With the market perking up, more homes across the country are pitched as 'perfect for entertaining.'
In the years immediately following the housing bust in late 2007, real estate agents focused on functionality and facts, such as the square footage and condition of the house, to convince buyers that they were getting a good deal. Now with the market improving, sellers are seeking to establish an emotional connection with buyers by focusing on lifestyle features instead.
As a result, nearly 2 percent of homes on the market are described as "perfect for entertaining" — or one out of every 64 homes, according to an analysis by real estate brokerage ZipRealty. That is a 15 percent increase over the past year. ZipRealty examined listings in 24 major metro areas from the first quarter to the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
Experts weigh in on what's in store for real estate as the calendar turns.
The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on homebuyers' abilities to afford new homes.
Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead.
Beware of these sometimes-unexpected expenditures that pop up before you set foot in your new house.
Most of us have a basic understanding of what goes into buying a home. After saving enough for a down payment and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start your home search and make an offer once you’re ready. But before you ever set foot in that new house of yours, there are going to be quite a few costs that come up, many that you may not be expecting.
In order to prepare yourself, you should be fully aware of all the costs that go into buying a home. That way, you won’t be surprised at any point during the process.
These widely available programs can help you afford to buy a home.
Buying your first home is an exciting process, but it can also be a nerve-racking experience. You invest a lot of time and energy seeking the right home in the right neighborhood. Then the real challenge begins: financing it.
Getting a mortgage loan requires you to have enough money in the bank to pay all of the costs associated with closing the loan, plus enough left over to convince the lender that you can actually afford to pay a monthly mortgage payment.
Brass is back, as are a few design trends we've seen this past year.
Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.
Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads comes a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.
Here's what would-be home buyers can expect when attempting to qualify for a mortgage this coming year.
Despite predictions to the contrary, mortgage rates have hovered at historic lows for three years now. After the Federal Reserve spooked the markets last summer over its intentions to stop propping up the mortgage and bond markets, the 30-year fixed rate spiked, to an average of 4.6 percent. But by late October it had fallen to 4.1 percent, according to Freddie Mac. (Editor's note: It is back up to 4.6 percent this week.)
Improvement in the economy will boost rates but probably not before mid-2014. Many forecast that 30-year fixed rates will be above 5 percent by then. Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, however, says he thinks rates will bounce around 4 percent — give or take a quarter-point — for a while.
But home sales keep pace even as interest rates continue steady climb.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.46 percent this week, up from 4.29 percent, according to a statement on Thursday from Freddie Mac. The average 15-year rate rose to 3.47 percent from 3.3 percent, the McLean, Va.-based mortgage-finance company said.
For homes listed for less than $1 million, photo quality makes a difference.
With 92 percent of homebuyers using the Internet as part of their home search, listing photos are a critical factor in the selling price of your home, how quickly it sells and whether it sells at all.