These are the states people moved to most (and stayed) during the pandemic

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The housing market has boomed throughout the coronavirus crisis. Millions of houses have been bought and sold, and home prices have skyrocketed across much of the U.S. Based on how energetic the housing market has been, it’s clear many Americans have relocation on their minds — even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But where are movers likely to go? Are they staying in their state or venturing somewhere new? To answer these questions, we looked at data derived from LendingTree users who requested a mortgage loan from March 1, 2020, through Sept. 21, 2021. This allowed us to analyze the pandemic moving patterns of homebuyers in each of the nation’s 50 states.

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While most movers look to stay in their current state, a significant share look to move elsewhere. And some states are much more popular destinations than others.

Key findings

  • 85.38% of movers, on average, stay in the state in which they’re living. Movers tend to remain in their current state, not only because out-of-state moves are usually more expensive than in-state ones, but the social and economic ties they’ve forged within their current area can be hard to replicate elsewhere.
  • Texas residents love the Lone Star State. Texas has the highest percentage of residents looking to move within the state at 93.33%. Not only is Texas popular among its residents, but its relatively inexpensive home prices and lack of a state income tax also make it a popular destination for out-of-state movers from places like Alaska, Colorado and California.
  • New York has the highest percentage of residents looking to leave. Just 73.35% of New York state residents want to stay in the Empire State. Of those who leave, many don’t go far, as New Jersey is the most popular destination for out-of-state movers.
  • A majority of out-of-state movers don’t go far. The most popular new destination for homebuyers in 27 states bordered the state from which they were moving.
  • For out-of-state movers, Florida is the No. 1 destination. Florida is the favorite out-of-state destination for mortgage shoppers in 18 of the 50 states. The Sunshine State has a long history of bringing in visitors and new residents, particularly retirees, thanks to a mix of affordable housing, no state income tax and sunny weather. Florida also retains residents, with the third-highest share of movers who look to stay in state.

States with the most movers looking to stay in state

No. 1: Texas

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 93.33%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 6.67%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida 
  • Percentage of Texas movers looking to move to Florida: 11.40%

No. 2: Oklahoma

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 91.43%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 8.57%
  • Most popular destination state: Texas
  • Percentage of Oklahoma movers looking to move to Texas: 26.16%

No. 3: Florida

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 91.17%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 8.83%
  • Most popular new destination state: Georgia
  • Percentage of Florida movers looking to move to Georgia: 16.50%

States with the most movers looking to head out of state

No. 1: New York

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 73.35%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 26.55%
  • Most popular destination state: New Jersey 
  • Percentage of New York movers looking to move to New Jersey: 20.95%

No. 2: North Dakota

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 77.33% 
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 22.67%
  • Most popular destination state: Minnesota 
  • Percentage of North Dakota movers looking to move to Minnesota: 29.65%

No. 3: Hawaii

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 78.06%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 21.94%
  • Most popular destination state: California 
  • Percentage of Hawaii movers looking to move to California: 13.02%

People have moved throughout the pandemic, but most haven’t gone too far

With the rise of remote work, it may seem as though Americans have more freedom to buy a home wherever they choose — even if that place happens to be far from where they live and work.

And while some certainly have decided to pack their bags and head for greener pastures, the data indicates that most movers stay close. As mentioned above, an average of just more than 85% of movers look for a home in their current state. Similarly, a December 2020 LendingTree study found that about 84% of movers in the nation’s 50 largest cities stayed in the city in which they were living.

People may want to avoid a long-distance move for a variety of reasons:  Here are just a few:

  • Uncertainty about working from home: Many still temporarily working remotely are unsure how long the setup will last. It can make sense to remain in the same area if employers start calling workers back to the office.
  • A desire to save money: Because many movers and truck rental companies charge by the mile, it’s usually much cheaper for a mover to stay near where they currently reside than it is for them to haul all their stuff across the country.
  • An unwillingness to sever bonds with their community: Many people have social ties to their current location. Even if consumers could afford to move out of state, some would choose to stay local to remain close to their friends and family or avoid switching their child’s school. Because of these ties, it’s often not worth it on an emotional level to leave an area.

Ultimately, even for those who have been inclined to move during the pandemic, certain drawbacks and limitations — both socially and financially — are likely to keep most movers near where they currently reside.

