FHA Loan limits
for Kootenai County
may be reduced from $280,250 to $271,050 after September 30th.
NOW is the time for you to lock in your loan at the higher values and at historic low interest rates!
Let us help you take advantage of historic low interest rates and obtain the home of your dreams.
Let us help you Own The Lifestyle.
Visit our Website for more Market News on our area
“The price of new homes is fixin’ to RISE…
In other words, Beat the Crowd!”
When was the last time you heard THAT???
Today, we thought we’d pass along this VERY GOOD NEWS to give your spirits a better-than-average lift. Reading graphs like this is such a pleasure…
Pending Home Sales are UP 49% over last year!
Great news – statisically speaking. Market stats (as provided by the CDA Multiple Listing Service) shows that PENDING HOME SALES ARE UP 49% when comparing May and June of 2010 to May and June of June 2011. Right now a very hot segment of the market are those homes selling for less than $200k. If you are thinking of selling…there are plenty of investors in the market.
AND THERE’S MORE!
Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.…(click on this link to read the entire article)
We pass this along to you in an effort to keep you informed. This article was forwarded to us this week from various sources, especially the Realtor Action Center.
We’d love to hear from you. Comments are open for your opinion on the proposed 20% Down Payment requirement.
The National Association of REALTORS is encouraging its members to contact Congress about the proposed regulations governing Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM). If approved, all homebuyers would be required to pay a 20% down payment when buying a home. This would have a detrimental impact on the real estate industry and the overall economy. Economic recovery depends largely on a housing market recovery; therefore implementing a new rule requiring a 20% or higher down-payment would stop the housing recovery in its tracks.
NAR asks that you consider contacting Congress today and ask them to please make it clear to the regulators that this was not their legislative intent and to instead implement a more reasonable Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) that will keep credit-worthy buyers in the market and able to acquire a loan.
It’s very easy to do; just go to the REALTOR Action Center and the website does everything else for you.
1. The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.2. The difference in return between a chosen investment and one that is necessarily passed up. Say you invest in a stock and it returns a paltry 2% over the year. In placing your money in the stock, you gave up the opportunity of another investment – say, a risk-free government bond yielding 6%. In this situation, your opportunity costs are 4% (6% – 2%).Investopedia explains Opportunity Cost
1. The opportunity cost of going to college is the moneyyou would have earned if you worked instead. On the one hand, you lose four years of salary while getting your degree; on the other hand, you hope to earn more during your career, thanks to your education, to offset the lost wages.Here’s another example: if a gardener decides to grow carrots, his or her opportunity cost is the alternative crop that might have been grown instead (potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, etc.).In both cases, a choice between two options must be made. It would be an easy decision if you knew the end outcome; however, the risk that you could achieve greater “benefits” (be they monetary or otherwise) with another option is the opportunity cost.
We’d love to help you decide if buying is right for you. Let us help you calculate your own Cost/Benefit Analysis.
It’s probably no surprise that rising interest rates have a significant impact on your pocket book.
But how much of an impact? The True Cost may shock you!
The average stay in a home is 5 to 7 years
according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Knowing you like to stay informed, we have provided three real-world home buying scenarios in the graphics below. From these hypothetical comparisons, we hope you can get a better idea of the true cost of the interest rate hikes that are expected in the near future.
Assuming that you remain in your new home for 7 years, it is very clear the HUGE impact of rising interest rates.
WAITING TO BUY could cost you THOUSANDS of dollars!
Home “A” Costs $150,000
At the current interest rate of 4.875%, the monthly payment will be $797.
If you wait until the interest rate rises to 6%,
your monthly payment will increase by $85,
for a total annual increase of $1020!
If you stay in that home for 7 years,
you will be spending $7140 MORE!
What could you do with an extra $7140?
Waiting to purchase this $250,000 home could cost you
$140 per month
$1680 per year
If you stay in that home for 7 years,
you will be spending $11,760 MORE!
What could you do with an extra $11,760?
What could you do with an extra
Are you waiting for a lower purchase price?
The “savings” of a few thousand dollars off the purchase price will actually COST you THOUSANDS when the interest rates rise.
Don’t wait to make your next Real Estate move.
As experienced REALTORS®, and long-time North Idaho residents, we can provide an impressive list of professionals whom we’ve come to trust over the years. With our expertise in guiding our clients through all kinds of Real Estate transactions, we are uniquely qualified to help you achieve your real estate goals in 2011!
We’ll help you navigate through every phase of the process.
