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Home prices on the rise for real estate buyers

People in Florida planning to purchase a home in 2018 may face more difficult financial decisions as home prices and mortgage interest rates continue on an upward trend. Across the country, the monthly mortgage payment for a home that sits around the national median is approximately $1,486. This amount marks an increase of $168, or 13 percent, from the 2016 numbers. For many people, this is a significant sum; it represents approximately 30 percent of the median household income across the United States.

Once taxes, insurance costs and other fees are included, housing costs could easily exceed 30 percent of income for many Americans; 30 percent is the standard figure for considering housing to be an affordable expense as part of a monthly budget. One of the major reasons for the increase in mortgage payments has been an upward trend in real estate prices, partially spurred on by the limited supply of available housing across the country. In addition, mortgage interest rates are on the rise. The interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 4.46 percent in mid-March 2018, the highest amount since January 2014.

This means that for home buyers, complicated financial choices may be needed. While some buyers may choose to pare down their expectations, others may opt to spend an increased portion of their income and borrow a larger mortgage. Of course, the increases are greater in hot spots like Seattle and San Francisco than in less busy markets.

The decision to purchase a home is often be one of the largest and most significant financial decisions a person can make. When going through the home-buying process, it is important to be fully aware of all contract terms and protect one's investment. A residential real estate attorney may help home buyers to go through the contracting process with knowledge and confidence.

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