Hispanic couple outside home

Pending Home Sales Retreat Again in August but Remain at Healthy Level

Pending home sales retreated in August but remained at a healthy level of activity and have now risen year–over–year for 12 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors®. A modest increase in the West was offset by declines in all other regions.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward–looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 1.4 percent to 109.4 in August from 110.9 in July but is still 6.1 percent above August 2014 (103.1).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says even with the modest decline in contract signings, demand continues to outpace housing supply and elevate price growth in numerous markets. “Pending sales have leveled off since mid–summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget,” he said. “Even with existing–housing supply barely budging all summer and no relief coming from new construction, contract activity is still higher than earlier this year and a year ago.”

According to Yun, sales in the coming months should be able to roughly maintain their current pace. However, he warns that there are looming speed bumps that have the potential to impact housing.

“The possibility of a government shutdown and any ongoing instability in the equity markets could cause some households to put off buying for the time being,” adds Yun. “Furthermore, adapting to the changes being implemented next month in the mortgage closing process could delay some sales.”

The national median existing–home price is expected to increase 5.8 percent in 2015 to $220,300. Yun forecasts total existing–home sales this year to increase 7.0 percent to around 5.28 million, about 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million).

The PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.6 percent to 93.3 in August, but is still 8.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index inched down 0.4 percent to 107.4 in August, and is now 6.5 percent above August 2014.

Pending home sales in the South declined 2.2 percent to an index of 121.5 in August but are still 4.1 percent above last August. The index in the West rose 1.8 percent in August to 104.9, and is now 7.6 percent above a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing–home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales–contract activity parallels the level of closed existing–home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing–home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE: Existing–home Sales for September will be reported October 22, and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be October 29; release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

 

Article Source :  Realtors.org

 


 

 

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New York Times

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Timeseditorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creationthey explain:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that theFederal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expanded on the Federal Reserve’s research and projected that by the end of 2015, the average homeowner will have nearly 41x the net worth of a renter. Their findings are detailed in the graph below:

Increasing Gap In Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:

“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”  

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

Article by – KCM KeepingCurrentMatters


 

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The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their July edition of the Housing Affordability Index. The index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.

NAR looks at the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) which is determined by the median sales price and mortgage interest rate at the time. With that information, NAR calculates the income necessary for a family to qualify for that mortgage amount (based on a 25% qualifying ratio for monthly housing expense to gross monthly income and a 20% down payment).

Here is a graph of the income needed to buy a median priced home in the country over the last several years:

Qualifying income | Keeping Current Matters

And the income requirement has accelerated even more dramatically this year as prices have risen:

Qualifications | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Some buyers may be waiting to save up a larger down payment.  Others may be waiting for a promotion and more money. Just realize that, while you are waiting, the requirements are also changing.

 

Original Post from www.keepingcurrentmatters.com


 

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Dita Von Teese, queen of burlesque from Irvine, buys Tudor hideaway with ‘secret garden’

 

Burlesque star and onetime Playboy cover girl Dita Von Teese – Heather Sweet when she was growing up in Irvine – has bought a Tudor Revival-style house in Los Feliz for $2.83 million.

Built in 1927, the 3,200-square-foot retreat boasts a round castle turret, Gothic arches and center medallions encircling feudal fixtures. The property, on a third of an acre in a “Sherwood Forest” setting, includes a “secret garden,” according to listing agent Peter Reyes of Keller Williams Realty in Los Feliz, near Hollywood.

The four-bedroom house has slate and hardwood floors. A dark-bottom swimming pool and detached pool house with a wet bar and dry sauna fill out the grounds.

Real estate website Trulia recently broke news of the sale, which closed in late July. The home was listed in May at $2.99 million.

Von Teese, 42, whose family moved from Michigan to Irvine when she was 12 years old, also lived in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach. She left Orange County in 2001, became a Playboy cover girl the following year and went on to marry and divorce heavy metal rocker Marilyn Manson.

Her recent, over-the-top “Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!” national tour showcased routines inspired by old-fashioned glamour, a bathtub-sized martini glass with 250,000 Swarovski crystals, a blinged-out mechanical bull, her hallmark corsets and custom stilettos by Christian Louboutin.

She also teamed up with the designer to release a line of lingerie.

