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2015 'Year for Housing Opportunity'

Zillow Chief Economist, HUD Secretary Talk Housing Following SOTU, Castro Calls 2015 'Year for Housing Opportunity'

By Paige Tepping


Following on the heels of President Barack Obama’s second-to-last State of the Union Address, during which he made a passing reference to the changes made at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD Secretary Julián Castro sat down at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., for a live fireside chat with Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries on Wednesday, January 21.

The event, which garnered a lot of buzz across various social media platforms (the general public was encouraged to submit questions using the #HousinginAmerica hashtag) took a closer look at some of the more prevalent themes on the minds of today’s homeowners, buyers and renters.

“The President did an excellent job of laying out the case for investing in the middle class to ensure that more folks are able to reach the middle class,” says Castro, of Obama’s January 20 State of the Union Address. “And when it comes to the values that have made it possible for folks to be middle class and reach the American Dream, one of those is the opportunity for homeownership.”

In fact, for FHA and HUD, a big part of this has been the announcement of the mortgage insurance premium reduction, which, over the next three years, will offer an average savings of $900 annually to two million folks.

“Things like child care and sick leave and equal pay; things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage—these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families," said Obama, as he referenced the housing economy in his latest State of the Union Address.

“I call 2015 the year of housing opportunity,” says Castro, who notes that the market has turned around in terms of housing starts with a 5.5 percent increase year-over-year. While price increases are beginning to level off, a lot of opportunity has been created.

And it’s clear to see that housing is top of mind for many Americans. Here’s a breakdown of what was discussed during Wednesday morning’s fireside chat.

Rental Side and Its Effect on Getting into Buying Side
“2015 is going to be an exciting year for housing,” says Castro. While rent is typically an encumbrance for folks who are trying to save up for a down payment, there are things in play that will ultimately make it more affordable to get a loan. When you combine the mortgage insurance premium reduction, leveling off of home prices, cooling of rents in certain areas, lowering of gas prices and the improving economy, all of these things add up to more money in people’s pockets to go from renting to buying. “I also anticipate more millennials getting off the sidelines and moving forward with their home purchasing decisions,” says Castro.

Options for Those with Little to No Credit
A few years ago, getting a home loan was too easy, and today, it’s often too difficult for many prospective buyers to obtain a loan. While the FHA introduced a blueprint for access to credit in May 2014, Castro notes that they’ll continue to think through ways to be more helpful in this regard. “The blueprint for access to credit provides certainty for lenders and borrowers while helping lenders ease up on credit overlays,” says Castro. “We also have safeguards in place so that we can offer opportunities to those ready to own a home without sliding back to where we were before.”

Student Debt
There’s no denying that rising student debts have an impact on the decisions folks make when it comes to their real estate aspirations. But Castro notes that it’s important to address debt in a smart way, whether it’s refinancing student loans or deferring them out. “The President’s proposal for free community college is also important as it unleashes potential brainpower. Buying a home is about building equity and wealth that you’ll have with you for the long haul, so I encourage folks to be smart about student debt and understand that investing in a home will ultimately create wealth.”

Older Americans Heading Toward Retirement with Debt
“As much as we focus on millennials, the fastest growing segment are folks over the age of 65,” says Castro. When dealing with these Baby Boomers, Castro notes that there are a few different ways to be helpful, including housing counseling and reverse mortgage programs that let them borrow off the equity in their home.

Optimal Homeownership Rate
In the 1930s, homeownership rates were around 40 percent, and today, they’re hovering around 70 percent—a point that was reached in the ‘60s. “The difference between where we are now and where we were at the height is five to six points,” says Castro, who goes on to explain that homeownership isn’t right for everyone. “I believe it makes sense for more Americans to have the opportunity to own a home as it’s the primary source of wealth for many.”

Optimal Level of Government Involvement
While Castro supports the notion of having more private capital in the market, he notes that the FHA has played a vital role in helping provide stability and opportunity within the housing market, especially for first-time buyers. “We’ll see this continue to come down as more private capital comes into the market, but I do believe that government has a role to play. In addition, the FHA played a role in building the homeownership rate to where it is today, and I hope this role continues.

“The President’s focus on ensuring folks have the opportunity to own a home and be middle class is right down the line of what we’re focused on at HUD,” concludes Castro.

For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/ and http://www.zillow.com/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

 Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

U.S. Home Values Gain $1.7 Trillion in Value in 2014

U.S. Home Values Gain $1.7 Trillion in Value in 2014


The total value of all the homes in the United States is expected to end 2014 at $27.5 trillion, a 6.7 percent increase from last year and the third consecutive overall increase, according to Zillow. Homes lost $6.1 trillion in value between December 2006 and December 2011.

The cumulative increase in home values is slightly smaller than 2013's 8 percent increase, and that kind of gradual slowing is a sign of the times as the market heads for slower expected gains in 2015. Over the second half of 2014, inventory increased in many U.S. markets and, with more homes on the market, home value appreciation slowed.

"Looking at the total value of the U.S. housing stock proves just how huge and important the housing sector is to the overall economy," says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "Virtually nowhere else will you see gains of more than a trillion dollars in one year represent only single-digit percentages of the total market. As we conclude 2014 and look ahead at 2015 and beyond, housing will play a bigger role in the broader economic recovery. As the job market improves and more households form, more people will search for homes to buy and rent, which will translate into more people buying appliances and home goods and lead to more jobs for home builders and contractors. Housing is well positioned to continue the great strides already made this year."

Zillow's November Real Estate Market Reports showed home values up 6 percent from November 2013 to a Zillow® Home Value Index (ZHVI)i of $177,600. Looking ahead, as more homes come on the market, growth in home values is expected to slow, to a 2.4 percent pace through November 2015, according to the Zillow Home Value Forecast. There were 11.8 percent more homes for sale in November 2014 than a year prior, but inventory fell slightly in many major markets from October to November.

Among major markets, home values were up the most year-over-year in Miami (13.6 percent), Atlanta (12.8 percent), Houston (11.9 percent), Orlando (11.9 percent), and Las Vegas (11.5 percent).  Values were higher than last November in almost every major U.S. metro.

National rents were up in November from a year ago, up 3.4 percent to a Zillow Rent Index (ZRI) of $1,342.

Source: Zillow

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Renting Less Affordable than Buying - Except for where Millennials Are Moving

Renting Less Affordable than Buying - Except for where Millennials Are Moving

By Maria Patterson


RealtyTrac VP discusses outlook for first-time homebuyers

Last week, housing-data giant RealtyTrac® (http://www.realtytrac.com/) released an analysis of fair market rents and median home prices in more than 500 U.S. counties, which shows that buying is still more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. housing markets. While this offers positive news for the housing industry, the report also reveals that the opposite is true in markets with the biggest increase in the millennial share of the population over the last six years—which begs the question: Where does the future of homeownership stand among the younger generation of first-time homebuyers?

In an interview with RISMedia, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist, says this latest report tells us that “we’re not going to see those potential first-time homebuyers become homebuyers in the near future in great numbers because the markets they’re attracted to, largely for jobs, are unaffordable. These markets have high rents and even more expensive homes. I think this shift toward more of a ‘rentership’ society is not just a one- or two-year trend, but will be a multi-year trend.”

For the report, RealtyTrac analyzed 2015 fair market rental data recently released by the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development for three-bedroom properties in 543 counties nationwide with a population of at least 100,000. In the 473 counties with sufficient rental and home price data, the fair market rent for a three-bedroom property in 2015 will require an average of 27 percent of median household income, while buying a median-priced home requires an average of 25 percent of median household income based on the median sales price in November.

Buying a median-priced home was more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 68 percent of the counties analyzed, representing 57 percent of the total population in those counties.

But in the 25 counties with the biggest increase in millennials between 2007 and 2013, fair market rents for a three-bedroom property in 2015 will require 30 percent of the median household income on average, while buying a median-priced home requires 36 percent of median household income on average. For the analysis millennials were defined as anyone born between 1977 and 1992.

According to Blomquist, first-time homebuyers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, where they often can’t afford to live where they work. “At a macro level, millennials are moving to where the jobs are within a metro area, and also moving to the more urban parts of those areas, not only for jobs, but for the type of neighborhood and amenities that are attractive to them,” says Blomquist. “The big question is, if and when will they make that transition to the home with the white picket fence.”

