Top 10 Reasons Renters Keep Renting

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The majority of Americans who do not own their own home say they intend to one day and hold strong feelings toward home ownership. But how about those 20 percent of households who are adamant about renting and say they intend to stay renters now and in the future?

About 20 percent of renting households don’t have any intentions to purchase a home in the future, and researchers at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies recently surveyed such renters to find out why they’re shying away from what’s some consider the “American dream” of home ownership.

The bottom line: It’s not the lifestyle choices but financial constraints that renters say keep them from purchasing a home in the future. More than half of renters recently surveyed said they do not intend to buy because they think they cannot afford it or their credit is not good enough, according to JCHS.

According to the research, the top 10 reasons renters give for not planning to buy in the future:

  1. Cannot afford the purchase or upkeep of a home
  2. Not good enough credit for a mortgage
  3. Not a good time economically to buy a home
  4. Cheaper per month to rent than to buy
  5. Don’t want to be concerned with doing the upkeep
  6. Don’t plan to be in a certain area for an extended period of time
  7. Rather use the money for other investments than a home
  8. Process of buying a home seems too complicated
  9. Purchasing a home limits flexibility in future choices
  10. Can live in better neighborhood by renting

“These results suggest that about a third of renters, or 10 percent of all households, rent because of lifestyle and personal preferences,” writes Rachel Bogardus Drew, a post-doctoral fellow conducting the research for JCHS. “That their reasons appear to be largely idiosyncratic, rather than systematically related to their personal characteristics, further indicates that those who rent by choice do so in spite of strong social biases towards ownership that encourage the remaining 90 percent of households to view owning favorably. More than half of lifetime renters, however, see their tenure options as constrained, either by their own financial circumstances or by macroeconomic conditions.”

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Rates Haven’t Been This Low Since 2013

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage took another dip this week, staying below the 4 percent threshold and keeping borrowing costs at the lowest rate in more than a year. It marks the fifth consecutive week that mortgage rates decreased.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.92 percent, with an average 0.5 point, reaching a new low for the year and dropping from last week’s 3.97 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.18 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.91 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.92 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.41 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.38 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.60 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

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    • Give more detailed information
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3 Financial Facts That Can Help You Choose the Best Vacation Home

Every time you drive past a beach house for sale, you probably dream of one day owning one for yourself.  The good news is that this dream might be more affordable than you think.  But before you start looking for beach vacation homes in your favorite getaway spot, there are a few financial facts you should keep in mind that can help you choose your dream house the smart way.

Buying a Home Provides Ongoing Benefits

Buying a vacation home provides you with many of the same financial benefits as buying your first home.  Tax breaks including mortgage deductions, closing cost deductions and property tax deductions can all ease the burden of your monthly payments, and you’ll be building equity instead of pouring money into hotels or rentals every summer vacation for decades.

It’s important, however, that you not be overambitious when looking at a vacation home. It’s best to use a mortgage calculator before you ever set foot in an open house to figure out exactly what you can afford and avoid falling in love with a house that’s simply not in the budget.  From there, you should try to estimate your complete cost of living.

Income Properties Should Be in Certain Locations

The best part of buying beach vacation homes is that you can almost always count on being able to rent them out when your family isn’t using them so that you can break even or make a profit owning a second home.  Keep in mind, though, that this means you should browse listings and go to open houses with not only your family, but also your potential renters, in mind.

If you have a large family vehicle, it might not be a big deal to load up beach gear and drive a mile or two; for a family who flew into town and rented either no car or a small sedan, being right on the beach might be important. You may not care about nightlife; your renters may only be looking at places within walking distances or restaurants and bars.  When you’re working with your Realtor, make sure he or she knows that it’s important that whatever property you end up buying be in an area popular with vacationers.

Property Management is Generally Worth the Cost

Renting our beach vacation homes can easily cover the cost of your second mortgage.  But if you have a full-time job in another city, trying to coordinate those rentals and ensure that the property is being well cared for can be difficult.  Real estate property management companies can turn out to be good deals in this situation.

It’s true that paying for property management services will cut out of what would have otherwise been your profits.  But you’ll probably also have more consistent rental traffic, spend less of your time trying to track down payments and spend less on maintenance and repairs.  And what good is a vacation home, anyway, if it adds more stress to your life?

Are you thinking about buying a vacation home and renting it out the rest of the year?  What would you prefer about this arrangement over a timeshare?  Join the discussion in the comments.

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3 Tips to Sell Your Hampton Roads Home This Fall

Although the real estate business tends to slow down in the fall, the season still can be an attractive time to put a home on the market. If you want to sell your house in the next few months, it can be done.

Potential buyers—such as empty nesters or Millennials who aren’t worried about moving after the school year has started—will compete for fewer homes on the market and will likely want to seal a deal before the holiday season kicks into high gear.

Here are three tips to help make your home more attractive in autumn, so you can sell your house before winter comes.

1. Clean Up

As many regions slowly shift from a sellers’ market to a moderate or buyers’ market, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your house look its best.

Pay particular attention to eliminating clutter and safety hazards that can crop up with cooler weather:

  • Make sure your yard, walkways and gutters are free of leaves and debris.
  • Mow your lawn so it looks neat.
  • Trim trees so unexpected winds don’t knock down branches that could damage your home or hurt anybody.
  • If it is rainy, be sure you have a good doormat so visitors can wipe their feet and not traipse mud and water through the house.
  • If you already have snow, be sure stairs and walkways leading to your front door are not icy.
  • Wash decks and wipe down windows so they sparkle instead of appear streaked by rain.
  • Vacuum and wash down the fireplace, especially if it hasn’t been used in months.
  • If you live in a region where it’s still warm enough to use the patio, make sure the area is inviting and arranged with the views from indoors in mind.
  • Above all, make sure your doorway and the rest of the house is clear from knick knacks, bicycles and toys that make your home appear cluttered.

2. Create Autumn Curb Appeal

If your house’s exterior looks drab, you may want to consider painting it a warm color,planting seasonal flowers, or placing pumpkins strategically along your walkup to accent your home’s appeal with instant color.

Potential buyers will make an instant judgment when they see your home, and you want to be sure it’s positive.

While you don’t want to go overboard with fall decorations that detract from the home itself, a few displays like a festive front-door wreath—and lighting so people can clearly see the path to your front door—can make your home feel fresh, even in the fall.

3. Keep the House Cozy

Entering a cold house could leave an unfavorable impression. So warm up your home with a fresh coat of paint and set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.

Another way to warm up a home is with light, especially as days get shorter leading into winter. Be sure to open blinds and curtains so plenty of light illuminates the home’s interior.

A few embellishments like red, orange or golden yellow pillows can breathe new life into dull sofa—or a fall centerpiece can highlight a certain area of the home.

While you don’t want your home to look like the latest department store display, well-chosen embellishments that give potential buyers the impression you’ve paid attention to the fine details and taken care of any problems with the home will help you put your best face forward.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with trying to sweeten the deal with the comforting aroma of a freshly-baked, cinnamon-laced apple pie or pumpkin cupcake to leave a lasting impression of your home as the potential buyer takes a bite.

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Hampton Roads Homes for Sale