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Jerry Sonier, Broker

New Braunfels Real Estate Information

By Jerry & Susan Sonier | Broker in New Braunfels, TX
  • Before Buying a Foreclosure: 3 Things to Consider

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Braunfels, Financing in New Braunfels, Foreclosure in New Braunfels  |  November 2, 2011 11:08 AM  |  653 views  |  No comments

    Before Buying a Foreclosure: 3 Things to Consider

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 02, 2011

    Your buyers may be drawn to distressed properties. After all, "the No. 1 reason to buy a foreclosure is the potential for a good bargain," says Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac.com. 

    Indeed, discounts often can range from to 20 or 40 percent off on a short sale or foreclosure compared to a sales price of a nondistressed home. 

    But despite the big bargains, buyers need to tread carefully before jumping in. Blomquist provides some of the following tips in buying a foreclosure in a recent article at Business Insider.

    --Beginners may want to focus on REOs. New buyers may want to avoid short sales, which often come with lengthy negotiations, or foreclosure auctions that often require all-cash payments. On the other hand, REOs, Blomquist says, can be similar to a traditional home sale in some ways and can offer some of the biggest bargains. "A bank isn't emotionally attached to a REO; it's just looking to recoup as much of its losses as possible," Blomquist told Business Insider. "So the lender is often more willing to capitulate on price."

    --Don’t forget the inspection. Many distressed properties are sold “as is” and can come with a host of problems if buyers aren’t careful. Blomquist recommends getting a home inspector to inspect the home prior to any purchase. Buyers will then have a list of any potential problems with the home, along with estimates for costs of repair. Buyers can then use the list to possibly negotiate a lower price, Blomquist says.

    --Don’t expect appreciation right away. You’ll also likely want to caution buyers who believe that because they’re buying at a big discount they expect to see appreciation right away. Educate your buyers about the market. "It's important to not make the mistake of counting on any major price appreciation in the near term," Blomquist advises buyers in the article at Business Insider. "We're still in a depressed market, and we're probably not going to see home prices appreciate much for quite some time."

  • Are Banks Getting Better on Short Sales?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New Braunfels, Financing in New Braunfels, In My Neighborhood in New Braunfels  |  October 20, 2011 12:50 PM  |  598 views  |  No comments

    Are Banks Getting Better on Short Sales?

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011

    Are short sales getting easier? Some home owners are reporting that banks are now not only more willing to consider a short sale, but are even offering incentives to complete a short sale. For example, a home owner in Chicago says his lender approved his short sale and then gave him a $20,000 check after the deal was finalized for selling the home as a short sale instead of letting it sink into foreclosure. 

    Lenders accepting a lower mortgage payoff from an underwater seller traditionally isn’t thought of an easy transaction to complete. Lenders weren’t so willing a few years ago. But as the number of Americans underwater on their mortgages grow, more lenders are reconsidering as they try to avoid extra costs incurred to their bottom-lines that a foreclosure can cause. 

    For 2011, short sales accounted for about 8 percent of total home sales, and rose 7 percent over 2010 totals, according to CoreLogic data. Short sales are up by 59 percent year-over-year in Illinois, 32 percent in Michigan, and 19 percent in Arizona alone, according to CoreLogic. 

    “We’re starting to see that servicers and lenders are viewing short sales as a better alternative than they had in the past,” says Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac. “Some of that relates to the fact that it’s getting harder to foreclose. There are additional requirements in terms of paperwork and requirements that states and judges are imposing.”

    Short sales can still be complex and lengthy — they can take up to nine months to close and even after that, there’s no guarantee it’ll end successfully. “In general, it is a totally different type of transaction,” says Mike Cuevas, a real estate profesional at Exit Realty in Chicago. “You’re not only selling a house, you’re negotiating debt.” 

    Source: “Why it can Pay to try a Short Sale; Lenders may be Viewing Short Sales as a Better 

  • Houston's Housing Market Posts Big Gains

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in New Braunfels  |  October 20, 2011 12:45 PM  |  364 views  |  No comments

    Houston's Housing Market Posts Big Gains

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2011

    The sale of single-family homes in Houston soared 16.9 percent last month and reached the highest median price on record for September, the Houston Association of REALTORS® reports. 

    September has marked the fourth-straight month for sale increases. 

    The median single-family home price in September was $157,500--the highest on record for a September in Houston, HAR reports. The median price is 1.6 percent higher than the $155,000 median sales price in September 2010.

