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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Investment Fourplex in Pocatello


Come take a look at this fourplex located at 870 Buchanan Ave in Pocatello.  Great investment property.  All four units each have 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and over 1000 sq ft.  Come take a look!



See photos below.
You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.






Monday, January 29, 2018

Wonderful Family Home


Wonderful family home in east Nampa located at 2405 S. Bluegrass Dr. Easy access to freeway. The home boasts vaulted ceilings in open concept living area, split bedroom design, RV parking and a shop/storage shed. The master suite includes display shelves, walk-in closet and large soaking tub. Bonus room could be an office, play room or guest room. The private back yard is perfect for family gatherings on the new large patio. Home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac and is well cared for, inside and out. Come see your new home!



You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.





Sunday, January 28, 2018

Open Floor Plan in Meridian


Open floor plan home located at 953 NE Wolfsburg Ave. in Meridian. This home has vaulted ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, breakfast bar and pantry in the kitchen with a spacious feeling. You have a covered front porch, fully fenced with automatic sprinklers.  



You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.









Friday, January 26, 2018

Bubble Alert! Is It Getting Too Easy To Get A Mortgage?


There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:
  • More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home
  • The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower
  • More low-down-payment programs have been introduced
This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some of that concern.
The graph below shows the MCAI going back to the boom years of 2004-2005. The higher the graph line, the easier it was to get a mortgage.

As you can see, lending standards were much more lenient from 2004 to 2007. Though it has gradually become easier to get a mortgage since 2011, we are nowhere near the lenient standards during the boom.
The Urban Institute also publishes a Home Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Institute, the HCAI:
“Measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates … it is easier to get a loan.”

Again, today’s lending standards are nowhere near the levels of the boom years. As a matter of fact, they are more stringent than they were even before the boom.

Bottom Line

It is getting easier to gain financing for a home purchase. However, we are not seeing the irresponsible lending that caused the housing crisis.


Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Access Is An Important Factor In Getting Your House SOLD!


So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.
There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4.  By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.
In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.



Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2013 Rambler With Bonus Room


2013 Rambler located at 2845 Sunray Loop in Twin Falls w/ Bonus Room in Quiet/Fun neighborhood in Morning Sun Sub. Walking distance to Pillar Falls School. 4 Bedrooms 3 Baths, Open Floor Plan, Lots of Closet & Storage Space, Tile Kitchen & Bathrooms. Spacious Kitchen: Granite Countertops, Wood Cabinetry, & Stainless Steel Appliances. Fully Landscaped Yard with auto Sprinkler System. Office/Den, 3 Car Garage, Gas Fireplace. Fully fenced yard with two access gates. New 6 x 12 shed. Trailer Parking on the side of the home. Grow Boxes & Fire Pit.




You can also learn more about us at lowesflatfee.com.





Monday, January 22, 2018

Homeowners: Your House Must Be Sold TWICE


In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5%+ over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.
If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.
Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth, and an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home.
Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges anyone looking to buy or sell in today’s market to remember the impact of this challenge:
“Based on the HPPI, it appears homeowners in the markets where prices are rising faster than the national average – like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco – are continuing to underestimate just how quickly home values are rising, so the average appraisal is higher than homeowner estimate.
On the inverse of that, homeowners in areas where the values aren’t rising as fast may think they are rising faster than they are, leading to the appraisal lagging the estimate.”
The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.

Bottom Line

Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, meet with Lowes Flat Fee Realty, we can guide you through this and any other obstacles that may arise.



Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Saturday, January 20, 2018

More New Construction Homes Available Than Existing in Ada County

Ada County hit another record low for inventory in December 2017, with just 1,391 homes for sale — a 6.6% drop from December 2016. While we’ve discussed the lack of inventory at length in our previous market reports, a new twist on the inventory shortage showed up in the December 2017 numbers…


There were 317 more new homes for sale in Ada County in December 2017 than existing homes. The actual numbers reported for Ada County were 854 new homes, compared to 537 existing homes on the market in December 2017.
Looking back at the year, there were five months that this happened, but December 2017 had the largest spread. (We saw this once in December 2016, but never before then in our ten-year data set.)
As reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), we need builders to bring more product online to pull us out of our local – and nationwide – inventory shortage, so an increase in new construction is welcomed.
But some question if this strategy could lead to another wave of overbuilding like we saw in the mid-2000s. At that time, new construction was more speculative, which led to more new houses than there was demand. Today’s new construction inventory levels are much more in line with buyer demand for new homes, which has increased with the Boise region’s population growth.
The Months Supply of Inventory figures for new construction in Ada County over the past 4-5 years indicate a general balance between supply and buyer demand. In December 2017, the months supply of new homes was at 4.1 months. A balanced market—not favoring buyers or sellers—is typically between 4-6 months of supply.

That’s a good starting point for builders, as they’re not too far behind demand right now. Although, we did see the months supply of new homes dip below 4.0 months last summer, so the more product that can get started now, the better.
A mix of price points among newly constructed homes will also be necessary, but that’s proved difficult with the rising cost of land, labor, and materials. This was evident in December 2017, as Ada County’s median sales price for new homes saw a record high of $361,030, up 13.5% from December 2016. (In comparison, the median sales price of existing homes in Ada County was at $254,250 in December 2017.)
Additional information about trends within Ada County as well as Canyon County, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available in the December 2017 Market Report. This includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.
Download the latest market snapshot graphics for Ada CountyCanyon County, and Gem County:





Story taken from "Boise Regional Realtors".





