Sunday, November 24, 2013

Clients’ Cash Deposits Can Delay Closing


Home buyers who make cash deposits to their checking accounts that don't come from payroll checks or income tax refunds during the processing of a mortgage likely will face delays in closing, lending experts warn. That's because lenders are required to investigate possible suspicious activity for deposits that are not documented or cannot be explained, slowing down the process.

Scott Sheldon, a senior loan officer with Sonoma County Mortgages, told Credit.com only money that can be adequately "sourced" can be used in the mortgage transaction.

"If you are self-employed and show cash deposits, that's OK — so long as you claim those monies as income on your tax return and you 'show' income from a filing standpoint," Sheldon says.

For example, if borrowers receive money from parents or family members, they will need to document and explain that deposited check to lenders. Sheldon says that buyers may want to avoid making deposits that will need to be explained at least 60 days prior to closing.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring

KCM Blog presents 5 reasons to sell before spring.

Vermont-AutumnMany sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.

Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere 'lookers'. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don't wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.

There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.

It's Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Treasure Valley distressed properties reach post-recession low

Home sale prices are increasing in the Treasure Valley in part because of the decline in distressed properties.

Distressed properties — homes in the process of foreclosure or short sale — made up 59 percent of Ada and Canyon county home sales in January 2011, according to statistics kept by the Ada County Association of Realtors. That dropped to 10 percent in October.

Marc Lebowitz, president of the association, said the decline is partially due to the federal government’s Home Affordable Refinance Programs that have helped homeowners avoid short-selling their homes for less than they owe on their mortgages.

“This is a combination of the intrinsic strength of our market and some supportive federal policy that have made this picture a lot brighter,” Lebowitz said.

Distressed properties typically sell for far less than market value, Lebowitz said. The reduction in the inventory of distressed homes is one of the reasons median home prices have increased 20.5 percent in Ada County to $214,000 and 19.7 percent in Canyon County to $130,500 since October 2012.

Brad Barker, president of the Boise real estate agency Group One, said the local market has recovered from the recession.

“We have to be approaching or maybe even have reached a normal market now,” Barker said.

Some areas in the country should still be concerned about a “shadow inventory” of distressed properties, meaning homes that are in the process of foreclosure but don’t yet show up in the stats, Barker said. That’s only the case in states that have a judicial foreclosure process, which Idaho does not, he said.

“There isn’t anything hung up in the courts, because we don’t use the courts,” he said.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/11/21/2882660/treasure-valley-distressed-properties.html#storylink=cpy



Properties Sold in Ada and Canyon Counties

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Where are Prices Headed?

A few days ago I published the median price predictions for Ada County for this year. Today will be national predictions for the next 5 years.

Home-Price-Expectation-275Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

The latest survey was released last week. Here are the results:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.3% in 2014.

  • The average annual appreciation will be 4.2% over the next 5 years

  • The cumulative appreciation will be 28% by 2018.

  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 16.8% by 2018.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ignoring Insurance Risks Can Be Costly

Having just gone through purchasing a home and obtaining home insurance I thought this article from KCM Blog was very appropriate. I will also add it certainly pays to shop around for insurance, I ended cutting the proposed premium in half, with the same coverages!

One of the first stages during the hunt for a new home is crunching the numbers to figure out your budget. And no matter how high or low that budget may be, prospective homebuyers should take into consideration the cost of insuring the home.

It's easy to overlook insurance, especially since you may be more worried about the number of bedrooms, the school district, or the size of the backyard. But before you can close on the purchase, your lender will require you to line up homeowners insurance. You may be hit with some sticker shock if the home you are about to buy ends up being a high risk- and therefore high cost- home to insure.

Once you’ve got a few homes in your sight, you should get some preliminary home insurance quotes on each property. Just as you will compare asking price and property taxes- figure your insurance costs into the equation as well. Even homes of similar size and style can vary greatly in terms of cost to insure.

