The Markets In A Minute

August 31st, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

The Economy

The minutes released from the Fed’s meeting last month reflected a belief that the economy was growing and a rate hike will be appropriate “soon.”

Economists anticipate the Fed will raise rates twice more this year. Markets have already priced in the increases, so mortgage rates likely won’t be affected.

Although talks have resumed between the U.S. and China, the trade war continues to escalate. Tariffs are inflationary and could contribute to higher rates.

Housing News

Existing home sales tumbled to a 2-1/2-year low in June, the 4th month of declines. Tight inventory and high prices have some buyers throwing in the towel.

New home sales were also down. A 1.7% drop in July brought them to a 9-month low. However, reports indicate the inventory of new homes is increasing.

Prices continue to rise, up 1.1% from the previous 3 months and up 6.5% from a year earlier. Price gains did slow from the first quarter though.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender.

When Selling a Home, the Neighbors Matter

August 30th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Zillow Porchlight – by Brendon Desimone

Getting on the neighbors’ good side can be an essential part of your sales strategy.

Few sellers consider their neighbor’s home when preparing to sell their own. Why would they? Their biggest concern is getting the soon-to-be-listed home painted, cleaned and landscaped for great curb appeal.

But all that effort could be for nothing, if just one of your neighbors doesn’t care much for appearances.

If you find the neighbor’s home unappealing, imagine your potential buyer’s first impression. The fact is, your neighbor’s unsightly property can diminish your own home’s curb appeal, no matter how much you’ve done to improve it.

The good news is, you have options — you’ll just have to plan ahead a bit. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your neighbors don’t cost you money when you sell your home.

Build good relationships

Even if you don’t have a plan to sell now, it’s good practice to maintain a friendly relationship with the neighbors. You never know when you’ll need them.

It’s not uncommon for issues to come up during a sale. Problems regarding fence repair, retaining walls or easements can often bring a neighbor into your home sale process.

Having a good relationship with your neighbor from the beginning will help to ensure their cooperation when you need them at a critical time in the home sale.

Keep them in the loop

If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it’s a good idea to give the neighbors a heads-up well in advance.

If you think you’ll need assistance from a neighbor for whatever reason, it will be easier to approach them if you’ve given them notice. Knocking on their door to tell them you’re selling and then requesting their cooperation right away won’t help.

Offer to pay for improvements

It will be difficult to ask your neighbors to reseed their lawn, pull their weeds, change their fence or paint their door to help your sale. Ask them to pay for it, and you can expect resistance.

If you need your neighbor to do some curb appeal work to help your sale, the money should come out of your pocket.

On top of that, you can’t force the neighbor to use your landscaper, painter or contractor, even if you’re paying for it. It’s their home, not yours, and you need to tread lightly.

Although many neighbors will appreciate the offer to spruce up their home on your dime, others may be hesitant. Bullying them to work on your timeframe or within your rules won’t help, and it could backfire once your home lists publicly.

With luck, a home sale can proceed smoothly without the need to involve neighbors. But if you hope to sell in the future, understand that your neighbors’ cooperation may be necessary.

If you plan in advance, open the doors of communication and offer to make things easy, you’re more likely to get what you want.

Read more:

Brendon DeSimone is the author of Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling. A 15-year veteran of the residential real estate industry and a nationally recognized real estate expert, Brendon has completed hundreds of transactions totaling more than $250M. His expert advice is often sought out by reporters and journalists in both local and national press. Brendon is a regularly featured guest on major television networks and programs including CNBC, FOX News, Bloomberg, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20/20 and HGTV. Brendon is the manager of the Bedford and Pound Ridge offices of Houlihan Lawrence, the leading real estate brokerage north of New York City.

The Huge Risk Home Buyers Take When They Waive Inspections

August 29th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Zillow Porchlight – Brendon Desimone

When you’re trying to make your offer as attractive as possible, skipping the inspection may seem like a good idea. Here’s why it’s not.

If you’re buying a home in a competitive market and your offers keep getting beat out, you may be tempted to resort to desperate measures. In addition to offering more than the asking price or a quick closing, some buyers agree to waive inspections.

