Down Payment Strategy

Coming up with a down payment strategy can be difficult for some buyers – especially first-time home buyers who don’t have the benefit of a home to sell. In fact, among first-time home buyers, nearly 60 percent put less than 20 percent down on their house. And while that can be a good option for some buyers, it does have downsides.

For one, smaller down payments typically mean you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance. It also means you may be edged out when making an offer on a home. Data from Zillow shows that buyers with larger down payments are more likely to get their offer accepted.  On the other hand, waiting to save a larger down payment means risking an increase in home prices that makes it so you can’t afford next year what you could afford right now.

\What is the best move for today’s buyer? Well that depends a lot on their personal financial situation and how much they already have saved. But, according to Zillow, the median home will be worth just over $6,000 more next year at this time – which means you’ll have to save an additional $105 per month to cover the rise in prices. Call Jennifer today to discuss your home buying situation.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Home Affordability Conditions Improve

The U.S. Home Affordability Index looks at how affordable homes are based on the percentage of average wages needed to make a monthly payment on a median-priced house in 406 counties across the country. According to the results, affordability conditions improved, compared to the previous quarter, in 60 percent of all analyzed counties. That’s an encouraging trend for anyone thinking about buying a home this winter, as it means buyers can expect to find more favorable conditions than they did over the summer.

Daren Blomquist, ATTOM’s senior vice president, said the improvement was brought on by decreasing interest rates. “Falling interest rates in the third quarter provided enough of a cushion to counteract rising home prices in most U.S. markets and provide at least some temporary relief for the home affordability crunch,” Blomquist said. “More sustainable relief for the affordability crunch, however, will need to be some combination of slowing home price appreciation and accelerating wage growth.” For example, since hitting bottom in 2012, home prices have risen 73 percent, while average weekly wages have only improved 13 percent over the same time period.

To find out what your home is worth in today’s market call Jennifer Bixby at Don Peterson & Associates today.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

 

What is an Ideal Down Payment?

The results of a new survey show Americans prefer a 10 percent down payment when buying a house. The 2017 Mortgages In America Survey found it was the most popular option among young, middle aged, and older home buyers when asked to choose among down payments up to 30 percent. And it lines up pretty well with actual data. In fact, the average down payment in 2016 was 11 percent, with borrowers under the age of 35 putting down something closer to 8 percent.

Even though Americans clearly prefer it, lower down payments come with tradeoffs. For one, if you put less money down upfront, you may have to pay private mortgage insurance, which can add to your monthly mortgage payment. Which means, though home buyers have options and won’t necessarily have to put 20 percent down on the house they’re buying, it is always a good idea to save up as much as possible, so you have a substantial amount to invest in your home. It’ll make you a more attractive buyer to home sellers, in addition to helping keep your mortgage payment more affordable. To learn more about home buying options contact Jennifer Bixby at Don Peterson & Associates today.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Home Buying Made Easier

When asked, Americans overwhelmingly say they value homeownership and believe it increases financial stability. In fact, one recent survey found 93 percent of respondents said they felt that homeownership was an important part of the American dream.

Still, despite their desire to buy and own a home, many Americans hesitate before pursuing their dream of becoming homeowners. And while there are many reasons for this, one of them is misconceptions about the home buying process. A national housing survey, for example, found a growing number of respondents who say the home buying process is confusing. According to the results, 74 percent of adults said they strongly or somewhat agree that “the home buying process is complicated.” That’s up from 67 percent last year.

What accounts for the increase is anybody’s guess but it reinforces the fact that prospective buyers should make choosing a reputable lender and real estate agent among the first steps they take after deciding to buy a home. Working with experienced professionals will demystify the buying process and help you navigate the ins-and-outs of purchasing a house. For professional representation call Jennifer Bixby today at Don Peterson & Associates.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs

Housing Market Improves Despite Challenges 

The National Association Of Home Builders’ Leading Markets Index compares current price, building permits, and employment levels to their previous norms in 337 markets across the country. The index is an effort to measure how quickly individual markets have recovered following the housing crash and financial crisis.

According to the most recent release, 196 metro areas have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity as of the second quarter of this year. In other words, housing markets across the country continue to make gains, despite current challenges.

