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The Key Elements of a ‘Green’ Home Improvements

The Key Elements of a ‘Green’ Home Improvements What is the biggest difference between a truly green home and a property with eco-friendly features? The answer lies in the value of the home. According to the Appraisal Institute homeowners looking to increase the value of their home must look at making six key elements of their property truly energy-efficient. They include site; water efficiency; energy efficiency; indoor air quality; materials; and operations and maintenance.  
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Largest 45 U.S. Cities Ranked by Home Size

Largest 45 U.S. Cities Ranked by Home Size Having analyzed data pulled from their property value database, LendingTree has created a list that ranks the 45 largest U.S. cities by the overall size of single-family homes. With its lower density population overall, the South dominates the list—with only wealthier cities like Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Boston acting as outliers to edge their way into the top 10. With three of the top five cities, Texas lives up to its outsized reputation; Houston ranks first, with the average home being 1,952 square feet, while Dallas takes fourth to beat Austin by a single square foot (1,862 and 1,861 square feet respectively). Citing the Census Bureau, Tendayi Kapfidze—LendingTree’s Chief Economist—also points out that the cities with the largest homes on average typically have more recently built homes. The median size of single-family homes constructed in the second quarter of the year was 2,412 square feet, down slightly from a few years ago, in the third quarter of 2015 when the size of new homes peaked at 2,488 square feet. Up to this point, newer homes constructed on average trended bigger than homes constructed in prior generations which on average were built almost four decades ago.    Conversely, the cities with the smallest homes tend to be found in major cities of the Midwest, particularly in the Great Lakes region. Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Detroit round out the list’s bottom, with Detroit having the smallest homes on average (1,333 square feet). As a state, Missouri has the most urban areas on the lower end of the list as well, with St. Louis and Kansas City just barely beating the three cities mentioned above. To make the ranking of cities more intriguing, LendingTree has also calculated the average median price of homes per square foot, appending this information to the list and giving homebuyers a quick means for calculating the cities with the best price on average per size. Author: J S Khan  
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

More Home Sellers are Dropping Prices

More Home Sellers are Dropping Prices A large chunk of homes were sold for more than their asking price in September, according to a recent report from Redfin. Redfin found that In the four weeks ending on September 23, 22.9 percent of homes sold for more than their asking price. However, the report notes that this represents a 2.6 percentage point decline year over year, when 25.5 percent of homes sold above their list price. "With home price growth slowing to 4.7 percent in August, and a record-high share of sellers dropping their prices, the fact that fewer homes are selling above their asking price is another indication that competition is getting less intense than it has been in recent years," said Redfin Senior Economist Taylor Marr. "Inventory pressures are easing in the hottest markets, which is welcome news for homebuyers who are increasingly able to submit an offer without competition and get bids accepted without offering above list price. About Author: Seth Welborn Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Senate Banking Committee Talks Housing Regulation

Senate Banking Committee Talks Housing Regulation   The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing titled “Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.” Witnesses in the hearing included The Hon. Joseph M. Otting, Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; The Hon. Randal K. Quarles, Vice Chairman for Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; The Hon. Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and The Hon. J. Mark McWatters, Chairman, National Credit Union Administration. “As policymakers, it is our job to enact laws and regulations that not only ensure proper behavior and safety for our markets but are also tailored appropriately,” said Mike Crapo, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Shortly after Dodd-Frank was signed into law, we began to see some of the unintended cumulative regulatory burden it had on certain financial institutions.” “The OCC is participating actively in interagency consultations related to the rulemakings and other efforts underway by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to implement the Act’s changes to federal consumer financial protection laws,” Comptroller Otting said. One of the points of discussion was the implementation of new appraisal rules, notably section 103 of the Act which exempts certain loans for residential loans in rural areas. "The exemption applies to federally related transactions under $400,000 and secured by a lien on properties located in rural areas," McWilliams explained. "The exemption does not apply if a federal financial institution’s regulatory agency requires an appraisal for safety and soundness purposes or if the loan is a “high-cost mortgage,” as defined in the Truth in Lending Act. The agencies are currently working on changes to existing regulations" Otting also discussed the amendments made by section 401 of the Act, which enacts changes to the stress testing threshold. “Stress testing serves a critical function for both regulators and financial institutions by ensuring that financial institutions consider potential economic events that could cause significant balance sheet disruptions and prepare to mitigate such disruptions if necessary,” said Otting. Other exemptions discussed include section 104 of the Act, which provides partial exemptions to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. “The partial exemptions are generally available for: closed-end mortgage loans, if the credit union originated fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the two preceding calendar years; and open-end lines of credit, if the credit union originated fewer than 500 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years,” said McWatters in his testimony. The Act also tries to ease the burden on small banks through the rule known as the small bank holding company policy statement. In his statement, Quarles discussed the importance of the rule. “This element of the Board’s rules aims to facilitate the transfer of ownership in small banks, which can require the use of acquisition of debt, while maintaining bank safety and soundness,” he said.   About Author: Seth Welborn Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

What trends are you seeing in the servicing industry this year?

What’s Driving Mortgage Servicing?   As Director of Structured Finance at S&P Global Ratings, Steven Frie’s primary responsibilities entail performing onsite reviews of mainly residential, and some asset-backed servicers, with subsequent production of an analysis and ranking of the entities’ operations. He recently spoke to DS News about the new trends he’s seeing in the servicing industry and his insights into the origination side of the business.   What trends are you seeing in the servicing industry this year? One of the notable trends is the continuous growth of many non-bank servicers as they persist in their efforts to expand their servicing businesses through portfolio purchases of distressed accounts while also continuing to expand their portfolio of prime loans serviced. Additionally, although the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) has adopted a somewhat less assertive approach to enforcement, they continue to be involved in investigations, and most notably, many states have conversely indicated they will take a more assertive approach to regulation. Finally, servicers are more active in exploring artificial intelligence (AI) within their operations to reduce manual processes, and concurrently, reduce costs as the cost to service a loan has risen substantially over the last several years. All of these trends will continue into 2019.   Author:  Radhika Ojha, Online Editor at the Five Star Institut
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Why You Should Use A Realtor.

Consider this: if you needed work done on your teeth, would you go to a dentist or do it yourself? The same theory applies to real estate. The art of selling a home is something that takes years to perfect. There are so many aspects of home sales that the average buyers and sellers are unaware of. Also there are many aspects of the process that are only easily available to a Realtor.
 
Consider this: if you needed work done on your teeth, would you go to a dentist or do it yourself? The same theory applies to real estate. The art of selling a home is something that takes years to perfect. There are so many aspects of home sales that the average buyers and sellers are unaware of. Also there are many aspects of the process that are only easily available to a Realtor. The actual process of selling a home is very time consuming and right about now, the seller has many more important things to consider, such as the impending move.  Realtors spend years learning the art of selling and how to interpret the real estate market. They can offer you insight and information that only comes from years of experience. Realtors are also experts on their area; they know the communities and what they have to offer, the location of schools, transport routes, and how the current market will affect the sale of your home.  Using a Realtor to sell your home has several advantages over a FSBO. Perhaps the most important of these advantages is exposure. The marketing of your home is of the highest importance. Without a robust marketing plan, your home will not be seen by prospective buyers and as such, will take much longer to sell. Realtors utilize the latest in internet technology to ensure that your home is seen by as many buyers as possible. Also, realtors have a large budget to purchase newspaper ads, hold open houses, and create flyers and information packs about your property. Realtors can also utilize a CMA to evaluate the correct value of your home and to price it correctly in your local market. This will enable your home to be competitive and attractive to buyers. Remember, homes sold by a Realtor sell for an average of 20-30 thousand more than homes sold by the owner. use a professional to sell your home, and free up the time you need to organize yourself for the process of moving your own new home.
  Come Take A Tour.pdf
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Working With a 1031 Exchange

Working With a 1031 Exchange There are several ways to benefit off of owning property and being involved in real estate.  Not only does this come from finding the right property, loans and people to work with, but also moves into finding the best ways to save money while you own a property.  One of the well known ways to save an extra dollar is by becoming involved in a 1031 exchange.   A 1031 exchange is a specific tax form that can help with the profits and losses that you have received for the year.  They are usually used for those that own extra real estate property as an investment.  This form will allow you to roll-over the profits that have been made from a sale made from a real estate property.  From here, you can purchase another property instead of paying the tax back on the property that was already purchased.   The major benefit of a 1031 exchange is that it allows for you to be able to delay specific taxes and instead invest into other properties.  If the property is invested in, then the taxes that are taken from capital gain will not be used later on.  A second benefit to a 1031 exchange is that it allows for more equity to be a part of the investment.  Because of this, each time you invest in a new property from the 1031 exchange, the properties will gain a higher value.   The one thing to keep in mind if you are considering a 1031 exchange is that the new investment has to be what is known as like kind.  This means that the investment must be the same as the property that has already been made.  Before getting into a 1031 exchange, it is important to consider this point, as it can cause for problems with new investments later.  However, if you have enough that was made out of the purchase for the 1031 exchange, you can purchase more, or fewer, amounts of the same type of property.   If you are moving into building your own type of benefits from real estate, then knowing about the 1031 exchange is important.  This will help you with getting more out of your property and laying the foundation for your success in real estate.  
 
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Working With A Home Inspector

Working with an Inspector The rule of real estate is to get your money's worth.  When you are looking into finding a place, you will want to make sure that the rule immediately applies.  One way to make sure that you are getting more for your money is by finding the right inspector.  This will allow you to find a property that is worth the up keep.   The job of an inspector is to find everything that might be a larger problem in the house before you move in.  This will begin by checking the electricity, water supply, plumbing, furnace and heat supplies, and the general build of the home.  They will take a part of their day in order to make sure that everything is built up to standard and that it won't cause problems before you move in.   If there is something that the inspector says is wrong with your home, you will have the ability to ask for repairs or money back for the home.  There are several who will save thousands of dollars by having an inspector look at what is in the home and how it needs to be changed.  Because of this, you will want to make sure that the right inspector is coming to your home.   Most likely, your real estate agent will have a specific inspector that they like to work with.  However, you can find one on your own and have them inspect the home as contract work.  You want to make sure that they will do a thorough job and that they have your best interests in mind.  This will help you to walk into your home without any surprises and with potential replacements before you move in.   Working with an inspector is an essential part to buying a home.  It will help to determine and define the quality of the home and can help you to get the best deal in the end.  Before you sign the final papers, make sure that the inspector you have worked with has looked through everything.  This will help you to begin making your house into a home.  
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Your Condo View – Enjoy it While You Can

Buying a condo can be way more involved than most buyers think. Make sure you are getting all the information from your REALTOR about purchasing a condo. For a list of common questions you should ask about purchasing condos in our area contact me.  Meanwhile read this story of a gentleman that purchased a condo in Seattle and what he experienced. 
Your Condo View – Enjoy it While You Can  
Downtown condo living, complete with easy access to transit, shopping, a short walk to work, no maintenance yard and best of all, the view. It was the birds-eye view of the city, the mountains, and the breathtaking sunset that sold you on the place – no one mentioned it was only temporary.

