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Displaying blog entries 21-29 of 29

Mortgage Rates Drop to a 38-Year Low

by Pistol Tingen

According to a survey released January 15 by home funding company Freddie Mac, interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped for the 11th week to a 38-year record low.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.96%, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ended January 15, down from the previous week's 5.01%, according to Freddie Mac.  15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.65% the week ended January 15, up from 4.62% the previous week.

For the most current mortgage and real estate information in the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

New Homes Are Being Built Smaller

by Pistol Tingen

According to the National Association of Home Builders, for the first time in at least a decade, builders are substantially reducing the size of new houses.

"We're trending toward smaller homes," says Gopal Ahualia, director of research for the National Association of Home Builders.  He says growth in the average size of new single-family homes, which went from 1,750 square feet in 1978 to 2,479 in 2007, is starting to reverse.

His analysis of Census data shows that homes started in the third quarter of 2008 averaged 2,438 square feet, down from 2,629 square feet in the second quarter. Ahluwalia, who began the quarterly analysis in 1999, says there have been slight dips before, but the latest drop was much steeper and is likely to hold even after the economy recovers.

In a survey of builders this month, his group found that 89% are building or planning smaller homes than they had been.

Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), also sees the shift toward smaller houses.   He says it was obvious with high-end buyers even before the economic downturn and he expects it to continue with them.

"Affordability is a major problem," Ahluwalia says, and building smaller usually means cheaper.  Also, he says, people are realizing as household size shrinks that they don't need big homes.

Baker says there is less incentive to buy a bigger, more expensive home as the economy weakens, home prices fall and energy costs remain a concern.  He says people are less likely to see a home as a good investment.

Even high-end buyers, Baker says, are showing more interest in smaller, better-crafted homes.

"People don't want to be wasteful," says JD Callander of Weichert Realtors.  She says they are concerned about utility costs and cleaning requirements.

Clients used to like the status of a big home, she says, but "those days are gone."

Large or small , new or existing-- when you're looking for a home in the Greenville, NC or Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at 252-321-6161 for all your real estate needs.

 


For the week ending January 8, 2009, Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.01 percent with an average 0.6 point. The new, low rate  is down from last week when it averaged 5.10 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.87 percent.  The 30-year FRM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started the Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971.

the 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.62 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.83 percent.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.43 percent.  The 15-year FRM has not been lower since June 13, 2003, when it averaged 4.60 percent.

According to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, "Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the tenth week to a fourth consecutive record low due in part to the Federal Reserve's recent purchases of mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae."  He added, "On November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve announced that it planned to purchase up to $500 billion of these securities by the end of June of this year." For the sake of comparison, there were roughly $4.7 trillion of such securities backed by home mortgages available as of September 30, 2008.

If you are interested in taking advantage of these record-breaking, low interest rates and purchasing property in the Pitt County or Greenville, NC area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at 252-321-6161.

ECU Recognized For Community Achievements

by Pistol Tingen

East Carolina University and seven other UNC system schools have been recognized nationally for community outreach and engagement achievements.

ECU is one of only 195 institutions in the country to be recognized for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Community engagement is a collaboration between a university and its communities in mutually beneficial partnerships that respond to community needs by sharing skills, knowledge and resources.

The foundation, which makes assessments of colleges and universities, has announced that 119 campuses received the engaged distinction for 2008, joining 76 that were identified in 2006.

The other University of North Carolina campuses include Appalachian State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Pembroke and Western Carolina University. Those campuses join North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill that received the designation in 2006.

With the announcement, the proportion of North Carolina's public universities deemed by the Carnegie Foundation to be “community engaged” far exceeds that of peer state systems across the country including California, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the UNC system administration.

“Receiving this classification confirms what we at ECU already know — that the commitment and practice of engagement are woven throughout our teaching, research, service and outreach enterprises,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “This is our history and a core strength as we pursue our mission to serve as a national model for public service and regional transformation.”

