Economists Expect 2012 Housing Momentum To Carry Into 2013

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty

3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471

352-266-2637

Enjoy this interesting read from Zillow .com

Today, Zillow is releasing results from the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations survey, a nationwide, quarterly survey of more than 100 economists and forecasters based on where they believe the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index is headed over the next five years.

Survey respondents said they expect home prices to increase in full-year 2012 by 4.6 percent, up from their more modest forecast of 2.3 percent in the September 2012 survey. Respondents also indicated they expect home prices to rise 3.1 percent in 2013, up from an expectation of 2.4 percent in September, and by more than 3 percent annually through 2017.

To see the results from past surveys, visit Pulsenomics, the independent research and consulting firm that produces the survey on behalf of Zillow.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.

Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

It Is Time to Buy a New Home in Ocala |5 Real Estate Resolutions for 2013

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

At the end of every December, people make all kinds of resolutions for the coming year. Typically, these are things they want to improve about themselves, ways to make their day-to-day personal or work life better or ideas to put them on track for a change. Many times these surface as a result of mistakes made in the past 12 months.

When it comes to real estate, resolutions don’t necessarily apply as it’s unlikely that you do a real estate transaction each year. Furthermore, you can’t actually resolve to buy your neighbor’s house or sell your $350,000 home for $1 million. Well, you could, but you’d probably be setting yourself up for disappointment right from the start.

Some things are simply out of a would-be buyer or seller’s control. But, as a would-be buyer or seller, you can learn from and make resolutions based on those who have gone before you. There exists a former buyer who, if he could, would resolve to have done more legwork before buying. Conversely there’s a current seller who resolves to take the next under-asking-price offer from a buyer more seriously.

Whether you plan to buy or sell, there are some real estate resolutions that buyers and sellers can — and should — make. Here are five to get you started.

Buyers: Resolve to get your financial house in order

Planning a home purchase takes time and effort, so you should consider meeting with a mortgage professional early in the year. Know your credit score and understand what your financial situation looks like from a lender‘s perspective. If you have credit issues, identify what they are and the necessary steps to correct them. Sometimes, it can take six months to see your FICO score move up the much-needed 20 points to get you a better mortgage rate. A good real estate agent can recommend an experienced, local mortgage processional. Local is always important, because many real estate deals are made on relationships, and being able to meet face-to-face with your mortgage professional can be a big plus.

Sellers: Resolve to think of your home as a product

When it comes time to sell, your home becomes another product on the market. Buyers will compare it and its price to competing properties. You must put your best foot forward, because the properties that are priced right and show well sell the quickest. Pricing will get worked out once you’re ready to list, but showing well can start way in advance. A home that shows well is free of clutter, clean and as up-to-date as possible.

Start clearing out old stuff now. If there are things deep in your closets that you don’t think you’ll use between January and the time you move, consider a storage locker or making space in the garage. Does your real estate agent suggest that the basement needs a paint job? Get some painting bids now. Have you always hated how the bathroom vanity takes up so much space? Consider changing it now so buyers will perceive your bathroom as bigger. This will also help you spread out the costs of home repairs and changes over several months.

Buyers: Resolve to start feeling out the market early

You may think you only need to go to open houses once you’re ready to buy. But in reality, a buyer needs a couple of months learning the marketing, understanding home values, the prices per neighborhood and the market in general. Going to open houses in the neighborhoods where you want to buy will allow you to start feeling out the market. It may also be the best way to meet your future real estate agent. Many agent/buyer relationships are forged at open houses.

Once you engage an agent, you may make several offers before you get into your dream home. Having your agent along for the ride will allow you to compare and contrast homes you’ve visited to the home you eventually buy. The homes you see and your experience feeling out the market will serve as the building blocks toward becoming an informed buyer and making your best offer.

