The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

Home Sales Fall in August

Another report from the Associated Press has said August home sales were less than desirable. A shortage of inventory is hurting sales, and pushing prices higher.

The real estate industry has been one of the countries strong points despite a weak economy overall. Sales have been steadily recovering since the recession, and buyers credit is finally back to a healthy status. The main weakness in the real estate market is a lack of inventory. Not enough homes are being put on the market, which is a reflection of the aftermath of the bubble almost ten years ago.

The sale of existing homes dropped by 0.9% in August, to a seasonal adjusted yearly rate of 5.33 million; which is the second straight month in decline. The drop this moth happened after a time of respectable gains lifting home sales up by 3%. The historically low mortgage rates have teamed-up with an improved job market giving buying power to potential home buyers.

Significantly fewer sellers are entering the market despite eager buyers. Housing inventory has fallen 10.1% from this time last year, leaving the market with 2.04 million homes.

A shortage of homes has posed as a gridlock for buyers, and those who are willing to sell their homes may not be able to find another to live in right away. The demand is greater than the supply which is pushing up prices significantly. A lot of buyers are stuck in their rentals as they fight through a bidding war. If deals don’t go in their favor they are stuck where they are for now.

August’s median home sale price was $240,200, a price increase of 5.1% over the past year. This signals that American’s need to save more for a down payment, ultimately hurting home ownership rates.

The Northeast is the only region that saw record sales gains, while the Midwest, South, and West saw sales fall short.

Renting prices are supposedly becoming more manageable, but it’s still outrageous to rent just about anywhere....

What to Know About For Sale By Owner Homes

When you are on the hunt to buy a home, you’ll see tons of them on the market. On occasion you might see a home “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO), or even a friend or relative who wants to sell you their house directly.

This could be tempting since there wouldn’t be agents involved, and it would just be a simpler process overall; but this isn’t quite the case. Here’s where buying a FS BO could get tricky.

A lot of sellers work with your agent

Sellers who have a brain already know that buyers are working with an agent, or have been for a long time, and are planning to pay the agent once the home buying process has concluded.

The agents serve as the buyers advisers throughout the process. If you happen to fall in love with a FSBO house, tell your agent and ask them to make the first contact. They will still do what needs to be done, ensuring they get paid in the end, and you have a home.

Don’t think of the home any differently

If you find the home of your dreams, and its FSBO, don’t treat it like it’s less than a house that’s being sold traditionally.

What you want to keep in mind is that you will meet the owner face-to-face. Selling a home is a personal task, more so than selling your car, and just because emotions might run high, don’t let it intimidate you when you meet the seller.

Keep your eye on the prize. Keep your eye on your future possible home.

Laws are laws

FSBO’s still must obey the seller disclosure laws. They are still bound to every other law in real estate. Do your duty and inspect the home, ask for the right repairs to be made, and the home could be yours soon.

One issue with FSBO homes is that the sellers aren’t well versed in the entire process...

Air Rights Above Your Home

Every home owner should know the basics of their air rights; you know the air right above the house. Not many people give it a thought, except for those in cities like New York, or San Francisco where space is almost all that matters to home owners.

So do you own the air above your land? What could you do if you did?

Air rights

Air rights are considered a development right, and that is a general rule dating back to the twentieth century where home owners owned the land below their home, and the air above it. All that void space above your home is considered yours.

Still, today’s laws for the most part follow the old Latin doctrine, “For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to heaven and down to hell.”

Once the airplane came on the scene, those rights became a bit more restricted. The new rule of law was that homeowners can only use the airspace they could “reasonably use”. For the better, this law allowed airplanes to operate without invading everyone’s airspace multiple times a flight; allowing the industry to take off.

UP

Zoning laws are another thing to consider. They stop your neighbors from building a 12-story condo building right next to your residential home, and all your neighbors for that matter. Even though he may own the right to use that space, zoning laws circumvent these types of problems.

