Homeownership is still a crucial part of the American dream. For those people who own a home (and those looking to buy one), it's clear that being a homeowner has considerable benefits both emotionally and financially. In addition to long-term stability, buying a home is one of the best ways to increase your net worth. This boost to your wealth comes in the form of equity.
Equity is the difference between what you owe on the home and its market value based on factors like price appreciation.
The best thing about equity is that it often grows without you even realizing it, especially in a seller's market like we're in now. In today's real estate market, the combination of low housing supply and high buyer demand is driving home values up. This is giving homeowners a significant equity boost.
According to the latest data from CoreLogic, the amount of equity homeowners have has continued to grow as home values appreciate. Here are some key takeaways from the Homeowner Equity Insights Report:
If you're already a homeowner, you likely have more equity in your house than you realize. The numbers in the map above reflect year-over-year growth. If you've been in your home for longer than a year, you'll likely have even more equity than that. That equity can take you places. You can use the equity you've gained to fuel your next move, achieve other life goals, and more.
On the other hand, if you haven't purchased a home yet, understanding equity can help you realize why homeownership is a worthwhile goal. Homeowners across the nation gained an average of over $50,000 in equity this year. Don't miss out on this chance to grow your net worth.
If you want to learn more, connect with a trusted advisor who can help you understand where home prices are today, how they contribute to a homeowner's net worth, and the impact equity can have when you own a home.
Resources by Keeping Current Matters, CoreLogic
HGTV and home renovation shows may be entertaining, but they're not always accurate. In particular, most of them skip over the important ways real estate agents can help homeowners.
In the real world, agents play a huge role in home purchases, sales and even flips.
Are you planning to make a real estate move this year? Here are just a few of the ways an agent can help make the experience a success.
Experience and Local Knowledge
Agents know how to draw up your contracts, handle the paperwork and save you valuable time (which is vital in today's busy market). We also have on-the-ground knowledge of the local market, which can help you better evaluate properties, make offers and negotiate pricing.
Negotiation Skills and Key Partners
Experienced agents also know how to negotiate successfully and can leverage inspection results, sales reports and other data to get you the best bang for your buck — whether you're buying or selling.
Working with an agent also provides access to deep professional networks, which comes in handy when it's time to find an inspector, contractor, financial adviser, mortgage lender, real estate attorney and other partners on your journey.
Finally, agents know all about home values — as well as what features, amenities and styles can increase your property value down the line.
There's no need to navigate a stressful, complex and high-stakes process alone when you could have a knowledgeable and compassionate agent working on your behalf.
Do you want help with your next home sale, purchase or fix-and-flip? Get in touch today.
In today's busy market, many homebuyers have found themselves weighing options they would normally pass by. One of the more common compromises is to consider a home that needs some work.
On the plus side, fixer-uppers often come with lower prices, less competition, and a lower-pressure sale on the whole. Still, they're not without challenges.
Are you considering a fixer-upper? Here are five things to think about first.
1. You may need an alternative mortgage program. If you want to finance the home purchase and the renovations and repairs the property needs, you might consider loans like the FHA 203(k) loan or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan. Your loan officer can help you choose the best option for your purchase.
2. There may be appraisal and inspection issues. If the home is in disrepair, you might face challenges with your inspection or appraisal. This is especially true if you're using an FHA, USDA or VA loan, as properties must meet strict requirements with these programs.
3. You should have a backup living space. You might not want to end your lease or sell your existing home just yet. If the property needs serious repairs or renovations, you'll probably need to live off-site until they're complete.
4. You may want to bring a contractor along when you tour the home. This will help you gauge what repairs might be necessary and how much they'll likely cost.
5. Be prepared for problems below the surface. Not all issues will be visible in a fixer-upper. There may be major problems lurking below the surface (like mold or termites, for example) that won't crop up until later. Make sure you leave wiggle room in your budget to account for these potential surprises.
Fixer-uppers are just one of the many options you have when buying a home. Have questions or need more help with your homebuying journey? Reach out to one of our Montague Miller & Co real estate professionals for guidance.