Mortgage rates drop to lowest level since June

This is really Great news!

One of my clients just locked in last week at 4.18. In August and September I was seeing 4.6 and 4.75%. I love to see them this low and it gives buyers more purchase power and keeps their payments lower. I know they will come up in the Spring but hoping it will stay this way for the winter months. That combined with home prices stabilizing its a great time to buy!

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to their lowest level since the end of June, amid speculation that the Fed would delay winding down its stimulus program.

“Mortgage rates slid this week as the partial government shutdown led to market speculation that the Federal Reserve will not alter its bond purchases this year,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The weak employment report for September added to this expectation.”

“The economy added just 148,000 jobs, which was below the market consensus forecast and less than the 193,000 jobs increase in August,” he added.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.13 percent with an average point of 0.8 for the week ending Oct. 24, down from 4.28 percent last week but up from 3.41 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans and one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs also all fell.

Source: Freddie Mac

 

Tuesday’s Home Maintenance Tip

Remodel
Foundation Cracks
Most houses have cracks of some kind, however a hairline fracture in the slab is normally of no structural significance, however cracking in the foundation wall is more important.While a stair-step crack is less important than a vertical crack either one with an opening of 1/8″ to 1/4″ may be cause for concern, of course smaller cracks may also be a concern depending on the circumstances.

The key to load bearing wall cracks is to insure that there is no further movement. To do this you should fill in the crack and then over a period of 6 to 12 months check for reappearances or separation between the filling and the wall.

If there’s is additional movement then it would be advised that you call a specialist. It may be anything from a simple matter regarding the property or something as expensive as underpinning the foundation.

Remember, cracks frequently appear around windows and door frames which are places of inherent weakness.

This tip brought to you by one of the many great home inspectors I use.

Weekend What’s Up?

Brrrrr what a cold and foggy morning so far. Its definitely Autumn isn’t it? Well I need to apologize as I have been a bit slacking lately on getting out the weekend events. Its something I enjoy doing and sharing as there is so much to do around the Pacific Northwest.  My only excuse is I was busy with my clients and that I am sure you will agree is a priority. There is a new listing this week and my listing in Outlook Ridge is now pending plus the inspection has already been done. My short-sales I am negotiating had some glitches this week too so had to iron out all the wrinkles.. dang banks! It was a real whirlwind week for sure but that is how it is in Real Estate. One minute its quiet and the next bam! However I am not complaining.

So onward to what is going on:

BECU is sponsoring a free paper shredding and recycling event where you can safely destroy your documents containing sensitive and personal information, as well as recycle unwanted TVs, computers, computer monitors, laptops, and cell phones for free.  Bring a donation of canned non-perishable food with you to the shredding event and we will deliver it to the local food bank. It is definitely needed!

Date: Saturday, October 19, Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm- Sorry short notice so hurry

3 Convenient Locations:
BECU Tukwila Financial Center
BECU Everett Financial Center
BECU Federal Way Pavilions Neighborhood Financial Center at 31411 Pacific Hwy S

Free for shredding of up to three grocery bags or two banker boxes full of paper and recycling of TVs, CPUs, computer monitors, laptops, and cell phones. There may be a small fee to recycle any other items. For additional details regarding the electronic recycling service, visit E-Waste.

Need to go get pumpkins still or get into some Pumpkin Farm fun check out all the pumpkin patches.

And a few more around the sound happening this weekend.

Seattle Auto show all weekend

Tacoma Gift Festival

Zoo Boo Point Defiance

 

What ever you do have a good one!

New Listing in Silver Lake under $250K!