Sellers: Resolve to understand your timing and exit strategy

One of the biggest stresses on a seller is trying to plan a purchase and a sale at the same time. Can you afford to close on the new home before selling? If so, for how long? Do you need to sell the property first? If so, will the potential sale price support a home purchase in the neighborhood you want to be in? If not, what other areas should you be looking in? Selling and buying at the same time brings up all kinds of financial, emotional and physical stress.

Uprooting yourself from your home is not easy. What if you have to go into short-term housing? How will you get that set up and how long would you need to commit for? If you can afford to purchase and then sell, do they need to happen quickly? Are there things you can be doing in your current home so that once your new home closes, you’ll be ready to list? It’s a lot to think about and plan for, and it helps to have a strategy in place well before you have to take action.

Buyers and sellers: Resolve to engage a real estate agent now

Planning a home purchase or sale takes time. Engaging a real estate agent early in the process will allow you to have an expert on hand as you start to put the pieces together. A good real estate agent doesn’t just show and sell homes: They can be your strategic adviser, even well in advance of any actual transaction.

On the seller side, if you pulled a permit to install some new windows or replace some dry rot in 2005, likely the contractor issued a permit. But did he close it out? A good agent will figure that out and clean it up before it becomes a transaction issue. You should use your agent to literally get your house and listing in order.

For buyers, having an agent with you from the start is like having an experienced, second set of eyes and ears. Having so many transactions under the belt and years of market knowledge in their head, a real estate agent’s opinions, thoughts and ideas can save you a lot of time and money. What’s more, they can keep you on the right path toward identifying the best home, and they’ll see you through the process all the way to the closing.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Worried About Property Value? | US Home Values Expected to End 2012 Up More Than $1.3 Trillion

After five consecutive years of annual declines in cumulative value, the overall change in value of all U.S. homes in 2012 should be back in black, with a projected year-end gain of more than $1.3 trillion this year.

Gains were calculated by measuring the difference between cumulative home values as of the end of 2011 and anticipated cumulative home values at the end of 2012. This year’s gain in national cumulative home values — the total value of all homes in a given area — is the first annual increase since U.S. homes gained $483 billion in total value in 2006. Cumulative home values fell each year from 2007 through 2011, with the largest drop coming in 2008, when homes lost more than $3.2 trillion in value, according to Zillow.

The projected gain this year would be the largest year-over-year gain since 2005 and represents a marked recovery from 2011’s annual value loss of approximately $792 billion.

More than 75 percent of the 177 metro areas included in this analysis — 135 in all — experienced cumulative home value gains in 2012. Among the 30 largest metro areas covered by the report, onlyPhiladelphia failed to record an annual gain in cumulative home values. Of the 30 largest metros, those with the largest gains in cumulative value as measured by total dollar volume include Los Angeles($122.1 billion), San Francisco ($93.3 billion), San Jose, Calif. ($54.7 billion), Phoenix ($52 billion) andMiamiFort Lauderdale ($47.5 billion).

“After a sluggish 2011, the housing market really turned a corner in 2012, as historic affordability and sustained investor interest helped keep demand at a boil,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “We expect value gains to continue into 2013. As home values rise, and more homeowners are freed from negative equity, we can expect a continued slow transition to a more normal housing environment driven by local market fundamentals and conditions.”

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.

Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Ocala Home Buyers | 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Rises

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 3.24 percent, up from 3.17 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.17 and 3.23 percent for the majority of the week, rising to the current rate this morning.

“Last week, rates crept up slightly after the Federal Reserve announced changes to their bond-buying program that may result in a raise to the federal funds rate and reduce bond-buying more quickly than anticipated, pushing rates up sooner than previously expected,” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “Next week, we expect rates will remain near these levels, unless major progress is made in fiscal cliff negotiations in advance of the holidays.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 2.57 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.4 percent.

What are the rates right now? Check Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for up-to-the-minute mortgage ratesfor your state.


*The weekly rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Live in Ocala? Are You A Boomerang Buyer: Buying Again After a Foreclosure or Short Sale

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Storms never last.

