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Beyoncè, Jay-Z take out $52 million mortgage from Goldman Sachs

Billion-dollar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z just bought a home in Los Angeles, and took out a mortgage of $52.8 million from Goldman Sachs to do so.

The couple put in a down payment of 40% for this $88 million mansion, the sixth most expensive home purchase in the city’s history, according to an article by Tanza Loudenback for Business Insider.

The home is 30,000 square feet and sits on a two-acre hillside estate in Bel Air. It contains four outdoor pools, a spa and wellness center, a full-sized basketball court and a 15-car garage. Check out the picture below of the outside of the mansion.

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Beyonce House

(Source: LA Times)

Beyoncé and Jay-Z hold the Forbes title of the highest paid celebrity couple in the world, and hold a combined fortune of $1.16 billion, yet they didn’t pay cash for the new home, the Business Insider article pointed out. The monthly payment on their loan totals $149,600 – that’s higher than the median home price in some cities.

From the article:

Keeping their mounds of cash liquid could be a smart business decision. For starters, it helps to maintain their lavish lifestyle. But it could also allow them to continue investing heavily in tech companies, presumably earning returns greater than the amount of interest they’ll pay, considering mortgage rates are still historically low in the US.

“Depending on how their portfolio looks — what they’ve invested in — I think there could be a huge benefit [to Beyoncé and Jay-Z]. It gives them flexibility, and they could pay the mortgage off anytime,” Robert Cohan, a managing director at Carlyle Financial in Los Angeles, told Business Insider.

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FHFA reports home price increase of 1.4% for Q3

Home prices increased 1.4% in the third quarter this year, but increases slowed from August to September, according to the latest House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Home prices increased 0.3% in September, hitting yet another all-time peak, but slowing slightly from its increase of 0.7% in August. Annually, home prices increased 6.5% from the third quarter 2016 to the third quarter of 2017.

The chart below shows the percentage of home price changes dating back to 1992. The chart shows that since 2014, home price increases have picked up the pace, rising at faster rates.

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FHFA HPI

(Source: FHFA)

The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because of this, the selection excludes high-end homes bought with jumbo loans or cash sales.

“With relatively favorable economic conditions and a continued shortage of housing supply, price increases in the third quarter were generally robust and widespread,” FHFA deputy chief economist Andrew Leventis said. “At some point, declining housing affordability should temper appreciation rates in some of the nation’s fastest appreciating markets, but our third quarter results show few signs of that.”

But FHFA isn’t the only one reporting home price increases in September. Home prices increased in September at their fastest pace in more than three years, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released by S&P Dow Jones and CoreLogic. The Case-Shiller report showed home prices increased 0.4% monthly and 6.2% from last year.

The states with some of the highest increases in home prices include the District of Columbia, with an increase of 11.6%, Washington at 11.5%, Hawaii at 10%, Arizona at 10% and Nevada at 9.6%.

In fact, the FHFA’s HPI found that home prices increased in each of the 100 largest metropolitan areas over the last four quarters. Annual increases were the highest in the Seattle area, where they rose 14.6%. Price increases were the lowest in Camden, New Jersey, where they increased just 0.5% from last year.

Regionally, home prices ranged from an increase of 8.9% annually and 1.7% from the second quarter in the Pacific region to an increase of 4.8% annually in the Middle Atlantic region.

Here is a list of which states are in each of those divisions:

Pacific: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California

Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

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Case Shiller: Home prices rise at fastest pace since 2014

Home prices increased in September at their fastest pace in more than three years, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released by S&P Dow Jones and CoreLogic.

The Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, showed over the last 12 months, home prices increased 6.2% nationally, the highest annual rate of increase since June 2014. This is up from August’s increase of 5.9%.

The 10-City Composite increased 5.7% in September, up from last month’s increase of 5.2% and, as the chart below shows, rising back to its winter 2007 level. Similarly, the 20-City Composite increased 6.2% from last year, up from August’s increase of 5.8%.

