Rent or Buy? The economics of housing.

All the 20-somethings who have jobs are asking me: should we buy a house or keep renting? The answer isn’t so easy. The common wisdom for decades was to buy a house as soon as you can, because it’s a great investment. That “wisdom” turned lots of people upside down in the past decade. Let’s take a cold, hard look at the economics of owning a home.

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Is This Really Tax Reform?

Our US Government has some serious reforms to the way income tax rates, capital gains on the sale of a primary residence, and the mortgage interest deduction will be handled if this legislation makes it way into law.

You need to watch this video to know what is heading your way.  Click the link below.

Is This Really Tax Reform?

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New Rules for Lenders & Borrowers

Heads up for mortgage borrowers: New rules went into effect Jan. 10 that hold lenders to stricter guidelines for ensuring potential home buyers are qualified and able to repay their mortgages.  This may impact your ability to get financing or the interest rate on that loan for your home purchase.

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Foreclosure Continue to Decline

The US Housing Market continues to improve.  Foreclosures declined 16% from March 2102 to March 2012. Foreclosures have decreased each month over the past 17 months. We have entered into a new phase of recovery for the housing market.  Check out this report from CoreLogic to get the details for your part of the country.

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Home Buyer Bidding Wars Are Back

With housing inventory extremely tight in many markets, buyers are piling on to purchase quality homes.  Many of the nation’s major housing markets have gone from lifeless to rebirth.  For sale listings are now drawing multiple offers from active house hunters on their quest for a home.  In March, broker that work with Redfin said that 3 out of 4 of their clients’ offers were countered by rival bids.  It’s a great time to be an investor selling renovated homes.

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Portland Real Estate Market Is Holding Strong

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Recent Lock Box Activity for Portland, OR

Real estate activity in Portland continued to remain strong through February 2013 with 1,376 closed sales — the best February since 2008.  Pending sales increased to 2,130 (11.8%) in February from January 2013.  This represents the best February since 2007.  February also provided 2,453 new listings, which is virtually the same as January’s 2,438 listings, and a 1.6% decrease from the prior year. Active inventory remains at historic lows with unsold inventory at just 4.5 months.  Time on Market time at just 116 days, almost the same as January, at 114 days.

Average and Median Sale Prices in February were $282,000 and $242,000, respectively.  With prices continuing to rise in Portland Metro, the average price of homes in the twelve months ending February 28th was $278,600.  Compared against the year prior, the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending February 2012  at $263,300 reveals an increase of 5.8%.  Similarly , the median has increased 8.5% to $238,500 in the last twelve months from $219,900 in the preceding twelve months.

source: www.rmls.com

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