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Roof Cave-Ins Across Boston Area | Bedford Real Estate

The latest menace dealt by New England’s historic snowbound winter — the creak, crack and boom of collapsing roofs — may get worse as the region heads into a weekend forecast of rain.

Rooftops, especially flat ones, have buckled under the weight of snow from Rhode Island northward to Maine. In Massachusetts, 106 roofs have caved in the last two weeks. Two partial roof collapses in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, displaced as many as 700 residents in an apartment complex.

There have been no reports of death or serious injury in the structural failures. That could change with Boston’s next round of foul weather, which will start Saturday. Unlike every system since Jan. 27, it will switch to all rain through the overnight hours, said Alan Dunham, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts.

“The snow will basically just absorb all the rain,” Dunham said. “All that snow sitting on roofs will be even heavier and it will exacerbate an already large problem.”

Roof collapses in Massachusetts include a commercial plaza, daycare center and lumber retailer, according to the state’s emergency management agency, MEMA.

Barn Roof

In Newington, New Hampshire, about 100 employees face a temporary layoff after a roof collapse on a warehouse at Georgia-Pacific.

A barn roof gave way in Berwick, Maine, as did part of a roof over a manufacturing facility in Rockland, the coastal Maine community known for its annual lobster festival.

In the Boston area, which has been smothered by more than eight feet of snow this season, companies that shovel off roofs and break up ice dams are so busy that many aren’t returning new calls for help.

As of Thursday afternoon, Boston had received 98.7 inches (about 250 centimeters) at Logan International Airport, making the current winter the snowiest on record behind 1995-1996, when 107.6 inches fell.

Whether Saturday’s storm system brings snow, rain or a mix, it will add weight, said Chris Besse, a MEMA spokesman.

“That’s why we’re encouraging people to get out there and check their roofs,” he said in a telephone interview.

Red Flags

Signs of impending collapse can include sagging roofs, leaks inside the house and cracked or split wood in the structural makeup of the dwelling, MEMA said on its website. Sprinkler heads that drop down from ceiling tiles, doors that pop open and doors or windows that are difficult to open can also be red flags.

To ease the roof’s load, the state recommends a snow rake – – if you can find one for sale. Start from the edge and work inward, shaving the piles down to two or three inches. Scraping the roof clean will risk damage to shingles and other roofing material, MEMA advises.

 

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-20/

Mortgage Rates Tick Down Slightly | Bedford NY Real Estate

 

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey(R) (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving down slightly to remain near historic lows.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.13 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 17, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.37 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.23 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.41 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.97 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.39 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.40 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.66 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes
Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports. Of the few releases, industrial production rose by 0.2 percent in June, below the market consensus forecast. Also, the producer price index for final demand rose 0.4 percent in June, rebounding from a 0.2 percent decline the prior month.”

Fixed Mortgage Rates Down Slightly | Bedford Real Estate

 

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates reversing course and moving slightly lower for the week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.17 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending June 19, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.30 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.04 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.00 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.79 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.41 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.40 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.57 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes
Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were down slightly for the week ending on June 19, 2014. Meanwhile, housing starts in May were 6.5 percent below the revised April rate. Following a similar pattern, building permits fell 6.4 percent in May after a 5.9 percent increase a month earlier. Also, CPI rose 0.4 percent in May, more than expected, following a 0.3 percent rise in April.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property prices are rising swiftly. The Bank of England may intervene | Bedford Real Estate

 

BRITAIN’S housing market is like food in a microwave, says Spencer Dale, the chief economist at the Bank of England. It can “turn from lukewarm to scalding hot in a matter of a few economic seconds”. Since the crisis the bank has gained new tools to control the market’s temperature. Now that the heat is rising, it may soon start testing them out.

Until last year house prices were rising predominantly in prosperous central London boroughs. That was largely because of an influx of cash-rich buyers, says Neal Hudson of Savills, an estate agency. People saw posh property in the capital as a shelter from economic turmoil abroad. Elsewhere in Britain, the housing market was torpid. Potential buyers struggled to find mortgages. Falling real wages, economic uncertainty and the memory of plummeting house prices during the crisis curbed Britons’ obsession with property.

 

 

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21600728-property-prices-are-rising-swiftly-bank-england-may-intervene-cool-it

What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Mortgage Rates in 2014 | Bedford NY Homes

 

Get in while the gettin’s good.

That’s one way to sum up what homebuyers should know about mortgage rates in 2014.

Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, so if you’re looking to get the best possible rate in 2014 you should be aware of where mortgages stand and where experts think they’re going.

What’s happening now The good news is that rates are still attractive right now. In January, the average commitment rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.43 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That’s up from last year, but still lower than the annual average of every year from 2011 back to 1971. (Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970.)

The bad news? Rates will continue to rise. How high they rise depends on two things: the Federal Reserve and the economy. Here are a couple of ways those two factors are affecting rates.

The Fed is scaling back its economic stimulus program The Fed has reduced its bond purchasing program, which helped to keep mortgage rates low. As it continues to scale back on bonds, rates will likely increase.

Investors just aren’t that into mortgage notes According to Reuters, “Upbeat trade data from China and an optimistic economic outlook from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen whetted investors’ appetite for risk.”

So what does that have to do with mortgage rates? Confident investors don’t buy safe investments like mortgage notes — they bet on riskier (and more profitable) investments. That usually means that mortgage rates will go up.

Predictions for 2014 It’s likely that mortgage rates will rise above 5 percent this year, according to the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA).

“We expect mortgage rates will increase above 5 percent in 2014 and then increase further to 5.5 percent by the end of 2015,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research and Education in a press release. “As a result, mortgage refinancing will continue to drop, and borrowers seeking to tap the equity in their homes will be more likely to rely on home equity seconds rather than cash-out refinances.”

 

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/23/what-every-homebuyer-should-know-about-mortgage-ra.aspx

 

Warnings about ban on dual agency in FHA short sales can be safely ignored | Bedford Real Estate

 

Some servicers, including Bank of America, have been telling some Realtors that dual agency is not allowed in FHA short sales, but that is not correct, the National Association of Realtors warned today.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), of which FHA is a part, issued a letter to mortgage servicers in July outlining a number of new anti-fraud requirements for short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, including a policy that ”brokers and their agents may only represent the buyer or the seller, but not both parties.”

The policy was to take effect on Oct. 1, but in September, HUD postponed the policy after receiving a letter from NAR saying the ban on dual agency could make it harder for the government to get top dollar on short sales if some brokerages decided not to represent sellers in FHA short sales because they would not want to restrict their agents from representing buyers of those properties.

– See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/nar-warns-members-not-to-heed-claims-of-ban-on-dual-agency-in-fha-short-sales/?utm_source=20140317&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesam#sthash.PyrAk6d2.dpuf