Friday, January 30, 2015

Ready for a Jolt to the Housing Market? Read on...

As a real estate professional, I inevitably get asked about current market conditions, whether now is a good time to buy or sell, or what are home prices like in my area. 

My Housing Trends eNewsletter has information on trends and things happening in your local market.

Here are a few topics in this issue:

  • Rates continue to be very good, (from 3.75%) though we are now seeing lenders quote rates based on more than just a buyer's credit scores--type of loan, type of home, location, amount down and other criteria that makes it difficult to predict the mortgage rate for a purchase.
  • The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) rose slightly in the third quarter of last year, according to the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR)
  • Got a social media account? Lenders are trolling the internet to view an applicant's social media accounts, status updates, tweets and posted résumés before issuing a loan decision.
  • Existing-Home Sales Rebound in December, 2014 Total Sales Finish 3 Percent Below 2013
  • click here to read my eNewsletter!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting the Down Payment Funds: Unique Approach When You Want to Buy a Home

Crowdfunding for getting down payment funds? 

Yes, it is true. According to Realty Times (12/10/14 Jaymi Naciri), there are several crowdsourcing sites that help home buyers request gift funds for the required down payment. It works like the traditional bridal and baby registry services that have now moved online.

Here are several down payment registries to check out:

Hatch My House is a free online gift registry to obtain funds for home purchase down payments and even for home renovations.

Down Payment Dreams is another gift registry that charges a $50 registration fee, refundable if prospective buyers use its real estate agent referral service to buy a home. Note: if you are already using a top notch agent, (like me, Kimberly Barton, REALTOR!), register and talk with your current agent about the service fee.

Feather the Nest lets couples set financial goals and ask for contributions from family and friends; and it lets users share pages with pictures and videos on social media providing updates when someone makes a donation.

Just remember that both the FHA and VA loan products permit the entire down payment amount to be gifted. However, conventional loan products may only allow a portion of gift money if the down payment is less than 20 percent. Be sure to check with your lender or real estate agent for specifics based on your situation.

Let me know how I can help! Happy home buying.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December 2014 Newsletter Housing Trends eNewsletter

December 2014 Newsletter Housing Trends eNewsletter

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general. 

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau and reports, videos, key market indicators and real estate sales statistics, a video message by a nationally recognized economist, maps, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, plus local neighborhood information and more.

Please click here to view the December 2014 Newsletter Housing Trends eNewsletter. 

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the Home Evaluator link for a free evaluation report.