Jenn Pfeiffer
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Creative - The Jenn Pfeiffer Team
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Creative

Your Home Is a Powerful Investment

From our friends in KCM Going into 2023, there was a lot of talk about a possible recession that would cause the housing market to crash. Some in the media were even forecasting home prices would drop by as much as 10-20%—and that might have made you feel a bit unsure about buying a home. But here’s what actually happened: home prices went up more than usual. Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, explains: “Looking back at the year, 2023 appears to have exceeded average annual home price gains over the past 35 years.” To put last year’s growth into context, the graph below uses data from Freddie Mac on how home prices have changed each year...

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Think Your Property Taxes Are High? See How Much Homeowners Pay in the Cheapest and Most Expensive States

By Clare Trapasso | Realtor.com Homebuyers looking to avoid high property taxes probably shouldn’t move to New Jersey. The Garden State continued to have the dubious honor of having the nation’s highest property taxes, according to a recent report from personal finance website WalletHub. New Jersey homeowners paid a median of $9,345 in 2022, according to the report. That’s compared with the typical homeowner who paid just $2,869 in property taxes a year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data cited in the report. “Americans who are considering moving and want to maximize the amount of money they take home should take into account property tax rates, in addition to other financial factors like the...

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Houses Are Still Selling Fast

From our friends in KCM Have you been thinking about selling your house? If so, here’s some good news. While the housing market isn’t as frenzied as it was during the ‘unicorn’ years when houses were selling quicker than ever, they’re still selling faster than normal. The graph below uses data from Realtor.com to tell the story of median days on the market for every January from 2017 all the way through the latest numbers available. For Realtor.com, days on the market means from the time a house is listed for sale until its closing date or the date it’s taken off the market. This metric can help give you an idea of just how quickly homes...

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The Most Undervalued Housing Markets in the U.S.

By Patrick S. Duffy | US NEWS & WORLD REPORT Monthly costs in these locations start as low as 18% of local per capita incomes, compared with the national average of 39%. Detroit may not be the most undervalued area for long. Its economy will continue to see steady growth in the years ahead with more jobs and higher wages for area residents. Key Takeaways: The most undervalued markets to purchase a home continue to be located predominantly in the Midwest and the East Coast, led by Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Oklahoma City. The most undervalued markets to rent a home are also concentrated in the Midwest, led...

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U.S. Mortgage Demand Falls as Buyers Struggle With Low Number of Home Listings

By Aarthi Swaminathan | REALTOR.COM The numbers: U.S. mortgage applications fell as home buyers struggled with a low number of home listings and rising home prices. Home-buying demand was dampened due to a persistent lack of supply. The overall market composite index—a measure of mortgage application volume—decreased in the last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday. The market index fell 7.2% to 202.5 for the week ending January 26 from a week ago. A year ago, the index stood at 233.0. Key details: The purchase index—which measures mortgage applications for the purchase of a home—fell 7.2% from a week ago. The refinance index fell 11.4%, as homeowners saw little...

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What Are HOA Fees—and What Do They Actually Pay For?

Curious about homeowners association fees? Here’s how HOA fees are collected and used. By Kristine Gill | Better Homes There are two major components to a homeowners association (HOA). The first is that the organization oversees a set of rules particular to the residential community. The second component is the associated fee required for living in the community and how the HOA fees benefit the homeowners. “An HOA fee is typically structured per community to enforce rules and regulations so it can set the covenants, conditions, and restrictions,” says Donna Soda, Realtor and global real estate advisor. “The idea is to maintain the community in a beautiful manner.” DEFINITION: What is a homeowners association? A homeowners...

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3 Key Factors Affecting Home Affordability

From our friends in KCM Over the past year, a lot of people have been talking about housing affordability and how tight it’s gotten. But just recently, there’s been a little bit of relief on that front. Mortgage rates have gone down since their most recent peak in October. But there’s more to being able to afford a home than just mortgage rates. To really understand home affordability, you need to look at the combination of three important factors: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. Let’s dive into the latest data on each one to see why affordability is improving. 1. Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates have come down in recent months. And looking forward, most experts expect...

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Avoid These Common Mistakes After Applying for a Mortgage

From our friends in KCM If you’re getting ready to buy a home, it’s exciting to jump a few steps ahead and think about moving in and making it your own. But before you get too far down the emotional path, there are some key things to keep in mind after you apply for your mortgage and before you close. Here’s a list of things to remember when you apply for your home loan. Don’t Deposit Large Sums of Cash Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer. Don’t Make Any Large Purchases It’s not just...

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Mortgage Rates Have Dropped Quickly: How Low Will They Go in 2024?

By Clare Trapasso | REALTOR.COM Homebuyers received an unexpected gift around the holidays as mortgage rates dropped rapidly late last year. They fell from a peak of about 8% in the fall to the mid-6% range in late December, a level many economists and forecasters hadn’t anticipated until the end of 2024—if they were being optimistic. Now with the U.S. Federal Reserve poised to cut its own rates this year, the question on the minds of many aspiring homebuyers is just how low mortgage rates will drop this year. Most of the real estate experts who spoke with Realtor.com® say they expect rates will stay in the 6% range this year, but some believe...

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Ways Your Home Equity Can Help You Reach Your Goals

From our friends in KCM  If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity. If you’re not familiar with that term, Freddie Mac defines it like this: “. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.” That means your equity grows as you pay down your home loan over time and as home values climb. While it’s true home prices dipped slightly last year, they rebounded and have been climbing in many areas since then. Here’s why that price growth is good news for you. In the latest Equity...

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