When is it a Good Time to Rent? Definitely NOT Now!

When is it a Good Time to Rent? Definitely NOT Now! | Keeping Current Matters
People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.
The Census Bureau just released their second quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:
Median Asking Rent Since 1988 | Keeping Current Matters
At the same time, a report by Axiometrics revealed:
“The national apartment market’s annual effective rent growth rate of 5.1% in June 2015 represented a 47-month high, and continued a streak of 5.0%-plus rent growth that is now the longest in at least six years, according to apartment market research. The effective rent growth in June 2014 was 3.7%, putting June 2015’s exceptional performance into perspective.
This is the highest rate since the 5.3% of July 2011. The metric has reached at least 5.0% for five straight months, the longest such streak since Axiometrics started monthly reporting of annual apartment data in April 2009.”

Where will rents be headed in the future?

Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research, commented on the above report in an article by Real Estate Economy Watch:
“Rent growth is just shy of the post-recession peak, and the June metrics reflect the continued strength of the apartment market. The demand for apartments is still strong, despite the record number of new units being delivered this year. Tight occupancy is why landlords can push rents higher.”

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and of course able to buy, now may make sense.

July 2015 = FOR THE BOOKS

July 2015 was the BEST month for my real estate career thus far. I exceed all expectations that I could possibly do. I sold $1,142,298 in real estate sales for the month of July. I have to say a special thank you to all of my clients in July 2015 but more importantly to all of my clients who have really helped take my business to the next level in 2015. 

I sincerely mean it when I say thank you for supporting my business. When I purchase a closing gift it is really to say thank you because without you, New Avenue Realty WOULDN’T exist. It’s to say thanks for supporting my business. I work hard each day for you on one of the biggest transaction of your lives. Check out the homeowners that were CROWNED!!!

Ready to be Crowned? 

Homeownership: The Real Story Behind The Headlines

Homeownership: The Real Story Behind The Headlines | Keeping Current Matters
The big housing news this week is that the homeownership rate has dropped to 63.4% which represents the lowest rate in 48 years. That news definitely is making headlines. Yet, to fully understand what this means we have to look at the story that created these headlines.
There is no doubt the homeownership rate has declined since the housing crisis. Here is a graph showing the homeownership rate over the last twenty years. It skyrocketed during the housing boom and has steadily fallen since the bust:
HomeownershipRates | Keeping Current Matters

The story behind the headline…

The dramatic fall in the rate over the past year must be looked at very closely. The rate is determined by the “number of households” who rent versus those who own. Let’s assume you have nine friends that live on their own (thus forming a household); six of them own and three of them rent. That would mean that 66.6% (6 out of 9) of your friends that live on their own are homeowners.
Now, let’s assume you have another friend who has been living with his parents. He would not be considered a separate household because he lives within his parents’ household. Once that friend moves out of his parents’ home and gets a place of his own, he will become part of the household count. Let’s assume, since he is just starting out, that he moves into a rental.
When he does, you now have ten friends that live on their own. If six still own their home and four of your friends now rent, the homeownership rate of your friends drops to 60% (6 out of 10). The number who own didn’t decrease; but the percentage decreased.
With the economy improving and job numbers looking better, more and more young adults are beginning to move out and get a place of their own. However, most will start in a rental situation thus driving the “percentage” of homeownership down. Auction.comexplained the most recent drop in homeownership rate this way:
“This occurred as household formations popped, implying millennials are riding an improved labor market out of mom and dad’s house. Roughly a third of millennials live at home according to Census data, an elevated figure. Continued gains in the labor market will coax increased numbers out into their own places, a majority of which will be apartments, as this age cohort lacks the financial wherewithal to buy.”

What does this mean to the future of homeownership?

The great news is that study after study has shown that Millennials aspire to homeownership as they still see it as a major part of the American Dream. As they get more comfortable with their financial situation, many of the Millennials who finally made it out of their parents’ homes this year will become homeowners over the next several years. An increase in homeownership rates will follow.

Freddie Mac: Equity Matters (A LOT!)

Freddie Mac: Equity Matters (a Lot!) | Keeping Current Matters
According to a Merrill Lynch survey, over 80% of the people in this country believe that homeownership is still “an important part of the American Dream”. There are many financial and non-financial reasons people feel this way.
One of the biggest reasons is because it helps build family wealth. Last week, Freddie Mac posted about the power of home equity. They explained:
“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”
They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10%, resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance). They then illustrated what would happen after seven years of making a mortgage payment, assuming 3% per year home appreciation (the historic national average):
Home Equity Calculation | Keeping Current Matters
And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home. Merrill Lynchpublished a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired at certain ages.
Average Home Equity by Age | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:
“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you’d have zero equity and no means to build it.
Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”

What If I Wait Next Year to Buy?

