Experts Give Tips On Turning A House Into A Home

When beginning a move many people feel scared, sad, or anxious that their new house or apartment may not feel like “home”, making the process less appealing. Experts have compiled a few tips that will help movers become more excited about their move, and make their new location feel like “home” very quickly. One idea is to add a home security system, which will help put you at ease if you are in a new area. Next, pack up your old house room by room so things will be easier to find, and set up things for your new home in a similar fashion to the old layout if desired. The look will seem familiar to you and help you feel more content. It is also suggested that you protect your belongings during the move by enlisting the help of family and friends. More here

Three Reasons Now Is Prime Time To Buy

According to experts, now is the time to buy a house. Data shows that 90% of Americans want to be homeowners when compared to the number of people preferring to rent. Experts have given three reasons why now is an optimal time to buy a home: Mortgage rates are down allowing more people the ability to afford loans, price growth is slowing, and many housing markets have recovered. More here

Mortgage Rates Fall To Lowest Level Seen This Year

Mortgage rates have dropped to the lowest level seen this year, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate report. The average national 30-year fixed-rate loan decreased 0.8% from last week averaging 4.21%. The average national 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell 0.7% from the previous week averaging 3.32%. According to the report, the U.S. had not seen rates this low since early November 2013 when mortgage rates hovered around 4.16% nationally. Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft said, “mortgage rates continued moving down following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields after a dismal report on real GDP growth in the first quarter.” More here

Young Renters Would Prefer To Own, But Fear They Will Not Qualify

Renter households have been on the rise and home-ownership has fallen among young people since the housing crisis. A new study from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey states that younger renters would rather own a home than rent for both financial and personal lifestyle reasons. The reason many younger people are renting is not by choice, according to the data. Potential first-time home-buyers have to deal with extremely high credit standards that in many cases can not be met. More here

Senators Work To Improve Reverse Mortgage Rules

Two senators are working to change specific reverse-mortgage rules in an effort to keep heirs safer from foreclosure. A growing number of heirs are facing foreclosure after receiving confusing information regarding their parent or grandparent’s reverse mortgage after the borrower has died. Senators Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer are pushing for the housing department to make heirs’ options more understandable and clear. More here

House Flipping Profits Increase

Profits from flipping homes are increasing. The profit for flipping a home has jumped 30% making the average sales price in this year’s first quarter $55,574 higher than the purchase price from last year, according to RealyTrac. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac said, “slowing home price appreciation early this year in many of the most popular flipping markets put some investors in danger of flying too close to the sun. But investors appear to have recalibrated their flipping strategy, accounting for the slower home price appreciation even if that means fewer flips. This is another good sign that this housing recovery is behaving much more rationally than the last housing boom, which was built largely on unfounded speculation rather than fact-based calculations.” Additionally, the average time to flip a house has increased 9 days from the previous quarter, averaging 101 days to complete the process. More here

Foreclosure Rates Fall

Foreclosure rates in the U.S. have fallen, according to current data. Home foreclosures decreased 37% year-over-year, averaging 720,000, down from 1.1 million in early 2013. CoreLogic’s most recent National Foreclosure Report states that there were approximately 48,000 complete foreclosures nationally last month, down 5,000 from this time last year. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic said, “the inventory of homes in foreclosure and serious delinquency status are back to 2008 levels, yet remain elevated from a historical perspective.” More here

Home Resales Show Slight Decline

Home sales in the U.S. hit the lowest levels seen in more than 1-1/2 years last month, according to the Nation Association of Realtors. Home sales have fallen 0.2% to an annual rate of approximately 4.9 million units. Although sales have slipped, experts do not expect this trend to continue. It is suggested that as the weather improves, home sales will pick up once again. Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities said, “the negative housing momentum, which was exacerbated by severe weather conditions during the winter months, may be starting to fade.” More here

Experts Reveal Ways To Save Energy In Your Home

Experts have compiled a list of ways that homeowners can lower their electricity bill, save energy, make their homes more comfortable, and reduce climate change impact and pollution. Doing simple things such as using ceiling fans, drawing the curtains during the heat of the day, and turning down the thermostat when you are not at home will save about 2% on your heating/cooling bill. Installing tankless water heaters and using incandescent lights are simple investments that will save money. Also, unplugging electronics not in use will further curb unnecessary energy expenditure. More here

Fitch Ratings Predicts Housing Market Growth This Year

Although the housing market has not yet made significant strides this year toward recovery, Fitch Ratings’ Chalk Line report suggests that, as the year continues, more growth and stability will be apparent. As the economy begins to gain momentum and job growth increases, the housing market will follow suit. Some factors that may negatively affect the housing market may be rising prices, low income levels and investor participation. Experts say it may be a slow start, but the housing market will soon level out and make profitable gains once again. More here