Posted in General on December 3rd, 2013 at 7:04 PM
The brilliant Lon Welsh's take on current real estate trends.
Posted in General on December 2nd, 2013 at 5:31 PM
(Courtesy of Lon Welsh and DSNews.com)
Speaking at the 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo Friday, National Association of Realtors (NAR) chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted steadiness in existing-home sales over the next year as prices continue to ascend.
Looking over the past year, Yun said he expects existing-home sales to be up about 10 percent in 2013 to 5.13 million. Sales in 2014 are expected to hold fairly even at about 5.12 million. (Lon: I think we’ll see a little bit of growth in Denver in ’14).
Reviewing price movements, he said the national median existing-home price should end this year about 11 percent higher than 2012, climbing to $197,000. Next year’s growth is expected to be cut nearly in half at about 6 percent. (Lon: Denver did so well this year, I can’t imagine we’ll see that much appreciation in ’14. Maybe 4%?)
Over the past two years, Yun says existing-home sales have shown a 20 percent cumulative increase, while prices have gained 18 percent. Meanwhile, incomes have only barely risen, coming up somewhere between 2-4 percent. (Lon: relatively flat income growth + higher property taxes in many parts of US + increasing interest rates = pressure on price appreciation).
“We’ve come off of record high housing affordability conditions in the past year, and are now at a five-year low, but conditions are still the fifth best in the past 40 years,” Yun said, noting that the median-income family should still be “well-positioned” to buy a home in 2014 in many areas.
Aside from affordability, ongoing head winds include limited inventory (Lon: That’s Denver’s biggest issue right now) conditions and stringent mortgage standards, both of which are expected to continue as housing starts struggle and business costs remain elevated for lenders.
On housing production, Yun forecasts 917,000 starts through the end of 2013 and 1.13 million in 2014, which still falls short of the underlying demand of about 1.5 million.
Sales of new homes are expected to total 429,000 in 2013 and 508,000 next year.
Based on his forecasts, Yun says the top 10 markets to watch for a housing turn around in 2014 are Salt Lake City, Utah; Naples and Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Boise, Idaho; Houston, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; and Tucson, Arizona.
Here is the full article: http://www.dsnews.com/articles/nar-chief-economist-reveals-2014-predictions-2013-11-11#!
Posted in General on November 15th, 2013 at 1:53 PM
(Courtesy of DaveRamsey.com)
More than 20 million Americans own their homes outright. Some bought their homes with cash while others whittled away at their mortgages year after year until they were gone.
That leaves about two-thirds of the nation’s homeowners with the goal of one day making that last mortgage payment. Since we’re all about getting out of debt as quickly as possible, here are a few suggestions to get your home loan paid off quickly.
An Extra Habit
Each time you pay extra on your mortgage, more of each payment after that is applied to your principal balance. Here are some options for paying extra and examples of how extra payments will affect the average $220,000, 30-year mortgage with a 4% interest rate:
Always check with your mortgage company before you make additional principal payments. Some companies will only accept extra payments at specific times or they may charge prepayment penalties. And always make sure the additional money is applied to the principal and not next month’s payment.
Refinance—or Pretend You Did
The only type of debt Dave won’t yell at you about is a fixed rate 15-year mortgage with a payment that’s no more than 25% of your take-home pay. You’ll pay much more in interest on a 30-year mortgage and, besides, who wants to be in debt for 30 years?
You can refinance a longer term mortgage into a 15-year loan. Or, if you already have a low interest rate, save on the closing costs of a refinance and simply pay on your 30-year mortgage like it’s a 15-year mortgage. The same goes for a 15-year mortgage. If you can swing it, why not increase your payments to pay it off in 10 years?
Using the same stats above for the average mortgage with a 15-year term, you’d need to bump up your monthly payment to about $2,200 to pay off your loan in 10 years. You’ll save $25,000 in interest, but best of all, you’ll be out of debt five years sooner and have $2,200 a month to invest for retirement, save for college, or give away!
This could be a drastic step, but if you’re set on getting rid of your mortgage, consider selling your larger home and using the profit to buy a smaller, less expensive home.
With the profits from your home sale, you may be able to pay all cash for your new home, but even if you have to get a small mortgage, you’ve succeeded in reducing your debt. Now your goal is to get rid of it as quickly as possible. The smaller the balance, the quicker you can make it happen.
Posted in General on October 28th, 2013 at 2:22 PM
It appears that the Federal Reserve may have made the correct call in not beginning to taper QE3 at its last meeting. September’s employment report, released last week, revealed fewer-than-expected new jobs. Mortgage rates responded as expected, and moved downward on the news.
Mortgage rates may be looking for a reason to slide even further downward this week, with many experts predicting that the government’s shutdown may have trimmed as much as a half a percentage point off of our GDP. Traders will have more data than usual to digest this week with many reports due. These include Industrial Production, Retail Sales, both Producer and Consumer Price Indices, and the ISM Manufacturing Index. Additionally, the Fed meets again this week, and will attempt to keep markets calm and assess what needs to be done to rev the economy up. If the Fed hints that it believes that the economy is losing steam, we could see rates trending even further downward. However, if the Fed points more clearly to a tapering of QE3, rates could even move upward.
(courtesy of Joe Massey, Castle & Cooke Mortgage)
Posted in General on October 17th, 2013 at 7:10 PM
This sounds like something I should add to my "after purchase" contacts with my clients. What do you think?
(Courtesy of Daily Real Estate News)
After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season, says Rich Escallier, a handyman in Chicago. "If you can go six months without finding something that raises your blood pressure, you're lucky,” Escallier says.
CBS MoneyWatch recently released a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on:
During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After all, “if you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can't see it," says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. "But you'll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling."
45 days after move-in: Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBC MoneyWatch notes.
Six months after move-in: Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. "Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house," Cipriani says. "People don't think it's a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn't have anywhere to go."
Every year: Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.
Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.