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Real Estate

FHFA Ends Effort on Credit Scoring Overhaul

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 25, 2018 - 12:00am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is suspending an initiative to update the credit score model, which some were hoping would bring scoring to an estimated 7.6 million consumers who are currently unscorable.

Categories: Real Estate

15 More States Now Can Do Fully Digital Home Closings

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 25, 2018 - 12:00am

A new partnership between digital notary platform Notarize and Title Resources, a national title company, is ushering in faster and fully digital closings on real estate transactions in a handful of states.

Categories: Real Estate

Don’t Count Gen X Out

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 25, 2018 - 12:00am

Millennials and baby boomers may steal most of the attention as the big movers in real estate these days, but the generation in between has actually recovered the most and gained the most household wealth since the Great Recession.

Categories: Real Estate

Buyers Say Garages, Updated Kitchens Aren’t as Important as This

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 25, 2018 - 12:00am

A new survey from realtor.com® shows what home shoppers are willing to sacrifice in order to get what they really want in a home’s location.

Categories: Real Estate

Forget a Garage—Buyers Won’t Budge on High-Rated Schools

RisMedia Consumer News - July 24, 2018 - 3:14pm

Buyers have their eyes on schools, and with the irrefutable link between the quality of schools and values, a district with high ratings trumps all—even coveted features of a home, according to a new realtor.com® survey.

To get into their desired district, 78 percent of the homebuyers surveyed had to let go of something on their wish list. When asked what they would compromise on, approximately one-fifth (19 percent) of respondents would forgo a garage, while 17 percent would go without a kitchen that has been remodeled. Another 17 percent would settle for less bedrooms.

Being within an in-demand district is “important” to 73 percent of respondents to the survey, and even more so to those with children, and those who are younger. What are the characteristics of a “good” school? Accelerated programs, arts and music and diversity are all factors, but the most important is test scores, according to the survey.

“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list, but our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.'”

Generally, homes in proximity to sought-after schools move quicker than others, and are pricier.

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Forget a Garage—Buyers Won’t Budge on High-Rated Schools appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Survey: Teams May Cut Into Brokers’ Profits

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 24, 2018 - 12:00am

The team structure may generate more business, but it also can cost firms more per agent.

Categories: Real Estate

Brokerage Reinvents For Sale Signs With ‘Iconic’ Look

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 24, 2018 - 12:00am

The firm wants to give traditional property advertisements a flashy, high-tech makeover.

Categories: Real Estate

Overstock.com Enters the Property Management Business

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 24, 2018 - 12:00am

It’s the first phase of the online retailer’s venture, which eventually will include a portal for consumers to rent and buy homes.

Categories: Real Estate

Migration Patterns Emerge as Buyers Cross State Lines

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 24, 2018 - 12:00am

For example, more than 25,000 residents have left California in the last five years. Here’s where they’re going.

Categories: Real Estate

Some Homeowners Don’t Know the Interest Rate They Pay

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

It’s one problem contributing to a lack of knowledge about the benefits of refinancing.

Categories: Real Estate

An Artificial Lawn Isn’t Maintenance-Free

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Fake grass may be easier to care for, but there are some expensive and annoying caveats to this landscaping option.

Categories: Real Estate

Will ‘Baby Boomer Sell-Off’ Ignite Housing Crisis?

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Older homeowners who are downsizing and leaving homeownership behind may send shock waves throughout the real estate market, two new studies warn.

Categories: Real Estate

N.Y. Buyer Files Class-Action Lawsuit Over Dual Agency

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

The buyer accuses real estate brokerage Houlihan Lawrence of using the tactic to maximize its profits and dominate the local market.

Categories: Real Estate

6 Most Profitable Markets for Sellers

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Some of the nation's fastest-growing cities are seeing the highest returns on home sales, as are areas that were hit hard in the Great Recession.

Categories: Real Estate

Sky-High Home Prices Shatter Ceiling Again

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 23, 2018 - 12:00am

Ongoing inventory shortages helped to push the median sale price for existing homes to another all-time high in June, according to NAR.

Categories: Real Estate

Don’t Know Your Mortgage Rate? You Could Be Costing Yourself Thousands

RisMedia Consumer News - July 22, 2018 - 12:02pm

(TNS)—Not knowing your mortgage rate can be an expensive mistake, especially in this rising interest rate market. Yet nearly three in 10 mortgage holders (29 percent) either didn’t know their mortgage rate or wouldn’t say, according to a survey by Bankrate.

This is a big problem, says Martin Choy, operations manager at Westwood Mortgage in Seattle.

