Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five-decade low. The...

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and...

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

There’s comfort in being around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as...

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into...

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Reasons to Love Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: There are many benefits to love about homeownership, and they’re not all financial. Being a part of a neighborhood, driving academic achievement, and improving mental health are just a few of these advantages. Let’s get together today to determine if...

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

The #1 Reason to List Your House Right Now

The success of the U.S. residential real estate market, like any other market, is determined by supply and demand. This means we need to look at how many potential purchasers are in the market versus the number of houses that are available to buy. With early 2020...

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale. If...

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Rents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a...

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

A desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means, “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community...

VALENTINE’S DAY DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

VALENTINE’S DAY DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

YIELDS: 1 PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 30 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINS INGREDIENTS CHOCOLATE CAKE 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan 2 c. sugar 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs 3 c. all-purpose flour 2/3 c. Unsweetened cocoa powder 2...

Should I Sell My House This Year?

Should I Sell My House This Year?

If one of the questions you’re asking yourself today is, “Should I sell my house this year?” the current Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) should boost your confidence as it relates to the...

2020 Homebuying Checklist

2020 Homebuying Checklist

Some Highlights: If you’re thinking of buying a home, plan ahead and stay on the right track, starting with pre-approval. Being proactive about the homebuying process will help set you up for success in each step. Make sure to work with a trusted real...

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home....

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

The 2 Surprising Things Homebuyers Really Want

In a market where current inventory is low, it’s normal to think buyers might be willing to give up a few desirable features in their home search in order to make finding a house a little easier. Don’t be fooled, though – there’s still an interest in the market for...

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality in 2020

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality in 2020

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. led and inspired a powerful movement with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Through his passion and determination, he sparked interest, ambition, and courage in his audience. Today, reflecting on his message encourages many of us to...

Where Homebuyers Are Heading By Generation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Where Homebuyers Are Heading By Generation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Whether capitalizing on job opportunities, affordability, or warm-weather places to retire, Americans are making moves to these top cities to take advantage of the strength in the current housing market. A strong economy and lower mortgage rates have...

2020 Luxury Market Forecast

2020 Luxury Market Forecast

By the end of last year, many homeowners found themselves with more equity than they realized, and at the same time their wages were increasing. When those two factors unite, it can spark homeowners to think about making a move to a larger or more expensive home in...

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: On January 10th of each year, “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day” encourages consumers to reduce their overall energy costs by improving home efficiency. According to Freddie Mac, a typical U.S. family spends $2,200 per year on energy bills. By...

Big Demand for Small Homes

Big Demand for Small Homes

Movies, tv shows, and celebrities often have us dreaming of owning large homes, but the reality for most people is quite different. Since 2015, the square footage of newly built houses has been shrinking, according to Yahoo Finances. This is not projected to change as...

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting. 1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment Several reports indicate that real estate is...

COOKIE CHEESECAKE BITES

COOKIE CHEESECAKE BITES

Ingredients 12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), at room temperature 3 tbsp. sugar 1 c. heavy cream, cold 20 chocolate sandwich cookies Mini chocolate sandwich cookies, for topping Directions 1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 2....

MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS STICK!

MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS STICK!

New Year, New Me, right? The start of not only a new year but a new decade is the perfect time to set goals and strive to reach them each day. I know for some people it can be hard to stick to the goals that they set with so much ambition back in January. John C....

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you’re planning on selling your house in 2020, these are the top renovations that will give you the highest Return on your Investment. Regardless of how long you’re planning on staying in your current home, it’s smart to be aware of which home...

Why You Shouldn’t “For Sale By Owner”

Why You Shouldn’t “For Sale By Owner”

Rising home prices coupled with the current inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their homes on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might be hard to execute well for the vast majority of...

Year-Over-Year Rental Prices on the Rise

Year-Over-Year Rental Prices on the Rise

Looking ahead, 2020 is projected to be a strong year for homeownership. According to the Freddie Mac Forecast, “We expect rates to remain low, falling to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.” If you’re currently renting, 2020 may be a great time to think about making a...

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

When a House Becomes a Happy Home

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership. No matter the size or shape of a living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether...

5,300 Reasons to Be Happy You’re a Homeowner

5,300 Reasons to Be Happy You’re a Homeowner

Studies have shown that, in many cases, the largest asset a family owns is the house they live in. Over the last twelve months, that asset has gained substantial value. CoreLogic just released their 2019 3rd Quarter Homeowner Equity Insights Report. The report...

