Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Why should I refinance?

Positive statements by the Federal Reserve Board regarding the pace of future hikes in interest rates and the release of weak employment data have served to bring rates down moving into the spring selling season. This unexpected move in rates give Americans a unique opportunity to save money through refinancing or making their new dream home more affordable. From mid-September of last year to early-April of this year, Freddie Mac has reported that average rates on a 30-year fixed loan have moved down slightly more than one-half of one percent. This amounts to a savings of more than $1,500 annually for a $300,000 mortgage and $45,000 over the life of the mortgage. Recently, Black Knight Financial Services found that, in light of recent interest rate decreases on home loans, 7.1 million Americans would currently benefit by refinancing. In addition, Zillow has reported that 5.2 million renters are planning to purchase a home in the next year. Sources: Freddie Mac, Zillow & HousingWire

Fifty-four percent of for-sale listings of existing homes are within reach for a median-income household in the U.S., according to a new analysis by®. Their analysts used the national median income of $51,801 to determine how many of the site’s 1.6 million listings would be affordable to an average family, while also assuming a 20 percent down payment and 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The monthly payment couldn’t exceed 28 percent of the family’s income. “So far this year we are hearing from home shoppers that finding a home that meets their needs or budget is the biggest impediment to buying,” says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. “The good news from this data is that more than half of the listings nationwide are by definition affordable.”® analysts also found that existing homes tended to be much more affordable than new homes. In February,® had more than 7,700 actively selling new-home communities listed, with an inventory of nearly 57,000 homes available for sale. Only 21 percent of those new homes, however, were deemed affordable. Source:®

As Millennials begin to enter the homebuying market in larger numbers, homes will get a little smaller, laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent, said panelists during an International Builders’ Show press conference on home trends and Millennials’ home preferences. NAHB Assistant Vice President of Research Rose Quint predicted that the growing numbers of first-time homebuyers will drive down home size in 2015. Three million new jobs were created in 2014, 700,000 more than the previous year “and the most since 1999,” Quint said. At the same time, regulators have reduced downpayment requirements for first-time homebuyers from five percent to three percent and home prices have seen only moderate growth. “All these events lead me to believe that more people will come into the market, and as younger, first-time buyers, they will demand smaller, more affordable homes,” Quint said. “Builders will build whatever demand calls out for.” Of the Top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: Low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances and windows and programmable thermostats. The top features: a master bedroom walk-in closet and a separate laundry room.

Source: National Mortgage Professional

Rent is HOW MUCH?!

The rent may indeed be “too darn high,” but it’s only going up, according to a new report from online real estate listing service Zillow. According to new analysis from Zillow, U.S. renters paid $441 billion in rent in 2014, up $20.6 billion from 2013’s total of $420.4 billion. That represents an increase of 4.9%. Accounting for an estimated 770,000 additional U.S. renters in 2014, the average renter household spent $26 more per month in 2014 than in 2013, for a total of $312 more paid in rent this year compared to last, Zillow said. “Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own.” Humphries said that increases in rent are only going to continue. “Next year, we expect rents to rise even faster than home values, meaning that another increase in total rent paid similar to that seen this year isn’t out of the question,” he said. “In fact, it’s probable.” Source: HousingWire

Most younger renters think owning is a more sensible housing choice for financial reasons, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. Seventy-six percent of young renters, defined in this study as between 18 and 39, think owning makes more sense because they’re protected against rent increases, and owning can be a good investment over the long-term. “However, a large majority of young renters have remained pessimistic over the last few years about their ability to get a home loan; in contrast, younger owners have grown more optimistic,” says Sarah Shahdad, strategic planning analyst at Fannie Mae. “Demographic differences between younger renters and younger owners may explain part of the gap in attitudes.” Younger owners are more likely to fall in the higher end of the age range, earn more, and be employed full-time compared with younger renters, Shahdad notes. “The widening of that same gap during the last few years suggests that confidence in one’s ability to get a home loan is growing primarily among those who have already met financial requirements,” she notes. Young renters consider down payments and credit scores to be the top obstacles of getting a home loan. Also, the presence of student loans heightens the difficulty, they feel. But, young renters say, one day, they still plan to buy. “Enhanced housing education and alternative approaches to housing and savings may help renters fulfill their housing aspirations in a financially sustainable way,” Shahdad says. “Educational resources and tools may help renters make more informed decisions about their housing choices and begin managing their finances early and efficiently in order to fulfill their goals.” Also, promoting alternative paths to home ownership may help. Shahdad notes that about three-quarters of younger renters and owners said a lease-to-own arrangement would make renting more desirable to them since it would lead to home ownership. Source: Fannie Mae