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Home prices

(Source: S&P Dow Jones, CoreLogic)

“Home prices continued to rise across the country with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index rising at the fastest annual rate since June 2014,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee. “Home prices were higher in all 20 cities tracked by these indices compared to a year earlier; 16 cities saw annual price increases accelerate from last month.”

“Strength continues to be concentrated in the west with Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego and Portland seeing the largest gains,” Blitzer said. “The smallest increases were in Atlanta, New York, Miami, Chicago and Washington. Eight cities have surpassed their pre-financial crisis peaks.”

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index increased 0.4% monthly in September, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites increased 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the increase was higher at 0.7% month-over-month for the National Index, 0.6% for the 10-City Composite and 0.5% for the 20-City Composite.

Before seasonal adjustment, 15 of the top 20 cities saw an increase in home prices from the month before. However, after seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities saw an increase.

What’s more, experts explained these home price increases will not be letting up anytime soon.

“Most economic indicators suggest that home prices can see further gains,” Blitzer said. “Rental rates and home prices are climbing, the rent-to-buy ratio remains stable, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage is still under 4%, and at a 3.8-month supply, the inventory of homes for sale is still low.”

“The overall economy is growing with the unemployment rate at 4.1%, inflation at 2% and wages rising at 3% or more,” he said. “One dark cloud for housing is affordability – rising prices mean that some people will be squeezed out of the market.”

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6 hot spots in your house where critters and creepy-crawlies would love to spend the winter

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(BPT) – When temperatures cool, critters that were perfectly happy outdoors begin looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter. They may decide your house is the perfect location — unless you take steps to keep them out.

You can prepare by learning what’s trying to get into your house and where they would most like to hang out once inside. The National Pest Management Association offers some information on the most common household pests that can show up in the winter:

1) Showering with a cockroach: Arguably the pest that creeps people out the most, cockroaches just love the water, so your bathroom could be their winter playground. To keep cockroaches out, eliminate leaks and standing water in the bathroom. Wash the shower curtain and liner, clean out the medicine cabinet, and check under the sink and around the tub and toilet to ensure there’s no moisture from leaky pipes or faucets. Remember, despite the urban legend about roaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, they can only live a week without water!

2) Rodents in the attic: Dusty, stuffy, hot in summer and cold in winter, the attic may not be your favorite place to hang out, but rodents like rats, mice and squirrels would just love to spend the winter in yours! Once rodents are inside, they can cause serious and costly property damage by chewing through walls and baseboards. In fact, the NPMA estimates rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires every year by gnawing on electrical wires. To prevent a rodent infestation, secure everything you store in the attic (or basement) in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes, which are a favorite nesting spot. Keep the attic dry and well-ventilated. You can run a dehumidifier and install gutters and proper venting to keep moisture away from the attic and basement.

3) Party in the basement: Rodents also like basements, but they’re far from the only pests who will take up residence there. Spiders and a slew of other pests are happy to make their home in the dark corners and clutter that provide them plenty of places to hide. Deprive pests of their habitat by eliminating as much of the clutter in your basement as possible. Use plastic bins with secure lids for storage, rather than cardboard boxes. Pests can enter through cracks and crevices in walls and floors, so use a silicone-based caulk to seal fissures. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, and other small insects need only a paper-thin crack to gain entry.

4) Ants in the kitchen: With a ready supply of food and water, your kitchen can be paradise for pests like ants. No one’s favorite picnic guests, ants are just as pesky in your kitchen where they enter through cracks and holes. To discourage ants, seal cracks or holes where pests might enter, particularly around stove and water pipes. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Clean up crumbs, spills and stickiness on counters, tables and floors right away and never leave overripe fruit sitting out on the countertop.

5) Pests in the pantry: Other pests like your kitchen area, too, and your pantry is especially awesome to them. Most pantry pests such as beetles and Indian meal moths hitch a ride into your home in paper grocery bags, cardboard or plastic bags. The next time you grocery shop, inspect packaging before you put an item in your shopping cart. If the package is opened or shows the smallest sign of damage, don’t buy it. To ensure your pantry and cabinets are pest-free, periodically remove everything and toss out anything stale, old or expired. Stale spices and outdated flour can attract pantry pests. Wipe down the inside of cabinets and pantry shelves, and install fresh shelf paper. Store opened dry goods in plastic or glass containers that seal tightly.