Given the lessons of the past, however, a more balanced approach to homeownership may be in order, explains Blomquist. “A lot of people keep looking at the need to get homeownership back to where it was—I think we’re getting back to where it should be,” he says. “We’re coming off a period where homeownership was too high and it’s painful for people whose expectations were tethered to homeownership being close to 70 percent. Many younger folks will eventually become homeowners, but not all, and not in the numbers we saw in Generation X.”

In the meantime, Blomquist is witnessing brokerages in areas with high fair market rents shoring up their property management divisions to capitalize on the rental boom. “I don’t think one size fits all, but if (property management) is a piece brokers can incorporate into their business models, it certainly can be extremely beneficial.”

And, for those brokers and agents in the 68 percent of counties where buying is more affordable than renting, there’s a great message to deliver. “To millennials in these areas, you have to say in a credible and low-pressure way, ‘here are the numbers—I’m not just saying this because we want your business,’” advises Blomquist. “The more cold, hard facts you can present to millennials, the better, as opposed to just your opinion.”

Current rental trends also present a prime opportunity to promote real estate as an investment for well-off millennials. “Another message to deliver is, you may not want to become a homeowner or tied down to a home, but as you’re getting your first good-paying job, a great way to invest money is to buy property as rental,” suggests Blomquist. “This is a really good time to be a landlord because of the dynamics of the market. It’s a great way for millennials to build wealth.”

Moving forward, Blomquist believes it will be important to maintain an optimistic yet realistic approach to the real estate market. “To a certain extent, the great recession is going to continue to have an impact. Homeownership has lost some of its luster—that doesn’t mean it’s going to go away, it’s just probably not realistic to expect it to return to what it was five or six years ago. Homeownership rates will probably settle in the 60-65 percent, and that might be a good thing. Eventually, things will return to a more normalized pattern, but it will take a few years due to a combination of delayed homeownership for some millennials and the trickling in of displaced homeowners who lost their homes during the crisis.”

Looking ahead, Blomquist promises even more usable research from RealtyTrac in 2015. “We’re trying to shed light on the market from a very data-driven perspective and we will continue to do that, including in new areas we haven’t touched yet in terms of data. Also, in the spirit of the market that’s no longer tied to the housing crisis, we’re going to have fun talking about housing, looking at new opportunities and angles that may be beneficial to buyers, sellers and brokers.”

For a full report and regional breakdown of the above report, please click here. For an interactive visual, visit: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/2015FairMarketRentAnalysis/Dashboard1?:embed=y&:display_count=no. For a YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/BXwhGlyeDR0.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Single Story For Sale in Kentwood Estates

1404815_1

• 1,899 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS $154,900

 -  Super contemporary 1 story home in wonderful neighborhood. Updated in the last 3/4 years, complete new kitchen with granite counters, new bathrooms, new roof, new Bamboo floor, great floor plan, ready for move in. Large Florida room for entertaining. Splendid oversized living room with large fireplace, plus the benefit of a bonus office or craft room. Large master suite with doors to covered patio. Just exquisite.

Property information

Fixed Mortgage Rates Slide

Fixed Mortgage Rates Slide


The results of a recently released Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showed that average fixed mortgage rates slightly down from the previous week with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping just below four percent.

"Fixed mortgage rates were slightly down as housing starts declined 2.8 percent in October below the upwardly revised September rate,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “However, building permits increased 4.8 percent in October after a 2.8 percent boost a month earlier. Lastly, industrial production slipped by 0.1 percent in October, below the market consensus forecast."

The PMMS® showed that they 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 20, 2014, down from the previous week's 4.01 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.22 percent. 


Additionally, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from the last week when it averaged 3.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27 percent. 


The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from the week prior when it averaged 3.02 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95 percent.


The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.44 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.43 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.61 percent.


For more information, visit FreddieMac.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

 

The Complete Steps to Flipping a House

The Complete Steps to Flipping a House

By David Glenn


For those who are interested in making a profit after buying a property, flipping houses is a common practice that works to improve and update a structure before selling your home for a higher value.