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? | Keeping Current Matters
First-time homebuyers are flocking to the housing market in greater numbers than any time in the last few years. Renters who are ready and willing to buy are now realizing that they are also able to as well. Many first-time buyers are Millennials (born between 1981 – 1997).
If you are one of the many in this generation who sees your friends and family diving head first into the real estate market, and wonder if now is the time for you to do the same, keep reading!
The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
Let’s look at an example of what the experts are predicting for the upcoming year, and what that really would mean for you. Let’s say you’re 30 and your dream house costs $250,000 today. Right now mortgage interest rates are at or about 4%.

Your monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest only) would be $1,193.54.

But you’re busy, you like your apartment, and moving is such a hassle. You decide to wait until next year to buy. CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by 5.1% in the next 12 months; this means that same house you loved now costs, $262,750.
Freddie Mac predicts that over this same period of time, interest rates will be a full point higher at 5.0%. Your new payment per month is now $1,410.50.

The difference in payment is $216.96 PER MONTH!

That’s basically like taking $8 and tossing it out the window EVERY DAY!
Or you could look at it this way:
  • That’s your morning coffee everyday on the way to work (average $2) with $10 left for lunch!
  • There goes Friday Sushi Night! ($50 x 4)
  • Stressed Out? How about a few deep tissue massages with tip!
  • Need a new car? You could get a brand new car for $217 a month.
Let’s look at that number annually! Over the course of your new mortgage at 5.0%, your annual additional cost would be $2,603.52!
Had your eye on a vacation in the Caribbean? How about a 2-week trip through Europe? Or maybe your new house could really use a deck for entertaining. We could come up with 100’s of ways to spend $2,603, and we’re sure you could too!
Over the course of your 30 year loan, now at age 61, hopefully you are ready to retire soon, you would have spent an additional $78,105.60, all because when you were 30 you thought moving in 2015 was such a hassle or loved your apartment too much to leave yet.
Or maybe there wasn’t an agent out there who educated you on the true cost of waiting a year. Maybe they thought you wouldn’t be ready. But if they showed you that you could save $78,000 you’d at least listen to what they had to say.
They say hindsight is 20/20, we’d like to think that 30 years from now when you are 60, looking back, you would say to buy now…

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy…

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy | Keeping Current Matters
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents.
However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years.
Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report:
Median Mortgage Payment | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy.

Debunking Some Myths about Mortgage Availability

Debunking Some Myths about Mortgage Availability | Keeping Current Matters
There seems to be a growing chasm between what the public believes to be needed and what is actually needed to qualify for a residential home loan.
A recent survey by Ipsos reported that:
  • Two-thirds of those surveyed believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.
  • Consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan, with 36 percent thinking a 20 percent down payment is always required.
However, according to American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk’s May First-Time Buyer Mortgage Risk Index (FBMRI), reality is far from perception. The report reveals:
  • 70% of first-time buyer mortgages had a combined loan-to-value ratio of 95% or higher
  • About 20% of first-time buyers taking out mortgages had a FICO score below 660
  • 25% had total debt-to-income ratios above 43 percent
  • The median first-time buyer with an agency mortgage made a down payment of only 3 percent, or $7200 in dollar terms.
  • The median FICO score for first-time buyers with agency mortgages was 705
  • For first-time buyers with FHA-insured loans, the median FICO score was only 672
These numbers contradict the frequent claims that first-time buyers face difficulties in obtaining mortgages.

Bottom Line

Stephen Oliner, co-director of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk explained the reality of the situation.
“One hears all the time that first-time buyers have limited access to mortgage debt.  But this isn’t true. Many first-time buyers with low FICO scores and little money down are buying homes every month.”

2015 Fourth of July Events

The best time of the year for barbecues, lakes, and most importantly summer fun has approached us. Yes, you guessed it. It is time for the 4th of July. Our friends at Fox4News have gathered a list of all the activities happening right here in DFW. So get out there and enjoy the holiday season!

Fireworks, food, music, parades and more family fun — it’s all happening across North Texas to celebrate the Fourth of July. See what’s happening in your neck of the woods.


Addison, July 3
Kaboom Town
Fireworks and more

Allen, June 27
Allen USA Celebration
Free concerts, food, fireworks and more

Arlington, July 4
Arlington Fourth of July Association Parade

Balch Springs, July 4
4th of July Celebration
Fireworks, food and family fun

Bedford, July 4
Bigtop 4thFEST
Fireworks, concert and more family fun

Burleson, July 4
Independence Day Celebration
Free concert and fireworks

Canton, July 4
Chamber of Commerce Parade

College Station, July 4
“I Love America” Celebration at the George Bush Library
Free museum entry, entertainment, fireworks and much more

Coppell, July 3 – 4
Spirit of Coppell
Two days of Fourth fun include a parade, food, fireworks and more

Crowley, July 11
Celebration of Freedom
Parade, festival, fireworks display and more

Dallas, July 4
Fair Park Fourth
Fireworks, live music, rides, discounted museum admissions and lots more family fun

Denton, July 4
Yankee Doodle Parade
Kiwanis Fireworks Show at UNT

Desoto/Lancaster, July 4
Fourth of July Celebration
Fireworks, food and family fun

Duncanville, July 4
Grand Old Flag Fourth of July Celebration
Parade, festivities