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Source:

 Image – Dita Von Teese, a burlesque star who grew up in Orange County, has bought a 3,700-square-foot, Tudor Revival-style house in Los Feliz.
COMPOSITE BY MARILYN KALFUS; INSET: DANIELLE BEDICS; TRULIA
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an OC real estate agent. leslieeskildsen.com.  http://www.ocregister.com/lansner/irvine-679168-teese-house.html
Marylin Kalfus OC Journal Staff Writer

 


 

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House with cash

Buying with cash saves cash – and time

An article by Real Estate Agent Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, discusses the differences of Buying a house with cash or taking out a loan.

She writes, “Just recently, a reader asked me about the difference between buying a house with cash and buying a house with a home loan. That’s a great question!

Here’s a rundown of the differences.

Buying a house with cash saves you money. You don’t have to pay for an appraisal. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t pay for an appraisal, you just don’t have to.

Buyers using a home loan have to pay for an appraisal. The lender requires an unbiased, licensed appraiser to give a thoroughly researched and documented report on the value of the home so the lender is confident you’re paying the right price and that they are making a sound investment.

A home buyer paying cash also saves on other lender related costs including a credit report, loan origination fee, flood certification, tax service fee (the lender has to be aware of any back taxes owed) lender required title insurance and any points a borrower chooses to pay to bring down the interest rate on the money borrowed.

In addition, a cash buyer is not required to purchase home owner’s insurance.

When you get a home loan, the lender requires evidence of insurance, and you pay for a full year up front.

I’d never recommend not buying home owner’s insurance. However, when you’re buying a house with cash, you can work it out directly with your insurance carrier as to the frequency of payments.

When you are buying with cash, you also save on escrow fees including the loan tie-in fee, the loan documentation prep fee, and the notary fees (you’re not signing anything that needs to be notarized).

The more subtle aspects of buying with cash include the need to prove you have the cash up front with your offer. This means you need to submit, up front, bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover the price.

If you are flush with tons of cash, you may want to keep a bank account that only has a balance large enough to cover the cost of the house and your share of the escrow fee and a processing fee.

You have no need to show the seller how much you have overall.

You get to keep your financial status a secret, as opposed to a buyer getting a home loan. Those who buy with a loan have to provide full financial disclosure to the lender to qualify for the loan.

There’s much less paperwork required when buying with cash. You can also close escrow much more quickly. You do not have to budget time for the appraisal review, underwriting review, management review, and all the time to prepare and review loan documents.

There’s also the advantage of representing less risk to a home seller. If you show the seller the money up front, and if your offer is a figure that is acceptable to the seller, you will probably win out over a buyer who needs a loan. Cash is much easier and less risky.”

 

Source: OC Journal – leslieeskildsen.com.

 


 

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Now’s the Time to Buy for Some

Now’s the Time to Buy for Some
For some, now is a great time to buy real estate, especially Las Vegas real estate. Home
values are poised perfectly for an upswing in appreciation. There is a demographic of people
who can really score in this market. According to Yahoo:
“Dual-income customers should definitely buy a home now,” says George Kaiser, vice president
of banking operations for Northbrook Bank and Trust and West America Mortgage Co., its
sister company. “People with assets in reserve and a credit score of at least 680 should buy
as well. Anyone with a credit score less than that will have to verify their income.”

For others it is also a great time to get involved. For some it’s not. If you need help
determining whether or not the Las Vegas real estate market is right for you now get in
contact with your Las Vegas Realtor at www.RedRockManagementlv.com.


 

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3d Property insurance concept

Is Your Home Insurance High Enough?

Is Your Home Insurance High Enough?
The news commonly reminds us of unexpected disaster and loss of home. This Wall Street
Journal article suggests we get our insurance in order. Many of our homes may not be insured
properly for possible issues. We don’t intend to scare home owners but want to point out
that there are ways to verify if the home is properly insured or not.

Las Vegas is known for its storms during the monsoon season. A community can be flooded
quickly. There is a resource home owners can use to determine whether they live in a flood
plain or not. It is a web site with all of the flood zones outlined. Las Vegas Realtors can
provide you with that resource.


