April 3, 2024

Butler County, PA Market Report March 2024

Spring into the Market! 🌷 March 2024 has shown a blooming trend in real estate, with fresh opportunities sprouting up for buyers and sellers alike. Don't let this season of growth pass you by—reach out to us to find your perfect home or to list your property.

Let's plant the seeds for your future together!🏡💖 For more information contact the The Tammy Grassi Team at 724-933-1980 x215 or visit us at https://www.pittsburghrealestatehome.com/.

Brokered by Achieve Realty Inc.

#ButlerCountyLiving #MarchMarketUpdate #LocalLove #theTammyGrassiRealEstateTeam #TammyGrassi #ButlerCounty #PittsburghRealEstateHome #AchieveRealty #PittsburgRealtor #Pennsylvania

Audio: Move to the Rhythm by Spring Gang via Epidemic Sound

Posted in Market Update
March 4, 2024

February 2024 Market Update

🏠📊 February 2024 Market Update: Let's Dive into Butler County's Real Estate Rhythm! 📈🏡

Join us as we uncover the latest trends shaping our community's home market.

Whether you're a long-time resident or just dreaming of putting down roots, we've got you covered!

Let's make this month where your home aspirations take flight! 🚀🏠

#ButlerCountyLiving #FebruaryMarketUpdate #LocalRealEstateVibes #LocalLove #theTammyGrassiRealEstateTeam #TammyGrassi #ButlerCounty#PittsburghRealEstateHome #AchieveRealty #PittsburgRealtor #Pennsylvania

Audio: Chocolate Cake by Krayolaklick (Audiosocket)

Feb. 2, 2024

Butler County, PA Market Update January 2024

🏡✨ January 2024 Market Update: Your Home Journey Begins Here! 🏡📈
Hey Butler County fam! 🌟 Curious about what the new year holds for our local real estate scene? Join us for a heart-to-heart as we dive into the January 2024 market update.
Whether you're dreaming of a cozy cottage or planning to say goodbye to your nest, this is the place to be!
Let's navigate the home journey together because your story is our story! 🏡💖
For more information contact the The Tammy Grassi Team here at 724-933-1980 x215 or visit us at www.PittsburghRealEstateHome.com
Brokered by Achieve Realty Inc.
Audio by Jetty Rae Favorite Song
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Jan. 10, 2024

What Lower Mortgage Rates Mean for Your Purchasing Power



If you want to buy a home, it's important to know how mortgage rates impact what you can afford and how much you’ll pay each month. Fortunately, rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have come down significantly since the end of October and are currently under 7%, according to Freddie Mac (see graph below):

 

 

This recent trend is great news for buyers. As a recent article from Bankrate says:

“The rate cool-off somewhat eases the housing affordability squeeze.”

And according to Edward Seiler, AVP of Housing Economics and Executive Director of the Research Institute for Housing America at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA):

“MBA expects that affordability conditions will continue to improve as mortgage rates decline . . .”

Here’s a bit more context on how this could help with your plans to buy a home.

How Mortgage Rates Affect Your Search for a Home

Understanding the connection between mortgage rates and your monthly home payment is crucial for your plans to become a homeowner. The chart below illustrates how your ability to afford a home changes when mortgage rates shift. Imagine your budget allows for a monthly payment between $2,400 and $2,500. The green part in the chart shows payments in that range or lower (see chart below):

 

 

As you can see, even small changes in rates can affect your budget and the loan amount you can afford.

Get Help from Reliable Experts To Understand Your Budget and Plan Ahead

When you're looking to buy a home, it's important to get guidance from a local real estate agent and a trusted lender. They can help you explore different mortgage options, understand what makes mortgage rates go up or down, and how those changes impact you.

By looking at the numbers and the latest data together, then adjusting your strategy based on today's rates, you'll be better prepared and ready to buy a home.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to buy a home, you should know the recent downward trend in mortgage rates is good news for your move. Let’s connect and plan your next steps.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 10, 2024

Ways Your Home Equity Can Help You Reach Your Goals




If you’ve owned your house for at least a couple of years, there’s something you’re going to want to know more about – and that’s home equity. If you’re not familiar with that term, Freddie Mac defines it like this:

“. . . your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage.”

