Brevard County Real Estate News

Nov. 29, 2015

Equity Matters A LOT… Just Ask Freddie Mac

There are many reasons, both financial and non-financial, that homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that it helps build family wealth. Recently, Freddie Mac wrote about the power of home equity. They explained:

“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home’s appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”

They went on to show an example where a person bought a home for $150,000 with a down payment of 10% ($15K), resulting in a loan amount of $135,000. The buyer secured a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% with a monthly mortgage payment of $684.03 (not including taxes and insurance).

The chart below demonstrates the home equity built after 7 years of making mortgage payments and assuming the historic national average of 3% per year home appreciation:

Home Equity | Simplifying The Market

And that number continues to build as you continue to own the home.

Merrill Lynch published a report earlier this year that showed the average equity homeowners have acquired by certain ages.

Average Home Equity | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Home equity is important to building wealth as a family. Referring to the first scenario above, Freddie Mac explained:

“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you’d have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”

Put your housing cost to work for you and your family. Let’s get together to explore your options.

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of RealtorsManaging Director of Survey Research, as saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn’t even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos :

“I do think that there’s a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores.”

So what credit score is necessary?

A recent survey 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 FICO score on closed loans (as reported by Ellie Mae) is much lower and has been dropping over the last several months.

FICO Score Requirements | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Millennials who are considering a home purchase you may be surprised how much the requirements for a mortgage have eased. Let’s get together to discuss your options!

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

Existing Home Sales Up 3.9% [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • The annual adjusted sales are currently at a 5.36 million pace.
  • 14,684 homes sell every day in the United States.
  • October marked the 44th consecutive month of price gains.
Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

Distressed Property Sales Hit New Low

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their Existing Home Sales Report revealing that distressed property sales accounted for 6% of sales in October. This is down from 9% in 2014 and the lowest figure since NAR began tracking distressed sales in October 2008.

Below is a graph that shows just how far the market has come since January 2012 when distressed sales accounted for 35% of all sales.

Percentage of Distressed Property Sales | Simplifying The Market

Existing Home Sales Up Year-Over-Year

Mortgage interest rates remained below 4% in October prompting existing home sales to stay at a healthy annual pace of 5.36 million. Year-over-year sales were up 3.9%.

Inventory of homes for sale remain below the 6-month supply that is necessary for a normal market, as they fell 2.3% to a 4.8-months supply. The shortage in inventory has contributed to the median home price rising an additional 5.8% to $219,600.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say about the lack of inventory:

“New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this Fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets.”

There is good news though, as Yun went on to say:

“As long as solid job creation continues, a gradual easing of credit standards even with moderately higher mortgage rates should support steady demand and sales continuing to rise above a year ago.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market this year, now may be the time. Buyers are still out there looking for their dream home. Let’s get together to determine your best course of action.

Source: Simplifying the market

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

Dealing with Financing

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.

Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.

Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

Preparing to Sell

Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.

Posted in Uncategorized
Nov. 29, 2015

5 Tips for Buying a Home

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

Posted in Uncategorized
June 5, 2015

Brevard County Emergency Preparedness

National Weather Service has announced the formation of Tropical Storm Colin in the Golf of Mexico today. Brevard county residents are advised to keep a watch on weather updates. Do you have a plan for your family’s safety? Now is a good time to prepare, so you are not caught off guard in the event of a disaster in Brevard county, FL.

For help in making a plan and getting prepared check out the Brevard County Emergency Management Preparedness here:

Brevard Emergency Managment

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