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

It’s exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces, but we can have deep sentimental attachments to the homes we’re leaving behind, too. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale, depending on how we manage them. When it...

Get Your House Ready To Sell This Winter

Get Your House Ready To Sell This Winter

Some Highlights Winter is a great time to list a house, since inventory is traditionally low, and most sellers are holding off until spring to put their homes on the market. Waiting for warmer weather when more competition is on the market will only put your house up...

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home. The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs. According to...

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today’s low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here’s a look at three of them: Refinance: If you already own a home, you...

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it’s not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that’s important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage. What Are Closing Costs? According...

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS: 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened 3/4 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 c. granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 tsp. kosher salt 2 c. chocolate chips 3/4 c. chopped maraschino cherries...

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

At this time of year, many families come together to celebrate the season. It’s also the time when many realize their homes are just not quite big enough to host all of their guests and loved ones. Are you one of those homeowners dreaming for a larger space to call...

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

It’s ‘National Roof Over Your Head’ Day!

Did you know that each year in the United States, we celebrate “National Roof Over Your Head Day” on December 3rd? As noted on the National Calendar, it was “created as a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head. There are many...

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are...

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

When selling your house, there are a few key things you can prioritize to have the greatest impact for a faster sale: 1. Make Buyers Feel at Home Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make buyers feel like...

The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

The True Cost of Not Owning Your Home

There are great advantages to owning a home, yet many people continue to rent. The financial benefits are just some of the reasons why homeownership has been a part of the long-standing American dream. Realtor.com reported that: “Buying remains the more attractive...

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates around 3.66%, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been over the past few decades. Comparatively, they’re pretty low! According to Freddie Mac, rates are projected to increase to 3.9% by this time next year. The impact...

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Expert Advice: 3 Benefits to Owning a Home

Success is something often worth repeating, and Brent Sutherland, a Certified Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor, has certainly made his way in a momentum-driving direction. Here are 3 tips he shares from a recent piece in Business Insider on the benefits of...

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

In a recent article, First American shared how millennials are not really any different from previous generations when it comes to the goal of homeownership; it is still a huge part of their American Dream. The piece, however, also reveals,  “Saving for a down payment...

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country. According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index, “Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally...

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice. This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill....

VA Home Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

VA Home Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The Veterans Administration (VA) Home Loan is a benefit that is available to more than 22 million veterans and 2 million active duty service members to help them achieve the dream of homeownership. In 2018, $161 billion was loaned to veterans and...

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING THANKSGIVING DINNER

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING THANKSGIVING DINNER

The holiday season is upon us! With Thanksgiving coming up, there is a lot to get done and plan out. If you typically get stressed during this time of year, here is a guide to ensure a great Thanksgiving day. Pick Your Turkey You do not want to be driving from store...

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from the real estate market because they’re uncertain about the buying process – particularly when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!  In...

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report shows that home prices have appreciated by 3.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will...

Think Prices Have Skyrocketed? Look at Rents.

Think Prices Have Skyrocketed? Look at Rents.

Much has been written about how residential real estate values have increased since the housing market started its recovery in 2012. However, little has been shared about what has taken place with residential rental prices. Let’s shed a little light on this subject....

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your...

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your...

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa.

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa.

In today’s world, hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate the...

FALL DECOR DIY

FALL DECOR DIY

Carving a pumpkin can be a daunting task. It takes forever, makes a mess, and never comes out just right. This October, we are taking a new approach to pumpkin decor with the Pumpkin Flower Vase. The only carving required is the hole at the top! Gather Your Materials:...

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

YIELDS: 6 Servings PREP: 15 mins TIME: 1 hour 15 mins INGREDIENTS: 3 small acorn squash 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup farro 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons apple cider, divided 2 sprigs fresh thyme ½ lb sweet Itlalian...

PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON NOW

PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON NOW

I know what you’re thinking.. “Holiday season already?! Make it stop!” Each year it seems like retail is pushing the holidays out sooner and sooner. While the holiday season is a time of celebration and family, it can bring a lot of added stress. We are not saying you...

What to Expect from Your Home Inspection

What to Expect from Your Home Inspection

You made an offer and it was accepted. Your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents often recommend you make your offer contingent upon a clean home inspection. This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you offered for the home, ask...

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate?

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate?

Every year, ‘Black Friday’ is a highly anticipated event for eager shoppers. Some people prepare for weeks, crafting and refining a strategic shopping agenda, determining exactly when to arrive at each store, and capturing a wish list of discounted must-have items to...

