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Millennials Aren't The Only Ones Renting Apartments

14 Aug 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt Apartments

Renters are getting a little older these days.

Rental applicants tend to conjure up images of recent college grads looking to start their life in the real world. But Millennials are being joined as renters by people who have already spent decades in adulthood, and may have better credit and higher income.

Since 2005, there has been an uptick in renters, with people in their 50s and 60s making up the largest chunk of the increase.

In fact, the majority of all renters are currently 40 or older.

There are many reasons that the renter population includes a growing number of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers.

The 2008 housing collapse that led to a wave of foreclosures has turned some people off to homeownership. The tight credit market can also hinder renters from securing a home loan.

Plus, not everyone wants to be a homeowner in their golden years, and the decision to trade a mortgage for a lease is about a new lifestyle, especially for empty-nesters.

Seniors are leaving their homes and renting in a much more urban-type settings from the suburbs to be part of the activities and be mixed in with people of all ages. It gives them something to do if the kids are gone, or their spouses.

The amenities that come in new rental buildings and their units are appealing to older renters. They have everything they need in their building.

Renting also gets rid of the responsibilities that come with home ownership, which can become burdensome as owners age.

It's about portability. They want to travel and don't want to be burdened by house payments and expenses and upkeep.

Some older homeowners are also cashing in on the recent rise in home prices.

They want to take advantage of getting equity out of their home now, and not wait until they actually retire to move into the city and get a cool apartment.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

Source: CNN Money

Signs You May Not Be Ready to Buy a Home

08 Aug 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHiunt Apartment

Buying a home can be a good investment. It can be a rewarding experience for you and your family.

But the fact is, it isn't right in every situation and it only works if the buyer is financially prepared. As we saw during the housing crisis, buying a house when you aren't ready can lead to disastrous results.

How can you tell if you're ready? The experts at real estate marketplace Trulia suggest asking yourself some questions.

The first has to do with income. Does your household earn enough money to make the monthly payment on a home, pay for insurance, pay the taxes, and cover maintenance and repairs?

When you rent your home, all of those costs are baked into the monthly rent. If the water heater goes bad, that's the landlord's problem, not yours.

It's true that, with low interest rates, a mortgage might be the same, or even less than rent in some markets. But you can't overlook the other costs of owning a home.

Debt-to-income ratio

What about your debt? If you have outstanding student loans and rising credit card balances, you might not be ready to take on a mortgage. In fact, that could be one thing that might disqualify you.

Lenders look at a borrower's debt-to-income ratio. If the ratio is too high, it reduces the amount you can borrow. In most cases, a lender will want your debt to be no more than 36% of gross income.

When looking at your savings, don't just think about how much you need for a down payment. If the down payment takes all your ready cash, you'll have nothing left to cover those expenses that almost always crop up in the first year of home ownership.

Two important factors

Before considering a home purchase, you also need to make sure you will qualify for a mortgage. Two factors could keep that from happening.

First, you need to have been on the job, or employed in the same industry, for at least two years. Lenders want to see that employment consistency before they'll consider funding your home purchase.

Second, you need a reasonably good credit score. While it is true you might qualify for a subprime mortgage with a marginal credit score, there could be some real disadvantages to being lumped into the subprime sector.

Having a better credit score -- 720 or better -- will get you a better interest rate, in most cases. So it might be wise to spend some time trying to raise your credit score before considering a home purchase, and the easiest way to get started on that is to simply pay all of your bills on time.

Finally, give some thought to the future. If you purchase a home, you'll need to live in it for a while before you can sell it without losing money. The experts at Trulia suggest three to five years is the minimum length of time you'll need to live in it before selling.

If you think there's a good chance you'll be relocating in a couple of years, the prudent thing to do is keep renting.

For more information, contact HHHunt.

Source: consumeraffairs.com

The Rent or Buy Debate Doesn't Make Sense

31 Jul 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt Apartments

When you buy a home, you pay for things you don’t have to pay for as a renter: loan interest, property taxes, insurance, and even maintenance and repair costs. That’s part of the argument in favor of renting: there are so many additional costs and factors that get overlooked. That goes for both sides, though, and the details vary depending on the situation. Here are a few commonly overlooked factors that make up the specifics.

  • How long you’ll live in the home: This varies depending on the market, but in general, the longer you’re in the home, the better, because your costs are spread out over time.
  • The cost of housing in your area: In most cases, people rent because houses are just too expensive, but it all depends on the market in your area. If renting is extremely costly in your area, it might be more affordable to buy a home.
  • The opportunity cost of your taxes and insurance: What kind of long-term return could you get if you invested this money instead, in the stock market, a CD, or even a “high interest” savings account?
  • The opportunity cost of your down payment: Similarly, how much of a return could you get if you invested that lump sum instead?

