Tag Archives: CNN Money

Money Monday: Rising mortgage rates

While mortgage rates are still low, they have been rising lately — but many experts are worried.mortgage rates and property taxes

“The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.16%, up from 4.13% last week, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, rates were sitting around 3.97%.

“At the current interest rates, buyers will pay $21 more per month compared to a year ago, assuming a $241,000 price tag and 20% down payment.”

Read more of this article at Money.CNN.com.

Money Monday: Older buyers, more bathrooms

Today’s real estate market is a very different place than before the recession

home buildingAmerican home buyers are getting older and homes are getting bigger.

The median age of a homebuyer in 1985 was 35.

When the housing boom was nearing its peak in 2005, the median homebuyer’s age was 39. Now it’s 43, according to U.S. Census data.

Homebuilders are catering to more middle aged buyers by building larger homes.

Since 2000, the typical American home for sale had about 1,800 square feet. That’s remained fairly steady over time.

But new homes that are just being built typically have 2,200 square feet, according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders…

This article is from CNN Money. Read more at CNN Money here.

Money Monday: How the mortgage process just changed

It just got a little easier to navigate the complicated mortgage process.

New disclosure rules went into effect in the mortgage world Saturday that require lenders to provide home buyers two new forms that clearly detail their loan terms…

The rule, formally known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, reduces what used to be four forms from two different government agencies to two forms: the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

Here’s what buyers can expect:

Comparing different loans

loan terms

Lenders have to provide potential home buyers a Loan Estimate form within three days of a submitted application.

The three-page form details the terms of a potential loan including: amount, interest rate and whether the figures can change after closing…

This article is from CNN Money. Read more at CNN Money here.

It’s safe to sell your home again

It’s safe to sell your home again
While analysts debate when the housing market will hit bottom, for a surprising number of cities the turnaround has already begun.  In December, prices rose in 109 of the 384 metro areas tracked by data firm CoreLogic. 

Making sense of the story

  • There are certain signs to help determine if a particular neighborhood is on the verge of a rebound.  For instance is local employment on the upswing?  That’s a critical factor for a region to get itself on the path to recovery.  Improving jobs picture has led to shrinking housing stock across the country, as investors and bargain hunters have started buying up foreclosures that have been preventing a recovery.
  • For years, buyers were scared of overpaying for a home, but less so now.  Many buyers have grown accustomed to thinking they’ll score deals, so they tend to act slowly, and typically start bidding around 10 percent to 15 percent below list price.  However, a growing number of buyers are beginning to realize that if they wait too long in this market, they may miss out.
  • Sellers can hold firm on price if they’re patient.  The days of having to deal with low-ball offers are coming to an end.  The higher the price, the more patient the seller must be.  Cheaper homes are affordable to more buyers and appealing to investors, so recoveries usually start there. 
  • Sellers should keep in mind that while they don’t have to placate low-ball offers anymore, they also can’t shoot for the moon either.  Working with a REALTOR® and setting a realistic price from the get-go is key.
  • Sellers should know what they’re competing against.  Homeowners should let their home’s value dictate the price.  While this may seem self-evident, some owners may have lost sight of it during the bust.  On the one hand, some sellers clung to the false hope of a return to boom prices, so they set prices unrealistically high.  Others may have gone too far the other way, and set their price too low.
  • It’s also important that sellers understand they’re no longer competing with gutted foreclosures.  Buyers are tired of looking at worn-down, neglected, distressed properties and often don’t have much extra money to do a lot of fixing up.  REALTORS® often report their clients are willing to pay a little more for a home that’s ready to move into.

Read the full story from CNN here: http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/real_estate/housing-market.moneymag/index.htm?iid=HP_River