Morning Minute: Despite rebounding home prices, affordability still runs high

Housing affordability for today’s homebuyers remains strong. In fact, U.S. housing affordability in the first quarter of this year was at its highest level in two years, even as home prices outpaced wage growth, according to a new report from RealtyTrac and Clear Capital. Read more.

In other headlines:

TRID day one: Real estate and mortgage finance still alive – HousingWire

4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016 - NAR Daily Real Estate News

Morning Minute: Gearing up to buy a home? Here’s a checklist to help you get ready

If you are getting ready to buy your first home, this 12-month, first-time homebuyer checklist from HouseLogic outlines everything you need to do to prepare and gives you a timeline to stay on track. For example at 12 months out, check your credit score and come up with a plan to save for a down payment. At three months out, you should be getting pre-approved for a loan and begin shopping for a home. Read “Avoid First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes with This Checklist,” from HouseLogic.

In other headlines:

TRID Rules Take Effect; CFPB Reassures – National Association of REALTORS®

Here’s What Pushes People to Buy Homes in 2015 -


Two Illinois REALTORS® to be honored with SRES Outstanding Service Award

Two Illinois REALTORS® have been selected as recipients of the 2015 SRES Outstanding Service Award for work on senior housing issues.

The Senior Real Estate Specialist designation is held by REALTORS® who have gone through training to meet the housing needs of an aging population. Those holding the designation received training to help seniors sell homes, buy homes which are a better fit and finance their housing transactions.

Those honored from Illinois are:

  • REALTOR® Jim Kinney

    Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury home sales for Baird & Warner in Chicago and president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. As IAR president, he commissioned the Senior Housing Working Group to look at how Illinois was handling an aging population. The working group generated a package of recommendations aimed at raising the visibility of senior housing issues and which looked at ways to provide resources to real estate professionals and the clients they serve.

  • REALTOR® Mike Rickert

    Michael Rickert, who served as chair of the Senior Services Task Force for the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®. He is owner of Rickert REALTORS® in Des Plaines. Rickert’s task force started with six members and quickly grew to 50 including REALTORS® and other community professionals. Members made presentations to the community on senior housing issues and staged a Senior Resource Rally to help consumers connect with REALTORS®.

The two Illinois winners will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Diego.  You can get information on going to the ceremony here.

Morning Minute: Signs show housing is shifting to a buyer’s market

Image: Bigstock

This fall is a good time to be a homebuyer. Home prices are affordable and the seasonal shift means homes may take a little longer to sell than in the summer, giving potential buyers more negotiating leverage, according to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for® in a recent blog post.

“The residential real estate market remains strong and healthy as autumn begins, but the momentum has clearly shifted in favor of buyers,” he said. “Would-be buyers have struggled to find a home all year, but now inventory is nearly as high as it has been all throughout 2015, and it isn’t moving as quickly. Likewise, price appreciation remains above normal levels but has declined from the higher pace of the spring and summer.”

Read more about the trend in the® blog post, “The 20 Hottest Markets in September 2015,” and in this post, “Advantage: Home Buyers?,” from NAR’s Daily Real Estate News.

In other headlines:

2015 started as most affordable housing market in two years – HousingWire

Is it Time to Downsize your Home? – KCM Blog

Morning Minute: Looking to buy a house? Don’t make these money mistakes

Image: Bigstock

Buying a new home is a big step. A blog post, “6 Things New Homeowners Waste Money On,” highlights some of the spending mistakes you should avoid once you do find the right home. For example, don’t feel like you need to fill all the empty space in your new home right away. Take your time to find the furniture and accessories that fit your new place. Click here to read the other five tips.

In other headlines:

Peoria Realtors unveil new website for home sales – Peoria Journal Star

DeKalb County home sales drop, prices climb – Daily Chronicle

Closing Process Changes: What To Expect – NAR Daily Real Estate News