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Category: For Buyers

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Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home?

Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home. And while there’s no arguing affordability is still tight, there are signs it’s starting to get a bit better and may improve even more throughout the year. Elijah de la Campa, Senior Economist at Redfin, says: “We’re slowly climbing our way out of an affordability hole, but we have a long way to go. Rates have come down from their peak and are expected to fall again by the end of the year, which should make homebuying a little more affordable and incentivize buyers to come off the sidelines.” Here’s...

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

You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. And while that may be true in some markets if you just look at typical monthly payments, there’s one thing that the numbers aren’t factoring in: and that’s home equity. Here’s a look at how big of an impact equity can have and why it’s worth considering as you make your decision. What the Headlines Are Based on The graph below uses national data on the median rental payment from Realtor.com and median mortgage payment from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to compare...

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Ways To Use Your Tax Refund If You Want To Buy a Home

Have you been saving up to buy a home this year? If so, you know there are a number of expenses involved – from your down payment to closing costs. But did you also know your tax refund can help you pay for some of these expenses? As Credit Karma explains: “If one of your goals is to stop renting and buy a home, you’ll need to save up for closing costs and a down payment on the mortgage. A tax refund can give you a start on the road to homeownership. If you’ve already started to save, your tax refund could move you down the road faster.” While how much money you may get in a tax refund is going...

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Builders Are Building Smaller Homes

There’s no arguing it, affordability is still tight. And if you’re trying to buy a home, that may mean you need to look at smaller houses to find one that’s still in your budget. But there is a silver lining: builders are focused on building these smaller homes right now and they’re offering incentives. And that can help give you more options that fit the bill. Newly Built Homes Are Trending Smaller During the pandemic, homebuyers wanted (and could afford) larger homes – and builders delivered. They focused on homes that were bigger, so people had more space for things like working from home,...

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The Top 5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent when Buying a Home

You may have heard headlines in the news lately about agents in the real estate industry and discussions about their commissions. And if you’re following along, it can be pretty confusing. But here’s the thing you really need to know – expert advice from a trusted real estate agent is priceless, now more than ever. And here’s why. A real estate agent does a lot more than you may realize. Your agent is the person who will guide you through every step when buying a home and look out for your best interests along the way. They smooth out a complex process and take away the bulk of the stress...

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Don’t Let Your Student Loans Delay Your Homeownership Plans

If you have student loans and want to buy a home, you might have questions about how your debt affects your plans. Do you have to wait until you’ve paid off those loans before you can buy your first home? Or is it possible you could still qualify for a home loan even with that debt? Here’s a look at the latest information so you have the answers you need. A Bankrate article explains: “Roughly 60 percent of U.S. adults who have held student loan debt have put off making important financial decisions due to that debt . . . For Gen Z and millennial borrowers alone, that number rises to 70 percent.” This...

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Top 5 Reasons To Hire an Agent When Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Hiring an agent when buying a home helps you understand the buying process and the local market. They’ll also go over contracts and fine print with you, so you understand what you’re agreeing to. Plus, they’re good at negotiating, making sure you get the best deal. Expert advice from a trusted real estate professional is priceless. Connect with a local agent today.

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Newly Built Homes Could Be a Game Changer This Spring

Buying a home this spring? You’re probably navigating today’s affordability challenges and dealing with the limited number of homes for sale. But, what if there was a solution that could help with both? If you’re having a hard time finding a home you love, and mortgage rates are putting pressure on your budget, it may be time to look at newly built homes. Here’s why. New Home Construction Is an Inventory Bright Spot When looking for a home, you can choose between existing homes (those that are already built and previously owned) and newly constructed ones. While the number of existing homes...

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Is It Easier To Find a Home To Buy Now?

One of the biggest hurdles buyers have faced over the past few years has been a lack of homes available for sale. But that’s starting to change. The graph below uses the latest data from Realtor.com to show there are more homes on the market in 2024 than there have been in any of the past several years (2021-2023): Does That Mean Finding a Home Is Easier? The answer is yes, and no. As an article from Realtor.com says: “There were nearly 15% more homes for sale in February than a year earlier . . . That alone could jolt the housing market a bit if more “For Sale” signs continue to appear....

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Single Women Are Embracing Homeownership

In today’s housing market, more and more single women are becoming homeowners. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 19% of all homebuyers are single women, while only 10% are single men. If you’re a single woman trying to buy your first home, this should be encouraging. It means other people are making their dreams a reality – so you can too. Why Homeownership Matters to So Many Women For many single women, buying a home isn’t just about having a place to live—it’s also a smart way to invest for the future. Homes usually increase in value...

