Home Prices: Boom Continues, but Leveling Out Needed

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The boom is continuing for home prices, with a gain in March of 6.5 percent, according to the S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller Indices.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index’s 10-City Composite, which is an average of 10 metros (Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), rose 6.5 percent year-over-year, an increase from 6.4 percent in February. The 20-City Composite—which is an average of the 10 metros in the 10-City Composite, plus Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Tampa—rose 6.8 percent year-over-year, which is comparable to February. Month-over-month, both the 10-City Composite and the 20-City composite rose, 0.9 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

“The home price increases continue, with the National Index rising at 6.5 percent per year,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman and managing director of the S&P Dow Jones Indices Index Committee.

“Looking across various national statistics on sales of new or existing homes, permits for new construction, and financing terms, two figures that stand out are rapidly rising home prices and low inventories of existing homes for sale,” Blitzer says. “Months-supply, which combines inventory levels and sales, is currently at 3.8 months, lower than the levels of the 1990s before the housing boom and bust.

“Until inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising,” says Blitzer. “Compared to the price gains of the last boom in the early 2000s, things are calmer today.”

“The solid gain in home prices of 6.5 percent in March added roughly $150 billion to housing wealth during the month,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in a statement. “The continuing run-up in home prices above the pace of income growth is simply not sustainable. From the cyclical low point in home prices six years ago, a typical home price has increased by 48 percent, while the average wage rate has grown by only 14 percent. Rising interest rates also do not help with affordability; therefore, more supply is needed to level out home prices. Homebuilding will be the key as to how the housing market performs in the upcoming years.”

This excerpt from RIS media: To Rea More Click Here

Can I qualify for an FHA loan?

What is an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan is a mortgage that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They are popular especially among first time home buyers because they allow down payments of 3.5% for credit scores of 580+. However, borrowers must pay mortgage insurance premiums, which protects the lender if a borrower defaults.

Borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as little as 3.5% for a credit score of 580 or higher. The borrower’s credit score can be between 500 – 579 if a 10% down payment is made.  It’s important to remember though, that the lower the credit score, the higher the interest borrowers will receive.

The FHA program was created in response to the rash of foreclosures and defaults that happened in 1930s; to provide mortgage lenders with adequate insurance; and to help stimulate the housing market by making loans accessible and affordable for people with less than stellar credit or a low down payment. Essentially, the federal government insures loans for FHA-approved lenders in order to reduce their risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

FHA Loan Requirements

For borrowers interested in buying a home with an FHA loan with the low down payment amount of 3.5%, applicants must have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify. However, having a credit score that’s lower than 580 doesn’t necessarily exclude you from FHA loan eligibility. You just need to have a minimum down payment of 10%.

The credit score and down payment amounts are just two of the requirements of FHA loans. Here’s a complete list of FHA loan requirements, which are set by the Federal Housing Authority:

  • Borrowers must have a steady employment history or worked for the same employer for the past two years.
  • Borrowers must have a valid Social Security number, lawful residency in the U.S. and be of legal age to sign a mortgage in your state.
  • Borrowers must pay a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent. The money can be gifted by a family member.
  • New FHA loans are only available for primary residence occupancy.
  • Borrowers must have a property appraisal from a FHA-approved appraiser.
  • Borrowers’ front-end ratio (mortgage payment plus HOA fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance) needs to be less than 31 percent of their gross income, typically. You may be able to get approved with as high a percentage as 40 percent. Your lender will be required to provide justification as to why they believe the mortgage presents an acceptable risk. The lender must include any compensating factors used for loan approval.
  • Borrowers’ back-end ratio (mortgage plus all your monthly debt, i.e., credit card payment, car payment, student loans, etc.) needs to be less than 43 percent of their gross income, typically. You may be able to get approved with as high a percentage as 50 percent. Your lender will be required to provide justification as to why they believe the mortgage presents an acceptable risk. The lender must include any compensating factors used for loan approval.
  • Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 580 for maximum financing with a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent.
  • Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 500-579 for maximum LTV of 90 percent with a minimum down payment of 10 percent. FHA-qualified lenders will use a case-by-case basis to determine an applicants’ credit worthiness.
  • Typically borrowers must be two years out of bankruptcy and have re-established good credit. Exceptions can be made if you are out of bankruptcy for more than one year if there were extenuating circumstances beyond your control that caused the bankruptcy and you’ve managed your money in a responsible manner.
  • Typically borrowers must be three years out of foreclosure and have re-established good credit. Exceptions can be made if there were extenuating circumstances and you’ve improved your credit. If you were unable to sell your home because you had to move to a new area, this does not qualify as an exception to the three-year foreclosure guideline.
  • The property must meet certain minimum standards at appraisal. If the home you are purchasing does not meet these standards and a seller will not agree to the required repairs, your only option is to pay for the required repairs at closing (to be held in escrow until the repairs are complete).

