For Buyers

buying a home or renting

Renting VS Buying a Home

Renting or Buying a Home? - that is a Question! Every year around this time, a lot of my Clients look on the year behind and take time to reflect and plan for next year. Some, who rent, call me and we go for a coffee or meet at my office and brainstorm the best possible scenario to become a homeowner by buying a home in the coming year. For some homeownership is just a dream, for others it is a...

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa.

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa. In today’s world, hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home...

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? It’s common knowledge that your FICO® score plays an important role in the homebuying process. However, many buyers have misconceptions regarding what exactly is required to get the loans they need. While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for...

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs Contrary to common misconception, a down payment is often much less than many believe. According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report’ conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market: “More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to...

5 Homebuying Acronyms You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 Homebuying Acronyms You Need to Know During the process of buying a house, it could be challenging to communicate with your realtor due to variety of real estate acronyms you are not familiar with.  We would like to make this process simplier for your, and prepared a list of major abbreviations.  Some Highlights: Learning the lingo of homebuying is an important part of feeling successful when...

What to Expect from Your Home Inspection

What to Expect from Your Home Inspection You made an offer and it was accepted. Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents often recommend you make your offer contingent upon a clean home inspection. This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you offered for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or in some cases, walk away if challenges arise. Your agent can...

Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much.

Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much. When people talk about homeownership and the American Dream, much of the conversation revolves around the financial benefits of owning a home. However, two recent studies show that the non-financial benefits might be even more valuable. In a recent survey, Bank of America asked homeowners: “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?” 93% of the...

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate?

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate? According to a new study from realtor.com, the week of September 22 is the best time of year to buy a home, making it ‘Black Friday’ for homebuyers. Every year, ‘Black Friday’ is a highly anticipated event for eager shoppers. Some people prepare for weeks, crafting and refining a strategic shopping agenda, determining exactly when to...

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”? In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to...

One of the Top Reasons to Own a Home

One of the Top Reasons to Own a Home One of the benefits of homeownership is that it is a “forced savings plan.” Here’s how it works: You make a mortgage payment each month. Part of that payment is applied to the principal balance of your mortgage. Each month you owe less on the home. The difference between the value of the home and what you owe is called equity. If your home has appreciated...

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you. According to a recent article on realtor.com, “In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans...

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. CoreLogic analyzed four individual home prices tiers and shares the increase in each one. CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed, “National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.” They also analyzed four...

Things to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Things to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You’re undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer – someone who will be able to tell you how your decisions will impact your...

6 Graphs Showing the Strength of the Current Housing Market

6 Graphs Showing the Strength of the Current Housing Market Some Highlights: Keeping an eye on the current status of the housing market is one of the best ways to make powerful and confident decisions when buying or selling a home. Mortgage rates remaining near historic lows and houses selling in an average of only 29 days are just two key elements driving the strength of today’s market....

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink? With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective. Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation...

Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008

Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008 Last week realtor.com released the results of a survey that produced three major revelations: 53% of home purchasers (first-time and repeat buyers) currently in the market believe a recession will occur this year or next. 57% believe the next recession will be as bad or worse than 2008. 55% said they would cancel plans to move if a recession...

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis Some Highlights: There is plenty of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown. The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th. Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon. However, housing will not be the trigger, and home values will still...

Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

Top Priorities When Moving with Kids According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more. Recently, the 2019 Moving...

What’s the Latest on Interest Rates?

What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at near-historic lows. This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their money in the current housing market. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, “the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since...

Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019

Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019 We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019. Here’s what some of the experts have to say: Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic “We see the cooldown flattening or even...

A Latte a Day Keeps Homeownership Away

A Latte a Day Keeps Homeownership Away Some Highlights: The pumpkin spice latte is launching soon, so you may be tempted to spend your extra cash on a daily caffeine fix, but that small expense can add up to a big number – fast! Saving for a down payment takes a little discipline, so limiting your extra purchases (like a latte a day from your favorite coffee shop) will help you get there...

5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload

5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload When someone is thinking about buying or selling a home, they want to be well-informed. They want to make the right decision for themselves and their family. They scour the internet for any information they can find about the housing market. Today, there is an abundance of information available. It is often conflicting news. It can easily lead to...

Seniors Are on the Move in the Real Estate Market

Seniors Are on the Move in the Real Estate Market Did you know August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day? According to the United States Census, we honor senior citizens today because,  “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior...

A Great Way to Increase Your Family’s Net Worth

A Great Way to Increase Your Family’s Net Worth Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts its Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016. The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5%...

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