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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

Aging housing stock presents drawbacks, bargains

More than 70 percent of the U.S. housing stock was built prior to 1990, and an aging housing stock may present more opportunities for buyers searching for a bargain, according to RealtyTrac's Aging Homes Analysis.

"The high percentage of homes that are at least 20 years old and likely in need of some major repairs is eye-opening," said Jake Adger, chief economist at RealtyTrac. "However, given the low inventory of homes available for sale in today's market, this challenge of aging U.S. housing supply can also be an opportunity for buyers looking for a bargain and homeowners looking to update their living space and improve the value of their homes."

Older homes often need upgrades for energy efficiency and may lack floor plans or amenities that homebuyers desire today, according to RealtyTrac's analysis.
Adger pointed to the Federal Housing Administration's 203(k) program as a vehicle that can help homebuyers take advantage of buying an older home.

Available only to owner-occupants, the program can be used to finance the purchase, rehabilitation, or upgrade of an older home and permits homeowners to roll rehabilitation costs into a refinance.

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