Needham Heights (Needham, MA)
Needham Heights (Needham, MA) Real Estate News
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More Home Buyers Putting Less Down
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Real Estate with  Pat Baker Get in Touch More Home Buyers Putting Less DownMay 20, 2015 Down Payments, For BuyersFacebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ PrintA recent post by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that in the months of December 2014 through February 2015, there was an increase in the number of first-time buyers making a down payment of 6% or less as compared to last year:2014: 61% of first time home buyers 2015: 66% of first time home buyersWhile the number of small down payments is lower than it was in 2009 when 77% of down payments were 6% or less, it does show the recent decisions by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer 3% down payment options to certain buyers is impacting the market. FHFA Director Mel Watt recently explained why Freddie and Fannie made this decision: “The new lending guidelines by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.” This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment. Will these programs create future challenges? Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern: “To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.” Also, the Urban Institute revealed data showing what impact substantially lower down payments would have on default rates in today’s mortgage environment. Their study revealed: “Those who have criticized low-down payment lending as excessively risky should know that if the past is a guide, only a narrow group of borrowers will receive these loans, and the overall impact on default rates is likely to be negligible. This low down payment lending was never more than 3.5 percent of the Fannie Mae book of business, and in recent years, had been even less. If executed carefully, this constitutes a small step forward in opening the credit box—one that safely, but only incrementally, expands the pool of who can qualify for a mortgage.” Here are the direct links to the guidelines for each program: Fannie Mae 3% Down Program Freddie Mac 3% Down Program Remember, as with any new program, there will be some confusion. Contact your mortgage professional for a deeper understanding. Don’t have a mortgage person yet? We’ll be more than happy to help.Post navigationWhere Are Prices Headed In The Next 5 Years? New Construction: Hear Those Hammers in the Background? Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA (617) 435-3471 Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals Visit Website Get in TouchCategories Categories
All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this article are intended to supplement opinions on real estate expressed by local and national media, local real estate agents and other expert sources. You should not treat any opinion expressed in this article as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of information, and provides said information without warranties of any kind. All information presented herein is intended and should be used for educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. All investments involved some degree of risk. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information contained in this article. Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
The Truth About Rising Prices & Family Wealth
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
The Truth About Rising Prices & Family Wealth Real Estate with  Pat BakerGet in Touch The Truth About Rising Prices & Family WealthMay 12, 2015 First Time Home Buyers, For BuyersFacebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ PrintThe National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released a report revealing that the growing wealth gap in this country has been impacted by the recent increases in real estate values coupled with the drop in homeownership rates. The report discloses: “Over 90 percent of metro areas have experienced declining homeownership rates at a time when home values have risen and incomes have remained flat.” Increasing home values in many regions of the country have helped homeowners build housing wealth in recent years. However, the continued decline in homeownership means this increase in wealth is shared by fewer people and likely leading to worsening inequality in the U.S. Here is a chart showing the aforementioned increasing gap between renters and homeowners in regard to family wealth: Bottom Line If the experts are correct, and a homeowner really will have an average of 40 times the wealth of a renter by the end of this year, doesn’t it make sense to evaluate if a purchase could be in your future? Let's get together and discuss how you can start building your family’s wealth.Post navigation Attaining the American Dream: The 5 Financial Reasons to Buy Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA (617) 435-3471 Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
Easy Chicken Little: Homeownership Rates Are Not Crashing
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Simplifying the Market™ Making Real Estate Easy to UnderstandEasy Chicken Little: Homeownership Rates Are NOT Crashing May 6 2015 The Census recently released their 2015 Q1 Homeownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of homeownership. The national homeownership rate (Americans who owned vs. rented their primary residence) increased significantly during the housing boom, reaching its peak of 69.2% in 2004. The Census Bureau just reported the first quarter of 2015 ended with a homeownership rate of 63.7%. Many reported on this and began to question Americans’ belief in the ideal of homeownership as a major part of the American Dream. Everyone Calm Down… It is true the homeownership rate has fallen over the last several years. However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to historic norms. The 63.7% rate is less than a percentage point under the rate in 1985 and 1995. What Will the Future Bring? In a Housing Wire article this week, Ed Stansfield who manages the housing market research at Capital Economics said: “The homeownership rate fell further at the start of the year to a 22-year low of 63.7. However, with credit conditions now loosening and employment set to continue growing strongly, we suspect this long downward trend may not last for much longer.” In the same article referenced above, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, explained why the homeownership rate will probably begin to increase: “The homeownership rate is likely to bottom this year or next not far from where we are now. By historical patterns, the rate could indeed go up. The simple math behind what it costs to rent versus buy shows that if you can afford the down payment and qualify for a mortgage, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent in 80% of the counties in the US now.” Bottom Line With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, perhaps we should get together and evaluate your ability to purchase a home. Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals (617) 435-3471 Visit My WebsitefacebooktwitterlinkedinSend me an Email Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
