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With Affordability Up, Home Buyers are Starting to Return
Thanks to record low mortgage rates and declining home prices, 55 million families – or half of all U.S. households -- can afford today’s $200,000 median-priced new home, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
"That’s an increase of 17 million households from conditions just two years ago and the best housing affordability number we have seen in years," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. "We are now seeing the first signs that
U.S. averages as of April 30, 2009:
30 yr. fixed: 4.75%
15 yr. fixed: 4.48%
1 yr. adj: 4.77%
View current rates
buyers are returning to the marketplace."
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing home prices, mortgage rates and minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced
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Time To Move From
Renting To Owning
Falling housing prices, historically low interest rates, and tax credits are creating an enticing environment for renters to convert to homeowners.
"We are still going to have a tremendous amount of foreclosures, price declines, and best opportunities to buy properties at amazing prices," says Bruce Norris of The Norris Group.
If that sounds like a mixed bag of bad and good, indeed it is. Consumers have been inundated with news about a troubled real estate market. "If you look at the closings for California, 55 percent or more closings every month are lender-owned properties; that ratio has never existed before. So, the lenders are really dictating the prices at this point and there are so many lender-owned properties that the appraiser almost has no choice but to give that comp a lot of credence," says Norris. But the good news, especially for those who have been wanting to take the plunge into homeownership is that
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For many people, buying their own home is still the American dream. Yet, it remains out of reach for a lot of people, even though the housing affordability index in many areas of the country is as good as it has ever been. But if you're not prepared to buy a house, then the index doesn't mean a thing to you—except, perhaps, to create a painful sting and a constant reminder that you're missing out on a good opportunity to buy real estate at lower prices.
For those who are planning to stay in the same house for a few years, experts are advising now is the time move from renting to owning. The cost of buying and relocating in a short period (a couple years) can make the concept of buying not appealing or cost effective. But if it's for the long term, owning can make perfect sense. But what if you're a first-time buyer or you haven't owned a home in a while, how do you prepare for what is often the largest purchase you'll ever make? Buying a home isn't that difficult but it does require you to make sure that you're in the right financial (and emotional) position to do it. How do you get there when so many other expenses often take precedence? Simple but not necessarily easy steps can help you position to transition from renter to home
Green Remodeling Gets
'Not So Big' Approach
A decade ago, architect and "Not So Big" life style visionary Sarah Susanka started up the road to gurudom with a blueprint for living that extolled the values of living responsibly, sustainably and meaningfully.
She was ahead of her time.
Susanka nearly single-handedly, revolutionized the way people think about living spaces while prompting others to trade in the bigger-is-better approach for a livability-is-larger mantra.
The true feeling of home, she said from the beginning, is not about the kind of emotional lust that put the economy in a tailspin, but the need to tailor a home to fit the human form and the need to scale a house in proportions that serve real human functions.
Daily News and Advice
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