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Buyers | Century 21 First Choice Blog

Thursday, September 9, 2021   /   by Pete Hall

5 Reasons Today’s Housing Market Is Anything but Normal

There are many headlines out there that claim we’re reverting to a more normal real estate market. That would indicate the housing market is returning to the pre-pandemic numbers we saw from 2015-2019. But that’s not happening. The market is still extremely vibrant as demand is still strong even while housing supply is slowly returning.

Here’s the definition of normal from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”

Using this definition, here are five housing industry metrics that prove we’re nowhere near normal.

1. Mortgage Rates

If we look at the 30-year mortgage rate chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade:


1970s: 8.86%



1980s: 12.7%



1990s: 8.12%



2000s: 6.29%



2010s: 4.09%


Today, the average mortgage rate stands at 2.8 ...

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  buyers, sellers

Wednesday, September 8, 2021   /   by Pete Hall

What You Can Do Right Now To Prepare for Homeownership

As rent prices continue to soar, many renters want to know what they can do to get ready to buy their first home. According to recent data from ApartmentList.com:


“The first half of 2021 has seen the fastest growth in rent prices since the start of our estimates in 2017. Our national rent index has increased by 11.4 percent since January . . . .”

Those rising rental costs may make it seem impossible to prepare for homeownership if you’re a renter. But the truth is, there are ways you can – and should – prepare to purchase your first home. Here’s some expert advice on what to do if you’re ready to learn more about how to escape rising rents.

Start Saving – Even Small Amounts – Now

Experts agree, setting aside what you can – even smaller amounts of money – into a dedicated savings account is a great starting point when it comes to saving for a down payment. As Cindy Zuniga-Sanch ...

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  buyers

Monday, September 6, 2021   /   by Pete Hall

The Difference in Net Worth Between Homeowners and Renters Is Widening

Becoming financially secure is an important goal for many people today, but some don’t realize just how much homeownership can help them achieve that dream. A recent report, The Journey Toward Financial Freedom
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, surveys Americans about their perspective on financial wellness and their goals. It shows there may be a significant misconception about the role owning a home plays in building wealth:


“Home ownership is one of the indicators Americans say is least connected to financial health."

Two major personal wealth goals – homeownership and net worth – work hand-in-hand. Below are just a few reasons why, if you’re looking for financial security, homeownership should be a top priority.
Homeownership Is an Important Cornerstone of Building Wealth
Every three years, the Federal Reserve releases the Survey of Consumer Finances
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 which highlights the difference in wealth betwe ...

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  buyers

Thursday, September 2, 2021   /   by Pete Hall

If Housing Affordability Is About the Money, Don’t Forget This.

There are many non-financial benefits of buying your own home. However, today’s headlines seem to be focusing primarily on the financial aspects of homeownership – specifically affordability. Many articles are making the claim that it’s not affordable to buy a home in today’s market, but that isn’t the case.
Today’s buyers are spending approximately 20% of their income on their monthly mortgage payments. According to The Essential Guide to Creating a Homebuying Budget from Freddie Mac, the 20% of income that purchasers are currently paying is well within the 28% guideline suggested:

“Most lenders agree that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on a mortgage payment (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance).”

So why is there so much talk about challenges regarding affordability?
It’s Not That Homes Are Unaffordable – It’s That ...

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  buyers

Monday, August 30, 2021   /   by Pete Hall

What Do Experts Say About Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage rates are hovering near record lows, and that’s good news for today’s homebuyers. The graph below shows mortgage rates dating back to 2016 and where today falls by comparison.Generally speaking, when rates are low, you can afford more home for your money. That’s why experts across the industry agree – today’s low rates present buyers with an incredible opportunity. Here’s what they have to say:
Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, points out the historic nature of today’s rates:

“As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, and the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, talks about how rates impact a buyer’s bottom line:

“Mortgage rates are generally the same across the country, so a dec ...

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  buyers