Blogs tagged with "Author:David Weeks"

How the FHA Loan Plan Can Help You Refinance
Mar
8

How the FHA Loan Plan Can Help You Refinance

The Obama administration is offering some relief to homeowners who have government-backed mortgages. Under a program President Barack Obama unveiledTuesday, the government would cut the fees it charges to insure those borrowers.

The idea is that lower fees would persuade millions to refinance their loans while interest rates are near record lows. It's the administration's latest attempt to minimize the damage from the foreclosure crisis and help more people keep their homes.

Check out the following questions and answers and if refinancing sounds right for you call me and I can put you in touch with the right people. 425-830-4620
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Does Being Green Add to the Value of Your Home?
Dec
20

Does Being Green Add to the Value of Your Home?

A pressing question has always been, “How does spending the extra money on energy-efficient products help the value of my home”? It is nice to lower heating bills, but how long does it take to recoup the expense of some of these products?

There is now a way to capture these improvements and assign them a value in an appraisal. Real estate appraisers finally have a new form that helps standardize the way that energy efficient features are included in their reports. Until now, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration used a form that centered on maintaining sound lending practices but did not have a way to capture what energy-efficiency improvements contributed to the value of a home. Including a narrative of any green features in a description box was not always viewed by the lending institution.

NWMLS data of new homes sold from Sept 2007 through February 2010 comparing homes that sold with an environmental certification and those without a certification. According to the collected data, environmentally certified homes in Seattle sold for 9.2 percent more per square foot in 24 percent less time and make up 34 percent of the market.



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Homes with High Walk-ability Worth More
Dec
12

Homes with High Walk-ability Worth More

Homes located within walking distance of amenities such as schools, parks and shopping aren’t only more convenient for their owners, often they’re also worth more than homes in neighborhoods where driving is the rule, according to a study released last month. The report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities,” was commissioned by CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders from the civic, business, academic and philanthropic sectors.
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9 Ways You Can Cash In on Your Home
Oct
12

9 Ways You Can Cash In on Your Home

Homes represent the bulk of even a moderately affluent pre-retiree’s wealth, beyond pension and Social Security income. According to research by the Society of Actuaries, only about 20% of homeowners plan to use their home equity to help finance retirement. Of those who do, few have thought about tapping their home's value and simply plan to sell it to generate retirement money.

Home-equity loan

Pulling money out of your home is often not advised if the money is needed for basic living expenses. Lenders also need to be sure you’ll be able to repay the loan. One retirement-friendly use of home-equity loan funds is remodeling, to make your home “senior-friendly” so you can continue living there as you get older.


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Fall Fixes for Your Home
Sep
8

Fall Fixes for Your Home

As the seasons change, once again it's time to perform some home maintenance. Here are 10 yearly tasks that will help keep your household in working order when the temperatures drop.

Clean Gutters: Do so frequently. Clogged gutters can result in standing water and roof damage. Plus, if you clean them frequently, you're less likely to have to deal with decomposing leaves.

Mow and trim: It seems counter intuitive, but Fall is a wonderful time to both fertilize and reseed your lawn. A maintained lawn improves a home's value and saleability. Use this time to trim shrubs and grass one last time so that your yard stands out, even in a dormant season.

Prune trees: With Winter comes ice. With ice comes broken limbs. Take advantage of nice weather and cut back or remove precarious limbs. It only takes one heavy snow or ice to weigh down a limb and damage property.


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Top 5 Housing Recovery Markets
Aug
9

Top 5 Housing Recovery Markets

By the end of the year, financial-services-technology firm Fiserv expects housing prices to stabilize in two-thirds of metropolitan areas, according to the latest analysis of home prices in 380 U.S. markets -- based on the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes -- released Tuesday. That number will increase to 95% of all metro areas by the first quarter of 2013. "Relative to family income levels, the average U.S. home is now only 5% more expensive than it was in 2000," David Stiff, Fiserv's chief economist, tells DailyFinance.

He added that Monday's S&P downgrade of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could hurt consumer confidence, but "the resurgent demand for Treasuries could cancel out" the downgrade.

During the next two years, Fiserv projects that these markets will see the biggest price increases: Tacoma, Wash. (24.9%), Palm Bay, Fla. (18.3%), Seattle (10.2%), Tucson (10.2%) and Memphis (10.%).

The company also expects prices to grow in areas such as Washington, D.C., San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area in California, where strong labor markets and desirable geography will prompt home buyers to get in at low prices. Ex-burbs continue to recover more slowly than metropolitan areas because gas prices and long commutes are dissuading buyers.

By the end of the year, financial-services-technology firm Fiserv expects housing prices to stabilize in two-thirds of metropolitan areas, according to the latest analysis of home prices in 380 U.S. markets -- based on the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes -- released Tuesday. That number will increase to 95% of all metro areas by the first quarter of 2013.


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Modern Take on a Fireplace
Dec
22

Modern Take on a Fireplace

Still the focal point of many interior living spaces, the latest fireplaces look anything but traditional. Although their inner workings are largely standardized ― most new models contain prefabricated fireboxes ― the front can be much more expressive.

As long as you follow building codes regulating the distance that combustible materials must be from the firebox opening and the distance a mantel shelf can project from the wall, you are free to decide how you trim out, or decorate, the area around the firebox. From glass and steel to tile and stone, the material options are broad and enchanting. So read on and let the following examples inspire you to curl up by the fire.


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25 Biggest Real Estate Mistakes Buyers and Sellers Make
Nov
7

25 Biggest Real Estate Mistakes Buyers and Sellers Make

Get insider secrets to avoid costly blunders on the most important investment of your life. We've brought together some of the top real estate experts to compile the definitive list of the biggest mistakes we all make when buying and selling our homes. Remember that you are buying the house, not the things inside it, so make sure you see beyond the decorations and look at the bones of the home. Focus on the floor plan and the square footage. You also might want to measure the dimensions and graph out how that's going to work with your belongings...


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12 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving
Sep
23

12 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving

Moving is complicated. It involves myriad activities and tasks that need to be coordinated to bring it all together. Without a plan, you will not have a full sense of what you need to accomplish, what help you will need, and how you will go forward to get everything done.

Hiring a moving company can be a substantial part of your moving budget. If you are moving from a large residence or moving a long distance, your moving services will likely cost thousands of dollars. Understand how these costs fit into your overall budget, and keep in mind other fees such as traveling to your new home, auto transport, temporary living expenses, insurance, etc.


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FHA to Raise FICO Requirements, Reduce Seller Concessions, Increase Downpayment
Dec
9

FHA to Raise FICO Requirements, Reduce Seller Concessions, Increase Downpayment

The minimum borrower FICO score will be raised although the final number has not yet been determined. (rumor is the min score will be 640 up from 620)  The agency is studying whether new FICO minimums should be accompanied by changes in other underwriting criteria for lower down payment loans. The up-front cash that a borrower will be required to bring to the table for an FHA-backed loan will also be increased to make sure that borrowers have "skin in the game.
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Home Buyer Tax Credit Changes
Nov
10

Home Buyer Tax Credit Changes

President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 into law today. The legislation greatly expands the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit by making more first time homebuyers eligible for the credit and now includes homebuyers that are not first time homebuyers. The current law is extended until April 30, 2010. Buyers have until that date to have a signed purchase agreement. There is an additional 60 day grace period to complete the financing.


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014
King County home prices resume their climb

Monday, April 21, 2014
Housing Market Slow to Hit Its Spring Stride

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Keys to Help Buyers Compete in a Seller's Market

Thursday, May 23, 2013
10 Things Buyers Need to Know

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The 8 Top Home-Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Fiscal Cliff Bill a Benefit for Homeowners

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Should You Help Your Adult Kids Buy Their First Home?

Monday, October 29, 2012
Economists Bullish on Housing Recovery

Sunday, October 21, 2012
What is moving housing upward?

Monday, September 10, 2012
Five Common Mortgage Myths

Thursday, August 2, 2012
It's a great time to be a seller

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Are appraisers falling behind on home value increases?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Is Now the Time to Invest in Rentals?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
4 Guidelines for Successful Negotiations

Thursday, May 24, 2012
5 Reasons Now is the Time to Buy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Unique Housing Market

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Buying a home won’t get much cheaper

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Home Prices to Rise in 2013

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Buying Cheaper than Renting in 98 of Top 100 Major U.S. Markets

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Five Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Thursday, March 8, 2012
How the FHA Loan Plan Can Help You Refinance

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When Freddie Mac Wins, Homeowners Lose

Estella said
"That is a beautiful shot with very good lighting ." about Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream
on Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 9:57 AM

Chris White - Team Leader said
"Unfortunately you are not alone. It's more than an outcry. The powers that be really need to come down harder on Bofa than they already are. Working on these short sale for over 2 years now I've uncovered down right fraud happening on the lenders parts. If they cared more about moving this country forward than protecting their own wallets then they would cut the red tape and approve these short sales in a timely manner. Our team made the wise decision to get BofA loans which were FHA or Freddie Mac backed, approved prior to listing on the market. Then we can list the home as "Price Approved" and close in 30 days. In this instance BofA does a full appraisal, rather than an incompetent "Broker Price Opinion" (nothing against agents but they have no idea how to make adjustments on comparable homes) and then the bank issues an "Approval To Participate" letter which dictates what price we can go on the market and take anything north of 88%. I really do hope your situation improves. " about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

Lisa Zeiner said
"We made an offer 4 months ago to BofA, and have heard nothing. It was a cash offer which is better than the zero money they are collecting now. And since the people don't care they are trashing the place, by the time BofA gets around to it our offer will be gone as the place is a mess!! Septic issues now, garbage being dumnped. All of this could have been avoided if BofA really wanted to correct their cash flow problem and sell these properties in a timely manner. They cry about cash but then do nothing intelligent to fix the problem" about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:06 AM

Jones Ramirez said
"Thank you for the work you have done into this post, it helps clear up a few questions I had." about How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?
on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:07 PM

HollyRobsonf said
"Hey - I am certainly happy to find this. great job!" about Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers
on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 @ 6:45 PM