How Changing Mortgage Rates Can Affect You
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been bouncing between 6% and 7% this year. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to buy a home or not, it’s helpful to know exactly how a 1%, or even a 0.5%, mortgage rate shift affects your purchasing power.
The chart below helps show the general relationship between mortgage rates and a typical monthly mortgage payment:
Even a 0.5% change can have a big impact on your monthly payment. And since rates have been moving between 6% and 7% for a while now, you can see how it impacts your purchasing power as rates go down.
What This Means for You
You may be tempted to put your homebuying plans on hold in hopes that rates will fall. But that can be risky. No one knows for sure where rates will go from here, and trying to time them for your benefit is tough. Lisa Sturtevant, Housing Economist at Bright MLS, explains:
“It is typically a fool’s errand for a homebuyer to try to time rates in this market . . . But volatility in mortgage rates right now can have a real impact on buyers’ monthly payments.”
That’s why it’s critical to lean on your expert real estate advisors to explore your mortgage options, understand what impacts mortgage rates, and plan your homebuying budget around today’s volatility. They’ll also be able to offer advice tailored to your specific situation and goals, so you have what you need to make an informed decision.
Your ability to buy a home could be impacted by changing mortgage rates. If you’re thinking about making a move, let’s connect so you have a strong plan in place.
2 Things Sellers Need To Know This Spring
A lot has changed over the past year, and you might be wondering what’s in store for the spring housing market. If you’re planning to sell your house this season, here’s what real estate experts are saying you should keep in mind.
1. Houses That Are Priced Right Are Still Selling
Houses that are updated and priced at their current market value are still selling. Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow, says:
“. . . sellers who price and market their home competitively shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer.”
The need to price your house right is so important today because the market has changed so much over the past year. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:
“With a smaller pool of buyers today and more competition from other homes on the market, homesellers will likely need to adjust their price expectations in the market this spring.”
While this spring housing market is different than last year’s, sellers with proper expectations who lean on a real estate expert for the best advice on pricing their house well are still finding success. And that’s great news if you’re thinking about selling.
2. Buyers Are Still Out There
As mortgage rates have risen and remain volatile, some buyers have pressed pause on their plans. But there are still plenty of reasons people are buying homes today. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS, spells out the mindset of today’s buyers:
“For some buyers, higher mortgage rates simply means buying a home is out of the question unless home prices fall. For others, higher mortgage rates will be a hurdle but ultimately will not keep them from getting back into the market after sitting on the sidelines for months.”
That’s why, if you’re interested in selling your house this spring, it’s helpful to work with a real estate agent who can help connect you with those buyers who are ready to purchase a home.
There are still clear opportunities for sellers this spring. If you’re wondering if it’s the right time to make a move, let’s connect today.
4 Tips for Making Your Best Offer on a Home
Are you planning to buy a home this spring? Though things are more balanced than they were at the height of the pandemic, it’s still a sellers’ market. So, when you find the home you want to buy, remember these four tips to make your best offer.
1.Lean on a Real Estate Professional
Rely on an agent who can support your goals. As Bankrate notes:
“. . . select the best real estate agent for your needs. They will be a critical part of your home buying process.”
Agents are local market experts. They know what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
2.Know Your Budget
Understanding your budget is especially important right now. As Sandy Higgins, Senior Wealth Advisor at Capstone Financial Advisors, puts it:
“Understand your current budget … what are your expenses, how’s your spending, would you need to make changes?”
The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. It helps you be more financially confident, and it shows sellers you’re serious. That can give you a competitive edge.
3.Think Through Everything Before Making an Offer
Today’s market isn’t moving at the record pace it did during the pandemic. That means you may have a bit more time to think before you need to make an offer. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“In general, you likely have more time to make an offer, although that’s certainly not a guarantee. If you’re on the fence about a home or its asking price doesn’t quite fit your budget, you might want to keep an eye on it, and if it doesn’t sell right away, you may have some room to negotiate with the seller.”
While it’s still important to stay on top of the market and be prepared to move quickly, there can be more flexibility today. Lean on the advice of your agent as you explore the options in your market.
4. Work with Your Advisor To Negotiate
During the pandemic, some buyers skipped home inspections or didn’t ask for concessions from the seller in order to submit the winning bid on a home. Fortunately, today’s market is different, and you may have more negotiating power than before. When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you think through what levers to pull.
