Report: Down Payments Are Holding Renters Back from Purchasing Homes

Pixabay.com

Pixabay.com

We’ve previously reported that a growing number of renters plan on staying renters, even if rental prices increase (for the time being, at least). And now, a new report is giving us some insight as to why.

According to the first-ever Zillow Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR), nearly 70 percent of renters across 20 United States metropolitan areas say they can’t buy a home due to the cost of a down payment. In fact, most renters see a down payment as the biggest barrier to homeownership, ahead of debt, qualifying for a mortgage, job security, or not being in a position to settle down.

In our own metropolitan area, 67.5 percent of renters see down payments as their greatest roadblock, followed by debt at 54.6 percent, qualifying for a mortgage at 49.3 percent, job security at 35.2 percent, and not being in a position to settle down at 19.3 percent. Read more »

Demand for Homes Remains Strong Across Region

Home sales in Center City ran 22 percent ahead of last year's levels, a pace surpassed only by Camden County, N.J. | Photo: Sikeri | Flickr

Home sales in Center City ran 20.1 percent ahead of last year’s levels, a pace surpassed only by Camden County, N.J. | Photo: Sikeri | Flickr

Home sales in the 12-county Greater Philadelphia region continued to increase at a steady clip in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest figures compiled by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors.

A total of 15,750 homes were sold in the 12 counties in the quarter just ended, an increase of 8.7 percent from the same quarter one year ago. Sellers saw price gains too, as the average sale price rose 1.6 percent to $247,361, and they sold their homes faster, as average days on market fell 6.2 percent to 76 days. Buyers, on the other hand, found pickings slimmer, as the monthly average inventory of homes on the market plunged 19.8 percent to 26,772.

The greatest number of homes sold was in Philadelphia County, where 3,314 homes were sold in the first quarter. The county with the greatest percentage increase in sales was Camden in New Jersey, where the 1,489 homes sold represented a 21.9 percent increase over this time last year. Read more »

First-Time Find: Refreshed in Germany Hill for $239.9K

332 Fountain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

332 Fountain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

We know, we know, we keep featuring homes for sale in Northwest Philly. But in our defense, all the stellar listings that are fresh to the market lately make it so easy – like this Germany Hill townhome that was just re-listed, is incredibly affordable and would make a great first-time home.

Right away, we have to mention the adorable front porch (although it might not be so adorable if you don’t like your neighbors). From there, enter inside to the main floor, which is highlighted by wood flooring that balance greatly with the brick fireplace in the corner of the living room and the light colored walls throughout. From the living room, reach the dining room and then the updated kitchen. Read more »

Two Philly-Area Communities Make Niche Top 10

We're No. 2! | Photo: Nick Vandekar, Long & Foster Real Estate

We’re No. 2! | Photo: Nick Vandekar, Long & Foster Real Estate

Chesterbrook, the master planned community in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, is once again one of the best places to live in the United States, according to new rankings released today by Niche.com.

It’s even climbed up several spots in Niche’s 2017 “Best Places to Live” rankings: it’s almost the best place to live in the country, up from No. 8 last year.

And a second Philadelphia-area community also placed in the top ten: Penn Wynne, in Lower Merion Township, ranked ninth.

The top honor, however, went to Carmel, Ind., near Indianapolis.

Both Carmel and Chesterbrook received A-plus grades overall, as did the other eight communities in the top ten. Both also got A-plus grades for their public schools, housing and family-friendliness. Carmel also got an A-plus for jobs, though, while Chesterbrook only received an A. Read more »

You Could Be The First On Your Blok To Live in One of These

An example of a multifamily housing development built using Blokable's modular units. | Rendering; Blokable

An example of a multifamily housing development built using Blokable’s modular units. | Rendering; Blokable

The man who helped give physical form to “Earth’s biggest bookstore” and developed the checkout-free convenience store has now turned his attention to affordable housing.

His proposed solution combines high tech and kindergarten tech.

The building industry trade publication Builder reports that Aaron Holm, co-creator of the Amazon Go C-store and developer of the brick-and-mortar Amazon Books stores, has launched a new startup company called Blokable whose aim is to produce affordable housing that can be easily assembled and expanded. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Work from Home in Hawthorne for $360K

1225 Montrose St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND images via Zillow

1225 Montrose St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND images via Zillow

When we first laid eyes on the exterior of this trinity, one question ran through our minds, “Is that a garage next to the front door?” Yes, it is, in fact, and how cool is that? A trinity home is rare in and of itself – throw a garage into the mix, and you’ve definitely got something to talk about.

Let’s jump right into it: This trinity does maintain the traditional three-floor layout. However, as made evident by the garage, the first floor of this trinity strays a bit from the norm: it’s actually a workshop. The workshop features a bathroom, a nine-foot ceiling, a separate heater, insulated double doors, and a back door exit. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Vince Viney

There's a touch of the Levitt approach in V2 Properties' strategy: standardize to keep costs low. It enables the company to offer more in its homes than others similarly priced. You should be able to spot the V2 homes on the 700 (left) and 600 (right) blocks of Mercy Street in Dickinson Narrows. | Photos: Sandy Smith

There’s a touch of the Levitt approach in V2 Properties’ strategy: standardize to keep costs low. It enables the company to offer more in its homes than others similarly priced. You should be able to spot the V2 homes on the 700 (left) and 600 (right) blocks of Mercy Street in Dickinson Narrows. | Photos: Sandy Smith

To understand why Vince Viney builds, all you really need to know is two basic principles:

Inexpensive new homes don’t have to be cheap.

And buying them shouldn’t be a nightmare.

Put another way, Viney doesn’t want home buyers to have the experience he did when he bought his first home.

“As a homebuyer, I was tired of seeing the inferior quality and lack of craftsmanship that I saw, and the poor service, especially after delivery,” he said. “It was the acceptable standard, but it was an acceptably bad standard.”

Viney, 45, grew up in Kensington’s Harrowgate section, a largely blue-collar neighborhood. When he was coming of age, success meant a house in the suburbs, and he followed that path to a new construction home in Collegeville, which he purchased in 1995. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A First Resort in Devon for $355K

5 Brettagne, Devon, Pa. 19330 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

5 Brettagne, Devon, Pa. 19333 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

This home in Devon’s Arbordeau condominium community just misses the cutoff for our “First-Time Find” feature, but it’s definitely within reach of many buyers today, and you get a lot for your money here — including, if you wish, an opportunity to take a mid-1970s home with strong bones into the here and now.

Given that the kitchen and bathrooms in this home were recently updated, all that may be required is the right furniture, for this home’s stylish contemporary bones are solid. The living room has a handsome brick-arched fireplace and striking floating staircase as main design elements and is flooded with light from the sliding glass door that leads out onto the patio, one of two attached to this home. There are also two balconies on the upper level, giving it plenty of private outdoor space. Read more »

It’s Hip to be Square on Avenue 30

The Avenue 30 development. | Rendering: KJO Architecture via The Riverwards Group and The Somers Team

The Avenue 30 development. | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Riverwards Group and The Somers Team

There have been all sorts of attempts to solve the central problem of the Philadelphia row house, namely, the need to fit it into a long lot with narrow street frontage.

Over the years, these attempts have produced such distinctive features as incredibly small middle bedrooms and squarish houses with nonexistent back yards.

Fishtown-based developers The Riverwards Group faced just such a problem when they got their hands on a 300-foot-long, 110-foot-deep on Amber Street in East Kensington. The aim was to produce a large townhouse development with luxurious yet reasonably priced homes.

Their solution: Go wide, which is what they did with the new Avenue 30 development. Read more »

7 Ways to Add Gorgeous Pops of Color to a Room

The Inspiration: A color-soaked sitting room by designer and HGTV host Emily Henderson | Photo courtesy Zeke Ruelas and Emily Henderson

The Inspiration: A color-soaked sitting room by designer and HGTV host Emily Henderson | Photo courtesy Zeke Ruelas and Emily Henderson

Goodbye, greige! Move beyond muted rooms with a few well-placed pops of color that instantly transform mundane spaces into cheery masterpieces. Here, we take some serious inspo from a gorgeous room by interior designer and HGTV host Emily Henderson with a few key pieces that’ll give you the look at home.  Read more »

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