What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 3rd, 2018

What's ahead this week?

Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, sales of new homes and pending home sales. FHFA increased maximum loan limits permitted for mortgages held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Weekly readings for mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller Indicates Slow-Down in Home Price Growth

Home prices slowed their growth in September according to Case-Shiller. David Blitzer, CEO and Chairman of S & P Dow Jones Indices, said “Home prices plus data on house sales and construction confirm the slowdown in housing.

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5 Home Renovations That Really Raise Values

5 Home Renovations That Really Raise Values

 

Floors

Outdated, stained, or damaged flooring repels potential buyers. High-quality, stain-resistant carpets in neutral colors are the best options for those looking to sell. Other alternatives include hardwood floors and easy-to-clean laminates. Avoid shag carpets, bright colors, or unusual patterns so the property appeals to a wide variety of potential buyers.

Kitchens

For real estate agents, kitchens rank high on the list of value-building remodeling projects. Most home shoppers base their decision on the condition of the kitchen. Update stale or out-of-fashion paint, install new cabinet doors, refresh countertops, and replace old appliances to encourage a higher sale price. Renovators with limited funds should focus the majority of their dollars on kitchen projects.

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NAHB Reports Lowest Builder Confidence Reading Since 2014

Obstacles facing home builders have caught up with high builder confidence according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for November. Builder confidence dropped eight points to an index reading of 60, which was the largest month-to-month drop in builder confidence since 2014. November’s decline in builder confidence was greater than the largest month-to-month decline during the housing crisis.  Housing Market Index readings over 50 are considered positive, but analysts said that long-standing headwinds caught up with home builders’ outlook on housing market conditions and sub-categories used to comprise the overall Housing Market Index reading.  Obstacles Impacted November Home Builder Confidence in Housing Market  Builders have long cited shortages of buildable lots, rising materials costs and labor shortages, but builder sentiment appeared strong until November. Recent tariffs on building materials and rising mortgage rates further added to builder concerns. Buyer traffic indicated that would-be home buyers may be waiting for home prices and mortgage rates to fall. Less demand for homes would increase inventories of homes for sale and potentially reduce extreme buyer competition that caused rapid price gains in high-demand metro areas.  Components of November’s NAHB HMI also declined in November. Builder confidence in current housing market conditions fell seven points to an index reading of 67. Builder confidence in housing market conditions within the next six months dropped ten points to 65. The reading for buyer traffic in housing developments dropped eight points to 45. Readings for buyer traffic seldom exceed the HMI index reading of 50.  NAHB Housing Market Index: Things to Know  Housing and mortgage industry pros view the HMI as an early indicator of construction pace and for measuring supplies of homes for sale. The National Association of Home Builders HMI is based on survey of NAHB members; the sample size varies according to the number of responses received from builders each month. Analysts noted that November’s reading was impacted by fewer builder responses in November; 315 responses were received in November as compared to 360 builder responses in October. Fewer responses increase the volatility of index readings.  Approaching winter weather typically reduces home construction and plans for new construction; 2018 has seen natural disasters and catastrophic wildfires that destroyed many homes. While these factors did not impact November’s home builder confidence, readings they will likely affect home builder confidence readings in the coming months.  Your trusted real estate agent can help you navigate the sales trends in your area.

Obstacles facing home builders have caught up with high builder confidence according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for November. Builder confidence dropped eight points to an index reading of 60, which was the largest month-to-month drop in builder confidence since 2014. November’s decline in builder confidence was greater than the largest month-to-month decline during the housing crisis.

Housing Market Index readings over 50 are considered positive, but analysts said that long-standing headwinds caught up with home builders’ outlook on housing market conditions and sub-categories used to comprise the overall Housing Market Index reading.

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5 Creative Ways To Buy A Foreclosure

5 Creative Ways To Buy A Foreclosure.

Buying a foreclosed home is easy, right? After all, they sell for pennies on the dollar, right? Well, that could be a false assumption. Buying a foreclosed property appears easy on TV, but in reality, it can be overwhelming. 

