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Buyer Tips Category

Should I Pay a Mortgage Interest Rate over 4%?

Should I Pay a Mortgage Interest Rate over 4%? | Keeping Current Matters

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Along with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and theNational Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.

This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate less than 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.

Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.

Historic Mortgage Rates By Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago; a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

How to Get the Most Money out of the Sale of Your Home

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize the financial reward when selling their home. But, how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to insuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actually, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. (see chart)

Impact of Price on Visibility | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

In a recent article on realtor.com, they gave this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. Yet, studies have shown that typically homes sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Recent research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Median Selling Price FSBO vs Agent | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Price it at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house. Call me today 770-354-0243 to discuss selling your home!

Buying a home can be SCARY, until you know the facts!

Buying A Home Can Be Scary... Until You Know the FACTS! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • 36% of Americans think they need a 20% down payment to buy a home. 44% of Millennials who purchased a home this year have put down less than 10%.
  • 71% of loan applications were approved last month
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 723 in September (the lowest recorded score since Ellie Mae began tracking in August 2011).

Are Millennials Finally Entering the Market?

Are Millennials Finally Entering the Market? | Keeping Current Matters

It appears that Millennials are finally beginning to enter the housing market. In a recentreport, CoreLogic looked at the annual net change in household formations over the last decade (see graph below):

Household Formations | Keeping Current Matters

It appears this is the year that Millennials are finally moving out of their parents’ basements and finding a place of their own. And they are not all renting

According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Existing Home Sales Report, the percentage of first–time buyers rebounded to 32 percent in August, up from 28 percent in July and matching the highest share of the year set in May.

What has kept the others from buying a home?

Recent surveys have revealed that there are major misunderstandings as to what is required to get a mortgage in today’s lending environment. Many Americans believe you need at least a 780 FICO score and a 20% down payment.

In reality, neither is required. Here are the mortgage statistics (FICO score, % of down payment, mortgage interest rate and debt-to-income ratio) for Millennials who have completed the mortgage process in the first half of this year according to realtor.com:

Millennial Mortgage Statistics | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

More and more Millennials are beginning to enter the housing market. As they begin to better understand the mortgage process, we will see even greater numbers buying a home. If you are a millennial or know someone  who is, call me today 770-354-0243 to discuss buying your first home!

 

Pending Homes Sales Remain Steady

Pending Home Sales Remain Steady | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of REALTORS’ just released the results of their latest Pending Home Sales Index, which showed a small 1.4% decline in signed contracts in August. Pending sales remain strong year-over-year as they were 6.1% higher than August ’14 and have now risen for 12 consecutive months. 

What is the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)?

NAR’s PHSI is “a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings”. The higher the Pending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales.

In every major region of the country, pending sales are up year-over-year as shown by the graph below:

Pending Home Sales By Region | Keeping Current Matters

What does this mean for the market?

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR explained:

“Pending sales have leveled off since mid–summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget.”

There is no need to worry

Yun went on to say, “Even with existing–housing supply barely budging all summer and no relief coming from new construction, contract activity is still higher than earlier this year and a year ago.”

So What Does This Mean To Buyers?

There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home. 

What Does This Mean to Sellers?

If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating… don’t wait!

There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, vacation, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price. 

Bottom Line

Whether you are planning on buying or selling a house this year, waiting to act no longer makes sense.  Call me today  at 770-354-0243 or email me to discuss your next step

Freddie Mac, Equity Matters a Lot!

Nest-Egg-House-Money-KCM

According to a Merrill Lynch survey, over 80% of the people in this country believe that homeownership is still “an important part of the American Dream”. There are many financial and non-financial reasons people feel this way.

One of the biggest reasons is because it helps build family wealth. Last week, Freddie Mac posted about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10%, resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance). They then illustrated what would happen after seven years of making a mortgage payment, assuming 3% per year home appreciation (the historic national average)
Home-Equity

And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home. Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired at certain ages.

Home-Equity.3-KCM

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional

Her business insight is invaluable!
Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?
Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are to make sure that you acquire your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $208,000 compared to $235,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?
There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line:

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

Call me today to discuss how I might help you! 770-354-0243

Average Interest Rates By Decade

November2014-33

5 Questions you Should Ask Your Agent

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Real Estate Agent
question mark

Whether you are buying or selling a home, the process can be challenging. That is why we always suggest that you take on the services of a real estate professional when embarking on a potential home move. However, not all real estate agents are the same. A family must make sure they hire someone who truly understands the current housing market and, not only that, knows how to connect the dots to explain how market conditions may impact your decision.

How can you make sure you have an agent who meets these requirements?

Here are just a few questions every real estate professional should be able to answer for their clients and customers:
•Are home values approaching a new bubble or will prices continue to appreciate?
•Is it better for a first time buyer or a move-up buyer to wait until they save a bigger down payment before they purchase a home?
•Where will 30-year mortgage rates likely be in 12 months?
•Why do I need an agent when I can just as easily find the house online myself?
•Is buying a home still a good investment for my family?

Make sure you hire an agent such as myself that can answer questions like those above. That will guarantee the home buying or selling process will be much easier for you and your family.

Where are home values headed?

Home Prices… Where are they Headed? | Keeping Current Matters

Home-Price-Expectation-275

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey
•Home values will appreciate by 4.6% in 2014.
•The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
•That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
•Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 11.2% by 2018.