$225,000 , 3 bedrooms, 1 full baths, 0 half baths, 1,170 square feet

Jenifer Murrweiss | RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek | (425) 422-7243
11428 36th Dr SE, Everett, WA
Rambler in safe and desirable neighborhood.
3BR/1BA Single Family House
offered at $225,000
Year Built 1966
Sq Footage 1,170
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 9,583 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month
DESCRIPTION

Great Rambler home for first time home-buyer! Large fully fenced corner lot in culdesac and a Quiet neighborhood. 3 good size bedrooms, 1 large updated bath (2007) with newer windows & Hardwood floors in large living room. Dining room off of kitchen. Newer roof (2 years) and maint. free siding w/ original cedar underneath (new paint in 2007). Double car garage and large back yard. Easy access to Boeing, freeways, Park & Rides, Great parks with beach and brand new elementary school!
Everett
see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Attic – Breakfast nook – Dining room
– Living room – Storage space – Walk-in closet
– Refrigerator – Stove/Oven – Balcony, Deck, or Patio
– Fenced yard – Lawn – Yard
– Garage – Attached – Off-street parking – RV parking
– Fireplace
COMMUNITY FEATURES

– Near transportation – Guest parking – Off-street parking
– RV parking
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

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Contact info:
Jenifer Murrweiss
RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek
(425) 422-7243
For sale by agent/broker

 

Posted: Oct 19, 2013, 7:10am PDT

Region’s housing activity still "speeding along"

 

Region’s housing activity still “speeding along,” but pace slowing as seasons change, uncertainty looms amid government shutdown

 

Kirkland, WA – October 4, 2013. September tested the housing market’s resilience around Western Washington with fluctuating mortgage rates, record-setting rains, and persistent inventory shortages in some areas. By month’s end, however, both pending and closed sales outgained the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Prices also increased compared to 12 months ago, but fell slightly from the previous month. Year-to-date figures through nine months show prices for homes and condominiums that have sold in the 21 counties served by the MLS are up 12 percent from a year ago.

With uncertainty about the duration of the government shutdown, brokers say the positive momentum could stall.

Asked about the shutdown, Northwest MLS director OB Jacobi said, “Nobody has a crystal ball, but in some instances, lenders will face challenges verifying information from various federal agencies, like the IRS, which impacts their ability to approve and close home loans.”

Noting all except one government agency (USDA) involved in housing finance remain open, Jacobi, the president of Windermere Real Estate, explained the shutdown affects various functions that are part of the financing process. “On a macro level, we don’t expect this to have a significant impact on the housing market,” he stated, while cautioning, “This will largely depend upon the length of the shutdown and its effect on consumer confidence.”

The shutdown was preceded by four weeks of falling mortgage rates, which brokers credit with boosting September sales. Improving inventory also help spur activity. Brokers reported September’s inventory was up 2.1 percent compared to a year ago, marking this year’s first year-over-year gain for that measure.

Dick Beeson, principal managing broker at RE/MAX Professionals in Tacoma, described the South Sound market as “still speeding along, just not as high and mighty as it was.” Noting inventory has now matched or surpassed year-ago levels and closed sales are up more than 21 percent, he said it’s been an “amazing run-up” for both indicators. He expects the 4th quarter to be near normal levels, but adds, “A lot depends on several unknowns,” mentioning monetary policies, job formation, a shrinking number of first-time home buyers, and the government shutdown.

Traffic at open houses and at builder sites, although challenged by the wettest September in recent memory, “has remained steady and buyer interest remains high,” according to Beeson.

In neighborhoods close to job centers, brokers are reporting brisk activity.

Northwest MLS director John Deely said the Seattle market shows no signs of slowing down and house-hunters seem undaunted by soggy weather. “Buyers continue to flood open houses and multiple offers rain down on competitively priced properties,” he commented.

Deely, the principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, said one newly listed home had 25 potential buyers show up at a midweek brokers open house to get a first glimpse at it. “Multiple offers are still prevalent,” he said, citing an example of one appropriately priced listing receiving 11 offers, and ultimately drew a bid of more than 20 percent above list price. Other new listings in Seattle are experiencing similar activity, according to Deely. “Buyers with all cash have decreased and financed offers now outpace cash offers,” he stated.

