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The Louisville Real Estate Blog

Louisville Kentucky Real Estate Blog

Buying a Home Remains 35% Less Expensive than Renting!

Buying a Home Remains 35% Less Expensive than Renting! | Keeping Current Matters

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is from an average of 16% in Honolulu (HI), all the way to 55% in Sarasota (FL), and 35% Nationwide!

The other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation. “In the past year, these two trends have made homeownership even more affordable compared with renting.”
  • Some markets might tip in favor of renting if home prices increase at a greater rate than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due to the strengthening economy.
  • Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.  

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase ...

Where Will Home Prices Be Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Where Will Home Prices Be Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some interesting facts:

  • 25 states are forecasted to achieve higher levels of appreciation in the next 12 months than already achieved in the last year.
  • 25 state and the District of Columbia are forecasted to experience a slow in appreciation.
  • All 50 states & D.C. are forecasted to achieve some level of positive price appreciation.

Even though each state is appreciating at different levels, you need to know the Cost of Waiting until next year to buy your dream home!

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Do You Really Think Your Landlord Pays for Repairs?

Do You Really Think Your Landlord Pays for Repairs? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent article that appeared on Nasdaq.com addressed the issue of whether it is best to buy or rent in today’s real estate environment. The article was very fair in discussing both options.

However, there was one portion of the article that we questioned. One of the experts was quoted as saying:

“For some people, the choice is very clear: Buying a home can be more costly, given the cost of the purchase itself, plus taxes and insurance, plus maintenance and repairs.”

This argument is often made in defense of renting. However, we don’t believe it makes logical sense. They claim that, as a renter, you won’t have the expenses of “taxes and insurance, plus maintenance and repairs”. Do they really believe that the landlord pays all those expenses for their tenants?

The vast majority of landlords own rentable real estate as a form of investment. As any other investor would, they expect to make a return on that investment (ROI) - otherwise known as profit. In order to make a profit, the landlord needs to include EVERY expense they incur into the rent…AND THEN ADD A PROFIT MARGIN!!

We think it is incorrect to advise a prospective renter that they won’t have the same expenses that a homeowner would have. They just pay those expenses to a landlord with a “premium” built in.

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New Home Sales Surge

New Home Sales Surge | Keeping Current Matters

According to the latest report from the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, newly constructed home sales jumped 5.7% month-over-month and 21.6% year-over-year to an annual pace of 552,000.

Many buyers are looking to the new homes market to make up for the lack of existing home sales inventory. National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe explains:

"Today's report indicates the release of pent-up housing demand as the overall economy strengthens, consumer confidence grows and mortgage interest rates remain low. The housing market should continue to move forward at a modest but more persistent pace throughout the rest of 2015."

Regionally, the Northeast led the way with a 24.1% increase in new home sales, followed by the South (7.4%) and West (5.4%). Sales in the Midwest declined by 9.1%.

The inventory of new homes for sale currently sits at a 4.7-month supply down slightly from July (4.9) and significantly from August 2014 (5.4).

Buyers who purchased a new home were willing to spend more to get the amenities that they wanted. The median home price for new homes was $64,000 higher than existing homes in August at $292,700!

Approved applications...

4 Reasons to Buy BEFORE Winter Hits

4 Reasons to Buy BEFORE Winter Hits | Keeping Current Matters

It's that time of year; the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don't have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report released recently projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 10.5% (most pessimistic) and 25.5% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise later this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

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New Home Sales Surge By 5.7%! [INFOGRAPHIC]

New Home Sales Surge By 5.7%! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The median price of a newly constructed home is currently $292,700.
  • Sales are up 5.7% month-over-month and 21.6% year-over-year.
  • Many buyers are looking to new homes as an option due to the lack of inventory of existing homes for sale.
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Sales Up In (Almost) Every Price Range! Oct 2015

Sales Up In (Almost) Every Price Range! | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-7.7%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.

Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 5.6%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 16.9%!

Here is the breakdown:

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range | Keeping Current Matters

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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#1 Reason to List Your House Today

#1 Reason to List Your House Today! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year or even early next year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes For Sale

According to the National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Foot Traffic report, there are more buyers out in the market right now than at any other time in the past three years.

The graph below shows the significant increase in foot traffic experienced this year compared to 2014.

Foot Traffic Year-Over-Year | Keeping Current Matters

The latest Existing Home Sales report shows that there is currently a 5.2-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market and well below August 2014 numbers.

The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced so far in 2015:

Inventory Supply | Keeping Current Matters...

How Quickly Are Homes Selling In Your State?

How Quickly Are Homes Selling In Your State? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for their Confidence Index
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.
  • Homes sold in less than 60 days in 39 out of 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Only Vermont had a median sold date longer than 90 days.
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Is it Time to Downsize your Home?

Is it Time to Downsize your Home? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent study by Edelman Berland revealed that of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future 33% plan to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why that would make sense to many Americans.

In a recent blog post, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, discussed the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two...

Don’t Wait To Buy Your Dream Home

Don’t Wait to Buy Your Dream Home | Keeping Current Matters

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let us explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen over the next 12 months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 4.7% by this time next year.

Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Table predicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.7% in that same time.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes...

Thinking of Selling? 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

Thinking of Selling? Why You Shouldn't For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

 2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved...

Existing Home Sales Slow Amongst Tight Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Slow Amongst Tight Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales slowed down slightly in August but remained 6.2% higher than August 2014.

