Category Archives: Market Conditions

Could 2018 Be The Year You Make a Big Move to Another City

Think 2018 could be the year you make a big move to another city? Consider these hot real estate markets. Which city looks best to you?

The Hottest Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2018

See which cities are making the cut this year.

If you’re thinking about where to move next, you’re probably considering a wide array of factors like work, family, and the start of a new chapter. Every home purchase is also a huge investment—possibly the biggest you’ll make in your life. Looking at the markets poised for growth can ensure your new home is also a good investment. To help, Trulia looked at the 100 most populated metros in the country, then used five key metrics to determine the 10 real estate markets with the highest growth potential in 2018: strong job growth, affordability, low vacancy rates, home search rates on, and a high population of young households (you can find our full methodology below). It may surprise you—it did us—to learn that Texas and Ohio are home to more than one fast-growing city. See where else made the cut below.

1. Grand Rapids, MI

On the mighty banks of the Grand River, Michigan’s second-largest city is at the top of our list largely due to its strong employment growth, which is up 2.5 percent year-over-year. Grand Rapids also has a relatively low vacancy rate (ranked 16th overall) and a high share of households with residents 35 years and under (22 percent). A full two-thirds of Grand Rapids’ residents own homes, and the median home sale price is a friendly $163,750. Living here means enjoying the waterfront, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which spotlights Michigan’s artists. A bubbling brew scene doesn’t hurt either.

Make the move: This sweet 4-bedroom home was built at the turn of the century and is available for $400,000.

2. Nashville, TN

Next on our list is Nashville, also known as Music City. But you don’t have to be in the band to love it here. Home of the famous “Grand Ole Opry,” residents in Nashville are always down for a good time. Need more evidence? Just walk through The Gulch, a trendy Art Deco-inspired neighborhood. Not surprisingly, Tennessee’s capital has a high share of households under 35 years old (23 percent) and the strongest job growth in the country (3.1 percent year-over-year), luring people from all corners of the nation to relocate. But taking the top spot in job growth may come at a price: affordability, where Nashville is ranked 58th overall.

Make the move: This charming 3-bedroom bungalow is centrally located and comes in at $349,000.

3. Raleigh, NC

North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh, is known for the bright minds of North Carolina State University and the Research Triangle (together with Durham and Chapel Hill). But it’s also beloved for its wealth of culinary and cultural cornerstones, like the Oakwood historic district, designated on the National Register of Historic Places, where homes date back to the 1800s. This City of Oaks made our list due to its strength in two categories: job growth (ranked 3rd overall) and low vacancy rate (ranked 15th overall). Its popularity, though, leaves the city lagging in affordability—the median sales price in North Carolina’s second most popular city is $250,000—where it ranks 43rd overall.

Make the move: Snap up this 4-bedroom home with a front porch and gas fireplace for just $399,700.

Read the full article with even more Click Here


Neighborhood Report for Firestone, CO

Here at Legacy real Estate Group we are constantly crunching data and reviewing statistics – about housing and neighborhoods and all things related to where you may choose to live. We have enormous amounts of information at our fingertips and we would love to share this with you.

Here’s a report we generated today specific to all of Firestone, CO. A small town just north of Denver and east of Longmont that is seeing huge amounts of growth and home appreciation.


If you’d like to receive a free copy of this report, or have one generated for your specific neighborhood, please email or call us anytime. We are happy to provide services like this to you.

10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018


The housing picture is likely to improve in 2018:

  • Home prices are expected to climb, but not as fast
  • More houses could be for sale toward the end of the year, giving home buyers a greater selection to choose from
  • Homeowners will have more equity to borrow from

Yet in other ways, 2018 might continue to be challenging, especially for home buyers. Mortgage rates are likely to rise, reducing affordability.

Here are 10 housing and mortgage trends to expect in 2018.

1. Home prices decelerate

Good news for first-time home buyers: Home-price appreciation is expected to cool down in 2018 after a torrid couple of years.