This is never a good idea. The home may look OK to the naked eye, but it’s what’s beyond the surface, or items that you can’t identify as problematic, that cause the biggest issues.

For example, the typical buyer won’t be able to spot asbestos, nor will they see evidence of termite infestation or a leak inside the HVAC system.

No matter how badly you want the property or how emotionally attached you are to it, you don’t want to buy a home without having it thoroughly inspected. Just imagine six months down the road, when you’ve closed on the sale and moved into your new home. You will kick yourself when you go to turn the heat on and realize it doesn’t work — and the fix is $20,000.

When you’re in the thick of a bidding war or in your seventh month of searching for homes, you might not be able to see or think clearly. Don’t get caught up in the hoopla. Waiving an inspection can cost you a fortune. Here are some alternative solutions to satisfy your need to inspect, while remaining competitive.

Pre-sale inspection
If you love the home, inspect before you make an offer or sign a contract. Worst case scenario, you spend a few hundred dollars delving deeply into a home you don’t purchase. Better to be safe than sorry.

If you do inspect the home and it passes muster, then you can waive your inspection contingency because you’ve inspected already.

The seller’s inspection
Often, the seller will have the property inspected before listing. They do this so that they can either iron out any issues in advance of listing, or so buyers know upfront exactly what they’re getting.  It protects the sellers from future negotiations, and allows them to price the property correctly from the start.

The only issue is that the inspector is liable only to the person who paid for and ordered the inspection. That is the seller. If that inspector missed something, you don’t have any recourse.

Move quickly
Often there is a small window of time between when offers are due, and a deal starts to go forward. Sellers don’t want to lose momentum, particularly when there are multiple offers.

If the market moves fast and you need to get your offer in so quickly that there isn’t time to inspect, pre-schedule an inspection for a day or two out. If you work with a good local agent, they will have relationships with an inspector who will do that.

Writing a one- or two-day inspection contingency into your offer gives the seller comfort that they won’t lose momentum if you walk away. You get peace of mind in the meantime.

Don’t get caught up in the drama of a bidding war. If you’re getting frustrated, keep in mind the larger picture. You’re purchasing the biggest asset of your life. Markets change, and you don’t want to find yourself in a home you can’t afford or, much worse, can’t sell because of structural or engineering issues you missed by waiving inspections.

Read more:

Brendon DeSimone is the author of Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling. A 15-year veteran of the residential real estate industry and a nationally recognized real estate expert, Brendon has completed hundreds of transactions totaling more than $250M. His expert advice is often sought out by reporters and journalists in both local and national press. Brendon is a regularly featured guest on major television networks and programs including CNBC, FOX News, Bloomberg, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20/20 and HGTV. Brendon is the manager of the Bedford and Pound Ridge offices of Houlihan Lawrence, the leading real estate brokerage north of New York City.

How to Save for a House

August 28th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Trulia Guides

Saving for a house means taking control of your finances.

The idea of buying your dream home might seem more like a wishful fantasy if you have no clue how you will stash away enough money to make it a reality. If you are worried about saving up enough to buy a home, you aren’t alone. Coming up with the money for a down payment is one of the most intimidating—and scary—factors for people who hope to become homeowners. The good news: there are some great strategies to help you save for a house.

Simple Ways to Save Up Money for a House

Track your spending and expenses.
This is the something you should be doing anyway. Use an app or online tool that tracks your spending and keeps a running total of the amounts you spend on specific items or categories. Tip: it’s easier to track spending if you use plastic for everything. Most people find this process quite eye-opening, as it’s easy to lose track of a how much you spend on frivolous purchases or small items throughout the week. But spending even a few dollars at a time on luxuries or convenience items can really add up.  Finding out where your money goes is the first step in figuring out how to keep more of it in the bank.

Make a budget—and stick to it.
Once you evaluate your spending, you will likely spot places where you can cut back or eliminate extras. This may be challenging—sticking to a strict budget often isn’t a lot of fun. But just keep focusing on your end goal. Some belt-tightening now is a minor sacrifice that will quickly be forgotten when you are getting the keys to your new home. If you suspect you will feel really deprived or get discouraged, work a few small yet rewarding “splurges” into your budget to keep your spirits up—but see if you can cancel out the costs of these small treats by saving an equivalent amount elsewhere in your budget.

