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By Glenn Loper, CRS | Agent in Tempe, AZ
  • Four reasons to buy a home now

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Phoenix, Home Buying in Phoenix, Financing in Phoenix  |  August 7, 2014 1:45 PM  |  26 views  |  No comments

    Thinking of buying a home? Keep reading to find out why you should take action sooner rather than later.

    Yahoo Homes 
    By Danielle Blundell18 hours ago

    If you're thinking about purchasing a home, sooner might be better than later when it comes to favorable conditions for buyers.

    Buying a home is a major financial decision that you shouldn't rush into. But that doesn't mean you should take your sweet time either. The real estate market is volatile, and truth be told, this year might be your last chance to affordably buy a home for awhile.

    "If you qualify for a mortgage and choose not to buy now, you will be kicking yourself in 12 months," says Anthony VanDyke, president of ALV Mortgage in Utah.

    Thanks to a dearth of inventory, home prices are projected to increase by 6.3 percent nationwide from April 2014 to April 2015, according to a recent study by Corelogic, a leading global property information, analytics, and data-enabled services provider.

    Just how much could that increase cost you? More than you might think.

    "On a $300,000 house today, the same house will cost you $318,000 in one year," says VanDyke.

    The difference isn't mere pocket change. So if you're in the market to buy a home, read on for more reasons why this year could be a prospective homeowner's last chance to buy an affordable home.

    Reason to Buy Now #1: Low for-sale inventory means homes will become more expensive

    A low inventory of homes for sale keeps house prices up, according to California-based mortgage banker, Michael Regan, of the Regan Team.

    "It's simple supply and demand," says Regan. "The less you have of something, the more expensive it will become."

    Just how did we get into this increasingly low-supply, high-price environment? According to Regan, there are a few causes.

    "With the limited housing inventory in many markets, and with last year's home price increases, many people couldn't afford to buy a home and rented instead," he says. "Because of the Great Recession, the building of new homes and rental units was almost nonexistent for years and didn't keep up with population growth."

    With a shortage of housing and rental units available, Regan says housing prices and rents have increased, leading to affordability issues. The good news is that this supply and demand issue will solve itself once more housing units are built to accommodate the population growth and young families looking for homes, says Regan. But the bad news is that it could take a while, and prices will climb until then. So now might be a good time to buy, before prices peak, he explains.

    Reason to Buy Now #2: The Fed plans to taper off bond-buying program in October

    With the economy improving and the unemployment rate dropping, the Federal Reserve tentatively plans to end their bond-buying program in October. The end of the program, which was aimed to keep interest rates low, is expected to result in higher interest rates, and any increase in interest rates could create even less favorable conditions for buyers, says Van Dyke.

    According to the MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are projected to jump half a percentage point in early 2015 from the year before.

    On a 30-year conventional mortgage of $300,000, an increase from 4.4 to 4.9 percent means paying an extra $90 each month or more than $30,000 in interest over the life of the loan. So that half point difference can translate into a hefty chunk of cash for any home buyer.

    "Rising rates can have just as big an impact on affordability as does rising prices due to low housing inventory," says Ellen Davis, a Maryland-based senior mortgage loan originator with Corridor Mortgage Group.

    When mortgage rates increase, Davis says borrowers experience greater difficulty qualifying for a home loan.

    "Higher interest rates increase a borrower's overall debt to income ratio, and depending on their current situation, they may end up no longer qualifying based on underwriting guidelines. Even if they do qualify, they may not be comfortable with the higher monthly debt payment and may choose to reduce the amount of home they are willing to purchase or put off the purchase indefinitely," says Davis.

    So what's the take home here?

    "While you've missed the bottom of the market with home prices, interest rates are still very low," according to Regan. Don't risk rates going up, he says, which can ultimately cost you big on your home's price tag.

    Reason to Buy Now #3: The current economy's flat wages threaten to make homes less affordable

    When was the last time you heard of companies giving out big bonuses and substantial salary raises? Save a few high-growth industries, flat wages have been the rule, not the exception. If home prices continue to increase, housing could in theory become less affordable if your take-home pay doesn't keep up with its growth.

    "History has shown us that there is always the chance that home prices are pushed out of reach when wages are flat," says Davis. "Then at some point, some sort of correction in wages or housing occurs, and the correlation between the two sectors becomes more sustainable."

    The question then becomes, when will this tipping point occur, and can you afford to wait?

    According to Davis, homes will be more affordable once all areas of the market - stocks, bonds, home prices, wages, government spending and debt, etc. - are working together to create jobs. And better employment figures translate into more income, leading to wealth, economic growth, and ultimately consumer confidence, which in large part helps drive home purchases, she explains.

