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Does Homeownership Make Sense Financially?

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Everyone knows the social advantages of home ownership. However, some question the financial benefits of owning a home. Three recent studies shed some light on the issue. RealtyTrac recently released a report comparing home price appreciation to wage ...
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Selling Your House in 2015? Don’t Miss this Opportunity

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Every seller wants to get the best price for their house. We learned in high school that the best price for any item will be determined by the demand for that item relative to the supply of that item. We have reported that the inventory of houses for ...
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Desire to Own a Vacation Home Growing

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Desire to Own a Vacation Home Growing | Simplifying The Market The National Association of Realtors just released their 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey which revealed that vacation home sales boomed in 2014 to above their most recent peak level in 2006. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said favorable conditions are driving second-home sales:
“Affluent households have greatly benefited from strong growth in the stock market in recent years, and the steady rise in home prices has likely given them reassurance that real estate remains an attractive long-term investment. Furthermore, last year’s impressive increase also reflects long-term growth in the numbers of baby boomers moving closer to retirement and buying second homes to convert into their primary home in a few years.”
The report shows:
  • Vacation-home sales catapulted to an estimated 1.13 million last year
  • This was the highest amount since NAR began the survey in 2003
  • Vacation sales were up 57.4% from 717,000 in 2013
  • Vacation-home sales accounted for 21 percent of all transactions in 2014, their highest market share since the survey was first conducted

Bottom Line

If you have been considering that waterfront condo in Florida, that ranch in Wyoming or that special getaway you someday will retire to, maybe now is the time to act. Prices are good and mortgage rates are at historic lows. Contact a local real estate professional to help you put your dreams to a plan.
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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying A Home

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3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Home | Simplifying The Market If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are 3 questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
  • Home values will appreciate by 4.4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.3% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.7% by 2019.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.
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