More Than 4 Million First-Time Buyers Want to Enter the Housing Market in 2014!

  Millions of current renters nationwide aspire to buy a home in the next year, according to the inaugural edition of the Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI), suggesting strong demand among potential first-time homebuyers if market conditions are favorable. But existing headwinds, including tight inventory, rising mortgage interest rates and growing affordability problems in a handful of areas, may make it difficult for potential buyers to follow through on those aspirations as the market enters the busy spring home shopping season. In 19 of the 20 large metro areas surveyed, more than 5 percent of all residents indicated they wanted to buy a home in the next year. Among current renters, homeownership aspirations were particularly strong, with about 10 percent of all renters nationwide saying they would like to buy within the next 12 months. The vast majority of these respondents also said they were confident or somewhat confident they could afford homeownership now. If all renters that indicated they wanted to buy actually did purchase a home in the next year, it would represent more than 4.2 million first-time home sales, more than double the roughly 2.1 million first-time homebuyers in 2013. Homeownership aspirations among current renters were the highest in Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas, three metro areas that were among the hardest-hit by the housing recession, according to the Zillow Homeownership Aspirations Index (ZHAI), a component...

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Valuable Fraud Prevention Tips for Homebuyers and Homeowners

  March is Fraud Prevention Month. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has consistently been a leader in the fight against mortgage fraud and offers the following tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. Misrepresentation of Information Mortgage fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information in order to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known. This can include: • Misstating one’s position or inflating one’s income or length of service at their job; • Misstating employment status (ie. salaried/full time versus contract, part time, hourly or commission-based or self-employed); • Misrepresenting the amount and/or source of the down payment; • Purchasing a rental property and misrepresenting it as owner-occupied; • Not disclosing existing mortgage and/or debt obligations; • Misrepresenting property details or omitting information in order to inflate the property value; • Adding co-borrowers who will not be residing in the home and do not intend to take responsibility for the mortgage. Another common form of fraud is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as a “straw buyer.” A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application on behalf of another person. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. Often, straw...

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