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Posts by Glen Hagen

Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"]Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth | Simplifying The Market Rising Prices[/caption] Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home this January. If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years? [caption id="attachment_37332" align="alignnone" width="650"]Rising Prices Help You Build Your Family’s Wealth | Simplifying The Market Rising Prices[/caption] Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $12,500 in equity in just one year. Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by over $48,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach. Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application.  You will also need to provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying. It also often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market 

Some Highlights:

  • A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!

The COST of Your Next Home Will Be LESS Than Your Parents’ Home Was

The COST of Your Next Home Will Be LESS Than Your Parents' Home Was | Simplifying The Market There is no doubt that home prices in most regions of the country is greater now than at any time in history.  However, when we look at the cost of a home, it is actually cheaper to own today than it has been historically.

The Difference Between PRICE and COST

The price of a home is the dollar amount you and the seller agree to at the time of purchase. The cost of a home is the monthly expense you pay for your mortgage payment. To accurately compare costs in different time periods, we must look at home prices, mortgage rates, and wages during each period. Home prices were less expensive years ago, but paychecks were also smaller and mortgage rates were much higher (the average mortgage interest rate in 1988 was 10.34%). The best way to measure the COST of a home is to determine what percentage of income is necessary to buy a home at the time. That would take into account the price of the home, the mortgage interest rate and wages at the time. Zillow just released research that examined home costs using this formula. The research compares the historic percentage of income necessary to afford a mortgage to the percentage needed today. It also revealed the cost if mortgage rates continue to rise as experts are predicting. Here is a graph of their findings*: The COST of Your Next Home Will Be LESS Than Your Parents' Home Was | Simplifying The Market Rates would need to jump to 7% in order for the percentage of necessary income to be greater than historic norms.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a homeowner considering selling your current house and moving up to the home of your dreams, or a first-time buyer trying to purchase your first home, it’s a great time to move forward.
*Assumptions in the Zillow report: Buyer puts 20% down, takes out a conforming, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at rates prevailing at the time, earns the median household income, and is buying a median-valued home.

Mortgage Interest Rates Have Begun to Level Off

Mortgage Interest Rates Have Begun to Level Off | Simplifying The Market

Mortgage Interest Rates

Whether you are a first-time buyer or a homeowner looking to move up to your next home, you should pay attention to mortgage interest rates. Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates have increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April. At first glance, the difference between these numbers in such a short amount of time could be concerning.  But if we look at the graph below, we’ll see that rates have already started to level off and return to the mark set in February. [caption id="attachment_37336" align="alignnone" width="650"]Mortgage Interest Rates Have Begun to Level Off | Simplifying The Market Mortgage Interest Rates[/caption] This is great news for anyone looking to buy a home this spring! The spring is always one of the busiest seasons for home buying. And with rates increasing even more, buyers have come off the fence to lock in great rates! This is still great advice as the experts believe that rates will continue to rise throughout the year. Every month, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors release their projections for where they believe mortgage rates will be in the coming months. If we take the average of what each of the four organizations is predicting for the second quarter, rates are expected to rise to about 4.48% by June.

That average climbs to 4.73% by the end of this year.

So, what does this mean?1

Waiting until the end of the year to buy, with rates still projected to increase, will end up costing you more money on your monthly mortgage payment.  For every $250,000 you need to borrow, you will spend $49.21 more per month, $590.52 per year, and over $17,700 by the end of your 30-year mortgage. And that’s just the impact of your interest rate going up!

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to purchase a home, find out if you’re able to. Let’s get together to evaluate your needs and help you with next steps! Feel free to call or text me at 516-429-9399.  I'm only too glad to help!

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? | Simplifying The Market When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

What is PMI?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:
“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%. Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”
 As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:
“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 5%, while repeat buyers put down 14% (no doubt aided by the sale of their homes). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes. Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI: What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? | Simplifying The Market The larger the down payment you can make, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac urges you to remember:
“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family. You can call or text me at 516-429-9399.  I'm only too glad to help!

US Housing Market Still In ‘Buy Territory’!

US Housing Market Still In ‘Buy Territory’! | Simplifying The Market

U.S. Housing Market

According to the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the U.S. housing market has continued to move deeper into buy territory, supporting the belief that housing markets across the country remain a sound investment. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:

In today’s housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home?

