Tuesday Tid Bit Real Estate News

Whew! A bit late I guess Tuesday evening for the news but its end of the School Year fun and with two boys all these events are making for one tired mom who is up working late.

So if your up as late as me here is your Tuesday Tidbit Real Estate News.

From Fannie Mae: Spring-Summer Buying and Selling Season Sputters Despite Drop in Mortgage Rates

“Consumers’ lukewarm income expectations and reticence about the economy seem to be holding back housing demand,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “This year’s spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a slow start, even as mortgage rates have trended lower over the past two months. Our National Housing Survey data show that economic conditions continue to be the top concern among consumers who think it’s a bad time to buy or sell a home. While recent housing activity suggests that the worst of the housing slump may be behind us, this caution among consumers supports our expectation that the rebound in home sales will likely be too modest to pull sales for all of 2014 ahead of last year.”
As a reminder: a decline in existing home sales this year is not “bad news”. With fewer distressed sales and less investor buying, it is no surprise that existing home sales are down. I expect housing starts and new home sales (the key for GDP and employment growth) to increase this year and also in 2015.

Other  news included the research data that demand for purchase mortgages in the last three months gained a cumulative 9%. On the pricing front, a national listing site said prices are beginning to stabilize. Their chief economist explained: “…home price changes are looking more balanced, sustainable and widespread than at any point since the price recovery began.” With home prices still rising, but in a more controlled fashion, there are now more than 43 million homes with equity. This should encourage more people to put their properties on the market, improving the inventory situation. 

I know buyers will like to hear this.  I just secured a home for a buyer of mine that had 5 offers! Since it was the only Rambler in that zip code for sale you can imagine how happy they are.

Mortgages may be easier to get than potential home buyers believe

Many potential buyers think they need near-perfect credit scores to get a home loan. But lenders may be loosening their tight underwriting standards.

WASHINGTON — Are you on the home-buying sidelines this spring because you think you won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage? Do you know what sort of FICO credit scores are being accepted by lenders at the moment — they’re lower than they were a year ago — and whether yours could now be good enough?

You may be part of the surprisingly large crowd of folks who fear the home-loan unknown. A new national consumer survey found that 56% of potential purchasers of homes say they’re out of the market because they don’t want to face the possibility of rejection by lenders. Even 30% of current homeowners believe that they wouldn’t pass muster today.

Using a statistical sample of 1,055 Americans 18 and older, survey research firm OmniTel, polling on behalf of mortgage lender LoanDepot, documented widespread uncertainty and lack of specific knowledge about current market conditions when it comes to qualifying to buy a home. According to the survey, 74% of potential buyers who would need a mortgage concede that they have not scoped out the current market or taken the steps needed to qualify.

Many potential buyers believe that they need near-perfect credit scores to get a home loan. Half of those surveyed said they had no idea what minimum FICO score is needed for a mortgage, and nearly a fifth (18%) said the minimum score might be 770 or higher.

Debt-to-income ratios are another insurmountable obstacle in many potential buyers’ eyes — enough so that they don’t even try to obtain a mortgage.

Most lenders use two forms of debt ratios: a “front end” ratio that compares the monthly costs of the proposed new mortgage and other housing expenses with the applicant’s monthly income, and a “back end” ratio comparing all recurring monthly debt obligations — housing expenses, student loans, credit cards and the like — with the applicant’s monthly income. Roughly a third of potential buyers on the sidelines believe that their debt ratios are too high.

But what’s the statistical reality on debt ratios, FICO score minimums and down payments? What are lenders approving?

The best answers come from a company called Ellie Mae, whose loan origination and tracking software is widely used by lenders. Every month Ellie Mae analyzes a huge sample of new mortgage originations nationwide and issues an overview report rich with the sort of detail that buyers sitting on the sidelines could use.

Here’s what it found in its report on March:

•Thirty-three percent of new loans last month had borrower FICO scores below 700. A year ago it was just 27%. (FICO scores max out at 850, which is considered excellent credit; applicants with scores under 700 present higher credit risks to lenders.) Federal Housing Administration-insured home purchase loans had an average FICO in March of 684. Conventional mortgages, those designed for purchase by investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still have relatively high FICOs — they averaged 755 in March, but that was down slightly from 759 a year before. Lenders are doing far fewer refinancings this year, so they are loosening up on FICO minimums for purchasers.

