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Questions to ask when choosing a mortgage lender to buy a home.

When deciding to buy a home, the first step is getting preapproved. With so many mortgage lenders out there, how do you choose? Many home buyers who come to me say the same thing. I just called my bank to get preapproved…they have all my information and my car loan…

Banks who are good for checking accounts or even car loans are not always stellar at mortgages, which are riskier and more complicated transactions. The right mortgage lender can be the difference between getting or not getting a home. In a competitive market where the right homes are going into multiple offers, listing real estate brokers and there sellers may evaluate offers, including which lender will get the job done. If lenders have a bad reputation, it can hurt your offer. And the wrong mortgage lender can definitely cost you a lot of time, heartache and money if they do not get the job done.

Beware – rates are not everything. Mortgage companies that cloak themselves in the best rates are not often the best to deal with. If they can’t get the job done, it won’t matter what their rate is.

So here are 6 questions to ask a mortgage lender to see who will get you into your new home.

1. What do I need for a preapproval letter? If they don’t ask you for tax returns, w2, bank statements and proof of employment income right from the start….and pull your credit report…your preapproval is not worth anything and will be worthless to a listing broker with an offer. Sellers want to know the loan will go through and so do you. They need all this information to ensure you will have a successful loan.

2. Do you do your own underwriting locally or in your office? Underwriting is the key to all loans. Underwriting is where they look at all the documentation and ensure the company/investor is satisfied with a minimal risk of default on the loan. This is very complex and involves a lot of precision but also a lot of subjectivity. If the underwriters are with another company or in another state or even another office, the loan officer will be powerless if anything is tricky with you or the house to ensure the loan gets done.

3. Who do I deal with during the loan process? Service counts for a lot. Companies where you deal with multiple people in multiple locations, states, etc. usually will delay your loan and cause you more hassles. You want a team where the loan officer, the person you start with is still involved and still your point of contact for you, your Realtor and your attorney. Companies who have you talking to a different person every time will just give you a headache and waste a lot of your time. Internet companies are famous for this, you often are pushed from person to person.

4. What are your loan fees? Of course you want to know what the loan will cost you. But just like rate, you should ask the question (and get it in writing) but that should not be the only factor considered.

5. What loans can you do? Not all banks, mortgage companies and credit unions can perform all mortgages. Renovation loans, FHA loans, various grants and programs loans with home buyer assistance at local or state level…if you are looking for a particular loan product or a few, you want to know they can do the job in house and not send out for underwriting and processing.

6. How many of your deals go through? This is a very important question. Some loan officers are salaried (many banks) while mortgage companies typically are strictly commission…they don’t eat if they don’t close loans. If they could care less if you close or not and merely are fulfilling a quota of preapprovals or applications…they are likely not the lender for you. And lenders who don’t close at least 90% or more of all loans they submit preapprovals for…that is a red flag.

What you need to know about using an Attorney in a Real Estate Closing

Many of my clients ask if they have to use an attorney when buying or selling a home. While the answer is no you don’t have to but you need to use an attorney when buying or selling a home and here is why.
1. Who is going to explain all the paperwork to you at the closing? By law in Illinois, only an attorney can explain the mountain of paperwork from the mortgage note to the deed to the closing charges to ensure that you are getting what you paid for and that you understand everything you are signing. So unless you want to just sign a bunch of papers you don’t understand, you need a real estate attorney there with you when signing.
2. If you are selling property…there are a myriad of paperwork that needs to be completed for transfer taxes and there are documents to be reviewed like the title, survey, deed. If you don’t understand every word and paragraph, how do you know it is completed properly? How do you know that your error will not put you in future litigation?
3. Dealing with the other attorney…In Illinois, most sellers use an attorney, so if you are a buyer, you would have to deal directly with the attorney on everything, inspection repairs, extensions, title problems and review? While these things are not rocket science they do require a level of knowledge and experience to be successfully achieved. If the other side has it and you don’t…you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.
4. Are you sure you are protected and getting what you are entitled to? Buying and selling a home is complicated. The deed and title need to be reviewed to ensure there are no liens. The survey needs to be reviewed. Real estate taxes and exemptions can expose you to paying more taxes out of pocket than necessary. A real estate attorney will review all these items and protect your interests now and in the future.
5. Make sure it is a real estate attorney who has experience in real estate. You would not have a cardiologist perform brain surgery. Both doctors, but specific knowledge and experience are required. Same with attorneys, there are nuances that only attorneys who practice in real estate will know and recognize. This could be the difference between preventing or solving a problem or something you will have in the future.
6. Where do you look for a real estate attorney? Your Realtor and/or lender are great resources. They work with attorneys every day and can give you a personal recommendation. Then you should talk to them and ensure you feel comfortable with them. It is important that you feel comfortable asking questions and ensure they have time to help you and will communicate with you.
7. What should I expect from my attorney? Some attorneys are the “just see you at closing types.” You are better off with someone who is with you every step of the way, not just on the day of closing. They should review all the paperwork, communicate with the Realtors, lender, title company and other attorney. They should answer all your questions and keep you up to date. They need to protect your interests and do what is best for you. And they should work well with all the parties involved to make a smooth transaction. If they seem difficult to work with, they are likely not the right choice. Real estate transactions have a lot of moving parts, all parties need to work together to ensure a smooth and successful experience. And keep in mind, while an assistant or paralegal can do a lot of the paperwork, they should not be the one answering your questions and explaining paperwork. That is what your attorney is for.

8. What should you pay for a real estate attorney? You usually pay a flat fee, not by the hour, phone call or retainer for a real estate transaction. It is paid at closing. You can negotiate the fee, especially as the seller of the property, but again it is more important to get a good attorney than save a few bucks.

Simply said. You don’t know what you don’t know. In every industry there are experts that people rely on to protect, educate and inform them. Doing it yourself you could miss something that will cost you money, hassle and more in later years. Unless you understand all the paperwork and laws…get an expert. After all, this is not only your home, but your largest investment.

Creepy Distractions that Turn Off Home Buyers when Selling a Home


As a Realtor, I see a lot of unusual, even crazy things in people’s homes. If these silent idiosyncrasies could be explained by the home seller, I am sure they would make more sense. But in their absence and left to the imaginations of home buyers, these eclectic eccentricities can often creep home buyers out …distracting them from the advantages of the home and maybe completely turning them off.

I once entered a room with a full-sized child doll sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room. You could not see it until you entered the room. It surprised each and every person who came into the room and needless to say, no one really saw that room. Or the full-size “butler” statues – yes they scare you because they seem like a real person when you walk in the room. Startling to say in the least, creepy to say in the most. This goes for any personal possessions that may not be appreciated by the general public. Doll collections with eyes seemingly following you all over the room are not much lower on the creep-o-meter. Realistic stuffed toy animals of cats sitting on beds or a large tiger in the corner, are another eerie distraction.

And Taxidermy…I have seen heads of nearly every animal on the wall, as well as various skin rugs on walls and floors, horns on walls and full-on stuffed formerly live animals. While these trophies are treasured by the home sellers, to a homebuyer who may not share this hobby, they are unsettling and unpleasant. When you are blindly entering a home, it can cause children to be afraid and many times scare even adults who are not expecting a “jungle room.” Home sellers, let’s put it this way, do you want the home buyers referring to your home as the “dead animal” or even the “jungle” house after their visit. No, that will not sell your home. Put them away in storage, boxes, etc.

Marked graves in the yards for pets or urns of grandma on the mantel are another turn off. While the urn will move with you, home buyers only can wonder how many fluffy and spot bones they will inherit if they buy the home. What is unseen….is the best answer for this.

Weapons in the homes, from samurai swords and cross bows to maces and guns are more common than you would believe. Best to keep the armory put away in a closet in a box, etc. Not only are they dangerous, especially for children viewing the home, but also could be a theft temptation you don’t want to deal with and a potential insurance nightmare you definitely don’t want to deal with.

And while the Nazi flag may be reminiscent of an inside joke or historical memorabilia or something to the home seller, home buyers could easily be offended enough to ignore the home’s attributes and head for the door. Or better yet, they may never come to see the house as they see the photography on the internet and in listings.

Snakes, tarantulas, hamsters, gerbils and lizards may be in cages, but do you want to take the risk that recoiled home buyers will not enter those rooms with their slimy occupants present. If they have to stay in the room, best to cover them …. out of sight, never in mind.

And “Friendly” cats and dogs may be fine for your guests while you are around, but home sellers need to cage or remove these residents and not leave for unsuspecting home buyers…and agents for that matter. You don’t want agents and homebuyers skipping your house when they go to the door and “spot” is barking his head off at the front door awaiting them.

