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Two Questions To Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Buying a Home

Two Questions To Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Buying a Home Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking of buying a home, chances are you’re paying attention to just about everything you hear about the housing market. And you’re getting your information from a variety of channels: the news, social media, your real estate agent, conversations with friends and loved ones, overhearing someone chatting at the local supermarket, the list goes on and on. Most likely, home prices and mortgage rates are coming up a lot. 

To help cut through the noise and give you the information you need most, take a look at what the data says. Here are the top two questions you need to ask yourself about home prices and mortgage rates as you make your decision: 

1. Where Do I Think Home Prices Are Heading?

One reliable place you can turn to for that information is the Home Price Expectation Survey from Pulsenomics – a survey of a national panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. 

According to the latest release, the experts surveyed are projecting slight depreciation this year (see the red in the graph below). But here’s the context you need most. The worst home price declines are already behind us, and prices are actually appreciating again in many markets. Not to mention, the small 0.37% depreciation HPES is showing for 2023 is far from the crash some people originally said would happen.

Now, let’s look to the future. The green in the graph below shows prices have turned a corner and are expected to appreciate in 2024 and beyond. After this year, the HPES is forecasting home price appreciation returning to more normal levels for the next several years.

So, why does this matter to you? It means your home will likely grow in value and you should gain home equity in the years ahead, but only if you buy now. If you wait, based on these forecasts, the home will only cost you more later on.  

2. Where Do I Think Mortgage Rates Are Heading?

Over the past year, mortgage rates have risen in response to economic uncertainty, inflation, and more. We know based on the latest reports that inflation, while still high, has moderated from its peak. This is an encouraging sign for the market and for mortgage rates. Here’s why.

When inflation cools, mortgage rates generally fall in response. This may be why some experts are saying mortgage rates will pull back slightly over the next few quarters and settle somewhere around roughly 5.5 and 6% on average.

But, not even the experts can say with absolute certainty where mortgage rates will be next year, or even next month. That’s because there are so many factors that can impact what happens. So, to give you a lens into the various possible outcomes, here’s what you should consider:

  • If you buy now and mortgage rates don’t change: You made a good move since home prices are projected to grow with time, so at least you beat rising prices.
  • If you buy now and mortgage rates fall (as projected): You probably still made a good decision because you got the house before home prices appreciated more. And, you can always refinance your home later on if rates are lower.
  • If you buy now and mortgage rates rise: If this happens, you made a great decision because you bought before both the price of the home and the mortgage rate went up.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you need to know what’s expected with home prices and mortgage rates. While no one can say for certain where they’ll go, expert projections can give you powerful information to keep you informed. Lean on a trusted real estate professional who can add in an expert opinion on your local market.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Americans Still View Homeownership as the American Dream

Americans Still View Homeownership as the American Dream Simplifying The Market

Everyone’s interpretation of the American Dream is unique and personal. But, for many people, it’s tied to a sense of success, freedom, and prosperity. These are all things that owning a home can help provide.

A recent survey from Bankrate asked respondents which achievements they feel most embody the American Dream. The responses prove 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.

A recent report from MYND helps shed light on why so many people value homeownership. It finds:

“. . . nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) see homeownership as a means of building intergenerational wealth.

That’s because, when you own a home, your equity (and net worth) grows over time as you pay down your home loan and as home prices appreciate. This can be a key factor in building intergenerational wealth and long-term financial stability.

To further drive home the difference homeownership can make in your life, a report from Fannie Mae says:

“Most consumers (87%) believe owning a home is important to ‘live the good life.’ . . . Notably, significantly more see ‘having less stress’ as a benefit achieved by owning than renting.”

Especially today, this could be because, when you own a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you stabilize what’s likely your largest monthly expense (your housing cost), and that helps combat the impact of rising costs from inflation.

What Does This Mean for You?

While it may feel challenging to buy a home today with higher mortgage rates and home prices, if the time is right for you, know that when you buy a home, incredible benefits are waiting for you at the end of your journey.

