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By Doug & Bud Zeller | Agent in Placerville, CA
  • How to be the 'Most Attractive Home Buyer'

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Fair Oaks, Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Home Selling in Fair Oaks  |  May 4, 2013 11:19 AM  |  505 views  |  2 comments
    As home prices continue to recover and interest rates remain at near-record lows, many houses are receiving multiple offers and to win the bid, buyers need to stand out from the crowd. According to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ most-recent housing report, the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home decreased to 29.4 days in March. 

    More interesting points to remember at: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/03/21/how-to-be-most-attractive-homebuyer/
  • California Real Estate - Fast Facts!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Home Selling in Fair Oaks, Financing in Fair Oaks  |  March 20, 2013 7:45 PM  |  396 views  |  No comments
    Calif. median home price: January 2013: $337,040 (Source: C.A.R.):
    Calif. highest median home price by region/county January 2013: Marin, $799,110 (Source: C.A.R.)
    Calif. lowest median home price by region/county January 2013: Madera, $98,330 (Source: C.A.R.) 

    Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: December 2012: 82.3 , down 20.5 percent from November's 103.5.  
    Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Fourth quarter 2012: 48 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
    Mortgage rates: Week ending 3/7/2013 30-yr. fixed: 3.52% fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 2.76% fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr. adjustable: 2.63% Fees/points: 0.3% (Source: Freddie Mac) 
  • 'FHA Plays Vital Role' for Home Owners!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Financing in Fair Oaks, Home Ownership in Fair Oaks  |  February 28, 2013 7:49 PM  |  451 views  |  No comments

    Since the private mortgage market collapsed, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has played a critical role by helping make mortgage insurance available to millions of qualified home buyers. That is exactly the way Congress designed the mortgage insurance fund to operate when it was established 80 years ago, National Association of REALTORS® President Gary Thomas said in testimony today.

    Thomas testified before the Senate Banking Committee that without the FHA, the housing downturn and economic recession would have been far worse for the nation.

    “FHA helped fill the void over the past five years after private lending fled the market by providing safe, affordable access to mortgage credit to millions of Americans who wanted to purchase a home,” Thomas said. “Had FHA not stepped in to fill the market gap, many families would have been unable to purchase homes, current home owners would have experienced far greater drops in equity and their home’s value, and our nation’s economy would be much further from a recovery.”

    In his testimony, Thomas said FHA has always safely provided access to mortgage financing; it has never offered risky mortgage products, used predatory lending practices or engaged in exotic underwriting. However, like other holders of mortgage risk, FHA incurred great financial losses as a result of overall market conditions that led to increased foreclosures.

    Thomas said that NAR is confident that FHA has already taken many of the necessary steps to help stabilize the fund as well as numerous administrative changes to mitigate risk. Those changes include five increases to mortgage insurance premiums since 2009, hiring a credit risk officer, implementing credit score floors, requiring higher down payments for borrowers with lower credit scores, and adopting a series of measures to increase lender responsibility and enforcement, he said.

    “FHA currently has one of the strongest books on record and the quality of borrowers has skyrocketed; continued market improvements and rising home prices will also help improve the fund’s future financial condition,” Thomas testified.

    Thomas said NAR welcomes a time when FHA’s market share is reduced to its more traditional levels of 10 to 15 percent of the market, and the private lending market is once again robust, but the country is not there yet. Uncertainty about pending financial regulations and the future of the secondary mortgage market are keeping private lenders from returning to mortgage markets.

    “Once the rules for mortgage finance are resolved and housing prices stabilize nationwide we anticipate that private investors will return to the market and FHA’s market share will return to more traditional levels,” he said.

    Thomas cautioned about making arbitrary changes to FHA, such as further increasing costs to consumers or limiting the use of the program to certain types of buyers, only for the sake of luring back private markets. While NAR supports changes that are vital to the solvency and strength of the FHA fund, actions to deliberately lower FHA’s market share could disrupt the availability and affordability of mortgage credit and undermine the fragile real estate recovery.