Real life encounters are not limited to pets. Believe it or not, more than once, I have opened a bedroom door to see a lump in the bed that was not laundry, but a real person sleeping in the bed. Both the buyers and I couldn’t get out that room or that home faster.

Again, while it is your home, it also is a product. If you wouldn’t like it in a department store, don’t put it in a home you want to sell. Remember, first impressions last forever and are not easily erased.

How to Win or Lose Multiple Offers when Buying a Home

I hear this all the time from home buyers, especially first-time homebuyers. I am tired of losing a home in multiple offers. With buyer demand, low interest rates and inventory shortages, multiple offers have been a standard in the home buying game, especially in competitive marketplaces and in the first-time buyer more affordable homes category of the market.

Home buyers never win in a multiple offer or bidding war. You don’t know what the other buyers are doing, what their financing is, how many of them are there. It can get very discouraging for home buyers. But, if you want a home and are in it to win it, you can’t be discouraged. You just need a strategy.

Timing is everything. Home buying in a competitive environment is no exception. The cream of the crop homes don’t last long. Beating other offers to the punch could make the difference between a sole negotiation with you and the seller and a multiple offer, so you need to know what is out there and go see it right away. Get into the home right away, even if it is inconvenient, do it. Keep abreast of the market by having your Realtor send you updates on the multiple listing service MLS 2x per day, morning and afternoon, that way you have the most accurate and updated listings available.

And you need to be ready to make a quick decision. Be prepared with your preapproval letter ready. Have all the decision makers attend the first showing. Waiting for your parents to come even the next day and you could be behind the eight ball. While it is important to make a wise unhasty and considered decision, you need to know your marketplace, do your homework and consult your Realtor expert so you know when the right thing comes along.

Don’t submit a low ball offer. That is the first way to lose a home to multiple offers. If you are offering on a fast-moving in-demand home, don’t try to negotiate too much and go really low. Home sellers can consider other offers up until you have a signed (not verbal) contract. If you low ball to try to get the price down, you will lose the home – guaranteed. If another offer comes in, you will definitely pay more to get the price. In a multiple offer, the list price usually becomes the rule, so you sometimes need to get right on it, close to it or over it to win the house.

Again, timing is the biggest factor. Homebuyers always need to consider the market, but not over consider. Remember, if you are getting a loan, and most people are, the home’s value will need to appraise. As a homebuyer, you can never overpay for a home. If you think the price is too high, much better to have no competition in negotiating after an appraisal than keep missing out. Yes, homebuyers do need to pay for the appraisal, so there is some chance of loss, but most times sellers will negotiate once they have a buyer. If you are not sure, have your attorney extend the inspection period and do the appraisal right away, then you can reduce potential risks and losses.

Other terms of the purchase can also be a way to win in a multiple offer. Cash maybe king, but the price is the main consideration to most home sellers. The only way to beat a cash offer is to outbid them. But if you are a cash offer or put more money down, that can be appealing to a seller. Conventional financing is usually more appealing than FHA financing.

Home seller concessions like closing costs, surveys, termite inspections, home warranties and percentage of tax proration can be another way you can beat out the competition. Down payment assistance or relative gifts can be one option other than seller paid closing costs. You can get your own termite inspection, survey and home warranty or do without them. Most financing options no longer require termite inspections and survey. Established homes with obvious boundaries do not necessarily need a survey. And unless your inspection reveals an potential issue with termites, you may not need. VA loans still however need a termite inspection, but it can be provided by the buyer.

Tax prorations are usually a small consideration, but combined with others above, it can win. Depending on the current exemptions, assessment and tax increases and since your lender escrows your taxes at closing and each month, you may not ever have a dime out of your pocket for a tax proration at 100% vs. 5 or 10% over the last tax bill.

Offering to buy the home “as is”. You should always still have an inspection and you still have the inspection contingency in place in a contract, so if you say you will purchase as is and there are deal breakers at the inspection, you can always renegotiate. With other buyers moving onto other deals by then, you may be on your own. You shouldn’t go into the deal with this plan to about face on this term, but you still have options.

There are always pitfalls with the appraisal or as is back up plan though. Backup offers could be in place, so the home seller may just go back to that, but other buyers may not wait around and move onto other homes.

Other terms like favorable closing dates or post-closing possession may suit the home sellers needs and favor your offer.

And if you are tired of the multiple offer game and don’t want to play anymore, there are other options. Very few times does a diamond in the rough have multiple offers. Could be the home a little old lady lives in that is in good condition, but is not updated, could be a foreclosure home. You can get a rehab loan to fix up the home the way you want. You still get your dream home and often a better price and less frustration.

