Las Vegas Real Estate Blog
Renting or Owning, What Is Better for You?
In a real estate market where home prices are rising, many have begun to reexamine the idea of buying a home, choosing instead, to rent for a while. But often, there is a dilemma: should you keep paying rent, knowing that rent is rising too, or should you lock in your housing cost and buy a home?
Let’s look at both scenarios and analyze the pros and cons of each:
With the housing market crash in 2008, many homeowners lost their homes and became renters. According to Iproperty Management, “the number of households renting their home … rose from 31.2% of households in 2006 to 36.6% in 2016”.
Some choose to rent because it is more convenient for their lifestyle. Those whose job requires frequent moves need the flexibility that a 6-12 month lease agreement gives them so they can move to their next assignment!
Many renters believe that renting is cheaper because they do not have to pay for maintenance and repairs. (Not true! Landlords work those expenses into your rent and other fees). Another reason many rent is that they feel like they cannot afford the down payment and closing costs required to buy a house, due to their inability to save much after paying their monthly expenses.
That can be true! Nearly 1 in 4 renters spend at least half their household income on rent. In 2017 the “severely” burdened renters’ rate was 24.7% with 24.9% reporting they were...
The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability
There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.
On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…
“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”
Their methodology states:
“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”
So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:
It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash...
Down Payment Assistance
Down Payment Assistance Programs - Las Vegas
Learn more about the different down payment assistance programs available in Las Vegas.
CULINARY HOUSING PROGRAM™
HOME AT LAST™
HOME IS POSSIBLE™
- Get up to 5% of the loan value
- Usable for down payment and closing costs
- Forgivable after three years (if you stay in your home)
- Attractive 30-year interest rate
- No first-time homebuyer requirement
- Financing available for manufactured homes
- Statewide program
- Borrower may not own property at the time of closing
- For government loans (FHA, USDA, VA) — qualifying income must be below $98,500
- For conventional loans (HFA-preferred) — please visit our income limits by county page
- Home price below $484,350
- Minimum credit score of 640...
Why is it a great time to buy in Las Vegas this Spring 2019?
According to the latest Market from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), local home prices inched back up to the $300,000 mark in March (2019) while fewer properties changed hands and more homes were on the market than a year ago. Here are some other positives for homebuyers looking to purchase a home in Las Vegas this Spring:
Low Interest Rates
After nearing 5% in 2018...rates are now 4.41% on a 30-year mortgage.
Your Tax Refund may be the Key to Homeownership
Tax refunds are often thought of as 'extra money' that can be used toward larger goals. For anyone looking to buy a home in Spring 2019, this can be a great jump toward a downpayment.
This Spring more homes are coming on the market. More listings means more choices for homebuyers! Our Southern Nevada inventory is up sharply from one year ago, but is still less than a three-month supply homes available for sale.
Get settled in time for Summer!
Don't miss out on hosting friends and family in your new home!...
Buyers Win Big as Rates Hit Long-term Lows
The Housing Market has been a hot-topic in the news lately. Depending on which media outlet you watch, it can start to be a bit confusing to understand what’s really going on with interest rates and home prices!
The best way to show what’s really going on in today’s real estate market is to go straight to the data!
“The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of regaining momentum.” – Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac
This graph indicates good news for the spring housing market! Interest rates are low! If you are considering buying a home or selling your house, let’s get together to chat about our market!
The Guide to Dog Friendly Businesses in Las Vegas
Dog Friendly Restaurants
Dog Friendly Bars
Dog Friendly Retail
Dog Friendly Parks and Walking Trails
- All American Park: 1551 S. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89117 (cross street: West Charleston Boulevard) - dog run
- Barkin' Basin Park: 7351 W. Alexander Road, Las Vegas, NV 89129 (cross street: North Tenaya Way) - This park is specifically for dogs and and features: 3 separate dog areas, shaded seating for pet owners, water fountains for dogs and people
- Douglas A. Selby Park: 1295 N. Sandhill Road, Las Vegas, NV 89110 (cross street: East Washington Avenue) - This park features large and small dog runs.