    “FHA continues to play a significant role in the housing market and recovery. We applaud them for their leadership and strength during the housing crisis, and for continuing to serve the needs of hardworking American families who wish to purchase a home,” Thomas said.

    Source: NAR

  • Mortgage Rates “Hold Steady This Week”

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Fair Oaks, Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Home Selling in Fair Oaks  |  February 15, 2013 7:25 PM  |  420 views  |  2 comments

    Good news to share! Fixed-rate mortgages stayed mostly flat this week, remaining near their record lows and continuing to support housing demand and “translating into a pick-up in home prices in most markets,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. 

    Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 14: 

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.53 percent, with an average 0.8 point, holding the same average as last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.87 percent. 
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.77 percent, with an average 0.8 point, also holding the same as last week. Last year at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.16 percent.
    • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage: averaged 2.64 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising slightly from last week’s 2.63 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.82 percent. 

    Source: Freddie Mac

  • Fast Facts for California Real Estate

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Fair Oaks, Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Financing in Fair Oaks  |  January 24, 2013 3:27 PM  |  464 views  |  No comments
    Calif. median home price: December 2012: $366,930 (Source: C.A.R.)
    Calif. highest median home price by region/county December 2012: Marin, $796,880 (Source: C.A.R.)
    Calif. lowest median home price by region/county December 2012: Lake County, $127,500 (Source: C.A.R.)
    Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: December 2012: 82.3 , down 20.5 percent from November's 103.5. 
    Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Third quarter 2012: 49 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
    Mortgage rates: Week ending 1/17/2013 30-yr. fixed: 3.38% fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 2.66 fees/points: 0.6% 1-yr. adjustable: 2.57% Fees/points: 0.4% (Source: Freddie Mac)
  • Home Buyers - 'Talking Points'

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Fair Oaks, Home Buying in Fair Oaks, Home Ownership in Fair Oaks  |  January 5, 2013 11:49 AM  |  437 views  |  No comments
    Many home buyers think that real estate auctions are the best way to get a good deal on a home.  While there are certainly deals to be had, auctions also can be dangerous for buyers.

    Buyers planning to attend an auction are advised to do their homework and know what the property is worth, especially since auctions generally do not offer appraisal contingencies.

    Buyers should know what repairs are needed and what it will cost to make the home livable.
    Setting and sticking to a maximum price and not forgetting to include the buyer’s premium is critical.

    Most importantly, maintain control.  Many auctions turn into feeding frenzies. The excitement of the moment leads to bidders getting carried away.

    Related points of interest at: www.sierraproperties.com
  • Housing Market staying Resilient!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Fair Oaks, Agent2Agent in Fair Oaks, Home Ownership in Fair Oaks  |  December 23, 2012 12:10 PM  |  477 views  |  No comments

    Economic activity turned sluggish in the fourth quarter as uncertainties loom over the fiscal cliff, restraining consumer and business confidence, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. Still, the housing market is staying resilient, researchers note. 

    “With data pointing to soft economic conditions and the fiscal policy debate hanging in the balance, we expect growth in the current quarter to moderate from the pace seen last quarter,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “On the bright side, the housing market has stayed resilient and continues to show signs of a strong, sustained recovery. Mortgage rates remain close to historic lows and home sales and home prices are trending positively. For the first time since 2005, residential investment is poised to contribute to annual economic growth this year, albeit on a small scale.” 

    Housing and mortgage activity is expected to gain momentum in the new year, Duncan says. Fannie Mae forecasts that home sales will increase by 8 percent in 2013, after a projected 10 percent increase this year. 

    “Although home prices have dipped during the seasonally weak fall and winter seasons, year-over-year gains have strengthened significantly above 2011 levels, and we expect that trend to continue in coming years,” Duncan says. 

    Source: “Fannie Mae: Fiscal Cliff Remains Key Risk Factor to Near-Term Growth,” RISMedia (Dec. 20, 2012)

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