Team George Weeks
Direct (615) 948-4098
Office (629) 202-7333
Give us a call. We can help!
Team George Weeks
Direct (615) 948-4098
Office (629) 202-7333
Give us a call. We can help!
You’ve got. better things to do! Call Team George Weeks today and schedule your FREE home evaluation!
As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.
Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.
Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.
Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.
If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?
This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money. For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.” This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:
What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.
2. Where are home values headed?
According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.
What does that mean to you?
Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:
Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.
Source: Keeping Current Matters
According to the latest Census Bureau Report, sales of newly constructed homes soared to new heights in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000. This marks the highest annual rate in 8 years.
Trulia’s Chief Economist, Ralph McLaughlin had this to say:
“New home sales jumped sharply in June, and marked the best month since February 2008. This is a continued sign that demand for homes remains solid and aptly reflects increasing homebuilder confidence.”
Sales have been climbing consistently over the last six months as shown in the graph below.
One of the many reasons why many homeowners turn to the new homes market to find their dream home is due to the lack of existing homes for sale. As we have mentioned before, buyer demand is outpacing the supply of homes for sale at record rates.
If you are a homeowner who is debating listing your home for sale this year, now may be the time. Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you take advantage of the buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy in your area.
If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!
The National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun recently commented on the inventory shortage:
“With demand holding firm and homes selling even faster than a year ago, the notable increase in closings in recent months took a dent out of what was available for sale.
Realtors are acknowledging, with increasing frequency lately, that buyers continue to be frustrated by the tense competition and lack of affordable homes for sale in their market.”
The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 4.6-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market and 5.8% lower than June 2015.
The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced over the last 12 months:
Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “Seller’s Market.”
Meet with a local real estate professional who can show you the supply conditions in your neighborhood and assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now!
Just over a month ago, the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from the European Union in a decision commonly known as Brexit. At that time there was a lot of speculation on how that decision would impact the U.S. residential mortgage market. Today, we want to look at the impact of the first 30 days.
Most believed that the Brexit decision would drive mortgage rates down and keep them down for some time. As CoreLogic reported:
“First-time buyers can count on continued low mortgage rates to help with affordability issues. Similarly, re-setting adjustable rate loans will have less of a rate shock, and in some cases may even go down.”
Initially, rates did fall. However, Freddie Mac has reported that rates have stabilized and have actually increased marginally each of the last two weeks. This prompted Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Beckett to say:
“Post-Brexit volatility tapered off over the last two weeks, allowing interest rates to bounce back a bit from their near-record 30-year mortgage rate lows.”
And, Capital Economics Property Economist Matthew Pointon believes rates will continue to increase:
“Given we expect Brexit will have a minimal impact on the U.S. economy, we see no reason to change our forecast for mortgage rates to reach 3.85% by the end of this year, and 5.0% by the middle of 2018.”
We will continue to follow the effect of Brexit on the U.S. housing market. But for now, it appears the impact is not as dramatic as some thought it could be.
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Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings. The report revealed that this May’s numbers weren’t quite as good as the year before:
“With last month’s decline, the index reading is still the third highest in the past year, but declined year-over-year for the first time since August 2014.”
The mainstream media ran headlines highlighting that the index had dropped for the first time in two years. Many read this as an indication that the housing market must be slowing down.
If you were thinking that now may be the perfect time to put your house on the market, these reports may have caused you some concern. We want to alleviate that concern today.
Though it is true that the index dropped in last month’s report, let’s take a closer look at the numbers. Below is a graph of the index since January 2014. We can see that the index has increased every month over the last eighteen months, leading up to this past May.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explained that it wasn’t a slowing of the market that caused the index to slip, but instead a lack of housing inventory:
“Total housing inventory at the end of each month has remarkably decreased year-over-year now for an entire year. There are simply not enough homes coming onto the market to catch up with demand.”
Here is a graph depicting the situation Yun was referencing:
Did the latest numbers from the Pending Home Sales Index cause you to question if now is a good time to put your house on the market? If anything, it indicated the exact opposite: that this may be the perfect time to sell!!
Souce: Keeping Current Matters