With Terry Story, 25-year Veteran Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Boca Raton, FL
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Real estate has been on the up and up, and existing home sales and prices have now surpassed 2006 levels which was near the height of the housing market. This past spring was the hottest selling season since the downturn, and the momentum has continued into the summer. Home sales and median prices have risen sharply over the past year, pretty much across the U.S., and the West Coast is still the most expensive place to live in with prices up almost 10% over the past year. So affordability is now becoming a bit of an issue because higher prices also mean higher monthly mortgage expenses and increased home price appraisal issues.
But rising home prices offer a lesson, especially for folks that lost their homes to foreclosure – that it pays to carefully evaluate your finances… and only buy a house you can truly afford to pay off, even through downturns and periods of extended unemployment. So folks should consider holding-off on buying that dream house… unless they can really afford it.
And there’s change afoot. Effective October 3, 2015, banks have to give their documents to a buyer at least three days before closing – to give them a chance to review what they are signing. While this is a good consumer rule, ground reality reflects last minute changes all the time… so this rule is going to push out closings and upset home moves initially, but things should iron out over time.