Homes are Selling Fast Across the Country [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for their monthly 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 60 days or less in 36 out of 50 states, and Washington D.C. Homes typically went under contract in 34 days in March! Powered by WPeMatico

Your Tax Return: Bring it Home

This time of year, many people eagerly check their mailboxes looking for their tax return check from the IRS. But, what do most people plan to do with the money? GO Banking Rates recently surveyed Americans and asked the question – “What do you plan on doing with your tax refund?” The results of the survey were interesting. Here is what they plan to do with their money: 41% – Put it into savings 38% – Pay off debt 11% – Go on a vacation 5% – Make a major purchase (car, home, etc.) 5% – Splurge on a purchase Read More

Real Estate Mogul: Here’s Why You Should Buy

Real Estate mogul, Sean Conlon, host of The Deed: Chicago on CNBC, was recently asked the question, should you buy? Or should you rent a house? Conlon responded: “I am a true believer that you save every penny and you buy your first house… and that is still the fastest path to wealth in this country.” Conlon went on to suggest that first-time buyers put down 10-20% “if they can make it work,” and to remain in their home at least 4-5 years to see a return on their investment. Who is Sean Conlon, and why should you listen to Read More

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’

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 3.8-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market. DEMAND Every month NAR reports on the number of buyers out in the market looking for homes, which is also known as buyer traffic. As seen on the map below, buyer demand in March was strong or very strong in Read More

How Fast Can You Save for a Down Payment?

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long would it take you to save for a down payment in each state? Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their Read More

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help

Many Americans got some depressing news last week; either their tax return was not as large as they had hoped or, in some cases, they were told they owed additional money to either the Federal or State government or both. One way to save on taxes is to own your own home. According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership. Here are four items, and a quote on each, from the Briefing Book: 1. Mortgage Interest Deduction Read More

Measuring Your Ability to Achieve the American Dream

Forbes.com recently released the results of their new American Dream Index, in which they measure “the prosperity of the middle class, and…examine which states best support the American Dream.” The monthly index measures several different economic factors, including goods-producing employment, personal and commercial bankruptcies, building permits, startup activity, unemployment insurance claims, labor force participation, and layoffs. The national index score was rounded out to 100 in January and saw a modest jump to 100.5 in February. Alaska represented the lowest score on the index at 80.7, due mostly to the recent collapse in oil prices. Nevada came in with the Read More

US Housing Market Continues the Move into ‘Buy Territory’!

According to the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the U.S. housing market has continued to move deeper into buy territory, supporting the belief that housing markets across the country remain a sound investment. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question: In today’s housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home? The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison. The researchers “measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a Read More

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market. Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, revealed in a recent article that: “The biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy Read More