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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Home sales increased in July with lower mortgage rates

According to Bloomberg Business, new home sales increased the most of any month this year in July. Sales jumped by 5.4 percent to a 507,000 annualized rate from June's rate of 481,000, a Commerce Department report found.

With the U.S. economy strong and employment rates as high as they have been since the recession, demand for both new and existing homes is at a fever pitch. Low inventories have been keeping home prices rising consistently throughout the year.

Let your garden grow: 4 tips to boost your home's curb appeal by gardening

When it comes to curb appeal, there's no better way to catch the eye than with a well-kept garden on your front lawn. Strategic gardening will make your house look better to both prospective buyers and your own neighbors and guests. Here are a few tips to help you maximize the curb appeal your garden has to offer:

Market Preview: Housing Stays On Track As Rents Keep Rising


Home builders are as optimistic as ever. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose this month to its highest reading since November 2005.

Sentiment is driven by activity, and activity remains strong. Housing starts rose 0.2% to an annual rate of 1.21 million homes in July. Nearly all the gains were recorded in the important single-family component, which shot up 12.8% to 782,000 homes.

Home sales continue to climb toward the important 1.5 million annual average. Historically 1.5 million has been the marker that lets you know the economy is hitting its stride.

As for mortgage rates, we still think current rates are about good as it's going to get.

4 ways to get the home you want in a tight market

The housing market is tighter than it has been in years, with home prices rising and houses getting snapped up off the market as soon as they're put up for sale. This is good news for people who have been waiting for an opportunity to sell their homes for the amount they originally bought them for before the housing crisis. However, it also means that as a buyer, you'll be competing with a flood of other offers for the homes you want.

Here are a few strategies to make it more likely you'll be able to lock down your dream home:

4 tips for surviving a summer move

Most people who work in real estate would advise against moving during the summer, since it's the single busiest time of year for movers. Not only are parents with school-age children and college kids moving at this time, but the U.S. military does personnel relocations during the summer as well. 

"When I drove a moving truck, over 60 percent of our moves were military and were in the summertime, the same time that a lot of civilians want to make a move," mover Erik Christensen told

However, if a summer move is inevitable for you, you can still do some things to help it go more smoothly:

Market Preview: China Does it Again; Mortgage Rates Drift Lower


We’re lucky that mortgage rates aren’t rising on pace with China’s economic influence.

In fact, rates aren’t rising at all, because last week the People’s Bank of China devalued its’ currency twice in two days. This makes Chinese exports cheaper in the U.S. and Europe, while raising the cost of U.S. and European exports. It also caused the yield on the U.S. 10-year note to plunge. Amid these events, we firmly believe that the devalued yuan is keeping 15 and 30 year loans at rates under 4 percent.

Millennials are moving out of their parents' homes

In the wake of the Great Recession, more young adults began to move back home with their parents. There were many reasons for this, including a sluggish economy and high unemployment, and many millennials had just graduated college with high levels of student debt and needed to focus on paying it off. 

This had an effect on the number of young people who were looking to live independently and form their own households. According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, in 2007 71 percent of young adults lived on their own. This year, only 67 percent do.

Market Preview: Economic growth remains anemic/Will the fed raise rates?


GDP growth for the second quarter came in at a paltry 2.3%. Most economists were expecting 3%.

When these figures were released last Thursday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note drifted lower by 15 basis points. In turn, rates on most mortgages, particularly the 15 and 30-year loans, drifted lower. Depending on the market, sub-4% on the 30-year loan is well within reason.


But still, Federal Reserve's president Dennis Lockhart opined publicly last week that the economy could handle an increase in the fed funds rate in September. As for private-market traders - those who bet on interest-rate movements - the futures market priced in a 50% chance the Fed will raise the fed funds rate next month. But that was 2 weeks ago. Last week the same futures market priced in just a 33% chance.

Cost of renting leads millennials to consider buying

In recent years, new job opportunities, falling crime rates and a desire to live in an urban environment have given millennials plenty of reasons to move to U.S. cities. But this population shift has come at a cost — literally.

Rising demand for urban apartments has outstripped supply and is causing rents to rise at a rapid clip. Nationally, the typical worker between the ages of 22-34 paid 30 percent of his or her income for rent in the first quarter of 2015, which is generally considered to be the maximum that anyone should spend on rent. This is significantly higher than it was in 1979, when typical young renters paid 23 percent of their income.

4 signs you're ready to sell your home

Deciding to sell your home and move is a major financial and emotional decision, so you should only do it when you're sure you're absolutely ready. If you aren't sure you want to let go of your home, your indecisiveness can cause you to end up selling the home for less than it's worth. You need to make a definite decision that you are ready to let go of the home completely before putting it on the market.