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Monday, December 29, 2014

Freddie Mac: 2015 Home Sales to Hit 2007 Levels

 
According to Freddie Mac’s latest U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, U.S. home sales in 2015 will show increase to the numbers associated with a normal real estate market. Here is their projection:
“We are projecting a 4 percent rise in sales to 5.6 million, which would mark the highest level of annual sales since 2007.”

And their optimism was seconded by both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).Freddie Mac: 2015 Home Sales to Hit 2007 Levels | Keeping Current Matters It seems that an improving economy and jobs market will mean a very healthy housing market.




 


 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Do you fit the description of a first time home buyer?

 

Do-You-Fit-the-Description.jpg

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage. We want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:First Time Homebuyers Profile | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line


You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home.

From the KCM Blog

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Buyers Look West to Canyon County

Home sales fell nearly twice as much as normal from October to November in Ada and Canyon counties, according to the latest report from the Intermountain Multiple Listings Service. But Jere Webb, associate broker at Downs Realty in Eagle, says he doesn't take much stock in month-to-month swings. More revealing, Webb says, are the year-to-date totals, which show Ada County will fall short of its 2013 sales while Canyon County will top its 2013 numbers.

"People are looking for the lower price point," Webb says. "Prices have gone up enough in Ada County that people are heading west for cheaper houses."

Webb says that the Treasure Valley's price growth, which is modest compared with 2012 and 2013 gains, shows the market is settling into a healthy growth period rather than a boom that could lead to another real estate bubble.
 



 


Thanks to the Idaho Statesman

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rents are Rising, time to buy!

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Finding apartments and rental homes has been tough in the Treasure Valley since late 2010, when vacancy rates fell below their historical averages of 5 or 6 percent. The Valley's total vacancy rate fell to 2.6 percent in September, according to the Southwest Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. The average monthly rental price for apartments in Canyon County jumped 23.4 percent from one year earlier, to $691, thanks to increased demand, according to the chapter's analysis of its third-quarter survey of rental management companies. The average cost of Canyon County single-family homes rose 13.2 percent to $960. Ada County increases were smaller. Average apartment prices increased 5.3 percent to $679, and single-family homes stayed flat at $960.

Courtesy the Idaho Statesman

Monday, December 15, 2014

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth







New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 04:00 AM PST
New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth | Keeping Current Matters The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creation.” The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. The article explains:
“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances. The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:
“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.” “Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Bottom Line


“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boise #2 in nation for Baby Boomer Sales

NAR Identifies Top Metro Areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Home Sales




 


WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2014) -  Metro areas with a lower cost of living and sunnier weather are poised to see an increased number of baby boomers moving in and buying a home as some delay retirement and remain participants in the labor market, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR analyzed current population trends, housing affordability and local economic conditions in metropolitan statistical areas1 across the U.S. to determine housing markets most likely to see a boost in sales from leading-edge baby boomers2. Boise, Idaho and Raleigh, North Carolina were identified as top standouts for baby boomers for their solid job growth, share of self-employed workers and affordable home prices.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says Florida and Arizona cities attract many baby boomers. In addition, the share of men and women working after their 65th birthday has increased3, setting the stage for elevated baby boomer buying activity in metro areas with a dynamic local economy, adequate housing supply and a lower cost of living.

"A broadly improving economy and rebounding home prices are giving baby boomers the opportunity to sell and move to support their retirement lifestyle. Furthermore, our research identified cities movers are gravitating to while still remaining in the workforce as a business owner," Yun said.

NAR's research reviewed 100 metro areas that have lower state taxes, solid job market conditions, and strong migration patterns (on a percentage basis) of baby boomers moving to that particular area to determine which housing markets are likely to see a boost from this generation. Cost of living, housing affordability and inventory availability were also considered.

The top markets positioned to see an influx of baby boomer homebuyers are (listed alphabetically):

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Boise, Idaho

  • Denver

  • Fort Myers, Florida

  • Greenville, South Carolina

  • Orlando, Florida

  • Phoenix

  • Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Sarasota, Florida

  • Tucson, Arizona


Other markets with strong potential for attracting baby boomer homebuyers include:

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Dallas

  • McAllen, Texas

  • Riverside, California

  • Tampa, Florida


"These metro areas are attractive to baby boomers because of their housing affordability, lower tax rates and welcoming business environment," says Yun. "With baby boomers working later in life, these factors will likely play as much of a deciding role of where boomers eventually retire as will areas with a warm climate or variety of outdoor activities."

According to a NAR generational study of homebuyers and sellers released earlier this year, baby boomers represented 30 percent of all buyers, had a median household income of $92,400 and bought a home that cost $210,0004.

NAR also recently analyzed current housing conditions, job creation and population trends to determine the best markets for aspiring, leading edge millennial homebuyers. Visit www.realtor.org/millennials to find out more about millennials and homebuying.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

1Areas are generally metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. NAR adheres to the OMB definitions, although in some areas an exact match is not possible from the available data. A list of counties included in MSA definitions is available at: http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/List4.txt.

