Thursday, September 29, 2011

Idaho Veterans-A GREAT time to BUY!

On top of our rock bottom interest rates and super low prices for houses you veterans have another great reason to buy using your VA eligibility. The cost of getting your loan is going down!

Effective October 1, 2011, the costs associated with getting a VA mortgage are going DOWN!

An overview: VA mortgages are bundled, securitized and sold in the secondary market with the backing of the Federal Government. In order to insure these mortgages, the government charges a type of insurance premium, called a VA Funding Fee, which is typically added to the loan amount (thereby financed).

Remember, too, that the VA (subject to some restrictions) will insure loans up to 100% of the purchase price for the home.

What is happening next week? On loans that close effective October 1, that Funding Fee is being reduced. Because it is typical that the fee is financed into the loan, the VA is effectively lowering the monthly cost (because the loan amount is lower) AND the amount that will be paid back when the home is sold (again, because the loan amount is lower). It’s a win/win for the verteran.

If you have any questions about purchasing a home with a VA loan or if you already have one and are considering a refinance of it because of the low interest rates, reach out to your favorite mortgage professional and explore the possibilities. There has never been a better time!

Give me a call to view some homes or if you need a reference for a great loan officer.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Boise Sellers-Don't Put Off Selling Till Spring!

Late last year, banks were warned that they needed to guarantee that the paperwork necessary to start a foreclosure process on a family was both accurate and complete. Since then, the banks have slowed down the foreclosure process while they re-examined their procedures. They are now confident that all the required documentation is in order. We are currently waiting on a settlement between the banks and the state attorneys general which will establish what penalties will be assessed.

Once this settlement is reached, the banks will again move forward on many homes which are currently stalled at some stage in the foreclosure process.

How many homes are we talking about?

There are millions of homes in this category. Calculated Risk quantified the situation:
“There are a large number of seriously delinquent mortgage loans in limbo waiting for this settlement. According to LPS, at the end of August there were about 1.87 million loans seriously delinquent and another 2.15 million loans in the foreclosure process. This is only down slightly from a year ago when 4.4 million loans were seriously delinquent or in-foreclosure. Once the settlement is reached, the pace of foreclosures will pick up sharply.

The pace will “pick up sharply”.

Bottom Line

As more foreclosures come to the market at discounted prices, there will be greater downward pressure on all housing values. Waiting for the spring selling season to put your house on the market may not make sense this year. The increase in demand may be overshadowed by an increased supply of distressed properties.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boise, one of top places to retire!

CNN/Money  Magazine has come out with their top 25 Best Places to Retire and and Boise ranks as #3!  What do they have in common for the post work crowd? Amenities galore and the low cost of living doesn't hurt either.

We are ranked just behind Marquette, MI and Cape Coral, Fl. Following us in 4th place is Danville, KY and Weatherford, TX. Boise's profile follows.

Boise, Idaho

3 of 25

Boise, Idaho 

Boise, Idaho, has a thriving cultural scene.

Population: 205,600

% over 50: 30%

Median home price: $120,000

Top state income tax: 7.8%*

Cost of living index: 97

If you're the type who can't survive without your symphony, art, and theater fix, you may have resigned yourself to staying in some pricey coastal burg during retirement. Take a look at Idaho's capital city instead.

Granted, Boise is no Manhattan. But its thriving cultural scene includes an opera company, a philharmonic orchestra, and a ballet. At Boise Art Museum, which focuses on contemporary American art, you'll see works by Ansel Adams and Chuck Close.

Catch shows at Boise State University's Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts not only classical events but also touring Broadway shows and such boomer draws as Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson. Or hit the annual Shakespeare Festival at the city's 770-seat outdoor amphitheater.

Residents also enjoy all the outdoor activities you might expect of a city that's flanked by mountains and bisected by a river full of fish -- and that has a mild climate year round.

Another plus: Violent crime in Boise is little more than half the national average. That's a remarkable score for a city this size.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Windows of Opportunity Beginning to Close for Sellers.

Since Idaho is a statutory forsclosure state rather than judicial,  the following may not have as much impact locally as it does nationally. However, I believe the information is still worth taking into consideration.