When you buy a home this spring, let’s connect so you have the guidance to make your best offer.
What You Should Know About Rising Mortgage Rates
After steadily falling over the winter, mortgage rates have started to rise in recent weeks. This is concerning to some potential homebuyers as the combination of higher mortgage rates and higher prices have made homes less affordable. So, if you’re planning to purchase a home this year, you too may be wondering if now’s the right time to buy or if you should hold off on your search until rates come back down.
The recent uptick in rates has been driven by what’s happening with inflation. Joel Kan, Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains:
“Mortgage rates increased across the board last week, pushed higher by market expectations that inflation will persist, thus requiring the Federal Reserve to keep monetary policy restrictive for a longer time.”
The most recent weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reported by Freddie Mac is 6.5%. It’s the third week in a row that rates have increased and puts them at the highest point they’ve been this year (see graph below):
Advice for Home Shoppers
If you’re thinking about pausing your home search because rates have started to go up again, you may want to reconsider. This could actually be an opportunity to buy the home you’ve been searching for. According to the MBA, mortgage applications declined by 13.3% in just one week, so it appears the rise in mortgage rates is leading some potential homebuyers to pull back on their search for a new home.
So, what does that mean for you? If you stay the course, you’ll likely face less competition among other buyers when you’re looking for a home. This is welcome relief in a market that has so few homes for sale.
Over the last few weeks, mortgage rates have risen. But that doesn’t mean you should delay your plans to buy a home. In fact, it could mean the opposite if you want to take advantage of less buyer competition. Let’s connect today to explore the options in our local market.
What To Expect From the Housing Market in 2023
The 2022 housing market has been defined by two key things: inflation and rapidly rising mortgage rates. And in many ways, it’s put the market into a reset position.
As the Federal Reserve (the Fed) made moves this year to try to lower inflation, mortgage rates more than doubled – something that’s never happened before in a calendar year. This had a cascading impact on buyer activity, the balance between supply and demand, and ultimately home prices. And as all those things changed, some buyers and sellers put their plans on hold and decided to wait until the market felt a bit more predictable.
But what does that mean for next year? What everyone really wants is more stability in the market in 2023. For that to happen we’ll need to see the Fed bring inflation down even more and keep it there. Here’s what housing market experts say we can expect next year.
What’s Ahead for Mortgage Rates in 2023?
Moving forward, experts agree it’s still going to be all about inflation. If inflation is high, mortgage rates will be as well. But if inflation continues to fall, mortgage rates will likely respond. While there may be early signs inflation is easing as we round out this year, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Inflation is still something to watch in 2023.
Right now, experts are factoring all of this into their mortgage rate forecasts for next year. And if we average those forecasts together, experts say we can expect rates to stabilize a bit more in 2023. Whether that’s between 5.5% and 6.5%, it’s hard for experts to say exactly where they’ll land. But based on the average of their projections, a more predictable rate is likely ahead (see chart below):
That means, we’ll start the year out about where we are right now. But we could see rates tick down if inflation continues to drop. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:
“. . . mortgage rates could pull back meaningfully next year if inflation pressures ease.”
In the meantime, expect some volatility as rates will likely fluctuate in the weeks ahead. If we see inflation come back under control, that would be good news for the housing market.
What Will Happen to Home Prices Next Year?
Homes prices will always be defined by supply and demand. The more buyers and fewer homes there are on the market, the more home prices will rise. And that’s exactly what we saw during the pandemic.
But this year, things changed. We’ve seen home prices moderate and housing supply grow as buyer demand pulled back due to higher mortgage rates. The level of moderation has varied by local area – with the biggest changes happening in overheated markets. But do experts think that will continue?
The graph below shows the latest home price forecasts for 2023. As the different colored bars indicate, some experts are saying home prices will appreciate next year, and others are saying home prices will come down. But again, if we take the average of all the forecasts (shown in green), we can get a feel for what 2023 may hold.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. That means nationally, we’ll likely see relatively flat or neutral appreciation in 2023. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.”
The 2023 housing market is going to be defined by mortgage rates, and rates will be determined by what happens with inflation. The best way to keep a pulse on what experts are projecting for next year is to lean on a trusted real estate advisor. Let’s connect.