MLS figures show mixed activity across its service area:

  • September’s volume of new listings increased nearly 17 percent compared to a year ago, pushing the total number of active listings slightly ahead of 12 months ago (up 2.1 percent). However, of the 21 counties the MLS serves, 11 reported having fewer listings than a year ago.
  • Pending sales (mutually accepted offers) rose 4.6 percent area-wide; 14 counties had double-digit gains, while three counties reported declines.
  • Closed sales for September increased 21.2 percent year-over-year, rising from 5,536 to 6,711.
  • While selling prices area-wide are up 8.7 percent from a year ago, prices were below year-ago figures in five counties. Conversely, seven counties notched double-digit gains. The area-wide median price for last month’s closed sales was $278,000, up 8.7 percent from the year-ago figure of $255,745, but $5,000 less (down about 1.8 percent) from August.
  • Prices on closed sales of single family homes (excluding condos) rose 8.2 percent, while condo prices surged 12.3 percent.

“We are currently experiencing a mini power surge of sales activity, the third such event this year,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. He attributes the bursts to interest rates. “With interest rates suddenly coming off their peak for the year, we’re having another surge of activity, which is keeping the inventory at the shortage level in both King and Snohomish counties.”

MLS figures show King County has less than two months of supply (1.95 months). Snohomish County is slightly better at 2.32 months. System-wide, there is 3.32 months of supply, well below the level of 4-to-6-months that is generally accepted as an indication of a balanced market.

In Kitsap County, where there is a more balanced market (4.3 months of supply, up from 3.4 months in August), the pace of sales and price appreciation are both moderating. Well-priced properties are still drawing considerable activity.

“As is typical at this time of year, September’s pace slows a bit compared to August as families focus on back to school and all the activities that go along with that,” observed Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo.

“We continue to see buyers who are negotiating against several other buyers on a house they like,” said Wilson, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors. He noted well priced homes are drawing offers in the first few weeks of being listed, while listings that are getting no showings most likely mean they’re at least 5 percent high on pricing. “Homes that are priced correctly will receive showings and offers,” he emphasized.

Northwest MLS director George Moorhead, the branch manager at Bentley Properties in Bothell, said market activity “waned just a bit” towards the end of August and during September, a pattern he said is normal with students going back to school and last-minute vacations. He expects interest rates will climb to 5 percent by summer 2014, and says the big message is “If you want to capitalize on the current lower interest rates, don’t delay any longer.”

Other comments on the government shutdown
Wilson said the government shutdown is a concern in Kitsap County, which has several military installations. “It may affect our market in several ways, some of which may be unintended consequences.” He noted USDA loans (for residences in qualifying rural areas) will not be funded. Also, veterans who need certificates of eligibility may need more time to get them from the VA and the overall confusion may make buyers think twice before moving forward with a purchase.

Another consequence of the shutdown could affect furloughed employees. Wilson said for those in the process of buying a home, the lender may need to slow down the loan, thereby affecting closing dates and interest rate locks.

“On some level everyone – buyers, sellers, brokers, lenders, appraisers, inspectors — are uncertain what the government shutdown will mean to the market,” Beeson stated. With the IRS closed down, funding of any new loans will not occur, and that will slow and even halt the closing process, he explained. He is hopeful the resolution is “only one vote away,” but recognized that vote might not occur until November 5 (Election Day).

Moorhead believes the government shutdown will be short lived and pose only a temporary hardship on buyers and sellers. He suggests buyers can sidestep unnecessary challenges by avoiding FHA, VA or USDA loans as delays could be encountered with a protracted shutdown.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

Statistical summary follows.

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary – September 2013

Single
Family
Homes
+ Condos
LISTINGS PENDING
SALES
CLOSED SALES MONTHS
SUPPLY
New
Listings
Total
Active
# Pending
Sales
#
Closings
Avg.
Price
Median
Price
King
3,457
6,275
3,218
2,802
$466,946
$384,925
1.95
Snohomish
1,277
2,666
1,150
1,032
$310,582
$284,950
2.32
Pierce
1,258
3,810
1,231
996
$246,379
$220,000
3.10
Kitsap
403
1,524
352
300
$300,149
$245,277
4.33
Mason
110
796
88
71
$197,550
$165,000
9.05
Skagit
198
862
174
128
$252,621
$234,950
4.95
Grays Hbr
132
820
103
77
$132,807
$133,000
7.96
Lewis
117
747
91
71
$136,838
$142,500
8.21
Cowlitz
111
482
138
94
$174,589
$156,000
3.49
Grant
75
515
74
72
$168,771
$146,750
6.96
Thurston
392
1,320
354
282
$243,359
$228,497
3.73
San Juan
32
430
26
14
$473,307
$423,000
16.54
Island
144
827
152
129
$296,638
$270,000
5.44
Kittitas
78
489
64
63
$248,812
$213,000
7.64
Jefferson
62
481
55
57
$285,600
$255,000
8.75
Okanogan
67
503
28
36
$207,750
$162,250
17.96
Whatcom
311
1,602
303
259
$301,552
$269,000
5.29
Clark
57
208
37
47
$301,371
$235,000
5.62
Pacific
42
459
41
37
$153,774
$147,000
11.20
Ferry
4
69
2
4
$171,250
$170,000
34.50
Clallam
65
442
59
57
$201,445
$186,800
7.49
Others
137
687
99
83
$291,646
$195,000
6.94
MLS TOTAL
8,529
26,014
7,839
6,711
$349,649
$278,000
3.32

