How student loan debt is impacting the housing market?

By, Sandy Flores Broker

Student loan debt is playing its biggest role in the mortgage process yet, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon. chart-copy

New data from NeighborWorks America’s fourth annual housing survey found that nearly one-third (30%) of Americans know someone who has delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt, up from 28% in 2015 and just 24% in 2014.

The data also cited that more than half (53%) of potential home buyers with student loan debt said the debt was somewhat or very much an obstacle to buying a home, down slightly from 57% in 2015, but above the 49% rate in 2014.

As a whole, to help put this perspective, borrowers are carrying the highest level of non-mortgage debt in a decade.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a survey with similar findings as NeighborWorks America, nothing that about 50% of Millennials, and about two-thirds of Millennial non-homeowners who have student debt, are uncomfortable taking on a mortgage. What’s more, this group was less likely to believe they could even qualify for a mortgage.

 

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How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Green homeMuch can be said about proper ventilation, for if we don’t have enough fresh air entering the home, then pollutants can accumulate to levels which can pose immediate health problems and affect our comfort.

We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sources of indoor pollution include:

  • Mold and pollen
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Household products and pesticides
  • Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
  • Materials used in the building such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead.

Usually indoor air quality problems only cause discomfort. Most people feel better as soon as they remove the source of the pollution.

Next: How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 

 

 

 

 

Why Hire a Realtor?

There is so much information readily available online, and the big question is…Why should we hire a REALTOR® ?

A REALTOR® is a Client Advocate. Only members of the National Association  of Realtors can call themselves REALTORS®    realtor-logo

REALTORS® are Real Estate Specialists.

REALTORS® Lower Your Risk. When you have a Realtor as an advocate, you share some of the risk of home buying/selling with your agent.

REALTORS® Have Inventory. According to The National Association of Realtors , over four-fifths of existing homes in the U.S. are represented by real estate brokers.

REALTORS® Understand The Complexity Of The Transaction.

We’re all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

Can you afford not to have the experience of a REALTOR®  by your side?

Sandy Flores

Sandy Flores                   Broker/Realtor                     (714) 963-7462    http://www.sandyflores.com

 

 

 

 

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Real Estate, Is it for Real?

HELOCs the next thing home credit product? Home prices, including distressed sales, rose year-over-year by 5.9% in March, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic.

The CoreLogic Home Price Index report found that March was the 37th consecutive month to feature year-over-year increases in home prices across the country. Month-to-month, home prices also rose by 2%, including distressed sales.

CoreLogic’s HPI Forecast estimated that prices will continue to increase month-to-month in April by 0.8% when including distressed sales and 0.7% without these properties

Yes!  You can get top dollar for your home!

Yes! You can get top dollar for your home!

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In addition to the # 1 rule in Real Estate   “Location, Location, Location” there are some other suggestions you can benefit from, to get top dollar for your home!

The strategy varies by neighborhood and market conditions, but staging a house to appeal to the maximum number of buyers can make difference in how fast the home sells.

If you have a limited budget, here are some tips that can make your house to sell for a top dollar:

  • Add color to you landscape by either replacing flower beds or potted flowers, along with fresh sod.
  • Replacing light fixtures and plumbing fixtures will give your home a modern touch for a minimal investment.
  • Consider removing popcorn ceilings; however you need to be careful because popcorn ceilings of pre-1979 homes are likely to contain asbestos, and you need someone licensed to remove it.
  • Remove window treatments, unless they are current and high-end. That cuts the risk of turning off would-be buyers who don’t share your taste, and uncovered windows that will let more light into the rooms.
  • If you’re using your dining or a bedroom as an office for example, turn it back to their original painting a homeuse.
  • Replace dirty or worn carpet, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
  • Uncluttered your house by packing away items that you will not use on an every day basis is a must. You want the new family to envision themselves living in the home.
  • A deep cleaning before you put your home on the market is a must, so everything shines.
  • Repaint all rooms in neutral colors. A fresh coat of paint also makes the house look newer and more modern.

With a few simple, low-cost tweaks, you can significantly enhance your house’s curb appeal. Focus on low cost improvements. Since every dollar counts, devote your time in renovations that’ll bring you a return.

ARE WE ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

ARE WE ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

foreclosure-montageEight national banks,  Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, OneWest Bank, PNC, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo  saw the performance of their first-lien mortgages improved in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the delinquency rate on those mortgages and the foreclosure activity continued to decline, according to a quarterly report on mortgage performance by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released Friday.

The mortgages covered in the report comprised about 45 percent of all outstanding residential mortgages in the United States – about 23.1 million mortgages with principal balances totaling about $3.9 trillion as of December 31, 2014.

Foreclosure inventory dropped by 39.7 percent year-over-year in Q4 down to 315,022, and Home retention actions, which included modifications, trial period plans, and shorter-term payment plans, totaled 195,577 in Q4, a decline of 19.5 percent year over year.

