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Showing posts from April, 2011

Is It Time to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio?

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Studies now show that over 20% of the houses with mortgages in the country are underwater (where the loan amount exceeds the value of the property). Some bought their house at the top of the market and saw prices come tumbling down over the last few years. Losing this value has caused challenges for many in this category.

Other homeowners are underwater because they refinanced their homes at the height of the market and cashed out some of their equity. Some did this several times as values continued to rise and interest rates continued to fall. When prices dropped, they too found themselves in a negative equity situation. But not everyone in this category is in a worse position financially. Let’s break down this category.

Some Used Their House as an ATM
Some homeowners took cash out of their home to finance a lifestyle they desired. They bought a new car or a new boat. Some used the cash for fabulous vacations to locations they had always dreamed about. This group didn’t lose their equit…

Foreclosures: Bringing Clarity to the Confusion

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Headlines created by the numerous foreclosure reports often contradict each other. One headline announces foreclosures are rising while the next talks about the decrease in foreclosure numbers. This has led to tremendous confusion regarding the issue. Let’s bring some clarity to the data. There are five individual stages of the foreclosure process that are reported:


1.) 90+ Day Delinquencies

Once a homeowner falls three months behind on their payments, most financial institutions count them in their foreclosure numbers. Why? Less than 2% of those who fall that far behind ever catch up in their payments. The other 98% will end up as a distressed property (foreclosure or short sale). Homeowners in this category don’t always receive a foreclosure notice immediately. In some cases, homeowners who have not paid their mortgage in 12 months have not yet received a notice of foreclosure.

2.) Homes in the foreclosure process

These homes have received a formal notice which officially starts the for…

What Do Homeowners Say About Homeownership?

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There is no shortage of experts that want to let us know how Americans feel about owning a home after the collapse of the residential market in the last five years. They MUST be devastated. They MUST feel trapped like prisoners in their own homes. They MUST be sorry they ever bought the house. These assumptions seem logical at times and can occasionally be supported by anecdotal evidence.

However, we want to go to the only people who truly understand how homeowners feel - the homeowners themselves. There have been three major surveys done this year that can shed light on the issue:
The National Housing Survey
This survey conducted by Fannie Mae showed:
96% of all homeowners said homeownership has been a positive experience.
64% consider buying a home as a safe investment. Buying a home was considered safer than buying stocks by over three times the number of people (64% vs 17%).
The top four reasons to buy:
It means having a good place to raise children and provide a good education
You…

Survey: A Home Is Still the Best Long Term Investment

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After a five-year swoon in home prices, many assume that housing may have lost its luster as an investment. However, a nationwide Pew Research Center survey shows this drop in values has done little to shake the confidence of the American public in the investment value of homeownership. According to the survey:
Fully eight-in-ten (81%) adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make.
What do homeowners who have lost value think?
Even 82% of homeowners who say their homes are worth less now than before the recession began agree that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make.
As for rental housing being the desired choice of habitation for many, the survey shows:
Renters are hardly immune to the allure of homeownership, even in the face of the five-year decline in prices. Asked if they rent out of choice or because they cannot afford to buy a home, just 24% say they rent out of choice. And when renters are asked if they would like …

Beautiful 2 Story Home for Sale in Colorado Springs

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Lovely 2 Story Home For Sale in Colorado Springs with Beautiful Panoramic City and Mountain Views. Tour This Home Today! Featuring 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, 2 Car Garage and 2,802 Square Feet. Perfect for the Move Up Buyer or if you are Relocating to Colorado Springs! Spacious Formal Living Room that is Open to the Formal Dining Room Perfect for Entertaining. The Perfectly Appointed Kitchen Includes All Appliances with Ample Cabinet and Counter Space with Tile Counters, Bay Window, Eating Area and Pantry. The Kitchen is open to the Large Family Room featuring a Cozy Gas Burning Fireplace and Walks Out to the Large Back Deck. Unwind in the Upper Level Master Retreat with Vaulted Ceilings, Walk In Closet and 5 Piece Bathroom. There are 2 Spacious Secondary Bedrooms and a Full Bathroom on the Upper Level. The Finished Walk Out Basement boasts a Recreation Area, Bedroom and Bathroom. Newer Windows, Roof, Carpet and Water Heater. Beautifully Landscaped Yard, Quiet Cul-De-Sac Location and Mo…

Real Estate and Financing Are PERSONAL

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by Dean Hartman
Every day we are bombarded with statistics and data. Housing starts are up, housing starts are down; more job losses, unemployment is improving; foreclosures, short sales, housing inventory, interest rate movements and much more. It’s enough to make your head spin.
There’s an old saying that claims: “All real estate is local”. It infers that national numbers are good reference points, but that individual communities (or even pockets within communities) can have strikingly different realities. When prices are falling nationally, there are some places where prices are holding steady or rising as an example.
I believe that even that old saying is too broad. Buying a home or structuring the financing of a home isn’t a local phenomenon….it is a personal one. It’s the same as the economy. Even though we have been suffering through a national downturn, many are having their best years ever. Unemployment, foreclosure, even homelessness are tragic statistics and things to be awa…

