Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top 5 Benefits of Using a Professional to Buy a Home

Top 5 Benefits of Using a Professional to Buy A Home | Keeping Current Matters

Every year the National Association of REALTORS releases their Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, in which they reveal the results of a yearlong survey of buyers and sellers. The latest profile revealed what actual buyers saw as the benefits of using an agent during the home buying process.


Here are the Top 5:


#1: Helped the Buyer Understand the Process

Whether it is your first time purchasing a home, or you’re an experienced buyer, there are over 230 possible actions that need to happen during every successful real estate transaction.
Having someone to guide you through the process who can simply explain what is going on at every step of the way was sited as the top benefit by 63% of all buyers (that number jumped to 83% with first time buyers).

#2: Pointed Out Unnoticed Features/Faults with the Property

When you start the process of buying a home, you may be too excited to see each potential home for what it is, good and bad. An experienced professional can help you realize the potential hidden gems or risks before you make an offer.  Nearly 60% of all buyers listed this as a major benefit of hiring a professional.

#3: Improved the Buyer’s Knowledge of Search Areas

Whether you are looking to relocate to a new state, or just across town, having someone who knows the neighborhoods in which you are looking can be an invaluable asset.

#4: Negotiated Better Sales Contract Terms/Better Price


In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

#5: Provided a better list of service providers

A great agent has relationships with mortgage professionals, home inspectors, appraisers and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home.


Bottom Line

If you are considering purchasing a home, whether as a first-time or move up buyer, sit down with a local experienced real estate professional in your area and see what they have to offer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Money Market Recap

MMRecap for December 15th
There were no economic reports released last Monday, but the price of oil and its effect on oil-producing countries grabbed headlines. So has the question of “to frack or not to frack?” Now that oil is cheap, many oil companies are deserting fracking and just continuing to drill. The yield on the 10-year note was down 0.05 points to close at 2.26%.
Tuesday was another “report-less” day -- almost. Wholesale inventories for October came in at +0.4%, the same as in September. But the talk on Wall Street centered on oil and the various effects it can have on the environment as well as on the economies of heavy users of the product. There is little good news available. The Russian ruble has lost 40% of its value vs. the U.S. dollar. It is also troubled by Western sanctions, declining oil prices and high inflation. There are no easy answers. The 10-year yield had dropped four more points to close at 2.22%.
How can this be? Wednesday was yet another day with no meaningful reports! But the price of oil has taken another huge hit, and that’s as much news as we need to know for now. It’s the sole topic of conversation, no matter where you look. The price of oil rose $0.28 a barrel, and the 10-year note fell by 4 basis points to 2.18%.
On Thursday there were finally some economic reports worth talking about. Initial jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 6 fell to 294K from 297K -- a scant 3,000 when compared to previous decreases. However, continuing claims, people applying for a second or more weeks of benefits, for the week ended Nov. 29 jumped to 2514K from the previous 2372K.
The best news came from retail sales in November, which rose 0.7%. Excluding autos, sales were up 0.5%. That’s a relief after a couple of months of grim data.
The importance of other reports went downhill from there. Import and export prices both fell, with exports down 1.2%, excluding agriculture. Imports, excluding oil, fell 0.2%. The 10-year Treasury added one basis point to close at a very friendly 2.19%.
The week concluded Friday with the producer price indices and the first of two consumer sentiment reports from the University of Michigan.
The PPI for November fell 0.2%. Nothing says “no inflation” like a minus sign. The PPI core, which excludes food and energy prices, came in flat, versus a 0.4% increase in October.
The final report from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment report came in at 93.8, topping not only the previous report of 88.8 but the estimates, as well. The 10-year Treasury dropped to the lowest point of the year so far, and closed at 2.10%.
The MBA reported a significant decline of mortgage applications for November with new home applications decreasing by 22% over October. Interestingly, higher-priced new homes seem to be doing better than the lower-priced entry-level homes as the average loan size increased from $300,000 in October to almost $307,000 in November. Conventional loans, including refinances, accounted for 69.3% of all loan applications.
This week is a relatively quiet week as far as reports go. The Empire State Manufacturing index is the first report released today, and there is some discrepancy on the predictions. That will be followed by industrial production and capacity utilization reports for November. Both should rise, with production expected to hit somewhere between 0.7% and 0.9% in November -- up from -0.1% in October. The Home-builders’ index report is expected to remain flat at 58% in December, but after all, it’s December.
Tuesday we get to the nitty-gritty with housing starts for November. Analysts expect a reading of 1035K, up from the previous 1009K. Building permits for November may come in lower than the 1080K for October, as the predictions are hovering around 1050K.
On Wednesday we’ll look at consumer price indices, but they have barely moved. In October, the CPI was flat, coming in at 0.0%, and is expected to drop perhaps to -0.1% for November. The CPI core, which eliminates food and energy prices, may drop a little, as well.
As usual, Thursday the reports on initial and continuing unemployment figures come out. The Philly Fed report will be released on Thursday, and here there is a big chasm among the predictors. The previous report came in at 40.8. The markets are predicting a drop to 26.5, while the guys are predicting a major drop to 10.0. Either way, that seems to be a big decrease.
As we approach the last two weeks of the year, the reports are slowing down and there are no reports coming out on Friday. This is a good opportunity to take advantage of all those door-buster sales.
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Scottsdale, AZ 85251
P: 480-967-8286
C: 480-797-4898
TF: 877-967-8286
F: 866-699-1939
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Copyright 2008 The Daily Communicator

Thursday, December 11, 2014

More Homebuying Options to Come in 2015

More Homebuying Options to Come in 2015

The number of first-time homeowners reached its lowest level in three decades.

