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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 29

More Foreclosure Opportunities Available in 2010

by Madeleine Tingen

The current real estate market conditions make it a perfect time for a small investor to purchase one or more foreclosure properties for their private residence, rental or resale.  During economic downturns such as these, a variety of homes go into foreclosure—including those falling into the moderate to upscale priced market. So the idea that foreclosure homes are only available in undesirable areas is inaccurate.

A current snapshot of the number of U.S. households facing foreclosure in January 2010 increased 15% from the same month last year, and a surge in cash-strapped homeowners who’ve fallen behind on mortgages could be on the way.

According to a recent report by RealtyTrac, more than 315,000 households received a foreclosure-related notice in January.  Although high, that number is down nearly 10% from 349,000 in December—the third highest total since the company began tracking foreclosure date in 2005.

In January, one in 409 homes were sent a filing—which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions. The numbers could stay above that level as unemployed homeowners who have tried to keep up with their mortgages finally start missing monthly payments.

Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, reported in late January that the rate of borrowers who have a conventional loan on a house and are seriously delinquent was 5.29% in November—more than doubling the rate of 2.13% in November 2008. Borrowers are considered seriously delinquent if they are past due by three months or more, or are in foreclosure.

On a local level, Pitt County, Greenville, NC and surrounding areas also continue to experience a growing number of foreclosures. On Saturday, February 27, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team will conduct a free, educational/Q & A seminar on how to buy foreclosures as a first-time home buyer, move-up buyer or investor. The seminar is free to the public and will take place from 9am-12pm at the Prudential Prime Properties office building located at 2625 Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC.  Attendees may expect to receive current statistics, locations and prices of specific foreclosure properties, and tips on how best to find and purchase foreclosures.  Both group and individual questions will be addressed by local experienced foreclosure specialists and lenders. Space is limited and reservations for the seminar are suggested.  Please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161 for more information.

Home Buyer Tax Credits Explained (Video)

by Anthony Litz

Buying a Home with Federal Tax Credits–Quick Facts

by Pistol Tingen

Who is Eligible

• First-time home buyers, who are defined by the law as buyers who have not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase, may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. 

• Existing home owners who have been residing in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight and are purchasing a home to be their principal residence (“repeat buyer”), may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $6,500.

• All U.S. citizens who file taxes are eligible to participate in the program.
Income Limits

• Home buyers who file as single or head-of-household taxpayers can claim the full credit ($8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers) if their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $125,000. 

• For married couples filing a joint return, the combined income limit is $225,000.

• Single or head-of-household taxpayers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000, and married couples who earn between $225,000 and $245,000 are eligible to receive a partial credit. 

• The credit is not available for single taxpayers whose MAGI is greater than $145,000 and married couples with a MAGI that exceeds $245,000.

Effective Dates

• The eligibility period for the tax credit is for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009, and before May 1, 2010. However, home purchases subject to a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010, will qualify for the tax credit provided closing occurs prior to July 1, 2010. 

 Types of Homes that Qualify

• All homes with a purchase price of less than $800,000 qualify, including newly-constructed or resale, and single-family detached, townhomes or condominiums, provided that the home will be used as their principal residence. Vacation home and rental property purchases do NOT qualify.  
 

Tax Credit is Refundable

• A refundable credit means that if the amount of income taxes you owe is less than the credit amount you qualify for, the government will send you a check for the difference.

• For example:   
> A first-time buyer who qualifies for the full $8,000 credit who owes $5,000 in federal income taxes would pay nothing to the IRS and receive a $3,000 payment from the government. If you are due to receive a $1,000 refund, you would receive $9,000 ($1,000 plus the $8,000 tax credit).  
> A repeat buyer who owes $5,000 would pay nothing to the IRS and receive $1,500 back from the government. If you are due to get a $1,000 refund, you would get $7,500 ($1,000 plus the $6,500 tax credit).

• All qualified home buyers can take the tax credit on their 2009 or 2010 income tax return.

Payback Provisions

• The tax credit is a true credit. It does not have to be repaid unless the home owner sells or stops using the home as their principal residence within three years after the purchase.

Homes Available in the Pitt County and Greenville, NC Area

For more information regarding The Federal Housing Tax Credit or homes available in the Pitt County or Greenville, NC area, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Information provided by The National Association of Home Builders.

More Foreclosures on the Horizon

by Madeleine Tingen

It's more than mere speculation--there is yet another wave of foreclosures looming. According to both the U.S. Treasury Department and Fitch Ratings, the housing market faces the prospect of a new round of foreclosures. 