If your home doesn’t have a second floor, but you really wish it could, and maybe even a third; zoning restrictions prevent you from adding anything that would seem unreasonable, like a fourth, maybe even a third story.

Value in the city

Heavily populated cities like New York have high housing demands and little space to offer. Cities like so do have air rights, and they hold a price tag. If you aren’t...

Home Sale Numbers for August

The Mortgage Bankers Association held a survey this month pertaining to last month’s home sales; and they found quite good news. August home sales gushed out of the market with a whopping 601,000 sales. This is actually the highest volume of transactions since the survey began back in 2012. The applications were even up, despite July being quite poor.

The purchase applications increased 5% for the month, and a very strong 14% increase since August of 2015. The only thing the survey didn’t take into consideration is the adjustment for seasonal trends.

The MBA survey calculated the new home sales estimates by using the mortgage applications from the BAS. They also consider the market coverage and other factors when estimating these numbers. They also track builder applications from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the nation. Given this information, and some that is not so easily explained, MBA can estimate new home sales volume nationally, and even down to the metro level.

It’s believed that builders are responding to the call of the market; building homes to catch up with the demand. With jobs getting harder to come by among Middle America, builders are giving people jobs and homes to live in. There are plenty of reasons for builders to shy away from that call, but the market has made a steady recovery since 2008, and confidence is soaring right now.

A little statistics to show what’s happening: Conventional loans made up almost 68% of loan applications, FHA loans were 18%, RHS/USDA loans were barely over half a percentage point, and VA loans were 13%.

Another fun fact – the average size of a loan dropped by $620 to settle at $325,224 for the month of August. 

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Buying a Fixer-Upper? How You Know When You're Ready

Buying a new home involves some risk; you truly never know what you’re getting yourself into until you live in it. Homes can both be in good shape and be a wonderful home, or they can have multiple problems and cost you big bucks down the road.

If you know you are going to buy a fixer-upper, then you better be able to do the work. These homes generally come around 10% below market value, which is a tempting offer for a lot of DIY’ers.

If you are planning for a fixer-upper to be your next home, make sure your scenarios have at least one of these common aspects.

Simple Upgrades

Your know-how skills are plenty so you won’t be hiring anyone to fix your jobs, but they’re not on the expert level. Hopefully the home you’re interested in doesn’t have any electrical, plumbing, or foundation issues, leaving most of the work to the cosmetic department.

Homes that need cosmetics usually need a bit of drywall, all new paint, possibly trim, replacing the cabinets, countertops, and light fixtures. It starts to get pretty involved if vanities and floor replacements. If you have the skills to do so, go right ahead.

The numbers work

A fixer-upper is only a good idea when the numbers add up. These are 100% investments and nothing short. One needs to ask themselves if the money they are willing to spend will be returned and then some in the future when they sell.

Real estate is priced around what someone will pay for it. Different houses with different insides sell for quite a difference, and the difference is the money spent on the inside.

Right place, right time

There can be difficulties getting from the get-go. You may have trouble getting permits for the upgrades you want to perform, which will leave you sitting in a house for quite...

House Hunting in Today's World

Today’s home hunting process isn’t like it was 20 years ago. You used to scour the newspaper in search of a new home, but today you may spend weeks, even months looking online for the right house.

What’s tricky about buying a home is that it isn’t like buying an expensive new car, or piece of furniture. There’s more to buying a home than looking at the numbers and comparing. Buying a home is an investment that touches your heart and gets you deeply involved. Keeping this in mind, here are a few steps to remember during your home search.

Explore, discover, and dream

Looking at all the houses you want online allows one to dream; dreamers envision all they want in a house and what each room could be used for. From your living room you can see what all the market has available. You are allowed to see what parts of town have homes flying off the streets, and which areas have reasonable pricing, all without dealing with an agent.

Not having commitment to an agent can be a real stress reliever in the beginning. Think of it as going into a car dealership and just browsing without having a salesperson bother you.

Check it out in person

After hunting long enough you will find a house you are highly interested in. This will lead you to go to an open house and maybe even contact an agent for more information.