Homeowners: We Need to Sell Your House Twice
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Simplifying the Market™ Making Real Estate Easy to UnderstandHomeowners: We Need to Sell Your House Twice May 5 2015 Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is that bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when doing the appraisal for the bank. With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. And now, there may be a second issue further complicating the appraisal issue. The Mortgage News Daily (MND) recently published an article titled Conservative Appraisals Increasingly Mentioned in 2015; Did Something Change? The article revealed that there was a “flurry” of comments on their website from members expressing concern about… “…a sudden increase in appraisals reflecting market values well below what had been expected. In some cases the low appraisals had merely required the restructuring of the loan, in others they killed the deal.” The National Association of Realtors revealed this month that 8% of the contracts that fell through over the last three months were terminated because of appraisal issues. MND decided to survey their members and ask why this sudden increase in “short” appraisals could be taking place. Here is one result of that survey: “Almost everyone we spoke to mentioned Fannie Mae's new Collateral Underwriter (CU).” Collateral Underwriter provides a risk score on individual appraisals which will lead to a ranking of appraisals by risk profile, allowing lenders to identify appraisals with heightened risk of quality issues, overvaluation, and compliance violations. It went on-line on January 26. Marianne Sullivan, senior vice president of single-family business capability with Fannie Mae believes that CU is not a problem for appraisers. She claimed: “From an appraiser perspective, one of the lender's responsibilities has always been to review the quality of an appraiser, and they have been using various methods to do that forever. I don’t think appraisers will find this tool to be disruptive.” However, some think that CU has caused appraisers to become too cautious with their appraised values. One mortgage professional in the MND article explained it this way: "My personal opinion is that appraisers are being overly conservative in choosing comps because of CU. If CU questions the comps, adjustments, etc., the appraiser would have to do a lot of extra work to justify them. I had anticipated that CU would cause delays because of this extra work, but it seems that appraisers are one step ahead and are being ultra conservative, thus avoiding the extra work in the first place. I haven't spoken to an appraiser about it; this is just my interpretation of what I am seeing." Ryan Lundquist, a Certified Residential Appraiser in the Sacramento area, agreed: “One of the unintended consequences of CU may be more conservative appraisals.” Bottom Line We must realize that, in today’s housing market, every house must be sold twice and the second sale (to the bank’s appraiser) could be the more difficult one. Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals (617) 435-3471 Visit My WebsitefacebooktwitterlinkedinSend me an Email Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
5 Tech Questions that Seniors Should Ask When Interviewing a RE Agent
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Simplifying the Market™ Making Real Estate Easy to Understand5 Tech Questions that Seniors Should Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent April 30 2015 We are pleased to have Nikki Buckelew back as our guest blogger for today’s post. Nikki has extensive experience working with seniors and is the Founder & CEO of the Senior Real Estate Institute. Enjoy! If you have not bought or sold a home in a few years (or maybe decades) it is likely that there are more than a few new trends in real estate that you will encounter as you begin to interview real estate agents. One particular trend now common among many real estate brokerage firms is called the practice of "going paperless.” This can be a bit scary for some people, especially senior adults who are not accustomed to using computers in their personal or professional lives. If you are one of the many with reservations about the paperless process, you will want to talk with your agent about any concerns or questions you have. In this article we have provided some basic information about the paperless process and some key questions to ask your real estate agent. How your agent handles your questions may just help you determine if he or she is the right agent for you! What does it mean to go paperless? Going paperless simply means that instead of printing out every contract, form or disclosure for your signature, you may be asked to sign certain documents electronically. This could mean:Typing your name into a designated field included in a form (received via email) Signing your name on a digital touchpad (laptop, netbook, smartphone, etc.)While some have experienced this type of technology before and are perfectly willing and comfortable using it, others are not. Frankly, the first time I was asked to sign a real estate document electronically via email I was a bit perplexed and required some guidance. If you have not been exposed to this type of technology, it can seem a little overwhelming, especially if introduced to it in the midst all of the other things going on during a move. This is why it’s important to educate yourself on the front end, mitigating potential delays, avoiding unnecessary frustration, and preventing surprises down the road. Here are 5 simple questions you should ask before you ‘sign on the dotted line’ 1. How do you typically communicate with your clients (phone, email, text, instant messaging, etc.)? Good agents know that the best method (and frequency) of communication is the one that best serves the client, so getting this agreed upon early in the relationship is paramount — for both you and the agent. If you want to communicate strictly by phone, be sure that you and your agent agree on the protocols for leaving and returning messages, hours of availability, and which phone numbers are best for certain times of day. Similar discussion around email, text messaging, and other modes of communication should be had as well, if that is your desired method of information delivery. 