Last week, Fitch Ratings released a report indicating that as hundreds of thousands of risky home loans known as option adjustable-rate mortgages scheduled to reset to significantly higher payments, more borrowers may be forced to fall behind. Fitch Ratings Credit Market Research provides market participants with data and analysis on default and recovery rates and broad credit trends in the fixed income markets. The Fitch Report covers only those mortgages that were securitized, meaning packaged into securities and resold.

Approximately 70 percent of the $189 billion in outstanding option ARMs will reset by 2011--according to the Fitch report, which would be another setback to the wavering housing market still attempting to recover from the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the financial crisis.

The unraveling of the option ARMs could be felt for years--even though they make up only 1.3 percent of the outstanding mortgages and were used by a far smaller segment of the population than subprime mortgages. Fortunately the fallout from the resets should not be as devastating as the initial market setback.

Additionally, Fitch estimates that $134 billion in option ARMs will reset in the next two years. It expects monthly payments to jump 63 percent on average, or $1,053 a month, for loans adjusting this year and next--prompting a rise in defaults and foreclosures.

Clearly, foreclosures and distressed properties will continue to plague the housing market over the next few years.

If you are interested in more information regarding foreclosures--specifically those within the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

 

Act Fast to Receive $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

by Madeleine Tingen

Time is quickly running out for first-time home buyers to receive a tax credit of up to $8,000.  There is tremendous urgency for first-time home buyers to choose a home, put it under contract and actually close or finalize the sale immediately.

 

Even though the tax credit doesn't expire until November 30, today's home purchases take approximately 45 to 60 days to close as the underwriting and appraisal process is taking longer because lenders are being more cautious.  For the serious first-time buyer that means their offer really needs to be made this month or at the very latest early in October.

 

Real estate groups are urging Congress to extend the credit beyond its current deadline and expand the tax credit to up to $15,000. 

 

Legislation exists in both the Senate and the House that would expand the tax credit.  A proposal by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., would raise the credit amount to a maximum of $15,000 for any buyer of any home over the next year.  It would remove the caps that currently apply (those limits are now $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 on couples).

 

"I think we've got a realistic chance of doing this," Isakson says.  "Our problem is not with the first-time home buyer, it's with the move-up buyer."

 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, says extending or raising the tax credit would spur the housing recovery, which in turn would help bolster the economy.

 

Under the existing legislation, as the deadline looms, Realtors say they are seeing a market upswing in interest by first-time home buyers. 

 

For more information regarding the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit or assistance purchasing a home within the Greenville, NC or Pitt County area, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Existing-Home Sales on the Rise

by Madeleine Tingen

The National Association of Realtors announced uplifting reports for existing-home sales.  August 21, 2009, NAR released statistics revealing that for the first time in five years, existing-home sales have increased for four months in a row.

The last time sales rose for four consecutive months was June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.  The National Association of Realtors includes the following in their category of existing-homes:  single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.  In total, sales rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008.

Chief economist for the NAR, Lawrence Yun, stated that he is encouraged.  "The housing market has decisively turned for the better.  A combination of first-time home buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to the higher sales," he said.  Furthermore, Yun explained, "Because price-to-income ratios have fallen below historical trends, there are more all-cash offers.  In some recovering markets like San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Orlando, the demand for foreclosed and lower priced homes has spiked, and a lack of inventory is becoming a common complaint."

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $178,400 in July, which is 15.1 percent lower than July 2008.  Distressed properties continue to weigh down the median price because they typically sell for 15 to 20 percent less than traditional homes.

If you would like specific information on the existing-home sales statistics in the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team at (252) 321-6161.

Help for America’s Homeowners - You May Be Eligible

by Pistol Tingen

On April 28, the Obama Administration announced details of new efforts to help bring relief to responsible homeowners under the Making Home Affordable Program, including an effort to achieve greater affordability for homeowners by lowering payments on their second mortgages as well as a set of measures to help underwater borrowers stay in their homes.

Continuing to bolster its outreach around the program, the Administration also announced last week a new effort to engage directly with homeowners via MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Starting April 28, homeowners will have the ability to submit individual questions through the website to the Administration’s housing team. Members of the Treasury and HUD staffs will periodically select commonly asked questions and post responses on MakingHomeAffordable.gov. To submit a question, homeowners can visit www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov/feedback.html.  Selected questions from homeowners across the country and responses from the Administration will be available at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov/asked-and-answered.html.

