American-Dream-

Homeownership is Still a Huge Part of the “American Dream”

There have been some who have voiced doubt as to whether or not the younger generations still consider buying a home as being part of the “American Dream”. A study by Merrill Lynch puts that doubt to rest.

According to their research, every living generation still believes that owning a home is in fact important. Here are the numbers:

Homeownership is an important part of the American Dream | Keeping Current Matters

This should not surprise us as many studies have revealed the benefits enjoyed by the families who own their own home. One such study was done by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University that addressed a major financial benefit to owning your own home: forced savings. The report explains:

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

The Merrill Lynch study proves this point with the following data on home equity (a form of savings):

Average Home Equity | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

There are many reasons that owning a home makes sense. The financial reasons are powerful. As one participant in the Merrill Lynch study put it:

“When I was younger, I always worried about that monthly mortgage payment. Now that I am retired, I have the peace of mind of knowing I own my home free and clear.”

 

Article from www.keepingcurrentmatters.com

 


 

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Why You Should Hire A Professional When Buying A Home!

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide if you are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift out the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home”.

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home.

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal.

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

 

Article by www.Keepingcurrentmatters.com

 


 

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New York Times

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Timeseditorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creationthey explain:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that theFederal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expanded on the Federal Reserve’s research and projected that by the end of 2015, the average homeowner will have nearly 41x the net worth of a renter. Their findings are detailed in the graph below:

Increasing Gap In Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:

“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”  

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

Article by – KCM KeepingCurrentMatters


 

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The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home

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 median priced home in the country over the last several years:

Qualifying income | Keeping Current Matters

And the income requirement has accelerated even more dramatically this year as prices have risen:

Qualifications | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Some buyers may be waiting to save up a larger down payment.  Others may be waiting for a promotion and more money. Just realize that, while you are waiting, the requirements are also changing.

 

Original Post from www.keepingcurrentmatters.com


 

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5 Trends That Will Move Real Estate Markets This Week!!

Enjoy Labor Day … because these five trends may rock the real estate world the rest of the week:

 

  1. Who’s remodeling? See profits at HD Supply, Restoration Hardware.
  1. Homebuilding profitable? Watch Hovnanian earnings, out Wednesday.
  1. Look at real estate slice of Producer Price Index.
  1. Are rates moving? See Freddie Mac mortgage survey, out Thursday.
  1. Who’s borrowing? Watch mortgage bankers’ application survey, out Wednesday.

 

            Source: Jonathan Lansner – writer OC Journal

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House with cash

Buying with cash saves cash – and time

An article by Real Estate Agent Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, discusses the differences of Buying a house with cash or taking out a loan.

She writes, “Just recently, a reader asked me about the difference between buying a house with cash and buying a house with a home loan. That’s a great question!

Here’s a rundown of the differences.

Buying a house with cash saves you money. You don’t have to pay for an appraisal. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pay for an appraisal, you just don’t have to.

Buyers using a home loan have to pay for an appraisal. The lender requires an unbiased, licensed appraiser to give a thoroughly researched and documented report on the value of the home so the lender is confident you’re paying the right price and that they are making a sound investment.

A home buyer paying cash also saves on other lender related costs including a credit report, loan origination fee, flood certification, tax service fee (the lender has to be aware of any back taxes owed) lender required title insurance and any points a borrower chooses to pay to bring down the interest rate on the money borrowed.

In addition, a cash buyer is not required to purchase home owner’s insurance.

When you get a home loan, the lender requires evidence of insurance, and you pay for a full year up front.

I’d never recommend not buying home owner’s insurance. However, when you’re buying a house with cash, you can work it out directly with your insurance carrier as to the frequency of payments.

When you are buying with cash, you also save on escrow fees including the loan tie-in fee, the loan documentation prep fee, and the notary fees (you’re not signing anything that needs to be notarized).

The more subtle aspects of buying with cash include the need to prove you have the cash up front with your offer. This means you need to submit, up front, bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover the price.

If you are flush with tons of cash, you may want to keep a bank account that only has a balance large enough to cover the cost of the house and your share of the escrow fee and a processing fee.

You have no need to show the seller how much you have overall.

You get to keep your financial status a secret, as opposed to a buyer getting a home loan. Those who buy with a loan have to provide full financial disclosure to the lender to qualify for the loan.

