Tag Archives: reports

Five things to know about a home before committing to buy

Your due diligence inspections should include more than hiring a home inspector to look at the home and reviewing a current termite inspection. And your due diligence should start as soon as you have serious interest in a listing.

Making an offer to purchase a home consumes a lot of time and emotional energy. Before your real estate agent or attorney puts pen to paper, find out as much about the property as you can. In particular, you want to know if there’s any reason you shouldn’t try to buy the house.

Seller disclosure requirements vary from state to state, as does real estate practice and protocol. Find out if there are any seller disclosure statements and presale inspection reports. If there are, ask to see copies before you write an offer.
buy homeIn some areas, it is standard procedure for listing agents to provide a disclosure package that includes any existing reports and disclosures to interested buyers before they make an offer. In other areas, reports are made available only after the buyer and sellers have negotiated the purchase agreement. Get ahold of as much information as you can about the physical condition of the property as soon as possible.

After you review the seller’s documents on the property, you may discover that the home you find so appealing requires a far bigger investment in repair work than you can handle or afford financially. In this case, move on to the next property with no remorse. You’ve saved yourself from hassle and heartbreak.

On the other hand, if the reports and disclosures fall within your expectations, move on to investigating the local neighborhood. On closer look, you may discover that there are several large apartment buildings that back up to the house you’re interested in buying. This might create a noise factor. If you’re sensitive to noise, you might not be happy living in the property you’re considering.

Buyers sensitive to crime should check with the local police department to see if the neighborhood is being hit by waves of break-ins. Drive by the property several times during daylight and evening hours to see if the complexion of the neighborhood changes in any way that is disadvantageous to you.

Commuters should drive from the property to work and back during rush hour, and check into all the public transportation options that are available in close proximity. If you’re intent on buying within walking distance to shops and cafés, find out how long it takes to get from the house you think you want to the nearest commercial area.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: It’s wise to include an inspection contingency in your purchase offer so that you have a time period to complete whatever inspections of the property you deem necessary before committing to move forward with the purchase. This is recommended even if the seller has completed presale inspections.

Some buyers who have confidence in the seller’s home inspector hire that inspector to do a walk-through inspection with them so that the inspector can explain his report and answer any questions. The fee for this sort of inspection will usually be less than what the seller paid for the initial inspection and written report.

Don’t skip inspections to save money. It could cost you plenty in the long run if uninspected items turn out to be faulty and you have to pay to repair them.

Order a home inspection as soon as possible after your offer is accepted by the sellers. Most home inspections include recommendations for further inspections. If you don’t have the home inspection done early, you may not have enough time to complete all the further recommendations recommended, like roof or drainage inspections.

THE CLOSING: If you run out of time, ask the sellers for an extension.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Industry’s Past-Due Mortgages Continue to Drop

How many homeowners in the United States are behind on their mortgage payments? It’s 6,373,000, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).

past due mortgagesThe number is staggering, but it’s actually on the decline, down from 6,397,000 as of the end of August, and 6,538,000 at the end of July.

LPS offered the media an advance look at the high-level numbers from its mortgage performance report due out later this month.

The company’s data, which is derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans, provides evidence that servicers are pushing those loans that have been languishing in non-payment status through the pipeline at a faster pace.

At September month-end, the national mortgage delinquency rate – which includes loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure – stood at 8.09 percent. That’s down 0.5 percent from the previous month and 12.7 percent from a year earlier.

At the same time, the foreclosure inventory rate – which LPS calculates as loans that have been referred to an attorney but have not yet reached the final stage of foreclosure sale – rose to 4.18 percent in September, up 1.7 percent from August and up 8.9 percent from September of last year.

The same trend of a declining delinquency rate and rising foreclosure rate was reported last month as well.

Of the 6,373,000 mortgage going unpaid in the United States, LPS says approximately 2,172,000 are part of the foreclosure pre-sale inventory.

The remaining 4,202,000 are 30-plus days delinquent but not yet in foreclosure. Of these, 1,844,000 are past due by 90 days or more.

According to LPS’ September study, the five states with highest percentage of non-current loans – which combines foreclosures and delinquencies – have held onto their rankings for three consecutive months. These include: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois.

States with the lowest percentage of non-current loans include: Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

This article, “Industry’s Past-Due Mortgages Continue to Drop,” is by Carrie Bay at DSNews.com.

CoreLogic Records First Drop in Home Prices in Four Months

Home prices in the U.S. slipped 0.4 percent between July and August, CoreLogic reported Thursday. It marks the first time in four months the company’s index has recorded a decline.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic points out that although the calendar says August, it traditionally marks the beginning of fall for the housing market and activity begins to slow down as winter approaches.

In light of that, Fleming says the slight month-over-month decline was predictable, particularly given the renewed concerns over a double-dip recession, high negative equity, and the persistent levels of shadow inventory.

Based on CoreLogic’s assessment, national home prices were down 4.4 percent in August when compared to a year earlier. This follows a decline of 4.8 percent in July 2011 compared to July 2010.

That figure includes distressed sales, such as short sales and REO transactions. Take the distress factor out, and prices are down by just 0.7 percent year-over-year.

According to Fleming, “The continued bright spot is the non-distressed segment of the market, which is only marginally lower than a year ago and continues to exhibit relative strength.”

Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in CoreLogic’s national price index was -30.5 percent. That’s tracking price movement from April 2006 to August 2011.

Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change for the same period was -21.0 percent.

CoreLogic says the five states with the highest home price appreciation in August were: West Virginia (+8.6%), Wyoming (+3.6%), North Dakota (+3.5%), New York (+3.2%), and Alaska (+2.2%).

The five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-12.4%), Arizona (-10.7%), Illinois (-9.6%), Minnesota (-7.8%), and Georgia (-7.2%).

Carrie Bay | DSNews.com | October 6, 2011