Is that Rental Home in Foreclosure?

More “accidental” landlords are surfacing as home owners turn their underwater homes into rentals to try to come up with some extra cash. But some of these accidental landlords are still unable to keep up with their mortgage payments and may become delinquent on their mortgage. So what’s this mean for the person renting their property? 

Some renters may suddenly be served with an eviction notice when they discover the property they are renting is being foreclosed upon, and only having days to vacate. 

One new Web site, CheckYourLandlord.com, allows renters to check rental properties in the U.S. to see if there are any notices of default filed against the property.

Renters, or real estate professionals who represent them, can also stop at the county recorder’s office to check the status of a property. 

Source: “Renters Can Search Their Home for Foreclosure Notices for Free at CheckYourLandlord.com,” Marketwire (Nov. 30, 2011)

 For assistance in the Sierra Foothills, El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California visit: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com

“Solar Powered Homes” becoming more popular

KB Home plans to make solar power a standard home feature in nearly all of its developments in Southern California starting next year, the company announced Monday. 

Currently, KB Home says that sales in communities with solar power as a standard are 30 percent higher than in communities that don’t offer homes with solar panel as a standard. 

“The strategy is part of the builder’s effort to make more energy efficient homes and lure buyers away from foreclosed properties and other previously occupied homes that often sell for less,” the Associated Press reports. 

The solar standard in homes is expected to trim energy costs about 30 percent for a 1,800- to 2,000-square-foot home. Upgraded solar systems could even reduce monthly energy bills by up to 80 percent, according to KB Home. 

 

Source: “Homebuilder KB Home Widens Offering of Solar Power as Standard Feature in Southern California,” Associated Press (Nov. 21, 2011)

Other information about the Sierra Foothills, El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com

Home Mortgage Rates “Remain Low”

 

For the third week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most popular choice among home buyers, averaged at or below 4 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“Mortgage rates were little changed this week just as the economy is showing potential for further gains in the near term,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. 

Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Nov. 18:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4 percent with an average 0.7 point, rising slightly from last week’s 3.99 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.39 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.31 percent with an average 0.7 point, increasing from last week’s 3.30 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.76 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.97 percent with an average 0.6 point, decreasing slightly from last week’s 2.98 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.40 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.98 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week’s 2.95 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.26 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

More Californians able to afford homes!

Lower home prices and interest rates led to an increase in home affordability in the third quarter, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reported.

Making sense of this story:

The percentage of California households that could afford to purchase a median-priced home of $292,120 rose to 52 percent in the third quarter, up from 51 percent in the second quarter.

 C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase amedian-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state.

 Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $61,530 to qualify for the purchase of a $292,120 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the third quarter of 2011. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, would be $1,540, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.63 percent.

 Regionally, housing affordability rose in most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area but was down in Los Angeles County and Fresno County. At 77 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 25 percent of households able to purchase the county’s median priced home. For the Sacramento, El Dorado Counties news visit: www.sierraporoerties.com

Read the full story at: http://lat.ms/v1frAa

The share of “First-Time Buyers Decline”

Recent home buyers are staying well within their means with notably higher incomes and modestly higher down payments than buyers in the previous year due to the restrictive mortgage credit environment, despite historically favorable housing affordability conditions, according to 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Profile of Home Buyers and their Sellers Housing Survey.

The share of first-time buyers declined to 37 percent in 2011 compared with 50 percent in the 2010 study.  The study shows the median age of first-time buyers was 31, and the median income was $62,400, up from $59,900 in the 2010 study. The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,570 square foot home costing $155,000; the estimated median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment was $794.

The typical repeat buyer was 53 years old and earned $96,600, notably higher than the $87,000 median reported in the 2010 profile. Repeat buyers purchased a median 2,100 square foot home costing $219,500, with an estimated median payment of $1,006.

“Tight Credit Conditions” like this exist in your region just like ours of Placerville, CA.  

More information at: http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/11/home_buyer_and_seller

Foreclosures Are Selling Quicker?

In several markets, Bank of America is reporting that it has picked up its pace in moving through its inventory of foreclosed homes faster than it has in the past, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America Corp.’s chief executive,  said at a press conference that in cases where banks can take ownership of the properties quickly and get them cleaned up, they are able to get them back on the market and selling the fastest. 

“It moves as fast now as it’s ever moved,” Moynihan said at a press conference. 

