First-Time Steps For First-Time Buyers

Buying a home? New to the housing market? You probably have a lot of questions. As a first-time homebuyer it’s imperative that you do a substantial amount of research prior to tackling the market. Here are some steps you should be taking as a first-time buyer; Know Your Credit Score First and foremost, you need to know your credit score. Your credit score plays a considerable part when it comes to the terms of your loan. The better your credit score, the lower your interest will be. Should your score be considerably low, you run the risk of not even qualifying for a loan, in which case you’ll have to hold off on buying property until you can build up your score. Get Pre-Approved Prior to researching any markets, you’ll want to know what you’re pre-approved for. Pre-approvals not only verify that you’ll be able to get a loan, but will clarify how much you actually have to spend. During this pre-approval process, it’s important to keep your options open. Be conscience of the lender’s APR. Compare mortgages between lenders before choosing, so that you can get the best deal available. Come To Terms With Your Expenses One of the fundamental reasons first-time home buyers find themselves in less than desirable financial situations is due to their lack of budgeting. Buying a home is, in the grand scheme of things, the biggest investment in most people’s lives thus, proper budgeting is quite necessary. There are a lot of expenses that go into buying a home other than the cost of the house itself. Take the time to sit down...
The Reality of Student Loans

The Reality of Student Loans

In a previous blog post of mine I reflected on the crippling effects of student loans for millennials. The amount of debt that students are accumulating is astronomical in comparison to previous generations. Much to no one’s surprise, a recent study by the National Association of Realtors and SALT affirms that student debt delays homeownership. According to the study, seventy-one percent of non-homeowners claim that the debt they’ve acquired from school is preventing them from being able to buy a home. Furthermore, the study concluded that more than half of the 3,000 surveyed weren’t even anticipating purchasing a home for more than five years. While the benefits of higher degree most certainly secure a stable employment for students, earning that degree is almost counterproductive in relation to their future. Tuition rates have reached astronomical levels over the past 40 years. As depicted in a chart for collegeboard.org, the average tuition rate for a four-year public school in 1975 was $2,387. Today, the average rate is $9,410, almost four times the amount it once was. Thus, while the degree may secure a stable job with a competitive salary, it’s at a cost to your financial future. A large part of what’s holding millennials back in the housing market is their ability, or lack there of, to save for a down payment. Student loans are often paid off in monthly increments. The couple of hundred in student loan payments, partnered with rent, insurance, bills and other expenses, makes saving for a down payment unfathomable. Down payment options are particularly affordable for first-time buyers today and unfortunately, most millennials aren’t able to...
The Oregon Appeal

The Oregon Appeal

In a previous blog post of mine I reflected on United Van Lines’ annual movers study. For the third consecutive year now, Oregon has held the No. 1 spot as “Top Moving Destination”, which spiked my interest. What makes this Pacific Northwest state so appealing? After some research I found some promising quirks. For one, Oregon offers a multitude of cities that have thriving art and entertainment scenes. Compared to other states, Oregon offers a great deal of green space which makes it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. With an eclectic mix of farms, mountains, forests, and beaches, Oregon has something for everyone! Thus, whether you’re simply visiting or you’re new to the beaver state, here are a list of the top attractions! Portland is most certainly the most popular destination in Oregon, as it boasts a very friendly and laid-back reputation. Should you find yourself in Portland, be sure to visit the Japanese Garden. Occupying an impressive 5.5 acres, this traditional Japanese garden is divided in five sub-gardens. Operated by a private non-profit, the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, offers visitors a moment of tranquility and peace as they travel across handmade bridges over waterfalls and streams. If you’re in the southwestern area of Oregon, head over to Crater Lake National Park. A water-filled caldera of the extinct, Mount Mazama, the lake is 1,935 feet deep and known for it’s deep blue color. Surrounding the lake, at heights of up to 2,00 feet, are lava cliffs which attributes to the park’s majestic allure. Bend, Oregon, a more centralized city, offers a variety of attractions for visitors. Should...
The Suburban Appeal

The Suburban Appeal

The millennial age is considered those who were born between 1980 and 2000. This generation has a significant pull, not only on the real estate market, but on the overall economy. Their preferences and opinions tend to shape our society, which is why they’re considered the most influential generation today. For the past several years, most market analyzers were under the notion that the millennial age has an unwavering love for cities. First-time home buyers had hit an all time low since 1987, 32% of all purchasers in 2015, which might suggest that the millennial age was reluctant to move to the suburbs. The decrease we saw in first-time home buyers made the market more challenging for the older generations. Without the millennial age on the housing market, current home owners were finding it difficult to  sell their property after retirement, which makes for an unhealthy market. Fortunately, it seems as though that “urban boom” we were experiencing was simply a phase. In an earlier blog of mine, I discussed the reasoning behind the decrease in first-time home buyers. Student loans are a significant part of the equation here. Loans are substantially higher than they once were, and in conjunction with the rising rents, it leaves millennials unable to save for a down payment. There’s also a change in culture. People are more likely to get married at an older age than they once were. According to statistics from Pew Research Center, the median age for a man’s first marriage was 23 back in 1960, as of 2010, it was nearly 29. The millennial age, being at a median...
Flipping Frenzy

