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Who are you working with ..Really?

This come ups from time to time when looking for a contractor, a hair stylist, a tattoo artist and yes a real estate agent or broker. All of which have a business license for that particular trade and all should be registered with DPOR. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations. The beauty of this site is that you can see who is has had Complaints against them, violated some sort of rules and regulations and what the status of their license currently is. In some cases it will tell you how much continuing eduction they have gotten in the last two years (for real estate licensees)

So if you are a home owner looking to Sell or a buyer looking to buy, do your do diligence and interview several agents but also check the DPOR website for more details on that agent. You will be surprised at what you will find.

It’s a Great time to buy!

 

Virginia home sales surge ahead (+9%) in February 2012
Posted: 23 Mar 2012 07:11 AM PDT\

 

 

 

 

 

 

In another sign of potential stabilization of the housing market in Virginia, home sales rose 8.6% in February 2012 as compared to one year prior.  This strong increase is after a 2.7% year-over-year increase in January 2012.  Virginia’s unemployment rate of 5.8% in January is the lowest level seen since December 2008 and provides a strong climate for growth in the housing market.

Download the full February 2012 Virginia Home Sales Report below which also highlights:

  • Monthly median sales prices only declined 0.9% in the past year.
  • Monthly sales volume increased 8.4% between February 2011 and February 2012.
  • Average days on market stayed level at 105 days in February 2012.

February 2012 Virgina Home Sales Report

 

Inflation Over the Next Thirty Years

Inflation Over the Next Thirty Years.

 

Inflation Over the Next Thirty Years

On November 18, 2011, in Economist Commentaries, by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist

Inflation is a hidden tax.  The government’s ability to print money and the subsequent inflation results in lower purchasing power for consumers – just as if direct taxes were imposed.

In the past 30-years, prices of just about everything have risen.  The first table below shows that college tuition expenses in particular have been skyrocketing.  But what can we expect over the next 30-years?  The best guess is that inflationary pressure is likely to be lower in the next 30-years as compared to what it was in the past 30 years.  Today, the central banks around the world (with the exception of Venezuela, perhaps) clearly understand that inflation is a headache for the economy that distorts resource allocation and slows economic expansion.  So there will not be irresponsible printing of money to pay government bills.

 

However, there are very large budget deficits around the world.  These deficits force the government’s hand in printing money.  Even though the central bank is an independent entity of the nation’s treasury departments in the U.S. and other industrialized countries there will always be public pressures to help finance government spending via freshly printed money so as to avoid deep spending cuts or hefty tax increases.

Moreover, countries that do not need to print money (because of, say, a balanced budget and a speedily growing economy) at times are forced to print money in order to keep their currencies stable in relation to other foreign currencies out of fear of losing export demand. For example, America prints money which would weaken the purchasing power of the dollar.  A weaker U.S. dollar in turn will mean more expensive price on Chinese-made products for U.S. consumers.  But China does not want that to happen and hence is forced to match the U.S. by printing its own money in order to keep the Chinese currency at the same proportionate power.  It becomes the battle of printing presses – in just about all countries.  Even Switzerland, historically very cautious of printing, announced a few months ago that it will not stand idly by and let the Swiss franc dramatically appreciate in value in relation to other currencies.  Another equally plausible alternative scenario for the future, therefore, is for higher inflation in relation to past rates.

The tables below show the alternative inflation paths.  Sending kids to college looks like it will be tough.  Home price and housing wealth could either double or triple in value.  Note the ‘magical’ anti-inflationary power of the 30-year fixed rate mortgage for homeowners.

Mortgage Rates hold near record lows….Sales of homes are up

Mortgage rates  held near record lows this week, with Freddie Mac reporting the average 30 year fixed rate at 4.0%. Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks in the past year. Just five years ago they were closer to 6.5 percent. Ten years ago, they were above 8 percent.

Here are current rates for purchase loans on single-family homes greater than $150,000 with 20% down and 740+ credit scores . Please call for rates on refinances.

Conf 30 year fixed to $417,000: 4.0%
Conf 15 year fixed: 3.25%
Conf 30 year fixed ($417,000-$535,900):  4.0%
FHA 30 year fixed:  3.75%
FHA 5/1 ARM:  2.75%
Jumbo 30 year fixed ($528,750+): 4.25%

All rates reflect 1 origination, 0 discount points. Please note rates do vary by credit score, loan amount, rate lock period, occupancy and loan to value.

Renters Spending 5% More Than Home Owners

Renters Spending 5% More Than Home Owners.

Rising rents are forcing renters to outspend home owners on housing costs, according to a new study.

Since 2005, home owners’ housing expenses have climbed from 31.9 percent of their household budget to 33.2 percent. On the other hand, in that same time period, renters’ expenses have jumped from 35.6 percent to 38.4 percent, according to the October CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends.

In the last 26 years, home owners have increased the amount they spend on household expenses by 12 percent while renters have increased it by 22 percent, according to the study.

Earlier this month, Capital Economics economists noted that for the first time in 30 years the median monthly mortgage payment is about the same — or less — than the median rental payment.

Yet, with the bleak job market, home ownership rates continue to fall in many parts of the country, particularly among younger generations. CoreLogic found in its report that the home ownership rate for the 25-to-34 age group dropped from 51.6 percent in 1980 to 42 percent in 2010. For the 35-to-44 age group, home ownership rates fell from 71.2 percent to 62.3 percent over that period.

Source: “Renters Outspend Owners on Housing,” RISMedia (Oct. 25, 2011) and Capital Economics

Read More:

Bargains Abound: What Are Buyers Waiting for?

 

Nothing but short on a Short Sale transaction.

Short sales are not for the weak at heart.  Time consuming and down right nasty.  Banks are overwhelmed with short sales, foreclosures and homeowners behind in payments that they just can’t keep up.  Maybe underground condos will be the next big thing!.

Seriously, if you have questions regarding a short sale make sure you talk to a specialist that can help.  There are a lot of short sale specialist REALTORS out there that are willing to help.  Short sales can be less of a negative impact on your credit report than a foreclosure will be are just some of the benefits of short sale.    For more information please don’t hesitate to email or call.

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