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Market Activity for April 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area just continues to heat up.  An improving local economy and the fear that mortgage interest rates are going to begin to increase are fueling this market.  With high demand and home inventories remaining low, this is a tremendous opportunity for anyone thinking about selling their home.  If you fit into this category, then you may want to start doing your research.  A perfect way to do this is to get an online evaluation of your homes current market value.  You can easily do this by going to the web site www.forhomesellers.com.  The information that you receive from this site will give you a good indication of what your Eugene/Springfield area home vlaue is.

Lane County saw increased real estate activity across the board this April. Pending sales, at 557, showed a 56.5% increase over the 356 offers accepted in April 2014 and a 18.0% increase over the 472 offers accepted last month. In fact, this represented the strongest April for pending sales in Lane County on the RMLSTM record.


Closed sales, at 382, similarly outpaced last April (294) by 29.9% and last month (341) by 12.0%—the strongest April for closings since 2006, when there were 394 posted for the month.

New listings (687) increased 15.7% over last April’s 594 new listings and 19.7% over the 574 new listings offered in March 2015. The last April with as many new listings was in 2010, when there were 691.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 3.4 months in April, with total market time decreasing to 95 days in the same period.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Prices have been higher in 2015 than in 2014. Comparing each year through April, the average sale price rose 5.2% from $225,200 to $236,900. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 5.6% from $203,100 to $214,500.

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THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



185 Crest Drive

Price: $315,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2500

Lovely updated gem in SW Hills! Hillside location surrounds you w/ serene tree views. Sunlight floods in through numerous windows. 2-story vaulted LR w/ pellet stove insert & loft overlook mahogany flr+trim & slider. Enjoy beautifully landscaped fen...
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Best Time to Buy a Home - By the Numbers

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


Not a day passes without someone asking me if they should buy a home now or wait until the market slows down and homes are more affordable.  This is an easy question to answer, because we still have affordability and we also have historic low mortgage interest rates that won't be here for ever.  The following is a recent article from "Realty Times", that talks about our current market and addresses the home purchase question.

Right now, buyers have the best of both worlds -- home prices have risen, but they're still below the bubble of 2005, and mortgage interest rates are just above record lows. Yet, many buyers are still waiting for a sign that it's the right time to buy.

Should you wait for prices to go down or for lower interest rates? We advise that you do neither. The price of a home is fixed, so it makes sense to wait for prices to go lower, but you may not realize is that prices have to drop significantly to beat a minor fluctuation in mortgage interest rates.

Home prices have been rising for the past five years, sometimes in the double digits. Between January 2014 and January 2015, home prices rose over six percent. If sales continue at the current pace, it's more likely that the home you don't buy today could be more expensive later.

In the time you wait for price reductions, you could effectively build equity, or ownership in your home. Few homeowners keep a loan for 30 years anymore. People change jobs, get divorced, move up, downsize, refinance and have other reasons for not keeping their original mortgage. So the time is now.

So let's look at a few what-ifs and see when it's best for you to buy a home. Using round numbers, on a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.00 percent, your monthly payment starting May 2015 will be $955. At seven years, the average length of time that most buyers occupy their homes today, you'll pay $52,898 in interest and the remainder of your loan will be $171,738.


If you wait around and interest rates go up, you'll be paying more monthly, plus you won't build equity as quickly. At 4.5 percent, your monthly payment will be $1,013 and you'll pay $59,828 in interest. Your loan remainder is higher - $173, 692. A half a point increase in interest will cost you $58 more per month, $6,930 more in interest, and you'll end up with $1,954 less in equity.

If your home dropped 5% in value and you were able to get a loan for $190,000 and 4.5% interest, your payment would be $963, a difference of $51 less per month than if you'd paid $200,000.

But what if you're wrong and prices go up by five percent? At $210,000 and 4.5 percent interest, you'll pay $1064 per month, $62,820 in interest, and the remainder on the loan will be $182,376. That's a difference of $109 more on your monthly payment and $9830 more in interest, plus you'll lose $10,638 in equity.

Why not buy now when both prices and interest rates are lower?

