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Bud Zeller's Blog

By Bud Zeller | Agent in Placerville, CA
  • Study: Sprawl Damages Economic Mobility

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Citrus Heights, Home Ownership in Citrus Heights  |  April 13, 2014 1:19 PM  |  117 views  |  No comments

    A new report from Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center finds that living in sprawling metropolitan areas has major repercussions on a poor child’s chances of moving up the economic ladder as they enter adulthood.

    Researchers found that living in more compact and connected metro areas can help low-income families, surmising that better access to economic opportunity and transportation can help them improve their situation.

    “A child [in a low-sprawl area] born in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale has a better chance of rising to the top 20 percent of the income scale by the age of 30,” said Reid Ewing, a professor of city and metropolitan planning at the University of Utah and the lead researcher on the report. “My explanation at this point is that a low-income person living in a very compact area has a much better access to jobs.”

    The report looked both at how compact a metro area is as well as how well-connected homes are with job centers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York and San Francisco took the top prizes in terms of combating sprawl in large metro areas. 

    Source: "Suburban sprawl hurts social mobility," Aljazeera America (April 2, 2014)

  • Foreclosures Rise as Banks Take More Action

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Amador County, Foreclosure in Amador County, Home Ownership in Amador County  |  April 12, 2014 7:27 PM  |  90 views  |  No comments

    Foreclosure activity rose last month by 4 percent, but it remains at the lowest level since 2007, RealtyTrac reports in its latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

    Last month’s increase was mostly attributed to a 7 percent month-over-month rise in foreclosure starts and a 6 percent rise in scheduled foreclosure auctions. Banks are increasingly turning more of their attention to properties that have been sitting in foreclosure limbo.

    “Banks will now be able to devote more resources to dealing with the lingering inventory of nearly half a million already foreclosed homes that still need to be sold,” says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice president. “Our estimates indicate only 10 percent of these bank-owned properties are listed for sale, and more than half are still occupied by the former home owner or tenant.”

    Metros with the highest percentage of occupied REOs include Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; New York; Houston; and San Jose, Calif., according to RealtyTrac.

    “Now that the foreclosure deluge has dried up, banks are turning their attention back to properties that have been sitting in foreclosure limbo for some time,” says Blomquist. “This is most evident in judicial foreclosure states that were more likely to have impediments in the foreclosure process, but there are also signs of this catch-up trend happening in some non-judicial states.”

    Blomquist notes that California is seeing an increasing number of judicial foreclosure filings and foreclosure starts in the first quarter of this year (the state’s first double-digit percentage increase since the fourth quarter of 2009).

    Foreclosure starts in the first quarter rose from year-ago levels in 19 states. The states that saw foreclosure starts rise by the most are New Jersey (up 83%); Maryland (up 43%); Indiana (up 38%); Delaware (up 24%); Connecticut (up 13%); and California (up 10%).

    Source: RealtyTrac

  • FHA Program Puts Ex-Home Owners on Track to Buy Again Sooner

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Placerville, Financing in Placerville, Home Ownership in Placerville  |  April 12, 2014 7:17 PM  |  91 views  |  No comments

    Typically, home owners who lost their homes to a short sale or foreclosure are required to wait about 36 months before being able to purchase a primary residence again with a Federal Housing Administration loan. But the FHA’s Back to Work Program is allowing buyers to purchase a primary home much sooner — possibly as soon as 12 months following a short sale, foreclosure, or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

    The program runs through Sept. 30, 2016.

    To qualify for the program, potential buyers will need to document the financial problem that prompted their short sale or foreclosure, such as showing a 20 percent loss in income for at least six consecutive months prior to losing the home. Buyers will also have to show that they have taken steps to re-establish their income and credit (having a credit score of at least 640 or having undergone a HUD-approved counseling agency program on home ownership or residential mortgage loans). The program does not consider divorce, previous loan modifications, or adjustable-rate loan recasting as reasons to qualify.

