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Economy has Americans thinking about Buying

Deciding to buy a house is mainly a financial decision. You either feel secure enough financially to make a move or you don't. Survey after survey shows Americans think home prices are moving higher and making it less affordable to buy.

Despite this, demand for homes reminds high. This is because people feel more secure in their financial situation due to a stronger economy and job market. While homes may be more expensive, potential homebuyers are making more money as well. Take Fannie Mae's most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index as an example. The survey found a rising number of respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home, despite increasing numbers who also say they believe mortgage rates and prices will continue to rise. 

Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says the economy explains it. “Downside risk to housing is limited by broader economic strength, which helped boost perceptions of current home buying conditions,” Duncan said. “For consumers who say now is a good time to buy, the share citing overall economic conditions as a reason rose to a survey high.” NEWS PROVIDED BY FANNIE MAE 

Highest Number of Price Cuts in 5 Years

Home prices have been increasing for a while. But their consistent upward climb is starting to slow, according to new data. In fact, a recent analysis has found the number of home sellers who have reduced their listing price is up from where it was last year.

The research shows 17.2 percent of homes for sale reduced their price in August, up from 16.7 percent last year at the same time. Price cuts are encouraging news for hopeful buyers who have been keeping an eye on home prices. In fact, price reductions have hit their highest level since 2014. 

The luxury market is being affected most by this trend. For example, there are more reductions seen at the higher end of the housing market than in more affordable price brackets. While you may be able to find a better deal in a pricier neighborhood, you may not have as much luck in cheaper locations. Potential home buyers should do some research on their preferred neighborhoods and get an idea of what they can afford.  NEWS PROVIDED BY Trulia 

Should you purchase your dream house first?

Gone are the days when a three-bedroom, two-bath starter home was the norm for first-time homebuyers. Today, many buyers are skipping that stage altogether and going straight for their dream homes. They're buying bigger, more expensive properties with upgraded features, and they plan to live there for the long haul.

Not sure which type of property you should look for? Here are a few things to consider:

Why are you buying?
Are you mainly looking for a way to lower your monthly living expenses, or do you want a place to raise your kids and put down roots? Do you want this to be your only purchase, or are you willing to go through the process again in a few years?

What's your budget? 
Can you buy your dream home with what you can currently afford, or would that stretch your budget too far? It's crucial to consider how much you'll need to save for a down payment and how large of a loan you can qualify for. Your credit score and the expected interest rate will also play a factor.

How long do you plan to stay? 
Do you plan to be in the area for a long time or is there a chance you'll need to move for your career, family or another reason down the line? 

Is the market favorable? 
What is the current housing inventory, and will you be competing with other buyers? Favorable market conditions mean you'll get more house for your money, making it an ideal time to purchase a forever home.

Get in touch today if you're ready to buy a new home. If you're unsure about a starter home or forever home for your family, we can discuss what options are available to meet your needs and long-term goals.

Before You Co-Sign 

When a friend or family member asks you to co-sign on a loan, it's not a decision to be taken lightly. As a co-signer you are as responsible as the main borrower to repay the debt, which could have serious consequences for you if anything goes wrong. Make sure you understand these essential facts about co-signing before you agree to help. 

Find out why a co-signer is needed. When someone needs a co-signer it's because the person can't single-handedly qualify for a loan. Whether the person doesn't have enough income, has been irresponsible with credit, or simply lacks credit history, consider the reasons carefully.

Know how co-signing affects your credit. Like any new debt, co-signed loans can temporarily lower your credit score. Late payments or non-payment on co-signed loans affect your credit as if you were personally delinquent on the account. Additionally, creditors can count the payment on the co-signed loan against your income, increasing your debt-to-income ratio, which can disqualify you from obtaining other credit. 

Remember the potential legal consequences. If a co-signed account goes to collection or the main borrower files for bankruptcy and has the debt discharged, collectors can still come after you to repay whatever remains on the loan balance. This can result in judgments against you, liens on property you own or even wage garnishments.

If you're inclined to co-sign, the following steps can help protect you and your credit rating:

  • Make sure your budget supports the minimum payment in case the main borrower falls delinquent.
  • Discuss a plan for what will happen to the collateral (such as a vehicle) should the loan fall delinquent.
  • Request monthly statements from the lender, so you will be immediately alerted to any missed payments.

Understanding these potential pitfalls before you co-sign can help keep your finances, not to mention your relationships, out of hardship.​

Sources: The Balance, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


We're always available for questions, whether it's about the market, the industry or first steps to quality housing.   Call 773-234-6014.

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