explorernews.com on Facebook
- Video Gallery
- Special Sections
To own or rent, that is the question that continues to weigh on the minds of potential homebuyers everywhere. While the gap may have narrowed over the past year due to rising mortgage rates and home values, buying is still a better bargain than renting in most communities across the country – including Phoenix and Tucson -- according to an online real estate company.
As this issue is the “Best of the Northwest”, it seems appropriate for a toplist of real estate tips.
Maybe it’s the relaxed attitude or the wide-open spaces. Whatever the cause, Westerners are the most likely people in the country to enjoy their neighbors (72 percent in the West, compared to 67 percent nationally) - despite being the worst about knowing their names.
The real estate market landscape has so drastically changed from what it looked like a few years ago – but now we have new issues. Could anyone envision that when we had an 11-month supply of properties on the market in some areas that just a few short years later buyers would be scrambling to beat out multiple offers on homes? There are several zip codes in the city that are carrying a meager two month supply, and some even less. By all conventional markers, this would be considered an extreme sellers market. However, prices have not skyrocketed to ’05 and ’06 numbers yet, and that has left many still unable or unwilling to list.
If you’ve been considering making the jump from renter to homeowner, here’s some news that could help make up your mind. According to online real estate company Trulia, buying remains cheaper than renting in most communities across the country as long as mortgage rates stay below 10.5 percent. Even with the recent increase in the 30-year fixed rate to 3.9 percent, it’s still 41 percent cheaper to buy a new home than rent one, nationally.
Imagine, just for a moment, that the Explorer only employed reporters from other states and countries to write local stories. Journalists might have to rely on what they could garner from the internet to tell a story, with no actual local experience. Another scenario – envision a crime scene in New York, but detectives investigating the case are all based in Los Angeles. They never examine the evidence with their own eyes, and are unable to interview witnesses face to face. Seems insane, right? There are a plethora of real estate sites on the web that are using this sort of mentality to put a price on your home.
Today’s real estate consumers are savvier than ever, and they now have access to information with just a few mouse clicks or swipes. Massive sites like Trulia and Zillow pull public data and wrap it up it a pretty package, but it’s dangerous to rely on this data as your only source of information. These well-advertised monster sites are often days, and sometimes weeks behind, and much of the information can be incorrect or skewed because the tax records they pull their data from are not always accurate. Since they are not members of the MLS, they are unable to access the information the MLS provides.
Most of us already realize “normal” is relative. Yet, we are only human. And as such, we can scarcely stop ourselves from the very-human behavior of seizing every available opportunity to try to quantify and define the term.