Tag Archives: novi real estate agent

Mortgage Rates Just Jumped Over 4%. Now What?

Mortgage Rates Just Jumped Over 4%. Now What? | Keeping Current Matters

Last week, mortgage interest rates jumped over the 4% mark for the first time this year according to Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Market Survey.

In an article in Housing Wire, a Bankrate analyst explained:

“Mortgage rates rocketed higher following a stronger than expected monthly employment report. The good news on the job front further solidifies the notion that the Federal Reserve will likely begin raising interest rates soon, perhaps in the third quarter of this year.”

This is the same type of commentary we heard back in the spring of 2013 when the talk of the Fed possibly raising rates caused mortgage interest rates to surge by a full percentage point from the end of April through the end of June of that year.

Will We See that Same Surge in 2015?

No one knows for sure. However, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are each calling for rates to continue their upswing over the next six quarters.

Here is a chart comparing 2013 to this year:

Mortgage Rate Spike Comparison | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Though no one can definitely say where rates will be six months from now, most experts believe they will be higher. If you are thinking of buying your first home or are considering a move up to the house of your family’s dreams, now may be the best time to do it.

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5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent

5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current MattersAre you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct?

Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge; just like a great doctor or great accountant.

You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one.

Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.

The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.

2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing

You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.

This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.

3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.

Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.

4. Help with the relocation

If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.

5. Get the house SOLD!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.

You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!

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Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.

Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!

Here is the breakdown:

Percent Change in Sales by Price Range | Keeping Current Matters

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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Home Values Compared to the Peak… Is Another Bubble Forming?

Home Values Compared to the Peak… Is Another Bubble Forming? | Keeping Current Matters

After the housing market bust we experienced across the country in 2008, many experts have been quick to warn that a new bubble may be forming in some areas of the country.

The quickest and easiest way to show how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go in regards to the ‘Peak’ is to share CoreLogic’s Price & Time Since Peak figures, used to create the map below.

Price & Time Since Peak | Keeping Current Matters

Many areas of the country still have a long way to go to be anywhere near the peaks experienced in 2005-2007. Seven states (seen in the darker blue) are currently at their peak.

The biggest challenge facing the housing market’s recovery right now is the lack of inventory available for sale. Prices are determined by supply and demand. Right now buyer demand is out-pacing seller supply, across many price ranges, driving prices up.

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner debating listing your home for sale this spring/summer, now is the time, meet with a local real estate professional who can guide you through the process.

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217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now! | Keeping Current Matters

The inaugural Opportunity Cost Report was released recently by realtor.com. The report explained that “with interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep”.

The report estimates that, based on today’s dollars, the average purchaser would accumulate $217,726 in increased wealth over a 30-year period.

(You can get the projected wealth increase for almost 100 metros here.)

What could this mean to someone sitting on the fence waiting to buy?

Experts believe that both home prices and mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months. Obviously, if this does happen, the monthly cost of a home a year from now will be dramatically higher than it is today. The Opportunity Cost Report breaks down exactly how much a purchaser could lose over increments of one year and three years. Here are the results based on an average purchaser in the U.S. delaying their purchase:

The Cost of Waiting to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and able to buy a home, waiting doesn’t make sense.

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2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Stopping Them?

2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Stopping Them? | Keeping Current Matters

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released the 2015 SCE Housing Survey. The survey revealed that most current renters would prefer owning and that 61.9% of them plan to buy a home within the next five years.

68.3% stated they would prefer owning (with 45.6% saying they ‘strongly’ prefer owning). When asked at what point in the future do they think they will own a primary residence:

  • 8.2% said within a year
  • 15.3% said in 1 to 2 years
  • 38.4% said between 3 to 5 years

What’s Holding Them Back?

Of the 68.3% who would prefer to own, 2 out of 3 cited difficulty in getting a mortgage for the reason they do not own. However, many believe that the reason so many think that it would be difficult to get a mortgage is not fully based on current market realities.

For example, studies have shown that there is confusion over the amount of money needed for a down payment. Research has shown that 40 to 50% of Americans believe that between 15-20% is the minimum required for a down payment. In reality, there are many programs available at 5% and even 3%. There are even some programs that don’t require any down payment (ex. VA loans).

Others fear they need a perfect credit score or believe that the overall mortgaging process has become almost impossible. Actually, the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, has shown that, over the last seven months, access to mortgages has gotten much more available.

And the NY Fed study suggests that some renters are waiting for interest mortgage rates to fall even further. Fifty percent of the renters surveyed believe mortgage interest rates will fall over the next year and almost 10% believe that they will fall by more than 1%. However, the reality of the situation is that Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all projecting that rates will be significantly higher at this time next year. They are all predicting mortgage rates will be almost 1% higher!

Bottom Line

Many renters want to own their own home. Some are not moving forward based on misunderstandings regarding the mortgage process. If you are currently a renter who desires the benefits of homeownership, sit down with a local real estate professional to determine what your options actually are.

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Where Will Mortgage Rates Be in 12 Months?

mortgagerates12

One of the biggest questions plaguing the current housing market is where mortgage interest rates will be at this time next year. Over the last two months, rates have begun to creep up (see chart).Interest Rates.1

Though we don’t like to project rates moving forward, we do want you and your family to have the information you need in order to decide whether to wait before buying your first house or moving up to your ultimate dream home.

Here are the most current mortgage rate projections from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors.

Interest Rates.2

Projecting interest rates is not easy. So what should you do – do it now or wait? We like the advice Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, recently gave:

“The rule for when is it time to buy is always the same: given your household budget and where current interest rates are, if it makes good financial sense to take out a home loan today, then today is the day to do it.”

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and able and are thinking of buying a home over the next twelve months, waiting may not make sense.

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