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

If you’re thinking about remodeling your house before you list it, take a look at these three tips to help you decide if you really need to fix it up before you sell. The answer may surprise you. With the fall season upon us, change is in the air. For many families,...

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index,...

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you. According to a recent article on realtor.com, “In a nutshell, an HOA...

Things to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Things to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You’re undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your...

The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold

The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and you’ve been asked what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers. There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list...

A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Hiring a real estate professional to help you buy your dream home or sell your current house is one of the most powerful decisions you can make. A real estate professional has the experience to help you confidently navigate through the entire process....

Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008

Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008

Last week realtor.com released the results of a survey that produced three major revelations: 53% of home purchasers (first-time and repeat buyers) currently in the market believe a recession will occur this year or next. 57% believe the next recession will be as bad...

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country....

Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it...

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase

Housing Supply Not Keeping Up with Population Increase

Many buyers are wondering where to find houses for sale in today’s market. It’s a true dilemma. We see an increase in buyer demand, but the supply available for purchase isn’t keeping up. The number of new housing permits issued prior to the great recession increased...

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process. To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear when buying a home. The best way to ensure your...

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting. When...

Rent Vs. Own [INFOGRAPHIC]

Rent Vs. Own [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Owning your own home vs. renting may lead to some great options, such as locking in your monthly payments and having the freedom to customize your living space. Whether you rent or own, you have to cover someone’s mortgage costs. You may as well be...

Why All the Chicken Littles Should Calm Down

Why All the Chicken Littles Should Calm Down

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their 2019 Q2 Homeownership Report. Some began to see the sky falling, believing the report showed Americans may be stepping back from their belief in homeownership. The national homeownership rate (Americans who owned vs....

Appreciation Is Strong: It Might Be Time to Sell

Appreciation Is Strong: It Might Be Time to Sell

There’s no doubt that today’s housing market is changing, and everything we see right now indicates it is time to sell. Here’s a look at why selling now is likely to drive the greatest return on your largest investment. Home values have been appreciating for several...

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these...

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Sell Your House

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Sell Your House

As a homeowner, it’s always tempting to dream about the next big project you’re going to tackle. The possibilities are endless. Should I renovate? Should I refinance? Should I stay? Should I move? The list goes on and on. In today’s housing market, it’s actually a...

How to Increase Your Equity Over the Next 5 Years

How to Increase Your Equity Over the Next 5 Years

Many of the questions currently surrounding the real estate industry focus on home prices and where they are heading. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) helps target these projected answers. Here are the results from the Q2 2019 Survey: Home values...

TIPS AND TRICKS TO DOMINATE THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

TIPS AND TRICKS TO DOMINATE THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

Can you believe another summer is almost over? Before we know it, a new school year is going to begin. Getting back in the swing of things can be hard for everyone involved. Start preparing now to make things go smoothly when you have to get back into routine. Here...

3 Expert Insights On Inventory In The Current Market

3 Expert Insights On Inventory In The Current Market

The current housing landscape presents greater home values, low interest rates, and high buyer demand. All of these factors point to the strong market forecasted to continue throughout the rest of the year. There is, however, one thing that may cause the industry to...

3 Powerful Reasons to Buy a Home Now

3 Powerful Reasons to Buy a Home Now

Whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to move up to the home of your dreams, now is a great time to purchase a home. Here are three major reasons to buy today. 1. Affordability Many people focus solely on price when talking about home affordability. Since home...

Is Renting Right for Me?

Is Renting Right for Me?

If you’re currently renting and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, homeownership may be closer than you realize....

What a Difference a Year Makes for Sellers

What a Difference a Year Makes for Sellers

Over the last few years, many sellers have been hesitant to put their houses on the market because they feared not being able to find another home to buy. We’ve reported on inventory shortages in the past, and it’s been a constant concern for potential buyers...

Should I Refinance My Home?

Should I Refinance My Home?

With the recent lower interest rates, many homeowners are wondering if they should refinance. To decide if refinancing is the best option for your family, start by asking yourself these questions: Why do you want to refinance? There are many reasons to refinance, but...

Home Price Appreciation Forecast

Home Price Appreciation Forecast

Questions continue to come up about where home prices will head throughout the rest of this year, as well as where they may be going over the few years beyond. We’ve gathered current data from the industry’s most reliable sources to help answer these questions: The...

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Since June of last year, we have seen an increase in the inventory of homes for sale month per month. Every spring and summer, the inventory increases because people want to sell their home. For those with children, they may want to be in their new home for the...

