Wealth accumulation of homeowners

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors recently wrote an article in Forbes magazine outlining the difference in wealth accumulation between homeowners and renters. The difference is astounding. According to data collected in 2013 by the Federal Reserve, a typical homeowner’s net worth was $195,400, compared to $5400 for a renter.

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Bucks County real estate update

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

It’s impossible for national and regional statistics to tell you the full story on the many factors surrounding our local real estate market. Consumer sentiment and confidence have much to do with where we stand, and the statistics we’re seeing year-to-date and year-over-year are very good for Bucks County overall.

Low interest rates continue to keep affordability up for buyers, which is also good news for sellers. To really grasp current market conditions, it’s important to look at and track history.

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Big changes in home buying effective October 3rd, 2015

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

If you’re buying a home and getting a mortgage to do so, or if you’re selling a home to a buyer that needs to obtain a mortgage, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has instituted new rules designed to protect the consumer, which go into effect on October 3rd and can significantly impact the closing process.

The most impactful change is that now the Buyer must receive and review a new form called a Closing Disclosure no later than three days prior to the closing date.

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Fast-paced real estate market hitting 10-year highs

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Have you noticed it lately? A bunch of real estate signs in people’s front yards, a good many of them with SOLD sign toppers on them. That’s because people are buying and selling houses – more Bucks County real estate settled in June than in any month in the past 10 YEARS; 801 units to be exact, at an average sale price of $336,000. That pace looks to continue as Pending Sales in June – an indicator of upcoming trends – are up 18% over June of 2014, down ever so slightly over May’s pending sales, which were up 20% over last year.

While the number of transactions has been increasing at a pretty fast clip, prices are not! The average sale price has remained essentially flat for the past two years. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property in the near future, hopefully these numbers demonstrate that there’s confidence in the market and things have stabilized.

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Waiting to buy a home may cost you in more ways than one

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

If you’re considering a move, whether it’s into your first home or a larger one, waiting to do so could end up costing you thousands of dollars. With most economists in agreement that interest rates will most likely rise by the end of the year, the first way you end up behind the eight ball is with a higher interest rate for your mortgage.

Consider this – if rates move from their current 4% up to 5%, a $300,000 mortgage jumps $177/month from $1434 to $1611 for principal and interest. Or, that payment of $1434 now only buys you $267,000 worth of mortgage money – $33,000 less, which puts you in a different price category.

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Your home’s first impression begins in the car

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

That’s right – the first impression buyers have of your home occurs as they pull up to the curb, which is why we can’t say it often enough. Stand in the street and take a critical view of your home’s exterior because buyers can’t see how great it is inside if they never get out of the car.

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Shredding event in Newtown May 2nd

Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Fox & Roach, Newtown Home Marketing Center is sponsoring a free shredding event Saturday, May 2nd, from 10:00am until noon at their offices located at 677 S. State Street, Newtown (corner of Newtown Bypass and State Street). Join them that day to dispose of your sensitive papers. An industrial shredding truck will be on site and refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Kathleen Layton at 215-860-3233.

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Why selling your home yourself is a BAD idea

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Probably for the same reason they say that attorneys who represent themselves have fools for clients – and attorneys are educated about the process and presumably, understand the law! Below are some reasons that becoming a “For Sale By Owner” may not be the best idea:

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Expect growth in the housing market

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Momentum in the housing market is expected to continue into 2015, driven by low interest rates, tightened inventory, declining foreclosures, normalizing price appreciation and an improving economy. Nationally, new home sales have lagged behind the recovery, with barely an increase over 2013 and the share of first time homebuyers fell to the lowest level in over 20 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is largely due to the decrease in homes for sale and tightening lender standards, which are expected to ease ever-so-slightly this year.

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