Home For Sale in Colorado Springs

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2 Story Townhome For Sale in Colorado Springs Featuring 2 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2 Car Garage and 1,353 Square Feet. Tour This Home Today! The Light and Bright Spacious Living and Dining Areas Featuring Beautiful Hardwood Flooring. The Perfectly Appointed Kitchen boasts Ample Cabinet and Counter Space with All Appliances Included and is open to the Living and Dining Room. The Upper Level Master Retreat features Vaulted Ceilings and an Attached Full Bathroom. There is a Spacious Secondary Bedroom, Full Bathroom and Laundry Area to Complete the Upper Level. Central Air Conditioning for Your Comfort. Perfect for the First Time Home Buyer or if you are Relocating to Colorado Springs! Located in a Great Area with Easy Access to Schools, Shopping, Dining, Parks and More! For More Information on this Home For Sale in Colorado Springs, Contact Mike MacGuire Today! If you are considering Relocating to Colorado Springs, Purchasing a Home for Sale in Colorado Springs, considering Selling a Home…

Move In Ready Home for Sale in Colorado Springs

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Beautiful Home for Sale in Colorado Springs with 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2 Car Garage and 1,295 Square Feet. Tour this Home Today! Boasting a Ranch Style Floor Plan that is Perfect for Entertaining. This Home For Sale in Colorado Springs is Perfect for the First Time Home Buyer or if you are Relocating to Colorado Springs!
Featuring New Stainmaster Carpet with Warranty and New Maple Bellawood Hardwood Flooring with a 50 Year Warranty. Spacious Living Room with Vaulted Ceilings and Built-In's. Perfectly Appointed Eat In Kitchen with Slab Granite Countertops, Large Under Counter Sink, Granite and Ceramic Tile, Maple Cabinets, Large Pantry and Walk Out. Unwind in the Master Retreat with an attached full bathroom with Double Vanities and Walk In Closet. New Tile in Main Bathroom, Walk In Closets in both of the Spacious Secondary Bedrooms. Pre-Wired for Surround Sound. The Expansive Backyard is Fully Landscaped and Fenced and Features a Large Patio Perfect for Summer BBQ's!
For Mo…

Where Have All The Foreclosures Gone?

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The inventory of foreclosed homes for sale has been dwindling for almost six months. Everyone is wondering if the worst of our challenges with distressed properties are behind us. We are sorry to report that isn’t the case. We must realize that the problems banks have experienced with their paperwork on these properties has done nothing but delay them from coming onto the market.
The robo-signing blunders and then the MERS mess have caused the banks to slow down the foreclosure process dramatically. Just last week, the Office of Thrift Supervision released their Mortgage Metrics Report covering the 4th Quarter of 2010. In that report, they showed how foreclosure completions fell sharply because of these paperwork complications. Here are the numbers:

Foreclosures are not disappearing. They are just being delayed.
Bottom Line
If you think that waiting to sell your home makes sense, you may not be correct. Check with a local real estate professional to see how this will impact your marke…

OK. You Win. Stop Listening to Real Estate Agents!

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Each day we attempt to give truthful insight on the current housing market. If we report what is perceived as negative news, some in the real estate community come down on us hard. However, when we explain that we think now is a great time to buy, we get an avalanche of feedback from the general public attacking us for being nothing more than puppets for real estate agents across the country. Today, we don’t want you to listen to what we think about the opportunities that exist for buyers in this market. Instead, we want to report on what some members of the investment community are saying.
The Wall Street Journal
Jim Woods wrote an article earlier this year for Market Watch, part of the Wall Street Journal’s digital network. Its title: Why your best investment is a house. Mr. Woods compared the investment potential of real estate against other asset classes such as stocks and precious metals. Here was his conclusion.
One reason your best investment right now could be a home has to do…

Is the Pendulum Swinging Back Too Hard?

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There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for the housing collapse was that mortgage underwriting became too lenient. It seemed anyone who wanted to purchase a home found someone to give them a mortgage; whether they actually qualified for it or not. These buyers eventually couldn’t make their monthly mortgage payment and many went into foreclosure.
This started the downward spiral in home values which crashed our economy.The government is now calling for adjustments to the definition of a “Qualified Residential Mortgage” (QRM) in order to guarantee this never happens again. Like many adjustments that follow a disaster, some are claiming the pendulum is swinging back much too hard. Let’s look at the requirements being considered.
The FHFA issued a Mortgage Market Note 11-02 last week which discusses QRM. Here are the highlights:
Types of mortgages that will qualify:
A Product-Type qualified residential mortgage is a first-lien mortgage that is for an owner-occupant with fully doc…

Don't Believe Everything You Read

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by The KCM Crew
Many headlines in the media right now are proclaiming the total collapse of the housing market. What makes it seem very believable is the headlines are based on two reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR): the Existing Home Sales Report and the Pending Home Sales Report. However, all is not what it seems.
Both reports look at two different sets of data:
■ A year-over-year comparison of transactions (Y-O-Y)
■ A month-over-month comparison of transactions (M-O-M)
The negative headlines you have been reading are based on the Y-O-Y statistics. They are horrific. There is a logical explanation for this however. Last year, at this time, we were headed toward the expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, one of the greatest buyer tax incentives in American history. There were people rushing to get their home into contract and/or to a closing. This dragged demand forward. People who would have normally closed later in the year moved their closing up in order to ta…