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

Owning a home has great financial benefits. In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained: “Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing...

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you are thinking of buying a home, you may not know where to start. Here is a simple list of 10 steps that you will go through to purchase a home. Make sure to ask your agent for details about each step and what else may be required in your...

Is Mortgage Debt out of Control?

Is Mortgage Debt out of Control?

The housing crisis of the last decade was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. Homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative...

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT FSBO

Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT FSBO

Rising home prices coupled with a lack of inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their home on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. The...

Know What to Expect at Your Home Inspection

Know What to Expect at Your Home Inspection

So you made an offer and it was accepted. Now, your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Agents oftentimes make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection. This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the...

4 Reasons to Sell This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

4 Reasons to Sell This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. This means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available. Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed to sustain a normal housing...

Why Is So Much Paperwork Required to Get a Mortgage?

Why Is So Much Paperwork Required to Get a Mortgage?

When buying a home today, why is there so much paperwork mandated by the lenders for a mortgage loan application? It seems like they need to know everything about you. Furthermore, it requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application...

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Summer

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Summer

Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Index  from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country....

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home

The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful and compelling ones. No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different...

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth

There are many financial benefits to homeownership, but probably none more important than its ability to create family wealth. How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is an online resource for research and...

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Summer

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Summer

Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue...

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

4 Tips for Making a Competitive Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call ‘home,’ and you’ve finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes...

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: An emerging trend for some time now has been the difference between available inventory and demand in the premium and luxury markets and that in the starter and trade-up markets and what those differences are doing to prices! Inventory continues to...

The Benefits of a 20% Down Payment

The Benefits of a 20% Down Payment

If you are in the market to buy a home this year, you may be confused about how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people you talk to will tell you that you need to save 20% or you won’t be able to secure a mortgage. The truth is that...

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research process prior to making our decision. We ask our friends and family members who have made similar purchases about their experience, we get opinions and insights, and we read reviews online. There’s no...

Your Fabulous New Dream Home is Now Available

Your Fabulous New Dream Home is Now Available

Over the last several years, many “baby boomers” have undergone a metamorphosis. Their children have finally moved out and they can now dream about their own future. For many, a change in lifestyle might necessitate a change in the type of home they live in. That...

2 Trends Helping Keep Housing Affordable

2 Trends Helping Keep Housing Affordable

Two positive trends have started to emerge that impact the 2019 Spring Housing Market. Mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate loan have dropped to new lows, right as reports show that wages have increased at their highest rate in decades! These two factors...

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

There are many reasons why a homeowner decides to sell their house and move. The latest Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors asked recent home sellers to share their reason for moving. The younger the respondents, the more likely their...

9 DIY PROJECTS TO GET READY FOR SUMMER

9 DIY PROJECTS TO GET READY FOR SUMMER

DIY Outdoor Bar The best part of summer is being able to enjoy time outside with friends and family. A great DIY addition is an outdoor bar. There are multiple ways you can set this up. One example includes taking planks of wood, old wooden boxes, and stools. Paint...

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment?

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment?

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state. Using data...

5 Reasons Why Millennials Buy a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 Reasons Why Millennials Buy a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: “The majority of millennials said they consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons — including control of living space, flexibility in future decisions, privacy and security, and living in a nice home.”...

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

Buyer Demand Surging as Spring Market Begins

Last fall, some predicted that the 2019 residential real estate market would be a disaster. There was even belief we might experience a housing crash like the one that occurred during the last decade. However, according to two separate reports*, buyer demand...

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week! This is great news for anyone who...

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Indexas a part of their Realtors Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is reflected when broken down by...

3 Questions You Need To Ask Before Buying A Home

3 Questions You Need To Ask Before Buying A Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Ask...

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

Home Buyer Demand Will Be Strong for Years to Come

There has been a lot written about millennials and their preference to live in city centers above their favorite pizza place. Some have even gone so far as to say that millennials are a “Renter-Generation”. And while this might be true for some millennials, more and...

Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand

Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand

One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers, rather than alienating the 68% of American households that...

5 Reasons To Sell Your House This Spring!

5 Reasons To Sell Your House This Spring!

Here are five compelling reasons listing your home for sale this spring makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country....

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: If you are thinking of buying a home, you may not know where to start. Here is a simple list of 10 steps that you will go through to purchase a home. Make sure to ask your agent for details about each step and what else may be required in your...

How to Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You

How to Put Your Housing Cost to Work for You

There has been a lot written about the benefits of homeownership. One benefit that continues to rise to the top is the added wealth homeowners gain simply by paying their mortgage while their home increases in value over time. The National Association of...

