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Home buyers who are eager to close the deal before the tax credit expires should be prepared to deal only with lenders who will respond to the need for speed. Even buyers without A-plus credit should be able to get a loan. "If you go to enough lenders, you can typically get a loan even with a low credit score. The terms, of course, are not as attractive," says Spencer Rascoff, chief operating officer of Zillow.com. Another possibility is to propose a lease-purchase deal or land contract to the seller. If the deal is structured properly, both buyer and (0 comments)
One week after outlining a road to an "orderly" return to normal monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Board took an unusual action to raise only the Discount Rate to 0.75% as a response to improving financial market conditions. What is unusual about this is that the move did not include the Federal Funds Rate which is really the one that affects the cost of borrowing for banks. Thus, the Fed made a move that was purely all message instead of substance. So what was the message? Clearly the Fed is trying to indicate that things are getting better. However, (1 comments)
Extra Tax Credit Benefits for Military Buyers - 02/27/10 08:31 AM
Military personnel and federal employees, such as members of the foreign service and employees of the intelligence community, are able to enjoy additional benefits when it comes to the homebuyer tax credit. Typically, in order to claim the tax credit, eligible buyers must enter into a contract to purchase a principal residence by April 30, 2010, and close the transaction no later than June 30, 2010. However, according to the IRS, servicemen and women get an extra 12 months, allowing them until April 30, 2011, to sign a binding contract and until June 30, 2011, to close the purchase. The (1 comments)
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We Can Put You On Our Automated MLS Search Which Will E-Mail (0 comments)
Staging Tips and Guidelines - 02/26/10 08:33 PM
When trying to sell in a tough market a home needs to be in the best possible condition. The following are guidelines to use when preparing a home for a sale: In every room stand at the doorway and look at the room as a potential buyer would. What do you see? What will the buyer see? Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in light and views. Less is more. Remove excess furniture and place in storage if possible. Family photos too. Clean, clean, clean! Make everything sparkle and smell fresh. Check all light fixtures and (1 comments)
Choosing the right paint color can impact the sale of a home. Start on the outside: simple color schemes can make any home look well-cared for and modern. Choose a deep red or green for the front door and paint the shutters a complementary color. Weather and sunlight fade even the brightest colors making them appear old and dingy. Look at the colors of the homes in the neighborhood and choose colors that harmonize. Interior paint colors can increase your profit potential. Entryways should bring the exterior colors into the house. Repeating several shades throughout will make the entire home (2 comments)
Tax Credit Tidbits - 02/26/10 08:09 PM
First-time buyers and current homeowners looking to take advantage of the buyer tax credit have only two months left to get under contract on their home purchase. Eligible buyers must enter into a contract by April 30, 2010, and close the transaction no later than June 30, 2010.Here are some lesser-known facts about the tax credit to keep in mind: The tax credit can be claimed for detached houses, condominiums, townhomes, co-ops or a mobile home, manufactured house or travel trailer that is affixed to land. A mobile home or travel trailer that's on the road doesn't qualify. The seller (0 comments)
The proportion of homeowners that expected declines in the value of their homes in the year ahead fell to 15 percent in January, the lowest level since early 2007. That is down from 16 percent in the fourth quarter, and sentiment has improved over the past year. In the first quarter of 2009, 26 percent expected their home value to decline. The mean anticipated annual gain over the next five years held steady at 2.7 percent in January. REO and short-sale properties can be money pits when offers take forever to close and vacant properties are trashed. Here are (0 comments)
Next Home Survey - 02/22/10 01:03 PM
If you are selling your house, insight as to what buyers are looking for in a home is priceless. According to the results of the Next Home Survey recently presented by Eliot Nusbaum, executive editor at Better Homes and Gardens magazine, consumers are taking a "cents and sensibilities" approach when buying a home. For those buyers planning to purchase a new home in the coming months, price, energy-efficiency, organization and comfort are their top priorities. This is in sharp contrast to several years ago, when the focus was on large homes with expensive touches. The Next Home Survey also found (0 comments)
Mortgage Rates Spiked Yesterday - 02/19/10 03:25 PM
