Category Archives: Homebuyers

Money Monday: Common Home Buying Expenses

When home buyers purchase real estate, they often don’t factor in other expenses that they may incur.

Your new home is certainly a large expense, but have you considered the other purchases that may go hand-in-hand with that home’s cost?

Common home buying expenses for real estate buyers

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, available here.

Money Monday: Mortgage Lenders are Trying to Make it Easier to Buy

As prices rise, mortgage lenders are making it easier to buy a house.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Source: Los Angeles Times

Some prices are rising across the country and mortgage rates, though still historically low, are up since the presidential election.

Simply put, buying a home isn’t easy, especially in high-cost metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County, where the median price of a home hit $569,000 in June.

But changes in the mortgage industry are afoot, with the goal of loosening some of the strict standards established after the subprime crisis — rules some blame for impeding sales.

“The reality has sunk in that there are buyers out there who will be able to buy homes and make the mortgage payments,” said William E. Brown, the president of the National Assn. of Realtors. The industry is “trying to give them more options to buy a house.”

Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paving the way by rolling out new programs to encourage home ownership.

The companies, with their congressional mandate to promote home ownership, don’t originate loans, but purchase mortgages from lenders to keep the market moving. And any changes they make in the underwriting standards for the loans they buy can have a big effect.

Read the full story

Money Monday: Homeownership rates affected by student debts

Student debts have seemed to affect homeownership rates, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

student loan debt

About 32% of those in their 20s owned a home in 2007, but that’s fallen drastically to 21% in 2016.

While the poor labor market and memories of the housing bubble certainly played a role, student debt can explain up to 35% of the decline, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Thursday.

The results suggest that the rise in college costs will result in “weaker spending and wealth accumulation among young consumers in the years to come.”

It’s consistent with surveys that have asked those with student debt if it affected their decision to buy a home. Half of those under the age of 35 surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in 2016 said it had delayed their purchase. And 25% told Pew Research Center that student loans had made it harder to buy a home in 2011.

Read more of CNN’s article here: “Yes, student debt is delaying homeownership.”

Homebuyers Move Quickly for Inventory

Falling inventory forces homebuyers to move at fastest pace ever

Source: Housing Wire

housing market forecastHousing inventory fell 8.9 percent from last year in the second quarter of 2017, sending homebuyers scurrying to beat the rising competition.

Housing inventory dropped for nine consecutive quarters, and is currently down a full 20 percent from inventory levels five years ago, a new report from Trulia shows.

And now, homebuyers are snatching up homes at the fastest pace since Trulia began tracking in 2012. While 57 percent of homes were still on the market after two months in 2012, today that number shrank down to 47 percent.

Competition is so fierce, in fact, that 33 percent of Americans who bought a home in the last year made an offer without even seeing the home in person, according to a survey from Redfin, an online real estate brokerage.

This is up from 19 percent of buyers who placed an offer on a home without seeing it first last year. Among millennials, even more placed offers without seeing the home in person — a full 41 percent.

Read the full story

Money Monday: Renters can buy

Even in California, buying can be more affordable than renting.

Renters That Can Buy

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.

May 2017 – Market at a Glance

May 2017 real estate statistics

Thanks to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, you can view a succinct pdf on the market statistics for last month.

In short, it only takes a listing an average of 22.4 days on the market before it’s in escrow, at the median price of $550,200. View more information below:

Click to view the pdf from CAR.org

Money Monday: Americans are paying more than they can afford for housing

Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans.

“Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

“But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

“One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs.”

Read more of Money.CNN.com’s article here: “39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford.”