Regional median home prices are from a separate sampling that includes rural areas and portions of some smaller metros that are not included in this report; the regional percentage changes do not necessarily parallel changes in the larger metro areas. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Quarter-to-quarter comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns.

Median price measurement reflects the types of homes that are selling during the quarter and can be skewed at times by changes in the sales mix. For example, changes in the level of distressed sales, which are heavily discounted, can vary notably in given markets and may affect percentage comparisons. Annual price measures generally smooth out any quarterly swings.

NAR began tracking of metropolitan area median single-family home prices in 1979; the metro area condo price series dates back to 1989.

Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price often is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes. As the reporting sample expands in the future, additional areas will be included in the condo price report.

2Baby boomers are generally categorized as those born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1964. NAR's research analyzed leading-edge baby boomers (ages 60-69).

3 According to the U.S. Department of Labor's civilian labor force participation rates by age, sex, race, and ethnicity, 1992, 2002, 2012, and projected 2022 (Table 3.3)

4 According to NAR's Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. The study breaks baby boomers into two generations: Younger (ages 49-58) and Older Boomers (ages 59-67). All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2013 with the exception of income data, which are for 2012.


 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

November Market Report for Ada County
















November Market Report – I’m giving thanks and hoping for a nice Christmas present


by marclebowitz



by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

Executive Director, Ada County Association of REaltors

Single family home sales in November 2014 were 528 in Ada County, an decrease of 5% compared to November 2013.  YTD total sales are down 3% compared to this time last year; 7,155 homes sold compared to 7,387. Reluctantly, I’m going to have to recognize that total homes sold in 2014 will not exceed the number of homes sold in 2013.

On the other hand, total dollar volume for November was $139M (up 4% over November 2013). Year-to-date dollar volume is $1.75B compared to $1.72B in 2013.

Consistent with the rest of 2014, sales of homes in November priced above $160,000 showed increases in nearly every price category.

Average Days on Market in November were 57; two fewer days than last month. In November 2013, Days on Market was 52.

New homes sold in November totaled 103; down 3% from last year.

Existing home sales were 425; down 6% from November 2013.

Historically November sales decrease from October levels by an average of 9%.   This year there was an decrease of 19%; which is more consistent with the last three years.

Pending sales at the end of November were 827; even to November 2013. Pending sales are our best “forward looking” indicator. The last three months have shown a stronger “Pending Sales” picture.

November median home price was $215,319; up 5% from November 2013. Our YTD median price is $209,990; up 6% over last year.

New Homes median price for September was $295,095; up 7% from November 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 7% to $197,000.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of November decreased 13% from October 2014 to 2,591. This is even to last year.

As is typical this time of year, inventory contracted in all price categories for November.

Consistent what we’ve been observing regarding inventory, homes in the $120,000 - $160,000 shrank more than any other price point.

In Ada County we now have 3.8 months of inventory on hand, essentially unchanged from the end of July.

The price categories in shortest supply are $100,000 to $119,000 which has 1.4 months; and $120,000 – $159,000 which has 1.9 months.

From $200,000 to $400,000 we have 2 - 4 months available.

Of sales in November, the price point that held on to it’s summer pace was $300,000 – $400,000..downs 11%.

As it looks now, in Boise and the nation, sales in 2014 will not exceed 2013 in number of homes sold. Because of the solid median price appreciation, dollar volume will be well ahead of last year.

You will start to hear the media asking: “Is the recovery over?”

The answer to that is a resounding “No.”

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR give his reason for why 2015 will be another very solid year for real estate in Ada County.

One reason for his optimism was released in a report yesterday: “NAR Identifies Top Metro areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Sales”. (Which I will repost in tomorrow's blog post. Roger)

There we are…#2!

 


 
 

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

WE'RE BACK!







The Real Estate Market Has Turned The Corner

The Real Estate Martket Has Turned The Corner | Keeping Current Matters As we finish 2014, it appears the real estate market is once again on solid footing and ready to advance forward over the next few years. The strength of the market can be viewed using two metrics: projected home values and projected house sales. We recently reported that the Home Price Expectation Survey revealed future home values will continue to appreciate nicely. Today we want to look at projections on the number of home sales (existing and new construction) we will see over the next two years. We researched what the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers’ Association(MBA) are projecting for the housing industry going forward. Here is what we found:The Real Estate Market Has Turned The Corner | Keeping Current Matters All three entities see the number of home sales increasing in both 2015 and 2016. This is further proof the housing market is back.

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Treasure Valley City Tax Rates

The vast difference between these levy rates are hard to believe. I knew that Nampa and Caldwell were higher, but then comparing to Eagle's, wow!  These are the city tax rates, your tax bill may also have a variety of county, school district, highway district, cemetery, ambulance levy, mosquito abatement and community college assessments.