Physically walking into a home takes your search one giant step forward, but keep in mind you will probably see many more homes before you buy. A lot of buyers see multiple homes before they even consider offering. You don’t want to buy the first one you see and have buyer’s remorse down the road.

Find a good local agent

You won’t be disappointed when you find a good, professional agent. Buyers aren’t paying extra...

Moving Efficiently

Preparing for any move, whether big or small requires precise planning for everything to go smoothly. It’s important to evaluate everything you plan to take with you, inside and outside. The key is figuring out before you move, how you will transport everything you want to take, and where you will put it. Here are a few steps to help you with this move.

Take Inventory

Walking around your house and making a list of all your belongings seems tedious, but it’s necessary for a swift and easy move. This way you get to see how much stuff you actually have, and what can be thrown out.

Go online and google search a “home inventory checklist” and print it out. You can also create your own, but check some out online to see how others are done. There are even apps designed for this.

Sort the list by rooms, and don’t skip a single one, not even the hallways. For big and important items, take photos and describe them. Whatever you do, don’t forget your household documents like deeds, and birth certificates, etc.

Once you’re all packed up, keep the list close by. Having this close will allow you to unpack room by room in an effective and timely manner.

Boxing it up

Once you know everything that needs to go, the next step is figuring out how many boxes you will need. There is such thing as online packing calculators, which help determine how many boxes will be required. These calculators factor in how many rooms you have, how many people are living in the home and even if you think of yourself as a packrat or not.

Try out the calculators and see how many boxes, and what size you’ll need. If this part is causing you major headaches, you can also hire a professional mover to take the load of responsibility.

For example, a small studio would require around 20 boxes, and an average size home with 3 rooms could require 60.

Rent a truck

The general rule to figure out...

Home Sales Trouble

Less than the favorable amount of home sales, decreasing affordability, appraisal problems, and lender administrative delays are what is impacting todays home sales the most, so says REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. This survey was sent to over 50,000 real estate professionals regarding their last transaction.

Despite all the issues, those heavily involved in the real estate market stay confident for the future. The confidence level was about 50 according to the survey; as well it is higher than this time last year.

The survey also said that since home prices are becoming less affordable, it’s expected that prices will come down a bit, and grow at a slower pace of 3.3%.

It’s believed that less homes being sold, or on the market, the multiple offers homes are receiving are resulting in significant price increases. The June numbers stated that 41$ of homes sold above the original listing price.

It’s beginning to become a problem when the supply of homes is so short that it’s pushing affordability away from first time homebuyers, who are struggling to save enough for a down payment. The median family income has increased since 2012 by 11%, all the while the median price of a used home has risen by 62%.

The National Association of Realtors believes that homes are still “generally affordable”, and the gap between actual and qualifying income for first-time home buyers is widening. NAR estimates their median income is currently around $44,700, which is barely above the qualifying income of $42,700.

Most real estate deals are being completed on time, but a whopping 32% are stumbling over delays. Only 6% were cancelled. The issues were mostly from financing trouble which was apparent 41% of the time. 27% were from appraisals, 11% from inspections, and titling and/or deed issues at 10%. 

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5 Types of People Who Attend open Houses

5 Types of People Who Attend open Houses

In the real estate world, Sunday’s are very important days. It’s the day of open houses, and it goes without saying, anyone can step inside to check out a home on the market. Keep in mind though, not everyone who goes inside is a potential buyer. Here are the five types of likely to walk into an open house.

The real buyer

Real home buyers are somewhere in the home buying process, and they’re checking out the market or they’re intent on buying a home and qualified. Sellers want these people coming through their doors.

Buyers are using open houses as their alternative visits as they’ve probably already toured the house with their agent during the week. Open houses allow them to casually walk around as if it was already their own.

The nosy neighbor

These people have been waiting to finally check out the home. Chances are their home is quite similar and they want to do a little comparison of properties.

