Wausau, WI Real Estate News

By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
Did You Know: Reasons People Move, Choose New Locations.     According to U.S. Consumer Moving / Relocation: Attitudes and Behaviors June 2010 Survey conducted by Relocation.com, Texas and Florida are once again the leading destination states. The same trend was found in national surveys conducted in 2009. When compared to the same survey done in February 2010, 20 percent fewer movers are now moving to California. Texas and Florida showed an increase of 50 percent and 42 percent respectively since the February 2010 results. The other results of the survey include: Compared to the results from the winter of 2010, it seems that financial and economic issues still continue to exert an effect on U.S. moving behaviors but there are signs in the present survey results that the worst of the re...
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   As difficult as it may be, there's really only one way to deal with homeowners who aren't paying community association fees: Get tough. No one enjoys forcing payment plans, filing liens, or even foreclosing on their neighbor's home. But when homeowners don't pay their homeowners association fees, the association has to try some or all of those tactics. That may seem harsh, but when homeowners can't (or won't) pay HOA fees, the rest of the neighbors must pick up the slack through higher fees, special assessments, or reduced spending on community upkeep and amenities.   The cost of delinquency Nationwide, non-payment of HOA fees is among the top problems facing condo, single-family, and other planned development associations today, says Thomas M. Skiba, chief executive officer of the C...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
The best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced home inspector to check the house's structure and systems, including the roof, heating, plumbing, electrical and air conditioning systems. The cost of a home inspection ranges between $250 to $500. If you can, have the home inspected after you agree on a price, but before you sign the contract and put down a deposit. If you are in a rush to go to contract to lock in the deal, make sure your contract states that the terms of the purchase are conditioned on the approval of a professional home inspector. Just because you need to hire a pro, doesn't mean you can't do some checking around yourself before you make an offer. Check for soft spots in the flooring and look for freshly painted patches on the ceiling or walls that could be...
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So, the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit is gone.  Now what?  You missed the buzzard, and what motivation do you have to run out and buy a property, right? Well, did you know that in late June interest rates hit the lowest point in HISTORY?   For a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, you're looking at mid-4%'s if not lower today!   Oh, but we are in the "worst housing market."  Worst housing market = Best time to get the best deals Lowest interest rates in history = Your chance to save hundreds of dollars on your monthly mortgage Let me ask you, does the low interest rates and low housing cost give you enough motivation to get out and purchase a property?  If not, what else do you need to make it happen?  Higher interest rates, higher housing costs?
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
For better or for worse, there are a lot of foreclosures hitting the housing market right now ! While it may seem like an ideal situation, purchasing a home for less than it's worth; you need to make sure you take the proper precautions before taking that leap. Here are a few tips: Choose realtor wisely. The realtor you choose to represent you is a personal choice, but make sure you think about your decision from all aspects. Not only your comfort level with the individual but also his/her knowledge in the area, experience in industry, successful track record and of course, familiarity of the foreclosure market.  Find a Real Estate Agent Budget carefully! A foreclosure can be a great deal, but it can also be a huge expense. Know ahead of time that if you fall in love with a foreclosure ...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
First: Pay Off Your DebtIt's a common mistake for home-buyers-to-be: They focus on saving as much money as possible for a down payment instead of paying off other debts. A better approach is to use extra cash to eliminate credit-card and other high-interest consumer debt � even if that means you can put down less on your future home. Why? First, credit-card debt is expensive and limits your ability to save. The average interest rate on credit cards now stands at 13.8%, or more than double the 5.33% national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to Bankrate.com. Second, credit-card debt will limit how much you can borrow. That's because lenders won't allow your total monthly debt service � which includes payments for credit cards, student loans and car loans, as well as ho...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
When considering your mortgage, lenders look at a variety of factors, including your ability and willingness to repay the loan.   Your ability to repay is verified by your current employment and total income. Your willingness to repay is closely related to how you've fulfilled previous financial commitments. This is why lenders place such an emphasis on your credit report. It is important to remember that there are no rules carved in stone. Each applicant is handled on a case-by-case basis. So even if you come up a little short in one area, perhaps one of your stronger points will make up for the weak one. Low Down Payment MortgagesEven if you do not have a lot of money to use as a down payment, you still may be able to purchase a home. More and more borrowers are taking advantage of lo...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
For most first-time home buyers, saving enough money for a down payment is the biggest hurdle to owning a little piece of paradise. Traditionally, lenders have required a down payment of at least 20% of the home's purchase price. However, lenders will now accept less than that if the borrower takes out private mortgage insurance. (In the last few years, innovative programs have made it possible to put down anywhere from 0% to 3% of the value of a home and still qualify for a mortgage. We'll talk later about those special programs.) Should you put down less than 20%? Well, if you've got the money, there are advantages to putting 20% down. For one thing, you immediately have substantial equity in your home. This may be important to you psychologically, and that counts. In addition, you'll...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
Getting a subprime, or non-conforming mortgage, just got a lot harder. Wells Fargo, the third-largest bank in the U.S., announced it is closing a division devoted to issuing what they call "non-prime" mortgages, car loans, and credit-card loans. The bank will no longer issue subprime loans and is eliminating 3,800 related jobs. Wells Fargo was one of the leading mortgage lenders during the last housing boom.
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  I am happy to report that Congress has passed a bill extending the Homebuyer Tax Credit closing deadline to September 30, 2010.  This is a huge win for REALTORS® and homebuyers, and NAR worked closely with members of Congress to make it happen.The extension applies only to transactions that had ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, and have not yet closed.  There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law.  Additionally, Congress has extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30th.  The bill is retroactive and will cover the lapse period from June 1, 2010, to the date the law is enacted.  NAR will continue to work with Congress on the NFIP Reform bill, and we will keep you posted on those efforts.