Flipping Frenzy

We’ve seen the reports, and can attest to the fact that the housing market is on the rise! Home prices are rising based on the limited inventory on the market. There are few homes on the market with a decent margin profit thus, these properties are getting multiple offers. The appeal of house flipping has grown drastically over the year, which attributes to the growing number of home flippers over the past decade. According to RealtyTrac, an estimated 180,000 homes and condos were flipped in 2015 and attributed to 5.5 percent of sales. Senior vice president at RealtyTrac made a statement in an article for cnbc.com, “As confidence in the housing recovery spreads, more real estate investors and would-be real estate investors are hopping on the home flipping bandwagon,”. Such attention to these more affordable listings, has caused concerned over rising prices. While there’s more interest in these “fixer uppers”, it’s created a frenzy in acquiring properties. There’s further concern surrounding these flips. First-time home buyers are already at an all-time low, due to competing expenses and inventory. With home flippers after those same affordable listings as first-time buyers, it could potentially push them further away. In the article for cnbc.com, according to RealtyTrac, in 2015, homes flipped averaged a gross profit of $55,000. That’s a 46 percent return on investment, compared to 35 percent in 2005. Flips, which is defined as a home that is bought and then sold again within 12 months, could potentially inflate home prices across the country. Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, suggests in an article for housingwire.com, that home flipping...
Millennials And The Housing Market

Millennials And The Housing Market

It’s no surprise that the rate of first time home buyers has been steadily declining for some time now. There’s a variety of factors contributing to the lack of under-35 buyers we’re seeing out in the market. Student debt, a change in family dynamics, and pure preference are all playing vital roles in the market we’re seeing today. For one, student debt is out of control. According to The Wall Street Journal blog, the average student debt in 2015 was $35,000, which makes it quite challenging to save for a mortgage. Although unemployment is down, most millennials aren’t making enough to support both their rent and student loans, let alone save for a home. Another change we’re seeing in the market goes back to family dynamics. The millennial age isn’t as quick to settle down with a family as society once was. More often than not, they’re opting to put off marriage and children until their mid and late thirties. Thus, they’re more likely to continue to rent until later on in life. Unlike earlier years, millennials aren’t so quick to choose a suburban life for their families either. More and more people prefer to raise their children in urban settings, as opposed to, what was once, “the suburban dream”. What might further attribute to the lack of millennials on the market, is the inventory of entry level homes available. Today, developers aren’t catering their plans to the millennial, as they’re likely aware of the current trends with that generation. According to the National Association of Home Builders, about 20% of new construction is attributed to entry level properties,...
Affordable Living, Where Are People Relocating?

Affordable Living, Where Are People Relocating?

With the rising cost of living in the country’s major cities of the Northeast, people are looking to start the lives elsewhere. When most people move away from a city, justifiable due to the overwhelming costs, they’re looking for more or less similar amenities with perhaps a touch less overcrowding. People are no longer just retiring to the south in their elder years, they’re fleeing the Northeast in search of a more affordable cost of living. So, where exactly are these people going you ask? The most favorable contender is Oregon. United Van Lines recently released their annual United National Movers Study where for the third consecutive year, Oregon was the No. 1 “Top Moving Destination”. United Van Lines has been doing this same study for 39 years and in the past 6 years, Oregon’s migration rate increased by 6%. In this year’s study, Oregon had 69% of moves to be inbound, while New York was 65% outbound. It’s really no surprise that people are migrating from the northeast and moving toward the southwest. The Economist posted an article back in March that stated the cost of living in New York rose 23% between 2009 and 2014. New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut all joined New York at the top of the outbound moves list. In the article, Michael Stoll, an economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, states, “This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West, where cities such as Portland and Seattle are seeing the combination of a boom in the technology and...
The New Strategy Behind Flipping Houses

The New Strategy Behind Flipping Houses

In a recent article by Brian Kline, Kline discusses the new strategy that investors have when looking for a house to flip. The market today is very much a sellers market, much in part to the increased popularity in flipping houses. So where inventories on investment worthy houses are low, investors have a new strategy around finding these properties. There are many people who own rental properties, yet live a significant distance away from these properties. Often times people inherit these properties from loved ones who have passed or they had previously thought it might be a good investment. Maintaining a property that is of great distance from the owner can be an agonizing burden, thus the appeal of selling. Investors are now direct mailing people in these types of situations. By utilizing property tax lists and other resources from the internet, investors are reaching out to these small landlords with an offer. This tactic has the potential to be very lucrative. Maybe these homeowners have often thought about selling the rental property they’ve acquired but didn’t have the time to go through the process. When you’re selling your property, while you don’t have to be there every step along the way, you do have to be present for some of it. Which proves to be difficult to those who don’t live close to the property. An investor reaching out to someone in a situation like this could be a saving grace for someone. Moreover, you would likely be able to get a rather low price for the home, especially if the landlord is eager to get it off...