We have suggested that sellers who need to sell within the next 18 months had a ‘window of opportunity’ to sell at higher prices. They needed to put their houses up for sale immediately before a flood of distressed properties were introduced to the market. This window is beginning to close. The paperwork challenges faced by banks that caused a delay in the foreclosure process over the last ten months are starting to clear. It seems that these houses are now coming to the market.

RealtyTrac reported in their September Foreclosure Report:
“Default notices were filed for the first time on a  total of 78,880 U.S. properties in August, a nine-month high and a 33 percent  increase from July — the biggest month-over-month increase since August 2007.”

James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac explained:
“The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems. It also foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process.”

Diana Olick, of CNBC’s Realty Check quoted a spokesperson for Bank of America:
“ Strong gains like that from July to August demonstrate our progress – primarily in judicial states — clearing more volume to advance to foreclosure once we pass the numerous quality controls we have in place and exhaust all options with homeowners.”

The impact will be felt from coast to coast. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson recently cleared the way for the top banks to resume foreclosures in the state. The impact this will have on the number of distressed properties can be clearly seen in these statistics reported by Housing Wire:
“In October, New Jersey had the 24th highest foreclosure rate in the country, with servicers filing roughly 5,200 foreclosures that month, according to RealtyTrac. By July, the Garden State’s foreclosure rate dropped to 42nd with just 1,112 filings last month.”

ForeclosureRadar, which handles research in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada, last week reported:
“Foreclosure starts rose in every state.”

Bottom Line

If you currently are selling your home, price it to compel a buyer to purchase it now. Waiting will cause you to compete with an increased number of distressed properties which sell at dramatically discounted prices.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Ada and Canyon Counties Dis-stressed Sales.

Although the percentage of distressed properties appear to be reducing somewhat in Ada County,  it is still amazing to me how high the percentage has been in Ada and Canyon counties this year.

Breakdown of REO, Foreclosure, Short-Sale, HUD Owned for Aug-2011

301 + 207=  508 = Ada + Canyon

75     HUD OWNED
252     REO OWNED
179     SHORT SALE (50 of 179 were also “Yes” to In Foreclosure)
508 Total Distress Ada & Canyon County

So 508 of 971 sold homes, or 52% ,were distress sales in the month of August 2011.


The following graphs prepared by Hennessy Appraisals clearly illustrate the valley's situation from January through June.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Name that sub answers-South West Boise

The answer to yesterday's quiz is Hazelwood Village is southwest Boise off Lake Hazel road between Cloverdale and Eagle roads.


It is a nice development and still has quite a nice selection of new homes still being built. It features a community pool, clubhouse, walking paths and parks.

I just listed a house for sale is this lovely neighborhood. The sellers love it there but personal life changes force their relocating.

Located right across from the park and clubhouse and next to a walking path the home is progressively designed home with modern stainless steel accents.

You can check out all the details on my website LowesFlatFee.com.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guess that Sub!

Today I have another entry in my name that sub contest. Where I post entrance features or other significant visual features from Treasure Valley subdivisions and see if you can recognize them.

And here is another view.

Tune in tomorrow for the answer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The long hot summer has come and gone...our real estate market continues to simmer.

August sales were 605 in Ada County, an increase of 43% compared to sales in August 2010.

Historically, August sales are even with July. August 2011 had 7.3% more sales than July 2011.

I am really happy to report that year-to-date 2011 sales, which total 4,192 are ahead of YTD 2010 sales; 3,947. As of the end of August we are 245 units ahead of year-to-date 2010! That’s a 6.2% increase.

Of our total sales in August… 45% were distressed….up 3% from July 2011. In January 2011 57% of our sales were distressed. (Short sales 17%, REO’s 22% and HUD sales 4%). Distressed sales continue to cast a long shadow over the market, but they are no longer the “majority” of transactions!

For homes sold in August, the average number of “Days on Market” was 81. This is down from 90 days last year this time and down from 93 days in January 2011.

