Interest Rates Going Up

We’ve seen an exposion in home refinances over the last several months when interest rates hit a historic lows. Unfortunately now the rates are going back up so if you haven’t refinanced, you’ve missed your window of opportunity. Rates for new home purchases are also going up but still are low in comparison to what they were a year or so ago. As human nature usually responds, the tendency is to say, “Oh, they’ll go back down again.” and then it the old “crossing your fingers” in hopes that they do begins. It’s a game of risk. Back in the ’80’s, a good interest rate was 15% (and I had a 16% rate and considered myself fortunate as most were up to 18%)! In the ’90’s, it was 9%. In the ’00’s, it was 7%. So, what’s the chance of rates going up to the 15% level? My crystal ball says that anything is possible.

So what are you suppose to do? If you’re paying rent, you’re dumping your money into your landlords pocket. Despite the interest rate, whatever that rate will be, it’s better to put your money into something tangible than not. It will then be “your” home, “your” equity gain, “your” investment. So if you’ve been scared to buy a home because of what our foreclosure market has done, please keep in mind that those in foreclosure are those who elected not to pay their mortgage. It’s the “no pay, no stay” agreement that you sign when a lender finances you. So if you are responsible and understand that you should only buy what you can afford, you’ll be just fine and definitely should buy a home!

Whether you are located in Colorado or not, call me and we’ll talk. I can give you ideas, information and guidance at no charge at all. Vicky Baker, Dancing Star Realty, LLC – 877-488-2234

3.8% Sales Tax Added onto the Sale of Your Home!

Yes, you really did read this correctly. Individuals making over 200K and couples who make over 250K, you will now be facing an additional investment tax when you sell your primary residence! Yes, this is true! This was instituted when our Health Care Bill was adopted! So if your proceeds top your normal and pre-existing exemptions and capital gains, you’ll be paying a 3.8% tax on your proceeds! Essentially, you could be paying $3,600 per 100K made on the sale of your home!
Ouch!

Attention Military: $8,000 credit incentive has been extended!

ATTENTION MILITARY: The $8,000 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit has been extended for ONE MORE YEAR for those who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days from January 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010 or those who were forced back to the U.S. due to medical reasons before the 90 days was fulfilled. The extension is to April 30, 2011 to have a home under contract and close by June 30, 2011. This also applies to those in the U.S. Foreign Service and Intelligence Community.

Dancing Star Realty stays on top of important issues especially for our service men and woman. A special Thank You to our military for their vital service to our Country!

Call Dancing Star Realty – 877-488-2234 and let them assist you with your real estate needs.

Interest Rates on the Rise

Unfortunately, it’s true. Interest rates for home purchases are starting to show in increase. It is projected that within 4-6 months, the rates will be upwards 6% or even higher. They’ve already gone up for the 4th consecutive week! Ouch! Yes, we’re still remaining in near historic lows but that edge is projected to dwindle.

Rates on 30-year fixed loans rose to 5.14% from the recent lows of below 5%. They’re obviously, still affordable loans given that in the 1980’s, interest rates were 16-18%. That was the loan I had on my house – and I was grateful for it as we didn’t know how much higher they’d go!

Regardless, the higher the interest rate, the harder it will impact a buyer wanting to buy a house. It cuts severely into what they can pay monthly on their mortgage. This will affect the tone of any economic recovery.

Yes, in recent months, demand for homes has increased and recession caused lower home prices have eased. Government tax incentives for 1st time homebuyers did help to fuel the housing demand and the Federal Reserve has helped to keep interest rates low by buying up mortgage securities. (They pump money into our housing market making it easier for lenders to provide credit.) However, there’s now a retreat especially with tax incentives ending mid-year. And, in a move that’s potentially important for interest rates, the Fed has said it will stop buying mortgage bonds within 3 months or so.

Lower interest rates mean buyers can afford to spend. If the interest rates rise, it could put downward pressure on home prices, unless the interest-rate rise also accompanies a rise in income. No rise in income means the higher interest rates will cause buyers to hold off in buying “in hopes” that the interest rates will go down. Guess what that’s going to do to our real estate market….make it dive into what we just experienced…more homes on the market, sellers not able to sell their homes so more foreclosures, etc.

With this, another key factor of the housing market will be whether lenders standards get more lax or not. A good interest rate only helps if buyers can get a loan! Right now, loan programs are so tight, and documentation so lengthy, buyers are deterred from making that home purchase.

Obama said he wants to make sure regulators get the message to banks that credit should flow to qualified buyers. Unfortunately, foreclosures are expected to run high this year. Banks and regulators are also trying to make sure that they don’t dig deeper into a hole of bad loans.

