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Thursday, 28 February 2019 / Published in Finance, Home, Mobile, Networking

In 2018, Millennials represented 45% of all new mortgages, compared to 36% for Generation X, and 17% from Baby Boomers.

It has long been predicted that Millennials would be destined to take over the housing market, it was just a matter of when. Based on recent research taken from Realtor.com it appears that the younger generation is starting to dominate the market. Millennials are beginning to purchase homes in mass quantities and it is very encouraging.

Millennials are also beginning to pass up older generations in the total dollar amount for mortgages. According to the statistics, home buyers between the ages of 23 and 38 now represent the largest dollar volume by age group.

On the flipside, however, this also means Millennials hold the largest share of new loans and debt by dollar volume compared to other generations. This will provide an ample amount of opportunity for lenders to refinance in the future.

“At the end of 2018, the median price of a mortgaged home purchased by Millennials was $238,000, $26,000 less than the median price of a home mortgaged by Baby Boomers and $51,000 less than Generation X.” – Realtor.com

Based on that data, it shows that Millennials are looking for affordability rather than prestige. In 2018, research showed Millennials moved primarily to affordable areas with strong job markets where they can have more purchase power.

As much as the older generations like to make fun of them, Millennials are being smart with their money. They understand that the cost of living is higher than what it was 40 years ago and they are making sacrifices in order to obtain affordability and the American dream.

One statistic that is not in the Millennials favor is their average down payment. Millenials averaged 8.8% down in 2018, compared to 11.9% for Generation X and 17.7% for Baby Boomers.

This is one of the main reasons why many Millennials are turning to the Federal Housing Administration to fund their mortgages. With an FHA loan, qualified borrowers are eligible for a down payment as low as 3.5%. The FHA also makes it easier to qualify for these loans because the lenders bear less risk due to the FHA paying the claim in the event that the borrower fails to uphold the mortgage agreement.

Overall, this is good news for Millennials, the economy and the future of our great nation. If you are a Millennial and are interested in seeing if you qualify for an FHA loan, “click here” or call USAloans at 855-982-3321 to have one of our experienced mortgage bankers assist you.

Reference: Alcynna Lloyd (2019) Millennials Have Officially Entered the Housing Market

Thursday, 31 January 2019 / Published in Finance, Home

Governor: California’s housing crisis is a threat to our state’s future.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently that the state of California is suing Huntington Beach for “standing in the way of affordable housing production and refusing to meet regional housing needs,” causing “harm to Californian families’ ability to find affordable places to live.”

According to the Governor, California has attempted for quite some time to work with Huntington Beach to comply with the proposed state housing law, but even after several attempts to convince the city to create affordable establishments, the city has refused to build more affordable housing.

The law emphasizes that a city’s housing plan must accommodate a “fair share of the regional housing needs and provide zoning that encourages the development of housing that is affordable to the city’s residents across all income levels, including affordable housing and middle-income housing.”

The issue at hand is Huntington Beach has altered its housing plan to drastically reduce the number of affordable housing.

According to the Governor, the state has attempted to work with the city to ensure that there are more affordable housing projects getting approved, therefore bringing the city of Huntington Beach into compliance with state law. However, the city council recently voted to reject a proposal to build more affordable housing in the city.

As a result, Governor Newsom was forced to take action and sue the city of Huntington Beach.

“The state doesn’t take this action lightly,” Newsom acknoledged. “The huge housing costs and sky-high rents are eroding quality of life for families across this state. California’s housing crisis is an existential threat to our state’s future and demands an urgent and comprehensive response.”

The state’s lawsuit against Huntington Beach “seeks to ensure housing equity, requiring the city to amend its housing plan to bring it into compliance with state law by planning for the development of additional housing units that are accessible to residents of all income levels,” Newsom’s office said.

“Cities and counties are important partners in addressing this housing crisis, and many cities are making herculean efforts to meet this crisis head on,” Newsom said. “But some cities are refusing to do their part to address this crisis and willfully stand in violation of California law. Those cities will be held to account.”

Reference: Ben Lane (2019) California sues one of its own cities for not building enough affordable housing

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 / Published in Finance, Home, Networking

As we enter the new year, uncertainty looms around interest rates and the housing market.

The stage was set in 2018 when the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate four times over the course of the year, leaving current homeowners and potential borrowers wondering:

When will interest rates and the housing market prices go back down?

Even though a slowdown is projected in the future, it doesn’t seem like interest rate hikes are going to alter course anytime soon. Currently, it is around 4.7 percent but many industry analysts expect the average rate to hit 5 percent in 2019. Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist, claims the average 30-year mortgage will reach 5.3 percent for at least the better part of the year and even reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019.

Mortgage rates increased almost a full percentage point over the course of last year, leading experts to believe this year should be a little more consistent in regards to the fluctuating interest rates.

What does this mean for home equity borrowers?

Borrowers with outstanding balances should be prepared to spend more the longer they wait to refinance or take cash-out. Obviously, if you have a fixed-rate mortgage this will not affect you much, but if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage then you should prepare for your interest rate to go up.

For more information on how you can prevent your interest rate from going up on your current adjustable-rate mortgage, click here to refinance or call us at 855-982-3321 to have one of our experienced mortgage bankers assist you with refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage loan.