That means your equity grows as you pay down your home loan over time and as home values climb. While it’s true home prices dipped slightly last year, they rebounded and have been climbing in many areas since then. Here’s why that price growth is good news for you.

In the latest Equity Insights Report, Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:

With price gains continuing to help homeowners build wealth, equity has reached a new high and regained losses that resulted from declines last year. And while the average U.S. homeowner gained over $20,000 in additional equity compared with the third quarter of 2022, some markets are seeing larger increases as price growth catches up.”

And that figure is just for the last year. To help you really understand how that number can add up over time, the report also says the average homeowner with a mortgage has more than $300,000 in equity. That much equity can have a big impact.

Here are a few examples of how you can put your home equity to work for you.

1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs

If your current space no longer meets your needs, it might be time to think about moving to a bigger home. And if you’ve got too much space, downsizing to a smaller one could be just right. Either way, you can put your equity toward a down payment on something that fits your changing lifestyle.

2. Reinvest in Your Current Home

And, if you’re not ready to move just yet, you can use the equity you have to improve your current home. But it’s important to consider the long-term benefits certain upgrades can bring to your home’s value. A real estate agent is a great resource on which projects to prioritize to get the greatest return on your investment when you sell later on.

3. Pursue Personal Ambitions

Home equity can also serve as a catalyst for realizing your life-long dreams. That could mean investing in a new business venture, retirement, or funding an education. While you shouldn’t use your equity for unnecessary spending, using it responsibly for something meaningful and impactful can really make a difference in your life.

4. Understand Your Options to Avoid Foreclosure

While the number of foreclosure filings remains below the norm, there are still some homeowners who go into foreclosure each year. If you’re in a tough spot financially, having a clear understanding of your options can help. Equity can act as a cushion if you’re not able to make your mortgage payments on time.

Bottom Line

If you want to know how much equity you have in your home, let’s connect. That way you have someone who can do a professional equity assessment report on how much you’ve built up over time. Then let’s talk through how you can use it to help you reach your goals.

Jan. 10, 2024

Avoid These Common Mistakes After Applying for a Mortgage




If you’re getting ready to buy a home, it’s exciting to jump a few steps ahead and think about moving in and making it your own. But before you get too far down the emotional path, there are some key things to keep in mind after you apply for your mortgage and before you close. Here’s a list of things to remember when you apply for your home loan.

Don’t Deposit Large Sums of Cash

Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

Don’t Make Any Large Purchases

It’s not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgage. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.

Don’t Cosign Loans for Anyone

When you cosign for a loan, you’re making yourself accountable for that loan’s success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count them against you.

Don’t Switch Bank Accounts

Lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.

Don’t Apply for New Credit

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When your credit report is run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.

Don’t Close Any Accounts

Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn’t true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those parts of your score.

Do Discuss Changes with Your Lender

Be upfront about any changes that occur or you’re expecting to occur when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it’s best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.

Bottom Line

You want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who’s qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.

Jan. 3, 2024

Butler County, PA Market Update - December 2023

Hey, 2024's here and the market's buzzing! 🎉📈 We're seeing this mix of hope and caution as we kick off the year. Things are a bit uncertain, but there's that spark of optimism shining through. Let's dive in together and decode what's in store for us this year! 💼💰 For more information contact the The Tammy Grassi Team here at 724-933-1980 x215 or visit us at www.PittsburghRealEstateHome.com Brokered by Achieve Realty Inc. Audio: Drippin'and Drivin' (inst) by King Trife

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 13, 2023

The Surprising Trend in the Number of Homes Coming onto the Market




If you're thinking about moving, it's important to know what's happening in the housing market. Here's an update on the supply of homes currently for sale. Whether you're buying or selling, the number of homes in your area is something you should pay attention to.