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!

Your Tax Refund Is The Key To Homeownership!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $3,143 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $3,436 last year. Tax refunds are often thought of...

GUIDE TO HOME SAFETY

GUIDE TO HOME SAFETY

If you are deciding to up the security in your home, you should know the proper way to place and angle cameras. How you set up the cameras is crucial to the safety of your home. Proper placement can catch details of possible crimes in your area or even keep crimes...

Is Your House Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI)?

Is Your House Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI)?

In today’s real estate market, with more houses coming to market every day and eager buyers searching for their dream home, setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home...

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House?

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House?

There are many misconceptions about the credit score needed to buy a house. Recently, it was reported that 24% of renters believe they need a 780-800 credit score to be considered for a mortgage. The reality is they are misinformed! Only 25% of the Americans have a...

Want To Increase Your Family’s Wealth? Here’s How!

Want To Increase Your Family’s Wealth? Here’s How!

Everyone should realize that unless you are living somewhere rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. Buying your own home provides you with a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to use your monthly housing costs to increase your...

Homeownership is a Cornerstone of the American Dream

Homeownership is a Cornerstone of the American Dream

“The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The famous quote attributed to Mark Twain can apply to homeownership in the United States today. During the housing bubble of the last decade, the homeownership rate soared to over sixty-nine percent. After the crash,...

7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home! But before you make any big purchases, move any money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan...

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars?

What’s Going On with Bidding Wars?

In a strong seller’s market, like the one we have experienced over the past few years, bidding wars are common and expected. This makes sense! A seller’s market is defined as a market in which the inventory of homes for sale cannot satisfy the number of buyers who...

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring

Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to buy a home! Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting. 1. Prices Will Continue to Rise CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 4.4% over the last 12...

Preparing to Spring Forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

Preparing to Spring Forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: In the majority of the country, this weekend marks the start of Daylight Savings Time as we set our clocks forward an hour on Sunday at 2:00 AM EST. Whether you plan on buying or selling this spring, these tips could help you ‘spring ahead’ of your...

2 Reports That Say Now Is a Great Time to Sell

2 Reports That Say Now Is a Great Time to Sell

Heading into the spring buying market, there are strong trends starting to emerge. The inventory of homes for sale has increased on a year-over-year basis for eight months in a row. Home price appreciation has continued to grow, although at a slower rate. The...

How to Have a Unique Open House

How to Have a Unique Open House

According to the National Association of Realtors, total inventory has been growing for six months straight, as has the number of buyers looking to find their dream home. In a market where inventory is increasing, you want to stand out in the crowd!...

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at their lowest for 2019. Rates like these haven’t been seen since February 2018! Last week’s survey results reported an interest rate of 4.35%....

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Homeowner?

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Homeowner?

Every family has a list of important dates. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, pet adoptions…and the list goes on. For 64.4 percent of households in the United States, this list includes the day they became a homeowner for the first time! Why is this date...

HONEY DIJON CHICKEN SALAD WITH BRIE, PEAR AND WALNUTS

HONEY DIJON CHICKEN SALAD WITH BRIE, PEAR AND WALNUTS

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 45 mins Honey Dijon Chicken Salad with Brie, Pear and Walnuts. A bright fresh grilled chicken salad full of bright flavours and textures. Ingredients 4 boneless chicken breasts For the marinade 3 tbsp Dijon mustard...

ST. PATRICK’S DAY FACTS

ST. PATRICK’S DAY FACTS

Most people probably know that March 17th is St. Patricks Day in the U.S.A. In Suffolk County, Massachusetts, where, Boston is located, March 17th is a public holiday known as Evacuation Day. Most businesses follow regular opening hours in the United States. Celebrate...

How Can I Increase My Family’s Net Worth?

How Can I Increase My Family’s Net Worth?

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016. The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15%...

Why A Normal Market is Just What We Need

Why A Normal Market is Just What We Need

The housing market has been hot for a while now. Homes have been flying off the shelves as fast as they have been listed. Buyers have been competing in bidding wars just to find a home to buy, let alone find their dream home. This ‘seller’s market’ has driven home...

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

Many homeowners believe that rising interest rates and home prices have scared away buyers and therefore have not listed their houses for sale. However, the truth is that buyers who were unable to find a home last year are out in force, and there are even more coming!...

