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Yes, It’s Still More Affordable to Buy Than Rent

In about two-thirds of the country – or 66 percent of the largest U.S. counties -- it’s more affordable to buy a home than to rent one, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions. They compared the monthly rents of three-bedroom apartments to monthly payments on median-priced homes (including the mortgages, property taxes, and insurance) across 540 counties. “It feels like buying a home is getting tougher and tougher from an affordabil

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REALTORS: Review Restrictive Covenants With Your Buyers

Purchasers buying in a community with a homeowners association need to make themselves aware of an important set of rules known as restrictive covenants or CC&Rs. These are the rules established by the subdivision that they must follow in order to live in there. The rules tend to be geared about maintaining the attractiveness and value of the property. “A reasonable HOA is like heaven,” says Bruce Ailion, a real estate pro and attorney f

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2017’s Best Cities for Jobs

Keep a close eye on these housing markets. Several cities are expected to see explosive growth in their job markets in the coming year. And where jobs are plentiful usually the housing markets get a boost too. Nationally, employment is looking up as well. The national unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6 percent, the lowest since 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. WalletHub compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities acr

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Rising Rates Dampen Consumers’ Moods

Mortgage rate increases are chipping away at home buyer sentiment, shows the latest reading from Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. For the fifth consecutive month, consumer sentiment dropped in December and most of that centered on perceptions over rising borrowing costs. The share of consumers expecting mortgage rates to drop over the next 12 months, as well as those who believe their household income is significantly higher today c

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As Commutes Worsen, Cities Get Innovative

Traffic is getting worse across the country. The average American commute time is at a record high: 26 minutes. And more of the public has become “megacommuters,” spending up to 90 minutes in the car each way. Some cities are trying to deflate commute times by adding bike and walk lanes into the infrastructure to encourage more people to get out of the car and find different ways to work or recreation. For example, protected bike lanes are

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Which Is Cheaper, To Buy or Build New?

On the surface, buying an existing home seems like the most affordable route to go. After all, the median cost of an existing single-family home is $223,000. On the other hand, the average cost for building new construction averages $289,415. Obviously, there is quite a bit of variations in sorting out those costs. Plus, the price you pay upfront is only part of the equation when deciding to buy an existing home or build a new one. A recent art

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REALTORS: 5 Nasty Business Habits to Give Up in 2017

Vow to make 2017 your best year yet in the real estate business. But that means giving up some bad habits that may stand in your way of obtaining ultimate success. Entrepreneur recently highlighted several of the following “bad habits” that could be hindering your business: Having a sense of entitlement. The world doesn’t owe you anything. “If you want success, you need to make it happen,” the article notes. If you want a flood of new

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The Problem Aging Owners Are Up Against

Rural areas are expected to see more growth in the 65-and-older population than urban areas over the next few decades, according to a report by the Urban Institute. But for those expecting to grow old in their home, it could prove problematic. Many of the aging homes in rural areas are not suitable for elderly homeowners, the report says. Sixty-one percent of homeowners age 55 and older say they plan to remain in their home as they age, accordin

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HUD Lowers FHA MIP by a Quarter Point

Mortgage insurance premiums on FHA-backed loans will be lower by 25 basis points on loans endorsed starting January 27, the federal government announced today. “After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” Julian Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced today. NAR Presiden

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ECONOMISTS: More Condos Needed

The demand for rental apartments remains high as few renters are being tempted to leave apartments to take on homeownership. But industry insiders expect that to soon change, and they believe entry-level condos will be key to pressing more renters to make that leap. “We expect homeownership to return to favor, likely in the form of entry-level condos that offer the same amenities many urban apartment dwellers prefer,” says John Affleck, a re

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