Here are a few lesser known home features that affect insurance costs:

Location- The location of a home will have a huge impact on the insurance premiums due to the proximity to a fire station, the fire station ratings and the flood zone it’s located in.

  • When you shop for homeowners insurance you will be asked how close the home is to a fire hydrant and to a fire station. In the event of a fire, the quicker the fire department can respond to the home, the less damage will be incurred. The average claim for a residential fire exceeds $33,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Therefore insurers typically charge lower premiums for homes within a close proximity of each.

  • Fire stations in each community each have a specific fire protection class rating which also affects the home insurance premiums on a home.

  • Last but certainly not least, the specific type of flood plain that a home is located in may require you to carry a separate flood insurance policy in order to obtain a mortgage. Flood insurance is recommended for all properties, however, in certain high-risk flood plains a flood insurance policy is not only required- but the coverage could double your annual insurance spend.

Roofing- Ask your realtor about the home's roof. You'll want to know how old it is and the material it's made of. Roofs that are 20 or more years old can be considered high risk and may be expensive to insure. Replacing a roof also can be costly so you'll want to weigh the pros and cons. Newer roofs, built with impact-resistant material, are ideal. These roofs are made to withstand nature's harshest elements, and they can also qualify homeowners for more preferred home insurance policies.

Swimming Pool- You might be looking specifically for a house with a pool but you should know swimming pools can drive up your insurance premiums. Accidents frequently happen in and around pools so insurance companies see them as a high-risk home feature. Remember, you can be held liable even if a trespasser has an accident at your pool. For this reason, homes with swimming pools located on the property should meet all local safety codes and carry high limits of liability coverage.

Age- The age of the home can also affect your premium. Typically older homes have outdated electrical wiring and plumbing systems, which can lead to fires or water damage. If you are considering an older home, ask your realtor the age of the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems. If they have been updated in recent years, this is important to note with your insurance agent. If not, make sure you know what this may cost you in additional premiums and to upgrade in the future.

Security equipment- Security equipment is a plus for obvious reasons- items such as burglar alarms, deadbolt locks, and smoke alarms can make your home a safer environment. In addition, insurance providers offer discounts for homes featuring these items. In fact, you could save 10% or more on your premium. Take note of the types of safety devices in the homes you are comparing so you can get accurate discounts figured into your insurance rates.

You likely won't make a decision on a house because of insurance factors alone. But it's best to have an idea of where you stand as you consider your options. Start by checking out average home insurance rates in your state. Then work with an agent you can trust to compare quotes on various properties. An educated search can help you find the home of your dreams and home insurance premiums that won't break the bank.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Profile of Buyers and Sellers

The National Association of Realtors does research each year on buyers and sellers. Here are a few excerpts for you to peruse. With the exceedingly high numbers of buyers using the internet in their home searches coupled with the high numbers using real estate agents, using my flat fee service is being shown as the best, most effective and efficient way to sell your home!  I am here to answer any questions, give me a call or shoot me an email today!

  • Sixty-six percent of buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.

  • For 42 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties

  • The use of the Internet in the home search rose slightly to 92 percent.

  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.

  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent

  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent

  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.

  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ada County Real Estate Market Report-October

Here is the low down from Marc Lebowitz of the Ada County Association of Realtors.


Single family home sales in October 2013 were 615 in Ada County, a decrease of 4% compared to October 2012.  We had a strong feeling that October was going to be lackluster and it was.  Plus, October 2012 was a gangbuster month.  I’ll go out a limb right now and predict that November 2013 will beat November 2012 sales by at least 7%.

Year-to-date sales are 6,810; up 15% over 2012 YTD sales of 5,905.

Dollar volume for October was up 13% to $152 million and YTD we are just under $1.6 billion in sales.

Days on market averaged 52 in October, up from 46 in September.  Our year-to-date average is 51 days.

New homes sold in October totaled 137; down 17% from October 2012.

Historically, October sales decrease an average of 3% from September.  October 2013 sales decreased 10% compared to September 2013.

