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Joyce Sipes

Explore the Home Market











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by Joyce Sipes

July 12, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
The housing market is at a turning point, and if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, that may leave you wondering: is it still a good time to buy a home? Should I make a move this year? To help answer those questions, let’s turn to the experts for projections on what the second half of the year holds for residential real estate.Where Mortgage Rates Will Go Depends on InflationWhile one of the big questions on all buyers’ minds is where will mortgage rates go in the months ahead, no one has a crystal ball to know exactly what’ll happen in the future. What housing market experts know for sure is that the record-low mortgage rates during the pandemic were an outlier, not the norm.This year, rates have climbed over 2% due to the Federal Reserve’s response to rising inflation. If inflation continues to rise, it’s likely that . . .

July 06, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
Defining the American dream is personal, and no one individual will have the same definition as another. But the feelings it brings about – success, freedom, and a sense of prosperity – are universal. That’s why, for many people, homeownership remains a key part of the American dream. Your home is your stake in the community, a strong financial investment, and an achievement to be proud of.A recent survey from Bankrate asked respondents to rank achievements as indicators of financial success, and the responses prove that owning a home is still important to so many Americans today (see graph below):As the graph shows, homeownership ranks above other significant milestones, including retirement, having a successful career, and earning a college degree.That could be because owning a home is a significant wealth-building tool and provides . . .

June 28, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
There’s no denying the housing market has delivered a fair share of challenges to homebuyers over the past two years. Two of the biggest hurdles homebuyers faced during the pandemic were the limited number of homes for sale and the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. But those two things have reached a turning point.As you may have already heard, the number of homes for sale has increased this year, and even more so this spring. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains:“New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up 6% above one year ago. Home sellers in many markets across the country continue to benefit from rising home prices and fast-selling homes. That’s prompted a growing number of homeowners to sell homes this year compared to last, giving home shoppers much needed options.”This . . .

June 20, 2022


by Keeping Current MattersExperts in the real estate industry use a number of terms when they talk about what’s happening with home prices. And some of those words sound a bit similar but mean very different things. To help clarify what’s happening with home prices and where experts say they’re going, here’s a look at a few terms you may hear:Appreciation is when home prices increase.Depreciation is when home prices decrease.Deceleration is when home prices continue to appreciate, but at a slower pace.Where Home Prices Have Been in Recent YearsFor starters, you’ve probably heard home prices have skyrocketed over the past two years, but homes were actually appreciating long before that. You might be surprised to learn that home prices have climbed for 122 consecutive months (see graph below):As the graph shows, houses have gained value consistently over the past . . .

June 13, 2022


by Keeping Current MattersAmericans’ opinion on the value of real estate as an investment is climbing. That’s according to an annual survey from Gallup. Not only is real estate viewed as the best investment for the ninth year in a row, but more Americans selected it than ever before.The graph below shows the results of the survey since Gallup began asking the question in 2011. As the trend lines indicate, real estate has been gaining ground as the clear favorite for almost a decade now:If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, let this poll reassure you. Even when inflation is high like today, Americans recognize owning a home is a powerful financial decision.How an Investment in Real Estate Can Benefit You During High Inflation Because inflation reached its highest level in 40 years recently, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of . . .

June 06, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If your lifestyle has changed recently and you’re ready to make a move, taking advantage of today’s sellers’ market might be just the answer for your summer plans. With homes continuing to get multiple offers, this could be your moment to get the contract you’re looking for on your house if you’re ready to sell.And here’s the thing – you need an expert on your side to ensure you make all the right moves when you do, especially when it comes to pricing your house. Even in this competitive market, you can’t stick just any price tag on your home and get the deal you want. A key piece of the puzzle is setting the right asking price so you can help buyers notice your home (and get excited about it) from the very first time they view the listing. That’s where a real estate professional comes in.Why Pricing Your House Right Is . . .

June 01, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
In today’s housing market, many are beginning to wonder if we’re returning to the riskier lending habits and borrowing options that led to the housing crash 15 years ago. Let’s ease those concerns.Several times a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases an index titled the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is . . . a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available mortgage credit becomes. Here’s a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:As the graph shows, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. . . .

May 23, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
Because buying or selling a home is such a big decision in our lives, the need for clear, trustworthy information and guidance is crucial. And while no one can give you perfect advice, when you align yourself with an expert, you’ll get the best advice for your situation.An Expert Will Give You the Best Advice Possible Let’s say you need an attorney, so you seek out an expert in the type of law required for your case. When you go to their office, they won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end or how the judge or jury will rule. What a good attorney can do, though, is discuss the most effective strategies you can take. They may recommend one or two approaches they believe will work well for your case.Then, they’ll leave you to make the decision on which option you want to pursue. Once you decide, they can help you put a . . .

May 17, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably heard mortgage rates are rising and have wondered what that means for you. Since mortgage rates have increased over two percentage points this year, it’s natural to think about how this will impact your homeownership plans.Today, buyers are reacting in one of two ways: they’re either making the decision to buy now before rates climb higher or they’re waiting it out in hopes rates will fall. Let’s look at some context that can help you understand why so many buyers are jumping off the fence and into action rather than waiting to buy.A Look Back: How the Current Mortgage Rate Compares to Historical DataOne factor that could help you make your decision to buy now is how today’s mortgage rates compare to historical data. While higher than the average 30-year fixed rate in recent . . .

May 10, 2022


by Keeping Current Matters
If you’re planning to buy a home, it’s critical to understand the relationship between mortgage rates and your purchasing power. Purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy that’s within your financial reach. Mortgage rates directly impact the monthly payment you’ll have on the home you purchase. So, when rates rise, so does the monthly payment you’re able to lock in on your home loan. In a rising-rate environment like we’re in today, that could limit your future purchasing power.Today, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is above 5%, and in the near term, experts say that’ll likely go up in the months ahead. You have the opportunity to get ahead of that increase if you buy now before that impacts your purchasing power.Mortgage Rates Play a Large Role in Your Home Search The chart below can help you . . .
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