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Money’s Available to Buy But Many Renters Don’t Know It

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Millions of households are mortgage-ready but don’t even try to buy because they can’t come up with a downpayment. And yet, remarkably, hundreds of downpayment assistance programs around the country are largely untapped. Why the disconnect? Small To be sure, many households won’t qualify for downpayment assistance, because they simply earn too much money. But more people than you might ... Read More »

Which Smoke Detector is the Best?

Smoke detector

Ninety-six percent of homes in the U.S. have at least one smoke detector in the home, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. But many homeowners are unaware about the different types of smoke detectors and how one may be more effective than the other. There are two main types of smoke detectors: ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke detector is ... Read More »

Rising Rates, Rising Sales

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With the right mix of policies, the government can offset higher interest rates by boosting long-term growth. By Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist Interest rates are rising, but there’s no need to panic. In the past, for each 10-basis-point increase in mortgage rates, home sales declined by around 35,000 on a national basis. Since the presidential election, mortgage interest rates ... Read More »

Help Your Buyers Navigate These 5 Gotchas

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Home shoppers need to be mentally prepared to face some annoying things when purchasing a home. Realtor.com® recently spotlighted some of buyers’ biggest irritations when buying a home. Find a way to get them in the right mindset and not succumb to some of these pesky annoyances that can sometimes cloud their perceptions of achieving the American dream. Irritation number ... Read More »

Spring Real Estate: The Early Bird Wins

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Entering real estate’s traditionally busiest time of year, the housing market is being buoyed by a stronger economy and consumer confidence. Job creation is 30 percent stronger this year compared to a year ago, unemployment is near a 9-year low, and wages and incomes are growing at the largest levels in about eight years, notes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. ... Read More »

Borrowers Lock in Loans as Rates Surge

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Mortgage interest rates climbed to their highest level since 2014 last week, and consumers are rushing to lock in rates before any further increases, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.46 percent, from 4.36 percent the week prior, the MBA reports. Total mortgage application volume, including both home purchases and refinancings, ... Read More »

Realtor.com Ups Its Texting Game

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Real estate practitioners and consumers will find an enhanced collaborative experience on realtor.com®’s iOS mobile app with the introduction of a new extension Wednesday. As the spring home shopping season gets underway, buyers and their agents will find it easier to access and share listings from the realtor.com® site through iMessage. Users can add “stickers” with such phrases as “Love ... Read More »

Tax Reform, RESPA Fines, Prices, Pets

voice of real estate

A tax reform plan by the House Ways & Means Committee would eliminate the property tax deduction, double the standard deduction, and lower tax rates. Also being considered is repeal of 1031 tax-deferred exchanges. REALTORS® expressed concerns over the changes at a meeting two weeks ago with leaders of the Ways & Means Committee. The video also looks at the ... Read More »

Aging in Place May Be Financially Impossible

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Forty-three million American homeowners aged 55 and older say they plan to live out the rest of their years in their current home. But adding the necessary features they’ll need to age in place could prove costly—and possibly financially impossible for some—according to a new analysis by mortgage financing giant Freddie Mac. About 1.5 million existing homes require retrofitting, such ... Read More »

Expect More Gripes About Home Affordability

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Housing affordability dropped to the lowest level in seven years at the end of 2016. It now takes 22.2 percent of a person’s median income to make the monthly principal and interest payment on a median-priced home, according to new findings from Black Knight Financial Services. That amounts to a 10 percent increase in the fourth quarter alone. Economists blame ... Read More »

Aspiring Home Buyers Profile

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The Aspiring Home Buyer Profile is an in depth examination of the consumer preferences of non-homeowners, defined as those that rent and those that live with someone else (such as family or friends) without paying rent. The Aspiring Home Buyer Profile compares and contrasts the perceptions of homeownership, the American Dream, and housing affordability from the perspective of non-homeowners.   ... Read More »

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