April 2015

There are 21 blog entries for April 2015.

5 Tech Questions that Seniors Should Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent | Keeping Current Matters

We are pleased to have Nikki Buckelew back as our guest blogger for today’s post. Nikki has extensive experience working with seniors and is the Founder & CEO of the Senior Real Estate Institute. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew 

If you have not bought or sold a home in a few years (or maybe decades) it is likely that there are more than a few new trends in real estate that you will encounter as you begin to interview real estate agents.

One particular trend now common among many real estate brokerage firms is called the practice of “going paperless.” This can be a bit scary for some people, especially senior adults who are not accustomed to using computers in their personal or professional lives.

If you are one of the many with reservations about the

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The Deal of the Century?? | Keeping Current Matters

Recently, Freddie Mac published a blog post titled Mortgage Rates: Still the Deal of the Century. They explained that, if you are planning to purchase a home, now may be the time:

“If you are in the market to buy a home, today's average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971.”

And they let their readers know that there is no guarantee that rates will remain this low:

“Over the past few years, we've enjoyed a long run of historically low mortgage rates. While no one expects them to change dramatically overnight, they are expected to head up. Most experts agree that mortgage rates will drift up in the coming months to end the year approaching 4.50%... Buying a home is a big investment – perhaps

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This Advice on Homeownership Hasn’t Changed in 200 Years | Keeping Current Matters

Last month, we reported that billionaire John Paulson believes in the financial advantages of homeownership. He has often repeated:

"I think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you're the owner-occupier of.”

However, he has not been the only billionaire to give such advice. As a matter of fact, that same advice has been given by people of wealth throughout the history of our nation.

Here is a quote often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States and billionaire real estate developer:

“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate … adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of

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There’s No Place Like Home | Keeping Current Matters

Last week, we reported on the financial reasons purchasing a home in today’s market makes sense. 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

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Home Sales Skyrocketing!! | Keeping Current Matters

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report. The numbers shocked many analysts as they revealed a 10.4% increase over the same month last year.

This is the highest number of sales since September 2013. Sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and the 10.4% increase is the highest annual increase since August 2013. March's sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, explained:

"After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country in March. The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing

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Good News for ‘Typical’ Home Buyers | Keeping Current Matters

In a speech delivered earlier this year, Secretary for HUD Julián Castro, called 2015 “A Year of Housing Opportunity”. A recent report by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that investment home sales decreased 7.4% in 2014 to an estimated 1.02 million.

What does this mean for the ‘typical’ homebuyer?

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist gave some insight:

“Despite strong rental demand in many markets, investment property sales have declined four consecutive years to their lowest share since 2010 as rising home prices and fewer distressed properties coming onto the market have further reduced the number of bargains available to turn into profitable rentals.”

This is great news for the housing market. If fewer properties

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We Need You(r House)!! | Keeping Current Matters

Though the real estate market has improved, we still have one item holding it back from a full recovery – a robust supply of homes for sale. Demand has increased dramatically. At the same time, housing inventory is decreasing especially at the lower price points.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed that there is a pent-up seller demand caused by the uncertainty created by the housing crisis of the last decade.

What does that mean to you?

Houses listed today sell quickly. With prices still below peak values of 2007 in many parts of the country and mortgage interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time for your family to make the move to the dream house you always wanted – whether that’s a larger home or

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Housing Market: Freddie Mac Remains Optimistic | Keeping Current Matters

The April 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook from Freddie Mac revealed that they are optimistic about the real estate market in 2015. As a matter of fact, the sub-title of the report was “Great Expectations”.

What made Freddie Mac so optimistic? Here are a few highlights from the report:

“For the remainder of the year we should see a resumption of solid economic growth and acceleration in housing activity. Notwithstanding a disappointing March jobs report the acceleration is already underway.”

“With spring upon us, housing markets are poised to accelerate and we expect the best year for home sales since 2007. Despite harsh winter weather to start the year, home sales through February are only off from the 2013 pace by 7,000 sales...

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