Before you start shopping for a home, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Your lender will provide you a letter telling you the maximum amount for which you qualify. However, just because you can afford the mortgage up to a certain amount does not mean you can afford to buy a home at that price – the cost of homeownership is a different number than the home’s price itself.
When dealing with the shortages of affordable housing today and escalation prices, many buyers—especially first-time buyers—exceed their budgets. A recent study of real estate trends found that one-third of buyers exceed their initial budget when buying a home (32 percent), and [...]
Wouldn’t it be nice to own a vacation home that you could return to year after year? Perhaps just slip away after a long work week. Your own personal retreat from the hectic chaos of life? Or even a second home that’s not a liability but rather an asset, one that’s producing income for you? A vacation home in a sought after area may be more affordable than you think. Below is a list of the top 10 most affordable vacation areas that are still a popular, underrated and undiscovered destination. Of the top 20 vacation home destinations, the most affordable vacation home with a median price of only $95,000 in the Albany area of Clinton, Kentucky. Located right between Dale Hollow Lake [...]
Although Britain will not actually implement June’s Brexit referendum to leave the European Union until next March at the earliest, it has already made a major impact on US mortgage rates. Will the long term impact of Brexit be as significant?
Within days of the referendum, uncertainty about the potential impact of Brexit on European economies caused investors to sell riskier global stocks and buy safer U.S. mortgage bonds – which are among the safest bonds in the world because they are comprised of U.S. home loans. When this unexpected demand drove up the prices of mortgage-backed securities, bond yields fell and drove down mortgage interest rates. Mortgage rates [...]
Perhaps no single issue is as important to today’s real estate economy as affordability of both ownership and rental housing. High prices have made it difficult for first-time buyers to become homeowners even though record high rents are providing plenty of incentive. The result is that housing prices are a the top of many families’ agendas and big issues with millions of voters this election season.
Home prices have been rising steadily for more than four years. Since 2012, prices have risen roughly 40 percent, according to CoreLogic. From 2012 through 2015, US median incomes rose only 10 percent. Incomes are finally improving, but they have been depressed for seven years. [...]
As you are in the market to establish some roots and buy a home, you may be interested in what factors may affect the cost of living. Certainly, your housing costs make up for the largest single expenditure. And housing costs are impacted by the amenities and attractions in the surrounding area. Since most all Americans live where they do out of choice, let’s take a look at factors that people consider in their search and how they are correlated with an increased (or decreased) cost of living.
Many variables are equally weighted on how they affect housing costs except perhaps if a city contains a local medical school. The more prestigious the medical school, the higher the [...]
Appraisals are used for several reasons. They’re used when a home is being sold (especially if it’s a financed purchase), when an owner is refinancing their current mortgage, and/or when taking out an additional mortgage on the current home. Some may optionally get an appraisal done on the home for other purposes but it’s primary purpose is to verify a home’s current value. Estimating a home’s value may be subjective but there are several specific tools that an appraiser will use to prepare their report. Here are a few things to know about how an appraiser determines home values. The sales comparison approach identifies homes that are nearby and fairly comparable. Homes within the [...]
Welcome to Cook’s Corner, a monthly real estate Q+A round up, where Steve Cook will answer all of your pressing questions about the world of real estate! Have a burning question for next time? Feel free to pop it in the comments or tweet it @HomesDotCom!I have $5,000 to spend–should I do a cheap bathroom remodel or landscape the backyard?
When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, $5,000 won’t buy you much. In its 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, Remodeling magazine estimates it takes an average of $17,908 for a minor bathroom remodel. Their estimate covers replacing all fixtures to include: a 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround, [...]