Pending sales at the end of August were 885; and decrease of 6% from the end of July.  Looking back at pending sales from March 2011 to August 2011, we see an average near 900 at the end of each month.  This is another sign of the long term recovery we are experiencing. The percentage of pending sales in distress was essentially unchanged from July, totaling 44% overall. We are now at five consecutive months below 50%.

August median home price increased 2.5% from July.  Overall median price was $156,000; down 7% from August 2010. This is the highest median price we’ve had so far this year.

New Homes median price for August 2011 was $246,000; a 32% increase over August 2010.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of August fell below 2,500 for the first time since March 2006. This is down 3% from July and 32% less than last year at this time.

At the same time, the percentage of active inventory that is distressed increased almost 2% from June to 35%.  This increase reverses the trend of the last five months; which is, in part, due to the continuing reduction of available inventory. We remain well below the 40% levels set last spring….when we were on the increase.

In Ada County we have 4 months of inventory on hand…historically this number defines a strong “seller’s market”.  The price category in shortest supply is <$119,000 with 3 months available. This is closely followed by the $200,000 to $249,000 with 4.2 months.  Consumption of inventory is expanding to all price ranges. In the price ranges from $250,000 to $499,000 we have about 6 months of available inventory. These are the lowest numbers in more than a year!

There is also positive news on some of the higher priced inventory; $500,000 to $699,999 inventory dropped for a fourth month in a row to 6.9!

We continue to “benefit” from inventory levels much lower than national average.

Courtesy of Marc Lebowitz  Ada County Association of Realtors

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 Great Reasons to Sell Your House Today

We are often asked “Is it time to sell my home?” The answer to that question is based on what your families’ goals are. If you don’t need or want to move for a few years it might make sense to wait for the housing industry to recover and prices to appreciate. However, if you wish to move within the next six to eighteen months, it is probably better to sell sooner rather than later. Here are five reasons why:

Your House Will Get More Exposure Now Than the Winter

Housing sales usually level off in the summer and then regain momentum in September and October. The spring buyers’ market has passed. Don’t miss the early fall market. It has consistently outperformed the winter season.

Distressed Properties Will Impact Prices

Distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) on the market will increase this fall and winter. This will put tremendous downward pressure on prices for at least the next 12-18 months. Get your home sold before they become your competition.

Mortgages Will Become More Difficult to Attain

Lending standards are continuing to tighten. There is legislation currently being considered that will make it even harder for buyers to qualify. Less demand will equate to lower prices.

It is the Perfect Time to Move-Up

With prices where they are and interest rates at all time lows, there may have never been a better time to move-up into your dream home. If you move into a more desirable home now, you will be in position to gain larger equity as prices eventually appreciate.

You Get to Move On with Your Life

Probably the most important reason to sell is so you can get on with your life. You are considering selling for a reason. Do not allow a less-than-stellar housing market prevent you from reaching your goals as an individual or as a family. Think about the reasons you are thinking about moving. Are these reasons really important to you? If you have to take less than you were originally hoping to get for your house, your family has a question to ask each other: Is the dollar difference in sales price worth putting off our plans? Only you and your family know the answer to that question.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Deficiency Judgments and Idaho

Short Sales and Deficiency Judgments. A State by State Guide.

What is a Deficiency Judgment?

deficiency judgment is an unsecured money judgment against a borrower whose mortgage foreclosure sale did not produce sufficient funds to pay the underlying promissory note, or loan, in full.  The availability of a deficiency judgment depends on whether the lender has a recourse or nonrecourse loan, which is largely a matter of state law. In some jurisdictions, first mortgages are non-recourse loans, but second and subsequent ones are recourse loans.

States that follow the title theory of mortgages typically allow non-judicial foreclosure procedures, which are fast, but do not allow deficiency judgments. States that follow the lien theory of mortgages require judiciary foreclosure procedures, but allow deficiency judgments against the debtor.

In Idaho most residential property follows a non-judicial foreclosure procedure.

In Idaho: Lawsuit for deficiency must be brought within 3 months of the public auction. Deficiency limited by fair market value as of the date of the sale.

There can be additional variables, you are urged to consult an attorney if you are contemplating a short sale.