Key Economic Indicators that Affect Mortgage Interest Rates: Housing Reports

First-time homeowners are often younger than the average homebuyer, which means lower income levels, less money saved and, typically, more student loan debt. Concerns about student loans often discourage would-be first-time buyers from pursuing their goal of homeownership. If you’re considering purchasing your first home, these tips can help get you there.

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Advance Approval May Help Win Real Estate Bidding Wars

In a competitive housing market, bidding wars are a sign that competition is fierce among potential buyers. While competition can be good news for sellers, for those looking to buy, it may cause dilemmas once it’s time to submit an offer. In fact, a recent survey by Redfin found that competition is a top concern for buyers, second only to affordability. Buyers know they must put their very best offer on the table, with aggressive timelines and as few contingencies as possible. So, how does a buyer who is financing their purchase improve their chances of getting an offer accepted?

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Are We in Another Housing Bubble?

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years since the housing market took a turn for the worse. At the time it seemed chaotic, but it’s now clear what happened. The market was correcting and as a result, we saw a sharp downturn in home prices between 2007 and 2011. Things improved slowly over the next few years until recently, when prices starting rising much more rapidly. That has caused many buyers and sellers to assume that we must be heading toward another housing bubble.

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How to Level the Playing Field in a Competitive Housing Market

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that real estate investors may be pushing young, first-time homebuyers out of the housing market. Low and mid-priced homes, which appeal to both first-time buyers and investors, are in tight supply. Investors are swooping in with all-cash offers only to turn around and rent out the properties. As rental rates skyrocket across the nation, investors stand to benefit while potential homebuyers are challenged by high rent that may prolong saving for a down payment. Is there a solution? Can buyers finance a home purchase and still put forth a strong enough offer to compete against all-cash? We asked Realtor® Dana Green to weigh in on how buyers can level the playing field.

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Energy Efficiency And Real Estate Value

Studies continue to show that homes with green or energy efficient features can command a higher sales price. With the promise of lower utility costs and increased comfort, it’s no surprise that homeowners are willing to invest in an energy efficient environment. Although the potential benefits are clear, a recent Washington Post article points out that “…it’s often less than clear how such upgrades are valued in the real estate market by appraisers, lenders, or purchasers — or even how information about a home’s energy characteristics should be conveyed to real estate agents and potential homebuyers.” That is slowly changing…

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