Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / by Karin Head
There is a lot of discussion about the current state of housing affordability for both first-time and move-up buyers, and much of the narrative is tarnished with a negative slant. However, the truth is that housing affordability is better today than at almost any time in our history.
The naysayers are correct in the fact that affordability today is not as good as it has been over the last several years. But, we must remember that home prices collapsed during the housing crash, and distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) kept home values depressed for years. When we compare affordability to the decades that proceeded the crash, a different story is revealed.
Here is a graph of the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index. The higher the graph, the more affordable homes are.
We can see that affordability is better today than in the fifteen years prior to the boom and bust.
CoreLogic just published a report showing the& ...
Monday, November 27, 2017 / by Karin Head
Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been apart of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.
Zillow recently reported that:
“In reality, buying or renting a home is an intensely personal decision, with emotional and even financial considerations that go beyond whether to invest in this one (admittedly large) asset. Looking strictly at housing market numbers, there is a concrete point at which buying a home makes more financial sense than renting it.”
What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?
1. We recently highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:
Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
Homeownership provides tax savings.
Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
No other investment ...
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 / by Karin Head
Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (29.2%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.8%), the choice becomes obvious.
Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 / by Karin Head
These are some general guidelines that are meant to help you understand how an appraiser looks at your home. Please keep in mind that other items might be flagged; make sure you communicate with your Realtor and lender on the condition of your home. This will enable you to find and solve problems with your home in advance instead of at the end of the transaction.
Electrical - GFCI outlets in the kitchen and all bathrooms; exposed fuse boxes or wires will be flagged.
Foundation - There cannot be cracks in the foundation.
Handrails - Handrails have to be on all staircases with three steps or more (this includes but is not limited to: steps outside to a deck and stairs in a basement)
Heating Source - A central heating source is required and has to be 100% operational and safe. If a home only has one source of heat and it is from a wood stove or pellet stove, it will need a central heating sy ...