“All of us need to grow continuously in our lives.” – Les Brown: is an author and motivational speaker
Join us for our monthly Lunch & Learn, every 1st Wednesday of the month. Bring your lunch & come learn with us! We’ll provide details once we have more for you. It will always be held here in our office conference room (2175 N. California Blvd., Ste. 1000, Walnut Creek) from Noon – 1:00 pm (come 15-30 minutes early and you MUST RSVP due to limited seating)
Do you have an open house this upcoming weekend? If so, we’d love to create an open house flyer for you. Simply email my assistant, Sherrell Ayers by Thursday at 3:00 pm to have this created for you! Provide her with the property address, sales price & any other additional information/pictures for your listing. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Time Homebuyers Seminar – get your buyers ready for our upcoming event in January (1/18/12). More Details Soon!
THE PRICE IS THE SAME, BUT THE COST IS LESS
There is more and more research coming out showing that it makes great financial sense to purchase a home today . Whether it be rent vs. buy ratios, income-to-price ratios or income-to-mortgage payment ratios, purchasing a home right now is a bargain compared to historic norms. Now we want to look at the COST of a home today compared to pre-peak prices.
According to the most recent S&P Case Shiller price index, residential real estate values have returned to 2003 1Q PRICEs. That, in itself, says something. However, when you factor in mortgage rates, the case for buying a home today becomes even more compelling.
In 2003, 30 year mortgage rates stood at 5.88%. Today, they are 4%. How does that impact the actual COST of a home? On a home purchased for $250,000, here is the difference in monthly cost:
That means you save $285.30 a month, $3,423.60 a year and $102,708 over the life of a 30 year mortgage! You buy the home for the same PRICE but the COST is over $100,000 less.
This is why so many financial advisors are saying that this may be one of the greatest times in history to purchase a home.
FREDDIE ISSUES RULE CHANGES ON SHORT SALES
As of Jan. 1, Freddie Mac will require parties involved in a short sale to sign affidavits that will make them liable for any negligent or intentional misrepresentations in the transaction, HousingWire reports. Mortgage servicers are being urged to implement the change immediately before the Jan. 1 mandate, however.
The move is part of Freddie Mac’s effort to crack down on the rising incidences of short-sale fraud.
“With this change, you will have more information to identify potential mortgage fraud and a clearer understanding of the intent of all parties involved in the real estate transaction,” Freddie said in a statement announcing the rule changes to mortgage servicers last Friday.
In its guidance, Freddie also eliminated a requirement that borrowers who are more than 120 days delinquent are required to list their home for sale before becoming eligible for a deed-in-lieu. The rule changes also included efforts to help mortgage servicers speed up the loss-mitigation process.
YOU NEED AN INDUSTRY EXPERT IN THIS MARKET
In today’s real estate market, it is easy to get confused. There seems to be an overabundance of information and much of it seems to be conflicting. As an example, we offer you two headlines that appeared within 24 hours of each other last week.
National Delinquency Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Three Years
– Mortgage Bankers Assoc. 11/17/2011
Second Consecutive Increase in First Mortgage Default Rates
– Standard & Poors 11/18/2011
(Remember, foreclosures impact home values and the cost of mortgage money. This makes current delinquency rates an extremely important data point.)
Though these headlines seem to be saying opposite things, both are actually correct. Each report was looking at different data points over different periods of time.
In their article regarding the MBA report, DSNews explains:
“Industry data released Thursday indicates the number of borrowers in the United States behind on their mortgage payments is showing signs of improving. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that the national delinquency rate for residential home loans fell to 7.99 percent in the third quarter.”
In their post, S&P claims:
“First mortgage default rates rose from 1.99% in September to 2.08% in October.”
Make sure you are dealing with local real estate and mortgage professionals. They will help you and your family decipher the hordes of information available so you can truly understand your best options.
FORECLOSURES ARE SELLING QUICKER, BOFA SAYS
In several markets, Bank of America is reporting that it has picked up its pace in moving through its inventory of foreclosed homes faster than it has in the past, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Brian Moynihan, Bank of America Corp.’s chief executive, said at a press conference that in cases where banks can take ownership of the properties quickly and get them cleaned up, they are able to get them back on the market and selling the fastest.
“It moves as fast now as it’s ever moved,” Moynihan said at a press conference.
However, some areas–such as Florida, which is a judicial state for foreclosures–continue to see delays, as foreclosures inch along at a slower pace, Moynihan says.
But, overall, Moynihan says mortgage delinquencies are dropping in its portfolios and that home prices seem to be hovering at “a bottom” as the backlog of unsold homes reaches the market.
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY HOVERS NEAR RECORD LEVELS
Ultra-low interest rates mixed with stabilizing home prices continued to push housing affordability in the third quarter near its highest levels in more than two decades, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
For the third quarter, 72.9 percent of all homes sold were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200, according to the index. This marks the 11th consecutive quarter that the affordability measure was above 70 percent; prior to this it rarely was above 60 percent.
“With interest rates at historically low levels and markets across the country beginning to improve, home ownership is within reach of more households than it has been for nearly two decades,” Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. “However, tough economic conditions – particularly in markets that experienced major changes in house prices and production – as well as extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders continue to remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales.”
The most affordable major housing market nationwide? Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., in which 92.5 percent of all homes sold were found to be affordable to households earning the median family income of $53,800 for the area. Other affordable major markets included Toledo, Ohio; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; and Ogden-Clearfield, Utah. For smaller housing markets, Fairbanks, Alaska, ranked the highest, in which 97.8 percent of homes sold during the third quarter were found to be affordable to families earning the median income of $91,700.
Meanwhile, the least affordable major housing market continues to be New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., in which 23.3 percent of all homes sold were affordable to those earning the area’s median income of $67,400.