But, overall, Moynihan says mortgage delinquencies are dropping in its portfolios and that home prices seem to be hovering at “a bottom” as the backlog of unsold homes reaches the market. 

Source: “BofA: Foreclosed Homes Selling Faster,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 15, 2011)

Other information about the Sierra Foothills and Placerville, El Dorado County, California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com

 

Energy Savings Add Up with Retrofits, Study Finds

Energy efficient upgrades–like adding compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy efficient windows –can bring down utility costs, finds a new study by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities.

 “This study proves that the assumption that you can’t rely on savings when doing a retrofit isn’t true,” Jeffrey I. Brodsky, president of Related Management, the landlord of some of the apartments used in the study, told The New York Times. “It may not be perfect or exact, but you will see savings.”

Savings were also found when looking at 343 apartments that started an electrical savings program, which included more efficient windows, lighting upgrades, and Energy Star refrigerators. The retrofits helped shave overall electricity usage in the apartment units by more than 25 percent and helped contribute to an $808 in annual savings for each apartment.

While lenders don’t consider future savings from retrofits when underwriting a loan, some in the industry have called for a change in that, and a new bill in the Senate is even urging lenders to start taking into account a home’s energy costs in standard mortgage underwriting. 

“The study informs what we hope will be a new set of lending practices that places real monetary value on energy efficiency improvements,” Sam Marks, the vice president of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, told The New York Times.

The Sierra Foothills regions like Placerville, CA. benefit from retrofit concepts like this.

Source: “Study Clarifies the Energy Savings in Retrofitted Buildings,” The New York Times (Nov. 8, 2011)

Home Mortgage Rates Drop Under 4% Again!

For the second time this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped below 4 percent and continues to hover around record lows, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

Yet overall, “fixed mortgage rates were little changed this week amid a mix of economic data reports,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. 

Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 10:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.99 percent with an average 07 point, down from last week’s 4 percent average. The last time the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped below 4 percent was Oct. 6 when it averaged 3.94 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.17 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.30 percent with an average 0.8 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 3.31 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.57 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.96 percent average. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.25 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.95 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago at this time, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.26 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

Other information about the Sierra Foothills and Placerville, El Dorado County, California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com

 

Survey shows correlation between consumer attitudes and personal experience

Fannie Mae’s third quarter National Housing Survey shows that those who are exposed to default have similar attitudes about buying a home as those who do not know people who have defaulted.  However, the survey also finds greater pessimism about the economy and personal finances among consumers who know defaulters.

“Knowing someone who has defaulted on their mortgage appears to be correlated with consumers being slightly more pessimistic about the direction of the economy, their finances, and their ability to obtain a mortgage, but does not materially correlate with their desire to own a home or their view of housing as a safe investment,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

Owners and renters who know defaulters are as likely to say owning makes more sense than renting, say buying a home is a safe investment and display roughly the same intention to buy a home as those who do not know a defaulter.

However, the survey also finds higher levels of pessimism on several measures related to the broader economy and personal financial prospects among consumers who know people that have defaulted:

More information at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2011/5546.html

Other information about the Placerville, El Dorado County, California regions at: www.dougandbudzeller.com

Housing is Key in 2012 Elections, Voters Say

Nearly seven out of 10 in America — seven more so for the millennial younger generation — say that candidates’ positions on housings will be very important to them in the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, according to a new survey by Move Inc. of 1,000 adults. 

Survey respondents identified the following top housing priorities for the next president’s first 100 days in office: 

  • Helping home owners avoid foreclosure.
  • Keeping interest rates low.
  • Making more affordable mortgage credit available. 

 The survey also found that four out of five Americans say a strong real estate market is key to an economic recovery. 

“After four years of living in a housing downturn, American voters clearly want answers and are looking to our elected leaders for solutions,” Errol Samuelson, chief revenue officer of Move Inc., said in a statement. “Our survey found that while some people may be frustrated or pessimistic, 27.3 percent of Americans still plan on buying a home. The survey illustrates candidates who share the concerns of the American people and make housing a top priority will win their confidence.”

Source: “2012 Presidential Elections: 69.6% of Americans Said Housing Will Influence Their Vote,” Move Inc. (Nov. 8, 2011) 

Other information about the Placerville, California region at: www.dougandbudzeller.com