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Bud Zeller's Blog

By Bud Zeller | Agent in Placerville, CA
  • The top 10 things 'Every Renter Needs to Know'

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Sacramento, Rent vs Buy in Sacramento, Rentals in Sacramento  |  April 12, 2014 11:04 AM  |  94 views  |  No comments

    After the housing market crashed in 2008, the number of single-family renting households has grown by leaps and bounds. And it doesn’t appear like that increase is going to slow down any time soon.

    The National Association of Realtors expects that within the next 10 years, 5 to 6 million new renter households will be created.

    According to U.S. Census data, the rental vacancy rate has dropped from 8.4% in 2009 to 4.1% in 2013. With approximately 34% of all U.S. households paying rent and rental rates climbing by 3.2% in 2013, renters have to be smart and make sure they’re choosing the right place to call home.

    With that in mind, VIEW a list from Homes.com of the top 10 things every renter needs to know at: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/29482-the-top-10-things-every-renter-needs-to-know

  • Study: Sprawl Damages Economic Mobility

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  April 11, 2014 11:20 AM  |  80 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)

  • New Report Faults Fannie, Freddie Foreclosure Inspections

    Posted Under: Financing in Sacramento, Foreclosure in Sacramento  |  March 26, 2014 2:55 PM  |  315 views  |  No comments

    An investigation into the pre-foreclosure inspections conducted by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revealed several errors – including reports that possibly included fraudulent data – and raised “serious quality control issues,” claims a new report from the Office of Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    The report alleges that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did “not have quality controls in place to obtain reasonable assurance that pre-foreclosure property inspection information is accurate, consistent, and complete.” The government-sponsored enterprises paid more than $91.2 million in pre-foreclosure property inspections in 2011 and 2012.

    The report alleges that the property inspection reports contained inaccurate information as well as missing, manipulated, and blurry photographs. The report also accuses servicers of failing to have oversight procedures to evaluate vendors’ property inspection performance or validate the accuracy of the inspection reports. The Office of Inspector General report also says that the property inspection reports often did not even include the names or signatures of those who conducted the inspections.

    The Office of Inspector General report also provided examples of offenses, including an allegation that one inspector who submitted an inspection report had appeared to just have copied information from a previous report for the assessment.

    “There has been little attention provided to pre-foreclosure property inspections by both FHFA and [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac],” according to the report. “Specifically, FHFA has not issued guidance to [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] related to the quality of pre-foreclosure property inspections and the agency has not conducted any targeted examinations of the [GSEs’] pre-foreclosure property inspection processes.”

    OIG has advised the FHFA to direct Fannie and Freddie to assess the effectiveness of their pre-foreclosure property inspection processes as well as called on the agencies to establish uniform pre-foreclosure inspection quality standards and quality control processes for inspectors.

    Source: “Report: Fannie, Freddie Foreclosure Inspectors Did Terrible Job,” HousingWire (March 25, 2014)

  • Loan Demand Slips, Despite Falling Rates Last Week

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Financing in Sacramento  |  March 19, 2014 3:08 PM  |  178 views  |  2 comments

    Mortgage applications dropped last week, falling 1.2 percent, as both applications for home purchases and refinancing posted decreases, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported for the week ending March 14.

    The MBA’s mortgage application activity index showed that refinancing applications dropped 1.3 percent for the week. Applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading gauge for future home sales, posted a slight drop at 0.9 percent for the week.

    Mortgage applications have fallen for four of the past five weeks, according to the MBA.

    Meanwhile, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.50 percent last week, dropping 2 basis points from 4.52 percent a week prior.

    Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Fell Last Week: MBA,” Reuters (March 19, 2014)

  • Relos Share Their Dream Lists

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Home Buying in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  March 12, 2014 8:33 PM  |  177 views  |  No comments

    Want to know exactly what employees relocating to a new housing market for a job are looking for in their next home? Cartus, a provider of domestic and global relocation services, recently surveyed 267 brokers who specialize in working with relocating employees to find out the most important home characteristics for those clients.

    These were the top three items transferees identified as most important to have in their next home:

    • A larger home than their former residence: 70%
    • New construction: 64%
    • Single story: 37%

    Meanwhile, transferees identified the following amenities as the most important in their next home:

    • Upgraded kitchen: 91%
    • Master bedroom on first floor: 60%
    • Finished basement: 44%
    • Pool/spa: 23%
    • Outdoor kitchen: 11%
    • Smart-home technology (such as control via phone/tablet for heat, electricity, electronics, media, security, etc.): 10%
    • Media room/home theater: 7%
    • Fitness room: 4%

    When it comes to location, transferees ranked as the two key items of importance: location near a specific school district and less than 30 minutes commute to work.

    “A job transfer is a major life change for employees and their families, and finding a home that fulfills their needs is important and enables the employee to transition to the new job efficiently and with little disruption to family lifestyles and routines,” says Gerry Pearce, executive vice president, broker and affinity services for Cartus.

    Source: “Home Shopping: Dream Wish List for Relocating Employees,” RISMedia (March 8, 2014)

  • Mortgage Rates Are Moving on Up

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Financing in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  February 22, 2014 7:47 PM  |  103 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage rates inched higher this week for the second week in a row, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.33 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

    "Mortgage rates crept up further following the uptick in the 10-year Treasury yield as minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting indicated little possibility of a pause in the central bank's reduction of bond purchases,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The Federal Reserve plans to wind down its $85 billion per month bond-buying stimulus program this year, which has been helping to keep mortgage rates low in recent years.

    Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Feb. 20:

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.33 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 4.28 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.56 percent.
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 3.33 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.77 percent.
    • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.05 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.64 percent.
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.57 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 2.55 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.65 percent.

    Source: Freddie Mac

  • New Home Purchases Rise Sharply in January

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Home Buying in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  February 19, 2014 8:57 PM  |  89 views  |  No comments
    The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that sales of new, single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 543,000 units in January, based on data from MBA’s Builder Applications Survey (BAS).

    The estimated 543,000 unit sales pace for January was an increase of 35 percent from December’s pace of 402,000 units.  The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.

    Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 27 percent relative to the previous month.  This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

    More info
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