There are many reasons, both financial and non-financial, that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that it helps build family wealth. Recently, Freddie Mac wrote about the power of home equity. They explained:
"In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home's appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future."
They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10% ($15K), resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance).
The chart below demonstrates the home equity built after 7 years of making mortgage payments and assuming the historic national average of 3% per year home appreciation:
Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired by certain ages.
Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:
"Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you'd have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability."
Put your housing cost to work for you and your family. Meet with a real estate professional today to explore your options.
Montague Miller's website, www.montaguemiller.com, earned the certification after receiving high marks in a number of critical areas relating to website performance, including usability, design and content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by LeadingRE to review the websites of participating members.
Available only to firms affiliated with LeadingRE, the WQC is awarded based on specific measurements that are updated each year based on the latest in internet marketing strategies and evolving consuming preferences. To maintain the certification, companies must be re-certified every two years.
"We created the WQC to raise the bar in online marketing and recognize the companies that are demonstrating best practices with their websites," said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Pam O'Connor. "The 136 companies that earned the WQC this year have not only mastered the technical components, but they have also shown superiority in providing highly local content, up-to-the-minute information on homes, and responsive customer service."
"Over 90% of all homebuyers utilize the Internet during their home search. Montague Miller feels it is essential that all the tools for a home sale, or purchase, be made available and that those tools are relevant and timely.
"The WQC certification process enables Montague Miller to have the most up-to-date and informative website in the industry," said Pat Sury, Vice President of Relocation & Business Development.
In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take "nearly eight years" for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.
Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.
According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:
What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.
Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.