3 tips for homeowners considering a move

Even considering short distances, moving can be a challenge. As a result, those looking to move should keep the following tips in mind to help make the process less of a hassle.

No. 1: Learn about a new market before deciding to move into it

Different housing markets have different quirks, so try to get acquainted with the area before buying a home there. Compare home prices in similar neighborhoods to get a better idea of how much money a house is likely to cost in a given area, as well as which homes might be overpriced or underpriced.

No. 2: Keep an eye on savings

The combination of costs related to moving expenses, selling a house and buying a new one can add up quickly — and easily drain a person’s bank account. As a result, movers should keep a careful eye on their savings to ensure they have enough money to move.

No. 3: Consider other options

Depending on why a person is thinking about moving, there may be ways to accomplish their goals without packing their bags. For example, those thinking about moving to lower their monthly housing costs might instead consider refinancing their loan. Or those who want a house with more updated amenities may be able to use a home equity loan to get those amenities in their current home.

Methodology

Data for this study is derived from users on the LendingTree platform who made a mortgage purchase request from March 1, 2020, through Sept. 21, 2021.

By comparing the location of a buyer’s current residence to the location of the residence they’re looking to purchase, LendingTree was able to determine which state a homebuyer was looking to move to and whether they were moving to a new state or staying in the one in which they live.

This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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10 mortgage types to understand for the best deal on a home


10 mortage types to understand for the best deal on a home

Finding the right home is just one part of the equation when buying a home. Choosing the right type of mortgage loan to finance the biggest financial transaction of your life is just as critical.

With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming, especially for first-time homebuyers, to know which home loan best suits their needs and gives them the best shot at homeownership. Consider the following 10 types of mortgage loans to help in your decision.

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A conventional loan is any mortgage that’s not backed by the federal government. Conventional loans have higher minimum credit score requirements than other loan types — typically 620 — and are harder to qualify for than government-backed mortgages. Borrowers who make a down payment of less than 20% are typically required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) on this type of mortgage loan.

A popular type of conventional mortgage is a conforming loan. It adheres to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines and has loan limits, which often change annually to adjust for increases in home values. The 2020 conforming loan limit for most U.S. counties is $510,400 for a single-family home.

Key conventional loan features:

  • Requires a minimum 620 credit score.
  • Requires borrowers to provide in-depth income, employment, credit, asset and debt documentation for approval.
  • Typically requires PMI for a down payment of less than 20%.

Ideal for: Borrowers with a steady income and employment history, strong credit and at least a 3% down payment.

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A fixed-rate mortgage is exactly what it sounds like — a home loan with a fixed mortgage interest rate. The rate included on your closing disclosure is the same rate you’ll have for the length of your repayment term, unless you refinance your mortgage.

Two common fixed-rate options are 15- and 30-year mortgages.

Key fixed-rate mortgage features:

  • Includes a fixed interest rate that won’t change over the life of the loan.
  • Usually comes in repayment terms of five-year increments.

Ideal for: Borrowers who prefer stable principal and interest payments on their mortgage.

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An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a type of mortgage loan that has a variable interest rate. Instead of staying fixed, it fluctuates over the repayment term. One of the popular adjustable-rate mortgage options is the 5/1 ARM.

This type of home loan is a hybrid of a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage. The mortgage rate is fixed for five years, and then adjusts annually for the remainder of the loan term. ARMs usually start off with lower rates than fixed-rate loans, but can go as high as two percentage points or more above the fixed rate when it adjusts for the first time.

Key adjustable-rate mortgage features:

  • Includes a variable rate, which can change based on market conditions.
  • Typically begins with a mortgage rate that is lower than fixed-rate loans.
  • Comes with a lifetime adjustment cap, which often means the variable rate can’t jump by more than five percentage points over the life of the loan.

Ideal for: Borrowers who plan to move or refinance before the fixed-rate period on their loan ends.

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A high-balance loan is another type of conventional loan. In a nutshell, it’s a conforming loan with a balance that exceeds the standard conforming loan limit, but meets the loan limit for high-cost areas in states like California, Florida and New York.

The high-balance loan limit for single-family homes in 2020 is $765,600, which is 150% of the standard loan limit mentioned above.

