Tenure in the Home and Motivation for Selling

The typical seller tenure in home from 2001 to 2008 was 6 years. In 2009, the median years the seller stayed in the home edged up to 7 years. In 2011, the typical seller sold their home after owning it after 9 years.  Be sure to look at the full article for more statistics on the motivation for selling.


Bank of mom and dad: How these kids afforded a home

With the economy in turmoil and mortgage money tight, it’s not easy to buy a home these days, especially for young adults. Many are getting helping hands from their parents.  Take a look at this link for more:


Age Distribution of Repeat Buyers

Repeat buyers accounted for 63 percent of the home buying market in the last year according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  Take a look at the profile of home buyers and sellers link on this site as well.


What you need to know about mortgage insurance

Based on the premise that a new loan greater than 80 percent of a home’s value represents a very high risk, lenders will not approve the loan unless there is an insurance policy that will protect them in the case of a loss, e.g., a foreclosure. The mortgage insurance industry was created to provide that protection to lenders. There are several companies that provide mortgage insurance and it is the borrower that must pay the coverage. Additionally, mortgage insurance has its own underwriting guidelines that the borrower must meet before being approved and they are stricter than the guidelines imposed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for loans at or under the 80 percent loan to value threshold.


FHA says: Flip that house

Flippers, the real estate investors who buy homes on the cheap and quickly resell them at a profit, just got a reprieve from the Federal Housing Administration.  See this link to read on:


More parents helping kids buy homes

Hey, baby boomers! Pondering what gift to get your kid who’s all grown up? For many of your peers, the answer is a house.


Cash Down Payments Continue to be High

The December 2011 Realtors Confidence Index survey reports that cash down payments are at or above 20 percent of the home sales price in 34 percent of the transactions. This level of high down payments appears to be relatively high and appears to reflect the effects of overly tight credit markets.


Homeowners should be wary of solicitations

Since President Bush raised the maximum loan limit for FHA loans in 2008, the popularity of FHA loans has grown tremendously. FHA loans have many benefits that conventional loans do not have and in Santa Cruz County FHA loans account for some 30-40 percent of all purchases. For example, with an FHA loan, it is possible to borrow up to 96.5 percent of the sales price or, for a refinance, up to 97.5 percent of the appraised value for loan amounts up to $729,750. Additionally, FHA loans allow the down payment to be all gift and they allow a co-signer to be a part of the purchase to help bolster the income of the occupant borrower even though the co-signer will not be one of the home’s occupants. The co-signer must be a relative and the borrower does not have to be a first time homebuyer.

Read the full article here and please don’t hesitate to contact me directly should you have any questions:


Flawed Appraisals Preventing Home Sales

With 1/3 of builders saying they have “lost an in escrow sale” due to appraisal issues, both buyers and sellers need to be aware of what they may be facing after agreeing on a contract.


Everyone does not get the same mortgage rate

It always puzzles me whenever I read or hear that Freddie Mac of Fannie Mae has announced the current 30 year fixed rate. It is odd that they would announce a rate at all as it is they who came up with the risk-based pricing that factors in extra fees (or higher rates) to borrowers that are perceived to be a higher risk. We read these releases from time to time in the newspaper or we hear it on the radio or we even see it on the evening news. When it comes to pricing a loan, there are simply too many variables to be announcing a specific rate to the media. Their risk-based pricing policy attempts to take into account a borrower’s likelihood of making his payments on time for the duration of the loan.