Month: October 2014

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process


Posted by Margaret Szerlip 11:00AM EST, Newton, MA.

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process [INFOGRAPHIC]Posted: 31 Oct 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Taking the "Spooky" Out of the Mortgage Process | Keeping Current Matters

 

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Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment


Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 2:30PM EST Newton, MA.

Buying a Home for as Little as 3-5% Down | Keeping Current Matters

We have recently reported on the misconception that many buyers have regarding the down payment necessary to purchase a home. Multiple studies reveal that 40-50% of Americans believe you need between 15-20% of a down payment to be eligible to purchase a home. This misconception came about as the government just last year debated new guidelines for residential mortgages because of the housing collapse in 2007. Some were arguing that there should be a minimum of 20% or even 30% down payment on all mortgage loans. However, those standards were never implemented. To counter this misunderstanding, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management, in a recent Executive Perspectives explained that a person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent”.

3% Down Payments Available Soon?

Just last week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced that mortgages requiring only a three percent down payment may soon be available:

“To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account “compensating factors.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised. Line-Break

National Realty Investment Advisors, LLC Shares U.S. Housing Trends for Last Quarter of 2014


National Realty Investment Advisors, LLC Shares U.S. Housing Trends for Last Quarter of 2014.

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours?


Posted by Margaret Szerlip / October 28, 2014, Newton, MA.

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 04:00 AM PDT

14,164 Homes Sold Yesterday! Did Yours? | Keeping Current Matters

There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is… If it hasn’t sold yet this fall, maybe it’s not priced properly.

After all 14,164 houses sold yesterday, 14,164 will sell today and 14,164 will sell tomorrow.

14,164!

The Tricks or Treats of Credit


Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 28, 2014 Newton, MA.

Top Brokers in Newton, MA.  Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.

 

Many thanks to Amy Slotnick for providing these credit goodies!

 

Amy Slotnick
Amy Slotnick
Vice President
Fairway Independent Mortgage
MLO#27030
(781) 719-4670
amy@amyslotnick.com


The Tricks or Treats of Credit!


Happy Halloween!

Your credit is one of the most important criteria in determining your mortgage eligibility- it impacts the interest rate that will apply to you and, in a worst case scenario, could affect your ability to qualify at all.

Below are some Treats; ways to improve your credit score before you search for a home, and Tricks; things to avoid when qualifying for a home loan.

Treats: Ways to increase your credit score

  • Look for past due balances on a credit report and bring them current.
  • Reduce all outstanding debt to as close to zero as possible-try to keep credit balances at less than 50% of available credit.
  • If married, keep separate credit card accounts-this provides flexibility in transferring some or all balances to one spouse to increase the credit score of another, and allows one spouse to become the sole borrower if necessary.
  • Request an increase in available credit lines on credit cards to reduce debt ration-but only if the credit card company can do this without a hard credit inquiry.
  • Past due and charge offs-pay only those within the last two years. Once it is beyond two years, there will be no impact on your credit score if wiped out, and could even bring it down temporarily.
  • If you have an outstanding debt that has been incorrectly charged to you or has yet to be cleared, notify the creditor and credit bureau with a request that it be deleted. They have an obligation to act within 30 days.

Tricks: When applying for a loan-avoid these pitfalls at all costs!

  • Don’t buy or lease an auto-it will impact your debt to income ratio.
  • Don’t move assets from one bank account to another. It will show as a new deposit a need additional verification, complicating the application process.
  • Don’t change jobs-there may be a probationary period in which income from your new job cannot be considered.
  • Don’t buy new furniture or major appliances-this may increase the amount of debt you are responsible for on a monthly basis and could disqualify you from a loan or cut down on the available funds you will need at closing.
  • Don’t attempt to consolidate bills before speaking with your loan consultant. It may not be necessary to do this.
  • Don’t pack or ship important financial information needed for loan application-obtaining duplicate copies can take weeks and slow down the transaction.

Need help obtaining a credit report? Your loan consultant can help you with this, or you can get one, for free, from any of the 3 main credit reporting agencies:EquifaxExperian, TransUnion

Want to learn more? Click here for information on what goes into a credit score.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions! Info940@fairwaymc.com or 781-719-4664

Here’s hoping your Halloween is all treats!

State of Real Estate in Newton and Brookline, MA.


blog pictures

 

 

 

Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 26, 2014 Newton, MA.

I am asked all the time where I think home prices are headed, what about interest rates.  I usually respond that if I knew for sure I would be a very rich woman.  But I do feel good about the current housing market here in the western suburbs of Boston.  Inventory remains very low, prices are rising but not at the frenzied pace of last spring.  Interest rates are dropping.  Jumbo loans under 4% again!  7/1 Arms are under 3%!  Good stuff  — For the first time in 2 years I also see some real movement in the over 3 million dollar market.  I know most of you don’t care about what happens in the over 3 million dollar market, but I believe it is an important indicator of the overall health of the real estate market.  For the last two years we have been in a trickle up market.  The 500K houses pushed the 750K and they in turn pushed the 1M houses.  For some reason the push up never really got past the 1.5 million price point.  A trickle down real estate market is more broad and sustainable.  What happened last fall and spring in the under 1 million dollar price point was scary.  Houses seemed to be selling  20% higher than 2 years prior while houses over 2 million were sitting on the market.  It was very difficult for contentious brokers to advise their buyer clients.  The truth is you can’t really under price a house because the market will raise it to where it should be.  This fact is indisputable –over pricing has more serious consequences to the seller.  I told my buyer clients that I really couldn’t comp a house to a certain price, that if they really wanted a house they had to pick the price they were willing to pay, but that number was emotional.  One house I listed for $899K  had 9 offers and went 180,00 over asking!