Randy Oetken 208-660-0518
Christy Oetken 208-660-0506
Working with a trustworthy, experienced lender can help prevent such mistakes. But consumers also need to take responsibility for their budgets and choices.
“Before buying a home, consumers need to develop a short- and long-term perspective on their purchase,” says Michael Harrison, area director for MetLife Home Loans in Southwest Ohio.
Following are the four biggest financial mistakes of first-time homebuyers:
Spending the maximum on housing
“A lot of first-time buyers are optimistic about the future and excited about buying a home, so they borrow the absolute maximum they can afford instead of allowing themselves wiggle room for a partial loss of income or for future expenses such as children,” Harrison says.
Financial experts recommend that consumers decide how much they want to spend each month on housing before meeting with a lender.
“Every buyer should create their own budget and know their limits,” says Stephen Adamo, president of Weichert Financial Services in Morris Plains, N.J.
Adamo says many first-time homebuyers experience a sizable change in their housing payments. Some new owners may go from $500 per month in rent to a monthly mortgage payment of $2,000, he says.
“You need to deal with payment shock,” Adamo says.
Not getting prequalified early enough
Meeting with a lender for a buyer consultation and prequalification for a mortgage should be the first step toward homeownership. Yet many first-time homebuyers wait until they are ready to start house hunting before contacting a lender.
Misunderstanding the importance of a high credit score
While most consumers know it’s important to have a high credit score, not everyone understands how costly a low score can be.
“All mortgage lending is done with a tier of interest rates and terms based on consumer credit scores,” Harrison says. “A credit score of 720 or above will earn you the best rates and can potentially save you thousands of dollars.”
A score of 680 to 720 can get you good mortgage rates, while a FICO score of 620 is usually about the lowest score to qualify for most loans, Harrison says.
Consumers should learn about credit scores the minute they start working, Harrison says.
Websites such as Bankrate provide information about how to improve your credit score.
Even after a mortgage approval, consumers must avoid applying for new credit or taking on new debt, Adamo says, because a second credit check is often required before settlement.
Choosing the wrong mortgage product
But Harrison says home loan alternatives to a 30-year-fixed sometimes make more sense. For example, buyers certain they will be relocated by their companies within five years may find a 5/1 ARM “could be a much better mortgage,” he says.
“There’s no reason to pay a premium for a product you don’t need like a 30-year loan,” Harrison says.
Homebuyers eager to build equity in their homes or who are older and want to live mortgage-free in retirement should consider a 15-year fixed-rate loan or, if they can afford it, even a 10-year mortgage to reach their goals.
Mortgage Interest Deduction? OF COURSE!
We’re with Lawrence Yun, of the National Association of Realtors:
It’s a common misperception that the mortgage interest deduction benefits primarily the wealthy, as argued in the Washington Post’s January 1 editorial, “Trim the Excessive Tax Subsidy for Real Estate.”
In fact, the MID actually benefits primarily middle- and lower income families. Sixty five percent of families who claim the MID earn less than $100,000 per year, and 91 percent who claim the benefit earn less than $200,000 per year. As a percentage of income, the biggest MID beneficiaries are younger middle-class families.
The MID helps many families become home owners by reducing the carrying costs of owning a home. The ability to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage can mean significant savings at tax time. For example, a family who bought a home last year with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file next year. That’s real money they can use to pay down other debts, save for their children’s college education, or put away for retirement.
It’s no wonder, then, that most Americans support the MID. In fact, in a recent NAR survey by Harris Interactive of 3,000 home owners and renters, nearly three-fourths of home owners and two-thirds of renters said the MID was extremely or very important to them.
Unlike the very rich, much of whose wealth is tied to the stock market, the wealth of most middle-class American families is connected to their home. Millions of these Americans bought their homes with the understanding that mortgage interest is tax-deductible, and many of them have steadily paid down their mortgages to build equity in their home. Eliminating or reducing the MID would destroy part of this hard-earned equity for all home owners, independent of their tax filing status.
Furthermore, we also need to be mindful that home owners already pay 80 percent to 90 percent of U.S. federal income tax, and this share could rise to 95 percent if the MID is eliminated. Proposals that would remove certain tax benefits in return for lower tax rates just may hold for one or two terms of Congress before the tax rates are changed again. Americans are not naïve; they understand the nature of Washington politics.
For people who don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to buy a home outright, tax benefits like the MID help them begin building their futures through home ownership…
We’d like to know what YOU think! Take our poll!
Comments are open, and we hope you’ll express your opinion! We’d love to hear from you.