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    How Owning a Home Affects Your Net Worth

    By The Gardner Group | April 27, 2020

    Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth, “The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below): This does... Read More

    What Credit Score Do You Really Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

    By The Gardner Group | April 20, 2020

    While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think.... Read More

    How Your Daily Starbucks Latte Adds Up to the Down Payment on a Home

    By The Gardner Group | April 13, 2020

    Some Highlights: The summertime latte is launching soon, so you may be tempted to spend your extra cash on a daily caffeine fix, but that small expense can add up to a big number – fast! Saving for a down payment takes a little discipline, so limiting your extra purchases (like a latte a day... Read More

    When to Hire a Pro for Home Improvement Projects

    By The Gardner Group | April 7, 2020

    Guest article written by Ray Flynn from It’s tempting to save money on home improvement by doing the work yourself. However, in many cases, you waste time and money if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Some projects require little skill, but others can be deceptively challenging — and even dangerous — if... Read More

    The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home

    By The Gardner Group | April 6, 2020

    Some Highlights: Historically, the choice between renting and buying a home has been a tough decision. Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (27.7%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.5%), the choice is clear. Every market is different. Before you renew your lease, find out if you... Read More

    Checklist: Preparing to Buy a Home

    By The Gardner Group | March 30, 2020

    Content provided by Keeping Current Matters. For more, click here. Read More

    5 Reasons This is NOT Like What Happened to the Housing Market in 2008

    By The Gardner Group | March 16, 2020

    With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview: “With... Read More

    Homeownership Rate on the Rise to a 6-Year High

    By The Gardner Group | March 16, 2020

    Regardless of the lack of inventory on the market, the U.S. homeownership rate has climbed to a 6-year high. The United States Census Bureau reported that it increased to 65.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, representing the highest level in the past six years. See the graph below:This increase does not come as a surprise. According to, “The... Read More

    2 Myths Holding Back Home-Buyers

    By The Gardner Group | March 16, 2020

    In a recent article, First American shared how millennials are not really any different from previous generations when it comes to the goal of homeownership; it is still a huge part of their American Dream. The piece, however, also reveals,  “Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles faced by first-time home buyers. Dispelling... Read More

    The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

    By The Gardner Group | March 9, 2020

    After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a... Read More