Real Estae News

January 17, 2015

Hello Friends,

I hope this blog finds you doing well.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can assist you, a family member or a friend with all of your any estate needs.

Best wishes,



C.A.R. Newsline


Table of contents

» Ninety Percent of All Mortgaged Properties Now Have Equity
» CFPB Releases New Online Toolkit
» Tech Tools in 30-Webinar Series 
» Small, Exterior Home Improvements Offer the Best Value Investments in 2015
» Completed Foreclosures Decline in November
» Additional stories Successful Realtors...

CFPB Releases New Online Toolkit
As part of its Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released “Owning a Home,” an interactive, online toolkit designed to help consumers as they shop for a mortgage. The suite of tools gives consumers the information and confidence they need to get the best deal.

Owning a Home takes consumers from the very start of the homebuying process, with a guide to loan options, terminology, and costs, through to the closing table with a closing checklist.

One key feature of Owning a Home is the Rate Checker tool. In its beta release, this tool helps consumers understand what interest rates may be available to them by using the same underwriting variables that lenders use on their internal rate sheets. These are the documents lenders use to calculate what interest rate is available for a particular combination of loan type, property value, loan amount, and credit score. The data behind the Rate Checker is updated daily and includes information from large banks, regional banks, and credit unions and covers about 80 percent of the mortgage market.
More info

Small, Exterior Home Improvements Offer the Best Value Investments in 2015
Homeowners often consider various remodeling and replacement projects as a way to add value to their homes. Some projects add more value and better recoup their costs than others, according to REALTORS® who rated small and exterior projects as the most valuable home improvement projects in the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Compiled annually in collaboration with Hanley Wood’s Remodeling Magazine, the report compares changes in home improvement project costs with REALTORS®’ perceptions of what those projects contribute to a home’s price at resale.

Just as they did last year, REALTORS® identified a steel entry door replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 101.8 percent of costs recouped upon resale (compared to an estimated 96.6 percent recoup last year). The steel entry door replacement is consistently the least expensive project in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, costing little more than $1,200 on average and was the only project on this year’s list to recoup more than 100 percent of its cost at resale on a national level.

REALTORS® also identified several other projects that would make the biggest financial payoff upon resale, most on the exterior of the home. Rounding out the top 10 projects in terms of cost recouped include a manufactured stone veneer (newly included in this year’s report) at 92.2 percent, a garage door replacement—midrange project (88.5 percent), a siding replacement with fiber cement (84.3 percent), a garage door replacement—upscale project (82.5 percent), vinyl siding replacement (80.7 percent), a wood deck addition (80.5 percent), a minor kitchen remodel (79.3 percent), wood window replacement (78.8 percent), and foam-backed vinyl siding replacement (77.6 percent).

As in previous years, the Pacific region experienced the best overall cost-value ratio of 74 percent. The region, which encompasses California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, typically sees higher cost-value ratios on account of higher resale values. That region also holds the only market—San Francisco—that experienced a combined cost-value ratio of over 100 percent for all 36 projects.
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New Marketing Product for Members
C.A.R. recently partnered with Obeo EasyEdge, the nation’s leader in real estate marketing technologies. Obeo EasyEdge bundles all of your favorite real estate marketing tools into one subscription to save you money. The subscription also includes a mobile responsive single property website, video, syndication, social media, brochure, eflyers, text codes, a mobile search app, and much more. Learn more.

To celebrate the partnership, Obeo is offering all C.A.R. members a free EasyEdge automated marketing set-up now until the end of January. Please use promo code JAN99 at checkout or call (800) 729-6236 to learn more.
More info

Report Finds Nearly Half of Borrowers Fail to Shop for a Mortgage
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report finding that almost half of consumers do not shop around for a mortgage when purchasing a home. The report also found that informed consumers are more likely to shop, especially if they are familiar with available mortgage rates.

The report is based on results from new data in the National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, a voluntary survey jointly conducted by the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Bureau analyzed responses from consumers who took out a mortgage to buy a home in 2013. Among the key findings:

  • Almost half of consumers who take out a mortgage fail to shop prior to filling out an application for a mortgage. This means these consumers are seriously considering only a single lender or mortgage broker before choosing where to apply.
  • While half of consumers shop around to see who advertises lower rates, fewer than 25 percent of borrowers actually end up submitting a loan application to more than one lender or broker. These consumers are not filling out applications with multiple lenders to see which one can offer them the best deal.
  • The survey asked recent mortgage borrowers whether they used different information sources. Respondents were asked to report whether they used each source a lot, a little, or not at all. Consumers could pick multiple categories. Among the findings: 70 percent of consumers report relying on their lender or mortgage broker a lot to get information about mortgages. While lenders and brokers can be valuable resources, they have a stake in the selling of the mortgage, so what is best for the lender or broker is not always best for the consumer.
  • The survey asked borrowers whether characteristics of lenders or mortgage brokers were “very,” “somewhat,” or “not at all” important in their selection. The survey found those who listed lender characteristics as important, instead of the loan terms, are less likely to shop. Specifically, the survey found that among all borrowers – those who shopped and those who did not – 42 percent said having an established banking relationship with the lender is “very important.” Since most borrowers likely only have a few banking relationships, this likely inhibits shopping.

