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The Louisville Real Estate Blog

Buying a Home

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...

Thinking of Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions!

Thinking of Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate.

Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

There are 3 questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all...

What Do You Really Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

What Do You Really Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.

Here are the results from a Digital Risk survey done on Millennials:

Millennials Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The Ipsos survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

Here are the numbers from a recent Ellie Mae report:

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New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth 2015

 New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Times editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creationthey explain:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expanded on the Federal Reserve’s research and projected that by the end of 2015, the average homeowner will have nearly 41x the net worth of a renter. Their findings are detailed in the graph below:

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Should I Wait to Put Down a Bigger Down Payment?

Should I Wait to Put Down a Bigger Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

Some experts are advising that first time and move-up buyers wait until they save up 20% before they move forward with their decision to purchase a home. One of the main reasons they suggest waiting is that a buyer must purchase private mortgage insurance if they have less than the 20%. That increases the monthly payment the buyer will be responsible for.

In a recent article, Freddie Mac explained what this would mean for a $200,000 house:

Difference Between a 5% and 20% Down Payment | Keeping Current Matters

However, we must look at other aspects of the purchase to see if it truly makes sense to wait.

Are you actually saving money by waiting?

CoreLogic has recently projected that home values will increase by 4.3% over the next 12 months. Let’s compare the extra cost of PMI against the projected appreciation:

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Don’t Get Caught In The Renter’s Trap 2015

Don't Get Caught In The Renter's Trap | Keeping Current Matters

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their findings of a study in which they studied “income growth, housing costs and changes in the share of renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years in metropolitan statistical areas throughout the US.”

Don’t Become Trapped

The study revealed that over the last five years a typical rent rose 15% while the income of renters grew by only 11%. If you are currently renting, this disparity in growth could get you caught up in a cycle where increasing rents continue to make it impossible for you to save for a necessary down payment.

The average renter in the United States pays 30% of their income on housing compared to that of a homeowner who can expect to spend 15%.

In many metro areas the percentage of income spent on housing is even higher and continues to rise every year. Like in San Francisco, CA, where the average renter spends 59% of their monthly income on housing or nearly 65% in Boston, MA.

Homebuyers who purchased their home over...

64.2% of Millennials Put Down Less than 20%

64.2% of Millennials Put Down Less than 20% | Keeping Current Matters

Digital Risk recently polled Millennials about the housing market. Among their findings was the fact that nearly two-thirds of the generation who have recently purchased a home, have done so with less than 20% down; with 36% putting down less than 5%!

Here is a graph detailing the results:

Millennial Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

This means that more and more American’s between the ages of 18 and 34 stopped paying their landlord’s mortgage and started building their own family’s wealth.

Millennials aren’t the only ones taking advantage of lower down payments.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that if the down payment required to purchase a home went from 20% to 5%, a renter’s Willingness To Pay (WTP) increased by 40%.

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The REAL Reasons Americans Buy a Home 2015

The Real Reasons Americans Buy A Home | Keeping Current Matters

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But often, the emotional reasons are the more powerful, or compelling reasons. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt...

When is it a Good Time to Rent? Definitely NOT Now!

When is it a Good Time to Rent? Definitely NOT Now! | Keeping Current Matters

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

The Census Bureau just released their second quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Median Asking Rent Since 1988 | Keeping Current Matters

At the same time, a report by Axiometrics revealed:

“The national apartment market’s annual effective rent growth rate of 5.1% in June 2015 represented a 47-month high, and continued a streak of 5.0%-plus rent growth that is now the longest in at least six years, according to apartment market research. The effective rent growth in June 2014 was 3.7%, putting June 2015’s exceptional performance into perspective.

This is the highest rate since the 5.3% of July 2011. The metric has reached at least 5.0% for...

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Fall? Next Year?

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Fall? Next Year? | Keeping Current Matters

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s July 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

30 Year Fixed Rate Prediction | Keeping Current Matters

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, the SVP & Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say in their latest MarketPulse:

“If you are thinking of buying a home and have the financial...

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

What You Need To Know About the Mortgage Process | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • According to Freddie Mac, 40% of buyers are putting less than 10% down, with many putting down as little as 3%.
  • Have a budget and stick to it!
  • Know your credit score and history!
  • Reach out to a professional who can help you with the process!
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Freddie Mac: Equity Matters (a Lot!)

Freddie Mac: Equity Matters (a Lot!) | Keeping Current Matters

According to a Merrill Lynch survey, over 80% of the people in this country believe that homeownership is still “an important part of the American Dream”. There are many financial and non-financial reasons people feel this way.

One of the biggest reasons is because it helps build family wealth. Last week, Freddie Mac posted about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home's appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10%, resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance). They then illustrated what would happen after seven years of making a mortgage payment, assuming 3% per year home appreciation (the historic national average):

Home Equity Calculation | Keeping Current Matters...

Stop Paying Your Landlord’s Mortgage!

Stop Paying Your Landlord's Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll...

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy…

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents.

However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years.

Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report:

Median Mortgage Payment | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy.

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Boomerang Buyers Coming Back in Force [INFOGRAPHIC]

Boomerang Buyers Coming Back in Force [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • What is a Boomerang Buyer? A former homeowner who has gone thru a “short sale”, “foreclosure” or “bankruptcy” in the past few years and has been saving for a down payment in preparation of the expiration of the waiting period, in order to qualify once again for a mortgage.
  • According to NAR: Up to 1 Million consumers have already restored their credit and qualify to buy now.
  • 2.2 million consumers will return to credit worthy status within the next 5 years.
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Debunking Some Myths about Mortgage Availability

Debunking Some Myths about Mortgage Availability | Keeping Current Matters

There seems to be a growing chasm between what the public believes to be need and what is actually needed to qualify for a residential home loan.

A recent survey by Ipsos reported that:

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.
  • Consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan, with 36 percent thinking a 20 percent down payment is always required.

However, according to American Enterprise Institute's International Center on Housing Risk’s May First-Time Buyer Mortgage Risk Index (FBMRI), reality is far from perception. The report reveals:

  • 70% of first-time buyer mortgages had a combined loan-to-value ratio of 95% or higher
  • About 20% of first-time buyers taking out mortgages had a FICO score below 660
  • 25% had total debt-to-income ratios above 43 percent
  • The median first-time buyer with an agency mortgage made a down payment of only 3 percent, or $7200 in dollar terms.
  • The median FICO score for first-time buyers with agency mortgages was 705
  • For first-time buyers with FHA-insured loans, the median FICO score was only 672

These numbers contradict the frequent claims that first-time...

One More Time…You DO NOT Need 20% Down

One More Time You Don't Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actually, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below:

Percent of Low Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:

Average FICO Scores | Keeping Current Matters...

4 Reasons to Buy NOW!

4 Reasons to Buy NOW! | Keeping Current Matters

Summer is here! The temperature isn't the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today 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 projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.8% (most pessimistic) and 26.7% (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

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have started to inch up, most experts predict that they will begin to rise even more over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up approximately three quarters of a percentage point over the next 12 months.

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:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even...

Do I Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do I Need Perfect Credit To Buy A Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average FICO score of Approved Conventional Loans was 757 in May
  • The average FICO score of Approved FHA Loans was 688 in May
  • Since April 2013, the ability of Americans to obtain a mortgage has increased substantially!
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