Posted: 02 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. Here are five reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
3. Results Come from the Internet
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
Posted: 27 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
We recently posted on the results from the latest Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) showing where residential home prices are headed over the next five years. Today, we want to show you what the results of the report could mean to you. A good portion of every family’s wealth comes from the equity in the home they live in. As the value of their home (an asset) increases so does their equity. Let’s look at a possible case scenario based on the latest HPES. Here is a chart showing the survey’s projections on annual appreciation over the next five years: We then looked at the five-year impact this would have on the equity of a family that purchased a home in January for $250,000: Their family wealth (based on increased equity) would increase by $47,772 over those five years. Bottom Line If you don’t yet own, perhaps you should be thinking about purchasing. If you already own, maybe it’s time to move up to enjoy your dream home and also ride the increase in equity of the larger asset.
Posted: 20 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
A recent post by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that in the months of December 2014 through February 2015, there was an increase in the number of first-time buyers making a down payment of 6% or less as compared to last year:
While the number of small down payments is lower than it was in 2009 when 77% of down payments were 6% or less, it does show the recent decisions by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer 3% down payment options to certain buyers is impacting the market. FHFA Director Mel Watt recently explained why Freddie and Fannie made this decision:
“The new lending guidelines by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.”
This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment.
Will these programs create future challenges?
Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern:
“To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”
Also, the Urban Institute revealed data showing what impact substantially lower down payments would have on default rates in today’s mortgage environment. Their study revealed:
“Those who have criticized low-down payment lending as excessively risky should know that if the past is a guide, only a narrow group of borrowers will receive these loans, and the overall impact on default rates is likely to be negligible. This low down payment lending was never more than 3.5 percent of the Fannie Mae book of business, and in recent years, had been even less. If executed carefully, this constitutes a small step forward in opening the credit box—one that safely, but only incrementally, expands the pool of who can qualify for a mortgage.”
Here are the direct links to the guidelines for each program:
Posted: 07 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Four recent news articles confirmed that most Americans still see real estate as a great long term investment. The Gallup organization polled the American people and discovered that they believe that real estate is a better long term investment than stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings or bonds: A second survey was done by Edelman Berland which showed that: At the same time, Tim Rood, chairman of the business advisory firm The Collingwood Group, explained that real estate is:
“…one of the last legitimate wealth creation opportunities…The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates. It's phenomenal."
Real estate continues to be a sensational long term investment. If you need help with any of your real estate needs, contact a local real estate professional and discuss the opportunities available in today’s market.
Posted: 06 May 2015 04:00 AM PDT
The Census recently released their 2015 Q1 Homeownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of homeownership. The national homeownership rate (Americans who owned vs. rented their primary residence) increased significantly during the housing boom, reaching its peak of 69.2% in 2004. The Census Bureau just reported the first quarter of 2015 ended with a homeownership rate of 63.7%. Many reported on this and began to question Americans’ belief in the ideal of homeownership as a major part of the American Dream.
Everyone Calm Down…
It is true the homeownership rate has fallen over the last several years. However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to historic norms. The 63.7% rate is less than a percentage point under the rate in 1985 and 1995.
What Will the Future Bring?
In a Housing Wire article this week, Ed Stansfield who manages the housing market research at Capital Economics said:
“The homeownership rate fell further at the start of the year to a 22-year low of 63.7. However, with credit conditions now loosening and employment set to continue growing strongly, we suspect this long downward trend may not last for much longer.”
In the same article referenced above, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, explained why the homeownership rate will probably begin to increase:
“The homeownership rate is likely to bottom this year or next not far from where we are now. By historical patterns, the rate could indeed go up. The simple math behind what it costs to rent versus buy shows that if you can afford the down payment and qualify for a mortgage, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent in 80% of the counties in the US now.”
With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, perhaps we should get together and evaluate your ability to purchase a home.
If you have a fixed-rate home mortgage, you pay the exact same amount each month. But did you know that the amount of principal you pay toward the balance of your loan changes from month to month? This is called amortization and it is a method of distributing the interest and principal over the course of a loan so that it is completely paid off by the end of the loan term. Understanding how it works could help save you plenty of interest on your mortgage. How does it work? When you agree to buy a house at a certain price, in reality, you will end up paying way more than that price to you...