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Either Way, You’re Paying a Mortgage

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Either Way You're Paying a Mortgage | Simplifying The Market There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”
Also, if you purchase with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, your ‘housing expense’ is locked in over the thirty years for the most part. If you rent, the one guarantee you will have is that your rent will increase over that same thirty year time period. As an owner, the mortgage payment is a ‘forced savings’ which will allow you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in your life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are still lower than projected.
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Foreclosure Inventory Down 34.3% from Last Year

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Foreclosure Inventory Down 35.5% from Last Year | Simplifying The Market According to the latest CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report“approximately 552,000 homes in the US were in some state of foreclosure as of December 2014”. This figure is down 34.3% from the 840,000 homes in December of 2013. December marked the 38th consecutive month in which there were year-over-year declines. Anand Nallathambl, the President and CEO of CoreLogic, is hopeful for the future, saying:
“At current foreclosure rates, we expect to see the foreclosure inventory in the U.S. drop below 500,000 homes sometime in the first quarter of 2015 which would be another milestone in the healing of the housing market.”
The map below shows the percentage of foreclosure inventory in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Thirty-six states have inventory below the national rate of 1.4% and can be seen in two shades of green. CoreLogic Foreclosure Inventory | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Even though some states have not recovered completely from the foreclosure crisis, the nation as a whole is on the right track as inventory decreases.
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Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade

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Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade | Simplifying The Market Two recently released reports reveal that the American public is starting to feel much better about the U.S. economy. The University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers showed that:
“Consumer optimism reached the highest level in the past decade in the January 2015 survey…Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years. The anticipated strength in the overall economy has been accompanied by more favorable income and employment expectations.”

Here is a chart showing results over the last decade:

Consumer Optimism | Simplifying The Market As all consumers are feeling more optimistic, more young adults are moving out of their parents’ basements and into a residence of their own. The recent Census report shows that new household formations skyrocketed in 2014. Below is a chart showing the historical significance of the numbers: Household Formations | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

The economy is definitely improving and, more importantly, the American consumer is beginning to feel much more confident. This should lead to a very robust real estate market in 2015.
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