Do You Want to Buy Your Dream Home?

Want to Buy Your Dream Home?

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in December (the latest data available) was $232,200, up 4.0% from last year. This increase also marks the 58th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at the numbers year over year, CoreLogic forecasted a rise by 4.7% from December 2016 to December 2017. On a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $11,750 if you wait until next year.

What does that mean to you?
Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

Mortgage Rate Projections

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

via Keeping Current Matters 

Advertisements

Case-Shiller Says the Housing Market Has Now Officially, Completely Recovered… Do You Agree?

David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee, explains the economic factors that led to this recovery and looks at the price gains seen in the top 20 cities. He also points out the uncertainty that exists following the election of President Trump.wooden-block-house-on-money

[HousingWire.com]Home prices increased in November, making the argument the housing market recovered completely from the housing crisis.

According to the latest data released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, increased 5.6% annually, up from 5.5% from the previous month.

The 10-City composite increased by 4.5% from November 2015, up from 4.3% in October. Similarly, the 20-City Composite increased 5.3% year-over-year, up from 5.1% the month before.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, CoreLogic
Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, CoreLogic

“With the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rising at about 5.5% annual rate over the last two-and-a-half years and having reached a new all-time high recently, one can argue that housing has recovered from the boom-bust cycle that began a dozen years ago,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee. “The recovery has been supported by a few economic factors: low interest rates, falling unemployment, and consistent gains in per-capita disposable personal income.”

“Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages dropped under 4.5% in 2011 and have only recently shown hints of rising above that level,” Blitzer said. “The unemployment rate at 4.7% is close to the Fed’s full employment target. Inflation adjusted per capita personal disposable income has risen at about a 2.5% annual rate for 30 months.”

Seattle, Portland and Denver reported the highest annual gains among the top 20 cities for each of the past 10 months. In November, Seattle came in first with an increase of 10.4%, followed by Portland at 10.1% and Denver at 8.7%.

Monthly, the National Index increased by 0.2% in November. The 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite also both increased 0.2% for the month. After seasonal adjustment, however, the National index increased 0.8% and the 10-City and 20-City Composites increased 0.9% month-over month. After seasonally adjustment, all top 20 cities saw an increase in home prices.

“The home prices and economic data are from late 2016,” Blitzer said. “The new Administration in Washington is seeking faster economic growth, increased investment in infrastructure, and changes in tax policy which could affect housing and home prices.”

“Mortgage rates have increased since the election and stronger economic growth could push them higher,” he said. “Further gains in personal income and employment may increase the demand for housing and add to price pressures when home prices are already rising about twice as fast as inflation.”

Thank you Kelsey Ramirez with HousingWire.com

Who’s Afraid of Rising Interest Rates?

While mortgage rates remain “historically low,” many first-time buyers think they’re substantially more expensive because they don’t remember high-rate years.

1st Time Homebuyers

[Move.com] Rising mortgage rates have created an urgency for Experienced Purchasers to buy before further increases. Average listing views on realtor.com surged 40% to 80% in the last 3 weeks of December 2016 compared to December 2015.

“Rising rates have made demand even more intense,” realtor.com notes. However, the demand mostly seems to be coming on stronger from repeat buyers. For first-time buyers, rising mortgage rates are having an opposite effect and they’re showing signs of beginning to shy away from the market.

The number of 1st-time buyers planning to purchase this spring has dropped sharply and the rise in mortgage rates over the past few weeks may be to blame for their retreat, according to realtor.com® study. Repeat buyers, on the other hand, want to lock in rates right away.

Forty-four percent of active home buyers who plan to buy a home this spring are first-time home buyers, down from 55% last fall who said they were planning to buy in the spring. So what’s spooking them?

Average rates today are about a half percentage point higher than they were in 2016. That means a median-priced home financed with a 20% down would cost an extra $720 per year in added interest, realtor.com.

If you want to own your first home, now is STILL the time to buy!

First-time buyers are nearly 5 times more likely than repeat buyers to say they are facing challenges qualifying for a mortgage. Affordability topped first-time buyer concerns.