6) Bugs in the bedroom: Bed bugs rival cockroaches for ick factor. Bed bugs enter your home through secondhand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, or by hitching a ride on your luggage when you return home from a trip. Before bringing any secondhand furniture home, have a pest control professional inspect it for signs of bed bugs. After traveling, inspect suitcases outdoors before bringing them inside. Vacuum luggage before storing it or use a garment hand-steamer to help kill any bugs or eggs. Wash and dry all travel clothing, even items you didn’t wear, on hot settings. Store clothes that must be dry cleaned in sealed plastic bags until you can get them to the cleaners. Bed bugs are one pest you won’t be able to get rid of on your own, so if an infestation occurs despite your best efforts, find a qualified pest control professional at www.pestworld.org.

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[Charts] Home equity wealth hits new high in November

New data from the Federal Reserve shows home equity reached an all-new high in mid-2107, surpassing the previous 2006 peak.

Home equity wealth reached $13.9 trillion halfway through the year, up $0.5 trillion from the 2006 peak and up $6 trillion from the the lowest point in the Great Recession.

Much of the recovery of this wealth is due to rapidly rising home prices, the November 2017 U.S. Economic Outlook report from CoreLogic explained. The company’s Home Price Index increased 48% from March 2011 to June this year.

The chart below shows the correlation between home price changes and the amount of home equity per homeowner.

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equity

(Source: CoreLogic)

The chart shows that when home prices are stagnant or falling, equity typically declines, whereas price growth generally correlates with higher levels of equity.

With the increase in home prices, many homeowners have also come out of negative equity. At the end of 2009, 12.2 million homeowners remained in negative equity on their homes, that is, they owed more on their home than what it was worth. This represented a full 26% of homeowners with a mortgage.

However, home-price appreciation has caused the number of homeowners in negative equity to drop from more than 12 million to just under 3 million in 2017, the chart below shows.

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equity

(Source: CoreLogic)

Only about 5.4% of homeowners with a mortgage remained in negative equity by mid 2017, however that number varied significantly across the U.S. The map below shows while some areas held close to 20% of homeowners in negative equity, others were near 0%.

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equity

(Source: CoreLogic)

CoreLogic forecasted home prices will rise another 5% in 2018, adding another $1 trillion in home equity wealth across the nation and setting another all-time high.

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6 ways to refresh your home with hardwood

(BPT) – Hardwood is one of the oldest building materials known to man, yet as any savvy architect, designer or homeowner will tell you, renovating with characterful woods is a sure way to make a tired interior look fresh and contemporary. “There’s something rejuvenating about the unique colors and textures offered by beautifully milled and finished hardwood surfaces,” says Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center. “Used with flair and imagination, even the most traditional species like oak, walnut, cherry and maple will provide a stylish, up-to-date makeover.” Here are six ways hardwood can infuse new life into your home.

1. Create underfoot interest with hardwood flooring

Durable and easy to work with, hardwood has always been the gold standard for residential flooring. But you can amp up a wood floor’s aesthetic impact in numerous ways, as AWH Architects does in this Minneapolis master suite by laying oak boards in a herringbone pattern with natural oil finish, a traditional style having a welcome revival.

2. Hardwood planking makes for stunning feature walls

A feature wall clad in burnished walnut planks can give a room focus, bringing a sense of organization and intention to what was previously an amorphous or confused space. As Cornerstone Architects shows in this Austin, Texas, bedroom, it can also add warmth and texture to sleek, modernist interiors that sometimes feel chilly or austere.

3. Hardwood floorboards work great on ceilings, too!

The ceiling is often a forgotten surface, but smart designers think of it as the fifth wall in a room — a blank canvas that can enhance the architecture of a space. Using floorboard-style hardwood planks underfoot and overhead is a terrific way to re-proportion or unify an interior, as MHK Architecture & Planning does in this Naples, Florida kitchen.