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THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



649 ST ANDREWS LOOP
 

Price: $495,000     Beds: 5     Baths: 4    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 5568

Outstanding value at $88 per sq ft - Hardwood flooring, granite counters, travertine tile, hickory cabinets, two walk-in closets, solid core 8ft doors, creek views, next to Emerald Valley Golf Resort. Too many high end amenities to list. Less than 2...
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This Month in Real Estate May 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

I am asked frequently the question as to, "when is the best time for me to sell my home"?  The answer to this most times can vary and is always subject to supply and demand.  When supplies are low and demand is high, (sellers market), this is always the best time to sell. Right now in the Eugene/Springfield home market, the demand is high and the inventory is low.  In fact right now, we are at 3.4 months of home supply.  Remember, anything less than 6 months is a sellers market.  On top of this, we are continuing to enjoy the benefits of historic low mortgage interest rates.  The combination of high demand, low inventory and low mortgage rates has also put our home market on a sharp rebound in home values.  So, not only is there demand, but your home value is most likely much higher than where it has been over the past several years.

Beware!  As all markets do, this current market won't last forever. In fact my prediction is that when mortgage interest rates begin the spiral upwards, the housing market will flatten quickly. This means that demand will taper, there will be higher inventories of homes for sale and this may put pressure on home prices in our area.  We could actually see home values decline again.

For this reason, if you are thinking about selling your home now or within the next several years, my advice would be to act quickly.  Get your home on the market now while the conditions are extremely favorable. If you wait, you just may miss your opportunity for a home sale at a strong market value.  Chances are that we won't see another market like we have right now for many years.

Video Link: This Month in Real Estate

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THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING

3097 Summit Sky Blvd

Price: $699,000     Beds: 4     Baths: 4      Partial Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 4338

Elegant upper end home on 1.06 acres in SW Hills! Maple hardwood flrs, granite, travertine, 3 suites, 2 fireplaces, 2 balconies, family rm, library/office, formal dining, bonus rm, media rm. Gourmet kitchen with cherry cabs, wine fridge, dbl ovens, ... View this property >>

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Make the Most of Your Home's Drive-Up Appeal

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


If you currently have a home on the market for sale or if you are getting ready to put your home on the market, the way your home appears on the outside is extremely important. Now that Spring is here and Summer is not far away, the way your home appears outside will have a huge impact on the kind of interest you get in your home. A home with neat, attractive and well kept landscaping will not only get more interest, but it will sell for more money. Here is a blog post from "Realty Times" that adresses curb appeal.

You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you're trying to sell your home. The first thing buyers look at when they pull up to your home is the big picture -- the house, the yard, the trees, the flowers. It's the impression that counts, and all it takes is one thing to ruin the effect -- a cracked walkway, dead branches in the trees, leggy bushes.

As you look around at all the things you need to fix or update to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. Many sellers struggle with the costs, the decisions, and the time it takes to market their homes. Since most landscaping isn't permanent, you may think it's not as important as other projects that need to be done, but you should strongly consider putting it in the marketing budget.

You can do some of the work yourself or you can get help. But here are five jobs you can do that help you make the most of your home's drive-up appeal.

1. Get rid of anything dead. Dead leaves, flowers, and trees do nothing for your curb appeal. Snip it, rake it and bag it. As you finish, you'll see blank areas. Fill these in with fresh flowers, small bushes, potted plants or yard art. No Gnomes or flamingoes need apply.

2. Cut and weed the grass. If you mow your own lawn, make sure it's freshly mowed every week. Pull or spray weeds so the texture of the grass will be more pleasing.


3. Replace or hide leggy bushes. Nothing makes a front entry look more dated than bushes with longer legs than torsos. Pull them out and replace them, or if it's more expedient, plant boxwoods or other small bushes in front. You can also cover a lot of blank areas with mulch, wood chips or gravel.

 
4. Improve both hardscapes and softscapes. Decorative stone, tile, brick, concrete or wood can add a lot of appeal to the softer elements such as flowers, plants, grasses and ground cover. Landscaping doesn't have to end at the porch. Bring color and vitality to the entry with potted plants and flowers.

5. Light the way. Landscape lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Lanterns to line the walk, or the occasional uplight for the trees can have a glamorous effect on the exterior of your home. Lighting provides security as well as spotlights what you want to call attention to -- a beautiful tree, a flower bed or an architectural element of the house.

If you're not sure where to begin, go to your local landscape supply with a sketch or photo of your home and ask for ideas. Explain that you're selling your home and you need help with curb appeal. You may get a lot of free advice that's really helpful.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


88428 Partridge Ln

Price: $749,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 3942

Secluded riverfront estate on 4.65 acres! Fish from your own backyard on 300ft of Mckenzie river frontage! Beautiful mountain views surround you on the manicured grounds. Main home features updated kitchen with Dacor 36” duel-fuel range, large...
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Real Estate Activity Rising in Lane County

by Galand Haas

Good Afternoon!