According to an annual survey of homebuyers by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), only 33 percent of total purchases this year were by first-timers, down from 38 percent a year ago. The long-term average, dating back to 1981, shows that 4 out of 10 purchases were by first-time buyers.

The reason? "Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who've experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the workforce," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. He added that a shortage of homes in affordable price ranges, competition from investors, tighter credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums provided additional bumps in the road.

However, recent announcements from the two biggest housing agencies, Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC), may help this number in the coming year.

Proposed Lending Changes to Encourage Homebuying
In mid-October, changes were proposed by the two government-regulated housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While the agencies don’t directly lend money to consumers, they do buy mortgages made by banks and other financial institutions, which frees up money to lend to more homebuyers. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the proposed changes include looser credit guidelines as well as the possibility for a 3 percent down payment option when buying a home. Stay tuned as the details become clearer in the first quarter of 2015.

This is good news for people in markets where rents are skyrocketing more than they can keep up, and for prospective buyers who had been unable to buy before.

The Bottom Line
Rates are still at advantageous annual lows. If you have any questions regarding housing or know of friends, family or colleagues who are renting and wish to discuss buying a home next year, please get in touch.

By Taum Hemmingsen

Monday, December 8, 2014

Money Market Recap & Forecast

MMRecap for December 8th
Thanksgiving break is definitely over. Now it’s time to get serious again, as there were 19 relevant economic reports last week.
Monday’s lone report was the ISM index, which looks at the health of the manufacturing industry across the country. It came in at 58.7, which was not only close to estimates but very close to October’s 59.0. Otherwise, real news was scant. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 4 basis points to 2.22%.
Only three reports appeared on Tuesday’s calendar, and just one could influence the markets -- construction spending in October. It shot up 1.1%, beating the -0.1% tallied in September, as well as all estimates. When Treasuries closed, the yield on the 10-year note had risen 6 basis points to a still-low 2.28%.
Wednesday there were several releases, but no real market-changers. The yield on the 10-year Treasury went up a point to close at 2.29%.
On Thursday, initial and continuing jobless claims were released. First-time claims for the week ended November 29 were down by 17K, registering 297K compared with 314K from the prior week. Continuing claims recorded for the week ended November 22 actually went up to 2362K, which was a good-sized jump from the 2323K from the week before.
The other piece of financial news on Thursday: the European Central Bank is delaying the start of its quantitative easing program (if it starts at all) until it further studies the impact of falling oil prices and other economic factors that could affect European growth and wages. Don’t look for a statement about this until at least March. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped 4 points to close at 2.25%.
Friday’s employment reports for November were an early holiday present for just about everyone. Nonfarm payrolls added 321K jobs in November, and the unemployment rate held at 5.8%, the lowest since 2008. Hourly earnings were up 0.4%. The 10-year Treasury yield closed last week at 2.31%, up 6 basis points from Thursday.
This week is a relatively quiet one, and market-moving reports don’t start coming in until Thursday. There are no reports today, and the only significant release coming out tomorrow is the report on wholesale inventories for October, which are expected to rise 0.2%. This is not a market mover.
Wednesday, too, is practically a non-event, but the fun starts Thursday with several reports rolling in. As always, we get the initial and continuing jobless claims reports. Initial claims for the week ended December 6 may drop by 2K; the analysts are predicting this report to come in at 295K. Continuing claims are predicted to come in at 2350K, about 12,000 less than the 2362K from the previous week.
November retail sales and retail sales excluding autos are also scheduled for Thursday. Expectations range from gains of 0.4% to 0.7%, and contain some of the most important data for November. So far it’s been disappointing, but these numbers could increase expectations. Retail sales ex-auto could come in anywhere from +0.2% to +0.5%. Export and import prices in November are also on tap, but they almost never surprise. Business inventories follow, and they fall in the same category. If inflation were to edge up a couple of points, you wouldn’t hear many complaints.
Two reports on producer price indices at the manufacturing level are due Friday, and many would like to see them rise just a bit. This is one area where higher prices would be welcomed.
The final report for the week is the University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, which attempts to determine the moods of those surveyed. If they feel confident about their financial futures for the next several months, the numbers will be in the high 80s or even the low 90s. Anything below that would be a disappointment. The sentiment for November was 88.8.
So, all in all, nothing very exciting is expected this week.
By Appointment:
7150 E Camelback Rd., Ste 444
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
P: 480-967-8286
C: 480-797-4898
TF: 877-967-8286
F: 866-699-1939
BK#0911893 NMLS#1842 #3950 OR
Realtors' Lender of Choice!
Copyright 2008 The Daily Communicator