If you haven’t checked the estimated value of your home on Zillow recently, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you see. Lately, home sales have been going through the roof! A year ago, home sales fell sharply due to the Covid pandemic. Now it seems that buyers are saying, "What pandemic?" Mortgage expert Dale Vermillion joins us today to talk about it. Dale Vermillion is author of "Navigating the Mortgage Maze: The Simple Truth about Financing Your Home" and he’ll be discussing mortgages home sales. What’s causing this strong, upward pressure in home sales and prices? Dale said he believes it’s a combination; the pandemic, for one. People feel pent up and buying habits change. But it really comes down to just supply and demand. Inventory is short. Why is there such a low inventory of houses on the market now (which causes house prices to be higher)? People are holding onto their homes, longer. Also, new-home construction has been down. It’s been hard finding affordable land, in a lot of cases. Also, lumber costs are high right now and labor is difficult to find. Is this really a good time to sell a house given the obstacles you’ll face in buying another one? Well, this depends upon the market you’re moving into. You’ve got to be very careful not to get caught in this frenzy that happening right now. So, if you’re in a house that’s too small right now, determine the necessary cost to add on to your existing home and build it the way you really want. Sometimes that’s the better option in this kind of a marketplace. You then build the equity. The current market is the same as last year regarding the rules for wisely obtaining a mortgage 20% down, payments of 25% or less of your income, having a good FICO score. If you’re committed to buying a house this year, be prepared, and have all your documentation ready. What about refinancing? Is that still in play? We’re in a hot market and there are 11.1 million people who can refinance today. On today’s program we also answer your questions: --I’ve reached retirement age. I have the option, through my employer, to have my retirement money as a pension payout every month. The downside is that there’s no transfer to a beneficiary after I die. The other option is to have it rolled over as a lump sum. Which is better for a lifetime income stream? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, purchase books, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.