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That's a hopeful title up there, isn't it?! Read on for some helpful statistics..... ----------------------

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent

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According to the NCOA (National Council On Aging):
  • Millions of older Americans are at risk for hunger. In 2014, 10.2 million older Americans faced the threat of hunger, representing 15.8% of adults aged 60+ in the U.S.
  • Food insecurity is growing among older adults. The food insecurity rate for all senior households was 7.8% in 2016, down slightly from the year before but up from 5.5% in 2001. At the same time, the percentage of seniors facing the threat of hunger has more than doubled.
The Buffalow Family & Friends Community Days have focused their efforts on senior citizens in Hampton Roads, to help with the issue of food insecurity through the following event:   Senior Community Meal Bags: Packing & Distribution
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Most people will gloss past this headline- there's nothing exciting about mortgage rates, right?

Well, actually....

Read this first, then let us know what you think!

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Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2018?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? | Keeping Current Matters

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of

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The VA Loan is a FANTASTIC benefit to having served in the military. Our agents have extensive experience helping our clients navigate the home buying process that include the VA Loan.  Also, the VA Loan is not just of interest to those buying, but also to those selling, as the VA Appraiser (mentioned below) will be a part of the sales transaction. So this is great information for anyone on either side of the transaction.

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For many borrowers, applying for any kind of mortgage may seem daunting. But, when broken down, this rundown of 6 steps to getting a VA loan is easy to understand.

1. Select a VA-approved Lender

On the surface, it might appear that any lender will do. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may discover that

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Wow, this was almost eerie reading this, Inman!

It is so spot on, and completely highlights our move to The Real Estate Group (TREG).

Looking for a great place to be? Hit us up with your questions, we can tell you exactly why we made our move... this blog gives a pretty accurate highlight on what brought us to TREG!

Special report: the keys to a strong company culture

Creating an environment that promotes retention, productivity and happiness   BY GILL SOUTH Staff Writer   Key Takeaways
  • Nearly three-quarters of real estate pros believe culture is “very important” to a company's financial success.
  • Close to 60 percent of real estate pros said they were “very happy” with the culture of their
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Hot off the press from Patrick Steele, of Tidewater Mortgage... here is a decent explanation on the latest!!!

Mortgage rates are in big trouble.  Whatever you've read about the current spike so far today, you'll probably need to double it after today's bond market movement.  Why?  Because most news stories on rates haven't yet accounted for today's bond market movement!  The most prevalent source material is Freddie Mac's weekly survey which generally tracks lender quotes from Monday and Tuesday of any given week.  The survey showed a 0.07% jump week over week. 

The actual jump is more like 0.12-.13.  The average lender is now quoting 4.375% on top tier 30yr fixed scenarios.  More than a few are already up to 4.5%.  Lenders quoting rates much lower

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Yet another fantastic write up from Keeping Current Matters!

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Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that “eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:

“Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, and 30% believe lenders

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Agh, did that title pull you in?! Check out this sage advice from our friends at Keeping Current Matters:

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Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Zillow recently reported that:

“In reality, buying or renting a home is an intensely personal decision, with emotional and even financial considerations that go beyond whether to invest in this one (admittedly large) asset. Looking strictly at housing market numbers, there is a concrete point at which buying a home makes more financial sense than renting it.”

What proof exists that

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How true that headline will ring for so many people....! But... it's true. There's hope!

Check out this great write up from our friends at KCM, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Whether you are a renter who is searching for your dream home or a homeowner who feels like your only option is to renovate, you have at least one thing in common: feeling stuck in place.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the average amount of time that a family stays in their home remained at 10 years in 2017. This mark ties the highest marks set in 2014 and 2016. Back in 1985, when data was first collected on this subject, homeowners stayed in their homes for an average of

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Yes, friends: It's BACK!

For those new to this game, every open house we do comes with a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Sign in at the open house and get your name thrown into a monthly drawing, with no limits on how many times you can enter. 

Open house near your home? Stop by and enter!

Open house near your work? Stop by and enter!

Open house near your family's favorite ice cream place? Stop by and enter!

Visit every single open house we do in a month and really up your chances to WIN.

But you can't win if you don't ENTER.... so be sure to keep an eye out on our social media for our open house posts to see where all you can stop in and get signed up for your chance to win (and of course check out some great homes as well.)

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