Low Rates, High Competition Fuel Lightning-Fast Home Sales

NAR Existing Home Sales Days On Market March 2017

Are Homes Selling Too Quickly?

The housing market is on fire.

Stiff competition is defining 2017 thus far -- multiple offers and even bidding wars are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Falling rates have helped fuel quick home sales. As 2017 began, rates appeared to be heading toward 4.5%. Instead, they fell below 4% for the first time this year.

Home sales are taking off, hitting a 10-year best in March, at an annual rate of 5.71 million units. That is only bested by an ultra-strong February more than a decade ago.

For home buyers, it could be time to enter the market. Prices are rising, and it does not look like competition will cool off in 2017.

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My wife and I purchased 8 homes — here's our best advice for buying a house


Buying a home can seem especially daunting if you've never done it before.

A house is not just the biggest single purchase most people will ever make, it's generally many times more expensive than the next closest thing. Make a mistake, and you could end up facing serious money problems, a miserable living situation, or any number of other predicaments.

The good news is that you don't have to worry about making mistakes, because I've made them all. Over the past 20 years, dating back to before we got married, my wife and I have purchased eight homes. We've owned…

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How to buy investment property


Do your research; each piece of property is different. (Philby Illustration / Ikon Images) Debbie Carlson Chicago Tribune    

There are a lot of pluses to owning rental real estate: diversifying from the usual investments of stocks and bonds; offering an alternative stream of income; and creating a potentially scalable business. But there are challenges, too — it requires capital, a time commitment and dealing with tenants.

"Real estate investing is not for the faint of heart," said Robert Dolan, owner of mortgage broker Capital Financial Group in Winnetka.

Real-estate experts said people who want to get into the world of owning rental property need to…

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Selling a Home Costs Money Too

Sell a home

BY: JANN SWANSON May 31 2017, 11:35AM  

Several entities that wonder about such things have commented recently on the apparent reluctance of homeowners to sell their homes.  Historically Americans have tended to buy their first home at a certain age, and move up into a newer, larger, better located, or more amenity laden home a few years later, and then perhaps move again to downsize or relocate to a more suitable place for retirement.  Now, not only are they buying that first home later than their predecessors, but once settled in, they tend to stay there.  This has had ramifications for potential buyers as inventories of existing homes for sale are at record lows.

This lack of mobility was…

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