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Nikla Huff, Realtor
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818-790-6774
818-999-3021
Nikla.Huff@
sbcglobal.net
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5 reasons to buy a house in the next 5 months

By Hal M. Bundrick



 

Photo: Thinkstock

A combination of market factors may make you think you're getting priced out of the home market. But one observer believes first-time homebuyers might want to consider making a move.

"I know it's hard to face rising interest rates and rising home prices at the same time," says Ilyce Glink, real estate expert and managing editor of the Equifax finance blog. "The good news is there's still plenty of runway if you want to buy a house this year."

Glink believes first-time homebuyers should consider these five good reasons to buy a house before the end of the year:

Home prices are still off their highs

Yes, home prices are rising from the lows seen during the housing crash of 2008, but they're still nearly 20% off their mid-2006 peak. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, average U.S. home prices are currently at summer 2004 levels. In markets that are still recovering, first-time homebuyers could see significant appreciation over the next few years, if they buy now.

Interest rates are expected to keep rising

Interest rates are slowly climbing, and as the Federal Reserve concludes its economic stimulus plan, rates are expected to continue to rise. Some experts believe mortgage interest rates could hit 5% by the end of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015, according to Glink. And even a small bump in interest rates can mean a significant jump in your monthly note.

"If you're offered a 4.2% interest rate on a $400,000 mortgage, for example, your monthly payment will be $1,961, and you'll pay more than $300,000 in interest over the loan's 30-year term," Glink says. "If your interest rate were 4.9%, your monthly payment would jump to $2,115, and the total interest paid over the life of the loan would exceed $360,000."

Rental rates are rising

There is always an argument to be made regarding whether to buy or rent. It's all a matter of your particular situation – as well as the status of your local housing market. If you need to be mobile -- prepared for job transfers or out-of-state promotions -- or are continuing to search for "the perfect place," renting is probably right for you.

However, if you would like to put down some roots, and rents are high in your hometown – it might be cheaper to buy.

"Divide the list price of the home you're interested in by the annual rental rate of a comparable property to determine the price-rent ratio," Glink advises. "If it's below 20, chances are it's a good time to buy."

Of course, buying a home means more than a mortgage. Remember to consider the other built-in expenses: maintenance, insurance, taxes and utilities.

Consider your buying power

Americans have been steadily reducing their debt load. Maybe you have, too. The lower your debt, the higher your buying power. Creditors will consider your debt-to-income ratio – how much debt you have, compared to your gross (before-tax) income.

"Experts generally agree that you can spend between 28% and 36% of your gross income in total debt service -- that's your housing expenses plus your other debt payments," says Glink.

With lower debt comes a higher score

As you pay off student loans, credit cards and consumer debt, your credit scorewill improve. And that's one of the biggest factors mortgage lenders consider when determining the interest rate and terms of your loan.

"You should definitely consider buying this year, because it's unlikely the housing market will look much rosier next year, when interest rates and home prices could be even higher," Glink says.

 


Buying a House? 3 Reasons to Do it Now!

Address

Here are three great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1.) Prices Will Continue to Rise

Standard & Poors recently upgraded their 2013 forecast for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index to an 11% year-over-year increase from their original 8% projection.

The Home Price Expectation Survey, which polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, projects a 22.3% appreciation in home values over the next five years. The bottom in home prices has passed. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2.) Mortgage Interest Rates Are Increasing

As reported by Freddie Mac, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have risen about 1/2 percentage point over the past several weeks.

The National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Fannie Mae are calling for interest rates to rise by approximately an additional ½ percentage point by this time next year. Some are trying to minimize the impact of higher rates. For example, Freddie Mac in their June U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook stated:

“At today’s house prices and income levels, mortgage rates would have to be nearly 7 percent before the U.S. median priced home would be unaffordable to a family making the median income in most parts of the country.”

However, an increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your  family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

To read the full article: http://www.kcmblog.com/2013/06/24/buying-a-house-3-reasons-to-do-it-now/ 
 

According to The LA Times:
Mortgage rates have risen
 half a percentage point
 since setting record lows last fall,
 and many economists expect them to
 continue rising for the foreseeable future.


To read the full article, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:
http://www.latimes.com/la-fi-mortgage-rates-20130531,0,1623235.story


To read the full article, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:

To read the full article, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:

To read the full article, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:

 

5 Tips Sellers Would give Buyers if they Could

The conventional wisdom is that buyers and sellers go together like oil and water. That is to say, they don’t go together at all. The buyer wants to pay as little as possible, while the seller wants to get top dollar for the place. But there’s a point of view from which the buyer and the seller want exactly the same thing:  the buyer wants to buy the place, and the seller wants to sell it to them! Many buyers and sellers act cooperatively to achieve just that result.

In the interest of helping both buyers and sellers move closer to an outcome that helps them both achieve their mutual goal, here are a few of the insider secrets from the seller’s side of the bargaining table that they would tell buyers, if they could.

    1.    Trashing my house doesn’t make me want to sell it to you at a discount.  To a seller, their home is their castle. It’s the place where they’ve raised their children, and has been the backdrop for many of their memories. It’s the asset into which they’ve invested the lion’s share of their time and money, sometimes for years.  It’s an intensive expression of their personal tastes.  And it’s also the asset they must convert into as much money as possible to move forward with the next phase of their lives.

All that said, the average seller knows most things about their home that you can see with the naked eye.  So if you, as a buyer, think trash talking a home, pointing out obvious flaws or issues is a good strategy for getting the price down, rest assured that you are not telling the seller anything they didn’t already know when they set the list price. In fact, you might very well be doing your case more harm than good, as this “strategy” is highly likely to alienate and insult the seller whose cooperation you seek. 

If you feel strongly that something about a place makes it less valuable than the comparables the seller seems to have based the list price on, work with your agent on how best to communicate your offer price rationale to the listing agent in a way that is diplomatic and fact-based.

    2.    Knowing that you have cash makes me feel comfortable taking your offer.  With distressed properties, over-asking multiple offers, and the generally warm-to-hot seller’s market in many areas, it has become increasingly common for sellers to request proof of a buyer’s “cash to close.” (This usually takes the form of bank or other asset account statements, with the sensitive account number information blacked out for security purposes.)

Some buyers in competitive situations have begun to proactively offer such proof, even when it hasn’t been requested, and even for non-cash offers.

Other buyers, though, take offense. Why shouldn’t the mortgage pre-approval letter be enough?  Why should you have to jump through yet one more documentation hoop?  Is the seller just plain nosy? Why are they all in your business?

One word: comfort. Over the last few years, the number of home sale transactions that went into - and fell out of - escrow due to last minute loan problems of pre-approved buyers hit a record high. While this is awful for buyers to go through, it’s even more disruptive for sellers, who are relying on the transaction to close in the time frame the buyer provided to move forward with their own lives. It’s also a worst case scenario for a seller who had 5 offers on the table to choose one and then have it fall out of escrow later on.

And sellers’ agents know this - often, the issues which derail a buyer’s loan can be resolved with money, extra cash down, extra cash at closing, extra cash to put in escrow for post-closing repairs required by the lender or the city.  So, proving that you have more cash than you appear to need to close the deal doesn’t necessarily set you up for the seller to ask for more cash - but it might help them feel that you’re the buyer most likely to sidestep mortgage obstacles and seal the deal.

    3.    It’s all about the Benjamins - but being able to close is a close second.  Buyers be on notice - all the love letters, cute dog pics and cookies in the world will not make your offer win out over others that are offering significantly higher than yours, financially speaking. There is always an exception to the rule. But if you’re trying to create a plan that stacks the decks in your favor in a multiple offer situation, your first priority should be to offer as much as you can, without spending beyond what is affordable for you and beyond the home’s fair market value.

That said, sellers also care - a lot - about how likely the offer they accept is to close escrow.  And when multiple offers get so numerous and so frenzied that buyers seem to be throwing money at a home, smart sellers pay attention to the fact that their home might very well not appraise at a crazily high price and focus on offers that seem realistic and close-able, which can mean offers below the highest.

Approval letters, proof of cash to close, the professionalism with which the offer is prepared and presented (see below), and even things like your credit score, your choice of mortgage broker/professional - all these things contribute to or detract from a seller’s estimation of how close-able your offer is.  If you’re competing against other offers, you should be maxing out both your price and your offer’s close-ability, as evidenced by these characteristics.

    4.    Your agent represents you to the world of sellers; choose wisely.  See above. A buyer’s broker or agent has a lot of influence on whether the transaction closes, and how smooth or bumpy the ride is. If your agent’s level of professionalism is lacking, it will show - and listing agents might actually rank your offer below others, in terms of close-ability.  If your agent’s level of professionalism is stellar, the opposite can occur.

    5.    Ask nicely - the old “flies with honey” adage is true. The conventional narrative about buyers and sellers is that they are adversaries. But the average buyer would be surprised at the number of times sellers are actually ready, willing and able to agree to their requests throughout a transaction. This is especially the case where:
1. the buyers’ requests are reasonable and not nickel-and-dime nitpicks
2. the buyers phrase their requests nicely, and
3. the buyers have been living up to their end of the bargain throughout the course of the transaction.
Compare this with buyers who try to hold sellers hostage to their requests with the threat that they’ll kill the deal if the seller doesn’t do every single penny-ante thing the buyer wants. 

Sellers have been known to leave valuable personal property behind, have repairs made, give thousands of dollars in repair credits or price reductions after a concerning inspection report - despite a hot seller’s market - all because they were good people, could afford to, and the buyer’s approach was more sweet than it was sour.

To see the complete article go to:
http://www.trulia.com/blog/taranelson/2013/03/help_a_buyer_out_5_tips_sellers_would_give_buyers_if_they_could?ecampaign=cnews201303A&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fblog%2Ftaranelson%2F2013%2F03%2Fhelp_a_buyer_out_5_tips_sellers_would_give_buyers_if_they_could

 

 
Nikla Huff, Realtor 
Contact Info:
Direct Office: 818-999-3021
Mobile: 818-517-9340
Personal FAX: 818-999-0023
Email: Nikla.Huff@sbcglobal.net
 
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Featured Property
| Properties I'm Selling (1) |
Beds:
3
Baths:
3.00
Sq.Ft.:
1,596
Status:
NEW LISTING
MLS#:
SR14203298
Type:
Townhouse
Year built:
1977
Listing Provided Courtesy Of: Glendale
Last Updated:

Welcome to your Magnificent Warner Village townhome. This 3 bedroom 2.5 bath end unit is an oasis in Woodland Hills Warner Center. Enjoy the pool, spa, & tennis courts. Your Master bedroom balcony & living room patio overlook the tree-shaded running brooks & ponds. The kitchen comes equipped with stove, oven, microwave & refrigerator. BBQ on the balcony by the breakfast nook. Dining level includes mirrored wall & built in wet bar. Living room has vaulted ceilings, fireplace & sliders leading outside to your personal patio. Private 2-car direct access garage with bonus room. Indoor laundry includes washer & dryer. Close to Warner Center, Westfield malls, restaurants & transportation.