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5 Things Home Buyers Should Know

With signs of a housing turnaround getting stronger, housing experts say buyers are finding several recent changes when they go to put in an offer on a home. A recent article at U.S. News & World Report highlights some of these changing “rules” for home buyers.

Bidding Wars Erupt for Homes

A new development is catching home buyers off guard as the spring sales season gets under way: Bidding wars are back.

From California to Florida, many buyers are increasingly competing for the same house. Unlike the bidding wars that typified the go-go years and largely reflected surging sales, today’s are a result of supply shortages.

Homes Sales a Mixed Bag

While sales of new homes slowed in March, government figures for the previous two months were revised sharply higher Tuesday, pointing to a solid winter rebound in the housing market.

Supply of Homes Shrinks Resulting in Bidding Wars

Bidding wars, absent from most parts of the U.S. residential market since its peak in 2006, are erupting from Seattle and Silicon Valley to Miami and Washington, D.C. The inventory of homes hovers close to a six-year low, while an increase in jobs and record affordability are tempting more buyers. The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes jumped 14 percent in February from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported this week.

Housing Affordability Reaches New Records

Housing affordability rose to a record high during the fourth quarter of 2011, which means a home buyer’s purchasing power is greater than it ever has been before, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Tips for Buying Foreclosed Properties

Home buyers may be attracted to the big bargains that foreclosures and pre-foreclosures can offer. But distressed properties can involve tricky, lengthy transactions, and there’s a lot to think about before jumping in, real estate professionals say.