•Debt ratios also are more generous than many sidelined potential borrowers probably imagine. The FHA’s average front-end (housing costs) ratio last month for purchase loans was 28%. In other words, if your projected housing and mortgage-related costs represent 28% of monthly income, you’re average. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans averaged 22% ratios on the front end. Back-end (total recurring debt) ratios for FHA averaged 41%. For Fannie and Freddie it was lower — 34%.

•Down payments can be small if that’s what you need. FHA’s average down payment last month for home purchases was 5%, but many borrowers put down just 3.5%. Fannie and Freddie allow 5% down as well, provided that you can pay mortgage insurance premiums. VA loans can go to zero down if your veterans status allows you to qualify. Department of Agriculture home buyer loans, which are designed for people who live in small towns, also allow for no down payments.

The point here: If you’re on the sidelines, check out what’s really going on in the mortgage market. There may be more opportunities — even in an era of tighter underwriting — than you think.

Article by Ken Harvey

FHA Approved Condo With 2 Garages!!!

Click here to view my eCard

Hurry New Listing today! At $150,000 will go very fast!

FHA approved condo in a great location! Bonus 2 private Garages and a parking space!!! You wont find one like this! Perfectly maintained ground floor one owner condo in Autumn Brook. This two Master bedroom, two bath has it all. Tile entry, breakfast bar, dining area, gas fireplace, gorgeous updated baths w/ custom cabinets & granite counters in kitchen & one bath. Large patio over looking greenbelt. Quiet community tucked away w/playground & sports court. Close to Boeing, bus and shopping.

News You Can Use~ Mortgage Rates 4.27%

Check out these articles for great information about our community and the real estate industry.

MORTGAGE & FINANCE news

10 reasons to take the plunge into homeownership

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/15/when-homeowners-are-better-off-than-renters

Americans now consider real estate best option for long-term investments

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168554/americans-sold-real-estate-best-long-term-investment.aspx

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27%

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/04/17/mortgage-rates/7823375/

Earth Day: Energy-efficient mortgages have you spending now to save money later

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/02/07/how-an-energy-efficient-mortgage-can-save-you-money

REAL ESTATE news

Is your home ready for your retirement?

http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2014/04/18/home-remodel-design-aging-in-place/

10 home feature trends for 2014

http://www.cbsnews.com/media/10-home-feature-trends-for-2014/10/

 

earth day

Earth Day: 15 tips to make your home more green

http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2014/04/15-tips-to-make-your-home-more-green.html

LOCAL news

Price gains in 2014 don’t indicate a bubble, correction and inflation the cause of increases

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlewaterfronthomes/2014/04/15/is-there-a-real-estate-bubble-in-seattle-inflation-and-11-of-our-home-equity-says-no/

Pierce County still cheaper to buy than rent a home

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/02/19/3056712/in-pierce-thurston-counties-its.html?sp=/99/261/273/

Earth Day: Downtown Bellevue and Seattle’s Columbia City among top 10 green neighborhoods in the nation

http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2014/04/top-10-neighborhoods-for-green-homes.html#.U1SWO-aMWRM

WEEKLY DOSE OF awesomeness

Did you know Earth Day was first announced in 1969 at a conference in Seattle?

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/earth-day

Earth Day: 3 free apps to help you go green

http://parade.condenast.com/280529/viannguyen/3-free-apps-to-help-you-go-green-this-earth-day/

 

 

Real Estate News

Here are some top articles with Real Estate quick stats and “should knows” if thinking of buying or selling this spring.

Short and Sweet Real Estate News

Single family starts were up a strong 6.0% in March and are up 9.1% over the last two months. The 5-month moving average is the highest since July 2008. Plus, the number of homes under construction (started but not finished) is up 21% over a year ago!

March listings on realtor.com were up 9.5% from a year ago. In addition to better selection, buyers get more time to decide. The median age of inventory was 102 days.

Good News!! So how about those loans? 

Mortgage Lenders Ease Rules for Home Buyers in Hunt for Business

While standards remain tight by historical measures, lenders have started to accept lower credit scores and to reduce down-payment requirements.

Another sign that banks could get less picky: Credit scores for borrowers seeking conventional mortgages also are easing. Scores on purchase mortgages stood at 755 in March, down from 761 a year earlier, according to data from Ellie Mae, a mortgage-software provider. Those on purchase loans backed by the FHA dropped to 684, compared with 696 one year earlier. …

Smaller lenders are accepting even lower scores. Average credit scores on purchase loans closed through a consortium called LendingTree fell to 679 in March, down from the year-earlier 715.

