Tag Archives: Katonah Luxury Real Estate

Mortgage questions answered | Katonah Real Estate

The common questions many first-time buyers ask are now answered.

Purchasing a home and conquering financial responsibility is a goal for many people. But making this leap to homeownership is a big step, and it’s one that should be taken with careful consideration. Let’s face it, finding a home and securing a mortgage isn’t a walk in the park — and certainly nothing like signing a simple rental agreement. You’ve probably encountered confusing jargon such as “points,” “preapproval,” and “prequalification,” and funny names like Fannie Mae. Making sense of everything can leave you on the verge of frustration, but don’t worry — this is a completely normal feeling.

To help you demystify the process and get the most out of your first mortgage, we’ve asked some finance experts about things to consider before applying, some common points of confusion, and a few handy tips to help you understand the basics of mortgages.

What’s your best advice to a first-time homebuyer?

“Be prepared; do your homework. Check out reputable lenders in your area. Get prequalified so that you know the price range in which you should be shopping.” — Cathy Blocker, EVP, Production Operations of Guild Mortgage Company

“Talk to a local mortgage banker that you’re comfortable with! There are some great mortgage bankers willing to help, so you shouldn’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t make you feel comfortable with the process. Explain what you’re looking to do and what your ideal home-buying situation is. The right mortgage banker will customize your home loan to your specific scenario. Make sure they explain all the costs ahead of time, so that you know exactly what to expect once you get a purchase contract and start the mortgage process.” — Nick Magiera of Magiera Team of LeaderOne Financial

What should buyers be prepared for when applying for a loan?

“Every mortgage situation is different, so there’s really not a one-size-fits-all list of requirements. I recommend that you contact a mortgage banker that you know, like, and trust. If you don’t know any mortgage bankers, then I recommend that you choose a mortgage banker that your real estate agent suggests you work with. Your real estate agent wants you to have a smooth transaction, so they will only send you to mortgage bankers that they trust. A great mortgage banker will then walk you through the process and customize the mortgage around your specific scenario.” — Nick Magiera of Magiera Team of LeaderOne Financial

“There are a few things to get squared away before applying for a loan: 1. Cash for a down payment. Save money/acquire money for a down payment and closing costs. 2. A good working knowledge of your personal finances. Create a budget of your future expenses, as if you own the house, and make sure you can afford it. A good rule of thumb is that your mortgage should not exceed 30% of your take-home income. 3. A general idea of the price range of homes you are interested in. Research potential homes through a local Realtor or at Trulia.com. Compare by looking at real estate taxes, neighborhood statistics, and other criteria. Take your time! Your house may be the largest purchase in your life.” — Scott Bilker of DebtSmart

What is the value in getting preapproved or prequalified for a mortgage?

“It gives homebuyers an edge against competing offers. If a seller sees two offers and one has already been approved, then that is often the one that they go with, as there is less risk for them.” — Tracie Fobes, Penny Pinchin’ Mom

“First off, there is a difference between preapproved and prequalified. Prequalifying means you have done an initial lender screening. However, preapproval is the next step in the process. You have to give the bank many more documents like you’re applying for the mortgage. It’s worth doing because you will get a preapproval letter from the bank, and this will show sellers and real estate agents that you’re a serious buyer. It will also give you a better idea of which homes you can afford. Additionally, you will be able to act quickly once you find that perfect place without having to then seek out financing.” — Scott Bilker of DebtSmart

What range of rates should a first-time homebuyer expect with either a poor credit score or a strong credit score?

“On a conventional loan (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), the difference in price between a poor credit score (620) and a strong credit score (740-plus) could be as much as 3.0 points in fees, or 0.75 to 1.25% in interest rate. On an FHA or VA loan, the price difference may be up to 0.75 in points in fees or 0.125 to 0.250% in interest rate.” — Cathy Blocker, EVP, Production Operations of Guild Mortgage Company

“There is not a single universal standard. Lenders determine what kind of risk premium it will add to a loan based on your credit history and other information presented in a loan application. You can’t take a lender’s advertised interest rate for its best-qualified borrowers and tack on a set premium because you’re a C credit instead of an A credit (A credit being the least amount of risk).” — Nick Magiera of Magiera Team of LeaderOne Financial

What are some tips for paying off your mortgage faster?

“There are only two ways to pay off your mortgage fast: 1. Refinance at a lower rate. 2. Pay more toward the mortgage. That’s it. Don’t be fooled by biweekly mortgages because all they do is make you pay more. If you are not in a position to get a lower rate, then simply increase your monthly mortgage payment to an amount that is comfortable, keeping in mind that this is money you cannot easily get back. Conversely, if you pay more on your credit cards, you can always use the card again for cash or to buy things you need.” — Scott Bilker of DebtSmart

What does it mean when “the Fed raises the rates,” and how does it apply to mortgages?

“[The] Federal Reserve sets the interest rate that banks pay to borrow overnight funds from other banks holding deposits with the Federal Reserve. If the cost of overnight borrowing to a bank increases, this typically causes banks to increase the interest rates they charge on all other loans they make, to continue to earn their targeted return on assets. As banks increase their interest rates, other lenders or financial firms also tend to increase their rates. An increase in the federal funds rate does not directly correlate to a direct increase in mortgage rates but is viewed as a general signal to the market that the Federal Reserve views that the economy is growing and that interest rates will be increasing in the future.” — Cathy Blocker, EVP, Production Operations of Guild Mortgage Company

What are points?

“Points are fees the borrower pays the lender at the time the loan is closed, expressed as a percent of the loan. On a $200,000 loan, 2 points means a payment of $4,000 to the lender. Points are part of the cost of credit to the borrower, and in turn are part of the investment return to the lender. That said, points are not always required to obtain a home loan, but a ‘no point’ loan may have a higher interest rate.” — Nick Magiera of Magiera Team of LeaderOne Financial

“‘Discount points’ refers to a fee, usually expressed as a percentage of the loan amount, paid by the buyer or seller to lower the buyer’s interest rate.” — Cathy Blocker, EVP, Production Operations of Guild Mortgage Company

read more…

https://www.trulia.com/blog/mortgage-101-breaking-down-basics/?ecampaign=con_cnews_digest&eurl=www.trulia.com%2Fblog%2Fmortgage-101-breaking-down-basics%2F

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Hits 10 Week Low | Katonah #RealEstate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling as the FOMC decided to leave short term rates unchanged.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.42 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 29, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.48 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.85 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.76 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.07 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.81 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.80 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.91 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Investors flocked to the safety of government bonds causing the 10-year Treasury yield to continue its descent following the FOMC’s decision to leave rates unchanged. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage responded by dropping 6 basis points before landing at 3.42 percent — a ten-week low. The course of the economy is uncertain, yet consumers continue to be a bright spot. The September consumer confidence index is up 3 percent to 104.1, exceeding forecasts and reaching a new cycle high.”

New Home sales shrink 11.5% | Katonah Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 11.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 in September of 2015, the lowest since November last year. The stock of new houses for sale increased to its highest since March of 2010. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 654.25 Thousand from 1963 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011. New Home Sales in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

United States New Home Sales

 

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
468.00 522.00 1389.00 270.00 1963 – 2015 Thousand Monthly
Volume, SA
A sale of the new house occurs with the signing of a sales contract or the acceptance of a deposit. The house can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction, or already completed. This page provides the latest reported value for – United States New Home Sales – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Content for – United States New Home Sales – was last refreshed on Monday, October 26, 2015.
read more…
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

Condo prices struggling | Katonah Real Estate

Appreciating home values in the bottom third of the market helped pull more homeowners out of negative equity in the second quarter of 2015, but condos were more likely than houses to be underwater , according to the Zillow® Negative Equity Report.

•             The U.S. rate of negative equity among mortgaged homeowners continued to drop in the second quarter of 2015, to 14.4 percent– the first time the rate has been below 15 percent since the real estate bubble burst.

•             The improvement was spurred by value growth in the least valuable third of the housing stock, which are far more likely to be underwater than other homes.

•             Condos are more likely to be underwater than single-family homes. Nearly 20 percent of all condos with a mortgage are upside down.

Condo-owners were in far worse shape than single-family homeowners in Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas. And in only three markets – Detroit, Memphis, and Pittsburgh –single-family homeowners were more likely to be underwater than condo-owners.

A high rate of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth is a lingering effect of the real estate crisis. At its worst, more than 15 million homeowners were upside down on their homes. Foreclosures, short sales and rapidly rising home values freed nearly half of those homeowners, leaving 7.4 million homeowners upside down at the end of Q2 2015.