The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison. The researchers “measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.”  While 13 of the 23 metropolitan markets examined moved further into buy territory, markets like Dallas, Denver, and Houston are currently deep into rent territory. Due to a lack of inventory, the home prices in these areas have increased by 6.7%6.3%, and 5.3%  respectively from a year ago. According to Eli Beracha, Ph.D., Co-Creator of the index, home prices will begin to return to more normal levels.
Our data indicates that prices are above their 40-year trend but not significantly so as they were in 2007. Rather than a crash, I anticipate slower growth in prices accompanied by longer marketing times for sellers and increasing inventories.  This should bring prices back in conjunction with their 40-year trend.”

Bottom Line

The majority of the country is strongly in buy territory. With rents predicted to increase substantially in the next year, buying a home now makes sense socially and financially.  Protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.  To Find Out More About the Study: The BH&J Index and other FAU real estate activities are sponsored by Investments Limited of Boca Raton. The BH&J Index is published quarterly and is available online at http://business.fau.edu/buyvsrent.

VA Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"]VA Home Loans VA Home Loans[/caption] [caption id="attachment_37319" align="alignnone" width="650"]VA Loans by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market VA Home Loans[/caption]

Some Highlights:

  • Since the creation of the VA Home Loans Program, 22 million veterans have been able to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.
  • In 2017, $188 billion was loaned to veterans and their families through the program.
  • VA Purchase Loans are on the rise in 46 out of 50 states and Washington, DC.

House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"]House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand | Simplifying The Market House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand[/caption] Why are home prices still rising? It is a simple answer. There are more purchasers in the market right now than there are available homes for them to buy. This is an example of the theory of “supply and demand” which is defined as:
“the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.”
When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. This is currently happening in the residential real estate market. Here are the numbers for supply and demand as compared to last year for the last three months (March numbers are not yet available): [caption id="attachment_37309" align="alignnone" width="650"]House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand | Simplifying The Market Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand[/caption] In each of the last three months, demand (buyer traffic) has increased as compared to last year while supply (number of available listings) has decreased. If this situation persists, home values will continue to increase.

Bottom Line

The reason home prices are still rising is because there are many purchasers looking to buy, but very few homeowners ready to sell. This imbalance is the reason prices will remain on the uptick. Especially in the first-time home buyer category!

Boomerang Buyers: Most Qualify for Financing in 2-3 Years

Boomerang Buyers: Most Qualify for Financing in 2-3 Years | Simplifying The Market According to a new study from Lending Tree, Americans who have filed for bankruptcy may be able to rebuild enough credit to qualify for a home loan in as little as 2-3 years. This is in stark contrast to the belief that many have that they need to wait 7-10 years for their bankruptcies to clear from their credit reports before attempting to apply for either a mortgage or a personal or auto loan. The study analyzed over one million loan applications for mortgages, personal, and auto loans and compared borrowers who had a bankruptcy on their credit report vs. those who did not to find out the “Cost of Bankruptcy.” The study found that 43.2% of Americans who filed bankruptcy were able to repair their credit back to a 640 FICO® Score in less than a year. The percentage of those who achieved a 640 FICO® Score increased to nearly 75% after 5 years. The full breakdown of the findings was used to create the chart below. Boomerang Buyers: Most Qualify for Financing in 2-3 Years | Simplifying The Market Americans who were able to repair their credit scores to a range of 720-739 within three years of filing were able to obtain the same financing options as those who had never filed bankruptcy. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, 53.5% of those who were approved for a home loan had FICO® Scores between 600-749 last month. This is great news for Americans who are looking to re-enter the housing market. [caption id="attachment_37304" align="alignnone" width="650"]Boomerang Buyers: Most Qualify for Financing in 2-3 Years | Simplifying The Market FICO Score Distribution[/caption] Raj Patel, Lending Tree’s Director of Credit Restoration & Debt-Related Services had this to say:
“People may think that filing a bankruptcy would put you out of the loan market for seven to ten years, but this study shows that it is possible to rebuild your credit to a good credit quality.” “LendingTree’s research found that very few bankruptcy filers have a harder time [obtaining a mortgage] than those who have not filed for bankruptcy.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the millions of Americans who has filed for bankruptcy and think that you have to wait 7-10 years to make your dream of returning to homeownership a reality, let’s get together to find out if you qualify now.