    Benefits of FHA Loans: Low Down Payments and Less Strict Credit Score Requirements

    Typically an FHA loan is one of the easiest types of mortgage loans to qualify for because it requires a lowdown payment and you can have less-than-perfect credit. For FHA loans, down payment of 3.5 percent is required for maximum financing. Borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 can qualify for an FHA loan.

    Borrowers who cannot afford a 20 percent down payment, have a lower credit score, or can’t get approved for private mortgage insurance should look into whether an FHA loan is the best option for their personal scenario.

    Another advantage of an FHA loan it is an assumable mortgage which means if you want to sell your home, the buyer can “assume” the loan you have. People who have low or bad credit, have undergone a bankruptcy or have been foreclosed upon may be able to still qualify for an FHA loan.

    Mortgage Insurance is Required for an FHA Loan

    You knew there had to be a catch, and here it is: Because an FHA loan does not have the strict standards of a conventional loan, it requires two kinds of mortgage insurance premiums: one is paid in full upfront -– or, it can be financed into the mortgage –- and the other is a monthly payment. Also, FHA loans require that the house meet certain conditions and must be appraised by an FHA-approved appraiser.

    Upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) — Appropriately named, this is a one-time upfront monthly premium payment, which means borrowers will pay a premium of 1.75% of the home loan, regardless of their credit score. Example: $300,000 loan x 1.75% = $5,250. This sum can be paid upfront at closing as part of the settlement charges or can be rolled into the mortgage.

    This excerpt from Zillow to Read more on how to qualify simply CLICK HERE

Pending Home Sales Reverse Course in February, Rise 3.1 Percent

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2018) — Pending home sales snapped back in much of the country in February, but weakening affordability and not enough inventory on the market restricted overall activity compared to a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, grew 3.1 percent to 107.5 in February from a downwardly revised 104.3 in January. Even with last month’s increase in activity, the index is 4.1 percent below a year ago.

This exerpt from The National Association of Realtors. Click HERE to read more.

4 Ways to Prepare for a Competitive Spring Home-Buying Season

Suburban Spring

(TNS)—With housing inventory far lower than demand and mortgage rates poised to rise, it’s going to be a competitive market for homebuyers this spring.

If you’re looking to buy a home this season, here’s how to prepare yourself to enter the fray. 

Get your financial house in order.
Unless you plan on paying for the house in cash, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. No matter how streamlined the process is, you’ll still need to gather a significant amount of documentation to give an accurate financial picture to the lender.

Thisexcerpt from RIS Media. Please CLICK HERE to read more.

6 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Home

(TNS)—Buying a home is a huge investment—probably the most significant purchase of your life. It’s not something you should do without preparation.

Before you start on the road to homeownership, make sure you are ready.

Improve your credit score.
A high credit score snags you the best deals. “Below 660 or 680, you’re either going to have to pay sizable fees or a higher down payment,” says Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for the Consumer Federation of America.

This excerpt from RIS Media, please CLICK HERE to read more.

Open House

Please join us:

OPEN HOUSE FLYER 1269 VENUSJoin The Scott Sheppard Team team members Jake Hatki and Stacy Schnell in Vineland to tour this beautiful home! Come by and check it out located at 1269 Venus Drive, from 12PM-2PM Saturday the 24th! We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information, contact Jake Hatki by Call/TEXT at (856) 506-7852 or Stacy Schnell at (856) 364-0772 (Call/TEXT)

Getting Ready To Move

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now, for the next challenge: moving. This is a great time to carefully weed through your possessions and to dispose of any clothes, furniture and fixtures that you no longer want or need. Donate them to a charity, hold a garage sale – but if you don’t want them any more, don’t move them.

Are you going to pack yourself or hire professionals? If you’re doing your own packing, following is a list of materials you’ll need. Moving companies and overnight mail businesses can furnish these, as well as specialized items including wardrobe boxes for clothing and heavy-duty boxes for china and other breakables. Liquor and computer stores also are good sources for sturdy boxes.

You should start collecting the following materials:

  • Boxes of all sizes
  • Plastic bags
  • Non-shredded newspapers
  • Packing tape
  • Markers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tissues paper

This excerpt from stacyschnell.com please click for more information. 

Stacy Schnell ~ BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors & The Scott Sheppard Team

How to get your home ready to sell

Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

This excerpt from the balance.com

Please click here to read more. 

Four NJ real estate pros arrested in $5 million fraud case

Four New Jersey housing industry professionals were arrested in New Jersey last week for perpetrating a $5 million mortgage scam.

Real estate investor Victor Santos, builder Arsenio Santos, real estate settlement attorney Fausto Simoes, and mortgage loan officer Raquel Casalinho were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. According to the Department of Justice, between September of 2007 and November of 2008, the four co-conspirators and others fraudulently obtained mortgage loans with a total value of more than $5 million.

This excerpt from Mortgage Professional America.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MORE