Per $100,000 taxable value:

Caldwell $1080.99

Nampa $949.35

Boise $748.37

Meridian $400.58

Garden City $372.46

Kuna $319.77

Star $215.23

Eagle $85.88

Source: Idaho Statesman

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Where Are Prices Headed Over the Next 5 Years?

 






 
Where are Prices Headed Over the Next 5 Years? | Keeping Current Matters
Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey



  • Home values will appreciate by 4.8% in 2014.

  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.

  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.

  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 15.1% by 2019.


Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home







 

 
Harvard's 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year, he released a paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home. Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.


“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.


“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.


“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.


“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income...On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.


“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line


We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

"The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity."

Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

  1. Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.

  2. Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. "Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers," according to Freddie economists. "Historically speaking, that's moving from 'very high' levels of affordability to 'high' levels of affordability."

  3. Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.

  4. Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

  5. Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.


 

Home sales heading to fastest pace since 2006



WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of previously-owned homes next year are set to hit the fastest pace since 2006, as jobs, wages and the broader economy pick up, the National Association of Realtors forecast Friday.

In 2015 existing-home sales will likely hit 5.3 million, an 8% jump from 2014’s expected final tally of 4.9 million, NAR said.

“We’re starting to see more workers showing a willingness to quit, which usually signals they’re becoming more mobile and confident they can find a higher paying job,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The impact of rising interest rates on affordability will be minimal as long as job creation keeps pace.”

Sales took a hit this year from bad weather, a relatively low number of homes on the market, and quickly escalating prices and mortgage rates.

One potential fly in the upcoming home-sales ointment is the difficulty that would-be borrowers have in getting a mortgage. Federally controlled mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae FNMA, +0.48% and Freddie Mac FMCC, -0.50% are working on new programs that aim to expand the pool of borrowers, such as by bringing in more first-time purchasers (this group’s share of home sales recently hit a 27-year low).

Housing-market analysts, however, are skeptical about the extent to which government efforts, such as backing low down-payment loans and clarifying rules for lenders, can open the credit tap.

“We see this change as incrementally positive at best for single family housing demand because [Fannie and Freddie] have focused their mortgage purchases on the top quartile of credit scores for several years now,” Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a research note. “Mortgage originators are concerned about lawsuits over past lending practices fielded by a state or city attorney general from markets with high foreclosure rates.”

Even if lenders do become willing to loan to more types of borrowers, there could still be a demand problem, Fannie and Freddie’s regulatory chief said Friday. Mel Watt, director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, described a laundry list of demand issues, such as young people delaying family formation and choosing to rent, burdensome student loans, and trouble saving enough for a down payment.

“While things will not change overnight, it is my hope that many creditworthy individuals and families who are currently renters — but have the ability to pay a mortgage and become homeowners — will have the opportunity to pursue homeownership and will decide to do so,” Watt said.

On a bright note, there was good news Friday about potential young home buyers. Employment among young people hit the highest rate in almost six years, getting this group closer to be in a position to ramp up their home buying.

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ada County Real Estate October Market Report

by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

Executive Director

Ada County Association of  REALTORS

 

Single family home sales in October 2014 were 665 in Ada County, an increase of 6% compared to October 2013.  This is the first month for which we've had a year-over-year increase since March 2014!  YTD total sales are down 3% compared to this time last year (an improvement from the 5% we were down YTD through September); 6,616 homes sold compared to 6,829.

In October, sales of homes priced above $160,000 showed increases in nearly every price category. A bright spot in October is the surge in sales for homes priced between $160,000 and $200,000; up 2%. This price point had been flat for several months.

Average Days on Market in October were 59; five more days than last month. In October 2013, Days on Market was 51.

New homes sold in October totaled 134; down 3% from last year; up 6% from September.

Existing home sales were 531; up 9% from October 2013.

Historically October sales decrease from September levels by an average of 3%.   This year there was an increase of 2%.

Pending sales at the end of October were 885; down just 3% from October 2013. This is the smallest “decrease” in Pending sales all year (April was down 18%). This bodes well for the 4thquarter sales “rebound” we are forecasting.

October median home price was $208,698; down 1% from October 2013. Our YTD median price is $209,900; up 7% over last year.

New Homes median price for September was $302,257; up 10% from October 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 1% to $190,500.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of October decreased 10% from September 2014 to 2,591. This is 3% more than last year at this time.

As is typical this time of year, inventory contracted in all price categories for October.

A positive trend in new homes inventory: for homes priced between $160,000 and $200,000 there has been a steady increase since June.

In Ada County we now have 3.9 months of inventory on hand, essentially unchanged from the end of July.

The price categories in shortest supply are $100,000 to $119,000 which has 1.4 months; and $120,000 – $159,000 which has 2.1 months.

From $200,000 to $400,000 we have 4 months available.

Of sales in October, the two price points that held on to their summer pace were $120,000 – $160,000 and $250,000 to $300,000..

The fourth quarter “rebound” that we’ve been anticipating arrived in October. The very modest “cooling” of median price is a reasonable tradeoff for the increase in sales.

There was also a dip in interest rates in October.

The Federal Reserve announced an end to “quantitative easing” that will most like cause rates to rise going into 2015.

 

Really? Data Shows Selling a Home in Winter Pays Off





If you’re waiting until spring to put your home on the market, you’re going to want to take a look at these numbers. Redfin analyzed homes listed from March 22, 2011 through March 21, 2013, and found that those listed in winter have a 9 percentage point greater likelihood of selling, sell a week faster, and sell for 1.2 percentage points more relative to list price than homes listed in any other season.




Thursday, November 6, 2014

First Time HomeBuyers Hit 27 Year Low


















































First-Time Buyers Hit 27 Year Low
Just 33% of primary residences sold this year were purchased by first-time buyers, down from 38% last year to the lowest level since 1987, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.

The NAR says that the first-time-buyer share of home sales has typically hovered around 40% since 1981

The headwinds facing young buyers are well known: higher student debt, rising rents and a weaker job market have made it harder for would-be buyers to save for a down payment



 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Debunking 4 Myths about Buying a Home

 

 







Debunking 4 Myths about Buying a Home | Keeping Current Mattersrecent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed when renters were asked why they do no plan to own in the future, financial constraints were a more common response than the perceived lifestyle benefits they may receive from renting. Today, we want to go over those financial challenges and see if we can put some fears to rest and also clear up some misconceptions. Here are the top four financial hurdles that cause renters not to buy:

You Cannot Afford a Home


Well over 50% of renters consider this as a financial barrier to homeownership. However, study after study has shown us that there are major misunderstandings about what is required to purchase a home. The biggest misconception is the amount of a down payment required. A recent survey revealed that 44% of respondents believed that a 20% down payment was required. In actuality, mortgages are available with as little as 5% down (and even 3% in certain situations). The same survey showed that 30% of respondents believe that only individuals with ‘high incomes’ can obtain a mortgage. In actuality, there are several programs intentionally created to help moderate income families buy a home of their own (look at the FHA program for example).

You Do Not Have Good Enough Credit to Get a Mortgage


The survey mentioned above showed that 64% of respondents believe they must have a “very good” credit score to buy a home. Most people don’t realize that the average credit score for closed loans has actually dropped 24 points in the last two years. For more information on credit scores click here.

It’s Not a Good Time to Buy a Home


Determining when is the right time to buy a home from a pure financial calculation can be difficult. There are two elements of the cost of a home: the price of the house and the mortgage interest rate. When considering a purchase, you want to have at least an indication where prices and mortgage rates are headed. According to over 100 experts, house values are expected to increase by almost 20% between now and 2018. AndFreddie Mac recently projected that mortgage rates would be as much as one full point higher by this time next year. With both prices and interest rates projected to increase, now is the perfect time to buy a home.

It’s Cheaper to Rent than Buy


This is a myth that doesn’t want to die. However, Trulia recently reported that, in fact, buying is actually dramatically cheaper than renting. Here is what they said:
“Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas. In fact, buying is 38% cheaper than renting now, compared with 35% cheaper than renting one year ago.”

Bottom Line


If you are even thinking about buying, get the facts from a trained professional. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find out.

 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Three Questions to Ask Before You BUY a Home

 

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home | Keeping Current Matters If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

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


This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education

  • A place where you and your family feel safe

  • More space for you and your family

  • Control of the space


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

2. Where are home values headed?


When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.

  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.

  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.2% by 2018.


3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?


A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line


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

 

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Home Sales Hit Highest Level of the Year

 

 
Home Sales Hit Highest Level of the Year | Keeping Current Matters The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report earlier this week. The report revealed that “sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year”. As the chart below shows, after a very slow start at the beginning of the year, residential home sales have been increasing nicely.Home Sales Hit Highest Levels of 2014 | Keeping Current MattersLine-Break

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible







 

 
Billionaire says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible |Keeping Current Matters Billionaire money manager John Paulson wasinterviewed at the Delivering Alpha Conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. During his session he boldly stated:
"I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you're the owner-occupier of.”

Who is John Paulson?


Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson? According to Forbes, John Paulson is:
“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:
“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”





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Why does he believe homeownership is such a great investment?


Paulson breaks down the math of homeownership as an investment:
"Today financing costs are extraordinarily low. You can get a 30-year mortgage somewhere around 4.5 percent. And if you put down, let's say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent, which is the latest data, then you would be up 50 percent on your investment."

How many are seeing a 50% return on a cash investment right now? Paulson goes on to compare the long term financial benefits of owning verses renting:
“And you’ve locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed.”