Be a deal hunter and savvy consumer.
You’re tracking everyday spending, but don’t overlook those recurring monthly expenses, too. Put those monthly bills under a microscope. There’s a good chance you are paying for services and features you don’t really need. Call your service providers, credit card companies and other businesses you pay every month and see if they can lower your rate or offer you a better deal.

Save for a down payment.
When you are saving up to buy a home, that savings account should be considered untouchable. Barring a major emergency, don’t even toy with the idea of spending any of that money until you are ready to purchase a home. It’s easier to keep an off-limits down payment fund if you set up a separate account dedicated solely to this purpose. Think of this account as being a one-way street: funds should go in, but never come out—at least, not until you are ready to write out that down payment check.

Look for ways to boost your income.
Your budget consists of two parts: money coming in, and money going out. You’ll get the best results if you make improvements on both sides. See if there are opportunities to work extra hours. You may even want to consider a part-time job. Think about skills or talents that you could parlay into freelance income.

Read more:

Palm Beach County Local Market Update – July 2018

August 27th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale

5 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors

August 24th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Zillow Porchlight – by Jessica Rourk

Whether you’re a social butterfly or a homebody, getting friendly with the folks next door will make your new house feel like home.

Leaving friends and neighbors behind can be the toughest part of moving to a new home.

These five tips will help you make connections and settle into your new community in no time.

1. Knock, knock
For an extrovert, walking over to a neighbor’s home to say hello may feel like a no-brainer. But for more reserved personalities, this tried-and-true method usually requires a bit of a warmup.

Start with a friendly wave as you drive by, then work your way up to a face-to-face introduction. Remember, timing is everything. You don’t want to disturb your neighbors in the middle of dinner or while they’re struggling to get a fussy toddler down for the night.

Try to catch them when they’re already outside, or aim for a weekend afternoon when everyone is much more likely to be relaxed and open to a brief, friendly chat.

2. Snail mail
Can’t work up the nerve to knock on doors? In this age of electronic communication, a nice handwritten note can be a welcome surprise.

Write a few lines for your closest neighbors, introducing yourself and inviting them over for a cup of coffee or cocktail at their convenience.

Be sure to personalize each note by including a small conversation starter (e.g., the roses in front of your home are absolutely stunning! We’re poodle lovers too!), then drop your letters at your neighbors’ front door or in their mailbox.

3. Magic school bus
If you’ve got school-age children, accompany them to the bus stop for the first few days of class.

You’re likely to run into at least one other parent who can fill you in on both neighborhood and school happenings — and people love to talk about their kids, so you won’t have to worry about awkward silences and finding common ground.

Exchange contact info and invite the family over for some weekend fun.

4. Man’s best friend
Our pets often are the friendliest members of the family, so let your four-legged companion break the ice for you.

Dog parks are a natural spot for meeting new friends, both canine and human. You can also meet fellow pet lovers while walking your dog through your neighborhood — cleaning up any messes, of course.

You can get recommendations for trails, vets and parks, as well as ask about any pet-themed meetups in the area.

5. Turn the page
Don’t let the name fool you: Book clubs are as much about socializing as they are about reading.

Check out your library or local bookstore for groups near you, or you can find one online. If possible, contact the host ahead of time to ask whether you should bring any refreshments (wine!), and come armed with a few key insights about the book and recommendations for the next session.

Who knows? You could pick the next talk of the town.

Bonus: life of the party
Once you’ve made a few connections, team up to host a neighborhood block party. Volunteer to handle snacks and other logistics, and ask your more established neighbors to spread the word.

Pick a seasonal theme — hot dogs and lemonade for summer, cookies and warm cider for fall — and spend an afternoon meeting new friends and getting the inside scoop on the best places to eat and play near your new home.

Before you call it a day, pass the torch to another neighbor and make the block party a new tradition.

