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Real Estate Experts Discuss Signs For Determining When A Home Isn’t Worth The Investment

A group of real estate professionals recently spoke to the media to discuss the signs prospective home-buyers should look for when determining if a home is worth the money or not.

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How Much Has The US Housing Market Been Impacted By The Pandemic? 

Housing experts throughout the US are currently experiencing a “white hot” market thanks to a multitude of economic reasons. However, problems that existed in the industry before the pandemic are being just as exasperated due to the impact of the past year overall. 

“One of the most prominent housing issues in pre-pandemic America was supply shortages. That has carried over and exacerbated, but we already had evidence of supply shortages heading into the pandemic,” said Matthew Murphy, executive director of the Furman Center For Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. 

Murphy also explained that “today’s housing situation has its roots in the last boom-bust cycle. The context here to this current housing moment is that we were still recovering from the 2009 foreclosure crisis, when property values plummeted.” 

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According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), over the past two decades an underbuilding gap of between 5.5 million and 6.8 million housing units has existed since 2001. 

The National Association of Home Builders found that of “all the new single-family homes built last year across the U.S., none were priced below $100,000. A mere 1 percent fell in the range of $100,000 to $150,000. Home buyers in the bottom one-fourth of the market have been squeezed entirely out of the market for new construction,” the group said in an online post.

“In a pandemic, with people working from home and kids schooling from home, you need more space. We saw a real pickup in demand. People wanted a home with some green space and a community with lower population density.”

“The increase in demand has really been sparked by the record low level of mortgage rates. That’s a real opportunity for anyone who’s shopping for a mortgage or shopping to buy a home, and that’s really sparked the demand, especially among millennials or Gen Xers,” explained Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. 

Prospective buyers are also noticing a major decrease in available homes due to the fact that those who weren’t as economically stunted by the pandemic have been able to get out and acquire more real estate within the past few months of recovery. 

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“You’ve got this 20-plus percent year-over-year price growth, which you think would entice homeowners to sell. The bigger factor is just availability of supply to move into. … There’s nothing to go buy or downsize into,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at Attom Data Solutions.

Zillow found a nearly 4% increase in housing availability on the market in May, which has been the first time that percentage has increased since July 2020. The NAR found that the average price of existing homes throughout the US have hit a record number of $350,000; up nearly 25% when compared to last year. 

“This is supply and demand on steroids.”

The other major issue is that builders, architects, and construction workers can’t keep up with the demand that the pandemic has created. Costs for certain raw materials like copper or lumber are projected to continuously increase within the next couple of months. That in addition to labor costs and the cost of land overall is causing a lot of buyers to be hesitant with their purchases. 

“There’s an affordability that comes with density, and in a lot of America, you can’t build that kind of housing. This just makes it harder for the market to supply this housing en masse,” Murphy explained. 

“If we see a substantial increase in the proportion of the workforce working remotely, then I think we’re going to continue to see some of this shift to single-family and this shift not just to suburban but to the outer edges of metro areas. When you sever that link between where you live and where you work, then that gives you a lot of flexibility on where you locate,”  Nothaft said.

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Popular Keto Diet Poses Long-Term Health Risks, Experts Say

The philosophy of the keto diet is simple: it says you should almost entirely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, maintaining a macronutrient ratio of roughly 70% fats, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. Doing so forces the body into an alternate mode of processing energy called “ketosis,” in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for sustenance, resulting in weight loss. But while the keto diet is very effective for losing weight quickly while permitting people to enjoy foods like bacon and eggs, experts say that the diet is not healthy in the long term. In fact, for the third year in a row, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the keto diet as among the worst possible diets to follow, and experts warn that a prolonged state of ketosis may cause the development of health conditions like cardiovascular disease. As such, despite the widespread popularity of the keto diet and the fast results it can provide, this diet is not optimal for sustaining health. 

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The healthy way to think of dieting is not as a temporary solution for losing weight, but instead as a lifestyle change to maintain indefinitely. This is because weight that is lost quickly on a diet can be put back on just as quickly, if not faster, once the diet ends as the body returns to the status quo. One of the risks posed by the keto diet is that as it enables rapid weight loss, dieters are prone to reintroducing carbohydrates into their diet after reaching their target weight, undoing the beneficial effects of their weight loss by kicking the body out of ketosis. And beginning the keto diet sometimes leads to the development of what’s called the “keto flu,” a set of symptoms including headache, fatigue, irritability, and nausea. While the symptoms of keto flu are temporary and disappear as the body adjusts to the new diet, other diets are not associated with the risk of developing flu-like symptoms, and there’s no good medical reason to think that engaging in a diet that can make you feel sick benefits your health overall.

Instead of the keto diet, experts recommend an eating plan based on the mediterranean diet

Although the keto diet is certainly effective for rapid weight loss, and many practitioners of the keto diet report feeling more energized and focused, the long-term health effects of practicing the keto diet are as-of-yet unknown. Therefore, as with all medical programs with unknown long-term health effects, caution is advisable when deciding whether to force your body into ketosis in order to lose weight. Instead of following “fad diets,” which rise suddenly in popularity and prescribe unique solutions for quickly losing weight, experts say it’s better to take your own personal characteristics into account when designing your eating plan by understanding the fundamental principles of nutrition and how different foods impact the body. Consulting with a registered dietician can help with this process, but doing so is not necessary. 

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Instead of the keto diet, experts recommend an eating plan based on the mediterranean diet, which emphasizes healthy fats, fish, whole grains, and produce, and has been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off, though the weight-loss process on the mediterranean diet takes longer than on more popular fad diets. The mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of people who live in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, where people tend to live longer and healthier lives than elsewhere in the world. As such, the long-term efficacy of the mediterranean diet is evidence-based, as it derives from the natural eating habits of some of the healthiest people in the world. While many factors besides diet strongly impact health, one of the best things you can do for your health is to not only adopt, but maintain a healthy eating plan for life.