It’s impossible to say renting or buying is a better decision because each one of these factors (and more) depends on your unique situation. You have to consider where you live, what kind of house you’re looking for, how much you pay in rent, how much you’ll pay in the future...the list goes on and on.

A Rent vs. Buy calculator is a great tool for simplifying these complexities, depending on your own individual specifics. Still, a calculator can only do so much. It might tell you the better long-term decision on paper, but that still doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for you.

Your Home is a Purchase, Not an Investment

Most experts agree that you shouldn’t think of your primary home as an investment. Contrary to popular belief, real estate barely outpaces inflation over time. Sure, you could time the market, flip a house, or buy a rental, but that’s different from expecting your primary home to earn you a sweet return. The investing myth is another valid argument against buying. Many people buy homes they can’t afford or stretch their finances to pay for expensive home projects because they buy into this myth.

The bottom line is: sometimes it’s smarter to rent, and sometimes buying can work in your favor. Rather than giving in to one side or another, it’s more helpful to learn the rules, crunch the numbers, then do what works—and feels right—for you.

For more information, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

Excerpts: twocents.lifehacker.com

Homeownership in Retirement can be a Dangerous Prospect

17 Jul 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt ApartmentsDespite the benefits of homeownership, there's one huge drawback to owning property in retirement, and it's committing yourself to a variable expense while living on a fixed income. Even if your mortgage itself is paid off by the time you enter retirement, you'll still have property taxes to contend with. And those have a tendency to rise over time, even during periods when home values don't follow suit.

There's also maintenance and repairs to think about, and that's where a lot of retirees who own homes get into trouble. The average homeowner spends 1% to 4% of his or her home's value on standard annual upkeep. Now being a retiree doesn't automatically mean you'll own an aging home. But if yours is on the older side, you should plan on hitting the top end of that range, which could really eat into your limited budget.

Furthermore, while that 1% to 4% range applies to regular maintenance, it doesn't include major repairs that could spring up on you without notice. I'm talking about things like your heating system going kaput or a pipe bursting in your basement -- expenses that could really hurt you financially when your income doesn't allow for too many surprises.

And there lies the danger of owning a home in retirement: You just don't know what to expect. And while renting certainly isn't without risk -- you could see your rent go up from year to year or find yourself suddenly on the hunt for a new home when your landlord unexpectedly decides to sell -- when you rent, you lock yourself into a fixed cost for the duration of your lease. Sign a series of long-term, affordable leases, and you eliminate much of the worry that comes with owning.

Ultimately, the decision to own a home during retirement boils down to how much risk you're willing to take on. If you love your home, adore your neighborhood, and don't want to deal with the hassle and uncertainly of renting, then by all means, stay in your home. Just make sure you have a decent chunk of savings -- both emergency and otherwise -- to protect yourself from the various unknowns involved.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

NWI.com

Buying a Home Could be a Bad Career Move

11 Jul 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt Apartments - Buy or Rent

American dream or ball and chain? We’ve heard so many times that homes are the ultimate investment, but your job advancement and long-term salary potential could be hindered if you’re tied down.

Most of the time, the buy-vs.-rent debate revolves around which is the best financial decision. That’s for good reason: As you’ve undoubtedly heard more than once, buying a home is the biggest purchase you’ll probably ever make. Most people need to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it happen.

It’s not a decision to make lightly, and the numbers involved are something you need to take seriously — especially when the adage that buying is always better than renting is a myth, not fact.

In some cases, you shouldn’t buy a home because it’s not the financially sound choice. Taking on a large amount of debt for the long term after shelling out that much cash up front could put you in a precarious financial position.

But let’s just say the numbers do check out for you, and you want to buy a home. In that case, you still need to consider one other factor that might make buying a bad choice: your career.

The Finances Check Out, But That Still Doesn’t Mean You Should Buy

At worst, buying a home could sabotage your career opportunities. Even in a less-dramatic situation, your house could seriously limit how much you could advance in your career — and affect how much money you can make.

Owning a home reduces your flexibility to pursue jobs and opportunities that may make it easier for you to build serious wealth over your lifetime.

For many people, committing to living in a single location for years could seriously interfere with their ability to grow their career, expand their business, and earn more money.

It’s Difficult to Move to Follow Career Opportunities

It’s hard enough to move from one place to another when you rent. But moving as a renter is considerably easier than moving as an owner, because you can’t just up and leave any time you want when you own your home. As a renter, you always have the ability to break your lease if you need to.

But as a homeowner, you can’t just call up the bank or anyone else and ask them to take the house off your hands.

