Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 21, 2019

Mortgages Becomes Easier for the Self-Employed

If you’re self-employed or a ‘gig’ worker, getting a mortgage just got easier. Americans who are self-employed and freelance or contract workers have long had to struggle to qualify for a mortgage, compared with those with W-2 forms or pay stubs that lenders can use to verify their incomes.

For the self-employed, the mortgage process can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Lenders often require extra paperwork, such as full documentation of tax returns from the last couple of years (not just the electronic copy submitted to the IRS).

Even after that, the person may still lack an income steady enough to qualify or face extra fees once they are approved.

However, mortgage financing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have recently made changes to an automated system that could help more self-employed individuals qualify for a mortgage.The new technology automates underwriting for loan applicants who are self-employed or have a side income.“Applications that previously would have taken days to analyze and verify may now take just minutes, thanks to the use of optical character recognition technology that reads tax returns, identifies what qualifies as eligible income, and integrates it into both companies’ electronic underwriting systems,” reports Kenneth Harney, a syndicated real estate columnist for The Washington Post.

This frees lenders from having to comb through tax documents and allows them to find the information they need in minutes. The new system now takes three to five days to process, which slashes hundreds of dollars in costs and trims the risk for the lender, Andy Higginbotham, a Freddie Mac senior vice president, told The Washington Post.

There were about 15 million self-employed individuals in 2015—which equates to about one of every 10 people in the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Adding automation to the mortgage approval process could give potential home buyers greater confidence as they shop for a home, says Josh Moffitt, president of Silverton Mortgage in Atlanta. It could also help with meeting contingency-clause financing deadlines in contracts.

Still, the programs are new, so not all lenders may offer this automated income verification to self-employed applicants yet. But housing experts say it may be valuable to self-employed individuals to find those that do.

Ready to fined your Dream Home?"  NOW is the time to get a Pre-Approval letter from our preferred lender.  You'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving the assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business.

This is easy and necessary, and can be done via email or over the phone. Need to get pre-approved for a loan? Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

#Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

Source: The Washington Post (March 13, 2019)
March 20, 2019

Credit Basics for Grads

In a few months, the newest cohort of bright-eyed recent graduates will enter the workforce and begin "adulting." If you're graduating college this spring, you've probably received a lot of advice about pursuing your passions or finding a job – but probably not about maintaining your credit score.

The main takeaway: your credit matters. Learning how to maintain your credit wisely can put you one step closer to financing major expenses like a car or a home. Your creditworthiness is comprised of two components:

Credit Score: Your credit score is a single number that helps lenders decide how likely you are to repay your debts. Your score ranges from 300 – 850 points and is based on your payment history, amounts owed, new credit, and the types of credit you use. Generally, the higher your credit score the more options will be available to you, including a lower interest rate for those larger purchases in life.

Credit Report: Your credit report is an official record of your credit history that includes money you've borrowed, your history of paying it back, and how much open credit is available to you.

Whether you're just starting to build your credit history or are working to improve your credit score, here are four tips to help keep you on the right track.

Build Credit History: Your credit history is one of the largest components of your credit score. Begin by building a strong record of repaying debts. You can start building your history by getting a credit card and opening a checking and savings account. Be sure to make regular payments on your credit card that are on time and in the amounts scheduled. For your bank accounts, be sure to make regular deposits and never bounce checks.

Chip Away at Debts: Debts are calculated into both your credit score and credit report. If you're a recent graduate, it's likely that you have some sort of student loan debt. In fact, 59% of bachelor's degree recipients in 2016-17 graduated with student loan debt, according to the College Board. You can build a positive credit history by making your student loan payments on time.

Use Credit Responsibly: The best way to do this is by spending within your means. Although credit cards are convenient and easy to use, spending recklessly can hurt your credit. Paying off your balances in full and on time each month can help you build excellent credit.

Know Your Report: It is your responsibility to monitor your credit and keep it in good shape. You should check your credit report at least once a year to make sure all the information on the report is accurate, and fix discrepancies as soon as you catch them.

Ready to find your Dream Home?"  NOW is the time to get a Pre-Approval letter from our preferred lender.  You'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving the assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business. This is easy and necessary, and can be done via email or over the phone. Need to get pre-approved for a loan? Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

#Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

 

Source Freddie Mac
March 19, 2019

The Best Home-Staging Advice I've Heard

Home Seller Secrets: When it comes to selling a house, appearances are everything. That's why more and more homeowners hoping to impress buyers are investing in home staging. But between decluttering, styling, and making your house look its absolute best, this process can make you want to pull your hair out.

To make this undertaking a little easier, we asked sellers for their very best home-staging advice, and then compiled their greatest tips. If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, use these pointers to spruce things up in a jiffy—and help buyers fall in love with your home.

Keep your home tidy 24/7

"When showing a house, I've learned it’s so important to keep your home tidy with all your possessions stowed away for two reasons. First, you don’t always know who’s walking through your house, and the listing agent can’t be in every room to watch your valuables. I had a brand-new bottle of Chanel perfume in one of my bathrooms, and one day I came home after a showing and it was gone. Second, a tidy house looks better. You want potential buyers to come in and see a beautiful dream home, not your clutter. You never know when a potential buyer will want a last-minute tour, so put away your dishes as soon as you're done eating, pick up dirty clothes on the floor, and make your bed every morning." 

Invest in a few trendy items

"Before showing, you should update your house with a few new, stylish pieces to make it more on-trend. Look on Pinterest to see what's fashionable right now, or tour open homes to see how they’re staged. Then, re-create the look. Don’t worry, you can do this while being budget-friendly! When we were selling our house, we ended up investing in a few pieces—a new duvet cover, some curtains, and some wall hangings—to make our home look more like other houses that were on the market. All this stuff only cost us a couple of hundred dollars, but we got a lot of compliments on our style and, in the end, our house sold for more than we expected. Remember that spending a few hundred on décor could end up getting you thousands in the end." – Cassidy Carr, homeowner in Provo, UT

Watch: The One Room You Really Must Stage to Sell

Make your home feel like their home

"The best home-staging wisdom I've heard is that potential buyers need to see themselves in your home. That’s why real estate agents tell you to clear out any personal pictures you have on the walls. You don’t want buyers to think of it as your house, because it’ll make it harder for them to picture themselves living there. For that same reason, try your best not to be home when your house is being toured. If buyers see you, they’ll remember that they're guests.

"And unless you feel very strongly about people taking their shoes off, remember that you're moving, so it doesn’t really matter if people are tracking in dirt. When buyers are told to take their shoes off in a home, they’re reminded that someone else lives here, and it makes it harder for them to see themselves living in that house. Plus, for some people it’s awkward to walk around in their socks, and you don’t want potential buyers to feel uncomfortable."

Spray a clean, simple scent

"You can absolutely kill a person's interest by showing them a house that smells like dirty teenagers and smelly dogs. Houses need to smell fresh and clean, but shouldn’t smell like chemicals. Invest in a really good home fragrance spray with a soft scent, like lavender or fresh linen." 

Don't try to hide your clutter

"It's common to use the garage as a place to stash the boxes you've cleared out of your home for a showing. However, you still want the garage to look presentable. People want to see the entire house, so take this opportunity to clear it out. Buyers will also open closets. They’re not trying to be invasive—they just want to see how much space you have. Don't think you can cram everything behind those doors and it'll be invisible. People will look through everything, and when they do open closet doors, they probably won’t appreciate being met with an avalanche of stuff. In fact, it will probably make them think your house doesn’t have enough storage, and they’ll move onto the next." 

Get your pets out of the house

"The best advice I got before selling my home was to make sure that both buyers and my pets feel comfortable. Meeting someone else’s animals can be stressful. Pets might be protective of their turf, so owners should consider taking them somewhere else during showings. If you’re having an open house, bring your pet to a friend’s house for the day. If someone is coming over for a tour, take that opportunity to walk your dog. However, if you must leave your pets at home, always make sure you leave instructions on how to handle them. Give your listing agent instructions on where to put dogs if they get rowdy (like a guest room), but don’t just assume you can just put your pets in the backyard, because buyers want to see the outdoor space too." 

Looking to sell your home? Contact Carriene Porter at Precision Realty & Associates, LLC.  Her years of experience and vast knowledge can assist you in this important decision of buying and selling your home. Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

#Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

 

Source: Realtor.com
Posted in Market Updates, Selling
March 18, 2019

How Will the Housing Market Fare This Spring?

Since the end of last year, home sales have slowed (a decline of 10 percent in December compared to a year prior), and properties have been sitting on the market for longer (46 days compared to 30 days a year ago).

Nevertheless, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, says that “multiple data show definitively improving conditions” heading into the spring selling and buying season.

Consumer sentiment about home buying is turning more upbeat, and there have been greater reports of foot traffic at open houses, according to recent NAR surveys.

The number of openings of lock boxes—which real estate pros use to access a key prior to unlocking a home for a showing—is “measurably higher” in January and February compared to the second half of 2018, according to NAR SentriLock data.

Further, the number of consumers applying for a mortgage to purchase a home is on the rise. “After the weak conditions of late last year, mortgage applications have picked up notably in 2019 with more consumers evidently searching for a home compared to one year ago,” Yun writes in his latest real estate column at Forbes.com.

Also, contract signings to purchase a home rose 4.6 percent in January—another healthy sign about the market Yun points to. With mortgage rates staying low, Yun expects more home buyers and sellers this spring. So far this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has fallen to under a 4.5 percent average.

“The slump is over” in the housing market, Yun notes. “Better times are ahead for home buyers.

Looking ahead, home values are poised to advance further in 2019, albeit more modestly. That means a typical home buyer could save nearly $100 per month due to the drop. In addition, wages are up 3.4 percent year-over-year on average, the hightest rate in a decade. 

Need to get pre-approved for a loan? NOW is the time to get a Pre-Approval letter from our preferred lender.  You'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving the assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business. This is easy and necessary, and can be done via email or over the phone.

The time is NOW to get your home on the market! Contact Carriene Porter at Precision Realty & Associates, LLC.  Her years of experience and vast knowledge can assist you in this important decision in buying and selling your home.

Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

 

 #Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

Source: “Boom or Bust for Spring Homebuying?” Forbes.com (March 14, 2019)
March 16, 2019

How to Get a Mortgage Fast

Want to know the secret on how to get a mortgage fast? Speed sometimes becomes essential in the home-buying game. I know, because I'm a real estate agent who's seen my clients in this position.

A growing number of mortgage lenders are stepping up the pace, offering rapid pre-approval to home buyers—some within 24 hours after a borrower submits their application, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH.com, a mortgage information website.

“We’re seeing many mortgage lenders are taking steps to keep up. with on-line lenders” 

For example: In simple cases, Banks electronic system can give an applicant pre-approval within 72 hours or less, says John Schleck, senior vice president of sales at the lender.

Nonetheless, “Just because you can get a mortgage more quickly doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best mortgage for you.”  “Speed and convenience can be valuable, but you still have to research the mortgage market and shop around.”

Looking to get a mortgage fast? Here are four things you need to know.

1. Understand the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification

“Home sellers want a solid pre-approval from a buyer when they’re considering an offer.”“ They don’t want a buyer who has only been pre-qualified by a mortgage lender.” This begs the question: What’s the difference between mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification?

