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The Real Reason Home Prices Don’t Seem to Be Crashing

The real estate market today is quite different from what it was just a few
months ago. Mortgage rates have risen dramatically which impacts the
borrowing power of home buyers. The frantic pace of the past few years
has also slowed with homes staying on the market longer than we saw
during the last few years.

With all these changes, many potential homebuyers are wondering when
the prices will crash. In other words, when is the right time to buy?
The housing market is affected by supply and demand. With a potentially
smaller buyer pool, the assumption would be that home prices would fall to
attract the few buyers still looking. But prices are not reacting this way in
many markets. In fact, the supply of homes nationwide has stayed
relatively small, which in turn has helped prices stay steady.

The fact is that rising interest rates are affecting sellers as well. Most sellers
are planning to purchase a replacement property. This means that many
sellers are reconsidering their own ability to purchase the desired
replacement home. As a result, rather than attempting to capitalize on any
lingering seller’s market, many have withdrawn instead, keeping the current
inventory low and prices stable.

While it’s difficult to predict the effect of more interest rate hikes on seller’s
behavior, homebuyers should concentrate on finding the right property for
their needs rather than second guessing the market. It’s always the right
time to buy the perfect property.

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Looking for a Mortgage? How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Nothing is more stressful than shopping for a mortgage and realizing your credit score isn’t what you expected. Worse still is finding that your identity has been stolen and there are fraudulent accounts or activity on your report. Recovering from identity theft can be time-consuming – you might lose your dream home if the seller cannot wait for you to resolve the issue.

Before this happens to you, there are steps you can take to protect your Social Security number and your credit.

Guard Your Social Security Number – First, you should memorize your Social Security number – never keep the card in your wallet. Second, consider whether giving your SSN to someone is really mandatory; many forms request this information, but ask questions before providing to see if it’s actually required.

Freeze Your Credit – This little known trick can prevent anyone from applying for credit in your name; including you. Contact the reporting bureaus to prevent your credit report from being used for any purpose. Unfreeze when you need it.

Get ID Theft Protection – Consider using an ID theft protection company to monitor your credit.

Be Careful Online – Avoid public interest hot spots and other unsecured networks when buying or banking online. Install a firewall and consider a private virtual network system. Do not open any unknown emails or links.

Don’t take your identification lightly. Your credit is important to most aspects of your financial life, but especially so when obtaining a home loan. A small change in credit score can cost thousands of dollars in additional fees and interest; it can even cost you the home if your ID has been stolen while you work to restore your credit. Take some simple steps ahead of time to ensure you’re protected.

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Your “Starter Home” Might Last Longer than You Think

New homebuyers often tell their agents that they are looking for their “starter home.” Several factors go into this approach. These are typically younger buyers, often without children. They may be looking for a maintenance-free home, like a condo, or they might assume that starter homes are more budget-friendly. There are plenty of good reasons to buy a home with the assumption that it’s only for a few years, but it’s usually wise to consider the fact that it might be for much longer.

As 2020 demonstrated so clearly, things can change without warning. Homebuyers choosing a small condo with the intention of living in it for only a few years might later find themselves trying to carve out space for children due to employment challenges or market changes. The good news is that many times—once you add in association fees, taxes, and other costs—an older home that needs updating could be just as economical as a brand-new condo with all the latest design features.

When buying your first home, it’s important to consider how you would manage if you needed to stay longer than expected. An older home might offer a yard where you could expand, or extra rooms which can become bedrooms. These options can give you flexibility as your lifestyle changes over the years.

If you buy your first home with the future in mind, you can protect yourself from the unexpected income changes, real estate price booms, or any other outside influence. Don’t discount the older fixer-upper simply because you plan to move in a few years—plans change, and giving this some prior thought can help you adjust more painlessly in the future.