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Archive for May, 2013

Another bubble?

Another bubble?

With markets coming back to life in many areas of the country, some are raising concerns about the possibility of another housing bubble. Are such fears well-founded? According to this post on the KCM Blog, such fears are overrated. Throughout most of the nation (91 out of 100 largest metro markets) housing prices, even though on the rise, remain undervalued. Even in areas which are overvalued, price increases remain at percentages far below those of the 2006 to 2007 bubble. The KCM piece cites three other reasons indicating we are not headed for another bubble:

1. Supply is starting to increase: as more people see prices going back up and homes selling, they are deciding it’s time to again enter the market.

2. Demand decrease in certain demographics: as prices continue to rise, certain segments of buyers, particularly investors, will begin to back off.

3. Rising interest rates: as mortgage interest rates continue to increase, buyers will be able to afford less.

Thus, it does not appear there’s another housing bubble on the horizon any time soon. However, all these factors continue to indicate now is a good time to jump into the market. If you’re planning on buying or selling, don’t wait for interest rates to go up – start looking at things now. I’d be happy to discuss your individual situation. Please give me a call!

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Zombies Are Here (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Zombies Are Here (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The “course corrections” (to put it mildly) of the real estate market over the last few years has introduced several new terms to our everyday real estate lexicon. Among these are terms like “distressed property,” “short sale,” “shadow inventory,” “upside down,” and “under water.” Here are a couple more new terms: “zombie homes” and “boomerang buyers.”

“Zombie homes” or “zombie foreclosures” refer to a property abandoned by the homeowner prior to the lender gaining possession of the property through foreclosure. In more than a few cases, homeowners receive a notice of sale from their lender, prompting them to move out under the (mistaken) belief that the lender has assumed ownership of the home. However, until the lender formally takes possession of the property at the conclusion of the foreclosure process, the homeowner remains legally responsible for the property. This is clearly a serious issue. Even more serious are the cases where the lender never actually takes possession of the home and the owner only learns about the situation years after – all the while still remaining legally responsible for the property.

If you’re having trouble making your payments, don’t wait for the situation to become completely out-of-hand. Sometimes a short sale is a good solution to the problem. Seek the assistance of competent real estate and legal professionals who can offer sound advice and assistance.

Our other “new” term, “boomerang buyers,” refers someone who lost a property to foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy, but is now once again eligible for a new mortgage. Expect to see this demographic continue to grow as those who suffered through our recent real estate mess are once again able to return to the home ownership market.

If you happen to be a “boomerang buyer” interested in returning to home ownership, please feel free to get in touch with me. I’d be happy to help put you in touch with lenders who can consult with you regarding your situation and your options.

(Source: The KCM Blog)

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The Increasing Cost of Renting (Source: KCM Blog)

The Increasing Cost of Renting (Source: KCM Blog)

Historically, the average rental price has increased over time — a trend likely to continue going into the future. A fixed rate mortgage allows you to “lock in” a certain monthly cost for a specified period of time. If your situation allows you to buy, now is a good time to move from renting to owning. Read more on this topic at the KCM Blog here.

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Zestimate: Read the fine print.

Zestimate: Read the fine print.

Relying on a “Zestimate” for you home’s value? Be sure to read the fine print. A computer generated number will never replace the skill, knowledge, and experience of a Realtor familiar with the local market. Buying or selling? Speak with a live human being familiar with the local market — call me today at (239) 290-4072.

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