Guide to Selling your Home this Summer – 2014

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For a very thorough and insightful Guide to Selling your Home this Summer, please click on the link below!

SellingYourHouseSummer2014

Guide to Buying a Home this Summer – 2014

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For a thorough and informative Guide to Buying a Home this Summer, please click on the link provided below!

BuyingaHomeSummer2014

5 Reasons to Sell BEFORE Winter

Winter to Spring Pic

People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus the dead of winter.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

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Benefits of Pre-Approval!

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New Year, New Guidelines

 

Market Watch

The new year could bring changes galore to conventional and government-backed home loans. Reeling from an exciting December, we eagerly await the next statements from Fannie, Freddie, and even the FHA, regarding higher fees and other developments.

Higher Fees Must Wait
In mid-December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), created a stir when it stated it would begin imposing greater fees in March and April, also known as loan level pricing adjustments, to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores and down payments less than 20 percent of the home sales price. The proposals appeared to be the parting shots of the outgoing, acting FHFA Director Edward DeMarco.

The news created uproar and led to an immediate statement from the incoming FHFA Director, Congressman Mel Watt, who indicated that any implementation of fees would be delayed pending review as soon as he “had the opportunity to evaluate fully the rationale for the plan.” What happens next will certainly be watched closely by all of the housing and related industries.

On the government loan side, in early December, the FHA stated that it was lowering its maximum loan limits in approximately 650 U.S. counties. It then made a small concession by extending a deadline to the end of January for change requests to high cost area loan limits. This may be tricky however, considering any requests should only be for high cost areas without current, sufficient housing sale price data for homes sold in January through August 2013. Any subsequent changes here would, of course, limit some homebuyers’ choices when it comes to home shopping in the new year.

Qualified Mortgage Rule Takes Effect
The QM rule, also known as the “ability-to-repay” rule, goes into effect this month as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule was enacted to help ensure borrowers get a home loan they can afford to repay, and to help prevent people from going into foreclosure and losing their homes. While new guidelines are now in effect related to loan limits, a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, fees and other items, studies suggest that many mortgages already meet the new QM standards. There’s a good chance the new rule won’t impact the majority of borrowers.

Tapering Begins
At the FOMC’s mid-December meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Fed would indeed begin tapering its Bond-buying economic stimulus efforts due to signs of U.S. economic recovery and strength. Home loan rates may suffer volatility since the Fed’s efforts had kept markets stable and home loan rates low for a majority of last year.

10 Real Estate Predictions for 2014

Top FiveSearching for a comprehensive list of what real estate will look like in 2014?

Look no further, because we’ve pulled together top predictions from around the web for you right here, with insights from Trulia.com,Zillow.com, Forbes, the NAHB and NAR.


1. Unemployment will stabilize between 6.9 percent to 7.2 percent as people re-enter the labor market and start looking for jobs.

2. Affordability will get worse, although price increases will slow from the unsustainable pace of 2013.

3. Expect mortgage rate increases next year. Don’t expect major hikes to scare markets and buyers, but anticipate small upward rate increases as the Fed tapers further.

4. Move-up buyers will be less discouraged by rising prices and interest rates than investors or first-time buyers.

5. Gains in housing will hold up and even continue in 2014, but more moderately in all sectors: new homes, existing homes, and building starts. Growth, however, will be uneven across states.

6. Higher prices will encourage listings for homeowners whose homes were underwater; buyers will face less competition from investors who scale back from buying as prices rise.

7. Existing-home sales will climb 4 percent to 5.2 million, a 7.5 percent increase from 2012. New-home sales may climb by another 16 percent to 580,000 next year (2013 saw an amazing 36 percent increase over 2012).

8. Areas with inventory shortages should cool, but watch rising mortgage rates (see #3). Sales in California and Arizona will be rapid, while New York and Florida will continue to deal with gluts.

9. Prices could slow for the wrong reasons, as well, if there’s another government shutdown to dampen consumer confidence, which hurts both demand and pricing.

10. Looser credit may help renters become new owners. With fewer foreclosures, single-family rentals will tighten making buying more appealing.

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes

Seller Mistakes_Infograph