The continued decline of the overall negative equity rate was fueled in the first half of the year by strong appreciation for the least valuable third of homes. The least valuable homes are much more likely to be underwater than more valuable homes

In the Atlanta market, for example, nearly 43 percent of the least valuable homes are in negative equity, while only 9.4 percent of high-end homes are underwater. Annual home value appreciation among the least valuable homes in Atlanta had slowed for 12 straight months through June 2015 months. However, low-end homes have been appreciating annually more than more valuable homes.  Since June 2014, annual appreciation in the bottom tier outpaced home value appreciation among all Atlanta homes, likely helping drive negative equity down there from 29 percent to 21 percent year-over-year.

Similar trends played out in Sacramento, Riverside, and Phoenix, all places that have struggled with high rates of negative equity.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/09/

 

Boost Your All-White Color Scheme | Katonah Real Estate

Love the look of fresh white but don’t want to feel like you live in a cold, minimalist compound? Here’s how to boost white to get a livable, inviting look that feels airy, open and full of personality.

U.S. house prices accelerate in April | #Katonah Real Estate

U.S. house prices accelerated further in April, as low inventories and growing sales push costs higher, a leading data provider said Tuesday.

CoreLogic reported a 2.7% monthly advance to take the year-on-year gain to 6.8%.

The spring is traditionally the strongest portion of the year for housing, and data from CoreLogic and other providers suggest an upturn.

“Old-fashion supply and demand, fueled by historically low mortgage rates and improving consumer finances and confidence, continue to push home prices up,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Dallas and Houston prices are showing few signs of let-up despite the collapse in energy prices. Dallas prices were up 10.3% in the 12 months to April, and Houston prices were up 9.5%. The Washington, D.C., area brought up the rear with just a 1.6% advance.

South Carolina was the strongest state, with an 11.4% advance, while Massachusetts saw a 1.7% drop, one of only four states to register a decline.

CoreLogic is the first of the three major house-price trackers to report results. The Case-Shiller/20-city composite rose 5% in the year to March, and the FHFA house price report showed a 5.2% gain in the 12 months to March.

 

read more…

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-house-prices-accelerate-in-april-corelogic-says-2015-06-02

New home sales jump in April even as prices gain | Katonah Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in April 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This comes after a big drop in March which saw just 481,000 new home sales, the biggest drop in almost two years and primarily driven by a precipitous drop in sales in the Northeast in March.

This is 6.8% above the revised March rate of 484,000 and is 26.1% above the April 2014 estimate of 410,000.

The big driver of the gain was one of the smaller home regions, the Midwest, which saw a jump from 57,000 to 78,000 sales. In April the West and Northeast both saw declines.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2015 was $297,300; the average sales price was $341,500 – both up from March.

 

read more…

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33989

Behold, the 15 Oldest Houses For Sale in NYC Right Now | #Katonah Real Estate

New York City may have nothing on Europe when it comes tohistoric architecture, but compared to the rest of the country, things here can be pretty darn old. The age between one building and the next on a New York City block can span a century, and to prove it, we’ve picked through the 15 oldest houses for sale in New York City right now with the help of StreetEasy. Here’s a hint about how old they get: the oldest house on this list is way older than Canada and lightbulbs, and was built the same year Thomas Jefferson died. Curious? Read your way through the list to find out just how old the oldest house on the market is.

 

read more…

 

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/05/12/

Westchester Property Taxes win Title for Highest | Katonah Real Estate

Barring floods and asbestos, property taxes are the highest cost of homeownership after a mortgage — and taxes never end.

In 2013, the median U.S. property tax bill was $2,132, according to a Zillow analysis that used the most recent data available.

That’s a whole lot less than residents paid in Westchester County, NY, where the median tax bill was $13,842. In Tunica County, MS, the median tax bill was $216.

All 10 of the most expensive counties for property taxes, based on the median paid for single-family homes, are in the same vicinity:

County Median taxes
Westchester, NY $13,842
Rockland, NY $10,550
Bergen, NJ $9,546
Essex, NJ $9,288
Nassau, NY $9,091
Passaic, NJ $8,978
Union, NJ $8,926
Morris, NJ $8,549
Hudson, NJ $8,407
Hunterdon, NJ $8,392

Four of the 10 least expensive counties are in Alabama, with the other six scattered among several states..

 

 

http://www.zillow.com/blog/property-taxes-2015-173854/