How Difficult Is the Mortgage Process for Buyers?

 

 

How Difficult Is the Mortgage Process for Buyers?

TD Bank recently announced the results of their inaugural Mortgage Service Index. The index was designed to identify best practices and trouble areas in home financing and act as a service indicator for lending institutions. Below are some of the key findings of the survey.

Positive Experiencesresearch

The index identified the percentage of respondents who had a positive (“excellent” or “very good”) experience in certain parts of the home buying experience:

  • § 64% had a positive experience during the home buying experience
  • § 55% finding a good Realtor
  • § 55% with the home appraisal/inspection process
  • § 53% finding the right lender
  • § 53% with the length of the entire home buying process

What Creates an Overall Positive Experience?

Certain key aspects of the relationship with the lender were important to those who said they had a very positive overall home buying experience. They rated their lender as “excellent” or “very good” in the following categories:

  • § Responsive 74%
  • § Accessible 76%
  • § Honest and transparent 76%
  • § Instilled confidence throughout the process 73%
  • § Helped buyers understand the process 73%
  • § Kept buyer informed during process 73%
  • § Explained the mortgage and available options 72%

Other Key Findings:

1. On average, home buyers considered approximately two banks or lenders when applying for a mortgage

2. An equal number of those surveyed (43%) obtained information on the lending process from their bank and from their Realtor, demonstrating that Realtors are used as informative resources by consumers during the mortgage process

3. Only 34% of home buyers obtained a mortgage at their primary bank

Michael Copley, Executive Vice President, Retail Lending at TD Bank concluded:

“As the housing market continues to rebound, the growing number of buyers should be aware of what to look for in a mortgage partner and seek out a lender who will best guide them through the home financing process in order to create a positive home buying experience.”

Buy or Rent: Which Makes More Sense Financially?

Every potential home buyer has to stop for at least a moment and consider this question. Today, we want to look at one of the many financial reasons to buy instead of rent: the housing expense moving forward.rent buy

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of a home in the U.S. is $184,300. The mortgage payment (principal & interest) on that purchase would be $661.89 assuming a 20% down payment and a 3.5% mortgage interest rate. Currently, the median asking rent in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau is $717 a month.

We realize that the two payments do not necessarily reflect the housing cost on a similar residence. However, that is not the point of the post. All we are saying is that the monthly housing expense on a median price home is $661.89 and the median rent is $717. We now want to discuss what will happen to these costs over time.

The principal and interest portion of the mortgage payment is locked in for the next 30 years. We know real estate taxes may be included in the payment and will increase to some degree over that time. We also acknowledge that the homeowner will have occasion to spend money on repairs. They also receive many tax advantages as a homeowner.

However, the actual monthly housing expense remains the same for the next 30 years.

Now, let’s look at what happens to a rent payment. The best thing to do to predict the future is to study the past. Here is a graph of the median asking rent since 1988 based on Census Bureau data:

Rents

We believe rents will follow their historically pattern and increase dramatically over the next 30 years. Buyers have a choice: either lock in your housing expense or deal with the uncertainty of rental increases.

 

Thank you to The KCM Crew for this post~

3 Reason to Sell Your Arizona Home Today! (Part 3)

home-builder-300x300This week, we are going to look at the three reasons to sell your house now instead of waiting: demand is strong, supply is low and new construction will soon be your competition.

Part III – New Construction Will Soon Be Your Competition

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. As an example, the National Association of Realtors revealed, relative to last year, year-to-date new home sales are up 19%.

These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they can be an attractive alternative to many of today’s home purchasers.

Here are the numbers regarding new construction about to come to market from the Census Bureau:

BUILDING PERMITS
Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 600,000.
This is 25.5% above February 2012.
HOUSING UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 618,000.
This is 18.5% above February 2012.
HOUSING COMPLETIONS
Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 574,000.
This is 32.9% above February 2012.

As we mentioned, new construction can be strong competition to a seller of an existing home. It may make sense to list your home before this new inventory makes its way to market.

Thank you to KCM for the post

3 Reasons to Sell Your Arizona Home Today! (Part 2)

Homes-for-Sale-300x286This week, we are going to look at the three reasons to sell your house now instead of waiting: demand is strong, supply is low and new construction will soon be your competition.

Part II – Housing Supply is Low
A seller’s ability to sell their home in today’s real estate market will be determined by both the supply of homes for sale and the demand for that housing. In real estate, supply is represented by the current month’s supply of homes for sale (the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes sold in the previous month).

While there is no steadfast rule that will apply to pricing in every category of housing, here is a great guideline:

1-4 months’ supply creates a sellers’ market where there are not enough homes to satisfy buyer demand. Appreciation is guaranteed.
5-6 months’ supply creates a balanced market. Historically home values appreciate at a rate a little greater than inflation.
7-8 months’ supply creates a buyers’ market where the number of homes for sale exceeds the demand. Depreciation follows.
What is happening across the country right now?
In most parts of the country, supply is dropping like a rock. According to the National Association of Realtors, total housing inventory is below a five months’ supply. This is almost 20% below inventory numbers of just a year ago and at levels we haven’t seen since 2005.

Based on the table above, we can see that the supply/demand ratio is showing a sellers’ market where prices appreciate. This has created positive movement in housing values in most parts of the country.

Sellers have a great opportunity right now. Historically, inventory increases dramatically as we approach summer. Selling now while demand is high and supply is low may garner you your best price.

Thank you to KCM for the post

3 Reasons to Sell Your Arizona Home Today! (Part 1)

HouseKeysBlue-930x1024This week, we are going to look at three reasons to sell your house now instead of waiting: demand is strong, supply is low and new construction will soon be your competition.

Part I – Demand for Real Estate is Much Stronger This Year
When selling anything, owners can only hope there is a strong demand for that which they are selling. The great news for today’s home sellers is that the current housing market is experiencing a stronger demand than we have seen in some time.

The spring housing market of 2013 is projected to be one of the best in years.

Home Sales
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports monthly on both pending sales (houses going into contract) and existing home sales (actual closed sales).

In the first quarter of 2013, pending sales have consistently outperformed the numbers reported in 2012. Contract activity has been above year-ago levels for the past 22 months. Before this year, the last time the index showed a higher reading was in April 2010, shortly before the deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

NAR also revealed that closed home sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months and sales are at the highest level since the tax credit period of 2009-2010.

Impact on Sellers
This increase in demand has created bidding wars for properly priced homes across the country. This has resulted in two favorable changes for home sellers:

They are receiving offers closer to (if not greater than) the list price.
The average days it takes to sell a home has dropped by over 20% from last year.
If you are thinking about selling your home, don’t miss out on the strong demand that exists in the current spring market.

Thank you to KCM for the post

NAHREP: State of Hispanic Homeownership Report

NAHREP-Study-232x300

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ recently released their The State of Hispanic Homeownership Report. The 24-page document offers an update on the Hispanic homebuyer market and traces Hispanics’s rise in household formations and reveals the variables that make them homeownership-ready and able to drive demand in the current  homebuyer market.

According to the report, Hispanics continue to lead the surge in U.S. homeownership and accounted 51% of the total net increase of owner households. The number of Hispanic homeowners grew from 4.24 million in 2000 to 6.69 million in 2012, a remarkable increase of 58 percent at a time when the rest of the U.S. population saw a net increase of only 5 percent.

Some of the key statistics highlighted in the report include:

Population

Hispanics continue to lead population growth in America. Hispanics have accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the past decade. Every month, 50,000 young Hispanics reach the age of 18. More notably, Hispanics dominate household growth. Over one million Hispanic households were formed in 2012, compared to a decrease of 704,000 non-Hispanic White households.

Income

Continue reading…

Thinking of Buying Your Dream Home? DO IT NOW!

A recent survey showed that 3 out of 4 future home buyers (who are not first time buyers) plan to move up to some form of a ‘better’ home. The breakdown:

  • Move to a significantly bigger home (49%)
  • Move to a nicer home (17.5%)
  • Move to a nicer part of town (8.6%)

If you or your family falls into any one of these categories, you should strongly consider making the move sooner than later. The ‘cost’ of your new dream house will be determined by two factors: the price of the house and the mortgage interest rate. Both are projected to increase this year.

Prices Set to Increase

In the recent Home Price Expectation Survey, 105 leading housing analysts called for a 3.1% increase in home values by the end of 2013.

Thank you to The KCM Crew for the post

Should Your Buyers Increase Their Offer?

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 Limited inventory and a very strong demand for housing has created an environment where bidding wars are commonplace in today’s real estate market. Homes priced properly are getting multiple offers within a short time of coming to market. This brings about a dilemma for the agent: How should they advise their client who is about to make an offer when other offers will also be presented?

Over the last several years, there wasn’t any pressure on the buyer to adjust their offer for three reasons:

  1. There were plenty of homes for sale
  2. Prices were falling
  3. Mortgage interest rates were falling

They buyer could find another home easily for probably less money and a lower mortgage rate. There was no downside to not ‘upping the ante’. However, in today’s market, things have dramatically changed.

HOUSING INVENTORY

A normal real estate market has between 5-6 months worth of inventory. Over the last several years, the inventory of homes for sale had skyrocketed to 10 months. Most buyers in almost any price range had a multitude of houses to choose from. Today, the national month’s supply of inventory has fallen below five months. In many markets, there is not enough housing inventory to satisfy the current demand.

Conclusion: If the buyer loses the house they are bidding on, there is no guarantee they will find a similar home anytime soon.

HOME PRICES

Because of the limited inventory, home prices are again appreciating. The Case Shiller Pricing Index revealed that house prices rose by 6.8% in 2012. Experts are projecting home prices to increase by 5% to 8% in 2013.

Conclusion: If the buyer doesn’t get this house, there is a good likelihood that a similar home will cost more in the future.

MORTGAGE RATES

The ‘cost’ of a home to a buyer is determined by the price of the house and the expense associated with the financing. Mortgage rates are projected to inch up in 2013. In a recent forecast, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted that rates could climb as high as 4.3% by the end of the year.

Conclusion: If interest rates do inch up, the ‘cost’ of the next home could be impacted significantly.

Bottom Line

If a buyer truly loves the house they are bidding on, it probably makes sense to raise their bid now instead of waiting for another dream house to appear.

 

Real Estate is Back!

After five long years of bad news, the prognosis for the health of the U.S. real estate market in 2013 is surprisingly strong. The largest real estate social network in the world, ActiveRain, recently surveyed 2,430 real estate professionals and found that there is great optimism regarding the future of the U.S. real estate market and economy. Since U.S. economic recoveries often come on the back of the real estate market, a rebound in real estate is a great sign for the economy as well.Real Estate is Back

Thank you to The KCM Crew for this post.

3 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home NOW! (Part 1)

Part I – Prices Are Rising at an Accelerated Rate

The price of a home is the major consideration when deciding whether or not it makes financial sense to purchase a house. Experts are not only projecting that house values will increase in 2013. They are also more optomistic in the level of appreciation they are projecting as the market begins to heat up. Here are some examples:

The Home Price Expectation Survey

The latest survey of a nationwide panel of 118 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists reveals they project home values to end 2013 up an average of 4.6% according to the first quarter. This is after they had projected a 3.1% increase just three months ago.

Bank of America

In a report titled, Someone Say House Party?, Bank of America analysts revised their projections upward:

“Home prices continue to show momentum amid shrinking inventory and record high affordability, prompting us to revise up our original forecast of 4.7% for home prices this year. We now expect national home prices, as defined by the S&P Case Shiller home price index, to increase 8% this year.”

Capital Economics

According to a report in DSNews, Capital Economics also upgraded their prediction:

“Strong demand and tight inventory have brought existing home sales back to ‘normal’ levels, and further gains are possible, according to the latest market report from Capital Economics. Additionally, market conditions may prompt lenders to “loosen the purse strings slightly” and lend a little more freely.

These conditions, combined with broader economic indicators, lead Capital Economics to revise its previous forecast of a 5% price gain this year up to 8%.”

Morgan Stanley

In an article from HousingWire, Morgan Stanley joined the party:

“Strong momentum in home prices as well as housing activity gave Morgan Stanley analysts enough confidence to upgrade their home price appreciation projections to roughly 7% (from 5%) for 2013, according to its latest global securitized credit report…

“The momentum in most metrics of housing activity is running well ahead of the pace we had expected,” said James Egan, Jose Cambronero and Vishwanath Tirupattur, analysts for Morgan Stanley.” 

Not only are prices projected to appreciate. Experts are actually revising their projections upward as demand maintains its momentum.

Tomorrow, we will look at increasing interest rates.

 

Thank you to the KCM Crew for the post.