Mortgage rates spiked yesterday following positive economic news and supply concerns over next week's treasury auction announcement. Late yesterday, the Fed announced it would be increasing the discount rate charged to banks for direct loans by a quarter point to .75%. The move is intended to normalize the Fed's lending facilities and encourage financial institutions to rely more on money markets for short term liquidity needs. Although, this short term borrowing rate does not have a direct impact on mortgage lending rates, the implication is economic conditions are improving. Mortgage rates are higher so far this morning. Another factor that will play (0 comments)
Blizzard Conditions It is hard enough for us to ascertain how the economy is performing as we bounce back from a deep recession. Witness the fact that the jobs statistics were off by more than 800,000 jobs last year. Now we have had the Federal Government shut down for a week. Sure, not all work occurs in D.C. Many would argue that very little gets done in our Nation's Capitol, but that is another story for another day. However, when major cities get shut down for days at a time due to the weather, it does affect not only (2 comments)
Fixing the economy can all be described with one word: Confidence. We need the consumer to be confident enough to make long-term decisions such as purchasing a house for their long-term security. We need businesses to be confident enough to hire workers so that they can expand in the long-run. We need investors confident enough to purchase financial instruments so that banks are confident enough to lend to businesses and consumers. Certainly, the past few years have not been a period of confidence. On the other hand, sometimes events outside our own control give us another perspective. The tragedy (3 comments)
Do You Need Experienced Listing Or Buyers Agents? - 02/11/10 08:43 PM
Our Last Listing SOLD In SIX HOURS! Looking over the last three quarters, our trends have been consistently on an upswing. Recently we have been witnessing properties receiving multiple offers day zero on the market due to a high buyer pool and low listing inventory. Also, the extended $8,000 for first time home buyers along with the added $6,500 tax credit has been bringing out the buyers. Don't forget the record low interest rates as well. All of these factors make it a great time for buyers and sellers to make their move! Our sales from the past three quarters. If you (5 comments)
To be eligible to claim the tax credit, buyers must have owned and lived in their previous home for five consecutive years out of the last eight years. The tax credit does not have to be repaid. The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $6,500. The tax credit applies only to homes priced at $800,000 or less. The credit is available for homes purchased after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, (2 comments)
There is another reason that you should act quickly. The present tax credit for move-up and first time buyers also expires this spring. Sales contracts must be signed by April 30. With low rates and lower home prices, this is the time to act. Even the Federal Reserve Board has stated that rates are likely to rise this spring as they begin to unwind their support of the mortgage markets. The following information on the tax credit was posted on the National Association of Home Builders Website. $8,000 First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance The $8,000 tax (0 comments)
Just a few weeks ago, the Federal Housing Administration announced that major changes to its loan programs are on their way. The FHA is very popular right now with close to one-half of Americans using this government program to finance the purchase of homes. These changes will make it harder for the average American to purchase going forward. Here is a summary of the changes: The cost of FHA mortgage insurance is going up significantly. The first increase will be for the "up-front" premium and this will be implemented with applications taken (3 comments)
We Are At The Turn Around Point Of The Market! - 02/10/10 03:51 PM
Looking over the last three quarters, our trends have been consistently on an upswing. Recently we have been witnessing properties receiving multiple offers day zero on the market due to a high buyer pool and low listing inventory. Also, the extended $8,000 for first time home buyers along with the added $6,500 tax credit has been bringing out the buyers. Don't forget the record low interest rates as well. All of these factors make it a great time for buyers and sellers to make their move! Our sales from the past three quarters. If you need to sell or buy, give us (2 comments)
Mortgage Backed Securities and the Real Estate Market: Where Do We Go From Here? - 02/10/10 01:21 PM
The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board have been purchasing mortgage-back securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a little over a year now. Their efforts, along with the Home Buyer Tax Credit have helped bring down long-term interest rates and provide the housing industry with some much-needed price stabilization. In this month's Power Broker Roundtable, industry leaders Jeff Detweiler and Glenn Melton discuss the likeliness of the Federal Government backing away and what effect their actions will have on the marketplace. Moderator: Steve Brown, Special Liaison for Large Firm Relations, NAR Participants: Jeff Detweiler, President and CEO, Long (1 comments)
The FHA-backed 203(k) rehab loan is an increasingly popular option in today's market because so many available properties, especially foreclosures, are in need of repair. A streamlined 203(k) provides money to pay for improvements such as a new roof, appliances, furnace, energy-efficient windows, and cosmetic improvements like carpet, paint, and remodeled kitchens and baths. The maximum loan available is $35,000. The buyer must put down 3.5 percent of the acquisition. At closing, the seller is paid and the remaining money goes into an escrow account to pay for repairs. A licensed contractor must complete the work within six months. (0 comments)
The Markets. Rates continued to be stable in the past week. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending February 4, 30-year fixed rates averaged 5.01%, up from 4.98% the week before. The average for 15-year fixed rose slightly to 4.40%. Adjustables were mixed with the average for one-year adjustables falling to 4.22% and five-year adjustables rising slightly to 4.27%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 5.25%. "Rates remained relatively stable for a second week amid news of a strengthening housing market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Residential fixed investment rose for two (0 comments)
What is another 800,000 or so... The job market lost 820,000 jobs last month. Well not exactly last month. This number included the "adjustment of statistics" for the past year. In this column we will not get into how the government miscounts so badly. However, we will point out that it just makes the deep recession we are coming out of even deeper. Eventually we must replace all of these jobs and we have dug ourselves quite a hole to climb out of. Certainly this makes the jobs programs proposed by the Administration more likely to become law as the (1 comments)
Would You Believe More Snow Chief?!? Does CONTROL Have A Hummer? - 02/09/10 06:04 PM
This is round four. So as for the last four years where we got off easy, we're making up the difference all at once. You know what they say.... "Paybacks are hell" ;-) We had to meet up with two sets of anxious buyers today. Got stuck four times. That's dedication! See our last blizzard total blog here.... http://activerain.com/blogsview/1478280/here-we-go-again-26-inches-of-snow-
Here We Go Again! 26 Inches Of Snow! - 02/06/10 04:28 PM
Getting ready for the big dig out. We were lucky that we didn't lose any power. Still, we wont be heading out anywhere to see the Superbowl. And definitely not grilling up some steaks and jumping in the hot tub. Staying close to home this weekend. This video is from Saturday the 6th at 1:30 PM. Got a few more inches after that. Stay safe everybody!
It cost us $300 to have our driveway plowed out. (See the crows foot driveway with the highlighted line to the middle house? That be us.) Still, probably cheaper then a chiropractor or heart (10 comments)
Data Shows The Tax Credit Helps Sales - 02/05/10 03:51 PM
The real estate market continues to show improvement as mortgage rates remain at historic lows and consumers respond to the tax credits for first-time and repeat buyers. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced that its Pending Home Sales Index rose 1 percent from November. A forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in December, the index is now 10 percent above December 2008. What's more, December activity was the fifth highest monthly tally in two years. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not yet closed. Because sales (1 comments)
It is rare that we have the Federal Reserve Board reporting on the economy and a State of the Union Address in the same week, let alone the same day. Yet, that is just what happened last week. First the Fed met and released a statement. The fact that they left rates where they were was no surprise as said that they will "stay the course" and keep rates low despite the fact that the economy is starting to recover. The Fed repeated its earlier forecast that conditions are "likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds (1 comments)
The Markets. Rates were slightly lower in the past week. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending January 28, 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.98%, down from 4.99% the week before. The average for 15-year fixed eased to 4.39%. Adjustables were also slightly lower with the average for one-year adjustables falling to 4.29% and five-year adjustables falling to 4.25%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 5.10%. "Rates held steady this week ahead of the Federal Reserve's (Fed) policy committee meetings, " said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The Fed announced on January 27th (0 comments)
The proximity to a city center combined with the walkability of its neighborhood increases the value of a home. A study published last summer by C.E.O.'s for Cities examined sales of 90,000 properties in 15 markets and concluded that homes in neighborhoods with above-average walkability in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Sacramento, and San Francisco commanded as much as a $30,000 premium. Zillow.com's Chief Economist Stan Humphries reached similar conclusions when he looked at concentric circles of major metropolitan areas. In almost all cases, walkable neighborhoods closer to the city center held their value better in the housing downturn. One (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.