Useful Real Estate Reports (Part 2)

As we said last time, we believe the best way to come to an informed opinion on any topic is to rely on multiple, reputable resources for the information upon which you ultimately base your views.  Here are three more timely articles from the end of last year to help shed a little light on the Real Estate landscape for 2014:


Next year will mark the end of the refinance boom and the start of a market dominated by purchase money lending, the first purchase-dominated market in 14 years, according to Freddie Mac. By: World Property Channel Staff, November 20, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: big shift article


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced changes to their Servicing Guides Monday aimed at helping more borrowers avoid foreclosure through short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure (DILs). By: Carrie Bay, DSNews, November 25, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: gses update article


Purchases of foreclosed homes at auctions jumped last month as banks benefited from surging prices and shunned approvals of sales by homeowners dumping their dwellings at a loss. By Kathleen M. Howley, Bloomberg, November 26, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: foreclosed sales article

Useful Real Estate Reports (Part 1)

We believe the best way to come to an informed opinion on any topic is to rely on multiple, reputable resources for the information upon which you ultimately will base your views.  Below we’ve listed four interesting articles from the end of 2013, all from reputable resources, to help shed a little light on the Real Estate landscape of 2014.  Check out the links for the full articles.


U.S. borrowers are increasingly missing payments on home equity lines of credit they took out during the housing bubble, a trend that could deal another blow to the country’s biggest banks. By: Peter Rudegeair, Reuters, November 26, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: insight article


Sometimes, when you cover your ears to escape all the chatter about real estate crowdfunding, you may ask yourself, “What is the big deal?” By: Teke Wiggin, Inman News, November 25, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: crowdfunding article


More applications for home construction were issued in October than at any time in the past five years, a sign the U.S. residential real-estate market is gaining momentum heading into 2014. By Victoria Stilwell, Bloomberg, November, 26, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: building permits article


Residential property sales, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, continue to rise, increasing to an estimated annualized pace of 5.649 million in October, a 2% hike from a month ago and an increase of 13% from October 2012, the latest RealtyTrac Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report revealed. By: Brena Swanson, HousingWire, November 26, 2013 | To read the article in full, please visit: residential home sales article

Looking Ahead, Investing in Real Estate in 2014

There was a great article published on National Real Estate Investor’s website sharing some predictions for the 2014 Real Estate Investment market.  Here’s a quick summary for our Edmond, Oklahoma clients, and please read the full article to get the whole story.  Here we go:

  1. Overall economic growth will accelerate.  This prediction is largely based on Americans improving their spending position over the last year.  This was achieved by both paying down of family debt, and the unfortunate defaulting on other debt.  At any rate, Americans are getting back to more sound debt ratios, better retirement planning, and increases in available disposable income.
  2. Interest rates will increase.  This has been a common theme for both commercial and residential Real Estate.
  3. New commercial construction should remain flat.  This is due to stricter underwriting guidelines, and lenders remaining content to make their money elsewhere.
  4. Commercial Real Estate investments will increase.  Entrepreneurs more and more are willing to jump back in the investment water, while some banks, while frowning on new construction, are expanding their commercial mortgage portfolios.

Looking Ahead, Residential Real Estate in 2014

Warning: crystal balls prohibited beyond this point.  Although experts cannot foretell the future of the 2014 Real Estate Market with 100% accuracy they do base their predictions on market history, recent trends, and related economic reports.  Nationwide, 2013 exhibited more growth in the Real Estate market than many anticipated, and relatively low inventory levels coupled with historically low interest rates contributed to increased sales prices.  With 2013 as a backdrop here are a few “expert” predictions for the coming year for our Edmond, Oklahoma family, friends and neighbors.  For the full report featured on please visit this page.

  1. Housing inventory should stabilize and return to normal levels.  As home prices increase, many people who believed they couldn’t afford to sell are re-evaluating their financial position.
  2. More homeowners should return to positive equity positions.  Makes sense as appreciation has been on the rise and foreclosures have slowed.
  3. Mortgage rates will rise.  All good things, right?
  4. Foreclosure numbers will continue to decrease.
  5. Home affordability will decrease as well.  If prices go up and rates go up, something’s got to give.

It’s easy to see how all of these predictions are linked to one another and tied very closely to increasing home prices.  Time will tell how expert the experts are about the coming year.

Stay tuned for more market insights in our next few blogs.

Cut Costs on Your Next Move

When you decide it’s time to purchase a new home you generally visit a mortgage lender first to get pre-approved for the loan so you can calculate just how much home you can afford.  Translation here being purchase price and monthly payments.  This way you know the financial situation you’re getting into before stepping one foot into your first potential Edmond, Oklahoma dream home.  Very prudent.

