Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

2015Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

“The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”

Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

  1. Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.

  2. Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”

  3. Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.

  4. Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

  5. Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

Smaller Homes Mean More First-Time Buyers

SONY DSCThe size of the typical home is shrinking, which may be a sign that a wider array of buyers, including first-timers, are returning to the market. The median size of a single-family home has decreased for the past two consecutive quarters, and it will likely continue to go down as more first-time buyers look to purchase, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The median size of a single-family home dropped 2.3 percent in the third quarter over the previous quarter, falling from 2,472 square feet to 2,414. That marks the smallest size since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Home sizes were on the rise coming out of the recession, mostly due to a surge in the luxury market, NAHB notes.

“Typical home size falls prior to and during a recession as some home buyers cut back, and then sizes rise as high-end home buyers — who face fewer credit constraints — return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions,” NAHB notes on its blog, Eye on Housing. “This pattern has been exacerbated in the last two years due to market weakness among first-time home buyers.”

But the decline in square footage now indicates that entry-level buyers are on their way back.

The latest drop in the median home size “doesn’t reflect changes in preferences, necessarily. It reflects who’s buying new single-family homes,” Robert Dietz, an economist with NAHB, told The Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, building giant D.R. Horton Inc. posted a 38 percent surge in sales orders in the fourth quarter, attributing most of those gains to its new Express brand homes that are priced at $200,000 or less.

“I do know that bigger houses are not as in-demand as smaller houses unless you’re in a community where you’ve tapped into a niche,” notes Brian Johnston, COO of Mattamy Homes, a Canadian builder that operates in four U.S. states. “We would definitely be seeing more affordable product as the trend line.”

Source: “Single-Family Home Size Leveling Off as Market Recovers,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing Blog and “Could the Decline in Median New-Home Size Herald Return of Entry-Level Buyers?” The Wall Street Journal

Smaller Homes Mean More First-Time Buyers

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Millennials: How to make your home ownership dreams a reality

20838984_web(BPT) – Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.

While stricter standards make it tougher for young families to qualify for a mortgage, millennials said they understand why these standards exist and think the tougher requirements won’t stand in their way of buying a home, according to a new survey commissioned by loanDepot.

In fact, millennials today are serious about doing what’s required to get a mortgage. The research surveyed 1,000 millennials who don’t own a home and found 35 percent plan to buy within five years. What’s more, millenials are taking steps now to turn their dreams into a reality by getting their credit in order, paying down debt and saving for a down payment.

“Income is a key to opening the doors of homeownership for millennials, and they’re more than committed to it; they’re actively planning for it,” says Anthony Hsieh, chairman and chief executive officer, loanDepot LLC. “Our improving economy is making it practical for millennials who want to own their own homes in a few short years to get ready now. Their strong desire to become homeowners, coupled with the commitment of getting their finances in order, suggests a renewal in first-time buyer demand may be possible if we sustain necessary economic and market conditions.”

With their prospects improving as the economy picks up, millennials are forming households faster and making more money compared to a few years ago. One in three millennials said an increase of 15 percent or less in income will be enough to turn them into homebuyers, a significant proposition for the economy.

Because mortgage lenders use debt-to-income to evaluate a borrowers’ ability to repay a loan, student debt is a growing burden on millennials interested in financing a home. Unlike medical debt, student debt carries an equal weight to credit card debt. Nearly half of those surveyed said it’s unfair to weigh both types of debt equally.

As for the tougher requirements to getting a mortgage, millennials do think the tougher standards guard against risky loans and will help prevent another mortgage crisis. More than half say making it easier to get a mortgage will result in more foreclosures.

If you have student debt and want to buy your first home, here are a few ideas and tips to help you prepare:

* Lower your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). DTI is your total monthly income as compared to your total monthly debt payments. Most lenders will only lend to you if your DTI is at or below 43 percent. So to lower it, try to increase your income by pursuing a promotion or raise, finding a higher-paying job or taking on part-time work. Decrease your required monthly debt payments by refinancing or consolidating student loans and paying down any credit card balances.

* Get your credit score in order. Analyze your credit report before you start the home buying process. Dispute incorrect derogatory information and ensure all three credit-reporting bureaus list all of your positive information. Pay all your bills on time, reduce credit card balances to 30 percent of the credit limit or lower, and don’t open new credit cards if you already have a few.

* Save for a down payment. Make a budget for each month before it starts, with a plan for spending and saving, and stick to it. Stash away extra money from bonuses, overtime or financial gifts on your birthday or holidays. Find a roommate to help pay your rent or move into a less-expensive rental. Do freelance or contract work on the side. Sell unneeded stuff on Craigslist.

Millennials: How to make your home ownership dreams a reality

The importance of maintaining family traditions through the holidays

20801433_web(BPT) – Holiday celebrations are a time for family, food, and fun. Part of what makes each holiday a special occasion are the family traditions that are celebrated and passed down each year.

Research shows traditions are important to families because they build strong relationships between generations. Because these customs are so cherished, children often remember these special experiences from the holiday season more than the toys or gifts they receive. Additionally, traditions can teach children about important values like family and community.

Here are a few reasons why traditions matter and how they create lasting memories:

* Traditions bring people together – There’s nothing like preparing a holiday recipe that’s been handed down from one generation to the next. It’s a wonderful time to reminisce about how the recipe brings back fond memories of holidays past while at the same time creating new memories as you prepare and enjoy the dish with the help of family and friends.

“Traditions are an important part of celebrating the holidays,” says Marnely Rodriguez-Murray, of the food blog Cooking with Books. “Many of them revolve around special-occasion food – and those familiar tastes and smells have the ability to bring families of all shapes and sizes together.”

* Traditions can evolve over time – As families change, so do traditions. Embrace these changes by creating new traditions or refining old ones. You can help make the holidays more special and memorable by giving others a chance to make suggestions for starting new and improving existing traditions.

“Millions of family traditions include sharing Hickory Farms gifts filled with signature sausages and cheeses before a holiday meal, when entertaining or while unwrapping gifts,” said Rodriguez-Murray. “This year, start a new one by secretly dropping a piece of their new Signature Chocolate Collection into someone’s hot cocoa when they aren’t looking. They’ll be both surprised and delighted.”

Available at and at Hickory Farms Holiday Market locations nationwide, these products can become a new family holiday tradition.

* Traditions are just plain fun – Traditions produce long-lasting memories for everyone, like the annual family Thanksgiving football game or everyone opening their matching pajamas on Christmas Eve, because they have the ability to make people laugh and smile. What’s more, these joyful traditions give family members something additional to look forward to each and every year. The repetition of these moments over time builds anticipation as each holiday season returns, enhancing the excitement, joy and fun for all.

Make this holiday season special by creating and preserving family traditions that will last a lifetime.

The importance of maintaining family traditions through the holidays

Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays?

SONY DSCHome owners may be doubtful that the months of November and December will bring about a home sale. After all, aren’t potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone their house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days?

But sometimes the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers. Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price, according to an article at

A 2011 study conducted by® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, but now they may be searching with increased urgency. Some buyers may be motivated to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. They can purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes, such as points, interest, and property taxes. Also, certain sellers who sold their homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. They may be highly motivated to buy in November to avoid paying capital gains tax (since closing on the purchase of another house is required within 180 days).

Source: “Why November Is the Best Month to Sell Your Home,”

Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays?

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Commercial Development Opportunity Near Easton

2275 STELZER BROCHURE JPG PAGE 1Located on busy road amidst commercial development. 3.75 acres available. Utilities on site. 960 sq. ft. house located on property with full basement and 2 car attached garage. Could be rehabbed for office space. Current  zoning is residential. Could be rezoned for commercial use.

  • Near busy Stelzer and Agler Road intersection

  • 9 miles to Easton

  • 2 miles to I-270

  • 75 miles to I-670

  • 2 miles to I-71

  • 7 miles to I-70

  • 4 miles to Port Columbus International


Commercial Development Opportunity Near Easton