Why a Vacation Home Is the Ultimate Summer Upgrade




Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to start planning where you want to vacation and unwind this season. If you’re excited about getting away and having some fun in the sun, it might make sense to consider if owning your own vacation home is right for you.

An Ameriprise Financial survey sheds light on why people buy a second, or vacation, home (see below): 


  • Vacation destination or a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life (81%) – Having a second home to use as a vacation spot can be a special place where you go to relax and take a break from your daily routines and stressors. It also means you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stay…

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Housing Market Forecast: What’s Ahead for the 2nd Half of 2024




As we move into the second half of 2024, here’s what experts say you should expect for home prices, mortgage rates, and home sales.

Home Prices Are Expected To Climb Moderately

Home prices are forecasted to rise at a more normal pace. The graph below shows the latest forecasts from seven of the most trusted sources in the industry:

The reason for continued appreciation? The supply of homes for sale. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“One thing that seems to be pretty solid is that home prices are going to continue to go up, and the reason is that we don't have housing inventory.”

While inventory is…

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How Long Will It Take To Sell My House?




You want your house to sell fast. And you may be wondering how long the whole process is going to take. One way to get your answer? Work with a local real estate agent.

They have the expertise to tell you how quickly homes are selling in your area and what’s impacting timelines for other sellers. That way you have realistic expectations and can work together to come up with a plan that’s based on today’s market.

Here’s a high-level overview of just one of the factors a great agent will walk you through – the supply of homes for sale and how that impacts your process.

The Growing Supply of Homes for Sale

Over the past few months, the number of homes for sale has increased. This is good news when…

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Savings Strategies Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs To Know




If homeownership is on your goal sheet for your future, you’re probably working on your savings. And a big priority is making sure you’ve got a plan in place for things like your closing costs, down payment, and more.

Here are a few strategies that can help speed up that process.

Budget and Track Your Expenses: To start, create a detailed budget that tracks the money you’ve got coming in and the money going out. This’ll give you a better look at your finances as a whole.

Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending: Now that you have your budget sheet done and you know how you’re spending your money, look for any line items that aren’t absolutely essential. If you cut down on those, you can…

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MARKET UPDATE - MAY 2024

U.S. existing-home sales fell for the second month in a row, sliding 1.9% month over-month and 1.9% year-over-year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), with sales down in all four regions of the country. Higher borrowing costs and accelerating home prices continue to weigh on demand, pushing some prospective buyers to the sidelines and causing market activity to slump ahead of summer.

Home prices have continued to climb nationwide, despite an uptick in inventory this year. Nationally, the median existing-home price reached $407,600 as of last measure, a 5.7% increase from the same period last year and a record high for the month, according to NAR. Meanwhile, total inventory heading into May stood at 1.21…

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Selling Smart: Why a Real Estate Agent Makes All the Difference




If you’re considering selling your house on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), you want to think about if it’s really worth the extra stress. Going this route means shouldering a lot of responsibilities by yourself – and, if you’re not an expert, that opens the door for mistakes to happen and can quickly become overwhelming.

A report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows two key areas where people who sold their own house struggled the most: pricing and paperwork.

Here are just a few of the ways an agent makes those tasks a whole lot easier.

Getting the Price Right

Setting the right price for your house is important. And, if you’re selling your house…

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Your Equity Could Make a Move Possible




Many homeowners looking to sell feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Today’s mortgage rates are higher than the one they currently have on their home, and that’s making it harder to want to sell and make a move. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

But what if there was a way to offset these higher borrowing costs? There is. And the money you need probably already exists in your current home in the form of equity.

What Is Equity?

Think of equity as a simple math equation. Freddie Mac explains:

“. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.”

Your equity grows as you pay down your loan over time and as…

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The Sweet Spot for Buying Luxury Homes




If you’ve been looking for a home at the high end of your market, but haven’t found the right one, you may have put your search on hold. But according to recent data, now may be the time to jump back in. Here’s why.

There Are More Luxury Homes To Choose From

What’s considered the top-end of the market, or a luxury home, will always vary by location. But generally speaking, they’re homes that are valued in the top 5% of any given market. According to a recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, the selection of luxury homes is increasing (see graph below):


As the graph shows, there are considerably more single-family luxury homes available now than there were a year ago. In fact,…

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What To Expect if You Buy or Sell a Home This June




June is a busy month in the housing market because a lot of people buy and sell this time of year. So, if you’ve got a move on your mind and you’re looking to make it happen this month, here’s a snapshot of what you need to know to make sure you’re ready.

If You’re Buying This June

A lot of homebuyers with children like to move after one school year ends and before the next one begins. That’s one reason why late spring into summer is a popular time for homes to change hands. And whether that’s a motivator for you or not, it’s important to realize more buyers are going to be looking right now – and that means you’ll want to be ready for a bit more competition. But there is a silver lining to a…

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More Than a House: The Emotional Benefits of Homeownership




With all the headlines and talk about housing affordability, it can be tempting to get lost in the financial side of buying a home. That’s only natural as you think about the dollars and cents of it all.

And while you ultimately need to be able to afford a home you buy, don’t lose sight of why homeownership was so important to you in the first place. That’s because buying a home is so much more than just a financial transaction. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“The benefits of purchasing and owning your place of residence are both financial and emotional – pride in homeownership and the feeling of security are huge intangible benefits.”

Here’s a look at just a…

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