National Real Estate Market Primed for Expansion in 2016

January 2016 Housing reportStrengthening Economy 

Despite existing-home sales dropping last November, the National Real Estate Market is primed for expansion in 2016. Here’s why. Better weather in many parts of the country resulted in an increase in single-family and multifamily home construction. Also, the population of millennial homebuyers is expected to grow in 2016. This means increased demand to help the housing market see positive gains. With unemployment steadily decreasing, orders for new durable goods increasing 3 percent, inflation staying level, and income beginning to grow, the Fed decided to raise interest rates. The rate increase signals that our economy is getting stronger. So, don’t let the drop in existing-home sales in November fool you, with a stronger economy home sellers can expect eager home buyers in 2016.

Millennial Home Buyers

The low demand in November meant that first-time home buyers had only a 30 percent share in demand, which is slightly down from 31 percent in October and last year. However, in 2016 home sellers saw an increase of first-time home buyers enter the housing market  because of the growing segment of millennials between 25 and 34 years of age. The Census Bureau projects that the population of millennials aged 25 to 34 will increase by an average of nearly 500,000 per year in the second part of the decade. Also, NAR’s inaugural quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey reported that a large majority of millennials between 25 and 34 years of age who rent want to own a home in the future.

Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interests this month. Freddie Mac reported that the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed rate mortgage stayed below 4 percent, but rose from 3.80 percent to 3.94 percent in November. Mortgage rates are expected to rise to 4.50 percent by the end of 2016, but this rate is still historically low; a full percentage point below the rate during the recession of 2008. The low fixed mortgage rate should help spurn demand and encourage first-time home buyers to enter the market.  But while the rate is at its current level, potential home buyers should keep an eye out for rate increases so that they’re not caught by surprise when the spring buying season comes around. Early 2016 would be a good time for home buyers to start looking to purchase a home.

Mortgage Lenders & Home Buyers

Fannie Mae’s fourth quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™ shows that lenders expect to ease mortgage credit standards for GSE-eligible loans and government loans over the next three months. This should reduce the affordability problem for first-time home buyers. As a result, this will help young adult homeownership. Although home prices will be high, all of this is good news for home sellers because they should expect an increase in demand for their home.

In 2016, the first-time home buyer will have mortgage credit options available that were not available during the housing down-turn. First-time home buyers will have low-and no-down-payment mortgage loans available to them. Some loan options available include FHA loans and the conventional 97 percent program offered by Fannie Mae. Qualifying first-time home buyers need only to put 3 percent down on a home.

Homeowners

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey, the Refinance Index increased 11 percent compared to the previous week. So it appears homeowners have anticipated the Federal Reserve’s increase in interest rates. If you’re a homeowner with an adjustable-rate mortgage or a variable home equity line of credit, you should expect your rates to rise in 2016. The first part of 2016 will be a good time to refinance. Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) are both fixed and variable. Variable HELOCs are tied to the Federal Reserve prime rate. Whereas fixed HELOCs are not. By refinancing early in 2016, you’ll afford any major life events that may occur such as daughter’s wedding, high college tuition, or home renovation.

Wrap-up

The National Real Estate Market is on its way to expanding. The Federal Reserve raising interest rates indicates optimism in the housing market and the economy as a whole. The 2016 housing market will remain a sellers market that should see an increase in first-time home buyers entering the market because of the strong desire of homeownership by millennials 25 to 34 years of age, and easing credit standards and increases in wages. Homeowners with variable mortgage rates should expect their rates to rise in 2016, but early 2016 will be a good time to refinance so that you’re that you won’t fill the brunt of further interest rate increases.

While every real estate market is local, national stats often give insight into predicting local trends. If you have any questions about our local market to help you make any real estate-related decisions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Call or Text: 720-849-6101

Buying a Home During The Holidays

There are many things that we can agree can be stressful.  For many people, the holidays are a time of year that can be very busy and exciting at the same time. Same is true for buying a home.  Weather it is a first home, move up or investment.  Buying a home is a huge purchase and can be one of the most stressful events in one’s life.  So, what about buying a home during the holidays?  Can it get any more difficult than that?

Christmas treeMoving and house hunting are never easy. However, there are plenty of good reasons for buying a home during the holidays.  For starters, taxes.  Many sellers may need to sell by the end of the year for a tax benefit and same is true for buyers.  If you find that you can benefit with your tax situation by buying before the end of the year, then buying a home during the holidays is just going to be part of your celebration!

Competition is another good reason for buying a home during the holidays.  Or, maybe a lack of competition is a better way to look at it.  We all know that the Spring market is the busiest season for most areas when it comes to real estate.  Demand seems greater, and the number of buyers out there competing for the few listings make it tougher to negotiate  with sellers or even get an accepted offer! So buying a home during the holidays can be far less competitive and possibly a better situation to negotiate with sellers.

Mortgages.  If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to definitely meet with a mortgage advisor and get pre-approved before heading out to look.  But once you do, buying a home during the holidays can likely speed up the approval process in getting your loan done.  With fewer buyers in the market at this time of year, the mortgage process is less bogged down, and your loan can move much faster towards final approval!

Of course, fewer homes typically tend to be on the market during the holiday season. With that in mind, you may not find the perfect home but it shouldn’t stop you from looking if you are in the market.  Unless you must buy before the end of the year then you can just keep looking.  Many sellers understand the advantage of listing their home at this time of year, and so they put their home on the market now, and it may be the right home for you.  Looking for your next home and possibly buying a home during the holiday season may be the best time of year for you.

We all get busy this time of year, and many folks take time off during the holidays.  I am available if you would like to take advantage of the market.  Besides, it’s always fun to see the homes decorated and the faces of my customers when they find the right home to add to their holiday cheer!  Let me know if I can help you this year.

 

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How Credit Scores Affect Mortgages

Credit Score RangeI think we all are aware that our credit score plays a big role in attaining a mortgage, or not.  Lenders check and re-check these scores in the process of determining a loan.  Poor credit scores can certainly influence the denial of a mortgage in many cases. Let’s look at how credit scores affect mortgages.

So what exactly are these scores and how are they calculated?  Can I get a copy of my scores?  These questions are important to ask yourself if you may be considering a mortgage or a refinance of your existing mortgage.

Your credit score, or FICO score is a number anywhere between 200 and 800 generally, which is used to rate you based on a number of criteria.  These credit scores are drawn from the main three reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Exprerian. These reporting agencies simply report what you have done in managing your credit in the past or the new credit you have or want.  They look at the type of credit (revolving, mortgage, auto..), length of credit and of course, payment history to issue a credit score based on these factors.

So what does a potential mortgage lender look at to determine a loan for you?  How do credit scores affect a mortgage? Clearly, they will want to see that your payment history is decent.  It may well factor into how you will pay them.  They will also want to see if you have a mixture of credit types that you have managed such as revolving credit, installment loans and even previous mortgage loans.  They will also put weight into the amount of credit you have. This can indicate how much in debt you can become should you use all the available credit.

Your credit score ends up being a big part of getting a mortgage.  There are other factors such as income, overall debt and others that accompany the credit score to help determine a mortgage for you and even at what interest rate.  It is important to know and understand your credit report and your credit score.  You can get a copy of your own report for free at Annual Credit Report and I would recommend doing so just to make sure it looks correct and help you make a plan to improve it if needed.

If you are in the market for real estate or considering it, please get in touch.  I can help guide you through the process and refer you to my mortgage partners that are experienced and excellent at finding the right financial fit for you and your lifestyle.  I can put it all together and help you find the right investment at the right price. Just get in touch and we can go from there.

Can You Buy A Home In Highlands Ranch For Less Than The Denver Area Average?

Highlands Ranch CO town centerSome people think the cost of homes in Highlands Ranch is more expensive than most places around Denver.  Not completely true at all !

In fact, Highlands Ranch homes may be more affordable than you think.

According to Metrolist, the MLS, the current average sold price in July 2012 for a single family residential home is $312,920.

Can you buy homes in Highlands Ranch less than that?  Maybe even far less than that ? Let’s take a look.

Here are homes you can buy in Highlands Ranch below the average for the Denver area.

Here are homes you can buy in Highlands Ranch below $250k. 

Impossible you say.  There you have it.  There is something for nearly everyone here in Highlands Ranch.  These lists do not include condos or townhomes, which some can be bought in Highlands Ranch for under $150k !

If you are looking to buy a first home, move up or investment please get in touch.  I may be a great fit in helping you find the next home.  I would love to help.

 

5 Tips For Buyers In A HOT Real Estate Market

Highlands Ranch home for saleIn many markets across the county, real estate buyers are in kind of a feeding frenzy!  Inventory is low and homes just don’t hang out on the market too long.  The Denver real estate market in 2012 is maybe one of the HOTTEST right now and homes that sellers have prepared well won’t last but days in some cases.

Denver home buyers need to be prepared when entering this competitive market.  Online, there are millions of tips on this, below is a short list of home buyer tips that I thought could be pretty useful if you are planning to buy a home in the Denver area and want to be ready.

  1. 1. Make a plan – where do you really want to live – what are of Denver? How many bedrooms, baths, square feet and style? It’s a good idea to really think about what you want in a home and plan it out before heading out in the market.
    2. Get pre approved – more than a pre qualify, have a lender run credit and such to get a sound idea of how much you can afford and how those payments will fit into your lifestyle plan. Make sure you’re comfortable.  Also, you’ll need this to be a serious buyer when making an offer on your next home.
    3. Don’t hesitate – Heavy inventory and long days on market lulled real estate buyers into a sense of having loads of time to decide over the last few years.  Those days are gone.  With Denver area home inventory at roughly half and low interest rates, the home you liked today somebody else liked yesterday and bought today.  Happens all day long.
    4. Don’t panic – If you do find the home for you and there seems to be a lot of other interest and maybe multiple offers, go back to the plan. Does it really meet all the objectives? Is it going to meet the budget and lifestyle needs? Try not to overpay, there always seems to be another home that comes along that will work. When it does, refer back to #3.
    5. Get help – Get an experienced Denver Realtor.  Someone that can keep things in perspective and level headed.  An ally with local market knowledge and negotiating skills to work through the contract and look after your best interest.

I hope this short list is helpful.  If you need more detailed help in preparing to purchase a  home and need an experienced Denver Realtor to guide you, please get in touch with me.  I’m happy to talk with you about your situation and may be a good fit to help you with your next move.

Calling all HUD buyers $100 Down Payment Is Back!!

If you have been looking to buy a HUD owned home here in Denver and maybe times are a little tight on cash for you right now, well HUD just announced that effective immediately, all accepted offers beginning October 19, 2011 will be available for $100 down payment!

This HUD incentive is available for the next 12 months here in the Denver Real Estate market.  There are some requirements of the program of course.  Primarily, this incentive is NOT for investors.  This is a HUD program for owner occupant buyers using FHA insured financing and purchasing at the full current list price.

Loan amounts can’t exceed the full purchase price and there are other details to the program.  So for the most part, you will need some money, but with this program very little!  This is a great way to buy a HUD home if you need some help getting into a home and beginning to set yourself on the path to home ownership.

If you would like more information on this great HUD incentive program, please contact me and I would be happy to help.  Also, if you would like help finding a HUD home in the Denver market, I can certainly help with that.  Since the program requires the contract to be at full current list price, you want someone in your corner to make sure values are there and help guide you through this process.  I can help.  Give me a call, text or email.

 

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Fall Home Maintenance Projects

It’s getting to be that time of year again, Fall!  I know that I really love the change of season and appreciate the colors but with the change of season comes the change of weather.  Soon enough it will get cold and snow.

Fall Colors

So now is a real good time to look into some home winterizing projects around the house.  I know that many of us don’t get around to these things, myself included.  But they are important nevertheless.  So let’s start outside in the yard.  Do you have some bushes or trees that need pruning or maybe removal?  I do.  In fact, I need to borrow my neighbor’s chain saw and take down my favorite tree.  Unfortunately it just didn’t make it this year and with the potential snow coming in the near future, this needs to get done now before it can cause problems with broken limbs.  Do you have any trees or bushes that should come out? If you live in Highlands Ranch as I do, the Metro District is making it easier to get rid of those limbs and providing free mulch to residents at the same time.  The Highlands Ranch tree recycling event at Shea Stadium is a great way to dispose of the old tree and maybe get some mulch for your landscape.

This is also a great time of year to aerate and fertilize your lawn to prepare it for winter.  It seems those that take this step have a big head start in the Spring with a greener, thicker lawn.  It is also important to remember that the lawn probably still needs watering.  Maybe not as much, but with 80 degree days like we’re having still, the lawn still needs the moisture.

So make the time now to get out and check the caulking around the windows, clean the gutters and make sure the outside is ready for the winter chill. Don’t forget, this is also a great time of year to get out and find your new home if you’re in the market.  Interest rates are incredible still and before the snow really hits, it’s a great time to check out the home’s landscaping before the leaves fall.  If I can help with the search, please let me know.  In the meanwhile, you can use the button below to search homes and see pictures, videos and other details.

 

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