And so it is with many families across America who have gone through either a short sale or a foreclosure in the past few years. Sure, going through a foreclosure or a short sale can be a little stormy, but after a period of time the storm will clear, and it will be time to buy a house again.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal popularized a catchy name for people who have gone through the storm of a foreclosure or short sale and are now ready to buy a house again — boomerang buyers. According to the WSJ, 729,000 foreclosed borrowers are now eligible to apply for an FHA mortgage, up from 285,000 in the same quarter in 2011. This number is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the first quarter of 2014.

Which means it is safe to say that millions of people in the next few years are going to ask the question: What is required in order for me to get a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure?

Some lenders have special financing programs for people who fall into the boomerang buyer group, but the most common types of financing are FHA, VA and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loans. Here are the requirements for these popular types of loans if you have been involved in a short sale or foreclosure:

Buying a house after a short sale

If you went through a short sale and are ready to buy a home again, there are different rules depending on which type of loan you are considering, how much you are planning to put down as a down payment and whether or not you had late payments on your old mortgage before the short sale was completed.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Mortgage VA Mortgage FHA Mortgage
Wait Time 4 years with 10 percent down or 2 years 3 years or
2 years with 20 percent down or * Immediately
2 years with 10 percent down and extenuating circumstances
You may be wondering about the *Immediately part of this grid. Yes, it is possible for someone to buy a home with an FHA loan right away if they were current on their mortgage payment at the time of their short sale or if they went into default for reasons beyond their control.

While it is possible to buy again after a short sale immediately depending on the above circumstances, the more common scenario is to wait for two years and get a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan with 20 percent down or waiting three years and getting an FHA loan with 3.5 percent down.

Buying a house after foreclosure

As with a short sale, the waiting periods are different when buying again after a foreclosure based on which type of financing you are seeking.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Mortgage VA Mortgage FHA Mortgage
Wait Time 7 years or 2 years 3 years
3 years with extenuating circumstances
For most lenders, an extenuating circumstance is a non-recurring event that was beyond an applicant’s control that resulted in a sudden, significant and prolonged reduction in income or extreme increase in financial obligations. Such events are unpredictable, temporary in nature, out of the borrowers control and unlikely to happen again.

Using that definition as a guideline, it will be up to an underwriter to decide whether your particular situation qualifies as an extenuating circumstance.

Credit considerations

When it comes time to apply for a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure, the waiting period required by FHA, VA or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines is one thing — having the credit score to qualify is another, and you need to meet both requirements.

A short sale generally has less of an impact on someone’s credit score than a foreclosure. The biggest impact is caused by late payments, and the foreclosure process usually will take longer than a short sale — so there are more late payments for the credit bureaus to count. Also, how the foreclosure or short sale shows up on your credit report can make a difference. If your loan was “settled,” it will not be as harmful to your credit as if it was recorded as a “default.”

There are a few simple things you can do to clean up your credit after a foreclosure or short sale — including paying off your credit card debt, making all of your other monthly payments on time and keeping records of your on-time payments and monthly budgets showing that you have cut back on spending.

The good news is that storms never last, and depending on what kind of storm you have been through, there is a pathway to follow where you can buy a home again.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Live in Ocala & Home for the Holidays: 4 Reasons to List or Buy in December

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Seasons Greetings!

Tis the season to sell and buy! Here are the top four reasons sellers should list and buyers should purchase prior to ringing in the New Year.

The commitment factor

Buyers searching for homes over the holidays are serious, committed and ready to go, often motivated by a deadline-oriented relocation brought on by a career switch or an unexpected change in housing situation. Furthermore, with vacation time during the season, local buyers generally have more time during the weekdays to look.

Emotional buying

The holiday season also brings out emotions and feelings of nostalgia in buyers, which may help push their decision making to quickly move forward with the purchase. When staging homes, sellers and agents should try to make the house feel as holiday-homey as possible. Let the buyers picture themselves there. How about some tasteful greenery, the gentle glow of twinkly lights, a little golden holiday bling and the scent of baking cookies wafting through your open house?

