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First Time Home Buyers | Blog

Tuesday, February 22, 2022   /   by Laura Miller Edwards Realty Group

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

In an annual Gallup poll, Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment. And it’s not the first time it’s topped the list, either. Real estate has been on a winning streak for the past eight years, consistently gaining traction as the best long-term investment (see graph below):
If you’re thinking about purchasing a home this year, this poll should reassure you. Even when inflation is rising like it is today, Americans agree an investment like real estate truly shines.
Why Is Real Estate a Great Investment During Times of High Inflation?
With inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of homeownership. Rising inflation means prices are increasing across the board. That includes goods, services, housing costs, and more. But when you purchase your home, you lock in your monthly housing payments, effectively shielding yourself from increasing ...

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  for buyers, real estate market, home buying, housing market updates, first time home buyers

Tuesday, January 11, 2022   /   by Laura Miller Edwards Realty Group

How Much Do You Need for Your Down Payment?

As you set out on your homebuying journey, you likely have a plan in place, and you’re working on saving for your purchase. But do you know how much you actually need for your down payment?
If you think you have to put 20% down, you may have set your goal based on a common misconception. Freddie Mac says:
“The most damaging down payment myth—since it stops the homebuying process before it can start—is the belief that 20% is necessary.”
Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. It may sound surprising, but today, that number is only 13%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers, whose median down payment is only 7% (see graph below):
What Does This Mean for You?
While a ...

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  for buyers, first time home buyers

Tuesday, December 7, 2021   /   by Laura Miller Edwards Realty Group

Tips for Single Homebuyers: How To Make Your Dream a Reality

If you’re living on your own and looking to buy a home, know that you can make your dream a reality with thoughtful planning and the right team of experts. Research from Freddie Mac shows 28% of all households (36.1 million) are sole-person, and that number is growing. Over the past 40 years, the number of sole-person households has nearly doubled, and that’s a trend that’s expected to continue. According to Freddie Mac:
“Our calculation suggests that there will be an additional 5 million sole-person households in the United States by the next decade. This means 42% of the household growth will be contributed by sole-person households, . . .”
If you fall into this category, here are three tips to help you achieve your homeownership goals.
1. Know Your Credit Score
When you buy a home on your own, you have to qualify for your loan based solely on your own finances and credit history. Inv ...

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  for buyers, home buying, first time home buyers

Tuesday, November 16, 2021   /   by Laura Miller Edwards Realty Group

Two Graphs That Show Why You Shouldn’t Be Upset About 3% Mortgage Rates

With the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac climbing above 3%, rising rates are one of the topics dominating the discussion in the housing market today. And since experts project rates will rise further in the coming months, that conversation isn’t going away any time soon.
But as a homebuyer, what do rates above 3% really mean?
Today’s Average Mortgage Rate Still Presents Buyers with a Great Opportunity
Buyers don’t want mortgage rates to rise, as any upward movement increases your monthly mortgage payment. But it’s important to put today’s average mortgage rate into perspective. The graph below shows today’s rate in comparison to average rates over the last five years:As the graph shows, even though today’s rate is above 3%, it’s still incredibly competitive.
But today’s rate isn’t just low when compared to the most recent years. To truly put toda ...

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  for buyers, home buying, housing market updates, mortgage rates, first time home buyers

Tuesday, November 2, 2021   /   by Laura Miller Edwards Realty Group

Knowledge Is Power When It Comes to Appraisals and Inspections

Buyers in today’s market often have questions about the importance of getting a home appraisal and an inspection. That’s because high buyer demand and low housing supply are driving intense competition and leading some buyers to consider waiving those contingencies to stand out in the crowded market.
But is that the best move? Buying a home is one of the most important transactions in your lifetime, and it’s critical to keep your best interests in mind. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the appraisal and the inspection, and why each one can potentially save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.
Home Appraisal
The home appraisal is a critical step for securing a mortgage on your home. As Home Light explains:
“. . . lenders typically require an appraisal to ensure that your loan-to-value ratio falls within their underwriting guidelines. Mortgages are secured loans where the lend ...

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  for buyers, home buying, home appraisel, first time home buyers, home inspections