Should you buy a home now? Absolutely! Is getting a loan like running a marathon through paperwork? Yes it is. Will it be worth it in the long run? Yes it will be. Call me if you’re looking to buy in Colorado. If not, and if you want to find a good, qualified Realtor who will go out of his/her way to help you, I can help you with this by interviewing, screening agents and finding that expert who will provide you with better than expected help in finding you the home you want.

Vicky Baker – Broker/Owner
Dancing Star Realty
877-488-2234 – toll free
Home4U@DancingStarRealty.com

WDYW?

WDYW?  Now just what do those initials mean?  Is is something to do with Jesus? Well, no…there’s no “J” in there. Simply put, “What Do You Want?” 

When you’re looking to sell or buy a home, you need to be clear in what do you want!  This is exactly what you need to express to your agent/Realtor.  If you feel you’re just not getting through with your agent, then you need to have a sit down conversation with him/her and make sure it’s all understood. 

Many times I’ve heard buyers and sellers tell me that their agent just doesn’t seem to listen to them. Their agent will show them homes totally out of their price range or just put the for sale  sign out in front of their home and then that’s the last they hear from their agent. Well guess what?  You’re their boss – not the other way around!  You’re hiring your agent to do the job for you and if they’ve lost that perspective, then it might be time to remind them!

What Do You Want?  Be clear with your agent on what your needs are and what your expectations are.  Put your expectations and needs in writing at the time of your agency agreement or your listing agreement is signed.  Should they fail, then it’s time to be released from that contract so that you can find someone who will work hard for you. 

Should you need a referral for a Realtor in the state you live, I will screen agents for you to make sure they’re the kind of agent who will work hard for you and provide you what you want and need.   I don’t charge  for this referral service either so it’s a win/win situation for you!  If you live in the Colorado Springs and surrounding areas, and want me to help you,  just give me a call – let’s talk.

Thank you!

Vicky Baker, CNE

Dancing Star Realty, LLC

877-488-2234-Toll Free

Do Realtors Know Everything?

Do Realtors know everything?  No – of course not!  Beware of those who proclaim that they do or provides you with an answer that just doesn’t sound right.  If there’s something that’s questionable, a good Realtor will turn over rocks (so to speak) until they find the answer plus they’ll  let their clients know that they’re researching it out for them! That’s a good Realtor. 

Also, chose a Realtor who has experience.  Most new Realtors  lack the knowledge and experience but like to present the bravado image to their clients anyway, to impress them.  Believe me, I’ve had to train other company Realtors (yes, that’s not my job but I do so for the sake of my clients who are on the other side of that transaction) who think they know it all to the point where the deal is on the verge of crashing and they’re too stubborn to admit that they’ve messed up!  Ugh! 

The basis here is to “question” and to keep questioning your Realtor.  If in doubt, call the Real Estate Commission in your state and have a talk with them. You don’t want to lose that special home that you want to buy nor do you want the contract on your home to die.

If you’re looking for a home to buy, to sell, or if you’re relocating to any area in the USA, just give me a call and I’ll be able to assist you!

Thank you,

Vicky Baker – Broker

877-488-2234 – toll free or Home4U@DancingStarRealty.com

Ready to Start Looking for a Home?

You hear all the hype that it’s time to buy but aren’t quite sure what to do? The economy is slowly picking up but the “What-If’s” strike you. What-If I lose my job? What-If the stock market takes a nose-dive again? What-If I buy a lemon of a home? And I could go on! You can really scare yourself totally away from making any steps to improve your living situation by the “What-If’s”. The What-If’s didn’t stop the landing on the moon. The What-If’s didn’t stop the pioneers venturing into unknown lands. The What-If’s didn’t stop your mother from having you!!!
The time to buy is right now especially if you’re a first time homebuyer because you’ll see an 8K credit on your taxes! If not, this is a marvelous time as prices are low…you’ve already heard that in all the commercials, but it’s actually true! I bought my home at 16% interest rate and was thrilled because the interest rates had just jumped to 18%!!
So take things into perspective; be realistic and not pessimistic.
If you’re looking for a great Realtor, regardless of where you live, I can locate one for you. One who won’t push sales! One who will let you know ahead of time of it’s faults, if any. One who will write your offer to protect you! One who will openly communicate with you and keep you up to date on everything you need to do and what’s being done. Yes this is for free! I never charge for this service! I want you to be happy, safe, contented and in your “own” home!

Call Vicky Baker – Broker
Dancing Star Realty
877-488-2234 – Toll Free