SOLD – 5104 Brookstone Ct, Indianapolis

Originally posted on Stories of SOLD - Jennifer Blandford's Zionsville Real Estate Blog:

5104 BrookstoneLindsey was REALLY frustrated with the process of selling her house.  Neither of her two prior agents had been able to sell her adorable little house.  But then neither had performed any advertising whatsoever – not even the most basic methods! There was no flyer box, there was just one open house after Lindsey had begged. The photos online were terrible and dark.  One of her prior agents even stood her up for a scheduled appointment because he was on the golf course and forgot.  Wow.  She got Jennifer’s contact info from a friend, and the rest is history.  Jennifer handled the listing of Lindsey’s adorable home in her usual manner, and an acceptable offer was received within 21 days.  Just a simple amount of attention was all Lindsey needed to get that house sold.  She told Jennifer later on that she was “blown away” by the effort that was put…

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Housing Affordability Edges Higher in First Quarter

Ed Stojancevich:

Great article! Housing affordability was up in the first quarter. Home prices are climbing and now may be the most opportune time to buy a home, you’ll get the most “bang for your buck.”

Originally posted on Eye on Housing:

Slightly lower median home prices along with steady mortgage rates contributed to higher housing affordability in the first quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In all, 65.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. The HOI in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 64.7 percent.

HOI Q114

The national median home price dipped from $205,000 in the fourth quarter to $195,000 in the first quarter while average mortgage interest rates were virtually unchanged, moving from 4.54 percent to 4.57 percent in the same period.

Syracuse, N.Y. was the nation’s most affordable major housing market, as 93.7 percent of all new and existing homes sold in this year’s first quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $67,700.   Other major…

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Millennial Buyers and Baby Boomers

Originally posted on Dream Coldwell Banker:

Today’s buyer profile is shifting and two demographic groups are emerging as interesting case studies – Millennial buyers and Baby Boomers.

Coldwell Banker Agent Gianna Burdioffers her perspective on these two growing buyer segments:

Millennial Buyers
According to recent report by the National Association of Realtors, millennial homebuyers (age 33 and younger or born 1980-2000) are on the rise, currently accounting for 28% of today’s buyers. Gianna has had personal experience dealing with millennial buyers and makes the following observations:

  • MillenialsMillennial buyers want to be “in town”, meaning close they want to be close to a town’s downtown area where they have easy access to public transportation, shopping and dining. “My last 10 transactions have all been with young buyers who are adamant about finding a home close to a downtown area,” said Burdi.
    • Millennial’s are very motivated when they look for a home

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Changes in Mortgage Guidelines

Indiana Home Loans

Indiana Home Loans

So if you are in the market to either purchase a home or refinance your current home, you need to be aware of some of the new changes that will be rolling out come January 10th 2014. The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) put together new regulations regarding mortgage lending. Home mortgages will have to pass a series of tests in order to ensure they are a qualified home loan. Loans can not exceed 30 year term, the APR cannot exceed 1.5% more than the annual prime offer rate, there cannot be negative amortization, and points and fees cannot exceed 3% of the loan balance in order for these to fall within the qualified mortgage guidelines and will fall under safe harbor which prevents the borrower from suing the mortgage company because they can not pay the loan back.

Lenders will also have to  perform a series of verification for ATR (Ability to Repay). The ability to repay consists of a series of requirements that have to be met by the borrower and verified by the lender, including but not limited to income and debt levels. There are 8 different factors that Lenders must look at before issuing a mortgage.

  1. Current or reasonably expected income or assets (other than the value of the property that secures the loan) that the consumer will rely on to repay the loan
  2. Current employment status (if you rely on employment income when assessing the consumer’s ability to repay)
  3. Monthly mortgage payment for this loan. You calculate this using the introductory or fully indexed rate, whichever is higher, and monthly, fully amortizing payments that are substantially equal
  4. Monthly payment on any simultaneous loans secured by the same property
  5. Monthly payments for property taxes and insurance that you require the consumer to buy, and certain other costs related to the property such as homeowners association fees or ground rent
  6. Debts, alimony, and child support Obligations
  7. Monthly debt-to-income ratio or residual income, that you calculated using the total of all of the mortgage and non-mortgage obligations listed above, as a ratio of gross monthly income
  8. Credit history

Along with some of the above factors listed, the maximum debt-to-income ratios have been lowered as well which can lower the purchase power of potential homeowners. For more information or for any further questions you can always contact me, I’ll be glad to answer anything that you have for me. Thanks for reading!

 

Neighborhood Features to Examine Before Buying a Home

Originally posted on Dream Coldwell Banker:

Location, Location, Location

Location, Location, Location! An obvious and important aspect of buying a home is looking at the home itself, but another, and sometimes forgotten, is exploring the neighborhood. Limited amenities and services, unkempt communities and noisy neighbors can curb a home sale, and to avoid moving into an area that lacks the features owners are looking for, it’s important that buyers examine the community as closely as they do the house.

There are several features to examine when looking at a neighborhood and it can be helpful if buyers have a clear idea of what they want in a community.

Amenities

Individuals may have a specific set of amenities they want their community to have, which may vary based on their family size, age and lifestyle. For example, individuals with young children may seek out a neighborhood with parks and playgrounds, while other demographics may want more cultural features and entertainment…

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Translating the Language of Real Estate

Ed Stojancevich:

To most 1st time home buyers, real estate can be confusing and overwhelming, especially with the real estate terms and numbers, but it shouldn’t have to be. Purchasing a home and selling a home are big steps in most peoples’ lives so it is important to stay informed. Feel free to contact me anytime with your real estate needs, and I will be happy to discuss your questions in terms we can all understand and make the process as easy as possible. Find me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/RockstarRealEstates

Originally posted on Dream Coldwell Banker:

Guest blogger: Matt Dobbe, Regional Marketing Coordinator, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Wisconsin Region

Funny bubble of real estate abbreviations

As someone new to the real estate industry, I’ve learned that buying a home is more than just bed and bath counts. It’s waterfront property, big yards, BICCs and a friendly neighborhood. It’s FSBOs, REOs and contracts and paperwork…A lot of paperwork.

It probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but I didn’t realize how much had to be signed, approved and permitted when buying or selling a home. I also didn’t know that all real estate agents were fluent in more than one language: The Language of Real Estate. The Language of Real Estate consists largely of acronyms and abbreviations and if you happen to be one who’s not fluent in Real Estate, deciphering what a certain acronym or term may mean can make it seem like you’re trying to crack a decades long real estate code; similar to…

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10 Interesting Facts About the Housing Market

Originally posted on Dream Coldwell Banker:

Guest blogger: Dick Greenwood, Director, Builder Marketing

Buying Vs Selling Two-Way Street Sign

  1. At today’s prices and rents, buying would be cheaper than renting until the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reaches 10.5%. (Source: Trulia)
  2. Even at a 5% fixed rate, buying would be 34% cheaper than renting. (Source:Trulia)
  3. Prices have increased so much that homeowners with negative equity have fallen to less than 20% of all borrowers. (Source: Bloomberg)
  4. “Flash sales” are happening in the Chicagoland market. Flash sales are when a home is sold within 24 hours of listing. This is because of the use of technology, especially instant mobile alerts for new listings. Gone forever are the days of waiting two weeks for the 10 pound “MLS” book to be printed. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
  5. Buyer competition is so stiff that in some markets we are seeing a quarter of the sales going for more than asking price! (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
  6. Dick GreenwoodNationally this spring home prices rose to…

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Simple ways to get your home paid off quicker

Having the opportunity to purchase a home is a true experience, there are a ton of emotions that you will go through during the process, and when you get the keys to your new home it is like you’ve reached the finish line. Congratulations you have become a new homeowner, but now let’s move on to the next part; getting your home paid off as quick as possible.

More than likely a mortgage is going to be one of the biggest financial decisions that you make throughout your life and in most cases tends to be the most expensive. There are ways that you can help eliminate the amount of interest that you pay over the life of your loan, so let’s cover a few.

It is highly recommended that you try and make at least 1 extra principal and interest payment every year. The amount of interest paid on the mortgage goes based off of the principal balance, so naturally when you make 1 extra payment towards your principal balance every year it will reduce the amount interest you will pay over the mortgage.

Another tip that is recommended is rounding up on your mortgage payment. So for example, if your mortgage is $1217, if you can afford to do so try and pay $1300. The extra $83 dollars a month equals an extra $996 towards your principal every year, and reduces the amount of interest that you pay.

Set up bi-weekly mortgage payments, by doing so you make 1/2 of what your payment is 26 times a year which equals 13 full mortgage payments, and adds up to the 1 extra payment a year, similar to what was mentioned above.

Ultimately the choice is yours on if you can swing the extra payments, but remember by doing so you can cut the amount of interest you pay and own your home years sooner than your loan term.

Feel free to leave me feedback and if you have any questions, leave them below and I will be glad to answer them for you. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for viewing my blog!

Mortgage rates are on the rise

So if you haven’t noticed on the news, in the newspaper, or on the internet, mortgage rates are on an upward trend. Rates over the past few weeks have gone up from the historic lows that we have been accustomed to, 3 out of the past 4 weeks they’ve gone up to be exact. Don’t get me wrong, these rates are still low, but they may not be as low as they were a few months ago or late last year.

Please call anytime with your real estate needs

Please call anytime with your real estate needs

The higher rates in all reality are going to impact the refinance business more than anything, because people who were on the fence about refinancing may be turned off from the rates going up and opt to stay with their current mortgage. Home buyers will still be in the market looking to grab their dream house, vacation house, and/or investment properties because in all reality these rates are still impressive and home affordability is the best it has ever been in years because of  interest rates.

USA Today spoke with the Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, and he believes the lowest rates are now behind us.

Bottom line: If you have been considering purchasing a home, talk to a lender, get pre-approved and start the home search. Prolonging this crucial step could essentially cost you and your family more money in the long run. If you are a current homeowner thinking of refinancing, call a lender and discuss some of the goals that you are looking to achieve and have them put some options together for you, the longer you wait on this step, the higher rates can potentially get and could crush any benefit that you could have taken advantage of by refinancing.

I’ve included a link below that shows the connection between rates and the 10-year tresury bond.

The Truth About Mortgage Rates

Thanks for viewing, please leave your comments below and as always contact me with any other questions or feedback, it’s greatly appreciated!

-Ed Stojancevich

Housing is Contributing to Economic Growth

Originally posted on Eye on Housing:

Over the last two years, home building has experienced significant growth, albeit off of low levels. And this expansion has added to overall growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, since the last quarter of 2011, advances in home building have been responsible for 20% of total economic expansion.

RFI Growth

While the economy as a whole has slowed somewhat over the last year, the expansion of home building has picked up steam. The home building component of the GDP accounts, as measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, is Residential Fixed Investment (RFI). RFI includes spending on residential structures and some equipment. The category of residential structures includes new construction of single-family and multifamily housing units, improvements and remodeling that expand or extend the life of housing units, expenditures for manufactured homes, brokers’ commissions on the sales of residential property and net purchases from government agencies. The bulk of this spending is associated…

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