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Displaying blog entries 51-60 of 85

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."

Understanding Fannie Mae Foreclosures - Questions and Answers

by Pistol Tingen

• What is Fannie Mae?

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise chartered by Congress with a mission to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.

Fannie Mae operates in the U.S. secondary mortgage market.  Rather than making home loans directly with consumers, Fannie Mae works with mortgage bankers, brokers, and other primary mortgage market partners to help ensure they have funds to lend to home buyers at affordable rates.  Fannie Mae funds their mortgage investments primarily by issuing debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets.

• Why does Fannie Mae have properties for sale?

Fannie Mae works with all of its partners to help homeowners prevent and avoid foreclosure; however, sometimes it is  unavoidable.  When foreclosures occur on mortgages in which Fannie Mae is the investor, their goal is to sell properties in a timely manner in order to minimize the impact on the community.

• What kinds of properties are available in the Fannie Mae HomePath database?

Fannie Mae's HomePath database includes only properties that are owned by Fannie Mae.  There is a wide selection of homes, including single-family homes, condominiums, and town houses--located in a variety of neighborhoods.  The number, types and the sales prices of the homes that are offered for sale may vary substantially.  many of these homes are relatively new; however, older homes are offered in some areas.  Some homes may require repairs.

• How is buying a home owned or managed by Fannie Mae different from other home purchases?

Usually when you buy a home, you deal with a seller who lives in the home.  Fannie Mae has acquired these properties through foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure or forfeiture.

When buying a Fannie Mae-owned home, you should know the condition of the property, the cost of any needed repairs, and the steps in the loan qualification and closing process before you enter into a purchase and sales agreement.

• Has Fannie Mae fixed everything in the house?

Fannie Mae may make some repairs to properties to increase their marketability; however, the buyer should be aware that other repairs may be needed.  Fannie Mae sells each property "as is", which means that the buyer accepts the property "as is".  Fannie Mae is not responsible for fixing any problems after settlement.

Even if the house has fresh paint, brand new carpet, new appliances, perhaps even a new roof or siding--it doesn't mean everything in the house is new, or even works.

Fannie Mae does not warrant or guarantee any work that may have been done on the property, whether as part of its efforts to sell the home or pursuant to conditions in the purchase contract.  Where a home warranty is available, a buyer may wish to buy it at their own expense.

A buyer should also consider hiring a qualified professional to inspect the property, whether it has been repaired or not.  Hiring a home inspector is a recommended practice, no matter what type of home a buyer purchases.

• What can Fannie Mae tell a buyer about a house?

If Fannie Mae knows about any hazards on properties they own or market, they disclose this information through their real estate listing agents.  However, Fannie Mae may not have been informed by the previous owner of all hazards, and they encourage a buyer to have the property inspected by a professional before buying the house.

• What type of sales contract does Fannie Mae use?

Fannie Mae uses a state-specific real estate purchase contract and a real estate purchase addendum for their properties.  If there is anything in the document a buyer doesn't understand or isn't comfortable with, they may want to contact a real estate attorney, the real estate sales professional who has listed the property, or a real estate professional of their choice to review these documents with them.

• Does a buyer have to use Fannie Mae's selected title, settlement or escrow companies?

No.  A buyer may designate the title, settlement or escrow company of their choice--subject to the terms of the contract.

• Will Fannie Mae accept an offer contingent on the sale of a buyer's house?

No, Fannie Mae will not accept offers contingent on the sale of a buyer's home.  Other types of contingencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

• Why does Fannie Mae require a lender's prequalification statement before negotiating a home purchase offer?

Fannie Mae wants to be sure that prospective buyers will be able to complete the sales transaction, including obtaining financing when needed.  Prequalification allows a buyer to see how much house they can afford and the mortgage amount they may be able to qualify for before they make an offer on a home.   It also helps the buyer focus on homes in an affordable price range.

A loan prequalification doesn't mean a buyer's loan is approved.  A buyer must apply for a loan separately, after they are prequalified and their purchase offer is accepted.

• Does Fannie Mae provide special financing?

Special financing is available on many properties through HomePath® Mortgage and HomePath® Renovation Mortgage.  A buyer may obtain more information on HomePath® through the Fannie Mae real estate listing agent.

• Can a buyer purchase a house directly from Fannie Mae without going through a real estate sales professional?

No.  Fannie Mae depends on the expertise of local real estate sales professionals and accepts offers only through Fannie Mae's real estate listing agents.  A buyer may work with any real estate sales professional to submit an offer to the real estate agent who has listed the property for Fannie Mae.

• What happens if Fannie Mae gets more than one offer?

All interested parties may be asked to submit their best offer in writing through the listing agent no later than a specified date and time.  Fannie Mae may accept or provide a counteroffer that they determine to be in their best interest.  Fannie Mae requires real estate sales professionals to submit an offer to the real estate agent who has listed the property.  Fannie Mae is not obligated to accept any offer submitted.


For the Pitt County and Greenville, NC area, The Pistol Tingen Team has represented Fannie Mae as their exclusive real estate sales professionals for over 17 years.  All local Fannie Mae foreclosures (not outsourced to third party REO vendors) are listed by The Tingen Team.  They are also the designated real estate agents  who receive and present all offers for submission to Fannie Mae.  If you would like more information regarding Fannie Mae foreclosures -- or other properties in Pitt County or Greenville, NC area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

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.

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.

Displaying blog entries 51-60 of 85

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