| December 10, 2014

Americans ‘Optimistic’ About Housing Market, Fannie Mae says

A new consumer poll finds more Americans have regained a sense of financial security.

Americans are optimistic about buying homes

Americans may not have complete confidence in the economic recovery, but one area is definitely looking up: the housing market.

On Nov. 7, Fannie Mae released the results from their October 2014 National Housing Survey, which asked 1,000 Americans about their attitudes toward renting and owning a home, the economy, their household finances and overall consumer confidence. They found that though only 40 percent of respondents thought the economy was on the right track, 45 percent said they were expecting their financial situation to improve within the next year.

Some other highlights of the October survey included:

  • The 45 percent of respondents who said they expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year was an increase of 7 percent from last year.
  • Those expecting their financial situation to worsen decreased to 10 percent of all respondents.
  • Change in home price expectations rose to 2.8 percent, reversing a four-month trend.
  • Those who say it’s a good time to sell your home increased to 44 percent – an all-time survey high.

“It’s hard to predict exactly how the housing market will react, but the recent Fannie Mae poll is indicative that Americans are finally going to start buying and selling their homes again,” said Maria Gaitan, Housing and Business Development Manager of Consolidated Credit.

For anyone looking to buy a home right now, Gaitan recommends looking at it as a semi-permanent or permanent investment. This means taking plenty of questions into consideration, and not just the obvious ones about the how safe the neighborhood is.

What you should consider before buying a home

1. Is this the right time for you to buy a home?

While the market may be improving, you should ask yourself some questions first: Do you have a steady source of income and solid budget? Is your job stable? Is there any possibility you may have to relocate for any job- or family-related reason in the next few years?

If you answered yes to the last question, consider whether getting a 15- or 30-year mortgage is worth getting stuck to the property for that amount of time.

2. What can you afford to pay for your mortgage?

The Federal Housing Administration says that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed one-third of your income. Mortgage lenders will also calculate your debt-to-income ratio, which measures how much income you have versus your household expense account and how much debt you have. That debt includes any student loans or credit card debt you may have. We recommend consumers keep their debt-to-income ratio below 36%.

3. What is the house that best serves your needs, both present and future?

When you’re looking for the perfect home, it can be tempting to buy bigger, newer, and with more amenities than you really need. Here are some things you should consider before buying:

  • Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Are there too many?
  • Do all the appliances and mechanical systems work? What are the things that will need replaced?
  • Will your furniture fit?
  • Do you like the floor plan? Does it make sense for your family?
  • Is there enough storage space?
  • Imagine the house through each season, in good weather and bad weather. Will it be structurally sound, year-round?
  • Brainstorm potential problems so you can ask your real estate agent and your future neighbors. Is there noise from the highway or high school football stadium down the street? What is the neighborhood like at night? How are the schools? Is there public transportation nearby?

Though this is far from a comprehensive list, it’s a good starting place if you are looking to buy your own home. And remember, this is your home, so don’t be in a rush to buy — the average homebuyer looks at 15 houses before choosing the one they want to buy.

One last note – if you’re a first-time homebuyer, we also recommend going through a HUD-approved homebuyer education workshop. Consolidated Credit regularly holds homebuyer workshops for free at our home office, or you can find HUD-approved courses online.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

All Consolidated Credit counselors are certified personal financial counselors (CFC) We've helped 5 million people get out of debt! Call us today and see what we can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services. Industry professionals who adopt these standards can be trusted to provide consistent, high quality advice.
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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Consolidated Credit is proud to be an ANAB accredited member. Accreditation by a recognized and respected body such as ANAB ensures the impartiality and competence of our company. To see what we can do for you, give us a call.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Consolidated Credit is proud to be a member of HUD and also part of the Hope Now Alliance.

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