  • Inventory levels remain below the 6 months necessary for a normal market at a 5.2-month supply.

  • First Time Buyers rebounded in August to make up 32% of sales, matching a 2015 high.

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How Much Must You Trust Your Listing Agent?

How Much Must You Trust Your Listing Agent? | Keeping Current Matters

You and your family have decided to sell your house. It is now time to choose a real estate professional to help with the process. One of the major attributes this agent must possess is trustworthiness. To what degree do you need to trust them?

You must have enough trust in them that you feel comfortable they will accomplish all four things below:

1. Sell possibly the largest asset your family owns

In many cases, a home is the largest asset a family has. Studies have shown that the equity many families have in their home is the largest percentage of that family’s overall wealth.

2. Set the correct market value on that asset

Pricing is crucial even in the best of markets. You want to get the best price for your home without putting your house at a value that buyers will have little interest.

3. Set the time schedule for the liquidation of that asset

Your family probably has a certain timetable for the sale of your house and the move into your next home. Coordinating the home selling process to meet certain schedules can be tricky.

4. Set a fair fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

You will need to pay a commission to an agent for selling the home and coordinating all elements of the selling transaction including possible future negotiations (ex. with a home inspector or appraiser).

That’s a lot of trust. Make sure you pick a true professional to help with the sale of your home.

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Buying A Home Is Better Way to Produce Wealth Than Renting

Buying A Home Is Better Way to Produce Wealth Than Renting | Keeping Current Matters

According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index homeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting.

The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:

Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?

The index examines that entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at use a “’horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”

Ken Johnson, Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states: "The U.S. as a whole is still in clear buy territory. The cities of Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City are deep into buy territory."

Miami and Portland had been inching closer toward renting being the better option but have "pulled back from the edge." Johnson goes on to say, “that's a good sign for home pricing as it suggests prices are going to level off in these metro areas."

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.

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3 Graphs That Scream List Your House Today!

3 Graphs That Scream List Your Home Today! | Keeping Current Matters

In school we all learned the Theory of Supply and Demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.

SUPPLY

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 4.8-month supply. This is significantly lower than the 6 months inventory necessary for a normal market.

Inventory | Keeping Current Matters

DEMAND

Every month NAR reports on the amount of buyers that are actually out in the market looking for homes, or foot traffic. As seen in the graph below, buyer demand this year has significantly surpassed the levels reached in 2014.

Foot Traffic | Keeping Current Matters

Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream home...

Credit Score Requirements LOWER As Interest Rates CREEP UP! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Credit Score Requirements LOWER As Interest Rates CREEP UP! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average 30-year rate for all loans closed in August eclipsed 4.3% for the first time since October 2014.
  • The average FICO score for all closed loans in August reached a new yearly low at 724 (the lowest since February 2014!)
  • The average down payment of FHA loans closed was just 4%!
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Fannie Mae Introduces Home Purchase Sentiment Index

Fannie Mae Introduces Home Purchase Sentiment Index | Keeping Current Matters

Earlier this month, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group announced the launch of their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The index will distill results from Fannie Mae’s consumer-focused National Housing Survey into a single, monthly, predictive indicator. According to Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, the goal for the new index is simple:

“The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index provides the market a single number to track consumer attitudes focused on the housing market. Utilizing our National Housing Survey, the only consumer sentiment survey of its kind focused on housing, the HPSI will offer insights regarding current and future-looking housing market outcomes and will complement existing data sources to inform housing-related analysis.”

Here is a graph of the findings of the HPSI from May 2011 until the current index. A higher number reflects a more positive sentiment from the consumer.

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index | Keeping Current Matters

According to consumer sentiment, the housing market has made great strides over the last four years.

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Why You Should Stop Renting & Buy Today!

Why You Should Stop Renting & Buy Today! | Keeping Current Matters

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home.

Housing Cost & Net Worth

Whether you rent or buy, you have a monthly housing cost.

As a buyer, you are paying YOUR mortgage.

Every mortgage payment is a form of what Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls “forced savings.”

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

The principal portion of your mortgage payment helps build your net worth through building the equity you have in your home.

As a renter, you are paying YOUR LANDLORD’S mortgage.

Below is an example of the home equity that would be accrued over the course of the next four years if you were to buy a home by the end of this year; based on the results of the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Home Equity Over The Next 4 Years | Keeping Current Matters...

Over 23% Thinking of Selling. Why the Hesitation?

Over 23% Thinking of Selling. Why the Hesitation? | Keeping Current Matters

Last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that housing inventory was down 4.7% from the same time last year and that the month’s inventory of homes for sale stood at 4.8 - far below the six months necessary for a normal housing market. Why is there such a shortage of inventory?

The recently released Homeowner Sentiment Survey suggests that the American homeowner may not be fully aware of the opportunities that exist in the current real estate market. The survey, conducted by Edelman Berland for HSF Affiliates, also reports that many homeowners would be placing their home up for sale if they were better informed about today’s market.

Since the housing industry is facing a shortage of housing inventory, the survey’s findings are crucially important.

The survey reported that 23% of current homeowners questioned are considering selling their home, but haven’t yet put it up for sale. That’s almost one out of every four houses. This is the inventory necessary to normalize the balance between “supply & demand” in the current market.

Why are potential sellers hesitating?

The survey shows that 55% of the 23% contemplating selling “would be more likely to put their homes on the market if given more information about the process”. What information do they need?

Here are a few of the challenges that potential sellers perceive to exist according to the survey along with what is actually happening in today’s market:

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