equity in the home from the beginning.”

The Easy Way To Find Out How Much Equity You Have

To find out how much equity you have in your home, ask a real estate agent you trust for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR). 

[created_at] => 2024-02-07T17:07:42Z [description] =>

Are you on the fence about selling your house?

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240207/20240208-Home-Equity-Can-be-a-Game-Changer-When-You-Sell.png [id] => 42533 [kcm_ig_caption] => Are you on the fence about selling your house? While affordability is improving this year, it’s still tight. And that may be on your mind. But understanding your home equity could be the key to making your decision easier. Think of equity as a simple math equation. It's the value of your home now minus what you owe on your mortgage. And guess what? Recently, your equity has probably grown more than you think. In the past few years, home prices skyrocketed, which means your home's value – and your equity – likely shot up, too. So, you may have more equity than you realize. How To Make the Most of Your Home Equity Right Now If you're thinking about moving, the equity you have in your home could be a big help. According to CoreLogic: “. . . the average U.S. homeowner with a mortgage still has more than $300,000 in equity . . .” After you sell your house, you can use your equity to help you 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 money. The Easy Way To Find Out How Much Equity You Have To find out how much equity you have in your home, ask a real estate agent you trust for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR). Planning a move? Your home equity can really help you out. DM me to see how much equity you have and how it can help with your next home. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,dreamhome,realestate,homeownership,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => Home equity can be a game changer when you sell. [public_bottom_line] =>

Planning a move? Your home equity can really help you out. Connect with a local real estate agent to see how much equity you have and how it can help with your next home.

[published_at] => 2024-02-08T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => home-equity-can-be-a-game-changer-when-you-sell [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => Home Equity Can Be a Game Changer When You Sell [updated_at] => 2024-02-08T11:30:08Z [url] => /2024/02/08/home-equity-can-be-a-game-changer-when-you-sell/ )

Home Equity Can Be a Game Changer When You Sell

Are you on the fence about selling your house?

23
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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.

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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.

24
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If you’re considering selling your house, let’s connect so you have help navigating the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

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If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

A great way to balance those emotions and make sure you’re confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind when you’re ready to sell.

1. Price Your Home Right

The housing market shifted in 2023 as mortgage rates rose and home price appreciation started to normalize once again. As a seller, you still need to recognize how important it is to price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Hannah Jones, Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com, explains:

“Sellers need to become familiar with their local market and work closely with a local agent to make sure their listing is attractive to buyers. Buyers feeling the pressure of affordability are likely to be pickier, so a well-priced, well-maintained home is the ticket to drumming up big demand.”

If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be, so your house moves quickly and for top dollar.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are staying in their houses longer than they used to. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 6 to 10 years (see graph below):


This is much more than what used to be the norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even tougher to separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations and the best pricing strategy along the way. Trust the professionals who have your best interests in mind.

3. Stage Your Home Properly

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your house over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your vibe. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you focus on your home’s first impression, so it appeals to as many buyers as possible.

Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the home. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, says:

“Buyers want to easily envision themselves within a new home and home staging is a way to showcase the property in its best light.”

A real estate professional can help you with expertise on getting your house ready to sell.

[created_at] => 2024-01-18T19:28:04Z [description] =>

If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240118/20240122-3-Must-Do-s-When-Selling-Your-House-in-2024.png [id] => 39819 [kcm_ig_caption] => If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home. Keep these three best practices in mind when you’re ready to sell. 1. Price Your Home Right If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be, so your house moves quickly and for top dollar. 2. Keep Your Emotions in Check Today, homeowners are staying in their houses longer than they used to. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 6 to 10 years. This is much more than what used to be the norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations and the best pricing strategy along the way. Trust the professionals who have your best interests in mind. 3. Stage Your Home Properly While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your house over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your vibe. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, says: “Buyers want to easily envision themselves within a new home and home staging is a way to showcase the property in its best light.” If you’re considering selling your house, DM me so you have help navigating the process while prioritizing these must-do’s. [kcm_ig_hashtags] => sellyourhouse,moveuphome,dreamhome,realestate,homeownership,realestategoals,realestatetips,realestatelife,realestatenews,realestateagent,realestateexpert,realestateagency,realestateadvice,realestateblog,realestatemarket,realestateexperts,instarealestate,instarealtor,realestatetipsoftheday,realestatetipsandadvice,justsold,keepingcurrentmatters [kcm_ig_quote] => 3 must-do’s when selling your house in 2024. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’re considering selling your house, reach out to a local real estate professional to help you navigate the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

[published_at] => 2024-01-22T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => 3-must-dos-when-selling-your-house-in-2024 [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => 3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House in 2024 [updated_at] => 2024-03-28T16:55:17Z [url] => /2024/01/22/3-must-dos-when-selling-your-house-in-2024/ )

3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House in 2024

If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home.

