Not Your Parents 3% Down Payment Plan

This Is NOT Your Parents' 3% Down Payment Plan | Keeping Current Matters In their latest Housing Market Insight & Outlook report, Freddie Mac revealed that recent low down payment initiatives have raised concerns that we may be returning to the same lax mortgage qualifications that caused the housing crisis from which we are just now recovering. The report went on to explain that today’s underwriting guidelines are nothing like those that existed just prior to the housing meltdown.

“Pre-crisis underwriting allowed layered risk, that is, the combination of multiple features that amplified credit risk. Low down payments often were combined with variable-payment loan structures, property-based underwriting, and questionable appraisals. These risk factors, along with the ‘irrational exuberance’ of some borrowers, led to large losses during the crisis.”

What is layered risk?

In the pre-crisis environment, many mortgage loans incorporated several additional features besides low down payments that multiplied the total risk of the loans such as: variable payment options, underwriting based on the property not the borrower, questionable appraisal processes. Borrower expectations were also overly optimistic at that time. Freddie Mac highlights the difference between then and now by using a table in the report:3 Percent Down Then vs. Now | Keeping Current Matters By removing the “layered risk”, we can be confident that low down payment programs will not impact the market the way mortgage underwriting impacted the market a decade ago. And the report explains:

“Previous research has found that reduced down payments can increase the relative probability of homeownership among some groups by over 25 percent.”

Bottom Line

We believe the report’s conclusion says it all:

“As long as the underwriting process bars the return of the layered risks prevalent in the pre-crisis era, lower down payments are not a cause for concern.”

Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

Supply Still Low = Multiple Bids and Fast Sales

Buyer Demand Continuing to Outpace Housing Supply | Keeping Current Matters The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.

Inventory Levels & Demand

Sales of existing homes rose 3.2% from May, outpacing year-over-year figures for the ninth consecutive month. Total unsold housing inventory is at a 5.0-month supply. This is down from May’s 5.1-month supply and remains below the 6 months that is needed for a historically normal market. Consumer confidence is at the highest level in over a decade. Pair that with interest rates still around 4%, new programs available for down payments as low as 3%, and you have an attractive market for buyers. Buyer demand for housing surged to it’s highest level since June 2013.

Prices Rising

June marked the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median price of existing homes sold rose to $236,400 (up 6.5% from 2014).

So What Does This Mean?

The chart below shows the impact that inventory levels have on home prices.Inventory & Pricing | Keeping Current Matters NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun gave some insight into the correlation:

"Limited inventory amidst strong demand continues to push home prices higher, leading to declining affordability for prospective buyers."

NAR’s President, Chris Polychron added:

"The demand for buying has really heated up this summer, leading to multiple bidders and homes selling at or above asking price."

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market in 2015, now may be the time. The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Contact a local professional in your area to get the process started
Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

Cost Over Time

Cost Across Time [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters Some Highlights:

  • With interest rates still around 4% now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years.
  • Rates are projected to go up a full percentage point by this time next year according to Freddie Mac.
  • The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant!
  • Lock in a low rate now while you can!

Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

The Main Reason to NOT Wait to Buy

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents. However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years. Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report: Median Mortgage Payment | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy.
Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

There Is No Place Like HOME (not just for the Holidays)

There’s No Place Like Home | Keeping Current Matters

It is common knowledge that there are distinct financial advantages to owning a home. Today I want to talk about some other reasons why there is no place like home.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to home ownership. The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were NOT financial.

1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

3. It allows you to have more space for your family

Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitty that you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home? The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

Bottom Line

Whether you are a first time home buyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home
Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

Family Wealth and Rising Real Estate Prices

The Truth About Rising Prices & Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released a report revealing that the growing wealth gap in this country has been impacted by the recent increases in real estate values coupled with the drop in homeownership rates. The report discloses:

“Over 90 percent of metro areas have experienced declining homeownership rates at a time when home values have risen and incomes have remained flat.”

Increasing home values in many regions of the country have helped homeowners build housing wealth in recent years. However, the continued decline in homeownership means this increase in wealth is shared by fewer people and likely leading to worsening inequality in the U.S. Here is a chart showing the aforementioned increasing gap between renters and homeowners in regard to family wealth:Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters Bottom Line If the experts are correct, and a homeowner really will have an average of 40 times the wealth of a renter by the end of this year, doesn’t it make sense to evaluate if a purchase could be in your future? Meet with a real estate professional in your local market to find out how you can start building your family’s wealth.
Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

Again, You DO NOT Need 20% Down

One More Time You Don't Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below: Percent of Low Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:Average FICO Scores | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able’, sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.
Brent Miller, Realtor®

Signature Real Estate
614.296.2439

I'll sell your home in 39 days or I will do it for FREE…GUARANTEED.

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