How Does The Housing Recovery Act Help Mobile Home Buyers

President Bush signed into law this week The Housing and Economic Recovery Act. This is the most sweeping change to housing reform since the New Deal of 1934. It is designed to assist more Americans invest in home ownership and shore up the faltering housing and mortgage markets. Like any legislation, it comes with the good and the bad. I encourage you to write your Congressmen to see if we can get legislation to revoke some of the bad.  For example, effective October 1, 2008, FHA will increase the minimum required down payment from 3% to 3.5% for Mobile home buyers. The legislation also calls for the elimination of seller down-payment assistance programs such as AmeriDream and Nehemiah by October 1, 2008.

As of July 14, 2008, upfront MIP premiums became risk-based on credit scores and the annual premium increased across the board. Instead of the original plan of making FHA loans more affordable for potential Mobile home buyers; the new legislation is doing the exact opposite and makes it more expensive.

Details of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act:

Here are some key provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act that most affect Mobile home buyers:

  • GSE Reform – including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500. The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).
    View 2009 FHA and GSE loan limit estimates (PDF)

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Eastern Shore & Mobile Real Estate Update

Most of you are asking, “What’s happening in the Mobile real estate market?” Listings are selling, but at a slower pace. Prices seem to be adjusting, but not as low as the media presents to the public. Yes, we do have foreclosures and short sales, but a very small number. Today is a great day for a qualified buyer to purchase MObile real estate. The biggest problem with today is having qualified buyers.

What do we project for the future? I think this market will continue as it is until the beginning of 2009. The election will play heavily on people’s minds. Until the President is elected regardless of the outcome, sales will continue to lag at a slower pace. People always need houses and houses always sell. As one of you stated, now I know how it feels to be a bridesmaid and never the bride. Unfortunately, with so many homes on the market, it will take the perfect fit. Sometimes that fit is quick, and sometimes it takes many days.

Below, you will find an updated comparison of home sales in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Pt Clear, from 2007 and 2008. We are approximately 30% below the number of homes closed in 2007, but look at % to list, only 1% less. The average days on the market is not out of line from 2007. Overall, sales are down, but prices are remaining in line. Listening to the media, I was pleasantly surprised at our market.

2008
Homes Sold:  410
Days On Market: 165
% to List Price: 96%

2007
Homes Sold:  591
Days On Market:  144
% to List Price:  97%

As you know, if you have questions, please call me at 583-5923, or e-mail me at Judy@JudySells.com

Search all Eastern Shore and Mobile real estate and homes for sale.

Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Podcast

This month’s edition covers Mobile Eastern Shore AL real estate market activity and then we’ll discuss the new changes in FHA lending.

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.

Program length: approximately 7 minutes

download podcast mp3 file | subscribe to podcast feed

To learn more about the current Mobile Eastern Shore AL real estate market, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. 

Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Market: Should You Rent Your Unsold Home?

With Mobile Eastern Shore AL real estate sales slowing a bit for the summer, many sellers are left wondering if they may be better off renting their home out for the time being until market activity picks back up.  If you have already purchased another home, this option is especially attractive as it allows you to cut down on the expense of paying two mortgages while you wait for your home to sell.


Below are some items to think about, courtesy of BankRate.com, before deciding to become a landlord:

 

  • Mortgage payments must be made regardless of if the property is inhabited.
  • Costly repairs and maintenance work cannot be delayed if they inconvenience the tenant.
  • Disputes with tenants could require legal representation and legal fees.
  • There are many costs involved in renting a home – it is recommended that landlords budget 25-30% of the rent to be used for maintenance, repairs, or emergency. This should be a key factor when deciding how much rent to charge in order to break even.

 

In addition to extra tax advantages (on top of the regular deductions of mortgage interest and taxes), renting out your property might also allow you to continue to build equity in your old home at the expense of the renter.  You might even be able to make a profit from the rent, if your expenses are low enough!

 

If you are interested in buying or selling Mobile Eastern Shore AL real estate, please call me 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  Request a relocation package!

Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Tip: What Is Universal Design?

You may have heard buzz around the term “universal design” in recent years, but do you know what it is or how it affects the Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate and construction markets?

 

According to Lowes.com, universal design is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialization. The intent is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal Design benefits people of all ages and abilities.

 

Think this is some “far out” theory just now working its way into the “modern” world?  Think again:  if you’ve ever walked through an automatic door, you’ve experienced a version of Universal Design.   Likewise, a ramp or curb cut is just as welcome to someone with a baby stroller as it is to someone in a wheelchair.
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Re-capturing the American Dream With Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate

In the past, owning a home has always been perceived as a major component of the “American Dream.”  Unfortunately, because of the recent real estate market activity, home-ownership is often seen now as more of a nightmare than a dream.  But that doesn’t have to be the case!  Even in a slower economy, purchasing Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate can still be a step toward achieving your own “American Dream!” 

 

Inman News offers some reasons why home ownership still has benefits and advantages, including:

  • The opportunity to build equity and create wealth over time.
  • Protection from rent increases or eviction at the whim of a landlord.
  • The pleasures of a relatively larger home, suitable for a family, and with a backyard, garage or other auxiliary space.
  • The freedom — design review boards notwithstanding — to improve, remodel or redecorate to suit one’s own style and budget.
  • A variety of lucrative income-tax breaks.
  • Pride of ownership and a greater sense of security and stability.

 So, if you are thinking of purchasing Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, now is the time!  Don’t let the negative media attention on the market get you down – home ownership is still an attainable goal and a big part of the American Dream.

 

If you are ready to begin looking at Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. 

Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Market: Should You Rent Your Unsold Home?

With Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate sales slowing a bit for the summer, many sellers are left wondering if they may be better off renting their home out for the time being until market activity picks back up.  If you have already purchased another home, this option is especially attractive as it allows you to cut down on the expense of paying two mortgages while you wait for your home to sell.


Below are some items to think about, courtesy of BankRate.com, before deciding to become a landlord:

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Eastern Shore Mobile AL Real Estate: Getting The Price Right

“Location, Location, Location.”  We hear it all the time in the real estate world and many assume that location is the most important criteria to buyers when purchasing a new home.  But what is it really that determines why one property sells more quickly than another?

 

Price.   Having the right price was the most important factor in deciding on one home over another, according to 2/3 of the respondents of a recent poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors.

 

Sellers agreed on the importance of the right price.  “Getting the price right” was and is one of the most frequently cited challenges for sellers who are not represented by a Realtor®.

 

Other factors that were included in the poll were – no surprise – location, but also condition of the property, staging, and upgrades.

 

If you are interested in learning about Eastern Shore, Mobile AL real estate prices, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  You may also begin searching the MLS!

 

The Case For Staging Your Mobile AL Real Estate

Staging  Mobile AL real estate for sale has become a hot trend in the industry.  Unlike some trends that are more trouble than they’re worth, however, this is one trend that can really pay off!  Here are 12 reasons why you should consider staging your home on the market:

1. Turbo Boost Sales Time
Experts all agree and studies show staged homes sell quicker – sometimes up to 50% faster – than non-staged homes.  Not only are you having to pay for your mortgage while your home stays on the market, but the longer the home is on the market, the greater chance there is for a price reduction.  Typically, when a home has been on the market for some time, buyers and agents will assume there must be something wrong with it or that the seller will be anxious to sell and will take much less than the asking price.

2. First Impressions Are The Most Important
People’s first impression of your home is critical.  Staging gives you the best opportunity to make a positive first impression rather than a negative one.  The stronger the impression, the less likely a potential buyer will be bothered if some things aren’t perfect.

3. Gone In 60 Seconds…
Psychology experts have proven that people react based on emotion and then seek logic to back up the feeling.  From a real estate perspective, a buyer will make an initial reaction in less than a minute whether they like your home or not.  Then, after the potential buyer’s initial decision has been made, they will either confirm that decision or rescind it in the next 6 to 20 minutes as they tour the property.  This is why proper staging is critical for any listing.    

4. Ready, Set, Go – Move-In Ready Sells Faster
A properly staged listing not only appears to be in “Move-In Ready” condition, but it really is.  Staging a house for sale means that every component of the house is as close as possible to model condition.  All buyers prefer to buy a home where they can just move-in and start enjoying life.  Most will even pay a premium for this.

5. Imagination Not Included
Did you know that only 5% of the population can truly visualize how beautiful a home can be or see past the clutter, grime and so-so appearance?  It’s true.  Help potential buyers see themselves happily living in your listing and let the offers come pouring in. 

6. Be the Needle In The Haystack
Staged homes have a much greater competitive advantage over houses that are not staged.  Experts are predicting that more and more listings will be sitting on the market for sale in the next few years.  Some areas have already seen a 100-300% increase in available inventory and average time on market.  A staged home stands apart from other listings because it has been properly merchandised to bring out the best qualities of the listing.
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Good News For the Mobile AL Real Estate Market!

newsMobile AL real estate sales of existing homes slowed this spring, partly because restrictive lending practices hampered home buyers. At the same time, a greater number of areas are showing sales gains from a year ago and a recent reversal in mortgage policy means the Mobile AL real estate market is better positioned for a turnaround, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said the good news is that mortgage restrictions have just been eased. “In the past week, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced that they were eliminating their ‘declining market’ policies, effective June 1,” he said.
 
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said eliminating restrictive policies should be a big help to home buyers. “I would encourage buyers who were disappointed by poor mortgage options to take another look at the market because the lending changes are significant,” he said. “Also, a recent notable drop in interest rates on conforming jumbo loans will help consumers in high-cost markets like California and New York.”
 
To learn more about the current conditions of the Mobile AL real estate market, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. You may also visit the MLS to begin searching for Mobile AL homes!