Many people find that the time and effort put into the property can be a challenge, but can have a large payoff. Flipping houses is now considered a practical way to supplement an income or one can make it the primary source of income. When starting the process of flipping a house, there are a few steps to take to ensure a successful project.

Hire a Few Professionals

When flipping a house, there will be several projects that need to be completed to increase the aesthetics and functionality of the home. If you're a handyman who is skilled with carpentry or plumbing, then you'll make more of a profit without consulting the services of professionals. Do as much of the work yourself while only using contractors when necessary. Although repairs and upgrades are crucial to flipping a house, it's important to avoid too much of an investment, which can render a small profit and not add any additional value to the home.

Besides using contractors who can work on the home, you'll also need to consult the services of a real estate agent, lawyer, inspector, title company, and a CPA. It will allow you to complete the process in a time-efficient manner without having to deal with complications that you're inexperienced with. If you're happy with each person's services, you can continue to use them on your next house flipping venture for a strong team.

Choose the Right Area

It's important to flip a house in an area that is flourishing and has a high employment rate to ensure that you'll attract plenty of buyers. Without jobs in the area, you likely won't find anyone who can afford to buy the home. You also want to research the value of other homes in the neighborhood, which will influence what the property can sell for after it's flipped. An agent can also assist you with determining the value after the upgrades are made.

You also want to look for homes that are on popular roads and don't have too much traffic nearby. The property should be close to highways, shopping centers, and schools for an area that is diverse and attractive to buyers.

Create an Exit Strategy


It can be exciting to find a house to flip, but it's important to create a few plans before you begin to remodel. In some cases, it may be difficult to sell the property and you can find yourself listing it on the market for several months due to the state of the market. Have at least two backup plans established to prevent loss on the property, which can include renting out the home or selling it to another investor if it doesn't sell. It's important to have at least two exit strategies established before purchasing the property.

Make Sure the Lawn Looks Great

When going into the process of flipping a house, you want to make sure that the grass is green and cut, trees and bushes are trimmed, and that there are no weeds. Make sure that you have all the necessary tools. When a prospective buyer looks at the yard they want to see a clean landscape, not work.

Stage before You Sell

It's important to dress the home up and show it off at its full potential to buyers who visit the property. Staging a home is one of the most important steps of flipping a home and requires furnishing it while it's listed on the market. Keep in mind that it should be more than a building, but a place where a family can grow. Use neutral paint on the walls for a style that appeals to the majority of buyers and avoid using personal photos or items in the space.

Use candles throughout each room, which can add a cozy effect and allow it to feel like a home. You can add extra warmth by using throws on the couch, using luxury hand towels in the bathrooms, and even offering homemade cookies as guests walk in.

David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He freelance writes about home maintenance and DIY home repair. He's also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and building a reputation online.

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

 

Single Story For Sale in Eastborough

1421188_1

• 1,381 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS $104,000

 -  Super home and like brand new insude and completely updated throughout. New textured wall finishes, bathroom fittings, toilets, tile, carpets. Large kitchen/dining room with granite breakfast bar. Also a large covered rear deck.

Property information

More Remodelers Now Report Labor Shortages

More Remodelers Now Report Labor Shortages

By Paul Emrath


If I were a carpenter… I’d have an easy time finding a remodeling business that wanted to employ me in many parts of the country, according to a recent NAHB survey.

The survey is the one used to generate NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The RMI survey for the 3rd quarter of 2014 included a set of special questions asking remodelers about availability of labor in 12 key categories (developed in consultation with Home Builders Institute, an organization established by NAHB to train workers and promote careers in the home building industry).



Although shortages (either some or serious) were apparent in many categories, they were particularly acute in the three categories of carpenters. At the extreme, 72 percent of remodelers reported a shortage of finished carpenters, and 30 percent says the shortage was serious.

In a similar survey of single-family builders conducted in June, the same three categories finished at the top, although the shortage shares were somewhat lower at that time. For example, 58 percent reported a shortage of finished carpenters in June, and “only” 12 percent says the shortage was serious.