The consumer website, www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov, provides homeowners with detailed information about refinancing and mortgage modification programs. On the site, homeowners will find self-assessment tools and calculators to empower themselves with the resources they need to determine whether they might be eligible for a modification or a refinance under the Administration's program. Through this website, borrowers can also connect with free counseling resources to help with outstanding questions; locate homeowner events in their communities; find a handy checklist of key documents and materials to have ready when making that important call to their servicer as well as FAQs from borrowers in similar circumstances, and much more.

Below are the two primary categories addressed on the consumer website:
Refinancing - Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home.
Modification - Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments perhaps because their interest rate has increased or they have less income.
Please use the self-assessment tools provided on MakingHomeAffordable.gov to see if you are among the 7 to 9 million homeowners who may be able to benefit from Making Home Affordable. 

Whether you would like more information about this particular program or current information on properties available within the Greenville, NC or Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

March 16, 2009, marks the long awaited day when thousands of medical residents nationwide receive the news informing them of their residency destination. Each intern will learn the name and location of their teaching hospital—hoping one of their top choices will be their selected match.  To the medical community, this day represents “Match Day” and is organized by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

The National Resident Matching Program, a private, not-for-profit organization, provides a method for matching applicants for residency positions in the United States with residency programs at various teaching hospitals.  Applicants and hospitals rank each other in order of preference, and a computer matches them based upon those rankings.

According to the NRMP, the number of available residency positions this year was the highest in match history.  This year, 28,737 applicants vied for one of the 22,240  first-year residency positions available--the most ever.  Of those, 135,106  were U.S. medical school seniors.  Other applicants included previous graduates of U.S. medical schools, U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates, and osteopathic doctors.  

Whether temporary or long-term, the residents will relocate to the cities of their assigned teaching hospitals.  Several of these residents will receive a match that will bring them to Greenville, NC and Pitt County Memorial Hospital – University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina, working in conjunction with the Brody School of Medicine.  For over 18 years, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team has provided incoming medical residents with their relocation requirements—assisting them in an efficient, seamless transition from their present location to Greenville, NC.  To learn more about our relocation services, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

The first week of March, The National Association of Realtors® reported that pending home sales have declined--with many home buyers waiting for clarity on housing stimulus provisions.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in January, fell 7.7 percent to 80.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 87.1 in December, and is 6.4 percent below January 2008 when it was 85.9.  The index is at the lowest level since tracking began in 2001, when the index value was set at 100.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the downturn in the economy also weighed heavily on the data.  "Even with many serious potential home buyers on the sidelines waiting for passage of the stimulus bill, job losses and weak consumer confidence were a natural drag on home sales," Yun said.  "We expect similarly soft home sales in the near term, but buyers are expected to respond to much improved affordability conditions and from the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit."

NAR President, Charles McMillan, stated it's ironic with the weak housing market that affordability conditions have improved dramatically.  "Housing affordability is at a record high--the buying power of a typical family has risen significantly," he said.  "With the drop in interest rates, a median-income family can afford a home costing $20,000 more than a year ago for the same monthly mortgage payment.  With the strong housing stimulus, we are hopeful inventory will get trimmed and which will help prices stabilize in many areas by the end of the year."

Yun added, "Conditions have been aligning very favorably for home buyers with the exception of consumer confidence.  But I am hopeful that sales will turn around by late spring and early summer because history suggests that home sales can rise even in times of job losses when housing affordability rises."

Strong Rising Sales for Existing-Home Sales Shown in December

by Pistol Tingen

 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales showed an unexpectedly strong rise while inventory declined.  Sales were led by a surge of sales in the West.

In 2008 there were 4,912,000 existing-home sales, which was 13.1 percent below the 5,652,000 transactions recorded in 2007.  These figures represent the lowest volume since 1997 when there were 4,371,000.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home prices continue to fall significantly.  "It appears some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices," he said.  "The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right direction, but the market is still far from normal balanced conditions.  Buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future."

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 11.7 percent to 3.68 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 11.2-month supply in November.

Yun said the market is underpeforming and hurting the broader economy.  "We've added 25 million people to our population over the past decade and housing affordability conditions are the best we've seen since 1973, but household formation is much lower than expected," he said.

The NAR chief economist added, "Consequently, there is a pent-up demand which could be unleashed with the right stimulus, including a non-repayable home buyer tax credit.  The Obama administration and Congress need to move fast to stimulate a spring sales upturn which will help stabilize home prices and set the foundation for a sustainable economic recovery."

If you would like more information on the current existing-home sales in the Pitt County and Greenville, NC area, please contact the top producing real estate experts--The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 29

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