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It’s a Better Time to Buy Than 10 Years Ago

  February 20, 2020   A strong economy, low unemployment, low mortgage rates, and alluring mortgage rates are making it a great time to buy a home, according to a newly released report from LendingTree, an online financial services marketplace. The amount of income that buyers spent on their mortgage payments also dropped from 2010 Read More

2020 Real Estate Market Perspectives

Sources:  Sean Kent La Rue/Franklin Loan Center Q4 2019 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, 2019 NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit, Realtor.com 2020 Economic Forecast, Freddie Mac December Forecast: Optimism Heading into 2020, Fannie Mae Housing Forecast: December 2019, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, NAHB Housing and Interest Rate Forecast, January 6, 2020, Redfin 2020 Housing Read More

What Exactly Do Closing Costs Cover?

January 17, 2020   A home costs more than just the sale price. For example, closing costs—which make up about 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price—are a major added expense. Michael Hyman, a research data specialist at the National Association of REALTORS®, shares the charges that make up closing costs in a post Read More

Mortgage Rates Drop to Ring In the New Year

January 3, 2020 © REALTOR® MAGAZINE   Home shoppers are being greeted with much lower mortgage rates to kick off 2020 than they were a year ago. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.72% this week, compared to 4.51% at the beginning of 2019.   Improving economic data has led to a stability in mortgage rates Read More

4 Most Popular Bathroom Trends of 2019

December 30, 2019   Shaker-style cabinets, brass accents, and white-and-wood combos dominated bathroom trends in 2019, according to Houzz, a home remodeling website. The following are the most-saved bathroom photos that were uploaded to Houzz in 2019.   Brass accents. Add some bling: Brass finishes—whether antiqued, brushed, or polished—grew in popularity in 2019, particularly with cabinet Read More

Real Estate Wins in Government Spending Bills

December 17, 2019     Wes Shaw The House on Tuesday passed a federal spending package for fiscal year 2020 that includes several high-priority items for REALTORS®: reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30; an extension of several tax provisions important to real estate markets, such as mortgage debt forgiveness; and a Read More

Here’s a Treat: Fed Cuts Rate for Third Time This Year

October 31, 2019   For the third time this year, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter point in an attempt to bolster a slowing economy. The federal funds rate will hover between 1.5% and 1.75%.   The Fed’s benchmark rate does not directly affect long-term mortgage rates, but it does often influence Read More

House Hunters Swoop In as Buying Power Rises

October 29, 2019   Lower mortgage rates have increased buying power by 6%, and more house hunters want to take advantage. That helped boost contract signings by 1.5% in September, the second consecutive month for increases, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday.   NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract Read More

Housing Market Forecast as Bright Spot in Worrisome Economy

  October 2, 2019   Americans are growing concerned by the growing threats of an economic slowdown, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting housing. Recent housing reports are showing that lower mortgage rates are buoying buyer demand into the fall months.   “Despite fears of an economic slowdown, the housing market continues to be Read More

Smart-Home Technology for Aging in Place

August 6, 2019   by Brandon Doyle   By the year 2035, there will be more people over the age of 65 than under 18 for the first time in history. We have extended our lifespans, but with that comes new challenges. Living longer means extended health and safety concerns, such as keeping track of medications, maneuvering stairs Read More

Palm Springs: The #1 Hottest Second-Home Market According To Wall Street Journal!

  The very hottest second-home destination is Palm Springs, Calif., once a retiree and golf community that now hosts hip events like Coachella, the music festival, plus activities focused on film, architecture and fashion.   “We had a listing at $2.2 million and it sold at the open house,” said Paul Kaplan of Bennion Deville. Read More

What the Fed’s Rate Cut Means for Your Buyers

July 31, 2019   The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut interest rates for the first time since the Great Recession took hold in 2008, though the move is not likely to deliver significant juice to an already favorable borrowing environment for home buyers. The federal funds rate, which is what banks charge one another for Read More

Faux Lawns Offer No-Fuss Grass Alternative

July 23, 2019   More homeowners are leaning towards maintenance-free faux turfs for their yards, according to landscapers.   Architect Christopher Brandon of Brandon Architects in Costa Mesa, Calif., told The Wall Street Journal that about 75% of the projects he does for modern-style homes now ask for artificial grass. Since faux turf does not require water and the green Read More

Owners Spend More to Spruce Up Newer Homes Than Older Homes

July 17, 2019   Homeowners are spending more to improve their homes, not necessarily on home maintenance.   Homes may be aging in the U.S., but don’t assume the age of a home is prompting more spending. A new report from HomeAdvisor, a home remodeling resource, finds that homeowners spent $3.70 less for every year since Read More

Gay Neighborhoods Becoming Too Pricey for Many LGBT Residents

July 2, 2019   “Gayborhoods” are getting more expensive, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community increasingly says they’re getting priced out of the neighborhoods they helped to build.   For example, USA Today reports that areas like San Francisco’s Castro district, which has long been known to house many members of the LGBT community, has seen values reach nearly Read More

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