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By The Cascade Team Real Estate | Broker in Issaquah, WA
  • Majority of Buyers Unaware of True Costs of Home Ownership

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 23, 2014 11:25 AM  |  18 views  |  No comments

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    While the majority of home buyers recently surveyed say they feel financially prepared for home ownership, many admit they aren’t sure what purchasing a home will actually cost them, according to a poll of more than 1,000 prospective home buyers conducted by Discover Home Loans.

    Eighty-seven percent of the buyers surveyed say they know what type of property they can afford, but only 52 percent have actually determined what their projected monthly mortgage payment would be, the survey found. Forty-one percent say they haven’t yet calculated their down payment, and nearly half — 48 percent — say they don’t know how much their mortgage payment would be if they chose a more or less expensive property, according to the survey.

    The majority of home buyers say they find the financing process overwhelming, which was most evident for those under the age of 30, where 76 percent reported feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information available on home financing. Seventy-six percent of first-time buyers said they felt overwhelmed compared to 54 percent who previously owned a home.

    “The sheer amount of information can lead to confusion and stress,” says Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans.

    However, the survey found that many home buyers are turning to real estate professionals even more so than other sources of information, such as family, friends, and even mortgage bankers, to get a better understanding of the financial aspects to home ownership. For example, of the home buyers surveyed, 66 percent said they consulted a real estate agent for help and information to assess whether purchasing a home will be a good investment, compared to 56 percent who said they consulted family or friends and 39 percent who went to a mortgage banker.

    Source: Discover

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  • Refis Drive Rise in Mortgage Applications in Latest Week

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 23, 2014 11:21 AM  |  18 views  |  No comments

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    More borrowers submitted mortgage applications to refinance their homes last week, even though mortgage rates barely budged during the week.

    Mortgage applications rose 2.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, mostly driven by a 4 percent increase in applications for refinancings, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its weekly mortgage market survey, which measured loan volume for the week ending July 18.

    Refinance applications made up 54.4 percent of total mortgage activity during the week, the highest level since March of this year. However, refinance applications are still down more than 40 percent from year ago levels. Fewer home owners have been refinancing their homes since mortgage rates jumped a full percentage point in the spring of 2013.

    But mortgage rates have been holding mostly steady in recent weeks and continue to be low by historical standards. The MBA reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week was unchanged from the prior week at 4.33 percent.

    “Consumers took action on the lowest mortgage rates we’ve seen since the beginning of 2013,” Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans vice president, told HousingWire. “The jump in application volume is a welcome change after a few sluggish weeks of mortgage activity.”

    Meanwhile, mortgage applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading indicator of future home sale, was up just 0.3 percent for the week, the MBA reported. Purchase applications are down 15 percent from a year ago.

    Source: “Mortgage Applications Rise, But All on Refis,” CNBC (July 23, 2014) and “Mortgage Applications Rise 2.4% as Roller Coaster Continues,” HousingWire (July 23, 2014)

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  • Billionaire: Home Ownership Still the Best Investment

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 18, 2014 2:41 PM  |  106 views  |  1 comment

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    John Paulson, a billionaire hedge fund manager, says that for those looking for the best investment possible, they need to look toward home ownership.

    At the Delivering Alpha conference, presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor, Paulson said: "I still think, from an individual perspective, the best-deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you're the owner-occupier of. Today, financing costs are extraordinarily low. You can get a 30-year mortgage somewhere around 4.5 percent. And if you put down, let's say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent, which is the latest data, then you would be up 50 percent on your investment. And you've locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed."

    Paulson stressed that an owner-occupied home — not a home bought to be a rental — is what he views as the best investment individuals can make right now.

    "To buy it as an investment and rent it out — I'm not so enamored with that concept," he said.

    Source: “Paulson: Buying a House Still Best Investment,” CNBC (July 17, 2014)

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  • Mortgage Rates Down Slightly This Week

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 18, 2014 2:31 PM  |  30 views  |  1 comment

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    National averages on fixed-rate mortgages inched down this week, keeping borrowing costs near historic lows, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

    Freddie reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending July 17:

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.13 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week's 4.15 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.37 percent.
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.23 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week's 3.24 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.41 percent.
    • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.97 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week's 2.99 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.17 percent.
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.39 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week's 2.40 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.66 percent.

    Source: Freddie Mac


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  • CFPB Rule Clarified to Help Keep Heirs in Homes

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 18, 2014 2:28 PM  |  26 views  |  1 comment

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    On Monday, the U.S. House passed the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act (H.R. 1786) to reauthorize funding for three years to study windstorms and how to reduce their impact.

    "When a family loses their home in a windstorm, they don't just have to rebuild their house — they have to rebuild their lives," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). "These are truly natural and national disasters. This bill helps promote research that will help save lives, reduce injuries, and lessen damage from windstorms." 

    The legislation aims to create efficiencies and new guidelines, providing more than $21 million in annual funding for federal research and mitigation efforts through 2016. "We have found that $1 in investments in resilience against windstorms can result in up to $4 in savings in disaster response," Neugebauer said.

    Source: "House Passes Bill to Fund Windstorm Impact Reduction Research," Lubbock Online (July 16, 2014)

    Copyright © 2014 Information Inc.

    Sources: "CFPB Clarifies Rule That Could Cause Heirs To Lose Their Homes," Consumerist.com (July 8, 2014); "CFPB Clarifies Mortgage Lending Rules to Assist Surviving Family Members," Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (July 8, 2014)

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  • Mortgage Rates Post Slight Bump Up This Week

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 11, 2014 2:19 PM  |  120 views  |  No comments

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    Mortgage rates this week ticked up only slightly, largely fueled by a better than expected jobs report, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. Still, mortgage rates remain below last year at this time.

    "Mortgage rates increased for the week as the labor market appears to be improving,” notes Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, following a 224,000 gain in May and 304,000 increase in April. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May.

    Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending July 10:

    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.15 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 4.12 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.51 percent.
    • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.24 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 3.22 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.53 percent.
    • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.99 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.98 percent. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.26 percent.
    • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.40 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.38 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.66 percent. 


    Source: Freddie Mac315


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  • Mortgage Applications Post Solid Jump

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Issaquah, Home Selling in Issaquah, Financing in Issaquah  |  July 9, 2014 8:48 PM  |  38 views  |  No comments

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    Mortgage applications reversed course last week after several weeks of softening demand, as both applications for home purchases and refinances showed an increase in activity, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The MBA’s overall index of mortgage application activity showed demand rose by 1.9 percent for the week ending July 4.

    Separated out, mortgage applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading gauge of future home sales, jumped 3.7 percent, while refinancing applications rose 0.4 percent last week.

    The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose last week by 4 basis points, averaging 4.32 percent for the week from 4.28 percent the week prior, the MBA reports. The MBA’s survey reflects more than 75 percent of the U.S. residential mortgage application market.

    Source: “Mortgage Applications Rose in Latest Week: MBA,” Reuters (July 9, 2014)



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