Owning Your Home Helps You Build Wealth




You may have heard some people say it’s better to rent than buy a home right now. But, even today, there are lots of good reasons to become a homeowner. One of them is that owning a home is typically viewed as a good long-term investment that helps your net worth grow over time.

Homeownership Builds Wealth Regardless of Income Level

You may be surprised to learn homeowners across various income levels have a much higher net worth than renters who make the same amount. Data from First American helps illustrate this point (see graph below):

What makes wealth so much higher for homeowners? A recent article from Realtor.com says:

“Homeownership has long been tied to building wealth—and for good…

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Explaining Today’s Mortgage Rates




If you’re following mortgage rates because you know they impact your borrowing costs, you may be wondering what the future holds for them. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer that question because mortgage rates are notoriously hard to forecast.  

But, there’s one thing that’s historically a good indicator of what’ll happen with rates, and that’s the relationship between the 30-Year Mortgage Rate and the 10-Year Treasury Yield. Here’s a graph showing those two metrics since Freddie Mac started keeping mortgage rate records in 1972:

As the graph shows, historically, the average spread between the two over the last 50 years was 1.72 percentage points (also commonly referred to as 172 basis points).…

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Homebuyers Are Getting Used to the New Normal




Before you decide to sell your house, it’s important to know what you can expect in the current housing market. One positive trend right now is homebuyers are adapting to today’s mortgage rates and getting used to them as the new normal.

To better understand what’s been happening with mortgage rates lately, the graph below shows the trend for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac since last October. As you can see, rates have been between 6% and 7% pretty consistently for the past nine months:

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), mortgage rates play a significant role in buyer demand and, by extension, home sales. Yun highlights…

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MARKET UPDATE - JUNE 2023

Despite the rising temperatures, the U.S. housing market is experiencing cooler conditions than expected for this time of year. The reason behind this trend is a combination of factors, including a low inventory of homes and higher borrowing costs, which have led to a decrease in market activity during the peak summer homebuying season.

According to the most recent data released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), existing-home sales saw a slight increase of 0.2% from the previous month. However, compared to the same period last year, there was a significant decline of 20.4%. This drop in sales can be attributed to fluctuating mortgage rates and a historically low level of available homes for buyers to choose…

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The Lowcountry in September: A Month of Fun and Festivities

Blue + BBQ: A Celebration of History and Flavor

Join us in Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park on September 9th for the annual Blue + BBQ event!

This year's event features a BBQ Cookoff with 2022 SC Chef Ambassador Chris Williams, and local BBQ Master Chef Thomas Baker. There will also be live music, arts and crafts, and a variety of food and drinks.

The event is a fundraiser for the Mitchelville Freedom Park Foundation, which works to preserve and promote the history of Mitchelville, the first town founded by formerly enslaved people in the United States.

The all-blue theme of this year's event is a nod to the history of Mitchelville. The town was founded in 1862 by formerly…

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The Best August Events in the Lowcountry

Kick off your weekend with live music and stunning sunset views at Sunset Celebrations in Hilton Head!

Every Friday night from June 23 to August 18, you can enjoy free concerts by local bands at Shelter Cove Towne Centre. Bring a beach chair or blanket, pick up some take-out food from one of the restaurants, and relax on the lawn as you listen to the music. Coolers and pets are welcome, so you can bring the whole family.

The lineup for August includes:

  • August 4: Tower of Funk & the Choosy Mothers Horns
  • August 11: Cranford Hollow
  • August 18: Deas-Guyz

In addition to Sunset Celebrations, you can also enjoy a murder mystery dinner theater experience at The Dinner Detective in Savannah. This…

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Home Prices Are Rebounding




If you’re following the news today, you may feel a bit unsure about what’s happening with home prices and fear whether or not the worst is yet to come. That’s because today’s headlines are painting an unnecessarily negative picture. If we take a year-over-year view, home prices did drop some, but that’s because we’re comparing to a ‘unicorn’ year when prices peaked well beyond the norm.

To avoid an unfair comparison to that previous peak, we need to look at monthly data. And that tells a very different and much more positive story. While local home price trends still vary by market, here’s what the national data tells us.

The graphs below use recent monthly reports from three sources to show the worst home price…

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How Remote Work Expands Your Homebuying Horizons




Even as some companies transition back into the office, remote work remains a popular choice for many professionals. So, if you currently enjoy working from home or hope to be able to soon, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, most working professionals want to work either fully remote or hybrid (see below):

This trend is good news if you’re looking to buy a home because a remote or hybrid work setup can help you overcome some of today’s affordability and housing inventory challenges.

More Work Flexibility Equals More Home Options

Remote or hybrid work opens up a world of opportunities. That’s because it allows you to broaden your search for your next home since you’re no…

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Renting or Selling Your House: What's the Best Move?




If you’re a homeowner ready to make a move, you may be thinking about using your current house as a short-term rental property instead of selling it. A short-term rental (STR) is typically offered as an alternative to a hotel, and they’re an investment that’s gained popularity in recent years.

While a short-term rental can be a tempting idea, you may find the reality of being responsible for one difficult to take on. Here are some of the challenges you could face if you rent out your house instead of selling it.

A Short-Term Rental Comes with Responsibilities

Successfully managing your house as a short-term rental takes a lot of time and effort. You’ll have to juggle tasks like dealing…

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Momentum Is Building for New Home Construction




If you’re in the process of looking for a home today, you know the supply of homes for sale is low because you’re feeling the impact of having a limited pool of options. And, if your biggest hurdle right now is that you’re having trouble finding something you like, don’t forget that a newly built home is a great option.

As a recent article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says: 

“Home buyers continue to be met with limited housing options during what’s typically the real estate market’s busiest season. . . . The current supply of existing homes is about half the level it was in 2019 . . . Meanwhile, the market for new construction is a bright spot.”

Here’s a look at a key metric…

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