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  • The Wonderful World of Real Estate Blog

    Friday, September 29, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

    Fall may be the best time for buyers to move....

    LOUOATES/iStock



    Those thinking about buying a home have probably heard all the tales of woe from other buyers out there: Sticker shock, getting outbid on the home of their dreams, or not being able to find a property with everything they were looking for within their budget. Still, those stresses may be easing somewhat now that we're past the most competitive season for home buying.
    The median price of an existing home dropped for the second month in a row to hit $253,500 in August after reaching an all-time high earlier this summer, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. The median price of a previously lived-in abode had hit $263,300 in June.
    "Median sales prices typically decline a bit heading into the fall," says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "Summer is a big time for home purchases, so that families settle in before school starts in the fall. In the fall, the types of homes that sell are ...

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    Friday, August 25, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

    The ‘forever’ home: Why homeowners aren’t selling

    Source: Orange County Register via CAR
    There’s a growing trend in which homeowners are staying put longer and longer. Southern Californians selling their homes this past spring had owned them for an average of 9.4 years, according to Attom Data Solutions, an Irvine-based housing research firm. By comparison, the average ownership tenure in the spring of 2008 was 4.6 years, or half as long.
    Reasons are varied. They include changing demographics, possible tax consequences, rising mortgage rates and difficulty finding the next home, experts say. The trend is not inconsequential.
    Staying put longer can stymie economic growth while stifling business for those who depend on home sales for their livelihoods. And it’s contributing to the current shortage of homes on the market.
    “When I started 30 years ago, the state average was five or six years,” said Geoff McIntosh, a Long Beach broker and 2017 president of the California Association of Realtors. “The turno ...

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    Friday, August 18, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

    As prices rise, mortgage lenders are making it easier to buy a house

    Source: Los Angeles Times via CAR
    Some prices are rising across the country and mortgage rates, though still historically low, are up since the presidential election.
    Simply put, buying a home isn’t easy, especially in high-cost metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County, where the median price of a home hit $569,000 in June.
    But changes in the mortgage industry are afoot, with the goal of loosening some of the strict standards established after the subprime crisis — rules some blame for impeding sales.
    “The reality has sunk in that there are buyers out there who will be able to buy homes and make the mortgage payments,” said William E. Brown, the president of the National Assn. of Realtors. The industry is “trying to give them more options to buy a house.”
    Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paving the way by rolling out new programs to encourage home ownership.
    The companies, with their congressional mandat ...

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    Friday, August 11, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

    How Home Buyers Can Overcome Tough Competition

    Redfin Chief Economist says to win in a hot market, home buyers should take advantage of technology to find homes as soon as they are listed.
    Tips to help you win:

    Arm yourself with tech tools to find available homes quickly. With the variety of apps available today, you can receive listing alerts so that you're notified as soon as a home in your price range or search area hits the market. 
    Buyers will gain an advantage from whatever concessions they can offer. Instead of a small earnest-money deposit, we've seen buyers put into escrow their entire down payment or even half of the purchase price.
    You needn't waive a contingency for inspection in the purchase contract.
    Rather, you can agree to pay the seller, say, $2,500, or next month's mortgage payment, if you walk away.
    Work with a local or reputable lender to get a pre-approval for your mortgage that includes full documentation of your means to obtain a certain amount of financing in advance of a signed purchase contrac ...

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    Friday, August 4, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

    Low risk of a U.S. housing correction

    Sales and prices are moving so quickly that appraisals are not keeping up. If the appraisal doesn't match the contract price, the buyer doesn't get the mortgage, and the deal dies.
    New research from JPMorgan examining historic data found that the risk of a dramatic decline in prices is low, despite current fears of a correction in the U.S. and Canada.
    Using data from 14 developed countries dating back to 1950, JPMorgan's research found that sharp price corrections have been relatively uncommon, even following large price increases.
    "The data show that sustained increases in real house prices have been the norm rather than the exception in the post-World War II era, as rising populations and incomes have pushed up land prices," Jesse Edgerton, U.S. analyst from the investment bank's economic and policy research team, said in the report entitled "Quantifying housing correction risk in Canada and the U.S." 
    The research comes as fears grow over a housing bubble forming in the Wes ...

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