Last week I posted a summary of the new carbon monoxide detection law. This applies to most homes offered for sale or rent. We have made arrangements with La Veta True Value where you can get a 10% discount on any detector purchased during July. And to further increase awareness of the need and safety benefits, we have also bought a limited number of detectors to give our Seller clients FREE, with their purchase of an additional unit (certain limits and restrictions apply). We encourage your attention and compliance to this new safety law. Contact us for more details.
Colorado lawmakers have passed a new homeowners law that will require Sellers to have carbon monoxide detectors in residential homes for sale. If the property improvements have (1) a fuel-fired heater, or (2) a fireplace, or (3) an attached garage; then an operational detector/alarm must be installed within 15 feet of the entrance to each Bedroom.
Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall
Freddie Mac reports a drop in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 4.82 percent during the week ended May 21 from 4.86 percent the prior week. Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to 4.5 percent.
The Federal Reserve is working to hold down rates by purchasing upwards of $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and $300 billion in Treasuries. Mortgage rate premiums have declined substantially over the last couple of months even as Treasury yields climbed.
Source: Investor’s Business Daily (05/22/09)
I have lately become more aware than ever of the inconsistency and lack of uniformity in Appraisals. The appraisers have dodged the criticism of regulators and the public, when in fact they may have contributed in part to the inflated housing bubble. And now, they are likely contributing to the pricing down-slide too.
I have recently had three appraisals on three similar homes in the area. Each appraisal had three more comparables. That provided me with a current look at 12 similar homes and I was shocked at the errors, subjective variables, opinions and conclusions they arrived at. Two of the Appraisers were from outside of our immediate market area and had little clue regarding our unique market. And now, your new Appraiser may be assigned by an Appraisal Management Company. Yikes.
|Last week saw the official kickoff of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s mandatory new system of appraisals nationwide, and some mortgage and appraisal groups are up in arms over sharply higher costs for consumers. The so-called “home valuation code of conduct” imposed by Fannie and Freddie puts most appraisal assignments in the hands of management companies, some of whom are owned by major lenders such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The Appraisal Institute is particularly incensed at the expanded management company role in appraisals because those companies pay appraisers much less than their standard fees, and tack on thirty to fifty percent extra charged to the consumer. For example, an appraiser who’d normally charge $325 for a valuation ordered though a lender or mortgage broker, now might be required by a management company to do the same work for $175 to $200. Meanwhile the consumer, who has no idea where the money is going, is charged $400 or more for the appraisal, and must pay for it up front by credit card, rather than at closing. The $200 to $225 extra goes to the management company. If the deal falls through and the mortgage doesn’t close, that’s the consumer’s problem. The appraisal fee has already been pocketed by the management company. (courtesy RealtyTimes)
Our congratulations to the Keffelers on the recent closing of the sale on their Huajatolla Valley Country Home. They are looking forward to more time for more golf this year.
I am extremely pleased to announce that we have been selected for an Exclusive Listing Agreement to market the fabulous Echo Canyon Guest Ranch property located between La Veta and Cuchara. If you have never been up to the Guest Lodge for a summer evening barbeque, you don’t know what you’ve missed. A truly great property and priced at a great value. Nearly 900 acres from the Devils Stairstep up to the Echo Creek waterfall. Click the link below to see details of this beautiful property.
We may have seen an important indicator of where housing is headed last week, when new mortgage applications for home purchases and refinances suddenly surged as they hadn’t in months. Applications for FHA loans to buy houses were up by 10.4 percent. And overall home purchase applications jumped by 7.1 percent.
Meanwhile mortgage interest rates dropped to their second lowest level in nearly two decades, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Thirty year fixed rates averaged 4.96 percent and fifteen year rated dropped to just 4.5 percent. Why’s this important? New financing applications to buy homes obviously point to rising purchase contracts and closed sales in the months ahead. They also suggest that prices have hit a level in many markets that is attracting once-hesitant buyers off the sidelines.
Even amid these problems, however, there are some hints of possible improvements ahead. For example, a new study by research firm Realty Trac and USA Today found that despite the constant headlines about record levels of foreclosures, the more closely you look, the more you find that those numbers are highly concentrated in a relatively small number of counties.
More than half of the nation’s foreclosures in 2008, researchers found, were concentrated in just 35 counties in 12 states. You can guess where: California, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Florida.
But the really eye-opening finding: In more than 650 other counties, representing one fifth of all markets in the U.S., foreclosure numbers have actually declined since 2006.
Foreclosures are horrible no matter where they occur. But the fact is: Huge portions of the United States have NOT been seeing record foreclosures, short sales or even serious property value declines. (from RealtyTimes)
Check out the big price reductions on several great ranches.
Rio del Oso 1.6 M Reduced to $975,000
Gorrell Ranch 1.175 M Reduced to $974,000
See details at http://www.lavetarealty.com/property_list.php?category=ranch
We were able to get two more nice La Veta homes Under Contract this past week. Both represented exceptional value and were purchased by our local neighbors here. This makes a total of four (4) homes we’ve sold personally in the past 3 weeks. Two by myself and two that I attribute in large part to the efforts of my Wife/Associate. Thanks Liz.
Another nice Under Contract last week. The lodge up on Panadero Loop in Cuchara has been in forclosure. After a very long, drawn-out negotiation, I have finally been able to get our contract for purchase accepted.