Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Nearly a Done Deal

The popular $8000 federal tax credit for 1st-time home buyers is set to expire on November 30th.  Recent insight from the floor in the Senate, however, indicates that legislators are very close to approving extending the credit through June 2010 and expanding it to move-up buyers.  Check this article out for the full scoop.

Waiting for the market to bottom out? You may be too late!

I’ve repeatedly been asked when I thought the Sacramento housing market would bottom out.  My answer was always the same: “The only way to see the bottom is to be past it.”

The latest home sale statistics show that the bottom of Sacramento’s housing market may be behind us.  The median home price in Sacramento County in August was $190,000.  Compared to February 2009’s reading at $167,000, that represents a 13.8% increase in Sac-town’s median home price.  The graph below shows how a trough in the median home price has developed over the last nine months.

The last 9 months show a trough starting to form on Sac-town's median home price
The last 9 months shows a trough developing

Market timing is more luck than skill.  For those waiting to time the bottom, you may be a few months late.  But, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance at buying a home at an incredible value.  There are still 2,993 properties for sale in Sacramento for less than $190,000.  Opportunities still abound for those decisive enough to follow the facts

Study finds walkable neighborhoods command higher prices

A report done by CEOs for Cities concluded that walkable communities command higher prices for their homes.  Hopefully this and other studies will steer city planning across our country towards more mixed use, higher density development as opposed to segregatedly zoned suburban sprawl.

Curious about how your neighborhood ranks in walkability?  Go to www.walkscore.com. Very cool tool!

Folsom Home Prices Remain Resilient

Over the last 12 months the Dow Jones Stock Index has fallen nearly 20%.  Considering how battered real estate has been relative to other parts of our economy, you’d think Folsom home prices haven’t fared much better.  But, in actuality, the Folsom median home price has remained essentially flat.  In June 2008, it was at $384,000, and in June 2009 it was $382,000.  It feels great to live in a community that has weathered the real estate down-turn better than others in our region.  Since real estate prices in the Sacramento region peaked in August of 2005, the median home price in Sacramento county has fallen 54%.  In Folsom, only 30%. Here is a history of median home prices since the market peak in August 2005

Also, here is a wonderful article that details how many home renters are becoming home owners as the difference between their old rent payment and new mortgage payment has become marginal.  Give it a read.

Buying is now cost-effective for some renters

New Refinance Opportunity, courtesy of President Obama

As you may know, President Obama and the US Treasury have developed a program called “Making Home Affordable” that aims to allow homeowners to refinance at competitive rates even though they may not meet traditional credit and/or home equity requirements.  I believe this program has the potential to open doors for millions of Americans to refinance into super-low fixed rates despite their falling home values, and I want my clients to be the first to seize this opportunity. 

 

The program was announced in early March, and it has taken several weeks for the lending industry to determine how to best implement the program.  Over the last two days, however, the following feature highlights of the program have been announced:

  • Loan-to-value percentages of up to 105% will be allowed, meaning homeowners who have little to no equity may be eligible to refinance
  • No mortgage insurance will be required if the current loan did not originally require mortgage insurance
  • No credit score minimum, but you must have solid mortgage payment history
  • Loans up to $417,000 will be eligible
  • Primary residences, vacation homes and investment properties are all eligible
  • Only loans that are currently owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be eligible

Beginning next week, “Making Home Affordable” refinances will be offered by two of my top lenders!

 

My team and I will be working over the weekend to exhaustively review hundreds of our client’s situations to better determine who may be eligible for this unprecedented program.  Simply email me at to indicate you would like me to research your eligibility and contact you as soon as possible.  Also, don’t be shy about forwarding my blog to your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who may benefit from this program.  I’m sure you have someone you care about that needs this refinance opportunity to improve their financial well-being.  It would be my honor to take care of your loved one in the same trusted manner I have done for you over the years.  Remember, referrals are the heart of my business.

 

As your committed mortgage and real estate consultant, I am excited about proactively working with you in the coming days to take advantage of this long awaited and valuable opportunity.