Foreclosure sales continue to decline in the market from 38.6 percent in 2011 to 14 percent in 2017 but ticking up a bit in 2018 according to Attom Data Solutions, a national property data company. As foreclosure sales drop, competition for these properties become stiffer and more complex. And as home prices increase in most cities, buyers often turn to foreclosures as affordable alternatives for landing their dream home.

Foreclosures usually occur when homeowners can no longer pay their mortgages and the mortgagees seize the properties. Once former owners vacate the properties, lenders typically put it on sale at discounted price or auction to the highest bidder. 

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FHFA Announces Maximum Conforming Loan Limits for 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

11/27/2018

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019.  In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. 

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4 Top Sustainable Home Trends

cartoon house. The emergence of sustainable energy and products have solidified the go-green movement. Solar energy and electric cars are just the tip of the iceberg.

The impact of products on the environment has become a significant measure about their value. Those same principles are also being applied to homes. Smart homes and energy efficiency have a direct correlation to home values and listing prices. That’s why homeowners and home builders alike have an eye toward sustainable trends. These are some of the top-ranked home trends.

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Family Matters: The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home to a Family Member

It can be a stressful experience to put your home on the market and wait for offers in the hope that you've priced it right. However, for those who are considering selling to family members, the sale of a home can be fraught with just as much stress before and after sealing the deal. If you're wondering if it's a good idea to sell to a family member, here are some things to consider beforehand.

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Exploring Tesla's New Solar Roof Tiles - Are They the Ultimate Home Upgrade?

Exploring Tesla's New Solar Roof Tiles - Are They the Ultimate Home Upgrade?

Tesla may have become the famous brand it is for the creation of the electric car in 2008, but it has since burgeoned into a company that has diverse ambitions for how we utilize energy. Recently, Tesla has moved into the business of solar roof panels, which have become a hot commodity on the market with their green ethos and energy savings. If you're curious about solar power and want to know the details on this product, here are some things to consider before buying in. 

The Details On Tesla's Solar Panels 

With the recent release of Tesla's solar roof panels, many homeowners interested in green energy have flocked to this new product for its innovation and famous brand. According to Tesla, these panels will last for approximately 30 years or as long as the house stands at 1/3 the weight of regular tiles. Utilizing a tempered glass to make stronger roof panels and solar cells created in conjunction with Panasonic, the connectors for these panels have been created to last through every kind of weather condition. 

The Install Involved 

The installation of Tesla solar panels is estimated to take approximately 5-7 days and is expected to be easier than a regular solar panel install. According to Peter Rive, CTO and Co-founder of Solar City, "We have learned a lot about installing solar from over 300,000 installations so we took all that and included that into the development." Fortunately, because of the lightweight quality of these panels, they can be installed without any changes to the structure of the roof they're placed on. 

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Something You Should Know Before Looking At A New Construction Model Home

new construction.  Picture yourself out for a drive one weekend. You see a sign that says:

New Construction Homes! Models Starting At $XXX,XXX Next Right!

Maybe you’re actively looking for a house, or maybe it’s just a spur of the moment urge, but you follow the signs to the model home. You park. You walk into the model home. The builder’s sales rep asks you to please sign in. You sign in. Ouch. You may have just made a costly mistake...

It’s Not Like I’m Buying One...

Most people don’t think twice about signing in when they visit a model home. They figure, what’s the harm? It isn’t like I’m signing something to actually buy one. I just want to take a look, and it’s not like they’re asking me to sign my life away. But sometimes you do end up buying one. You get the bug. You fall in love. You picture yourself in this lifestyle. Next thing you know, you’re making an offer on the spot. Or, maybe you leave, but you can’t stop thinking about it the whole ride home so you decide you’re going to buy one. Either way, if you decide to buy one, having signed in with the builder, you may have signed away your right to involve your own real estate agent represent and advise you.

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What is a title insurance policy?

What is title insurance?

Under Montana law 33-25-105 & 111, “Title insurance policy” means a contract by which, subject to its stated terms and conditions, a title insurer insures or indemnifies the insured against loss or damage sustained by reason of:

  • defects in or liens or encumbrances on the title to the stated property:
  • Unmarketability of the title to the stated property; or
  • Invalidity or unenforceability of liens or encumbrances on the stated property.

A title insurance policy is not an abstract of title or representation as to the condition of title to the stated property.

Common terms and definitions:

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Millennials Doubling Down To Save For Down Payment On Homes

Doubling down. According to the NerdWallet's Home Buyer Report, 82% of millennials say buying a home is a priority—but saving for a down payment can be a challenge. According to a recent article from Redfin, the top concern among first-time millennial home buyers is saving for a down payment. Instead of delaying the process though, this younger generation is just doubling down on their saving efforts.

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4 Things To Know About Homestead Exemptions

signing paperwork. Homeowners are well aware that peripheral costs swell over time and can put a strain on incomes. Utility bills increase, home insurance creeps up annually and taxes rise with the cost of schools and road repair.

That’s why many communities have enacted homestead exemptions that can help stabilize and even lower tax bills in some cases. Although these exemptions are not well publicized, knowing how they work and how to apply could save you a good deal of money.

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4 Reasons Millennials Should Buy A Retirement Home First

Porch with chairsThere’s an idea running through marketing and business circles that anything that is popular, the opposite will likely be popular as well.

Consider that sugar and caffeinated beverages such as Coca-Cola have seemingly opposite products like Coke Zero. That product, in turn, is offset in the marketplace by high-sugar, high-caffeine energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull.

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Your Home Appraisal And Your Mortgage

When buying a home, there are certain steps a buyer should go through before the home sale is official. First the buyer makes the offer, then the offer is accepted.

Next the buyer schedules the inspection and home appraisal. Finally, everyone is ready for closing.

It’s easy to overlook the impact of some of these steps, but when it comes to a mortgage, the home appraisal is actually quite important. Banks want to see that they are lending money for an investment that is worthwhile, so that appraisal is a crucial step to getting financing. Here is what buyers need to know about how the appraisal could affect their mortgages.

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5 Critical Tips For Buying In A Seller's Market

This summer, quality homes are being scooped up almost as fast as they're being listed - and for top price. Yes, it's a seller's market out there, which is great news if you're planning to list your home. Conversely, for those looking for a home, it can be frustrating and aggravating.

Frustrating as it may be, there's plenty of reason for buyers to stick it out until they get an offer accepted. For starters, interest rates are still fairly low. And secondly, there are great homes out there if you act fast enough. So how can you successfully get that dream home in a seller's market? Here's a look:

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4 Quick Tips To Help You Compare Movers

Choosing The Right Movers Can Save You Time And Money

It can be overwhelming to choose a moving company if you are buying or selling your home. There are usually numerous ads for movers offline and online. Determining which company is the best fit can be tricky. Fortunately, doing a little research can help you find the right mover. If you are looking to compare movers, you have come to the right place. Here are some tips to get started. 

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You Ask, We Answer: Should I Build a New Home or Buy an Existing One?

Are you looking to buy a new house in the near future? If so, one of the choices you will face is constructing your own brand-new home or buying an existing home. The idea of building a new house on the right piece of land might sound enticing, but what if you could have a larger, more luxurious existing home in the same neighborhood for a much lower cost?

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The Quick-and-Easy Guide to Getting Started With House Flipping

Investing in real estate is one of the oldest means of building and storing wealth. However, it is only just recently that "flipping" of houses – buying at a low price, renovating and selling at a higher price – became popular. For many, house flipping has become a full-time career and their primary source of income.

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Buying a New Home? Four Key Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Advisor

Are you in the market for a new home? If you are planning on borrowing some or most of the home's purchase price, you'll want to prepare yourself for the mortgage process. Let's take a look at four key questions that you will want to ask your mortgage professional when you first meet to discuss your home loan.

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Selling Social: How to Leverage Your Social Network to Sell Your Home Faster

There were days when the marketing of a home involved plunking a sign into the front yard, but with the power of the Internet, there are many mediums through which home sellers can find potential buyers. If you’re currently looking at ways to use the power of social media in order to get your ideal purchase price, here are some things you can do to best harness its capabilities.

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