In a nutshell, mortgage pre-approval is a commitment from a lender to provide you with home financing up to a certain loan amount. In order for a lender to issue pre-approval, an underwriter must do a full review of your income, assets, and credit. That’s a significantly more intensive process than mortgage pre-qualification, where a lender basically takes your word that your finances and credit score are what you say they are, without verifying any information.

Watch: What Your Mortgage Broker Wishes You Knew (That No One Else Will Tell You)

Although both pre-qualification and pre-approval are intended to give the seller confidence that you’ll be able to obtain a mortgage, a pre-approval carries more weight, because it's based on actual proof.

Indeed, when you get pre-approved, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter on your lender's letterhead that may specify the loan amount you're qualified for. (Note: The letter will usually state that the loan is subject to the property you choose, verification of your financials at the time of purchase, and any other lender requirements.) Submitting this letter to a home seller when you make an offer will strengthen your bid.

Still, a stern warning to home buyers: “If you get ‘pre-approved’ within minutes of submitting a mortgage application, make sure you’ve actually been pre-approved and not pre-qualified.”

2. Have your paperwork ready

Gathering your loan application documents and having them ready to upload electronically is the “most important thing borrowers can do to speed up the mortgage pre-approval process.”

In general, the paperwork you’ll need to assemble for your lender includes the following:

Pay stubs from the past 30 days showing your year-to-date income

The last two years of federal tax returns

Two years of W-2 forms from your employer

60 days or a quarterly statement of all of your asset accounts, which include your checking and savings, as well as any investment accounts such as CDs, IRAs, and other stocks or bonds

Any other current real estate holdings

Residential history for the past two years, including landlord contact information if you rented

3. Be prepared to answer questions from an underwriter

“Pre-approval can still be a rigorous, time-consuming process for many home buyers, especially if their financial situation has some complexity to it.” If Mom and Dad are helping with your down payment, or you recently changed jobs, or you just got divorced, you may not be able to get pre-approved in a rapid fashion.

4. Don’t let your mortgage pre-approval expire

Reality check: After getting pre-approved, it may still take you a while to find a home and go under contract—especially if you’re shopping in a hot market where you’re fighting multiple offers on properties. However, mortgage pre-approval is typically good for only up to 90 days.

The reason pre-approval letters "expire" is because banks need the most up-to-date information about your salary, assets, and debts. Three or four months is long enough for you to have left a job, taken on new debts, or spent what was previously in your bank account.

In the event that you aren't able to close on a home purchase by the time your pre-approval expires, your lender may offer you an extension of your pre-approval; however, the lender will have an underwriter perform another evaluation of your income, credit score, and other key information to ensure there are no changes to your financial situation.

The drawbacks of getting a mortgage fast

Although speedy mortgages are becoming more common, getting one may mean that you forfeit the right to shop around to find the lowest interest rate and best mortgage terms for you. So, if you're not in a rush, don't be. You might benefit from taking your time to meet with at least three lenders and compare and contrast what they have to offer.

Need to get pre-approved for a loan? NOW is the time to get a Pre-Approval letter from our preferred lender.  You'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving the assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business. This is easy and necessary, and can be done via email or over the phone.

The time is NOW to get your home on the market! Contact Carriene Porter at Precision Realty & Associates, LLC.  Her years of experience and vast knowledge can assist you in this important decision in buying and selling your home. Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

 #Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

Source: Realtor.com
Posted in Financing
March 15, 2019

The Best Week of the Year to Put Your House on the Market

For the past few years, home sellers have been in the driver's seat. With hordes of buyers fighting over a very limited supply of properties, many homes sold in days—and landed their sellers a windfall.

But lately, sellers have been getting nostalgic for the good ol' days as the market has slowed down, with residences taking longer to sell and some even having their price cut.

So sellers angling to unload their abodes fast—and for a boatload of cash—might pin their hopes on the first week of April. The week of March 31 to April 6 was deemed the best time to put a home on the market, according to a recent realtor.com® report

In that week, homes are listed for an average 6% more than at the beginning of the year, totaling an extra average $17,000. They also receive 14% more views on realtor.com than at other times of the year. And they get 5% less competition (the most homes go up for sale in late spring) and sell about six days faster. Plus, they're 1% less likely to experience a price drop.

