• Don’t Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home

    If this is a challenge you’re up against in your home search, you’re not alone. Feeling stuck in the process can be frustrating, but if there’s ever been a year to power through, this is the one. NAHB noted:

    “Difficulties finding a home to buy will likely lead 20% of active buyers to give up until next year or later. That share is up from 15% a year earlier.”

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  • It Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: real estate agent , Selling a home


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  • Will Mortgage Rates Remain Low Next Year?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: mortgage rate projections , mortgage rates

    If you’re planning to wait until next year or later, Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), forecasts mortgage rates will begin to steadily rise:

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  • Chances of Another Foreclosure Crisis? “About Zero Percent.”

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: foreclosures , mortgage payments

    There seems to be some concern that the 2020 economic downturn will lead to another foreclosure crisis like the one we experienced after the housing crash a little over a decade ago. However, there’s one major difference this time: a robust forbearance program.

    During the housing crash of 2006-2008, many felt homeowners should be forced to pay their mortgages despite the economic hardships they were experiencing. There was no empathy for the challenges those households were facing. In a 2009 Wall Street Journal article titled Is Walking Away From Your Mortgage Immoral?, John Courson, Chief Executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association, was asked to comment on those not paying their mortgage. He famously said:

    “What about the message they will send to their family and their kids?”

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  • Homes for Sale Are Rapidly Disappearing

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: home sales , seller's market

    Historically, six months of supply is considered a normal real estate market. Going into the pandemic, inventory was already well below this mark. As the year progressed, the supply has was reduced even further. Here is a graph (above) showing this measurement over the last year.

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  • Why Working from Home May Spark Your Next Move

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a house , commute

    A recent study from Upwork notes:

    “Anywhere from 14 to 23 million Americans are planning to move as a result of remote work.”

    To put this into perspective, last year, 6 million homes were sold in the U.S. This means roughly 2 – 4X as many people are considering moving now, and there’s a direct connection to their ability to work from home.

    The same study also notes while 45.3% of people are planning to stay within a 2-hour drive from their current location, 41.5% of the people who are citing working from home as their primary reason for making a move are willing to look for a home more than 4 hours away from where they live now (See graph above):

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  • Tips to Sell Your House Safely Right Now

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: covid-19 , selling your house


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  • Winter Will Bring a Flurry of Activity to the Housing Market

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , mortgage rates

    In the second half of this year, the housing market surged with activity. Today, real estate experts are looking ahead to the winter season and the forecast is anything but chilly. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:

    “It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”

    The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is simply not on the radar. Here’s why.

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  • VA Home Loans: Helping Heroes Find a Home

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: VA Home Loan

    Today, on Veterans Day, we honor those who have served our country and thank them for their continued dedication to our nation. In the United States, there are many valuable benefits available to Veterans, including VA home loans. For over 75 years, VA home loans have provided millions of Veterans and their families the opportunity to purchase their own homes.

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  • Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homeowners , homeownership

    Taking a look at how equity has grown for the typical homeowner, it’s clear to see how real estate is a sound long-term investment. NAR notes:

    “Nationally, a person who purchased a typical home 30 years ago would have typically gained about $283,000 as of the second quarter of 2020.” (See graph above)

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  • Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: selling your house

    In today’s real estate market, the buzz is all about how it’s a great time to sell your house. Buyer demand is high, and there simply aren’t enough homes available to buy to meet that growing need. This means now is the time to make a move so you can close the deal on your ideal terms.

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  • Making a Home for the Brave Possible

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: Mortgage , VA Home Loan


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  • Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: forebearance , mortgage payments

    When looking at the percentage of people in forbearance, we can also see that this number has been decreasing steadily throughout the year. Fewer people than initially expected are still in forbearance, so the number of homeowners who will need to work out alternative payment options is declining (See graph above).

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  • Real Estate Is a Driving Force in the Economy

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: covid-19 , economic recovery , real estate investment

    These factors are driving a positive impact on the economy as a whole. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the real estate industry provided $3.7 billion dollars of economic impact to the country last year. To break it down, in 2019, the average newly constructed home contributed just over $88,000 per build to local economies. Across the country, real estate clearly makes a significant impact (See map above):

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  • Rent vs. Buy: How to Decide What’s Best for You

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: rent vs. buy

    1. Rent Will Continue to Increase

    This is one of the top reasons why renters decide to move because in most cases, rent will continue increasing each year. As noted above, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released its quarterly homeownership report, and as the graph below shows, median rent is climbing year after year. When you own a home, you’ll lock in your monthly payment for the life of your loan, creating consistency and predictability in your payments.

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  • Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: home renovation


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  • Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: seller's market , selling your house

    The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

    "There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low."

    When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

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  • Buyer Interest Is Growing among Younger Generations

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , millennials

    According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, millennials are reaching their prime home-buying years, a likely driver in this increase:

    “Record low mortgage rates and millennials continuing to age into their prime home-buying years has boosted demand, but a lack of housing supply remains a challenge.”

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  • How Down Payment Assistance Opens the Door to Homeownership

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , down payment

    Many people are eager to buy a home right now while affordability continues to be a highlight of the current housing market. However, a recent survey by Sparks Research shows that 20% of first-time homebuyers cite a lack of financial education as a barrier to homeownership. This is definitely understandable. If you don’t feel comfortable with the financial process of buying a home, it’s hard to make a confident decision. In fact, four in five homebuyers say they need help to understand what they can even afford in the first place. This is why finding the right professionals to help you through the process is so important.

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  • Two Important Impacts of Home Equity

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: home equity

    Equity continues to rise, helping American homeowners secure a much more stable financial future. According to the most recent data from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained $9,800 in equity over the past year. In addition, experts project 2020 home prices to continue rising. With prices going up, equity gains will also keep accelerating. Black Knight just reported:

    “The annual percent change in the overall median existing single-family-home price has skyrocketed in the past several months, with recent numbers at three to five times higher than rates seen in the past several years.”

    Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow, just qualified recent price increases as “jaw-dropping” and “within a hair's breadth of double-digit year-over-year appreciation.”

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