Green Homes are More Common

Green-home features are becoming more popular among home buyers and it’s led to an increasing number of builders who say they’re incorporating green features into the homes they build.

For example, the National Association of Home Builders’ Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017 SmartMarket Brief surveyed builders to find out how many were using green-building techniques. According to their findings, one third of builders said green building makes up more than 60 percent of their portfolio. And the expectation is that the number should continue to rise in coming years.

Granger MacDonald, NAHB’s chairman, says green homes are here to stay. “These findings show that green building has become an established part of the residential construction landscape,” MacDonald says. “It is no longer a niche business; our members recognize the value of building green and are incorporating these elements into their standard business practices.” The increased interest is being driven by consumers who value things like energy efficiency and are looking for homes that create a healthier environment. Because of this, as awareness of these features grows, so will demand.

 

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

Renting a Home is Getting More Expensive

Many people assume that renting is always going to be cheaper than buying a house. Mostly, this is because of the upfront costs associated with buying. Having to come up with closing costs and a down payment, in addition to taking on a monthly mortgage payment can be intimidating for someone who wants to buy but feels it’ll be easier and more affordable to rent.

New data shows this is particularly true right now and it’s driving up the costs of renting a single-family home. Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, says the current environment is causing the increase. “Those who want to buy are finding it difficult to find the right one, or may need a bit more time to come up with a down payment, but still want the advantage of space that single-family residences often provide,” Gudell said. “This, coupled with the foreclosure crisis turning millions of homeowners into renters, is a big reason why demand for single-family rental homes has risen over the last few years.”

What this means is that, if you hope to buy but aren’t sure you’re ready, it’s important to research your options. In many markets, buying is still more affordable than renting, and may be especially so if you’re looking to rent a single-family home rather than an apartment.

 

 

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.

The Real Reason There Are Fewer Homes For Sale

These days, many markets are suffering from a lack of homes for sale. And where there are fewer homes to buy, there are higher prices and more competition among buyers. But what’s behind the shortage? Well, a new survey reveals the real reason homeowners have decided to stay put and it’s probably not what you’d expect.

The survey found simple demographics may be the biggest factor. A closer look at the numbers reveals that younger homeowners have plans to sell in the near future but the vast majority of baby boomers don’t. In fact, 85 percent of older homeowners said they had no plans to sell in the next year. This, however, isn’t that odd. Older Americans have always been less likely to move. The difference these days is that the overall population has grown older.

The share of Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 has risen 30 percent in the past 30 years. That means, there are more older homeowners who aren’t that likely to put their homes up for sale. The good news, though, is that 60 percent of owners who said they were hoping to sell within the next year are millennials, which means there could soon be more affordable homes on the market for interested first-time buyers.

 

 

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.

Cash Sales Are A Sign Of A Competitive Market

Most people don’t buy their house with cash. In fact, historically cash sales account for just 10 percent of all home sales. But, according to Freddie Mac’s most recent monthly outlook, the fact that the number of homes for sale remains lower than normal has caused a higher than normal number of cash sales.

“Usually, not many people like to invest a lot of cash into real estate, which is illiquid and has high transaction costs,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, says. “However, in the current, highly competitive housing market, a cash offer is an effective way to gain an advantage over other bidders.” Still, cash sales are well below their peak of 35 percent, with a share closer to 18 percent according to the most recent data.

Overall, Freddie Mac expects mortgage rates to remain low through the end of the year and home sales to surpass last year’s numbers. However, low inventory remains an issue. The outlook says home sales would have been much higher if not for the fact that many markets have fewer homes for sale than is typical. Locally here in Fremont, we are still experiencing a lower than average number of homes for sale. If you are considering a change, it’s still a great time to sell!

 

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.

Number Of Showings Up 10% Over Last Year

If you had any doubt that home buyers are active this fall and looking to buy, some new numbers should help put that notion to rest. New research shows that the number of showings – which refers to a professionally arranged tour of a home for sale – are up 10.3 percent nationally over the same time last year.

Regionally speaking, the Northeast saw the largest jump, with a 15.2 percent increase as of June. However, the Midwest and South also saw double-digit improvements. In fact, only the West saw a slight year-over-year decline. The numbers are a good indication of how much interest there is this fall from potential home buyers.

That’s good news for homeowners who are looking to sell their house, as it adds to the growing evidence that, in many markets, there are more buyers than homes for sale. Of course, that also means home buyers that are looking to buy this season should be prepared to move quickly, as good homes aren’t going to stay on the market very long.

 

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.

Don Peterson & Associates – Ask The Experts – KFMT 105.5FM – September 21, 2017

Connie Hladik and Angie Kuester discuss acreages, the housing inventory, upcoming open houses, current listings.  Listen below!