What can we expect from the housing market this year?

Housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, adding to the frustrations of many Americans looking to purchase a home. Although home prices increased about 5 percent in 2018, Freddy Mac predicts that home prices will still increase, just at a slower pace. We can possibly expect an increase of about 4.3 percent in 2019 and then 2.9 percent in 2020.

What does this all mean?

Real estate will always fluctuate based on the surrounding area. Housing prices may go up or down depending on availability and demand. Having said that, the market increase should slow down in 2019. If you are in the market to by a home, before you go searching for the perfect property, meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved so that you may be in a position to submit an offer with confidence knowing you can afford it. USAloans is fully prepared to help fulfill your dream of home ownership, click here to discover what you can afford online or call us at 855-982-3321 to have one of our experienced mortgage bankers assist you through the process.

Monday, 01 May 2017 / Published in Home

Your neighborhood could play a factor in your overall health. Here are some considerations to make during your house hunt.

From green space to traffic volume, the neighborhood in which you live could contribute to your health. Think about it: If your neighborhood lacks easily accessible areas for you to exercise, you’ll probably exercise less, at least outdoors. Just as the addition of playgrounds gives children a place to play, sidewalks, for example, can encourage you to get out and walk. And when you do spend time outside in your neighborhood, you’re more likely to get to know your neighbors, which adds to a feeling of community. So whether you’re shopping for a home for sale in Denver, CO, or Columbia, SC, here are some factors to weigh if a healthy neighborhood tops your list of must-haves.

1. Look for sidewalks and bike lanes
Being able to walk or bike for exercise or to conduct daily errands is good for you — plus, less traffic and air pollution means a healthier planet too. Even having access to public transportation can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, since there’s usually some walking to get to your bus stop or train station. “Safety and walkability to a vibrant mix of services, schools, and various modes of travel are keys,” says John Zinner, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Fellow with the U.S. Green Building Council.

2. Don’t underestimate a lush tree canopy
New developments often produce houses that dot every “i” and cross every “t” on most people’s home wish lists. But some new neighborhoods and developments end up with a sparse tree canopy. That’s too bad, because not only do trees often enhance property values, but they can also contribute to a healthy neighborhood. “Tree canopies cool spaces,” says Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, a California sustainable-landscaping firm. A cooler lot means your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard in the heat of summer. Those trees can also provide shade for your outdoor pursuits. But the best part just might be that greenery in general is good for you. “Lush, green spaces have been shown to decrease stress, even mitigating symptoms of PTSD and ADHD,” Aoyagi says.

3. Look for neighborhoods with greenways, community gardens, and trails
The more access you have to nature — and nature’s bounty — the healthier you’ll probably be. “Locating a healthy neighborhood has increasingly become a must-have for many buyers,” says Danielle Schlesier, a Boston, MA, agent. “I point [buyers] toward the community parks-and-recreation website. There, they can see if there are local farmers markets, community fitness programs, greenway trail maps, and dog parks available.” Another great tool to locate your favorite healthy amenities is the Live Well layer in Trulia Maps.

4. Observe neighborhood social connections and activity level
Having a sense of security and even happiness comes with being able to socialize with your neighbors. Visit the neighborhood you’re considering at various times of day to see if people are out and about. Are neighbors chatting out front? Jogging on neighborhood streets? Out walking their dogs or playing with the kids? All of these are positive signs that a neighborhood has a thriving, active, and close-knit community.

5. Scout out parks, sports courts, and places to play
The healthiest neighborhoods offer variety and versatility when it comes to recreation and active living. In addition to nature exploration resources like trails and greenways, look for neighborhoods that offer tennis or basketball courts, playgrounds, parks, fitness centers, and pools. You may have to pay for these extra amenities through homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, membership requirements, or simply higher home prices, but the ability to easily diversify your workouts can lead to greater health and fitness.

6. Go to a neighborhood association meeting
Mark your calendar for the next meeting of the neighborhood association or HOA in the areas you’re considering. In addition to meeting your potential neighbors, you could get an inside look at neighborhood concerns (such as safety issues or traffic congestion) and find out about future construction or plans for enhancements. You’ll also get a sense of how close-knit the community is. An active, positive group of neighbors working to continually improve their neighborhood can clue you in on future healthy upgrades coming to a neighborhood. Plus, if you’re trying to narrow down your options, going to a few of these meetings could help you decide where you’ll really feel at home.

7. Consider traffic volume
Limited traffic, both in volume and speed, can contribute to a healthy neighborhood. But what makes high traffic unhealthy, exactly? Noise, for one. The more traffic there is and the faster cars travel, the noisier the environment, which can affect your sleep and stress levels. There’s that pesky little pollution issue, for another. Plus, longer commutes due to higher traffic volumes can decrease your overall quality of life. Check what your possible commute could look like using the Commute layer in Trulia Maps.

8. Check to see if healthy essentials are within walking distance
Healthy neighborhoods incorporate plenty of ways to be active, but they also have essential services nearby, such as day care centers, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, a hospital, and urgent care. Easy access to affordable, nutritious food from supermarkets or farmers markets is important too — it’s even been associated with less obesity. And give your future new neighborhood bonus points if any of these essentials are within walking distance!

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