Thursday, December 20, 2007

Economy is Solid And Encouraging

Despite the impressions you might get from the network news, the U.S. economy continues to churn out solid, even encouraging, numbers -- and that's important for anyone interested in real estate. Last week the federal government reported retail sales up by 1.2 percent in the past month, strong growth in new jobs, exports and household incomes. When the economy looks like it's expanding a bit faster than Wall Street expected it to, investors sometimes begin to worry about the "I" word-inflation -- and interest rates tick back up a little. But the fact is: rates this low are great for anyone looking to buy a house. They are nearly at two year lows; and barely half a point higher than their 40 year lows. So maybe it was no surprise that despite the slight rate increase, mortgage applications rose last week rather than fell. In the short of the matter, Low home prices combined with low mortgage rates means potentially excellent buying opportunities!

for more info you can check out Kenneth R. Harney

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Appearances mean EVERYTHING

According to the results of the 2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, three of the four projects with the highest national percentage of costs recouped this year were exterior upgrades. The most profitable project on the national level was upscale siding replacement, recouping 88 percent of costs upon resale. Wood deck additions and wood window replacements were a close second returning more than 80 percent of costs, at 85 percent and 81 percent, respectively. But the the only interior project to return more than 80 percent of remodeling costs this year was a minor kitchen remodel, returning 83 percent of project costs at resale.
Homeowners who reside in the Pacific region could expect to see some of the highest percentages of remodeling expenses returned at resale, with 13 of the 29 projects returning 90 percent or higher of project costs.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Top 10 Best Performing Housing Markets

As anybody who has ever sold real estate knows, there are no national markets, only local markets. That adage holds true when you look at the condition of the real estate business nationwide.

Business may be tough in many places, but it’s not tough all over. In Salt Lake City, Charlotte, N.C., and San Jose, Calif., prices have climbed relentlessly. In the Northeast, the biggest gainers are the gritty cities of Buffalo, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Philadelphia. In the West, business is brisk in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Here are the top 10 best performing housing markets, according to Forbes magazine, their third quarter median home sale prices, and the percentage that prices have risen compared to third quarter 2006.

Salt Lake City - median home sales price: $246,700; Percent change: 14.1%

Charlotte, N.C. — $220,000, 11%

San Jose, Calif. — $852,500, 9.4%

San Francisco — $825,400, 8.6%

Raleigh, N.C. — $229,500, 7.5%

Austin — $188,200, 7.2%

Pittsburgh — $127,700, 6.1%

Seattle — $394,700, 6%

San Antonio — $154,700, 5.7%

Portland, Ore. — $299,700, 5.2%

source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (11/21/07)

Fellow Bloggers; Please note that forbes indicated the the entire Pacific Norwest was a still a strong Market. That includes Eugene, Springfield and all of Lane County. We are one of the few still rising markets (albeit a slow gradual gain, a gain none the less!) -- Sally Jo Wickham

How is My Interest Rate Determined?

Guest Blogger Jeffrey Nunley co-writes this article with David Muti

Why did my friend get a lower Interest rate than I did?

As mortgage planners that work with clients from all walks of life, we are often asked "why did my friend get a lower rate?" In fact, I was just asked the question by a repeat client of mine last week. We always try and explain why this might be. The usual answer is that they are comparing apples to oranges. In that particular circumstance my client was mistaken about the type of mortgage her friend had and upon questioning she understood the difference. My Client (who just purchased her new home) was recently separated, had no job, never worked and could not prove her alimony as it was not yet part of a property settlement agreement. We were able to accomplish this using a "no documentation-jumbo" program. her friend was gainfully employed and was able to verify her earnings as well as her assets.

How your rate is determined is much more complex than the "type of mortgage you have.

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