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Where Are Foreclosures At These Days?

August 28, 2014

Not too many months ago, sales on distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures) made up a good number of the total real estate transactions each quarter.

Fortunately for homeowners (though not such good news for investors), that number has steadily decreased in recent months.

In fact, as you can see from the graphic below (compliments of KCM, based on data from the June 2014 Corelogic National Foreclosure Report), this past June was the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines in national foreclosure inventory.

Right now, there are only approximately 648,oo0 homes in some stage of foreclosure. That’s down 35% from this time last year, and represents just 1.7% of all U.S. homes with a mortgage!

Take a look below to see which parts of the country are still experiencing higher levels of foreclosure distress, and which have recovered nicely.

With home prices and interest rates going up, investors may no longer have the great deals available to them that they had over the past 5 years. But we’re happy for all the homeowners who are recovering financially and are no longer in danger of losing their homes.

foreclosures

How Homeownership Affects Net Worth

August 21, 2014

net worth of homeownersIn previous decades, real estate was considered to be one of the most solid and stable financial investments. Parents and grandparents encouraged their offspring to buy a home as soon as they were able, rather than renting for years without building up any equity.

The recent turbulence in the market, however, has caused homeownership to lose much of its traditional allure. As many homeowners suffered through being upside down in their mortgage or faced foreclosure or short sales, they began to question whether investing in a home purchase was really the best way to build wealth.

A study by the Federal Reserve provides a bottom line answer that may help to alleviate the concerns and uncertainty of prospective or current homeowners. Here are some of the study’s findings: Read more…

Why You Should Use an Agent When Buying or Selling Your Home

August 14, 2014

importance of using a RealtorTechnology has drastically changed the behavior of today’s prospective home buyers during the home buying process.

With easy access to MLS and a host of other real estate sites such as Zillow or Trulia, purchasers are able to do a good chunk of their research on their own, shopping around within the location and price range they want to find out what’s available.

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, 92% of all buyers use the internet to search for a new home.

Interestingly enough, however, that very same report indicated that 96% of those buyers who used the internet ended up purchasing their home through either a real estate agent/broker, or from a builder or builder’s agent. It appears that buyers search for their future home online, but then turn to a Realtor to help with the more challenging aspects, including: Read more…

Where Are Home Mortgage Rates Headed?

August 7, 2014

Mortgage interest rates are hovering in the low 4% range right now, but it’s not likely that they’ll stay there for long.

Below is a KCM graphic indicating where 30-year fixed mortgage rates have been over the last 18 months.

mortgage rates

As for where interest rates will go over the next several months, no one can be certain – but here is what some experts are predicting: Read more…

Bay State Condos are in Hot Demand

July 31, 2014

condo ownershipGone are the days, apparently, when condo ownership in Massachusetts was seen as a second choice for those not able to afford home ownership.

Today, many families – including those with small children – are going after condos first, believing that less maintenance and more amenities trump privacy and big backyards.

It helps that the price gap has narrowed dramatically, with condos in some cases selling for only $20,000 below the median cost for single-family homes. And with people’s busy lifestyles, convenience has often become their first priority. Many don’t want to have to shovel the driveway in the winter, or think about landscaping in the spring and summer, or rake leaves in the fall.  Read more…

Best Way to Create Wealth if You Plan to Move Up

July 24, 2014

creating wealth through housingWith all the buzz about how now is the right time to buy if you’re hoping to be a first-time homeowner, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that real estate is a good investment for folks at any stage in the game.

Those who are looking to move up should make sure they have an accurate perspective towards the timing of making their move. The thought pattern of many seems to be that with house values on the rise, they will get a lot more for their existing home if they wait another year or two. The problem with this line of thinking is that they don’t seem to realize that if they wait, the home they want to move into will also cost more.

This concept is a matter of percentages. Whatever percentage you gain on your current home will also be gained by the owners of your future dream home. Since your move-up home will cost more than your existing home, the actual price gain of its current owners will be greater than any gain you will get on your existing home if you wait.  Read more…

Avoid Competition from New Construction When Selling

July 17, 2014

If you wanted to sell your home during the past few (difficult) years in real estate, your biggest area of competition would have been the large number of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales).

Fortunately, as the market improves and home values go up, this formerly significant inventory is sinking rapidly. As homeowners emerge from being underwater, many are thinking now might be a good time to sell.

If you’re thinking along these lines, you may not want to wait. There’s another market that’s starting to heat up, and that’s new construction. Builders are realizing that there’s a healthy demand for housing again, and they’re stepping back out into an increasingly stable economy.

Trulia recently conducted a survey and found that, given a choice, buyers strongly prefer new construction over existing homes.

The charts below (compliments of KCM blog) explain some of the reasons why. Topping the list were modern features, the ability to customize before construction, and fewer maintenance or repairs needed.

new construction

Construction on many new homes is starting now, which means that later this year, these homes will be up for sale.

If you’re planning to sell this year, there’s no time like the present – that is, if you want to avoid increasing competition from new homes.

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