Personal Finance Round-Up: Is It a Seller’s Market?

home for saleIn the past few months, the U.S. housing market has seen a significant jump in prices and transactions. In May, according to US News, home prices were up a whopping 12.2%, the largest increase in nearly seven years. And, according to the National Association of Homebuilders (and reported by the LA Times), at least 70% of the major metro markets have been labeled as “improving” for the last six consecutive months. All of this indicates a strengthening, improving housing market that will have a positive impact on the overall economy if these trends continue.

While all of this news is great for those looking to sell their home, it can mean a bit of a pickle for buyers who are currently facing increased mortgage rates. However, there is a chance that the increases won’t be permanent, as evidenced by the first week of July’s rate drop from the two-year high that some buyers were grappling with at the end of June.

Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or seller, there’s no doubt that it’s a good time to be doing both. As the housing market continues to rebound, here are some insightful posts about the various considerations you should take as you venture into (or out of) the market:

House Values Rise – Is It Time to Sell? [Life and My Finances]
As a homeowner, Derek is mighty tempted to take advantage of the serious profit he stands to make if he were to list his home for sale right now. But, as he points out, there are some valid reasons for why you might not want to list your home at present. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to sell, you’ll want to take a complete inventory of all the possible scenarios before you make your final decision about how to move forward.

How to Submit the Best Offer on Your Dream Home [Quizzle Wire]
If you’re new to the homebuying game, you’ll find that there is a lot to learn. But even if you’re an experienced buyer, there are plenty of things to keep in mind, as Jen points out. From the market conditions to the surrounding comps and the various contingencies you can put into place, this is not a time to rush into an emotional decision. By taking your time, keeping a level head, and educating yourself, you can help ensure that your offer is the one that stands out from the crowd.

Is Buying a Vacation Home Now Smart? [Wealth Pilgrim]
As Neal points out, just as we’ve seen an increase in the sales numbers for primary residences, there has also been an uptick in the purchase of vacation homes (the National Association of Realtors recently reported a 7% increase in vacation home sales). But just because prices and interest rates are low doesn’t mean it’s time to jump into this market. If you are considering the purchase of a vacation home, read this post first as you carefully consider all of the ramifications of making such a large purchase.

Setting Up a New House on a Tight Budget [The Simple Dollar]
If you’re looking to save money on decorating, furnishing, and otherwise outfitting your new home, Trent’s post offers a wealth of information and tips to help you get the most bang for your new house dollar.