Friday, September 15, 2017

EQUIFAX DATA BREACH COULD LEAD TO YEARS OF GRIEF FOR HOME BUYERS

Source: Washington Post

The catastrophic theft of 143 million consumers’ personal data from national credit bureau Equifax could cause financial grief for years for home buyers and mortgage applicants. The odds are that some of your sensitive information was stolen — possibly your address, Social Security number, driver’s license and credit card numbers — and could now be up for grabs to the highest bidders on a Dark Web site.

Making sense of the story:
• Equifax and the other two national bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, keep files on approximately 220 million individuals, so roughly two-thirds of consumers are potentially at risk from the breach. Ironically, the people who are called “credit invisibles” — the millions of Americans with little or no information in the bureaus’ files — may be the least affected by Equifax’s security lapse.


• Home buyers and mortgage applicants, on the other hand, tend to have significant information on file at the bureaus and could run into complications soon or down the road.
• If your personal information was hacked but you don’t do anything to detect fraudulent activity on one or more of your credit accounts, you’ll have problems. For example, you sign a contract to buy a house, and you apply for a mortgage. The lender pulls your credit and confronts you with shocking news: Your FICO credit score is too low for you to qualify for the loan because you’ve been running up too much debt on one or more accounts.
• Additionally, say your lender already has approved you for a mortgage or a home-equity loan. Before the scheduled closing, the loan officer does what has become standard practice in the mortgage industry in recent years — runs another credit check to make sure no new debts have been added since your application. But in the meantime, identity-theft criminals have created a new account or run up charges on one or more of your credit cards, knocking your debt-to- income ratio out of sight.
• Consumers are advised to “lock down your files” with fraud alerts or credit-file freezes. The latter can prevent criminals from creating accounts in your name by denying access to your credit reports. The former signals potential creditors to take extra steps to verify identity before issuing new credit in your name.

Full story
https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/theft-of-data-could-lead-to-years-of-grief-for- home-buyers-and-mortgage-applicants/2017/09/12/ed0f66fc-971a-11e7-82e4- f1076f6d6152_story.html?utm_term=.9a34b974c756

Read more...

HOME STAGING COULD PAY FOR ITSELF AND INCREASE SELLER EQUITY

Source: NAR Economists’ Outlook Blog 

According to 31 percent of REALTORS® who work with buyers, staging a home before listing it for sale on the market could have a price increase of up to five or 10 percent. On a $300,000 home, that could add between $15,000 and $30,000, paying for the cost of home staging and increasing a seller’s equity.

In a new NAR report 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 59 percent of REALTORS® who work with sellers said that staging a home could increase the dollar value buyers offer. Twenty-nine percent said it can increase the dollar value offered by one to five percent and 21 percent said it could increase the dollar value offered by six to 10 percent. If there is no impact on dollar value, home staging can help speed up the time it takes to sell a home, 62 percent said it slightly or greatly decreased a home’s time on market.

Full story
http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/2017/09/05/home-staging-could-pay-for-itself-and- increase-seller-equity/

Read more...

HOW IMMIGRANTS ARE TRANSFORMING THE AMERICAN DREAM

Source: Realtor.com

The impact immigrants have on U.S. real estate is growing, as 13 percent of the nation’s population— about 42 million people—hails from foreign countries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Immigrants are a big driving force for housing markets across the nation,” Kusum Mundra, an economics professor at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., told realtor.com®. “Most want the American dream, which is to own a home.”

But the road to homeownership for immigrants can be challenging. It takes an average of five to 10 years for immigrants to be able to purchase a home after arriving in the U.S., says Gary Painter, director of social policy at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. In 2016, about 40.7 percent of immigrants were homeowners compared to 66.1 percent of native-born Americans, according to a realtor.com® analysis. “Just like those born in the U.S., [immigrants] view home buying as putting down roots in the community,” Painter says. “On average, where immigrants are settling, property values have gone up.”

Full story
https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/immigrants-homeownership/

Read more...

CO-BORROWING TO BUY A HOME IS GAINING POPULARITY

Source: Market Watch 

Home buyers are increasingly taking on co-borrowers to help gain an edge, defray costs and shoulder the burden in a housing market characterized by relentless demand and tight inventory.

A new report from real estate information provider Attom Data shows that in the second quarter, 22.8 percent of mortgage purchase applications involved a co-borrower, up from 21.3 percent in the prior quarter and 20.5 percent in the year earlier.

There are dozens of programs, and a few private companies, that act as co-borrower by offering down payment in return for a share of equity in the home.

Full story
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/co-borrowing-to-afford-a-home-is-gaining-popularity-whos- doing-it-and-why-2017-09-06

Read more...

Monday, August 28, 2017

AVOID REAL ESTATE REGRET

Read more...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

HOW HOME BUYERS CAN OVERCOME TOUGH COMPETITION

Source: Kiplinger 

Redfin Chief Economist says to win in a hot market, home buyers should take advantage of technology to find homes as soon as they are listed.

Making sense of the story:
• Arm yourself with tech tools to find available homes quickly. With the variety of apps available today, you can receive listing alerts so that you're notified as soon as a home in your price range or search area hits the market.
• Buyers will gain an advantage from whatever concessions they can offer. Instead of a small earnest-money deposit, we've seen buyers put into escrow their entire down payment or even half of the purchase price.
• You needn't waive a contingency for inspection in the purchase contract. Rather, you can agree to pay the seller, say, $2,500, or next month's mortgage payment, if you walk away.
• Work with a local or reputable lender to get a preapproval for your mortgage that includes full documentation of your means to obtain a certain amount of financing in advance of a signed purchase contract. That may give you the confidence to waive a contingency for financing, and it’s almost as good as cash for closing a deal quickly.
• Because sellers can sell their homes in days but may take months to buy, you can gain leverage by offering to "rent back" their home to them for a certain number of months.

• Fall can be a good time to buy a home because prices generally peak in the summer and ease up in the fall. There's a bit less inventory, but many fewer buyers. Plus, sellers who list in the fall are serious because they must leave because of job relocation, divorce or something else that made them miss the top of the season.

Full story

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/real-estate/T010-C000-S002-how-home-buyers-can- overcome-tough-competition.html

Read more...

HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE JUMPS FROM 50-YEAR LOW

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

The U.S. homeownership rate may have finally bottomed out, as the share of Americans who own homes is steadily climbing. The ownership rate posted an increase in the second quarter, reversing a sharp downward trend that begun in the Great Recession.

The homeownership rate was 63.7 percent in the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. That marks nearly a full percentage point increase from a year ago. Last year, the homeownership rate had plunged to a 50-year low of 62.9 percent.

“The addition of 1.2 million households being homeowners is clearly good news, as more households are participating in housing equity gains,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. “But let’s keep it in perspective: There are fewer homeowners today compared to a decade ago, while renter households have risen by 8 million. So it is still the case that the massive $7 trillion in housing wealth gains from the cyclical low point has been accumulated by a fewer number of families in America. Further advances in homeownership are required to strengthen and broaden the middle class.”

Full story

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/homeownership-rate-jumps-from-50-year-low-2017-07-27

Read more...

  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP