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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.

Improve Your Curbside Appeal With These Tips  

Curbside appeal is more than making your home pretty; it can make or break a sale. You want to make your home as appealing and welcoming as possible so that potential homebuyers will be eager to see the inside. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 63 percent of homebuyers who see a visually appealing house online will make an effort to stop by and visit. The first object any visitor sees is the exterior of a house. To make your home stand out in the market, follow these helpful tips on how to create a beckoning curbside appeal. 

View Your Home as a Potential Buyer. Walk around the yard and the perimeter of your property with a critical eye. Drive by the house slowly in both directions and see if anything looks unpleasant or â€œoff.†This view will give you a base to work with for improvements. 

Look at the Roof. Your roof and gutters may simply need a good cleaning to make it appealing, but if the roof looks shabby, consider a replacement to increase the value. 

Consider Your House Numbers. Be sure that your numbers stand out and are easily seen. Match the style of the number plaque to coordinate or contrast with the style of your home. 

Pressure Wash. Nothing cleans a deck, driveway, or the siding of your house like a good pressure washing. 

Plant Colorful Flowers. Color adds so much to your home's curbside appeal. Plant pretty flowers in pots on the porch, deck, and planter boxes. A pro tip: Never use fake flowers. 

Freshen up the Trim. Paint the door trim, window frames, and shutters to brighten and freshen up your home overall. 

Follow the above simple steps and your home will have great curbside appeal. 

Source: HGTV​

Q&A: Home Energy Scores

​QUESTION: Why do I need to run a home energy audit on my home?

ANSWER: If you would like to save money on energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and have an energy-efficient home, a home energy audit will give you a base score so that you can see how much energy you are using. 

Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the home energy score rating determines energy use and recommends ways to improve low scores. The scoring system runs from one to 10, with 10 being the highest energy-efficiency rating that you can achieve. Many HVAC companies perform home energy audits, and with the results, you can see ways to improve energy use and obtain a higher energy score rating. 

Features of the Home Energy Score include:

Efficiency rating based on the home's floor plan, structure, heating, cooling, and hot water system.
Total energy use estimate.
Recommendations for cost-effective improvements and annual cost-savings estimate.
Your "Score with Improvements" showing how your score can increase with recommended improvements.

Having an energy audit is a realistic way that allows you to see how much energy you are using, and it comes with great recommendations to reduce your overall energy use in your home. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the housing market, consumer behavior, and the latest mortgage news you need for your portfolio. 

Source: U.S. Department of Energy


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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