Where Did Americans Move in 2018? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Where Did Americans Move in 2018? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Every year United Van Lines conducts their National Movers Study by tracking their customer’s movement state-to-state over the course of the year. Vermont claimed the top spot of states with the highest percentage of inbound residents following a...

Why Homeownership Matters Now More Than Ever

Why Homeownership Matters Now More Than Ever

Study after study shows that no matter what generation Americans belong to, the vast majority believe that homeownership is an important part of their American Dream. The benefits of homeownership can be broken into two main categories: financial and non-financial...

How To List Your Home for the Best Price

How To List Your Home for the Best Price

If your plan for 2019 includes selling your home, you will want to pay attention to where experts believe home values are headed. According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home prices increased by 4.7% over the course of 2018. The map below shows the...

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

Headlines spotlight the fact that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in more than a decade. Those headlines are accurate. Understandably, buying a home is more expensive now than immediately following one of the worst housing crashes...

THE YEAR OF TIDYING UP

THE YEAR OF TIDYING UP

Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author, is taking the world by storm with her best-selling book and a new Netflix series. 2019 is the year of tidying up. Her method, “if it doesn’t spark joy, be gone with it” is now a universally accepted technique...

Is Student Loan Debt A Threat to Homeownership? No!

Is Student Loan Debt A Threat to Homeownership? No!

Over the course of the last thirty years, a shift has happened. An entire generation has been raised to believe that a college education is their key to unlocking opportunities that were not available to their parent’s or grandparent’s generations. Due to this,...

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases. The supply of homes for sale dramatically...

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market

3 Things You Need in a Shifting Real Estate Market

Whether you are thinking of selling your house or buying a home, today’s real estate headlines can be confusing – perhaps even concerning. What is actually happening with mortgage rates? Are home values dropping or are they just rising at a slower pace? What impact...

Do You Prefer the Charm of an Existing Home?

Do You Prefer the Charm of an Existing Home?

When homebuyers begin their research, they want to see all their available options! In many cases, they will include both new construction and existing homes in their search; but is a new construction home really the house of their dreams? According to a...

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

If you’ve ever watched “The Price is Right,” you know that the only way to win is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item you want without going over! That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price. In today’s shifting real estate...

Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth

Buying a Home Young is the Key to Building Wealth

Homeowners who purchase their homes before the age of 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60, according to a new Urban Institute study. The organization surveyed adults who turned 60 or 61 between 2003 and 2015 for their data set. “Today’s older adults became...

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years. Rates are projected to climb to 5.0% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac. The impact your interest rate makes on your...

The Best Time to List Your House? TODAY!

The Best Time to List Your House? TODAY!

You may have heard that the housing market is softening. There is no doubt that buyer traffic has decreased. There are fewer purchasers in the market than there were last month and at this time last year. What you may not have heard, however, is that there is still a...

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Is the Recent Dip in Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed consistently throughout 2018 until the middle of November. After that point, rates returned to levels that we saw in August to close out the year at 4.55%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market...

Buying A Vacation Property? Now Is A Good Time!

Buying A Vacation Property? Now Is A Good Time!

Every year around this time, many homeowners begin the process of preparing their homes in case of extreme winter weather. Some others skip winter all together by escaping to their vacation homes in a warmer climate. For those homeowners staying at their first...

Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner

Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner

In today’s market, as home prices rise and a lack of inventory continues, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for most...

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market

This year started strong for real estate, but then the market began to soften. Home inventory in the starter and move-up categories dwindled to almost nothing, mortgage rates were projected to rise, and home sales had decreased for several months in a row. To many,...

What Makes a House a Home For You?

What Makes a House a Home For You?

We frequently talk about why it makes sense to buy a home financially, but more often than not the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling ones. No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of a home can mean different...

Buyers Are Looking for Your Home, Now [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buyers Are Looking for Your Home, Now [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Existing home sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.32 million and have increased on a monthly basis for the last two months. The inventory of existing homes for sale remains below the 6-months needed for a normal market and is now at a 3.9-month...

4 Quick Reasons NOT to Fear a Housing Crash

4 Quick Reasons NOT to Fear a Housing Crash

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the real estate market heading into 2019. That uncertainty has raised concerns that we may be headed toward another housing crash like the one we experienced a decade ago. Here are four reasons why today’s market is much...

Why Houses DO NOT Sell in a Strong Market

Why Houses DO NOT Sell in a Strong Market

As we approach the end of the year, many homeowners find themselves asking the question, “If we’re currently in a strong real estate market, why won’t my house sell?” Below are the 5 most common reasons why a listing contract will expire: 1. The Price Sometimes when...