Home prices rose 6.3% in 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. They’re on track to exceed 6% in 2017, too. But for next year, the median forecast among six industry and lender groups is for a 4.1% increase in existing home prices nationwide.

Why the slowdown? One factor is home construction. Economists expect the construction of single-family houses to rise sharply in 2018, based on building permit applications. The median estimate has single-family housing starts rising about 8% in 2018, to roughly 912,500 new houses.

2. More homes for sale

Home buyers are struggling to find houses for sale. The shortages are especially acute for the kinds of homes that first-time buyers tend to get. Among the reasons for the tight supply:

  • Many baby boomers are content to age in their homes instead of downsizing
  • Investors bought millions of homes after the housing bubble burst, and they’re making too much money as landlords to sell
  • Home builders make more profit from expensive houses than entry-level houses, so that’s what they’re constructing

But there’s some hope for 2018: predicts that the housing supply pinch will begin to ease late in the year.

“It looks like we could get to a point where we’re seeing growth in inventory sometime in the fall of 2018,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for

3. Home sales could rise

Resales of existing homes are expected to rise modestly in 2018. The median estimate is that existing home sales will rise 2.5%, to 5.6 million units.

Meanwhile, sales of new homes are expected to rise a median of 7%, to 653,500 newly built single-family houses.

According to, cities in the South will show the most sales growth in 2018. Hale says she expects 6% existing home sales growth, particularly in markets such as Dallas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. She says those places are not as “regulation constrained,” they have strong regional economies and developers have plenty of vacant land to build on.

4. Mortgage rates head up

Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2018. CoreLogic, a data provider for the real estate industry, averaged six forecasts of mortgage rates, arriving at a consensus view that the 30-year fixed will average 4.7% in December 2018. In November 2017, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.07%.

“Not only are mortgage rates higher, but mortgage rates will be at the highest level since 2011,” Nothaft said at the Urban Institute symposium. “So we’re looking at an environment, going forward, where this era of cheap mortgage rates will largely be behind us.”

Interest rates are notoriously resistant to prediction, though. At the beginning of 2017, most people expected mortgage rates to rise steadily throughout the year. And they did rise — for a few weeks. The average 30-year fixed peaked in mid-March 2017 at 4.58%, according to NerdWallet’s daily survey. Then it declined, dipping slightly below 4% a few times in the summer, before moving upward slightly in the fall.

5. Affordability declines

If, as expected, home prices and mortgage rates go up in 2018, homes will be less affordable.

For example, if mortgage rates rise to 4.7% toward the end of 2018, and the median price of existing homes rises by 4.1%, then monthly mortgage payments for a typical house would rise substantially.


But according to an Urban Institute analysis, middle-class families in much of the country still have some financial wiggle room if rates and prices rise in 2018. Most home buyers don’t appear to stretch to the limits of affordability, the Urban Institute wrote.

6. More equity, more HELOCs

As home values rise, homeowners gain equity. And banks expect millions of homeowners to borrow against that equity.

About 1.6 million homeowners are predicted to get new home equity lines of credit in 2018, a 16% increase over 2017, according to a recent TransUnion study. The credit bureau says 67% of homeowners have enough equity to get HELOCs, and 80% of those borrowers have high credit scores.

TransUnion forecasts that 10 million homeowners will get HELOCs from 2018 through 2022, double the number of new lines of credit in the five years before that.

7. Security headaches continue

Thieves are stealing down payments from home buyers by combining email hacking with wire fraud. And there’s no sign of it slowing.

Complaints of this type of wire fraud skyrocketed by 480% in 2016, according to the 2016 annual report (the latest available) from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Lenders and title companies say the problem worsened in 2017, and that they fend off this form of fraud constantly.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim: When you receive emailed instructions for wiring money, call your agent to verify. The email may be a fake, designed to trick you into wiring money into a thief’s account.

