Buying A Home

Top Features First-Time Home Buyers Want

Top Features First-Time Home Buyers Want
By Rose Quint on March 23, 2020 • (0)
After rising for six consecutive years (2010 to 2015), the average home size in the US has fallen steadily for the past four years (2016 to 2019).  In fact, estimates indicate the average home built in 2019 was the smallest since 2011.  This trend is evidence that builders are working to meet the demand for smaller homes; that they are trying to shift their production mix toward more entry-level homes affordable to first-time buyers.
Given this reality, it is important to keep in mind what it is first-time buyers most want to have in a home.  Below are some of the findings recently presented at the 2020 International Builders’ Show (IBS).
What type of home do first-time buyers want?
•  77% prefer a single-family detached home
•  1,977 square feet...

Time Spent Searching for a Home is Rising

Time Spent Searching for a Home is Rising
By Rose Quint on February 3, 2020

Of the 11% of American adults considering a home purchase in the final quarter of 2019, only 43% reported being actively engaged in the process to find and buy a home.  A year earlier, the comparable share of active buyers was a much stronger 54%.  This finding suggests that mortgage interest rates steadily below 4.0% in recent months have not motivated more prospective buyers to get started trying to find a home to buy.

Across generations, 46% of Millennial prospective buyers are actively looking for a home to buy, along with 43% of Gen X buyers, 41% of Gen Z buyers, and 37% of Boomer buyers.  Across regions, prospective buyers in the Northeast are the most likely to already be actively searching for a home (49%), followed by those in the South (43%), West (41%), and Midwest (39%).

Click here to find out more.


Where it's Better to Buy Instead of Rent in 2020

*Posted on January 22, 2020 – 4:14 pm by Suzanne De Vita on RISMedia’s housecall

Where It’s Better to Buy Instead of
Rent in 2020

It’s a crucial question, especially for first-time homebuyers:  Should I buy a home, or rent one?

As is the case in real estate, it comes down to location.

In 53 percent of the country’s housing markets, you’re better off buying than renting, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2020 Rental Affordability Report, newly released.  For the report, ATTOM compared 855 counties, and assumed a median-priced, three-bedroom home and a median-priced, three-bedroom rental, based on government statistics.  In 66.3 percent of counties, the growth in home prices surpassed wages, the report shows.  In 57 percent of counties, earnings growth outpaced rents.

Of course, despite the overall trend, there’s nuances and patters.  Generally speaking, in dense metropolitan regions, it’s cheaper to rent.  If an area’s less populated, it’s better to buy.

Click here for an interactive map of the United States and where’s it’s better to buy than rent.


Can Building a New Home be Cheaper than Buying an Old One?

*Posted on October 24, 2019 by Housecall

Can Building a New Home be Cheaper than
Buying an Old One?

By Meghan Belnap

In most cases, it makes sense to search for older things rather than their newer counterparts when you want to save money. This doesn't, however, always hold true when it comes to buying a home.

Here are several factors that can lead to older homes costing more than new construction:

Energy Efficiency

One of the great things about buying a new home is that everything inside is new. This generally means that most of the appliances and systems were built in the last few years, which in turn means that they tend to be more energy-efficient. On top of better appliances, newer homes feature the latest in design for insulation, from the framework to the material used in building. This means that, over time, the cost of owning new construction can actually be substantially less than the cost of owning an older home....

Homebuyer Preferences: Millennials vs. Other Generations

*By Paul Emrath on August 20, 2019 on

A recent study by NAHB reveals that millennials have a much stronger desire for certain bathroom features relative to older generations.

The report compiled survey data between 2007 and 2018 and found that the share of home buyers who want whirlpool tubs declines as the older generations age but stays relatively constant for millennials.  As of 2018, 70% of millennials expressed a strong preference for whirlpool tubs, compared to 62% for Generation X, 47% for baby boomers and 44% for seniors.

Meanwhile, the share who want a dressing area increases for millennials while falling or staying constant for other generations.

Those who prefer his and her baths increases dramatically over the years for millennials and shows no real trend among the other generations.

All four generations show an elevated preference for built-in kitchen seating.  Of note is the increasing upward trend for millennials who desire trash compactors and built-in kitchen seating.

To read the entire article click here.


4 Affordable Ways to Get a First Home to Start Your Family

*Posted on August 7, 2019 - 9:29am by Housecall
By Meghan Belnap

If you're ready to start a family, you're likely concerned over how you'll be able to afford the right family home. You can save money on your first family home by going through the right channels to secure the best deal.

Here are four affordable ways to get a first home to start your family:

Apply for First-Home Buyer Assistance

Certain loans and grants are available to first-time homebuyers to ease the purchasing costs. Programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can save you money on a home and even help you with public housing residence, if necessary. A Veteran's Administration (VA) loan might be available to you if you've served in the armed forces. You might also be eligible to apply for a USDA loan or an FHA loan.

Choose a Condo Instead

Most families want to live in a house, but there are condos for sale that make great family homes. Some condominium complexes also have security guards on staff and take other measures to keep residents safer. Buying a condo that's large enough to support you and your growing family can be done with help...

Questions to Ask Your Lender Before Getting a Mortgage

Asking the right questions when shopping for a mortgage is crucial, and failing to do so could cost you thousands.

The first question you need to ask yourself is, "How many mortgage loan applications am I going to fill?" 

You can save a significant amount of money long-term by investing in mortgage comparison shopping. For instance, the spread in 2018 for the highest and lowest mortgage rates was approximately 1 percent (3.95 percent vs. 4.94 percent). That's a pretty narrow range, historically speaking. In 1981, the mortgage rate spread was nearly 3 percent (14.8 percent vs. 18.63 percent). Even a 0.5 percent difference on a $300,000, 30-year mortgage can save you enough money to buy a 2019 Subaru Legacy in cash and still have enough left over to keep the gas tank full for a year ($31,600).

Incidentally, interest rates can vary by more than half a percent, even for people with good credit, depending on which lender you choose. Here are some questions you should ask your lender:

Is there anything I can do to apply for a better rate? 

You may be surprised by the options available. Some lenders may offer a lower rate if you increase your down payment or reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Adding a well-qualified cosigner can also improve your rates considerably, although that can come with its own issues.