Monday, October 27, 2014

Pending Home Sales Hold Steady in September

WASHINGTON (October 27, 2014) – Pending home sales rose slightly in September and are now above year-over-year levels for the first time in 11 months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, inched  0.3 percent to 105.0 in September from 104.7 in August, and is now 1.0 percent higher than September 2013 (104.0). The index is above 100 for the fifth consecutive month and is at the second-highest level since last September.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says moderating price growth and sustained inventory levels are keeping conditions favorable for buyers. “Housing supply for existing homes was up in September 6 percent from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year,” he said. “Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market.”
Despite improved housing conditions and low interest rates, tight credit conditions continue to be a barrier for some buyers. Of the reasons for not closing a sale, about 15 percent of Realtors® in September reported having clients who could not obtain financing as the reason for not closing1
Yun says the final rule on Qualified Residential Mortgages should improve access to credit once it goes into effect next year. “The rule provides clarity for lenders and is a win for creditworthy consumers by ensuring they continue to have access to safe and affordable loan products without overly burdensome downpayment requirements,” he said.
The PHSI in the Northeast increased 1.2 percent to 87.5 in September, and is now 2.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 1.2 percent to 101.2 in September, and is now 4.0 percent below September 2013.  
Pending home sales in the South increased 1.4 percent to an index of 118.5 in September, and is 1.7 percent above last September. The index in the West inched back 0.8 percent in September to 101.3, but is still 3.6 percent above a year ago.
Yun will present NAR’s 2015 economic outlook and forecast on Friday, Nov. 7 at the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt will join Yun to discuss his perspective on the current housing market, issues facing consumers and sustaining the ongoing housing market recovery.
Members of the media may register in advance to attend NAR’s annual conference by contacting Yolanda Byrd, 202-383-7515 Onsite press registration will begin Thursday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 9, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.–noon at the Morial Convention Center, Room 214.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to avoid homebuyer's remorse

Big purchases often come with big expectations.

So it's no wonder that in a recent survey of 2,000 homebuyers, a whopping 80% said they regretted at least one thing about their home.
The number one complaint: The home just isn't big enough, mortgage information site found. Others complained about a lack of closet space or that the place didn't have enough bathrooms. Bad neighbors were also a problem, as was a substandard school system.
A lot of those issues could have been avoided.
Take Kenny Kline, who thought he got a bargain on a fifth floor walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., last year. At $720,000, the two-bedroom seemed like a good deal in Brooklyn's competitive real estate market.
But walking up and down the five flights of stairs grew tiresome quickly.
"I'm only 29 so I thought I could handle it, but trudging up those stairs multiple times a day with groceries, packages, furniture, whatever, has really taken its toll," he said. "Then, I hurt my back. That made the epic journey up and down even more insufferable."
He plans to "tough it out for at least another year," he said, not wanting to repeat the moving process -- and all of the costs involved -- so soon.
Of course, some factors, like bad neighbors, can't be anticipated. And some conditions change over time. Nearby property may be developed into a shopping mall or freeway, for instance.
For Amanda Haddaway and her husband, privacy became a big issue when they lived in their Frederick, Md., townhouse. They could look out their windows right into the units of neighbors, who could look into the Haddaway's home just as easily.
The two also needed more space. When they had moved in together, the townhouse just couldn't accommodate their combined stuff.
So they sold the home and built a big, new one on a six-acre lot in Woodsboro, Md.
"It's definitely much more peaceful where we live now; our closest neighbors are a half mile away," said Haddaway. "And we've been able to get rid of our storage unit."
Freelance writer Lauren Bowling bought a house in Atlanta in July 2013 when she was still with her fiancé. But three months later, they broke up.
"I don't hate my house but, as a single woman, it is way more space, upkeep and energy than I need right now," she said.
She intends to keep it for a while since she'd like to try to recoup some of the money she spent on the purchase and renovations.
To keep you from buying a home you'll regret, Brendon DiSimone, a New York-based real estate broker and author of Next Generation Real Estate, offers up these tips.
Don't give in on your core requirements. If you know that having three bathrooms is important for your happiness but the house only has two, keep shopping.
Don't let yourself fall in love with a home that doesn't match your needs. Regret may not set in immediately but when it does, the fix, like adding a bathroom, might cost you plenty.
Don't cave in to a partner or spouse. If you believe you will be unhappy in the new house, don't let your wife of husband talk you into buying it. It will only cause resentment.
Know your give-in points. Everyone house hunts with a wish list, but there are some items that can be compromised. Tiny kitchens might be a deal breaker if you are an avid cook but maybe you can live without a den.
Don't get caught up in the heat of the moment. Overpaying is one of the biggest sources of remorse, especially if buyers get involved in a bidding war. Bidding against other buyers can be exciting and entice homebuyers to throw their budgets out the window. But sometimes, it becomes more about winning than how much the house is worth to you.
"Ask yourself, 'Do I really want the house or do I want to beat somebody else out?'" he said.
Don't lose your edge. Once a shopper makes the decision to purchase a home, they sometimes overlook major issues. If the inspector finds dry rot in the joists or the appraisal comes in much lower than the sale price, stand your ground: either pull out of the deal or get the seller to lower the price to reflect the cost of the repairs.
Do your research. These days, there's a ton of information available on the web that can help you in your search for a new home. Sites like Trulia and Zillow offer all sorts of stats on the quality of school systems, walkability and access to restaurants, as well as crime, that will help you assess whether a neighborhood or area is right for you. 

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation