Senior Housing Market Improves

According to the National Association of Home Builders 55+ Housing Market Index, single-family builder confidence among the senior housing development market increased over the last year. During the third quarter of this year, the index rose to 59. On the scale, a score of 50 marks the point where positive gains surpass negative. Additionally, the 55+ Housing Market Index for multifamily condos also increased from 37 in 2013 to 41 in the third quarter of 2014. Experts believe the growth is due to a growing population of seniors desiring relocation to a new home or an upgrade of their current home in their retirement years. More here

Protecting And Improving Your Home During Winter Weather

Much of the United States has already experienced its first snow of the season, whether it was a dusting in Des Moines or 80 inches in Buffalo. If you have not yet prepared for winter weather, now is the time to do so. A few things you can do to make sure you are safe during cold weather, snow or ice storms are: Pour sand on your walkways, porches and driveways to help create traction. You can also invest in tread tape to line your garage, which will decrease the risk of falling. Lay floor mats both outside and inside your doors so you can clean your shoes of snow or salt, which can be damaging to the interior of your home. Another helpful tip calls for placing markers or stakes alongside your pathways and driveway so you know where to stop shoveling. More here

Home Buying Tips For Millennials

According to research, only 36% of homeowners are under the age of 35; this may be a direct result of student loans, no credit history, lack of commitment, and the desire to live in large cities where real estate is costly. There are some valuable resources available to overcome the obstacles preventing millennials from buying a home: Experts suggest going to small local banks, local mortgage companies and credit unions to increase chances of being approved for a loan. It is also worth exploring first-time home buyer programs. More here

Housing Inventory Increases

According to Zillow’s Real Estate Markets report, home sales inventory continued to grow during the month of October. The data suggests that higher-priced home sales inventory has experienced a larger increase than lower and mid-level priced homes. Experts expect that inventory in the lower and mid-level price range will grow in the coming years. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s Chief Economist said, “we expect more demand to come from the lower end of the market in coming years as millennials overtake Generation X as the largest home-buying demographic. As this happens, builders will be forced to build for these more entry-level buyers, and inventory at the bottom tier should improve.” More here

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

The holidays are right around the corner, and many people are preparing to decorate their homes, some elaborately so. While this can be fun for the whole family, it’s important to keep everyone safe. A few precautionary measures to take this holiday season are: Make sure your tree is not close to fireplaces or any other devices that create heat. When using artificial snow be sure to keep your distance, as the spray, if inhaled, can be bothersome to your lungs. Test all lights and make sure they work efficiently and safely. Also, when possible you should reduce the use of extension cords to avoid electrical danger. More here

Mortgage Application Activity Picks Up

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage applications rose 4.9%, on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the previous week. The jump in mortgage applications this week ended the three-week decline in application activity. Additionally, the FHA share of mortgage applications also rose .3% from the previous week, and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index jumped 12% reaching the highest level seen in approximately four months. More here

Frozen Pipe Prevention And Thawing Tips

Dealing with frozen pipes can be an unpleasant and expensive job. You can reduce the chances of your pipes freezing by taking some precautionary measures before extreme temperatures hit. Here are a few tips to help you avoid potential catastrophe: Insulate any exterior wall pipes; open cabinet doors to allow heat from your home to reach sink pipes; trickle water from faucets- moving water is less likely to freeze. When traveling away from home, do not set your thermostat any lower than 55 degrees. If your pipes do freeze, you should open the faucet letting water pass through, even if only a trickle- this will help the pipes to warm faster. More here

Housing Market Continues Steady Trajectory

Recent reports confirm the housing market remains headed in a positive direction. Lindsey Piegza, the chief economist at Sterne Agree said, “both from an investment standpoint and on a relative basis compared to the rental market, consumers continue to endeavor toward home-ownership. Improving demand for housing is additionally fueling a modest improvement in supply.” Piegza also suggests that the speed of recovery will depend on factors such as unemployment rates, hiring rates, and population growth. More here

Boomer Housing Myths Debunked

Many Baby Boomers are indeed downsizing, but according to recent data, 46% plan to upsize. Not as many Boomers plan to relocate either, as analysts frequently report; 63% intend to stay in their current homes. Of those planning to relocate, 51% have no plans to move to a retirement community in a sunny locale; 67% will stay within their home State, with 51% planning to stay within 30 miles of their current address. Additionally, many of the survey participants plan on making large upgrades to their current homes. More here

Mortgage Applications Increase

Applications for new home purchases jumped approximately 8% according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Survey for October. Conventional loans made up 68.2% of all loan applications; FHA loans made up 16.2%, RHS/USDA loans made up 1.5% and VA loans made up 14.2%. The MBA’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni said, “applications for new home purchases picked up in October, particularly for higher-priced homes. The continued improvement in the job market and still low mortgage rates are supporting the upper levels of the purchase market while the tight credit environment continues to constrain sales at the entry level.” Additionally, the average loan amount on new homes rose nearly $2,000 from September to October 2014. More here