Farmers Branch, July 3-4
Independence Day Celebration
Walking parade, pie eating contest, food, prizes and more
Red, White & Blue Bike Parade

Farmersville, July 4
Sparks of Freedom
Live music, booths and fireworks

Flower Mound, July 4
Independence Fest
Children’s parade, live music, fireworks and much more family fun

Fort Worth, July 4
Fort Worth’s Fourth
Fun on the river, live music, fireworks and more
Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic
Texas Motor Speedway – Patriotic Friday Night Drag

Frisco, July 3-4
Frisco Freedom Fest
Children’s fun expo, live entertainment, food fest, FC Dallas soccer match, fireworks and more

Garland, July 4
Star-Spangled Spectacular
Family friendly activities, food, live entertainment, fireworks

Grand Prairie, July 4
Lone Stars & Stripes
Racing, family fun, music and fireworks

Granbury, July 3-5
Old Fashioned 4th of July
Car show, 5K, parade, live music & fireworks

Grapevine, July 3-4
Annual Fireworks Extravaganza
Fireworks and family fun every Friday all summer

Greenville, July 4
Superbowl Speedway
Race and fireworks

Gun Barrel City, July 3-4
July Fest
Live music, fireworks, carnival and more

Haltom City, July 4
Family 4th
Multi-city fireworks show for North Richland Hills, Haltom City and Richland Hills

Haslet, July 2
Independence Day Parade & Fireworks Celebration

Hudson Oaks, July 4
Boomin’ 4th
Fireworks and live music

Hurst, July 4
Hurst Stars & Stripes
Family fun, live music and fireworks

Irving, July 4
Independence Day Celebration
Fireworks show, parade, live music and more

Joshua, July 3
Family fun, children’s parade and fireworks at Owl Stadium

Lake Cities, July 4
Lake Cities Fourth of July
Parade, carnival rides, live music, fireworks

Lancaster/Desoto, July 4
Fourth of July Celebration
Fireworks, food and family fun

Lewisville, July 4
Red White & Lewisville

Mansfield, July 3
Rockin’ Fourth
Rock ‘n roll, recreation and rockets

McKinney, July 4
Red, White and Boom
Fireworks, food, live music, car show and much more

Mesquite, July 4
Fireworks Extravaganza at Devil’s Bowl Speedway
Sprint Car Nationals and fireworks

North Richland Hills, July 4
Family 4th
Multi-city fireworks show for North Richland Hills, Haltom City and Richland Hills

Plano, July 3-4
All-American Fourth
Community band concert, parade and fireworks show

Richardson, July 4
Family 4th of July Celebration
Family fun, picnicking and fireworks

Richland Hills, July 4
Family 4th
Multi-city fireworks show for North Richland Hills, Haltom City and Richland Hills

Roanoke, July 3
Roanoke’s 3rd Rocks
Fireworks, live music and family fun

Rockwall, July 4
Fireworks display at Myers Park at dusk

Rowlett, July 4
Fireworks at Bayside
Live music, food, children’s activities, fireworks and more

Sachse, July 3
Red, White & Blue Blast
Music, food, fireworks and more at Heritage Park

Seagoville, July 4
Fireworks in the Park
Water slides, food, vendors and fireworks

Southlake, July 3
Stars and Stripes Festival
Family fun, food and fireworks

The Colony, July 4
Liberty By The Lake
Family fun, food, live entertainment, 5 & 10 K, fireworks and more

Trophy Club, July 4
Independence Day Celebration
5K, parade and fireworks

Waxahachie, July 3 – 4
Crape Myrtle Festival
Hometown parade, battle of the bands and fireworks

One More Time…You DO NOT Need 20% Down!

One More Time You Don't Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters
A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below:
Percent of Low Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:
Average FICO Scores | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able’, sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.

CROWNED: The Alexanders

In the latest addition to the “Crowned” series, we meet The Alexanders. Now The Alexanders are personal friends of mine and newlyweds. Candisse is actually my sorority sister from LSU. It’s funny how when I first started my career in real estate we would have talks about her buying a home. Her and Evan were seriously dating but marriage wasn’t quite near, at least that’s what Candisse thought. 
I remember having her tag along to some of my previews or sending her random homes. She’d be like with a house like that I’d need a ring to make that possible. Well, that ring came a lot quicker than she thought. Candisse and Evan wed in February 2015. Of course weddings means homes, babies (I can’t say that too loud right now), and more. So as a friend I would suggest when would we go search for their new home as husband and wife. Their answer was always after the honeymoon we are ready. They definitely were. This is one of the only times where we did 2 days of showings. This was the first home they considered making an offer on and their offer was accepted. 
As a friend I thought this home was perfect too. It was the perfect size for them and great for entertaining their lovely friends (well maybe just my own personal implication). I’m happy that they trusted me to help them with this transaction. It means a lot to have your friends or family to support your business. After the real estate purchase, I stay in touch with clients and they become friends to me. So imagine how grand of a friendship this has evolved to? I love it and cannot wait to be around for the memories made in this home. 
Congratulations Evan and Candisse!