Selling and Buying a Home with Home For Sale or Close Contingencies – Facts and Fiction

If you are selling you home, do you buy a new home first or do you wait until you sell and risk two moves and being homeless. It can be a dilemma and can be exacerbated by complications of a large family or work schedule, schools, transportation, etc.

Once upon a time, buying a home contingent on the sale of your home was normal. When the housing slump occurred, sellers did not have enough confidence in the market that the buyer could sell their home to risk taking their home off the market. Since 2015, that is beginning to change. Sellers are having more confidence in the market, but not total confidence. Here are some facts for buyers and sellers about contingencies.

. You can not purchase a foreclosure or short sale home contingent upon the sale or close of your home. And banks will not give you months to sell and close on your home.
. A purchase contingent on sale or close is a big seller concession, they need to be compensated with a better offer price to risk losing market time.
. Best time to ask for contingent on sale or close is during the winter months. Sellers are not risking as much. . You have better chance and price negotiation on that – still no foreclosures or short sales.
. Do the inspection up front, but not the appraisal. Yes, the inspection costs money but you need to show the seller good faith that you are serious about the deal. Inspection items are negotiable and need to be done within the 1st week of any contract so no one wastes their time.

. Never take a contingent on sale/close contract over a non contingent contract. Yes, you may get a little money more, but it is not a done deal and wasting precious market time can cost you more than you gain if it doesn’t go through.
. Your house is NOT SOLD. There are no sure things here, there is always a risk. Keep showing it.
. Your agent should do a market analysis of the buyer’s home to ensure their home is saleable or closeable to mitigate the risk.
. Don’t compound contingent on sales. So don’t you get a house contingent on sale/close when your buyer has the same situation. And don’t take a contingent on sale/close deal if the buyer’s buyer has the same. Just like dominos, too much risk, it could all come tumbling down.
. Not all sellers should consider a contingent on sale/close. Contingent on close is better, but if you are in a good market and getting tons of activity…..better not to risk it.

The property ladder can not move without someone taking a risk. Contingencies on sale/close can work, but due diligence is required to calculate the benefits and risks. Many sellers and buyers benefit from this, but both must be realistic.

Millennial Buyers – How to Live for Free

I blog a lot about Millennials because they are very important to every aspect of our economy and housing recovery. One of the millennial trademarks that is unique to this generation is the “boomerang” or “failure to launch” effect of millennial graduates moving back in with mom and dad.

Let’s face it, after the taste of freedom in college, living with your parents as an adult is a little awkward and can be difficult to conduct your life on your terms and spread your wings.

It can have the same difficulties to your parents who don’t keep the same nocturnal calendar as their adult children and are tired of having to tell an adult to pick up their things.

To solve all of those problems and plan for the future, several of my millennial buyers have come up with a new idea that I am calling the Millennial Boarding House.

Instead of living with mom and dad, this formula can be used by smart millennials who don’t want to waste money on rent and want independence. You can be a first-time buyer and create an investment nest egg to move up in the housing market, get government grants and most importantly LIVE FOR FREE. Here is how it works….

1. Use your good credit rating and income to qualify for a nice starter home that has a good price, good area, good schools and is in an accelerating and not a declining area and has potential for future resale. You can do some work updating it if you like or not. The idea is good for now and easy to sell in the future. There are still deals out there and we are in an accelerating marketplace. Interest rates are good. Waiting will cost more.
2. Use government grants through the @Home Illinois program to get $5k in free down payment and/or closing costs.
3. Find a few friends to be roommates and charge them a few hundred dollars each month. Cheap for them and they get independence from their parent’s house or basement.
4. You can live for Free. If you have two or three extra bedrooms, you can charge friends enough to cover your monthly payment and you pay nothing or next to nothing each month to live.
5. You save money by not having to pay anything each month to live, building your nest egg for the future.
6. In a few years when you are ready to get married or start a family, you sell the house for a profit and a nice down payment on your first family house. Or, you keep the house as an investment and rent it out for future income.

There it is, an easy formula for success to start saving money, not waste money on rent and plan for the future. Do yourself a favor and call a Realtor – call me – and get on the path to future equity and success.

