Forget the Double Dip: 3 Good Reasons to Buy a House Anyway

Last Updated May 31, 2011 10:48 AM EDT The stream of depressing housing numbers continues to roll in. The closely watched Case Schiller index of housing prices dropped below its April 2009 low, indicating that housing is now officially in a double dip nationwide, and 31% below its peak in the spring of 2006. That's discouraging news for the economy, since homeowners aren't likely to feel like splurging if their biggest asset is crashing and they're under water on their mortgage. And the farther under water you get, the greater the the temptation to walk away from your mortgage, dumping more inventory on an already glutted market. It's hard to find a lot of good news in all this. Still, it's an ill wind that blows no one any good, and there is one group that stands to benefit from the housing market's travails: Buyers. Only problem: They don't seem to care. A New York Times story this morning suggests that not only are many potential buyers frozen out of the market-stuck in underwater mortgages, unemployed, or unable to qualify for mortgages-but even those who could buy don't want to go into hock to acquire a depreciating asset. The Times quotes one such "renter by choice:"Susan Lindsey, a San Diego software programmer, was once eagerly waiting for the housing market to crash. She said she would have no guilt about swooping in on some foreclosed owner who had bought a place he could not afford. With prices now down by a third, however, she is content to stay in her $2,500-a-month rented house. She prefers to invest in gold, which she has been buying since 2003. You can judge for yourself the wisdom of an investor turning up her nose at an asset that is now 31% cheaper than it was in 2006 so that she can buy one that is 150% more expensive. But it's not hard to imagine her feeling very comfortable making the opposite trade five years ago. Human nature is predictable, if not always optimized for investment success. If, unlike Susan Lindsey, you are considering Continue Reading

This shocking graph is the reason why young people can’t afford to buy a house

THE chances of a young adult on a middle income owning a home in the UK has more than halved in the past two decades. The biggest collapse in home-ownership since 1996 has been among 25-34 year olds who earn between £22,200 - £30,600 a year after tax according to a report.# The Institute of Fiscal Studies found a third of this group are university graduates and almost two thirds have children. Experts said the number of homeowners had plummetted the furthest in the South East as well as across every region in Britain. IFS senior research fellow Andrew Hood said: “For those on middle incomes, their chances of owning their own home have fallen from 2 in 3 in the mid-1990s to just 1 in 4 today. How to get help buying a houseTHERE are several government schemes available to help you get on the housing ladder. Help to Buy loan: This scheme is for those who have a 5 per cent deposit, and is only available on new-build properties that are worth less than £600,000. The government lends you up to 20 per cent of the property value (interest-free for the first five years) which gives you access to cheaper mortgages. You will need to pay this back at the end of the mortgage or when you sell. Starter Homes: First-time buyers under the age of 40 can access this new scheme. You’ll get a 20 per cent discount on the market value of the property (new-build only) but you cannot sell or let the property for five years after you buy it. Shared ownership: This scheme is available to non-homeowners who earn £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 in London). People can buy a share of a home from a housing association and continue to rent the remainder. Buyers will need a ten per cent deposit as well as money to cover stamp duty and other fees. You’ll also need to find a mortgage lender that is willing to lend on shared ownership properties “The reason for this is that house prices have risen around seven times faster in Continue Reading

How to Buy a House That Hasn’t Been Built Yet

Hal M. Bundrick, CFP, NerdWallet Published 7:00 am, Tuesday, February 27, 2018 This article was first published on Trisha and Dennis Rawlings, a couple in their early 30s, are moving to suburban Chicago and leaving their over-60-year-old first home in the St. Louis area behind. “We were looking at potentially buying a house,” Trisha says. But in the area where they want to live, the options within their budget were limited to purchasing an older home or building a new one. The couple loved the features of a modern, new-construction neighborhood with a pool, a clubhouse and excellent walkability. And taking out a construction loan and building a house means they’ll avoid the ongoing maintenance that comes with an older home. Recommended Video: Now Playing: It was a best seller on day one - with some buying in bulk! Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" flew off the shelves on Friday in the United States. Its release has been brought forward after published excerpts this week set off a political firestorm, and following threats by President Donald Trump's lawyers of legal action to halt publication. Book Culture , an independent book seller in New York's Upper West Side neighbourhood, made sure that there were plenty of copies for its customers to peruse and purchase. "Luckily, the president tweets a lot so he has kind of stirred up his own publicity for a book that's not positive in his liking," said shop manager Nick Buzanski. "But yeah, we did realise quickly in the last couple of days that we needed to get as many copies as possible." As for the motives of some of those parting with their cash, customer Beth Dubon was frank as she headed off with her copy of the book. "I didn't generally intend to buy it, but I heard that it pissed the president off, so I decided to buy it," she said. Across the Atlantic, just 20 copies were on bookshop shelves across the whole of the UK on Friday. Continue Reading

Hope to Buy a House Together Someday? Pop These 5 Questions Now

If you and your partner are dreaming of buying a home together one day, you'd better ask these five questions now to see where you stand. Audrey Ference, provided by Published 5:30 am, Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images Hope to Buy a House Together Someday? Pop These 5 Questions Now 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Love may be blind, but if you and your significant other hope to buy a home together someday, it's important to go in with your eyes open. That can mean you'll need to pop some questions about money—right now. "Couples often go house shopping first before they even think about the mortgage," said Chris Lewis of Angel Oak Home Loans. "But that's like getting married before your first date!" Talking about finances with your partner can be uncomfortable, but let's face it, while you may love her quirky sense of humor or his sunny smile, a lender is looking only at the cold, hard numbers. And even if your finances are in order, if your partner's aren't, it could jeopardize your home-buying dreams. "When a couple purchases a home together, lenders will assess the couple’s ability to purchase jointly," explains Lewis. "One person’s credit or income could affect the couple's ability to qualify for a mortgage at all." So before you start hitting open houses, make sure to ask these questions to help you size up the person you love like a lender would. Home & Real Estate Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Real estate broker Julio Ruiz Los Angeles Times This Bamboo Treehouse Is the Most Wished-for Airbnb in Hawaii Time Is A-Rod Planning To Marry J. Lo? Wochit International buyers Orlando Sentinel You Can Continue Reading

$216,181: That’s the household income needed to buy a house in San Jose metro area, report says

(Google Maps image) The median house price in the San Jose area as defined in the report is $1.165 million. The houses in this gallery sold for close to that price in recent weeks. This is 5655 Croydon Avenue, in San Jose's Princeton Plaza neighborhood; $1.12 million, 1425 square feet, 2 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 1243 Redoaks Drive (Winchester/Hamilton), San Jose. $1.135 million, 1718 square feet, 3 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 1273 Blewett Ave. (Willow Glen), San Jose. $1.17 million, 1185 square feet, 2 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 1839 Rochelle Drive (Leigh/Curtner), San Jose. $1.155 million, 1226 square feet, 3 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 3366 Norwood Ave. (Lake Cunningham), San Jose. $1.143 million, 1993 square feet, 4 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 4898 Wellington Park Drive (Martial Cottle Park), San Jose. $1.11 million, 2124 square feet, 4 bedrooms. 2404 Lindbergh (San Jose City College), San Jose. $1.175 million, 1389 square feet, 3 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 1583 Shaw Ave. (Hillsdale/Meridian), San Jose. $1.17 million, 1782 square feet, 2 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) 3488 Gavota Ave. (Hillsdale/Meridian), San Jose. $1.125 million, 1155 square feet, 3 bedrooms. 15035 Union Ave. (at Highway 85), San Jose. $1.2 million, 2001 square feet, 4 bedrooms. (Google Maps image) Show Caption of Expand By Richard Scheinin | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: November 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm | UPDATED: November 21, 2017 at 2:35 am Here’s one more dubious distinction for San Jose and San Francisco: The two metro areas are the runaway national leaders in the amount of household income needed to buy a house. According to a study from the mortgage information website, a $216,181 household salary is required to buy a median-priced house in the San Jose metro area, while $171,330 is needed to buy a typical home in the San Francisco metro. That’s Continue Reading

Annual salary needed to buy a house in Texas

By Darla Guillen Published 3:37 pm, Tuesday, August 23, 2016 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