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a significant and powerful choice, embodying the foundation of the American Dream. If you plan to make your homeownership dream a reality this year, take the first step by reaching out to a local real estate expert and start the process today.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Evaluating Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Matters More Today

Evaluating Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Matters More Today Simplifying The Market

When it comes to buying a home, especially with today’s affordability challenges, you’ll want to be strategic. Mortgage rates impact how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. And, to help offset the higher borrowing costs today, some homebuyers are taking a close look at their wish list and re-evaluating what features they really need in their next home to avoid overextending. As a recent NerdWallet article says:

“A pool, for example, may be nice to have, but it may not provide as much day-to-day value as a garage or a space for a home office . . .”

While that pool may be appealing, think twice on whether or not it’s really something you must have to be happy in your next home. Is getting that pool the main reason you’re moving? Probably not. It’s more likely a need for more space, a home office, or proximity to loved ones, friends, or work that’s motivating you to make a change.

So, if you’re looking to buy a home, take some time to consider what’s truly essential for you in your next house. Make a list of all the features you’ll want to see, and from there, work to break those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
  • Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Once you’ve categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss your top priorities with your real estate agent. Remember to think carefully about what’s a non-negotiable for your lifestyle and what’s a nice-to-have that’s more of an added bonus. Be sure to discuss where each feature falls with your agent. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your top needs.

Bottom Line

Putting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial planning step on your homebuying journey today. If you’re ready to find a home that fits your needs, connect with a local real estate advisor.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Why Homeownership Wins in the Long Run

Why Homeownership Wins in the Long Run Simplifying The Market

Today’s higher mortgage rates, inflationary pressures, and concerns about a potential recession have some people questioning: should I still buy a home this year? While it’s true this year has unique challenges for homebuyers, it’s important to think about the long-term benefits of homeownership when making your decision.

Consider this: if you know people who bought a home 5, 10, or even 30 years ago, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding someone who regrets their decision. Why is that? The reason is tied to how home values grow with time and how, by extension, that grows your own wealth. That may be why, in a recent Fannie Mae survey, 70% of respondents say they believe buying a home is a safe investment.

Here’s a look at how just the home price appreciation piece can really add up over the years.

Home Price Growth over Time

The map below uses data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to show just how noteworthy price gains have been over the last five years. And, since home prices vary by area, the map is broken out regionally to help convey larger market trends.

If you look at the percent change in home prices, you can see home prices grew on average by just over 56% nationwide over a five-year period.

Some regions are slightly above or below that average, but overall, home prices gained solid ground in a short time. And if you expand that time frame even more, the benefit of homeownership and the drastic gains homeowners made over the years become even clearer (see map below):

The second map shows, nationwide, home prices appreciated by an average of over 290% over a roughly 30-year span.

 This nationwide average tells you the typical homeowner who bought a house 30 years ago saw their home almost triple in value over that time. That’s a key factor in why so many homeowners who bought their homes years ago are still happy with their decision.

And while you may have heard talk in late 2022 that home prices would crash, it didn’t happen. Even though home prices have moderated from the record peak we saw during the ‘unicorn’ years, prices are already rebounding in many areas today. That means, in most markets, your home should grow in value over the next year.

The alternative to buying a home is renting, and rental prices have been climbing for decades. So why rent and deal with annual lease hikes for no long-term financial benefit? Instead, consider buying a home.

Bottom Line

If you’re questioning if it still makes sense to buy a home today, remember the incredible long-term benefits of homeownership. If you’re ready to start the conversation, reach out to a real estate professional today.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Homeownership Helps Protect You from Inflation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Homeownership Helps Protect You from Inflation [INFOGRAPHIC] Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Wondering if it makes sense to buy a home today even when inflation is high? When other costs go up due to inflation, buying a home helps you keep your monthly housing expense steady.
  • Rents typically increase with inflation. Maybe that’s why, according to a recent survey, 65.1% of landlords say they plan to raise the rent of at least one of their properties within the next 12 months.
  • Especially when inflation is up, having a stable housing payment can be helpful. Connect with a local real estate agent so you can learn more and start your journey to owning a home today.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


What Homebuyers Need To Know About Credit Scores

What Homebuyers Need To Know About Credit Scores Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you should know your credit score’s a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a home loan. Lenders review your credit to assess your ability to make payments on time, to pay back debts, and more. It’s also a factor that helps determine your mortgage rate. An article from Bankrate explains:

 “Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. Not just to qualify for the loan itself, but for the conditions: Typically, the higher your score, the lower the interest rates and better terms you’ll qualify for.”