But there are many other costs involved when buying a house beyond the actual home.  One of those costs is the move.  The actual packing up, transportation, and unloading of all your personal property, and whether you’re moving across the street or across the country you will have to plan to cover certain expenses.  Today’s blog has some helpful tips on how to save money on getting from point A to point B.

  1. Move yourself.  You do the packing, loading, driving, and unloading with the help of a handful of friends and family who don’t mind loaning you their muscle for on a Saturday afternoon.  This is by far the best way to save money.  Now if you simply can’t do it yourself, and the thought of manhandling furniture and appliances is just too much, why not hire movers to take care of the heavy lifting only?  You can still pack all your other belongings on smaller, more manageable boxes to move yourself.  Moving companies charge by weight.  The more you move on your own, the less you have to pay for.
  2. Shop moving companies.  If you do decide to go with a professional moving company shop around.  By simply comparing prices and options you will make sure you get the right service for you for less.
  3. Schedule your move for off peak times.  Moving companies are less busy in the fall and early winter than other seasons, and less busy weekdays than weekends.  If you have the flexibility, schedule your move mid-week during the off-season to find better deals.
  4. Check with your insurance agent to see if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy covers your personal belongings during a move.  If so you can avoid the additional expense of purchasing insurance just to cover you during the trip.
  5. Save packing materials instead of purchasing new.  Enlist friends and family to start saving boxes for you months before your move.  Use newspaper and clothing to pack fragile belongings.


Moving Your Car Cross-Country

You got the big promotion (or maybe the little one) which requires you to move your family from Edmond, Oklahoma to, let’s say, Walla Walla, Washington.  A hypothetical situation for sure, but one that plays out thousands of times every month in our country, motivating families to uproot, pack up, and move cross-country in pursuit of the American dream.

The situation that pops up for many moving long distance is how to move additional family vehicles to the new home.  Of course if you have multiple cars you probably have multiple drivers in your family, so option one is for your spouse or driving-aged child to get behind the wheel.  The problem with this route is it often doesn’t sit very well with Mom and Dad.  The move is an adventure, and to start this new chapter in separate vehicles or to spend it worried about Junior falling asleep behind the wheel, or his lack of highway time contributes to undue stress.

The alternative is to ship your car to the new home.  Pricing varies as widely as services available (and company experience).  You can ship your car in a covered trailer, a choice popular among owners of vintage and collector cars.  You can also employ an open vehicle transporter, like the kind you see on the highways every day.  These are the same trailers car dealerships receive their inventory on.  There are even door-to-door services available including at home pickup and delivery of vehicles.  Just know you will pay a premium for these extras.  My best suggestion is to check out this article on tips for shipping your vehicle, and finding and qualifying a company to do the job for you.

After You Buy

All the papers are signed, house keys have passed across the table, and you leave the closing with an arm full of paperwork asking yourself, “Okay, now what?”  After the obvious, moving into your new Edmond or Greater Oklahoma City home, there are still a few important tasks you’ll want to address before you get too far past day one of this new chapter in your family’s story.

  1. Move in.  Yes, obvious, however, don’t be surprised when you move into your new home that you discover some slight blemishes you hadn’t seen before the last owners moved out.  Contracts generally state the property will be left in “broom clean” condition for the new owners.  This does not mean spotless.  So when you find a few scuff marks on the walls don’t panic.  This may be your opportunity to give the interior a fresh, clean coat of paint, and have the carpets steam cleaned or even replaced.
  2. Store those important closing papers.  If nothing else they will help you and your tax preparer establish deductions on your next round of tax returns.
  3. Protect it, and everything in it.  You undoubtedly obtained a new homeowner’s insurance policy for the new home.  Great start.  Now complete a video inventory of all your personal belongings in the home as part of your documentation for the insurance company.  Speak to your insurance agent for tips on how best to complete your video, and be sure to keep your video log in a safe place like a safety deposit box at a bank.

Mortgage Market Update

This week’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) from Freddie Mac looks much like last week’s report:

30 year fixed rates came in at 4.51% with 0.7 points, down slightly from last week’s 4.53% with 0.8 points.

15 year fixed rates came in at 3.56% with 0.6 points, also varying only slightly from last week’s 3.55% and 0.7 points.

5 year ARMs came in at 3.15% with 0.4 points, down 0.10% from last week with no change in points.

1 year ARMS came in identical to the week previous at 2.56% with 0.5 points.