6 Things You’ll Love—and Hate—About Buying a Home This Spring

Welcome to the best—and worst—time to buy a home: spring! Yes, it’s peak home-buying season. However, it’s no bed of roses.

Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and can help you use these highs and lows to your advantage!

So consider this an essential prep course. Ready to dive into the best of times and the worst of times for home buying?

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Should You Buy a New Home Before Selling Yours?

For many, it’s an enviable situation: You own a house and have the ability to buy a new home before selling your current place.

But even if you have the cash — or can qualify for a second mortgage — you’ll want to consider a few pros and cons before making the offer. One big consideration: In a seller’s market where houses are going for (or even above) list price, making an offer that’s contingent on the sale of your current home can make it difficult to compete against first-time buyers.

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8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t Buy a Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your tryingtofindahomefirst—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters might waste money on “magical” weight-loss pills or silly exercise equipment (remember the shake weight?), misguided home buyers could be doing far more serious damage—like undermining their ability to purchase a house at all. Don’t be one of them! We asked real estate agents to shed light on some of the dumbest reasons people can’t buy a home. The good news? These flubs are easily avoidable.

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8 Rookie Mistakes That Keep People From Selling Their Home

If your home is struggling to catch the Orlando-home-price-reducedeye of a buyer, it could be for an entirely valid reason. Maybe you’re stuck in a sluggish market or have the poshest place on the block (always a tough sell). But there’s another possibility, too—your home could be sitting on the market because of a rookie selling mistake. All of us can make ’em, even those of us who actually have a few home sales under our belts.

The good news? These basic slip-ups can be easily corrected or avoided. To help you out, we spoke to real estate agents to identify some of the most common mistakes people make in trying to sell their home. Sidestep these flubs to avoid sabotaging your own sale.

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How to Play the Just Right Market

Too hot, too cold, too hot. For more than a 150420_REA_spring_main_realestatehouse2decade the housing market has been nowhere near its Goldilocks moment, a just-right rate of growth that offers opportunities for both buyers and sellers. By certain markers, we’re finally starting to get there: Home prices nationwide are expected to rise 4.9% on average this year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s closer than we’ve been in a while to the long-term average of 3.3%—and a lot more manageable than either the sharp drops of the bust years or the 12% spike we saw in 2013.

What does it all mean for you? If you’re a buyer, you don’t have to worry as much today about being priced out in a bidding war or by all-cash offers. Sellers who didn’t have enough equity in their homes just a few years ago to justify a move could find themselves in a much better position now. And renovators can still get low rates on home-equity loans and lines of credit. In short: If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, this may be the time to act—or at least to do some serious number crunching.

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The Benefits—and Dangers—of Serial Refinancing

Millions of Americans have taken Refinancing-home-mortgages-rebounded-higheradvantage of today’s record-low interest rates on home mortgages. With rates consistently dropping over the last four years, the housing market has spawned a new group of consumers: the serial refinancers.

But the heyday may not last much longer. The Mortgage Bankers Association projects rates will drift up in 2013, with the 30-year rate on a fixed mortgage rising above 4 percent by the middle of next year, which will curtail retail volume.

However, with interest rates currently hovering around 3.5 percent, now is an opportune time for many to refinance—so long as they land their best offer. Click here to read the article.