Homeowners Still Have Positive Equity Gains over the Past 12 Months
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 12 months.
That’s right, despite the headlines, the average homeowner still gained positive equity over the last year in just about every market. While the gains aren’t as dramatic as they were in the previous quarter due to home price moderation, they’re still significant. And if you’ve been in your home for longer than a year, chances are you have even more equity than you realize.
While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened over the past year in your area, look at the map below from CoreLogic:
Why This Is So Important Right Now
While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals, like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you’ve built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.
So, if you’ve been holding off on selling because you weren’t sure what the headlines meant for your bottom line, rest assured you’ve still gained equity in recent years, and it can help fuel your move.
If you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained over time can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect.
What Homeowners Want To Know About Selling in Today’s Market
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 set your expectations based on where the market is now, not where it was over the past few years.
Here are a few things experts say today’s sellers need to consider.
Be Willing To Negotiate
At the peak of the pandemic frenzy, sellers held all the leverage because inventory was at record lows and buyers were willing to enter bidding wars over homes that were available. This year, the supply of homes for sale has increased as the market cooled. Even though inventory is still low overall, buyers today have more options, and with that comes more negotiation power.
As a seller, that means you may see more buyers getting an inspection, requesting repairs, or asking for help with closing costs today. You need to be prepared to have those conversations. As Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, says:
“Today’s market is different than it was just six months ago. . . Sellers that want the contract to move forward should be willing to work with the buyer. . . Consider helping with the closing costs or addressing many of the items on the home inspection list.”
Price Your Home at Market Value
It’s not just that the number of homes for sale has grown this year. Buyer demand has also pulled back in light of higher mortgage rates. As a result, pricing your house appropriately so you can catch the eyes of serious buyers is important. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:
“Price your home realistically. This isn’t the housing market of April or May, so buyer traffic will be substantially slower, but appropriately priced homes are still selling quickly.”
You don’t want to overreach with your price and deter buyers. At the same time, you don’t want to undervalue your home and leave money on the table. This is another area where an agent’s expertise comes in handy.
Think About Your First Impression on Buyers
Buyers have more options and are more particular about their investment since it costs more to buy a home given today’s mortgage rates. As a result, you need to make sure your house shows well. As an article from realtor.com says:
“To stand out in the market, sellers should make their home attractive to buyers, which usually means some selective updates.”
This could include everything from staging the home, to making small cosmetic updates, tackling repairs, or undergoing renovations. A trusted real estate professional will help you assess what may be worthwhile to do compared to other recently sold homes in your area.
To sum it all up, your house should still sell today and move quickly if you’re realistic about today’s market. As a press release from Zillow puts it:
“. . . sellers need to do things right to attract the attention of these buyers — pricing their home competitively and making their listing attractive to online home shoppers.”
For expert advice on how to quickly sell your house in a shifting market, let’s connect.
More People Are Finding the Benefits of Multigenerational Households Today
If you’re thinking of buying a home and living with siblings, parents, or grandparents, then multigenerational living may be for you. The Pew Research Center defines a multigenerational household as a home with two or more adult generations. And the number of individuals choosing multigenerational living has increased over the past 50 years.
As you consider this option for your own home search, know it could help you on your homeownership journey and provide you with other incredible benefits along the way.
Living with Loved Ones Could Help You Achieve Your Homeownership Goals
There are several reasons people choose to live in a multigenerational household, and for many, the arrangement is a personal one. But according to the Pew Research Center, the top reason people choose to live together today is financial.
A recent study from Freddie Mac also finds more people are choosing to buy a home together so they can save money in the homebuying process. As the study says:
“. . . an increasing percentage of young adult first-time homebuyers are relying on support from older generations, including their parents, to buy a home together.”
For these individuals, combining their resources can help them achieve their dream of buying and owning a home. By pooling their incomes together to make that purchase, they may be able to afford a home they couldn’t on their own.
Other Key Benefits of Multigenerational Living
Not to mention, living in a home with loved ones can have other benefits too, like giving you more quality time to spend together. Darla Mercado, Certified Financial Planner and Markets Editor for CNBC.com, explains how this living arrangement can help on a personal and financial level:
“Residing with relatives can offer advantages . . . you can pool multiple streams of income, for instance. And in households with young children, grandparents can pitch in with child care.”
