According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,840 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $2,895, last year.
Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals; for anyone looking to buy a home in 2018, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment!
The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state. (The refunds received for the 2017 tax year should continue to reflect these numbers as the new tax code will go into effect for 2018 tax filings.)
Many first-time buyers believe that a 20% down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. Programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all allow for down payments as low as 3%, with Veterans Affairs Loans allowing many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.
If you started your down payment savings with your tax refund check this year, how close would you be to a 3% down payment?
The map below shows what percentage of a 3% down payment is covered by the average tax refund by taking into account the median price of homes sold by state.
The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership! For those in Alabama...
We recently shared that over the course of the last 12 months, home prices have appreciated by 7.0%. Over the same amount of time, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.
As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AS A BUYER?
If home prices appreciate by 4.7% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:
So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!
Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:
1. Understand How Much You Can Afford
“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”
This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).
2. Act Fast
“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory...
A report released by Down Payment Resource shows that 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with a down payment of 6% or less.
The trend continued among all buyers with a mortgage, as 73% made a down payment of less than 20%.
An article by Chase points to a new wave of millennial homebuyers:
“We teamed up with Google to help us better understand what customers are searching for and how the home buying landscape is evolving. We found that millennials and first-time homebuyers are making a big splash in the market, and affordability remains top of mind.”
Among millennials who purchased homes, David Norris, Loan Depot’s Head of Retail Lending,said:
“It’s clear from the survey results that Millennials have a lot of anxiety built up about the home buying process.
There is good news, however, as there’s more flexibility than most Millennials think regarding how to qualify for a loan and what’s needed for a down payment.”
If you are one of the many millennials who is debating a home purchase this year, let’s get together to help you understand...
Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process.
Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.'
Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month!
Here are some tips for improving your credit score:
- Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time.
- Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards.
- Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance transfers to free up credit.
- Check for errors on your credit report and work toward fixing them.
- Shop for mortgage rates within a 30-day period — too many spread-out inquiries can lower your score.
- Work with a credit counselor or a lender to improve your score.
Once you know your score, we can assist you with connecting with a lender to work on getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will ensure that you know your budget before...
Many potential homebuyers believe that they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score to qualify to buy a home, which stops many of them from even trying! Here are some facts:
- 40% of millennials who purchased homes this year have put down less than 10%.
- 76.4% of loan applications were approved last month.
- The average credit score of approved loans was 724 in September.
The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one.
This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down Payment
NAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.
Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
2. FICO® Scores
An Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the ...
According to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage.
After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”
Bankrate.com gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. in order to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment.
Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. According to Freddie Mac,
“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.
It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.
1. Why am I Buying a Home?
Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the first place. Usually the reasons don’t have to do with money. Instead, home buyers are focused on how the house will impact their family in the future. A study done by the Joint Center for House Studies at Harvard found there are four reasons people buy a home. Those reasons include schools for your children, a safe environment, more room for your family to grow, and control of your own space.
These factors are the most common reasons people look to buy a new home. When you ask yourself why you are looking to purchase a home, do any of those factors come up? Spend time with your spouse or family members who are involved in this decision and determine why you want a home in the first place. Creating this list will help when searching for a home and can help your real estate agent find the best home for your needs.
2. What is the Trend with Home Values?
Our current economy and housing market is strong. That means home values and mortgage rates are increasing....
The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.
One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.
A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:
“About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…”
The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.
Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:
“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”
So, what credit score is necessary?
Below is a breakdown of the FICO®...
Here are a couple of photos from a condo that I just got into escrow for my client. This upgraded condo is located in Centennial Hills in the Sky Pointe Condominium community. This is a deal that I put together where I represented a seller who got into contract on their property and a new property all within the same week. Many times in real estate you have to be sharp and focused to make these transactions come together.
This new unit is 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom property with a generous 1,255 square footage layout. Some of our favorite features include the rich hard wood flooring, sleek grey cabinetry in the bathrooms and kitchen as well as the premium stainless steel appliances.
If you are looking to sell and buy all within a scheduled deadline, It’s important to connect with an agent with a proven track record. Contact me directly by call or text at 1-702-417-0884 or email: [email protected]