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Should I Rent or Buy?

While homeownership has long been the American dream, buying a home is not necessarily the best choice for every person or every situation. There are many factors to consider in determining if a home purchase is the right decision for you right now. Can you Afford It? If the cost to own a home – mortgage, homeowners insurance and property taxes included – if less than roughly 28% of your gross income and you have few other debt obligations, you can probably afford to buy. Do not underestimate the additional costs of maintenance though. Replacing appliances or paying for a plu...

June 14th, 2018 | Purchasing a Home, Should I Rent or Buy?

4 Reasons You Don’t Want to Pay PMI

Years ago, a 20% down payment was a requirement for obtaining a mortgage loan. Putting that much money down made it less likely that borrowers would simply default on their home loans and gave lenders a measure of security and collateral in the case of foreclosure. However, in more recent years, lenders have gotten much more creative in financing to help more Americans become homeowners. There are now mortgage loans that require as little as 3% down up front. In order to compensate for that added risk of loss, lenders require and borrowers with a down payment of less than 20% to pay for pri...

June 7th, 2018 | First-time Homebuyers, 4 Reasons You Don’t Want to Pay PMI

New Home Builders Say Buyer Interest Is Strong

Buyer demand for new homes remains strong, according to the most recent Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders. The Index – which measures builders' confidence in the new home market on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor – was at 64 in July. Additionally, individual components measuring current sales conditions and expectations over the next six months both scored 70 or above. Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist, says buyer demand is strong but there are other factors slowing the rate of ...

August 4th, 2017 | housing market, Housing Outlook, Housing Shortage, New Home Buyer, New Home Builders Say Buyer Interest Is Strong

Americans Say Buying A House Is A Good Investment

The vast majority of surveyed Americans say they believe owning a house is a solid investment, according to a new survey from Digital Risk. And that doesn't just include homeowners and prospective buyers. In fact, 83 percent of renters agreed with current homeowners who said that buying a house was a good investment. Jeff Taylor, managing director for Digital Risk, says the perception of homeownership has come a long way over the past several years. “It's important to remember how far we've come in a decade,” Taylor said. “The fact that the American dream of ownin...

July 24th, 2017 | Home Tips, housing market, Housing Outlook, Housing Shortage, Mortgage Rates, New Home Buyer, Americans Say Buying A House Is A Good Investment

Americans' Credit Scores Reach Record High

Your credit score is a pretty significant number. Though you may not think about it all that often, it has an effect on your ability to qualify for a loan and the terms you'll receive if you're approved. In other words, your credit score can cost you money. That's why it's important to maintain good financial habits and check in on your history from time to time, in case there are any errors that can be cleared up. But what is an average score? Well, according to FICO, scores range between 300 and 850 and the current average is at an all-time high. In fact, the most recent data...

July 14th, 2017 | Housing Outlook, housing market, New Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Americans' Credit Scores Reach Record High

Mortgage Lenders Say Credit Standards Are Easing

One of the main obstacles potential home buyers face is the fear that they won't be approved for a mortgage. Believing that you don't make enough, have too much debt, or can't afford to buy a house is one reason many people don't even bother to get in touch with their lender to explore their financing options. If you're someone who wants to buy a house, but thinks they won't make the cut, Fannie Mae's quarterly Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey has some good news for you. According to the results of the survey – which asks senior executives at lending instituti...

July 11th, 2017 | housing market, Housing Outlook, Housing Shortage, Mortgage Rates, New Home Buyer, Mortgage Lenders Say Credit Standards Are Easing