Are you helping buyers find their first home or move-up buyers transition into a new place and not sure how to get them into a position to score a low interest rate?
It’s a valid concern since lenders’ requirements have changed in the past few years thanks to the challenging economy, says Chris L. Boulter, president of Val-Chris Investments, Inc., a California company specializing in residential and commercial loans.
“Now, because of the mortgage industry crisis a few years ago, there are fewer lenders and higher standards to qualify,” says Boulter. He adds that, unlike a few years ago, lenders are now demanding proof of things like personal assets and years of employment.
What other factors are lenders looking at? Keep reading to find out. Read More.
After an encouraging spring homebuying season, it’s time to cross your fingers and hope the momentum carries through the summer.
Home prices have stabilized in many cities, but certain areas could still see a decline in values — especially those in judicial foreclosure states.
Overall, homes have been selling at a faster pace, and sellers who had unrealistic price expectations have taken their homes off the market. That will continue to contribute to a decline in the number of homes for sale, and it will support home values. Read More.
The author has written in the past why buying a house is a great investment. He says it got some good attention, some bad attention, and plenty of controversy. As he puts it:
As real estate prices keep sliding, I’m still actively in the market looking. It is simply amazing how upgrading where I live is, overall, roughly the same price as renting right now — including average home repairs and maintenance.
In this article, we’ll look over the basic reasons buying a house isn’t a bad investment, and everyone should at least consider it to see if it mixes with their long-term portfolio strategy. But first, let’s discuss the most basic question of all — is a house really an investment? Read More.
As the nation’s housing market shows signs of bottoming after years of declining prices, many first-time buyers such as Dorado are getting a rude awakening. Instead of having their pick of homes to buy in some markets, they’re losing houses to cash buyers and bidders with bigger down payments, or they’re facing bidding wars spurred by shrinking numbers of homes for sale.
The competition can be most evident for lower-price homes in markets hard-hit by foreclosure, such as Phoenix, Miami and parts of Southern California, or those with relatively strong economies, such as Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Realtors say. Read More.
Buying a new house brings up different issues than buying a pre-owned home. You have access to more information on the building materials and systems than a subsequent buyer. But unknowns lurk: What will the completed neighborhood look like? Will it include all the features promised in the brochure?
If you’re vowing “out with the old and in with the new” as you shop for a home, here are six tips to help you make a smart buy. Read More.
Depending on the location, house hunters may find themselves in a strange, transitional real estate market that’s emerging from historic lows.
Advantage: Buyer? Yes, in many areas, that’s still the case.
But buyers have guidelines for success in this type of market, too. They need to show that they’re serious if they hope to secure their dream house amid stiff deal-sniffing buyer competition or sellers so frustrated they may be willing to hold out for a stronger market turnaround. Professionalism and realistic expectations can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth and timely closing transaction, which is important to buyers and sellers alike. Read More.
A record breaking, mild winter has kick started the real estate market much earlier this year than the usual spring start. Mild temperatures are encouraging buyers to begin their search now, and smart sellers are taking advantage of this by pricing their homes accurately and using effective marketing tools. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to heighten open house traffic. Read More.
Buying is more affordable than renting in 98 out of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas — even in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, according to real estate company Trulia’s rent vs. buy index.
The index is based on asking prices for rental units and homes for sale on the company’s website between Dec. 1, 2011, and Feb. 29.
“As rents rise and prices stagnate, homeownership is becoming even more affordable, but rising rents create a dilemma for people who can’t afford to buy yet,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Rising rents make it harder for people to save for a down payment, which is the biggest barrier to buying a home that aspiring homeowners face.” Read More.
Predicting the housing market’s fortunes in 2012 on the eve of the spring selling season is like guessing which direction an amoeba in a petri dish will move.
To be sure, most observers aren’t anticipating soaring growth. Strict mortgage lending and wary consumers still challenge the market. The thrum of foreclosures could rise this year and keep a lid on home prices. State attorneys general face a Friday deadline this week to decide whether to join a potential $25 billion settlement with five big banks over alleged foreclosure abuses.
But some experts point to reasons for cautious optimism, including dwindling housing inventory, greater housing affordability and last year’s creation of 1.6 million jobs. Read More.
To buy or sell in 2012, what with Armageddon coming and all? Absent any ancient Mayan wisdom on real estate strategies, let’s just hope the real cataclysmic event in the real estate market already has passed, even if the rubble from the bubble remains.
A stubborn overstock of households with loans higher than their value will continue to restrain prices and create some major obstacles for sellers in 2012, a year that’s shaping up to be another homebuyer’s market. In fact, recent studies indicate that more than 20 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage are still underwater, hinting that many foreclosures and workouts are still to come.
However, even the most conservative forecasts call for growth in home sales in 2012, with some select pockets around the country already busting out where there are competitive offers on new listings. More than one-third of home resales were made to first-time buyers in 2011 – another good sign. Read More.