“Tiny fractions of borrowers can do things that they could not a year ago,” said Lou Barnes, a mortgage banker in Boulder, Colo.

No one wants a return to the loose lending standards of the mid-00s – and I hope we never see another Alt-A loan – but I expect standards to loosen over the next few years. From Nick Timiraos and AnnaMaria Andriotis at the WSJ

And finally are you thinking of buying or selling? Here are some great articles and information from Zillow.

Home Shopping Season is Here
Spring marks the start of the home shopping season, when more houses typically come on the market and more buyers are searching for a home. Check out our tips below to ease your home shopping or selling experience.

Strategies for Buyers

Advice for Sellers

 

Luxury and Warmth in One Great Package

Contact info:
Jenifer Murrweiss | RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek | 425-422-7243

Front

Luxury and Warmth in One Great Package

13328 S Machias Rd, Snohomish, WA 98290

$375,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built:  1967- EFFECTIVE DATE 2012
Sq Footage: 1868 sqft.
Bedrooms: 4 Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 2
Parking: 2 Garage
Lot Size: 0.39 Acres
Property Type: Single Family House

DESCRIPTION


WOW! Completely remodeled home close to Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Centennial Trail! You will be amazed by the high quality materials and workmanship in this home. Large dream kitchen with quality cherry cabinetry, stainless appliances & designer lighting. Beautiful granite in kitchen & bathrooms. Detailed millwork, designer paint inside and out, solid core doors, a pellet AND wood stove. The list goes on and on. Newer roof, windows, heating. Nothing needs to be done! You must see to believe!

InteriorDinKit1Kitchen1LR3

ADDITIONAL LINKS



Contact info:
Jenifer Murrweiss
RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek
425-422-7243

Posted: Feb 25, 2014, 11:42pm EST

AMAZING property! 4.62 ACRE New Home in beautiful Gated Community of Machias

17331 59thFull Gallery of Pictures Click Here

Contact info:
Jenifer Murrweiss | RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek | 425-422-7243

AMAZING property! 4.62 ACRE New Home in beautiful Gated Community of Machias

17331 56th St NE, Snohomish, WA 98290

$529,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 2013
Sq Footage: 3477 sqft.
Bedrooms: 4 Beds
Bathrooms: 3 Baths
Floors: 2
Parking: 4+ Garage | Guest parking
Lot Size: 4.62 Acres
Property Type: Single Family House

DESCRIPTION


AMAZING property, 4.62 ACRE lot in beautiful Machias!! Gated Community of Pilchuck Highlands; Home features 4 bedrooms, main floor den/office, (could easily be 5th main floor bedroom) 2 3/4 bath, entertainment sized kitchen with granite counters, SS appliances, formal dining room, bonus and laundry room upstairs. ~ you will LOVE this builder’s attention to detail! 2-10 Warranty Included. You will not be disappointed and will fall in love immediately!

PROPERTY FEATURES


  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Walk-in closet
  • Master bath
  • Family room
  • Storage space
  • Stove / Oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Garbage disposal
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Balcony, Deck, or Patio
  • Yard
  • Lawn
  • Central heat
  • Central A/C
  • Ceiling fans
  • Double pane windows
  • Cable-ready
  • High-speed internet
  • Wired
  • Hardwood floor
  • Tile floor
  • Granite countertop
  • Fireplace
  • High / Vaulted ceiling

COMMUNITY FEATURES


  • New property
  • Secured entry
  • Gated property
  • Guest parking
  • Off-street parking
  • Covered parking
  • Garage – Attached
  • RV parking

ADDITIONAL LINKS



Contact info:
Jenifer Murrweiss
RE/MAX Town Center Mill Creek
425-422-7243

Posted: Jan 29, 2014, 10:26pm EST

US. Housing Price Appreciation and Real Estate News

Real Estate News

In 2013, the housing markets with the biggest increases in asking prices were all rebounding from severe price drops in the housing bust. Home prices are still in rebound mode, but this effect will weaken in 2014. Job growth, in contrast, mattered little for price gains in 2013 but helped drive rent increases.

In December, the year-over-year increase in asking home prices slowed for the first time since the price recovery began in early 2012: prices rose 11.9% year-over-year in December, compared with November’s 12.2% year-over-year increase. Asking prices rose 0.4% month-over-month, seasonally adjusted, the third straight month of gains less than 1%.

