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Housing market showing signs of stabilization

Posted on May 18, 2012

The housing market is showing signs of stabilization, according to figures from a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report. The data reveals an increase in home prices in 74 out of 146 metropolitan areas in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same quarter in 2011. In addition, NAR predicts that total home sales will increase 7 to 10 percent in 2012.

Ted C. Jones, chief economist for Stewart Title Guaranty Co., agreed with these findings, saying he expects existing home sales to increase by 7.5 percent in the Houston area. For those waiting for a good time to place their homes on the market, that time has finally arrived.

The optimism extends to homebuyers as well. Incomes required to qualify for a mortgage in the Houston area are well below the median income requirements for most of the country, according to the NAR.

A favorable credit rating is key to qualifying for the best rates. For those in the market for a new mortgage, requesting free copies of your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com is a smart first step. Review your reports to ensure accounts are being reported accurately. Contact creditors to resolve any discrepancies prior to applying for a mortgage loan.

For first-time home buyers, taking the time to learn what first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid, what you will need to qualify for a mortgage, how much home you can afford and which professionals to contact are all crucial steps in creating a positive home-buying experience. Learn more by participating in Money Management International’s free first-time homebuyer financial education workshop.

If you need help understanding your credit reports or determining how much house you can afford, contact an MMI certified credit counselor.

About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 866.531.0511 or visit MoneyManagement.org.

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