If this sounds like a great option for you, it’s important to work with a trusted real estate professional to discuss your needs. They can help you navigate the process to find the right home for you and your loved ones.
More people are discovering the benefits of multigenerational living. For the best information and help deciding what’s right for your personal situation, let’s connect and start the conversation today.
What’s Ahead for Mortgage Rates and Home Prices?
Now that the end of 2022 is within sight, you may be wondering what’s going to happen in the housing market next year and what that may mean if you’re thinking about buying a home. Here’s a look at the latest expert insights on both mortgage rates and home prices so you can make your best move possible.
Mortgage Rates Will Continue To Respond to Inflation
There’s no doubt mortgage rates have skyrocketed this year as the market responded to high inflation. The increases we’ve seen were fast and dramatic, and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate even surpassed 7% at the end of last month. In fact, it’s the first time they’ve risen this high in over 20 years (see graph below):
In their latest quarterly report, Freddie Mac explains just how fast the climb in rates has been:
“Just one year ago, rates were under 3%. This means that while mortgage rates are not as high as they were in the 80’s, they have more than doubled in the past year. Mortgage rates have never doubled in a year before.”
Because we’re in unprecedented territory, it’s hard to say with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here. Projecting the future of mortgage rates is far from an exact science, but experts do agree that, moving forward, mortgage rates will continue to respond to inflation. If inflation stays high, mortgage rates likely will too.
Home Price Changes Will Vary by Market
As buyer demand has eased this year in response to those higher mortgage rates, home prices have moderated in many markets too. In terms of the forecast for next year, expert projections are mixed. The general consensus is home price appreciation will vary by local market, with more significant changes happening in overheated areas. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:
“House price appreciation has slowed in all 50 markets we track, but the deceleration is generally more dramatic in areas that experienced the strongest peak appreciation rates.”
Basically, some areas may still see slight price growth while others may see slight price declines. It all depends on other factors at play in that local market, like the balance between supply and demand. This may be why experts are divided on their latest national forecasts (see graph below):
If you want to know what’s happening with home prices or mortgage rates, let’s connect so you have the latest on what experts are saying and what that means for our area.
Sell Your House Before the Holidays
As you look ahead to the winter season, you’re likely making plans and thinking about what you want to achieve before the year ends. One of those key decision points could be whether or not you want to move this year. If the location or size of your current home no longer meets your needs, finding a house that better suits your lifestyle may be a top priority for you. But with today’s cooling housing market, is it really a good time to sell your house, or should you wait?
If you’re ready to make your decision, here are three reasons you may want to consider selling before the holidays.
1. Get One Step Ahead of Other Sellers
Typically, in the residential real estate market, homeowners are less likely to list their houses toward the end of the year. That’s because people get busy around the holidays and deprioritize selling their house until the start of the new year when their schedules and social calendars calm down.
Selling now, while other homeowners may hold off until after the holidays, can help your house stand out. Start the process with a real estate professional today so you can get your house on the market and get ahead of your competition.
2. Get in Front of Serious Buyers This Season
Even though housing supply has increased this year as buyer demand has moderated, it’s still low overall. That means there aren’t enough homes on the market today, especially as the millennial generation reaches their peak homebuying years. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:
“While not the frenzy of 2021, the largest living generation, the Millennials, will continue to age into their prime home-buying years, creating a demographic tailwind for the housing market.”
Serious buyers will still be looking this winter and your house may be exactly what they’re searching for. If you work with an agent to list your house now, you’ll be able to get in front of the eager buyers who are hoping to make a move before the year ends.
3. Seize a Great Chance To Move Up
Don’t forget, today’s homeowners have record amounts of equity. According to CoreLogic, the average amount of equity per mortgage holder has climbed to almost $300,000. That’s an all-time high. That means the equity you have in your house right now could cover some, if not all, of a down payment on the home of your dreams.
And as you weigh the reasons to sell before winter, don’t lose sight of why you’re thinking about moving in the first place. Maybe it’s time to buy a house that’s in a better location for you, has the space you and your loved ones have been craving, or simply gives you that sense of home. A trusted real estate advisor can help you determine how much home equity you have and how you can use it to achieve your goal of making a move.
If you’re thinking about selling your house so you can find a home that better suits your needs, don’t delay your plans. Let’s connect so you can accomplish your goals before winter.