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The Wonderful World of Real Estate Blog

Thursday, July 13, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

Mortgage Down Payments — How Low Should You Go?

The traditional mortgage down payment of 20 percent is dying out.
While a 20 percent down payment remains the benchmark that lenders quote most often, most buyers now put down less, NerdWallet reports. The website goes so far as to say the 20 percent down payment “is all but dead — and has been for quite some time, especially for first-time buyers.”
According to the latest monthly figures from the National Association of Realtors, or NAR:

54 percent of all buyers who get a mortgage put down less than 20 percent.
71 percent of first-time buyers who get a mortgage put down less than 20 percent — including 60 percent who put down only 0 to 6 percent.

Still, many buyers — again, particularly first-time buyers — are unaware of how small of a down payment they need. For example, only 13 percent of buyers under age 35 believe they need a down payment of 5 percent or less, according to NAR.
Advantages of a 20 percent down payment
Just because ...

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Friday, July 07, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Hits New Low

MCLEAN, VA--(Marketwired - Jun 29, 2017) - Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to a new 2017 low.
News Facts

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 29, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.48 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.78 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the tot ...

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Monday, June 19, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

Ways homebuyers can leap the down payment hurdle

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Saving up for a down payment is the biggest hurdle for many would-be homebuyers, particularly those looking to make the leap from renting to owning.
More than two-thirds of renters consider setting aside money for a down payment the No. 1 obstacle to buying a home, according to a recent survey by real estate data provider Zillow. That edged out other concerns, including job security and a thin supply of homes on the market.
While there are home loans that require as little as 3 percent down, rising home prices, especially in expensive coastal states, keep driving up the amount of money buyers need to come up with for a down payment.

Even so, many first-time buyers are managing to save enough on their own. Some 76 percent used their savings to fund their down payment last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Here are some tips to consider when working toward that down payment on a home:
Begin saving now. Renters may want ...

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Thursday, June 08, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

Buying still beats renting

Source: CNBC
Home prices continue to rise at a fast clip, faster than incomes and faster than new employment, but it is still cheaper to own a home than to rent. So why are home sales falling? Because there are crazy few affordable homes for sale.
The supply of listings in April fell 9 percent compared with a year ago, and, in turn, the number of days it took to sell the average home dropped to just 29, the lowest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking that in 2011. There was a big increase in the number of listings that came on the market this spring, but they were swept up so quickly that supplies were still lower.
Unfortunately for buyers, the cheapest segment of the market is where supplies are lowest. Sales of homes priced below $100,000 fell 17 percent in April compared with 2016, and in the under-$250,000 segment they fell more than 6 percent. That is where the highest demand is from younger buyers.
Read the full story 

(Source: http://www.cnb ...

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Friday, May 26, 2017   /   by Zachary Johnson

6 Home Insurance Myths That'll Cost You Big-Time

When you’re plunking down a big bundle of cash for a house, you need to protect it from all that could go wrong—and that means you'd better buy home insurance. Pronto. Without it, your biggest investment could fall prey to floods, theft, and all other sorts of natural disasters. That explains why most mortgage lenders require borrowers to purchase home insurance; they want their investment safe and sound, too!
Unfortunately, there are some big misconceptions about home insurance. Here are six common myths, plus a reality check on each so you know what to do.
Myth No. 1: Home insurance is a rip-off
While home insurance costs vary by state—as well as factors like the square footage of the house, building costs in the area, and the location’s likelihood of damage from natural disasters—the average annual premium runs about $952 nationwide. But when broken down, that&rsqu ...

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Zachary Johnson
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Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of May 20, 2019. This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.