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Feb. 23, 2017

Are You 1 of the 59 Million Planning to Buy This Year?

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, one in four Americans are considering buying a home this year. If this statistic proves to be true, that means that 59 million people will be looking to enter the housing market in 2017.

The survey also revealed 3 key takeaways:

  1. Those most likely to buy are ‘Older Millennials’ (ages 27-36) or ‘Generation X’ (ages 37-52)
  2. Minorities, particularly African-Americans, were twice as likely to respond that they were considering purchasing a home this year than white respondents.
  3. Many potential buyers believe they need to put 20% down and need to have perfect credit to own and are unaware of programs that would allow them to buy now.

Holden Lewis, a mortgage analyst for Bankrate.com, pointed to one big reason why many Americans are starting to consider homeownership:

“Having kids and raising a family is a primary reason why Americans take the leap into homeownership—many consider it a key component of the American dream.”

Bottom Line

If buying a home is a part of your dream for 2017, meet with a local professional who can help you determine if you are able to.

Jan. 26, 2017

Thinking of Selling? Why NOW is the Time!

It's common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring, as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2016. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Why Now is the Time | MyKCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,820,000.

That number spiked to 2,140,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for a home right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition for a buyer.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

May 10, 2016

4 Reasons To Move Up to Your Dream Home This Spring

Spring is in full force; the summer months are right around the corner. If you are debating moving up to your dream home, here are four great reasons to consider listing your current home and moving up to your dream home now, instead of waiting.

1. Buyer Demand is High & Inventory is Low

Recent numbers show that buyer demand is at the highest peak experienced in years, and inventory for sale is at a 4.5-month supply, which is still markedly lower than the 6 months needed for a historically normal market.

Demand in many markets is far exceeding the supply, and more properties in March sold in less than 30 days (42%) than in any month since last July.

Listing your home today can greatly increase exposure to buyers who are out in force and ready to act.

2. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic recently released their latest Home Price Index in which they predict that national home values will appreciate by 5.3% by this time next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting for your current home’s value to increase before selling could price you out of your new home if you aren’t careful.

3. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Still Near Record Lows

Interest rates have remained below 4% for some time now and are substantially lower than the rate previous generations paid when getting a mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will rise over the next 12 months.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family’s net worth. Whether you are moving up or buying your first home, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your home.

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Have you always wanted to live in a certain neighborhood? Would a climate change be just what the doctor ordered? Would you like to be closer to your family?

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to move up to the home of your dreams this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

April 5, 2016

The Evolution of Homes

Feb. 26, 2016

Home Sales Inch Up

Exising Home Sales Inch Up In January [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales rose to an annual rate of 5.47 million, representing an 11% increase year-over-year.
  • Inventory levels remain below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market at a 4.0-month supply.
  • Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist, warns: "The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren't even close to what's needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand."

Feb. 24, 2016

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows!

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows | Keeping Current Matters

 

Just two weeks ago, we posted an article discussing where mortgage interest rates may be heading over the next twelve months. We quoted projections from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors. Each predicted that rates would begin to rise slowly and steadily throughout 2016.

 

However, shaky economic news and a volatile stock market have actually caused rates to drop six out of the last seven weeks, and have remained at 3.65% for the past two weeks.

 

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows | Keeping Current Matters

 

Rates have again fallen to historic lows yet many experts still expect them to increase in 2016. The only thing we know for sure is that, according to Freddie Mac, current rates are the best they have been since last April.

 

Bottom Line

 

If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage!

Feb. 20, 2016

Top 10 Tax Deductions for Homeowners

It's hard to believe we're halfway through February 2016. By now, everyone should have their W-2's or 1099's and starting to think about income taxes that will be due in less than two months time. Your home may be brimming with tax advantages. How will you get all of the breaks you're entitled to? You should always consult a professional tax advisor for details, but here's a list of the top 10 tax deductions:

1. Mortgage Interest Interest on the loan for your primary residence is fully tax-deductible, if you qualify.
2. Points Paid on a Refinanced Loan If you refinanced, you may be able to write off the points paid for the new loan.
3. Points Paid on a Purchase Loan The points you pay at closing when you buy a home are deductible on your income tax statement for that year.
4. Capital Gains with No Income Taxes Thanks to the 1997 Tax Act, once every two years, single homeowners can realize a tax-exempt profit of up to $250,000 - as long as the seller owned and occupied the home as a principal residence during any two of the last five years. Married homeowners who file jointly on their tax returns do not have to pay taxes on up to $500,000 of gain when they sell their primary residence.
5. Home Improvements Although you can't deduct the expenses associated with home improvements, keep in mind that making improvements to your home may increase the purchase price of your home. Keeping all of your receipts from home improvements may help you prove your home's worth at resale and reduce the potential taxable gain when selling your home.
6. Real Estate and Property Taxes State and local property taxes can be deducted as an expense against income. However the real estate taxes are only deductible in the year they are actually paid to the government.
7. Home Offices If you have a qualified office in your home, you may be able to deduct costs associated with maintaining the portion of your home exclusively used for business.
8. Limited Moving Expenses Homeowners who have recently relocated for work may be able to write off the cost of moving themselves, their household goods, their vehicles, and other reasonable costs associated with the move. Restrictions do apply.

9. Vacation Homes Owning a vacation home has more benefits than you may think. You can deduct some of the costs associated with owning a vacation home, such as real estate taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, and points. As always, you should check with your tax advisor to determine which of these deductions apply to you.
10. Buying a home First-time homebuyers can take out up to $10,000 from traditional and Roth IRAs penalty-free to help with purchasing the home. Spouses, parents, children or grandchildren can add another $10,000 from their IRA accounts for a total of $20,000 for a down payment.

Bottom Line

Because tax rules vary based on income and other factors, you should always consult an accountant or financial advisor for advice on your particular tax situation.

If it's time for you, or someone you know, to become a homeowner or sell a home to take advantage of the tax benefits ... Contact Us today. We'd love to help you!

                             

Feb. 19, 2016

How To Create Real Family Wealth

How To Create Real Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision that any family will make.
  • The average net worth of a homeowner is 45x greater than that of a renter.
  • Homeownership puts your housing costs to work for you.
  • Infographic was created in cooperation with Jensen & Co.

Posted in Buyers, Investors
Feb. 11, 2016

Final 2015 Housing Numbers Now In

Final 2015 Housing Numbers Now In | Keeping Current Matters

Many have questioned the stability of certain sectors of the U.S. Economy, one section in particular is the housing market. Today we would like to share how the experts feel about how we ended 2015 and where they think we are headed in 2016.

How did we do in 2015?

The National Association of Realtors

“Overall, a resilient U.S. economy and very solid job growth in recent years made 2015 a great rebound year for the housing market.

Existing-home sales were at the highest pace (5.26 million) since 2006 (6.48 million) and the Pending Home Sales Index came in at an average of 108.8, the highest annual reading since…you guessed it: 2006 (111.7).”

The National Association of Home Builders

“With the December report on housing starts and permits, preliminary totals for 2015 are now available. Total housing starts at 1.11 million were up 10.8% in 2015 compared to 2014. Single-family starts were up 10.4% to 715,300. All four census regions also experienced increases in single-family starts for 2015.”

What can we expect to start 2016?

Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com Chief Economist

“All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006…

Demand for for-sale housing will grow and will continue to be dominated by older millennials, aged 25 to 34. This demographic has the potential to claim a third of home sales in 2016 and represent 2 million home purchases.”


Feb. 10, 2016

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have In Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have In Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Keeping Current Matters

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 256,000 properties regained equity in the third quarter of 2015. This is great news for the country, as 92% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

Price Appreciation = Good News For Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

“Home price growth continued to lift borrower equity positions and increase the number of borrowers with sufficient equity to participate in the mortgage market. In the last three years, borrowers with at least 20 percent equity have increased by 11 million, a substantial uptick that is driving rapid growth in home equity originations.” 

Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2016 as well, as he had this to say:

“Homeowner equity is the largest source of wealth for many Americans. The rise in home prices, expected to be at least 5% in 2016, will continue to build wealth and confidence across America. As this process continues, it will provide support for the housing market and the broader economy throughout [the] year.”

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their home as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 8% of homes are in that position (down from 9% in Q2).

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%), when in actuality, 74% do!

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have In Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | Keeping Current Matters

This means that 37% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs (moving to a larger home or downsizing).

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who are unsure how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2016! Meet with a member of the Fissori Real Estate Team today, who can help you evaluate your situation and assist you along the way!


Posted in Investors, Sellers