This means your credit score may feel even more important to your homebuying plans right now since mortgage rates are a key factor in affordability, especially today. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the median credit score in the U.S. for those taking out a mortgage is 765. But, that doesn’t mean your credit score has to be perfect. An article from Business Insider explains generally how your FICO score range can make an impact:

“. . . you don’t need a perfect credit score to buy a house. . . . Aiming to get your credit score in the ‘Good’ range (670 to 739) would be a great start towards qualifying for a mortgage. But if you’re wanting to qualify for the lowest rates, try to get your score within the ‘Very Good’ range (740 to 799).” 

Working with a trusted lender’s the best way to get more information on how your credit score could factor into your home loan and the mortgage rate you’re able to get. As FICO says:

“While many lenders use credit scores like FICO Scores to help them make lending decisions, each lender has its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable. There is no single “cutoff score” used by all lenders and there are many additional factors that lenders may use to determine your actual interest rates.”

If you’re looking for ways to improve your score, Experian highlights some things you may want to focus on:

  • Your Payment History: Late payments can have a negative impact by dropping your score. Focus on making payments on time and paying any existing late charges quickly.
  • Your Debt Amount (relative to your credit limits): When it comes to your available credit amount, the less you’re using, the better. Focus on keeping this number as low as possible.
  • Credit Applications: If you’re looking to buy, don’t apply for other credit. When you apply for new credit, it could result in a hard inquiry on your credit that drops your score.

When you’re ready to start the homebuying process, a lender will be able to assess which range your score falls in and tell you more about the specifics for each loan type.

Bottom Line

With affordability challenges today, prioritizing ways you can have a positive impact on your credit score could help you get a better mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, connect with a trusted lender.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Saving for a Down Payment? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Saving for a Down Payment? Here’s What You Need To Know. Simplifying The Market

If you’re planning to buy your first home, then you’re probably focused on saving for all the costs involved in such a big purchase. One of the expenses that may be at the top of your mind is your down payment. If you’re intimidated by how much you need to save for that, it may be because you believe you must put 20% down. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

And a recent Freddie Mac survey finds:

. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.”

Here’s the good news. Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. This means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize.

According to NAR, the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, the median down payment for all homebuyers today is only 14%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 6% (see graph below):

What does this mean for you? It means you may not need to save as much as you originally thought.

Learn About Options That Can Help You Toward Your Goal

And it’s not just how much you need for your down payment that isn’t clear. There are also misconceptions about down payment assistance programs. For starters, many people believe there’s only assistance available for first-time homebuyers. While first-time buyers have many options to explore, repeat buyers have some, too.

According to Down Payment Resource, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and the majority are intended to help with down payments. That same resource goes on to say:

You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 38% of all programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.

Plus, there are even loan types, like FHA loans with down payments as low as 3.5% as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

If you’re interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, information is available through sites like Down Payment Resource. Then, partner with a trusted lender to learn what you qualify for on your homebuying journey.

Bottom Line

Remember, a 20% down payment isn’t always required. If you want to purchase a home this year, reach out to a trusted real estate professional to start the conversation about your homebuying goals.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


How Owning a Home Grows Your Wealth with Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Owning a Home Grows Your Wealth with Time [INFOGRAPHIC] Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, be sure to factor in the long-term benefits of homeownership.
  • Over time, homeownership allows you to build equity. On average, nationwide home prices appreciated by 290.2% over the last 32 years.
  • That means your net worth can grow significantly in the long term when you own a home. Reach out to a real estate professional so you can start your homebuying journey today.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Are Home Prices Going Up or Down? That Depends…

Are Home Prices Going Up or Down? That Depends… Simplifying The Market

Media coverage about what’s happening with home prices can be confusing. A large part of that is due to the type of data being used and what they’re choosing to draw attention to. For home prices, there are two different methods used to compare home prices over different time periods: year-over-year (Y-O-Y) and month-over-month (M-O-M). Here’s an explanation of each. 

