Category Archives: Your Home

Survey Asks What Makes A House A Home

There are plenty of surveys asking prospective home buyers what features are most important to them when looking for a house to buy. Most of them find buyers naming storage space and energy efficiency among their top priorities. But extra closets and low energy bills aren’t things normally associated with making a new house feel like home. So what does make a house a home? A recently released survey from IKEA tries to answer that question by exploring how people feel in their house and what makes them feel most at home. For example, 63 percent of respondents said they cook to create the feeling of home and associate certain foods with being at home. Among younger respondents, playing music was an important part of achieving that feeling, with 65 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 saying they play music to get a homey feeling. Smells and sounds play a big role in what makes us feel safe and comfortable but social interaction and privacy are also important. Nearly 50 percent of respondents said home is where they have their most significant relationships while, at the same time, 25 percent said they’d choose to spend an hour alone if they had one to spare. Overall, survey respondents seemed to feel experiences were more important than things and wanted their homes to reflect their desires and give them a place to do what they most love. More here.

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Household Growth Is On The Rise

Following the housing crash, the homeownership rate fell from its peak and the number of Americans forming new households slowed. But according to a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, household growth is once again on the rise. In fact, the report shows that the pace of household growth increased from 653,000 in 2013 to 1.0 million in 2014 and1.3 million in 2015. That’s good news for the health of the housing market, especially since young Americans are expected to form 2 million households per year over the next 10 years. Chris Herbert, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says there are still some lingering challenges holding buyers back, however. “Tight mortgage credit, the decade-long falloff in incomes that is only now ending, and a limited supply of homes for sale are all keeping households – especially first-time buyers – on the sidelines,” Herbert said. “And even though a rebound in home prices has helped to reduce the number of underwater owners, the large backlog of foreclosures is still a serious drag on homeownership.” Still, evidence shows buyer demand is high and homeownership continues to be a goal for most Americans. As Herbert says, “The question is not so much whether families will want to buy homes in the future, but whether they will be able to do so.” More here.

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Majority Of Americans Say It’s Time To Buy

According to a recently conducted poll from Gallup, 66 percent of Americans say it’s a good time to buy a house. That’s up 12 percent from where it was following the housing crash but down slightly from the past few years. Most likely, the recent dip in optimism is a reaction to higher home prices. Low prices and record mortgage rates made buying a house an attractive proposition in the years following the crash. However, as surging demand depleted the stock of houses available for sale, home values shot up. Now, despite mortgage rates still near record lows and a vastly improved job market, Americans’ views of the housing market have begun to change. Though they are still positive, there is a growing concern that buying a house will soon become unaffordable for some buyers. This could explain why some parts of the country are more pessimistic than others. For example, people in the Midwest and South were generally more optimistic than those in the West, where home prices rebounded more quickly. It also explains why older and more financially secure Americans have the most positive perceptions of buying a house. Overall, however, Americans are eager to become homeowners. In fact, 59 percent of non-homeowners say they think they’ll buy a house in the next 10 years. More here.

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