Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North Shore / Cape Cod



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 12/7/2017

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who don’t want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. You’ll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In today’s post, I’m going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.


While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether it’s  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?


Of course, these questions are not objective--you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, you’ll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has it’s associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.


Start considering these questions now and in due time you’ll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, you’ll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 6/18/2015

To buy or not to buy that is the question. There are reasons for or against homeownership on both sides of the fence. So here are the pros and cons of buying a home. You decide... Pros: 1. It Costs Less- With record low interest rates, and low home prices a mortgage payment on a house can be less than a rental payments. 2. Equity -If you own a home rather than rent you are building equity. If you pay rent you have nothing to show for it. If you own a home you are building equity. Even if housing prices stay flat part of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal balance and eventually you will own the home. Cons: 1. You Could Get a Better Money Return-A home may not be the best return on your money. You may find a better return on capital in the stock market. If you are just looking at it in a strictly financial way there are better investment strategies. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 13.4% -- 4.8% higher than the 8.6% average return on housing. 2. It is a Big Commitment-You can't just sell your house and move quickly. It is a long term decision. If you job requires frequent moves this can be a significant consideration. Now that you have seen some of the pros and cons the decision is ultimately up to you and what is best in your circumstance. The pros cannot be disputed. Low rates and prices almost make buying a no-brainer if it fits within your financial situation.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 4/27/2014

Living in an apartment can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Paying rent every month makes you feel like you are throwing money away.

Today's housing market makes it a great time to buy and in some cases you can buy a home for less money than you are paying in rent. Living in an apartment with tenants above or below you in some older apartments can be noisy. Single family homes do not have this problem, as none of the walls in your home will be attached to any other home in your neighborhood. This in turn means that you will have more privacy, and more importantly, there will be less noise coming from your neighbors, no matter what time of the day it is.

Another reason why owning your own home is so great is because you will generally have your own yard, allowing you to have outside furniture, gardens and entertain which can be harder to do in an apartment

When it comes to shopping for a home, it is important that you do a good

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amount of research beforehand. While single family homes do have a lot of advantages, you have to make sure to take your time and find that perfect home for you. Some things to think about is location, neighborhood, schools, and being close to amenities like shopping, restaurants or other places that may be important to you.

One of the best ways to research for homes is on this website. This website is updated every 15 minutes with new listings, price changes, back on markets and open houses. This will allow you to easily browse through homes for sale until you find the perfect home for your needs.

Bottom line is buying a home today can be a great invest down the road and can come with a lot of benefits over renting. Feel free to call if you would like help in buying or selling your real estate.





Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 1/26/2014

It’s time to buy a home! That is right you heard it here, no more doom and gloom for the real estate market. The time has come to go out and buy some real estate. The only thing holding buyers back has been consumer emotion but a look at the facts should help buyer feel more confident in opening up their wallets for a great opportunity in today's housing market. JP Morgan’s Market Insights report has outlined why people looking to buy a home have never been in a better position. Here are just three important points from the JP Morgan report. The Price is Right One measure the report looked at was the ratio of personal income to home prices. “Since 1966, the median price of an existing single family home in the U.S. has varied between 150% and 251% of personal income per household. However, roughly three-quarters of the time it has been in a relatively narrow band between 185% and 230%. In September 2011, the ratio was just 153%, implying that to get back to an average price to income ratio, home prices would have to rise by about 27%.” Mortgage Rates are Right Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows as compared to personal income.  The report notes, “During the week of October 7, Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates had fallen to an average annual level of 3.94%. Assuming the use of a fixed rate mortgage with 20% down, this would make the median mortgage payment on a single family existing home just 6.9% of per household personal income, compared with an average of 14.4% since 1966.” What this means is that it is a buyers perfect storm. Buyers who buy now will likely reap a long term financial gain by buying a home at a lower than average cost and financing it for a lower than average cost. It is a win-win situation. Home Ownership Beats Renting The report goes on to look at the cost of renting versus owning. JP Morgan predicts that by the "third quarter of this year, we estimate that the implied median mortgage payment had fallen to just 78% of the median asking rent. In other words, at current mortgage rates, home prices would have to rise by 35% just to get back to their average relationship to rents." Home buying is now more affordable than it has been in decades. Home prices are at all time lows, mortgage rates are at rock bottom and income levels remain steady. Despite what you may hear on the nightly news home ownership has never been more affordable.