25
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If you’ve been waiting to sell because you didn’t want to take on a larger mortgage rate or you thought buyers weren’t out there, the recent decline in mortgage rates may be your sign it’s time to move. When you’re ready, let’s connect.

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If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you. Mortgage rates have descended since last October when they hit 7.79%. In fact, they’ve been below 7% for over a month now (see graph below):


And while they’re not going back to the 3% we saw during the ‘unicorn’ years, they are expected to continue to go down from where they are now in the near future. As Dean Baker, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Research, explains:

“It also appears that mortgage rates are now falling again. They will almost certainly not fall to pandemic lows, although we may soon see rates under 6.0 percent, which would be low by pre-Great Recession standards.”

Here are two reasons why this recent trend, and the expectation it’ll continue, is such good news for you.

You May Not Feel as Locked-In to Your Current Mortgage Rate

With mortgage rates already significantly lower than they were just a few months ago, you may feel less locked-in to the current mortgage rate you have on your house. When mortgage rates were higher, moving to a new home meant possibly trading in a low rate for one up near 8%.

However, with rates dropping, the difference between your current mortgage rate and the new rate you’d be taking on isn’t as big as it was. That makes moving more affordable than it was just a few months ago. As Lance Lambert, Founder of ResiClub, explains:

We might be at peak “lock-in effect.” Some move-up or lifestyle sellers might be coming to terms with the fact 3% and 4% mortgage rates aren’t returning anytime soon.”

More Buyers Will Be Coming to the Market

According to data from Bright MLS, the top reason buyers have been waiting to take the plunge into homeownership is high mortgage rates (see graph below):


Lower mortgage rates mean buyers can potentially save money on their home loans, making the prospect of purchasing a home more attractive and affordable. Now that rates are easing, more buyers are likely to feel they’re ready to jump back into the market and make their move. And more buyers mean more demand for your house.

[created_at] => 2024-01-16T16:50:41Z [description] =>

If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you.

[exclusive_id] => [expired_at] => [featured_image] => https://files.keepingcurrentmatters.com/KeepingCurrentMatters/content/images/20240116/2024017-2-reasons-why-today-s-mortgage-rate-trend-is-good-for-sellers..png [id] => 39396 [kcm_ig_caption] => If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you. Mortgage rates have descended since last October when they hit 7.79%. In fact, they’ve been below 7% for over a month now. And while they’re not going back to the 3% we saw during the ‘unicorn’ years, they are expected to continue to go down from where they are now in the near future. You May Not Feel as Locked-In to Your Current Mortgage Rate With mortgage rates already significantly lower than they were just a few months ago, you may feel less locked-in to the current mortgage rate you have on your house. With rates dropping, the difference between your current mortgage rate and the new rate you’d be taking on isn’t as big as it was. That makes moving more affordable than it was just a few months ago. As Lance Lambert, Founder of ResiClub, explains: “We might be at peak “lock-in effect.” Some move-up or lifestyle sellers might be coming to terms with the fact 3% and 4% mortgage rates aren’t returning anytime soon.” More Buyers Will Be Coming to the Market According to data from Bright MLS, the top reason buyers have been waiting to take the plunge into homeownership is high mortgage rates. Now that rates are easing, more buyers are likely to feel they’re ready to jump back into the market and make their move. And more buyers mean more demand for your house. If you’ve been waiting to sell because you didn’t want to take on a larger mortgage rate or you thought buyers weren’t out there, the recent decline in mortgage rates may be your sign it’s time to move. When you’re ready, DM me. [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] => 2 reasons why today’s mortgage rate trend is good for sellers. [public_bottom_line] =>

If you’ve been waiting to sell because you didn’t want to take on a larger mortgage rate or you thought buyers weren’t out there, the recent decline in mortgage rates may be your sign it’s time to make your move. When you’re ready, connect with a local real estate agent.

[published_at] => 2024-01-17T11:30:00Z [related] => Array ( ) [slug] => 2-reasons-why-todays-mortgage-rate-trend-is-good-for-sellers [status] => published [tags] => Array ( [0] => content-hub ) [title] => 2 Reasons Why Today’s Mortgage Rate Trend Is Good for Sellers [updated_at] => 2024-01-24T17:11:11Z [url] => /2024/01/17/2-reasons-why-todays-mortgage-rate-trend-is-good-for-sellers/ )

2 Reasons Why Today’s Mortgage Rate Trend Is Good for Sellers

If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you.