Key high-balance loan features:

  • Adheres to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.
  • Allows borrowers to borrow above standard loan limits in high-cost counties.

Ideal for: Borrowers who want a conventional loan in an area where home prices are higher than average.

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A jumbo mortgage is a larger conventional loan, typically used to buy a luxury home, that doesn’t conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. Jumbo loan amounts exceed conforming loan limits and often require a large down payment, such as 20%.

In recent years, jumbo mortgage rates have been lower on average when compared with conforming conventional loans.

Key jumbo mortgage features:

  • Includes stricter credit score and down payment requirements than conforming loans.
  • Typically has a wider range of eligible property types.

Ideal for: Borrowers who need a mortgage that exceeds conforming loan limits.

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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backs these types of mortgage loans, which are reserved for borrowers with credit blemishes and limited down payment funds. You can qualify for an FHA loan with a 580 credit score and a minimum 3.5% down payment. If your score is between 500 and 579, you’ll need a 10% down payment.

FHA loans have mandatory mortgage insurance premiums. If you put down less than 10%, you’ll pay FHA mortgage insurance for the life of your loan — unless you refinance after building at least 20% equity. Otherwise, you’ll only pay it for 11 years.

Key FHA loan features:

  • Requires just a 580 credit score to qualify for the minimum down payment amount.
  • Includes a mortgage insurance premium requirement for most borrowers.
  • Comes with the ability to buy a multiunit property up to four units as a primary residence with just 3.5% down (and at least a 580 score).

Ideal for: Borrowers with lower credit scores and access to minimal savings for a down payment.

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Military service members, veterans and eligible spouses may qualify for a government mortgage loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VA loans typically don’t include a down payment requirement, but lenders may expect to see a minimum 620 credit score. Additionally, as of 2020, the VA got rid of loan limits for borrowers who have never used their VA loan benefits or have paid their existing VA loan in full.

Key VA loan features:

  • Provides opportunities for members of the military, veterans and eligible spouses to buy a home.
  • Doesn’t require a minimum down payment in most cases.

Ideal for: Qualified borrowers who need a no-down-payment loan option.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) insures USDA loans provided to low- and moderate-income buyers looking to purchase a home in a designated rural area. No down payment or mortgage insurance is required for these types of home loans, but there are income limitations.

Key USDA loan features:

  • Caters to borrowers interested in buying a home in a USDA-designated rural area.
  • Doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance.

Ideal for: Borrowers with a modest income looking for a 0% down payment loan.

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second mortgage is a different type of home loan that allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve built in your home over time. Similar to a first mortgage, or the loan you borrow to buy a home, a second mortgage is secured by your home. However, a second mortgage takes a subordinate position to a first mortgage, which means it’s repaid second after a first mortgage in a foreclosure sale.

Both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are types of second mortgages. A home equity loan is a lump-sum amount. It typically comes with a fixed interest rate and is repaid in fixed installments over a set term. A HELOC is a revolving credit line with a variable rate that works similarly to a credit card. The funds can be used, repaid and reused as long as access to the credit line is open.

Key second mortgage features:

  • Allows borrowers to tap their home equity for any purpose, including debt consolidation or home improvement.
  • Includes lump sum and credit line options.
  • Uses a borrower’s home as collateral, just as a first mortgage.

Ideal for: Borrowers who want to use their existing equity to fund other financial goals.

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Homeowners aged 62 and older may qualify for a reverse mortgage, a type of mortgage loan in which your lender makes payments to you — from your available equity — in a lump sum or monthly.

The home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is the most common type of reverse mortgage. It’s insured by the FHA and comes with several upfront and ongoing costs. There are many options for repaying a reverse mortgage; they include selling your home or having your heir take out a new, forward mortgage to cover what’s owed after your passing.

Key reverse mortgage features:

  • Doesn’t require payments until the home is sold, or the borrower (or eligible surviving non-borrowing spouse) moves or passes away.
  • Requires borrowers to have at least 50% equity in their home.
  • Requires borrowers (or surviving spouses) to continue to maintain the home, live in it as a primary residence and pay property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Ideal for: Older homeowners (62 and older) with a substantial amount of equity who need supplemental income in retirement.

This article originally appeared on LendingTree.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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