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Marla Parong

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by Marla Parong

January 30, 2023


by Keeping Current Matters
There are plenty of good reasons you might be ready to move. No matter your motivations, before you list your current house, you need to consider where you’ll go next.In today’s market, it makes sense to explore all your options. That includes both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. To help you decide which is right for you, let’s compare the benefits of each. Regardless of which option you choose to explore, working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process is essential.The Benefits of Newly Built HomesFirst, let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new house, you’ll be able to:1. Build your dream homeIf you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, . . .

January 23, 2023


by Keeping Current Matters
Last year, the housing market slowed down in response to higher mortgage rates, and that had an impact on home prices. If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, that means you’ll want to adjust your expectations accordingly. As realtor.com explains:“. . . some of the more prominent pandemic trends have changed, so sellers might wish to adjust accordingly to get the best deal possible.”In a more moderate market, how you price your house will make a big difference to not only your bottom line, but to how quickly your house could sell. And the reality is, homes priced right are still selling in today’s market.Why Pricing Your House Appropriately MattersEspecially today, your asking price sends a message to potential buyers. If it’s priced too low, you may leave money on the table or discourage buyers who may see a . . .

January 17, 2023


by Keeping Current Matters
Last year, the Federal Reserve took action to try to bring down inflation. In response to those efforts, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, peaking at just over 7% last October. Hopeful buyers experienced a hit to their purchasing power as a result, and some decided to press pause on their plans.Today, the rate of inflation is starting to drop. And as a result, mortgage rates have dipped below last year’s peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shares:“While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.”That’s potentially great news if you’re a buyer aiming to jump back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates helps boost your purchasing power by bringing down your expected . . .

January 09, 2023


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home soon, you probably want to know what you can expect from the housing market this year. In 2022, the market underwent a major shift as economic uncertainty and higher mortgage rates reduced buyer demand, slowed the pace of home sales, and moderated home prices. But what about 2023?An article from HousingWire offers this perspective:“The red-hot housing market of the past 2 ½ years was characterized by sub-three percent mortgage rates, fast-paced bidding wars and record-low inventory. But more recently, market conditions have done an about-face. . . . now is the opportunity for everyone to become re-educated about what a ‘typical’ housing market looks like.”This year, experts agree we may see the return of greater stability and predictability in the housing market if inflation . . .

January 03, 2023


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, you’re likely focused on saving up for everything that purchase involves. One cost that’s likely top of mind is your down payment. But don’t let a common misconception about how much you need to save make the process harder than it could be.Understand 20% Isn’t Always the Typical Down PaymentFreddie Mac explains:“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.”Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. This means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In . . .

December 26, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
Are you prepping to buy your first home? If so, one of the steps you should take early on is making sure you’re financially ready for your purchase. Here are just a few of the financial fundamentals you’ll need to focus on as you set out to buy a home.Build Your CreditYour credit is one element that helps determine which home loan you’ll qualify for. It also impacts your mortgage interest rate. While there are many factors that go into your mortgage application, a higher credit score could lead to a lower monthly payment in the long run.So how do you make sure your credit is in the best shape possible when it’s time to buy? A recent article from NerdWallet lists a few tips you can use as you work to build and strengthen your credit. They include:Tracking your credit and disputing any errors that show up on your reports.Paying your bills . . .

December 20, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a big boost over the past few years thanks to rapidly rising home prices. Here’s how it happened and what it means for you, even as the market moderates.Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan.Because there was a significant imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially.And while home price appreciation has moderated this year, and even depreciated slightly in some overheated markets, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all the equity you gained during the pandemic frenzy.To prove you still have equity you can use, the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic finds the average homeowner equity has actually grown by $34,300 over the past . . .

December 12, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to sell your house, recent headlines about home prices may be top of mind. And if those stories have you wondering what that means for your home’s value, here’s what you really need to know.What’s Really Happening with Home Prices?It’s possible you’ve seen news stories mentioning a drop in home values or home price depreciation, but it’s important to remember those headlines are designed to make a big impression in just a few words. But what headlines aren’t always great at is painting the full picture.While home prices are down slightly month-over-month in some markets, it’s also true that home values are up nationally on a year-over-year basis. The graph below uses the latest data from S&P Case-Shiller to help tell the story of what’s actually happening in the housing market . . .

November 30, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
With the rapid shift that’s happened in the housing market this year, some people are raising concerns that we’re destined for a repeat of the crash we saw in 2008. But in truth, there are many key differences between what’s happening today and the bubble in the early 2000s.One of the reasons this isn’t like the last time is the number of foreclosures in the market is much lower now. Here’s a look at why there won’t be a wave of foreclosures flooding the market.Not as Many Homeowners Are in Trouble This TimeAfter the last housing crash, over nine million households lost their homes due to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they gave it back to the bank. This was, in large part, because of more relaxed lending standards where people could take out mortgages they ultimately couldn’t afford. Those lending practices led . . .

November 22, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re thinking about selling your house, you’re likely hearing about the cooling housing market and wondering what that means for you. While it’s not the peak intensity we saw during the pandemic, we’re still in a sellers’ market. That means you haven’t missed your window. Realtor.com explains:“. . . while prospective home sellers may lament that they missed their prime window, in reality, this is still a terrific time to sell. In fact, according to a recent Realtor.com® home seller survey, 95% of sellers who sold their home in the past year got more than they paid for it. Nonetheless, some of the more prominent pandemic trends have changed, so sellers might wish to adjust accordingly to get the best deal possible.”The key to success today is being realistic and working with a trusted real estate advisor who can help you . . .
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