Overall, regression analysis shows that recent price gains are most strongly associated with the severity of the local housing bust. Markets where prices fell most during the bust (roughly 2006 to 2011, but varies by metro) offered bargains for investors and other buyers who have helped bid prices back up over the past two years. A second important factor is foreclosures: adjusting for other factors, metros with a higher foreclosure inventory today – including many in Florida – have slower price growth. Job growth, however, had little impact on local home price gains in 2013: the relationship between job growth and price gains was positive but not statistically significant.

Therefore, year-over-year price gains in December 2013 are still primarily a reaction to the housing bust, but this rebound effect is fading as we enter 2014. Looking at the quarter-over-quarter price changes throughout 2013, the relationship between the severity of the housing bust and the recent price recovery was stronger earlier in the year than later in the year. More specifically, the correlation between peak-to-trough price change (FHFA) and the Trulia Price Monitor quarter-over-quarter change was -.59 in March; -.45 in June; -.43 in September; and -.33 in December. This correlation is moving closer to zero, which signifies that the rebound effect is fading. As the housing market continues to recover, factors other than the rebound effect – like job growth – will matter more for price gains. That means slower but more sustainable price increases.

Note: These asking prices are SA (Seasonally Adjusted) – and adjusted for the mix of homes – and this suggests further house price increases, but at a slower rate, over the next few months on a seasonally adjusted basis.

From Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko: The Post-Crash Rebound, Not Job Growth, Drove 2013 Price Gains

Interactive Chart

Please take a look at this great interactive PDF with a map and average home price appreciation info for the entire United States by clicking  through to this link, you’ll find the US Map and much more state specific data in an interactive version.

US Housing app

We hope you find this information useful and never hesitate if you would like to see more or would like more information.

http://www.snohomishcountyhomes4u.com

 

 

6 financial steps that you should consider taking after buying your home

Congratulations you have finally closed on your home and are moving in! You thought the day would never come after all those little issues that may have come up. Finally you did it and you cant wait to make this house a home. 

Enjoy and I am so excited for you. Hopefully I was your agent. ( wink, wink)

There are however 6 financial steps that you should consider taking after buying your home and of course once you get settled in.

1- Consider setting some goals. This means budgeting. Think about what you want to do to your new home. New windows? Backyard need a face-lift? Putting a few dollars away here and there really adds up and come next summer you could be laying in a hammock admiring your handiwork and saying… Ahhhhhh.

2. Maintenance– It is true houses do cost money and you need to maintain your investment The average costs are 1% of the purchase price per year. For example a $250,000 house you should plan on saving and spending $2500 per year. Repairing or replacing items in your home is just a fact and the more you ignore needed repair items the more it will cost you in the long run.

By the way, change your furnace filters folks! I have seen way to many lately and it amazes me how people don’t realize they should change them every few months. Your breathing that dirty air.. Yuck. Not only that it could cause expensive repairs to the furnace.

3. Understand your policies– Once your settled in review that policy that you just accepted real quick to get the loan done. It may be a great one but most folks do not pay attention to all the details and now is a good time to go over. For example if a tree falls during a storm and takes out the shed is it covered? Also, now is the time to make sure you have enough life insurance. We don’t like to think about it but what happens if your spouse is in a accident and passes away? Can you afford making the monthly house payment by yourself?

4. Set up auto payments– Life is so crazy busy and even though I fought this for years thinking I would always remember to pay the bills on time I finally gave in and set up automatic payment for household bills. It really has been great for my family and I don’t stress anymore if I paid the light bill. Some even might give a discount for paying automatically. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

5. Emergency Fund- Always something isn’t it? Prepare for the unexpected. They say to have 8 months to a year worth of living expenses in savings. This is to include what you pay for your mortgage, utilities, cable, phone bills and other regular bills. I don’t honestly know that many people that have, or can, do this. After all those of us who have kids rarely have any left for savings. Seriously! Start by setting aside a small amount each month. You will be surprised how fast it does add up and you will be thankful for the extra cushion of cash down the road.  Just in case you notice the roof leaking.

6. Take your time in Decorating. Now for the funnest one. Don’t rush and decorate the house. You might regret it. Take time and live in the house; how you use things day to day and get a feel for everything. Then have a decorating budget, watch for sales and slowly buy things that you know you will keep around. I know its hard to wait but you will make smarter purchases that you will enjoy years down the road instead of it ending up in next years garage sale and someone offering you a $1 of it.

Although I inserted my own flare and added on to these tips there from the Costco Connection so you know their great tips…must give credit where credit is due. 

%d bloggers like this: