Americans’ Ideal Home

A waterfront home in the suburbs that has nearly 5,000 square feet and a one-story ranch may be at the top of American consumers’ real estate wishlists, according to findings from a Porch.com survey of more than 600 Americans and Europeans about their ideal home designs, amenities, and locations.

Forty-five percent of Americans surveyed say if they could get their top choice they’d have a waterfront view, whether that’s a lakefront or oceanfront view. Views of a coast, city, or hills, raised elevations, and mountains followed in their preferences. The most preferred home size among Americans is four bedrooms and three bathrooms and is 4,982 square feet on 10.6 acres.

Are Quick Sales Becoming the Norm?

Homes for sale are not lingering on the market for long. Properties typically on the market sold for 27 days, shorter than the 30-day median from a year ago, according to the July 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.

The area that saw some of the quickest sales in July was the District of Columbia, where properties sold in just 17 days. Utah was next with 19 days, followed by Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington, all at 20 days.

How Delayed Marriage Rates Could Benefit Housing

Younger Americans are waiting longer to get married, and the industry has been concerned that the tendency will lead to a delay in homeownership too. But Toll Brothers CEO Douglas C. Yearley says the delay in getting hitched could actually be good for housing. In an interview with CNBC, Yearley predicts more millennials will be able to afford high-end homes, a segment of the market that Toll Brothers is focused on.

Most Buyers Seek Financing Before Showings

The first step buyers most often take in their home shopping pursuit is to check up on financing and to make sure they can even afford a home, according to a new survey of 1,000 recent buyers. The survey was commissioned by loanDepot and mellohome, a real estate services provider. The majority of these customers—nearly 74 percent—sought financing first in their homebuying journey before looking at homes. For first-time buyers, that percentage jumps to 85 percent.

Mortgage Fraud

The CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index represents the collective level of fraud risk the mortgage industry is experiencing in each time period, based on the share of loan applications with a high risk of fraud.  Read more about the most common types HERE.

Lots Near Power Lines Lose Nearly Half Their Value

Lots located next to power lines tend to sell for a whopping 45 percent less than similar lots further away from high-voltage transmission lines, according to a new study in the Journal of Real Estate Research. Lots that are non-adjacent to power lines but are located within 1,000 feet of them often sell at a discount of 18 percent, researchers Chris Mothorpe and David Wyman, the authors of the study, found.

Smart-Home Gadgets Buyers Will Pay Extra to Have

More builders are outfitting newly constructed homes with smart-home technology, and many buyers say they’ll pay extra for it, according to research from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Sixty percent of home shoppers say they’d spend more on a home with a smart thermostat, the consulting firm’s survey of more than 23,000 shows. Slightly more—67 percent—say they’d pay extra for an oversized kitchen.

Downsizing Doesn’t Always Lower Housing Expenses

A smaller home doesn’t always come with a smaller mortgage. In an effort to trim housing costs, some homeowners may be looking to switch to a smaller house, but economists say that’s not always a cost-saving move. “There are times when [moving to a smaller home] could have the opposite effect,” David Mele, president of Homes.com, told U.S. News & World Report. He points to a possible increase in taxes, moving expenses, insurance, and more that could make downsizing pricier.  Read more HERE.

Homeowners Overextended With Kids’ College Costs

The wave of foreclosures during the Great Recession was blamed on rising unemployment and subprime loans. But a new research study by Jacob W. Faber and Peter M. Rich suggests the foreclosure fallout may have been from something more: Homeowners who overextended themselves financially by paying for their children’s college education.

“While the foreclosure literature has focused on subprime lending, unemployment, and housing prices as the primary sources of financial overextension, there has been little attention devoted to the cost of college, despite evidence that college is a source of financial stress,” the researchers write.

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