There’s More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices

What truly causes a housing bubble and the inevitable crash? For the best explanation, let’s go to a person who correctly called the last housing bubble – a year before it happened. “A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation…Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the ‘bubble’ bursts. I have taken to calling the housing market a ‘bubble’.” – Bill McBride of Calculated Risk calling the bubble back in April 2005 Where do we stand today regarding speculation? There are two measurements that are used to determine the speculation in a housing market: The number of homes purchased by an investor and The number of homes being flipped (resold … Continue reading

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling reasons. No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. 1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase. 2. There’s no place like home Owning your own home offers you not only safety and … Continue reading

Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t FSBO

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. Here are the top five reasons: 1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers Recent studies have shown that 95% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you? 2. Results Come from the Internet Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased? 49% on the internet 31% from a Real Estate Agent 7% from a yard sign 1% from newspapers The days of selling your house by just putting up a … Continue reading

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash

As home values continue to increase at levels greater than historic norms, some are concerned that we are heading for another crash like the one we experienced ten years ago. We recently explained that the lenient lending standards of the previous decade (which created false demand) no longer exist. But what about prices? Are prices appreciating at the same rate that they were prior to the crash of 2006-2008? Let’s look at the numbers as reported by Freddie Mac: The levels of appreciation we have experienced over the last four years aren’t anywhere near the levels that were reached in the four years prior to last decade’s crash. We must also realize that, to a degree, the current run-up in prices is the market trying to catch up after a crash that dramatically dropped prices for five years. Bottom Line Prices are appreciating at levels greater than historic norms. However, … Continue reading

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in which they surveyed recent home buyers and sellers about their experiences. An entire section of the profile is dedicated to buyers’ experiences with their real estate agents. If you are looking to buy in 2018, here are the top 5 benefits of using a real estate agent when buying your dream home as cited by recent buyers: 1. Helped the buyer understand the process – 60% If you are new to the home buying process, an experienced real estate professional can explain exactly what to expect during the entire transaction so you aren’t caught off guard. 2. Pointed out unnoticed features/faults with the property – 56% Whether it’s pointing out possible uses for an extra bedroom/office, or using their trained eye to see potentially disastrous hazards that may be hiding out of site, … Continue reading

Rents Are on the Rise: Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents, by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped  A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating: “Rents are up 2.7% year-over-year at the national level. Year-over-year growth continues to fall between the 2.1% rate from this time last year and the 3.4% growth rate from October 2015.” The article continues explaining that: “Despite the seasonal slowdown, rents are still up year-over-year in 89 of the 100 Largest cities. Additionally, the Urban Institute revealed that, “Over a quarter of renters, or 11.1 million households, are severely cost burdened, spending at least half their income on rental housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare. It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent  As we have previously … Continue reading

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Winter!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.0% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense. 2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase  Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact … Continue reading

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?

In a recent CNBC article, it was reported that many baby boomers are selling their current homes and moving into rentals, rather than purchasing another home. “Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent… Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.” This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy? A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however… The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph … Continue reading

What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market. As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months. What Does This Mean as a Buyer? If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a … Continue reading