If you’re trying to move to chase down a career opportunity, you need the ability to be fast and flexible. Depending on what the real estate market looks like at the time you want to move, that may not be possible.

You Might Not Be Able to Afford to Move

If you bought within the last three years, you sunk a lot of cash into your home. In an average market, it’s unlikely that home prices will have risen to a point where you could break even, let alone make a profit. Unless you’re willing to lose money on the house you might have bought as an “investment,” you might be in a position where you can’t afford to move.

A Lack of Career Flexibility Could Lead to a Lack of Wealth

The inability to move to explore a new position, role or career opportunity could limit your ability to earn a higher income. Taking new jobs or calculated career risks are both great ways to potentially earn more money than to sit at your existing job and cross your fingers hoping for a raise.

When you earn more money, you get to choose how much to save for the future, which puts the power in your hands rather than at the whim of the real estate (or stock) market.

Buying a Home Limits Your Flexibility

Of course, all of this is just something else to think about when you’re making a decision on whether or not to buy. You may not need much career flexibility at all, and that’s fine. But failing to account for this could turn into a big financial mistake.

You do need to understand how buying a home can limit your career flexibility. It can limit your ability to chase down an opportunity if it arose unexpectedly. It also limits your financial flexibility and liquidity over the short term, because it requires you to put a good chunk of your liquid cash into an illiquid asset.

“Less flexibility” is a trade-off you make when you buy a home. Whether that’s acceptable or not is up to you — but the bottom line is that you must think about this factor if you want to make a fully informed, responsible decision around buying real estate.

For more information, contact HHHunt.

Source: kiplinger.com

Renters Create More Wealth than Buyers

03 Jul 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt ApartmentsWith housing markets around the U.S. nearing the peak in their cycles, renters who reinvest their money have an increasingly better chance at creating wealth than individuals who purchase a home, according to the latest national index.

"On the heels of information concerning slowing housing starts, rising mortgage rates, decreased demand and unsustainable price increases, these numbers provide additional evidence that housing markets around the country are slowing, resulting in many to opt for renting," said Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist and one of the index's creators in FAU's College of Business.

Of the 23 separate metro areas, many are nearing the top of their current housing cycle, meaning they are above their long-term pricing trend.

The biggest contributor to the rising cost of ownership is rising house prices.

The current scores driving the markets in the direction of renting and reinvesting appear to be the results of higher mortgage rates, increase in returns, on average, in the stock market, and the cost of ownership, which includes your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

All of these costs are rising faster than the cost of renting a comparable property. Therefore, renters who take the money they're saving each month and reinvest it are going to build wealth faster than those who buy a home, on average.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

prnewswire.com

Homeownership Hidden Costs Often Top $9K a Year

05 Jun 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt ApartmentsPrepare yourself by knowing the less-obvious costs of owning a home. Insurance, maintenance and more add up faster than you think.

Buyers too often focus on a home’s list price or mortgage payment to determine what they can afford. However, the numerous less-obvious costs associated with homeownership can affect the monthly bottom line.

To help home buyers budget more accurately, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners around the country could expect to pay for them. The analysis also included utility cost estimates.

While each extra expense might seem small, they cost U.S. homeowners, on average, $9,080 a year, according to the report.

Unavoidable costs

Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $6,059 a year in unavoidable costs, which include homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surprise.

Maintenance expenses

Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their homes. While many complete these projects themselves, those who pay professionals can expect to spend an average of $3,021 for the six most common hired home projects: carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing.

Budget planning

More than a third of buyers go over budget on a home purchase. In addition to the mortgage, the price includes estimated property taxes, insurance, PMI, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and closing costs.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

zillow.com

Homeownership Hidden Costs Often Top $9K a Year

01 May 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt Apartments

Prepare yourself by knowing the less-obvious costs of owning a home. Insurance, maintenance and more add up faster than you think.

Buyers too often focus on a home’s list price or mortgage payment to determine what they can afford. However, the numerous less-obvious costs associated with homeownership can affect the monthly bottom line.

To help home buyers budget more accurately, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners around the country could expect to pay for them. The analysis also included utility cost estimates.

While each extra expense might seem small, they cost U.S. homeowners, on average, $9,080 a year, according to the report.

Unavoidable costs

Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $6,059 a year in unavoidable costs, which include homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surprise.

Maintenance expenses

Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their homes. While many complete these projects themselves, those who pay professionals can expect to spend an average of $3,021 for the six most common hired home projects: carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing.

Budget planning

More than a third of buyers go over budget on a home purchase. In addition to the mortgage, the price includes estimated property taxes, insurance, PMI, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and closing costs.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

Source: zillow.com

Reasons to Rent in Retirement

24 Apr 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt ApartmentsHomeownership and retirement don't always mesh. Here's why you might consider renting as a senior instead.

