Category: Mortgage + Real Estate Tips

How Important is Owning a Home?

 

In a recent report released by National Mortgage News, only 14% of Americans claim homeownership is of primary importance.

According to Reportlinker, the goal of homeownership ranked fourth among American priorities in 2017, one step down from reaching career goals and just above having or adopting children.

National Mortgage News also reported that:

  • Even though homeownership ranking dropped 5 percentage points from last year, the goal of homeownership more than doubled any other priority as a long-term goal. 54% said it was their primary long-term financial objective.
  • About 81% of consumers say homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make, with the investment advantage being one of the forces driving millennial interest in home buying.
  • In this year’s first quarter, the volume of new-owner households doubled the number of new-renter households, signifying that the younger generation is making its way into the buyers’ market.

Great Outdoors May Be Key to Selling Home Fast

Recent news reports state that more buyers are now considering the outdoor space of a home and its usability when looking for new homes. It’s not just what’s inside that counts for homeowners anymore.

Are you trying to sell your home? Try sprucing up or adding one of these four top features buyers want:

  • An outdoor kitchen
  • Pool/Spa
  • Open space
  • Outdoor fireplace

Read all the details and exactly what buyers are asking for in the original article here.  

Is Your City in Best or Worst Category for Flipping?

According to National Mortgage News, nearly 54,000 homes were flipped in the second quarter of this year. Investors profited an average of $67,516 per property and had nearly a 50% return on investment, according to Attom Data Solutions.

While the return on investment has declined nationwide for three quarters in a row, some cities still have a strong flip market. Others should likely be avoided.

Here’s a list of the five best and the five worst cities for house flipping in the second quarter:

5 Best:

 #5: Cleveland, OH

#4: Harrisburg, PA

#3: Philadelphia, PA

#2: Baton Rouge, LA

And the best city for flipping homes…

#1: Pittsburg, PA, with a return on investment of 146.6%.

5 Worst:

#5: San Francisco, CA

#4: San Jose, CA

#3: Austin, TX

#2: Boise, ID

And the worst city for a flip…

#1: Honolulu, HI, with only a 17.8% return.

When is the best time of year to buy a starter home?

One time of year stands above the rest as being the best time for first-time homebuyers to buy a home. During this time, starter home inventory increases about 7%, which leads to listing prices falling between 3.1% and 4.8% lower than in other parts of the year, a new report from Trulia shows.

The best time of year to buy a starter home, according to Trulia’s report, is fall, or between October 1st and December 31st. During this time, 70 of the largest 100 U.S. metros see peak levels of starter home inventory, and home prices begin to fall, eventually hitting their annual lows in January through March.

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News

How to Change the Mortgage Industry From the Inside

We constantly talk about regulations, compliance, and technology, among other things. But a mortgage is intended for a person whose sole function isn’t to spend days faxing documents.

Improving the user experience benefits everyone, from the borrower to the originator. One idea is to change the way that things are done behind the scenes, starting with the underwriting process. And that’s exactly what cloudvirga, Skyline’s sister company, has been doing.

Recently, National Mortgage News published an article about how cloudvirga and others are changing the process. Click here to view the article to see what’s being done and what the future will look like.

Equifax Hack and How to Protect Yourself

Internet connectivity has brought many benefits to modern society, but one of the drawbacks is that internet users and companies are vulnerable to information breaches.

Recently, credit bureau Equifax was hacked with 143 million people potentially affected by the data breach. Many details about the hack aren’t available, and though this news is unfortunate, there are things that can be done to safeguard your credit.

First thing’s first, check to see if you were affected by the hack. Click on the link below to get a step-by-step guide.

https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/equifax-data-breach-find-out-if-you-were-one-of-143-million-hacked/

Whether you were affected or not, it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Many things can happen that may put you at risk.

Here are a few steps that you could take to keep your credit safe: 

  • Set up alerts with the three big credit reporting agencies to see if someone is using your credit. Same goes for credit and debit cards. You can even have push notifications set up.
  • Look into freezing your credit so that new companies that you don’t currently work with will not be able to access your credit.
  • Keep an eye on your credit history.
  • Consider a credit monitoring service. Right now, Equifax is offering a year of credit monitoring for free, but make sure you look into the fine print.

 

Source: New York Times, Sept 10, 2017

Saving for a Down Payment

 

If you’ve decided that it’s time to start thinking seriously about buying a home, congratulations! Owning property is a great achievement that can enrich your life.

But if you’re just beginning to save up for a down payment, it might seem daunting if you don’t have a plan.

So here are a few tips and tricks to save smarter:

  • Have a goal in mind. It’s a whole lot easier to save when you aren’t trying to save infinity dollars. Start by determining how much home you can afford.
  • Figure out how much you can save a month and make it automatic. The less you have to think about it, the less you’ll miss that money. 
  • Put that money into an account that you can’t easily withdraw from.
  • Look into investing your money in some kind of vehicle that has a larger return on investment than a regular savings account. But keep in mind that any investment has some element of risk. 
  • Remember that not all loans require 20% down. There are plenty of loans out there that need a smaller down payment.

If you’d like to learn more about the types of loans out there or about the home purchase process in general, give me a call or shoot me an email.

 

Source: CNN Money

Homes Values Up From 2016

Have you ever heard that a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it? In today’s market, that’s good news for sellers.

CNBC recently reported that according to Zillow, a real estate listing company, the median value of all homes in the United States in June surpassed $200,000. That’s a seven-percent increase over just one year ago.

Determining the value of a home isn’t easy to do. There are many factors involved including location, condition, the lot size, design, etc.

The National Association of Realtors reported the median sale price of a U.S. home at well over $200,000 for more than a year, but that measure reflected only homes sold, not every house in every neighborhood that exists in America.

Why are sales prices up? The value of homes is increasing but that’s not the only reason why. Another reason is because of the shortage of low-priced homes. More people are now buying pricier homes because that’s what is available. That pushes the median price up.

The inventory of homes for sale was down more than 11 percent in June, year over year, according to Zillow, with steeper drops in big markets like San Francisco (minus 26 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul (down 30 percent), Washington, D.C. (down 20 percent) and Seattle (minus 24 percent).

According to CNBC, the city of Dallas, which has good supply of homes for sale, is seeing home values more than 10 percent higher compared with a year ago because of an increasingly strong local economy and job market. In contrast, Baltimore, which saw a big drop in inventory (minus 21 percent) is only seeing values about 4 percent higher because of a weaker local economy.

I’ll continue to keep my eye on these trends. When you’re ready to get approved and get into this competitive market, I’d love to be the one to help you out!