Bottom Line


Whenever a billionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This billionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one

 

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Construction = New Competition

New Construction = New Competition | Keeping Current Matters For the last several years, home sellers had to compete with huge inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The great news is that the supply of these properties is falling like a rock in the vast majority of housing markets (only 8% of homes sold in August). Many homeowners are now thinking of selling as the impact of this substantially discounted competition has disappeared. However, every seller of an existing residential property must realize that there is a new form of competition hitting the market: newly constructed homes. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB),new-home sales topped 500,000, in August, for the first time since 2008.
“This jump in sales activity is in line with our latest surveys, which indicate builders are seeing increased traffic and more serious buyers in the market for single-family homes,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the NAHB.

Broken down regionally, new home sales rose:



  • 50% in the West

  • 29.2% in the Northeast

  • 7.8% in the South

  • and were unchanged in the Midwest


Bottom Line


If you are thinking of selling, perhaps you should do it now to avoid additional competition coming to the market.

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Home’s Cost vs. Price Explained

 
A Home’s Cost vs. Price Explained | Keeping Current Matters We have often talked about the difference between COST and PRICE. As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let us explain.


Recently, we reported that a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists projected that home values would appreciate by approximately 4% from now to the end of 2015. Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Table predicts that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate will be 5.0% by the end of next year.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?


Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today: The Cost of Waiting A Year | Keeping Current Matters

 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

September Market Report – Sales Start to Cool

by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

Executive Director

Ada County Association of REALTORS

Single family home sales in September 2014 were 651 in Ada County, a decrease of 6% compared to September 2013.   YTD total sales are down 5% compared to this time last year; 5,920 homes sold compared to 6,203.

In September, sales of homes priced above $200,000 showed increases in nearly every price category. Overall sales are continue to lag because sales of homes in the five categories priced below $159,999 are down anywhere from 1% ($160,000 to $199,999) to 200% (70,000 to $89,999). The biggest trend “reversal” was in the $120,000 - $159,000 range. This category had been increasing steadily until September when it fell 15%.

Average Days on Market in September were 54; one more day than last month. In September 2013, Days on Market was 45.

New homes sold in September totaled 120; down 10% from last year; up 4% from August.

Existing home sales were 531; down 6% from September 2013.

Historically September sales decrease from August levels by an average of 10%.   Last year the increase was 16%. This year there was a decrease of 12%.

Pending sales at the end of September were 930; down just 3% from September 2013. This is the smallest “decrease” in Pending sales all year (April was down 18%). This bodes well for a 4th quarter sales “rebound”.

September median home price was $205,551; up 4% from September 2013. Our YTD median price is $209,900; up 8% over last year.

New Homes median price for September was $283,5530; up 7% from September 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 3% to $191,000.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of September decreased 4% from August 2014 to 2,857. This is 11% more than last year at this time.

As is typical this time of year, inventory contracted in all price categories for September; with the exception of homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000 which grew modestly.

In Ada County we now have 3.9 months of inventory on hand, essentially unchanged from the end of July.

The price categories in shortest supply are $100,000 to $119,000 which has 1.7 months; and $120,000 – $159,000 which has 2.3 months.

From $200,000 to $400,000 we have 4 months available.

Of sales in September, the two price points that held on to their summer pace were $120,000 – $160,000 and $160,000 to $200,000.

So…what’s next?

Our late Summer sales tried hard, but couldn't make up for the surge in July and August 2013. We have narrowed the gap, but not surpassed 2013…yet. There was a slow down during the last three months of 2013. Our expectation continues to be a strong fourth quarter.

We have more inventory coming online in the <$160,000 which will release some pent up demand among first time buyers.

 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Should I Rent My Home?

Should I Rent My House Instead of Selling It? | Keeping Current Matters A recent study has concluded that 39% of buyers prefer to rent out their last residence rather than sell it when purchasing their next home.
The study cites that many homeowners were able to refinance and “locked in a very low mortgage rate in recent years. That low rate, combined with a strong rental market, means they can charge more in rent than they pay in mortgage each month... so they are going for it.”

This logic makes sense in some cases. Residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for. Are you ready to be a landlord? Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home



  1. How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).

  2. Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?

  3. Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?

  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?

  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?

  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?

  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?

  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?

  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?

  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?


Bottom Line


Again, renting out residential real estate historically is a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.

 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What You Don't Know About Your Credit Score...Could Cost You!

