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The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, "Homeownership and Wealth Creation." The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.
There’s No Place Like Home
The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.
1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education
From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe
It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.
3. It allows you to have more space for your family
Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates
Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?
The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:
5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family
Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, the holiday season is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
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What makes a great Maine hometown? The answer, of course, depends on what you’re looking for. Nonetheless some towns stand out when you start combing through census and other data. That’s what we did with 494 cities, towns, and plantations. After much number crunching and debate (for an explanation of our methodology, scroll to the bottom of the page), we turned to subjective knowledge. We compared our own experiences and we talked to residents, whittling our selections down to six well-rounded communities that we think deserve your attention. The list may surprise you. These are not the towns that typically attract attention from travel writers, but when it comes to people putting down roots, they are Maine’s sleeper hits. Along the way, we recognized dozens more communities with unique characteristics that anyone thinking of relocating should consider.
Check out the full article in Down East magazine.
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On Monday, Fannie Mae formally announced their 3% down payment programs would be returning as soon as December 15, 2014! This is really great news for the first-time home buyer, many of whom are typically younger buyers who have not yet had enough time to save a big lump sum for a down payment.
As with any low down payment program, there are fears that a new wave of foreclosures will start appearing. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin Watt was quoted in a recent HousingWire article, addressing this concern:
"To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower's creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include home-ownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans."
Freddie Mac will also roll out the 3% down program as early as March 23, 2015.
Remember, as with any new program, there will be specific guidelines that need to be followed. At Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., we pride ourselves on providing you with Knowledge Based Lending. Contact us today for more information on this and the many other mortgage products we provide at PRMI.