    With conventional loans, boomerang buyers are typically eligible to buy again seven years after a short sale or foreclosure, or possibly three years with sufficient documentation of the circumstances and a lender exemption. FHA, VA, and USDA all offer opportunities for boomerang buyers to repurchase 36 months following a short sale or foreclosure.

    Source: “FHA Program Gives Distressed Homeowners a Second Chance,” Credit.com (April 9, 2014)

  • 2013 Home Seller Survey

    Posted Under: General Area in Placerville, Home Ownership in Placerville  |  April 12, 2014 10:17 AM  |  56 views  |  No comments
    How-Did-Home-Sellers-Handle-Multiple-Offers
  • Study: Sprawl Damages Economic Mobility

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  April 11, 2014 11:20 AM  |  79 views  |  No comments

    A new report from Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center finds that living in sprawling metropolitan areas has major repercussions on a poor child’s chances of moving up the economic ladder as they enter adulthood.

    Researchers found that living in more compact and connected metro areas can help low-income families, surmising that better access to economic opportunity and transportation can help them improve their situation.

    “A child [in a low-sprawl area] born in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale has a better chance of rising to the top 20 percent of the income scale by the age of 30,” said Reid Ewing, a professor of city and metropolitan planning at the University of Utah and the lead researcher on the report. “My explanation at this point is that a low-income person living in a very compact area has a much better access to jobs.”

    Source: "Suburban sprawl hurts social mobility," Aljazeera America (April 2, 2014)

  • More Home Owners Focusing on 'Paying Down Their Mortgage'

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in California, Financing in California, Home Ownership in California  |  March 20, 2014 3:43 PM  |  239 views  |  2 comments

    As home prices rise, consumers are once again prioritizing their mortgage payments over paying down credit card debt, according to a new report from TransUnion. It’s the first time since 2008 that borrowers have shifted their focus back to mortgage debt ahead of credit card debt.

    Mortgage delinquencies are falling, too. The delinquency rate dropped to 1.71 percent in December, down from 3.32 percent in September 2008.

    Following the housing crisis, many home owners were underwater on their mortgages, and some stopped making mortgage payments a priority, TransUnion notes.

    “As unemployment rose and home prices cratered, many borrowers chose to value their credit card relationships above their mortgages,” says Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting at TransUnion. “When people lose jobs, they need credit cards as a source of liquidity.”

    While consumers are placing more of a focus on paying their mortgages, the debt they still prioritize above mortgages continues to be auto loans, TransUnion reports.

    Source: “Borrowers Paying Mortgages Over Credit Cards Again,” CNNMoney (March 19, 2014)

  • Economist: What 2014 Holds for Real Estate

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Placerville, Property Q&A in Placerville, Home Ownership in Placerville  |  March 20, 2014 3:40 PM  |  221 views  |  No comments

    Veteran housing economist David Berson, formerly of Fannie Mae and PMI Group, shares his thoughts on what the public needs to know about the housing market this year. 

    First, he predicts that 2014 will be the strongest year for housing activity since prior to the recession. Most economists expect an improved job market in the months ahead, with employment growth accelerating and the jobless rate continuing to fall. This will be the key factor improving housing demand in 2014, even if mortgage rates climb and affordability declines. 

    Additionally, demographics should start to favor housing activity. To this end, the demographic factor most affecting the residential property sector is household formation. "Household formations are affected by the job market, as people 'double-up' when worried about their job and income-earning prospects," Berson writes. "The Great Recession and the modest job recovery in the years following induced many people who might have lived independently to move in together." 

    Berson and colleagues estimate the economy is short by more than 3 million households. If the economy expands at a faster clip in 2014, bringing a more rapid rate of job creation, that should translate into more households, which in turn should raise housing demand.  

    Finally, Berson says mortgage availability should not worsen between now and the end of December and may actually expand.

    Source: "Economist: 3 Major Things You Need to Know About the 2014 Housing Market," Housing Wire (March 17, 2014)

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