What You Don't Know About Your Credit Score Could Cost You! | Keeping Current Matters Today we are excited to have Nabil Captan as our guest blogger. Nabil is a nationally recognized credit scoring expert, educator, author and producer. In today’s post, he explains how what you don’t know about your credit score could end up costing you. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew Informed consumers considering a home purchase today want to do the right thing and plan ahead. Many do not seek immediate professional guidance from a Realtor or a mortgage loan officer. Instead, they hunt for hours online, looking at numerous websites for available homes for sale. They also consult websites to find the best interest rate and terms for future monthly mortgage payments. Many consumers feel betrayed, cheated and at times embarrassed to learn that the credit scores they counted on, to get that specific interest rate for their loan, are not used by mortgage lenders. When shopping for a good mortgage interest rate, consumers also need to know their credit score, and utilize an online mortgage calculator to compute future monthly mortgage payments. A Google search for “credit score” will yield hundreds of results. The consumer accepts the provider’s terms and conditions to get a free credit score. Terrific! Unaware that in exchange they just received a meaningless credit score that lenders never use. They also handed over their Non-Public Personal Information (NPPI) to that credit score provider for life. Before we go any further, let’s look at available credit scoring products available to consumers today:

  • FICO credit score from Fair Isaac Corporation/myfico.com, range 300 to 850

  • Plus Score from Experian, range 320 to 830

  • Trans Risk Score from TransUnion, range 300 to 850

  • Equifax Credit Score from Equifax, range 300 to 850

  • Vantage Score from all three bureaus, two ranges, 300 to 850 and 501-990


What is a FICO Score?


In 1958, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac, a mathematician and engineer, formed a company in San Rafael, California. They created tools to help risk managers make a better decision when taking financial risk. Today, 90 percent of all lenders use the FICO score, first created in 1989 by Fair Isaac, and it’s the only score Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Agency and Veterans Affairs will accept in underwriting loans they guarantee.

What is a Consumer Score?


The three credit bureaus, in their understanding of the credit scoring model created by FICO, decided to create their own scoring models, and in 2004 – 2006 they unveiled the “consumer” scores: Plus ScoreTrans Risk ScoreEquifax Credit Score, and Vantage Score. However, these are not genuine FICO scores, and mortgage lenders don’t use them. Consider this comparison: Would you buy a watch that gives the approximate time of day? The three credit bureaus work with major financial institutions, professional organizations, comparison sites, personal finance businesses, clubs such as Costco, AAA, Sam’s Club, and many data-mining brokers to bombard consumers in the race of the free credit score mania, all with the enticement of a “consumer” score that is not used by lenders, in hopes of obtaining subscriptions or fees from consumers. Fees that are totally unnecessary!

Know Your Score


Gaining access to one’s own credit report and credit score prior to loan approval with no strings attached could be helpful, and at all times beneficial. With little effort, inaccuracy of information can be instantly corrected at the credit bureau level, and with a few simple steps, credit scores could be enhanced. For example, paying down revolving account balances before a creditor’s statement-ending date (the creditor later updates account information with the credit bureaus), thus reducing revolving account balances at a particular point in time, will positively add more points to a score. It’s priceless.

More Information


Consumers have a legal right to access their annual credit report at no charge once a year from annualcreditreport.com, a site sponsored by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These reports provide all the basic consumer data, but do not reveal a credit score. If you have a need for the FICO credit score that is actually used by mortgage lenders, myfico.com is the website to visit. For $19.95 per bureau, consumers can purchase a customized credit report with a genuine FICO score. Additional websites to visit: the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (cfpb.gov) for true answers to questions about any financial concepts, financial products, dispute and complaint submissions, and much more.

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Future Homeowners Share American Dream

 

Future Homeowners Share American Dream | Keeping Current Matters Two recently released reports indicate that both young adults (Millennials) and teenagers (Generation Z) still see homeownership as an important piece of their future success. A report byThe Demand Institute, Millennials and Their Homes: Still Seeking the American Dream, revealed that the Millennial Generation is optimistic about their financial future and still believe in homeownership. The findings were based on a survey of millennial households (ages 18 to 29). The report predicted that:


  • 8.3 million new Millennial (Gen Y) households will form in the next five years

  • $1.6 trillion will be spent on home purchases by Millennials and $600 billion on rent over the next five years


Millennials optimistic about their finances and homeownership


Of those surveyed:

  • 74% expect to move within the next five years

  • 79% expect their financial situation to improve

  • 75% believe homeownership is an important long-term goal

  • 73% believe homeownership is an excellent investment

  • 24% already own their home and

  • An additional 60% plan to buy a home in the future

  • 44% do think it would be difficult to qualify for a mortgage


What about the next generation (today’s teenagers)?


A recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens® revealed that Generation Z (teens ages 13-17) is very traditional in their views toward homeownership and is willing to sacrifice to attain the American Dream. Findings from the survey show:

  • 82% of Gen Z teens indicate that homeownership is the most important factor in achieving the American Dream.

  • 89% said owning a home is part of their interpretation of the American Dream

  • 97% believe they will own a home

  • 77% percent chose owning a home over owning a business


Bottom Line


It seems that the belief that homeownership as a huge part of the American Dream still beats in the hearts of the young people of this country.