Wednesday, January 17, 2018

93% Believe Homeownership Is Important In Attaining The American Dream


Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:
“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”
When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”
  • 18% of those surveyed said it was the most important part
  • 53% of those surveyed said it was very important
  • 22% of those surveyed said it was somewhat important

Homeownership and Financial Stability

The survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press release, explained:
“After about a two-year slowdown, rent growth is starting to pick back up across the nation…Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining.
More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward the relative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line

Owning a home always has been, and always will be, a crucial part of attaining the American Dream.



Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Monday, January 15, 2018

FICO® Scores On Approved Home Loans Drop Again


According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report, the average FICO® Score on all closed loans dropped to 722 which is its lowest mark since April. The average includes all approved refinance and purchase loans.
FHA and VA loans showed the most opportunity for millennials looking to enter the market with low down payments and even lower FICO® Score requirements.
Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker revealed that those who purchased homes in December with an FHA Loan were able to do so with an average down payment of 4% and a FICO® Score of only 684.
Joe Tyrell, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Ellie Mae commented on the opportunity this brings to buyers,
“With the average credit score dipping, lenders are extending credit to borrowers who may have had no previous access to the housing market.”

Bottom Line

More and more potential buyers are able to qualify for a mortgage loan now! If you are debating a home purchase, contact us at Lowes Flat Fee!  We will help you out.



Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Friday, January 12, 2018

712,000 Homes In The US Regained Equity In The Past 12 Months!


CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that “over the past 12 months, 712,000 borrowers moved into positive equity.” This is great news, as the share of homeowners with negative equity (those who owe more than their home is worth), has dropped more than 20% since the peak in Q4 of 2009 (26%) to 4.9% today.
The report also revealed:
  • The average homeowner gained approximately $14,900 in equity during the past year.
  • Compared to Q3 2016, negative equity decreased 22% from 3.2 million homes, or 6.3% of all mortgaged properties.
  • U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeownershave seen their equity increase by a total of $870.6 billion since Q3 2016, an increase of 11.8%, year-over-year.
The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)


Significant Equity Is on The Rise
Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the “housing market.” He went on to say:
“Homeowner equity increased by almost $871 billion over the last 12 months, the largest increase in more than three years. This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending.”
Of the 95.1% of homeowners with positive equity in the U.S., 82.9% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that more than three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home now.
The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and significant equity.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who are unsure of how much equity you have in your home and are curious about your ability to move, meet with a local real estate professional who can help evaluate your situation.



Story taken from "Keeping Current Matters".

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Idaho was the Nation’s Fastest Growing State in 2017

Idaho saw its population boom by 2.2% over the last year, leading the nation in population growth during that period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data estimates released Wednesday.
The Gem State was followed by Nevada (2%), Utah (1.9%) and Washington (1.7%) and western states accounted for seven of the 10 states to see the biggest growth in terms of percentage of population between July 2016 and July 2017, according to the data.
Idaho boasts a strong economy and an unemployment rate of 2.9%. The state’s Department of Labor earlier this year published a forecast predicting population would grow by about 1.4% annually through 2025, pushing Idaho’s population to about 1.9 million residents.

“Domestic migration drove change in the two fastest-growing states, Idaho and Nevada, while an excess of births over deaths played a major part in the growth of the third fastest-growing state, Utah,” said Luke Rogers, Chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates branch.
Texas tallied the biggest numeric growth with its population increasing by nearly 400,000 residents in 2017. The state’s population now stands at nearly 28.3 million residents —an increase of more than 3 million residents since 2010.
Meanwhile, seven states and Puerto Rico recorded population losses over the last year. Illinois lost more than 33,000 residents, dropping to the sixth most populous state in the union with 12,802,023 residents. It’s the fourth straight year that Illinois has recorded a population decline, according to the census data.
Illinois has seen residents walk away as the state’s politicians have struggled to fix its finances. The state is bedeviled by a mountain of debt and unmet pension obligations —Moody’s Investor’s Service estimates the state has $250 billion public pension debt.
Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has been feuding with state Democrats and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the best way to deal with the state’s long-brewing financial crisis. In July, state lawmakers enacted Illinois’ first budget since 2015 when lawmakers managed to override Rauner’s veto of a budget plan that included a more than 30% tax hike.
Pennsylvania, which saw a modest bounce it in its population over the last year, is now the fifth biggest state with a population of 12,805,537.
The U.S. territory Puerto Rico lost more than 69,000 residents last year and filed for the equivalent of federal bankruptcy protection in May. The population exodus is likely much greater as the bureau’s estimate doesn’t account for the thousands of Puerto Ricans who left the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September.
Wyoming had the largest percentage decline among states, losing nearly 5,600 resident or about 1% of the state’s population.
The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million to 325.7 million, a less than 1% increase in population. Net international migration decreased 1.8% — the first drop since 2012 to 2013.
Still, residents moving to the U.S. from other countries continue to be a significant factor in U.S. population growth as 1.1 million people moved to the U.S. over the last year, according to the census bureau.

Story taken from "Park Place Idaho".