Welcome to our blog where you can expect More Education. 

April 7, 2016

Building Wealth: First Rung on the Ladder is Housing

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is “an online resource for the most rigorous research and practical information on how a quality, stable, affordable home in a vibrant community contributes to individual and community success”.

A recent story they published, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, discussed the importance of having affordable housing available to as many families as possible because:

“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.

Home equity provides Americans with the ability to send their children to college with less student loan debt and is the primary source of funds for retirement. Half of the assets of Americans over age 55 are in their home.”

Bottom Line

We have often posted that the net worth of a family owning a home is 45 times greater than that of a family that rents. That is not a coincidence.

Buying a home is a big step in right direction for anyone looking to build wealth. If you have been considering buying a house, we would love to talk with you.

Give us a call today at 208-501-8200 and or click the link below to start browsing for homes available for sale now: www.WestRealEstateGroup.com

Posted in Buying a Home
April 6, 2016

Real Estate: 2016 Will Be the Best Year in a Decade

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist at realtor.com, exclaimed: “All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006.”

Now, Freddie Mac has doubled down on that claim and is saying that 2016 will be the best year that the real estate industry has seen in a decade. In their March Housing Outlook Report, Freddie Mac explained:

“Despite the challenges facing the housing market, we expect this to be the best year for housing in a decade. Home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest level since 2006 according to our latest forecast…Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets, but on balance, the housing markets in the U.S. are poised for the best year since 2006.”

The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are:

  • Low interest rates
  • A resilient labor market
  • An increase in household formations
  • A projected increase in newly constructed homes

Bottom Line

The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are2016 looks to be shaping up as a great year for residential real estate. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, we should meet up to discuss the new opportunities that are arising in your market. 

Give our team a call at 208.501.8200 or click the link below to start shopping for a new home!

www.WestRealEstateGroup.com

March 7, 2016

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You!

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. As we have said before, mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows and rents continue to rise.

Housing Cost & Net Worth

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

As a buyer, you are contributing to YOUR net worth.

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 contributing to YOUR LANDLORD’S net worth.

Below is an example of the home equity that would be accrued over the course of the next five years if you had purchased a home in January; based on the results of the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Simplifying The Market

 

In this example, simply by paying your mortgage, you would have increased your net worth by over $44,000!

Bottom Line

Use your monthly housing cost to your advantage! Let's meet up to discuss the opportunities available in your market. Call our real estate office at 208-501-8200 today!


You can also start browsing for a home by clicking here

March 4, 2016

Home Prices Up 5.76% Across The Country!

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, waiting to move may end up costing you more.
  • Idaho and the Mountainwest area are seeing some of the highest home value increases.

    If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Meridian, Idaho or the surrounding areas, give our team a call at 208-501-8200. We will help educate you about our market and set up a plan to help you reach your real estate goals.

    Curious about your home's current value? Get an instant value check by clicking the link below: 
    Yes, I want my home's value check instantly!

 

March 3, 2016

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

 

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

 

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

 

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

Our team sells houses every day and has been ranked as one of the top real estate agencies in the Meridian, Idaho and surrounding areas. We know what it takes to not only list a home properly but what it takes to get it SOLD. We can put our years of experience to work for you. 

Call our team today to learn more about getting your home sold. You can reach us at 208-501-8200. You can also get an instant value check on your home by clicking here

Posted in Selling a Home
March 3, 2016

14,986 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours?

14,986 Homes Sold Yesterday... Did Yours? | Simplifying The Market

 There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is... If it hasn't sold yet, maybe it's not priced properly.

After all 14,986 houses sold yesterday, 14,986 will sell today and 14,986 will sell tomorrow.

14,986!

That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales are at an annual rate of 5.59 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 14,986 homes sell every day.

The report from NAR also revealed that there is currently only a 4.0-month supply of inventory available for sale, (6-months inventory is considered ‘historically normal’).

This means that there are not enough homes available for sale to satisfy the buyers who are out in the market now in record numbers.

 

Bottom Line

We realize that you want to get the fair market value for your home. However, if it hasn't sold in today's active real estate market, perhaps you should reconsider your current asking price. At West Real Estate Group we believe in educating our clients about the market so that they can make the best informed decisions about their asking price.

 If you are thinking of selling your home this year or if your home has not sold in the past, give us a call and let us help you learn more about getting it sold. Call our real estate team at 208-501-8200 or you can get an instant value check on your home right now by clicking here

Posted in Selling a Home
March 3, 2016

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is | Simplifying The Market

We wanted to touch on the emotional or ‘real’ reasons that many Americans strive to become homeowners.

 

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 that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

 

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

 

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home. We would love to help you learn about your options and help you find a place of your own to call home.

Call our team today at 208-501-8200 to get started or visit our website to start searching for homes for sale in Meridian, Idaho and the surrounding areas by clicking here

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 25, 2016

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Accelerate

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price report earlier this month. The report revealed that home prices are not only continuing to rise but that the increases are accelerating. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

"Without a significant ramp-up in new home construction and more homeowners listing their homes for sale, buyers are likely to see little relief in the form of slowing price growth in the months ahead.”

Here are the percentage increases of home prices for the last two quarters:

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Accelerate | Simplifying The Market

What this means to sellers

Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by CoreLogic in a recent blog post:

“With demand strong and inventory thin, the share of homes selling for the list price or more has also returned to pre-bust levels. With inventory tight, homes are more likely to sell above the asking price.”

What this means to buyers

In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year. However, as Construction Dive reported, the amounts of cash necessary to buy a home will also increase.

“These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense. Call our team today to discuss your real estate goals at 208-501-8200 and we will help explain the many options available to you. 

Feb. 24, 2016

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows

Just two weeks ago, we posted an article discussing where mortgage interest rates may be heading over the next twelve months. We quoted projections from Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors. Each predicted that rates would begin to rise slowly and steadily throughout 2016.

However, shaky economic news and a volatile stock market have actually caused rates to drop six out of the last seven weeks, and have remained at 3.65% for the past two weeks.

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows | Simplifying The Market

Rates have again fallen to historic lows yet many experts still expect them to increase in 2016. The only thing we know for sure is that, according to Freddie Mac, current rates are the best they have been since last April.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage. Call our real estate team today at 208-501-8200 to get started before the rates start heading back up and that dream home becomes to unaffordable. You can also start browsing for your new home by using our Advanced Search Tool.

Feb. 23, 2016

Thinking of Buying A Home? What Are You Waiting For?

 

With spring right around the corner, you may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

  1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

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

  1. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained below 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. TheMortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost three-quarters of a percentage point by this time 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.

  1. Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from 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.”

  1. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Let's get to together to discuss finding you your dream home. You can call our team today at 208-501-8200 to get started and or start shopping for homes using our Advanced Home Searching Tool!