As mortgage rates rose last year, activity in the housing market slowed down. And as a result, homes started seeing fewer offers and stayed on the market longer. That meant some homeowners decided to press pause on selling.

Now, however, rates are beginning to come down—and buyers are starting to reenter the market. In fact, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows mortgage applications increased last week by 7% compared to the week before.

So, if you’ve been planning to sell your house but you’re unsure if there will be anyone to buy it, this shift in the market could be your chance. Here’s what experts are saying about buyers returning to the market as we approach spring.

Mike Fratantoni, SVP and Chief…

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During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent article, Investopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.

A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:

“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards…

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One of the first steps in your homebuying journey is getting pre-approved. To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to understand what pre-approval is and what it does for you. Business Insider explains:

“In a preapproval [sic], the lender tells you which types of loans you may be eligible to take out, how much you may be approved to borrow, and what your rate could be.”

Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the homebuying process that’ll help you understand your options and what you may be able to borrow.

How does it work? As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to…

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2023 is off to a great start! Check out some of the top local news stories and see what events are coming up on the Emerald Coast as we head into February!

Plans are already underway for the 75th Destin Fishing Rodeo

https://www.thedestinlog.com/story/news/local/2023/02/01/75th-annual-destin-fishing-rodeo-is-being-planned-now/69843784007/

Public art project will put 20 colorful birds around Okaloosa County

https://www.thedestinlog.com/story/news/local/2023/01/26/emerald-coast-heron-project-is-part-of-okaloosa-public-arts/69837896007/

Destin officials sink 180-foot ship to create artificial reef

https://www.mypanhandle.com/news/local-news/okaloosa-county/destin-officials-sink-180-foot-ship-to-create-artificial-reef/

2023…

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2023 is off to a great start! Check out some of the top local news stories and see what events are coming up on the Emerald Coast as we head into February!

Walton County bookstore voted best in Florida

https://www.wjhg.com/2023/02/01/walton-county-bookstore-voted-best-florida/

Let the good times roll at the Baytowne Mardi Gras Parade and Street Party

https://www.baytownewharf.com/what_to_do.php?month=2

Mimmo’s 30A Brings Authentic, Southern Italian Flavors to the Beach

https://30a.com/mimmos-30a/

Don't Miss The 34th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival - Feb 14-25

http://www.sandestingumbofestival.com

Café Thirty-A Raises Record-Breaking $50,000 for Caring and Sharing of South Walton

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The 2022 housing market has been defined by two key things: inflation and rapidly rising mortgage rates. And in many ways, it’s put the market into a reset position.

As the Federal Reserve (the Fed) made moves this year to try to lower inflation, mortgage rates more than doubled – something that’s never happened before in a calendar year. This had a cascading impact on buyer activity, the balance between supply and demand, and ultimately home prices. And as all those things changed, some buyers and sellers put their plans on hold and decided to wait until the market felt a bit more predictable.

But what does that mean for next year? What everyone really wants is more stability in the market in 2023. For that to happen we’ll need to see the Fed…

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If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a big boost over the past few years thanks to rapidly rising home prices. Here’s how it happened and what it means for you, even as the market moderates.

Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan.

Because there was a significant imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially.

And while home price appreciation has moderated this year, and even depreciated slightly in some overheated markets, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all the equity you gained during the pandemic frenzy.

To prove you still have equity you can use, the latest Homeowner Equity…

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Did the frequency and intensity of bidding wars over the past two years make you put your home search on hold? If so, you should know the hyper competitive market has cooled this year as buyer demand has moderated and housing supply has grown. Those two factors combined mean you may see less competition from other buyers.

And with less competition comes more opportunity. Here are two trends that may be the news you need to reenter the market.

1. The Return of Contingencies

Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or the inspection, in hopes of gaining an advantage in a bidding war.  But now, things are different.

The latest data from the National Association of…

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Happy New Year! 2023 is finally here and we can't wait to see what's in store. Check out some of the top local news stories and see what events are coming up on the Emerald Coast as we head into January!

Destin Dunk 2023 hits the Gulf of Mexico

https://www.thedestinlog.com/picture-gallery/news/2023/01/03/destin-dunk-hits-gulf-mexico-new-years-day/10982348002/

Moon Crush returns to Seascape Resort in MIramar Beach- April 20-23

https://www.tixr.com/groups/mooncrush/events/mooncrush-moon-crush-pink-moon-23-46554

Rescuers saved 47 sea turtles at Navarre Pier in 2022.

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/navarre/2023/01/02/47-sea-turtles-were-rescued-from-navarre-beach-fishing-pier-in-2022/69767468007/

Many restaurants opened…

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