Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Even as the U.S. economy struggles to rebound from the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans are living larger.

Larger, as in larger homes: two-story foyers, twin front staircases, children’s wings, dedicated man caves, coffee bars, four-car garages and bedroom closets large enough for a fifth vehicle.

The percentage of new single-family homes greater than 3,000 square feet has grown by one-third in the last decade, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Slightly more than 1 in 4 new homes built last year were larger than 3,000 square feet, the highest percentage since 2007.

Read Full Story on the Seattle Times…

Assistance Comes to Residents Across Nation

Assistance Comes to Residents Across Nation

If you are struggling to avoid foreclosure, then the U.S. Department of the Treasury, along with the National Association of REALTORS®, has good news for you.

At the recent Making Home Affordable outreach event held in Chicago, Illinois, industry leaders discussed the state of today’s market. These community events are just part of the NAR’s actions in helping homeowners deal with today’s difficult economy and housing market.

Real estate professionals and lenders discussed at the Chicago event how homeowners can reach out for help as well as what to expect during a short sale. Events have also been held in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.

Read More on Realty Times…

Are you a struggling homeowner? Check out our Avoiding Foreclosure section for more resources and tips.

US Mortgage Rates Drop to New Record Lows

How low can they go? US Mortgage Rates Drop to New Record Lows

The average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages dropped again to record lows, giving would-be buyers even more incentive to brave the housing market.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.56 percent (down from 3.62 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s).

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage dropped to a record low of 2.86 percent (below last week’s previous record of 2.89 percent).

The rate on the 30-year loan has fallen to or matched record low levels in 11 of the past 12 weeks.

These low rates make it an excellent time to buy or refinance for those who are able. Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house in Washington State as well as our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

Home Ownership Matters

Home Ownership Matters

Home ownership has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. And, home ownership helps create jobs—lots of them—right here at home.

Home Ownership matters…to people, to communities, and to America. Why?

  • For every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S.
  • Each purchase generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.
Are you thinking of buying a home? Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house and our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

Picking The Right Neighborhood

Picking The Right Neighborhood

You’re in the market to buy. You’ve probably given a lot of thought to the type of home you want as well as your budget and buying price range. There’s an additional topic, though, that requires your careful consideration. Which neighborhood is right for you?

Neighborhoods vary as widely as the people that live within them. Some have diligent HOA’s with strict rules of appearance and conduct, while others are more lax … sometimes to the detriment of home values.

It’s important to research the neighborhood where you’re considering purchasing a home. You want an area that fits your needs, personality, and social habits. These factors can influence your overall happiness just as much as that updated master bath or outdoor kitchen.

Read Full Story on Realty Times…

Are you looking to buy? Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house in Washington State as well as our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!