The Real Estate Market in the Eugene and Springfield and surrounding area continued to rise in March. This is a coninuation of an escalating market that has been taking place here for well over 6 months now.  Here is what March 2015 home sales in the Eugene/Springfield and surroundings areas looked like.

Real estate activity kicked into action this March in Lane County. Closed sales led the way—the 341 closings were a 30.2% increase over the 262 closings recorded in March 2014 and a 65.5% increase over the 206 closings posted last month. The last March there were more closings in Lane County was March 2007, when there were 347. Pending sales (472) bested March 2014 (367) by 28.6% and February 2015 (368) by 28.3%. New listings, at 574, showed a 10.4% improvement over the 520 new listings posted last March and a 22.9% increase from the 467 new listings posted in February 2015.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 3.7 months in March, with total market time decreasing to 106 days.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing the average price of homes in the twelve months ending March 31st of this year ($237,900) with the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending March 2014 ($228,800) shows an increase of 4.0%. The same comparison of the median shows an increase of 3.9% over that same period.

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THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



2074 Lake Isle Dr

Price: $199,000     Beds: 2     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1389

Light and bright condo overlooking the water! In the premier Island Lakes Condominiums, this condo has pond views from every room on North side. Enjoy a beautiful community featuring a pond surrounded by a stunning landscape of fountains, flowers, a...
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The Best Time to Buy a Home is Now

by Galand Haas

Good Afternoon!


There may never be a more opportune time to purchase a home than right now for a variety of reasons.  The following is an article from "Realty Times" that explains why!


"If you don't buy a home right now, you are STUPID!"


That's what Bloomberg said back in 2009. Actually, they said, "If You Don't Buy a House Now, You're Stupid or Broke."


They continued, "Well, you may not be stupid or broke. Maybe you already have a house and you don't want to move. Or maybe you're a Trappist monk and have forsworn all earthly possessions. Or whatever. But if you want to buy a house, now is the time, and if you don't act soon, you will regret it. Here's why: historically low interest rates."


They were talking about rates hovering around five percent. Today, rates are under four percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.


Reason No. 1 to buy now: Rates are low


"Low mortgage rates continue to keep ownership less expensive than renting," said Investopedia. "Even a small change in interest rates has a significant effect on what you'll pay each month and over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Take a $172,000 30-year mortgage, for example ($172,000 is 80% of the median sales price for existing homes of $215,000 after a 20% down payment). With an interest rate of 4%, you would pay $821.15 each month. At an interest rate of 5%, the monthly payment would be $923.33, and at 6%, the payment rises to $1031.23."


Reason No. 2: Rents are high


In many markets, rents are rising to unsustainable levels, reports the National Association of Realtors (NAR). "In the past five years, a typical rent rose 15% while the income of renters grew by only 11%."


The cities with the highest rent increase since 2009 include New York, San Jose, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle. For the rest of the list, click here, and to see how much more renting can cost you over a lifetime, check out Riskology.

Reason No. 3: Qualifications are easier

During the real estate downturn of the mid-2000s, banks and lenders tightened the reins, and often only the most qualified applicants could get approved. Post-recession, qualifications have loosened. Buyers who can't show solid income and a minimum credit score probably won't be offered a risky interest-only ARM today, however, those with less-than-perfect credit and minimal funds still have options. The Federal Housing Association (FHA) minimums are a 620 credit score and a 3.5 percent down payment.

 

Reason No. 4: Private mortgage insurance fees are down

Buyers who put less than 20 percent down on their home generally incur a monthly fee in the name of private mortgage insurance (PMI). In January 2015, the government announced lower PMI rates on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which equates to a savings of about $900 a year. Seventy-five dollars a month may not seem like much, but every little bit helps when you're committing to an investment as large as a home.

Reason No. 5: It's still one of the best investments out there

In fact, some would say it's the very best investment out there.

"Buying a home is the best investment any individual can make. Affordability is still at an all-time high," said CNBC.

Not only as a comparison between buying and renting, but as a measurable asset, homeownership stands up—as long as buyers make a smart decision.

"The largest measurable financial benefit to homeownership is price appreciation," said Investopedia. "Price appreciation helps build home equity, which is the difference between the market price of the house and the remaining mortgage payments."

Reason No. 6: It feels good

You know that pride of ownership thing? It's true. Really. Nothing compares to the feeling of walking into a home that's yours for the first time. Or painting the walls a color other than white. Updating the kitchen. Making it your own. Not worrying about your rent being raised. And, of course, watching your equity grow over time.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!


 


3985 Monroe St


Price: $450,000     Beds: 4     Baths: 3    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 3142


Picturesque property in the hills! This 0.45 acre property backs up to a creek offering expansive views of the trees and sounds of nature. Entertain easily on 2 decks in the fenced backyard and in large bonus room on lower level. This home has an op...
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Home Prices on the Rise

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!



Both national and local home prices continue to increase.  Even though this has a slight negative effect for potential home buyers, home sellers are benefiting from the increase in home values.  Here in the Eugene and Springfield area, home values have increased significantly since the market down turn several years ago.  Although, in most cases home prices have not come back to where they peaked at around 2006, they have come back enough for anyone thinking about a home sale to consider making the move to do so soon.  There is much speculation that mortgage interest rates might begin to go up later this year.  With the increased mortgage interest rates, the demand for housing could decline, putting pressure on home prices.  We just might be at that point where your home value is at a peak and the oppotunity to sell at top dollar could just be right now.

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THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!




 

6076 Fernhill Loop

Price: $497,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 3     Partial Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 4061

Great separation of space in this Craftsman style home located on .46 of an acre. Large kitchen with island, hardwood floors, granite, pantry, open to family room with fireplace & built-ins. Formal living room boasts high ceilings, fireplace, light ...
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Helpful Tips for First Time Home Buyers

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

With mortgage interest rates remaining extremely low, many first time buyers are making the choice to purchase a home now instead of gambling on waiting.  If you are a first time home buyer or if you know of someone thinking about purchasing their first home, here are some tips that just might help with the home purchase process.

First-Time Home-Buyers: Know What You Can Afford


The hardest part of the home-buying process is figuring out what is affordable. Some first-time buyers rely on the amount the bank is willing to lend. Others use a lender’s mortgage calculator to crunch a couple of numbers. However, banks are often willing to lend much more than you can afford, and mortgage calculators don’t always tell the whole story. To learn how much home you can afford, start with the basics.

 

How Much Can You Pay Each Month?

Rather than focusing on the purchase price or lender offers, decide how much you can spend on a mortgage payment each month. A common rule of thumb is that your mortgage payment should be between 25 and 30 percent of your income. In truth, 30 percent is too high for many people. The only reliable way to determine what you can afford is by adding all of your monthly bills and expenses. Make sure to get estimates of what your new utilities will cost based on the size of the home you plan to purchase. For area specific rates, consult local service providers or your real estate agent.

Remember to include cost of living changes as well. Even over small distances, the price of gas, groceries and other necessities can change dramatically. Long-term savings is another overlooked cost. Do not make the mistake of assuming that future wage increases will allow you to save money later on. It is a good idea to plan for savings right from the start. Once you are comfortable with your estimates, you can start looking at the other costs that factor into mortgage payments.

Striking the Right Balance with Your Down Payment

The next step of the process is to determine how much you can put down on a home. Save as much as you can, but make sure to set aside some money for appraisals, inspections, closing costs and moving expenses. If you can save enough to put 20 percent down, you will be much more attractive to lenders. Additionally, loan products with a 20 percent down payment requirement are easier to obtain if your credit is less than perfect.

However, if you can’t save that much, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of ways to buy a home with little to no down payment. However, your interest rates may be a little higher, and you will have to pay private mortgage insurance.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is what lenders use to protect themselves from risky borrowers. If you put down less than 20 percent, you will probably have to pay PMI every month as part of your mortgage payment. As your down payment decreases, PMI rates go up. Speak to as many lenders as you can to learn what rates to expect. Make sure to ask how long you will need to pay PMI. Some loans, such as those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, will require you to pay PMI for the life of the loan. Other products will allow you to cancel PMI after you have paid enough towards the principal balance.

How Much Difference does Interest Make?

Interest rates can make or break a loan deal. A slightly higher rate can add a large amount to your monthly payment.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



4220 Heins Court

Price: $235,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1489

Brand New Home with RV Parking! Another beautiful home from builder Gary Konold. Located in cul-de-sac with shopping only a 2 minute drive away! One level home offers laminate wood flrs, granite counters, vaulted & high ceilings and Great Room layou...
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Current Mortgage Interest Rates Will Be Short Lived

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!



The sky might be ready to fall in regards to mortgage interest rates. But for now, it is time to act if you have been considering a home purchase.  The home affordability that you have today is going to be short lived.

Consider this a gift to home buyers: Mortgage interest rates dipped to 3.78% this week, just in time for the spring housing market.

For people who are in the process of buying a house, our best advice is to lock in your rate now. “This is the last call before the bar closes at these historically low levels,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®.

Currently, rates are low, but they are expected to rise. On Wednesday the Federal Reserve issued its first warning that rates will increase in the near term, because the economy has stabilized. The Fed has been propping up the economy by keeping rates at zero since late 2008, when the housing market collapsed. Now that employment is up, gas prices are low, and consumers are feeling more confident about the future, interest rates are sure to rise. Observers expect the Fed action to happen as early as June.

“From here, rates should go up more than down, which means affordability declines rapidly,” Smoke said. “It also means that navigating mortgage choices becomes simultaneously more important , but also more complex as higher rates would cause qualifications to be harder and some options will fall off the table.”

It goes to reason that as interest rates increase, affordability decreases. Home prices are rising and now that rates are indicated to follow suit, your buying power will not be as great as it once was. These are the waning days of remarkably low rates.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

775 N 8TH ST

Price: $155,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 1040

Charming ranch style home on dead end street. Features large windows for lots of natural light, wainscoting, laminate wood floors, well sized closets, all on 0.18 acre lot. Living room opens to dining room with slider to back. Master bedroom with ja...
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Your Path to Homeownership

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


With mortgage interest rates remaining historically low, the number of home buyers has accelerated over the past several years.  If you or your family fit into the group of those thinking about a home purchase, here are some great tips to help you with the purchase of your home.  This article was taken from Realty Times!



You're ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams. But before you do, make sure you're really ready. Ask yourself and your household members if this is the home for the next five or so years. Make sure everyone is on board with commitments to make it work, from putting off the dream vacation to putting in the elbow grease to clean, paint and do the yard work.

Have your real estate agent pull up the most recent sold comparables (CMA) within a reasonable radius of the home, so you can compare the home with other similar homes in terms of location, size, features, and amenities.

Next, consider the most current market conditions, so you can choose the right offer strategy.

In a buyer's market, discounts are common because there are fewer buyers, more properties for sale, and home prices are soft or falling so offers under list price are common.

In a seller's market, homes sell quickly for full price or higher because there are plenty of buyers and few homes for sale.

Whether you are in a buyer's market or a seller's market, your goal is to buy the home at a fair price. If you were the seller, what is the lowest possible price you'd accept?

To show the seller you're serious, include a copy of your lender's pre-approval letter, along with a cover letter summarizing your strengths as a buyer in terms of creditworthiness, flexibility in closing, and why you love this home. Include a copy of the comparables you used to show why your offer is a fair price for the property.

If the seller's home is offered at a reasonable price, don't waste time. Pay asking price or close to it. A home priced to sell will sell quickly and you'll lose it if you mess around.

Offering too little for a property is risky. If the seller feels insulted by your offer, you've lost the opportunity to negotiate. On the other hand, some sellers are simply unrealistic about their home's value. Maybe your offer will be their wake-up call. The seller will probably respond with a face-saving still-high offer, but at least they're negotiating with you.

If your offer is conditional, such as your need to sell another home before closing on the seller's, you'll have to find a way to sweeten the deal, such as a full-price offer. Few sellers will accept a discount and a contingency.

Your real estate professional will help you draft the offer with a price, estimated closing date and terms, including earnest money (a guarantee that you'll perform as a buyer in good faith,) final approval by your lender and your right to have an inspection. Your earnest money check will be forwarded to the escrow agent when your offer is accepted.

You'll have a brief period to get your home inspections completed. Your home inspector will go through the home with you and point out the condition and potential lifespan of all systems and appliances. You should only renegotiate when a problem wasn't obvious before, or when a system is found to be unsafe or not functioning.

Once you and the seller have agreed to terms, your offer is now a binding contract and you're on your way to owning a home!

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

33970 VAN DUYN RD

Price: $995,000     Beds: 4     Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 2930

Live where the eagles fly. Gorgeous valley and coast range views from a serene lofted location in the elite Country View Estates gated community. An elegant, top quality home offering spacious rooms, built-ins, and beautiful views, including spectac...
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