Downtown condo living, complete with easy access to transit, shopping, a short walk to work, no maintenance yard and best of all, the view. It was the birds-eye view of the city, the mountains, and the breathtaking sunset that sold you on the place – no one mentioned it was only temporary. What happens when the view that came along with your 33 story condominium disappears because a neighboring building is built only 18 feet away? That is what happened to Benjamin Shanfelder when he purchased a unit in the downtown Seattle Cosmopolitan building in 2005. He realized that other condos were slated for nearby developments, but at the time, the height restrictions limited the number of floors of an adjacent building. The rules were changed and a 34 story condo was constructed right next door, eliminating Shanfelder’s view, sunlight and privacy. Whose responsibility was it to inform the new tenants that the city regulations had changed? According to city requirements, the developer and the adjacent property owners should be notified; however, future tenants are on their own to discover these new developments. A new construction does not automatically assume the condo owner will lose their view. Different areas of the city have different separation requirements based on density. Some areas require no separation where as others mandate a minimum 60 to 200 feet. Potential buyers cannot depend solely on their realtor or developer for zoning information. A bit of research before purchasing their property may save some nasty surprises down the road. Here are some areas to consider:  Get as much information as possible from the developers regarding nearby proposals for developments, zoning restrictions and whether they have invested in air rights for the surrounding real estate to protect views. Visit the city planning office and look up the zoning laws for the nearby sites. Look up the addresses for any project applications and add your name and email address to the notification list for changes or new developments. Speak to the city planners about possible changes to the existing zoning laws. Let your comments be heard at design review hearings about future projects.  Spend the extra money to hire a land-use lawyer to complete this due diligence on your behalf.
 
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Turn A Top Choice Into A Dream Home!

In a seller’s market, there is a need to improve the condition of the house. 
Why not finance a small repair or cosmetic improvement to help get buyers off the fence? By 
allowing an improvement to the home, you give buyers the ability to customize a home to their own personal needs. 
  Great for cosmetic fixes such as: paint, flooring, counter tops, replacement windows, or 
nonstructural projects like furnace, roof, HVAC, etc.     New & Improved! Purchase or refinance option for any renovation project. Up to 75% of the as-completed appraised value of the property and up to 97% LTV.  Can finance accessory units (e.g. in-law suites, basement apartments, etc.) Can use ANY contractor/subcontractor for project.   Conventional Streamline Renovation As little as 5% down on standard and high balance loans. Can use up to 15% of the as completed value of the home for renovations. Available for primary, second homes, and investment properties. Refinances for recent homebuyers looking to cash in on the equity built in their homes.   FHA Limited 203(K) As little as 3.5% down on standard and high balance loans. Can use up to $35,000 for renovations. Available for primary homes only. Refinances eligible.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Housing Report

The median home value nationwide is 8.7 percent higher than it was at the height of the housing bubble. Twenty-one of the top 35 metros have more than recovered from the bust. San Jose and Denver lead the recovery with huge gains, while Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago have been the slowest to recover. Nationwide, home values now are nearly equal to what they would have been had values continued along the pre-bubble trend without a bubble or bust. A decade after the collapse of the housing market and start of the Great Recession, home values have more than recovered in most of the nation’s largest markets. The markets with the highest gains above the mid-2000s bubble are primarily in the West and Southwest.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Freddie Mac Mortgage Pool Receives Preliminary Credit Risk Rating

Freddie Mac Mortgage Pool Receives Preliminary Credit Risk Rating On Thursday, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigned preliminary ratings to four classes of certificates from Freddie  Mac’s Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) Securitized Participation Interests Trust, Series  2018-SPI3(STACR 2018-SPI3), a credit risk sharing transaction with a total certificate offering of $258,781,458. This is Freddie Mac’s fourth risk transfer deal under the STACR SPI shelf. KBRA’s loan rating methodology consists of loan originator and servicer reviews, loan file reviews, loan analysis, and RMBS modeling, assessment of securitization structure, and surveillance. According to KBRA, Freddie Mac’s STACR  2018-SPI3 mortgage pool consists of 19,195 residential mortgage loans with an aggregate cut-off balance of approximately $6.5 billion, which are fully amortizing, fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) of prime quality. KBRA found that the borrowers in the pool have a weighted average original credit score of 763, well above Freddie Mac’s historical pre-crisis average and in-line with recent prime jumbo RMBS. The weighted average debt-to-income ratio of 36.5 percent is slightly higher than the DTIs that KBRA typically sees in prime jumbo RMBS, but notes that it is still consistent with Prime underwriting. The loan population includes mortgage loans acquired by Freddie Mac between June 2017 and June 2018 that meet KBRA criteria. The weighted average loan-to-value ratio is 81.4 percent, and the weighted average combined LTV is 81.7 percent. KBRA states that these leverage ratios are higher than those in “low-LTV” STACR Debt Note reference pools. KBRA release of the report states that “This pre-sale report is based on information regarding the underlying mortgage loans and the terms of the transaction as of September 13, 2018. The ratings shown below are preliminary and subsequent information may result in the assignment of ratings that differ from the preliminary ratings. This report does not constitute a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell securities.” KBRA notes that all Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations are required, pursuant to SEC Rule 17g-7, to provide a description of a transaction’s representations, warranties and enforcement mechanisms that are available to investors when issuing credit ratings
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

3 ways to trim credit card bills

1. Look for Low-Rate Balance Transfer Options If you have good credit scores, you can find some relief by looking for a 0% or low-interest balance transfer offer. When you make a balance transfer, you move existing debt from one or more credit cards onto a new a card that typically offers a lower interest rate that can last anywhere between three and 24 months, typically. 2. Call Your Issuer to Negotiate a Lower Rate If a balance transfer isn’t in the cards, you may still be able to get a lower interest rate. It never hurts to contact your credit card issuer and ask if they can lower your APR, even temporarily. Start by making sure you have a good recent track record of paying your credit card bill on time. Recent late payments or delinquencies are unlikely to work in your favor. Next, shop around for better rates on other cards, as well as balance-transfer offers. Have this information at the ready when you call to make your request. Call customer service and ask if there’s any way you can reduce your card’s APR. If the customer service rep doesn’t have the authority to do that, ask for a manager or someone who does. When you make your request, explain that you’ve been a good customer who would like a rate closer to X. You can research other cards to see the going rate for your credit score range and also share competing offers. If they are unwilling to permanently reduce your rate, ask for a temporary reduction. 3. Devise a Smart Repayment Plan If you have debt on multiple credit cards, you must get organized. Figure out which of your credit cards have the highest interest rates and which cards have the highest balances. If the card with your highest interest rate is also the card with the highest balance, it’s a no-brainer: Focus on paying that one down first. However, it’s more likely that you have different cards with different balances, and the highest balances may be on cards with lower APRs. One strategy to pay off your debt is to focus on whichever card carries the highest interest rate—that is, the costliest debt—and focus most of your repayment efforts on that one. For example, say you’re carrying debt on three credit cards, and you have $500 a month to pay toward your debt. Each card has a minimum payment of $29 a month. On the two cards with the lower interest rates, simply pay the $29 and move on. On the card with the highest APR, direct the other $442 a month until that card is fully paid off. Then, move on to the next card until you’ve paid off all your cards.   By Ismat Mangla
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

First-time homebuyers - new records of purchase loans

Reports note that nearly half, or 48.5 percent, of all GSE purchase loans in May 2018 were from first-time homebuyers. This is just slightly down from its highest level in recent history. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) saw an even larger share of first-time homebuyers, with 80 percent of its purchase loans coming from this group of buyers. Combined, first-time buyers made up 59.3 percent of purchase loans. Mortgage affordability has increased as well. As of June 2018, the share of median income needed for a mortgage with 20 percent down payment was 24 percent, and with 3.5 percent down payment, it was 28 percent. Home prices were also going up, though at a slower rate. The Urban Institute reports cites Black Knight data, reporting a home price increase of 6.1 percent year-over-year. Additionally, the report cites a home value increase from Zillow of 8.2 percent.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Home Decor Trends & Tips On How To Incorporate Them

This year is the year to not shy away from bold colors in home decor. Sherwin-Williams has unveiled its latest color forecast   Back to the seventies.  This home design is gorgeous and shows how you can mix different styles for a beautiful look.    Here are tips on home decor: Plants and Natural Accents House plants have come back in style with a force. Metallic Finishes Luxe metallic finishes are everywhere. Shimmer and shine are even showing up in unexpected places like wallpaper and carpeting. Add a bit of glam to any room with rose gold and copper accents. Geometry Geometric patterns — everything from simple motifs to bold and colorful patterns — add drama to any space.  Fringe Fashion trends often carry over into interior design, and fringe is one of those fads that’s hot right now. Add fringe to a lamp shade or chandelier or hang a boho macramé wall hanging with a fringed edge. Fringed accessories like pillows, throws, draperies and cushions are other easy updates. Color Color is one to the most powerful tools in your design arsenal. It can change or alter the mood of the space and bold colors are on the upswing. Bringing color into a room is more than just painting the walls. Create a calm bedroom with neutral walls, but add bedding and draperies in a color that speaks to you. Pillows and area rugs can also bring an instant splash of color to the living room.     
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Relax - We have selling covered for you

The real estate market is hot and right now is a great time to list your home. Buyers are actively looking now that the summer is coming to the end and vacations are done. As the kids are getting back into school, parents are able to focus more on buying their next home.  Here are some tips to help you out and make your home POP to potential buyers!  🎆🎇Make Your Home POP!   ✅Tired of buyers missing your home? 🔎Communicate with your agent and make sure they are marketing your home on social media, blogs, open houses, and ad campaigns. Getting a good online presence is the first step to getting buyers through the front door.   🔎Another trick to online marketing is making sure you are selling a lifestyle more so than just a house. Help the potential buyer envision themselves raising a family in the home or living in that particular community.   ✅Wondering what you can do to get top dollar for your home? 🏡Always use professional photographs 🏡Trust you agent on fair market value and don’t list too high to start with 🏡Declutter and stage your home for the best impression to potential buyers 🏡Always keep your home in showing condition     ✅Why is now the best time to get your real estate photos done, even if you are not ready to list until fall?? 📸Right now is a great time to go ahead and get photos done for your home if you plan to sell in the fall. Your curb appeal will not be as inviting as it is right now with the vivid summer green grass, potted flower plants on the front porch and the amazing natural light coming into the home. Even if you have not decided on an agent just yet, go ahead and get the photos done now. Sometimes this cost is included with listing the property with an agent so if you do know who is going to be responsible for marketing your home, talk with them first prior to getting photos done.  
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Have First-Time and Repeat Buyers Switched Places?

First-time homebuyers are still crushing the mortgage market when compared with repeat buyers, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute (UI). Despite facing inflated prices, stunted supply, tight credit, and rental costs that make saving for a down payment difficult, first-timers have commanded the mortgage market for the past 10 years, the report revealed and The Urban Institute doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. Giving a brief background, the report indicated that theFederal Housing Administration (FHA), which makes low down payment loans available to borrowers with subpar credit, has typically targeted the first-time buyer market, who make up around 80 percent of the FHA’s total originations. That percentage plunged to about 75 percent during the recession but has tiptoed back up to nearly 83 percent today, UI reports. By contrast, the GSEs’ share of first-time homebuyers historically tracked much lower than the FHA’s, totaling about 25 percent during the early 2000s. During the housing bubble, it jumped to around 40 percent. After receding slightly during the recession, the GSEs’ share of first-timers has maintained an upward trajectory since 2013. It sits at nearly 50 percent today, the report notes. When combining the FHA and GSEs, the total share of first-time homebuyers taking out purchase mortgages in 2017 amounted to 60 percent—around 20 percentage points higher than the 40 percent pre-crisis average. Why the flood of first-timers post-crisis? The reason is two-fold, according to UI: “Partly, it’s the better economy. But a big chunk of the increase is driven by the pullback of repeat buyers.” The report found that between 2001 and 2007, repeat homebuyers represented anywhere from 1.4 to 1.8 million home purchases per year, while first-timers accounted for between 900,000 and 1.3 million. The two cohorts have since switched. Last year, repeat buyers purchased just over a million homes, while first-time buyers snapped up to close 1.5 million. “Falling house prices during the recession prevented millions of homeowners from accumulating equity in their homes, equity they have typically used to trade up to bigger homes,” UI reported. Since prices have picked up and home equity is rising again, will repeat buying activity reclaim its historic levels? “Probably not,” the report said. Owners may have more equity today, but most of them also have very low mortgages they locked in during the recession—when rates routinely measured below 4 percent. If, for example, a homeowner with a 3.5 percent rate wanted to upgrade to a different home, they’d have to secure a new mortgage at today’s higher rate. “Many homebuyers will likely find it much more economical to simply stay in their existing homes,” the report said. “This will continue to dampen repeat buying volumes and continue the dominance of first-time homebuyers in the housing market.” But those first-timers will, quite literally, be paying for that preeminent status, it notes. “Since existing homeowners won’t release their starter homes into the market, and since we aren’t making up for that deficit through new construction, prices will likely keep going up for first-time homebuyers,” it reported.   SOURCE: DSN NEWS  About Author: Radhika Ojha Radhika Ojha, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Dallas, Texas. She can be reached at Radhika.Ojha@DSNews.com
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

HUD Files Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Facebook

vs.    HUD Files Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Facebook   The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Friday that they were filing a formal complaint against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination. HUD claims Facebook enables advertisers to control which users receive housing-related ads based upon the recipient’s race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or zip code. HUD alleges that Facebook then invites advertisers to express unlawful preferences by offering discriminatory options, allowing them to effectively limit housing options for these protected classes under the guise of "targeted advertising." You can read the full complaint right here.   This information was provided by DSN news and author information is listed below:  About Author: David Wharton David Wharton, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 15 years of experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David.Wharton@DSNews.com.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

 

Millennial Homebuyers Go on a Shopping Spree

\   The homeownership rate for the second quarter of the year was “not statistically different” from the rate recorded the previous quarter or a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau, which released its quarterly homeownership and vacancy report on Thursday. The notable change in homeownership over the quarter occurred among millennials. “For the second quarter in a row, homeownership rates slipped for households 55 and up and gained for younger households, especially those under 35 who saw their rate reach 36.5 percent, its highest level in five years,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com in response to Thursday’s homeownership numbers.   The jump in millennial homeownership was also noted by Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow, who said that the millennial “home shopping spree” lead to a “bump in the overall homeownership rate in Q2.” He considered that the current millennial homeownership remains “well below pre-crisis and pre-bubble norms, but those same groups are currently experiencing some of the biggest gains.” This quarter’s 36.5 percent millennial homeownership rate compares to a rate of 34.1 percent a year ago. Those ages 35 to 44 are also more likely to own a home now than a year ago. The homeownership rate for this age cohort rose from 58.3 percent a year ago to 60 percent in the second quarter of this year. The overall homeownership rate for the second quarter was 64.3 percent, compared to 63.7 percent in the first quarter and 64.2 percent in the same quarter last year, according to the Census Bureau. The rate was highest among older households—78 percent for those 65 years and older. Homeownership was more common among non-Hispanic white households than among other races. The homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white households was 72.9 percent. For Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander households, the rate was 58 percent, and for black households, the rate was 41.6 percent. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5 percent in the second quarter, matching the rate of the previous quarter and the same quarter last year. The rental vacancy rate was 6.8 percent, down from 7.3 percent a year ago but not statistically different from last quarter’s 7 percent, according to the Census Bureau. Terrazas characterized rental household formation as “anemic for a fifth consecutive quarter,” which he said, “has contributed to softer rent growth nationwide. After a decade of “renters accounting for almost all new households nationwide,” Terrazas said “that decade-long dynamic began to shift” in mid-2016. However, “as interest rates rise and purchase affordability becomes more stretched over the next year, the pendulum could swing back toward more renter household formation,” he said. Overall, 87.7 percent of housing units in the United States were occupied as of the second quarter, while 12.3 percent were vacant, according to the Census Bureau. About 56.3 percent of housing units were occupied by owners, while 31.3 percent were occupied by renters. At 68.3 percent, the homeownership rate was highest in the Midwest. The South ranked second with a rate of 65.9 percent, and the Northeast and West followed with rates of 61.3 percent and 59.7 percent, respectively.     About Author: Krista Franks Brock Krista Franks Brock is a writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing industries since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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Brandon Farber

Brandon Farber

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