There’s much less paperwork required when buying with cash. You can also close escrow much more quickly. You do not have to budget time for the appraisal review, underwriting review, management review, and all the time to prepare and review loan documents.

There’s also the advantage of representing less risk to a home seller. If you show the seller the money up front, and if your offer is a figure that is acceptable to the seller, you will probably win out over a buyer who needs a loan. Cash is much easier and less risky.”

 

Source: OC Journal – leslieeskildsen.com.

 


 

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Home Buyers Attracted to Lower Home Prices, Not Incentives

Home Buyers Attracted to Lower Home Prices, Not Incentives
The Realtor® Magazine published an article in March about real estate purchaser preference.
They claim that although incentives are attractive, lower home prices draw more interest.

Many Las Vegas real estate agents don’t oppose incentives and have found success with them.
However, one major factor that affects buyer interest is that fact that buyers who work with
Realtors® typically use the MLS home search. There is no search criteria for “incentives” or
similar terms. Potential buyers have to stumble upon incentives as they peruse and the odds
of being found are lower. However, most buyers do use price as a criteria and if a seller’s
house priced better than its competition it will draw more views. The important thing in a
tough selling market is to get as much attention as possible.

According to the article:
“The single thing that’ll drive buyers and salespeople to a property is that it must be
priced at today’s market value. If that happens, you’ll get buyers at the property, and
you’ll get practitioners there, too, because they believe buyers will buy.”

 


 

 

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Why Real Estate Could Be a Better Investment than Stocks – Ya Think!

Before my added “Ya Think” emphasis, the title is the same as a title of an article this week over at Money,USNews.com. It’s not surprising to see an article like this now, as the China situation took the Dow Jones down in a dramatic way over the course of a week or so. If you want some historical perspective, there are some dates and Dow plunges historically:

• August 24, 2015: -588.47
• August 21, 2015: -530.94
• August 8, 2011: -634.76
• Six more 600 points or larger drops since 2000.

Yes, if you just bought and held for 15 years, you would have done well in stocks. Unfortunately, many people can’t simply drop a major chunk of change into stocks and just let it ride for that long. And, depending on when you buy, having to sell after a drop like these can be devastating to your savings and retirement.

So, that said, I’m not saying dump all of your stocks and buy real estate … particularly not now. However, the next time your stock broker advises you to “diversify,” don’t just do it with stocks. Let’s look at some of the points referenced in the linked article.

Actually, the article wasn’t really that positive about the advantages of investing in real estate. Things like the ease of placing stock trades and low cost of transactions were mentioned. Property taxes were mentioned as a negative, and they are to a point. The article’s title really wasn’t in my opinion supported very strongly by the content. So, let’s take a look at some differences between stocks and real estate as an investment asset class.

Inflation Hedge

Stocks are susceptible to inflation risk. Your return is whatever it is, including dividends. When inflation gets rowdy, it can take away major chunks of your investment gains in stocks. That’s not to say that real estate is inflation proof, but there are some logical reasons why it may be better.

Let’s think about what inflation really is. It is an increase in the cost of goods and services. So, what do you expect to happen to home prices when wood, tile, wiring, plumbing and other materials and labor costs increase? If it costs more to build, usually within a reasonable period of time it will cost more to buy. Your owned property value can actually increase during inflationary periods.

Interest Rate Increases

When interest rates rise, stocks and definitely bonds usually suffer. It costs companies more to borrow to expand and finance operations, so their profits are reduced. Bonds carry a fixed rate of return, so their value drops when interest rates increase.

If you own rental real estate with a fixed mortgage rate, interest rate increases don’t really bother you. In fact, they can help. If mortgage rates rise, more people must rent than buy. Rental demand increases and rents rise.

Taxes

Sure, you must pay property taxes if you own real estate. However, if you’re doing your job, you factor those into your purchase of rental property and the positive cash flow you project to receive. Sure, they can go up, but you may be able to offset that with rent increases.

One major difference is in using the IRS 1031 Exchange rule for growing your real estate portfolio. While the stock market investor will pay capital gains taxes in the year they sell a stock at a profit, real estate investors get a major break. Using this IRS rule, you can sell and roll the profits into another investment and forego paying capital gains. It’s complicated and the rules are strict, so an accountant needs to be involved.

I’m not trying to push anyone into real estate who is afraid of it or not suited for a landlord’s duties. But, there definitely are reasons for real estate as a diversification strategy.

 

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