Big Win for Future Homebuyers!

front entranceOnce again the voices of the REALTORS® were heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill, and we scored a big win for future homeowners! Thanks to the more than 139,000 REALTORS®, or 15% of our members, across the nation, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016, or H.R. 3700, passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent, and was signed into law by President Obama on July 29, 2016.  This legislation:

  • Solves a number of concerns regarding FHA’s condo rules:
    • Reduces the FHA condo owner occupancy ratio to 35%, unless FHA takes alternative action within 90 days.
    • Directs FHA to streamline the condo re-certification process.
    • Provides more flexibility for mixed use buildings.
    • Mirrors the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rules regarding private transfer fees for FHA condo lending.
  • Provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans.
  • Makes reforms to federally assisted housing programs to streamline the programs.

On behalf of the NAR Leadership Team, we would like to thank you and your colleagues for this amazing grassroots effort and for all your support for this national Call for Action.  Our state and local association partners did a great job in leading the efforts to get the U.S. Senate to act on this critical legislation.   This victory was made possible by the collective efforts of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and our state and local association partners. When REALTORS® speak in a single unified voice, Congress listens.

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Keep Your Money Where It Is, if you’re planning on buying a home!

Keep Your Money Where It Is, if you’re planning on buying a home!

spend_less_money_save_moreIt’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.

If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.

Got Refi?   Rates…better than ever

Got Refi? Rates…better than ever

 

Finding-a-refinance-rate-for-your-homeFalling interest rates precipitated a major refinancing rally  according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) Refinance Index.  The MBA’s Refinance Index is a weekly measurement put together by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Real Estate Finance Industry Association.

Strong job growth, coupled with  low mortgage rates, should reflect now the increase in home sales and purchase originations. Great time for purchases but even better for refinancing.

 

 

 

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

Boost Your Home’s Selling Price!

If you’re looking to sell your home for top dollar, in addition to “Location, Location, Location” there are some other suggestions you may benefit from, to get top dollar for your home!    child and father painting wall together

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” While curb appeal gets buyers in the door, sellers who want to move their homes quickly need to take other steps.

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 use.
  • Replace dirty or worn carpet, you’re better off removing the carpet if there are hardwood floors underneath.
  • Unclutter your house by packing away items that you will not use on an every day basis. 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.

HELOCs the next home credit product?

HELOCs the next home credit product?

HELOCs the next thing home credit product?

HELOCs the next thing home credit product?

Highest level of home equity loans since June 2009. A total of 797,865 home equity lines of credit were originated nationwide, up 20.6% from a year ago and the highest level since the 12 months ending June 2009, according to RealtyTrac.

The report also shows HELOC originations accounted for 15.4% of all loan originations nationwide during the first eight months of 2014, the highest percentage since 2008.

“This recent rise in HELOC originations indicates that an increasing number of homeowners are gaining confidence in the strength of the housing recovery and, more importantly, have regained much of their home equity lost during the housing crisis,” said Daren Blomquist.

Among the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas with HELOC data available, 49 posted year-over-year increases in HELOC originations in the 12 months ending in June 2014.

Metro areas with the biggest year-over-year increase in HELOC originations were Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (87.7% increase), Las Vegas (85.1% increase), Cincinnati (81.0% increase), Sacramento (65.1% increase), and Phoenix (60.1% increase).

Mortgage Rates Drop After Fed Minutes

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Mortgage Rates Drop After Fed Minutes

Mortgage Rates put on quite the show today after Fed minutes announcement, resulting in the lowest rates we have seen since June 2013.

Today’s improvement was all about the Fed. Investors who trade securities that dictate mortgages, were concerned about last month’s Fed Announcement that could it justify a higher move in rates.  That speculation contributed to the increases in rates seen in the first half of September.

After the 2pm release today, bonds-including the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate mortgage rates-moved to their best levels of the year.  After beginning of this morning in a more conservative stance, most lenders released new rates sheets reflecting the market improvements.

NOW is the time…Rates don’t wait!

If you have higher mortgage payments, now is the time to change it!  In recent years we have seen many changes in our national economy. We have seen cuts in interest rates given by the Federal Reserve cuts not seen for many years. imagesCA68GG1H

One situation that influenced home foreclosures for many homeowners were the high interest rates they were granted. These mortgage loans  were presented for a large number of months as a fixed payments and later converted into variable rates, causing a drastic financial instability in many homeowners facing now a new higher mortgage payment.

The HARP Refinance Program gives the Homeowners that have not been behind in the last 12 months, and can prove income under the new conditions and repayment capacity; the opportunity to refinance with low current interest rates. This means that you can refinance even if the actual mortgage balance is higher than the value of your property on the market today.  The HARP and FHA programs are the only programs that allow you to refinance under these terms.

Compare and discuss your options and determine if refinancing NOW is financially right for you. The essence of refinancing is to find the best fit and financial balance  for you and your family. Remember, an informed decision is the best guarantee!

New homes sales see biggest monthly jump!

New homes sales see biggest monthly jump!

Sales of new single family houses in August 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, up from July’s printing of 427,000, the fastest rate in six years and the biggest monthly jump since January 1992.

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The biggest gains and by far the reason for the big increase were new home sales in the West, one of the two largest housing markets, along with the South.

New home sales in the West were up 50% over July.

The South saw an 8% increase. The South is by far the largest region for new home sales, outdistancing all other regions combined.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2014 was $275,600; the average sales price was $347,900.

Venta de Casas nuevas dan gigantesco salto

Venta de Casas nuevas dan gigantesco salto

La venta de casas nuevas en el mes de Agosto incrementó notablemente resultando en una tasa de 504,000, más que en Julio que fueron de 427,000, la tasa más rápida en 6 años y el salto más grande en ventas desde Enero de 1992.

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Las mayores ganancias y en gran medida la razón para el considerable aumento fueron las ventas en la región oeste, uno de los dos mayores mercados de vivienda, junto con la región sur.

La venta de casas nuevas  en la región oeste era un 50% en Julio.

La región sur vio un aumento del 8%.  El sur es la región más grande de ventas, superando todas las demás regiones combinadas.

El precio mediano de las ventas de viviendas nuevas vendidas en Agosto de 2014 fue $275.600; el precio promedio de venta fue de $347.900.

 

Jumbo Loans Cheaper and Easier to Get!

Jumbo Loans Cheaper and Easier to Get!

bigstock-Resort-collage-made-of-Cyprus--14454446Wealthy home buyers are paying lower average rates on high dollar loans, and in some cases, they don’t even have to worry about a large down payment or mortgage insurance.

For months, lenders of jumbo mortgages have been charging interest rates that are lower  than what average borrowers pay. Jumbo loans are mortgages that above $417,000 or $625,000 or more in high-priced markets.

Many lenders also have requiring as little as 10 percent, which is about half the normal rate, waiving the private mortgage insurance, and even lowered their credit standards for jumbo loan originations.

Luxury homes are selling faster than last year, according to data through July from Realtor.com.   The median age of listings ranged from 80 days  for homes listed at $1 million or more.