 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rudest Drivers Are in IDAHO?

I normally like to do positive posts, especially on the non-real estate topics. but I found this article interesting.

 

From Boise Weekly:

For all of the polls and surveys that tell Idahoans how wonderfully liveable our state is, a new study out this morning is a swift kick in the butt for the Gem State.

Insure.com insists that Idaho has the rudest drivers in the nation.

A survey of 2,000 drivers nationwide asked drivers to name those they think are the rudest in other states.

And Idaho came out the worst. This morning's USA Today writes, "They honk, they're impatient, they make rude gestures, they gun their engines. They are the rude drivers, and the highest concentration of them is in Idaho, a new poll suggests."

Idaho was followed by Washington, D.C., New York, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Delaware, Vermont, New Jersey, Nevada and Utah.

Here's the the write-up from Insure.com:
1. Idaho: Wait for it
The roadways of Idaho present a dichotomy of drivers: Those who are moving so slowly that they’re judged to be rude, and the aggressive drivers who speed around them and flip them off. Together, with their opposite yet equally vexing styles of driving, they push Idaho to the top of the rankings.
Remember Matt Stubbs, formerly of Utah? He recently moved to Idaho and was amazed by the number of drivers holding up everyone behind them, moving at turtle-like speed, reminiscent of an old-fashioned Sunday drive.
“Maybe I’m just used to the aggressive, overly-caffeinated (on Diet Coke) Utah drivers. That’s why everyone in Idaho seems to be driving so slowly,” he says.
Stubbs observes that Idahoans feel “just fine taking their time, driving 5 to 10 miles an hour under the limit.”
This creates additional tension when fast drivers are added to the mix. Idaho resident Eric Leins, a Southern California native, points to the state’s mountainous, rural areas as a source of driver conflict. Those familiar with certain roads may not be very patient with drivers new to the twisting, turning roadways.
“If you’ve driven that hundreds of times, you know [the road] and pick up your speed,” he says. “So those driving them for the first time may have the experienced drivers honking their horns and flipping them the bird,” he says.
Despite its No. 1 ranking for rude driving, Idaho insurance premiums are among the lowest in the nation. Idaho premiums rank No. 48 out of 51 in Insure.com's 2014 study of car insurance rates by state.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Gallup Poll: Real Estate “Heading in the Right Direction”

Real Estate "Heading in the Right Direction" | Keeping Current Matters In a recent Gallup poll, Americans were asked to rate 24 different business sectors and industries on a five-point scale ranging from "very positive" to "very negative." The poll was first conducted in 2001, and has been used as an indicator of “Americans’ overall attitudes toward each industry”. For the first time since 2006, Americans had an overall positive view of real estate, giving the industry a 12% positive ranking.Real Estate “Heading in the Right Direction” | Keeping Current Matters Americans’ view of the real estate industry worsened from 2003 to the -40% plummet of 2008.  Gallup offers some insight into the reason for decline:

Prices Dropped


“In late 2006, real estate prices in the U.S. began falling rapidly, and continued to drop. Many homeowners saw their home values plummet, likely contributing to real estate's image taking a hard hit.”

Housing Bubble


“The large drops in the positive images of banking and real estate in 2008 and 2009 reflect both industries' close ties to the recession, which was precipitated in large part because of the mortgage-related housing bubble.”

Bottom Line


“Although the image of real estate remains below the average of 24 industries Gallup has tracked, the sharp recovery from previous extreme low points suggests it is heading in the right direction.”

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Truth About Buying a Home: You DON'T Need 20% Down

Answering some apparently common mis-conceptions about buying a home.

 

The Truth About Buying a Home: You DON'T Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters In a recent survey, How America Views Homeownership, it was revealed that 68% of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home and 95%said they want to own a home if they don’t already. Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo home mortgageproduction, explains:
“Although the home buying process has changed in many ways in recent years, our survey found Americans still view homeownership as an achievement to be proud of and many believe that now is a good time to buy a home.”

Confusion Creates Paralysis


However, the survey also reported that many are afraid to purchase a home because of uncertainty about “qualifying for a mortgage or navigating the home buying process”. Though 74% said they “know and understand” the financial process involved in buying a home, they also gave answers that suggest otherwise. For example:

  • 30% of respondents believe that only individuals with high incomes can obtain a mortgage

  • 64% of respondents believe they must have a “very good” credit score to buy a home

  • 44% believe that a 20% down payment is required


In actuality many of these beliefs are unfounded. Let’s look at the question of down payment: Freddie Mac, in a recent blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:
“Did you know 40 percent of today's homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three fold.  So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today's purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

  • A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.

  • Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family, grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.


Education is the Key


Boyle talked about the importance of educating potential buyers:
“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Codel agreed:
“It is important for prospective homebuyers to feel empowered to ask lenders and real estate agents questions about available options, such as down payment assistance or FHA loan programs or VA loans for veterans.”

