Affordability & Homeownership Upside. [#DHallTheINSIDER]

insider 11_07_2017

Photo Source: Instagram via @livehappygr

Home affordability has increased thanks to low mortgage rates. Rising home prices might have some folks arguing affordability has worsened but if looking at the housing market as a whole and long term, it’s actually not that bad—affordability across the country remains favorable to purchase a home.

A recent report proposes 25 reforms to improve homeownership. One such proposal was a student-debt mortgage that would allow homebuyers to consolidate any unpaid student debt into their mortgage when purchasing a home, thus lowering their monthly payment.

Speaking of homeownership, rumor (or fear) is the proposed new tax plan might dissuade people from buying a home. We have a different take, one our Paul discussed in this week’s mortgage minute. You can watch it here.

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index report for September showed home prices rose 0.9% from the month prior and are up 7% from September 2016.

Grand Rapids, MI made the cut at No. 4 for Metros with the Highest Home Appreciation. According to Headlight Data, the city had the fastest job growth in the United States last year. It’s a city not afraid to go big, growing upward in the heart of downtown and a health care sector gaining recognition. Let’s not forget its title of Beer City USA, too.

nov 2017 metros with highest home appreciation

No Zombies in K-Zoo. [#DHallTheINSIDER]


Photo Source: Hatcliff Construction

One-in-eight homes for sale in September were new construction. Single-family housing starts increased 9% from a year ago and in Nashville, TN, 24% of all homes sold in the third quarter of 2017 were new construction.

A 2017 Buyer and Seller Survey was released this morning by the National Association of Realtors. The typical seller over the past year was 55 years old and was in the home for about 10 years before selling. Eighty-five percent of homebuyers purchased a home in a suburb, small town, or rural area. The typical downpayment for a first-time homebuyer this year was 5%. Student debt is creating a delay in buying a home for many millennials, often pushing it back seven years.

We knew the Walking Dead has a major baseman but how many people actually fear a zombie apocalypse? No idea. What we do know: a list does exist for Best Places to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse and Kalamazoo made the cut at No. 5.

Pets are great and all until you go to sell your home and realize how much damage was done to the flooring. So what flooring stands up best? Think poured and sealed concrete, tile, luxury vinyl, and laminate. However, if you’re in love with wood flooring and refuse to shy away, try going for the distressed look.

Major Housing Monday. [#DHallTheINSIDER]


Owning a home (or property) is now ranked fourth for Americans in terms of most important life events. The number one with 34% of respondents ranking as the upmost importance: Achieving educational goals. However, when looking at long-term financial goals, over half of the respondents said owning a home was most important; and when it comes to homeownership, 81% agreed it’s the best long-term investment a person can make.

We previously discussed how children have a say in the home for many families but what if there are no children? Believe it or not, this downsize in families “naturally means the demand for smaller-size housing would get greater interest than before” and with the nation’s fertility rate dropping to the lowest level on record, it’s no surprise we’re seeing such competition in today’s market. Lots of factors at play here impacting the market. Delaying a family and/or having fewer children will impact housing.

Student loans are holding millennials back from more than just owning a home. Other financial decisions include saving for retirement, changing careers, continuing education, marriage, and having children. Of those who responded to the new study, only 20% of millennials own a home and most carry a student loan amount that surpasses their income.

The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Housing Market Index might have fallen 3 points this month to 64 (below expectations) but it’s still a very solid figure considering anything above 50 is positive. Why did it miss expectations? The recent disasters are thought to be the likely cause.

Fishers, Indiana scores the No. 1 spot on Money magazine’s Best Places to Live in 2017. Two Michigan towns made the top 100 list: Farmington Hills and Rochester Hills.

Want to read a headline full of common sense? Here it is: “Homes Built to Stricter Standards Fared Better in Storm.” What a shocker. Isn’t that the point of the stricter guidelines?