NAHB’s builder and remodeler surveys are national in scope, and of course there is local variation in the supply of labor. In the 3rd quarter of 2014, not all remodelers were reporting a shortgage. Several in fact, in the space provided for comments, explicitly wrote in that they were seeing “no shortage of labor.”

Nevertheless, at the national level, the percentages of remodelers who are seeing shortages are quite high. The percentages were also fairly high the first time the NAHB collected the data from remodelers—in the first quarter of 2013—but they have since surged.



For example, the share of remodelers reporting a shortage of finished carpenters jumped from 44 percent in 2013 to 72 in 2014. Even in a category like HVAC, where the shortages have been comparatively mild, the share more than doubled, from 12 to 25 percent.

The bottom line is that, compared either to remodelers in 2013 or builders in June of 2014, more remodelers are now seeing (often serious) shortages of labor.

View this original blog post on the NAHB blog, Eye on Housing.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

6 Seemingly Smart Moves That May Ruin Your Remodel

6 Seemingly Smart Moves That May Ruin Your Remodel

By Darryl Crosby


You are dying to get an updated home, and you are very excited for the remodeling process to begin. But you aren’t naive. You have heard the horror stories about renovations, and you intend to make yours go smoothly. So you have done your homework, dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and you are confident your remodel will go off without a hitch. However, if one of these common mistakes is part of your strategy, you might want to think again.

Doing the Shopping Yourself

You might think that you can save yourself a boatload of cash by purchasing the materials on your own and just having the contractor perform the labor, but Houzz believes that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Contractors will usually be able to get trade discounts on the materials, but more than that, they have the expertise necessary to know which supplies you can go cheap on, and which ones need to be the name brands. Allowing the contractor to purchase the materials also ensures you actually get what you need for the project — and if something goes awry along the way, it’s all on them.

Not Paying In Full

In order to protect yourself from getting screwed over by your contractor, you just won’t pay his entire fee upfront. That will guarantee he finishes so that he gets the rest of his money, right? Wrong! By not paying all of the money at the beginning, the contractor may be forced to take shortcuts or skip steps because he doesn’t have enough overhead to cover the materials. Either that or he will charge you more to cover that extra amount in case he doesn’t finish at all. Neither scenario is a win for you.

Trusting Your Contractor

It’s very nice of you to hire a contractor and turn the job over to him without a second thought, but doing so is a huge mistake. Why? As HGTV points out, if you don’t know anything about what the project entails you won’t be able to spot a mistake or a shortcut when it occurs. To make sure you know which questions to ask and when to intervene, you should do a little bit of research about the project in advance. That being says, it is crucial to remember that your contractor is the expert, so don’t get too involved or you will just make him mad.

Related: For more remodeling tips, click here.

Not Finding a Temporary Place to Live

When you are embarking on a dramatic change it can be tempting to try to stay in your home throughout the process. After all, that means less money is spent on temporary housing and you can maintain a first-hand view of the work being done. However, this decision may actually be costing you more than you would spend on a part-time rental, and it will irritate your contractor. At the end of the day, the crew will have to clean up everything so that your home stays in a livable condition. This means more labor costs for you. And if you were part of the crew, wouldn’t it bug you?

Thinking the Quote is the Final Bill

Even though your contractor gave you a firm quote, it is always a good idea to set aside a little extra for the just-in-case scenarios. The price you received from the contractor only includes the planned work, and, as Consumer Reports points out, there are often unexpected expenses that arise with a large remodeling project. If you have watched any home remodeling shows on TV, then you know this to be true. Some things can’t be known until walls and floors are ripped apart.

Skipping the Permits

Yes, it can be tempting to conveniently forget about the permits you are supposed to get during a remodel. From the fees to the paperwork, no one is arguing that they aren’t a pain. But if it turns out that your plumbing or electrical work doesn’t meet code, you can be forced to redo them on your own dime. Not only that, but you won’t be able to sell your home without all of the proper permits in place.

Remodeling your home is a very exciting and stressful time. If you can avoid the above mistakes, then your renovation is likely to go smoothly, and you will be able to enjoy your new home in no time at all.

Darryl Crosby is a home renovation blogger and the Senior Director of Marketing at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. Darryl works with his customers to ensure that they are making all of the correct decision throughout the remodeling process.

View this original post on the RISMedia blog, Housecall.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

1 3/4 Story For Sale in Spring Lake

1433507_1
Custom Built 1 Owner Home

• 4,338 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 1 3/4 story - MLS $465,000

 -  Beautiful 5 car custom built 1 owner exceptionally loaded home! Glorious windows throughout fitted with plantation shutters. Superb hardwoods, granite counter J bar in kitchen with plentiful cabinets and separate pantry. Bright oversized dining and living rooms with high ceilings. 1st floor mother-in-law suite with built in safe room and private bath, currently in use as an office. Wet bar. Large 1st floor master suite with oversized 2 person whirlpool bath. Sound surround inside and outside. This is a wonderful floor plan. Perfect rear yard with in-ground swimming pool overlooked by an exquisite gazebo with waterfall and pond. 5 car garage plus ample additional parking and a circle drive all on nearly an acre (0.97 acres). Just fabulous!

Property information

Freddie Mac 2014 Third Quarter Refinance Report
Freddie Mac 2014 Third Quarter Refinance Report


Freddie Mac recently released the results of its third quarter 2014 quarterly refinance analysis, showing the share of borrowers who are tapping their equity by cashing out at the time of refinance has doubled from the same quarter last year as a result of broad-based house price appreciation. However, the dollar volume remains very low at an estimated $8.0 billion.

"While the share of borrowers that cashed-out some equity has increased considerably over the past year, the refinance volume has also fallen sharply, resulting in a relatively small amount of equity cashed-out, to the tune of roughly $8 billion which is less than one-tenth of what we saw at the peak in mid-2006,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “That said, based on the analysis contained in our third quarter refinance report, we estimate that those that lowered their payment by refinancing into a cheaper mortgage rate will save more than $1.5 billion in interest payments over the next 12 months of their new loan. On average, that's an interest rate reduction of about 1.3 percentage points -- a savings of about 24 percent. On a $200,000 loan, that translates into mortgage interest savings on average of about $2,700 during the next 12 months."

Of borrowers who refinanced during the third quarter of 2014, 36 percent shortened their loan term, a four percent decline from the previous quarter. From 1990 through 2013, on average 28 percent of borrowers shortened their term.
In the second quarter, an estimated $8.0 billion in net home equity was cashed out during a refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, up from the revised $5.6 billion last quarter. Adjusted for inflation, annual cash-out volumes during 2010 through 2013 have been the smallest since 1997.

In aggregate, U.S. home equity grew by an estimated $3 trillion during the two-year period through June 30, 2014. Much of this gain was attributable to home value gains, with shorter-term loans and faster-than amortized principal paydowns also being a factor.

About 72 percent of those who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage maintained approximately the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying in additional money at the closing table, unchanged from the previous quarter. Twenty-eight percent 'cashed-out' some equity, the highest share in five years; the peak on 'cash-out' share was 89 percent during the second and third quarters of 2006. 


The median age of the original loan outstanding before refinance was 7.0 years during the third quarter. The median age was 7.0 years or older in each of the last four quarters, the most since the analysis began in 1985.


For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com/.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

Don't Get Distracted in The Excitement or Fog of Home Buying

Don't Get Distracted in The Excitement or Fog of Home Buying

By John Voket


Once a prospective purchaser has found a house that seems to be “just perfect,” the tendency is to want to close the transaction right away and move in. But before you are lost in the fog of buying a new home, heed this valuable advice from the Piedmont Regional Association of REALTORS® (prar.com).

Before buying - STOP! Don't get swept away with the excitement of the moment before asking your REALTOR® about:

Condition of the house – A Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure form is required on most residential real property. This form must be furnished to the buyer before making a written offer, and can be utilized during the inspection of the property as a “checklist” of items to review. The money spent for an inspection may be a wise investment. If obtaining a loan, most lenders will require a survey.

Zoning Restrictions – Zoning is established by local government and designates the type of buildings and how they may be used, such as: residential, commercial, and industrial.