To be clear: Prices aren't the highest in April. They typically peak around June, as buyers flood the market, hoping to close on a new property before their children go back to school. But sellers face less competition and homes sell quickly during the first week of April.

Low mortgage interest rates may also incentivize more buyers to get into the market rather than risk getting stuck with a higher rate later on. (Even a single percentage point increase can add more than $100 to a monthly mortgage payment.) Rates were expected to shoot up this year, but instead have hovered around 4.4% for 30-year, fixed-rate loans. 

NOW is the time to get a Pre-Qualification letter from our preferred lender.  You'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving the assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business. Pre-qualification is easy and necessary, and can be done via email or over the phone.

"Home buyer demand is really sensitive to interest rates " says Carriene Porter

The time is NOW to get your home on the market! Contact Carriene Porter at Precision Realty & Associates, LLC.  Her years of experience and vast knowledge can assist you in this important decision in buying and selling your home. Call or text today 801-809-9866!

 

#Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying

Source: Realtor.com

 

 

Posted in Buying, Financing, Selling
March 14, 2019

Homes Are Selling the Fastest

Where the amount of time it takes to sell a home has been dropping for the last four consecutive years, but in February, the typical home sat on the market for 83 days, which is unchanged from a year ago.

That’s a sign that the market is slowing but not reversing.

The site’s researchers evaluated the 250 largest metro areas from March 2018 to February 2019 to see where homes are selling the fastest, and there’s wide fluctuation.

For instance, in the fastest-moving markets, homes are selling in about 30 days, while in some of the slowest markets, homes are taking 131 days to sell.

Many of the markets seeing the quickest sales are in pricey coastal areas, and markets that are seeing homes linger the most are in smaller Midwestern and Southern cities where home prices have long lagged. “In a lot of these markets, you can probably negotiate on price more than you could a year ago.” 

But “in a fast-moving market, you need to move quickly. A home you saw one week might be gone the next.”

The following markets are seeing some of the quickest sales this year, according to realtor.com®:

Salt Lake City

Median list price: $397,000

Median days on market: 37

 

San Jose, Calif.

Median list price: $1.1 million

Median days on market: 30.1

Seattle

Median list price: $592,000

Median days on market: 37.8

Denver

Median list price: $462,000

Median days on market: 40.2

Boise, Idaho

Median list price: $340,000

Median days on market: 40.9

 

On the other hand, the markets where homes are lingering on the market for some of the longest times are Brownsville, Texas (130.9 median days on the market); Claremont, N.H. (119 days); and Houma, La. (112.8 days).

Are you ready to find your Dream Home?" There’s no substitute for the expertise of Carriene Porter at Precision Realty & Associates LLC ,Her years of experience and vast knowledge can assist you in this important decision in buying and selling your home.

CALL or Text Today 801-809-9866

 

 

#Mortgage #RealEstate #Selling #Buying

 

Source: “Spring Housing Slowdown? No Way! Here’s Where Homes Are Flying Off the Market,” realtor.com® (March 11, 2019)

 

March 13, 2019

This Spring Buyers Face a Brighter Affordability

Slower home price growth, deflated sales, and lower mortgage rates could create abundant opportunities for potential home buyers this spring.

Though home prices are still up year over year in all 50 states, the overall affordability outlook is improving, according to Black Knight’s latest Mortgage Monitor Report.

The decline in mortgage rates has helped increase consumers’ buying power by more than 6 percent and reduced mortgage payments on an average-priced home by $62, according to the report.

“There is good news in these numbers for prospective home buyers,” says Ben Graboske, president of Black Knight’s data and analytics division. “

Combined with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declining by more than half a point over the last three months, housing is now the most affordable it’s been since early in the 2018 homebuying season.”