8. More options for people with credit issues

A few specialty lenders are focusing on nontraditional mortgages. For example, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions in Atlanta targets the borrower “who has had a life event, so they lost their house or had to file bankruptcy or things got really bad, but they’ve now got their feet back on the ground and they’re ready to buy their next house,” says Tom Hutchens, the lender’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Several lenders offer interest-only mortgages, and even loans with limited income documentation. These mortgages are dubbed “non-QM” because they don’t meet Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s plain-vanilla “qualified mortgage” rules. One prominent non-QM lender, Impac Mortgage Holdings, plans to begin securitizing these loans early in 2018.

9. Lenders embracing automation

Mortgage lenders continue to pour money into automating the loan-application process. The best-known example is Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. But Quicken isn’t the only lender that embraces automation. Some lenders, such as loanDepot, cook up their own automation in-house, while software providers such as Blend and Roostify help large and small banks to automate applications. Now a few lenders want to use automation to guide borrowers to loan products that best suit them.

10. Tax reform could affect buyers and owners

Lawmakers were still working on tax reform as this article was being written. Preliminary House and Senate versions limited the number of home sellers who would benefit from the home capital gains exclusion, and they treated the mortgage interest tax deduction differently. It’s too early to know how a final tax reform bill would affect home buyers and homeowners, but we will keep you posted.

The article 10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018 originally appeared on NerdWallet.


Best States for Economy- Guess Who’s #1…

Best States for Economy- Guess Who’s #1…

This is a re-blog from an article we saw from US News ad World Report and it goes into detail about the metrics they used to arrive at their rankings. Colorado is number one in the country and is listed as a stand out performer in many areas. …


“The nation has recovered from the worst recession, a steep downturn spanning 2007 to 2009, since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployment surpassed 10 percent nationwide at the peak, joblessness running higher in some states. Since then, unemployment has fallen below 5 percent nationally, though the recovery hasn’t been consistent nationwide. Unemployment ran close to 2 percent in the healthiest states last year, and near 7 percent in states catching up. The growth of the nation’s gross domestic product, 2.6 percent on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter of 2017, was below that of the previous period. This latest growth was also less than the annual average from post-World War 1947 through 2017. Some political leaders hold out a goal of 4 percent annual growth.

Colorado stands out as the top state for its economy in these rankings. Lesser-populated states, Utah and Idaho rank highly – 2nd and 7th. And the nation’s three biggest states, CaliforniaTexas and Florida, stand among the top 10 economically – particularly notable for Florida, which was hard hit by the recession and home mortgage foreclosures in recent years. Eastern Delaware and western Oregonalso offer some of the strongest economies. And four of the 10 states with the strongest economies also rank among the top-10 Best States overall.” Capture


7 Tax Benefits of Owning a Home …

There are many benefits to Home Ownership … and some of them are tax benefits. This article here is a re-blog from and outlines 7 specific tax benefits of owning in any market. Below are some excerpts from the original article.


 | Feb 20, 2018

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Or, you might be wondering how the new tax plan might affect the tax perks of homeownership when you file next year.

Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home—for this filing year (2017) as well as the next (2018). Read on for the full rundown just to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could save you major money!

Tax break 1: Mortgage interest

This continues to be the biggie benefit of owning a home for tax year 2017: the ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage of up to $1 million. And the more recent your mortgage, the greater your tax savings.

Tax break 2: Property taxes

In most instances, property taxes are deductible on your 2017 tax return, says Brian Ashcraft, director of compliance at Liberty Tax Service. And that could spell hefty savings.

Tax break 3: Private mortgage insurance

If you put less than 20% down on your home, odds are you’re paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which costs from 0.3% to 1.15% of your home loan. While the deduction had expired, the new tax bill retroactively made the deduction available for the 2017 tax year.

Tax break 4: Energy-efficiency upgrades

The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit was a tax incentive for installing alternative energy upgrades in a home. Most of these tax credits expired after December 2016; however, two credits are still available. The credits for solar electric and solar water heating equipment are available through Dec. 31, 2021, says Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting, a New York–based accounting firm.