4. Replace shabby old interior doors with tailored new hardwood beauties

In many American homes, interior doors are painted hollow-core models that don’t stand up well to normal wear and tear. Replacing them with well-constructed, solid hardwood doors, like the stained-oak stunners installed in this serene bedroom by INK Architecture & Design, will help transform tired, nondescript rooms into freshly groomed show places.

5. Add character and charm to interiors with hardwood mouldings and trims

Hardwood mouldings and trimwork can transform plain-Jane interiors into interesting spaces. In today’s houses, which often lack any carved-wood ornamentation, decorative millwork can add personality, as David Heide Design Studio did in renovating this 1922 Arts & Crafts bungalow, replacing all the quarter-sawn-oak mouldings stripped out in previous makeovers.

6. Built-in hardwood furniture can be both beautiful and practical

Not only is custom built-in hardwood cabinetry practical (and a surefire way to banish visual clutter), it also offers a limitless range of design possibilities from the charmingly rustic to the sleekly sophisticated. For instance, Princeton Design Collaborative of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, gives the classic 1960s basement “rec” room an elegant update with custom-built-in maple cabinetry.

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New home construction increases to meet rising demand

The construction of new homes increased in October to meet the rising homebuyer demand, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Privately-owned housing starts increased in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million, up a full 13.7% from September’s revised estimate of 1.14 million. However, it is 2.9% below the 1.33 million in October 2016.

Of these, single family housing starts made up part of the increase, rising 5.3% from 833,000 in September to 877,000 in October.

The chart below shows new home construction continues to trend upward as demand increases:

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Starts

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, HUD)

But one expert explained this increase is not surprising due to the recent hurricane activity, and pointed out the numbers are still far below their long-term average going back to the 1990s. He said the increase could be just a temporary jump.

“I don’t really think the big jump is surprising,” said Terrell Gates, Virtus Real Estate Capital CEO, in an interview with HousingWire. “I think most of us were expecting to see a little cat and mouse from the hurricanes. From my view it’s too early to say the economy is expanding.”

Other experts agreed, saying the market would need to see several changes to keep up with the housing tightening inventory.

“While the overall housing trend is up slightly, this won’t do much to alleviate the tight housing market,” said Robert Frick, Navy Federal Credit Union corporate economist. “The National Association of Realtors recently reported that homes are staying on the market for the shortest time in 30 years – three weeks – that was this year through June.”

“For a significant increase in new homes, municipalities are going to have to work harder to make more land available for building,” Frick said.

But privately owned housing units authorized by building permits also increased, indicating this upward trend could continue in the months ahead. Building permits increased 5.9% from 1.23 million in September to 1.3 million permits in October. This is also 0.9% above last year’s 1.29 million.

Single family authorizations also increased in October, rising to 839,000, up 1.9% from 823,000 permits in September.

“Permits to build homes, often viewed as a leading indicator of future starts, climbed by 5.9% to an annualized pace of 1.3 million units – suggesting that the upward trend in housing starts should continue,” Nationwide Chief Economist David Berson said.

And other experts agreed housing permits show a bright future ahead for housing permits in the months to come.

“Even more encouraging than the above estimated housing starts rate is the pickup in permit applications for single-family dwellings, indicating that we should see more new construction in the coming months,” said Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans executive vice president of capital markets. “Despite monthly fluctuations, generally low mortgage rates also signal homebuilding activity across the country can be expected to grow steadily.”

But this increase in multifamily activity could be increasingly important for today’s economy as the rental market grows less and less affordable.

“Single family rental is becoming a much more significant piece of the problem,” Gates told HousingWire. “Affordability gaps are getting worse. In the past where you have places like New York or San Francisco where people expect to pay more of their income to their housing needs, now we are seeing that trickle down to other cities – the Dallas, the Atlantas, the Denvers.”

And other experts agreed regional affordability is becoming a growing problem, even forcing some homebuyers to relocate.

“Overall, the total activity for the country is moving in the right path,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “More supply will boost future home sales.”

“The West region, however, could experience slowing job growth as affordability conditions worsen from the ongoing inventory shortages that are driving up prices,” Yun said. “This could ultimately force residents and potential job seekers to start looking to other parts of the country.”