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Ninety Percent of All Mortgaged Properties Now Have Equity
CoreLogic released new analysis showing nearly 273,000 U.S. homes returned to positive equity in Q3 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to approximately 44.6 million, or 90 percent of all mortgaged properties. Nationwide, borrower equity increased year over year by approximately $800 billion in Q3 2014. The CoreLogic analysis indicates that approximately 5.1 million homes, or 10.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity as of Q3 2014, compared to 5.4 million homes, or 10.9 percent, for Q2 2014. This compares to a negative equity share of 13.3 percent, or 6.5 million homes, in Q3 2013, representing a year-over-year decrease in the number of underwater homes by almost 1.5 million (1,433,296), or 3 percent.For the homes in negative equity status, the national aggregate value of negative equity was $338 billion at the end of Q3 2014, down $10.2 billion from approximately $348.2 billion in Q2 2014. On a year-over-year basis, the value of negative equity declined from $403.2 billion in Q3 2013, representing a decrease of 16.2 percent in 12 months.

Of the 44.6 million residential properties with positive equity, approximately 9.4 million, or 19 percent, have less than 20 percent equity (referred to as “under-equitied”) and 1.3 million of those have less than 5 percent equity (referred to as near-negative equity). Borrowers who are “under-equitied” may have a more difficult time refinancing their existing homes or obtaining new financing to sell and buy another home due to underwriting constraints. Borrowers with near-negative equity are considered at risk of moving into negative equity if home prices fall. In contrast, if home prices rose by as little as 5 percent, an additional one million homeowners now in negative equity would regain equity.
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A LITTLE MISTAKE THAT COST THIS REAL ESTATE AGENT $767,463.38 in GCI (and almost his family) – While Rudy worked hard to get to his current level of success, hard work didn’t always translate into the kind of life he yearned for. He may >>cont’d
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Tech Tools in 30-Webinar Series
Want to be financially successful in 2015? To be successful you’ll need to know which financial tools will help you keep more of your commissions in 2015.
Join C.A.R.’s Chief Technology Officer Josh Sharfman for the third Tech & Tools in 30 webinar – “Essential Financial Tools for a Successful 2015.” The webinar will be held Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. During the 30-minute webinar, attendees will explore a tax saving tool to help turn business expenses into deductions while being IRS compliant. The second part of the webinar will review an easy-to-use web-based tenant screening solution tailored for smaller landlords from TransUnion® SmartMove®.Register today

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Completed Foreclosures Decline in November
CoreLogic released its November National Foreclosure Report, which provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, for the month of November 2014, there were 41,000 completed foreclosures nationally, down from 46,000 in November 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 9.6 percent and down 64 percent from the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were down 12.6 percent from the 47,000* reported in October 2014. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 7 million homes lost to foreclosure.

As of November 2014, approximately 567,000 homes nationally were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 880,000 in November 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35.5 percent and representing 37 consecutive months of year-over-year declines. The foreclosure inventory as of November 2014 made up 1.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.2 percent in November 2013. On a month-over-month basis, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.3 percent from October 2014. The current foreclosure rate of 1.5 percent is the lowest inventory level since March 2008.
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Is your transaction stalled due to funding hurdles? C.A.R.’s new Finance Helpline may be able to get things moving again. Get one-on-one free assistance with short sales, funding and more. Call today>
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Fast Facts

Calif. median home price: November 2014:

  • California: $445,280
  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county November 2014: Marin, $1.11 million
  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county November 2014: Glenn, $92,000

Calif. Pending Home Sales Index:
November 2014: Decreased 13.4 percent from 104.8 in October to 90.7 in November.

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Second Quarter 2014: 30 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 1/8/2014 (Source: Freddie Mac)
•    30-yr. fixed: 3.73% fees/points: 0.6%
•    15-yr. fixed: 3.05% fees/points: 0.5%
•    1-yr. adjustable: 2.39% Fees/points: 0.4%

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Legal Issues With Your Transactions? Get FREE access to more than 20 sample letters to help address issues in a real estate transaction. Learn More >
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