Millennials Will Re-Start the Housing Property Ladder

The housing market (the property ladder) has always required the movement of different generations to keep it going. First-time buyers buy the homes, then move-up buyers can move, then buyers moving to warmer climates or smaller maintenance-free homes. It takes all kinds of people to keep ladder working. In the last few years, the ladder rungs have been somewhat broken as buyers in each category have not all been buying and selling. However, an improving economy and a new crop of buyers will help keep the property ladder and the housing market strong in the next years to come.

Millennials are defined as the current generation of young people born just before the millennium. Although there is some dispute about the years of birth involved in this generation, there is no question about the impact they are having on everything. Just like the prior Baby-boomers, these millennials are changing the face of everything they touch. The way we communicate through social media and texting. The way we use computers and what we use them for. And especially the way they shop and spend their money. But mostly, the change they have made in their life milestones. Unlike prior generations, they are waiting longer to marry, have children and move out of their parent’s homes into their own homes. But as the oldest of this generation is just starting to move into their 30’s, their impact will start to move everyone up the housing ladder.

According to the United Nations Department of Economic Social Affairs in 2012, the number of Millennials (79 million) already outnumber Baby Boomers (76 million) in America by 3.94 percent. And a 2014 Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University concludes that this generation by sheer volume of numbers is the key to the full recovery of the housing market. The study indicates that the number of households in their 30s should increase by 2.7 million over the coming decade, which should boost demand for new housing.

They are already out there and starting to impact housing, but in only a few years, the mass of their numbers will be in the market. This is good news for sellers of all kinds. More demand means pricing will go up and sellers can start moving out and up the property ladder to trigger all other sales. Starter homes first, then first and second move up homes and then maintenance-free homes here or elsewhere. It will also help exhaust the backlog of foreclosure properties which area still weighing down assessments and markets.

So sellers, start your engines. The Millennials are coming and they are going to want to buy your houses.

Property Tax Game

Property Taxes in Illinois are no bargain…we all know that. When you are buying a house, property taxes in cook county and property taxes in will county are a big factor, but maybe not the only factor. If you qualify for a $200k home a $1,200 higher tax bill each year can make your qualification to $180k. So for $100 more each month in taxes, you can get $20k less home. High property taxes were a significant cause of short sales and foreclosures in Illinois in the past few years. Here are a few things you need to know when it comes to property taxes and buying a home in will county and buying a home in cook county.

Property taxes are based on the assessed value made by the assessor derived from the market value compared to non-distressed comparable properties in the area. Property taxes in Cook County are assessed on 10% of the assessed value of the home. Property taxes in Will County are assessed on 30% of the assessed value of the home.

So why are property taxes in Cook County and property taxes in Will County so different from home to home or town to town? The biggest variance in property taxes in Cook county and property taxes in Will county are from two things.

Schools are the first difference. Schools comprise 70-80% of your tax bill. Mainly that is why property taxes in Illinois are so much higher than other states. Since the burden of the majority of the school budget is on property taxes in Illinois, the budgetary needs of the schools and the values of the homes in the district (more value, more taxes) greatly affect the school budget and sometimes the quality and ranking of the school district. The amount of commercial or industry contributing to taxes without any burden on schools also helps reduce taxes.

The other difference is the town tax rate. Many municipalities in Cook County and some municipalities in Will County are “home rule”. That means they do not have to follow state or county limitations on the tax rate. Basically, they can charge whatever they want in taxes.

When you are buying a home in will county or buying a home in cook county, here is what you look for with property taxes in cook county and property taxes in will county….

What are the real property taxes for the last year? Don’t rely on what the MLS says for that. Vacant properties especially are notorious for inaccurate information on the MLS. Go to the property records. You can find on www.cookcountytreasurer.com or wwww.willcountytreasurer.com. You can use the PIN property identification number for the property or sometimes the address and find out what the real taxes are, what exemptions are on the house and what is the assessed value of the home.

Depending on the exemptions, if there is no homestead (homeowner) exemption, the property taxes in cook county and property taxes in will county should go down for the exemption, if you can file for the exemption within the first month or so of the year. If there is a senior, veteran or disability exemption and you do not qualify for that, the taxes will go up.

The same thing with the assessed value. The assessed value of the house determines the taxes. If the home is assessed lower than what you pay for it. The property taxes in will county and property taxes in cook county will go up. If you buy it for less than the assessed value, you have a chance to reduce the taxes by appealing the assessed value. Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) will usually not factor in the value appeal. You will have to formally file an appeal. CAUTION….this can only be done for a very short time each year. Will county property tax appeals typically allow 1 month where Cook County property tax appeals give 2-4 weeks. If you don’t file the appeal during that period, it will not be accepted. You need to watch the assessor’s websites at www.willcountyassessor.com and www.cookcountyassessor.com for dates, forms and requirements.