15 states where Millennials can afford to buy homes

The No. 1 reason Millennial Americans aren't purchasing homes is because they simply can't afford it. Not only are home prices high, but young people have other financial priorities, including paying off massive student loans.But when it comes to price, location matters. Although desirable coastal cities such as New York and Los Angeles might be out of reach, other Southern and Midwestern towns are good bets for Millennial home buyers.GOBankingRates identified the most and least affordable states for Millennials to buy homes by analyzing home listing price data from Zillow. For this ranking, GOBankingRates used the national median income for Millennials, $60,932, to determine how long it would take to save for a 20% down payment, assuming 20% monthly savings, and how much the monthly mortgage payment would be. More: More older Millennials are living with relatives, a legacy of 2007-09 recession More: 5 restaurants that prove Millennials still love fast food More: To buy a house, millennials digging deep into family's pockets Here are the 15 states where Millennials' paychecks go the farthest toward buying a home.15. NebraskaMedian list price: $197,500No. of years to save for down payment: 3.2Monthly mortgage payment: $88114. AlabamaMedian list price: $193,900No. of years to save for down payment: 3.2Monthly mortgage payment: $88113. WisconsinMedian list price: $195,000No. of years to save for down payment: 3.2Monthly mortgage payment: $86812. PennsylvaniaMedian list price: $189,900No. of years to save for down payment: 3.1Monthly mortgage payment: $84611. OklahomaMedian list price: $179,900No. of years to save for down payment: 3Monthly mortgage payment: $81010. MississippiMedian list price: $175,000No. of years to save for down payment: 2.9Monthly mortgage payment: $7899. MissouriMedian list price: $169,900No. of years to save for down payment: 2.8Monthly mortgage payment: $7688. MichiganMedian list price: $169,900No. of years Continue Reading

To buy a house, millennials digging deep into family’s pockets

DETROIT — As home prices rise and competition for a limited supply of homes increases, young buyers are increasingly using a special financing to win in bidding wars: The Bank of Mom and Dad."It’s definitely becoming much more common, not that parents didn’t help their children in the past," said Jeanette Schneider, vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan in Troy. "But, it really has become a trend."Several factors, she said, are driving it: Millennials — the generation of young homebuyers ages 18-35 — are facing more competition and costs for homes, they are saddled with more student debt than previous generations, and simply put, their parents seem to be more willing to lend them money. Based on anecdotal reports from agents, Schneider estimated that nearly 10% of home sales use some kind of family financing or gifts and that could grow if the housing market stays hot. That percentage, she said, is far more prevalent than what she would have estimated when she started in the industry nearly 30 years ago.An analysis of mortgages serviced by Shore United Bank in Troy, suggests the percentage of home sales using gifts might be even higher. It found that 42% of young homeowners used money that was given to them toward down payments and closing costs.The trend, however, requires that families be clear on whether the money being given is a loan or a gift. Not only are there relationship concerns to consider, there are legal and tax considerations. Taking out a family loan, even if it is a relatively small one, adds to a homebuyer's debt, can jeopardize eligibility for mortgage programs and could reduce the attractiveness of an offer to the seller.A gift means that the homebuyer has no obligation to pay it back — but can if he or she wishes.Take 24-year-old Amber Hauer, who just bought her first home in July.For about $145,000, she purchased a Continue Reading

Can you afford it? The income you need to buy a median-priced house varies wildly across U.S.

Can you afford to buy a median-priced house on your salary?It might be a stretch in many elite coastal cities, but there's always the nation's heartland to consider.To calculate affordability, consumer-loan researcher used the National Association of Realtors' second-quarter data for median home prices and's second-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Researchers calculated how much of a homeowner's salary it would take to afford the base cost of owning a home.Phoenix ranked in the top third of housing affordability.Here are the 27 metropolitan areas, ranked by the salary needed in those areas to afford a median-priced home. Pittsburgh is the most affordable; San Francisco, the least. Continue Reading

It’s cheaper to buy a house than rent in Phoenix area, study says

It is much cheaper to buy a house than rent one in the Phoenix area, according to a new housing survey. WEDNESDAY'S NEWS: Hines buys 'Elevation Chandler' land for new mixed-use project TUESDAY'S NEWS: Shea Homes plans Trilogy retirement community in Wickenburg IN THE SOUTHEAST VALLEY : Del Webb to build retirement community in Chandler MONDAY'S NEWS: Phoenix commercial market starting to recover, experts sayBuying in metro Phoenix is as much as 34 percent cheaper than renting a house, based on current home prices, rents, types of mortgages and interest rates. The comparison comes from home-buying website Trulia, but the data appears to be unbiased.Falling interest rates over the past few weeks have made buying more affordable for most people. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage is 4.12 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That's compares with 4.23 a month ago.Nationally, Trulia says buying is now 38 percent cheaper than renting if you stay in a house seven years, get a 30-year mortgage, put 20 percent down, itemize deductions at the 25 percent tax bracket and get a 4.3 percent mortgage rate. The formula also takes into account closing costs, insurance, maintenance and taxes.What is really surprising about the survey is that buying is cheaper in all of the U.S.'s 100 largest metro areas.The benefit is the smallest in Honolulu, where purchasing a house is 17 percent less expensive than renting. Detroit home buyers get the best deal because Trulia found it's 63 percent cheaper to own than rent. Continue Reading