Read more:

Jessica Rourk is managing editor of Zillow Porchlight.

Things To Do This Weekend

August 23rd, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate

Clematis By Night – Thursdays
Clematis by Night is the place to be for great live music, a taste of mouth-watering foods and fun people all in the hip ambiance of an energized downtown waterfront. Centennial Square at the end of Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach.
100 N Clematis St. – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Clematis By Night

Summer Concert Series – Friday
Ring in the weekend Friday nights at Concerts in the Court. A different band each week from pop to rock, country to jazz–loud, live and FREE. Come join us in Centre Court at Downtown at the Gardens! 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
11701 Lake Victoria Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410  Downtown at The Gardens

Vic & Angelo’s Cooking Class – Saturday
During our August Cooking Class, our Chef’s in Training will learn how to prepare, stuff and cook Artichokes with a Lemon-Garlic Aioli. Enjoy a complimentary wine pairing so that you can sip while you cook! Reservation required.
4520 PGA Blvd. – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418  Cooking Class

Kids World Family Fun Fest – Saturday & Sunday
Children can enjoy everything from bounce houses, rock wall, games, face painting, watching live animal shows, storybook readings and meeting their favorite movie and TV characters!
9067 Southern Blvd. – West Palm Beach, FL 33411  Kids World Family Fun Fest

Polish Craft Beer & Polka Block Party – Saturday
West Palm Brewery is having a Polish Craft Beer & Polka Block Party!!We are shutting down the block of Evernia Street for a Polish extravaganza! Music, food and authentic Polish & Belgian Beer.
332 Evernia Street – West Palm Beach, Fl 33401  Festival

Roar & Pour – Saturday
Palm Beach Zoo closes out the summer Roar & Pour series with a swampy tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogarty by the band Green Rivers! The whole Zoo is open to explore with Roar & Pour admission starting at 4:30pm. The Tiki Bars open at 5:00pm with beer, wine, frozen drinks, and a local brewery tap-takeover tba!
1301 Summit Blvd. – West Palm Beach, FL 33405  Roar & Pour 

The Gardens GreenMarket – Sundays
At the Market, you can shop an abundance of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fragrant herbs, honey, homemade old-fashioned breads, pies, cheeses, sauces, handmade crafts and much, much more. This event is rain or shine.
11010 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   The Gardens GreenMarket

The Market Preview

August 22nd, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

Where is the Mortgage Industry Headed in 2018?

Effective marketing and loan fulfillment programs, coupled with a laser-sharp focus on customer service will drive the mortgage industry to generate solid revenue and profit in a tough year according to a white paper titled “Efficient Collateral Valuation Key to Success in 2018,” published by Veros Real Estate Solutions (Veros) recently.

The paper also outlines the important opportunities for mortgage lenders working to be more competitive in a purchase money market and how they can position themselves well for securing additional business when loan volume levels increase in the future.

According to the study, “by focusing their efforts on the right products, [lenders] will also have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with existing bank customers and credit union members.” Outlining three keys to success in a tough year, the study said that excellent customer service, good marketing, and efficient operations to ensure good customer experience while reducing costs and increasing profitability would be important for lenders in 2018.

“This paper offers lenders a real opportunity during a year that both the MBA and Fannie Mae predict mortgage loan originations will be down, making competition more intense,” said David Rasmussen, SVP, Operations at Veros.

Towards the end of 2017, the paper indicated, lenders began to gear up to attract more purchase money transactions, but “now four months into the new year, competition for this business has heated up significantly.”

Adding pressure on smaller institutions that wanted to compete for business, were the deep pockets of the bigger lenders who were investing a great deal of their marketing budget into television and radio ads, the paper said.

Home equity products were another great opportunity for both, borrowers and lenders the paper indicated. Despite the new tax law that reduced the overall amount of interest borrowers could write off depending upon the number of qualified residential mortgage loans they carried, the paper said that for the vast majority of home equity borrowers, the loans still made excellent sense.

Making home equity loans more attractive for borrowers was the fact that as interest rates continue to rise, cash out refi lending would become unsustainable. Home equity loans, therefore, would provide lenders with the opportunity for effective marketing and efficient processes to stay ahead of the competition.