The impact of the Government shutdown in October will take months to figure out. Preliminarily, homes took longer to sell; sales decreased more than just “seasonably adjusted”; Pending Sales nudged up a little.

Of the total sales in October, 9% were distressed; no change from last month. In October 2012, 23% of sales were distressed.

Pending sales at the end of October were 910; down 1% from September 2013.

Of Pending sales in distress (13%), there was an increase in the number of REOs (from 38% to 48% of activity; 38 total sales) and a decrease in short sales (from 62% to 52%; 42 total sales).

At the end of October, we had 9% fewer sales pending than at the end of October 2012. This is the third consecutive month in which we’ve seen a decline in pendings relative to the previous year. This is a key number to monitor moving forward.

October median home price was $214,000; up 21% from October 2012. According to NAR’s most recent report; national median price is $199,200.

New Homes median price for October was $275,000; up 14% from October 2012. For Existing homes the increase is 17% to $190,000.

This is the highest monthly median price we’ve had in 2013 and the fourth month in which we’ve been above $200K.

In Ada County, the median family income is $67,519; making a $214,000 home within reach for that “median family income” family.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of October decreased 1% from September 2013 to 2,496.  This reverses nine consecutive months of increasing inventory.  This is 27% more than last year at this time. Since January we have increased the number of single family homes for sale by 52%, allowing us to grow our YTD sales increase.

Of the total active listings, 10% are distressed, down 1% from the end of August 2013.

With inventory increasing and the percentage of distressed inventory decreasing, median home price will remain strong through the end of this year.

Of our Distressed Inventory, 76% is Short Sales (189) and 24% is REO (59).

Available inventory decreased at all price points except in the $160,000 to $200,000 range, with an increase of 26 homes.

In Ada County we now have 3.8 months of inventory on hand, up a little from the end of September.

The price category in shortest supply is <$120K where we have 2.3 months. All price points up to $400,000 have a 4 month’s supply. Above $400,000 the supply is greater than five months.  Remembering that six months of available inventory describes a “stable real estate market”; it looks like we are heading into a period of “normal” like we haven’t seen in several years.

Of sales in October, the most popular price point was $120,000 to $160,000 (21%); followed in a near dead heat by $160,000 to $200,000, $200,000 to $250,000 and $300,000 with 17% each.

So…what’s next?

The only thing we’re sure of right now is that we’re not really sure of anything.  At the NAR Convention last week, Boise was singled out as one of the nation’s “bright spots” for 2014.

What does that mean?  It means that we are more likely than most to continue with strong sales, improving median price and sustainable inventory levels.  Couple those with better employment and our quality of life and we come out on top every time.

I’m sticking by my median price projection of between $195K and $200K for the year.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Importance of Curb Appeal

This graphic offers some very on the mark suggestions for making your house look it's very best and correspondingly bring the most return.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Buying or Selling: Now May Be The Time

Autumn Piggy Bank2As we enter the winter months, many expect the real estate market to begin to slow down. However, this winter there are many reasons that both buyers and sellers should consider moving forward with their real estate goals instead of waiting until the spring.


Waiting until the spring will probably mean increases in the two elements that determine the cost of purchasing a home: home prices and mortgage rates.


A seller will get the best price when demand is high and inventory is low. Demand will remain strong throughout this winter (see above) while inventory historically shrinks this time of year.


Friday, November 1, 2013

When the Neighborhood was Built!

This is a fascinating way to visualize when various regions across the U.S. first got developed.

Seth Kadish at the blog Vizual Statistix has put together this map showing when the plurality of homes in any given county were built.

So, for example, in the bright, off-yellow counties, more homes were built pre-1930s than in any other period.

As you can see, in the West and in the Southeast, you actually have many counties where more homes were built post 1990s than in any other period.

It's also fascinating to see the pockets out West that haven't been crazily developed recently, and where the homes remain very old, such as parts of Oregon and Texas.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/when-houses-in-your-neighborhood-were-built-2013-10#ixzz2jJdZc5c5