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Real Estate Report – The Report We Have Been Waiting For

April 8, 2014

posted by Stephen Katz @ 2:53 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 1914

 

Real Estate Trends Newsletter -- A weekly news update for mortgage professionals

Stephen Katz
800 Johnson Ferry Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Stephen@KatzMortgageTeam.comNMLS ID: 69623

April 8, 2014

ECONOMIC COMMENTARY
  The Report We Have Been Waiting For

Friday’s employment report has given us three things we have been waiting for. First, this jobs report was relatively good after a string of disappointments over the winter. It tells us that at least part of the slowdown was definitely due to the weather — a question everyone has been asking. Secondly, the report contains another upward revision to the previous two months’ of data. There were actually 37,000 more jobs created in January and February when compared to last month’s release. That is a revision which we speculated could be coming. Finally, the economy has now recovered all of the millions of private sector jobs lost during the recession.

That is a lot of jobs to recover and represents a very significant milestone. The problem is, it took the economy four years “post recession” to regain the jobs lost. During the recession and afterwards, the population has been growing. As reported by CNN/Money, Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute, estimates that we need an additional five thousand jobs to reach a healthy pre-recession labor market. That is a long way to go and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Yellen said as much in testimony to Congress just a few weeks ago. What this means is that the economy is indeed recovering, but still painfully slow. We need a few more years of this level of growth to become healthy or we need for the recovery to accelerate. There is another piece of good news here. The better jobs report did not cause another increase in interest rates — at least initially. Again, this is evidence that the markets believe we need even more good news.

REAL ESTATE NEWS
   More couples these days are purchasing homes together before they marry, and some do not intend to marry at all. Unwed twosomes need to determine how to hold the title: whether the home will transfer to the surviving partner if the other dies, as joint tenants with the right of survivorship; or whether a percentage of ownership will pass to the beneficiary named in the will through a tenants-in-common arrangement. They also need to consider whether both or just one partner will sign the promissory note. If both sign it, they both could be pursued by the bank in the event of foreclosure; but if only one partner signs it because he or she has a job, better credit, and contributes more to the down payment and home loan, then he or she will be on the hook alone — regardless of how they hold the title. Taxes must be discussed as well, mainly with regard to whether the partners will divide the mortgage interest and property tax write-offs equally if the payments are not equally divided between the two of them. They also must consider what would happen if they break up after the home purchase. “I try to remind them that this is 100 percent business,” says Nanci Lieneck of Weichert Realtors in Ridgewood, N.J. “They are joint owners. Married or not, they will own a property, and you have to think of that in a business perspective.” Source: NorthJersey.com

Once at rock bottom, interest rates have ticked up slightly in recent months. Still, the prospect of refinancing a home loan remains attractive. Homeowners should analyze their situation to see if a refinance can improve their overall financial picture,” says Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Here are some reasons why you should refinance:

  • Pay off your loan early. Moving from a 30-year term to a 15-year term without a big jump in monthly payments could save you thousands in interest and build equity in your home faster.
  • Create more cash flow. Lower interest rates can create lower monthly payments, freeing up money to pay down debt or just to provide more wiggle room in the budget for other things.
  • Access home equity. On a cash-out refinance, you borrow more money than you owe on your current loan, and use the funds for purposes such as reducing other debt, remodeling your home or just recovering from a financial setback. As home values start to rise, there is some pent-up demand for a cash-out refinance to access the equity in the home for other purposes. Source: MBA

The condo market is on an upswing, but sales are still more than 30 percent short from its peak. From 2009 to 2013, condo sales increased more than 55 percent, while total existing home sales rose by 29 percent during that time period, according to National Association of Realtors® data. In comparison, during the boom years between 2001 and 2005, condo sales rose more than 50 percent and existing-home sales increased by 37 percent. While the share of condo sales to total existing-home sales is nearing pre-recession levels, the number of sales is still not at its peak, the CoStar Group notes. “Today’s condo market does not involve the irrational speculation of the mid-2000s, when renters fled apartments to get a share of the expanding home price pie,” CoStar Group reports. “A portion of the current sales are often to foreign investors in condo-rich markets like South Florida and to current home owners looking to downsize.” Source: CoStar Group

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Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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