If you would like to know more about East Carolina University or real estate in the Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Mortgage Rates at 37-Year Low

by Pistol Tingen

Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have dropped to their lowest levels in at least 37 years.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company reported this week that average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 5.19 percent, down from the year’s previous low of 5.47 percent set last week. The rate is the lowest since Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey began in April 1971.

A daily survey found that the national average rate fell even lower on December 17 to 5.06 percent according to financial publisher HSH Associates, the lowest since the 1960s and down from 5.3 percent on December 16.

If you would like to know today’s current mortgage interest rates--or other real estate-related facts in the  Greenville, NC area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

ECU Receives Dental School Project Funding Early

by Pistol Tingen

Gov. Mike Easley just announced that he is fast-tracking more than $700 million in capital improvement projects in North Carolina, including $105.8 million for East Carolina University's School of Dentistry as well as its Family Medicine and Geriatric Center.  Easley's announcement will allow ECU to get an unexpected jump start with the $69 million for the dental school and the $36.8 million for the family medicine center.

The two projects had been approved by the Legislature in its last session, but funding had been frozen. This announcement unfreezes the funds, which were expected to unavailable until sometime in 2009, according to ECU spokesman John Durham.

Easley said going to the market now with the $700 million in statewide capital improvement projects is cost effective because interest rates and building costs are low.

Economists estimate that, for each dollar spent on a construction project, $2.28 is pumped into the state’s economy, and every $1 million spent on a project results in 36 new jobs. Easley’s office says that means these projects will produce 26,000 new jobs.

Did you ever wonder why some credit report inquiries affected your credit score and some didn't? Following is some information about credit report inquiries by Blueprint for Financial Prosperity that I found useful.


Did you know that when a company checks out your credit report, it can damage your credit score temporarily? It depends on if the inquiry is "hard" or "soft." Hard inquiries ding your score, soft don't. If you're going to get a mortgage or a car loan, a few points difference translates into a big chunk of change. So how do you know when an inquiry is going to be "soft" or "hard?"

A hard inquiry is when a person or organization requests your credit score and history and they intend to make a lending decision. Applying for a credit card? Hard inquiry. Getting approved for a car loan or mortgage loan? Hard inquiry. On your reports, each of the credit unions categorize these inquiries differently. TransUnion calls them "regular inquiries," Experian calls them "requests viewed by others," and Equifax calls them "Inquiries in the last 12 months." Hard inquiries usually drop your score by a few points for six months, then their effect is removed. This is why it's usually NOT a good idea to apply for credit cards before you get a mortgage loan.

A soft inquiry is everything else. They are often used by a person or organization when they don't intend to make a lending decision, though there are exceptions from one institution to another. Landlords and prospective employers will use them to assess your financial risk. Banks often use soft inquiries to confirm your identity. Credit cards and mortgage lenders use them to decide whether to pre-approve you for a card or a loan. When you check your own credit history, that's a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries have no effect on your score.

Sound simple? It's not. Do you think a applying for a checking account would be a hard or soft inquiry? It's actually a hard inquiry. To help you out the members of the Fatwallet forum have compiled a list of financial institutions that use hard inquiries when requesting your score and history for reasons other than credit card or loan approval.

(Scroll to bottom to see list of those that DON'T do hard pulls)

A

+ American Express Co. pulled Experian for a One Financial account without margin (combination brokerage/savings).
+ Ameriprise Insurance (division of American Express) - for car insurance quote (Equifax)
+ AT&T pulled Transunion for current customer moving from CA to OH initiating "new" landline
+ ATTWS - Equifax

B

+ Bank of America pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Bank of America pulled Trans Union for a CD account opened online.(3/20/2007)
+ Bank of America pulled Experian for a checking account. (8/29/06)
+ Bank Of America - Pulled a hard enquiry after applying *only* for savings account.
+ Bank Of America - Pulled a hard enquiry on Experian for MM savings account 4/2007
+ Bank of Atlanta
+ Bank of New York pulled Experian for a checking account and a savings account.
+ BB&T pulled Equifax for a checking account.
+ Brookline Bank pulled Experian for a checking account.
+ Brown & Co. pulls a hard one for EACH account that you open with TransUnion.