The low inventory advantage

Inventory of homes for sale is excruciatingly low. Buyers have fewer choices, which means sellers’ homes will be in demand — and greater demand equals more money. Low inventory isn’t necessarily a bad thing for buyers, especially for those who must make a decision quickly. However, both buyers and sellers must be realistic about desired purchase and sale pricing.

Tax advantages

Purchasing prior to the end of the year can be advantageous and motivating to buyers for tax reasons. Closing on a home before the end of the year allows you to deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, and loan points on this year’s tax return. If you can buy your dream home AND save money, why wouldn’t you?

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

6 in 10 Qualify for a Mortgage: Do You?

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Ever been enticed by a low mortgage rate only to find out you don’t qualify for the loan? Unfortunately it happens. The good news is 6 in 10 people actually do qualify for mortgage loans. While the majority of people looking for mortgages can qualify, many people can’t, for various reasons.

Here are some of the more common reasons why would-be borrowers face rejection:

Credit

Credit scores too low: How low is too low? A score less than 620 is unacceptable by most lender standards.

Maxed credit card threshold: Is your balance more than 30 percent of the allowable line? Pay it down.

Multiple credit inquiries: Do they drop your score? Not always, but limit yourself to mortgage-only credit pulls within a 30-day period.

Debt

Paid-in-full debt: Does your credit report support this? If not, lenders will use debts reported even if balances are zero.

Co-signer obligations: Did you lend your score to someone? If so, plan to provide 12 months of canceled checks showing they make the payments to the creditor.

Debt that cannot be offset: Do you have another housing liability payment or a consumer loan for a vehicle? You’ll need double the income to offset each dollar of debt unless it can be paid off.

Income

Not showing income: Are you self-employed? Not showing enough income under Schedule C reduces your borrowing power. It’s best to reduce consumer debts in such situations.

Un-reimbursed business expenses/losses: Taking these on your tax return could reduce your borrowing power.

Occupational status: Has your occupational status changed in the past two years? If so, it’s better to go from self-employed to a full-time W-2 employee, not the other way around.

Assets

Unsourced funds/cash deposits: Plan on using cash for your transaction? Not so fast; all monies must come from some kind of a bank account and show a clear chain from A to Z.

Using the down payment: Plan on tapping into your down payment funds and reimbursing yourself later? Don’t do it. Keep your down payment intact for mortgage loan financing throughout the process.

Transferring money: Moving money from different accounts during the loan process? Be prepared to show full bank statements of every account the money touched.

A reputable mortgage professional should be able to look at your credit, debt, income and assets and make a determination of whether you qualify for a mortgage. However, you should be willing to send your mortgage lender financial documentation including two years of tax returns and W-2?s, bank statements and pay stubs to support your loan qualification.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

After You make an Offer on a New Ocala Home |Offer Accepted: What Happens During Escrow?

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

So the past few months you’ve shopped properties, submitted offers on many and gotten your hopes up, only to be let down. But you haven’t given up, and finally you get the call from your real estate agent: Your latest offer has been accepted!

You might think it’s the end of the road to property ownership. But really, it’s just the beginning of the hard work.

Once you go into escrow, many items still need to be reviewed, discussed and inspected as you move forward in the process. Here are several that you’ll encounter for the next 40-50 days until you finally close escrow.

Home inspection & renegotiations

First you’ll need to schedule a home inspection and have an independent, licensed and insured inspector go through the property to look for problems. Make sure to join the inspector at the inspection and ask a lot of questions, write down everything that needs to be addressed and get with a contractor to determine how much it will cost to make all those repairs. Then have your real estate professional negotiate with the seller for, hopefully, some additional fixes and/or cash credits at closing.

Mortgage financing

Hopefully you’ve kept your lender apprised of where you are in the process. Now it’s time to get into full-speed motion. Get your appraisal ordered and start resubmitting pay stubs, mutual fund statements and other document the lender requests. And lock in your interest rate, points and loan terms — and get those terms in writing.

