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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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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5 Trends That Will Move Real Estate Markets This Week!!

Enjoy Labor Day … because these five trends may rock the real estate world the rest of the week:

 

  1. Who’s remodeling? See profits at HD Supply, Restoration Hardware.
  1. Homebuilding profitable? Watch Hovnanian earnings, out Wednesday.
  1. Look at real estate slice of Producer Price Index.
  1. Are rates moving? See Freddie Mac mortgage survey, out Thursday.
  1. Who’s borrowing? Watch mortgage bankers’ application survey, out Wednesday.

 

            Source: Jonathan Lansner – writer OC Journal

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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.

—–

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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Renters Insurance

How Renters Insurance Will Help Cover The Loss of Your Valuables

Red Rock Management (www.RedRockManagementLV.com)  encourages all tenants to purchase renter’s insurance.  Many tenant’s inquire as to why we ask them to purchase rental insurance.  Below is an outline by Farmers Insurance as to the importance of having renter’s insurance.

HOW RENTERS INSURANCE WILL HELP COVER YOUR VALUABLES

Imagine a moment you’ve just returned home from a long day at work to find there’s been a fire. Everything you owned has been destroyed: your flat-screen TV, computer, furniture, books, game consoles, CDs, jewelry, collectibles and clothing. Where will you stay until your home is renovated? Who will pay to replace all your belongings? Not your landlord.

A Renters insurance policy can be the answer. It provides coverage to help you to replace your lost or damage items. If you suffer a covered loss, we’ll reimburse you for your lost or damaged items. And if the loss makes your home uninhabitable, we’ll also pay for the additional living costs for hotel, meals and related expenses.

Renters policies are affordable, generally ranging from $15-$25 each month. For less than a dollar a day, you can have valuable insurance coverage!

BENEFITS

– Personal property coverage

– Personal liability coverage

– Additional living expenses

OPTIONAL COVERAGES

– Personal articles floater

– Jewelry, furs, fine arts

 

 


 

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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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Looking to maximize your rental income without spending a lot of money out-of-pocket?

Looking to maximize your rental income without spending a lot of money out-of-pocket? Tenants don’t want to cook in a dark, cramped, outdated space. Increase the wow-factor of your property by updating your kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are nice, but if you’re remodeling on a budget, read on for some easy, low-budget ways to improve your kitchen. Plus, if you decide to sell in the next 5-10 years, a mid-range kitchen remodel  can give you up to a 70% return on your investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report

Paint Cabinets White

Are your kitchen cabinets a little beat up? Do you have wood cabinets that look dated and make the room gloomy? You can easily upgrade your kitchen by painting your cabinets white. White cabinets work with all types of design styles, so whether your tenant’s style leans more toward rustic or modern, they’ll be able to make their belongings fit nicely. White cabinets also give you a neutral palette to try out an array of stylish backsplashes or even a bold color for a statement wall.

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Via Modernize.com

 

Add Interesting Lighting

Lighting is an inexpensive way to add some real style to your kitchen. Pendant lamps or even a chandelier are great tools for integrating your cooking and eating space–whether it’s a breakfast nook or an adjacent dining room. You can also play with scale to make a cavernous space feel more intimate or a small space more cozy and welcoming.

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Via Modernize.com

If you have a kitchen that tends to get very hot, consider adding a light fixture with a ceiling fan. Your tenants will appreciate it in the warm summer months.

 

Maximize Storage Space

Even if you have a small kitchen, you’ll be able to meet the needs of your tenants with some smart storage solutions.,. Install multiple shelf units within cabinets to double and sometimes triple the storage space. In the area under the sink–always tight because of plumbing–install some handy door racks inside the cabinet to keep supplies organized. You can also make the most of those faux drawers (typically found below the sink) by converting them to tilting drawers that hold sponges and other small cleaning supplies. If you’re working with limited space for dishes, utensils, spices or small cooking accessories, look underneath the cabinets. There are ample options for installing racks with hooks to hang coffee mugs or utensils; magnetic strips for cutlery sets, dish drying racks and even spice shelves. The space underneath cabinets can provide an incredible amount of unexpected storage space, and in a neat and tidy manner.

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Via Modernize.com

 

Utilize a Non-Traditional Island

If you have the space, consider adding an island to your kitchen. The island will provide valuable counter space for preparing meals and can serve as a dining room table for small family dinners or as a serving buffet during parties. Depending on the type of island you select, you may also be able to get some extra storage space out of it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money of a factory produced island (that may or may not match your cabinets). Instead, consider non-traditional islands like a repurposed dresser or bookshelves. Here are some great DIY inspirations for kitchen islands. Whatever you end up using, just make sure to fasten the island to the floor to keep the surface stable.

 

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Source : Bryn Huntpalmer, Editor of Modernize.com Via Modernize.com


 

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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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Investment Properties In Todays Market

 

This Holiday season, think about decking the halls of a new investment property!  As the economy continues to improve, many people will feel more confident about their finances and prospects for the future.  Real Estate can be a good addition to your investment portfolios as you build wealth for the future.

Investors need to think about all aspects of real estate investment, including rental income, expenses, home price, appreciation and taxes.  At Red Rock Management we have written about the top markets for rental cash flow and trends in single family rental investment by the largest institutuions.


 

 

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