So, I am optimistic about the housing market.  The stock market is taking a hit and when people pull their money out of the market they have to put it somewhere. Many buy a more expensive home.  What I would really like to see is more people buying beautiful older homes and not just new or like new.  Remember, in 10 years your house is neither new or charmingly old.

 

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.2% by 2018.

Now is the time to buy or sell a home.

 

Bi-Monthly Newton, MA. Real Estate Recap


Bi-Monthly Newton, MA. Real Estate Recap  Newton, MA.  Top Brokers, Sotheby’s Newton, MA.

Posted October 24, 2014 by Margaret Szerlip Newton, MA.

 

The fall market is very busy here in Newton — the reason I have not been posting as often as I’d like.  Current inventory is still below normal.  We have a total of 167 properties for sale vs. 175 3 weeks ago and down from a “normal” 200 homes.  83 homes have gone under contract or have accepted offers in the last 3 weeks!  The hottest segment of the market is homes priced between 1 million to 1.5 million with 17 homes in contract.  9 homes priced over 2 million have also gone under contract in the same time period.  That is very welcome news that the high-end of the market is starting to heat up.  26 homes have closed, again the 1 million to 1.5 million had the highest number of homes close at 9.

Remember the spring market in Newton starts the end of January early February here in Newton.  So if you’re considering a sale call me for an analysis sooner than later.

On-Market Snapshot
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:41:22 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Snapshot Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
 10/24/2014  10/24/2014
Price Range Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
vs. today Number of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 1 14 1 14
$500,000 – $599,999 5 34 5 34
$600,000 – $699,999 11 34 11 37
$700,000 – $799,999 9 47 9 47
$800,000 – $899,999 9 66 9 70
$900,000 – $999,999 8 61 8 61
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 34 67 34 67
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 26 115 26 116
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 27 114 27 114
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 21 116 21 116
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 10 177 10 177
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 3 84 3 84
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 3 184 3 184
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 167 Avg. 92 167 Avg. 93
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,599,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,867,799
Total Market Volume: $311,922,470
Lowest Price: $474,900
Median Price: $1,599,000
Highest Price: $6,950,000
Average Price: $1,867,799
Total Market Volume: $311,922,470

 

 

Pending Statistics
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:39:03 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Start Date: 10/06/2014
End Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Went Pending Current Status
Price Range # of
Listings
# UAG # CTG # Sold # Other
Under $50,000
$50,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $149,999
$150,000 – $199,999
$200,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – $299,999
$300,000 – $349,999
$350,000 – $399,999
$400,000 – $449,999
$450,000 – $499,999 3 2 1
$500,000 – $599,999 7 2 3 1 1
$600,000 – $699,999 6 4 1 1
$700,000 – $799,999 4 2 2
$800,000 – $899,999 7 5 2
$900,000 – $999,999 3 2 1
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 10 7 2 1
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 5 5
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 3 2 1
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 1 1
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 1 1
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999
Over $10,000,000
Total Properties 50 33 13 1 3
Lowest Price: $465,000 Median Price: $889,000
Highest Price: $3,795,000 Average Price: $1,127,973
Total Market Volume: $56,398,698

 

Total Sold Market Statistics
Report Run: 10/24/2014 11:42:37 AM
Property Type(s): SF
Status: SLD
Start Date: 10/06/2014
End Date: 10/24/2014
Towns: Newton
Price Range # of
Listings
Avg. Days
on Market
Average
Sale Price
Average
List Price
SP:LP
Ratio
Average
Orig Price
SP:OP
Ratio
$0 – $49,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$50,000 – $99,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$100,000 – $149,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$150,000 – $199,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$200,000 – $249,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$250,000 – $299,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$300,000 – $349,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$350,000 – $399,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$400,000 – $449,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$450,000 – $499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$500,000 – $599,999 4 26 $538,400 $533,725 101 $539,725 100
$600,000 – $699,999 2 30 $651,000 $662,000 98 $675,000 97
$700,000 – $799,999 4 51 $739,750 $746,500 99 $746,500 99
$800,000 – $899,999 3 16 $844,500 $786,667 107 $786,667 107
$900,000 – $999,999 2 51 $937,500 $954,950 98 $949,450 99
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999 9 46 $1,111,978 $1,086,889 103 $1,119,222 100
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999 2 60 $1,737,500 $1,812,500 96 $1,812,500 96
$2,000,000 – $2,499,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$2,500,000 – $2,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$3,000,000 – $3,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$4,000,000 – $4,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$5,000,000 – $9,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
$10,000,000 – $99,999,999 0 0 $0 $0 0 $0 0
Total Properties 26 Avg. 41 $934,842 $927,762 101 $940,454 100
Lowest Price: $519,000 Median Price: $888,500
Highest Price: $1,800,000 Average Price: $934,842
Total Market Volume: $24,305,900