In November, first-time buyers made up 32% of all buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The rise in rates is associated with an anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth, both of which favor buyers,” adds Jonathan Smoke chief economist for realtor.com. “At the same time, higher rates make qualifying for a mortgage and finding affordable inventory more challenging. The decline in the share of first-time buyers since October suggests that the move up in rates is discouraging new home buyers already.”

On the other hand, repeat homebuyers realize mortgage rates – while moving higher overall – are still at historical lows. Before rates jump more, these buyers are in a rush to close before rates increase further, according to realtor.com’s study.

First-time buyers may need to lower their expectations a little and not insist on a dream home…  Their perfect home is out there, it just takes a different approach  and process to finding it.  Please give us a call, we would love to help you.

http://www.ForeSiteResidential.com

How the Trump Presidency Will Impact Housing in 2017

Trump's Impact on Housing

Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon, will be our nation’s 45th president. That’s good news for the housing industry, right? Well, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s how the Trump presidency may impact housing and homeownership in 2017 via NerdWallet.

A ‘responsibly aggressive’ marketplace

A unified call for less government regulation is coming from the Trump camp as well as Republicans in Congress. On the deregulation radar: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other elements of Dodd-Frank, the Wall Street reform act that President Obama signed into law in 2010.

“Since the elections, there has been much discussion of how expected changes under a Trump administration are likely to reduce the [CFPB’s] impact, particularly in the enforcement arena,” says Rob Chrisman, a senior advisor for the Stratmor Group, a mortgage industry consultancy. “Dodd-Frank will not be eliminated. It will be refined — which is a good thing.”

Jeff Taylor is managing partner of Digital Risk, a mortgage processing company. He also says trimming Dodd-Frank would be a good thing for potential homeowners.

“If Dodd-Frank is streamlined, I think you could have banks be more responsibly aggressive in the marketplace, as far as making mortgages,” he says. “And I think that will open up more product for first-time homebuyers … in the next couple of years.”

Taylor says less stringent regulations on lenders might lower the costs of compliance and allow more small community banks to compete with big banks, “boosting bank profits — all of which are likely to increase credit availability.”

However, critics like Noah Smith, former assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, worry that deregulation will dial banking risk back up and, perhaps more importantly, put taxpayers back on the hook to bail out the bad actors. Just as during the housing crisis of 10 years ago, it would be another “race to the bottom,” Smith wrote in a Bloomberg analysis.

But a reduction in federal regulations won’t transform the housing industry, Chrisman says. “Trump may mean less federal enforcement, but the states will remain aggressive. Politicians in California, Illinois and New York, primarily Democratic states, have already mentioned a stepped-up regulatory atmosphere,” he says.

Getting Fannie and Freddie ‘out of government ownership’

Another item on the Republican agenda is to reduce the government footprint in the mortgage industry. That means moving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the private sector.

The two government-sponsored companies back a majority of mortgages and were bailed out with taxpayer dollars during the housing crash. Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from lenders and then package and sell those loans in large bundles of bonds.

The quarterly profits that Fannie and Freddie earn are now funneled to the U.S. Treasury, which has been paid back $60 billion more than it provided in bailout funding to the companies. Investors in Fannie and Freddie want to see that money move back into the private sector.

In November, Trump’s Treasury secretary nominee, Steven Mnuchin, told Fox Business Network, “We gotta get Fannie and Freddie out of government ownership.”

“I think there are models that could work,” Taylor says regarding Fannie and Freddie privatization. “What I don’t think you could see is a model [where] the U.S. government doesn’t stand 100% explicitly behind the bonds that Fannie and Freddie issue.”

He says removing that federal guarantee would reduce the global demand for the mortgage-backed securities that the two quasi-government agencies issue. Those bonds are instrumental in freeing up capital for lenders to make more loans.

Homebuilders and a Trump economy

A lack of skilled labor has been one of the biggest constraints to the housing industry for the past couple of years, and Taylor worries that the Trump administration may not help matters in that regard.

