• Homes Across the Country Are Selling Fast

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: 2020 housing market , housing market , Selling a home


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  • The Surging Real Estate Market Continues to Climb

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: 2020 housing market , housing market , real estate market

    Though there is some evidence that the overall economic recovery may be slowing, the housing market is still gaining momentum. Zillow tracks the number of homes that are put into contract on a weekly basis. Their latest report confirms that buyer demand is continuing to dramatically outpace this same time last year, and the percent increase over last year is growing.

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  • Is Now a Good Time to Move?

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

    Ten years ago, we couldn’t have imagined a mortgage rate under 3%. Looking at the math today, making a move into a new home and locking in a significantly lower rate than you have now could save you greatly on a monthly basis, and over the life of your loan.

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  • Two New Surveys Indicate Urban to Suburban Lean

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homebuyer preference , homebuyers , suburbs

    Zelman & Associates surveys brokers and owners of real estate firms for their monthly Real Estate Brokers Report. The last report revealed that 68% see either a ‘moderate’ or ‘significant’ shift to more suburban locations.

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  • Virtual School Is Changing Homebuyer Needs [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homebuyers , virtual school


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  • Homebuyer Traffic Is on the Rise

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homebuyer traffic , housing market

    ShowingTime also indicates the real estate market has already come back from the downturn earlier this year that was caused by shelter-in-place orders. Here are the year-over-year numbers for each region on a monthly basis.

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  • The Latest Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.4%

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: covid-19 , unemployment level , unemployment rate

    Last Friday, the Bureau for Labor Statistics released their Employment Report for August 2020. The big surprise was that the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, a full percent lower than what many analysts had forecasted earlier in the week. Though it is tough to look at this as great news when millions of Americans are still without work, the number of unemployed is currently much lower than most experts had projected it would be just a few months ago.

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  • Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: covid-19 , housing market

    According to the Housing Market Recovery Index by realtor.com, the market has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and has regained the strength we remember from February of this year.

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  • Thank You, Essential Workers

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: essential workers , labor day


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  • The 2020 Homebuyer Wish List

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homebuyer preference , homebuyer wish list , homebuyers

    Some Highlights

    • The word “home” is taking on a whole new meaning this year, and buyers are starting to look for new features as they re-think their needs and what’s truly possible.
    • From more outdoor space to virtual classrooms for their children, buyers have a growing list of what they’d like to see in their homes.
    • Let’s connect today if your needs have changed and your wish list is expanding too.

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  • How Will the Presidential Election Impact Real Estate?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , presidential election

    The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.

    As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.

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  • It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: house affordability , low mortgage rates , prices of houses

    When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now than at any time since 2016, and here’s why.

    Today’s low rates are off-setting rising home prices because it’s less expensive to borrow money. In essence, purchasing a home while mortgage rates are this low may save you significantly over the life of your home loan.

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  • Three Ways to Win in a Bidding War

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: bidding war tips , pre-approval

    With so few houses for sale today and low mortgage rates driving buyer activity, bidding wars are becoming more common. Multiple-offer scenarios are heating up, so it’s important to get pre-approved before you start your search. This way, you can put your best foot forward – quickly and efficiently – if you’re planning to buy a home this season.

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  • The Cost of Renting Vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , renting , renting vs. buying

    Some Highlights

    • The percentage of income needed to afford a median-priced home today is declining, while that for renting is on the rise.
    • This is making buying a home an increasingly attractive option for many people, especially with low mortgage rates driving purchasing power.
    • Let’s connect if you’d like expert guidance on exploring your homebuying options while affordability is high.

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  • Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: pre-approval , pre-approval letter

    You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.

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  • Should You Buy an Existing Home or New Construction?

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a new home , buying an existing home , existing homes , new homes

    Finding the right home to purchase today is one of the biggest challenges for potential buyers. With so few homes for sale and construction of newly built homes ramping up, you may be wondering if you should consider new construction in your search process. It’s a great question to ask, and one to look at from the pros and cons of what it means to buy a new home versus an existing one. Here are a few things to consider when making the best decision for your family.

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  • Builders & Realtors Agree: Real Estate Is Back

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: covid-19 , 2020 housing market , housing market

    When shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt earlier this year, many believed the residential housing market would follow suit. Countless analysts predicted buyer demand would disappear and home values would depreciate for the first time in almost a decade. That, however, didn’t happen. It appears the opposite is taking place.

    After the bottom fell out of the real estate market immediately following the shutdown, it has come roaring back – and seems to still be gaining steam. Here’s a look at two recent reports – one from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and one from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – showing this growing strength.

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  • The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: buying a home , homebuyers , homebuying

    Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many families to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

    According to Zillow:

    “In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.” 

    With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

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  • Ask a Pro About Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: homebuyers


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  • Forbearance Numbers Are Lower than Expected

    Author: Rick Ripma | | Categories: forebearance , Mortgage

    The report also explains that across the board, overall forbearance activity fell with 10% fewer new forbearance requests and nearly 40% fewer renewals.

    What about potential foreclosures once forbearances end?

    Kushi also addresses this question:

    “There are two main reasons why this crisis is unlikely to produce a wave of foreclosures similar to the 2008 recession. First, the housing market is in a much stronger position compared with a decade ago. Accompanied by more rigorous lending standards, the household debt-to-income ratio is at a four-decade low and household equity near a three-decade high. Indeed, thus far, MBA data indicates that the majority of homeowners who took advantage of forbearance programs are either staying current on their mortgage or paying off the loan through a home sale or a refinance. Second, this service sector-driven recession is disproportionately impacting renters.”

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