Buying a Twin Cities Home At An Affordable Price: Fierce demand from homebuyers and renters alike, coupled with a tight supply of real estate inventory, has increased the cost of buying a Twin Cities home to its highest point since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007.
Buying a Twin Cities home is still affordable, in spite of rising mortgage rates and home prices. Residents in many of Twin Cities housing communities are now dedicating more of their paychecks toward housing than in previous years, yet with the strong benefits of homeowners and rising home values, buying a home is still very affordable, a new Center for Housing Policy study concludes.
We all need a decent and affordable home to live in, many Minneapolis and St Paul residents have found the sacrifices to prepare a down payment and maintain a great credit score are worthy trade-offs to make buying a Twin Cities home happen.
Hot Housing Activity Makes Buying A Home More Affordable
In the Twin Cities region, strong home seller and home buyer activity spurs home values upward and increases affordability for potential metro real estate sellers due to better home equity numbers:
STATS FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 25 - 31:
• New Real Estate Listings increased 16.3% to 1,359
• Pending Home Sales increased 22.9% to 1,243
FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST:
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.0% to 97.0%
• Median Sales Price increased 16.9% to $208,000
Steps To Make Buying A Home Affordable
Homeownership is about more than buying a home; knowing the monthly house payments can be made over the long term is imperative. When planning to buy a home, these five steps lead to successful purchases of the right house with affordable financing that helps make homeownership a long-term success.
Actively Research Before Buying A Twin Cities Home
Understanding the buying process increases the odds that a prospective home buyers can gain an quality loan. Before signing with a Realtor or seeking a lender, become informed on the loan process and key factors that make a loan affordable. The Mortgage Center suggests getting educated on loan types – fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA and VA loans – and the full range of line items that contribute to the total cost of securing an affordable home loan, including discount points, appraisals, and real estate agent commissions.
Tend To Credit Scores To Buy At An Affordable Mortgage Rate
Knowing that today loan applicants face tighter lending guidelines, preparing financially first is more important than ever. Obtain a current credit report and credit score. One free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) is available at www.annualcreditreport.com. Comb through each report for errors or discrepancies, and take immediate action to remedy them. Credit scores under 640 need to be raised. Taking the time to correct errors and improve credit history may mean a delay in purchase a home; however, the result is typically a better home loan and at a lower rate.
Figure In Tax Breaks Helping Home Affordability
Homeowner tax exemption allows homeowners to write down their home mortgages costs, which helps them afford to buy a home. Others find they can afford to refinance the home they have without incurring a hefty tax bill. Knowing how to use tax breaks and determine home affordability is helpful to gain the the big picture of dollars back that can make monthly mortgage payments affordable.
Calculate Your Income To Know What You Can Afford
Zillow offers a great home affordability calculator based on the percentage of your income spent on monthly debt. Most lenders limit how much of your monthly income can pay debt such as mortgage payments, car loans, and education debt, etc., which is called "Debt to Income Ratio". Traditionally applicants for a loan to buy a home have a limit of 36% of established monthly income. FHA mortgage limits may be different for home loans. Applicants ability to afford to buy a home is established after debt and taxes; enough income should remain to cover living expenses, unexpected home maintenance/repairs or financial emergencies, and savings goals.
Negotiate The Home's Asking Price
After determining the price range you can afford, take a look at the local market and the pace that homes are selling. A skilled Realtor can help learn if homes are typically selling below their asking price or if Twin Cities home sellers are often gaining multiple offers that push the price over the home's listing price for sale. For years the asking price left room for buyers to place a lower bid and often obtained them.
How Tight Do You Want To Budget?
Look at the surrounding area to see if it’s a place in which you see yourself and family for the long haul. If your budget is tight, ask yourself a few more questions. Will you be happy enough with the home to forgo purchasing other items to keep your home affordable after obtaining it? This is a great question to bring everyone in one who will live in the home; future sacrifices are easier when they are anticipated.
Twin Cities Job Market Improvements Help Prospective Home Buyers
Rising home prices and residential rental rates have boosted the typical housing expense for residents in some metro areas well beyond average wages during the past two years, according to the Center for Housing Policy. One example is Florida, where tourism and service-related jobs make up a large portion of jobs and leaves more prospective home buyers seeking to gain a quality loan to buy a home over obtaining one. The recent Housing Becoming Unaffordable for Many article in the Herald Tribune says, "Rising home prices and residential rental rates have boosted the typical housing expense for workers in Sarasota and Manatee counties well beyond average wages during the past two years". The positive growth in Twin Cities jobs has placed the metro above national averages for home affordability.
"Between 2012 and 2013, buying a median-priced home became unaffordable for auto mechanics and front desk managers in Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, Texas; and Reno, Nevada, in addition to Redding, California and Minneapolis-St. Paul for auto mechanics," according to the Center For Housing Policy Home Affordability Study - Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck. While most benefit from our housing market recovery, by being able to find affordable housing, others that make up the low- and moderate-income find rising home prices and mortgage rates make it more difficult. It may be key to learn what your FHA mortgage limits are; the government is seeking to offer more help for border-line applicants.
Twin Cities Job Market Improvements Help Prospective Home Buyers
Some Twin Cities residential neighborhoods have few affordable housing units, while a select few areas have high concentrations. In the western Twin Cities, Minneapolis has the most striking concentrations—although Hopkins, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Richfield and Golden Valley all have significant numbers. HousingLink's latest August 2013 report shows significant improvement in the number of families who can no longer afford their homes and go through foreclosure. There were 6,795 foreclosures in Minnesota in the first half of 2013. This is a noticeable improvement at close to 50 percent below the turn of a half year mark three years ago. Twin Cities families are still losing homes through foreclosures; however, the rate of foreclosures is much improved.
For more information, read our recent article on the cost of new homes in the Twin Cities.
Contact Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination for assistance to understand what buying purchasing power you have. Engaging a real estate expert, means you have a guide offering full knowledge of the Minnesota buying process. Read through Home Destination's resources for home buyers and sellers. Call 612-396-7832.
Download the MN Housing Experts Report on More Affordable Housing and Few Foreclosures - August 2013
Download the Center For Housing Policy Home Affordability Study - Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck August 2013
Jenna Thuening, a Twin Cities residential Realtor helps families find a Twin Cities home that is still affordable
Eden Prairie MN 55344
Jenna's home page: homedestination.com
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