- Justin Myron E. Leavitt & Jaycee Community Park: 2100 E. St. Louis Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89104 - This 18-acre park features multiple dog runs.
- Police Memorial Park: 3250 Metro Academy Way, Las Vegas, NV 89129 ( cross street: West Cheyenne Avenue) - This park features a dog...
5 Reasons Homeowners Throw the Best Super Bowl Parties! [INFOGRAPHIC]
Will you be watching the Super Bowl in your own home this year?
- Watching the big game at home with your friends & family offers many advantages.
- There’s more room to entertain a large crowd, and you don’t have to worry about complaints to your landlord if you cheer too loudly!
- The kitchen is big enough to make as many appetizers as you want, and if some of your guests are only there to watch the commercials, they can do so on a different TV in another room!
Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes!
- Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic.
- All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!
Your 365-Day Mortgage Rate Forecast
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Why Has the Las Vegas Housing Supply Increased as Sales Have Slowed Down?
According to the latest Market from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR), the inventory of homes for sale in Las Vegas this year has increased 44.3% from one year ago, all while sales of existing homes are down 9.6% from a year ago.
For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared.
Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift,
“This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”
Let’s take a deeper look:
Since January, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates have increased nearly a full percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.9%). Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all in agreement that rates will continue to increase to about 5.2% over the next 12 months.
“The rise in [mortgage] rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing,” ...
Is Buying a Home Really More Stressful Than Planning a Wedding? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- According to a new survey from Open Listings, 62% of Americans ages 25-54 believe that buying a home is more stressful than planning a wedding.
- Many young couples are saving for a wedding and a home at the same time.
- The average US wedding now costs 66% of a median home down payment, according to The Knot.
Las Vegas leads the nation in rent price increases in 2018
Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 5 Years Running! [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years!
- The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment!
- Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment.
First-Time Home Buyers Continue to Put Down Less Than 6%!
According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% in 2017.
Many potential homebuyers believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying, but in March, 71% of first-time buyers and 54% of all buyers put less than 20% down.
Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist and Founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, recently shed light on why buyer demand has remained strong,
“The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renters households fell is a strong sign households are making the switch from renting to buying.
Households under 35 – which represent the largest potential pool of new homeowners in the U.S. – have shown some of the largest gains. While they only make up a third of all homebuyers, the steady uptick in their homeownership rate over the past year suggests their enormous purchasing power may be finally coming to [the] housing market.”
It’s no surprise that with rents rising, more and more first-time...
Has Las Vegas Surpassed Post-Recession Home Prices in 2018
With home prices rising again this year, some are concerned that we may be repeating the 2006 housing bubble that caused families so much pain when it collapsed. Today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago. There are four key metrics that explain why:
- Home Prices
- Mortgage Standards
- Mortgage Debt
- Housing Affordability
1. HOME PRICES
There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many major markets across the country, but Las Vegas is not there yet. As of May 2018, we are now at a median sales price of $289,000 - we are still below the peak of $315,000 in mid-2006. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone.
Frank Nothaft is the Chief Economist for CoreLogic (which compiles some of the best data on past, current, and future home prices). Nothaft recently explained:
“Even though CoreLogic’s national home price index got to the same level it was at the prior peak in April of 2006, once you account for inflation over the ensuing 11.5 years, values are still about 18% below where they were.” (emphasis added)
2. MORTGAGE STANDARDS
Some are concerned that banks are once again easing lending standards to a level similar to the one that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s...
1613 Dornie Avenue, North Las Vegas, NV 89084
8585 Bella Loma Court, Las Vegas, NV 89149
Hope Brings You Home: Southern Nevada's Newest Downpayment Assistance Program
Hope Brings You Home is a new down payment assistance (DPA) program starting May 1, 2018. This program is available in much of southern Nevada and providing an incentive to qualified homebuyers to purchase a primary residence in the following specific zip codes in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson:
A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]
- A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
- Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
- Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!