Freddie Mac Forecasts Housing Conditions Through 2019

Freddie Mac has released its latest Outlook, breaking down the state of the housing market in April 2018 and examining where things are likely to head over the next few years. The Outlook forecasts continual gradual growth through Q4 2019, so long as construction continues to ramp up to help offset current constraints on available housing inventory.

Freddie’s Outlook predicts that mortgage rates will wind up averaging 4.9 percent in Q4 2018 and 5.4 percent in Q4 2019, respectively. Freddie’s Outlook bases these predictions on the assumption that housing supply will continue to increase, whereas demand will cool slightly as mortgage rates rise. The Outlook also anticipates that the Fed will continue raising rates in order to combat inflation.

Under these conditions, Freddie Mac anticipates that total home sales will increase from 6.12 million in 2017 to 6.3 million in 2018.

For 2019, Freddie predicts total home sales to hit 6.44 million.

“New home sales will drive the growth,” the Freddie Mac Outlook states. “The existing home sales market will likely remain flat under our baseline forecast. For existing home sales, the effect of stronger income growth and other demand-side factors will be roughly balanced by rising rates.

New homes sales will drive growth as housing construction keeps grinding higher.”

However, Freddie predicts that, while housing construction will continue increasing, it is unlikely to see much acceleration during those two years. “The existing home sales market has little room for growth with inventories so constrained,” the Outlook states. “Our baseline forecast has only modest increases in mortgage rates. As our historical analysis showed, rapid increases in rates typically dampen housing market activity significantly.”

If rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increase above 5.5 percent, Freddie Mac’s Outlook predicts a decrease in home sales of around 10 percent relative to their baseline.

Source: DSNews

Jackie Doran
Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender. 

Millions of Consumers Getting Credit Score Boost

August 21st, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate

NEW YORK – Aug. 16, 2018 – An overhaul in how several major credit reporting agencies factor in negative credit information is prompting millions of consumers’ credit scores to rise.

Collection events were struck from 8 million consumers’ credit reports in the 12 months ending in June; and the New York Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumers who had at least one collections account removed from their credit report are seeing an 11-point increase in their scores.

Critics have long claimed such score dings are prone to errors or that they’ve unfairly kept many out of the borrowing market. Equifax, Experian PLC and TransUnion have all agreed to revamp reports, which stems from a 2015 settlement with state attorneys general on the matter. In the settlement, the firms agreed to remove some non-loan related items that were sent to collection firms, such as gym memberships, library fines and traffic tickets. They also agreed to strike medical-debt collections that have been paid by a patient’s insurance company.

The majority of consumers who benefited from the recent changes are those who had credit scores below 660 before the collection events were removed, according to the New York Fed.

This could be good news for potential homebuyers since higher scores are a big factor lenders use in granting cheaper rates for mortgages. In addition, relatively small shifts in scores can make a big difference on loan affordability.

A recent study from LendingTree showed that consumers who can raise their credit scores from “fair” (580-669) to “very good” (740-799) could potentially save as much as $29,106 in mortgage costs.

Source: “Overhaul Boosts Credit Scores of Millions of U.S. Consumers,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 15, 2018) [Log-in required]

© Copyright 2018 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Read more:

The Markets In A Minute

August 20th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

The Economy

Instability in the Turkish economy has concerned investors in markets globally. A flight to safety in U.S. bonds has helped mortgage rates this week.

Bolstered by a strong economy, small business confidence is at a 35-year high. Owners are reporting difficulty in filling positions, a sign of the strong labor market.

Jobless claims fell for a 2nd straight week last week. The data suggests there is no impact yet on the labor market from ongoing trade tensions.

Housing News

New home construction was less than forecast in July, but still increased 0.9%. Permits for future construction were up 1.5% over the previous month.

Homebuilder sentiment fell to the lowest point in almost a year as affordability becomes a bigger worry. However, demand remains strong as rates remain low.

Home searches are stretching on longer as buyers look for the perfect space. Buyers say they are not finding the features they want or a price they can afford.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender.