Hearth just released their 2017 State of the American Dream report which showed that Americans still see homeownership as an integral piece of the American Dream. The report confirmed that “all generations–including millennials–agree homeownership is very important to achieving the American Dream.”
Americans ranked “owning a home I love” higher than any other options (including “starting a family” and “finding a fulfilling career”) as an important part of the American Dream.
Despite some claims that homeownership’s importance to the American Dream is in decline, the report found that the dream of homeownership remains strong.
Of Americans who said they think achieving the American Dream is important, 70% think homeownership is important to the dream, and 41% think homeownership is very important to the dream.
What about Millennials?
Hearth addresses the desires of millennials by explaining:
“Contrary to popular opinion, millennials who want to achieve the American Dream are 5% more likely than Baby Boomers to think homeownership is important. And two-thirds of millennial renters view homeownership as important to the American Dream.
Although millennials are often portrayed as fickle and transient, they actually seek the stability of homeownership even more than their parents.”
Other Key Findings from the Report:
- Homeowners are 126% more likely than non-homeowners to view homeownership as a way to build wealth. Nevertheless, homeowners still overwhelmingly associated homeownership with a family living space.
- Homeowners are 24% more likely than non-homeowners to see homeownership as an achievement that reflects hard work.
- Millennials are 77% more likely than baby boomers to see a home primarily as a way to build wealth.
- Baby boomers are 98% more likely than millennials to see a home as a way to pass wealth down to children or family.
- Millennials are 29% more likely than baby boomers to see a home as an achievement that reflects hard work–an outcome we expected given that many millennials are still working hard to afford their first homes.
Home ownership is still a part of the American dream. This holds true in our Baton Rouge real estate market and across the nation.
In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search in the Baton Rouge area.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?
The first step in your home buying process should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:
- ‘Must-Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms).
- ‘Should-Haves’ – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.
- ‘Absolute-Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!
Having this list fleshed out before starting your Baton Rouge home search will save you time and frustration, while also letting your agent know what features are most important to you before starting to show you houses in your desired area.
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a Baton Rouge home today, instead of waiting.
1. Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% over the next year.
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.
3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage
There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.
Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?
4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.
If you are considering purchasing a home in the Baton Rouge area for you and your family this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
The latest edition of CoreLogic’s Home Price Index shows that nationally, home prices have appreciated 6.7% over the last year and 0.9% month-over-month. The release of the report included this headline,
“National Home Prices Now 50% Above March 2011 Bottom”
The real estate market has come a long way since 2011, which is great news for Baton Rouge homeowners!
Nearly 79% of homeowners with a mortgage in the US now have significant equity in their homes (defined as over 20%), according to the latest Equity Report. The challenge is that not every homeowner knows how much their home’s value has appreciated.
Homeowners in Denver, CO lead the way with 8.7% appreciation over the last year, while owners in Washington and Utah have experienced a 3% increase in values since the start of this year!
Nationally, CoreLogic forecasts that home values will increase another 5.0% by this time next year. Here in Baton Rouge it seems that a steady increase in home values will also hold true at some level.
Bill Banfield, VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans, recently explained the importance of knowing the conditions in your area,
“With home values constantly changing, and the rates of change varying across the country, this is one more way to show how important it is for homeowners to stay aware of their local housing market.”
Do you know what your Baton Rouge house is worth? Have you stayed put because you are nervous you won’t have enough equity to buy your dream home? Let’s get together to perform an equity analysis and give you the freedom to achieve your dreams.
- Hiring a real estate professional in the Baton Rouge market to buy your dream home, or sell your current house, is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make!
- A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process.
- Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions & can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!