What do you think…

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

Prices-going-up-graphic-2U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.8 percent change in December was revised downward to a 0.7 percent change.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2014 to January 2015, house prices were up 5.1 percent. The U.S. index is 3.5 percent below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the December 2005 index level.

Two new regulations affecting Homeowners will increase energy efficiency standards.

Energy Efficiency

Every year, much of the energy the U.S. consumes is wasted through transmission, heat loss and inefficient technology costing American families and businesses money, and leading to increased carbon pollution.   Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers.

The Department of Energy is working with universities, businesses and the National Labs to develop new, energy-efficient technologies while boosting the efficiency of current technologies on the market.

Increasing energy efficiency has been a long-awaited mission for The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This year the DOE launched two new regulations involving air conditioning equipment and water heaters that will increase energy efficiency finally accomplishing these goals.

1.  The first change involves raising efficiency standards for Air Conditioning equipment.

Two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioners. Air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year, an average of about two tons for each home with an air conditioner.

Beginning January 1, 2015, new Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) standards will increase from 13 to 14. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient a unit is. For those not familiar with the term, SEER is calculated by dividing how much a unit cools by how much energy it uses during a typical cooling season.

There are many other alternatives that provide cooling with less energy use. You might also consider fans, evaporative coolers, or heat pumps as your primary means of cooling. In addition, a combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, day lighting, shading, and ventilation will usually keep homes cool with a low amount of energy use in all but the hottest climates. Although ventilation is not an effective cooling strategy in hot, humid climates, the other approaches can significantly reduce the need to use air conditioning.

2.  The second big change involves water heater replacements. This is an amendment to the  National Appliance Energy Conservation Act known as the 2015 DOE      Final Rule.

When the amendment takes effect on April 16, 2015, the DOE will require higher energy factor ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters.

Hot water has become essential to our daily lives — from washing hands to cleaning dishes to showering — and quickly adds up to higher energy bills. It comes as no surprise that water heaters account for nearly 17 percent of a home’s energy use, consuming more energy than all other household appliances combined.

We are all guilty of using a little too much hot water in our daily lives — whether it is spending an extra two minutes in the shower, leaving the water running while washing dishes or washing clothes on hot water instead of cold. Taken together, these habits of wasting water add up. So it is no surprise that the average household spends $400-$600 a year on water heating — accounting for 14-18 percent of homeowners’ utility bills.

Homeowners need to be familiar with these new regulations to benefit from them, and avoid difficult and costly decisions in the future regarding energy efficiency standards.

 

Alerta con las Ejecuciones Hipotecarias!

Alerta con las Ejecuciones Hipotecarias!

Estos procesos experimentaron el mayor aumento en un mes por los ultimos cuatro años.

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El número de solicitudes de ejecución hipotecaria, aumentaron un 15 por ciento de septiembre a octubre, el mayor salto de mes a mes desde el 2010, según el último reporte correspondiente al mes de Octubre publicado por la compañía RealtyTrac, que se especializa en monitorear la actividad de los procesos hipotecarios en el país.

Sin embargo a pesar de este aumento, todavía seguimos viendo un descenso del 8 por ciento en el número de solicitudes presentadas para autorizar las ejecuciones hipotecarias desde el mes de Octubre del 2013. Una de cada 1.069 viviendas en los Estados Unidos es afectada con una ejecución hipotecaria. Las ejecuciones hipotecarias en todo el país ascendieron a 58.869 en el mes de octubre, el nivel más alto desde Mayo del 2013.

El número de ejecuciones hipotecarias correspondiente al mes de Octubre no tomó a muchos de sorpresa porque ya que en los últimos tres años se ha ido viendo un alza mensual promedio del 8 por ciento únicamente en ejecuciones hipotecarias programas.

La actividad en las propiedades reposeídas, conocidas también por sus siglas REO (Real Estate Owned) incrementó paralelamente con un 22 por ciento en el mes de Septiembre, el mayor incremento desde Junio del 2009.

Foreclosure Beware!

Foreclosure Beware!

We are experiencing one of the biggest foreclosure filling increases for the last four years.

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The number of foreclosure filings experienced a big jump from September to October alone. These filings include but not limited to notice of defaults, scheduled auctions, and bank repossession.  According to RealtyTrac this is the largest month-over-month jump since the peak of foreclosure activity in March 2010.

However even though Foreclosure filings reported were into a considerable 123,109 U.S. residential properties in October,  fortunately still represented an 8 percent decline overall in the number of foreclosure filings from October 2013.  This is equivalent to one house for every 1,069 residential properties in the U.S. reported a foreclosure filing in October based on the latest report from RealtyTrac.

These numbers did not take us by surprise due to that over the past three years an average of 8 percent monthly uptick was scheduled for foreclosure procedures in the country.

On the other hand, REO activity (lenders repossessing properties via foreclosure) increased by 22 percent from September. The largest month-over-month increase since June 2009.  Overall, lenders repossessed 27,914 U.S. residential properties in October, as reported by RealtyTrac which is an agency that monitor housing foreclosure activities in the country.