home affordability - Articles

Homebuying Factors that Mortgage Calculators Miss

ShutterstockThere's more to affording a home than figuring a loan payment. By Christine DiGangi If you're thinking about buying a home, you've probably used -- or at least heard of -- a mortgage calculator. These nifty tools can help you figure out the price range of homes you may be able to afford and estimate your... Continue Reading »

Home Affordability Likely Hit Record High in 2012

2012 will probably go down as the most affordable year on record for homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. A combination of depressed home prices and rock-bottom interest rates created perfect-storm home buying conditions that Americans may not see again for decades, experts say. NAR's Housing... Continue Reading »

Trifecta of Good News Boosts Real Estate Market

In what may go down as a banner day for the housing market, three pieces of good news out today point to the possibility of a recovery on multiple fronts. Homebuilder confidence hit a five-year high, while housing affordability -- an index based on the relationship between median home prices, median family incomes, and... Continue Reading »

Homebuying: 5 Key Steps to Your 1st Real Estate Purchase

Serious about buying a home? It's important first to know your finances, get a solid grasp on the kind of loans available, and acquaint yourself with some homebuying strategies. Here are five essential steps to getting a sure-footed start on shopping for your first home. 1. Know what you can... Continue Reading »

Home Affordability: How Much House (or Apartment) Can I Handle?

A major cause of the recent housing crisis is the number of homeowners who ended up purchasing property and saddled with loans that, it turned out, they couldn't really afford. To avoid that trap, some key questions in determining how much home you can afford are: How much can you pay monthly? What are... Continue Reading »

For 1st-Time Homebuyers: 3 Essential House-Hunting Guides

With spring buying season kicking into gear, first-time homebuyers face a market that is brimming with what could be once-in-a-lifetime deals. Home prices are about 34 percent below where they sat just prior to the housing bust, and interest rates continue to hover near record lows. Affordability is the watchword of the... Continue Reading »

1 in 4 Spend More Than Half of Income on Housing, Study Says

In the wake of the housing bust, almost 1 in 4 working families spend more than half their income on housing costs, according to a new study. The study by the Center for Housing Policy found that both homeowners and renters continue to struggle with housing costs since the market tanked in 2008. Between 2008 and 2010,... Continue Reading »

Home Affordability at Record High, Builders' Report Says

Recently released data suggests that borrowers could be looking at once-in-a-lifetime deals, as rock-bottom prices and record-low interest rates continue to create perfect storm buying conditions. Numbers released by the National Association of Home Builders on Thursday indicate that home affordability has hit a 20-year... Continue Reading »

Home Affordability Hits 40-Year High, Report Says

Lending standards may be rigid and home prices tottering, but the silver lining of the housing bust continues to twinkle at homebuyers. Homes are now more affordable than they've been in 40 years, reports the Housing Predictor news site. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has just affirmed that Americans... Continue Reading »

What Multimillion Dollar Homes Sales Mean for Us

Happy days are here again, at least for the sellers of multimillion dollar homes. After four solid years of penny-pinching, the rich are opening their pocket-books to buy real estate. Cash sales are on the rise. Sales of multimillion dollar homes and condos are up in all 20 major U.S. metro areas, some of which have seen... Continue Reading »

Cheap Mortgage Rates: Don't Miss Out

With cheap mortgage rates topping 5 percent for the first time since April 2010, it's time to start getting serious if you're thinking of buying a home. While rates are still historically low, as the government begins to make decisions about what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you can be certain of one thing --... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Worth More Than Renters

Homeowners may finally have something to smile about. A report by the National Association of Realtors reveals that homeowners' net worth is roughly 41 times that of the average renter. In dollars and cents, the group estimates that the average homeowner's net worth ranges from $150,000 to $200,000, thanks primarily to... Continue Reading »

Negative Equity: Options If You're Upside Down in Your Mortgage

More Americans find themselves in a position of negative equity -- owing more on a mortgage than the home is currently worth. By itself, negative equity isn't necessarily trouble. Those who can afford their monthly mortgage payments and have a safe loan structure can wait out the market until home values improve. For... Continue Reading »

Refis Boom on Low Mortgage Rates

Danny Kofke, a special education teacher and father of two who lives just outside of Atlanta, Ga., saw interest rates drop and decided to make his move. Twice. Kofke refinanced his mortgage twice in the past three years, switching from a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.5 percent to a 20-year mortgage at 5.5 percent in... Continue Reading »

Nantucket Residents Sink as Wealthy Trim Sails

The median list price for a home in Nantucket at the beginning of July was $1.695 million, a number most year-round residents on the popular vacation island off the coast of Massachusetts can't afford. It has often been said that their are two economies in Nantucket, and the full-time residents of Nantucket are likely... Continue Reading »

Buy vs. Rent: Now Buying Is Cheaper in Big Cities

Credit Suisse is putting numbers to something we already suspect: The gap between the cost of owning and renting an apartment has halved in the past two years. In some locations, it's even cheaper to rent an apartment than to own. In a research report, the firm says the percentage of median household income needed to pay... Continue Reading »

Debt to Income Ratios, Diving Deeper

Of all the important numbers to consider when applying for a home loan, one should be known at the start by homebuyers: your debt to income ratio. Debt to income ratio, or DTI, is actually two numbers: a front-end ratio and a back-end ratio. These practical, helpful numbers are a dependable guide to helping you understand... Continue Reading »

Defaulting Our Way Back To Normal

Robert Shiller, he of the Case-Shiller Housing Index, wrote in the last Newsweek issue of 2009, "My data show that between 1890 and 1990 real home prices actually didn't increase. " Say what? It's true. If you look at U. S. home prices over an entire century, corrected for inflation, they don't change much, if any, until... Continue Reading »

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