Real Estate Blog

Keeping Current Matters, 12/16/15

In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home. Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save. According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state: 

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were

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Keeping Current Matters, 12/14/15

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by about three-quarters of a percentage point over the next twelve months. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact an interest rate increase would have on the mortgage payment

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Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates have come a long way in the last 30 years.
  • The interest rate you secure directly impacts your monthly payment and the amount of house that you can afford.
  • Experts predict that rates will increase by 3/4 a percent over the next 12 months.
  • Secure a low rate now to get the most house for your money.
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Keeping Current Matters, 12/2/15

Below are quotes from experts as well as industry reports & articles that cover the residential rental market in the U.S.

The experts…

Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell:

"Make no mistake: Despite this recent slowdown in rental appreciation, the rental affordability crisis we've been enduring for the past few years shows no signs of easing, especially as income growth remains weak. It will take a lot more supply, and a lot more renters-turned-homeowners, to fully reverse this.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors

“Rents and home prices are expected to exceed income growth into next year because of the insufficient creation of new home construction and the

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Keeping Current Matters, 11/19/15

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Along with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters. This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate less than 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows. Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.

rates-KCM.jpg (2000×1500)

Bottom Line

Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or

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Keeping Current Matters, 10/23/15

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Some Highlights:

  • 36% of Americans think they need a 20% down payment to buy a home. 44% of Millennials who purchased a home this year have put down less than 10%.
  • 71% of loan applications were approved last month
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 723 in September (the lowest recorded score since Ellie Mae began tracking in August 2011).
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Jim Buchta, StarTribune 10/14/15

There were more buyers than sellers in many parts of the Twin Cities last month, boosting prices and closings in what’s been the best fall market in a decade.

During September, there were 5,114 home sales with a median sale price of $222,000 in the 13-county metro area, according to data released Tuesday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. That was a 12 percent increase in sales and a 8.3 percent increase in prices compared with last September.

The market was strong all through the spring and summer and near-perfect weather for house shopping kept it that way as fall arrived.

“The warm season and good rates continue to keep the market active,” said Kevin Sharkey, president/owner of Better Homes and

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Keeping Current Matters, 8/26/15

Some experts are advising that first time and move-up buyers wait until they save up 20% before they move forward with their decision to purchase a home. One of the main reasons they suggest waiting is that a buyer must purchase private mortgage insurance if they have less than the 20%. That increases the monthly payment the buyer will be responsible for.

In a recent article, Freddie Mac explained what this would mean for a $200,000 house:

However, we must look at other aspects of the purchase to see if it truly makes sense to wait.

Are you actually saving money by waiting?

CoreLogic has recently projected that home values will increase by 4.3% over the next 12 months. Let’s compare the extra cost of PMI

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Keeping Current Matters, 9/29/15

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let us explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen over the next 12 months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 4.7% by this

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Keeping Current Matters, 9/16/15

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their July edition of the Housing Affordability Index. The index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data. NAR looks at the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) which is determined by the median sales price and mortgage interest rate at the time. With that information, NAR calculates the income necessary for a family to qualify for that mortgage amount (based on a 25% qualifying ratio for monthly housing expense to gross monthly income and a 20% down payment).

Here is a graph of the income needed to buy a

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