Are you looking for some ideas for your spring home projects? Look no further, the Home and Patio Show started yesterday and runs through Sunday. The show has more than 400 local and national retailers and manufacturers showing off their latest products.
Whether you are looking for ideas for bathrooms, kitchens, decks or landscaping the Home and Patio Show has it all. It is a great place to collect creative ideas, get advice and see what the current trends are and just be inspired.
The Home and Patio Show is held at the St. Paul River Center and has exhibits, displays, workshops and seminars. Professionals from all the industries will be on hand to give you personal advice and assistance. For more information, click here.
Many people are seeing the low interest rates that are out there and think that they are for everyone. Well, think again. In order to get these low rates, you need to have a great credit score, so how can you boost your credit score? One part of creating a high credit score is paying your bills on time, but the credit card piece of the puzzle is where many people become confused. How many credit cards should you have, do you need to pay in full, should you cancel them if they are paid. This NBC video answers some of these common questions.
It seems that it is no longer just the homeowners that want to avoid foreclosure, but the banks are looking to avoid foreclosure as well! A lot of this new strategy will depend on where you live and your individual circumstances but banks are mailing out offers to upside down homeowners offering up to $35,000 for them to short sell their home and move on. We all know the banks have not been the quickest to understand the housing situation and most of their solutions are coming too late but this plan may be a good thing. It seems that the banks are realizing that foreclosures are very expensive and extremely time consuming so by offering a decent settlement to the homeowner to get out quickly by doing a short sale they come out way ahead of going through the entire foreclosure process. Most people that stop paying their mortgages also stop maintaining their homes so by the time the bank gets the home back, which can be a year or more, the value of the house is significantly decreased and the homes are in a state of disrepair. There are plenty of pitfalls to this new plan such as second mortgages that won’t go along with the first lien and people that don’t qualify but for some it may be an ideal solution! Information from CNN.
The government released the news of the national mortgage settlement late last week. The question is: is this going to really help anyone? The settlement sounds wonderful with the big numbers but when you think of all the people it has to cover, the numbers get small fast. Those whose homes were foreclosed on in MN will get about $2000 a piece, is that enough? If you are upside down on your mortgage you might get as much as $17,000 but how far will that go? The program does not cover Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans and only applies to qualifying loans with the 5 big banks. In the end, 60-70% of people with a mortgage will not benefit from this plan. What do you think? Is this going to help people, is it a political ploy, will it stimulate the market or is it too little too late? For more information on the settlement, click here.
Twin Cities home sales were up 12% in January, a 25% increase over January 2011, making it the best January since 2005! The number of new listings was also down reducing housing inventory even further causing many to think that it won’t be long until prices will have to start rising. On the downside, prices were also down. For more on the numbers breakdown, click here.
As a Realtor I see a lot of homes, some are new, some are old, some are updated but there are some things that will just date any home that are easy to change! You live in your home so you may not realize the effect certain items have on a buyer. Is your home dated? One of the worst offenders would be the gold knobs and light fixtures from the 80’s and 90’s. I can’t tell you how many homes I have shown where the sellers have done a great job of renovating their home but they left the gold hardware and fixtures which immediately says to the buyers – dated! I think most sellers have gotten so used to these items, they don’t even see them. Even if you are not going to renovate your home prior to putting it on the market, change out the gold hardware and fixtures and replace them with the current trend. This is a fairly inexpensive and simple fix that will really add an updated look to any home.
According to DSNews.com several market indicators point not just to a stabilization of mortgage lending standards, but also a loosening of credit availability which could all lead the beginning of the end to the housing crisis.
The loan-to-value ratios are up from their low point of 74% in 2010 to 82% and lending amounts have increased to 3.5 times borrower earnings up from 3.2 times.
The banks are loosening credit standards, but the credit requirements are still a tough hurdle for many to get over. The average credit score has been remaining right around 700 which is slightly higher than before the crisis but is a reasonable number. 8% of purchase contracts that fell through in 2011 were due to the buyer’s inability to secure financing.
Are you planning on buying a home this spring? This video clip goes over many of the steps you need to take and things you need to consider when starting your home search. Contact me for more information, I can assist you in your search for the perfect home!
It is pretty clear that we need to get the short sales and foreclosures off the market in order for real estate to rebound. The question is: are investors good for real estate? The past few months investors have purchased about 23% of the homes on the market. At first glance this is a good thing but the problem is that they are making more and more cash offers, actually about 74% are cash deals. Still wondering where the problem lies? The banks negotiating the short sales and foreclosures prefer the cash transactions over financed ones as they are a sure thing and quicker to close with financed buyers needing 30+ days to close. The cash buyers are also offering 10-20% less on the properties and the banks are still taking these cash offers over financed offers. What it all comes down to is that the cash investors are driving the low prices down even further and taking properties away from traditional financed buyers. You be the judge, is this a good or bad thing for the real estate market? Statistics from USA Today.
Once again the mortgage rates hit new lows, the 15 year fixed rate is the lowest since the Freddie Mac has been keeping track back in 1971. Because of the low rates, 8 out of 10 mortgage applications right now are for refinancing! The 30 year fixed rate is at 3.87% down from 4.81% just a year ago, the 15 year fixed rate is at 3.14%. Click here for the full article from Inman News.
The January Monthly Skinny will show you where the Twin Cities real estate market has been and where it is heading.
Spring is just around the corner and with the mild winter we have been having spring fever is already starting! Maybe you are going to put your home on the market or perhaps you just want to spruce up your home for spring. I have a few simple fairly inexpensive tips to help you do just that!
With a little time and effort your home will be ready for spring and summer!
Right now it is looking like 2012 is on the way to an increase in new construction as building permits are up! Estimates say that we may see a 10-12% increase in new construction this year which would be great news! In January, Minneapolis led the way with the number of building permits issued followed by St. Paul, Hudson, WI, Eagan and Maple Grove. Click here for more.
If you were in love with my old website, no worries, my new website has all the same features and more. Welcome to my new website! The biggest notable change is that my new site is mobile friendly. You will now be able to view my website on your phone or tablet when you are on the go! My website is a useful tool for buyers, sellers and those that just need information on real estate related topics. Stay abreast of the current real estate trends on my home page blog, use my resource list to find services in the metro area, if you are relocating to Minnesota you will find useful tips under the relocation tab and my Minnesota blog provides insight into life in Minnesota, I provide information on Short Sales and Foreclosures whether you need to sell or want to buy, if you need information on schools or communities I have links to many useful websites that can answer your questions or maybe you are just wondering what your home is worth these days, I have a complimentary CMA form. As always I have my listings and a property search tool. Welcome to my new website – enjoy!