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Tag Archives: real estate tips

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Prices & Mortgage Rates Going Up in 2016

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The monthly mortgage payment on a home is determined by two elements: the price of the house and the interest rate you pay on your mortgage. Recently released reports are revealing that the experts expect both elements to increase in 2016.

HOME PRICES

CoreLogic has projected a nationwide 5.2% home value appreciation for the next twelve months. Here is their breakdown by state:

Forecasted Prices | Simplifying The Market

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES

All four of the entities that provide projections on mortgage interest rates agree: they’re going up in 2016. Here are the predictions over the next four quarters:

Interest Rates | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

With both home values and interest rates projected to increase over the next twelve months, buying (or moving-up), sooner rather than later, makes sense.

Source: Simplifying the market


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The Impact of Higher Interest Rates

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Last week, an article in the Washington Post discussed a new ‘threat’ homebuyers will soon be facing: higher mortgage rates. The article revealed:

“The Mortgage Bankers Association expects that rates on 30-year loans could reach 4.8 percent by the end of next year, topping 5 percent in 2017. Rates haven’t been that high since the recession.”

How can this impact the housing market?

The article reported that recent analysis from Realtor.com found that –

“…as many as 7% of people who applied for a mortgage during the first half of the year would have had trouble qualifying if rates rose by half a percentage point.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that those buyers negatively impacted by a rate increase would not purchase a home. However, it would mean that they would either need to come up with substantially more cash for a down payment or settle for a lesser priced home.

Below is a table showing how a jump in mortgage interest rates would impact the purchasing power of a prospective buyer on a $300,000 home.

Buyers Purchasing Power | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If you are considering a home purchase (either as a first time buyer or move-up buyer), purchasing sooner rather than later may make more sense from a pure financial outlook.

Source: Simplifying the market


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Distressed Property Sales Hit New Low

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their Existing Home Sales Report revealing that distressed property sales accounted for 6% of sales in October. This is down from 9% in 2014 and the lowest figure since NAR began tracking distressed sales in October 2008.

Below is a graph that shows just how far the market has come since January 2012 when distressed sales accounted for 35% of all sales.

Percentage of Distressed Property Sales | Simplifying The Market

Existing Home Sales Up Year-Over-Year

Mortgage interest rates remained below 4% in October prompting existing home sales to stay at a healthy annual pace of 5.36 million. Year-over-year sales were up 3.9%.

Inventory of homes for sale remain below the 6-month supply that is necessary for a normal market, as they fell 2.3% to a 4.8-months supply. The shortage in inventory has contributed to the median home price rising an additional 5.8% to $219,600.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say about the lack of inventory:

“New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this Fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets.”

There is good news though, as Yun went on to say:

“As long as solid job creation continues, a gradual easing of credit standards even with moderately higher mortgage rates should support steady demand and sales continuing to rise above a year ago.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market this year, now may be the time. Buyers are still out there looking for their dream home. Let’s get together to determine your best course of action.

Source: Simplifying the market


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Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The annual adjusted sales are currently at a 5.36 million pace.
  • 14,684 homes sell every day in the United States.
  • October marked the 44th consecutive month of price gains.

You might also enjoy reading…

Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC] Simplifying the market

Source: Simplifying the market


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Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

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In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of RealtorsManaging Director of Survey Research, as saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn’t even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos :

“I do think that there’s a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores.”

So what credit score is necessary?

A recent survey reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.

In actuality, the FICO score on closed loans (as reported by Ellie Mae) is much lower and has been dropping over the last several months.

FICO Score Requirements | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Millennials who are considering a home purchase you may be surprised how much the requirements for a mortgage have eased. Let’s get together to discuss your options!

Source: Simplifying the market


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Equity Matters A LOT… Just Ask Freddie Mac

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There are many reasons, both financial and non-financial, that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that it helps build family wealth. Recently, Freddie Mac wrote about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10% ($15K), resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance).

The chart below demonstrates the home equity built after 7 years of making mortgage payments and assuming the historic national average of 3% per year home appreciation:

Home Equity | Simplifying The Market

And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home.

Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired by certain ages.

Average Home Equity | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:

“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you’d have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”

Put your housing cost to work for you and your family. Let’s get together to explore your options.

Source: Simplifying the market


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Selling Your Home? The Importance of Using a Real Estate Professional

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When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%) or negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%) or understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots”. This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

Source: Simplifying the market


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Slaying Myths About Buying A Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Slaying Myths About Buying A Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Interest Rates are still below historic numbers.
  • 88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months!
  • Credit score requirements to be approved for a mortgage continue to fall. The 723 average score is the lowest since Ellie Mae began reporting on scores in August 2011.
  • The average first-time home buyer down payment was 6% in 2015 according to NAR.

Source: Simplifying the market


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The Importance of Home Equity to a Family

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There has been much written about how dramatically home values have increased over the last several years. With the increase in values, comes an increase in the equity each home owning family now has. The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University recently reported that, after taking inflation into account, aggregate home equity has increased 60% since 2010. And home equity is the major component of most family’s overall wealth.

Why is this so important?

Throughout history, families have tapped into their homes for many important reasons. Perhaps it was to get seed capital to start a new business; perhaps to help finance their children’s college education; perhaps to get needed medical attention not covered by insurance.

Up to ten years ago, families were able to use the equity in their homes to better the living situation for themselves and their family. More small businesses were created. College students weren’t forced to take on massive student debt. People could get needed medical care.

This hasn’t been the case over the last ten years as families found themselves in a position of having zero equity or, even worse, negative equity post the housing collapse. However, that is about to change.

Using your home as an ATM is not a good idea.

We realize that there are inherent risks to tapping into the equity in your home especially if you do it for the wrong reasons. Back in 2005-2007, homeowners were using their homes as their own personal ATM machine to buy depreciating assets like cars, boats and jet skis. This reckless behavior should never be repeated.

However, using your equity (aka family wealth) to invest in yourself, your children or other family members that could use help still makes sense. And the good news is that more and more families can do this as home values continue to increase.

Bottom Line

Home equity gives families an additional financial option when money is needed. The proper use of this family wealth can be used to grow generational wealth.

As Julián Castro, U.S. Secretary of HUD, recently explained:

“Generation after generation, the primary vehicle to create wealth in our country has been through homeownership. In the U.S., homeownership has provided an opportunity for one generation to hand over to the next that opportunity and that wealth.”

Source: Simplifying the market


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Thank You For Your Service!

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Thank You For Your Service! | Simplifying The Market

Thank you for your service!

It takes courage for a soldier to risk life and limb for his country. The least we civilians can do is to honor these heroes. That is the basis of the Veterans Day celebration. Venerate these great men and women with words of appreciation. The edifice of our society stands on the martyrdom of these selfless souls. Here are some inspiring Veterans Day quotes. These Veteran Day quotes remind the younger generation of their duty towards their country, and inspire them to uphold the tradition of liberty, fraternity, and equality.

 

  • Arthur Koestler
    The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.
  • Sun Tzu
    Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!
  • Allan Keller
    The only war is the war you fought in. Every veteran knows that.
  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
    The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.
  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    In valor there is hope.
  • James Baker
    If you’re not gonna pull the trigger, don’t point the gun.
  • Abraham Lincoln
    Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.

 

 

 


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