2. What method(s) do you use for getting client signatures? The goal here is to find out your options. Many agents are still in the conversion process of going paperless and they are more than willing to use "more conventional” methods of getting signatures. Some may be required, however, by their respective brokerage firms to utilize only paperless systems. If this is the case, ask the agent to show you examples of the types of things that may be asked of you during the course of working together. If after a quick tutorial, you aren’t comfortable with the electronic signature process, it’s "OK” to choose an agent who can better accommodate your preferences. 3. Can you assess my devices to insure they are compatible with the systems you use? Even if you are completely prepared to enter the paperless world with no reservations whatsoever, it can only be done if you have the right equipment. Before agreeing to a paperless process, ask the agent to do a "test run” using a non-official/non-binding document on your system to insure its functionality. 4. Will you provide technical support if I am not "techy” and need some help? My dad (self described "non-techy” and proud of it), has a computer, printer, smart phone, email address, and wifi. He does not, however, have the faintest idea how they work or how to pull up attachments in his email. When he decided to purchase a new home this past year using a reverse mortgage, the lender was located out of state, which meant everything was done via email — electronically. Needless to say, I was dad’s tech support in this situation. If you do not have a trusted advisor who can help you with troubleshooting potential technology issues, make sure your agent or their staff is capable, patient, and willing to personally walking you through the steps. 5. Are you flexible if I choose to use phone and paper over electronic communication and documentation? Options are the key. While some agents are extremely flexible in how they deliver their services, others may be married to a very specific process or style. Insure the agent you are considering is willing and able to do what is right for you, based on your comfort level, knowledge, and ability. Bottom Line It goes without saying that it is critical to have the conversation with your real estate professional about their paperless processes and communication methods. Not only will doing so put your mind at ease regarding unfamiliar territory, but it may also provide your agent with necessary information so he or she can serve you more effectively. Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals (617) 435-3471 Visit My WebsitefacebooktwitterlinkedinSend me an Email e. Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
There's No Place Like Home
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Simplifying the Market™ Making Real Estate Easy to UnderstandThere’s No Place Like Home April 27 2015 Last week, we reported on the financial reasons purchasing a home in today’s market makes sense. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership. The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial. 1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase. 2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason. 3. It allows you to have more space for your family Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list. 4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home? The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents: 5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future? Bottom Line Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home. Pat Baker Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals (617) 435-3471 Visit My WebsitefacebooktwitterlinkedinSend me an Email Powered by Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
Hughes
Housing Market: Freddie Mac Remains Optimistic
Pat Laracy Baker, Realtor, Green, ABR, Needham, Massachusetts (Key Advantage Realty )
Simplifying the Market™ Making Real Estate Easy to UnderstandHousing Market: Freddie Mac Remains Optimistic April 20 2015 The April 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook from Freddie Mac revealed that they are optimistic about the real estate market in 2015. As a matter of fact, the sub-title of the report was "Great Expectations”. What made Freddie Mac so optimistic? Here are a few highlights from the report: "For the remainder of the year we should see a resumption of solid economic growth and acceleration in housing activity. Notwithstanding a disappointing March jobs report the acceleration is already underway.” "With spring upon us, housing markets are poised to accelerate and we expect the best year for home sales since 2007. Despite harsh winter weather to start the year, home sales through February are only off from the 2013 pace by 7,000 sales... Pending home sales were up 3.1 percent in February to the highest level since June 2013. This marked the fourth consecutive month for rising pending home sales showing positive momentum in general for the housing market.”Their projections… "By the end of the spring home buying season in June, we should be well above the pace of home sales for any year since 2007.” "We are as optimistic about trends in housing markets moving forward as we have ever been since the depths of the Great Recession.”Regarding prices… "Due to strong growth, we are expecting house prices to increase 4.0 percent in 2015.”But there were some warnings… On available supply: "With low mortgage rates, improving labor markets, and rising demand, one key issue for housing over the next two years will be the lack of supply of for-sale and for-rent homes.” "Many metro areas that have seen robust job growth and population increases are facing shortages of available for-sale inventory.”On interest rates: "However, by the end of the year long-term interest rates should only increase modestly, ending the year at about 4.3 percent for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.”Note: Freddie Mac worded this as being not that crucial. However, a 4.3% mortgage rate is about a .75 increase over current rates. Bottom Line Things are looking good for the real estate market. If you are thinking of selling, contact me to discuss how this applies to your neighborhood. PAT BAKER Key Advantage Realty Needham, MA Experienced real estate agent intimately acquainted with the Needham, MA and the MetroWest area of Boston, MA. Specializing in home sales, buyer purchases, condominiums, 2nd home purchases,investment properties, and rentals (617) 435-3471 Visit My Website Powered by
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Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR Key Advantage Realty 617-435-3471 pbaker@keyadvantagerealty.com http://www.patannbaker.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/patbaker
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