Friday, May 18, 2012

Where Will You Be Living in 10 Years?

This is an excellent time for homeowners (or those desiring to become homeowners) to assess what the next 10 years will present and how these changes will affect their decisions.

With housing prices low and housing interest rates running slightly above the level of inflation, housing looks very attractive.  However, the media continues to report housing prices haven’t stabilized and this adds concern to the evaluation.

According to the May 4, 2012 “Kiplinger Letter” the next twelve years will bring slower annual growth, sustained unemployment is the 6% range and the inflation rate doubling from the current 2% to 4%
“or a bit more by 2020”.

This will mean higher mortgage interest rates and increased costs for new home construction.

Kiplinger projects that homeownership will settle around 66% for American Families.  This is down from the high of 69% in 2006 but up from the current level of approximately 64%.  They further state that home values should rise about 1% above the inflation rate during this period.

Current average selling prices are affected by “distressed” property sales (short sales and foreclosures).  When you look at non-distressed sales, the values seemed to have stabilized and in many segments of the market, competition for quality properties are firming prices up.

It may not be the right time for everyone to buy, but you have to live somewhere and the costs is always there.  Most all of America (including real estate brokers) got caught up in the hype of rapidly rising home prices.  Returning to the concept of having a home, paying yourself to build equity over a long term hold rather than renting makes sense if you don’t move every 4-5 years.

With higher prices coming our way, a review of your home ownership position with a trusted real estate advisor is a good idea for most Americans.

Inventories Are Down - Is Now A Good Time To Sell?

Many homeowners have postponed plans to sell their current home and replace it with a home that more closely fits their current needs due to current valuation of their property.

It is interesting to note that listing inventory is down and in many case, we are receiving multiple offers on listed properties.

If you have postponed your plans, this may be an excellent time to review the value of your home with me to determine if now is the right time to make a change.  If you are replacing your home, the process is like just a “shift” in assets and todays interests rates can really work to your advantage.

Call me today for a complimentary evaluation!

Is It Time to Reconsider Your Investments?

Did you know that you could make monthly withdrawals from your IRA, without penalty, to purchase real estate - investment property, second home or primary residence? This can be done even before you turn 59 1/2, as long as you take substantially equal periodic payments based upon a formula set out by the tax code. 

And, by using the money to pay a mortgage on real estate, the savings in the mortgage interest deduction can off-set the tax owed on the withdrawal. This is a great way to shift your assets from highly taxed IRA to real estate with better tax benefits. Read More from the IRS about it at:,,id=103045,00.html

It's a great time to purchase real estate and this could be a vehicle to help you with that.

New Affordable Home Options Include Refinance Options

Many of us know of homeowners who owe more on their home than its current value and feel they have no opportunity to take advantage of today’s lower rates to improve their financial position.
Thankfully, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (H.A.R.P) has been updated and is now more helpful than ever.  This program requires the borrow to have been current on their mortgage payments for the last twelve month and have an income source, but in most cases the documentation required is lower and an appraisal isn’t required.
You can get more information from, but many homeowners do well by sitting with a qualified Mortgage Loan Counselor to compare options.  If I can help you with a recommendation, please contact me!