Category Archives for "Real Estate News"

All Charlotte NC Real Estate News including, Charlotte Homes for Sale, and Charlotte NC Real Estate Market Reports, and trends

Perfect Buyers Market

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are beginning to initiate foreclosures at a faster pace.

According to a new study from Lender Processing Services (LPS), GSE foreclosure starts have been accelerating and are currently at all-time highs. From May to June, foreclosures initiated by Fannie and Freddie jumped 21 percent.

The GSEs’ prime borrowers are performing the worst. Foreclosure rates among the agencies’ prime loans have soared nearly 400 percent since January 2008, with a notable hastening tracked over the last two months, LPS reports. That increase is second only to the swell seen in non-agency “jumbo” mortgages, for more than $729,750.

LPS says the recent momentum in GSE foreclosure starts coincides with Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) cancellations, with most of the volume concentrated in the very late stages of delinquency (six-plus months).

The latest HAMP statistics from the Treasury showed an extremely elevated number of cancellations from trial plans, as many borrowers who received temporary modifications have not been able to verify their income or have missed trial payments.

As of the end of June, 520,814 HAMP trials had been cancelled – more than have been converted to permanent status. In addition, 8,823 permanent modifications have been cancelled under the federal program.

In contrast, LPS says foreclosure starts have remained relatively stable over the last several months for the rest of the industry. The company puts the overall foreclosure rate as of the end of June at 3.65 percent, but notes that foreclosure inventories are still elevated.

According to LPS’ market data, total foreclosure starts for 2010 are at 1,456,000. That stat is lower than 1,682,000 for the same period in 2009, but up from 1,245,000 in the first half of 2008.

Mortgage Rates Remain Virtually Unchanged, Linger at Historical Lows

Rates are at a historic low, check out the article that DSNews.com recently published about it!

“After weeks of continuous declines, mortgage rates remained nearly flat for the week ending June 3, 2010, Freddie Mac and Bankrate reported Thursday.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.79 percent with an average 0.8 point this week, barely inching up from last week’s average of 4.78 percent. However, this week’s average was significantly lower than last year at this time when 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.29 percent.Continue reading

Top 10 Myths About Buying a Foreclosure

Trulia.com and RealtyTrac recently surveyed US adults to get some insight into what people think is involved with buying a foreclosure. Here are the Top 10 Myths that were recently posted on Trulia.com and the facts to set the record straight:

1. Foreclosures need a huge amount of work. 92 percent of consumers expressed that if they bought a foreclosure, they would be willing to make home improvements after they closed the deal, with 65 percent being willing to invest 20 percent or less of the purchase price. Although stories of foreclosures missing plumbing and every electrical fixture are very memorable, many foreclosed homes need only the (relatively inexpensive) cosmetics that many new homeowners want to customize no matter what kind of home they’re buying: paint, carpet, etc.

2. Foreclosures sell at massive discounts, compared to other homes. Almost every member – 95 percent – of the surveyed group expected to pay less for a foreclosed home than for a similar, non-foreclosed home; 18 percent had realistic expectations of less than a 25 percent discount. However, 36 percent expected to receive a bargain basement discount of 50 percent or more off the value of a similar non-foreclosure. Reality check: while foreclosures might be discounted massively from what the former owner paid or owed, their discounts are much more modest when compared to their value on today’s market and the prices of similar homes.

3. Buying a foreclosure is risky. 49% of respondents said they perceived buying a foreclosure as risky. And yes – buying a foreclosure at the auction on the county courthouse steps can have risks, including the risk the new owner will take on the former’s owner’s liens and other loans. But most buyers looking for foreclosures are looking at bank-owned properties, which are listed on the open market with other, ‘regular’ homes. Buying these homes is really no more risky than buying a non-foreclosed home

4. You can’t get inspections on the property when you buy a foreclosed home. County auction foreclosures don’t often offer the ability for buyers to have the homes inspected. But virtually all bank-owned properties for sale on the open market not only allow, but encourage buyers to obtain every inspection they deem necessary. This is because almost every bank sells their foreclosed homes as-is, and they want to avoid later liability. It’s in everyone’s best interests to make sure that the buyer has full information about the property’s condition before they close the deal.

5. There are hidden costs to watch out for when buying a foreclosed home. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents who felt there is a negative stigma to buying a foreclosure expressed the concern that buying a foreclosure poses the danger of hidden costs. At some foreclosure auctions, there are buyer’s premiums and other hefty fees that can really add up and take a chunk out of the effective savings the buyer stood to realize. However, when you buy a bank-owned property that is listed for sale with a real estate agent, the closing costs are the same as they would be if you bought a non-foreclosed home. Overdue property taxes, HOA dues and other bills left behind by the defaulting homeowner are cleared by the bank that owns a foreclosed home before it is sold on the market, though these items should be watched out for if you buy a home at the county foreclosure auction.

6. Foreclosures are more likely to lose their value than “regular” homes. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults who believed there are downsides to buying foreclosed properties believed this myth. In fact, because foreclosures often offer a discount from the home’s current market value, they may offer some degree of insulation from further depreciation. Whether a home loses its value or not has to do with the dynamics of the local market, including the area’s supply of homes, demand for homes, interest rates and the health of the employment market – not with whether the home was or was not a foreclosure at the time it was purchased.

7. Most foreclosures happen when homeowners just walk away. Out of homeowners with a mortgage, only 1 percent said walking away from their home would be their first choice if they were unable to pay their mortgage. And a whopping 59 percent of mortgage-holders said they wouldn’t walk away from their home – no matter how upside down they were on their mortgage. Most foreclosures happen when the owners lose their jobs or their mortgage adjusts to the point where they absolutely cannot pay the mortgage, no matter how hard they try. Voluntary ‘walk-away’s are simply not as popular as many people think.

8. When you buy a foreclosure, you should lowball the bank – they are desperate to get these homes off their books. Stories about in the press abound about the large numbers of foreclosed homes the banks have on their books. We’ve all heard the adage that banks have no interest in owning these properties. But the real deal is that they’re simply not desperate enough to give these places away. Also, the banks mostly service the defaulted loans – they don’t own them. Various groups of investors do, and they hold the banks accountable to selling the bank-owned property at as high a price as possible, helping them cut their losses. Many banks won’t even consider lowball offers, and many bank-owned properties actually sell for above the asking price. Before a bank will take a lowball offer, they will almost always reduce the list price first, and see if that attracts a higher offer than the lowball one they have in hand.

9. You need to be able to pay in cash in order to buy a foreclosure. Again, if you buy a foreclosed home on the county courthouse steps, you might need to bring a cashier’s check and be ready to pay for the place on the spot. By contrast, bank-owned homes are bought through a more normal real estate transaction, which means buyers can obtain a mortgage to finance the home just like they would if the home weren’t a foreclosure. It is true, though, that in some markets, banks prefer offers from cash buyers, but this tends to be in situations where the property’s condition is pretty dire, and the bank knows this may make it hard for a buyer to obtain financing.

10. It’s easier to buy a foreclosure with bad credit if you get a mortgage with the same bank that owns the property. Think about it: why would the bank want to end up with the same property as a foreclosure, again? Well, that’s what would happen if they allowed buyers with low credit scores to buy their foreclosures just to earn the interest on the mortgage. In reality, many banks do offer incentives like lower fees or closing cost credits for buyers who use their bank for their mortgage. But the buyers must meet the same credit, income and other qualification standards as anyone else would to seal the deal.

How to Save Money by Researching your Mortgage Loan?

Charlotte homes for sale - saving money on charlotte homesMortgage rates continue to decline, and now could be an optimal time to consider buying Charlotte homes, or a Charlotte real estate investment property. The latest data from Zillow Mortgage Rate Ticker indicates that mortgage rates remain steady at 4.84% for a 30 year fixed loan.

Yet, even though rates are low, it is critical to do your mortgage research. We were particularly surprised by a recent Zillow study that indicates mortgage borrowers spend the same amount of time researching and shopping around for a mortgage as they did researching the purchase of a computer or a vacation. Even more surprising was a finding that borrowers spend 50% less time researching a mortgage than they do researching a car purchase. But the average Charlotte home loan costs 5 times as much as the average car, and 80 times as much as the average vacation.

Its critical to do your mortgage research before buying Charlotte homes. By not fully understanding a home loan, you leave yourself open to significant risk and price differentiation. Small differences in the interest rates can result in savings or losses of several thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in the purchase of a home.

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How the Greek Debt Crisis may benefit homeowners

Charlotte home for sale and greek debt crisisThe recent debt crisis in Greece has wreaked havoc on the markets, and many are concerned that the problems in Greece could spread to other European countries including Spain and Portugal.  This has resulted in a flight to safety, as investors look to reduce risk by finding more stable investments.

One of the few positives of this crisis has been a reduction in mortgage rates (which will make it cheaper to buy Charlotte homes for sale).  Nervous investors are moving to less risky investments such as securities issued by the US government.  Because mortgage rates are closely correlated to government bonds, mortgage rates have declined.
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Using a Mortgage Loan Calculator

calculate the value of Charlotte Homes with this mortgage calculatorSo you are interested in a Charlotte home for sale, and ready to begin house hunting.  But before you apply for a mortgage loan, it’s important to determine the potential cost of your home. One feature of our website is a mortgage calculator that allows homebuyers to calculate the cost of a mortgage so you can be more prepared before applying for a mortgage.

Our loan calculator enables prospective homebuyers to get an approximation of their monthly mortgage payments simply by entering basic data about your upcoming Charlotte home purchase. You can access our mortgage loan calculator to find out how much you can pay for Charlotte Homes.

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How to Buy a Home with Little Money Down

If someone told you that you could buy a home with little money down, would you believe them? Perhaps you should reconsider. Buying a home with little money down can be a possibility with some help and a little planning. Here are some options to consider:

1) Buying a home with a “seller carry back” is a popular option. The trick is to find a home with an assumable loan. You would ask the owner to carry a second mortgage on the home, equal to the equity. In this scenario, you could get in for very little money.

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Working with Charlotte Realtors

If you are looking at the purchase of a home in the Charlotte, NC area, it is advisable to get some expert help to secure a good deal. You wouldn’t go to a plumber for legal representation, so why not work with local expert Charlotte realtors to help you find the home of your dreams.

The general real estate market in Charlotte has seen a lot of fluctuation over the last year. Like many southeastern areas of the United States, property values have declined significantly. This has left many people “upside down” in their loans. That is why we have seen so many REO foreclosures on the market. In addition, there is a whole new issue about to hit the real estate market this year. It’s called balloon payments coming due, as well as ARM’s getting ready to change.

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