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Home Buyer Beware - Know the Signs of Real Estate Market Trouble


Lots of articles have appeared recently about the booming real estate market in the United States. Home prices, especially on the East and West coasts, are not only at record levels, but are increasing at record rates. In some areas around Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, home prices have tripled in the last five years. While many homeowners have been enjoying huge increases in their equity, realized when they either sell their home or borrow against it, the market has become increasingly difficult for those trying to buy homes. It may get worse, as there are now some strong signs that the market may be near its peak:

  • The prices of homes in many markets are so high that few buyers can purchase them using traditional mortgages. In Washington, D.C., for instance, 48% of new mortgages are of the interest-only variety, where the buyer pays only the interest on the loan for the first few years. This keeps the payments low enough that the buyer can qualify for the loan. The problem is that the buyer is only paying interest and not actually contributing to the purchase price of the home. The fact that so many buyers are obtaining interest-only loans suggests that prices in those markets may be too high to be sustained.
  • Many home appraisers have complained that lenders are constantly pressuring them to "make the numbers" when appraising homes. Appraisers in some modestly-appreciating markets, such as Buffalo, NY, say that they are often given a value when assigned an appraisal, with the unspoken understanding that their appraisal is expected to come in at or above that figure. The lending industry is competitive, and lenders want to issue as many loans as possible. It would appear that quite a few of them are even willing to lend money when the home doesn't appraise for the asking price. Appraisers point out that if they don't provide the "requested" figures, then the lenders will simply hire other appraisers.
  • The foreclosure rate is increasing. The rate increased in March and April over the same months last year, suggesting that more buyers may have discovered that they have mortgages on which they cannot make the payments. The foreclosure rates are the highest in Florida and Texas, which have foreclosure rates that are nearly triple the national average. With interest rates near historic lows, mortgages are more likely to become even less affordable as interest rates increase.

What this means for prospective buyers is that they must do even more research before buying a home. Buyers should genuinely consider whether or not they could actually afford to make home payments that include a reduction in principal. If a buyer can't afford a home without taking out an interest-only loan, the buyer probably can't afford the home. Buyers should be suspicious of home appraisals and should, if possible, ask the appraiser if they are being pressured to provide a predetermined figure. Every buyer wants his or her home to appraise for at least the amount of the loan. But the current market is one where buyers are straining to make payments on prices that are at record levels. The last thing any buyer wants is to strain to make payments on a mortgage that exceeds the value of the home. The real estate market is in a precarious state at the moment, and prospective buyers should do as much research as possible to make sure that they can both pay for, and keep, their new home.

©Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing.

Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including End-Your-Debt.com, a website devoted to debt consolidation information and HomeEquityHelp.net, a site devoted to information on home equity loans.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Sun. July / 22 / 2018

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Investopedia (blog)

Mortgage Refinance Applications Hit 18-Year Low | Investopedia
Investopedia (blog)
Mortgage refinance applications hit an 18-year low for the week ending July 6.

and more »


Homeowner perceptions of property value nearly equal to appraised value
theday.com
We hope the Home Price Perception Index can shine some light on that gap, limiting surprises during a home sale or mortgage refinance." Perceptions varied by region, with the typical appraisal in the West coming in 0.04 percent higher than expected.



The Citizen Daily

Mortgage Refinance Company lists Sh12bn bond
The Citizen Daily
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company Ltd (TMRC) has listed a Sh12.5 billion bond at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), giving investors another investment avenue. This is the first segment of the Sh120 billion corporate bond ...



The Citizen

Mortgage Refinance Company Sh12bn bond exceeds target by 4.3pc
The Citizen
Dar es Salaam. The Sh12 billion bond issued by the Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) Ltd has been oversubscribed by 4.3 per cent as the sale closed. The financial institution which has a sole purpose of supporting mortgage lending in the ...



Business Daily (press release) (blog)

Mortgage refinancing key to unlocking affordable housing ...
Business Daily (press release) (blog)
Urban housing shortage is swelling by the day. There is no doubt. The shortage itself is a function of both supply and demand. Demand-side constraints are ...

and more »


National Mortgage News

Mortgage refinance candidates cut by half in the past four months
National Mortgage News
The number of mortgage borrowers for whom it made sense to refinance declined by nearly half since the end of last year and is at its lowest since November 2008. Approximately 2.3 million mortgagors are candidates for a refinance, a decline of 2 ...



CNBC

Mortgage refinance applications surge 9 percent as rates fall back
CNBC
Total mortgage applications rose 4.7 percent last week, driven by applications to refinance.

and more »


Bankrate.com

4 ways to get the best mortgage refinance rate
Bankrate.com
When mortgage rates are low, you can cut your monthly house payment by refinancing into a better interest rate. If you can shave at least one-half of 1 percentage point off your current mortgage rate, it can be worth your while to trade in your ...

and more »


HousingWire

Mortgage refinance share jumps 5% despite rising interest rates
HousingWire
Mortgage refinance share jumps 5% despite rising interest rates. Expected to soon sink back down. February 23, 2018. Kelsey Ramírez. KEYWORDS Ellie Mae FHA mortgage rates Refinance. House. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased a full ...

and more »


HousingWire

MBA: Mortgage refinance apps increase from week before | 2018-02 ...
HousingWire
The Refinance Index increased 1% from the previous week, however, the refinance share of mortgage application activity continues to decrease. But even as ...

and more »

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