Title insurance, plat/survey, schedule of exclusions

You’ll also get a thick packet of documents that you’ll need to review. Most people do not review them, and that’s a really bad idea. You need to look through the estimated HUD-1 costs, the title abstract, the title insurance policy schedule of exclusions and all other documents. Also review the plat or have a survey done and then walk the property to see if there are any encumbrances (get the title company to plot the easements). This is the time, before you close escrow, to figure out if there are title or physical property issues that pose a problem.

HOA documents review

If the property is in a common interest development, you’ll need to review all the relevant homeowners association documents — board of directors meeting minutes and notes, financial statements, state disclosures, reserve study, bank condominium certification, HOA unit demand statement, etc. This is a really time consuming, confusing and tricky process. Many people fail to do even the most basic HOA analysis, and if you don’t adequately review the documents, you might feel some pain down the road when issues occur — and they will occur.

Property and liability insurance

You also need to get with an insurance agent and make sure to discuss and procure the proper type and amount of insurance that you’ll need. This is especially true if you’re paying cash, as you don’t have the bank personnel to double-check that you are properly insuring yourself. Your best bet is to go meet with your insurance agent and get the appropriate coverage.

Sign documents, fund down payment, verify GFE

As items move forward, you will eventually be ready to sign documents, fund the down payment and verify the lender costs match the good faith estimate you were given. Make sure to read and review all these documents before you sign off that they are acceptable to you.

Close escrow

Finally, you will fund your down payment, the bank will fund the mortgage loan, escrow and title will prepare all documents, properly account for all the funds, then go record your purchase documents at the county courthouse. And you are now the proud owner of a nice piece of dirt!

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Great Opportunities in Ocala Home Buyers Market | Cheaper homes coming on strong

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Lower-priced homes, which fell the most in price during the housing bust, are showing more zip as the housing market strengthens.

In the 12 months through October, the nation’s least-expensive homes have seen prices rise 10 percent, vs. 7.6 percent for the most-expensive homes, market researcher CoreLogic says.

“The lower you go, the better the performance,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

Other real estate research points to strengthening at the low end, too.

Zillow’s third-quarter data show the least-expensive homes up 1.7 percent in value from the second quarter vs. 1.8 percent for the most-expensive homes. The gap between the two used to be wider. Zillow’s first-quarter 2011 data show the least-expensive homes down 2 percent from the prior quarter vs. a 1 percent drop for the most-expensive homes.

“The bottom tier, which has been persistently weak, has now pulled even with the top tier,” says Stan Humphries, Zillow economist.

Year-over-year, its data show the highest-priced homes were up 3.7 percent in October vs. 2.4 percent for the lowest-priced homes.

Zillow breaks the market into three price buckets based on local prices. In high-priced San Francisco, a bottom-tier home for Zillow is under $338,950. In Phoenix, a bottom-tier home is under $99,650.

CoreLogic separates the market into four price groups based on local medians. The two middle tiers were up more than 8 percent for the year through October, it says.

Evidence that prices are rising at similar rates in all tiers suggests that a nascent housing recovery is “broad based in a lot of markets,” says Patrick Newport, IHS Global Insight economist.

New strength in the market’s low end has multiple drivers, including:

Investors. They buy cheaper homes because they’re better moneymakers as rentals, Fleming says.

Phoenix is a hot investor market where rentals account for almost a third of sales, says economist and real estate consultant Elliott Pollack. The under-$150,000 market now has just a two-month supply of homes for sale vs. a 12-month supply for homes above $1 million, Pollack says.

Bottom-tier homes in Phoenix posted a 24 percent year-over-year gain in price in October, vs. a 17 percent rise for top-tier homes, Zillow says.

Fewer distressed sales. Distressed homes peaked at 33 percent of home sales in January 2009 but fell to 20 percent of sales in September, CoreLogic says.

Fewer distressed sales may affect prices more at the low end of the market because higher-income households have more financial means to avoid a distressed sale, Humphries says.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637