Restrictive Covenants – These are private agreements that restrict the use and occupancy of real property. Such things as the purpose of the structure to be built, architectural requirements, setbacks, size of structure and aesthetics are only some examples. Contact the Register of Deeds or Town Clerk to obtain information.

Taxes – Determine estimated property tax and any special assessments regarding roads, streets, sewers, electrical, etc.

Easements – An easement is a right or privilege one party has to the use of another’s land for a special purpose consistent with the general use of the land. Easements are commonly given to telephone and electric companies to erect poles and run lines, as well as gas and water companies. Other easements can be given to people to drive or walk across someone else’s land.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First"

Staging Mistakes that Will Sabotage Your Home Sale

Staging Mistakes that Will Sabotage Your Home Sale

By Deanna Lawley


According to the Real Estate Staging Institute, a staged home sells 70 percent faster than a non-staged home. Are your listings staged to sell? Or are you sabotaging the sale? Expert stagers share the most common staging mistakes below. Help your sellers avoid these mistakes so you can sell their home faster.

1. Mistake: Not creating space. “People often move because they want more room, so make sure the house feel as spacious as possible,” says Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV’s “Property Virgins.” “Clutter robs a home of valuable space. Make sure everything is cleared from the countertops and remove at least two-thirds of books on the shelves.”

“Furniture, art and accessories that are not scaled correctly for a room are a big mistake,” says Dawn Alpern, associate designer at Interior Transformation, Inc. “These items need to fit the room. It doesn’t work if they are too big or too small.”

“Closets should be half full, and buyers should be able to see the bottom of the closet. If they see a jam-packed closet, they will think it’s too small for them. Bedrooms should contain only a bed, nightstand and dresser. In the master bedroom, swap out the king-size bed for a queen-size bed to create more space,” says Sherrod. “Throughout the house, pull furniture two or three inches out from the walls and allow the corners of a room to be visible.”

2. Mistake: Excessive furniture. Too much furniture, or oversized furniture, can ruin a home sale. There needs to be enough room for buyers to walk in and out of all the rooms in your home. If there is any doubt that a piece of furniture may be too big or distracting, take it out, says Cannon Christian, president of Renovation Realty.

“Remove the seller’s giant family-size couches, chairs and tables and replace them with rented mid-size or small furniture to make the room feel more spacious,” says Scott Sorrell, CEO of Sales Adrenaline.

3. Mistake: Household smells. “The only thing as important as decluttering is having an immaculate house. A house that smells odd to a prospective homeowner, whether because of a cat’s litter box, dogs, or exotic food can easily be a deal breaker,” says Sherrod. “Don’t try to mask anything with potpourri, or by baking cookies. Just open windows a few minutes before a showing to let in fresh air.”

“Having a professional cleaning companycome in to scrub walls, floors, carpets and windows can make an amazing difference, both in general appearance as well as removing odors. If the smell persists after the cleaning crew has finished, consider replacing any carpets used by animals,” says Russ Tybus, co-owner of Morris Organizers.

“We were recently in a listing with a newer kitchen, updated utilities and very little clutter. The real estate agent did a nice job staging the house, but what they missed was overwhelming. There was a very distinct smell of animals. Candles were lit, which only drew more attention to the fact that they were trying to cover something up. On top of that, most of the floor moldings were filthy, covered in everything from scuff marks to food splashing and slobber. That home was likely to be known as the dirty animal house, when the home was staged very nicely,” says Tybus.

4. Mistake: Failure to edit. “The failure to edit can include too many personal items, clutter or disastrous decor. If your seller thinks the home is edited as much as it can be, tell them to edit again. The goal should be to remove virtually everything that would allow a buyer to picture the current owners in the home,” says Rhonda Duffy, a real estate professional in Atlanta.

Sherrod encourages using vignettes throughout the home. Vignettes are groupings of accessories, usually in threes. It could be three pieces of art on the wall, candlesticks, something tall, medium and short. The shapes and colors can help draw the visitor through the room and make the room visually interesting.

5. Mistake: Having more than one focal point in a room. “Every room needs a focal point, but most people never figure out what it actually is,” says Alpern.

