Posts made in May 2015

Inventory getting tighter….

MIBOR just released sales figures for the month of April, and one thing is for certain— the inventory of homes for sale is tightening.  While new listings were up 6% over last April, that wasn’t enough to keep pace with surging sales (up 13% over April 2014).  That has pushed the median sales price up 9% from a year ago, which ought to make potential sellers happy and encourage some of them to start advertising their homes for sale.

Inventory is down 3% from last April and 6% from April of two years ago.  And it’s even tighter in Hamilton County where sales are on fire— up 30% over last April.

Properties in pristine condition are commanding lots of attention.  Some of these properties are bringing multiple offers the very first weekend they hit the market.  That should send a message to buyers and sellers alike.  If you’re wanting to buy, come prepared (as in make sure you’ve been pre-qualified for financing and be ready psychologically to pull the trigger when you find THE house you’re lookin’ for).  Sellers will want to have their houses in tip-top shape when they plant a For Sale sign in the front yard.  And those thinking about selling may want to do more than think about it!  The market is hot right now- be there!

Just HOW good does one’s credit need to be?

I had an email from a prospective buyer yesterday saying she was going to hold off on buying until she got her credit in order.  Now, that can certainly be a good strategy.  But just how good does one’s credit have to be— before the time is right to get a mortgage and buy a house?

For the most part (ie. there are exceptions to everything) as long as you are above a certain threshold, how much above the threshold makes very little difference.  For instance, whether your credit score is 741 or 759 makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.  And the difference between 719 and 779 might amount to $8 on your monthly payment.  I doubt that for most people waiting a year to bring one’s score up to save $8/month makes much sense.

The minimum required score changes from time to time, and there is some variability between lenders.  As a general rule, you’ll find mortgage brokers to be more flexible on credit scores than banks.  Currently, you can find lenders who will make competitive, fairly priced, fixed rate mortgage loans based on the following credit scores:

VA- many lenders make VA loans with scores starting at 620.  For those close to that mark, they’ll probably insist that there be no loan, rent or credit card payments more than 30 days past due during the most recent 12 months.

RD- lenders making these loans often dip to scores beginning at 600, and for the lower scores will have similar requirements to VA lenders.

FHA- lenders making FHA loans may dip even lower… say into the 580 range.  And once again, the lower the score, the more likely there will be stricter requirements on the absence of payments 30 days late in the past year, and on proving one’s rental payment history.

Getting a mortgage can be a PITA.  There is no doubt about that.  And for those with lower scores, an extra dose of patience and determination will likely be required.  However, with the right attitude, one with a lower credit score can obtain a mortgage and buy a new home.  To get the facts, just ask.


Deal breaker— removed!

un fountainOne of my pet peeves is road noise.  I mean, when I drive down busy thoroughfares with lots of traffic, and loud traffic noise… I just wonder what in the world makes people buy homes along noisy streets when they could buy someplace quiet.  Idk, maybe they live inside the house all of the time, with the tv blaring and the a/c humming away?

But, anyway, just last night I was pulled up to what looked to be a very nice house.  As I got out of my car, I noticed road noise.  I got a disgusted look on my face and thought this is probably not going to work.  As I walked through the house I was favorably impressed.  Then when I stepped out back, I got a shock!  Surprise—- no road noise!!!  In its place was the delightful and tranquil sound of water.  The owners had four small fountains running in their pool.  I was so impressed that when I got home I had to check out the cost of this simple solution.  Another surprise- these fountains cost like $29-39 a piece.  Wow!  It got me to thinking, and I figured that even without a pool, a homeowner could put in a fairly simple water fall for a cost of a few hundred dollars; or even less than a thousand for something pretty creative.  At any rate, that sure sounds like a simple, cost effective cure to what might otherwise be a deal breaker.  Thinkaboutit!