“Most homeowners should know what their rate is. If they have an adjustable rate mortgage [ARM], then they should contact their lender immediately and get their current rate,” Choy says.

Rates Are Climbing, so Borrowers Should Act Now
As rates continue to rise, this could be your last chance for many years to lock in a lower rate.

“During the big boom, before this last election, we could refinance mortgages at no cost because the rates were so low, but now the rates are heading up,” Choy says.

The average rates on 30-, 15- and 10-year fixed refinances have risen from a year ago, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.70 percent (as of July 11, 2018) from 4.13 percent a year earlier.

A $200,000 mortgage with a 4.70 percent interest rate costs $119 a month more in interest than the same mortgage with a 4.13 percent rate. As rates and mortgage amounts go up, the impact on your bottom line increases. Over time, this difference in rates can cost you thousands of dollars.

Good Candidates for Refinancing
When you refinance your mortgage, you pay off the remaining balance on your current loan and get a new one. You can get a new rate, new terms, or a new rate and new terms. You can get a cash-out refinance where you tap into the equity to extract cash and then get a new mortgage. You can even pay money in and take out a smaller mortgage.

Those with adjustable-rate mortgages may be good candidates for refinancing. As mortgage rates climb, so will your monthly payments. If you lock in a fixed-rate mortgage now, you may be able to save thousands of dollars later.

The same is true for people with high-rate mortgages who have since improved their credit.

“There are many variables in determining whether refinancing is a good option,” says Choy. “How much do you owe? How much is your house appraised for? Is your credit score good? If you’re in better financial shape now, both with your monthly debt ratio and credit score than when you got your mortgage, then you could qualify for better rates.”

Today, most people aren’t getting ARMs because the rates are about the same as fixed-rate mortgages, says Choy.

“It’s always better to get a fixed-rate loan than an ARM when interest rates are equal. Now is a good time to refinance an ARM before rates get even higher.”

Cash-Out Refinance Options
If you have outstanding higher-rate consumer debt and an above-market mortgage interest rate, a cash-out refinance might be a good option. That way you can consolidate all the debt into one presumably more affordable monthly payment.

Not only are mortgage rates rising; so are interest rates for credit card debt. Because credit card interest rates follow in lockstep with mortgage rates, people with credit card debt might be looking at higher monthly payments.

“With a cash-out refi, you can use that money to pay off debt and get a new mortgage with better rates. That is an option for some homeowners,” says Choy.

What Does Refinancing Cost?
Refinancing fees vary by lender and state, so be sure to shop around for specific costs. Bankrate’s mortgage rate tables are a good place to start looking at rates in your area. Calculate when you’ll break even on the new mortgage by taking into account the costs of refinancing and any prepayment penalty for paying off your mortgage early.

On average, borrowers can expect to pay between 3 and 6 percent of their balance in refinancing fees. Costs might include:

  • Application fee: This charge varies by lender and is used to cover processing your application and credit report. The cost ranges from $75-$300.
  • Loan origination fee: The lender charges this fee for preparing your loan. This may be between 0 percent and 1.5 percent of the loan principal.
  • Points: You might pay loan-discount points, which is a one-time fee for reducing the interest rate on your loan. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the amount of your mortgage. There is another point-based fee charged by lenders to earn money on the loan. This latter fee of up to 3 percent of the loan principal can sometimes be negotiated.

Other fees might include:

  • Appraisal fee
  • Title search/title insurance
  • FHA, RDS or VA fees or PMI
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Attorney review
  • Inspection
  • Surveys

Sometimes these fees can be rolled into your new mortgage, or the lender will pay them in exchange for a higher interest rate. Refinances that don’t require borrowers to pay these up-front fees are known as “no-cost” refinancing.

©2018 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Don’t Know Your Mortgage Rate? You Could Be Costing Yourself Thousands appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Help Your Clients Prep Before Disaster Strikes

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 20, 2018 - 12:00am

Pass these tips on to homeowners so they can get equipped for a storm, flood, or hurricane.

Categories: Real Estate

Realtor.com® Updates Make Searches More Seamless

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 20, 2018 - 12:00am

The site launched several enhancements this week to improve load times and enable side-by-side listing comparisons, among other items.

Categories: Real Estate

Federal Court Says FHFA Structure Is Unconstitutional

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 20, 2018 - 12:00am

Judges say the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is run by a single director, is “unconstitutionally insulated from executive control.”

Categories: Real Estate

Home Shoppers Get ‘Extra Time to Find the Right Home’

NAR Daily News Magazine - July 20, 2018 - 12:00am

Mortgage rates barely budge, giving borrowers some breathing room in their real estate search, Freddie Mac reports.

Categories: Real Estate