“Mr. Trump’s plan to spend money on infrastructure projects around the country could result in more laborers taking those jobs and leaving homebuilders short-handed,” Taylor says. “Also, his immigration stance is likely to keep immigrants out of the country and out of the workforce — a blow to homebuilders who rely on immigrants for many construction jobs.”

Labor shortages also contribute to rising wages for construction workers, which in turn keep new home prices high, he adds.

However, Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, says he expects the Trump administration to take action on some labor rules that could benefit the homebuilding industry. That will almost certainly include the Obama overtime rule “that would’ve affected a lot of construction site managers,” Dietz says.

That rule, blocked by a federal judge on Nov. 22, aimed to double the maximum income a worker could earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay. The new limit of $47,500 would have given 4.2 million more Americans the opportunity to earn overtime, according to the Obama administration.

Dietz also is looking for a Trump administration to help lower building costs. “Just under 25% of the cost of a newly built home is due to regulatory burdens,” he says. “I think it’s reasonable that the new administration can address a lot of them.”

How Trump might affect home affordability

Mortgage rates have soared since Trump won the election. That’s part of a good news/bad news scenario.

“One could argue that the Trump victory has driven up interest rates due to the fear of future inflation, given his tax and infrastructure build proposals,” Chrisman says. “This increase in rates certainly negatively impacts homeownership for first-time buyers. Increasing interest rates, however, often signal a strengthening economy, and if that is the case, more first-time borrowers will qualify.”

Taylor also says home affordability could suffer but offers another factor in the equation. “On the positive side, [higher mortgage rates] could also slow price appreciation, which would help buyers. The housing market has lacked first-time buyers and move-up buyers. Slower price appreciation could benefit move-up buyers who have regained value in their home and want to move up before prices rise again,” he says.

“I’ll tell you, if I’m looking to buy a house for the first time or to sell my house and move into a different house, I really am looking at this next year as probably a moving year because rates still in the 4s are very, very attractive,” Taylor adds.

Will Trump eliminate the mortgage interest deduction?

And then there’s the most sacred cow of all: the mortgage interest deduction. It is frequently mentioned as an important factor in the “buy or rent?” conversation.

The Trump administration and Republicans have floated the idea of putting a cap on the amount of allowed interest that you could deduct from your tax bill.

The thing is, an analysis by the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution says only about one-fifth of households actually use the deduction. And of those that do, most are way above middle-class taxpayers.

“The Tax Policy Center finds that in 2017, Trump’s cap would affect only about 160,000 singles, a tiny fraction of the 89 million single taxpayers, and about 230,000 couples out of 59 million joint filers,” Howard Gleckman, senior fellow with the Tax Policy Center, writes on Forbes.com. “The vast majority of the taxpayers who would face the cap are high-income.”

Homeownership rates under a Trump presidency

Chrisman is looking for little change in the rate of homeownership in the coming years. From a percentage perspective, homeownership in the U.S. reached its peak during the Clinton/Bush presidential terms, he says. But that’s when banks relaxed underwriting guidelines to such an extent that “people who shouldn’t have been buying houses were.”

The housing crash changed everything. Underwriting, loan documentation and appraisal requirements have strengthened since then. “Marginal borrowers are not borrowing money, and investors feel more secure with investing in mortgage-backed securities,” Chrisman says.

He says that America’s need for housing is just as great as ever and that Trump’s policies won’t move the dial on homeownership rates one way or the other.

“Internal population growth hasn’t stopped, nor has immigration. Nor has the desire for a new generation to want a home for their children,” he says. “I think that from what we know so far, the Trump presidency will have little or no direct impact on homeownership rates.”

A positive outlook for the New Year

All in all, the experts we spoke with are optimistic about 2017. Lenders are using better technology to streamline the mortgage process, and the housing market is “healthy” and “robust,” in their words.

“Builders are excited,” Dietz says. He says reductions in regulatory costs could help homebuilders provide housing to the tightest segment of the market, the entry-level buyer.

