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If you aren't in the market for a new home, why should you care about the new home market? Well, for starters, it plays a very important role in the health of the housing market. And that affects all buyers, not just new home buyers. How? Simply put, new home construction is the quickest way to add homes for sale to the market. And, when more homes are added, buyers can be more choosy, which results in less competition and fewer home price spikes. In other words, when new homes are being built and sold, the overall real estate market benefits, including buyers looking for an existing home in a more affordable price range. So, if that's true, how's the new home market doing? According to the latest numbers from the Commerce Department, new home sales were

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New data from the National Association of Realtors shows the typical for-sale property was on the market for just 26 days in April. And, though sales were down during the month, the speed with which homes are selling is evidence that buyers are interested and active in the market. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says homes are selling at a record pace. “What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace,” Yun said. “Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.” In fact, 57 percent of homes were sold in less than 30 days in April. Among the reasons homes are selling so quickly this

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Prosperous is defined as “successful in material terms; flourishing financially.” And, while money isn't everything, it's safe to say we all want to be successful and wouldn't mind flourishing financially. So where in the country is the best place to live if you want some prosperity? Well, the answer might surprise you. That's because a new study – looking at factors such as population, median income, home values, share of inhabitants holding higher education degrees, poverty rate, and unemployment – determined that Odessa, Texas was the the top city for prosperity, beating out heavy hitters like Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Charleston. So what about Odessa makes it the most prosperous city in America? Well, from 2000 to 2016, the

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Generation Z – which is defined as people born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – is quickly approaching adulthood and will soon face the decision of where to live and whether to rent or buy. But, according to a recent analysis, they may be facing challenges past generations didn't. For example, the results of one study show that they will spend less time renting but will pay more than young people have in the past. With current median rent at $1,418 per month and rising, generation Z is expected to spend $226,000 on rent in their lifetime. That's a lot. And it's more than baby boomers or millennials spent. But despite that, generation Z is expected to become homeowners earlier than millennials have. One reason is the cyclical nature of the economy.

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The high end of the real estate market has followed a different path since the financial crisis and housing crash. But while the luxury home market was able to avoid some of the ups-and-downs the rest of the market has endured, things are beginning to change. In fact, one recent analysis shows the number of homes for sale priced at or above $1 million dollars fell significantly during the first quarter of this year, as compared to the year before. And, if inventory continues to drop, the luxury home market could see some of the spiking prices and competition for available homes that buyers have found in more affordable price ranges. However, those this may be true, the effects have, so far, been far more muted than in the overall market. For example, the

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Before delving into tax-deductible home improvements, it's important to understand that these tax deductions won't be applied immediately. In most cases, homeowners can only benefit, tax-wise, from their home renovations later, when they sell their home. It's important for homeowners to keep receipts for their improvements, though so they have proof of the improvements they made, even if it's years later when they sell their residence.

Typical Renovations/ Home Improvements That Can Yield Eventual Tax Benefits

A home improvement is any project that substantially adds value to a home. It can include adapting it to be more useful or be improvements that allow it to be used differently. The following are some general home improvements that can yield

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Choosing a perfect home to settle in is tough on its own. You have to weigh in on very many factors including a house’s price, size, features and amenities, number of bedroom and baths, design, and so on. However, all these factors are not enough to give you a great home ownership experience if you fall into the wrong neighborhood.

Picking the right neighborhood not only guarantees you happiness and comfort, but also helps with home appreciation for the sake of future re-sale. In most cases though, it can be tougher to find the perfect neighborhood than the right house.

Here are some factors that can help you find the right neighborhood:

Schools

If you have kids and definitely care about the quality of their education, consider a neighborhood

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Once you have decided that you want to put your home up for sale, you should start taking the steps to get it ready to go on the market. While some homes may be almost ready for pictures and a showing, there are others that may need a lot of work. Because of this, it is always a good idea to evaluate the condition of your home as soon as you know you will be selling. Use these steps to not only determine what you need to do but also get started on your home preparation. 

  •         Have a home inspection done. You can definitely take a look around your home to see if any work needs to be done on the cosmetic side but you should consider relying on a professional to tell you if there are any underlying problems that you will need to fix before selling.
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The Specialized World of Condo Mortgages

Today's prospective home buyers have some compelling reasons to shop for condominiums instead of houses. Condos may come with less square footage, which makes them easier to clean and maintain -- not to mention more affordable. Bankrate points out that condos' proximity to major city amenities can also prove attractive to professionals who wish to live "close to everything."

Unfortunately, a condo mortgage may come with its own special set of complexities. Here are some basic considerations to keep in mind when considering a condo purchase.

Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

One similarity between condo mortgages and home mortgages is the need for shoppers to get pre-qualified and pre-approved. Condo

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Are you a renter that has become tired of paying someone else's mortgage and not building any equity? Or a homeowner who has a growing family and is in need of more space? Whatever the case, if you are in the market for a new home there is no time like the present. Let's explore a few tips that will help you to prepare for the home buying experience.

 Tip #1: Prepare For A Busy Spring Season

First, it should be pretty obvious that you aren't the only house hunter on the market. Other local individuals and families alike will be searching for a new house to call their own. As you may know, the spring is generally when the local real estate market starts to heat up. So, if you are looking to buy, you may want to address your needs earlier in the

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