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Six Signs That You'reReady To Buy Figuring out whether you're ready to buy a house -- whether you're a renter or are aiming to move up or size down -- can be a daunting task. But there are signs that will indicate whether you're ready to take the buying plunge. If you are thinking about buying, you're not alone. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the housing market has reached a new plateau. "Over the last few years, it's become apparent that the level of home sales will generally remain at higher levels than what was common in the mid-1990s," he said. "The
Mortgage Rates U.S. averages as of May 27, 2004:30 yr. fixed: 6.32%15 yr. fixed: 5.69%1 yr. adj: 3.87%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
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fundamental change is a growing population with a rising number of households entering the age in which people typically buy their first home. In short, we have the need, desire and ability for people to buy homes."
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In A Boom Market, What Does Properly Priced Mean? In a market where demand is strong and it has become more difficult to figure out how much buyers are willing to spend, how do real estate agents determine the right asking price for a house? It has never been an exact science. These days, agents often find themselves starting at a higher price than is borne out by the facts and go from there. Supply and demand, of course, dictate asking price. Obviously, if the supply is low, the asking price will have to be adjusted upward to meet it. In general, though, the asking price is a balance obtained by considering a neighborhood and the sale prices of comparable houses within the context of market conditions. Demand in some areas of the country is so strong that agents put up a number and someone pays it because the buyer fears that the asking price will be higher next week. Out-of-town investors often help to further inflate prices. Some current markets have shades of the late 1980s, when property
When You And Your Spouse Can't Agree On A House She adores the kitchen; he hates the back yard. Or he loves the proximity to work but she thinks they need an extra bedroom. In today's real estate environment, with many regions of the country in hot sellers' markets, agreeing on a house can potentially be a relationship test for some couples. Compromising, keeping a level head, and being objective are key for house-hunting couples. And the experts say the house hunters should be out in hordes this year. David Lereah, the National Association of Realtor's chief economist, said the housing market could defy expectations this year. "Currently, we are projecting that home sales will decline slightly, but they remain at exceptionally high levels," Lereah said. "With a strong underlying demand for housing from a growing population in a recovering economy, we could be flirting with another record this year." With the spring season kicking into high gear, sellers have the advantage in many markets. If you and your spouse find yourself searching for a house in a tight sellers' market, then agreeing on a house will likely be even tougher than under normal conditions. Some things to keep in mind to help you evaluate each house you and your spouse are considering:
The Best Place To Spend Money Is The Kitchen A sentiment on the wall of a friend's kitchen sums up the importance of this part of the house to the typical consumer: "No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best." Whether you are building or remodeling, it seems there is no better place to spend money than on the kitchen. Some call it the "Grand Central Station of family life." The kitchen has come a long way from the days when our grandmothers isolated themselves there for hours preparing meals from scratch, but consumers continue to demand improvement in efficiency and style.
CONTINUED >>>Local Market Conditions
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