All Posts Tagged: affordability
Numbers count. They matter to bankers and to prospective homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.The numbers: Indianapolis is the easiest city for buying home, according to a new index from Realtor.com released Aug. 4. Realtor.com’s EasyToBuyIndex ranks the largest 50 U.S. cities based on several factors, including home availability, home prices, and affordability.
The top 10 cities in the index are all in the Midwest, East, and Southeast. Other cities on the list are Memphis, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and, in the #10 spot, Columbus, Ohio.
The index is based on four factors:
- Average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage
- Number of homes for sale per 1,000 owner-occupied households
- Percentage of median household income it takes to buy a home at the median list price
- Percentage of active inventory below the maximum affordable price (determined by assuming a 28% loan-to-income ratio, median income, and a 20% down payment)
1) Do your homework: Know the market, the neighborhood, and the house. Ask these questions of your real estate agent or as you’re doing your own research online: What have similar homes in the neighborhood sold for recently? Are sellers having to reduce prices after they’ve put homes up for sale? How long has the house you are looking at been on the market? Usually, the longer a house sits unsold, the stronger your hand becomes as a potential buyer.
2) Ask and you shall receive — maybe: Many sellers list their homes “as is.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a credit toward repairs or upgrades that you feel are important. If the roof leaks or there is termite damage, you’ll likely have to pay for those repairs after closing. So why not specify in your offer that you want the seller to provide a credit toward the cost of those fixes?
3) Close the gap on closing costs: Closing costs can run 1-2% of the cost of a home. It’s always a good idea to scrutinize those costs, but even more so in a buyers’ market. You may be able to press your lender to lower some fees or get the seller to pay some of the closing costs. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Buying a home oftentimes involves negotiating. In tight markets there’s not a lot of that going on. But in a buyers’ market or a balanced market there may be room for give and take. It helps to know upfront what to ask for, and on any particular home to decide how badly you want it. If there are plenty of houses on the market, it may be easier to walk away from a deal if you can’t get the concessions you want from the seller.Read More ›
This week brought another round of lackluster housing news.Read More ›
You’ll see a wide range of affordability across the map, which isn’t surprising.Read More ›
Wendy Cutrufelli offers her take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.Read More ›