Though owning a home has long been hailed as the American Dream, that's not necessarily the case when it comes to retirement. Since 1990, homeownership has declined among 55-64 year-olds, and experts expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

Before you prepare to live out your senior years as a homeowner, here are a few reasons to consider renting instead.

1. Your housing costs will be fixed

The problem with homeownership is that even in the absence of a mortgage payment, you still face countless unknown costs. Your property taxes, for example, could go up significantly if you have a year when your home is reassessed. Similarly, as your home ages, your regular maintenance costs could easily go from manageable to downright astronomical.

Consider this: The typical homeowner spends anywhere from 1% to 4% of his or her home's value on annual upkeep. If you're dealing with, say, a $500,000 property, that's a pretty huge range, but you can't discount the possibility of creeping toward its high end as you make your way through retirement.

Then there are repairs to consider -- problems that aren't expected, but rather pop up suddenly and constitute a huge financial burden. Do you really want to deal with those when you're on a fixed income?

When you rent a home, you're locked into the same monthly payment regardless of whether the roof starts to leak or the heater needs repairs. If the local lawn service raises its rates one year to cut the grass, that's not your problem. Of course, the downside of renting is that your landlord could raise your monthly payments once your lease expires -- but if that happens, you could always find a new home or try to negotiate.

2. Owning may not help much from a tax perspective

One benefit of being a homeowner is getting to deduct the interest on your mortgage, thus saving you money on taxes. But if you're coming into retirement mortgage-free, which is the case for the majority of homeowners 65 and over, then that benefit no longer exists.

Furthermore, it used to be the case that you could deduct your property taxes in full, and as we all know, those apply even once your mortgage is paid off. But as part of the recent tax changes that took effect this year, the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which property taxes are part of, is now capped at $10,000. This means that if you live in a state with high taxes, you might lose the bulk of that write-off (at least for the next seven years), thus making homeownership a less appealing prospect.

3. You'll get more flexibility

The beauty of being retired is not being tied to a job, or that job's location. This means that if you want to pick up and move to a state with warmer weather or get closer to your grandchildren, you're free to do so -- provided your home isn't holding you back.

As a renter, you have the option to leave your home once your lease ends, or, in many cases, break your lease prematurely with a reasonable bit of notice. Selling a home, by contrast, could take months, and there are numerous expenses you might encounter along the way. You may therefore be better off unloading your home prior to retirement and buying yourself that added leeway later in life.

Now this isn't to say that renting a home in retirement is always the right move. At the same time, it pays to think about the benefits of renting at a time in your life when you're no longer bringing home a steady paycheck.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

The Motley Fool

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy a Home

16 Jan 2018

Posted by Joseph Coupal

HHHunt ApartmentsThe Fairy Tale

We are constantly told throughout our youth that we are to follow a certain path. Grow up, go to college, graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, live happily ever after. But we all know this isn’t a linear path and life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls when you least expect it.

Buying a home can be a good thing, but it can also be another shackle that holds you back from pursuing your dreams. Here are three reasons why you should hold off on the largest purchase of your life.

Lack of Mobility

You’re in your 20’s. Not only is this a time for excitement, it’s a time for decision-making. Do you stay in your college city? Do you move back home? Do you follow your dream of chasing the endless summer? Buying a house at this point in your life certainly does one thing - it plants your butt firmly in one location and gives you a heck of a lot of responsibility.

You may think, “But I can sell the house at any time if I choose to move.”

Well, yes. But then you have to deal with closing costs, paying a broker, etc. If you move shortly after buying your home you’ll take it on the chin with fees and expenses.

You also have to deal with maintenance, property taxes, insurance, your roof developing a leak and the kid down the street that keeps egging your house. Do yourself a favor. Keep yourself mobile and your options open.

Increased Debt Burden

You will be taking on one of the largest purchases of your life and a mountain of debt.

Debt is a shackle that will hold you back from taking flight and can impair your ability to make decisions. When you have 30 years of debt payments (i.e., a mortgage), you can’t pack up and leave for that trip-of-a-lifetime. There is also your debt-to-income ratio that is important to consider. When this ratio gets too far out of whack, it will get more difficult to obtain loans for things like a car, credit cards, etc.

The Buy Versus Rent Debate

Whether you knew it or not, there has been a long-standing debate on the financial benefits of buying a home versus renting. The recession in 2008 that sent the real estate market swooning was painful for those that owned property. But even over the long term, the benefits of owning property can be argued against.

Just to be clear, owning real estate is not a bad thing. But, the numbers don’t lie. Buying a single-family home is not as great an investment as some would have you believe.

For more information on apartments, contact HHHunt.

#HowYouLive

investopedia.com


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