When you are buying a home in will county or buying a home in cook county, property taxes in will county and property taxes in cook county are factors in your decision. But keep one thing in mind. Very often, the reasons you may like the area are reasons that the same reason the taxes are high – good schools, good property values, not as much commercial or industry, etc. Keep that in mind. It may be a compromise that you are willing to make. Also, in some areas, the taxes are higher, but the prices may be lower, so often that can work in your favor to buy something at a lower rate.

Buyers and Sellers – Don’t Hibernate in Winter holidays – Get ahead of the rest

Just like bears and other animals, in traditional real estate culture, buying a home and selling a home used to hibernate during the winter months, creating a market halting paradox.

Sellers take selling a home off the market because they think people buying a home will be too busy stuffing turkeys and shopping, partying and preparing for the holiday daze to look at homes or cloistered in their homes because of the cold weather.

Conversely, buyers who are buying a home think there are not enough homes on the market to have a representative showing of what is available – because there are less homes on the market.

Meanwhile, interest rates are still at record lows RIGHT NOW and there are programs out there offering free money to buyers – for how long? who knows? Buyers who are buying a home still need to find someplace to live and sellers who are selling a home still need to move into their new homes or their new lives, whatever their selling motivation is.

Yes, during this holiday time, everyone has a few extras things to do and yes, it is often cold, snowy and unpleasant to be running around looking at homes. BUT if we think out of the pretty holiday bowed and glittered box, we will see that buyers who are buying a home still need to find someplace to live and sellers who are selling a home still need to move on to their next adventure. This doesn’t stop because of the holidays or winter weather.

Sellers – buyers looking during this time are serious. They are more motivated. With less homes on the market, yours will stand out with a spotlight on it by default. Yes, you will be inconvenienced at a busier and you will gain market time during the slower winter months, BUT with less competition you will get the attention of serious buyers and are more likely to sell faster.

Buyers – Yes, it is cold out and you have a lot of things to do, but you need to live somewhere and buying is a priority. With low interest rates you can save money. There are sometimes less properties out there but for the ones out there during the winter months, you will find less competition from other buyers who stopped looking during this time. So, less multiple offer situations, less times when homes you like are gone before you can get them. AND sellers on the market at this time are smart and motivated.

Whether you are a buyer or seller, one thing is the same. You want to move forward with your plans. Why wait months just because of the weather? The faster you get done, the faster you can save money and/or move onto your future.

Echo Boomers Mark the Future for the Home Market

The big question many people are asking is about the future of the home market.  After the “bad years” or the bottom of the market experienced in 2008-2012, 2013 marked the up swing in pricing.  Many areas not riddled with distressed properties experienced an average of 10% price increases from 2012.  Low interest rates and increasing consumer economic confidence brought buyers into the market in 2013.  Inventory shortages drove prices up slightly and created some buyer challenges,but buyers bought homes in 2013.

2014 seems to be more of the same – so far.  Interest rates are still low and buyers are still in the market.  So, what does the future hold for the home market?  Sheer demographics can provide some of the answers.

80 million people were born in the US between 1982 and 1995.  They are called Echo Boomers or Millennials.  This is slightly larger in 4 fewer years than the 77 Billion born from 1946 to 1964 – otherwise known as the Baby Boomers.

Just as the baby boomers changed nearly every aspect of society with their large numbers at every stage in their lives, the larger masses of the echo boomers promise to make an equally big impact, including starting up the housing ladder, which has been in a stall for the past few years.

The oldest echo boomers are are 32 years old with the youngest at 19.  With many in this generation waiting until late 20’s to marry and have a family, these people are just starting to be secure in their careers and finances to buy homes.  By saving (living with parents), dual incomes and better salaries from mostly college and some graduate-level degrees, this generation has more money to spend right out of the gate.

They will buy first-time buyer and first- move up homes or larger, which allows the people with those homes to move up the home ladder to a larger home and/or in the case of the empty nesters and seniors, maybe move down to a maintenance-free home. This allows the housing market to progress.  When these buyers start their journey up the ladder, it allows everyone to continue up or down the ladder.

The next five years will bring the bulk of these buyers into the marketplace and will help prices increase and stablize.  So, the future of real estate is good, relying on the Millennials.