More US Home Buyers Returning to Market Because of Easier Mortgage Rules, Stable Rates

US Home Buying 2More and more home buyers are returning to the US housing market because they’re noticing favorable market conditions.

Specifically, buyers are feeling more comfortable about navigating the market thanks to interest rate stabilization and easier mortgage rules, according to a recent article by Reuters.

This is fantastic news for the overall health of the housing market. After all, it suggests that the national real estate market is likely to become more stable over time.

Trends That US Home Buyers Should Be Aware Of

According to the recent Reuters article, new home builders D.R. Horton Inc and Toll Brothers Inc. are seeing jumps in home buyer demand.

And they’re not the only ones.

In fact, new home builders everywhere are reporting improved home buyer enthusiasm, which has been a great relief to many of the companies after an underwhelming spring home selling season.

And pre-owned home sales are also reflecting similar home buyer enthusiasm levels.

Here’s what else the national home buyer should know about recent trends on the housing market:

  • Interest rates decreased in October to their lowest levels since June 2013
  • In fact, these interest rates are still considered to be at historic lows.
  • The Dow Jones U.S. home construction index increased about 4 percent this year so far. And this increase came after the index already doubled between January 2012 and January 2014.
  • Meanwhile, new proposed rules will allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments as low as 3 percent.

The proposed rules are great news for first-time home buyers, who are a key part of any housing market recovery. In fact, some experts believe that the housing market recovery will speed up as soon as more first-time home buyers enter the market.

And a faster housing market recovery is good news for everyone!

Meanwhile, In Canada…

The real estate market conditions in Canada are looking just as encouraging, with Canadian resale home prices continuing to rise in October.

Prices were up 5.4 percent from a year earlier, which is right on par with September’s year-on-year gain.

What’s more, October marked the 11th month in a row that the index has increased. Still, it should be noted that prices rose in only five out of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed.

Prices rose 1.2 percent in Vancouver and rose 0.5 percent in Calgary. Toronto saw prices decrease 0.2 percent.

Your Central Source for Housing Market News

Check back here soon for more valuable updates on the current state of the national housing market and how they may impact you as buyers and sellers.

We pride ourselves on offering you relevant and reliable information that will help you make the best real estate decision possible for you and your family!

US Home Sales Rose In September, Report Shows

US Home Selling 7U.S. homes sold at a faster rate in September than any other time this year, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors said.

Evidently, sales of existing homes increased 2.4 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million.

Experts are saying that this increase is a great sign that the housing market is picking up and moving past the slowdown that started in mid-2013.

More Encouraging Signs on the National Housing Market

The National Association of Realtors provided some additional information that helps paint a more complete picture of the current state of the housing market:

  • The sales rate has dropped 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
  • First-time home buyers comprised about 29 percent of all sales. This is below the historic average of roughly 40 percent.
  • Median home prices increased 5.6 percent over the last 12 months to $209,700.
  • September sales increased in the South and West compared to the previous month.
  • Meanwhile, sales increased slightly in the Northeast and dropped in the Midwest.
  • Nationally, the share of purchases by investors decreased from 19 to 14 percent year-over-year.
  • The report projects that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year, down 3 percent from 5.09 million in 2013.
  • Generally speaking, real estate experts say 5.5 million existing home sales is a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, housing starts increased 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million homes, although much of that was new apartment buildings.
  • Apartment construction has jumped 30.3 percent over the past 12 months, almost three times the rate of growth for single-family houses.

Many Forces Are at Work to Create These Conditions, Analysts Said.

For instance, over the last year, fewer investors have entered the market. Luckily, their pullback has been offset by existing homeowners who are moving up to more expensive properties or downsizing as empty nesters.

Meanwhile, some would-be buyers have been kept out of the market because of rising prices through much of 2013, weak income growth and tighter credit standards.

Experts are now predicting that the worst of the housing market recession is over but that the economy and housing market will likely grow in fits and starts.

One development that might help with this growth is the fact that the federal regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering creating an option for lower down payments so more people can qualify for a mortgage.

And because the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped below 4 percent recently, experts are expecting more buyers to enter the market.

In Fact, Many Signs Suggest Now Is a Great Time to Be A Buyer

For instance, online real estate brokerage Redfin said that only 44 percent of its offers in October faced bidding wars. This is down form a high of 75 percent in March 2013.

Meanwhile, more homes are expected to become available on the market thanks to many investors’ plans to sell for tax reasons at the end of the year.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to invest in property, now is a great time to do so!

Your #1 Real Estate Resource

We believe that knowledge is power and so we work hard to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on the national housing market. Hopefully you found today’s report helpful!

Check back here soon for more valuable insight on the recent trends on the national housing market and how they may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller!

Homestead Exemption


Let me start by explaining what a homestead and a homestead exemption is.

Homestead:

A homestead can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land, as long as the individual living in the home owns it, it can include up to 20 acres, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.

A homestead exemption is when you remove part of the value of the property from taxation, so you lower your taxes.

Example:

If your home is worth $100,000 y and you qualify, you will get a $15,000 exemption meaning that you will only pay taxes on $85,000.

To qualify for the exemption the property should be in an individuals name (no corporations or business), it must be your primary residence by Jan 1st of the tax year (if you buy a home in July you must wait until the following year to claim it). If you are over 65 or disabled the Jan 1st deadline do not apply to you.

There are different kinds of Homestead exemptions, All residents may get a tax exemption from schools of $15,000 from the home’s value. The other exemptions depend on age (over 65), disability,100% disability for veterans,extension of exemption for a surviving spouse and exemption for manufactures (mobil) home. You must verify to see if you qualify for those.

As of September 1st 2011 a new rule came into effect, in order to qualify for any of the exemptions you must submit along with your application for homestead exemption, a valid Texas Drivers licensee (the address should be that of the property you are applying for) or a Texas state-issued identification card and a copy of their vehicle registration receipt. If you do not own a vehicle you must prove so and provide a utility bill with your name on it and the same address of course).

Note:

If you are married and have a homestead exemption on your home and you either get divorced or your hudband or wife passes you will need to submit a new homestead exemption form. If you don’t the county might come back and want you to pay 50% of that exemption. Do not leave it up to the County, do it.

If you have any questions please refer to the following links where you will find a more detailed explanation about each of the exemptions available and the form to submit them. Do not forget the deadline is April 30th.

https://www.comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/index.php

To get the form:

https://www.comptroller.texas.gov/forms/50-114.pdf