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Everything Real Estate with Catherine J Smith Blog

Thursday, December 2, 2021   /   by Catherine J

How Smart Buyers Are Approaching Rising Mortgage Rates

Last week, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac inched up to 3.1%, and experts project rates will continue rising through 2022:
“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.9% in the third quarter of 2021. We forecast mortgage rates to increase slightly through the remainder of the year and reach 3.0%, rising to 3.5% for full-year 2022.”
If you’re thinking of buying a home, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can succeed even as mortgage rates rise.
Taking Time Off Can Be Costly
Mortgage rates play a significant role in your home search. As rates go up, your monthly mortgage payment increases if you’re buying a home, directly affecting how much you can afford. And even the smallest increase can have a large impact on your monthly payment (see chart below):With mortgage rates on the rise, you’ve likely seen your purchasing power impacted already. Instead of waiting and hoping rates will ...

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Monday, November 15, 2021   /   by Catherine J

Two Graphs That Show Why You Shouldn’t Be Upset About 3% Mortgage Rates

With the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac climbing above 3%, rising rates are one of the topics dominating the discussion in the housing market today. And since experts' project rates will rise further in the coming months, that conversation isn’t going away any time soon.
But as a homebuyer, what do rates above 3% really mean?
Today’s Average Mortgage Rate Still Presents Buyers with a Great Opportunity
Buyers don’t want mortgage rates to rise, as any upward movement increases your monthly mortgage payment. But it’s important to put today’s average mortgage rate into perspective. The graph below shows today’s rate in comparison to average rates over the last five years:As the graph shows, even though today’s rate is above 3%, it’s still incredibly competitive.
But today’s rate isn’t just low when compared to the most recent years. To truly put ...

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Friday, October 29, 2021   /   by Catherine J

What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market?

As you follow the news, you’re likely seeing headlines discussing what’s going on in today’s housing market. Chances are high that some of the more recent storylines you’ve come across mention terms like cooling or slowing when talking about where the market is headed.
But what do these terms mean? The housing market today is anything but normal, and it’s still an incredibly strong sellers’ market, especially when compared to the few years leading up to the pandemic. With that in mind, what can previous years tell us about today’s real estate market and if it’s truly slowing?
We’re Still Seeing an Above Average Number of Sales
You may see headlines about a drop in home sales. But are those headlines telling the full story? The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) does show a drop of about 2% from July to August. But the month- ...

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Friday, October 15, 2021   /   by Catherine J

As Home Equity Rises, So Does Your Wealth

Homeownership is still a crucial part of the American dream. For those people who own a home (and those looking to buy one), it’s clear that being a homeowner has considerable benefits both emotionally and financially. In addition to long-term stability, buying a home is one of the best ways to increase your net worth. This boost to your wealth comes in the form of equity.
Equity is the difference between what you owe on the home and its market value based on factors like price appreciation.
The best thing about equity is that it often grows without you even realizing it, especially in a sellers’ market like we’re in now. In today’s real estate market, the combination of low housing supply and high buyer demand is driving home values up. This is giving homeowners a significant equity boost.
According to the latest data from CoreLogic, the number of equity homeowners has continued to gr. ...

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Monday, October 4, 2021   /   by Catherine J

Don’t Tackle Selling Your Home on Your Own – an Agent Can Help

If you’re looking to maximize your sale and minimize your effort, you need to work with a real estate professional. In a sellers’ market like today’s, it can be tempting to list your house on your own – known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). But the truth is, a real estate professional can save you time and money by managing every step of the process, from pricing your home to reviewing documents and handling negotiations.
Before you decide to sell your house on your own, here are five reasons why working with an agent is your best bet to maximize the sale of your home.
1. First impressions are everything – and an agent knows how to make a great one.
Prepping a house for sale requires a significant amount of time and effort, even though it may seem simple at first glance. Doing it right so it stands out takes expertise and an understanding of what buyers are looking for. An agent considers things like:


Shoul ...

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