C

+ Catholic Federal pulled TU for new membership and opening of new checking.
+ Charles Schwab Bank pulled Equifax for opening new checking and investor account (without margin option)
+ Charter One Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account under the name St. Paul Bank Corp.
+ Chase Manhattan Bank pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Cingular Wireless pulled Equifax.
+ Citibank pulled Equifax (for opening 6-month CD)
+ Citibank pulled Trans Unions for a checking and savings account opened at the same time.
+ Citibank pulls hard inquiry for opening e-Savings account
+ Citizens - checking - Equifax
+ Clackamas Community Federal Credit Union - hard inquiry for savings and CD accounts
+ Comcast cable TV and HSI
+ ComED
+ Costco AMEX car insurance ran a Hard Inquiry on me
+ Countrywide (stopped pulling sometime in 2007)

D

+ DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) pulls a hard inquiry from Equifax when applying for membership.
+ Directv
+ DishNetwork
+ Dollar RENT A CAR (see Thrifty below)

E

+ Ebank - checking - Equifax
+ Everbank - pulled Experian for a Money Market Account, as well as for a checking one.

F

+ Fidelity - LionBank (Not Fidelity Investments)
+ Financial Center Credit Union
+ Fifth Third - Opening Checking Account
+ Flagstar Bank - Checking - Pulls TU

G

+ GMAC Bank - pulled TU for their MM savings account

H

+ HARRIS BANK — CD

I

+ Indiana Members Credit Union
+ ING Direct - When you open Electric Orange checking account, they will hard pull Equifax to determine the overdraft credit line limit for you. No hard pull for opening Orange Savings account.

J

+ Johnson & Johnson by Yale & Associates on Experian- employment

L

+ Local gas & electric utility (We Energies - Wisconsin)
+ Local Honda dealer- check + 5K credit card
+ Local Nissan dealer (Coral Springs Nissan Auto Mall) pulled a HARD one when I browsed their inventory
+ Local Toyota dealership- cash transaction

M

+ Marquette National Bank — checking, savings, CD and safe deposit box
+ Meadows Credit Union pulled Trans Union for a checking account.
+ Mechanics Bank (sf) did hard pull from Equifax for a checking account.
+ Muriel Siebert & Co. pulled Experian for a brokerage account without margin.

N

+ National1St Credit Union - When opening an account/CD etc - Experian had pull
+ NASA Federal Credit Union - when applying for membership - Equifax hard pull

P

+ People's Gas
+ Pentagon Federal Credit Union
+ Presidential Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account under the name Presidential Savings.
+ Principal Bank pulled Equifax for a checking account, also pulls for money market account according to CSR.
+ Provident Central Credit Union, Bay Area, CA - When opening an account - Experean hard pull

Q

+ Qwest

S

+ Salem Five - pulled Equifax for a checking account.
+ Schwab - hard pull on Equifax for a checking account.
+ SCOTTRADE - hard pull on Equifax
+ Sprint - Long Distance for having them as the LD provider on a home phone.
+ State Farm Auto Insurance - for getting an auto insurance quote.
+ Suntrust - pulls an Equifax for opening of a checking account

T

+ T-Mobile for cell phone service on Transunion or Equifax
+ TD Waterhouse/Ameritrade pulled Equifax on an exisiting customer to open IRA
+ Thrifty RENT A CAR did hard pull prior to rental

U

+ UFBDirect.com - 3.30% on High Yield Money Market Savings
+ US Bank ( online / phone only. soft pull when opening in branch)

V

+ Verizon - landline, DSL, or VoIP (on Equifax or TransUnion). Also for new cellphone account.

W

+ Wachovia-Trans union (or Equifax in some cases) for opening a checking account
+ Wanigas CU - Pulls to become Member, Pulls for Checking - Experian
+ Wells Fargo (When ever you make any changes like adding additional account holder, change address on your account etc, their Credit department is making a hard enquiry on Experean, I fought with them to get it Re-Classified as a soft pull, be very careful with Wells Fargo). Add this also, i change my account from regular to all advantage account (have free bill pay, checks etc) and a hard pull.