Privately owned housing completions increased 12.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million in October, up from 1.1 million in September. This is also up 15.5% from last year’s 1.07 million.

Single family housing completions increased just 2.6% in October to 793,000 completions, up from 773,000 in September.

Gates explained that improving new home construction could help with the nation’s rising affordability issues.

“There’s not one silver bullet, but obviously there are areas we could focus on.”

He listed solutions such as working to lower construction costs, get all sectors involved – public and private, federal or local government subsidies and utilizing different types of housing options.

“We all need to focus on making affordable housing a priority,” he said.

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Here’s what today’s first-time homebuyer looks like

Millennials continue to surge into the housing market, their demand rising unchecked by rising home prices or increasing mortgage rates.

Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker showed these first-time homebuyers saw a jump of more than .5 percentage points from their mortgage rates last year, yet they continue to buy homes.

Now, a new infographic from the National Association of Realtors shows exactly what these younger homebuyers look like, and what they want. NAR pointed out Millennial homebuyers faced various obstacles in their path to homeownership including higher rents and home prices, tight inventory conditions and repaying student loan debt.

These impediments continue to hold first time homebuyers at just 34% of all market transactions, down from the historical average of 39% since NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey began in 1981.

However, despite these obstacles, demand for starter homes remains strong. These are some of the characteristics of a successful first-time buyer.

Their average age is 32 years old, and they earn a household income of $75,000. The average home purchased costs $190,000, for which they usually put in a 5% down payment. The average amount of student loan debt per homebuyer is $29,000.FT homebuyer

NAR explained these homebuyers are typically looking for a single-family home to purchase in a suburban area.

A recent report from Ellie Mae showed the most popular metropolitan area for homes purchased by Millennial buyers was Mount Vernon, Illinois. Other popular Midwestern cities included Hutchinson, Kansas, New Philadelphia-Dover, Ohio, Defiance, Ohio, Dickinson, North Dakota, Owosso, Michigan and Ashland, Ohio.

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Facebook launches massive push into real estate listings

Zillow. Trulia. Realtor.com. Redfin. All household names in the real estate listings world, right?

Well, those companies now have some serious competition from a company that boasts an audience that dwarfs all of those sites put together – Facebook.

That’s right. Facebook is coming to real estate listings.

Now, anyone who’s “friends” with a real estate agent on Facebook is likely used to seeing real estate listings show up in their news feed, but it appears that Facebook has much bigger plans for real estate listings through its own platform.

Facebook announced last week that it is significantly expanding the real estate listings section on its Marketplace, which is Facebook’s attempt to take on Craigslist, eBay, and other e-commerce platforms.

And if Facebook’s previous history is any indication of its future successes, Marketplace will eventually blot out the e-commerce sun, just as Facebook already did with social media – as evidenced by Facebook’s monthly active user count of 2.07 billion.

According to information provided by Facebook, since the beginning of this year, search volume in the Marketplace tab has grown 300% globally.

And now, Facebook is bringing that audience to real estate listings.

Facebook currently allows individual homeowners to list their homes for sale on Marketplace. According to Facebook, the feature is “rolling out gradually” and is currently only available via the mobile app in the U.S.

And while the feature is “rolling out gradually” for home sales, Facebook is going full force into rental listings, via partnerships with Apartment List and Zumper.

Through the agreements, Marketplace users can now search through hundreds of thousands of rental units provided by Apartment List and Zumper, all while they’re on Facebook.Facebook rental listings

Facebook isn’t just dramatically increasing the number of rental listings on Marketplace, the social media monolith is also improving the capabilities of its platform.

According to Facebook, Marketplace now features a revamped experience in the housing rentals category. And Facebook plans to continue upgrading the platform.

The initial phase of the rollout includes custom filters for location, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, rental type, square footage, dog/cat friendly; along with the ability to upload 360-degree photos for individual rental listings.

Then, once a prospective renter finds a property they’re interested in, they simply fill out a short contact form (accessed within Marketplace) and the property manager or agent will then contact them directly.