Americans 55 years old and older are increasingly expected to begin trading residences as they near retirement, and that has many housing analysts and homebuilders predicting a surge in active-adult homes and communities that appeal to seniors. Homebuilders PulteGroup, Lennar, and Toll Brothers are reporting higher sales in this segment. Builders also are trying to lure this age group with multigenerational amenities, such as a separate private entrance, bedroom, bathroom, and eat-in kitchen attached to a traditional home. The National Association of Home Builders’ 55+ Housing Market Index also reflects greater optimism in the 55-plus housing market. This year, the index reached its highest second-quarter reading since it began in 2008, and it posted its 11th consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains. “One of the factors contributing to the positive signs in the 55+ housing market is the slow but steady increase in existing-home sales in the past several months,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The 55+ market is strongly driven by consumers being able to sell their existing homes at a favorable price in order to buy or rent in a 55+ community.” Source: Investors Business Daily

Buying after Bankruptcy

You’ve filed for bankruptcy, now what? It’s no secret that bankruptcy can leave your credit score at the bottom of the barrel but you are not alone. On average, one million Americans file bankruptcy every year.
Today, I’m going to give you some information on buying into the American Dream, home-ownership, after filing bankruptcy. The first step is repairing your credit score. In this day and time, your credit score follows you around like a cloud above your head. We want to give you the tools to turn that cloud into a ray of sunshine instead of a black cloud raining on your head. The quickest way to rebuild credit is with either a secured credit card (a secured card gives you credit that’s limited to an amount you have on deposit with the issuing bank) or an installment loan (personal loan, student loans, etc…). This is the most effective way of letting potential lenders know that you can be trusted to pay back any money that is owed to them.
Next, you will want to review your credit report. According to ABC, one in five people have an error on their credit report. Did you know you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the credit rating agencies each year? And the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides you with a clear process for having the errors on your report corrected.
After your bankruptcy has been discharged, you can begin talking to a lender about getting prequalified for a home loan. If you are unsure of who to call, call US! The G Team (615.466.3030) will be happy to help you in the buying process. We will get you set up with a qualified lender and stay by your side every step of the way.
Generally, the waiting period to buy a home after filing bankruptcy is only 2 years. In some cases, it could even be sooner. During this time you will want to rebuild your credit, learn to budget and educate yourself. With a little hard work and planning you too can be a home owner.
Here are some tips to remember:
– Use only a small portion of your credit
– Don’t max out any new credit cards
– Don’t apply for too much credit too soon
– Pay ALL your bills on time (I cannot stress how important this is!)
– Pay more than the monthly minimum, if possible
– Stay at the same job for a good length of time
– Watch out for “repair your credit fast” type schemes

COMING SOON: Topics on buying after a foreclosure, money management, THDA loans, USDA loans…


One of the most common questions we as Realtors are asked is “how is the market”? You may be surprised to know that prices are still extremely affordable and mortgage rates remain at or near historic lows. On average, sellers in Wilson County are netting a whopping 97% of the list price. Now is a great time for seller’s to list their homes especially since the inventory is at an all time low.

According to CNN Money, the latest forecast from FISV (Fiserv Case-Shiller) predicts that home prices will increase by an average of 3.3% annually over the next five years. FISV also predicts that home prices will be increasing in nearly every metro area they track by the end of 2013. This is great news for the real estate world!

Call The GTeam today for your FREE market analysis!

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Supply & Demand

Today’s NEWS RELEASE from the National Association of Realtors showed us that “unsold inventory is at the lowest level since January 2001”. At the end of the 4th quarter for 2012, there were 1.82million existing homes available, which is down 21.6% below last year’s numbers. Also, the existing home sales in the good ole South actually INCREASED 5% in the 4th quarter.

According to Lawerence Yun, NAR chief economist, “Home sales are on a sustained uptrend, mortgage interest rates are hovering near record lows and unsold inventory is a the lowest level in 12 years”!

You may be asking yourself, what do all these numbers really mean? Good question! The answer is: IT’S A GREAT MARKET TO SELL YOUR EXSISITING HOME!!