—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-—-
Banks that DO NOT pull hard credit inquiries

Amalgamated Bank
Countrywide Bank FSB
FNBO Direct
PNC Bank (for opening a free checking account), soft pull in Equifax
Valley National Bank of NJ
Washington Mutual
U.S. Bank (in-branch visits only)

Review that list, compiled from empirical data, to help you make your credit decisions. Note: This list is pulled from a Fatwallet group-edited post. Check the original post for the most up-to-date information.

Jim writes the blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Looking for A Great Place to Work or Retire?

by Pistol Tingen

Pitt County Memorial Hospital is one of four academic medical centers in North Carolina and is the flagship hospital for the University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina.  PCMH serves as the teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.  Additionally, PCMH is a regional resource for all levels of services, information and careers.

Pitt County Memorial Hospital acts as a referral center and provides acute, intermediate, rehabilitation and outpatient health services to more than 1.3 million people in 29 counties.  Each year, approximately 33,000 inpatients and more than 266,000 outpatients are treated in the PCMH facilities. Over 3,000 babies are born here in an average year.  The clinical staff includes more than 500 physicians and 1,200 nurses.

Moreover, clinical education is an important part of the PCMH mission and helps demonstrate its commitment to the community. Pitt Memorial is a teaching site for medical students and residents, nurses and other health professionals.

When chosing the ideal city for purposes of either endless career possibilities or outstanding health care resources, Greenville, NC is your choice. With a stellar community hospital such as PCMH, Pitt County, Greenville, NC is an obvious winner.

 

 

 

Greenville NC Foreclosures as Investments

by Pistol Tingen

By definition, a foreclosure is “the legal process by which a property that is mortgaged as security for a loan may be sold and the proceeds of the sale applied to the mortgage debt".  

According to FannieMae, "A foreclosure occurs when the loan becomes delinquent because payments have not been made or when the borrower is in default for a reason other than the failure to make timely mortgage payments”. Properties listed as foreclosures have passed the point of auction or public sale. Because an investor did not buy the properties, the lender is now the owner and is engaged in the process of marketing and selling them to potential buyers through the assistance of a Realtor®. Even though the U.S. Congress recently passed a national economic package that will enact legislation and help thousands of families, the housing market, and the U.S. economy—for many it comes too late.   

Fortunately, Greenville, NC real estate and Pitt County have experienced immunity, so to speak—in comparison to the majority of the nation’s cities where foreclosures have become far too commonplace.  Although somewhat   sheltered from a severe reaction to the nation’s housing slump and risky lending, Greenville has experienced a variety of  foreclosed properties—presenting both home investors, as well as home buyers, with golden opportunities. Enticing interest rates, some of the lowest in several years, are encouraging many individuals to consider adding real estate to their retirement portfolios.   

For the past 16 years, The Pistol Tingen Team has been the exclusive Realtor® for all Fannie Mae Foreclosures for Pitt and Greene County counties. FannieMae (Federal National Mortgage Association) is a New York stock exchange company and is a public company that operates under a federal charter as the nation’s largest source of financing for home mortgages. FannieMae (FNMA) does not lend money directly to consumers, but instead works to ensure that mortgage funds are available and affordable, by purchasing mortgage loans from institutions that lend directly to consumers. 

Today some of the best deals on the real estate market are foreclosures. If you, your friends, or relatives are interested in receiving advance notification regarding foreclosure properties, please contact Jody Tingen at 252-902-9990 or by email Jody@PistolTingen.com. By letting Jody know the type and price range of properties that interest you, he can subscribe you to our New Listing Alert service. Our personalized, automatic system permits you to be alerted about the "good deals” even before they reach the standard real estate publications

While considering the purchase of a foreclosure property, remember that the Seller’s primary objective is to recover the amount of the loan balance that was not paid by the previous homeowner, as well as the costs of the foreclosure action and other expenses. Put simply, the longer lenders own the property, the more eager they become to sell, whether they collect all of the above or not. 

Displaying blog entries 21-29 of 29

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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