Owning A Home ‘Very Important’ To Nearly Half Of Single Buyers

August 22, 2014

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Almost half of single homebuyers aged 25 to 50 reported that it was “very important” to them to own a home, according to Century 21′s Singles Homebuyer Survey released on August 20. Three quarters of single homebuyers in that same age bracket said that it was “fairly important” for them to own a home, according to the survey. “We are in the midst of a shift in the homebuying population,” said Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21. “This survey shows that homeownership is a major life decision for singles, and that it is just as important a part of the American Dream for singles as it is for married couples.” Century 21 reported that the three biggest factors that motivated single homeowners to buy a home were: they viewed purchasing a home as an investment, they no longer wanted to pay rent, and they believed it was the “right time” to purchase a home. The top three considerations for single homebuyers were how much space would be available, the yard, and how close the home would be to work or school. [Read this article]

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Housing Starts In U.S. Rise To Highest Level In Eight Months

August 19, 2014

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Housing starts surged in July to the highest level in eight months, underscoring the recent pickup in builder optimism as the U.S. residential real-estate market gains some traction. Beginning home construction climbed 15.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualized rate following June’s 945,000 pace, which was stronger than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The level exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, whose median projection called for 965,000 starts. “Recent news on the housing front has been relatively encouraging,” Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities USA LLC in New York, said in a research note. “‘With affordability remaining high, mortgage rates still low, and labor market activity accelerating, we expect the housing market trajectory to continue gradually improving in the coming months.” [Read this article]

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America’s 15 Best Cities For Young Professionals

August 19, 2014

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To find out which cities offer the best prospects for professionals aged 24 to 34 who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, Forbes analyzed the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, ranking them on factors such as local unemployment rates, job growth projections, the number of businesses per capita, and median salaries for 24- to 34-year-old employed college graduates. Cities on this year’s lists include Raleigh, Austin, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Jose, Seattle and San Francisco. Raleigh has been the recipient of many Forbes honors this year, including, the No. 2 slot on the list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities. Its close proximity to the Research Triangle Park, where more than 170 companies have outposts makes it a hotbed of job opportunities. The area is a natural greenhouse for the well-educated, thanks to the presence of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in nearby Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [Read this article]

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Hottest Homebuilding Markets Of 2014

August 18, 2014

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Construction activity is a fundamental measure of local housing market health. That’s because homebuilding is both a signal of where builders are betting on future housing demand as well as a creator of local jobs. In this housing recovery, construction might even be a better measure of local market health than home price changes, which have been driven in part by investors and others buying undervalued homes. Census building permit data reveal which markets are breaking new ground. Construction activity is highest relative to the local norm in Boston, New York, San Jose, and Houston, which are on track to build at least 50% more new homes in 2014 than their local historical average. The rest of the top 10 include Orange County (California), Austin, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. [Read this article]

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5 Reasons Why The Housing Market Won’t Crash

August 18, 2014

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After the financial crisis and mortgage meltdown, it’s natural that many people are skeptical about the housing market. Still, the housing market is recovering. There is a host of data out there that shows, while the biggest part of the snap-back in prices is behind us, there may be significant upside in the years ahead. Just today, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo said a gauge of confidence among home builders rose to a seven-month high in August, helped by job growth and low mortgage rates. CoreLogic recently reported a small sequential drop in foreclosure inventory from May to June, with a year-over-year decline of 35%. This marks the 32nd consecutive month of declining foreclosure inventory. And you can pick from a host of indicators to paint a general picture of U.S. home prices, but all of them are showing prices are rising no matter what the specifics are. [Read this article]

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The 25 Best Cities For Working Parents

August 18, 2014

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Juggling a career and a family isn’t easy. Yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a majority of parents in the U.S. today are attempting to do it. Approximately 88% of U.S. families with children have one parent in the workforce, and 58% have two working parents. Knowing that, Business Insider partnered up with personal finance site NerdWallet to find the best cities for those with two jobs: employee and parent. The analysis focuses on affordability (median income and housing costs), childcare costs, school quality, and the community (percentage of households with children) in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Gilbert, Arizona, ranks No. 1 with an overall score of 72.5. Following close behind in the No. 2 spot is Plano, Texas, with a score of 67.4. Rounding out the top three is Chandler, Arizona – another Phoenix suburb. [Read this article]

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For Older Couples, House-Hunting Begins With Soul-Searching

August 18, 2014

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Figuring out when and where to retire can be a conundrum for anyone, but especially so for couples. Whether they have been married for almost 50 years, or living together for 20, life partners or husbands and wives don’t always have the same ideas about retirement. When they have different timetables or preferences, one may have to wait for the other, or one may even retire and relocate for part of the year before the other is ready. After you have spent years living one way, deciding on a new lifestyle requires research, getting to know your spouse or partner better and being willing to compromise. Couples often need to reconnect and explore what is important to each spouse or partner as they face retirement. If you are thinking of retiring, here are some guidelines from experts. [Read this article]

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Homebuilder Confidence In U.S. Increases To Seven-Month High

August 18, 2014

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Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose in August to the highest level in seven months, showing the industry is making more headway after weakness earlier this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment measure climbed to 55 from 53 in July. Readings above 50 mean more respondents said conditions were good. Historically low mortgage rates and increased employment are bringing home purchases within reach of more Americans. The measure of the six-month sales outlook advanced to a one-year high of 65 this month from 63 in July. An index of current single-family home sales increased to 58, the highest since January, from 56, while the group’s gauge of prospective buyer traffic rose to 42, the strongest reading this year, from 39. More hiring and cheap borrowing costs are helping some Americans take the plunge. The economy added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth straight month in July, the longest such stretch since 1997, according to Labor Department figures. [Read this article]

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Tips For Millennials Looking To Secure A Mortgage

August 14, 2014

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Buying a home is the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lifetime. And for millennials saddled with record student loan debt and underemployment in a tight lending environment, the prospect of becoming a homeowner may seem unobtainable. But that’s not necessarily the case. “Millennials should think about [homeownership] now because they should educate themselves on the process and understand what’s required in the approval process,” says Arlene Allert Maloney, senior vice president at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. For millennials looking to buy a home now or in a few years, knowing the nuances of the market and their own personal finances can make all the difference in maximizing their mortgage potential. Millennials need to review their credit history, report and score to have a sense of how attractive they are as a borrower. “This could impact how much money you can borrow and what you’ll have to save for that down payment, and your interest rate,” says Maloney. [Read this article]

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Post image for New Website for North American Advantage Insurance Services Provides Increased Convenience and Functionality

Experiencing dynamic business growth, a rapidly expanding staff, and the need to respond quickly to inquiries for insurance quotes, Brian Dixon knew he needed a helping hand. The vice president, agency manager of North American Advantage Insurance Services (NAAIS) got that assistance and more with the July 22 release of his newly remodeled website: naadvantage.com. The website offers customers the ability to request personalized quotes for a number of services such as homeowners insurance for single-family homes, multi-family homes, landlord coverage, and renters coverage as well as coverage for automobiles, motorcycles, boats, trailers, flood, and excess liability coverage (umbrella). For buyers purchasing a new home from Lennar, there’s a bonus. As a subsidiary of homebuilder Lennar Corp., NAAIS is the preferred insurance solutions provider for Lennar homebuyers, and its agents have calculated the necessary coverage needed for each specific home well in advance. [Read this article]

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