by janet | May 4, 2023 | Buyers, Demographics, Seller
Downsizing has long been a popular option when homeowners reach retirement age. But there are plenty of other life changes that could make downsizing worthwhile. Homeowners who have experienced a change in their lives or no longer feel like their house fits their needs may benefit from downsizing too. U.S. News explains:
“Downsizing is somewhat common among older people and retirees who no longer have children living at home. But these days, younger people are also looking to downsize to save money on housing . . .”
And when inflation has made most things significantly more expensive, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. So, if you’re thinking about ways to budget differently, it could be worthwhile to take your home into consideration.
When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:
“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.”
That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve developed a considerable amount of equity. Your home equity is an asset you can use to help you buy a home that better suits your needs today.
And when you’re ready to make a move, your team of real estate experts will be your guides through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your house when you sell, finding the best location and size for your next home, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.
What This Means for You
If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions:
- Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
- Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
- What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?
Once you know the answers to these questions, meet with a real estate advisor to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local housing market professional can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize.
If you’re looking to save money, downsizing your home could be a great help toward your goal. Talk with a real estate agent about your goals in the housing market this year.
by janet | Apr 18, 2023 | Buyers, Demographics, First Time Home Buyers, Millennials
In the United States, there are over 72 million millennials. If you’re part of that generation and have thought about buying a home, you aren’t alone. According to Zonda, 98% of millennials want to become a homeowner at some point if they aren’t already. But why? There are plenty of reasons you may choose to become a homeowner. Here’s why other millennials have made that decision (see graph below):
This graph shows why millennials are buying homes according to Zonda’s 6th annual millennial survey. The top reasons include building equity, a change in life stage, wanting stability, rising home values, and wanting to make somewhere truly their own. Here’s a look at each in more detail.
Building equity – Homeownership is a long-term investment that allows you to build wealth, increase your net worth, and become more financially stable. Beyond that, the alternative to owning a home is typically renting. With the way rents have risen so dramatically over time, it may make sense to build your own equity instead of the equity of the person you’re renting from.
A change in life stage – As a millennial, you’re reaching your prime homebuying years. That means you may be at the point where you need more space or a different location.
Stability or settling down – This could mean establishing your career or just generally deciding more concretely what you want your life to look and feel like. As that idea becomes clearer, you may want to establish that lifestyle in a particular place and put down roots.
Rising home values – By purchasing a home, you own an asset that traditionally increases in value over time. That can mean your home will have a higher resale value if you decide to move again.
Wanting to make somewhere “mine” – Owning a home gives a sense of freedom because you can customize it however you want, make updates as you see fit, and be yourself in a place that’s solely your own.
There are plenty of great reasons why millennials are buying homes today. If you’ve thought about becoming a homeowner and any of these reasons resonate with you too, partner with a trusted real estate agent to explore your options.
by janet | Mar 28, 2023 | Buyers, Demographics, First Time Home Buyers
Throughout Women’s History Month, we reflect on the impact women have in our lives, and that includes impact on the housing market. In fact, since at least 1981, single women have bought more homes than single men each year, and they make up 17% of all households.
Why Is Homeownership So Important to Women?
The rise in women pursuing homeownership hasn’t just made an impact on the housing market. It’s also been an asset for those buyers and their households. That’s because homeownership has many benefits, both financial and personal.
On the financial side, housing proves to be the key to building wealth for single women. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American, says:
“For single women, housing has always made up a large share of total assets. Over the last 30 years, the average single woman’s wealth has increased 88% on an inflation-adjusted basis, from just over $142,000 in 1989 to $267,000 in 2019, and housing has remained the single largest component of their wealth.”
The financial security and independence homeownership provides can be life changing, too. And when you factor in the personal motivations behind buying a home, that impact becomes even clearer.
A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares the top reasons single women are buying a home right now (see chart below):
Homeownership can be life changing no matter who you are. Work with a local real estate agent today to talk about your goals in the real estate market.
by janet | Mar 7, 2023 | Buyers, Demographics, First Time Home Buyers
During the pandemic, many of us reexamined the meaning of home for ourselves and our loved ones. Today, that can be seen in the recent rise in multigenerational households. According to Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Economic Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Multi-generational buying may be a home where families live in the same home with elderly parents, children who have boomeranged back home, or other extended family members. While this is not a new concept of living, it is one which has gained recent popularity.”
And citing data from Pew Research Center, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:
“. . . multigenerational living has made a comeback in recent years, particularly after the 2008 financial crisis and during the pandemic.”
So, if buying a multigenerational home has crossed your mind, you aren’t alone. Depending on what stage of homeownership you’re in, there are different reasons it could be the right fit. The chart below shows responses to a recent survey from NAR about the reasons people have bought a multigenerational home:
Whether your motives are financial or focused on the people you’ll share your home with, a multigenerational home has distinct advantages. It can make homeownership more affordable, and it can help you best support your loved ones. As Lautz explains:
“Multi-generational home buying is a way for families to care for one another, support one another, and often buy a home that may have been previously out of reach. . . . The trend of multigenerational buying appears to be firmly established and one that could expand in the future.”
If you’re ready to buy a house, consider the opportunities of a multigenerational home. Work with a local real estate advisor to explore the options in your area.
by janet | Feb 22, 2023 | Baby Boomers, Buyers & Sellers, Demographics
Many people are reaching the point in their lives when they need to decide where they want to live when they retire. If you’re a homeowner approaching this stage, you have several options to explore. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“As we see the transition of the large Baby Boomer generation age into retirement, it will be interesting to see if they move in with their Millennial and Gen Z children or if they stay put in their own homes.”
Lautz lists two options: move into a multigenerational home with loved ones, or stay in your current house. Multigenerational living is rising in popularity, but it isn’t an option for everyone. And staying put may fit fewer and fewer of your needs. There’s a third option though, and for some, it’s the best one: downsizing.
When you sell your house and purchase a smaller one, it’s known as downsizing. Sometimes smaller homes are more suited to your changing needs, and moving means you can also land in your ideal location.
In addition to the personal benefits, downsizing might be more cost effective, too. The New York Times (NYT) shares:
“Many downsizers expect to improve their retirement income stream if their new home costs less than what their old house sells for. Lower utility costs, insurance and property taxes — as well as investment returns on the proceeds — can also improve the bottom line.”
Being in a strong financial position is one of the most important parts of retirement, and downsizing can make a big difference.
A key part of why downsizing is still cost effective today, even when mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, is the record-high level of equity homeowners have. Leveraging your equity when you downsize can lower or maybe even eliminate the mortgage payment on your next home.
So, not only is the upkeep of a smaller home likely more affordable, but leveraging your home equity could make a big difference too. Your local real estate advisor is the best resource to help you understand how much equity you may have in your current home and what options it can provide for your next move.
If you’re a homeowner getting ready for retirement, part of that transition likely includes deciding where you’ll live. Work with a trusted advisor to understand your options and explore your downsizing opportunities.
by janet | Feb 7, 2023 | Buyers, Demographics, First Time Home Buyers
As we celebrate Black History Month, we reflect on the past and present experiences of Black Americans. This includes the path toward investing in a home of their own. And while equitable access to housing has come a long way, homeownership can be a steeper climb for households of color. It’s an important experience to talk about, along with how it can make all the difference for diverse homebuyers to work with the right real estate experts.
We know it’s more challenging for some to buy a home because there’s still a measurable gap between the overall average U.S. homeownership rate and that of non-white groups. Today, the lowest homeownership rate persists in the Black community (see graph below):
Homeownership is an essential piece for building household wealth that can be passed down to future generations. However, there are obstacles in the homebuying process that can negatively impact certain groups. This can delay or prevent many from achieving homeownership, challenging their ability to benefit from everything owning a home offers. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:
“. . . not all [households] have the same opportunities to homeownership, with many of them facing more constraints in their effort to achieve the American Dream. . . . Given that homeownership contributes to wealth accumulation and the homeownership rate is lower in minority groups, data shows that the net worth for these groups is also lower.”
However, with the right support and resources, there are solutions if you’re part of this community and planning to buy a home. Jacob Channel, Senior Economist at LendingTree, shares:
“The problem does exist. We have data that back that up. But there are solutions, and Black homebuyers shouldn’t lose faith that they’ll never be able to become homeowners.”
That’s why it’s so important for members of diverse groups to have the right team of experts on their sides throughout the homebuying process. These professionals aren’t only experienced advisors who understand the local market and give the best advice. They’re also compassionate allies who will advocate for your best interests every step of the way.
Access to housing improves every day, but there are still equity challenges that some buyers face. Reach out to a trusted local real estate professional to make sure you have an advocate on your side as you walk the path to homeownership.