All Posts Tagged: Wendy Cutrufelli
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: Consumers upbeat on housing
Consumers were feeling good about housing in September, according to the latest National Housing Survey released Oct. 7 by Fannie Mae. The share of consumers who said now is a good time to buy a home rose four percentage points from August to 68% in September. The share of those surveyed who said they would prefer to buy a home on their next move climbed three points to 66%, and 40% said the economy is on the right track, a five percentage point increase from August, according to the monthly survey of 1,000 renters and homeowners.What counts: As the economy improves, consumers typically become more optimistic about their finances, and that spills over into positive feelings toward housing. This positive sentiment may bode well for sellers come next spring’s home-buying season.
In the meantime, consumers thinking of buying might do well to shop now. Fall and early winter can, for some, be ideal home-buying periods. Many buyers try to get into their homes in time for their kids to start school and others drop out of house hunting to focus on the new school year and the approaching holidays. Those who stay in the market may find less competition and sellers who are more eager to close a deal before the holidays.The numbers: Student debt’s drag
The percentage of U.S. households under the age of 40 with student debt that are paying $250 a month or more has climbed to 35% from 22% in 2005, according to data from John Burns Real Estate Consulting LLC, a research and consulting firm in Irvine, Calif. Every $250 per month in debt payments reduces a household’s home purchasing power by $44,000; and most households paying $750 a month or more in student loan debt are priced out of the housing market, according to the research released in September.What counts: Whether it’s a $250-a-month student loan payment, or car or credit card payment, the result is the same: It may reduce the borrowing power of a homebuyer. As my colleague and fellow blogger Cyndee Kendall pointed out recently, you don’t have to be debt-free to be able to purchase a home.
A good place to get an idea of what size mortgage you might be able to afford is with an online mortgage calculator, where you can type in your income and monthly debt payments and see what size mortgage loan might fit your financial situation. The calculation is a guide, and it does not factor in added costs of homeownership such as ongoing home maintenance, home furnishings costs, and homeowner’s association dues. Also, a potential loan amount will vary based on interest rates, the length of a mortgage, and the down payment amount.
In general, it is wise to keep your debt-to-income ratio below 43%. Once you’ve run a calculation you may be able to work towards paying down debts, whether they are student loans or otherwise, to help increase your potential purchasing power for a home.Read More ›
Many people thinking about buying a home hesitate at the first step: saving for a down payment.Read More ›