    Sounds ideal, right? Well, don't hold your breath. It's impossible to predict when this synergy will take place, so now is as good a time as any to buy a home you can comfortably afford, says Davis.

    Reason to Buy Now #4: Beat other home buyers to the punch before competition heats up

    Maybe you've been renting and managed to save up a nice nest egg. Or maybe you've just outgrown your current space. Well, you might want to take the plunge and buy a home once you've found something that you can afford.

    Why now? Because the housing market is about to get even more competitive. According to Davis, the pent-up demand of younger professionals, who moved back in with their parents during the recession, is about to explode. And as these young people move out and form new households of their own, they will drive up housing demand, she explains.

    This eager subset of buyers will create some steep competition for homes, especially if they have been saving up to make larger down payments or high ticket offers, says Davis.

    "If the current homes on the market have more potential buyers, bidding wars develop, and the purchase prices are driven up," says Davis. While the competition helps the overall home values in the area, it also inflates prices to the point where homes are no longer affordable for a large percentage of potential home buyers, she explains.

    And it's only going to get worse as more and more young professionals feel ready to buy, so it's a smart move to buy now and avoid the potential price gouging altogether. Once you're officially a homeowner, you can welcome rising prices, because your home's value will shoot up, according to Davis. "This is good for the individual homeowner as well as for the broader economy," she says.

  • Should You Buy A House Right Now?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Tempe, Home Buying in Tempe, Financing in Tempe  |  July 5, 2014 11:50 AM  |  88 views  |  No comments

    July 5, 2014 | 

    Here's a secret I discovered during countless hours of analyzing facts and figures about the housing market: There's a good chance we'll never again see homes as affordable as they are right now.

    According to the National Association of Realtor's housing affordability index, which tracks the ability of a typical American family to purchase a median-priced home, houses are 37% more affordable today than they've been over an average of the past 33 years.

    Why houses are so affordable right now
    There are two reasons for this. The first is that mortgage rates are still remarkably low. Currently, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is only 4.12%. This is less than half the long-run average of 8.52% dating back to 1971.

    The second reason is that nationwide home prices are still 17% below their 2006 peak. To be fair, there are certain cities where prices have already surpassed their former highs. In Denver, for instance, they're up nearly 10% since 2006. But this is an exception, as home values remain depressed in the vast majority of other major American cities.

    What's important to appreciate now, however, is that these conditions won't persist much longer. As I write, the Federal Reserve is in the process of reducing its support for the economy. And one of the biggest consequences of its doing so will be higher mortgage rates.

    See that sharp uptick in the middle of last year? That was in response to the mere hint that the Fed would begin tapering its third round of quantitative easing, which is the process it used to spur the economy by reducing mortgage rates and thereby increasing demand for housing.

    Equally important is the fact that home prices are also on the rise. Over the past year, they're up by 8.9%. Over the past two years, they're up by 19.7%. Over the past three years, they're up by 23%. And there's little evidence that this trend is coming to an end anytime soon.

    Put this all together, in turn, and it should be obvious why now is such an opportunistic time to buy a house. Of course, if you want to wait, that's up to you. But doing so could very well be a source of regret later on down the road.

    Feel free to contact me, at 602-565-9688, with any questions.  I'm here to help!

    Glenn Loper, CRS
    Realty Executives

  • Waiting to buy a house? It'll cost you!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Gilbert, Home Selling in Gilbert, Financing in Gilbert  |  May 29, 2014 9:26 AM  |  215 views  |  1 comment

    Yahoo Homes 

    By Lee Nelson

    Timing is everything when it comes to a lot of things - baking a soufflé, fertilizing your lawn, and buying a home. Not so sure about that last one? With interest rates going up and housing prices on the rise, you may think that it might not be the best time to purchase a home or even refinance the one you've got. But experts disagree.

    "It is a big deal to buy a house. But if you do your homework and have the right documentation ready, this could be a great time to buy a home for many reasons," says Jay Plum, executive vice president of Huntington National Bank, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Read on for the five major reasons why mortgage experts believe that there is no better time than the present to get that dream house you've always wanted.

    Reason #1: Interest rates won't stay this low forever

    "A reason to look now into buying a home or refinancing is because these rates won't stay [put] forever. That's what rates do - they go up," says Plum.

    In fact, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to go up to 5 percent by the fourth quarter of this year and 5.3 percent by the end of 2015, according to a recent forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

    Why are rates rising? Well, one huge factor is that the feds will start raising rates about six months after they stop buying mortgage bonds, which is projected to happen sometime in 2015, says Plum.

    "[Rates] probably won't start shooting up quickly. But a quarter of a point on an interest rate can mean about $100 more each month on [a homeowner's] loan. For a lot of families, that can make a big difference," he says.

    Reason #2: Credit score requirements are lowering

    Is your credit score lower than you'd like to admit? Well, good news: Credit score requirements for borrowers taking out mortgages are easing.

    In March, credit scores on purchase mortgages stood at 755, down from 761 in the previous year, according to data from Ellie Mae, a mortgage-software provider. Credit scores for FHA loans dropped even lower to 684, compared to 696 a year earlier.

    What brought on this change? The 2014 market is expected to be a more purchase-focused market, says Vickee Adams, vice president of external communications for Wells Fargo Home Lending.

    "Having a broader credit score range will serve to attract more borrowers into the market," she explains.

    But why is there a need to attract more borrowers? Well, the demand for refinancing has dropped considerably. Refinance applications are about 70 percent slower than a year ago and are expected to continue to decline, according to a statement by the MBA in April 2014. As a result, banks are trying to find ways to boost lending to homeowners, including lowering credit score minimums.

    Want to see what you can qualify for-click here?

    Reason #3: Spring and summer are the best times to buy a home

    It has been a brutal winter, and people who wanted to sell their house just didn't want to bother with all the snow and cold weather, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C. The same goes for people wanting to buy a home - they just stayed put, he adds. 

    "Many people who were forced to delay putting their house up for sale are doing so now. But spring has always been an important time in the real estate business,” Yun says. In fact, warmer seasons like spring and summer have always been a popular time to buy a home.

    People think about moving during summer vacation, because their kids will be out of school then, which helps makes things easier, says Yun. Buying a new home in the summer gives families enough time for the closing and moving before school starts again.

    No kids? Summer is still a popular time to sell or buy even for people without children. And it's not just because the weather is nicer.

    "People just know that there are more listings coming in the spring and more buyers," Yun says. "But from a buyer's perspective, there will be more competition from other buyers."

    Reason #4: Buying is still cheaper than renting

    Buying a house is a significant purchase, but in most parts of the country, it's cheaper than renting. If that seems counterintuitive, let's look at recent research by Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals.

    According to Trulia, homeownership compared to renting continues to be the less expensive way to live in all of the 100 largest metro areas researched. The study compared the costs of renting and owning assuming homebuyers get a 4.5 percent mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed term loan with 20 percent down.

    So why should people buy a home now? The gap is getting smaller between the two choices because of rising mortgage rates and home prices, says Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist and author of the report.

    "Now, at a 30-year fixed rate of 4.5 percent, buying is 38 percent cheaper than renting nationally, versus being 44 percent cheaper one year ago," Kolko says in the report. "Some markets might tip in favor of renting this year as prices continue to rise faster than rents, and if - as most economists expect - mortgage rates rise, due both to the strengthening of the economy and Fed tapering."

    However, the percentage is different in every housing market. In Honolulu, buying is only 5 percent cheaper than renting, while in Detroit, buying is 65 percent cheaper than renting.

    [Ready to buy a home? Click to find the right lender and interest rate now.]

    Reason #5: Home values are still competitive

    Are you looking for a bungalow with a white picket fence, a modern metropolitan penthouse, or a cabin in the woods? Well, it might be time to buy your dream abode before prices go too high.

    The good news is that that the prices of homes have gone up but haven't skyrocketed, so they're still within reach of many buyers. The median existing home price for all housing types in February 2014 was $189,000, which is up 9.1 percent from last February, according to recent press release by the National Association of Realtors (NRA).

    Plus, the housing inventory rose 6.4 percent to 2 million existing homes available for sale, reports the association. So there are more homes to choose from during your search depending on where you live.

    "Property values are still very competitive in most markets, but there is a tremendous amount of competition by buyers," Plum says. "If you are looking at buying a home, be prepared to offer quickly, and get preapproved by a lender which will make things go easier."

    Call today, 602-565-9688, for more information to your specific needs!  I'm here to help! 

  • What should I do to find the right home at the right price?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Tempe, Financing in Tempe, Property Q&A in Tempe  |  February 19, 2014 2:47 PM  |  680 views  |  No comments

    A.   A tip that will help you get the home you want is to be financially prepared before you start house hunting.  Here are two key points: 

    ·    Find a motivated lender.  Ask your REALTOR®  to refer one or two reputable lenders to you.  Study up on basic terms so you’ll be able to choose the loan that will be the best deal for your situation.

    ·    Get pre-APPROVED, not just pre-QUALIFIED for a loan.  You’ll have more power to negotiate because the sellers know you can close on the transaction.


    You can find seven more tips on saving money when buying your next home in my Free Consumer Report called “8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Buying Your Next Home.”  Call Now for a FREE recorded message at 1-855-565-9688 ext.#808.
  • America’s 10 Fastest-Growing Cities

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Phoenix, Home Buying in Phoenix, Home Selling in Phoenix  |  February 19, 2014 8:51 AM  |  664 views  |  1 comment

    Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    When it comes to growing cities, Texas is booming. The Lone Star State boasts the highest number of cities on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Fastest Growing Cities. Three Texas cities made it into the top 10: Austin (at No. 1), Dallas (No. 4), and Houston (No. 10).

    Forbes’ list of America’s fastest-growing cities rates the 100 most populated metros in the country based on several factors, such as the estimated rate of population growth for 2013 and 2014, year-over-year job growth for 2013, unemployment data, median salaries for local college-educated workers, and the rate of economic growth for 2013.

    The following cities topped this year’s list:

    1. Austin, Texas
      2013 population growth: 2.5%
    2. Raleigh, N.C.
      2013 population growth: 2.15%
    3. Phoenix
      2013 population growth: 1.67%
    4. Dallas
      2013 population growth: 1.91%
    5. Salt Lake City, Utah
      2013 population growth: 1.33%
    6. Denver
      2013 population growth: 1.75%
    7. Ogden, Utah
      2013 population growth: 2.05%
    8. Charlotte, N.C.
      2013 population growth: 1.92%
    9. Orlando, Fla.
      2013 population growth: 1.82%
    10. Houston
      2013 population growth: 1.82%
  • US home construction hits highest pace in 5 years

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Phoenix, Home Buying in Phoenix, Home Selling in Phoenix  |  December 19, 2013 6:48 AM  |  644 views  |  No comments
    By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:05 AM

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates.

    The Commerce Department said Wednesday that developers began construction on houses and apartments in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million. That’s 23 percent more than October’s pace of 889,000 and the fastest since February 2008, just a few months after the recession began.

    Construction of single-family homes jumped 21 percent to an annual pace of 727,000, also the highest in more than five years. Apartment construction soared 26 percent to a 354,000 annual pace.

    Permits for future building slipped 3 percent to just over 1 million, down from 1.04 million in October. The drop reflected a decline in apartments, which can be volatile. Permits for single-family homes rose, a sign that builders have plans for even more homes in the coming months.

    Housing has been improving steadily since early last year, but construction had leveled off this summer after first reaching a 1 million annual pace in March. Last month’s surge comes as mortgage rates remain about a percentage point higher than they were in the spring. That suggests home building will boost economic growth in the final three months of the year.

    The average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.42 percent last week. That’s down from a peak of 4.6 percent in August.

    Rates jumped by more than a full percentage point after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke first suggested in May that the Fed would pull back on its $85 billion bond-buying program before the end of the year. The Fed concludes a two-day meeting Wednesday, but most economists expect it won’t start reducing its purchases until January or March.

    Home construction soared in the Midwest and South, while it fell in the Northeast and rose modestly in the West.

    The surge comes as homebuilders are more confident. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, released Tuesday, matched an eight-year high first reached in August.

    Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB statistics.

    If you’re like most people, the decision to buy a home involves a number of stresses and strains.  And even experienced homebuyers make costly mistakes that can easily be avoided.  That’s why I’ve identified the 8 best “secrets” to find the right home at the right price, and get the right financing:

    You may call a recorded message for my FREE consumer guide that includes the "8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Buying A Home".  Supplies are limited, so call today, toll-free at 1-855-565-9688 ext 808!

  • Mortgage Applications Rebound After Big Fall

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Gilbert, Home Selling in Gilbert, Financing in Gilbert  |  December 12, 2013 6:42 AM  |  580 views  |  No comments
    Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Loan demand ticked up last week, rebounding after last week’s holiday slump in which mortgage applications had plunged 12.8 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. 

    Applications for refinancing and home purchases rose 1 percent for the week ending Dec. 6. Broken out, refinance applications increased 2.1 percent, while applications for home purchases — viewed as a leading gauge for future home sales — rose 0.9 percent during the week. 

    The MBA reports that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to its highest level since late September, averaging 4.61 percent last week. The prior week 30-year rates had averaged 4.51 percent. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages also increased, rising to 3.66 percent from 3.56 percent over the prior week. 

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