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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pick A Realtor You Trust And Then Let Them Do Their Job.


Doug Reynolds, a Sacramento Area Realtor, gives advise and opinion for buyers that are in the hunt for a home.  Buyers need to carefully select the Realtor they want to work with, discuss their wants and needs and then hand over their trust to the agent they picked.  A lot of times buyers can end up being their own worst enemies in this current market of low inventory, bank owns, foreclosures, short sales and auctions.  The most important thing for buyers in this market is taking the time to find the right match with an agent.


clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shopping For The Best Mortgage Rates




Interest rates are the lowest in decades, enticing many borrowers to shop for a loan.  Mortgage lenders adjust their rates based on perceptions of risk, so unless the borrower can show they’re a low-risk individual, the borrower is unlikely to qualify for a rate that matches those seen in recent advertisements and headlines.
Making sense of the story
  • The rates quoted are averages drawn from a variety of financial institutions, and lenders use varied approaches to set them.  Consumers who want to try for the lowest rates available need to consider basic factors, such as credit score, points, property type, down payment, and length of the loan.
  • Credit score: The ideal borrower has a FICO score of 740 or higher, which puts the individual in the best place for pricing.
  • Points: The lowest rates usually are decreased by paying a fee called a point, or 1 percent of the loan amount.  Borrowers may buy points in order to get the best rates at many banks.  Points might make sense depending on the borrower’s financial situation and how long they expect to stay in the home.
  • Property type: Borrowers planning to buy a duplex or a four-unit build likely will have a higher interest rate.  Condominiums also may have a rate premium rate, especially if they are newer or the down payment is less than 25 percent.  Lenders also may charge more if the borrower is not planning to live in the home.
  • Down payment: Borrowers who put down at least 25 percent are more likely to obtain the best interest rates.  Lenders offer different breaks on rates if equity in the property is higher, so borrowers should ask what is available.
clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How Long Before You Can Buy After A Shortsale, Foreclosure, Or Bankruptcy



Unfortunately, in our economy man people have got through a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy.  The good news is you can establish your credit and in a fairly short people of time, be able to purchase a home again with the currently historical low interest rates and very low prices.  Take a look at the video to see when you'll be able to start looking again as long as you have got your FICO back up.  Call or email if you have any questions.


clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mood Improves on Home Prices



 

By Mia Lamar, Wall Street Journal
Consumer expectations for U.S. home prices perked up in December, matching a modest fourth-quarter improvement in the U.S. economy, according to a monthly survey from mortgage market firm Fannie Mae.
For its December reading, Fannie Mae said survey respondents now expect home to rise by 0.8% over the next year, up from the 0.2% gain predicted in November.
Views on the direction of the U.S. economy also improved: 22% of respondents indicated a belief that the U.S. economy is on the right track, marking a 6-percentage-point jump from November’s survey.
On personal finances, 40% of respondents said they anticipate their personal financial situation to strengthen over the next year. Fannie Mae noted the response marks the first time since February that a larger share of respondents indicated they expect improved personal finances rather than finances that will remain the same over the next year.

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Converting Foreclosures To Rentals To Help The Real Estate Market




Talking Points
·         In coming weeks, federal policy makers could roll out pilot programs to further test the concept of renting out single-family homes. 
·         There are two different types of programs that officials are likely to consider.  Under the first, the Federal Housing Administration could sell properties in bulk to investors who agree to rent them out. 
·         A more likely option for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be to set up pools of properties in which third-party investors would take a stake.  Investors could be responsible for handling maintenance and day-to-day operation of the rental pool, with Fannie and Freddie sharing in some of the returns.

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Real estate: 5 reasons to get a new mortgage in 2012



By Marcie Geffner,  Bankrate.com

Mortgage interest rates, near all-time lows, are likely to remain attractive throughout 2012. That means opportunities for new homebuyers and for homeowners who want to refinance.
Here are five reasons why you might want to get a new mortgage, and what you should know.
While depressed housing prices and low mortgage rates have made homes more affordable, economic uncertainty and volatile housing markets have discouraged so many homebuyers that mortgage purchase applications dropped to a 15-year low in August, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.
In qualifying for loans, buyers face hurdles including a down payment and the ability to document at least two years of income, says Justin Lopatin, vice president of Baytree National Bank & Trust in Chicago. Income documentation can be hard for people who've suffered temporary unemployment, are self-employed or have irregular wages.
Many investors pay cash to purchase residential rental properties. But some take out a mortgage to increase their leverage, says Julie Miller, sales manager at Prospect Mortgage in Irvine, Calif.
Lopatin says low interest rates are an inducement for investment property buyers.
"If you can take out an investment loan at 4.5 percent and rent out (the property) and make a few dollars a month, annually, the return will be worth the loan," he says. "Not to mention the tax write-offs and other advantages of owning real estate."
Mortgage insurance isn't an option for investment property, so a fat down payment, typically 20 percent or more, is a must.
Investment buyers also need to show that they have enough income and reserves to afford the payments even if the tenant fails to pay the rent or moves out. Lenders typically will count 75 percent of the rent toward the borrower's income-qualifying ratios, Lopatin says. For example, a monthly rent of $1,000 would count as $750 of income.
Low rates can make rate-and-term refinancing a smart financial move. This type of new loan is exactly what the name implies: a refinance in which the interest rate or term is changed, but the loan amount stays the same.
Another benefit might be locking in a fixed interest rate instead of an adjustable rate.
Homeowners who want to refinance must provide income documentation and have a "decent" credit score, to use Miller's characterization.
Equity is also required for most loan refinance programs. This hurdle can be troublesome because homeowners don't control a property's market value, Lopatin says.
If your loan amount exceeds your home's value, consider the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, part of the federal government's Making Home Affordable initiative. If your loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the FHA Short Refi program might enable you to refinance in a negative equity position.
A home equity loan or line of credit can be a good way to get cash for financial needs such as remodeling, major home repairs or financing a college education. The benefits, Lopatin says, include immediate cash, low-cost debt and potentially an income tax write-off.
There's a catch: You can't borrow against your equity if your mortgage debt exceeds your home's value.
Taking out cash isn't free money. In fact, a cash-out refinance increases your debt, which is "just not wise today," says Alfred McIntosh, principal of McIntosh Capital Advisors, a financial planning firm in Los Angeles.
Co-signing a home loan for someone might sound like a feel-good proposition. But those warm fuzzies are the only benefit to co-signing.
"I see no reason why anyone should co-sign on anything for anyone, unless it's a relative, because you're putting yourself in a position to jeopardize your credit," Lopatin says.
Miller sees "more negatives than positives" because the co-signer is equally responsible for the loan. If the borrower fails to make payments, the co-signer is on the hook.
Mortgage rates fell this week, reaching new record lows as investors seemed to ignore the latest signs of economic recovery.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 3 basis points to 4.18 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.
The 15-year fixed-rate fell 4 basis points to 3.4 percent. The average rate for 30-year jumbo mortgages, or generally for those of more than $417,000, fell 2 basis points to 4.62 percent.

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

But I Thought It's A Buyers Market in Sacramento Real Estate?



I hear it from new clients all the time: "But I thought it's a buyer's market?"  Take a look at this video to learn about how Sacramento Real Estate has low inventory and high demand, creating a "Price Sensitive Seller's Market."  The inventory of homes for sale in the Sacramento area is only 2 months.  A "normal" market is considered 6 months of inventory.  So, as buyers are quickly finding out when they get started house hunting, a home that shows well, is marketed well and priced right will have multiple offers on it within a week or less.  It's hard to believe when you watch the national news but you have to realize that real estate is a local issue, and locally the Sacramento Real Estate market has a high demand and low supply.

Do you find that hard to believe?  What are you seeing in your real estate market?  Thanks for sharing and subscribing.


clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com
 

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Good Rental History Can Help Borrowers




First-time home buyers planning to purchase a house later this year may have a better chance of qualifying for a mortgage if they have had a history of paying their rent on time.
Making sense of the story
  • Last year, credit-reporting agency Experian added a section to millions of credit reports showing on-time rent payments and raised the credit scores of many people.  The company said that this year it would add in negative marks, including mentions of bounced checks or of tenants’ leaving before a lease was up.
  • Incorporating rental payments into credit scores could affect millions of people who have not established credit histories through credit cards, student loan repayments, and other credit sources.
  • Almost half of consumers considered “high-risk” experienced an increase of 100 points or more after their positive rental history was added, according to Experian’s rent bureau.  Those with average or higher scores did not experience major movement.
  • Although it is still too early to show the effects of the new credit report, which began in December, the changes are intended to allow lenders and consumers to have greater transparency, according to Corelogic.
  • People who have lost their homes to foreclosure and are now leasing may be able to rebuild their credit histories by being responsible renters.
  • However, consumer groups and advocates are skeptical, noting that reports are sometimes riddled with mistakes and some landlord-tenant disputes may be difficult to capture in a credit report.  Rent may not have been paid, for example, because the furnace was left unrepaired for months.
clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

4% Interest Rates ... Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?




Doug Reynolds, a Sacramento Area Realtor, discusses the history of interest rates in America and shows how the current interest rates in 2012 are at record lows for home buyers.  The unheard of interest rates of 3.5% and 4% combined with the bottom of the market for prices are creating the best time to ever buy real estate in Sacramento, the beginning of 2012.

What is your interest rate at?  Did you ever purchase a home with a mortgage above 12%?

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Are You Homes New Year’s Resolutions Going?


Description: http://goinggreenfriendly.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Eco-Friendly-House.gif

·         When the new year arrives, promises and resolutions abound, but few include home improvement.  Here are resolutions every homeowner should make.

·         Cut energy use: Sealing and insulating ductwork can improve the efficiency of a heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent, saving $200 per year or more, according to Energy Star.
  • Budget for home improvements: Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance helps prevent overspending, and encourages homeowners to put aside money for major replacements — such as new roofing or a kitchen appliance — that come up every few years.
  • Curb water use: The average household uses about 400 gallons of water each day, or almost $700 per year in water and sewer costs. Making a few simple changes, such as installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could trim up to $200 annually from the water bill. Add to that energy savings from reduced costs to heat water, and the yearly savings could reach $300 or more per year.

·         For additional homeowner new year resolutions visit http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-thoughts/houselogic-new-years-resolutions-home/.



clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sacramento County Real Estate Update February - March 2012


Doug Reynolds, a Sacramento Realtor, provides an analysis of the local market statistics from January 2012. This month discussing how inventory is still on the low side at the time, and sales dipped a bit in January, which is typically compared to December. And then quickly hitting on interest rates and lender rebates to have stronger offers.  More information can be found at his website, www.SellWithDoug.com, as well as his blog and Facebook page (Doug Reynolds Real Estate). Become a fan of his YouTube page and Facebook pages.

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Low Can Rates Go?



By VICKIE ELMER – New York Times

IF your New Year’s resolutions include buying a house or refinancing, the Federal Reserve has you covered. It has committed to keep long-term interest rates low through next year, so a 30-year mortgage will be pegged about where it is now — 4.32 percent in New York — at least through spring, said Frank E. Nothaft, the chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“Rates are very much at the bottom,” Mr. Nothaft said. But, he added, they may start inching up in the second half of the year. “If you’re planning to refinance, do it sooner rather than later.”
In order to cash in fully on some of the lowest interest rates ever recorded, buyers and owners need to start taking steps now, experts say. Rather than look for a house you really want, they suggest first finding out how much money you can afford to borrow, and what you can do in the next three to six months to improve your creditworthiness.
“Sometimes it takes a few extra months to get your ducks in a row,” particularly if there are mistakes or blemishes on your credit report, said Gene Tricozzi, the president of Northern Funding Corporation, a mortgage brokerage in Clifton Park, N.Y. If your score is below 700, your mortgage interest rate could be a quarter to a half percentage point higher than for those with stronger scores, experts say.



clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Monday, February 13, 2012

2005 vs. 2012, What Buyers Are Using To Purchase Homes In Sacramento





Doug Reynolds, a Sacramento Area Realtor, takes a look at how buyers are purchasing homes in 2012 compared to 2005.  In 2005, conventional financing dominated the market, now there is a balance between cash, FHA and conventional purchases.  Take a look at the astonishing chart in the video to see how the market has evolved over the past 7 years.  Some very shocking numbers when you look at it.  What do you think?  What type of financing did you use for your purchase?



clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

How Low Can Rates Go?



By VICKIE ELMER – New York Times

IF your New Year’s resolutions include buying a house or refinancing, the Federal Reserve has you covered. It has committed to keep long-term interest rates low through next year, so a 30-year mortgage will be pegged about where it is now — 4.32 percent in New York — at least through spring, said Frank E. Nothaft, the chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“Rates are very much at the bottom,” Mr. Nothaft said. But, he added, they may start inching up in the second half of the year. “If you’re planning to refinance, do it sooner rather than later.”
In order to cash in fully on some of the lowest interest rates ever recorded, buyers and owners need to start taking steps now, experts say. Rather than look for a house you really want, they suggest first finding out how much money you can afford to borrow, and what you can do in the next three to six months to improve your creditworthiness.
“Sometimes it takes a few extra months to get your ducks in a row,” particularly if there are mistakes or blemishes on your credit report, said Gene Tricozzi, the president of Northern Funding Corporation, a mortgage brokerage in Clifton Park, N.Y. If your score is below 700, your mortgage interest rate could be a quarter to a half percentage point higher than for those with stronger scores, experts say.
clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First-time Buyers Lean On The Bank Of Mom And Dad


Description: http://www.agingatlanta.com/agewise/images/TMD_logo_color25.jpg
By Jane Hodges - Reuters

About a third of first-time buyers in 2011 got either a gift (26 percent) or a loan (7 percent) from their families to help finance their home purchases, down slightly from 2010, but consistent with assistance levels seen during the last decade, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
But industry observers think the level of parental generosity is even higher, with some giving children money for home purchases so far in advance of a loan application that the gift isn't disclosed to lenders, or, if they've got the resources, buying homes outright for their adult kids and setting up an after-the-fact intra-family loan agreement.
In November, all-cash buys among first-timers hit a high of 13 percent, according to Guy Cecala of Bethesda, Maryland-based Inside Mortgage Finance, a mortgage industry newsletter publisher and researcher. That's up from 6 percent in 2009, when IFM first began tracking it. While the company's surveys don't ask about the source of cash, Cecala said that when first-time buyers buy outright, it's likely their parents who are purchasing on the children's behalf.
What's encouraging these all-cash purchases now? Home prices are way down - with the median price in November 2011 at just $164,200, down 3.5 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. Mortgage interest rates, too, remain at all-time lows. According to mortgage researcher HSH, the average rate on fixed 30-year loans fell steadily from 5.1 percent at the start of 2011 to 4.09 percent in December.
Many first-timers use FHA loans, requiring a 3.5 percent down payment or 10 percent down payment with poor credit, or VA loans, which require no down payment, but are eligible only to military personnel.
Indeed, in some markets, without parental help, many first-time buyers wouldn't qualify for the best rates or even a loan on the types of property for sale. To qualify for loans backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, borrowers need a 740 credit score and a hefty 20 percent down payment — or else they'll pay private mortgage insurance and additional "risk-based pricing" fees on their loan, IFM's Cecala says. As the government rethinks the role of the two mortgage giants, these tighter lending standards may be here to stay, or be tightened further.
To be sure, many baby boomers want to help. More than a fifth of them have co-signed a home loan for an adult child or given a gift or loan to help them buy, according to a September survey by Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and Research Solutions Inc. More than half of those earning at least $75,000 said they wanted to help their children finance a home purchase.
clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com
 

Friday, February 10, 2012

State Now Allows Smoking Bans In Multifamily Housing



By Mark Glover Sac Bee
California landlords, who have long had the right to restrict pets, noise and even water beds in their units, can now prohibit smoking under a new law that took effect Sunday.
California Senate Bill 332, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 6.
With Brown's signature, Padilla said, "we will see the availability of smoke-free, multifamily housing grow throughout California."
The new law requires landlords to specify in their lease/rental agreements areas where smoking is prohibited on their properties.
Craig Powell, whose Sacramento company Powell Properties LP owns a handful of upscale apartment noted that many apartment owners already have smoking prohibitions, but the new law will reinforce their stand.
"I think what this does is provide legal clarity … putting (landlords) on solid legal ground if they choose to have those restrictions."
Powell said he has had in-unit smoking restrictions at his properties for nearly a decade without a serious challenge to their legality.
Padilla said he was troubled by the fact that no state laws specifically addressed smoking restrictions in multifamily housing units, such as apartments and condos. The senator said multifamily residences account for more than 30 percent of California housing.
"While more than 86 percent of Californians do not smoke, there is currently very little smoke-free housing in California," Padilla said. "Living in multifamily housing should not compromise the health of renters or their children."

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FHA Says: Flip That House



By Les Christie @CNNMoney


Flippers, the real estate investors who buy homes on the cheap and quickly resell them at a profit, just got a reprieve from the Federal Housing Administration.

In an effort to help stabilize housing prices and unload some of the foreclosures that are flooding low-income communities, the mortgage insurer extended a waiver of its anti-flipping regulations through 2012.

The waiver, which was initially issued in 2010 and set to expire this month, suspends regulations that prohibit the agency from insuring mortgages used to purchase homes that are bought and resold in less than 90 days.

"This extension is intended to accelerate the resale of foreclosed properties in neighborhoods struggling to overcome the possible effects of abandonment and blight," said Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante.

Low-income neighborhoods are particularly plagued by foreclosed homes that lower property values and act as magnets for crime and other social ills. Real estate flippers often rehab these damaged homes before reselling them, improving conditions for neighborhoods.

clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sierra Oaks, Wilhaggin, Del Dayo and Shelfield - Sales Data for January 2012


There were 3 homes sold in Sierra Oaks, Wilhaggin, Del Dayo and Shelfield in the month of January 2012 .  This is a decrease from the 6 sold in  December 2011.  Here are the addresses and specific details:

 
Currently there are: 46  active listings, 8 active short sale listings, 6 contingent short sale listings, and 11 pending sales.
If you would like more information (pictures, listing history, what type of sales they were, etc.) feel free to call or email and I’d be happy to provide that for you.  Call or email me if you are looking to buy or sell in the Sierra Oaks, Wilhaggin, Del Dayo and Shelfield areas.
 clear skies,
Doug Reynolds
 
www.BHGshortsales.com