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What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Closing Costs

Before making the decision to buy a home, it’s important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for. While you’re busy saving for the down payment, don’t forget you’ll want to prep for closing costs too. Here’s some helpful information on what those costs are and how much you should budget for them. What Are Closing Costs? A recent article from Bankrate explains: “Closing costs are the fees and expenses you must pay before becoming the legal owner of a house, condo or townhome . . . Closing costs vary depending on the purchase price of the home and how it’s being...

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3 Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights Trying to buy your first home? If you’re worried about affordability today or the limited number of homes for sale, these tips can help. Look into homebuyer programs, expand your search area, and consider a multi-generational home. Connect with a local real estate agent so you have an expert on your side to help you make your dream a reality.

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What Are Experts Saying About the Spring Housing Market?

If you’re planning to move soon, you might be wondering if there’ll be more homes to choose from, where prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how to navigate today’s market. If so, here’s what the professionals are saying about what’s in store for this season. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American: “. . . it seems our general expectation for the spring is that we will see a pickup in inventory. In fact, that already seems to be happening. But it won’t necessarily be enough to satiate demand.” Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist, Bright MLS: “There is still strong...

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Does It Make Sense To Buy a Home Right Now?

Thinking about buying a home? If so, you’re probably wondering: should I buy now or wait? Nobody can make that decision for you, but here’s some information that can help you decide. What’s Next for Home Prices? Each quarter, Fannie Mae and Pulsenomics publish the results of the Home Price Expectations Survey (HPES). It asks more than 100 experts—economists, real estate professionals, and investment and market strategists—what they think will happen with home prices. In the latest survey, those experts say home prices are going to keep going up for the next five years (see graph...

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4 Tips To Make Your Strongest Offer on a Home

Are you thinking about buying a home soon? If so, you should know today’s market is competitive in many areas because the number of homes for sale is still low – and that’s leading to multiple-offer scenarios. And moving into the peak homebuying season this spring, this is only expected to ramp up more. Remember these four tips to make your best offer. 1. Partner with a Real Estate Agent Rely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. As PODS notes: “Making an offer on a home without an agent is certainly possible, but having a pro by your side gives you a massive advantage in figuring...

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Your Home Is a Powerful Investment

Going into 2023, there was a lot of talk about a possible recession that would cause the housing market to crash. Some in the media were even forecasting home prices would drop by as much as 10-20%—and that might have made you feel a bit unsure about buying a home. But here’s what actually happened: home prices went up more than usual. Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, explains: “Looking back at the year, 2023 appears to have exceeded average annual home price gains over the past 35 years.” To put last year’s growth into context, the graph below uses data from...

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What Mortgage Rate Do You Need To Move?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, mortgage rates are probably top of mind for you. They may even be why you’ve put your plans on hold for now. When rates climbed near 8% last year, some buyers found the numbers just didn’t make sense for their budget anymore. That may be the case for you too. Data from Bright MLS shows the top reason buyers delayed their plans to move is due to high mortgage rates (see graph below):   David Childers, CEO at Keeping Current Matters, speaks to this statistic in the recent How’s The Market podcast: “Three quarters of buyers said ‘we’re out’ due to...

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Finding Your Perfect Home in a Fixer Upper

If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper. That’s a house that needs a little elbow grease or some updates, but has good bones. Fixer-uppers can be a really great option if you’re looking to break into the housing market or want to stretch your budget further. According to NerdWallet: “Buying a fixer-upper can provide a path to homeownership for first-time home buyers or a way for repeat buyers to afford a larger home or a better neighborhood. With the relatively low inventory of homes for sale these days,...

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The Benefits of Downsizing When You Retire

If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. One long-standing, popular way to do that is by downsizing to a smaller home. When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares: “A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes...

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What To Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home

If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders review your credit to see if you typically make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. Your credit score can also help determine your mortgage rate. An article from US Bank explains: “A credit score isn’t the only deciding factor on your mortgage application, but it’s a significant one. So, when you’re house shopping, it’s important to know where your credit stands and how to use it to get the best mortgage rate possible.” That means your credit...

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The First Step: Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights If you’re looking to buy a home in 2024, getting pre-approved is a key piece of the puzzle. Mortgage pre-approval means a lender checks your finances and decides how much you’re qualified to borrow. As more buyers re-enter the market, it’ll help you make a strong offer that stands out from the crowd. Talk to a trusted professional to learn more and begin your homebuying process today.

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Why You Want an Agent’s Advice for Your Move

No matter how you slice it, buying or selling a home is a big decision. And when you’re going through any change in your life and you need some guidance, what do you do? You get advice from people who know what they’re talking about. Moving is no exception. You need insights from the pros to help you feel confident in your decision. Freddie Mac explains it like this: “As you set out to find the right home for your family, be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls.” And while perfect advice isn’t possible – not even from...

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