4-County Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)
(Totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 3706 4778 5903 5116 5490 5079 4928 5432 4569 4675 4126 3166
2001 4334 5056 5722 5399 5631 5568 5434 5544 4040 4387 4155 3430
2002 4293 4735 5569 5436 6131 5212 5525 6215 5394 5777 4966 4153
2003 4746 5290 6889 6837 7148 7202 7673 7135 6698 6552 4904 4454
2004 4521 6284 8073 7910 7888 8186 7583 7464 6984 6761 6228 5195
2005 5426 6833 8801 8420 8610 8896 8207 8784 7561 7157 6188 4837
2006 5275 6032 8174 7651 8411 8094 7121 7692 6216 6403 5292 4346
2007 4869 6239 7192 6974 7311 6876 6371 5580 4153 4447 3896 2975
2008 3291 4167 4520 4624 4526 4765 4580 4584 4445 3346 2841 2432
2009 3250 3407 4262 5372 5498 5963 5551 5764 5825 5702 3829 3440
2010 4381 5211 6821 7368 4058 4239 4306 4520 4350 4376 3938 3474
2011 4272 4767 6049 5732 5963 5868 5657 5944 5299 5384 4814 4197
2012 4921 6069 7386 7015 7295 6733 6489 6341 5871 6453 5188 4181
2013 5548 6095 7400 7462 7743 7374 7264 6916 5951

__________
Copyright © 2013 Northwest Multiple Listing Service
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fall Into Autumn With Easy Home Maintenance Tips

No matter where we live seasonal changes in temperature and moisture require maintenance. Check out these fall tasks to help maintain your house in good condition.

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector. Fire experts suggest changing the batteries twice a year. An easy way to remember- change your batteries at the beginning and end of daylight saving Time.
  • Drain a gallon or two of water from your water heater to extend its life expectancy.
  • Clear your roof gutters of leaves and other debris.
  • Trim shrubs and trees so that they clear the foundation, exterior walls, and roof of the house. Shrubbery that’s too close to the house can promote the growth of mildew, mold and algae, particularly during warmer weather. Root growth can damage foundations. Limbs can scrape paint on siding and trim.
  • Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking or movement. Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect activity.
  • Clean windows and test their operation. Improve caulking and weather stripping as necessary. Watch for evidence of rot in wood window frames. Paint and repair windowsills and frames as necessary.
  • Test the overhead garage door opener to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding property. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks on overhead doors.
  • Replace or clean exhaust hood filters.

Now is also a good time to change that air filter in your furnace. Did you know you should change them every few months? I recently had an inspection done for a buyer of mine and the seller had not changed the filter for 2 years! You can imagine what that looked like. Would you like to be breathing that air? Especially when were inside so much in the coming months. So breath clean and fresh and change those filters!

Fall Into Autumn With Easy Home Maintenance Tips

No matter where we live, seasonal changes in temperature and moisture levels require maintenance. Check out these fall maintenance tasks to help maintain your house in good condition.

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector. Fire experts suggest changing the batteries twice a year. An easy way to remember- change your batteries at the beginning and end of daylight saving Time.
  • Drain a gallon or two of water from your water heater to extend its life expectancy.
  • Clear your roof gutters of leaves and other debris.
  • Trim shrubs and trees so that they clear the foundation, exterior walls, and roof of the house. Shrubbery that’s too close to the house can promote the growth of mildew, mold and algae, particularly during warmer weather. Root growth can damage foundations. Limbs can scrape paint on siding and trim.
  • Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking or movement. Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect activity.
  • Clean windows and test their operation. Improve caulking and weather stripping as necessary. Watch for evidence of rot in wood window frames. Paint and repair windowsills and frames as necessary.
  • Test the overhead garage door opener to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding property. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks on overhead doors.
  • Replace or clean exhaust hood filters.

Now is also a good time to change that air filter in your furnace. Did you know you should change them every few months? I recently had an inspection done for a buyer of mine and the seller had not changed the filter for 2 years! You can imagine what that looked like. Would you like to be breathing that air? Especially when were inside so much in the coming months. So breath clean and fresh and change those filters!

Wondering what’s going on this weekend?

I am married to a wonderful German so I would be very much in trouble if I did not mention that October means Oktoberfest and his favorite one to attend in our state is of course Leavenworth. Its each Friday and Saturday from 10/4- 10/19- Go and get your beer on!

Don’t want to go to Leavenworth? How about Puyallup? Fri-Sun 10/4-10/6

With Bratwurst, soft pretzels, crepes and of course a Biergarten  www.oktoberfestnw.com

 Not into beer? How about a bit closer to home? 

The Mill Creek Fall Garage Sale. is 10/5 www.mcca.info

Issaquah Salmon Days 10/5-10/6

Everett Sausage Fest 10/4-10/6

Seattle Fall Home Show 10/4- 10/6

Here is a funny tidbit. Did you know that Wednesday is National Bring your Teddy Bear to Work Day and National Chess Day?Hmmmhhh maybe you can get your Teddy to play chess?

Whatever you do make this a great weekend!

How the shutdown will affect Home loans

Hello everyone,

As a Real Estate Broker I was very curious this morning on how the Government shut down may effect all of us and of course concerned. I was also wondering how this may effect my in process buyers and my sellers looking for pre-approved buyers. Below is an update that I received from one of the lenders I work with and wanted to get out to everyone that is in the middle of purchasing a home, starting the loan process or considering purchasing a home.

At this time here is how the shutdown will affect Home loans.

The biggest problem is that every loan needs a 4506T which is verification from the IRS to confirm the buyer’s income tax filings over the last two years. Since the IRS is not working, we will be held up from closing if the 4506T has not yet been processed. For our loans in process this usually gets ordered very early in the process and is then out of the way. If it has not been ordered yet then we can do it late in the transaction but we need the IRS to get back to work before we can receive the results of the 4506T form.

USDA is also a problem because we need their approval before closing these loans and they are not working during the shut down.

HUD / FHA: The FHA should not be significantly impacted, providing the shutdown is brief. HUD has provided the following information that applies to our daily operations:

FHA will be able to endorse single family loans, however, only a limited number of FHA staff will be available, so the process may take longer.

Should FHA run out of commitment authority during a shutdown, then all lenders’ Lender Insurance approval will be temporarily suspended.

VA: Continue originating VA loans; the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will continue to operate if there is a government shutdown.

Rural Housing / USDA:

1) On Friday 9/27, USDA Rural Development issued notice that the existing eligible areas will be preserved until further notice. This is good news! When the Continuing Resolution (CR) passes the eligible areas will remain eligible through the expiration of the CR allowing congress and others more time to find a permanent solution.

2) Regarding the CR, now that the government is partially shut down, the USDA employees have been furloughed – Conditional Commitments and Loan Note Guarantees won’t be processed. If it’s a short shutdown then the impact should be minimal, if at all. If it’s an extended shutdown then this will affect turn-times, lock expiration’s, and purchase contracts because Conditional Commitments won’t be issued.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

The IRS has indicated that they will not process any forms, including the issuance of tax return transcripts (Form 4506T) during a government shutdown, which will delay loan processing.

We will keep you informed as we learn more about the government shutdown and its implications on the mortgage and Real Estate industry.

www.snohomishcountyhomes4u.com