Build vs. buy? It’s a dilemma prospective homeowners wrestle with once they’ve gotten used to the idea that the next place they’ll call home is a house (not an apartment or condo).

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, U.S. homebuilders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.67 million in December 2020. That’s a 5.8 percent increase from November. Compared with December 2019, housing starts were up 5 percent, while permits were up 17 percent. That’s the highest level housing starts and building permits have reached since 2006. Continue reading

It’s no secret that rates have been historically low recently. In 2020, rates broke more than a dozen record lows –in large part due to the pandemic. Those who weren’t afraid to relocate during such an uncertain time got some great deals. Deals they never would have gotten even five years ago. As far as interest rates were concerned, it’s been a game of limbo – how low can you go?

Inevitably, though, rates will start to level out ever so slightly and slowly – and home buyers and owners alike have taken notice and have shifted to act more quickly. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, mortgage applications to refinance a home loan recently spiked 20 percent compared to the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 2.88% from 2.86% the previous week for loans with a 20% down payment. (Diana Olick, 2021) Continue reading

The Transaction Coordinator provides support to Amerifirst Poland Ohio team to manage daily workflow and aid in the effective and efficient operation of the branch. They work cohesively with Loan Officers/LOAs and Processors, providing administrative support and assistance with processing loans. The Transaction Coordinator provides quality loan packages consisting of all necessary credit and loan documents for submission to the Processing Team. Continue reading

For most of your clients, there are five major areas of spending that will consume more than 50 percent of the money they earn in their lifetime:

  • Home
  • Car
  • Children
  • Education
  • Retirement

Let’s put that in perspective. If your client earns an average of $50,000 per year and works 43 years as an adult (from age 22 to 65), they’d make roughly $2.15 million in their lifetime. About half of that ($1 million) will be spent across these five categories. Continue reading

One of the key factors in deciding which part of the country to live in includes the cost of living. It’s no secret that it’s much cheaper to live in metros like Cleveland (Go Browns!) or Pittsburgh (Go Steelers!) than it is to reside in parts of Florida or California. Not only do goods and services typically cost less in smaller metro markets, but so do houses.

However, one of the interesting effects of the pandemic is that home prices and values in these typically less-expensive regions are rising sharply. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, smaller metropolitan markets like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Boise are seeing some of the strongest price gains in the nation right now with prices in those cities at least 10 percent higher than a year ago. Continue reading