Bottom Line


If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised. ___________________________________________________________________

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Home Sales Generate $52,205 Impact on Economy

Home Sales Generate $52,205 Impact on Economy The National Association of Realtors (NAR) compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase. After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205.Here is the breakdown of their report:

Economic Contributions are derived from:



  • Home construction

  • Real estate brokerage

  • Mortgage lending

  • Title insurance

  • Rental and Leasing

  • Home appraisal

  • Moving truck service

  • Other related activities


When a House is Sold in the United States:


$15,912 of income is generated from real estate related industries. New homeowners spend an additional $4,429 on consumer items such as furniture, appliances, and remodeling. It generates an economic multiplier impact. There is a greater sense of community associated with owning a home; therefore there is greater spending at restaurants, sports games, and charity events. The size of this “multiplier” effect is estimated to be: $9,764 Additional home sales induce additional home production. Typically one new home is constructed for every 8 existing home sales. Therefore, for each existing home sale, 1/8 of new home value is added to the economy, which is estimated in the U.S. to be: $22,100

When you add the numbers up it comes to $52,205!


 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Buying a Home is 38% Less Expensive than Renting!

Buy-or-Rent In Trulia’s 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the United States; ranging from an average of 5% in Honolulu, all the way to 66% in Detroit, and 38% Nationwide! The other interesting findings in the report include:
Even though prices increased sharply in many markets over the past year, low mortgage rates have kept homeownership from becoming more expensive than renting.

Some markets might tip in favor of renting later this year as prices continue to rise faster than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due both to the strengthening economy and Fed tapering.

Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.

Bottom Line


Buying a home makes sense. Rental costs have historically increased at a higher rate of inflation. Lock in a mortgage payment now before home prices and mortgage rates rise as experts expect they will.

 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Winter is coming! Should you Buy NOW?

4 Reasons to Buy Before Winter | Keeping Current Matters

It's that time of year, the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don't have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise


The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report released recently projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.2% (most pessimistic) and 27.8% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase


Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise later this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage


As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains: “Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life


The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

Bottom Line


If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Celebrate Labor Day! September 1, 2014

 



On Labor Day we pay tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

Currently, 58.9% of working-age Americans have jobs, down from 62.7% at the start of the Great Recession.

It took 77 months, but earlier this year non-farm payroll jobs finally gained back what had been lost during the Great Recession. About 8.8 million jobs were lost during the 2007-09 recession.

Why do they call it the Great Recession? One data point is telling: During the recession of 1980-82 (then considered the worst since the Depression) it took only 44 months to regain the jobs lost during that economic downturn.

 

Friday, August 29, 2014

14,109 Houses Sold Yesterday! Did Yours?

14,109 Houses Sold Yesterday! Did Yours? | Keeping Current Matters


There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is... If it hasn't sold over the summer, maybe it's not priced properly.

After all 14,109 houses sold yesterday, 14,109 will sell today and 14,109 will sell tomorrow. 14,109!

That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latestExisting Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales are at an annual rate of 5.15 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 14,000 homes sell every day. Sales are at the highest pace of 2014 and have risen for four consecutive months.

We realize that you want to get the fair market value for your home. However, if it hasn't sold in today's active real estate market, perhaps you should reconsider your current asking price.


 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boise ranked with some of the safest drivers!

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site Insurance.com.

 

Insurance.com on MSN MoneyThe safest drivers in America, for the fourth year in a row, hail from Fort Collins, Colorado, according to the 10th annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report.”

 

Businessman driving © Pixland, JupiterimagesDrivers in the city of 150,000 north of Denver can expect to go 14.2 years between accidents, according to the insurance giant’s claims data. Contrast that with 200th-ranked Worcester, Massachusetts, where drivers go just 4.3 years between claims.

 

On average, nationwide, drivers can expect a collision about every 10 years, Allstate says.

 

Claims frequency in a city or ZIP code is one of many factors as carriers calculate your car insurance rates – along with state laws and your driving record -- but it’s a big one.

 

A car owner with a clean record shopping for full coverage on a 2012 Honda Accord in Fort Collins, for example, would pay about $936 a year. In Denver, the same driver would pay about $1,221, according to an average of rates from six carriers gathered by Insurance.com.

 

Here are the safest-driving cities in America, according to Allstate, along with the number of years a driver can expect to go between collision claims:

  1. Fort Collins, Colorado       14.2

  2. Brownsville, Texas 14.2

  3. Boise, Idaho 14

  4. Kansas City, Kansas        12.9

  5. Huntsville, Alabama 12.6

  6. Montgomery, Alabama 12.4

  7. Visalia, California             12.4

  8. Laredo, Texas                  12.2

  9. Madison, Wisconsin          12.2

  10. Olathe, Kansas                 12.1