February 11, 2014 7:24 am
Last month, the Federal Reserve, in a unanimous vote, decided to further decrease its bond purchasing. The bond purchases were the government’s stimulus package created to keep long term mortgage interest rates artificially low in order to help drive the housing market. Most experts believe that tapering will cause interest rates to increase as we move through the year.
Interest rates have remained relatively stable since the onset of the tapering in December. This is probably because the first round of increases had already been ‘priced into’ the equation last summer when rates skyrocketed by over a full percentage point just on the speculation that tapering would take place later in 2013.
February 10, 2014 7:24 am
There has been much speculation about what is causing the falling sales numbers in the most recent Existing Home Sales Reports
(EHS) from the National Association of Realtors
(NAR). Some have claimed that rising interest rates have scared buyers out of the market. Others have claimed that consumers are just losing confidence in the housing recovery fearing a new bubble may be forming. We want to look at the validity of these two assumptions.
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES
Rising interest rates have forced buyers back onto the fence. Evidence offered up by those in this camp comes directly from the EHS Report from NAR. Three of the last four reports revealed that sales were below sales from the same month the previous year.
Though it is true year-over-year sales have fallen nationally, a closer look at the report reveals major regional differences. Sales in the West Region are down 10.7% versus the same month last year. Sales in the Midwest Region are also down but by less than 1%. The Northeast Region is up
3.2% and the Southern Region is up
If the issue is interest rates, why is one region virtually unchanged and two of the remaining three regions up in sales? We don’t believe rates are the challenge.
February 6, 2014 7:18 am
VA loans are the most misunderstood mortgage program in America. Industry professionals and consumers often receive incorrect data when they inquire about them. In fact, misconceptions about the government guaranteed home loan program are so prevalent that a recent VA survey found that approximately half of all military veterans do not understand it.
With this in mind, we would like to debunk the most common myths about VA Loans.
Myth 1: The VA loan benefit has a “one time” use.
Veterans and active duty military can use the VA loan many times. There is a limit to the borrower’s entitlement. The entitlement is the amount of loan the VA will guarantee. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may have to make a down payment. Never the less, there are no limitations on how many times a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member can get a VA loan.
Myth 2: VA home loan benefits expire if they are not used.
February 5, 2014 7:18 am
Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). We think there are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are five of our reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people
with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
- The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
- Your bank in the case of a short sale
2. Exposure to Perspective Purchasers