Some Highlights: According to a new survey from Open Listings , 62% of Americans ages 25-54 believe that buying a home is more stressful than planning a wedding. Many young couples are saving for a wedding and a home at the same time. The average US wedding now costs 66% of a median home down payment, according to The Knot. Some Highlights: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest quarterly Home Price Index report. In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state. Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more! Some Highlights: Hiring a real estate professional to help you buy your dream home or sell your current house is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make! A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process. Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions and can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family! Some Highlights: The majority of states in the Midwest and South offer a lower cost of living than states in the Northeast and West. The ‘biggest bang for your buck’ comes in Mississippi where, compared to the national average, you can actually purchase $115.74 worth of goods for $100. For more information regarding the methodology used to create this map, visit the Tax Foundation. Some Highlights: Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019. The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be. Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home! Some Highlights: According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest , sales in June were down 2.2% from last year. Existing Home Sales Report Inventory of homes for sale showed a modest improvement of 0.5% over last year’s figures, but still remains under the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining. The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market.” Some Highlights: The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%! Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers. 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months! Real Estate: The Best Investment Some Highlights: Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years! The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment! Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment. Some Highlights: Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%. You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit. Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford. Some Highlights: The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their . Profile of Home Staging 62% of seller’s agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar-value offers from buyers. 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own. The top rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.