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commercial-real-estate-news

Local Real Estate Markets May Get Involved in Housing

Local Real Estate Markets May Get Involved in Housing, Literally Buying and Selling Homes
An article in CNN this morning was very intriguing and will likely spark some political
skirmish. As mentioned in the article:

“Under the House plan, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would dole out the
loans and grants based on the number of foreclosures and home prices in an area. Cities
could use the money to buy foreclosed homes, renovate the homes to make them compliant with
housing codes, and resell or rent them.”
The goal is to help keep neighborhoods and the city as a whole in good shape since there are
so many vacant homes on the market. They tend to be run down.

In Las Vegas we’re seeing a significant number of homes that are vacant. There has been
issues with dilapitated homes and associated values. Some Las Vegas real estate agents are
wrapped up in these properties and are able to get good deals on them. However, if buyers
aren’t available it takes some technique to sell these properties. We’ll keep an eye out to
see if the bill passes.


 

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Home Refinancing Attempts Increase

Home Refinancing Attempts Increase…

Recent interest rates cuts have motivated many to attempt to refinance their property.
However, many may be unable to do it successfully. Mortgage lenders are looking for
considerable qualifications. The house must have equity, the borrower must have good credit
and work history, and the house needs to appraise well in the real estate market they live
in.

Many have tried to lock in better rates and a better term for their home but are unable to
because of the previous loan they acquired. To find out if you qualify contact your lender
or your real estate agent who can refer you.

 

 


 

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Consider This When Investing

Consider This When Investing in Real Estate

 

The real estate market is improving in many parts of the country. So if you’re thinking about investing in real estate, now might be the time to get your feet wet.

Real estate investing can be quite profitable. Some investors make a comfortable living buying and flipping properties — putting tens of thousands of dollars in their pockets in only a few weeks. Meanwhile, other investors take a different approach and move into a home they’re fixing up with plans to sell for a profit in two or three years.

No matter the approach you take, investing in real estate generates cash that can go toward the purchase of your new residence, or you can use this money to build your savings account or prepare for retirement. It doesn’t take special skills to start investing in real estate, but there are several factors to consider before making your first purchase.

1. What are your plans for the property?

Determine your plans for the property before investing in real estate. Will you live in the home, fix up the property and sell a few years later? Will you get tenants and make the home a rental property? Then again, maybe you’re more interested in buying and flipping real estate for a quick profit.

There are different ways to proceed with investing your money, time and energy into a property. Weigh the pros and cons of different types of real estate investments and choose the one that best fits your situation.

2. Which mortgage option is right for you?

Real estate investors can choose from different types of mortgages depending on their plans for a property. For example, an adjustable-­rate mortgage might work if you’re buying and flipping real estate, or if you plan on living in an investment property short-­term.

Adjustable-­rate mortgages have an initial fixed­-rate period up to five years followed by annual rate adjustments. A rate adjustment means the mortgage interest rate increases or decreases based on the market.

Typically, adjustable-rate mortgages start out with a rate lower than most fixed­-rate mortgages. If you’re keeping an investment property for a short span of time, there’s the option of getting an adjustable-­rate mortgage and selling the property before your first rate adjustment.

On the other hand, if you’re keeping an investment property long-­term, consider a fixed-­rate mortgage so your interest rate and monthly payment will remain the same for the duration of the term.

3. How much cash do you need to fix up the place?

Investing in real estate can require sizable cash, especially since properties you purchase might need renovations or improvements. If you’re buying a foreclosure that will be your primary residence and a future investment property, you might qualify for the FHA 203(k) loan.

This loan provides funds to purchase the property, plus funds to improve the condition of the property. On the other hand, if you’re buying and flipping a property, the bank can help with investment property loans.

Make sure you schedule a home inspection before buying real estate so you’ll know what to expect cost-­wise with fixing up the property.

4. Is the property is an ideal location?

You can have a lovely property, but if it’s located in an undesirable part of town, it might take longer to find a buyer or tenant. Location matters in real estate. Some people only look for properties in good school districts, and others prefer buying or renting homes near an interstate or major highway for easier access to work.

When looking for properties to buy, pay attention to school ratings, nearby amenities, and consider whether the property’s in a safe, quiet neighborhood.

Real estate investing can be profitable, but you shouldn’t jump into investing without doing your homework. Buying and financing properties is easier when you know what to expect, and when you can build a relationship with a knowledgeable mortgage officer and realtor.

Source: Evan Potter – Total Mortgage


 

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