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
  NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Foreclosures accounted for a third of all sales -- and sold at a nearly 30% discount -- during the first three months of 2010. According to a new report from RealtyTrac, the marketer of foreclosed properties, 31% of all sales were foreclosures. And homebuyers purchasing those properties paid a whopping 27% less, on average, compared to sales of non-distressed homes. These foreclosure sales include properties sold in short sales or after a bank repossession, known as REOs in industry terms. It does not include transfers from borrowers to banks, as in a sheriff's auction. REOs, those homes already taken back from borrowers, commanded lower prices than short sales and other pre-foreclosures. The average REO sold for 34% less than conventional sales while pre-fo...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
 For three years, Clark Howard has taken heartbreaking calls from homeowners who've felt there's no way out of the housing mess they're in. Approximately one in four Americans owe more on their house than what it's worth. A fraction of those one in four can't make their monthly payment. Lenders have been just as confused and frustrated as the borrowers through the whole downward spiral in the housing market. Bank of America is now trying something that's very unique: They've been soliciting people to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Here's how deeds in lieu work: The bank agrees to take your home back without foreclosing on it. They also agree not to seek deficiency, which are losses on the loan they're entitled to in most states. Syndicated financial writer Kenneth Harney says Bank of...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
Under Fannie Mae's new Loan Quality Initiative (LQI) that went into effect on June 1, 2010, lenders are pulling a second credit report on the buyer right before closing to verify that the buyer's credit status has not changed and that all debts were disclosed. In other words, the buyer is not officially approved for the mortgage until the second credit report is approved. The lender may also re-verify job status and check other sources to make sure there are no undisclosed debts. Other lenders also have been known to pull second credit reports right before the closing, but the Fannie Mae LQI will likely cause many more lenders to conduct last-minute verifications. What this means for buyers is that they are well advised to not make any major purchases or apply for new credit until afte...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
Home Buying Process If you are a first-time homebuyer or haven't bought a home in a while, this guide will offer valuable information about buying a home. Gather the information you will need to qualify for a home mortgage   Before you can buy a home, you will need to secure financing. Be ready to provide a mortgage lender with the following information: Income and Employment What is your current income? Are you employed? Do you have a history of steady employment? Down Payment Your lender will ask how much money you have available for a down payment. A down payment of 20 percent or more of the home purchase price demonstrates your commitment to long-term homeownership and provides you with immediate equity in a new home. Credit History Your lender will review your credit history - how ...
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Underwriting Borrowers with a Prior Foreclosure A variety of foreclosure alternatives are available to borrowers who are having difficulty making their mortgage payments. In Announcement SEL-2010-05, Underwriting Borrowers with a Prior, Fannie Mae announced changes to the Preforeclosure Sale or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure policies regarding the amount of time that must elapse after a borrower experiences a preforeclosure event (preforeclosure sale, short sale, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure). The changes highlighted the importance of borrowers working with their servicers to avoid foreclosure. As a follow-up to that Announcement, Fannie Mae is now modifying the waiting period that must elapse before a borrower is eligible for a new mortgage loan after a foreclosure. The combination of...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
New home sales plummet to record low.   NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New home sales plummeted to a record low in May, the first month following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. This snapped a two-month streak of gains. New home sales declined 32.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 last month, down from an downwardly revised 446,000 in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Sales year-over-year fell 18.3%.   This is the slowest sales pace since the Commerce Department began tracking data in 1963. The prior record was set in September 1981, when new homes sold at an annual rate of 338,000. "We expected a slowdown, but the extent of this decline was a surprise," said Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo. The figure was even worse than her relatively p...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
Did you know: 49 percent of consumers say they would never be able to save for a down-payment for a home? The graph represents the poll results from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). The poll asked consumers about ability to meet the down-payment requirements associated with buying a home in today's market. Of the more than 2,000 respondents, almost half (49 percent) believed they would never be able to save enough money for a down-payment on a home. Others responding to the survey indicated that their mortgage loan would either have to require a much lower down-payment (20 percent), or they would have to borrow the down-payment regardless of how much it was (18 percent). The lowest number of respondents indicated that they'd have no trouble coming up with a 20 perce...
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Whether you're buying or selling, it's important to choose representation that meets your needs in the transaction. You have choices when selecting representation in a real estate transaction. Here are five tips for understanding which type of legal relationship with a real estate professional, called an agency relationship, will best protect you when you buy or sell a home.     1. Buyer's agency When you're buying a home, you can hire an agent who represents only you, called an exclusive buyer's representative or agent. A buyer's agent works in your best interest and owes you a fiduciary duty. You can pay your buyer's agent yourself, or ask the seller, or the seller's agent, to pay your agent a share of their sales commission. If you're selling your home and hiring an agent to list it...
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By Tim Hagedorn
(yourChoiceRealty.net)
June 9, 2010: Mortgage Applications Mortgage purchase applications--which do not take into consideration all-cash transactions--fell 5.7 percent the week ending June 4th, marking five consecutive weeks of decline after the tax credit expired on April 30th. Purchase applications are down 35 percent over the past four weeks. Refinance activity slowed 14.3 percent, despite interest rates falling to 4.81 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage.
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One of the most common and costly mistakes made by sellers is setting an unrealistically high asking price. Every seller wants to receive the highest closing price possible for their house, but losing sight of fair market value can have serious repercussions. In some cases a lack of objectivity results in overpricing the home, other sellers may subscribe to the theory that pricing high initially leaves room to negotiate lower later. Overpricing from the outset could actually force you to end up settling for a lower price than you would have received by setting a realistic asking price based on market research. Common Results of Overpricing Fewer "Eyes" on Your Listing - Mispricing your home can prevent it from ever being seen by a certain percentage of potential buyers who might otherwi...
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