Monday, October 31, 2011

Home Price Depends On Interest Rate, Yes?

I just read another doom and gloom article. It, of course, depends on the hour, the day, the author, the locale, and to whether I read a doom and gloom or something more upbeat about Real Estate.

Earlier in the day I received an update about Interest Rates on mortgage loans.

So, I did a few calculations that I am going to jot down, share, and summarize.

For simplicity, let's use round numbers and a conforming conventional loan ~

Home price $350,000
Current rates 4.00%
20% down payment.
Monthly payment = $1336.70
Finance charges over the 30 year loan life = $201,235.49
Total cost of home = $551,235.49

Next example ~ let's say with a 10% drop in value that some say may still happen.....

Home price $315,000
Future interest rates 5.00% (that's a guess, as of course, we have no idea!)
20% down payment.
Monthly payment = $1352.79
Finance charges over the 30 year loan life = $235,004.67
Total cost of home = $550,004.67

And another example ~ with a total of 50k drop.....eeeck!

Home price $300,000
Again guestimating a future interest rate 6.00%
20% down payment.
Monthly payment = $1438.92
Finance charges over the 30 year loan life = $278,012.58
Total cost of home = $578,012.58

I don't think I have to summarize this that thoroughly ~ I believe it shows you how much you save on a home price can frequently be eaten up on the interest rate you are paying. I've been involved in Real Estate for over 30 years, as a Realtor for over 10....I've never seen rates where they are right now for a 30 year fixed mortgage...never. And, I do believe that will go up more likely than going down much further.

You can do the math, as they say....and do I even need to mention the tax benefits of home ownership?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Video of You? And, Maybe Win a $500 Lowe's Gift Card!

I received this via e-mail this morning and wanted to share with my peeps!


October 28, 2011

Dear Lauren,

In August, we had the pleasure of announcing C.A.R.’s brand-new 2011 consumer advertising campaign, “California REALTORS®. Champions of Home.” It’s been airing on cable, TV, radio, and online. Today, I’m thrilled to kick-off the campaign’s social media effort, C.A.R.’s first-ever Facebook contest, called “Stories of Home.” This contest features a new app built specifically for this campaign, one which enables consumers to automatically and easily record evidence of their testimony about “home,” and the value of home ownership and of working with their REALTOR®.

Now through Nov. 30, 2011California home buyers and sellers with a Facebook account can either submit a video to compete for a $500 Lowe’s gift card, or simply vote for their favorite videos. Building on the effectiveness of the commercials in which California home buyers and sellers talk about the invaluable qualities of using a REALTOR®, the Facebook contest helps to extend this message into the social media realm and offers satisfied home buyers and sellers a place to sound off about their own positive experience.

To participate, consumers simply visit C.A.R.’s Facebook page and “like” the page. Selecting “Stories of Home” from the left menu provides prompts to either record a video on the spot or upload a previously recorded video. Additionally, visitors to the Stories of Home page may view other videos and vote for their favorites.

This is a terrific opportunity for you to tell your clients to be a part of this exciting contest and have a chance to win a $500 Lowe’s gift card.

For complete information about the 2011 consumer advertising campaign, please visit here.  I hope you are as pleased with this campaign as we all are in bringing it to you.

Beth L. Peerce
2011 President

Isn't that nice???

Monday, October 24, 2011

Awesome News ! ~ HARP Refinance Program Expanded

This is a really good thing. I just had a homeowner ask me about this over the weekend. It's giving us a better LTV ratio and helping with a few other things. Also extending til end of 2013!!

HARP Refinance Program Expanded

Borrowers who are current on their home loans may be able to refinance for lower interest rates, even if they are seriously upside down.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that it will broaden the scope of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) by removing the current 125 percent loan-to-value cap for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Other program enhancements include, among other things, reducing certain fees, eliminating the need for a new property appraisal if the FHFA has a reliable automated valuation model (AVM) estimate, and extending HARP until the end of 2013.  New federal guidelines for the HARP changes should be released to mortgage lenders and servicers by November 15.

The basic eligibility requirements for an enhanced HARP loan are as follows:
  • Existing mortgage loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  To check whether a borrower has a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, go to
  • Existing mortgage loan must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before June 1, 2009.
  • Existing mortgage loan cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously (except for Fannie Mae loans refinanced between March and May 2009).
  • Current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be more than 80%.
  • Existing mortgage loan must be current, with no late payments in the past six months, and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
More information is available from FHFA at

Friday, October 21, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again!

I've had very few borrowers denied for a loan. Certainly not once I already have them in the car. But, now and again, a buyer will contact me and I always refer them to a couple of lenders to determine if they can, or can't buy a home. And, of course, how much they are able to spend and still be comfortable.

When someone is denied there is usually a pretty quick reason why. There are generally some things that, over time, can be corrected so that they will be able to buy a home in the near future.  Once in a while, speaking with a different lender may make the difference too.

Some lending institutions have softer guidelines than others. Some can fit the square peg in the round hole. But, those instances are few and far between these days. Most lenders have pretty specific rules and regulations that they must adhere to.

There was an article in the NY times last week that may help answer some of your questions about what you can do if you are denied a loan. Sometimes I haven't even met the buyer before they are denied so I can't make these suggestions to them:

All is not lost if you are denied, listen to the advice you are given by your trusted Realtor and financial advisers. Now may not be the time for you, or you may need to make some mini changes....or you just may need to find another lender.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Allowing ALL Homeowners the Opportunity To Refinance

It was, and still is, a great idea to allow underwater homeowners to refinance to current low rates. People that are in adjustable loans, to fix their rates. People that bought with a 5% rate or above, could get 4 or below right now. On a 300k loan, that would save the borrower almost 200 per month.

But, is that enough to keep someone in their home? Hmmmmm....., lost your job, 200 isn't much. Cut back at work, 200 still isn't that much. Home upside down, is 200 a month worth it?

Or, for the many that can still afford their home, but are completely upside down....those ones that are seeing the defaults happening, the ones that are obviously the 'strategic defaults'? This group would probably be pleased with saving 200 per month. And pleasing some helps many. Pleasing even just a few helps avoid additional defaults and subsequent foreclosures.

It doesn't surprise me that one of our Californian senators is pushing to get these tweaks in the refinance program to work. And, really, whether the bank is earning 4 or 5 or 6%, wouldn't they rather earn something, than nothing? Well, yes, they get help when they have to foreclose. But, certainly the recovery would be faster if the foreclosure rate was reduced.

Full article that prompted my sharing of thoughts with you today:

Friday, October 7, 2011

30 Day Stats and Spaghetti Tossing

I had to go back and look so I could compare to what was last month-ish.....

I read my blog post twice:

ACTIVE ~ 1189 ~ exactly the same as last report
REO's ~ 173
Short Sales ~ 523
Standard Sales ~ 476

In Escrow
PENDING &/or BACK-UP ~ 822
REO's ~ 140
Short Sales ~ 516
Standard Sales ~ 163

And, drum roll please......
SOLD in last 30 days ~ 294
REO's ~ 78
Short Sales ~ 97
Standard Sales ~ 117

And, just in case you were wondering....183 listings either cancelled, expired, or withdrew from the MLS.

Short-Sales are the majority of active listings, but not the majority of closed escrows. We need more REO's and Standard Sales.

Don't hold out for a short-sale....keep looking, and definitely keep throwing the spaghetti to see what sticks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Really....You Need To Buy NOW!!

Mortgage Interest Rates*
Rates as of Thursday, 6th October, 2011:
 TermConformingAPRPayment per
JumboAPRPayment per
30-Yr. fixed3603.875%4.19%$4.704.25%4.44%$4.92
15-Yr. fixed1803.5%3.79%$7.153.75%3.99%$7.27
7-Yr. fixed ARM3603.25%3.51%$4.353.875%3.61%$4.70
5-Yr. fixed ARM3602.875%3.59%$4.153.25%3.66%$4.35
VA 30 Fixed3604.5%4.81%$5.074.875%5.31%$5.29
FHA 30 Fixed3604.0%5.39%$4.774.5%6.02%$5.07
20 yr fixed rate 417,0002403.75%4.21%$5.934.625%4.98%$6.39
10 yr fixed rate 417,0001203.25%3.61%$9.774%4.54%$10.12

Courtesy of Mitch Milat with Augusta Financial ~ (661) 810-3362

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yes, There Are Still Homeowners That Have Equity

Rainy, reading day today. Have a few moments to catch up and the 4th article I read was just an uplifting report. So needless to say, I share with you.

While we have been engrossed in the news of how many homeowners are underwater, what we are doing to transition back to a normal market and how long it will take? We do need to remember that there are still many homeowners that do, in fact, have positive equity in their homes.

Of course it depends on where you live and how long you've lived there. That's an obvious given fact. But there are still plenty of people that survived the housing 'bust' and still have equity.

I wish more of these people wanted to sell their homes. Yet, it is understandable that they want to recapture some of the equity they feel they have lost based upon prices 5 years ago....when they didn't sell.

Again I preach, that Real Estate is like stocks, bonds, mutual need to be in for the long haul.

So, feel a tad good today....knowing there is still some equity out there. It may not be yours right now, but hang'll be in your house someday.....I promise.