A study of the Baby Boom generation by AARP and the National Association of Home Builders concluded that because the number of people age 65 and older will grow to 70 million by 2030, where boomers choose to live will have maximum impact on the housing industry.
While boomers will reflect the patterns of earlier generations and mostly age in place, said Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president of AARP, “The sheer number of boomers will increase demand for a whole variety of home and community options.
Here are some key findings from the study:
79 percent say they would like to stay in their current homes as long as possible;
10 percent say they would like to stay in their current homes, but don’t think they will be able to do so;
26 percent of boomers plan to eventually move from their current homes, with the majority seeking a single-level home that is both comfortable and convenient;
50 percent of those who plan to move want a home that is newer than their current home;
49 percent expect to downsize to a smaller home.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, Suzanne Cosgrove (12/21/2008)
More buyers in search of home loans are turning to an obscure program operated by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The program allows no-money-down purchases. In fact, including a mortgage insurance policy, a borrower can seek up to 102 percent.
To be eligible, buyers can’t have income that exceeds 115 percent of the median county income. The loans are restricted to low-density areas, generally towns of no more than 25,000 residents. The loans are made by private lenders, then insured by the government.
Some home builders are promoting the use of this program. “It’s one of our main tools right now,” says John Bargnesi, vice president for sales of Scottsdale, Ariz., home builder Meritage Homes.
Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following:
1.Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else’s poor financial management.
2.Pay down credit card bills. If possible, pay off the entire balance every month. Transferring credit card debt from one card to another could lower your score.
3.Don’t charge your credit cards to the maximum limit.
4.Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage. You’re penalized less for problems after a year.
5.Don’t order items for your new home on credit — such as appliances and furniture — until after the loan is approved. The amounts will add to your debt.
6.Don’t open new credit card accounts before applying for a mortgage. Too much available credit can lower your score.
7.Shop for mortgage rates all at once. Too many credit applications can lower your score, but multiple inquiries from the same type of lender are counted as one inquiry if submitted over a short period of time.
8.Avoid finance companies. Even if you pay the loan on time, the interest is high and it will probably be considered a sign of poor credit management.
This information is copyrighted by the Fannie Mae Foundation and is used with permission of the Fannie Mae Foundation. To obtain a complete copy of the publication,Knowing and Understanding Your Credit, visitwww.homebuyingguide.org.
Fewer buyers are willing to consider purchasing foreclosed property than they were seven months ago, according to a study commissioned by Trulia.com and RealtyTrac.
Seven months ago, 54 percent of adults surveyed said they would consider purchasing a foreclosed home. In November, only 47 percent of adults say they’d buy a foreclosure.
The chief turnoff is perceived risk, with 80 percent of those surveyed citing hidden repair costs, a tricky buying process, and the possibility that the neighborhood will lose more value and drag the property down with it.
To compensate for these risks, 75 percent say they expect at least a 25 percent discount and 30 percent say they would only buy if there is a 50 percent discount compared with a comparable home that isn’t in foreclosure.
* 56 percent of single/never married adults were at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home, down from 60 percent in April.
* 43 percent of married adults were at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home, down from 50 percent in April.
* 42 percent of divorced/separated/widowed adults were at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home, down from 50 percent from April.
Sales are picking up in markets where prices are deflated, but the business is different than it was before the bubble burst, observers say.
The housing market in deflated markets–like Arizona, California, Florida, and Nebraska–are beginning to show signs of a rebound. Analysts say that prices have fallen to the point that those with average salaries can afford to buy once again.
“The buyers are returning,” says Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “And in such a strong way that, now, we are hearing in some cases there is multiple bidding, which hints that maybe pricing is reaching a bottom point. But inventory remains high.”
In California’s San Joaquin County, sales in September and October reached sales levels about equal to business at the height of the boom in 2005, says DataQuick, which provides property data.
But new buyers are primarily first-timers and investors looking to cash in. Local practitioners say the buyers are primarily local residents who have cash to spend.
“It’s the couple down the street that has a nice nest egg and who wants to put it into something that will give them a good return,” says Bev Marlow, head of the Central Valley Association of REALTORS®.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor, Ben Arnoldy