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Category: For Buyers

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What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Closing Costs

Before making the decision to buy a home, it’s important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for. While you’re busy saving for the down payment, don’t forget you’ll want to prep for closing costs too.Here’s some helpful information on what those costs are and how much you should budget for them.What Are Closing Costs?A recent article from Bankrate explains:“Closing costs are the fees and expenses you must pay before becoming the legal owner of a house, condo or townhome . . . Closing costs vary depending on the purchase price of the home and how it’s being financed...

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3 Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some HighlightsTrying to buy your first home? If you’re worried about affordability today or the limited number of homes for sale, these tips can help.Look into homebuyer programs, expand your search area, and consider a multi-generational home.Connect with a local real estate agent so you have an expert on your side to help you make your dream a reality.

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What Are Experts Saying About the Spring Housing Market?

If you’re planning to move soon, you might be wondering if there’ll be more homes to choose from, where prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how to navigate today’s market. If so, here’s what the professionals are saying about what’s in store for this season.Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American:“. . . it seems our general expectation for the spring is that we will see a pickup in inventory. In fact, that already seems to be happening. But it won’t necessarily be enough to satiate demand.”Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist, Bright MLS:“There is still strong demand,...

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Does It Make Sense To Buy a Home Right Now?

Thinking about buying a home? If so, you’re probably wondering: should I buy now or wait? Nobody can make that decision for you, but here’s some information that can help you decide.What’s Next for Home Prices?Each quarter, Fannie Mae and Pulsenomics publish the results of the Home Price Expectations Survey (HPES). It asks more than 100 experts—economists, real estate professionals, and investment and market strategists—what they think will happen with home prices.In the latest survey, those experts say home prices are going to keep going up for the next five years (see graph below): Here’s...

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4 Tips To Make Your Strongest Offer on a Home

Are you thinking about buying a home soon? If so, you should know today’s market is competitive in many areas because the number of homes for sale is still low – and that’s leading to multiple-offer scenarios. And moving into the peak homebuying season this spring, this is only expected to ramp up more.Remember these four tips to make your best offer.1. Partner with a Real Estate AgentRely on a real estate agent who can support your goals. As PODS notes:“Making an offer on a home without an agent is certainly possible, but having a pro by your side gives you a massive advantage in figuring out...

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Your Home Is a Powerful Investment

Going into 2023, there was a lot of talk about a possible recession that would cause the housing market to crash. Some in the media were even forecasting home prices would drop by as much as 10-20%—and that might have made you feel a bit unsure about buying a home.But here’s what actually happened: home prices went up more than usual. Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, explains:“Looking back at the year, 2023 appears to have exceeded average annual home price gains over the past 35 years.”To put last year’s growth into context, the graph below uses data from Freddie...

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What Mortgage Rate Do You Need To Move?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, mortgage rates are probably top of mind for you. They may even be why you’ve put your plans on hold for now. When rates climbed near 8% last year, some buyers found the numbers just didn’t make sense for their budget anymore. That may be the case for you too.Data from Bright MLS shows the top reason buyers delayed their plans to move is due to high mortgage rates (see graph below): David Childers, CEO at Keeping Current Matters, speaks to this statistic in the recent How’s The Market podcast:“Three quarters of buyers said ‘we’re out’ due to mortgage...

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Finding Your Perfect Home in a Fixer Upper

If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper. That’s a house that needs a little elbow grease or some updates, but has good bones. Fixer-uppers can be a really great option if you’re looking to break into the housing market or want to stretch your budget further. According to NerdWallet:“Buying a fixer-upper can provide a path to homeownership for first-time home buyers or a way for repeat buyers to afford a larger home or a better neighborhood. With the relatively low inventory of homes for sale these days, a...

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The Benefits of Downsizing When You Retire

If you’re taking a look at your expenses as you retire, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. One long-standing, popular way to do that is by downsizing to a smaller home.When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from...

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What To Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home

If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders review your credit to see if you typically make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. Your credit score can also help determine your mortgage rate. An article from US Bank explains:“A credit score isn’t the only deciding factor on your mortgage application, but it’s a significant one. So, when you’re house shopping, it’s important to know where your credit stands and how to use it to get the best mortgage rate possible.”That means your credit...

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