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Monthly Archives: May 2016

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 31, 2016

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - May 31, 2016Last week’s economic reports included new home sales, pending home sales along with weekly mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

New Home Sales Surpass Expectations

Sales of new homes surpassed expectations and the prior month’s reading. April’s reading of 619,000 sales exceeded expectations of 523,000 new homes sold and 531,000 new homes sold in March.  New home sales rose by 16.60 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, which was the highest increase in 24 years. 

Analysts said that April’s new home sales indicate that builders are increasing production of new homes to meet high demand for homes. Short inventories of available homes are credited with driving up demand and home prices. Buyers seeking family homes are contending with investor buyers and cash buyers in popular markets.

With affordability becoming limited in many cities, first time and moderate income homebuyers aren’t buying as many homes as they once did. This development contributes to slowing markets, as move-up buyers generally rely on first time buyers to purchase their homes. 

Shortages of available homes has pressured home builders to break ground on new home construction projects, but builders continue to cite labor shortages and a lack of buildable lots as reasons why they aren’t building homes as fast as homes are needed. 

Pending Home Sales Numbers Suggest Peak Buying Season Returns

Pending home sales were also higher than forecast in April with a reading of 5.10 percent as compared to expectations of 0.80 percent for April and the March reading of 1.60 percent. Pending home sales gauge future closings for home sales and reached their highest level in 10 years and posted a year-over-year gain of 4.60 percent. 

Three of four regional readings for pending home sales posted gains, with home sales in the Midwest posting slower growth. On a year-over-year basis, he South posted a gain of 6.80 percent and the Northeast posted a gain of 1.20 percent. The West saw a jump in pending sales with a reading of 11.40 percent after posting a negative reading in March. 

April’s expansion in new and pending sales suggests that the peak home buying season is back.

Mortgage Rates Rise; New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points higher at 3.64 percent; the rate for a 15-year mortgage rose eight basis points to 2.89 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose seven points to 2.87 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for all mortgage types. 

New jobless claims dipped last week to 268,000 as compared to an expected reading of 275,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 278,000 new claims. Analysts said that New York school employees that were eligible for benefits boosted jobless claims earlier in May due to a non-typical law that allows some school workers to draw unemployment during school closures such as spring break or labor disputes.

Whats Ahead This Week

This week’s scheduled economic news includes Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, construction spending and reports on inflation, core inflation and consumer sentiment. No reports were scheduled for Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday. 

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Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Mortgage Rates

 

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4 Tips to Staging Your Home on a Budget

4 Tips to Staging Your Home on a BudgetMany people think that staging a home effectively is a matter of money, but there are easy ways to dress it up and make it shine that don’t come with a high cost. If you’re looking for some economical tips that will go a long way in making a positive impression, here are a few ways to get your home prepared.

Pack Away The Personal

There are certain unique features in any house that can have a positive impact on potential homebuyers, but personal items will actually make it harder for guests to imagine themselves in your home. For a cost-free save, ensure that you pack away personal mementos and pictures so that guests aren’t distracted by the details of your life.

Keep It Clutter Free

An untidy home will have an instantly negative impact on the perception of your visitors, so you may want to enlist the help of your entire family to clean it from top to bottom. Instead of keeping papers and magazines that have been sitting around for years, sift through any coffee table piles and bedroom corners and discard all the things that will catch the eye too easily.

Take Out The Toolbox

If you’ve been postponing a few minor fix-ups like a damaged shelf or a loose door, now is the time to head to the hardware store and get these jobs done. Potential homebuyers will be looking at every aspect of your home, and maintenance will figure heavily into how interested they are, so an inability to deal with the small details can cue them to a home they shouldn’t invest in.

Do A Deep Clean

Cleaning the house, especially a sizeable one, can be the bane of many a homeowner but there’s no other time that cleaning properly is more important than when you’re staging it. While a dirty, dusty house may mean your guests won’t pay attention to your home’s best features, a newly clean home will provide visitors with a blank canvas from which to draw their conclusions.

From major overhauls to unique decorations that draw the eye, there are many great ways to stage a home, but making the small fixes and doing a deep clean are easy to do and don’t require a lot of cash. If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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Why Home Buyers Should Hire Their Own Home Inspector and How to Choose One

Why Home Buyers Should Hire Their Own Home Inspector and How to Choose OneWhen you’ve found the perfect home and you’re preparing for all of the final details to be sorted, there are a few important things that should not be forgotten about. As a home inspection is among the last steps in the transfer of the home, here’s why it’s very important to find the right person for the job.

Assessing All The Elements

Purchasing a home is among the most important and expensive decisions you will ever make, and for this reason it’s necessary to hire a professional that has experience with how a home should function. Because there are so many things that make a house run smoothly, the right inspector will be able to assess any major issues for you so that you’re not forced to pay a high price for fix-ups when the deal is already set in stone.

What The Inspector Will Look For

There are a number of things a home inspector will look at that encompass all of the main functioning systems of a house, and this should determine if your home will be a good investment for you. There will be items that need regular or routine maintenance that will be identified, but the most important issues like a cracking home foundation or mold can be a major expense. From start to finish, a home inspector will be able to give you a written report of any minor and major issues that will help you determine the value of your investment.

How To Find The Ideal Inspector

One of the most important factors when it comes to the right inspector is experience, and no piece of paper can make up for this. While your inspector should certainly have professional certification from organizations like the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), they should have a number of years under their belt and have seen enough to know what to look for.

There are a lot of things to think about when buying a home, but finding the right inspector can go a long way in positively impacting your purchase. If you’re currently on the market for a home and are considering your options, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Home Buyer Tips

 

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4 Tips to Staging Your Home on a Budget

4 Tips to Staging Your Home on a BudgetMany people think that staging a home effectively is a matter of money, but there are easy ways to dress it up and make it shine that don’t come with a high cost. If you’re looking for some economical tips that will go a long way in making a positive impression, here are a few ways to get your home prepared.

Pack Away The Personal

There are certain unique features in any house that can have a positive impact on potential homebuyers, but personal items will actually make it harder for guests to imagine themselves in your home. For a cost-free save, ensure that you pack away personal mementos and pictures so that guests aren’t distracted by the details of your life.

Keep It Clutter Free

An untidy home will have an instantly negative impact on the perception of your visitors, so you may want to enlist the help of your entire family to clean it from top to bottom. Instead of keeping papers and magazines that have been sitting around for years, sift through any coffee table piles and bedroom corners and discard all the things that will catch the eye too easily.

Take Out The Toolbox

If you’ve been postponing a few minor fix-ups like a damaged shelf or a loose door, now is the time to head to the hardware store and get these jobs done. Potential homebuyers will be looking at every aspect of your home, and maintenance will figure heavily into how interested they are, so an inability to deal with the small details can cue them to a home they shouldn’t invest in.

Do A Deep Clean

Cleaning the house, especially a sizeable one, can be the bane of many a homeowner but there’s no other time that cleaning properly is more important than when you’re staging it. While a dirty, dusty house may mean your guests won’t pay attention to your home’s best features, a newly clean home will provide visitors with a blank canvas from which to draw their conclusions.

From major overhauls to unique decorations that draw the eye, there are many great ways to stage a home, but making the small fixes and doing a deep clean are easy to do and don’t require a lot of cash. If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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Peak Season Is Near: 4 Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Sale Season

Peak Season is near 4 tasks to get your home ready for sale seasonThe spring is the most popular time of the year when it comes to real estate, and it’s a good time for a few fix ups if you’re putting your home on the market. While you may have a lot of different things to do before you’re ready for your first showing, here are the four things to keep at the top of the list.

Complete The Forgotten-About Fixes

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, it’s entirely possible that there’s a damaged baseboard or broken door latch that you haven’t gotten around to fixing; however, these are the things that a potential buyer will quickly notice. Instead of leaving it to chance, make a note of the little fixes and complete them before you set a date for a showing.

Do A Spring Clean

Packing up all of your stuff for a big move can be quite a gargantuan task, but taking advantage of spring-cleaning to clear out some old stuff will make the selling process a lot smoother. Not only will this force you to look at your home with new eyes, it means there will be little less to organize and de-clutter when it comes to staging time.

Break Out The Paint Cans

It’s important to stay away from colors that are too bold, but taking your brush to the paint can bring a lot to what viewers will take away from your home. Instead of a dull coat or chip marks, potential homebuyers will see your home in its best light. As painting your home can be quite a sizeable task, make sure you take this on well in advance of putting your home up for sale.

Check Out The Exterior

There’s often enough cleaning to do inside the home that the exterior is forgotten about, but this is the first thing a new visitor to your property will see. Instead of sticking to the inside, make sure that your lawn is mowed, any flowers beds are well groomed, and make sure that nothing appears out of place or disheveled.

There’s a lot to be done before putting your home on the market, but by following these tips you’ll be well on your way to a positive home staging. If you’re almost ready to sell and are weighing your options, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 23, 2016

You Ask, We Answer: 5 Ways That You Can Proactively Build and Improve Your Credit ScoreLast week’s economic news included the NAHB Housing Market Index, reports on housing starts, building reports and existing home sales. Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last FOMC meeting were also released.

Homebuilder Confidence Unchanged, Housing Starts and Building Permits Increase

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that builder confidence held steady with a reading of 58 in May. Analysts projected a reading of 58 and April’s reading was also 58. Builder confidence in market conditions could be slowing due to concerns over acquiring skilled labor and a shortage of developed lots. Demand for homes remains high, but a slim inventory of available properties and builder emphasis on higher-priced homes contributed to sidelining moderate income and first-time buyers.

Commerce Department reports for April Housing Starts and Building Permits issued suggest that tight housing inventories may receive some relief. April housing starts rose from a revised March reading of 1.099 million to 1.170 million starts. Housing starts increased by 6.60 percent in April. Housing starts have slowed as compared to the year-over-year period from April 2015 to 2016; housing starts increased by 10 percent for the same year-over-year period in 2015. While any increase in home construction is welcome, some analysts said that they did not expect a huge increase in home construction in coming months.

Construction of multifamily housing units rose by 10.70 percent, while single-family home construction increased by 3.30 percent. Rising rents and millennials delaying home purchases were seen as fueling multifamily home construction. As homes become less affordable, would-be buyers are continuing to rent, which places higher demand on rental units.

Pre-owned Home Sales Rise in April

Sales of previously owned homes rose by 1.70 percent in April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million sales. Sales increased by 12.10 percent in the Midwest, where homes are most affordable, and fell by 1.70 percent in the West, where homes are most costly. This development suggests that rapidly rising home prices have or will soon reach maximum levels in high-cost areas. Home prices in many areas rose rapidly in preceding months as short inventory and high demand created bidding wars and keen competition for available homes. A lack of affordable single family homes has caused some buyers to buy condos while others have put buying on hold.

Mortgage Rates Rise, New Jobless Claims Fall

Mortgage rates rose for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 3.58 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.82 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose by two basis points to 2.80 percent. Discount points were 0.60, 0.50 and 0.50 percent respectively. Analysts are watching the Fed closely for any indication that it will raise the target federal funds rate in June, although concerns over the possibility of Great Britain leaving the European Union could cause the Fed to hold off on raising the rate. If the Fed raises the target federal funds rate, loan rates for credit cards and mortgages would also increase.

New jobless claims fell last week to 278,000 new claims against expectations of 279,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 294,000 new claims. Analysts said that a telecommunications strike caused the prior week’s raise in claims as striking workers who are replaced during a strike are eligible for jobless benefits.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include new and pending home sales along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Mortgage Rates

 

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The Essentials for a Successful Open House

The Essentials for a Successful Open HouseFrom the cleaning to the organizing to the small fix-ups around the house, there can be a lot of minor details that go into staging a successful open house. However, there are a few essential items you should be sure not to forget about when you prep your home for an influx of potential buyers.

Choose The Right Time

If you happen to be selling your home in the busy season, it’s important to set your open house at a time that gives potential buyers room to breathe. While weekends are a popular time for open houses, you may want to choose a day or time that is a little different from other homes in your area. This means visitors to your home will be able to take their time and really see the details that make your home distinct and worth a second look.

The Exterior Speaks Volumes

With so much cleaning and so many small maintenance duties, it can be easy to forget about the first thing that guests will see when they show up at your doorstep, the exterior. However, this will provide the initial impression so you’ll want to ensure that it’s a positive one. Before organizing your open house, make sure the lawn is cleared and cut, the hedges are trimmed and your doorway is well maintained.

Make The Marketing Count

If you’ve primed your home for your open house, it’s important to ensure your marketing efforts are up to snuff and will get people through the door. While your real estate agent should feature your home and some professional photos on their website, you should also consider handing out flyers to your neighbors and advertising on social media to reach anyone who might be interested.

Engage All The Senses

It might sound strange, but a house that smells and sounds good in addition to a house that looks good can actually work wonders in swinging a buyer in the direction of your home. While having a clean, clutter-free place is ideal, you may want to consider baking beforehand or even leaving a little music on so people will feel relaxed and right at home.

There are a lot of little tricks that go into a successful open house and it’s important to utilize all of them to get the best results. If you’re putting your home on the market, contact your trusted local real estate professional for more information.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Home Seller Tips

 

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