“If we do get an administration that’s taking a look at various kinds of regulatory policies — where they’ve grown too large or too expensive — that will certainly be a help [to] the supply side of the market. And I think that’s good news, not just for builders, but it’s good news for renters and prospective homebuyers because adding supply is the way that you address housing affordability issues.”

via Hal Bundrick, a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.

Why Do You Think Mortgage Interest Rates Are Increasing?

Mortgage Interest Rates

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate recently jumped up to 3.94%. Interest rates had been hovering around 3.5% since June, and many are wondering why there has been such a significant increase so quickly.

Why did rates go up?
Whenever there is a presidential election, there is uncertainty in the markets as to who will win. One way that this is noticeable is through the actions of investors. As we get closer to the first Tuesday of November, many investors pull their funds from the more volatile and less predictive stock market and instead, choose to invest in Treasury Bonds.

When this happens, the interest rate on Treasury Bonds does not have to be as high to entice investors to buy them, so interest rates go down. Once the elections are over and a President has been elected, investors return to the stock market and other investments, leaving the Treasury to raise rates to make bonds more attractive again.

Simply put, the better the economy, the higher interest rates will go. For a more detailed explanation of the many factors that contribute to whether interest rates go up or down, you can follow this great link to Investopedia.

The Good News
Even though rates are closer to 4% than they have been in nearly 6 months, they are still slightly below where we started 2016, at 3.97%.

The great news is that even at 4%, rates are still significantly lower than they have been over the last 4 decades.

Any increase in interest rate will impact your monthly housing costs when you secure a mortgage to buy your home. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that, “While still only roughly half the average over the past 45 years, according to Freddie Mac, the quick rise has lenders worried that home loans could become more expensive far sooner than anticipated.”

Tom Simons, a Senior Economist at Jefferies LLC, touched on another possible outcome for higher rates:

“First-time buyers look at the monthly total, at what they can afford, so if the mortgage is eaten up by a higher interest expense then there’s less left over for price, for the principal. Buyers will be shopping in a lower price bracket; thus demand could shift a bit.”

Key Take-Away

Interest rates are impacted by many factors, and even though they have increased recently, rates would have to reach 9.1% for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.

Give us a call… we can and will help you find the perfect home in spite of this rate bump.  www.ForeSiteResidential.com

Thanks to Keeping Current Matters for their facts and narrative.

Ivy Zelman: ‘Now’ Is Best Time to Buy a House.

Ivy ZelmanHousing guru Ivy Zelman told CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” yesterday that “now” is the best time to buy a house.

“It’s the best time in the history of our country with mortgage rates that are below 4 percent that [renters] can actually lock in their fixed cost and create wealth for themselves,” she said.

The founder and chief executive of Zelman & Associates is known for calling the housing peak in 2005 and the housing bottom in 2012.

Zelman said this housing cycle is like a “tale of two markets.”

She said the entry-level market is beginning to accelerate, and builders’ trepidation is slowly beginning to fade as more people are beginning to move to the suburbs.

The market would seem to be in agreement with her on that. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) was trading up more than 1.15 percent Monday morning, and on pace for its best day since Sept. 22, when the XHB gained 1.11 percent.

On the other hand, she said the luxury markets in some cities are in the beginning see “a little bit” of a correction.

When asked about whether millennials will ever buy homes, Zelman said they are beginning to buy houses, but mainly those who are starting a family.

“What we’re seeing is that they want to go to the suburbs, millennials are buying and we have nearly 75 million of them just beginning to come through the pipeline,” she said.

Click here to see video.

Mortgages: Know Before You Owe

Are you aware of how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is making the mortgage process easier?

The CFPB’s mortgage initiative is designed to help consumers understand their loan options, shop for the mortgage that’s best for them, and avoid costly surprises at the closing table.

The Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule replaces four disclosure forms with two new ones, the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. The new forms are easier to understand and easier to use. The rule also requires that you get three business days to review your Closing Disclosure and ask questions before you close on a mortgage.

via CFPB