Granger MacDonald, NAHB’s chairman, says the report shows that the recovery has been widespread. “This report shows that the housing and economic recovery is widespread across the nation and that housing has made significant gains since the Great Recession,” Granger said. “However, the lagging single-family permit indicator shows that housing still has a ways to go to get back to full strength.” Among the three main index components, building permits are still falling behind previous norms, while price and employment levels have largely rebounded.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Today’s Home Buyer Is More Market Savvy

One result of the housing crash is that American home buyers are now more savvy about the housing market. In addition to finding a house they love, they are also concerned with market fluctuations and whether or not they are buying at the right time. In fact, a recent survey from Value Insured shows 63 percent of all buyers and 72 percent of millennials say they worry that they’ll buy a house just as home prices peak.

This concern is natural considering recent history. However, the longer you live in a house, the less likely you are to suffer the effects of market fluctuations. That means, if you’re buying a house you love and plan to live in for, at least, the next five to seven years, you can feel more comfortable buying regardless of where the market may be.

Joe Melendez, CEO of Value Insured, says the fact that this is a common concern shows Americans are more informed these days. “Beyond the jitters, I see in our survey an increasingly informed nation of home buyers, who understand the risk of the market,” Melendez says. “To those concerned about a price correction, or waiting to time the market, I recommend a proactive approach. Have an exit plan, then anytime you find a home you love is a good time to buy.”

 

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Millennials Say Having A Dog Is A Top Reason To Buy

There are a handful of common answers that come up time and time again when Americans are surveyed about their reasons for buying a home. For example, a desire for more space is always at or near the top of any list documenting prospective buyers’ main motivations. After all, if you’ve run out of space where you are – whether it’s because you’ve started a family or because you’ve got a lot of stuff – you’re probably going to be eager to move somewhere bigger. But, though survey after survey finds we all share some common wants and needs when it comes to our homes, a new survey of young Americans who have never owned a home found a surprising reason behind their desire to become homeowners.

So, what was it? Well, 42 percent of respondents said their dog, or desire to have one, was a key factor in wanting to one day buy a home of their own. And, though that may seem unusual to those of us who don’t have pets, those that do, more often than not, consider them a part of their family. So, for a renter who may have trouble finding a landlord that will allow pets at all or one that won’t charge them extra for having one, buying a home can provide a less stressful environment for both the homeowner and their beloved pet.

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, member of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Is Buying a Home Still an Affordable Choice?

These days, determining the affordability of buying a home isn’t such a simple calculation. There are always a lot of variables to consider – including prices, mortgage rates, wages, and local factors – but today’s housing market contains a number of contradictions that may make it even more difficult for potential buyers to figure out.

For example, home prices have recently been making a lot of news, mostly because they’ve regained much or all of the value lost following the housing crash. At the same time, though, mortgage rates have remained just above historic lows for the past several years. In other words, if you live in an area where home prices have been slower to rebound, low mortgage rates likely mean homes are still a good deal in your neighborhood. On the other hand, in some areas – where home prices have pushed beyond previous highs and low inventory is limiting available choices – favorable mortgage rates make less of an impact.

Here in Fremont buying is affordable for the average household, though challenges remain. Thanks to very low mortgage rates, monthly mortgage payments are affordable for the average household despite currently high house prices. Nevertheless, hurdles to homeownership arise from the difficulty of finding a house.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Prices Move Higher as Homeowners Stay Put

Widely seen as the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Dow Jones Indices is a monthly look at home values that has been conducted for more than 27 years. According to the most recent release, national home prices are up 5.8 percent over last year, with the largest gains seen in the West and South.

David M. Blitzer managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says there’s some regional variation in how quickly prices are rising, but generally the issue is the number of homes available for sale. “Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale,” Blitzer said in a press release. “People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up.” Because of this, there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from but home sellers, on the other hand, enjoy increasingly favorable conditions. And yet, many current homeowners are staying put.

If more homeowners put their homes up for sale, and new home construction continues to improve, the market will balance in the coming months and home price increases will begin to moderate.

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, part of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

 

Today’s Typical Home Sells in Less than a Month

Home buyers are out in large numbers this spring. Proof of that can be found in the most recent sales report from the National Association of Realtors. Their monthly tally of how many previously owned homes sold the month before found that the typical home for sale was on the market for just 29 days in April, down from 34 days the previous month.

That’s a strong indication that buyer demand is outpacing the number of homes for sale this spring. And that’s saying something, especially since April saw a 7.2 percent increase in for-sale inventory by the end of the month. In other words, there are more homes coming on the market but still not enough to match the number of interested home buyers.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says affordable homes are going fastest. “Homes in the lower and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher.” But despite the competition, buyers aren’t deterred. In fact, the number of first-time home buyers was up for the month and, a look at regional results, shows existing home sales are above or even with last year’s results in the South, West, and Midwest.

 

 

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate and member of the Bixby & Sorensen Team, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.