    “The combination of increased closed and pending sales, fewer active listings, and strong pricing suggests that we are entering the fall home-buying season on strong footing,” Carlos Bujosa, HAR chairman, said in a statement.

    Source: “Houston Home Sales Rise, Break Price Record,” Houston Business Journal (Oct. 18, 2011)

  • Buyers Want a Deal--or a Steal?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New Braunfels, Home Buying in New Braunfels, Home Selling in New Braunfels  |  October 20, 2011 12:21 PM  |  537 views  |  No comments

    Buyers Want a Deal--or a Steal?

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2011

    Buyers are still looking for homes, but they won’t settle for anything less than a great deal, say real estate professionals. 

    "All the buyers across the board want everything in a house,” says Karin Batterton, a Coldwell Banker real estate agent in Baltimore. "They want it completely done. They want all the newest, trendy materials, and they want it for 2005 prices." 

    Regardless of buyers’ high desires these days, the homes that are selling tend to be the ones where sellers price their homes the most competitively. 

    "When you have realistic sellers, then we have competitive bidding on houses and you might even see that price go up," Batterton told WBAL-TV. "When you have an unrealistic seller, then you have a house on the market for a long time, and it just depends."

    Source: “Realtor: Realistic Sellers Can Find Buyers,” WBAL-TV.com (Oct. 11, 2011)

  • 30-Year Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4%

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New Braunfels, Financing in New Braunfels, In My Neighborhood in New Braunfels  |  October 10, 2011 2:09 PM  |  466 views  |  No comments

    30-Year Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4%

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2011

    For the first time ever, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell below 4 percent, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

    In the last month mortgage rates have continued to set new weekly record lows, but the 30-year mortgages’ latest drop below 4 percent may be an important threshold for potential buyers. The 30-year mortgage is the most popular financing option of buyers.

    Mortgage rates are expected to stay well-below 5 percent through 2013, Fannie Mae economists are projecting. Home buyers taking out loans for purchase is expected to more than double in the next two years too, Inman News reports.

    Rates have continued to free-fall as concerns over a global recession grows, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. 

    Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Oct. 6.

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent this week, down from last week’s previous record low of 4.01 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.27 percent. 
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.26 percent, another all-time low. This is the sixth-consecutive week the 15-year mortgage has posted new average record lows. Last week, 15-year rates averaged 3.28 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.72 percent. 
    • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.96 percent this week, dropping from last week’s 3.02 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.47 percent. 
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.95 percent, the only mortgage rate to move up last week. Last week, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.83 percent. A year ago, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.40 percent. 


    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

  • Mortgage Rates Reach New Lows

    Posted Under: Home Buying in New Braunfels, Home Selling in New Braunfels, Financing in New Braunfels  |  October 10, 2011 1:48 PM  |  482 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage Rates Reach New Lows

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

    For the third straight week, fixed-rate mortgages inched down, reaching new lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a record low of 4.01 percent this week while the 15-year fixed-rate set a new record of 3.28 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.  In Western areas, 30-year rates moved even lower, averaging 3.95 percent, Freddie reports. 

    "Fixed mortgage rates fell to all-time record lows this week following the Federal Reserve's announcement of its Maturity Extension Program and additional purchases of mortgage-backed securities,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.

    Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Sept. 29: 

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.01 percent, inching down from last week’s previous record of 4.09 percent. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.32 percent. 
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.28 percent, dropping from last week’s previous record of 3.29 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.75 percent. 
    • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: held steady this week at 3.02 percent. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.52 percent. 
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.83 percent, up slightly from last week’s 2.82 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.48 percent. 

    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

  • Mortgage Rates Remain at Record Lows

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in New Braunfels, Financing in New Braunfels, In My Neighborhood in New Braunfels  |  September 23, 2011 1:06 PM  |  424 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage Rates Remain at Record Lows

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

    The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage reached a new record low of 3.29 percent this week, as 30-year mortgage rates remained at the record low it reached last week, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

    Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week: 

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.09 percent, matching last week’s record-hitting average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.37 percent. 
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.29 percent, marking a new all-time record. Last week, 15-year rates averaged 3.30 percent, and a year ago at this time, it averaged 3.82 percent. 
    • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.02 percent this week, up from last week’s 2.99 percent average. Last year at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.54 percent. 
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.82 percent, up slightly from last week’s 2.81 percent. A year ago, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.46 percent. 

    "A sluggish economy and investor concerns over the European debt markets left mortgage rates largely unchanged this week,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. Housing data remained mixed this week with new-home construction dropping 5 percent in August, while existing-home sales rose 5 percent in August.

    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

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