Of course there are other reasons. Some neighbors like to see where all they can be seen from the house across the way. These neighbors just want to satisfy their curiosity about their home, or even the seller.

Agents looking for their clients

Agents are always on the hunt for new homes for their clients, and most of the time they are polite and professional.

There are the agents who will walk-and-talk around the house on the phone to their clients. They’ll describe what the home is like and tell their clients of the pros and cons of the home.

The agent who lost the listing

A lot of the times a sellers interviews multiple agents and selects which one they want to represent them. Agents spend a lot of their time, energy,...

What's the Fuss About A Sewer Inspection

One of a homeowner’s worst fears is a giant flood without any idea where it came from.  Toilets can back-up without reason, basements can flood, and it could all be because of a sewer line. In order to prevent a problem like this it’s best to take action before it happens. Homeowners should elect to have a sewer inspection before they buy their home. Here is how these inspections work and how to determine if you should get one yourself.

What is a sewer inspection?
Sewer inspections are made by calling a plumbing company and asking for a contractor to come and weave a camera through the pipes. Real estate agents are good go-to’s if the plumbing company doesn’t have a contractor on hand.

The contractor will use a snake with a camera attached to it and push it through the plumbing lines. They can see if there are any issues like corrosion, or any tree roots that have broken the lines. They also have the ability to see if there are any cracks or breaks in the street sewer lines. Usually if there is a problem from the home to the street it’s for the homeowner to cover, not the city. Hopefully they were smart enough to buy homeowners insurance.

Once the contractor finishes the inspection they can reveal what kind of material the sewer line was made out of, and if it meets today’s standards. Whatever issues may be present is always fair game to involve in the negotiations whether you are buying or selling.

How to know if an inspection is needed

How might you know if you should get an inspection? The sewer lines are rarely part of the home’s overall inspection. IF the home is 20 years or older, you should probably get one. Pipes don’t last forever; they erode or crack with time, and are terribly vulnerable to roots. So if a home has plenty of landscaping, don’t skip out on this inspection.

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The Housing Bubble of 2016, & What You Need to Know

Nearly ten years ago the U.S. housing market was on top of a giant bubble. Too many eager buyers were willing to pay more than the asking price for even more houses. Another reason was due to the government forcing the banks to lend to nearly everyone, even the people who couldn’t afford it. When that happens the bubble will bust, leaving millions who lost savings, properties, and their home.

In 2012 home prices fell to their bottom after six long years of free fall. The market today has homes one point shy of the 2006 bubble peak.

June was the 50th straight month of home price appreciation with prices up 33% since 2012. The Black Knight Financial firm gave those statistics. It measured the average national home price in June at $265,000, which happens to be 1.1% shy of the record high.

What’s different about today is these prices aren’t being driven by flakey mortgages. What is driving them is the lack of homes accompanied by record low mortgage rates. The median household income to afford a median household is at 21%, which is quite strong. It was around 36% during the bubble years.

What’s so bad about that? Well it starts to get worrisome when the rates rise again, pushing prospective buyers out of affordability and dropping home prices. Even though rates are low, a good number of buyers still cannot qualify for mortgages, and or afford a down payment and when the prices rise, the down payment follows.

The problem with today is that there’s a segment of people who cannot qualify to buy a home, and a segment just as sizable that has seen nothing but depressing reports of the real estate market for the past five years, and they’re weary to buy tarnished assets.                            

 The second reason for this sharpening of home prices is the little supply.  Home...

Ceiling Fan Info

Choosing a ceiling fan doesn’t appear to be too difficult, but there are a few things you need to know before you pull the trigger.

Every gust of air can make a difference in a home during the summer months. Ceiling fans can help with your personal comfort while keeping your utility bills down. In order to pick the winner, you must choose which room and where it will go. Have all your questions answered by reading on.

What size fan is best?

The fans amount of air moved depends on the number of blades as well as their length. The standard bedroom is 12 feet by 12 feet, and the standard four blades, 42inches is perfect. Any rooms larger than that are best suited by wider and longer blades. 52 inches should do the trick for larger rooms.

