Real Estate Blog

There are many different factors that play a role in the housing market's health. When home buyers and sellers decide that its time for them to make a move everything from their job security to the global economy has an effect. For example, economic instability half way around the world can move mortgage rates, which will affect how much house you can afford. But what you can afford is also affected by how much you earn and how secure you feel in your job. In short, there's a lot to keep an eye on. That's why it can be helpful to tune into expert forecasts and opinions, since most of us don't have the time or inclination to weigh all of the moving parts that determine what it'll cost to buy the home of our dreams. So what are the experts saying about the

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Following the housing crash and financial crisis, there was talk that Americans may stop aspiring to homeownership and would no longer see the housing market as a sound investment and reliable creator of wealth. After all, homeowners who saw the values of their homes plummet might become leery and those who hadn't yet bought a home may've considered themselves lucky. And yet, a decade down the road, the market has largely recovered and demand from buyers is running high. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist, says that is thanks to reforms enacted after the crash. “Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher

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If you're shopping for a house to buy, you're probably concerned about affordability. After all, even in a buyer's market, house hunters have an interest in getting the best deal. Which means, most prospective home buyers have an eye on home prices and where they're headed. In today's market, the best way to get a feel for what's happening with home values is to look at inventory. That's because, prices have been increasing lately due to the fact that there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. And the quickest way to slow down rising prices is to build more homes. That's why the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's new residential construction statistics for July offer some encouraging news. According to the

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You can tell a lot about the way an area grew by the age of its homes. The pace of suburban sprawl, for example, can be mapped just by observing the way homes get newer as you get further from the city's center. Houses built in the 1920s give way to homes from the '50s and '60s and so on. But that's not all you can learn from paying attention to the collective age of the country's housing stock. You can also tell a lot about the housing market's ups-and-downs. One example can be found in a recent analysis from the National Association of Home Builders. According to the NAHB, the median age of owner-occupied homes is now 37 years, which is up from 31 years in 2005. In fact, more than half of our homes were built before 1980 and 38 percent were built before

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Home buyers this year have faced higher prices, more competition, and rising mortgage rates. In short, it's been a challenging year. But that's not to say it isn't a good time to buy a house. There are many reasons to be optimistic about homeownership, in fact – and a few that put current conditions in perspective. Take mortgage rates, for example. According to Freddie Mac, the long term average is 8.16 percent, which means today's rates are still low historically. Also, home equity is increasing. In fact, it's up 13% year-over-year. And rising home equity means today's homeowners are seeing their investment grow. There is also evidence that market conditions may begin to improve. For one, new home construction has been making gains and that means more

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Searching for a home to buy can be frustrating. Mostly because it's not always easy to find a house in the right neighborhood with every one of the features you dreamed of. If you find the perfect kitchen, the house will have too few bedrooms. Or you'll find a house with the right number of bedrooms and the kitchen will be too small. In other words, buying a house means compromise. And, in today's market, buyers are having to make difficult choices. For example, a new analysis from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website found that for 73 percent of recent buyers school district was an important factor in deciding which house to buy. But, among those buyers, nearly 80 percent said they had to give up other home features in order to find a

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Maintenance is a big part of being a homeowner. Put simply, owning a home means having a never-ending to-do list and, depending on your level of know-how, some of it will require the help of a professional. These jobs can range from major renovations such as putting an addition on your house to basic upkeep and repairs like having ducts cleaned and fixing leaks. Essentially, you are your home's temporary caretaker and how well you take care of it will affect not only how comfortable and enjoyable your home is to live in but also how much you can ask for it when you sell. These days, it seems Americans are increasingly interested in fixing up their homes. In fact, newly released data from the National Association of Home Builders shows home remodeling

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Maintenance is a big part of being a homeowner. Put simply, owning a home means having a never-ending to-do list and, depending on your level of know-how, some of it will require the help of a professional. These jobs can range from major renovations such as putting an addition on your house to basic upkeep and repairs like having ducts cleaned and fixing leaks. Essentially, you are your home's temporary caretaker and how well you take care of it will affect not only how comfortable and enjoyable your home is to live in but also how much you can ask for it when you sell. These days, it seems Americans are increasingly interested in fixing up their homes. In fact, newly released data from the National Association of Home Builders shows home remodeling

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With rental costs and home prices both increasing, it's become more challenging for renters to save for a down payment. How much so? Well, according to one recent analysis, the typical renter will have to save for nearly six and a half years to come up with a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home. And, since the median home value is currently $216,000, depending on your prospective neighborhood, it could take even longer to save up for a house. Renters who aspire to homeownership shouldn't get discouraged, though. Despite the fact that a 20 percent down payment is the standard amount recommended by financial experts, it is not a requirement in order to buy a house. In fact, depending on the particular terms of your mortgage, you can put down as

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The vast majority of surveyed Americans say that homeownership is among their retirement goals, according to a recent survey. In fact, 85 percent of non-retiree respondents said they want to own their own home in retirement and believe they can pay off their mortgage before they retire. But, though non-retiree participants feel like they'll have their mortgage paid off in time, more than 25 percent of retired respondents said they're still paying off a mortgage and over half of those had a balance of more than $50,000. In short, Americans may be a bit too optimistic. But regardless of whether or not they make it, the debate about home ownership and retirement will continue. On the one hand, tax breaks and equity make a good case for the wealth-building

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