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Max Boyko's Blog

By Max Boyko - RE/MAX Gold Hybrid | Broker in Sacramento, CA
  • Study Finds Real Estate Pros Are True to Their Occupational Creed

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Sacramento, Home Selling in Sacramento, Rental Basics in Sacramento  |  January 17, 2014 10:47 AM  |  288 views  |  No comments
        It stands to reason that if real estate professionals believe homeownership is a good idea, then they would practice what they preach and own their own homes instead of renting. But do they? Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, has crunched the numbers from Census data between 2007 and 2012, and it turns out, the answer is “yes.”
        
    Kolko discovered that 84.5 percent of real estate agents owned their own homes during the 2007-2012 period. By comparison, the homeownership rate for people in other professions and in the same age and income demographic as the agent population observed was 80 percent. The national average for homeownership across all ages, incomes, and occupations stood at 70.1 percent over the time period studied.

    Furthermore, homeownership rates were higher than presumed for other real-estate-related occupations, such as appraisers, construction managers, and architects—all of which claimed a rate at least two percentage points higher than expected based on their demographics, income, and location, according to Kolko’s assessment. Real estate appraisers and assessors actually beat the agents in terms of homeownership, with a score of 87.9 percent.

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  • Qualified Loans, Redefined

    Posted Under: Home Buying in California, Home Selling in California, Financing in California  |  November 12, 2013 2:55 PM  |  327 views  |  No comments
        The mortgage industry is bracing for the coming of “Q.M.,” the new federal rules defining a “qualified mortgage” — or one underwritten to standards deemed safe for consumers. The implementation of Q.M. poses a compliance headache for lenders, though the average borrower is unlikely to notice any difference when the rules take effect in January. The most immediate differences will be felt by borrowers at the higher and lower ends of the income scale.
        As part of the lending reforms imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, a qualified mortgage is intended to be less likely to wind up in default. Lenders that meet the Q.M. conditions and underwriting standards are promised protection from legal challenges for those loans.
        Among the basic criteria: A Q.M. loan must be fully amortizing with a term no longer than 30 years, and the points and fees paid by the borrower cannot exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount.

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  • Long shutdown could hurt housing market recovery

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in California, Home Buying in California, Home Selling in California  |  October 8, 2013 3:20 PM  |  358 views  |  No comments

    A prolonged government shutdown could deliver a substantial blow to an already softening housing recovery.

    If the political standoff lasts for weeks, it could stall sales because lenders can't use IRS documents to confirm borrower qualifications. The impasse could also threaten loans backed by agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration.

    "With each passing day, the anxiety in the marketplace is building," said Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate.

    The FHA's staff has been greatly reduced, which may cause delays in "processing or closing of FHA-insured loans," according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the agency. For now, the FHA — traditionally an insurer of loans to first-time and low-income buyers — will continue to endorse new single-family loans. The agency currently insures about 26% of all single-family home purchases.

    "The longer the shutdown lasts, the more serious the impact will be," a HUD contingency plan said.

    Some are already feeling the pain.

    Ron Tanzman, an agent in Calabasas, said two of his buyers planned to use FHA-backed loans, but the deals are now on hold.

    "You can't close any FHA deals right now," he said. "We just got notice from the lender that we are in a stalemate."

    The federal government partially shut down Tuesday afterCongress — amid a fight over Obamacare — failed to pass a budget, forcing the furlough of roughly 800,000 workers and the first federal shutdown in 17 years.
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  • Wells Fargo is accused of bogging down mortgage modifications

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in California, Home Buying in California, Financing in California  |  October 3, 2013 2:05 PM  |  382 views  |  No comments

    Wells Fargo & Co. subjects borrowers seeking mortgage modifications to "Kafkaesque delays and obstructions," in violation of last year's $25-billion national mortgage settlement, New York Atty. Gen Eric Schneiderman said in a federal lawsuit.

    The suit, filed Wednesday, asks the federal court in Washington to force the bank to comply with the landmark agreement. It alleges that the bank on at least 210 occasions violated timelines imposed by the settlement.

    At a news conference at his Manhattan offices, Schneiderman mocked a Wells Fargo letter to a homeowner. Brandishing a copy, he read excerpts riddled with unclear writing, typos and stray characters not from any recognizable alphabet.

    "I appreciate their efforts at honoring the diversity of New York and the fact that they are looking out for the Martian-speaking population," Schneiderman said.

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  • Owning Remains Significantly Cheaper than Renting

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Sacramento, Home Selling in Sacramento, Home Ownership in Sacramento  |  September 23, 2013 2:19 PM  |  506 views  |  No comments
    Despite rising interest rates, owning a home is still significantly cheaper than renting at a national level and in most large metropolitan areas, according to Trulia’s Summer 2013 Rent vs. Buy Report.

    While rising interest rates are closing the gap between renting and owning, owning is still 35 percent cheaper than renting nationally. A year ago, the difference was 45 percent.

    “Recent mortgage rate and home price increases have made buying significantly more expensive than last year, but not enough to tip the math in favor of renting,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia.

    “This is because rates remain well below historical norms, and prices are still slightly undervalued, too,” he said.

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  • Redfin Predicts Volatile Housing Market

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying  |  September 18, 2013 4:27 PM  |  477 views  |  No comments
    The housing market has lost some of its momentum recently according to a new study by the Redfin Research Center. Pent-up demand and low mortgage rates contributed to a robust real estate market since the beginning of the year, but higher prices and higher rates have diminished demand in recent months.

    “In August, 26.4 percent of active listings had their prices lowered, the highest in four years,” said Tommy Unger, the report’s author. “With buzz of a strong housing market and home prices on the rise, sellers had unrealistic expectations about the price they could get for their home. With the relatively sudden softening in buyer demand, many sellers had to ultimately reduce their prices.”

    Unger predicts that mortgage rates will play the central role in determining housing prices moving forward.

    “We expect mortgage rates may show volatility this autumn as the Federal Reserve weighs whether to begin tapering its stimulus program,” Unger said. “If rates do rise sharply in September and October, buyers are likely to temporarily step out of the market. This probably would lead prices and sales to dip sharply around the holiday season. If rates remain stable, however, we would expect prices to flatten this autumn and sales to wind down slowly as the holiday season nears. Inventory, on the other hand, is likely to slowly drop in line with seasonal trends.”

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  • Foreclosure crisis is drawing to a close

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Financing in Sacramento, Foreclosure in Sacramento  |  September 12, 2013 2:01 PM  |  536 views  |  No comments

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) —Our long national foreclosure nightmare may be over.

    The number of new foreclosure filings in August hit its lowest level in nearly eight years, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties.

    Soaring home prices and a big decline in underwater borrowers -- those who owe more on their mortgage loans than their homes are worth -- have helped drive the trend.

    August's initial foreclosure filings fell 44% to 55,575, just below the 56,063 that were recorded in October 2005. The foreclosure crunch began in summer 2006, at about the same time that housing prices hit their peak.


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