Tax break 5: A home office

If you work from home, your office space and expenses can be deducted, too. According to Vincenzo Villamena, managing partner of Online Taxman, you can take a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space, which amounts to a maximum deduction of $1,500. Understand, however, that there are strict rules on what constitutes a dedicated, fully deductible home office space. Here’s more on the much-misunderstood home office tax deduction.

Tax break 6: Home improvements to age in place

Many older homeowners plan to age in place—and if that entails renovations such as wheelchair ramps or grab bars in slippery bathrooms, the cost of these improvements results in a nice tax break. Deductible improvements might also include widening doorways, lowering cabinets or electrical fixtures, and adding stair lifts.

Tax break 7: Interest on a home equity line of credit

If you took out a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, in 2017 or earlier, the interest you pay on that loan is also deductible. People use these loans to do all sorts of things: pay for college, throw a wedding, or make improvements to their home.



Down Payment Program A “Gold Mine”

Featured in Inman News on May 20th, the Down Payment Resource program is capturing the attention of real estate professionals and consumers alike. To see the full article in Inman News, click here.

Although 87 percent of homes qualify for down payment assistance, many potential homebuyers have no idea that they may be eligible for programs that could save them thousands of dollars. DPR connects potential homebuyers to down payment assistance funds they may not have otherwise known existed. And according to a recent DPR study conducted jointly with housing data provider RealtyTrac, 68 million homes qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located based on the maximum price requirements for those programs and the estimated value of the properties.

“Most consumers today don’t know these programs exist, how to ask for them or where to even begin looking,” said Rob Chrane, CEO of DPR.

Chrane, who worked as a real estate agent and broker for more than a decade and as a mortgage broker, loan originator and senior executive for 20 years, said this was “simply a pain point I was very aware of that we set out to solve.”

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® has partnered with Down Payment Resource to offer a program eligibility portal specifically for Colorado. By visiting the portal,, potential buyers and their REALTORS® can access a database of 2,300 programs in the area they want to buy a home in to find down payment help in the form of grants, federal housing programs, and more.

According to Chrane, the average assistance amount in the company’s database of programs is nearly $12,000.

“That doesn’t mean everyone will get $12,000,” he noted. “Some will get $20,000, some will get $10,000. That’s an average. It’s a substantial benefit that could really help a lot of people. It’s important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.”


Source: Inman Article by Amy Swinderman.


Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties (Photo courtesy of Keeping Current Matters)


The Photo that Sold the House …

We found this recent article from In it, they asked some recent home buyers to share the real estate listing photo of their new home and asked them why it interested them enough to click on it. The article is detailed and well written, with some potential “Lessons Learned” available to any want-to-be home sellers this year. Hope you enjoy!

CLICK HERE to read the full, original article from

The Photo That Sold the House: 3 Pictures That Persuaded Buyers to Click


 | Jan 30, 2018

Having great real estate photos is a must these days. Let’s face it—much like in online dating, the pictures are where house hunters’ eyes go first. But what type of photo, exactly, persuades home buyers to delve deeper into a listing, propelling them out of their comfy window-shopping cocoon to check out a property in person?

To find out, we asked some home buyers to share the real estate listing photo that piqued their interest and led them down the path to make an offer. Check ’em out, as well as the lessons learned that could help other home sellers create fetching photos for their own home.



5 Financial Resolutions that Can Help you Buy a Home in 2018

New Year’s Resolutions don’t just mean lifestyle changes, they can include buying a new home! Here are 5 financial resolutions that can help you reach your goal of buying a home in 2018.

This is a re-blog from RisMedia … We found it very insightful! Here’s a link to the full original article- Financial Resolutions to Help you Buy a Home in 2018



Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties


Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties (Photo courtesy of Keeping Current Matters)

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2018 Rental Affordability Report, “buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 240 of 447 [or 54% of] U.S. counties analyzed for the report.”

Read the rest of this entry


How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth In 2018

legacy-rising prices

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

legacy-rising prices graph

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

What does this mean to you?

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!