A Fannie Mae survey recently revealed on of the most highly-rated benefits of homeownership, which continue to be key drivers in today's power-packed housing market. Here are the top four financial benefits of owning a home according to consumer respondents:

  • 88% - a better chance of saving for retirement
  • 87% - the best investment plan
  • 85% - the chance to be better off financially
  • 85% - the chance to build up wealth

Additional financial advantages of homeownership included in the survey are having the best overall tax situation and being able to live within your budget.

Does homeownership actually give you a better chance to build wealth?

No one can question a person's unique feelings about the importance of homeownership.…

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In a sellers' market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale by Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. Let's unpack why that's a big mistake and may actually cost you more in the long run. 

According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who tried to sell their house as FSBO did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. In reality, even in a sellers' market, selling on your own likely means you'll net a lower…

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If you've given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here's why this season is the ultimate sellers' market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a 'normal' or 'neutral' market in which there are enough homes for active buyers (see graph below): 

When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is now, it's much harder for…

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Right now, the housing market is full of outstanding opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you're thinking of buying your first home, moving up to a bigger one, or selling so you can downsize this spring, there are perks today that are powering big moves for people across the county. Here are the top two to keep on your radar this season. 

The Biggest Perks for Buyers: Low Mortgage Rates

Today's most compelling buyer incentive is low mortgage interest rates. The 30-year-fixed rate is now averaging just over 3%. While that's slightly higher than the record lows from 2020 and earlier this year, it's still way lower than historic norms, making purchasing a home an ongoing perk for hopeful buyers (see graph below). 

This is a…

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According to data from the most recent Origination Insight Report by Ellie May, the average FICO score on closed loans reached 753 in February. As lending standards have tightened recently, many are concerned over whether or not their credit score is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. While stricter lending standards could be a challenge for some, many buyers may be surprised by the options that are still available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

The fact that the average American has seen their credit score go up in recent years is a great sign of financial health. As someone's score rises, they're building toward a stronger financial future. As more Americans with strong credit enter the housing market, we see a natural increase in…

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Last year started off with a bang. Unemployment was under 4%, forecasters were giddy with their projections for the economy, and the residential market had the strongest January and February activity in over a decade.

Then came the announcement on March 11, 2020, from the World Health Organization, declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic. Two days later, the White House declared it a national emergency. Businesses and schools were forced to close, shelter-in-place mandates were enacted, and the economy came to a screeching halt. As a result, unemployment in the U.S. has skyrocketed to 14.9%.

A year later, the economy is recovering and the U.S. has regained more than half the jobs that were originally lost. However, some businesses are still closed,…

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BELLINGHAM, WA, MARCH 23, 2021 - RE/MAX Whatcom County is pleased to welcome Christine Rasmussen to the Whatcom County office. She will be joining the Weitzel & Associates team and will focus on Residential real estate. 

Originally form Canada, Christine has resided on and off in Whatcom County since 1997 and spent over 10 years as a business owner in the predominantly male industry of residential and commercial septic installations. She is looking forward to stepping into another company whose cultural focus of serving the community aligns with the very principals that made her own company successful through the challenges of the 2008 recession.

Prior to owning her own business, Christine primarily worked in management positions and technical…

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