Your everyday ceiling fan has four blades, but other models make up to six blades; and the more blades the more air it moves. If you are searching for maximum air flow and are on a budget, look for a cheaper five bladed fan.

How long should the fan hang?

The minimum of space between the fan blades and the floor is seven feet. As you’ve noticed not all rooms are the same height, and often in different styles. One fan that would hang too low in one type of room may be perfectly for another.

Fan manufacturers know where their product is going, so they’ve come up with different styles. There are two basic models: standard and ceiling hugger-models.

The standard model has 6 or 8 inch-long downrod extending from the ceilings bracket to the motor. These ideally go on ceilings that are eight feet high. Anything higher and an extension rod may be necessary. If it’s too high the fan becomes useless.

For lower ceilings, the ceiling-hugger is great, as it’s useful and still leaves headspace.

Boxes always have the recommended “install distance” or some description...

How Long it Takes to Close

After you’ve found the house you want, inspected it thoroughly, made an offer and been accepted, it’s time to close. How long exactly is this process? Here’s what the closing timeline will look like.

Average time frame to close

The average today is about 50 days to close. Yes that seems like forever, but there’s a reason it doesn’t happen quickly. To begin with, buyers that require mortgages must complete the loan process and property appraisal, and banks aren’t known to do their business quickly.

While the banks are doing their job in the background, home buyers must use that time to review the property title and do a complete inspection. This time also allows for both the buyer and seller to plan their move.

How to slow down a closing

Despite a home being under contract the occasional hitch can make closing time come to a drastic stop, and here’s how:

Funds: The most common reason closings get delayed is due to money. Poor finances. In order to keep things going at a good pace it’s best to get a mortgage preapproval letter. Often time’s sellers require them. Even in order to get this, it can take the lender an entire month to do their due diligence. Cash buyers don’t really have this problem.  

Appraisal differences

Banks must appraise the home in order for them to approve someone for a mortgage. If the appraisal doesn’t satisfy either party, a renegotiation may take place and that can take time.

No insurance

Waiting until the last minute to get home insurance can really slow down a closing. Most of the time it is required before you move.

Contingencies

Sellers usually need...

5 Things Renters Should Know About Owning a Home

Renters who someday want to own their own home need to change the way they live in order to achieve that goal. There are financial changes, lifestyle changes, and new rules that will apply from making the transition.

It’s the duty of an agent to guide them in their transition.

Moving is already one of the most stressful times in people’s lives, but it could be even more for a first-time home owner. An agent’s knowledge and experience is their most cherished resource. Here are some of the things an agent should share with their new clients.

It’s an ever-changing financial investment

Renters are used to seeing their rent fly out the window every month, and even sometimes increasing. Often times they haven’t a clue as to where it goes. They aren’t aware that it goes towards property taxes, insurance, and things like trash pickup. As once-upon-a-time renters become their own landlords, they will become responsible for those types of expenses. Agents should sit down with their clients and talk about the changes that are coming.

It’s important to like your location for the long-haul

Renters can jump around from spot to spot, but when you own a home, you are set. It’s vitally important for a good agent to stress upon their client that location is a huge factor in home ownership. They need to know that their decision on where to live is one of the most important things to consider.

Abide by the new rules

Homeowners probably don’t think about the new rules of home owner’s association. They may not give a second thought to the neighborhood rules, so the more information they get about this the better.

Think like a homeowner

New homeowners may realize their life is about...

How to Get Your Weeds Under Control

Weeds are definitely annoying, and always seem to pop up in the wrong places. They compete with other plans and often outgrow them if they’re not taken care of. They grow and spread quite easily by dispersing their seeds all over your yard.

The best way to defeat your enemy is to know your enemy. Take notice to what type of weeds are growing and find out the ones you don’t know. If you are in over your head and can’t count how many types of weeds you have, start with eliminating one species at a time. Surf the internet to find out what they are and the best way to kill them.

Weeding doesn’t have to be such a pain, so follow these steps and make it a breeze.

Right tools for the job

The fork-like claw is a new weed’s night mare, but virtually useless on established weeds. Buy yourself a sharp streel trowel to help you dig through the soil and get under the toughest weeds.

For weeds that have been around for a while and have big, long roots, use a spade to remove them for good. Always wear gloves to protect your hands from whatever may be in the dirt, or on a nearby plant. It’s okay to take them off when you are pulling brittle weeds with flimsy stems.

When to weed

Weeds are most easily pulled when the soil is damp. This way the roots easily slip out of the ground without leaving any parts behind. During the summer months, the mornings or late afternoons are best.

Instead of designating one day a week or month to weeding, just do a quick sweep every couple of days so nothing goes unpicked and nothing gets established.

How they spread

Some weeds like nutsedge and plantain grow in clumps and have strong roots that aren’t easily pulled. Use your trowel to dig under the root and wedge it up and out.

Some weeds spread by runners, rhizomes,...

How Overpricing Your Home may Hurt You

The art of pricing a home for sale is one of the biggest parts of being in the real estate market. Each home has a true value, and if you want top dollar, finding the sweet spot is what you will have to do. The true value of a home is determined by what that specific potential buyer is willing to pay for it.

If you can price it closest to what you think someone will pay for it at the beginning, you have a better chance of getting top dollar. If you overprice it and it sits on the market for a while, you’ll probably be kicking yourself when you are forced to drop the price a time or two.

Do yourself a favor learn how to price your home correctly.

Price – buyer vs. seller

Sellers probably don’t have much perspective on the market and develop unreal expectations. They are only worried about their house, limiting their view.

Good agents live and breathe the market every day. They are well in tune with what’s going on because they’re the ones showing and touring homes, gaining an understanding of what drives home sales.

A lot of sellers overvalue their homes because they have that emotional attachment price tag tacked on too. Their home is only special to them, and no one else. It’s not uncommon for sellers to believe the agent’s price doesn’t match their own because they want a quick sale; and the friction begins.

Most good agents know what a home can truly sell for, because quality homes that show well sell in good days and bad.

First impressions last

Markets respond to new listings within a couple weeks, so it’s your job to make it attractive to potential buyers from the start. Your best bet is to follow exactly as your agent says, declutter, clean, painting, and staging in order to gain the advantage.

If you list at the wrong price you can leave a bad first impression for the market....

Tips to Bounce Back After a Foreclosure or Short Sale

The recession that began in 2007 affected millions of Americans, and some are still recovering. Millions of homes were foreclosed, short sold, and straight up abandoned. Hope seemed lost for many, but it takes grit and determination to pick your life back up again.

As the economy slowly recovers, interest rates drop, and rents rise, some will be able to jump back into the market. For those of you who were burned by the market last time, here are five tips to jump back in:

Know your options

Waiting those long seven years after filing bankruptcy or settling a foreclosure is no longer required. Fannie Mae so graciously shortened the period to two years wait for homeowners who had justifying circumstances as prolonged income loss, or major medical expenses. She also gave three years after a foreclosure. This is way down from the four to seven it once was.

In order to get a Federal Housing Administration loan after a foreclosure, you must now wait three years, and maybe one with extenuating circumstances.

Stop being bad with money

This one is about self-control. You need to put your energy into eliminating your debt, building your wealth, and break your needless spending habits. Homebuyer’s biggest task is to save for closing costs. Pile up your cash from bonuses, odd jobs, tax refunds, and any extra money you can get your hands on. Set up automatic deposit to your savings account is a great way to grow your down payment funds, and don’t spend it!

Repair your credit

The FHA has a minimum credit score of 580 for maximum financing. There are lenders who loan the minimum, but other lenders require a FICO score of 640 and up. To build your credit score you must pay your bills on time, not take out new loans, and don’t run up your credit card bills. You can also request your landlord and...

Which State is Paying the Most in Closing Costs?

