Home shopping can be fun, but it also can be stressful. Finding a house that fulfills your needs, fits your budget, and is in your preferred area can be a challenge. While you don’t want to rush your decision, you might be pressured to act quickly if the market is competitive. The question is: How long does it take to find the right home? According to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders, just over half of prospective home buyers during the second quarter of this year said they’d been shopping for a house for three months or more. The most common reason for a long home search was not being able to find a house in the right price range. Other common reasons buyers gave included not finding a house in the neighborhood they wanted or one with the features they desired. Whatever the case, buyers were not deterred. In fact, the vast majority said they plan to continue looking for a house in their preferred neighborhood, while others said they’d widen their search to look for homes outside of their target area. Either way, setting reasonable expectations can help lessen frustration and improve your chances […]
When you think about where Americans move once they’ve retired, you probably think of sunny cities in states like Florida or Arizona. However, according to one recent analysis by SmartAsset, there are some less obvious spots that should be added to the list of places that retirees should consider moving to. Cities like Plano, Pittsburgh, Lexington, Louisville, and Fort Wayne were included among the top 10 best places to retire – along with sun-drenched cities like St. Petersburg, Mesa, Chandler, and Las Vegas. How did cities in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana make a list of retirement destinations? The main reason is because of their affordability. The analysis looked at things like taxes, health insurance rates, and housing to determine where costs were low so you could stretch your retirement savings the furthest. For example, the number one city named was Henderson, Nevada, where the annual cost of living is just $20,672 and social security and pensions aren’t taxed. More here.
As the weather gets a little cooler, there are some things you should do to make sure your home is in working order. According to this article, you should clean out your gutter of fallen leaves, check your furnace, and clean your chimney if you have one, among other things. Read More
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can work from home, you’ll have to travel to work every day. The distance between your job and home has a big impact on your daily life. The question is, do most people work where they want to live, or live where they found work? According to one new study by Porch, 81 percent of survey respondents said they moved because they found a new job. That means, for most movers, finding somewhere to live close to the office was part of the reason they changed their address. Among these movers, the top industries they relocated to work in were technology, finance and insurance, education, medical and health care, and manufacturing. Conversely, the share of movers who said they found somewhere to live, then looked for a job, came in at 62 percent. However, if you’re considering moving for a job, you should know that 25 percent of survey participants who moved for work said they regretted relocating just for a job. Read More
First-time homebuyers are essential to the health of the housing market. They make up a large chunk of total home sales. But who is the typical first-time homebuyer, what do they buy, and how expensive is it? A recent study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies took a look at buyers over the past few years and broke down the profile of the average first-time homebuyer. According to the study, the typical first-time homebuyer is under the age of 35, is married, and has children. Not surprisingly, the house they buy tends to be smaller and less expensive than those purchased by repeat buyers. According to the report, “43 percent of first-time buyers in 2017 purchased homes with less than 1,500 square feet of living space, compared with 27 percent of repeat buyers.” They generally buy a detached single-family home and pay less than $200,000 for it – only 12 percent pay $400,000 or more for their house. The report also points out the challenges ahead for younger buyers, specifically the lower-than-normal number of available homes in their price range and the need for more affordable housing options. Read More
The size of the house you can buy has a lot to do with where you’re buying. A 1,500-square-foot home will have a much different price tag in New York than it would in St. Louis. Though this is obvious to most potential homebuyers, we don’t always have a choice in where we live. Whether it’s a job or family and friends, we’re often tied to the places we call home for reasons that go beyond affordability. For those of us who can leave town, where are the most popular cities to go? According to one recent analysis by Redfin, some cities have a higher rate of interest from out-of-town buyers than others. Places like Tampa, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Sacramento, Miami, and Boston are pulling in a larger share of the 25 percent of buyers who are looking to move to a new metro. After all, the number of people who are willing and able to move far from home is relatively small. Whatever their reasons, buyers who look at neighborhoods and locations outside their immediate search area – even if just a few miles away – can often find more affordable options that suit their needs and lifestyle. […]
If you’re thinking about buying a house sometime soon, you should be prepared to act fast. New numbers from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) show that the typical property was on the market for just 29 days in July. While that’s up from the month before, and higher than last year at the same time, it still means that homes are selling quickly. In fact, 51 percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the market is suffering from a lack of lower-priced homes for sale. “Clearly, the inventory of moderately-priced homes is inadequate and more home building is needed”, Yun said. “Some new apartments could be converted into condominiums thereby helping with the supply.” Despite low inventory, home sales rose in July, climbing 2.5 percent over the month before. Regionally, sales fell in the Northeast, but improved in the Midwest and South. In the West, home sales jumped up 8.3 percent from the month before. More here.
Home builders have a unique perspective on the housing market. Their business depends on knowing when and where people will be looking for homes. Because of this, they have to predict where the market is headed. That’s why the National Association of Home Builders(NAHB) conducts a monthly survey measuring their confidence in the market for newly built homes. In August, the NAHB’s index scored a 66 on a scale where any number above 50 means builders see conditions as good rather than poor. In short, home builders are feeling confident because of rising demand and lower mortgage rates. In addition, they’re confident in the future of the housing market. According to the index component which gauges their expectations for the next six months, they expect things to remain largely positive. Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist, says interest in new homes is particularly strong among buyers looking for a smaller, more affordable home. “Although affordability headwinds remain a challenge, demand is good and growing at lower price points and for smaller homes.” More here.
It is commonly assumed that homeownership isn’t as popular among younger Americans as it was among previous generations, but recent data seems to tell a different story. For example, according to the most recent homeownership numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans under the age of 35 have the fastest growing homeownership rate of any age bracket. In fact, the data shows that – while Americans over the age of 65 still have the highest rate of homeownership – younger Americans saw their rate increase from 35.4 percent to 36.4 percent during the second quarter of this year. By comparison, homeownership among adults 35-to-44 and those older than 65 both fell. That means, millennial homebuyers may be the most active buyers in the market right now. This isn’t a big surprise, given that first-time homebuyers have historically accounted for a large amount of home sales. Since millennials are now at, or quickly approaching the age of the typical first-time buyer, it makes sense that more of them are shopping for and buying homes. More here.
It’s said that real estate is all about location. However, it isn’t the only thing that influences which way prices are headed or how quickly. Price range also makes a difference; for example, a recent Redfin analysis of current home prices found that homes in affordable price ranges were seeing annual increases much larger than that of more expensive homes. In fact, the least expensive third of homes sold in June saw year-over-year increases of 8.7 percent, while the most expensive third of homes only saw prices grow by 1.1 percent. That’s no small difference, but it is understandable. Supply and demand are more balanced on the high end of the housing market. On the other hand, the market for affordable homes currently has more buyers than available homes, which causes prices to rise. Despite this, there is reason for encouragement. Some metro areas actually had a decrease in price for homes on the low end of the market. If the rest of the country follows suit, the gap between the high and low end of the market will narrow. More here.