“Marketplace is a popular place for people to look for a home to rent. Now that we’re adding listings from Apartment List and Zumper, people can search even more options in the U.S. to find a place to call home,” Bowen Pan, product manager at Facebook, said in a statement. “First with vehicles and now with housing rentals, we’re partnering with businesses to bring more ease and convenience for consumers.”

In a post to its website, Facebook said the changes to the housing rentals section are “driven by how people are searching and using the service.”

According to Facebook, the site does not participate in any transaction. It simply connects the listing owner and renter.

Facebook also said that it does not charge to list inventory on Marketplace, but cautions that there may be fees for using a third-party listing partner.

But, according to Facebook, any landlord or property owner wishing to list an apartment or rental house on Marketplace must use Apartment List or Zumper.

Here, from Facebook, is the process for a property manager to get their listing on Marketplace:

1. Create a Facebook Page for their business if they don’t already have one.

2. Sign up with one of our listing partners and contact them to arrange for the listings to be on Marketplace.

To sign up with Apartment List, email sales@apartmentlist.com.

To sign up with Zumper, landlords representing fewer than 5 homes or duplex/apartment units should post directly at www.zumper.com/pro or email pro@zumper.com. Landlords with multiple buildings should visit www.signup.zumper.com/multifamily or email sales@zumper.com.

For property owners and landlords, the draw of listing their properties on Facebook will likely be substantial, and for Apartment List and Zumper, the appeal of serving as the providers of rental listings for Facebook is obvious.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Facebook to deliver our robust network of properties to their expansive and diverse Marketplace community,” Chris Erickson, chief operating officer and co-founder of Apartment List, said. “Together, we will provide renters everywhere a best-in-class experience and powerful resource to help them find their next home.”

Anthemos Georgiades, Zumper’s CEO, agrees.

“Working with the Facebook Marketplace team was like working with a like-minded, rapid growth startup,” Georgiades said. “We got our feed integrated quickly and were able to showcase our accurate, real-time rental listings on Marketplace overnight. By adding Facebook to our network, we are especially excited to expand the audience Zumper’s landlord clients can reach, whether by posting to Zumper Pro or sending us a feed.”

Facebook also said that this expansion of Marketplace will likely not be its last such move.

“Marketplace will continue to explore a variety of new opportunities to partner with businesses, in addition to optimizing the consumer-to-consumer product experience,” the company posted on its site last week.

(Photo credit: gmstockstudio / Shutterstock.com)

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Low credit score? In some markets you’ll qualify for a mortgage, but not for a lease

Before buying a home, most borrowers look to save up for a down payment and build up their credit, however, in some areas, buying may actually require a lower FICO than when trying to rent.

Nationwide, the average credit score needed to rent an apartment was 650, while those with a score of 538 and below were typically rejected, according to a recent study by RENTCafé based on tenant screening data from RentGrow, a resident screening service.

Of course, that differed depending on the class of apartment a tenant was looking to move in to. The chart below shows the breakdown for high-, mid- and low-end apartments.

But the level of credit score needed varies much more significantly based on the city. Many hot rental markets across the U.S. require credit scores over 700 such as Boston, San Francisco and Seattle, where required credit scores are 737, 724 and 711 consecutively.

What’s more, the rent prices for each of these cities is also incredibly high at $3,440 in San Francisco, $3,232 in Boston and $2,016 in Seattle. The chart below shows the top 10 cities with the highest average approved credit scores for renting in 2017.

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FICO Rent

(Source: RENTCafé)

In Boston, for example, the average rejected credit score came in at 667 for apartments in 2017. However, for a mortgage loan from the Federal Housing Administration a borrower must have a FICO score of 580 to qualify for the 3.5% down-payment program.

As of October 2017, Zillow’s Home Value Index shows the median home value in Boston is $561,000. In order to pay the same amount for rent as one would pay for a home in Boston, borrowers who put 3.5% down could afford a home priced at $500,000, slightly lower than the area’s median home price if they secured an interest rate of 5%.

Not only could buying a home cost less each month for homeowners, but with the area’s rising FICO score requirements, it is also easier to get accepted.

Once again the numbers show – buying a home trumps renting.