There was a study done earlier this month done by Bankrate.com that concluded Hawaii is paying the most in closing costs. They also have to work more hours every month just to afford their mortgage payment. They start their absurdly high mortgage payments from day one. They lead the nation in highest mortgages.

The CFPB TRID rule which came about last October has stated that estimated amounts homebuyers pay for closing costs are more accurate than ever. These costs include fees the lenders charge, any third-party fees for services like appraisals, etc.

Bankrate.com survey pool consisted of an average of online loan estimates for a $200,000 mortgage single-family home, which also had a 20% down payment.

Their study found that the average closing cost in Hawaii had $1,200 in origination fees, and $1,450 in third-party fees. The next state was New York with an average closing cost of $2,560. Not so far down the list were North Carolina, Delaware, South Carolina, and Connecticut.

The lower tier states were Pennsylvania at $1,840. The states who average below $2,000 were Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

The average closing cost for the entire nation was $2,130.

The cool thing about the CFPB new rules they published in October was it made closing cost estimates much more accurate. Lenders essentially must calculate all the costs ahead of time, allowing homebuyers to shop ahead of time and make sure they have the money needed. 

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Mortgage Rates Move

A little interest rate drop wasn’t enough to spring the mortgage market back up, however refinances are elevated since the Brexit vote which caused the initial rate drop. The total mortgage application fell 3.5% just last week from the seasonally adjusted basis from the prior week, so says the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The rate sensitive refinance volume fell 4% last week; however it’s also 56% higher than this time last year even when rates were a bit higher. The fallen rates after the Brexit vote took the total number of borrowers benefiting from a refinance to 8.7 million.

Mortgage applications for homes are still up from a year ago, but are down 2% this week. A good thing about these is that they aren’t nearly as rate-sensitive each week.

Purchase applications are still being sought at a faster rate than last year, but this summer has slowed that after a strong start to the year.

America’s average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with conforming loan balances of $417,000 and less sunk to a 3.67% from 3.69%, and the points decreased 0.24% from 0.32 for the 80% loan-to-value loans.

Because home prices are still rising so fast, homebuyers haven’t been able to benefit as much from the lower rates. Prices are up 5.7% since June of last year, however down from a 5.9% gain in May. It’s still nothing to snub your nose at. Prices are still expected to rise another 5% throughout the year.

We are pretty sure mortgage rates won’t go as low as they did when Brexit became official, but they have yet to make any notable gains. Since July’s employment report was so positive, it could signal a boost to increase the rates.  It’s possible that bond yields could break out of their close range, and affect mortgage rates. 

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How Hot Markets Can Hurt Sellers

Even though the market is red hot, it doesn’t mean it will be a breeze for you. It’s not always smooth sailing, so be prepared for some situations that may cause you trouble.

Trying to sell in a red hot market might seem like the best move of your life. Let’s face it, at the rate homes are selling lately, faster this year than last, signs are quite promising.

The key is to get your home set and ready to sell in a competitive market, but you should know what that means. Typically a hot market is one that sells homes within two months. The supply of inventory is a crucial factor in determining how hot it is. As more homes arise, demand seems to fall, but with fewer homes to choose from, demand rises.

Homeowners love hearing it’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean all the cards are stacked in your favor. As in every big venture, there are risks; risks definitely worth considering. Below are five potential problems for sellers, as well as how to ease this burden.

The appraisal is below expectation

Offers are rolling in and they are way more than the asking price! Your big break, not so fast! If the home appraises low, buyers may take a hike. If this is the case, your best bet is to ask what the problems are, and fix them. You also have the option to renegotiate, or get yourself a second appraisal.

From For Sale to Sold

It’s totally possible you may sell your home faster than you can find one for yourself. Unless you have a super sweet deal, or somewhere to stay for the meantime, you will need to buy a second house. A portion of sellers find homes they want before listing their own, but in a true seller’s market, you will be among the buyers and bidding for homes too.

You should always have plan B, as in temporary housing. Moving twice is okay, and you’ll be glad you did it instead of rushing into...