In the housing market, there are regular patterns that happen every year, called seasonality. Spring is the peak homebuying season and also when the most homes are typically listed for sale (homes coming onto the market are known in the industry as new listings). In the second half of each year, the number of new listings typically decreases as the pace of sales slows down.

The graph below uses data from Realtor.com to provide a visual of this seasonality. It shows how this year (the black line) is breaking from the norm (see graph below):

Looking at this graph, three things become clear:

  • 2017-2019 (the blue and gray lines) follow the same general pattern. These years were very typical in the housing market and their lines on the graph show normal, seasonal trends.
  • Starting in 2020, the data broke from the normal trend. The big drop down in 2020 (the orange line) signals when the pandemic hit and many sellers paused their plans to move. 2021 (the green line) and 2022 (the red line) follow the normal trend a bit more, but still are abnormal in their own ways.
  • This year (the black line) is truly unique. The steep drop off in new listings that usually occurs this time of year hasn’t happened. If 2023 followed the norm, the line representing this year would look more like the dotted black line. Instead, what’s happening is the number of new listings is stabilizing. And, there are even more new listings coming to the market this year compared to the same time last year.

What Does This Mean for You?

  • For buyers, new listings stabilizing is a positive sign. It means you have a more steady stream of options coming onto the market and more choices for your next home than you would have at the same time last year. This opens up possibilities and allows you to explore a variety of homes that suit your needs.
  • For sellers, while new listings are breaking seasonal norms, inventory is still well below where it was before the pandemic. If you look again at the graph, you’ll see the black line for this year is still lower than normal, meaning inventory isn’t going up dramatically and prices aren’t heading for a crash. And with less competition from other sellers than you’d see in a more typical year, your house has a better chance to be in the spotlight and attract eager buyers.

Bottom Line

Whether you're on the hunt for your next home or thinking of selling, now might just be the perfect time to make your move. If you have questions or concerns about the availability of homes in our local area, let’s connect.

Dec. 5, 2023

Butler County, PA Market Update November 2023

Jingle all the way to the latest local market updates! 🎁✨

Embrace the snowy season with the coolest finds and warm community spirit.

For more information contact the The Tammy Grassi Team here at 724-933-1980 x215 or visit us at www.PittsburghRealEstateHome.com

Brokered by Achieve Realty Inc.

Audio Credits to Duffmusiq from Audiosocket

Dec. 1, 2023

Is Owning a Home Still the American Dream for Younger Buyers?




Everyone has their own idea of the American Dream, and it's different for each person. But, in a recent survey by Bankrate, people were asked about the achievements they believe represent the American Dream the most. The answers show that owning a home still claims the #1 spot for many Americans today (see graph below):

 

 

In fact, according to the graph, owning a home is more important to people than retiring, having a successful career, or even getting a college degree. But is the dream of homeownership still alive for younger generations?

A recent survey by 1000watt dives into how the two generations many people believed would be the renter generations (Gen Z and millennials) feel about homeownership. Specifically, it asks if they want to buy a home in the future. The resounding answer is yes (see graph below):

 

While there are plenty of reasons why someone might prefer homeownership to renting, the same 1000watt survey shows, that for 63% of Gen Z and millennials, it’s that your place doesn’t feel like “home” unless you own it – maybe you feel the same way.

That emotional draw is further emphasized when you look at the reasons why Gen Z and millennials want to become homeowners. For all the financial benefits homeownership provides, in most cases it’s about the lifestyle or emotional benefits (see graph below):

 

 

What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re a part of Gen Z or are a millennial and you’re ready, willing, and able to buy a home, you’ll want a great real estate agent by your side. Their experience and expertise in the local housing market will help you overcome today’s high mortgage rateslow inventory, and rising home prices to find your first home and turn your dream into a reality.

Working with a local real estate agent to find your dream home is the key to unlocking the American Dream.

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a big, important decision that represents the heart of the American Dream. If you want to accomplish your goal, let’s connect to start the process today.