Real Estate Tips, Resources, Statistics, and Articles for Home Buyers brought to you by RE/MAX Whatcom County

Vegas diaries: on the way to R4!

BELLINGHAM, WA—FEBRUARY 4, 2022

On the RE/MAX Whatcom County leadership crew, he’s a go-to point-person. Every day of the week.

Got a computer virus? Text Michael Shkurat.

Need to boost your customer relationship management systems? Call Michael.

Deleted your email in-box? (It’s happened.) Email Michael (with humility, from your Outlook trash can).

His expertise is not only his ability to address all things tech. His appeal is also in his exceedingly patient (and inscrutable) responses. No matter how badly you’ve tangled your software and hardware, Michael, Chief Marketing Officer & Director of IT, often responds, “Oh, I see!” As if he can see exactly how you got yourself into your mess. No matter the…

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An important factor in today’s market is the number of homes for sale. While inventory levels continue to sit near historic lows, there are indications we may have hit the lowest point we’ll see. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently said of our supply challenges:

It looks like inventory may have hit a bottom (we’ve seen this in the higher frequency data as well). Unsold inventory in May was at 2.5 months supply, up from 2.4.”

To put it into perspective, the graph below shows levels of inventory rising since the beginning of the year: We’re still not close to a balanced market, which would be a 6 months’ supply of homes for sale. However, we are seeing a slow but steady increase in homes coming up for sale. 

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The financial benefits of buying a home as compared to renting one are always up for debate. However, one element of the equation is often ignored - the ability to build wealth as a homeowner. 

Most experts are calling for home prices to continue appreciating over the next several years. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a survey of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategiests, expects home appreciation to increase as follows:

  • 2021: 6%
  • 2022: 4.5%
  • 2023: 4%
  • 2024: 3.6%
  • 2025: 3.5%

Using their annual projections, the graph below shows the equity build-up a purchaser could earn, using a $350,000 home as an example:

A homeowner could increase their networth by over $80,000…

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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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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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