Year-over-Year (Y-O-Y):
  • This comparison measures the change in home prices from the same month or quarter in the previous year. For example, if you’re comparing Y-O-Y home prices for April 2023, you would compare them to the home prices for April 2022.
  • Y-O-Y comparisons focus on changes over a one-year period, providing a more comprehensive view of long-term trends. They are usually useful for evaluating annual growth rates and determining if the market is generally appreciating or depreciating.
Month-over-Month (M-O-M):
  • This comparison measures the change in home prices from one month to the next. For instance, if you’re comparing M-O-M home prices for April 2023, you would compare them to the home prices for March 2023.
  • Meanwhile, M-O-M comparisons analyze changes within a single month, giving a more immediate snapshot of short-term movements and price fluctuations. They are often used to track immediate shifts in demand and supply, seasonal trends, or the impact of specific events on the housing market.

The key difference between Y-O-Y and M-O-M comparisons lies in the time frame being assessed. Both approaches have their own merits and serve different purposes depending on the specific analysis required.

Why Is This Distinction So Important Right Now? 

We’re about to enter a few months when home prices could possibly be lower than they were the same month last year. April, May, and June of 2022 were three of the best months for home prices in the history of the American housing market. Those same months this year might not measure up. That means, the Y-O-Y comparison will probably show values are depreciating. The numbers for April seem to suggest that’s what we’ll see in the months ahead (see graph below):

That’ll generate troubling headlines that say home values are falling. That’ll be accurate on a Y-O-Y basis. And, those headlines will lead many consumers to believe that home values are currently cascading downward.

However, on a closer look at M-O-M home prices, we can see prices have actually been appreciating for the last several months. Those M-O-M numbers more accurately reflect what’s truly happening with home values: after several months of depreciation, it appears we’ve hit bottom and are bouncing back.

Here’s an example of M-O-M home price movements for the last 16 months from the CoreLogic Home Price Insights report (see graph below):

Why Does This Matter to You?

So, if you’re hearing negative headlines about home prices, remember they may not be painting the full picture. For the next few months, we’ll be comparing prices to last year’s record peak, and that may make the Y-O-Y comparison feel more negative. But, if we look at the more immediate, M-O-M trends, we can see home prices are actually on the way back up.

There’s an advantage to buying a home now. You’ll buy at a discount from last year’s price and before prices start to pick up even more momentum. It’s called “buying at the bottom,” and that’s a good thing.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about what’s happening with home prices, or if you’re ready to buy before prices climb higher, connect with a local real estate agent.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs


Real Estate Is Still Considered the Best Long-Term Investment

Real Estate Is Still Considered the Best Long-Term Investment Simplifying The Market

With all the headlines circulating about home prices and rising mortgage rates, you may wonder if it still makes sense to invest in homeownership right now. A recent poll from Gallup shows the answer is yes. In fact, real estate was voted the best long-term investment for the 11th consecutive year, consistently beating other investment types like gold, stocks, and bonds (see graph below):

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, let this poll reassure you. Even with everything happening today, Americans recognize owning a home is a powerful financial decision.

Why Do Americans Still Feel So Positive About the Value of Investing in a Home?

Purchasing real estate has typically been a solid long-term strategy for building wealth in America. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:

“. . . homeownership is a catalyst for building wealth for people from all walks of life. A monthly mortgage payment is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter.”

That’s because owning a home grows your net worth over time as your home appreciates in value and as you pay down your mortgage. And, since building that wealth takes time, it may make sense to start as soon as you can. If you wait to buy and keep renting, you’ll miss out on those monthly housing payments going toward your home equity.

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a powerful decision. So, it’s no wonder so many people view real estate as the best long-term investment. If you’re ready to start on your own journey toward homeownership, connect with a local real estate advisor today.

     

JERRY TORRES’
TEAM

Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #365615



THE PERFORMANCE TEAM





Cell: (626) 269-9945

Fax: (800) 339-5004

Team@JerryTorres.Pro

https://www.JerryTorres.Pro/

#TechieLoanOriginator | #JerryTorresPro


Prime & NON-Prime Home Loans | Bank Statement Loans | ITIN | HELOCs