Home prices have slowed the most on the West Coast, particularly in California and Washington, the report notes. For example, California has seen its annual rate of appreciation drop from more than 10 percent in February 2018 to 3 percent at the end of 2018. The slowdown is most apparent in San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, and Seattle.

Nationwide, annual home price appreciation slowed for the 10 consecutive months ending in December 2018.

Home price appreciation has dropped from a high of 6.8 percent annual growth in February 2018 to 4.6 percent by the end of the year, according to Black Knight. The lower home prices and mortgage rates will certainly help buyers who had been struggling with affordability, the report notes.

Still, “while this is all welcome news for consumers heading into the spring homebuying season, it remains to be seen whether recent rate declines and easing affordability will be enough to halt the deceleration in home price growth,” Graboske notes.

So what are you waiting for? CALL or TEXT Today 801-809-9866  Carriene Porter @ Precision Realty & Associates, There’s no substitute for the expertise she has access to a vast database of information with recently listed and recent sold to help you home in on your DREAM HOME.

CALL Today 801-809-9866.

 

#RealEstate #Selling #Buying

 

Source: “Mortgage Monitor: January 2019,” Black Knight (March 7, 2019)
March 12, 2019

Homeowners 8% Richer

Report: Over the Past Year, Home equity continued to increase in the fourth quarter of 2018, with more homeowners profiting over rising home prices.

U.S. homeowners with a mortgage saw their equity rise by 8.1 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to CoreLogic’s Home Equity Report, released Thursday.

The average homeowner has gained $9,700 in home equity between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018, the report showed.

Western states saw some of the most significant annual gains. Nevada homeowners, for example, saw an increase of $29,400 in home equity over the past year, and Utah homeowners saw gains of about $19,000.

“As home prices rise, significantly more people are choosing to remodel, repair or upgrade their existing homes,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The increase in home equity over the past several years provides homeowners with the means to finance home remodels and repairs. With rates still ultra-low by historical standards, home-equity loans provide a low-cost method to finance home-improvement spending. These expenditures are expected to rise 5 percent in 2019.”The number of homes with a mortgage in negative equity—where the homeowner’s loan balance is higher than the home’s current worth—was at 2.2 million, or 4.2 percent of all mortgaged properties in the fourth quarter.

However, with predictions of a 4.5 percent increase in home prices over the next year, about 350,000 homeowners could be lifted from being underwater and restored to positive equity, says Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

Are you ready for fine your Dream Home? Finding an Agent with a Teaching Heart- in today's market you need a real Professional to guide you through the process of buying. 

So what are you waiting for? CALL or TEXT Today 801-809-9866  Carriene Porter @ Precision Realty & Associates, There’s no substitute for the expertise she has access to a vast database of information with recently listed and recent sold to help you home in on your DREAM HOME. CALL Today 801-809-9866.

 

#RealEstate #Selling #Buying

Source: CoreLogic (March 7, 2019)
March 11, 2019

Mortgage Rate Trend Ends This Week

After weeks of declines, mortgage rates reversed course, but are still lower than a year ago. “While mortgage rates very modestly rose to 4.41 percent this week, they remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row,” says Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019.

However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring home-buying season.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 7:

Time to Completing a Loan Pre-Qualification you'll be on your way to locking in your interest rate and giving assurance to prospective sellers that you mean business. Pre-qualification is easy and can be done via email or over the phone.

Wondering what your homes Worth? Click on the picture below and with just a few steps you on your way to seeing what is happening in you neighborhood. Prefer a more personal touch CALL - TEXT Today 801-809-9866

So what are you waiting for? There’s no substitute for the expertise of Carriene Porter @ Precision Realty & Associates, she has access to a vast database of information with recently listed and recent sold to help you home in.

 

Source NAR
#Mortgage #UtahRealEstate #Selling #Buying