“As a rule, in the bedroom it is the headboard, in the bathroom it is the vanity area. The living room’s focal point can be the television, the fireplace or the window, says Karl Lohnes, interior designer and co-host of HGTV’s “This Small Space.”

6. Mistake: Color faux pas. Real estate broker Lauren Schreyer cautions sellers not to choose drastic shifts in color from one room to the next. “It’s critical to maintain a continuum of a neutral paint color throughout the main areas of the home to provide a sense of openness and flow. This also helps make a home feel bigger,” says Schreyer.

“Neutral doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Everything doesn’t have to be tan or beige—certain shades of grey, green and even purple can be neutral,” says Alpern.

7. Mistake: Covering up the light. Lighten up! “You want as much light to come in as possible. Remove unneeded blinds. If there’s drapery, pull it to the side. You want people to come in and say, ‘I could live here. It’s nice and bright,’” says Sherrod.

8. Mistake: Skipping the walk-through. “Make a trip through the home with your sellers and test all cupboards, cabinets and drawers for proper opening and closing,” says Christian. “Buyers will hear squeaky cupboards or see jammed drawers as something they will have to fix if deciding to buy the home. Replacing hinges or greasing drawer tracks is inexpensive and quick.”

“If there’s a door that needs fixing, or wall that needs painting, now’s the time to address it,” says Jay Hart of Sold with Style. “When buyers see these repairs, they will speculate about the ones that they don’t see. It sends the message that the home is not well maintained or cared for.”

9. Mistake: Neglecting the exterior. “The front porch is the home’s first impression. Encourage your sellers to paint the front door, place seasonal planters on each side of the door, keep lawns freshly mowed and remove garbage cans immediately on trash day,” says Sherrod. “Pressure-washing outdoor decks and aluminum siding can also do wonders for a home’s first impression and boost a home’s value.”

Looking for more staging tips? Learn the Luxury Home Staging Secrets that Sell.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Janet & Graham Ford SRES MSA CSP e-Pro Broker & Associate
http://www.janetford.com
email: info@janetford.com
Janet Cell: (918) 798 4428
Graham Cell: (918) 798 6628
Fax: 918 398 5330 & 800 829 9408
Real Estate Consultant & Marketer of Fine Homes "Putting People First" 

Open House in Oxford Court on Sunday

October 2014
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Oxford Court, Broken Arrow  -  We invite everyone to visit our open house at 17415 E 43rd Street Tulsa on October 12 from 13:30 to 15:30.

Property information

Sustainability and Functionality Key Décor Trends in 2015

Sustainability and Functionality Key Décor Trends in 2015


Décor trends in 2015 favor functionality, with designers turning to self-renewing materials that are both stylish and environmentally friendly. Looking towards the new year, celebrity designer Vern Yip lists these six trends to watch.

1. View the floor as an extension of the living space. Opt for materials that are both stylish and comfortable, such as cork flooring. Warm, soft on the feet and eco-friendly, cork's natural ability to insulate against heat, cold, noise and vibration make it an ideal choice for "on-the-floor living.”

2. In open concept homes, mix and match old with new, high with low or light with dark. Using timeless and resilient materials, or those that can be used and reused, allows homeowners to be eclectic and bold.

3. Geometrical and angular designs are making a comeback. Think of zigzag, herringbone or chevron patterns to bring mid century flair back into your home.

4. Living outdoors is a great way of maximizing living space. Make it cozy with pillow, tiki lights or a bonfire pit. In cold temperatures, use heat lamps positioned around the border of the patio.

5. Look at the floor, which is a home's largest surface area, as a canvas. It offers ample opportunities to add visual interest and achieve a unique look. Think about combining textures and colors. Create a pattern of alternating colors and grains.

6. Break away from a sea of neutrals. Replace old pillow covers, throws or lampshades to reflect the hues and tones of the season. Or, create an accent wall with a printed wallpaper or painted design. Do keep your larger items white or neutral, so that you can easily mix and match seasonal colors with permanent pieces.

"The variety of stylish product choices available to today's environmentally-conscious consumers is remarkable," says Yip. He points to the many color choices of no-VOC paint, new agave plant and sisal fiber area rugs as great examples of the intersection between style, functionality and environmental responsibility.

Source: APCOR

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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